Best Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing: 13 Free & Paid Ways

Driving traffic is essential to the success of your affiliate marketing plan. If you do not have the traffic you can’t sell the products so sales and traffic go hand in hand. 

When you are new to affiliate marketing it can seem overwhelming to think about getting traffic, long-established sites seem to have a lot of it and it can seem like you will never get there. 

In this article, I’m going to discuss both free traffic and paid traffic. You will learn about why paid traffic can be beneficial to your site, and how to leverage social media to get more eyes on your content. Let’s get started!

Is Free Traffic Real?

Even though free unlimited traffic sounds unreal at first, there are actually quite a few ways to obtain it. 

Although they are free, they still require some effort on your part. You will still need to optimize your site to rank higher in Google for organic traffic, network with other bloggers and reach their audiences, etc. In addition to driving traffic, all these efforts will make your business more efficient over time.

Free traffic can take a long time to obtain, so you may want to consider paid advertising such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. if you need a quick boost. 

Ad networks typically use a pay-per-click model, which means you’ll only pay if users click through to your site. If your advertiser doesn’t accept paid traffic, check their rules beforehand. 

Is Paid Traffic Worth It?

Paid traffic refers to traffic you receive through direct marketing. There is a difference between this type of traffic and fake traffic, which is generated by software or dummy users. You can use social media advertising, banner ads, or pay-per-click (PPC) ads to drive real visitors to your website.

Your affiliate site gets more visitors when you use paid traffic. In turn, this increases your chances of conversion, which is useful to new sites looking for quick revenue.

In addition, you can target an audience that matches your niche. Paid traffic can help smaller sites reach their intended audience, something that is difficult for them.

The cost of paid traffic may be high, but it can pay off in attracting customers and building brand recognition.

However, be on the lookout for scammers, who don’t actually provide genuine traffic, but trick you into thinking they do. This is why it is better to use trusted sources instead of taking chances, even if the offers seem tempting. Consider checking out Google’s own tips on avoiding these scammers.

Paid Website Traffic Sources to Consider for Your Affiliate Website

Now, let’s take a look at three ways you can use paid traffic to drive traffic to your affiliate site.

1. Social Media Advertising

As social media use increases, so does advertising potential on these sites. Most social media campaigns increase brand awareness and motivation. In the past few years, social media advertising has doubled in total spending.

Using social media to advertise allows you to reach your ideal audience directly. Using the keywords, hobbies, and interests that are relevant to your affiliate niche, you can target your ads to those who are most likely to be interested.

Social media’s popularity also means that the market is somewhat saturated. To stay relevant, it’s important to create engaging and human content. To select the best platform for your site, you should consider the type of customer you have and then the platform that best matches your site.

2. Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Advertising

PPC is a type of advertising in which your site is directly advertised on external sites. You only pay for PPC, unlike most other forms of advertising, when someone clicks through to your site.

Advertisements of this type appear mostly in search results, directing users to relevant content based on the search terms they entered. PPC advertising of this type can help you boost traffic from users who are looking for popular keywords in your niche.

It’s a good idea to start with Google Ads if you are interested in PPC. Ads are displayed for particular queries based on a process known as the Ad Auction.

Take the time to do keyword research, too, if you want to get a leg up on your competitors. There are a lot of common keywords that aren’t as competitive or costly.

3. Link and Banner Advertisements

Online advertisements consist of links and banners. You can direct interested parties to your site through plain-text links and image-based banners. Ads of this type can be placed almost anywhere: on websites, in social media, or even in emails.

Their visual nature makes banners particularly effective at attracting readers’ attention.

You can also showcase your brand on banners. The Easy Affiliate plugin even allows you to create banners and links yourself.

Because banners are so ubiquitous, many users are almost blind to them. Therefore, you should choose banner placements carefully. Moreover, a strong call-to-action (CTA) is crucial to ensuring the best results.

Best Free Traffic Sources

1. SEO

Search engine optimization is the most effective method of driving traffic to your website. Basic on-page optimization is free, but a full-scale campaign requires investments. 

This is what you need to do to increase your Google ranking and drive traffic to your website. The first thing to do is to create valuable content that will naturally attract users and fill it with relevant keywords. Then, build links to broaden your outreach. 

Make sure you look for only high-quality links since not all linking experiences are beneficial. The process is complex, so why not use dedicated tools to automate it?

Learn more about SEO strategies for affiliate marketing.

2. Email Marketing

Using email marketing could also grow your subscriber base and increase blog traffic. You should focus on:

  • With CTA buttons, create efficient forms to generate leads.
  • To encourage readers to subscribe, offer freebies, such as special discounts from advertisers or exclusive content on your site.
  • Use a variety of channels, such as social media, webinars, and networking. 
  • Utilize the best email marketing tools to automate your marketing campaign.

3. Facebook

Marketers use Facebook to drive free traffic to their websites as one of the most popular social media platforms. The best way to attract attention and build a community is to create a dedicated page or group. To drive traffic and conversions, you can add affiliate links to your website.

Don’t forget Facebook Messenger, which allows you to communicate with clients directly, share updates, offer personalized content, and more.

You can also drive traffic to optimized articles by using Facebook ads. Running ads can increase affiliate income, website performance, email list, brand recognition, and so on. Audience Insights can also help you develop meaningful/successful campaigns by learning more about people who are interested in your business.

Learn more about Facebook marketing strategies

4. Instagram

Instagram has over one billion users, making it an excellent platform for reaching a wide audience, sharing your content, and generating sales. You can drive targeted traffic to your website through the platform’s advanced and diverse advertising functionality, especially if you land on the Explore page.

There is a downside to the growing number of brands that are currently competing for market share. For your posts and Stories to reach more people, find and use relevant hashtags. By using Instagram Insights, you can determine the performance of your posts as well as the preferences of your audience so you can tweak your social marketing strategy.

If you are seeking conversions, you should also consider the Instagram algorithm. Understanding how the algorithm works will make sure your content is seen by many more people.

Learn more about Instagram marketing strategies.

5. YouTube

YouTube is also a popular search engine with a huge following after Google. Marketers can utilize the platform to drive free traffic to their websites since it has over 2 billion unique users. Google also indexes YouTube videos, so you can get visitors from both search engines.

The best way to drive traffic to your YouTube videos is to use keywords. Don’t forget to incorporate them into your video titles, descriptions, and tags, as well as continually improve the quality of your videos. As for affiliate links, you can include them in descriptions.

Learn more about YouTube marketing strategies.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest is another great platform to drive traffic to your website since it has a wealthy audience and is often used for making purchasing decisions. In addition, Pinterest’s audience is largely made up of high-income demographics, so this platform can be the best way to market affiliate products and drive traffic to your site. Travel, design and home decor, fitness, fashion, and health are some of the most popular and lucrative categories.

When you upload an image to Pinterest, you can add a link, which means that when users click your image, they’ll be directed to a website. As you create a marketing campaign, remember that most users check the platform in search of inspiration at the beginning of the buyer’s journey. Therefore, they might visit the website or landing pages of your boards for more information. 

Learn more about Pinterest marketing strategies.

7. Twitter

Whether it’s a worldwide event or a movie premiere, Twitter provides the latest news first. Today, the platform has almost 400 million users worldwide, making it one of the most active social networks online. 

Among the many features on the platform are diverse advertising products and powerful analytics tools, which let you monitor tweet performance, get insights about your audience, and track conversions. 

Learn more about Twitter marketing strategies.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn isn’t just a digital resume database; it’s also the most popular social network among professionals across a wide range of fields. In addition, LinkedIn isn’t overly crowded, so sharing relevant content can help you stand out. You can engage your audience with articles, images, videos, presentations, and other types of content. 

In the event that you decide to run a LinkedIn marketing campaign, ensure that your company’s profile is clear, interesting, and easily accessible.

Learn more about LinkedIn marketing strategies

9. TikTok

Over one billion users use TikTok every month, making it one of the newest platforms. Teens are the most frequent users, but users in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s also using the platform. Among the most popular categories are entertainment, dance, sports, home decor, and outdoor recreation. TikTok has a lot of potential for businesses as long as they create content that resonates with its audience and provides value.

You need to know your audience to run an effective affiliate marketing campaign on TikTok. TikTok, for instance, is great for targeting young users, but not everyone uses the platform. You will also need to make and upload videos for TikTok. Unless you have a link in your bio, links cannot be added to your posts. If you want to raise brand awareness, you can share your brand’s logo or write its name.

10. Guest Posting

Another great way to drive traffic is through guest posting. It involves writing a post for another blog in exchange for a backlink. Your first step to success is to choose high-quality blogs and second, to submit high-quality materials. To get started, follow these steps:

  • Create a list of blog posts in your niche
  • Check to see if the editor or owner is publishing guest posts
  • If yes, prepare a few topics ahead of time and offer them
  • Create a guest post and a bio section with a link to your blog

Final Words

You can grow your site organically by utilizing organic traffic. However, this isn’t the only strategy you should use. If you advertise your site with paid traffic sources, your traffic will grow more quickly. In addition, you can use this strategy to target your advertising to the right audience.

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