Affiliate marketing and traffic is sort of a chicken and the egg situation.
Which comes first? An affiliate marketer obviously needs traffic, because that’s where the leads come from. That’s also where the affiliate sales are expected to come from.
So traffic is an essential part of the affiliate marketing business. By traffic, I mean high quality, high converting traffic.
And one more thing, you can actually get all the traffic you need for free. If high-quality traffic can be got for free, why do lots of marketers spend so much on paid traffic?
Some do not believe that they could get by without paying for traffic. Others obviously have a budget and they want to ensure they use it for the affiliate business.
But for those who would like to explore free traffic sources, I have created this post for you.
Just in case affiliate marketing is still new to you, let’s take out time to do a brief intro, after which we beam the spotlight on those free traffic sources you could use to drive your affiliate marketing business.
Affiliate Marketing 101: A Brief Intro
Affiliate marketing is an online business model that enables a publisher to promote offers belonging to a merchant. These offers could be required actions to be taken, physical products, digital products, or services.
For every offer that a buyer completes through your affiliate link, you receive a commission set by the merchant.
Publishers are actually referred to as affiliate marketers, and can also include bloggers, internet marketers, social media influencers, and site owners.
Affiliate marketing can be a very rewarding business if you have a publishing platform with a quality audience, which is the reason for affiliate marketers investing heavily in building traffic to their sites?
Becoming an affiliate marketer doesn’t require so much. In fact, some affiliate programs do not require you to have a website before joining their platform. But the real money earners will need you to have some traffic.
Here are simple steps that guide anyone starting out in affiliate marketing.
Step #1 – Your Publishing Platform
All affiliate marketers own at least one publishing platform through which offers are promoted. It is through these platforms that you will connect, engage, and promote offers to your audience.
Most people only think that the publishing platform has to be a blog or website. But this isn’t always the case, as the merchant is free to decide which platforms an affiliate can use.
Some of the most common publishing platforms include blogs, websites, social media networks, email lists, and YouTube.
You will need to check the terms and conditions stated by the merchant to know which platforms are allowed.
In order to start off on the right footing, I suggest you set up a blog or website as your platform. You can include other publishing platforms along the way.
Step #2 – Choosing the Right Niche
You obviously have a niche or industry that you want to write about. At least most people do before starting out as a blogger or internet marketer.
I – Blogging about something you’re passionate about might be a good place to start. It’s much easier to keep the passion going when you love what you write about.
But you have to ensure that your chosen niche has some commercial value. Or else you will find it difficult to earn any income from your affiliate business.
II – Blogging about a particular product or range of products you use is any great way of choosing a niche.
A web developer could decide to blog about stuff like WordPress themes, plugins, and other tools that WordPress site owners need. It’s a cool option because this is a fast way of building authority since you already use the products.
III – Look out for niches that remain relevant to humans no matter the era we are living in. These kinds of niches are referred to as evergreen because humans will always have these needs.
Niches like health and fitness, finance, clothing, gadgets, and money-making.
IV – You can also blog about a niche that you want to learn about. For instance, blockchain and cryptocurrency are technologies that are currently gaining popularity.
You could decide to blog about what you learn about these niches. And as you keep up with regular research and posting, you become more knowledgeable about the niche.
V – Your company or boss may choose a niche for you to blog about. Or it could even be any third party making a decision for you.
The important is to come out of this with a niche that you’re confident about.
Step #3 – Choose an Affiliate Program or Network to Join
If you have successfully checked out the first two steps from your list, the next step is choosing the affiliate program or network to join.
An affiliate program is set up by a particular merchant to recruit, engage, and track all affiliate activities. It is solely under the management of the merchant and marketers have to sign up with the merchants before promoting their offers.
Examples of affiliate programs include the Amazon Associates and Walmart affiliate program while an affiliate network acts just like an intermediary between merchants and affiliate marketers.
The affiliate network manages the affiliate programs for each of the merchants that signs up on the network. The network also manages all activities of the affiliate marketer to ensure compliance with its rules and guidelines.
An affiliate needs to sign up only once on an affiliate network, after which access is granted to all affiliate marketers. Some well-known affiliate networks include ShareASale, JvZoo, and ClickBank.
Step #4 – Choose the Offers You Want to Promote
Having gone through steps 1 to 3, the only thing left is to choose the offers you want to promote.
Some things to look out for when choosing the affiliate offer to promote are:
I – Commission rate – It is usually better to get a higher commission rate for all your efforts. This is because the same efforts used in selling an offer with $1.50 commission will also fetch you $100 commission.
II – Choose offers that solve real problems for your audience.
III – Test the offers if they are good quality products or services, especially digital products. You want to be sure that you are offering something of value to your audience.
That said, let’s delve into the different free traffic sources for your affiliate marketing business.
5 Proven Sources Of Free Traffic to Your Affiliate Website
1 – Your Website or Blog
This is the first place where every affiliate marketer ought to look at for free traffic.
It is a hub where traffic from all sources is directed to. And since you are the lord of your site, you get to decide what sort of contents you want to feature on it.
You can create reviews about your affiliate program and/or the offers you are promoting. You could also publish tutorials or how-to guides for your audience.
Your website is the ideal place to publish very detailed posts about the offers, how they work, and any other information that they may require.
To attract the right audience to your website, there must be plenty of high-quality content. Also, ensure that your website and web pages follow basic SEO guidelines.
You are required by the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to disclose to your audience about affiliate offers you are promoting.
And then nicely embed the affiliate links within posts and at different places in your pages and blog posts.
To take a website live requires a registered domain name and web hosting from any reputable web host. While a domain name would cost you anything from free to $15, web hosting starts at $2.99 a month.
Once you have all this arranged, you’re set to have your own website for promoting your affiliate business.
Note that Google frowns at sites without SSL certificates; so ensure you have one installed on your domain. Most web hosts also offer users free SSL certificates for the first year of signing up.
2 – Facebook
Facebook offers so many ways for affiliate marketers to get free traffic for their affiliate business.
I – On Your Facebook Profile
Some call it relationship marketing because you promote offers to those you already know.
Facebook offers this opportunity to promote your affiliate offers directly on your profile. You can then get those on your network to view these offers and possibly buy them.
You could place your affiliate links directly or the URL of the website where members of your network can visit for more details.
II – Facebook Business Page
A Facebook business page is a great tool for businesses to build a following around their brands.
Though Facebook doesn’t allow organic posts to reach 100% of your page followers, you can still reach some of the followers.
III – Facebook Groups
You can create a Facebook group for your affiliate business, where you can post affiliate links. Or post the links in the Facebook groups that belong to other users of the platform.
Whatever you decide, ensure that you don’t engage in spamming or any activity that could be termed spam.
Normally, I would have mentioned Facebook under social media networks, but I chose to give it a spot of its own.
The next point covers social media platforms that give you free affiliate traffic.
3 – Social Media
Instagram – The birthplace for image sharing, Instagram gives you an opportunity to share your success story with your followers
Pinterest – A great place for promoting your affiliate link directly – to attract the right audience using high-quality graphics with nice descriptive captions
Twitter – Another social media world in which you can directly promote your affiliate offers to your followers.
4 – Emails
If you want to send messages to thousands of your audience in one click, then try using emails!
Any affiliate marketers that don’t have a growing email list should rethink their strategy. This is one sure way to direct and regulate contacts with their audience.
So you’ve got to have a freebie to offer readers as they sign up on your email list. And once they are signed up, you’ve got to maintain regular updates through email newsletters.
There are a number of email newsletter services that offer you the right platform in managing your email newsletter business. MailChimp and ConvertKit should be appropriate for any email campaigns or promotions that you need to run.
You can then place affiliate links in the emails that you send out. But first of all, ensure that you do not violate the terms of your affiliate contract by doing this.
You can also post links to your website, so your email subscribers can visit your site for more details.
5 – Videos
Videos are great for entertaining, educating, and informing your audience. They are also great content for generating free traffic to your affiliate website.
You can upload videos on YouTube with your affiliate link in the description or your website URL.
Instagram Live and Facebook Live are also ideal places to broadcast your videos, especially if they are live transmissions.
An affiliate marketing business can only flourish when you have high converting traffic. And you’ve got two available options to get all that traffic.
You’ve got to buy them through paid ads, sponsored posts, paid search ads, or through ad networks.
The second option is getting this traffic free of charge.
For those who are new to affiliate marketing, you need to first select a publishing platform; then the right niche, and the affiliate program or network to join – before choosing the affiliate offers that you would like to promote to your audience.
Once you cross this bridge, the next steps include the free traffic sources for your affiliate website.
These are your website, Facebook, social media platforms, email newsletters, and videos.
When it comes to affiliate marketing and a having genuine success out of affiliate marketing, look no further than Wealthy Affiliate – a Canadian internet business community set up by affiliate gurus for affiliate marketers of all categories/levels!