If you’re thinking about starting a career in affiliate marketing, you are in the right place. Affiliate marketing can mean a lot of different things even though they can all be stripped down to receiving a commission for promoting and selling a product or service.
That promotion can be done in various ways. The most straightforward way to go about it is by inserting affiliate links into your website. But what if you don’t have a website? Is it still possible for you to become an affiliate marketer?
Without giving away too much – read on and find out all about the different ways to do affiliate marketing (without a website).
Is affiliate marketing without a website possible?
In short, yes. Affiliate marketing is definitely possible without a website. In fact, there are different types of affiliate marketing, and although the one with a website is amongst the most popular, it’s most certainly not the only one.
Making money with affiliate marketing has a simple process. First, you need to have an affiliate product to advertise. As the name suggests, you are not the owner of that product and you do not have to worry about the logistics behind the purchase or subscription. You are merely the messenger who spreads the outreach of the brand and gains a commission for certain completed actions.
Once you pick an affiliate product, be it through a direct program such as amazon associates or an offer-collecting affiliate network, you’ll also receive an affiliate link. Although some product owners impose certain restrictions on how they want their products to be advertised, there is usually plenty of freedom when it comes to traffic sources.
Now, your job is to make as many people click on your link as possible. So, you need to find an audience and make sure they become interested in your advertising. You also want them to complete the desired action such as sharing their email address, subscribing, or making a purchase. That’s essentially it.
No website required, just an audience.
Affiliate marketing, however, is not that easy, regardless of whether you have a website or not. Encouraging people to click on your affiliate links takes some creativity. If you have a website, you can easily dedicate a whole page to describing a product or service so that people know what it is you want them to buy and why.
If you don’t have a website, however, you’ll have to find another way of ‘selling’ the affiliate products.
Website vs. landing page
Before we go on to describe what are the methods of doing affiliate marketing without a website, we need to discuss the essential part of affiliate advertising – a pre-lander.
Pre-landers, otherwise known as landing pages, are standalone pages with the sole purpose of promoting your affiliate offer. It doesn’t matter where you place your affiliate link but it does matter where it takes the clicker. Most often, taking interested people straight to the offer page leaves them with a lack of information – why should they even engage?
Landing pages are necessary for the following reasons:
✔︎ They are the middle step between clicking on the link and being faced with a choice of whether to make the purchase or not;
✔︎ They allow you to present information about the product so that customers know what to expect once they move to the final offer page;
✔︎ If you’re using clickbait strategies for your ads, you have a chance to elaborate and explain;
✔︎ If you’re targeting a particular audience, you can use the pre-lander to explain how your product is beneficial to them, for example, if you’re selling a photography course to Facebook followers you can talk all about how it will take their pages to the next level;
✔︎ You can share comments and reviews of the product or service you’re trying to sell to increase the legitimacy of your ads and the authority of the product;
✔︎ Adding a countdown, or special deal alert instills the fear of missing out and can increase your conversion rates
✔︎ If you choose to use an ad tracker, you can monitor the performance of your ads and landers and adjust your strategy accordingly
This article won’t provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to make money with affiliate marketing because describing all the methods in detail would turn it into a novel. However, if you choose to focus on either of the methods, there is plenty of resources that can help you earn affiliate commissions.
To start with the basics, what all affiliate marketers need is affiliate links and an audience to promote them. If you have a website, that takes care of the ‘audience’ part. You can join any of the hundreds of affiliate programs available worldwide, talk a bit about the products on your website and enjoy the benefits of extra income.
Nonetheless, people coming to your website are otherwise called ‘traffic’. And luckily for you, there are plenty of different traffic sources available online. Any content publishing platform where you can open an account and gain a following has traffic.
What’s more, there is free traffic but also paid traffic. Let’s start with the latter.
The first and most important way of doing affiliate marketing without a website is to use classic ad exchange platforms such as Zeropark. They work in a pay-per-click or pay-per-view manner – they aggregate huge volumes of traffic from publishers all around the world.
Publishers are people who own many websites. They work with ad exchange platforms by allowing them to display all kinds of ads on their sites. In Zeropark, each publisher has a code name such as saffron-impala or claret-grouse. Under that code name, there are many websites and such websites are also hiding under names with numbers (like targets in Zeropark) or less fun number strings in other ad exchange platforms.
Although the addresses of the sites are not openly visible they aren’t a secret either. All you need to do is ask the traffic source support team and they’ll share with you what website is hiding under the code name.
But back to the workings of ad exchange platforms. If you’re not able to make a blog post on your website to promote your affiliate products, you can join an ad exchange platform and try placing ads anywhere you want, on multiple websites simultaneously.
Additionally, ad exchanges let you choose many different ad formats to promote your offer. The standard formats are pop, push, and domain redirect. Additionally, there are ad exchange platforms for native ads and platforms with less popular ad formats such as content lockers, interstitial ads, calendar ads, banner ads, video ads, and many others. You can also do paid advertising on social media platforms such as Facebook, and Google via Google Ads.
What do you need to start PPC/PPV affiliate marketing?
Of course, as an affiliate marketer, you need to have an offer to promote. You can join an affiliate program or affiliate network and pick anything you like. Although it is always best to research what works beforehand. You don’t have to worry about matching the offer to the contents of your website as you’ll be matching the sites you target to find the best converting offer.
Once you have an offer and a traffic source and you’ve picked the ad format all you need to do is set a bid and let the platform do its thing. Depending on what offer, targeting, and ad format you go for, you might need to spend more or less money on the traffic. Usually, the higher the bid the better placements you can get for your ads and the better engagement you’ll receive.
As we’ve mentioned before, it’s best to put a landing page between the ad and the offer page. So if your audience isn’t familiar with what you’re advertising they can read some information and learn.
Social media marketing
You definitely don’t need a website to do affiliate marketing if you have a prosperous social media account. It doesn’t have to be a personal account either, you can do just as well with a Facebook group, for example, for people who want to get fit.
Again, the basic principle here is that to promote affiliate offers, you need an audience. And if you’ve already got social media followers, that’s just about as perfect of an audience as you can get.
Promoting affiliate links through social media is rather easy. You pick affiliate programs that you endorse or that match the content of your profiles. Then, you need to create social media posts promoting these products. Just always make sure to make the instructions clear and the content entertaining.
The content publishing platform is up to you. You can engage any audience you have, be it Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Tik Tok, or any of the other social media platforms that let you gather a following. The key here is creating content that sells the affiliate products. If you’ve got authority in a certain niche then that’s even better.
Surprisingly, affiliate marketing is also possible without anything at all. And we mean it, you don’t need ad exchange platforms or content publishing platforms. The only thing you do need is creativity and determination.
I’m sure you’ve seen these annoying spammy comments before. Only loosely related to the topic of the conversation but always recommending something and swearing by its miraculous properties. Yes, that’s how word-of-mouth marketing looks like. Sometimes it’s done better, in a subtle way, but sometimes it’s so blatantly obvious that such an affiliate marketer with no finesse gets immediately banned.
If you want to feel like a door-to-door salesman in the digital world, you can go from site to site, chat to people, engage your friends, answer questions, and leave comments on the forums and other people’s content. Although there are affiliate marketers who work that way, it’s a rather difficult method as some communities are very strict about what kind of affiliate link promotion they allow.
Another downside of this kind of affiliate marketing is that it might be difficult to get into an affiliate program with legit offers. Bigger and more reputable networks and affiliate programs often have strict requirements as to what experience affiliates need to have to be accepted into the program.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. But it is also one of the largest social media platforms. Its key demographics are the younger generations so making money with affiliate marketing using YouTube is entirely possible.
Doing affiliate marketing without a website is genuinely easy, as long as you have an audience. So, when it comes to YouTube advertising, all you have to do is advertise the affiliate product in the video and then place the affiliate link in the description below. People who use that method quite often are simply YouTubers who are only affiliate marketers because that’s how they monetize their videos.
And here we are falling into influencer marketing territory which is different from affiliate marketing as the success of someone’s affiliate marketing efforts is based on their following and influence rather than campaign optimization skills and revenue. So while it is entirely possible to create an informative YouTube channel, join affiliate programs and promote affiliate links as recommendations, you first need to gather a following and your channel needs content that people come back for.
While you might not have expected YouTube to be one of the most popular search engines, you need to remember that it’s used by younger people which makes it more suitable for entertainment, hobbies, and education kind of affiliate offers.
Email marketing is a type of affiliate marketing without a website that’s all about sending potential customers emails with affiliate offers. But first, you need to have an email list. That’s the tricky part because gathering that list is a whole different topic which also requires some actions, planning and most likely creating content.
For example, if you want to find out people’s email addresses, you can promote newsletter sign-ups through your website. Oh, wait… we’ve already established that you don’t have a website. So here are other ways of obtaining email addresses:
- Using paid traffic from ad exchange platforms;
- Creating useful tutorials and content but gating it;
- Writing an ebook and sharing it with people who will share their email addresses;
- Promising coupons and special offers in exchange for emails;
- And remember to never spam users with mediocre content!
Once you have a sizeable list of people who are interested in what you offer, you can make money with affiliate marketing by mailing them about certain products or services and including affiliate links in the content of the email.
Do you need an ad tracker?
Affiliate marketing without a website is perfectly possible. But what about affiliate trackers? Tools that help in gathering, sorting, and making sense of your data are not something you should skip.
Even though you don’t need a website, in most cases, you still need a landing page. Especially when it comes to paid ads from ad exchange platforms and social media. When a person clicks on your ad you want to know about it because it means the ad works. The scale of affiliate marketing is usually much bigger though.
If you choose the paid advertising method, you’ll be running hundreds of ads, offers, and landing pages at the same time. Since you’ll be investing your own money into all that, you should keep track of your return on investment.
Among the most important things to track are page views and clicks, but some affiliate marketers go as far as to tracking scroll and focus points. After all, they make money with affiliate marketing so investing additional funds to take more control of your ad campaign is something that certainly pays out.
If you’re doing affiliate marketing without a tracker, it will be difficult to make sure your affiliate links are clicked on and that the affiliate website that hosts the product page is visited. Traffic sources that require optimization are very hard to operate without a tracking solution.
Also, even though most platforms offer some basic free tracking the functionality of professional tracking solutions is incomparably greater.
There are plenty of ways to do affiliate marketing without a whole well-established website. Sometimes it’s possible to promote links without a landing page either.
Although the alternative methods revolve around Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, and various other social media platforms, some methods don’t require you to have anything at all. There are (almost) free and paid methods that vary in complexity and required effort. Their earning potential is often equally proportional to the required effort/investment.
If you want to become an affiliate marketer, you don’t need to a whole background of assets. You don’t even need a following on social media or a successful YouTube channel. You definitely don’t need a website.
Sometimes all you need is a little knowledge, a lot of motivation, and a good traffic source.