How to Start Affiliate Marketing On A Shoestring Budget

If you are trying to decide if you have enough money to get started in affiliate marketing, well fortunately it one type of business that you can start for free. At least initially.

That is not as complicated as it may seem. In fact, you can easily establish an affiliate marketing business with just a few simple steps.

You don’t need any special skills or knowledge; if you have the will to succeed, you can do it!

And with the help of good training you can do it easier and faster. But, more about that later.

So if you have a few minutes, I am going to show you how I have built successful affiliate marketing businesses over the years .

I did it with the help of a very special platform called Wealthy Affiliate. They have helped literally 100,000’s of people do the same thing since 2005. If I can do it, you can too!

First of all, I wasn’t any honor student, I was an average student, with maybe some slightly better that average grades, and some not so much. So, I am proof that you don’t have to be an Einstein to make money with affiliate marketing.

Let’s take a look at how affiliate marketing works and then explore the steps to get started with your own business today! By diving directly into the process, you’ll have all the information you need to launch your own affiliate marketing business. Then, I will explain how you can also do it on a shoestring budget..

Hey there, friends! Just so you know, some of the links on this site are affiliate links. That means that if you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you. It’s like buying me a virtual cup of coffee! This doesn’t influence my recommendations – I only endorse products and services that I truly believe in. The earnings from these links help me keep this website running, and full of fun, useful content. So, if you find something here that you like, feel free to click away and support the site. Thanks for stopping by and happy browsing!

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

I have almost a decades worth of experience in the affiliate marketing industry, and in that time, the fundamentals remain largely unchanged. The concept is straightforward – you need to bring together a product and a customer.

That’s it! This “simple formula” has allowed me to enjoy more travel, more time doing the things I love, and best of all I am my own boss! I work from home, or anywhere I want. You can too!

Here is a picture outline of how affiliate marketing works:

The four steps of making money with affiliate marketing
The 4 Steps Of Affiliate Marketing

This is of course a basic summary of how affiliate marketing works. But, don’t let the term “affiliate marketing” scare you. You have the same potential as me to establish a thriving, full-time affiliate marketing venture.

All that is required is the right instruction, support and the tools to get you there. But, there are plenty of scams online, and you have to avoid that trap! That’s where I come in, but more about that later. First let me explain in more detail how affiliate marketing really works.

Here are a few terms you need to know to understand affiliate marketing.

Affiliate (that’s YOU) – As an affiliate, you have the opportunity to join companies such as Etsy, eBay, Walmart, Amazon (and many more) and promote their products and services. When you become part of their Affiliate Program, you will receive a unique link specifically assigned to you. This link will then enable you to keep track of your sales and their performance.

Affiliate Program (company like Amazon) – As an expert, let me tell you: nearly all companies have an affiliate program, and they offer the opportunity to share their products and earn a commission. Amazon is one of the leading affiliate programs in the world and provides access to millions of products with a single account. It’s an incredible opportunity!

Earning Affiliate Commissions – As an affiliate marketer, you can earn a commission simply by sending people to a website and they make a purchase. For example, if you send a customer to Amazon through your affiliate link and they buy a computer, Amazon will pay you a percentage of the total sale.

Generally, Amazon offers a commission rate of 3-6%, so you could potentially make a profit of up to $100 from this transaction, depending on the price of the fridge. Commission rates can vary from company to company, but typically range from 2% to 75%.

Unlimited Potential – As an affiliate marketer, the sky is the limit. With the right dedication and effort, you can build an affiliate marketing business and make it a reality – many are making several million dollars per year! So, what’s the key to getting there? I’ll will be explaining that in the following section.

Steps To A Successful Affiliate Marketing Business

Just to review, if you want to start your own successful affiliate marketing business, it can be done in 4 easy steps. With the right training, tools, and support, you can be well on your way to success.

And I’m here to help you with all of that. You will be off and running, creating your own business.

Image of The 4 Steps to Make Money Online
4 Steps to A Successful Business

I will not only provide you with a step-by-step guide, but I will help you in understanding how to successfully achieve these steps. But more importantly, you will be able to fire your boss, and become the boss of your own business.

Does that sound like something that would appeal to you? I thought it might. Check this out!

Step One: Choose A Passion Or Idea (Your Niche)

Coming up with an idea for your business is the first step of any build out. This phase is also known as the “niche” stage, where you decide the target audience and category of your business.

You can go in any direction with your business – from teaching a puppy, to betting on basketball, to creating video games – the possibilities are limitless! This is the exciting and fun part of the process.

I always advise people to pick an area they are passionate about as their niche. When you’re passionate about what you do, it won’t feel like work. This is something the Internet and affiliate marketing industry have made possible for us all.

How to Choose Your Idea:

Choosing the right idea can be a daunting task. With over 5 BILLION people connected to the internet, there is an audience for any niche you can think of.

And they say if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life! So, what do you love to do? Whether it is photography, or growing plants, you can make money doing it. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, there is help out there. And much of it has a free trial to get you started.

Once you become a member of Wealthy Affiliate, you have access to their new Niche Finder AI tool that allows you research unlimited niches on any topic. And you will get great ideas for a brand name that will automatically go directly into your new website with their Website Builder Tool. Your site will be content ready in 30 seconds!

You will also have access to video classes that will walk you through the entire affiliate marketing process.

And for support you have a community of over 2 million members, including myself, that can provide valuable feedback and help along the way. And you get a free trial for a week to sort things out as well.

Step Two: Build Your Website (This Is Your Foundation)

Constructing a website is the foundation part of your business. It’s like having a shop in the physical world. Without a storefront, you can’t engage with customers, nor can you offer them anything to buy.

Your website becomes your storefront, allowing you to interact with your target audience, communicate with them, and promote your products and services.

Establishing a website is an absolute must if you want to have any chance of running a successful business online. It’s the first and most important step you need to take in order to ensure a long-term successful business. You also get one for free at wealthy affiliate, so you don’t need to purchase anything else.

How To Build Your Website:

At Wealthy Affiliate, building websites is fast and easy. You can quickly create high-performance websites that are primed for success. The starter account offers a free way to get started on a shoestring budget.

What’s more, the platform’s hosting is super-fast, leading to improved rankings and increased opportunities as you build out your website.

Step 3: Get Traffic (Attract Your Audience)

Building an internet site in today’s digital world is essential for success; It is where your customers will come to engage with your product or service.

Consequently, it is critical to understand how to draw in website visitors and generate traffic. Without it, there is simply no way to make money.

Once your website is up and running, the next step is to build out your website in a way that will drive traffic.Search engine optimization is an effective and sustainable way to acquire long-term traffic.

Google, for example, is a great source of free traffic for your website. With traffic comes opportunity, so investing in SEO is well worth the effort. And you can learn all about that through the training at Wealthy Affiliate.

How To Get Traffic

To maximize your online presence, you must be well-versed in traffic optimization and have a website designed to rank highly on search engines. Wealthy Affiliate provides the necessary resources to do just that, such as in-depth SEO training, classes, and access to expert advice to help you out with your traffic campaigns.

Aside from building out your website, there are a number of other strategies you can use to drive traffic. This includes social media, YouTube, video blogging, podcasting, and paid channels. All of these techniques are explored in-depth within the Wealthy Affiliate Training.

And you can build your presence on social channels for free as well, keeping the cost as close to zero as possible.

Step 4: Make Money $$$ 

Finally, the “make money” aspect of your business. As an affiliate marketer, you will be able to promote over 550 MILLION products/services and receive a commission when someone goes from your website to their website and makes a purchase.

And you do this from the comfort of your own home, or while you are traveling wherever you want. You can make money anywhere doing this! It’s pretty simple.

You can add these special links to your website from companies such as Amazon, Etsy, Nike, Apple, eBay, etc., and earn a “kickback” for the sales you generate. That’s it, you get paid for promoting products you never touch, and you don’t have to buy. So, you don’t need any inventory!

Again, no inventory, means no cost to you. And that is how you start affiliate marketing for free. If you were to start a brick and mortar business, you would need thousands just to get started with a building, equipment, and product inventory. With affiliate marketing online, you don’t have any of those expenses.

Find Your Products On Free Affiliate Networks

For affiliate marketers to make money, it’s important that your audience connects with your message. You’ll want to pick products and services that your audience actually wants. If you don’t, it can have a negative effect on your success and credibility. Don’t worry though, if you’re stuck for ideas there are lots of affiliate marketplaces for you to explore.

Whatever niche you choose, the affiliate marketing platforms have thousands of products for you to browse and find products your customers would love to have. The key is they must be relevant to your niche. If you niche is fishing poles, you don’t want to try selling T-Shirts. But, you could expand later into those products as you grow.

How to Make Money$$$

Searching for affiliate programs can be a time-consuming process. Normally, you’d have to go through numerous Google searches just to locate the right one. But with Wealthy Affiliate, you have immediate access to an Affiliate Program search feature which allows you to browse over 10,000 affiliate programs from some of the most widely used affiliate marketing networks.

Here are a few examples of Affiliate Marketing Networks:

  • Affiliate Future
  • AvantLink
  • CJ Affiliate
  • ClickBank
  • FlexOffers
  • LinkConnector
  • ShareASale

The affiliate marketing industry is expanding at a breakneck speed and is projected to generate $12 BILLION in revenue this year. This figure is expected to soar even higher in the upcoming year. You too can take advantage of this lucrative opportunity! And say goodbye to that 9-5 and work the hours you want to work!

And by using free trials, and social networks like Facebook, and Google search, you can get free organic traffic. Of course after you get started, you will need to spend some money. But, if you pick the right training, those costs are very minimal.

For example, when you join Wealthy Affiliate you get a 7 day free trial, and it only costs $49 a month to upgrade. They provide hosting for free, so for only a few bucks more than you will normally spend for just hosting anyway, you get a step by step training course included! It’s a no-brainer.

Pros And Cons Of Affiliate Marketing


  • Can Start For Free (With Some Costs Later)
  • No Inventory Required
  • Work From Anywhere


  • Takes Longer Without Some Training
  • Requires Dedication And Work
  • Not A Get Rich Quick Scheme

Start with the best training in 2023

If you are looking to start your own affiliate marketing business but don’t know where to start, I can provide you with the resources and guidance you need. As an experienced affiliate marketer, I am helping many people like you to reach their goals and create a successful business within Wealthy Affiliate.

With Wealthy Affiliate you’ll receive comprehensive training on how to effectively incorporate affiliate promotions into your website to optimize returns as well as gaining invaluable insight into the customer buying journey – invaluable knowledge if you want to become a top-performing and successful affiliate marketer. And this is a totally legitimate company that has been around since 2005.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Do I Start An Affiliate Marketing Website?
1. Find Your Niche – 2. Choose Affiliate Programs Related to Your Niche – 3. Pick Your Domain Name – 4. Build Your Website – 5. Create Content Relevant To Your Niche
Which Websites Are Best For Affiliate Marketing?
The Choice Is Yours. Some Examples Are: Ebay Partners, Rakuten, Clickbank, Shopify Affiliate Program, Amazon Associates, to name a few.
Who Has The Best Training For Affiliate Marketing?
My #1 Recommendation is Wealthy Affiliate. They are cost effective, include hosting, a free website and free trial.
Can you make money with Amazon Affiliate Marketing?
Yes, but you will need a lot of traffic and sales before you make any serious money with Amazon.
How Do Affiliate Marketers Get Paid?
Affiliate marketers get paid commissions for promoting products and get paid when customers buy the products.

If you are already working on your affiliate marketing business but are not yet getting the results you desire, let me help you get there. Why not get started today? Take the training for a test drive, it’s free to join, so you really have nothing to lose!

If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. I will answer you ASAP.


I am Carl, creator and founder of Earn Money Anywhere. I started affiliate marketing and earning money online in 2015. And I can tell you, anyone can do this. But, in order to build a business the right way you must have the right training and avoid the get rich quick schemes. I can help you start your own business and avoid all the costly mistakes I made.

Join me and discover My #1 Recommendation to earning money online. See you on the inside!

8 thoughts on “How to Start Affiliate Marketing On A Shoestring Budget”

  1. I stumbled across your page today, it all sounds very intriguing. I was thinking about doing it to make extra money.

    Does Wealthy Affiliate help you with what to say in your articles? That’s what I think I would have a hard time with. Also, I have never built a website. Do they help you with that? If in your free trial you decide that it isn’t something that you want to pursue, can you get out of it?

    Sorry about all the questions. I am considering it.

    • Hi Dana,
      I am sorry for not responding sooner, I was have some computer issues that I hope are solved.

      Wealthy Affiliate teaches you everything you need to start a business. All the benefits I have listed are included. But, be sure to understand it is a legitimate business, not a get rich quick scheme. You have to be willing to do the work. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you are looking for instant money, there is no such thing! They are all scams!
      If you are not willing to work on this, it won’t happen. You are just wasting both my time, and yours.

      But if you are serious about starting a business you can call your own, and establishing a long term successful business, then Wealthy Affiliate can help you! I will be there with you every step of the way to help you with any issues you may encounter.

      The free trial is absolutely FREE. you can try it for a full week, for free. And if you are serious, you will learn how to have a website up and running in that week. They have a site builder that actually creates a brand new site for you in about 30 secs!

      It will be a basic site of course, that you will learn how to fill it with all the wonderful content you create!

      So it is very easy, and you have a ton of support! We have an instant chat feature available 24/7 with over 2 million members all over the world. You will not be doing this alone ever!

      If you like what you are doing, it costs $49 a month to join as a premium member. And if you think about it, do you know of any business you can open for $50 a month? You are working for you! You become the boss! Think about what your life would be like in 5 or ten years if you do nothing?

      But, what if you started today and in 3 months, you start seeing sales, and maybe in 2-5 years had a successful website producing $5,000 a month in income or more? Would that change your life? It’s all about how much time you commit to your business.

      If you don’t like it, and think you don’t want to do this, you are free to walk away. There is no obligation whatsoever!
      Nobody will pressure you ever, this is all up to you!

      I hope I have answered all your questions, feel free to ask me as many questions as you like.

      If you decide to join, you will get an email in a few minutes from Me and Kyle, one of the founders.
      I hope to see you on the inside.

  2. Hi Carl,
    I really love your site lots of great insights on Affiliate Marketing. I have heard about Wealth Affiliate it does seem to have good reviews. How does it work? Do you have to post articles all the time?

    Thank you for sharing. I will be coming back for more

    • Hi Angee,
      I am glad you like my site! Wealthy Affiliate is the biggest bang for your buck on the internet.

      If you are interested in affiliate marketing and start a new business, there is no better place than WA to get the training you need to be successful. You have two ways to succeed with WA training. You can sell affiliate products, or you can be an affiliate for WA and sell their product.

      Whichever you prefer, you will learn all you need to know to be successful. You do have to write articles about your products to get people interested and coming to your site to buy the products you offer. That is how the business works. It is quite a simple process really, but it does require dedication and persistence. It is not a get rich quick scheme.

      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, please stop back soon!

  3. I came across your post quite by chance and to be honest, I really didn’t know much about affiliate marketing but I do now.

    You explained it in a way that a novice like me could understand with ease.

    I wasn’t aware that affiliate marketing was such a straightforward business model but I guess there is a lot more to it than meets the eye.

    It looks like there is a lot of writing involved which I am not sure I would be up for but I guess we all have to start somewhere.

    You mentioned that you are a member of Wealthy Affiliate which I have heard about.

    How is that going?

    Great post and thank you for sharing!

    • Hi Mick,
      Glad you learned something when you found my site. Thank you for your kind words, and maybe you will try some affiliate marketing someday. Yes, it does involve a lot of writing, but it is easier than being a laborer for a stone mason! Yes, Wealthy Affiliate is the best training on the planet. I have been there for 7 years now and i won’t be going anywhere else. It’s the biggest bang for the buck anywhere.
      Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Please stop back soon.

  4. Hey,

    This is such an informative article and is very helpful to me. I am thinking of adding affiliate marketing into my online business.

    I have a leadership and personal growth blog, so adding leadership and personal growth affiliate programs into my posts, and sidebar could be helpful in making money.

    I have saved your article and will use it to help me choosing the right program.

    I will let you know how I go and if I have any questions then I will let you know.

    All the best,


    • Hi Tom,
      I am glad you found the article useful in your business. Affiliate marketing can be a valuable addition to any online business. Adding some relevant products to your posts would certainly be advantageous to your bottom line. Thank you for saving my article and feel free to share it as well.
      If you have any questions, I would be more than happy to answer them.
      Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. Please stop back soon.


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