Top 15 Alternatives to Solo Ads

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.

alternatives to solo ads

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.

there are many ways to generate leads online

# 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.

Final Thoughts

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!

Suggested Reading

  1. Solo Ad Case Study
  2. Internet Marketing Business Plan
  3. How to Use Drop Cards to Promote Any Business
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48 thoughts on “Top 15 Alternatives to Solo Ads

  1. I love this information Chuck. 

    I’ve never used a solo ad and I haven’t tried many of these alternatives to solo ads either. I like the idea of the pay per view. That is something I am going to research and explore. 

    I never would have even considered mailing postcards or direct mail to promote an online business, but that sounds really good too. Thanks for sharing. 

    • Glad I could be of help. Direct mail is definitely an effective way to promote a business or make more affiliate sales. It’s probably the EASIEST thing to do on this list on a grand scale. 

  2. Hi Chuck

    You’ve done well with this page. I didn’t realize that there were so many ways of marketing and getting leads. I wish I’d known this a long time ago.

    Great summaries and even better general description of the alternatives.

    Frankly, I hadn’t expected anyone to promote any offline form of marketing for an online business.

    The email signatures one took me by surprise. I may have come up with 4 or 5 of these options, but certainly not 15.

    Cheers,

    Dave

    • Glad I could be of help. My offline strategies are easily my most effective strategies, and in many cases, the most efficient. I love that I can mail a postcard and drive people to affiliate offers. I can even outsource it and have a third-party company mail them for me. 

      I still use solo ads, of course. I just like have multiple ways to promote my offers. 

  3. Thanks for sharing the information about solo ads. I’ve never bought a solo ad before, but it is definitely something I will explore in the months to come. I also like your ideas about postcards and social media. I’m going to start with social media because it is free, and as I start to make some money, I will try out some of these other paid strategies. 

    • Good for you! Don’t be scared to invest money before you are making a money. That comes with owning a business. Try out different marketing strategies and figure out what works for you. It it fails, don’t give up. Instead, try something different. Keep trying until you figure out what works for you. 

  4. Wow– I really needed this list, bookmarking it now! I want to get my niche and my personality out there in other ways than through affiliate links. I love the Youtube idea and even the commenting on other blogs. I really want to interact with other blogs that have similar niches as I. I never thought about linking my website through the comments so this was eye opening for sure!

    I am not at a point in my “business” where I can spend a lot of money on things like “Pay per click”, etc– so this was extremely helpful to me to realize what other options I have.

    Thank you so much for sharing,

    Ciara

    • Glad I could be of help. What you lack in money you can make up for in hustle. That is what I did for many years. Solo ads are great if you have the funds, but if you don’t, you just need to get creative and do some of the other strategies I shared in this post. 

  5. More great information on getting people to come to my website. Looks like PPC is a tough one unless you have a lot of money to experiment.

    Guest Blogging sounds like a good idea. I have collaborated with a few other sites for guest links and then they link to my articles as well.

    Looks like YouTube is the host ticket now days, but it is quickly becoming very competitive.

    I am going to try solo ads for my next attempt at getting some conversions.

    Thanks again for this useful information.

    • Glad I could be of assistance. Whether you do solo ads, or one of these alternatives, you really need to start small and test. Probably 8 out of 10 marketing campaigns I try are complete failures, but the other two that succeed more than make up for it. Every niche is a little bit different. Don’t be scared to experiment and make mistakes. That is the fastest way to figure out what does work for your niche. 

  6. Hey Chuck

    I have started researching other ways to advertise and solo ads are not for me. These 15 alternatives have given me a different way to go. I noticed that most of them cost me money. Do you happen to have a list of free ways to advertise? I need to bookmark your site because your info has helped me so much. Thanks again.

    • Glad I could help. The best free advertising methods include:

      1. YouTube videos

      2. Blog comments

      3. Podcasting

      4. Forum commenting

      5. Twitter & Social Media

      6. Email Signatures

      And maybe a few more things. I hope that helps. 

  7. Dear Chuck,

    I just read your article on solo ads about 10 minutes ago. This article is a good complement to that one. With all this information, I need to come out with an advertisement plan for my affiliate marketing business.

    I tried Facebook to promote some of my programs. As you said, sometimes it is not easy to get your ads approved. Your tip on using Bing should also help. Could you suggest me a tutorial on this?

    I will bookmark your article, study it more, and try to get a strategy for my online business advertisement.

    Regards

    Anthony. 

    • Anthony,

      I’m glad you liked my article with alternatives to solo ads. I’m not a fan of Facebook advertising, although many people love it. I like solo ads because of how easy they are to use. Some niches have more options than others, so solo ads might not work in every niche. In those cases, you could pick one of the marketing strategies I suggested in this post. 

      Chuck

  8. Thank you for this informative post. I’m new to affiliate marketing so I haven’t found ways to promote my online business. I’ll certainly consider using solo ads, but these other 15 methods seem very helpful. 

    I have thought about making a YouTube video, but I haven’t gotten around to making one yet. I’ve heard there are programs out there who would help you make videos and keep it high ranked in YouTube for a fee, but I forgot the name of it. 

    Do you have any suggestions on how to make videos or any programs who can do such service?

    • Getting your videos ranked should happen by a combination of:

      1. Making a good video

      2. Getting lots of engagement

      3. Picking the right keywords

      4. Adding a good description and meta tags

      5. Getting some quality inbound links to your videos

      That is what I suggest you do, rather than use a software program to try and game the system. 

  9. Thanks for these great alternatives to solo ads. I have mixed reactions about them. I would say out of all these alternatives you suggested, Bing PPC ads seem to be best option. Now have you personally used each method you listed or just a few? Also the ones you have tried, which of them gave you the best ROI?

    • Bing Ads can definitely work. I suggest clicks from the USA only. You can get really inexpensive, good quality clicks with them if you test and experiment. Yes, I have used all of these methods to get traffic, promote affiliate products and make more sales. 

  10. There is so much in this article that I would never have thought of on my own because I’m still new to it. Your content gives readers things to think about in an interesting way. I’m impressed! Extremely helpful information. I’m not interested in solo ads, but the other marketing ideas you share are really interesting. YouTube would be my top choice. 

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my article about alternatives to solo ads. Whether you choose YouTube or something else, keep track of how well it works for you and don’t be scared to try out different marketing techniques. Most things you do will not work great, but you only need to find 1-2 strategies that do work well to get a boat load of traffic to your website. To your success!

  11. There are definitely a lot of ways to promote your website, but I didn’t realise there were quite so many as you’ve highlighted. I agree about offline advertising – newspapers, magazines and leaflet drops etc. They are highly under-used these days and so there’s less competition. People still read the paper, so why not? You’ve given me a lot of ideas for my advertising, so thank you for a great and informative post 🙂

    • Glad I could be of help. Whether you are doing solo ads, or something else, you just need to test out different things. Every niche is a little bit different. What works in one niche might not work in another. I’ve found that about 8 out of 10 things I try do not work out, but the other 2 out of 10 that do more than make up for it. 

  12. I’ve never used solo ads and I haven’t tried many of these alternatives to solo ads either. However, I am not at a point in my business where I can spend a lot of money on things like pay per click, so this was extremely helpful to me to realize the other options. 

    • What you lack in money you can make up for in hustle. Not having money to advertise is not a big problem as I see it. You’ll just have to roll up your sleeves and do a lot of free marketing strategies. 

  13. I think the best option for me is PPC. I know it can be expensive, and that there is a steep learning curve, but I think the possibilities with it are great. It’s probably the only marketing strategy, other than solo ads, where you can start sending traffic to your website or offer INSTANTLY. This allows you to test different things quickly. 

    • All great points. PPC advertising is a great alternative to solo ads, if you are willing to pay your dues and learn how to do it properly. You might lose money on your first few attempts, but stick with it, and keep getting better and better until you come up with a winning formula. 

  14. Wow this is very helpful. I didn’t consider some of the alternatives you have here for solo ads, such as forum comments and/or post cards. They are great and I cannot wait to test them out on my blog. I’m particularly more interested in guest posts, but I would need to do some online research to see who could provide a post for my blog. Thanks for all the great information. 

    • Paul,

      My suggestion to you is to try out different things. Experiment with different advertising strategies and test your results. You never know which one will be your best strategy until you try it out!

      Chuck

  15. I love the ideas of blog commenting, forum commenting and making YouTube videos. These sound a lot easier to do than solo ads, plus they are free. For someone who is new and is on a tight budget, this might just be their best option. Thanks for sharing these alternatives to solo ads. 

    • Glad I could be of help. There’s nothing wrong with doing free things at first. At some point, you definitely want to do paid advertising, because you can scale your business and leverage yourself. Solo ads allow you to do that. 

  16. I have a question on the comments. So I would go to a blog that talks about my niche. I would read an article and leave a comment, and then I would link back to my website?  

    You say capture page, but I haven’t actually set up a capture page yet as I just got an email service the other day, and I’m still trying to set it up..  

    I got something called Sendiio, have you heard of it? It looks so cool, but now it’s talking about Cpanel stuff and I’m kind of lost, lol.  

    I may have to outsource someone to help me set up my email program. Ugh.  Anyway, so the other sites, they will post your comment with your link in it?

    • When you leave a comment on most blogs, there is a section you must fill out with your name, email and URL. The URL line is where you put your link, not in the comment itself. Some bloggers are better at approving blog comments than others. Check out some blogs in your niche and look at the date of the most recent comments. That will give you a good idea if the blogger is “ACTIVE” or not. Don’t just post your URL in the blog comment itself. Most of those will get marked as spam. 

  17. I loved this list, Chuck. Which option on this list is your favorite and why? I’d love to hear what you think.

    I personally like the idea of making YouTube videos and leaving comments on blogs and forums. Those are free and fairly easy to do. I think YouTube videos offer the biggest potential because everyone loves videos and YouTube gets a ton of traffic each month.

    • Other than solo ads, I would have to say that postcards would be my favorite marketing strategy. Why? Because they are cheap and easy to do. You can have them printed, buy the postage, and buy the leads for about 50 cents each. That is about what it costs per click when you do online advertising, so it’s really a good deal. 

  18. Thank you for the article on the 15 alternatives to solo ads. I never knew there were so many different ways to promote your affiliate links. With your help I am going to use all of your suggestions to get more targeted visitors to my website. This article is full of very useful and relevant information. I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

    • I’m glad you liked my article with my alternatives to solo ads. Which method on my list was your favorite and why?

  19. Thanks for the insightful article. I personally love PPC. I think it can be cost effective advertising because you only pay when a user actually visits your website. It is definitely a good value for one’s money. 

    Also, I only choose to spend as much or as little as I like base on my financial capability. Another good feature of PPC that I discovered was that ability to choose your audience according to demographics like location, language and device. 

    PPC is measurable by determining the exact amount of one’s return on investment and so far it’s been profitable for me.

    Thanks for sharing the article.

    Tony

    • I’m glad you like PPC advertising. So do I. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. 

  20. Thanks for educating me on the basics of traffic generation. I like the idea of blog comments and forum comments because it wouldn’t cost me anything. However, it would take a while for comments to bring in traffic to my site. 

    I will still go with pay per click and banner ads. I know pay per click can be expensive, but it really depends on the value of the product you market. Is there a way I can demand clicks from a particular region?

    Expecting your feedback

    • You can pick whichever country you want for your PPC campaign. You can even target certain towns and regions. It’s great for local businesses, traditional businesses or online businesses. 

  21. The solo ads method sounds wonderful. It is even more thrilling to see that you have put into consideration the possibility of some folks not being quite comfortable with the solo ads, thus taking your time to share alternative ways of promoting affiliate products online. 

    I love the blog comments and that of forum comments, as it will be great for folks that don’t have money to promote affiliate products both online and offline. 

    I am surprised to see postcards on the list. I wouldn’t have given the notion of postcards a thought, but it completely makes sense, fact being that most people check their mail and there is a good chance that they will read the postcard.

    • Glad I could be of help. There are many alternatives to solo ads. You just have to try out a few different things and figure out what works best for you. 

  22. I read your review about solo ads, which I found very lovely and Interesting, but I never knew there are alternatives to this type of advertising. 

    I must say this is an eye opener for me. I am familiar with YouTube, postcards, offline advertising and banner ads. I hope to check on the other suggestions you made in the very near future.

    This was a great and simple to follow guide on alternatives to solo ads. You laid it all out clearly and showed examples that helped emphasize your various points. This guide will be very useful for people like me.

    • Glad I could be of help. Whether you use solo ads or something else, start small, test your results, figure out what works for you and then roll out everything on a grand scale. 

  23. I just finished reading this post and I have a few questions for you.

    1. If you could only do one strategy on this list, what would it be?

    2. Which is your favorite paid method?

    3. Which is your favorite free method?

    I’m so thankful you gave me all of these creative ideas as alternatives to solo ads. 

    • If I could only do one marketing strategy on this list, other than solo ads, it would be postcard marketing. Why? Because it is easy to do and very effective. My favorite free method is leaving blog and forum comments. My favorite paid method is postcards. I hope that helps. 

  24. Thank you very much for these great alternatives to solo ads. I personally believe forum comments are a great option. After you find a popular forum in your niche, the secret is to truly deliver great value through your comments. If a high quality comment is placed in a forum, some of the readers will naturally click your link.

    I really found the idea of postcards very interesting. I had never thought of it before. Any suggestions for coming up with a good postcard?

    • Yes, forum commenting and postcards are great alternatives to solo ads. I suggest you test out both and see what produces the best return on your investment. 

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