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.
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 intimidated 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.
How To Build Your Own Affilaite Marketing Website, Step-By-Step!
Serious about becoming an affilaite marketer? Let's set up your website! It's not as hard as you might think! Just follow these simple step-by-step instructions, and for $2.95 per month, you'll have your own domain name on a WordPress website with discounted Bluehost web hosting. Ready to get started? Let's go!
Step 1: Visit Bluehost.com
If you use this link you'll get discounted pricing for just $2.95/mo. So click here to visit Bluehost.com. Bluehost is the #1 recommended web hosting by WordPress.org. It also happens to be my top recommendation. Every account features 1-click WordPress installation. It is one of the most well known, mos popular, and affordable web hosting options. Bluehost is especially great for beginners due to their user friendly features and one-click WordPress installation.
Click the "get started now" button and let’s get started! (see above). Select a hosting plan that fits your needs. (Normally, if you are just starting out I recommend the basic plan but, if you are really serious about this and want more resources & power go with their Prime or Pro plan). Keep in mind, you can always upgrade your plan as you grow.
Step 2: Pick Your Domain Name
Search for a domain with the domain name search tool below. Don’t spend a ton of time on this step, you can always change the domain name later. If you already have a domain name, type it in the "I have a domain name" box. Bluehost is generous enough to throw in a FREE domain name with every new hosting account created.
The next step is to fill out your account and billing information.
Review the package information below and decide what term/add-ons are desired. The biggest bang for your buck is on the 60 month term, but you can choose 36 months, 24 months or 12 months. Please note that Bluehost will charge you upfront for the entire term.
Insert payment information and accept the terms.
Congrats, your hosting account has been created! Bluehost will send you a welcome email.
Create your password. Make sure to review the requirements for creating the password. If you need help you can always click the “Suggest Password” option. Regardless, I recommend notating it just to be safe. You’ll end up needing it later on.
Go ahead and login to start getting familiar with your new Bluehost account.
Step 3: Install Your WordPress WebsiteThanks to Bluehost, after your hosting account has been created WordPress will automatically install. Start off by picking a theme, these are all free themes from WordPress.org. You can always update or customize your theme later.
Now that you’ve picked your theme, let’s jump into WordPress and get you even closer to constructing that first blog post.
Decide whether this site will be for business or personal use.
On this step, you’ll see an overview of Bluehost+WordPress integration. You can manage WordPress plugins and blog posts or pages here.
Here’s a revamped dashboard of the Bluehost control panel.
Now you can make your site look how you want! Since you are using WordPress the sky's the limit! If you're looking for a great tutorial on how to build a great looking WordPress site, check out this video.
Start Publishing!You now have a fully functional WordPress website with a great hosting company! That wasn't so hard, was it!? From this point on, your main task is to publish as much content as possible. This site has tons of tutorials and articles on how to grow your affilaite marketing business, but in order for you to fully understand how to publish content and make money with your affiliate marketing blog, check out this article. Best of luck to you as you grow your business! :) Want even more help? Check out this incredible affiliate marketer training program and community of people growing an affiliate business just like you!
Some Final Thoughts
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!