I’ve recently been asked by a colleague, do you need a website to do affiliate marketing or are there other options?
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually require a website to make money through affiliate marketing, but it does help. There are other methods that you can use to get your affiliate links out there, with social media being the most popular.
Firstly, I’ll give those of you that are unsure what affiliate marketing entails, a brief run through. It’s always a good idea to get a refresher.
I’ll then walk you through the following sections to help you choose which channels may be best for affiliate marketing.
What Exactly is Affiliate Marketing
For those of you who have been searching for a different way to make a living, I’m a big advocate of affiliate marketing. You’ll always have those knockers who think it can’t be done, but the evidence suggests otherwise.
Billions of dollars worth of products and services are bought online each week, which gives an opportunity for anyone with a little up-and-go to take advantage.
The general process of affiliate marketing works like so:
- Create a website
- Sign up to affiliate programs of merchants (companies)
- Get links from these programs to place on your website
- Visitors click on these links, which sends the visitor through to merchants website
- If visitor purchases, you make a commission.
Simple enough to understand isn’t it.
I’ll give you an example. On my website here, I’ve signed up to the ShortPixel affiliate program. I’ve added affiliate links to my article explaining how ShortPixel works. If someone clicks on that link, they’ll be taken to the ShortPixel website.
If they decide to purchase ShortPixel to use on their website, I’ll make a commission for sending a buyer their way.
You’ll see this everywhere on the internet. That’s why it’s a successful model of creating an income online. So many websites have been created that review products, then provide a link to the merchants website. You must have come across a site like this before.
So, that’s the easy explanation of how affiliate marketing works, but who can do this?
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Who Can Do Affiliate Marketing
Anyone that has an internet connection can try their hand at affiliate marketing. The internet doesn’t discriminate, which means if you like the idea of a new online career, you’re perfect for this change in direction.
Having said that, there is a learning curve that can be mastered if you have the desire to succeed. It’s a great way to not only earn some extra pocket change if you take it up as a hobby, but can also earn the big bucks if you take it a step further and create a genuine online business. Finding time to get this going in the first place is a challenge some people have, but if you don’t try then you’ll never succeed.
But you may not be interested in creating a blog or niche website, maybe you’d prefer to promote on YouTube or Facebook. This is also a viable promotional opportunity, so let’s have a look at these platforms.
Sharing Your Links Via Social Media
Social media platforms are great for promoting your affiliate links, as the audience is extremely large. Each platform is different, so you’ll advertise them slightly differently.
Here’s a brief look at my preferred platforms for providing affiliate links.
Although many of the young generation wouldn’t agree, Facebook is still the largest social media platform in use, with over 1 billion people signed up and active. This gives you some idea of the potential reach when promoting your offers.
If you intend to use Facebook as your main vehicle to promote products and service offers, you’re going to want to setup a Facebook Fanpage. If you’ve never done this before, don’t worry, it’s a simple process.
A Fanpage can be setup for any type of business, organisation, club or event. Setup a Fanpage with your brand and you can post your offers directly in that location. Facebook doesn’t mind affiliate links but visitors may notice them unless you shorten these links.
You’ll want to start building an audience immediately which may mean Facebook advertising. Once word gets out and people start sharing your offers, you’re followers will grow.
Facebook does also have a Branded Content policy, so make sure you comply with these rules.
I find YouTube is a better platform for promoting this sort of thing. Although you’re best to purchase some software to create great promotional videos.
As an example, on a blog, you may have an article titled ‘The Best 5 Camping Tents for Families’. You’ll then write about your top 5 with descriptions. On YouTube you’ll create a video of these top 5 tents, and use your voice to describe the tents in detail.
Leave an affiliate link in the description below for each of the 5 tents.
The ideal solution in my opinion, is to have both a blog and a YouTube video. This way you can embed the video into your blog article. This also helps with SEO for your website.
Unlike years ago, Pinterest now allows us to post affiliate links without punishment. Even though best practice is to direct visitors back to your website post, the opportunity to post affiliate links directly, now exists for Pinterest users that don’t intend creating a website.
With Pinterest being a visual platform, your promotional efforts should focus on sharp and brilliant images, along with your affiliate link in the description.
Although not as common, other social platforms such as Linkedin, which allows for posting blogs via your profile can also be effective.
Other than social media, you could write ebooks with affiliate links to related sites within the ebook. Those books can then be sold on Amazon or other websites, with your links in them.
iTunes can also come in handy should you be a podcaster. You can add your affiliate links is the show notes or description. Within the podcast, direct your listeners to a landing page that can have a call to action with your affiliate link.
There’s always options to get your affiliate links out there. Some methods may take longer than others, and some require more imagination and education.
Affiliate Marketing Networks
One the the main avenues to get affiliate programs to promote, is to sign up to affiliate networks. These networks help merchants organise their affiliate programs for them.
For instance, Nike will use the affiliate network ‘Webgains’ to create their affiliate program and provide links to their advertisers. Here’s a list of some great affiliate networks to sign up to.
Many other merchants run their own affiliate program such as Amazon. Their affiliate program is called Amazon Associates.
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As I’ve clearly stated, it is possible to achieve affiliate marketing without a website with the help of some very handy tools. Social media has made it easier to do a variety of tasks, marketing included.
In saying that, I’d still advise that a website is the cornerstone of any great online business. Using social media to direct your visitors back to your website will create more authority, and show that your not just trying to make a buck.
Once you’ve established your online presence with a website, use various other methods to interlink and create backlinks for your business. This is how your site will get better rankings, and gain the presence of a top authority.
If you have any questions or thoughts on using affiliate links without a website, please do not hesitate to leave me a comment below. I will reply as soon as I can!
Like many people, I struggled in my early attempts to make money online. It's really frustrating when you try product after product, searching for that elusive opportunity that is really genuine.
Eventually though, I learned how to achieve success in the online world with my own website. This website was created to show others how to do it. I direct people away from the poor opportunities and advise the good ones.
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Disclosure: Links in this post may be to our affiliates; sales through affiliate links will not cost you any more. More info at my disclaimer page
The opinions in this article are solely mine, are are not intended to offend or discriminate. All information in this review has been researched on the public domain of the internet.
Those sound like great options for sharing your affiliate link without a website. I especially like the YouTube one because I hear you can make a lot this way.
I have to admit, I did not know that Pinterest let you share affiliate links within that platform. I always thought they would ban you if you did that so it’s good to hear that from you.
Even though these options exist though, I still prefer having everything on your website and using these platforms to send users there instead but I know that some people don’t want to or can’t afford the website option so these are good suggestions to start earning with.
Thanks for dropping by Jay
I agree with you that the best option is to direct any visitors back to your website rather than just add affiliate links to a social account. Although it is possible to create an income this way, the website option is a more solid foundation that will last for years to come.
And when it’s your website, you can add anything to it rather that what the social channels dictate.
Hello Nudge. Hope you are having a nice time… You are so so right. Owning a website is not always a criteria to do Affiliate Marketing. Anyways, doing Affiliate Marketing without a website will not be as effective as with a website. A website is a more efficient and effective way to go going in Affiliate Marketing. Thank you for sharing.
Spot on BEazzy
Creating a website is your best avenue for affiliate marketing. Although the social option can be done, I still believe that this foundation should be enhanced with social channels.
Appreciate your thoughts.