Is it really possible to start affiliate marketing without a website? The quick answer is yes, but, I don’t think that’s a great way to create a long-term business online. I’ll share some tips that will help you start your first affiliate marketing website.
If you want to make money online, you need to start a blog. Yes, it’s possible to make money without a blog, but you’ll have much better success if you have a website or a blog to build a long-term business.
Why Use A Website or Blog?
Many people who are making great money with affiliate marketing drive sales through a website or blog. These successful bloggers understand the importance of building something that is their own and will continue to pay month after month.
If you attempt building an online business without a website or blog, you’re going to have to work twice as hard. With an affiliate website, people will eventually find you and may buy through your links.
However, research shows that it takes people at least 7 times before they buy. If you’re just promoting an affiliate product without a website or blog, then you’re losing out on that visitor forever.
Yes, you might get lucky and get an affiliate conversion. But if that person isn’t ready to buy, you lose them forever if you don’t have a website and a way for them to sign up for your email list.
Let’s Look At An Example
Two travel bloggers are promoting an affiliate program for dog owners. If you’re in this niche, here are some pet affiliate programs you can check out.
Blogger A has created a blog based around their pet and writes content based own experience and stories about how their dog has benefited from the program.This blogger takes the time to find the right keywords their targeted audience would type into the search engines.
They also have a free lead magnet that visitors can subscribe to when they visit their website.
Blogger B is just using different techniques to get people to click on their affiliate links. They are not building their own business, instead, they are just focusing on signing up with programs that don’t require a website.
When people click on their affiliate links, that person is lost forever. Well, they may sign up for the email list of the affiliate program, but the blogger is NOT building a true passive income business.
Which Blogger is Actually Building A Business?
If you’re trying to build a true passive income lifestyle over time, you want to build a business like Blogger A. It’s a lot of hard work to start your own blog and write content.
The great thing is that once you write the content once, it has the potential to pay you over and over after time. This is the method that many successful bloggers have used and is proven to work.
It’s the same method that I am using to build this website and my other one month old blog.
I’m not saying that you can’t earn money by direct linking to an affiliate product. In fact, it’s a great way to test out if an affiliate program will convert for you.
How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without A Website or Blog
Most reputable affiliate networks are going to require you to have a website or blog. Check out this post to find some programs you can join. (some of them will require you to have a website)
Finding Affiliate Programs to Work With
In order to make money online, you’re going to have to find the right affiliate programs to work with. Don’t worry, I’m going to share tips with you so you can find the right programs regardless of what your niche is.
Finding Brands Affiliate Programs
Most reputable companies have their own affiliate programs. This means you can go to Google and type in brand + “affiliate program.” Let’s say that you’re in the running shoe niche and you want to promote products from Reebok and Nike.
Here’s what I found just by typing in “Reebok affiliate program.”
This is the fastest way to see if your favorite brand has an affiliate program. I recommend reading their fine print to see how much they pay. Here’s the information you’ll need to join the Nike affiliate program.
Signing Up With Affiliate Networks
If you have a specific niche that you’re interested in promoting, then you can find tons of programs at your fingertips by joining affiliate networks.
These networks work directly with thousands of advertisers that are always looking for new affiliates. All these networks are free to join, but some networks may require you to have an established website or blog with content before they will allow you to participate in their program.
If you do have a website or blog, make sure that you have sufficient content on it. I’ve seen blogs get accepted into some of these networks with just 5 posts on their site. I’ve listed some of my favorite networks below:
- AWIN (formerly Affiliate Window)
- Amazon Associates
- Rakuten Marketing
Many new bloggers will make the mistake of signing up with all the networks because they think it will increase their chances of earning. I recommend signing up with 1-2 of the networks to get started with.
Once you have a good affiliate marketing strategy down, you can join some of the other ones. There are some networks like Amazon Associates that require affiliates to make sales in their first 90 days, otherwise, they will deactivate your account.
Things to Consider
Every program and network has their own rules and regulations to participate, so you’ll want to make sure you read the guidelines. Most of the programs will allow you to join for free.
There are certain programs that will require you to purchase the product before you can promote them. These programs are usually run by other bloggers that don’t want just anyone promoting their program.
Before joining any program, make sure that you do your research on both the company and the program.
Here are some things to consider:
- Do they provide affiliate training for their members?
- How long does it take get get paid? Can you get paid via PayPal or do you need to set up a business checking account to get direct deposit?
- Will you be promoting a real product that will help people? Avoid promoting programs that don’t actually sell anything, these are kind of scammy and can be classified as a pyramid scheme.
- Are there other affiliates promoting them? It won’t be hard to find reviews online if people are promoting them.
- Do they want you to pay a fee to join? You should NEVER pay to become an affiliate for a specific program. As I mentioned above, some product developers won’t allow people to promote their program if they don’t buy the product first. (this is totally different than just paying someone to join their affiliate program)
- What is the minimum threshold before you can get paid? A lot of programs will require to reach a minimum threshold amount before you get paid.
- Will you be required to make a sale in a specific time frame?
Here Is What I Look For When Choosing A Program to Promote
- Is it a profitable niche that is worth my time? Check out this article for a list of affiliate niches that will make you money.
- I try to find a product that I can promote that has a commission of at least $20 and above. It’s even better if the program offers recurring commissions. You want to make sure that the commission is worth your time, because you’re going to work hard for those commissions.
- Does it have a high converting sales page? (you need to read the sales page)
- Are people willing to spend money on it? (it won’t do you any good to promote something that no one wants)
If you’re new to affiliate marketing, you’re not going to know whether or not people are looking for this program or product. The best way to figure this out is to find a keyword research tool to help you find out what people are looking for.
I’ve covered exactly how to find low hanging fruit for your content marketing efforts. Since using this method, I’ve been able to increase both my traffic and my commissions.
Of course, this will only work if you’re actually building a blog using content marketing.
How to Promote Your Affiliate Links Without A Website or Blog
Now that we’ve looked at some how to find products to promote, it’s time to take a look at ways to promote your links without a blog or a website.
I personally, don’t spend a lot of time using these methods. I’d rather work on building up my website authority by adding content and letting it rank organically overtime.
It’s the slow way to making income online, but one of the most solid ways to build a business. But I’ll share some tips you can use to help you get your affiliate links out there.
There are literally Facebooks in every niche you can think of. One of the best things you can do is join a group that is related to the product you’re thinking about promoting. (some groups will require you to have a website or blog)
If you haven’t found a group, you can open up Facebook and start looking for groups in various niches. I typed in “cat lovers” and all these groups came up that you could join in this niche.
Once you become a member, start helping people in the group. You’ll do this by answering their questions and if it makes sense you’ll post your affiliate link.
Pro Tip: When you get approved to join some groups, make sure that you read the rules. Some groups will NOT allow you to self-promote or post affiliate links.
YouTube is huge and if you can build a following, you shouldn’t have a hard time selling products or services you recommend. You’ll want to start a YouTube channel and start creating valuable content that helps your audience.
Make sure that you mention the product or service in the video and link to it in the description. Brendan Mace is a great example to follow, I’ve watched a few of his videos and he shares tons of knowledge on how to create an income using YouTube.
Bloggers love Pinterest because it can be a great way to drive traffic to your blog and they even allow you to link directly to affiliate products. Read this blog post to find out how to use Pinterest for affiliate marketers.
The best way to do this is to create an amazing looking pin and post use Tailwind to start rotating it via your boards and some group boards. Just make sure that the group boards allow affiliate links.
You can also join some Tailwind Tribes to get your affiliate pin out there quickly.
If you’re using a social media scheduler like SmarterQueue, you can schedule affiliate social media posts. I used to do this when I was using the platform.
It’s so easy to do, and it’s an easy way to automate your social media posts. Just make sure that you’re promoting other people’s content and not just affiliate links.
There are literally tons of forums in pretty much any niche. Your job is to find niches that are specific to the niche or product you are promoting. You can do this by using Google.
You’ll want to search Google to look for forums by using these search phrases:
- keyword inurl:forum
- keyword inurl:board
- keyword inurl: phpbb
- keyword inurl:viewtopic
Here are a list of forums I get when I typed in “cats.”
Once you find a few forums that approve your application, you’ll want to take the time to answer some questions from people. Some forums even allow you to add a signature and a bio about yourself.
This is where you would add your image and a little snippet about yourself and link to the affiliate sales page. If you have your own website, you’ll want to link to your website instead.
Create An Ebook
If you’re looking for some amazing residual income, you need to write an ebook. I have written a few ebook, you can check them out here. I still find myself waking up to sales on a regular basis.
The best part is that you write the ebook once and you can sell it on Amazon or on your own website using Payhip.
Your ebook doesn’t have to be very long, in fact, a 30-40 page ebook will be sufficient. The most important thing with your ebook is to create something that will help your audience with a problem they are having.
For instance, my eBook Jumpstart Blog Traffic, shares some strategies that I use to get traffic from Pinterest and what I’ve done to increase my organic traffic to my blog.
Don’t forget to include affiliate links within the content.
Do NOT add a bunch of affiliate links in hope of making a sale. Instead, provide value and then add your affiliate link. Don’t forget to back up the theory of the affiliate link, by sharing a case study or story of how that product is helping you.
That’s kind of what I did in this post, where I share how much this tool has helped me increase my organic traffic.
Remember, people are actually paying you for this ebook. This means you need to do your best to provide the best value so people feel like they got their money’s worth.
If you did a great job on writing an informative ebook, you won’t have any trouble getting people to click on your affiliate recommendations and making a purchase.
Create a Niche Blog or Mini Blog
I know you’re not interested in creating a website or blog. I’m not talking about creating a full-blown authority website like this.
Instead, I am talking about a niche site with about 30 blog posts. Heck, you can even create a mini-blog that has around 5 posts if you decide to do that. (those used to work really well, I’ve still seen some of those on the Internet)
In order to have success with these types of virtual properties, you’ll need to get a domain and invest in reputable hosting to set up a self-hosted WordPress blog.
Next, you’ll want to create some articles that are geared around low competition keywords. You’ll want to make sure that your content is super-focused, it’s the quickest way to start seeing traffic.
I know what you’re thinking, can you really make money with a super focused niche site? Well, Pixie Faire has create a successful website by selling doll clothing patterns.
It’s totally possible to niche down and make a killing.
Being Consistent With Your Methods
Anyone can start affiliate marketing with no money, this is what makes it so appealing. Some people tend to believe that they can get started today and post a few affiliate links in forums or on Facebook.
Then they can sit back and watch the money roll in. The truth is that regardless of how you choose to promote your links, success doesn’t happen overnight.
If you’re trying to earn commissions using methods that don’t require a website, you’re going to have to work harder than someone who is building a blog or website.
You’re not actually building a business and if you’re not out there posting your links it’s going to be hard to make a living.
If you decide to create a YouTube channel and create a following, you’ll have a lot better chance than someone who is just posting their links in Forums like Quora or Facebook Groups.
Regardless of which method you use to earn with affiliate marketing, the most important thing is it takes time.
Why You Should Build A Website or Blog
I love blogging and think it’s one of the best ways to start affiliate marketing. With a self-hosted blog, you get full control over several different monetization methods.
Just like creating a niche site, you’re going to create helpful content based around keywords or topics your target audience is looking for. As people get to know and trust you, they’ll buy the products and services you recommend.
The best part is that once you write that content, overtime it will rank in Google. Of course, if you take the time to implement proper SEO (search engine optimization) techniques.
Once that content starts to rank on the first page of Google, that’s when the traffic and the money start coming in. The best part is that you did the work once and that blog post will continue to pay you for years to come.
Use An Affiliate Management Plugin
I highly recommend using an affiliate plugin like ThirstyLinks or PrettyLinks to help you manage your links. Nothing is worse than promoting a product only to realize that it goes away or the link has changed.
Without an affiliate plugin, you’ll need to go in and change every link manually. Using an affiliate management plugin, you can change the link in once place and it changes all those links.
This makes it so much easier, especially, if you have hundreds of blog posts.
Final Take Away
I know you want to make money online as quickly as possible, that’s why you don’t want to build a website or a blog. There is no such thing as quick cash.
Yes, you might get lucky and make a quick sale by direct linking to an affiliate product. But wouldn’t you rather create a virtual empire that has the potential to pay you more than once?
There’s no better time than now to start building your own blog. Imagine where you’ll be in a year from now if you actually take the time to build something that is going to be yours and can last a lot longer.
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