Most affiliate marketers will build a website, or pay someone to build it for them. Then they need to maintain their affiliate website. Often you have to buy extra premium plugins and a premium theme. It can get quite expensive.
The worst part is it takes time away from what you should be doing as an affiliate marketer … marketing!
As a new affiliate marketer you may just want to test the waters. As a successful affiliate marketer with your own blog, you know that multiple sales channels is the way to go.
So the big question …
Can I do affiliate marketing without a website or blog?
Of course you can. And in this article we show you 12 ways.
Can you make money affiliate marketing without a website?
At the end of the day, affiliate marketing is about promoting affiliate products, and getting them to click on your affiliate link and purchase the product or take some other compensated action.
It doesn’t matter if that affiliate link is in an email, paid ad, web page, landing page, or on social media sites.
Certainly having an affiliate website is the tried and true method and most affiliate marketers do start this way. That in and of itself may be a good reason to think outside the box and not follow the crowd.
In this article we will explore the many different ways you can begin affiliate marketing without a website.
Some Affiliate Programs Require a Website
Marketing without a website or online store adds one additional challenge to your affiliate marketing strategy.
There are some affiliate programs that won’t accept affiliates without a website.
This means the first step is to find affiliate programs that do not have this requirement.
Can you be an Amazon Affiliate without a website?
The typical Amazon marketer does start with a website but Amazon does not actually require this. Technically you can have a website, video channel or app. They want you to have a community of some kind that you can reach.
For most affiliate marketing programs the expectation is that you have an audience. It typically does not matter if that audience is an SEO driven website audience, YouTube audience or if you are a social marketing influencer.
Many affiliate programs however are reluctant to approve new affiliates if they have no audience and driving traffic exclusively through paid ads.
Also many programs are not interested in affiliate partners that use email marketing as the primary traffic source.
To get a good idea of the affiliate marketing program landscape check out our in-depth Highest Paying Affiliate Programs page. We have hundreds of affiliate programs there that you can review. There is certainly an affiliate network or product there for everyone.
So for those looking to start affiliate marketing with a website and those with affiliate websites looking for ways to diversify, here are our 12 ways to promote affiliate programs without having a website.
1 – Email Marketing
“The money is in the list”, is an Internet marketing cliche. But there is some truth to it. Even with today’s email box filtering there are many advantages to email marketing:
- These are people who have asked to see your content
- You can message frequently
- It is relatively inexpensive
There are some catches though. First getting your email into someones inbox gets increasingly harder. Between your email going into promotions or spam boxes your email is reach a smaller number of your list recipients these days.
Most email service providers do not allow you to directly promote affiliate links in your email campaigns. You need to check the email service providers policy on affiliate marketing. We have an article about the best email providers for affiliate marketers that you may want to review.
For those that do not allow an affiliate links in the emails, you simply have the call to action link go to a landing page or other product page. This is often a better option anyway. Use your email list to drive traffic to the top of your sales funnel.
Generally you will find that your email campaigns do best when just plain text not fancy html newsletter type emails. The title is super important in getting emails opened. Most email tools allow you to A/B test different titles to see which works best.
To build your email list you often need a lead magnet of some sort. This can be a free course, ebook, free tool, technical guide etc. Many people will only give you their email in exchange for something of value.
Email marketing has been around since longer than websites but it remains one of the best ways to start affiliate marketing. For those who want to do affiliate marketing without a website, it is invaluable.
2- Solo Ads
Solo ads are the modern day spin on list rentals. As a marketer I am old enough to remember renting lists of names to send physical mail or postcards to. This is what solo ads are. You are sending your message to someone else email audience. Many use solo ads for affiliate marketing.
The solo ad vendor will send out a message that you create to their email list that has your affiliate link in it. Or more typically a link to a landing page or other lead magnet.
Direct sales via a solo ad campaign are not typical. You are using these emails to feed your sales funnel.
This is one of the trickier channels to find an affiliate program that will accept you. Affiliate networks like Clickbank or JV-Zoo work best. Not only are they ok with email marketing but the solo ads generally work best with the products you find in these affiliate networks. Things like:
- Make money online products
- Diet programs
- eBooks and other digital products
- Training course
Solo ads are not without controversy. There are a number of scammers in the industry. Solo ad vendors sometimes share their lists so there is a lot of subscriber overlap. You are generally swimming with the sharks in the solo ad world so be cautious.
You can find solo ad vendors on platforms like Udimi and also in online forums and FaceBook.
3 – Facebook
Well, everyone knows that FaceBook is the king of Social media platforms. It is certainly one of the largest online communities and a natural fit for affiliate marketing activities beyond websites. Even those whose main strategy is website affiliate marketing, FaceBook makes sense.
Facebook is ideal for affiliate marketing. There are a couple of ways people market affiliate products on FaceBook.
- In Facebook groups
- On your Facebook page
- Facebook ads
If it is your group or page then you generally have little worry about compliance. You just want to be careful to not alienate your audience by bombarding them with affiliate links. If it is another parties Facebook group I would not promote affiliate offers in it.
If the group owner reports you to FaceBook for spamming the group FaceBook is likely to ban your domain from the platform. So in the future if you add a website it will not work on FaceBook.
FaceBook ads are a common way to promote your products. It used to be quite a bit more effective but the reach of ads has diminished. Always keep an eye on your ad costs. It is easy to spend more on ads than you get in commissions.
4 – PPC Ads
PPC stands for Pay Per Click. These are paid ads like you would purchase from Google Adwords to reach potential customers as they use their search engines. There is no doubt that PPC ads work and that it is the fastest way to get traffic on demand.
For many PPC is the backbone of their affiliate marketing strategy. They split test groups of ads, find ones that yield a good return on ad cost vs. commissions. Then open the flood gates. It does take capital to fund the PPC campaigns.
Like all advertising you want to split test and carefully measure your ad costs vs. income. Generally paid ads work best for larger commission or recurring commission affiliate products.
Don’t overlook Bing, the ads are often cheaper and they are the second largest search engine.
In addition to direct product sales, ads are useful for audience building — even without an affiliate website. You can purchase low cost long tail keyword ads, drive them to a landing page with an email opt-in form and grow your list.
If you want to test some high converting products that are a bit edgy PPC ads to a landing page can let you test out some affiliate promotions rather than on your social media platforms where you may get many unfollows.
You need to be careful with the keywords that you use for your PPC ads, many affiliate programs and product companies restrict using their brand or product name for instance. Most success PPC advertisers will use some sort of ad tracker to measure the reach and effectiveness of their campaigns.
5 – Twitter
You can definitely use Twitter to sell affiliate products or build an audience. This works well in certain niches and is best for sending new news about releases or product updates.
Use Twitter how it was designed, to send timely information and breaking news. Not for sending cold affiliate marketing offers.
Don’t overdo it with affiliate links in any social media account including Twitter. people are very quick to unfollow or unsubscribe. Generally those viewers are then gone forever.
6 – Create an eBook
Everyone likes a good eBook. As an affiliate marketer it lets you create long form content that is engaging and informative without an online presence. People can read your eBook anywhere.
You may want to put affiliate links in your eBook. perhaps in some of the back matter you will have a list of references. Most product owners and affiliate networks are ok with this but be careful, Amazon for instance, does not allow promoting affiliate links in eBooks.
Amazon has lot’s of do’s and don’ts to their affiliate program. Here is a list of Amazon rules to keep you from getting banned.
eBooks are the ideal lead magnet for building an email list and have the possibility of going viral. Having a landing page that has a free eBook offer on it can be very effective. If you are not sure what to write about checkout Google Trends and see what people are talking about in your niche.
7 – Use Content Publishing Platforms
You should consider a third-party publishing platform like Medium to get exposure for your content. It is the closest thing to a blog post without having a website and a good choice for affiliate marketing. Medium does allow to post links in your article, including affiliate links. So there is no need to worry about issues with the platform. It is always a good idea to disclose that there are affiliate links in the content. It’s a trust thing and a policy of Medium.
Medium is amazingly popular content publishing platform with over 100 million readers in its network. It can be great exposure for your content and you can easily link to it from your social media accounts. This is one of the best ways to create long form content that you would typically put on a blog without having an actual website.
Other content publishing platforms besides Medium include HubPages, Ghost, and Steemit. You can also use sites like Quora in a similar way though they can be fussy about affiliate links.
8 – Instagram
If you are in a visual niche Instagram can be one of the best ways to social media platforms to promote affiliate links . Food and lifestyle niches are particularly popular niches for Instagram and affiliate marketers.
Like all the social media platforms you want to build, nourish and maintain your followers. So don’t post affiliate links to unrelated products or anything that you wouldn’t recommend or use yourself. Once you lose a follower they are not likely coming back.
Buying followers rarely works and of course there is no engagement with these profiles so save your money and take more great pictures.
You don’t need fancy cameras these days to make great images. It is often a good idea to edit them and add some text or other short emotional phrase.
Instagram does not allow links of any kind in regular picture descriptions. So you are limited to IGTV descriptions, Instagram Stories, links in bio. You can also get cute and put links in that are not fully formed or contain spaces etc. but people aren’t likely to go to the trouble of editing those to follow them.
Don’t overlook linking to Medium or some other place you have long form content in your Bio or other places links are allowed.
9 – Retargeting Ads
Retargeting is an advertising model where you send ads to people who have already engaged with you. A retargeting pixel is placed in your content. This little bit of software in your page lets you add a cookie to your visitors browser.
When the visitor goes to Facebook or search engines the cookie allows the platform to show them an ad. You need a specific pixel for any platform that you want to use retargeting ad campaigns on. So there is a FaceBook pixel for Facebook ads, Google pixel for Adwords, etc.
It is mainly used in website content but can also be used in landing pages for affiliate marketers without a website.
The big advantage to this type of paid advertising vs a regular ad placement is that it converts much better than regular cold PPC ads you get much higher quality traffic. These are leads that have already engaged with your content. These are generally PPC ads but they can sometimes be PPV (Pay per View).
10 – YouTube & Promoting Affiliate Products
YouTube is probably the best way to promote affiliate products if you don’t want to build a website. It is time consuming though to be a successful vlogger. But if you look at a YouTube channel like Ryan’s World and consider this is well over a $20 million dollar online business you can see just how far these can scale.
As a video medium most people put the affiliate marketing links in the descriptions. Common types of videos that affiliate marketers use are product reviews, “what’s in the box” type product descriptions, makeup demonstrations, training for SaaS and other software products, etc.
YouTube videos also earn money from advertising. You need over 1000 subscribers however to become part of the Adsense for YouTube program.
Videos are particularly popular with millennials and younger consumers who often prefer a visual experience over reading long form content.
You want to remember that YouTube is also a search engine result item.Do your keyword research so that you are found. Video length is also important with shorter videos generally performing best. 10-12 minutes seems to be a good range for both advertising and engagement purposes.
There are analytics provided by YouTube to help you understand which videos are performing best. Again it can be a time-consuming but effective form of affiliate marketing, particularly if you have a big personality.
11- Create a Landing Page
Landing pages are pages that you typically use to promote your products. They are often the closing page of your offer. Sometimes the offer is a free ebook or other lead magnet that is used to get someone to join your email list.
Other times the landing page call to action is to purchase a product. Either way they are often a part of your affiliate marketing strategy.
Landing pages almost always are designed to be laser focused on the CTA. You don’t want anything to distract from the action you want the visitor to perform so you wouldn’t want headers and menu items if the landing page were on a website.
There are lots of dedicated landing page builders for people who are marketing without a website. Some like ClickFunnels are designed to be part of a complete funnel process with additional pages for up-sells, cross-sells and email list development.
Others are simply the single page. Here is some more information on funnel and landing page tools. They are the closest thing to having your own website without the technical hassles.
12 – Forums In Your Niche
Forums can be a great place to get your message out there. Some hugely successful affiliate sites like ThisIsWhyIAmBroke got their start on forums like Reddit. But forums can be tricky for affiliate marketing.
Always be sure to follow the forum guidelines when it comes to affiliate links. In fact forum members are often downright hostile about affiliate links and you can easily get a negative reaction.
It is always best to provide truly helpful answers and other comments in forums. You want to build a strong reputation as a valuable member before even considering an affiliate link.
It may be best to just avoid direct links altogether and send people to a Medium page with more details about he topic. Again this shows value and though leadership vs. shameless promotion.
You Can Succeed at Affiliate Marketing Without a Website
Become a Guerrilla Marketer
It doesn’t matter how many affiliate programs you’ve joined, if you are a new affiliate marketer or seasoned pro — you must market. Treat this like an affiliate marketing business, not a hobby.
Successful affiliate marketers are always promoting. You want to use every channel at your disposal from the various social media platforms like FaceBook, Instagram and Twitter to email marking and landing pages.
It is often best to focus on a specific affiliate product or at least niche. Chasing the latest high commission offer that does not relate to your audience is rarely a successful strategy. Become the goto person on a topic or discipline. Get followers on your social media platforms. Engage with other marketers.
Online marketing takes time to get going. It is not a get rich quick endeavour. So be persistent, do something every day and don’t give up.
As helpful as a website may be in the long run you don’t need one to get started. What you need is hard work and dedication to making money online. Build an audience, create traffic, be an honest helpful marketer.
The money will follow.
Can you be successful at affiliate marketing without a website?
Yes. Many affiliate marketers use primarily PPC and Facebook ads vs. SEO traffic.
Without paid ads what are the most profitable channels for affiliate marketing?
YouTube and Facebook are great platforms for affiliate marketing.
Does the Amazon affiliate program accept you without a website?
Yes you can have a YouTube channel or an app and join the program. They are most interested in you having an audience.
What ways can you not promote Amazon products for affiliate marketing?
No ebook Amazon affiliate links. Facebook and other social media affiliate links should be done from your Amazon account and Site Stripe.