Have you been looking into affiliate marketing as a career? Are you doing your research to figure out the best ways to get into the game or are you a seasoned affiliate already and are just looking for more ways to improve your performance?
Well, either way, I hope that by reading the following article, you will walk away with more useful information that you can use than you had before you cruised on to this page.
A big question that I get asked all the time is – “Is a website completely necessary when starting an affiliate marketing business? And can I make money in other ways as an affiliate without a website?”
I know that for a newbie or someone who isn’t familiar with websites and the like, the thought of going through the process of financing and setting up a website to work well is quite a daunting experience. I’m sure you wouldn’t even know where to start and there is always the issue of how much it is going to cost and what can you do if the website fails before you can profit from it.
However, rest assured for two reasons. One is that a website is not a complex beast at all and you can learn the basics in a short time. There are so many tools and software out there now that make the whole process so much easier and it is possible to even create a working generic website within 30 seconds!
The other reason is, and to answer your question, yes you can do affiliate marketing even with no blog or website. There are a few ways this can be done and I will be going through each of them below. You should note, however, that these methods are not exactly the best methods to do affiliate marketing and there is a high possibility that you will run into issues along the way, especially in the future when you have scalability and growth issues.
If you are really serious about being an affiliate marketer, then it is always recommended that you set up a website because it is going to help you tremendously down the road, and without a website, you will lose out on a lot of potential.
But if you are still persistent about finding out the other methods to be an affiliate, let us jump right into the mix and begin with the top ways to do affiliate marketing with no website.
1 – Become a YouTuber aka. An Affiliate
Have you ever thought that you have the speaking ability or the personality to become a Youtuber/Vlogger? Well, here’s an opportunity to make the best of both worlds. In our opinion, the next best thing to creating a website would be to start a Youtube Channel.
To help you understand, let’s look at it in this way. The main purpose of a website is to show relevant content to a visitor who came to your site through a Google search. Therefore, we know that the visitor was actively seeking to find a product/service that you are promoting. This shows “user intent” and it is the best indicator that the visitor coming to your site is a targetable “lead” and not just random traffic that will not bring any value to you.
Since Youtube is also a platform that allows users to search for something based on their intent and what they want, it is the closest thing to a Google search. People have a need that they are looking for, and they are using this content management platform to find the information that they need from the videos that are created around that particular topic.
Because people are actually looking for it, this now becomes a warm lead because you don’t need to convince them as much about the product/service. This is not the case with something like Facebook where an ad is forced in front of a user who is a cold lead because they have shown no intention of actually searching for the product/service that you are trying to market.
The other thing that makes Youtube similar to Google is the SEO aspect of it. If you are able to optimize your videos (title, URL, etc) you can rank better on Google searches itself, which means that people will be able to find your videos faster from both a Youtube search and a Google search. This gives you a wider reach and brings more attention to your videos and could potentially even bring in more traffic than when you run a website. However, you should keep in mind that by working solely on Youtube alone, you are putting yourself in a position where you are dependent on the platform as you don’t own the YouTube channel, you just own the content. Therefore, if something were to happen to the platform or they decide to remove your profile, all your work and effort will be lost.
If you are interested in this method of affiliate marketing, here is one piece of advice that can make or break your channel. Focus on one specific niche and/or idea when you are planning your content. The reason for this is that because the YouTube community is so vast and there is so much content out there, you won’t always be able to appeal to the mass audience. Even if you do, it will not be consistent results and you may see only short sporadic spikes in the number of views. However, if you were to be more specialized, you can find the target audience interested in your content and thus get more loyalty out of these users as they are actually interested in the work you’re doing. This will be really important in the long run as you need to build a follower base rather than high views in only a few of your videos.
Some examples of what you can do are to create educational or review videos about the type of products/services you are marketing and then recommending these items by highlighting the positives. You can leave your affiliate links at the bottom of the video where the description is. Based on research, users have found that most videos starting with “how to” can bring you good results because when people search with those words you know that they have an immediate need, and if you can solve their problem quickly, then you have a massive advantage in terms of being able to sell them the product.
2 – Using Pinterest
Pinterest is the next big social media platform that has a major influence on consumer buying decisions. There are certain markets and industries such as interior decorating that are dominated by the Pinterest community.
And just like Google and YouTube, this platform is also a user content management platform that is also a search engine. You have the ability to type in any search keyword and you will be shown a bunch of related user-generated content just similar to a Google search result page.
But when compared to Google, Pinterest is more visually oriented and you are more likely to find success with physical products and items that are able to be highlighted in a visually flattering manner such as home decor.
There is a lot of research done into how Pinterest works on people’s psyche and the results have found that businesses can actually use this to their advantage because most of the time, people go on Pinterest with the intention of purchasing something. They go on to Pinterest to get a better idea about what they want to buy and so if you as a marketer are able to cater to that need, you have a high chance of guiding them towards making a purchase.
When compared to the methods mentioned before, the main difference between these platforms is that content doesn’t have to be created in the same way and is actually easier for Pinterest. You won’t have to do as many long-form article pieces of content and always be writing new sales pitches to be posted. You will have to focus more on images and creating a vibe on these pictures that attract your target audience. Just throwing a bunch of images together will not have the intended effect that you want.
Just like YouTube, focusing on a niche can do wonders in terms of engagement and gaining loyal followers. When you gain a follower, these people will receive your new pins whenever they log on to the platform. In this way, your content will most likely be seen more often the more followers you have rather than having to depend on the algorithm to show it to other users.
Again, Pinterest can also be SEO-optimized and show up on the search results page and so if you are able to optimize your images in the best way, you can have more people visiting your page even if they are not on Pinterest.
There are many keyword tools available (both free and paid) such as Google keyword planner that will give you a better idea of the kind of keywords you should be targeting. Couple these niche keywords with top quality, crisp images and you have the essentials to capturing users’ attention. Once their attention is on the post, it is just the case of making sure that your affiliate link is placed well somewhere on the post that will redirect them to the targeted service page.
While Pinterest is yet another awesome platform for affiliate marketing, just like YouTube, you are going in with a big risk in terms of ownership of your account.
3 – Posting on groups on Facebook
If you are a Facebook user, then you know that if you want to reach an audience on it you have two options – either to create a page or to post on groups.
Creating a page is helpful and should be done but it is quite difficult to build engagement and trust on a page these days because the platform is chock-full of other businesses and content that your page would just get lost amongst the sea of them. And unless there are people actively following your page, most of your content will go unseen.
Posting on the other hand allows you to join specific groups based on your location, industry, or market and then posting on them regularly (without being spammy). These groups can consist of a large number of people and the more relevant groups that you join, the more like-minded people you can reach.
Another method would be to create your own Facebook group on a topic that is similar to the market you are trying to reach. This gives users more freedom to interact with each other, ask questions, and be more ‘social’ which is the backbone of the Facebook platform. If you are able to do this successfully, you will have a powerful platform to market your affiliate links as the people in your group are action-takers (because they have already made an action joining and interacting with the group so you know they are interested in your topic) and so you can have a lot of people reading your content more regularly which increases your chances of converting.
However, there is also the issue of the amount of work you need to do with this method. You will need to post regularly in order to keep your audience invested and engaged. Facebook groups can die very quickly and their success will depend on the engagement in the group. One other issue is that compared to the other methods, there is no real user intent on Facebook and so whatever you post will not get as many hits because people are not actually looking for what you are selling. They are instead being shown a product and then asked to purchase which is a cold lead and so the chances of converting are a lot lower.
In trying not to sound like a broken record, I have to tell you again that the main problem with this strategy is that you are under the mercy of the platform and the account you created within it where they have the right to remove it if they please. Facebook, these days especially can remove your group for the smallest violation that may not even be your fault. And once it is removed, there is usually very little chance of getting it back.
The other thing that is different with this method is that Facebook is not a search engine like the others. When people are using this platform it is usually for ‘social’ purposes and people don’t really use it to find information about a product/service so you will have a hard time getting people to convert even if it is easier to get them to engage on your post itself.
4 – Instagram as an Affiliate platform
Like Pinterest, Instagram is also a visual-based platform. There are many markets that are thriving on Instagram such as fitness and food. If you are planning on affiliating with products in these markets, then you can have a ball on Instagram cause the audiences on there are so massive.
The thing that is different from Pinterest is that you are not bogged down with only selling physical products on Instagram. You can sell services, courses, and other digital products as well if you market them correctly.
However, when compared to the other platforms you will lose a major factor that is important to your affiliate marketing success – the ability to place links wherever you want. Instagram does not allow you to place links on posts, comments, or stories. The only places would be one link on your profile description section and another is your direct messaging. As an affiliate marketer, this puts you at a disadvantage as using this method you will only be able to advertise only one product and to get to that link you need to bring the customer to your page instead of being able to link them from the post itself. This will bring down conversion rates as it adds a couple more clicks to the user journey which can cause people to have their attention pulled away by something else.
Also, the algorithm on Instagram is quite fast and your content will usually not be visible to consumers more than one or two times on their homepage. Users will have to come to your page directly in order to keep seeing more content. And just like Facebook, this is not a search platform and you will have to keep posting content regularly in order to get more people to see it (the percentage of people who will see your content in relation to the number of followers you have will also be quite low).
Finally, as with all the previously mentioned methods, your account is under Instagram’s control and can be potentially taken away from you. Therefore, if you are looking for additional ways to promote your affiliate link then Instagram could be an option for the short term but it is not a viable option for the long term.
5 – Market your links on social forums
Forums are still popular platforms these days. You will find a lot of engagement on sites such as Quora and Reddit where people can ask a question about anything, on any topic, and other users will answer them.
Inside these forums, there are specific topic discussions and other more generalized forums as well. It is better to pick a specific topic that is a part of the industry or market that you are targeting. Using a more general forum, you will not always get the most relevant traffic as there is no user intent in those areas.
To search for relevant forums that you can use, you can do a simple Google search. When typing in the search bar, you should include the niche name plus “forum” in order to find it. For example, ‘gym equipment forum’.
Once you have selected a few forums, you need to get on each of them and identify the type of questions that are being asked on it, and note down a few to answer yourself. You should then respond to the questions that are being asked and try your best to solve their immediate problem. You need to build your profile inside of the forum so that other users will start to trust your answers more. You should not be spammy and keep promoting your affiliate link during this time. Instead, you should use it very sparingly and only in places that you feel it is going to be most useful.
To be a good affiliate, you have to learn the skill to not oversell and to help the user out as much as possible. Once you have built good enough trust, it will be easier to promote your links as people are more likely to click on them rather than to open links that are sent by a total stranger.
The thing about forums is that the answers that you write can also appear on search results because the forum’s SEO efforts will make your answer show up when a related keyword is typed in. In order to appear, you will need to have a legitimate profile and your answer should be useful enough to be popular.
Also, this content doesn’t disappear after a while. As long as it is relevant, it will remain in the forum and will keep getting traffic even as more time passes.
However, the problem of your answers being deleted due to violations, and the lack of content security is very prevalent. You are at the mercy of the site and the community when it comes to the content you put out as you can get easily reported and banned, making you lose all the work that you had put in.
6 – Do Email Marketing Campaigns
Email campaigns are a powerful tool that should be used by every affiliate marketer out there. Even though new marketing methods have come up over the past decade, email marketing has still remained on top and is still a very relevant form of marketing.
When you are looking to keep affiliate marketing going for the long-term then email marketing will be your best friend. They allow you to send out any number of emails to your lists, you have full control over who receives it and what kind of content they receive, and no one else will have access to the contacts that you are sending these emails out to so you can nurture these leads till they convert.
When conducting email marketing campaigns, you need to be careful not to overdo it and be very spammy or you will just be blocked by the receivers or will have your emails transferred to the spam or promotions folder. Your emails have to provide value and there needs to be a reason as to why you’re sending out each email.
By sending emails out with more helpful content and interspersing a few affiliate promotions in between, you will be able to retain your current leads and nurture them slowly over time. You don’t want to lose the lead that you have gotten just because you sent too many emails.
Also, you need to be careful about the way you phrase your emails and how many links you place on each of them. The email servers that you are sending them to (eg. Google or Microsoft) will recognize certain words as spam and will send them to the spam folder. Once your emails start going there, you will have basically lost that lead because the user is most probably not going to see anything you send in the future.
However, doing email marketing without a website is going to prove to be challenging for you. The hardest part about emails is that you have to collect emails from those who are even slightly interested. This is usually done by collecting emails from forms or from a notification on your website. Once a user is on your site, you know that they may be even slightly interested in what you have to offer.
Using other methods to obtain email addresses such as through social media ads or buying lists will be very expensive and it would be better for you to spend that money on getting a website done than to continue doing ads for a long time.
One other thing about emails is that people will usually engage with an email only if they know the emailer or have shown an active interest in your business or product. Therefore, receiving emails from someone that they don’t know will mean that fewer people will interact leading to lower conversion rates. Having a website to initiate this trust and let people know that they can put their faith in you can boost your email marketing conversion rates by a large margin.
7 – Online guides and books
Here is a style of affiliate marketing that a lot of people don’t know about and is still quite untapped. It is not a very direct form of marketing and it involves subtly leaving your affiliate link in places that don’t make it seem like a promotion.
First, you need to find a few choice keywords using a keyword finder or tool. These keywords should be related to what the words are that people search for on Google to download a pdf or a book.
Once you find these words that are related to your target industry, you need to write down some content in terms of a book or guide. You should aim to provide value with the content and then include as many affiliate links as you subtly can in the text.
For example, if your affiliate links are for gym equipment you can write a home exercise guide and then link the products that you think they should use inside the guide. In this way, you are not shoving the links down their throat and people are more likely to check the links out if they know that someone is not trying to sell to them.
In order to do this, you need to first create the guide and then use an online platform to upload the guide pdf onto such as OneDrive. This will provide you with a link that you can then use to promote the guide wherever necessary.
The problem with this method is that once you create the guide and people download it, you have no way of updating the content that is on it. So if a link that you placed on it expires or is updated, you will not be able to change it on the doc. Once this happens, you will lose the potential leads that you could have gotten.
8 – Using paid search ads
Yes, it is possible to use an affiliate link on search ads and you can do this without a landing page in between. But, this is not a very easy form of marketing and it works differently on each search engine.
The one thing that you cannot do is to use a link where the landing page domain name is not shown. For example, if your link has a domain name that is different from the one that the user will be redirected to, then you will not be allowed to post the ad. Due to this, sites like Clickbank cannot be used as it is first a Clickbank link before it is redirected to the intended site.
Why you should not do affiliate marketing without a website
1 – You won’t own it
As I have mentioned multiple times in the text above, when you do your affiliate marketing on another platform, you are at risk of losing it all because you don’t have full control.
Having a website will give you access to everything. You can update your content as much as you want, you can monitor and target users who come on to your site, it is easier to get email leads, and more.
You also have the benefit of SEO with a website. By optimizing your site, you can make sure that the pages are ranking and then keep getting organic traffic without having to spend on their acquisition. If you are serious about affiliate marketing and are in it for the long run then you need to create a website as it will make the whole process so much easier for you.
2 – Problems with affiliate platforms
Some affiliate platforms require you to have a functioning site before they even accept you into the platform. Other sites may allow you to do paid advertising, others might not.
Certain programs will not allow you to post on forums and others on social media. Like this, you will be severely limited with your options when you do not have a website.
3 – Problems with advertising platforms
As I mentioned earlier, even the platforms that you use to advertise have their own guidelines that you have to follow. These days, a lot of platforms don’t allow you to post affiliate links and most will remove them if they detect it. This again will limit your overall potential.
4 – You’ll miss out on building a brand
When doing affiliate marketing you need to build relationships with people in order to be successful and this will be quite tough without a website. By having a solid foundation and brand behind your content, it will be much easier to convert from your content.
Compared to the cost of losing this, investing a little more in creating a website would provide so much more value to you.
5 – If you don’t have a website, you can’t be in it for the long term
Just review everything that I mentioned in the article earlier. How long do you think you continue to be successful by following those methods? Not too long right?
It is not a very consistent form of affiliate marketing and it will be difficult to continue doing it if you don’t have a steady stream of income coming from it. Also, one small mistake could lead to a complete loss of months or years of work since you can’t do much once you’re banned or removed.
So now that I have spoken so much about how important it is to have a website, you might be thinking that the whole process of getting a website is difficult and that you are not cut out for it. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to worry so much about it. You don’t need to learn a new skill set to run a website. You can get a website done so quickly that you will be slapping your forehead at why you haven’t done it till now because of how easy it is to do it.
My recommendation for which platform you should use to start your affiliate journey would Wealthy Affiliates. This platform has an in-built website builder that will allow you to create a website within a minute.
You don’t need to have any technical knowledge and it is just a case of drag-and-drop and editing a few bits of information on the site. And even if this is confusing to you, the best part about Wealthy Affiliate is that there is comprehensive affiliate training plus a huge affiliate community inside the program who have been where you are and are willing to help you out.
This platform is a one-stop-shop for all your affiliate needs and it contains all the tools you need to succeed. If you’re worried about the cost of it all, you can rest assured because you try out the platform for free. The free version will allow you to do the first ten lessons on the platform for free and you can learn all that invaluable data risk-free.
If you decide that you don’t need a website and want to use the other methods, I would still suggest that you check this website out and make use of the free content because you can always learn something new and I know that as an affiliate marketer you are sure to learn something by taking this course or even by talking to the community on the platform. So, if you’re ready to try this out, click this link here and start on your journey!
What’s the conclusion?
So at the end of it all, what do you walk away with after reading this whole article? That affiliate marketing is definitely possible without a website but that you will get way more success if you use a website rather than use any of the methods mentioned above.
If you’re looking to test the waters or are just doing this for a short time then the other methods can potentially bring you some success. However, if you’re looking to make a steady income and make this your career, you need to look at things in the long term and the path towards that can only be found with a website.
If you ask any accomplished affiliate marketer around, they would also recommend a website for sure as many people have tried and tested the same methods to find success. This article has come about as a result of trying affiliate marketing in a multitude of ways and finally settling on the fact that a website would be your best bet.
For those out there who are really serious, I would recommend joining the Wealthy Affiliate platform as there is a lot to learn and this would be the best place for you to learn.