Can you really make something from nothing? In the world of affiliate marketing, that’s almost always going to be a hard no. But, it’s definitely possible to get started for free and keep your costs low while progressing forward, this is how.
When it comes to starting an affiliate website, you generally need 3 things. You need a domain name, you need website hosting, and you need some form of keyword research.
Unfortunately, 2/3 of those will require a bit of money. However, the third can be found for free.
How to find a cheap domain name
The first thing you need is a brandable domain name. Your branding is directly tied to your overall success as an affiliate marketer, so make sure your domain is something good. Ideally, you want a .com, .org, or .net.
Finding domain names for cheap can be done, but it’s not the easiest thing to do, nor will they always be as cheap as your originally purchased it for. One source for a cheap domain name is GoDaddy where they regularly offer “sales” on domain names for as cheap as $3. That is about as cheap as domain names will get.
Generally speaking, you’ll be paying in the range of $10-$15/year for non-premium domain names. If nothing else, domain names are one of the cheapest parts of building an affiliate website at an average cost of $1/month.
How to find cheap website hosting
Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to host your website at the same place you bought your domain name. In fact, it’s often not the best idea to do so. What you want to find, is a company that focuses on web hosting over domain registration.
There are a lot of good options out there with very cost-effective hosting plans. One of the best is InMotion Hosting that has plans for as low as $6.99/month. Another good option is BlueHost that offers hosting for as low as $2.95/month.
Other than that, you will not find free hosting for your own domain name.
Something to keep in mind, you don’t need the top-level hosting plans for a brand new affiliate site. Even mid-size affiliate sites bringing in 50,000 sessions/month only need a mid-tier of hosting which usually costs $30-$50/mo. By the time your website is that size, you’ll be making more than enough to cover the costs of your hosting account.
How to find free keyword research tools
When it comes to free keyword research tools, there are 3 options worth mentioning.
First is Neil Patel’s UberSuggest. This tool is insanely powerful for the low price of $0. Neil Patel is one of the world’s most well known affiliate marketers and really hit it out of the park with his UberSuggest tool.
Next up is Bing Webmaster’s built-in keyword research tool. While Bing isn’t the search engine to focus on ranking in, it’s undeniable that their SEO tools are very useful – for a whopping $0.
Last up is Google Webmaster’s in-house keyword research tool. While not as intuitive as Bing’s, it still works great and often gives you better insight into Google’s metrics.
However, by combining results from all 3 of these tools, you can develop a strong understanding of what people are searching for.
While you simply cannot build an affiliate website for completely free on your own, you can get pretty close to free by keeping your costs down.
The old adage, “it takes money to make money” is very true, especially when it comes to affiliate marketing. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to start by taking yourself seriously.
Any website worth it’s salt is going to have their own brandable domain name, their own hosting, and effective keyword research strategies. Without these, success will always be just out of reach.
Beyond all of this, there’s another option that unifies everything under one umbrella. That option is Wealthy Affiliate. Not only do they have a free tier of account where you can check out what they have, but they offer domain registration as well as web-hosting and keyword research tools.
I hope this article was able to effectively illustrate how to build an affiliate website for (almost) free. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below!