What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is when you promote other people’s products and earn a commission when the product is sold.
You can also earn a commission when someone takes a specific action, such as opt in to an email form or make a call.
This type of affiliate marketing is called CPA marketing or Cost Per Action marketing.
Let’s say you are not good at creativity, then you can still make money online by leveraging the creativity of others.
Why Use A Website Or Blog?
Many of those who are making a decent income with affiliate marketing use websites or blogs to drive sales.
The reason why having a blog or website is so crucial to being successful with affiliate marketing is because it is not just about sending people to an affiliate link and hoping that they buy or take action.
Surely you can get one or two sales that way, but to create a sustainable income and plenty of it, you need to offer your visitors something in return for their sale and what really matters to people is the value that you give to them.
By value, I mean the information that you give to them, so they can understand why they should buy the product or opt in and what’s in it for them.
Let’s Consider An Example
An advertisement that asks people to sign up for a credit card may get a few interested people knocking at the door.
But an advertisement explaining how you can travel the world for free from the miles that you earn when you sign up for the credit card will get more people wanting to know more. Why?
Because one, you are doing them a service by showing them how to travel for free. Who doesn’t like free travel right?!
And two, if they can get free travel just by completing a credit card application and being accepted then there’s no reason why they will not want to sign up.
Essentially this is using the WIIFM (what’s in it for me) method. People will only willingly consider an idea or proposal, when they know that there is something in it for them.
And you can clearly set that out explicitly in a blog or website.
Does that make sense?
However if you really do not want to take the time to build a traditional website or blog, like this one that you’re reading, there certainly are other ways to get your affiliate links out there and provide valuable content at the same time.
Oh yes there is!
And that’s the reason for this post. So keep reading to the end.
How To Do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website Or Blog
Where To Find Affiliate Products
First of all let’s talk about where you can find affiliate products.
For my top 10 high paying affiliate programs read this article.
1| Brands Affiliate Programs
You can find affiliate products just about anywhere. Most companies these days, have affiliate programs. Your favourite brands like Nike, ASOS, Canon, Nikon etc all have affiliate programs.
If you have a brand that you love, simply go to Google and type in the brand + “affiliate program” and see if there are any search results. Like this one for example.
2| Affiliate Networks
If you are not interested in branded affiliate products but have a specific niche you want to get into, then you can use affiliate networks to find products related to your niche.
Affiliate networks are places that host several affiliate programs all in one place. This makes it easier for you to find the ideal affiliate product you’d like to promote.
A side note: affiliate networks are free to join however some networks may require you to have an established website or blog to participate in their network. If you do not have a website or blog then you may not get accepted.
If you do have a website or blog ensure that there is content on it. If not, then you will more than likely be rejected from the network. A few of my favourite affiliate networks are below:
3| Affiliate Programs
If there is no specific niche that you are interested in and simply want to make money then there are affiliate programs that help you do so with minimal set up. These programs do require you to own the product so you must pay a membership fee to join and promote their product.
Before you join and promote any of these programs make sure that you research the company well.
A few things to consider:
- Do they provide training to their affiliates?
- Do they provide real products to sell? Watch out for any program that has no real product that they are selling. If you get paid, on the condition that you refer someone to become a member, then this can be classed as a pyramid scheme.
- What do other people say about them? You can always do a Google search to find out.
- Do you have to invest thousands of dollars for “coaching”. Be careful of affiliate programs that ask you to invest thousands of dollars to move up different levels in the company.
To help you decide on the best products to promote here are a few things that you should consider:
- Is the product in a profitable niche? See this article for my most profitable niches
- The percentage commission you will receive. Any product that pays me $20 and above per sale is a good product in my view. However read this post to see how I earned over $10k in affiliate sales from $6 commissions.
- Is the product highly convertible?
- Are people looking for this product?
I am sure you are asking how in the world would you know whether people are looking for this product??
Well there are a few ways to find out, but here is one way that helps me find whether people are searching for a product and how many people are searching for it.
Keysearch, is an SEO Keyword finder tool that helps you to find keywords that people are searching for.
If you are not a Google Adwords user and you are unable to use the Google Keyword Planner tool, then you can use this search tool, to help you.
So for example, if I wanted to promote the Super Affiliate System by John Crestani, an affiliate marketing course, I would use Keysearch, to find out how many people are using Google to search for this product.
Here are the results.
I know from Keysearch, that approximately 880 people are looking for this product.
This tells me that the product is well-known and if people are searching for it in the search engines, then there are people out there who want this product.
If the product that you want to promote is popular, as you can see in the image, it is a good product to start with, because there is some trust already attached to that product.
Try it for any product that you are thinking of promoting. This can be an affiliate product, a network marketing product or your own product.
Now that you know which product you’d like to start with, you need to grab your affiliate link. When you join an affiliate program or network, you will always be provided with an affiliate link so that any sale you make through that link is credited to you.
Promoting An Affiliate Link Without A Website Or Blog
1| Pay Per Click Advertisements
This method is probably the one that I see often and I cringe because it is the worst way that you can do affiliate marketing without a website or blog.
When you direct link to an affiliate product through advertisements you are likely to lose a lot of money this way.
Because a lot of the traffic that the sites provide could bounce from the affiliate merchant page without you seeing a good return on your investment.
This could mean that the affiliate merchant page is not attractive or of a low quality.
It could mean that the viewer is probably just not ready to buy.
On the lead capture page it is best to give away an item for free so that you have a higher chance of capturing the viewer’s contact details.
Once the viewer provides their contact details, you can direct them to the affiliate merchant page. If the viewer does not buy the product on the first run, you can then follow up with them by email to remind them of the product.
This way does require a few other tools to ensure that you get the highest conversions. This includes:
If this is a method that you would like to use then Clickfunnels, Aweber, GetResponse and LeadPages all provide lead capture page builders with email autoresponders built in, that you can use to effectively capture your viewer’s information.
- How I use LeadPages And Why You Don’t Need A Real Website
- How To Win By Giving Away Freebies In Your Business
- How To Build Your First Email List from Scratch
If you still insist on direct linking, then you can use pay per click websites like Google Ads or Bing Ads. Be careful of the product you are promoting and ensure that it complies with their terms and conditions.
2| Create An Ebook
Whilst this way does take time to write the content, it is very helpful as it reflects you as an authority.
Most people see books containing a wealth of information as a valuable resource.
You can create a 30-40 page eBook about a specific topic and include affiliate links within the content.
This method is kind of like a mini blog. So it is important that when you write, your content is useful and helpful.
Do not just add affiliate links for the sake of adding affiliate links. Provide value within the book and then recommend a product that backs up your theory.
For example if you are an affiliate for a dog training product, your eBook may be titled Tricks And Techniques For Teaching Dogs New Tricks. Within that book you may have 10 tricks and techniques but then you recommend the affiliate product which may help the reader.
Another example is if you are an affiliate for a marketing product, your eBook may be titled Internet Marketing Success. Within the book you may have ten secrets to help the reader make money but also recommend the tools that you use to set up an online business to make money.
If your book is informative and useful as opposed to laden with affiliate links then you will find that it is more likely to be shared by others.
People will also appreciate the amount of value that you are giving away and will be more than likely to trust your recommendation and click on your affiliate links.
3| Blog and Forum Posting
Because of affiliate spamming some of the reputable blogs and forums have banned users from using affiliate links in their posts or comments.
Some blogs or forums do however allow you to provide affiliate links in your signature or profile so there is always a way to use these avenues to drive traffic to your affiliate products.
Of course you have to be very smart about it.
With blog or forum posting, you must establish yourself as a credible source by providing help to people.
When you are seen as an authority and you gain the respect of other users, you are more likely to attract visitors to your profile where of course you will host your affiliate links and then potentially get clicks to your affiliate products.
Ensure that your posts or comments provide value, are useful and interesting. Do not spam as you run the risk of your account getting banned and deleted.
Another good point to mention is that using the blog or forum posting method requires you to promote relevant products therefore you should not answer questions related to health and wellness, when the product you are promoting is in the make money niche.
If creating written content isn’t your forte, then what about video content?
Create a YouTube channel and speak about topics that are of interest. YouTube is owned by Google so it also tells you what people are searching for.
One piece of advice I can give to you, is focus on what people want. No one cares about what you like. Remember the WIIFM method.
You are likely to get more sales when you answer to someone’s problem.
For example if you have a product in the relationship niche go to YouTube and search for a topic of interest.
In the example below I started my search with the keywords “How to get back with…” I had not finished typing my keyword but look at the results.
This tells me that many people are searching for advice on how to get back with an ex. You can therefore find a product that answers to this problem and recommend it in your video.
When using YouTube there are a few rules that you MUST follow:
- Value first, financial gain after. Make sure that your content is useful, helpful and full of value. If you set up a channel merely to advertise a product, people will see right through this and move on to the next channel.
- Provide genuine advice. Do not be misleading. Therefore do not make claims that are unsubstantiated.
- Show your face. When using YouTube I would strongly recommend that you show your face and present yourself as the speaker and allow others to connect with you. You gain more credibility and trust this way.
Another way to earn affiliate sales with YouTube naturally, is by providing reviews of products. People value other people’s opinions so they want to know what yours is.
A perfect example for this is weight loss products. If you have used a product and lost weight and now want to promote it, speak about your trials, your triumphs then include your affiliate link in the description of the video. Make sure and mention that the link is in the description so other people will use it.
You can also include affiliate links to other related products like work out gear, books or equipment which you can find from Amazon Associates.
Another example is with marketing tools like the LeadPages.
A great way of promoting these types of products, is to do a walk-through of the program. Make a video and record yourself logging into the program, talk about the features, benefits, what you like and do not like about the product.
Most people love this! They want to see what they will be getting for their money and if you can be that channel of finding out before they buy, they will love you for it!
Create a Facebook fan page and start using your affiliate links within your posts.
You can post about health and fitness, relationships or money – the three most profitable niches.
Do not only post your affiliate link. You also need to provide value within your posts. So you may write a short post about How To Lose Weight In 2 Weeks. Add a few bullet points with some great tips and advice, then at the end of the post add your affiliate link for the recommended product that you want the user to try.
Be careful when posting a direct affiliate link on Facebook as it is likely that Facebook will ban that link.
Also affiliate links are ugly.
So here’s what you can do to mask or cloak your affiliate link so that it is not blacklisted by social media platforms like Facebook, and it appears “pretty” to the reader.
I use a link cloaking tool called Clickmagick.