Traffic is the necessary lifeblood of a successful affiliate marketing activity. The question is, how do you get it to your affiliate offers? And especially, how do you do it for free? This post will detail 18-in-11 ways to skyrocket your visitors, hence your earnings!
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Before we go any further, it may be helpful to know what affiliate marketing is.
Individuals and companies have created products or services for sale. The sale may be done through their own affiliate programs or via an Affiliate Network, which is a platform to which many retailers have entrusted their products for sale.
People and companies sign up as affiliates to promote those products and services. Signing up is free and requires no previous experience although it would be helpful for you to be able to promote successfully. And when the customers you send the programs or networks make a purchase, you get paid a cut of the sales price as a commission.
Typically, affiliates receive a unique tracking link which helps them to track the sales they’ve referred to the retailer’s site. There is also usually an online dashboard they can access to find promotional materials, learn about the latest deals the company is offering, and especially view their earnings.
Affiliate commissions can be as low as 1% (on consumer products from Amazon) and go as high as 75% (on digital products from ClickBank)
Therefore affiliates who concentrate on marketing digital products will usually make good money even if the products aren’t converting too well and great profits if they do.
That’s not the only benefits of affiliate marketing.
Affiliates also get many other benefits having a good business without the hassle of doing any of the work of building it: creating a product/service, supplying marketing materials and customer testimonials, etc. All of these are topped with the leisure of handing off customers to the retailer, knowing that they will take care of them and your interests.
Affiliate programs are such that if you can drive qualified traffic to your referral link, the system would do the rest of the work to encourage people to provide their email address and contact info.
From here, most well-thought out affiliate programs use a ‘lead nurturing’ process to educate potential buyers via email, social media and other channels where they can connect with the prospect.
Once a prospect is thought to be sufficiently convinced on the value of a product or service to them, they’re provided with an offer to purchase.
The affiliate marketing industry is growing thanks to the internet which facilitates the deploying and managing of an affiliate marketing campaign.
Most forward-thinking businesses like Amazon, Best Buy, and even Tesla also offer affiliate marketing programs. Offers from some of these companies can be quite lucrative and therefore worth participating in.
This is what is referred to as affiliate marketing.
It is a great way to earn some extra money, facilitated by building a website of your own.
It is quite possible that affiliate marketing becomes one of the biggest business trends of the next decade, helping affiliates to earn.
But whether affiliates make money or not depends on them choosing the right offer for the market they’re targeting, and then sending enough buying traffic to it.
Although it is free and easy to sign up as an affiliate marketer, to do it well is another matter. That takes a lot of time to learn and effort to master and do it well.
Some Pros & Cons of affiliate marketing
Many newbie affiliate marketers think of affiliate marketing only in terms of the advantages it brings them. That is a narrow view of the model. There are pros and cons related to affiliate marketing. Here are some of them:
- It’s flexible. You can do it any time, from anywhere as long as you have your phone, laptop or tablet and internet access.
- You are not forced to work a 9 to 5 job, Monday through Friday. But if you’re a night owl and you do your best work from 10 pm – 4 am, go for it!
- There are tons of affiliate programs available now and more resources than ever before. You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Someone’s probably already faced the same problem. Use their experience.
- Since it’s something that lots of people are still using to make money online., you can find tons of resources online which can act as a learning tool.
- You frequently don’t see profit right away. If you do, it’s not consistent yet.
- You work for yourself so you need to push yourself every day. If you don’t work, this won’t succeed.
- Likely you’ll have to do something every day to promote your business. No week-long vacations in the beginning.
- Driving traffic to your site is a daily push. And I mean DAILY!
- There are still affiliate networks out there that can take advantage of you. You need to be savvy and not fall for every hook.
Is affiliate marketing easy?
Another misconception people carry about affiliate marketing is that it is easy. But this marketing model isn’t as simple as some Gurus make it sound. The cons above might have let you know that already.
Popular affiliate offers attract a lot of affiliates, making the competition for customers very fierce. On the other hand, affiliate schemes that do not have a lot of affiliates may have less competition but might not convert well.
Do you need a lot of money to succeed at affiliate marketing?
To be successful at affiliate marketing, you do not have to fork out a lot of money. In addition to the free cost to sign up, attracting an audience can also be done for free. But you must be willing to work hard and be patient.
If many people know of blogging as a free way to go about affiliate marketing, what you may not be aware of are the other free resources that you can use as an affiliate marketer to drive traffic.
Once you manage to do that to your website, you can also begin promoting products and services within your niche.
It’s important however that you master the fundamentals of affiliate marketing before you start promoting to your audience. This will help you increase conversions.
You will need to market products and services differently depending on the sources you are using to generate traffic. Even with social media, you need to adapt your marketing to the specifics of each platform to get free traffic from them.
Your affiliate website store
The first step in building and running any successful website business is creating a good, credible, and professional-looking website. This will display the products and feature the services which you will be promoting. It is also the property where you will be sending the free traffic you generate.
What is free traffic and why do you need it?
Free traffic is any searchers interested in your content that the search engines results or referral sources direct to your website for education. It is also any potential customers that likewise go to your offers to consider them for possible purchase to solve their problems.
It is clear that without traffic moving to your website, no matter how valuable your content is and whatever the help your offers can give, that website will bring you no value. For the only way to succeed in Affiliate Marketing is driving traffic to your website.
Generating free targeted traffic to your affiliate website store may not be as difficult as you may think.
Above all, you are able to do it to your business round the clock, including holidays and even while you are sleeping.
This is important because sales is a numbers game. As such, the more potential prospects you have viewing your offer, the more the number of customers who will buy and the more you will earn referral commissions.
If you have traffic, you can show your ads to those potential viewers, just like people driving past billboards or flipping channels on the TV.
As we have already learnt, competition is extremely keen in the online business world. You must therefore always strive to be one step ahead of your competitors to ensure that you continue to capture a handsome share of your target market.
To do that requires that you employ all the possible means to drive free traffic that will not only visit your affiliate website store but also will convert into an eventual sale on your affiliate retailer’s website.
We can’t talk about sending traffic to your affiliate property without touching on the question of conversions.
In effect, driving traffic to your landing page is the first priority. The other is that such a traffic must not be any type at all, but quality targeted traffic that has the desire to consume your content or buy the product you propose.
Those are the two types of conversions we are concerned with here.
Learn how to track your conversions to see what is working and what is not and make the necessary adjustments for maximum efficiency.
Free promotion takes time and does not show quick results
Not everybody who comes to your website will consider your content and/or offers. You therefore need to drive plenty of traffic so as to raise the probability of some of them carrying out the actions you desire of them.
Have no illusions about it however. Generating free traffic is one of the biggest challenges you will face as a novice affiliate marketer. Your efforts can take time to show up in directories and search engines. And even with those, you won’t be making any or much money yet.
Paid traffic brings quick results but it is costly
In your desire for quick results, you may be obliged to resort to paid-for methods of promotion like web banners and buttons, Pay Per Click campaigns on Google AdWords, etc.
True, these are great at getting targeted traffic to your offers. In some cases almost instantaneously. But they can be expensive.
For the simple reason that your offer doesn’t convert or is one that is very popular and therefore has higher advertising costs induced by all the competition.
Seeing that you may not have the money, the best option for many newbie affiliate marketers is to actually use a mix of free and paid for traffic that works for them.
This post is about driving free traffic but why are we even talking of the paid one? This is because free traffic methods can be a good way of judging if an offer is going to make you good affiliate commissions. And when it does, you can channel some of the profits into paid advertising to drive even more traffic and make more money.
So, bringing in more income is the reason why we are suggesting using paid traffic methods too.
Here is my top list of 18-in-11 free traffic sources for affiliate marketing
This is for the newbie affiliate marketers who don’t have the big advertising dollars and want to start driving traffic to start getting eyeballs on their offers to create revenue.
If you can utilize them, you will be surprised at how quickly you can get eyes on your affiliate marketing offers.
An article about free traffic sources for affiliate marketing will be incomplete without mentioning search engine optimization. It is crucial to harness the power of search engines for organic traffic.
Search Engine Optimization is the process of making your website and content noticeable to the search engines so that they can appears high in the search engine results pages to get the attention of people searching for something related to your niche.
Many people see SEO as a difficult subject. The truth is, you don’t have to be an expert at it to use it to generate affiliate marketing traffic to your website.
All you have to do is make the effort to learn about the tweaks that you have to make on your content and website to improve your click-through rate.
Talking about ranking in the search engines, keywords have proven to be one of its most important factors. They determine how search engines categorize your work to determine its value to a specific audience.
So it’s crucial to conduct keyword research for your site, for every piece of content that you publish on it and for all your marketing promotions.
As long as you are not targeting competitive but low competition keywords, you should be able to rank for a lot of them in the search pages without too much effort.
Note however that SEO is not a quick process, but with hard work and patience, it will deliver sustainable traffic for you.
Many experts, including SEO guru Neil Patel, agree that to benefit from SEO, you will need a tool like SEMrush.
But to learn more about SEO, I suggest checking out the authoritative backlinko.com
Coming back to the question of ranking, nobody knows for sure all the factors that Google uses in this regard. But one often overlooked factor is topical authority. It is achieved by publishing a significant number of in-depth content related to a given niche.
Topical authority is important because once you center your site around one niche topic, Google sees this as helpful to readers. To make money as an affiliate marketer, you must also choose affiliate products that fall into your chosen niche.
Blogging usually works with SEO as the number one source of free traffic for affiliate marketing.
So in addition to learning to do keyword research, you must constantly create and post engaging and valuable content on your blog. For the more you post, the more often the search engine spiders will visit your site and the more traffic you will receive.
Create a content writing and publishing schedule that you know you can stick to. Continue to do research and check what other bloggers are writing about in your niche. The idea is not to copy them but use other writers’ content to boost yours.
Your blog will be one of your most effective marketing resources. That’s where you’ll post content for your visitors to consume. Search engines will send traffic there if it’s consistently updated with suitable content.
There are also a ton of information out there to learn to do great blogging. One article I will recommend is blogging consistently.
In traditional African societies, social, political, and economic systems were based on communalism. For example, during the farming system, all the villagers would work on one person’s farm until the work was done and move to the next person’s. This way they got the work done faster.
Guest posting sort of works in a similar way, in that by collaborating with other content creators in your niche, it gets blogging done better and brings visitors to your site.
This is because guest posting expands your reach to a wider audience you might not ordinarily be able to reach. And successful affiliate marketing is all about getting the right audience to check your offers.
Interested in guest blogging?
Here are 4 ways this Source suggests to get started for free:
- Research blogs within your niche or similar niches that post quality content
- Email them or use their contact form to find out if they accept guest posts
- Once you hear back from the site you can send them your pitch
- If your pitch is approved, you can submit your guest post
N.B.: When you focus on networking and making connections, you will start increasing opportunities for yourself.
Do you find this out of place in this discussion because the idea of starting a YouTube channel calls for a financial outlay?
If so, think again. For you don’t have to invest in any expensive video making equipment right away. All you need nowadays is a mobile phone to get a YouTube channel going. You can even create whiteboard, animation, and even PowerPoint slide videos.
Having your own channel with good content and subscribers is great. But if you don’t yet have one, just search for YouTube channels and videos in your niche/product and post a helpful comment there accompanied with your affiliate link.
But if you have the opportunity to create helpful tutorials, guides, or reviews on YouTube, they may appear in Google search results. The platform is great to get your video content indexed on Google. This will enable you suck some of that precious Google traffic as well as YouTube organic traffic.
By the way, did you know that YouTube is the second biggest search engine after Google. Incidentally it belongs to Google.
You can create all sorts of content such as guides, hints, reviews, tips, comparisons, and unboxing videos that showcase products and services. Then in the description below the video you can add your affiliate links. Make sure to mention it in the video, preferably towards the end, so that viewers can check it.
Video content is not any different from other forms of content marketing. Thus you need to create high-quality content portrays your blog’s niche.
Are you in technology, beauty, fashion, gaming, fitness, and education niche? It is said to be some of the most profitable YouTube niches.
If you want to start creating videos without showing up on camera just watch other videos of people showing you how to do it. It’s that simple. A great idea is to actually turn your blog content into video content. Once you start uploading your valuable video content, the videos will start ranking and you will start to see floods of traffic roll in.
You will gain subscribers on YouTube if you consistently produce quality content.
Here is an entire article about how to do YouTube affiliate marketing with little to no money.
Forums are one of the great ways to drive free traffic to your affiliate website.
To begin, find a forum in your niche. To do so, type in a keyword phrase such as “affiliate marketing + forums” into the Google search window.
You will get more than you need.
Choose the forums that appeal to you, sign up and start interacting with other users. Get to know the rules and guidelines of each site and be careful not to come across as spammy.
In that sense, you must offer valuable content to the forum users and leave a subtle link at the very end of your post. But the best strategy is to insert a link to your website in your signature.
Try to post at least once a day and the traffic will begin to flow.
As for groups, you can write an article about a particular subject and publish it in a Facebook group with several thousand members dedicated to that particular topic.
Because they are clearly interested in the subject of your article, chances are they’d consume the article avidly.
However, make sure you provide context when you post your articles in forums and Facebook groups. If you just share a link with no explanation, you will be branded spammy.
This is an article based on an interview you do on a subject with a selection of experts in your niche. Generally, you pose a couple of questions to which the experts respond with short answers.
Once you publish the article (usually as quotes of what the experts said), you inform all the experts featured in it. Usually they may share the link to the article on their own sites and to their often large social media followers. These may decide to check your site, bringing in traffic to your website.
To create an expert roundup, you can use the same 4 ways given above to get started for free for guest blogging.
Since the secret to getting traffic from this method lies in sharing the article with the featured experts when it is posted, make sure to share it with all of the people who participated in it.
Write for Medium
Medium is a free online publication. Writing for them gives you access to a wider audience just as guest posting does.
This is because Medium already has a built-in audience, so publishing a blog there can help you tap into this reservoir of readers.
To get traffic from the site, add your blog links to your posts. You can also embed your YouTube videos into your Medium articles.
You need to complete only a few steps to contribute to Medium. This Source gave them as:
- Write a relevant blog post.
- Wait for an editor to review and approve your work.
- Once approved, your post will be recommended to relevant Medium readers.
Social media is another great free traffic source because it gives you access to a huge audience no other source offers.
Most social media sites allow users to promote affiliate products on their accounts. But there are guidelines to follow.
You may read up about them and choose the ones which are perfect for you. But you need to be on at least on these three:
Note however that social media was not created for business but for social interactions. Therefore, to generate traffic from it, you need to work hard on building up a following from people who are interested in what you are writing about. Just make sure you put together quality content that will build relationships and trust with your audience.
It is only when they are pumped up about your business must you share your affiliate links with them.
If done well, you will be surprised at how quickly you can build up a following on social media.
And once it starts to rise, it essentially ‘explodes’ too.
That said, we will see the above three social media sites and then tackle the following five:
- Tik Tok
Facebook is the world’s largest social media website you may promote your products on by creating your fan page or group.
You can also buy traffic for affiliate links via Facebook Ads.
Check my Facebook Fan Page here.
Check my Facebook groups on the links below.
Although Twitter is the best way to promote your affiliate products, curiously many affiliates ignore this traffic source.
What you do is use ‘Advanced Search Options’, to look for tweets. This will bring up tweets of those targeted people who are looking for your product.
Let’s say you are promoting a keyword research tool. Search for “I am looking for keyword research tool” and you will find people looking for it and promote to them.
Instagram is one of the fastest growing social media networks in the world and one of the most popular options out there. It is also an easy medium for you to get free traffic for your affiliate website.
However Instagram don’t allow you to share links, except the one in your bio. So the easiest way to get traffic is by growing your following with these simple tricks from this source:
- Follow people who follow your competition’s posts. The reason why you want to do this is because these people are showing that they love to be engaging with content.
- Like people’s photos that use hashtags in your niche.
- Comment on people’s photos that use hashtags in your niche.
- Follow people who post photos with hashtags in your niche.
- Lastly, post engaging photos and add hashtags that relate to your niche.
N.B.: More ways exist to grow your Instagram following, but the above are the main ones. Get started with them and then learn others to grow your followings even more.
Now, encourage your followers to click on your bio link.
If you learn the ins and outs of Instagram marketing, you will find it a great platform for affiliate marketing.
TikTok is the new kid on the block. But what a kid!
Contrary to Instagram whose algorithm is notoriously hard to crack, TikTok is a bit more lenient, maybe reason why it is making huge waves.
Like iron which you must strike while it is hot, the time is now to have an account on TikTok for your business.
Question and Answer websites are a great source for free traffic. The benefit of these networks is that it is your audience which is asking for help with problems they have.
The question and Answer (Q&A) field used to be dominated by Yahoo Answers. Now no more. Quora occupies that position. Not only that. It often ranks a lot for questions and answers on Google.
On the site, you share your knowledge on a question asked in your niche. Give thorough answers that people will appreciate. If they do, they will definitely check out your website for more.
The other ingredient to success on Quora is not to give too short answers nor give away too much. You can then seamlessly glide in a blog link for more information on the subject and ask interested readers to check it out.
That is where the traffic magic happens.
But don’t be spammy. You may not even have the chance to drive people away from your account because your answer will simply be deleted by Quora Moderation. This has happened to me on some occasions.
I haven’t yet had my account blocked or deleted because I am one of the most viewed authors in affiliate marketing with lots of answers and thousands of views.
In your desire to suck traffic from Quora, you can easily lose yourself in that world and not focus on the other aspects of building your business. So, beware!
You can learn about How to create a Quora account here
You can learn about How to find Trending Quora questions to answer here
You can learn about How to do Quora affiliate marketing here https://ivetriedthat.com/how-to-use-quora-to-your-affiliate-marketing-advantage/
Reddit is the United States’ 4th ranking website and easily one of the largest in the world. Besides, it is an American social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website.
The site is segregated into what they call subredduits.
When you sign up for an account, you can become an active member of any subreddit and share your content such as a text post or a direct link.
Each subreddit has its own rules and may even put restrictions on matters such as embedding YouTube videos and posting affiliate links. So make sure to read through their guidelines.
On the question of free traffic, Reddit might not seem so great. But know that it is a powerful engine that can funnel visitors to your affiliate website. This is because people often use Reddit to get recommendations and advice from other registered community members known as redditors.
While you can generate free traffic here, it is not so easy because Reddit users are smarter.
They don’t like people who pop up out of nowhere, drop their links, and disappear into thin air. This will make you come across as a spammer, and your post will be deleted before you can get a single hit on your website.
To generate traffic, you need to play an active role in the community.
In that sense, you have to build up your reputation, and then every now and then share a useful post from your website.
Only when you do this, will people click your affiliate and website links.
By adding your website links in the comments, you can drive consistent targeted traffic to your affiliate offers. Make sure to add comments that add value to the user so that your contribution doesn’t look spammy.
As the 3rd largest social network in the U.S., Pinterest is a sort of Google of images. Short, it is an image-based search engine and social network.
Pinterest categorizes images into several distinct compelling categories, symbolizing the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words.
The site can be complicated to use at the start, but it is worth mastering as it one of the most important free traffic sources for affiliate marketing.
The cool thing about this platform is that it allows you to upload an image attached to an URL. So when someone clicks on that image, they are redirected to the URL destination, which could be your affiliate product and/or website.
So, learn to use some of the features of Pinterest, and easily promote your affiliate products by creating your own niche-based Pinterest boards.
Especially, you can make big bucks on the site if your niche falls into any of these popular categories:
- Health and fitness
- Home decor
- Making money online
This closes the list of social media websites.
While carrying out research for this post, I was surprised to find WhatsApp as one of the means to drive free targeted traffic.
The site is extremely popular in Africa for social interactions as it uses text, voicemail, and video on your phone. Schools use it to interact with teachers, students, and parents. Families use it to organize virtual meetings. Even illiterates use it.
WhatsApp has individual accounts and group ones.
You simply search for contacts on your phone or add others through search and you don’t even need their permission to send them your message, call them on the phone or through a video call. Your contacts can also add you, signal you or block you.
By sharing your affiliate links in WhatsApp groups or to your contacts you may generate traffic and subsequently revenue.
Craigslist is a very popular classified ads site for products and services on which you can post your affiliate offers for sale all over the world.
It may not be good for all niches, but the site can be powerful for driving traffic to your website in certain areas.
Build and use an email list
Email list building is the lifeblood of the affiliate marketing business model. If managed well, the bulk of your commissions will come from the people who are on your list, making it act as a sort of an ATM.
You do not need to have a big list to make money with it. Even a small one can help you reap big rewards on condition that the right source of affiliate marketing traffic opted into your list.
Traffic is as important for your affiliate marketing business as oxygen for you to keep living. Like oxygen, it can free to use to your benefit. However, since there comes a moment that a doctor may prescribe oxygen for you, then it must be bought, there are also times when an affiliate must buy traffic.
But if you’re short on cash but long on time and effort, attracting your target audience doesn’t have to be elusive if you follow these tips.
Every source that we detailed on this page is a genuinely ‘free’ source of traffic for affiliate marketing.
You may not have to tackle all of them at the same time. Just a couple of these ideas put into practice will get traffic trickling to your website sooner than you think.
Then, as you master one method and add another and so on, quality targeted traffic will go through your website in sufficient numbers to generate handsome sales.
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