Affiliate marketing is a dream job for many. These days more than ever. Why? Well, for starters you can peacefully work from anywhere in the world without risking contracting that one nasty C-word (calm down, I’m talking about the virus here).
The real question is – can many actually do affiliate marketing? Well, I won’t keep you waiting: yes, they can. The thing is:
You don’t need a starting capital. You don’t need experience. You don’t need an office. You don’t need a community. Heck, you don’t even need a website!
Yeah, I decided to answer the Big Question in the introduction.
But keep reading! Because frankly, it may be better for you to actually invest in the website. I’ll get back to it in a sec.
What you need to become an affiliate marketer
Before we move on to if you really need a website to become a successful affiliate, let’s talk about the things that you absolutely need to start (and succeed). Don’t worry, though. It’s not much.
In a nutshell, your major goal as an affiliate is to deliver the right offer to the right customer at the right time. And that essentially comes down to two key elements: an offer and a traffic source.
Offer: What you can market
In order to make money, you need to have something to market.
That’s why the very first thing you absolutely need is the right offer. You can find them one by one on your own like in the old days. Or you can work like a pro and join a bunch of ad exchanges and affiliate networks to make the search a little bit easier.
But at the very beginning of every affiliate’s success story, there was a good offer they selected. So choose wisely.
Traffic Source: Where you market it
That offer of yours has to go somewhere. Be it Facebook, Google, or your girlfriend’s lifestyle blog. The better the match between the traffic source’s target audience and the contents of the offer you are promoting – the higher the chance that it will be a profitable deal.
That’s the basics of the basics.
Now, the tricky part is to sell your offer to the audience. And that’s where the landing page comes in.
Website aka Landing page for Affiliate Marketing
While having an entire website just for your affiliate deals may seem a little too much, setting up a landing page for each of the offers you promote is just as important as choosing the right traffic source.
It’s pretty simple, really. Landers increase conversions. Do you really need more intel than that? Probably. So here’s how it all works.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a one-page website, so technically – yes, you may need to know how to develop one. At the same time, it’s pretty simple to set up and you can use the same draft for as many landers as your heart desires just customizing it a little bit for a specific promo.
Lead-generating landing page (Source)
Let’s be honest – affiliates don’t always have the best reputation with the community. Affiliate links may seem suspicious and the services they redirect to tend to be frowned upon. Landing pages – friendly and sincere – can make the entire customer experience a little more transparent. And people love transparency these days.
Space for creative thinking
It’s true that brevity is the soul of wit. It’s a little less true, though, when you are trying to sell something. People need a clear understanding of what they are about to invest in. And it’s not always possible to fit all that in the limited amount of characters provided by the publisher.
Of course, it also means that you need to provide an effective copy and invest in the appropriate design for your lander. But in the end, it can almost guarantee you that long-hoped-for conversion.
Credibility for your peers
Some of the largest affiliate programs (e.g. Airbnb) evaluate your worth as a potential partner affiliate based on your online presence. Here actually owning a website (a lander) may become a decisive factor.
On top of that, there’s no better place to store all the positive feedback you received over the years. Social proof is a valuable currency these days – use it!
Lander Vs Pre-Lander: Key differences
There’s also another player that I should mention – pre-landers. Shorter and more straightforward than your typical landing pages, pre-landers appear right before the offer and serve one purpose only – provide potential customers with the general idea of what the offer is going to be about.
Pre-Lander with a call-to-action
Landers, however, are much more suitable for lead generation. That is, of course, if you set everything up nicely. One way to simplify things is by investing in a proper ad tracker.
Ad Tracker: How to get the most out of your landers
What you need is information. As much information as you can possibly get. Don’t you want to know exactly where most of the people interacting with your ad are coming from, what operating systems they use, which keywords brought them to your ad in the first place? Imagine all the great marketing you could do knowing exactly who you’re marketing it to!
In a way, investing in a good ad tracker is exactly what sets super-affiliates from beginners. So why not do things the right way from the start?
Having a lander and using it for affiliate marketing makes things so much easier. But if you want to do it the hard way – you can try and succeed as an affiliate without a website too.
So… can you do Affiliate marketing WITHOUT a website?
We’ve already established that you don’t really need a website to be an affiliate. I guess you expected a bit more than that from this post though. So, let’s see how great your affiliate life could be without having to spend hours trying to choose the perfect template for your personal brand.
Here are my personal top 3 ways on how to make money as an affiliate without a website (there are way more than that, but these are fool-proof).
1. Use existing traffic
The main reason why you don’t need your own website is that even if you do get one, there’s a thick chance people will continue using what they know anyway. There is one thing the Internet is not short of – traffic. Whether it is Medium, or Udemy, or Reddit, or Youtube, or literally anything else that pops in your mind – go ahead and advertise your affiliate links there.
There is one definite advantage any of those traffic sources has over your not-yet-completed hypothetical website – it has traffic. And, essentially, traffic is the only thing that matters here.
2. Advertise on Social Media (i.e. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.)
Social media platforms belong to quality traffic sources. That’s why most of them would offer paid advertising plans for affiliates / business owners or may restrict access of intermediaries whatsoever (I’m talking about you, TikTok).
Running affiliate ads on social giants like Facebook and Instagram may seem attractive and simple at first, but there are many pitfalls to beware of there.
Also, if you opt-in into using an ad tracker there’s a good chance that it won’t be able to track your ads’ performance on social media. Unless it’s Voluum, of course 😉
3. Work with affiliate programs that don’t require having a website (e.g. Clickbank, Amazon)
A lot of well-known affiliate marketing programs would cooperate with affiliates who don’t have their own website. Some of the most common solutions include ClickBank and Amazon. It’s a great way to get started in the business.
Yet again, having a friendly landing page or a short pre-lander will significantly boost your conversions.
Here’s a quick take-away for you:
- You don’t need a website to do affiliate marketing;
- Although it may be a good idea to invest in one in the long run;
- Without a website you can promote your links on existing traffic, social media, and work with different affiliate programs;
- Having a website makes you look more professional and trustworthy among both customers and large affiliate networks.
So, if you’re not very tech-savvy and just a thought about developing (or at least designing) your own website terrifies you – relax, you can become an affiliate legend without learning a thing about programming. Yet, if you also don’t wanna miss out on all the sweet perks and do it oh-so-much faster – just do it!