Affiliate Marketing without a Website

I think you will agree with me that to have a successful business online you must have a website.

But is it true?

No, it's not! There are examples like Charles Ngo who are wildly successful without their own websites. It is called retail arbitrage (buy low/sell high).

In today's post, I will show you another 8 ways to make money online without a website. Furthermore, I will tell you the advantages and disadvantages of affiliate marketing without a website.

What is affiliate marketing?

But first, let's recap what affiliate marketing is. I wrote extensively about affiliate marketing here and here. There are three strategies to make money as an affiliate marketer.

  • with a website
  • with someone else's website
  • without a website

A quick Affiliate Marketing definition.

Affiliate marketing is all about getting your affiliate link in front of interested people.

I like Pat Flynn's definition in his Smart Passive Income "Epic Guide to Affiliate Marketing" which is:

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others, and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make.

The key to affiliate marketing is getting your offer in front of potential buyers. You can have the worst product on the planet. But if you have enough people looking at it, there will be a buyer.

As of March 7, 2019, there were 4+billion people on the internet. 

People are on the internet for a number of reasons.

In March 2018, Pew Research Center showed that 11% of Americans are not using the internet. Reasons included the internet is not relevant in their lives, it is too difficult to use, they are too old to use, and it is too expensive to buy a computer and access to the internet.

The American Addiction Center review shows and explains to us the top 10 reasons why Americans use the internet. The top 10 reasons are:

  1. Information
  2. Communication
  3. Entertainment
  4. Work
  5. School
  6. Relationships
  7. Market
  8. Sexuality
  9. Self-expression
  10. Ask for help

In a sense, people are on the internet looking (searching) for solutions to challenges, issues, or problems they have. 

Types of searches reflect the intent of the searches. Types are:

  • informational - the intent is to acquire information that is assumed to be present on one or more web pages.  
  • navigational - the intent is to reach a specific site.
  • transactional - the intent is to perform some web-mediated activity (looking to buy)

Search queries are more than just keywords.

From an affiliate marketer's perspective, the important search to focus on are the transactional searches. People reading, willing, and able to buy a product. Most likely, these people have already done their product searches (informational) and are ready to buy.

8 ways to make money online without a website

Besides using retail arbitrage to find and buy low priced products and then resell them at a higher price, the following methods can be used for affiliate marketing.

1. Create a YouTube video series. Focus on popular products that are trending or products that solve viewer problems. It is important to provide useful information, not just talking about the things you like. People like product reviews. So creating a product review is a great way to add in your affiliate link.

The following image shows my YouTube video with my affiliate link below the video. Click on the image to play the short (1:37) video.

Screenshot of my YouTube video with affiliate link below

2. Create a viral ebook or Kindle book. Writing an ebook can be time consuming. But the payoff can be big provided the ebook contains useful information that helps people solve problems. Include affiliate links to products. I still refer back to Roz Gardner's book, "Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other Peoples' Stuff Online" which originally was published in 2003. It has been updated and now is a Kindle book.

3. Build a "Hub" at HubPages. I started writing articles and posting at Squidoo years ago. Squidoo called the articles "lenses" which were monetized. Squidoo members shared the revenue made from the articles. Members also included affiliate links within their articles. Seth Godin, creator of Squidoo, sold it to HubPages in 2014. So if you are interested in creating your Hub, visit HubPages.

4. Promote affiliate products using Pay-Per-Click advertising. Google Ads and Bing Ads are two large search engines that sell advertising space based on keywords. If not careful, PPC advertising can be very expensive without showing results. Ads must be focused on transactional intent type keywords. You don't want to be spending money on people who are still looking for information.

5. Use social media to promote products.  Connect with people and help them solve problems. For example, people want to look good in the selfies they take. So they buy products that help make them look better. Using social media like Snapchat, Instagram, and Facebook is a great way to build relationships and offer advice at appropriate times. Or join Facebook Groups related to your products and offer tips and advice or share your product experiences, good and bad.

6. Post in forums. Join forums related to products you are promoting. Most forums allow members to add "signature" blocks, which can be linked to product offers. The following is a signature block on a forum posting I made a while back showing the link to a Shorby Instagram app review.

Add your offer in forum signature blocks.

7. Write ads or reviews for classified ad websites. Craigslist, U.S. Free Ads, AdLandPro, Pennysaver, Backpage, and many others accept classified ads.

8. Personal networking. Help family and friends solve problems. Offer advice and tips as well as your favorite product recommendations. 

The above methods for making money online are considered active methods. This contrasts to the statement that affiliate marketing is a passive source of income.

You will read phrases like "making money while you sleep."

This is based on the premise that affiliate marketing requires building a website. And then populating the website with content (posts, articles, and videos, for example). The content can take the form of product reviews, helpful tips and advice related to a consumer problem. 

By using Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices, website owners are trying to achieve high search engine ranking for anticipated search terms used by people.

You do not need a website

This is like the movie "Field of Dreams" and the famous quote "If you build it, he will come." 

Field of Dreams is a 1989 film "about an Iowa corn farmer who hears a voice telling him: "If you build it, he will come." He interprets this as an instruction to build a baseball diamond in his fields; after he does, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other dead baseball players emerge from the cornfields to play ball."

Build a website, add content, get it indexed by the search engines, and website vistors will come.

This is the passive sense of affiliate marketing.

But sometimes, you just have to go out and get traffic.

Another method of affiliate marketing without a website, is the use of done-for-you (DFY) automated sales funnels. Sales funnels consist of a landing page with an email list opt-in form linked to an email marketing system. The email marketing system has an autoresponder with pre-written emails that are periodically sent to email list subscribers. The emails lead the subscribers to product offers. Once a subscriber buys a product, the affiliate marketer earns a commission. 

There are a number of product developers who have built automated systems. The automated systems are designed for marketers to want to use DFY funnel systems instead of building their own systems or websites. For example, Devon Brown offers his 12 Minute Affiliate system to marketers.

Once an affiliate marketer sets up his automated DFY funnel system, the hard part starts. Getting people to the landing page and into the sales funnel.

Affiliate marketing strategy

The best affiliate marketing strategy is having the proper mindset.

It is NOT "show me the money!"

It is NOT convincing people to buy.

It is helping people solve problems. When you go about marketing the right way recommending products that people can benefit from using, the money will follow. Because you will have built trust and worthiness. 

Customers for life is far more profitable than a bunch of one-time sales.

Advantages affiliate marketing without a website

  • Low cost entry to an online business (if not using paid advertising) - avoid the cost of hosting and building and maintaining a website.
  • Try it before you buy it. It is easy to exit affiliate marketing should you find it is not something you want to do.
  • Flexible - Change directions easily to take advantage of trends and hot products as well as product launches.
  • No limit on products - Choose any niche without being tied to a niche-specific website.
  • Don't have to write content for ranking purposes. People find writing articles and blog posts tedious and time consuming.
  • Short term - There are no long term commitments or multi-year website hosting agreements. Ideal for short-term side hustle.
  • Fast - It avoids the time it takes to create content for websites and build organic traffic.

Disadvantages of affiliate marketing without a website

  • Not passive - must constantly promote or cashflow stops.
  • Not good for long term business building -  A website is considered an asset with longevity.
  • Lack of trust and worthiness - Without a website to show a sense of permanence, people may be reluctant to buy.
  • Can be expensive - Paid per click and solo ads can be budget busters.

Summary

You may be new to affiliate marketing or making money online. As always, I recommend learning as much as you can. Don't be a hurry to jump right in or spend your money. Because there will be someone there more than willing to sell you something you don't need.

Yes, people can do affiliate marketing without a website.

I have shown you 9 ways to make money without a website. I have also shown you the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.

If you have questions or comments, please fill out and submit the form below. I am looking forward to responding.

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