Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
To start affiliate marketing without money, people often think you must become a blogger with a dedicated website — draining money and resources. Although it is helpful to have a blog when you can reinvest in your business and scale upward, it’s not essential. Affiliate marketing with no money means affiliate marketing with free traffic.
TikTok is a potential free traffic source that relatively few marketers, about 14%, currently utilize. Luckily, TikTok doesn’t appear to throttle the organic reach of content creators.
Tiktok doesn’t use follower count as a ranking signal, so you don’t need a million followers to make money as an affiliate. You just need to reach the right people. Here’s how to start affiliate marketing on TikTok.
Related: 3 Tips to Get Started with Affiliate Marketing
Choose a niche affiliate program
To succeed in affiliate marketing on TikTok, focus on what people spend their disposable income on and stick to it. Once you provide hacks around these areas, you can influence people to purchase them using your link.
An example of this is the Shein Haul. Some categories you could consider include clothing, makeup, electronic gadgets, food, lifestyle and fashion. As a Tiktoker, you can simply start by showing off some items you got on Shein. Add links to the items, as people want to order any clothing they like during your try-on.
Hack your TikTok channel growth with emerging trends
At the core of TikTok genetic makeup are “trends.” The app is built around trends. To grow your TikTok reach and start affiliate marketing with no money on the platform, you have to begin to understand trends. Creatively tap into TikTok trends by:
- Using trending music and sounds; remember to use these sounds while they are still new, so your content gets the impressions while it’s still hot.
- Joining challenges, dances and mashups. Always bring in something new and unique to challenges. If possible, make a better and improved version so others can draw inspiration from yours.
- Take content clues from already viral videos and look out for patterns. What sounds, hashtags and captions did they use? What was captivating in the first few seconds, and how did people react in the comments?
- Initiate trends with your content and make it irresistible; mash-up popular sounds and switch up a current challenge. When you create videos with exciting sounds that are easy to replicate, it’s bound to go viral, as FOMO would want others to replicate
When your content finally goes viral, capitalize on the content that goes viral to build momentum in pushing traffic to your affiliate offer. How can you do this? Engage with every comment on your profile, welcome new followers and ask them what they want to see. This will skyrocket engagement with the viral video and increase its reach. Replicate this process in other videos.
Implement the product into your videos organically
People will scroll away if you sound like a robotic sales ad. To do affiliate marketing on TikTok, infuse your products organically by doing a storytime while using the product, adding it to your daily routine, sharing the product as a reply to a comment asking about it or doing a product review. Try to be as objective as possible.
Essentially, your priority should be to provide valuable information to your audience in an entertaining manner. Then strategically weave the affiliate product into the fun videos.
Related: I Ran the First Version of TikTok. Here’s What I Learned About Spotting Viral Trends.
Promote like crazy
Once you get the views, it’s time to promote your affiliate links and maximize your engagements. You can do this by:
1. Linking affiliate products
Add your affiliate links in easily discoverable areas by:
- Using a popular hashtag if there are other similar affiliate products
- Including your affiliate link in your bio or through a bridge page
- Adding an affiliate URL in your content description
- Offer a coupon or your unique discount code in the comments
2. Build your other social platform audience
Redirect your generated traffic to build engagements and followers on your other platforms. Do this by customizing your profiles and adding a Youtube or Instagram link. Also, let your viewers know they can watch the full clip on Youtube (if you have one).
Starting affiliate marketing with no money means building an audience with a free traffic source — in this case, TikTok. Though TikTok does not restrict organic reach, unlike most social platforms, it still requires a great deal of consistency. Remain consistent in creating entertaining yet valuable content. When you finally start making money doing affiliate marketing on TikTok, invest in TikTok paid ads to scale even faster.
Related: 5 Essential Strategies for Boosting Your Brand’s Popularity on TikTok