Building a website is the most common way affiliates launch themselves into the affiliate marketing world, and if you’re interested in creating a long-term business you’ll inevitably need to put together a website.
However, if you’re still learning about web design or you’re simply not interested in building a website, there are other ways to get your affiliate links out there, so this lesson will teach you Affiliate Marketing Without a Website.
Remember: the key with affiliate marketing is get your affiliate link in front of an interested audience – how you choose to do that is completely up to you! With that in mind, here are a few methods you could try:
#1: Post on blogs and forums
This is a really simple way of getting a taste for affiliate marketing – all you have to do is find a product you’d like to promote, then start posting on blogs and forums with your affiliate link in your signature.
Here’s an example from our very own forum: you can see that this member has an affiliate link in their signature. He’s also made himself an active and respected members of the forum.
Of course you should only post on blogs and forums where people would be interested in the product – you’re not going to get many bites for a dog training affiliate product when you’re posting on a classic car enthusiast forum.
Similarly, you’ll find that you have a lot more success if you’re making useful and interesting posts and if you become a regular on the site. Once you have established yourself people will begin to respect your opinion and will be more inclined to click on your link. If you simply spam a blog or forum with useless posts you’re likely to be banned and your posts deleted.
#2: Write a viral eBook or some other “viral” product
A “viral” product is one that is designed to spread (often quickly) to a great many people – this can be a great way of getting your affiliate links out there without ever having to create a website. You can produce a short 30-page eBook or a “special report” on a particular subject, insert links to affiliate products into it, then distribute your book through whatever means you like – you could tell people that they’re welcome to give it away, sell it or put it on their websites. You can kick it off yourself by selling the eBook on eBay for a small amount.
#3: Create a YouTube series
YouTube has taken the world by storm with one billion unique visitors per month. You can use this to your advantage. It doesn’t take much more than a webcam and some quirky or informative ideas to get a channel going. That way you can add affiliate links into your description, or over your video, and convert some of that fan base into affiliate profits.
Just pick a niche and create a video series related to that topic, with a related affiliate promotion. That way, the viewers you get will be a lot more likely to be interested in the affiliate product, as they already have some interest to be watching the video in the first place.
There are two main rules for doing this, however, that you MUST abide by:
- The content has to be full of value for viewers. Financial gain has to be secondary to this.
If your video is obviously just there for you to make money from a link, you will get listed as spam, and your efforts will become useless. Producing something worthwhile is a lot more successful, and you get the attention and respect of potential customers that way.
- Don’t be misleading!
If your video is unrelated to your link, or your title or description claims something that isn’t in the video, you are violatingYouTube’s policies. This is also something to avoid.
Basically, video marketing on YouTube can be a risk, because affiliate links can get listed as spam, but the best way to avoid this is just to be up front, honest, and useful. Avoid spammy behaviours. Some quality content options could include:
- Honest, informative product reviews
- Instructional videos (e.g., if your niche was food and nutrition, you could do cooking demos)
- Topical discussions (e.g., tips for keeping food fresh, or interesting nutritional facts)
Just have one link in the description, and possibly one over the video if it’s extremely relevant (such as a product review video). If you want to be especially careful, note somewhere that you’re an affiliate or that the link is an affiliate link, and contact YouTube to check that you’ll be in the clear. If your videos have value for the viewer, and that stands out more than your money making efforts, this shouldn’t be a problem.
#4: Write ads or reviews for classifieds websites
You’re probably already familiar with using sites like Craigslist to look for old furniture or car parts, but you can also use classifieds sites to promote affiliate products. Consider writing ads or reviews for affiliate products and posting them with your affiliate link.
#5: Build a “Hub”
Building a “Hub” is a great way of getting started as an affiliate without needing to build your own website from scratch. A Hub is like a 1-page mini website where you can talk about a subject you’re passionate about (eg, your affiliate market and associated products!). It’s hosted on the HubPages site, and you don’t need to know anything about web design to make it look fairly professional.
A Hub allows you to build a page on a topic, insert ads, reviews and other content as you please, all without having to write any HTML.
The best part, though, is that HubPages is also part social-networking site, so simply by being on HubPages you will begin to attract traffic interested in your topic and looking for recommendations. HubPages is especially easy to monetize, and Hubs have tended in the past to do pretty well in the search engines.
#6: Promote affiliate products directly through pay-per-click advertisements
We’ve left this method for last because, quite frankly, it’s not one we recommend. This method involves creating pay-per-click campaigns through search engines like Google and Bing, and promoting the merchant website directly through your affiliate link.
So instead of using PPC to promote your own website, you send them straight to the merchant.
There are a number of downsides to this method.
- First, with Google’s AdWords in particular, there will only be one paid listing for a particular website displayed at any given time. This means that instead of competing against other advertisers for one of eight spots on the page, you’re competing for just one spot. If you bid a large amount and write an attractive ad then you might see your ad displayed, otherwise you can forget it.
- Secondly, you have no control over the quality of the merchant page. Increasingly the search engines are looking at the page you’re promoting and deciding whether this offers a good experience for their users. If the merchant site has little content, or poor quality content, you could end up paying a much higher amount for your advertisements.
There are always new affiliates who see this as a fast and easy way to get started, but we really recommend that you try the other methods we’ve introduced first.