How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Audience in 2024: 11 Easy Steps

You hear stories of people making thousands in passive income through affiliate marketing all over the internet. Maybe you feel ready to claim your share of the proceeds but find yourself stumped. They seem to have large audiences who are eager and committed to buying through their links. Instead, you must know how to start affiliate marketing with no audience. 

Affiliate marketing is a journey just like starting any other type of business endeavor. It requires a lot of upfront work and heavy lifting to grow an audience. 

Let’s take a closer look at how you can start affiliate marketing without any followers here. 

11 Steps to Become a Successful Affiliate Marketer Without an Audience

Your affiliate marketing journey is going to be as unique as you are. Everyone has to start somewhere, meaning you need to start building an audience. Even in these early stages of your career, there are a few things you can do to learn how to start affiliate marketing with no audience. 

Here are our best tips to get your affiliate marketing business off the ground quickly. 

1. Build a Website for Your Affiliate Marketing Business

The best thing you can do to make affiliate marketing work for you is to create a website to store all of your efforts. This can be as simple as signing up for a WordPress website (see our top choice for the best WordPress hosting here) and getting a domain name. Every affiliate marketer should have a website to rely on to build an audience. 

Not sure how to get started with an affiliate marketing website? 

The good news is plenty of people have gone before you. You can take a crash course on how to start affiliate marketing with Matt Diggity’s Affiliate Lab. This will give you the framework to start a successful affiliate marketing business, whether you aim to grow and scale or flip and sell.

It’s a very good investment in your initial budget for starting a business!

2. Boost Discoverability in the SERPs with a Blog

Did you know that 18 percent  of mobile searches lead to a sale within a single day? If it’s your affiliate link that shows up when they search, that means you get the credit for the sale and a tidy sum in your bank account. But what can you do to get your website ranking on the first page of the SERPs where most people are bound to see you? 

The search engines want to see that you have relevant content on a blog that people are looking for to answer their search queries. You’ll get more organic traffic to your site if you can incorporate keywords in your new content that people search for to find products and services like the ones you market through affiliate networks. 

That means you need to do a little keyword research and see what strategies your competitors are following to get more eyes on their pages.

3. Use Search Engine Optimization

As you work on your affiliate website and blog, you should keep search engine optimization top of mind. SEO is the main method that search engines use to determine whether your site contains the answers that a customer might want.

In other words, how appealing is your website on Google? 

The first organic search result on Google gets 19 times more clicks than paid advertising spots. Organic traffic is key for any affiliate marketer who wants to generate more clicks to their page. You should focus on creating valuable content, yes. But that content should also be easy for search engines to index and recognize when people look for it. 

Authority Hacker has lots of courses you can take when starting affiliate marketing. Their site gives you plenty of free SEO resources on their blog, but they also have The Authority Site System, designed for beginners to build a website. 

If you don’t want to learn how to do SEO on your own, here is an idea of the average SEO cost should you decide to hire it out.

4. Harness the Powerful YouTube Search Engine

Here’s a quick fact for you: 91 percent of businesses are now using video as a marketing tool. YouTube is more than just a quick and easy way to pass the time. It’s also a great place for discoverability and marketing to another section of your target audience. 

There are billions of users creating valuable content on YouTube — why not harness it for yourself?

Roughly 70 percent of people say they purchased after seeing an item on YouTube videos. This could mean that you post review videos, the benefits of a particular product or service, or even how you use it within your own business. Of course, all of this should be done with your affiliate link in the description. 

This strategy to start affiliate marketing with no audience is great when paired with other items on the list, such as working with influencers. You will also need good SEO to find a title that appeals to YouTube users. Affiliate marketers will quickly note that many of the strategies for making money off an affiliate program overlap. 

5. Invest in Paid Advertising to Get More Eyes

While organic traffic is key for an affiliate marketer, you might benefit from a few well-placed paid ads. If you have a small budget to spend on making affiliate marketing work for you, then paid Google ads based on pay-per-click strategies could be the right fit. It puts your website right at the top of SERPs and gives you great flexibility. 

Affiliate marketers will use paid advertising to reach a very specific demographic, targeting a keyword that is likely to convert to a sale. According to Demand Sage, 41 percent of users say they trust a paid online ad. 

Of course, Google isn’t the only place you should consider marketing an affiliate link. You can also turn to your favorite social media platforms with paid advertisements back to your website, where you have reviewed and created engaging content that sells your product. There are many paths on the affiliate marketing journey. 

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6. Start an Email Marketing Newsletter with a Lead Magnet

A successful affiliate marketer knows that they need to have a direct way to reach out to their audience when they have new content, affiliate products, or even paid traffic campaigns coming out. One of the best ways to boost your affiliate income is to have direct access to your audience’s email inbox. 

Email marketing should be a priority when it comes to building your affiliate site. It can generate up to 50 percent more leads than other methods, which could be great for sales. 

To get people to sign up for a new email newsletter, you should create some sort of lead magnet that provides value to them. This could be something short and sweet, like a guide of some kind or a short video that isn’t posted to your YouTube channel.

It should be exclusive to your email marketing and valuable enough that people will permit you to market to them.

7. Enlist the Help of Influencers to Grow Your Business

Influencer marketing is a growing trend that can seriously help your affiliate sales. An influencer can be a great way to leverage social media marketing and create valuable content for a much wider audience. Why does influencer marketing come to the top of the list of ways to skyrocket affiliate income? 

The first reason is that influencers already have a following that you can tap into. Their fans are devoted to the channels they post on; they know the influencer, and they trust that influencer’s recommendations. If they send readers to your website or affiliate link, it creates easy traffic sources for you. 

Be sure to see our guide to collaborating with influencers here. 

8. Claim and Leverage Social Media Platforms

Even if you have no audience right now, you should be focused on growing into the future. While email marketing is great, you should also be marketing your affiliate products on social media. That means you need to claim your social media profiles that match your website and start building relationships wherever your audience hangs out. 

You might start to hang out more in Facebook groups or on forums like Reddit or Quora. This puts your name in front of more people and directs them back to the valuable content on your own page or even your website. 

If you want to grow a loyal following for your affiliate products, you might also consider starting your own Facebook group by following our guide here. This gives your audience a safe space to ask their questions, learn more from you, and create a genuine sense of community around an affiliate program. 

9. Research Competitors and Stand Out in the Market

Affiliate marketers are everywhere in today’s day and age. Many affiliate marketers make the critical mistake of thinking that they are the only ones out there promoting affiliate products. The reality is companies that enlist the help of marketers often have dozens or even hundreds of affiliate marketing partners. 

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That means you need to know what you can do to stand out in the market in a sea of competition. 

Spend some time searching for other people who are active in promoting affiliate products like yours. Analyze their social media traffic, what keywords they target, and what type of affiliate content they create. See where you can set yourself apart and create more engaging, high-quality content that fills the gaps in the market. 

If you want to engage potential customers and make significant money, you need more than a single social media follower. You need to tap into the army of people waiting to make a purchase — and that might mean targeting the audiences of your competitors. 

10. Build Know, Like, and Trust with Content Marketing

If you hope to make money online through passive income, you will need a dedicated website, blog, and social media presence. Wait a minute, you might be saying. That doesn’t sound like passive income — and you would be right. Creating promotional materials and social media posts requires some serious work initially. 

You need to build the know, like, and trust factor with your potential customers. Content marketing is the best way to do that. Plus, it can be a great source of free traffic when done properly. 

This is why having a personal interest in the products you promote can be especially powerful. You will spend a lot of time talking about them and recommending them. The more high-quality content you can produce (with an eye toward SEO and social media marketing), the more conversions you are likely to see for your affiliate marketing. 

11. Keep Consistent in Affiliate Marketing Efforts

Affiliate marketing can create some passive income once you lay the foundation with a unique affiliate link all over the internet. The catch is that you need to concisely promote affiliate products, especially during these early days when you have no followers. You can’t always buy traffic, and it may not always make sense to spend money. 

Affiliate marketing without an engaged audience is very challenging, and you can help yourself out a lot simply by being consistent.

Create posts every day for your social media accounts. Write a blog with an affiliate offer. Send out an email newsletter regularly. You can earn money simply by putting yourself out there again and again for free. While an advertising campaign costs money, there is a lot of work you can do without paying. 

Final Thoughts: How to Start Affiliate Marketing with No Audience

Are you ready to start affiliate marketing and building relationships with an audience? Learning how to start affiliate marketing with no audience is tricky and requires a significant time investment. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t earn money this way. You simply have to have a mind for the long-term business strategy. 

Pick one or two of these tips to apply in your affiliate marketing journey today and see where they lead you! 

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