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.

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: 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.

Learn more: Best Email Marketing Tips for Affiliates

3. Facebook

Facebook is a popular social media platform that marketers use to get people to visit their websites for free. You can create a page or group to attract attention and build a community. Adding affiliate links to your site can help drive traffic and sales.

Don’t overlook Facebook Messenger—it lets you talk directly to customers, share updates, and offer personalized content.

You can also use Facebook ads to drive traffic to your articles. Running ads can boost your income from affiliates, improve your website’s performance, grow your email list, and increase brand recognition. Audience Insights can help you create successful ad campaigns by learning about the people who are interested in your business.

4. Instagram

Instagram is a big platform with over a billion users, making it great for reaching a large audience and boosting sales. You can use its advanced advertising features, especially if your content ends up on the Explore page, to direct specific people to your website.

The challenge is that many brands are competing for attention. To reach more people, use relevant hashtags in your posts and Stories. Instagram Insights helps you see how well your posts are doing and what your audience likes, helping you adjust your social marketing strategy.

If you want to increase conversions, understand the Instagram algorithm. Knowing how it works ensures that more people see your content.

5. YouTube

YouTube is like a big search engine, second only to Google, and it has over 2 billion users. Marketers can use it to get people to visit their websites for free because Google indexes YouTube videos, bringing visitors from both platforms.

To get more traffic to your videos, use keywords in titles, descriptions, and tags. Keep improving your video quality. You can also add affiliate links in the video descriptions.

6. Pinterest

Pinterest is great for bringing people to your website, especially if you’re targeting a well-off audience making buying choices. This platform is perfect for marketing affiliate products and boosting your site’s traffic. Popular categories include travel, design, home decor, fitness, fashion, and health.

When you share an image on Pinterest, you can attach a link. So when people click your image, they go to a website. Users often look for inspiration at the start of their buying journey, so they might visit your boards’ websites for more info during your marketing campaign.

7. Twitter

Twitter is a quick way to get the latest news, from global events to movie premieres. With nearly 400 million users worldwide, it’s one of the most active social networks.

Twitter offers various advertising options and analytics tools. These tools help you track how your tweets are doing, understand your audience, and see if your tweets are leading to conversions.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than just a place for resumes; it’s the go-to social network for professionals in many fields. It’s not too crowded, so sharing the right content can make you stand out. You can connect with your audience through articles, images, videos, presentations, and more.

If you plan to market on LinkedIn, make sure your company’s profile is clear, interesting, and easy to find.

9. TikTok

TikTok is a popular platform with over a billion users each month. While teens use it the most, people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s are also active. The top categories include entertainment, dance, sports, home decor, and outdoor recreation. Businesses can tap into TikTok’s potential by creating content that connects with the audience and adds value.

For a successful affiliate marketing campaign on TikTok, understand your audience. TikTok is great for reaching young users, but not everyone is on it. Remember, you’ll need to make and share videos on TikTok, and links can only be added to your bio. If you want to boost brand awareness, 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 website organically with free traffic, but it’s not your only option.

Your traffic can grow faster if you use paid traffic sources for advertising. Moreover, it allows you to target the right audience for your website.

The best way to develop your affiliate marketing business in the long term is to combine both strategies.

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