Today, I want to share 15 alternatives to solo ads. Personally, I am a big fan of solo ads, but I’ll also be the first to admit that they are not your only option (or even your best option) for promoting affiliate products online.
A solo ad is when you pay someone with an email list to send your OFFER to their list on your behalf. You normally pay 30 to 50 cents per click (minimum), and purchase a set amount of clicks. For example, you might pay $50 to purchase 100 clicks to your website.
If you’re looking for alternatives to solo ads, for whatever reason, here are some things that I suggest.
Top 15 Alternatives to Solo Ads
# 1 PPC
Pay Per Click is extremely effective IF you know what you are doing. It can also be VERY expensive, and there is a huge learning curve.
Platforms such as Google, Bing and Facebook allow you to create ads. Basically, you create your ad, pick your audience and keywords, and decide how much you are willing to pay per click. When people see your ads, you are only charged if they actually click on your link and visit your website.
I personally use Bing PPC and I absolutely love it. I’ve found that Facebook and Google aren’t very user friendly or approving of people with a home-based business, but Bing is. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube on how to set up your account and get started with PPC ads.
# 2 Banner Ads
Banner ads still work. What I suggest you do is reach out to three to five popular websites in the same niche as the affiliate product you are trying to promote. Ask them how much it would cost to have your banner ad placed on their website for one month.
See what their rates are. Find out how much traffic they get each month. Compare at least three different websites and see what you can come up with.
Use a unique tracking link with each banner ad and test your results.
# 3 Blog Comments
Leaving comments on other blogs is a great alternative to solo ads. Best of all, it’s free. You can find three to ten popular blogs in the right niche and start leaving high quality, unique comments.
Be sure you use a link to a capture page, instead of your affiliate page. You can then follow up with your leads by email to promote your affiliate product.
Do NOT buy a service that leaves thousands of spam links for you. Only leave high quality, unique comments that are actually relevant to the blog post you are commenting on.
# 4 Forum Comments
Forum commenting is very similar to blog commenting. Join forums that are relevant to your niche. Be an active contributor to the forum. Do not just spam your link everywhere.
Instead, ask questions and respond to questions and use a catchy signature profile that links back to your website. Try to add 3-5 comments each week. Do that for a year, and you could have 150 to 250 links pointing back to your website or affiliate page.
# 5 YouTube
YouTube is one of the best alternatives to solo ads. You could publish 10-20 different videos to promote your favorite affiliate product. You can make a video that reviews the product. You could also talk about different topics that are relevant to product you are promoting.
People love videos. This is a great way to connect with your audience and also build up the like, know and trust factor. You can publish your video and post your affiliate link in the description box when you upload your video.
# 6 Postcards
This is one of the best alternatives to solo ads. I LOVE postcard marketing. You could buy a mailing list of people in your target market and then create a postcard marketing campaign to promote the affiliate product. What I suggest you do is create a three-step campaign that sends out a different postcard every 14 to 30-days.
By the time you factor in the printing, postage stamp and leads, you will pay about 50 cents per postcard. That’s about how much you will pay for a click, when you buy advertising online. The beauty of a postcard is that your prospect can hold it. They can put it on their desk and refer to it a few times in the future.
Plus, most people check their mail every day, so there’s a good chance your prospect will at least read your marketing message. That’s more than half the battle.
# 7 Offline Advertising
Offline advertising still works. This includes newspaper advertising in classified ads, trade journals and magazine ads. The real key to success is to match your affiliate offer with the right audience. I love offline advertising, because there is less competition. It’s easier to get noticed than with online ads.
# 8 Ezine Advertising
Ezine advertising is still very popular. In some ways, this is similar to a solo ad, but it’s also a little bit different. With ezine ads, you can pay for a spot in someone’s email newsletter.
Normally, you can buy a top spot or bottom spot. Your ad is in the email newsletter, along with other ads, plus the content of the ezine. Interested readers can click on your link to learn more about your affiliate offer.
# 9 Sponsored Posts
You could pay a blogger to put a sponsored post on their blog. You could write a good article that is relevant to the affiliate product you are promoting and link to it in your author bio section. Or even better, you could send everyone to a landing page first, and then redirect them to your affiliate offer after they opt-in.
# 10 Safelists
I’m a big fan of safelists. I understand not everyone likes them, but they do work. A safelist is a website you can join where members agree to email each other with different offers. The downside is that you will get a lot of emails per day. The upside is that is free and pretty simple to do. You could join several different safelists and send out your affiliate offers several times per week.
# 11 Email Signatures
This is one of the best ways to promote an affiliate product. You can create a catchy email signature in your email account that promotes the affiliate product of your choice.
Every time you create an email or reply to an email the signature is automatically added to your message. When people read your email, they will see your signature, and some of the readers will check out your link.
# 12 Pay Per View
There are some websites where you can do pay-per-view ads. Basically, you pay a set fee for a certain amount of views, and then those people see your affiliate offer. I don’t have much experience with pay-per-view, but from what I have read online, it seems to be quite popular.
# 13 Joint Ventures
Joint Ventures are one of the best alternatives to solo ads. What you do is reach out to someone with an email list, a large social media following, or their own tribe, and you work out a deal with them to leverage their following to promote your affiliate offer. The options are really endless.
For example, you could pay a person with a large Facebook group a small fee to share your affiliate product to their audience.
# 14 Guest Posts
Guest posting is very effective. This strategy does take a little bit of time, planning and research, but it can pay off handsomely. Best of all it’s free.
With this marketing strategy, you find a popular blog in a niche that is relevant to the affiliate product you are promoting. You reach out to the webmaster and ask if you can publish an article on their blog.
You come up with some UNIQUE, HIGH QUALITY content and contribute it as a guest post. In the article, you can provide a link to your capture page, which then redirects to your affiliate offer after they opt-in.
# 15 Article Marketing
Contrary to what you might have been told, article marketing is not dead. It is still alive and well if you do it the right way. Consider creating a free account with ezinearticles.com and publishing a new article once per week. Write a high quality article and in the author bio section at the end of it, promote an affiliate product.
As a quick tip, do not SPIN content or post the same article to hundreds of different article directories. Instead, write a high quality, unique article and publish it on a reputable article directory.
There you have it folks. These are 15 alternatives to solo ads. While I do believe you SHOULD use solo ads to promote your online business, it shouldn’t be your only marketing strategy. Instead, make it part of a diversified marketing approach.
What are your thoughts? What are your best alternatives to solo ads? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you. To your success!