Can you really do Affiliate marketing without a website?
If you have just started affiliate marketing or, are planning to, then this guide is going to be extremely helpful for you.
Affiliate marketing is one lucrative way to make money online, that a lot of newbies prefer.
Because of the notion that it is the fastest way to make money online.
But is it true?
To be frank(even if that hurts you), there is no real “FASTEST” way to make money online. Every method to make money online requires some time and effort.
And how soon you could be on your way to earn a full-time income from it is something that will entirely depend upon how much of the two; time and effort, you are putting in.
So, affiliate marketing or, blogging or, whatever other methods you choose, all of them will need you to slog a bit initially but once you have it set up you will be able to make a consistent income from it.
The problem with affiliate marketing is that people think that it is a flip switch, which you can flip and start earning money.
Keep in mind that affiliate marketing is not as simple as joining an affiliate program, finding a link, posting that link wherever you can, and counting dollars that come in. It involves a carefully planned strategy.
If you do not have that strategy, then be prepared to fail irrespective of what you do. (that’s sooo negative of me, but it’s the truth)
With that out of the way, let us get into the real question – how to do affiliate marketing without a website?
The simple answer to that question is “YES, you can”.
But since I spoke about strategy a little while back, I would like to clarify a couple of things before we actually get into how to go about making money with affiliate marketing but without having to setup a website.
These are some of the core principles that I work on in my affiliate marketing business and hence recommend it to others as well. Let us first take a look at these –
- Affiliate marketing is the best form of passive income and for it to work in order to generate passive income, you need to build and grow a list. This wouldn’t work without putting up a page somewhere that you can direct your visitors to.
- I believe that relationship marketing is the best form of any marketing. In order to build a relationship with your audience, you need to provide value before asking for a sale, which is best done with a blog/website.
- I wouldn’t completely trust third party services, with dictating what is happening in my business. A website/blog gives me more control over how my affiliate marketing business is run.
The above three principles form the core of my business. It is hence that I build a blog around every niche that I run an affiliate marketing business in.
But that doesn’t mean that this is the only way to go about doing affiliate marketing.
A lot of people wouldn’t want to take the route of building a site or, a blog primarily because of the investment involved in it.
Before we begin it is important to note that the first steps in any method you adopt in affiliate marketing (with a website or, without it) will remain the same. They are –
- Identify a niche
- Pick a good product to promote in the niche
- Get your affiliate links
Now assuming you have done all of the 3 above steps, we will look at different methods of making money as affiliates.
Methods to do Affiliate Marketing without a website
We will primarily be looking at 2 methods here which are my preferred methods because these fit right into the strategy I follow.
There could be numerous other ways to make money as an affiliate without setting up a blog or, a website. We will need some tools and resources which is as below –
- A FREE account with Aweber – This will help us both as an autoresponder and a landing page builder
- A Pinterest account – Traffic Source
- A Youtube account – Traffic Source
- A FREE account with Canva – to design our images
- Camstudio – to record screen
Let us first take a look at the 2 methods and how they differ and then we will look at the steps involved in both of these. You may then decide on which method to follow depending upon your resources.
Method # 1 – The Redirect Method
This is the method I always recommend to anybody wanting to get into affiliate marketing. One of the biggest advantages of this method is building a list.
Any visitor clicking through from whichever traffic source you choose, has the probability of getting captured as a subscriber.
You can then sell to them using email marketing, which means even if the sale doesn’t happen in the first instance of the visitor clicking over to your offer page, you still have an opportunity to send him regular email and market to him. But then the only requirement is that you will need to continuously engage with him to keep him active and interested in your offers.
So what exactly does this method involve?
The primary part in this method is a landing page which is the least requirement in this method. We direct all of our traffic to a landing page where we offer a lead magnet that is in some way connected to the product you are promoting and then redirect them to our offer page.
We will look at this in detail in the step where we discuss how to build our landing page.
Method # 2 – Direct linking Method
The 2nd method is a little more simple in comparison to the first one.
In this method, we directly link out to the offer page instead of redirecting our visitors through our landing page.
The biggest disadvantage with this method is that all of the efforts that you put to generate the traffic is lost the moment the visitor clicks over to the offer page.
The offer page is something that the merchant manages. If his offer page is able to convince the visitor to purchase the product, you get paid a commission. But then, if it happens or, not is entirely dependent upon how good the offer page is.
So, after your visitor clicks through to the offer page, all you can do is pray that the offer converts. If for some reason it doesn’t, then the visitor is lost (the merchant might capture the visitor using a squeeze page and build his list).
It is hence that I do not really recommend this method unless you are somebody who doesn’t want to put in the effort to build a landing page and a lead magnet. And you should be somebody who is okay with a lost visitor too.
Now that we have understood the 2 methods that we will be using, let us get into the steps involved is setting up your affiliate business without a website.
Steps to do Affiliate Marketing without a Website
The steps that I show here are pretty simple and doesn’t require a lot of technical knowledge. But you will still need the basic knowledge about affiliate marketing. If you are still confused, you can read my complete guide on affiliate marketing for beginners to learn about affiliate marketing.
This is a 5 step system and we will be using 2 different traffic sources to drive traffic to our affiliate offers – Pinterest and Youtube.
Pinterest is a traffic powerhouse and not a lot of people are using it. It doesn’t require a lot of technical understanding, is simple to use and can be very effective in driving traffic fast.
YouTube has been a proven traffic source for years now. The only caveat – your videos won’t be there in the YouTube search results until it has gained some traction. So you will need to employ some SEO tactics to get it in front of people. You will also need to provide value to your viewers so that they watch your videos until the end, which in turn increases the watch time and consequently your “Video Value”.
Here are the steps and a little detail about how to go about setting this up.
(Bear in mind that we will not be discussing about picking an affiliate product and getting your affiliate link etc. I am assuming you would already know that and that you will have your affiliate link ready).
Pick a Good Lead magnet
A lead magnet is basically an incentive that you would offer your website visitors in return for their email address. You will find this on pretty much every landing page these days (which should be enough to emphasize how important list building could be).
A lead magnet can be any of the below –
- A downloadable ebook
- A checklist
- A report
- An audio file
- A video
These are the most commonly found ones, but there could be many more.
You will need to put in some effort to build one of these (if putting efforts is not your thing, then this entire affiliate marketing thing is not a good fit for you).
If you are short of ideas, a good place to start could be IDPLR. This is a PLR site I have used a lot. They have some excellent PLR ebooks and reports which you can download, rewrite, and then use as a Lead Magnet. IDPLR is free to join. You can check it out here.
One of the important things you need to keep in mind while picking a lead magnet is that the Lead magnet should be something that ties into the affiliate product you are planning to promote.
A strategy that I recommend is to go through the product you are planning to promote and then come up with a checklist or, a report that adds value to the product.
The key thing to remember is that the affiliate product you are promoting should look like it is an upgrade over the lead magnet.
NOTE: This step is not required if you are following Method # 2.
Setup a landing Page
We are talking about not building a website and are yet discussing landing pages. Isn’t that contradicting?
Because we are not going to setup a website or, a blog to create our landing pages.
Instead we are going to use Aweber.
Aweber is an amazing autoresponder which comes with amazing features. The simplicity of using them and an excellent customer support who are always there to help you with whatever questions you have makes them my preferred choice.
Aweber has some nice landing page templates which you can customize using their landing page builder and host it on their server itself. So no website and no hosting required.
You can get a FREE aweber account today, which is good for a start.
Here’s how you set everything up.
You first go to “landing pages” on your Aweber dashboard.
They have a variety of ready-made templates that you can use as a starting point. You can pick any of those that you like and start off.
But for this method, we will pick the thank you page template first.
Then on the “edit template” page, we will add a button to the bottom of the page. You can add a good “call to action” to the button. (follow the stepwise instructions in the image below)
Then on the button URL, enter your affiliate link that you would have got from your merchant.
Now click “save and exit.
In the next step we will publish the page. Once the page is published, you will get a link to the thank you page. Copy that link and keep it handy because we will need it in the next step. (follow the step-wise instructions in the image below)
The next step is to design our landing page or, Optin page.
You can pick any page template and customize it according to your needs.
Once you have edited and customized your page as per your satisfaction, click on the optin form. This will open the form settings on the right hand side.
Select “submission” and then in the “Thank You page” dropdown, select “Custom URL”. (follow the step wise instructions in the image below)
Now in the “Custom URL” textbox, enter the link to the thank you page, that we had copied a few steps back.
Your entire setup is ready and you are now ready to drive traffic to your landing pages.
NOTE: This step is only required if you are following “Method # 1” of doing affiliate marketing without a website. You do not need this if you are following “Method # 2”.
Design Pins and Images using Canva
The next step involves designing images for Pinterest and YouTube.
I use 2 different tools – Crello and Canva. Both do the same thing and has pretty similar interface. Which one you would like to use will depend upon your choice.
Canva has a free option which should be enough for the method we are going to follow.
Head over to Canva and create the following –
- 3 different YouTube thumbnail image – you can use some of the ready-made templates on Canva
- 5 different pins – there are a lot of good templates on Canva. You can pick one of them and design your images.
Ensure you images have a clear call-to-action. The images also need clear information on what your offer is with a hook that compels the visitors to click through.
Prime your Pinterest Account
Pinterest is literally an unharnessed traffic source. In fact I too wasn’t really aware of the power of this search engine until very recently, when I bought this ebook called “Making Pinterest Possible“.
This ebook practically changed my entire approach towards Pinterest.
I used to consider Pinterest as a social media just like Instagram, which was the biggest mistake that I did. This myth around Pinterest was broken after I read this ebook.
This ebook taught me that Pinterest is in fact a search engine and optimization of your pins was the key to doing well on Pinterest.
I wouldn’t be going into the details of how to operate and optimize your pins in this post. I might do that in another post.
Here are some of the pre-requisites to ensure that your Pinterest account is ready for this method –
- Your profile should be optimized
- You should already have some boards with informative pins on it
- You need to be a member of a few Group Boards in your niche
- You need to be pinning regularly to your boards
If all of the above boxes are checked, then you are ready to use Pinterest to drive traffic.
Now all you need to do is to Pin the 5 images that we created in the above step to various boards. Ensure that you are pinning it to as many boards as possible, but at different times keeping in mind Pinterest’s rules.
I use Tailwind to schedule my pins to Pinterest. Tailwind is an amazing piece of software that can help you save on a lot of time. It can help you schedule a month’s worth of content in less than 15 minutes.
You can check out Tailwind here.
Something that you need to keep in mind here is that the link that you will be adding to your pins will depend upon which method you are following.
If you plan to follow method # 1, then you need to add the link to your landing page.
But if you are planning to follow method # 2, then you need to add the direct link to your affiliate offer. Pinterest allows direct linking, so you need not worry about being blocked or, banned.
Now we are going to use our 2nd traffic source – YouTube.
Create valuable content using Camstudio
The first step involves creating 3 videos.
I would recommend creating a screen-capture video. But if you are comfortable facing the camera, you can also record a camera of you talking.
So what will be the content in these videos?
We don’t want to create a blatantly promotional video and give obvious signs to our viewers that we are pushing a sale down their throat.
So our videos are going to be informational.
It will be about solving a problem that our viewers are facing.
Here is the strategy that I recommend.
Firstly, go through the sales page for the product you are planning to promote.
If the product is good and it has a good sales page, you are sure to find some of the common problems that the product is aiming to solve. Note down 4-5 of these problems.
Also note down information about what issues people face because of these problems, the USP of the product and how the product aims at solving these issues.
In the second step, write a nice piece of content using all of these information that we collected. The script should end with a call to action, asking people to click on the link that is there in the description box.
The 3rd step is to record your video. Ensure your videos are not more than 4-5 minutes long. All of your videos should have a clear call to action towards the end of the video.
Using your YouTube Account
It is now time to use your YouTube account.
Upload the videos to your account in a space of 3-4 days each.
Ensure you are optimizing your videos by following YouTube SEO guidelines.
Add the links in the description box of your videos.
Link the call to actions in your videos to either your landing page URL, if you are following method # 1 or, to your affiliate link, if you are following method # 2.
Now wait to see the traffic generated by both these methods clicking over to your links. Once a sale happens, you earn a commission.
That’s all there is to start making money with as an affiliate if you don’t want to build a website.
Bonus Step – The Foolproof way to do it without a website
This is applicable only if you are following method # 1.
But before I tell you more about it, let us understand why using a landing page is advantageous in comparison to direct linking.
Imagine, you are direct linking to your affiliate offer page. All the visitors you are generating will click over to the affiliate offer page.
If they bought the product, well and good. But what if they don’t?
You have lost the visitor forever.
But in the case of a landing page, if your landing page converts at around 15%, these visitors are captured in your autoresponder. You can then promote a product to them again and again which improves the chance of a conversion.
I add a slight twist, so that I do not lose any visitors at the landing page. I add a link towards the bottom of the landing page / optin page that says, “No Thanks! I would rather checkout the solution to my problem” and link it to the affiliate offer page.
That ways, if there are people who do not want to optin, yet want to visit the product page, they can directly visit the product page and check the offer out.
Isn’t that a nice tip?
So that’s how you do affiliate marketing without a website.
This is a method that I have used and see results. So it is a proven strategy.
There is some bit of effort involved, but the rewards are amazing.
While this is some thing I do not recommend because I prefer setting up a blog to promote your affiliate offers, you can still use if you do not prefer to setup a website or, a blog and wish to run affiliate marketing without a website.
Do comment below and tell me your thoughts on this strategy.
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