Can one be an affiliate without a website? If so, how can websiteless affiliate marketing be done?
The short answer is: yes.
The longer answer goes like this:
First of all, there are 2 important things before we dive into the specific scenarios of how you can be one.
First of all, since most affiliate program managers will want to see an online place which explains how you will promote their business, having at least a one-page website is always better than having none at all.
Secondly, before you spend your time, effort, and possibly money on marketing a brand, service, or product, always review the respective affiliate program’s rules and policies. Better find out that something is prohibited before you’ve invested your energy (or finances) in an unwanted activity.
Now, let’s see how to start your affiliate business without website!
1. Email Marketing
Whether you have a modest “friends and family” list of email addresses or maintain a full-blown opt-in email list of a targeted audience(s) — organized by verticals, interests, or specific demographic data — email marketing can be powerful when married with affiliate marketing.
2. Social Media
If you’ve got clout on social, you may leverage your influence by promoting products or services that are of relevance to your fans and followers. Be it on Twitter or Facebook, LinkedIn or Pinterest, you may indeed make money from affiliate links without having a website.
Make sure to disclose that you may be paid. The Federal Trade Commission requires disclosure of these “sponsored” pins, posts, and Tweets.
3. Paid Advertising
Provided the affiliate program’s rules allow it, paid advertising can be another great way to benefit from affiliate marketing without having a website of your own.
From paid search ads on search engines (linking these directly to the business’ website, through your affiliate link) to paid ads on Facebook and other places — there are plenty of opportunities to consider.
4. Video Marketing
Being the marketing medium that’s second-to-none in retention rates (provided done right), videos are a no-brainer. You don’t need to have a website to run a YouTube or a Vimeo channel. You may always include affiliate links under the video itself. A number of top affiliates, in the programs that we manage, use this approach pretty successfully.
5. Offline Advertising
Yes, you read it right! There are numerous ways you can monetize your offline efforts with affiliate marketing. In fact, affiliate marketing provides a number of great technologies to bridge the online-offline gap, supporting more intricate marketing arrangements. One example would be using a unique coupon code in a local newspaper. The code will be tied to your affiliate account and working just as a trackable “link”. Another example would be using a unique toll-free phone number (through a pay-per-call performance marketing program) and plugging it into your audio content: be it a podcast or even a radio commercial.
This one didn’t appear in my above-referenced video, but it is worth including as a “bonus” here. Retargetting is a way of online marketing that supports getting an ad in front of website abandoners. There are a number of affiliates out there who (without promoting brands on a website of any kind) offer retargetting of brands’ site abandoners on performance basis — these brands would pay them only when a conversion happens.
So there you have it… It is possible to make money through affiliate marketing without a website! Just make sure that whatever you do, doesn’t violate the affiliate program’s rules.