Building a website is the most common way affiliates launch themselves into the affiliate marketing world, and if you're interested in creating a long-term business you'll inevitably need to put together a website.
However, if you're still learning about web design or you're simply not interested in building a website, there are other ways to get your affiliate links out there, so this lesson will teach you Affiliate Marketing Without a Website.
Remember: the key with affiliate marketing is get your affiliate link in front of an interested audience - how you choose to do that is completely up to you! With that in mind, here are a few methods you could try:
This is a really simple way of getting a taste for affiliate marketing - all you have to do is find a product you'd like to promote, then start posting on blogs and forums with your affiliate link in your signature.
Here's an example from our very own forum: you can see that both of these members have an affiliate link in their signatures. They're both pretty active and respected members of the forum.
Of course you should only post on blogs and forums where people would be interested in the product - you're not going to get many bites for a dog training affiliate product when you're posting on a classic car enthusiast forum.
Similarly, you’ll find that you have a lot more success if you're making useful and interesting posts and if you become a regular on the site; the two members above, for example, are active and respected members of our forum. Once you have established yourself people will begin to respect your opinion and will be more inclined to click on your link. If you simply spam a blog or forum with useless posts you’re likely to be banned and your posts deleted.
A “viral” product is one that is designed to spread (often quickly) to a great many people - this can be a great way of getting your affiliate links out there without ever having to create a website. You can produce a short 30-page eBook or a "special report" on a particular subject, insert links to affiliate products into it, then distribute your book through whatever means you like – you could tell people that they're welcome to give it away, sell it or put it on their websites. You can kick it off yourself by selling the eBook on eBay for a small amount.
If your book is informative and useful, rather than simply laden with affiliate ads, you might find that it spreads quite well.
You're probably already familiar with using sites like Craigslist to look for old furniture or car parts, but you can also use classifieds sites to promote affiliate products. Consider writing ads or reviews for affiliate products and posting them with your affiliate link.
Some sites you might want to try are:
Building a Squidoo "lens" is a great way of getting started as an affiliate without needing to build your own website from scratch. A "lens" is like a 1-page mini website where you can talk about a subject you're passionate about (eg, your affiliate market and associated products!). It's hosted on the Squidoo site, and you don't need to know anything about web design to make it look fairly professional.
A Squidoo lens allows you to build a page on a topic, insert ads, reviews and other content as you please, all without having to write any HTML.
The best part, though, is that Squidoo is also part social-networking site, so simply by being on Squidoo you will begin to attract traffic interested in your topic and looking for recommendations. Squidoo is especially easy to monetize, and Squidoo lenses have tended in the past to do pretty well in the search engines.
To sign up and start creating your lens, visit Squidoo.com.
We've left this method for last because, quite frankly, it's not one we recommend. This method involves creating pay-per-click campaigns through search engines like Google and Bing, and promoting the merchant website directly through your affiliate link.
So instead of using PPC to promote your own website, you send them straight to the merchant.
There are a number of downsides to this method.
There are always new affiliates who see this as a fast and easy way to get started, but we really recommend that you try the other methods we've introduced first.
In this lesson you’ve learned some ways of getting your affiliate link out in front of an audience without having to build a website, such as...