Now that I’ve been in the industry for awhile, one of the most common questions people ask me is “do you need a website for affiliate marketing?” I think it is because when most people think of websites they think of web design and having to learn computer code which is a very complex skill that people spend years learning. Though a lot of people may be interested in affiliate marketing, they may be intimidated by the idea of building a website. Truth be told, actually creating the website is the EASY part! The hard part is making that site profitable. Building a site does not require any computer code at all and you can set up a great looking site in a matter of a few hours. Just go to YouTube and type in “bulid a WordPress site step by step” and you’ll be greeted with dozens of free video tutorials that walk you through everything. Here’s an example of one I found:
But technically, do you need a website for affiliate marketing? Well, technically no! In fact, affiliate marketing has existed a whole lot longer than the internet has been around. In prior decades, affiliate marketing just took on a different form such as marketing through classified ads and using special phone numbers to track leads, as one basic example.
So while I personally have always used my blogs and websites as the main aspect of my affiliate marketing business, and while I will always recommend having a website if you’re an affiliate marketer, you technically don’t need one to succeed at affiliate marketing. Let’s take a closer look, shall we? Below is a video I made that goes into a bit more detail…
How Affiliate Marketing Works Without A Website
When you become an affiliate marketer, you will receive a personalized affiliate link. This link has a special code at the end that is used by your affiliate partner to track the customers that you have sent to their website. With that information, you can use that link anywhere online and if people go to their website, you will still be able to earn your credits and commissions. With your affiliate link, I can definitely say that the answer to “do you need a website for affiliate marketing” is no. You can post that link on other people’s sites, in comment sections, on social media, etc.
Using Social Media For Affiliate Marketing
Most new affiliate marketers that contact me and wish to start marketing without a website bring up social media as their preferred advertising method. You can post your affiliate link on all social media websites from Pinterest to Facebook to Twitter, but make sure you read the terms of service for each as some of them may have certain requirements on how affiliate links may be used. If you are someone who already has a large social media following, you can use that following to help earn you some revenue. If you’re starting off fresh, it will likely take some time to grow a large and loyal following you can monetize, so start now (even if you plan on having a website, too).
Truth be told, making money through social media is more difficult than it may first seem. While I operate several social media accounts, none of them are my main source of revenue. My main source of revenue is through my websites. That’s not to say it isn’t possible to make a significant income using affiliate marketing on social media – many people have done it. However, for my own personal business, I focus almost entirely on growing my websites.
Consider Other Forms Of Content
Do you love making funny videos for YouTube? Do you consider yourself an amateur photographer that has mastered Instagram? Do you host a podcast? You can promote products on all of these outlets and still make money with your affiliate link. On Youtube, Instagram, and your podcast host, you just post your link in the comments. You can also use your content to promote the product. For example on Youtube or your podcast you can give a thoughtful, personal review. On Instagram, you can take pictures that are relevant to the product. This form of content will definitely drive traffic to your affiliate link and give you some other options for making money.
Heck, you don’t even need to use the internet at all. You could hand out flyers with your affiliate link on it, take out classified ads in the newspaper, send out mailers, or any other number of ways you can share your affiliate link.
Take Advantage Of Other Website’s Traffic
One of the ways I answer the question “do you need a website for affiliate marketing?” is to say “Not really, because you can always use someone else’s.” There are tons of websites that you can promote your products with your affiliate links. A great place to start is in boards and forums that are focused on topics relevant to your products. You can answer questions or start entire threads where you can promote your products and use your affiliate links. Maybe you could create a free training program for Udemy.com and monetize that training program by embedding affiliate links. Another option is to use your affiliate links on websites that offer consumer reviews of third party products. All you do is write a positive review of your product and add your link.
The point is that while I think having your own website is a crucial aspect of your business, you can and should also take advantage of already hugely successful websites like Google, Facebook, Reddit, SoundCloud, SlideShare and a ton of other resources that allow anyone to post and create content on their platform.
The Great American Novel–Almost
Do you love to write but are still intimidated to start a blog? Consider publishing an eBook. eBook publishing is easy because most places accept .pdf submissions. It is very easy these days to get your book listed in Amazon, even if you’re self-published. If you create a free eBook that also contains your affiliate link, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can start earning. People love eBooks, especially when looking for in depth expertise on a subject. So rather than trying to navigate the technicalities of running a website or a blog and also having the benefit of being able to offer long-form content, considering marketing with an eBook.
Try A Traditional Marketing Tactic
Affiliate marketing is still marketing. So when people ask me “do you need a website for affiliate marketing” another answer I like to give is “no, not if you aren’t afraid to go old school.” You can sell your product with one of the oldest tactics in the book. You can post a classified ad. Websites like Craigslist and Classified Ads in traditional newspapers allow users to post ads, sometimes for free. On these ads you can promote your product and use your affiliate link in the body. Posting ads may be the oldest trick in the book, but it is still a very effective way to promote and sell products.
Don’t Give Up On A Website
Now even though the answer to “Do you need a website for affiliate marketing” is no, it is still the best way to reach an audience and promote your products. If you are really intimidate by the prospect of building a website, don’t worry. There are plenty of programs that can help you get the training and skills you need. When I first started out, I’d never built a website in my life. I didn’t know the first thing about web hosting or coding or search engine optimization or any of the other skills you need to have a successful affiliate marketing website. Luckily, I found Wealthy Affiliate. Wealthy Affiliate doesn’t just offer help for it’s affiliate marketers, they’d partnered with Site Rubix to help beginners build appealing websites that are perfectly optimized for affiliate marketing.
So ultimately, when people I ask “do you need a website for affiliate marketing” I tell them there are plenty of other options to make money as an affiliate marketer. From social media to eBooks to traditional ads, there are plenty of places you can share your personal affiliate link and promote your products online that aren’t just your website. However, if you do decide to build a website, you don’t have to figure it out on your own. You can work with Wealthy Affiliate and Site Rubix to learn everything you need to know to get a great site up and running right away.
Do you need a website for affiliate marketing? No, but nothing is stopping you from having one!