Do You Need a Website to Do Affiliate Marketing?

Do you need a website to do affiliate marketing? This is a common question people ask me. I’d like to take a few minutes today to answer that question, based off my 10+ years of SUCCESSFUL affiliate marketing experience.

To answer the question, YES, you can do affiliate marketing WITHOUT a website, although it might not be your best strategy. There are many factors including your niche, available time, marketing skills and marketing budget. More on that in a minute.

do you need a website to do affiliate marketing

The first thing we need to do is define affiliate marketing. Here are two definitions I found online.

Affiliate marketing is a type of performance-based marketing in which a business rewards one or more affiliates for each visitor or customer brought by the affiliate’s own marketing efforts. Source

Or…

Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You find a product you like, promote it to others and earn a piece of the profit for each sale that you make. Source

If I had to put it in my own words, I would define affiliate marketing as promoting someone else’s product or service online, in exchange for a commission.

How to Do Affiliate Marketing

how to do affiliate marketing

To do affiliate marketing, you simply join an affiliate program online, get your own unique URL and start promoting your URL using whichever strategies you prefer. When people visit your affiliate link and make a purchase, you earn a commission. The process is simple, but it does require some specialized knowledge.

The key to success with affiliate marketing is to send large amounts of TARGETED traffic to your affiliate link. That is where most affiliate marketers struggle. They join a program, get their link, but don’t know how to promote it. That’s why if you want to succeed as an affiliate marketer, you MUST learn how to effectively get traffic.

Doing Affiliate Marketing With a Website

Doing affiliate marketing with your own website is SMART business. Here’s why:

People Trust You: Depending on the reputation and age of your website, in most cases, your audience trusts you. They’ve visited your blog before, they respect what you have to say and they are open to recommendations. That is a good thing, because it breaks down the “buying barrier” that many prospects have.

It’s Passive: When you do affiliate marketing via a website, it is 100% passive. You can create an article one time and is live on the web FOREVER. Assuming you can rank your article high in the search engines, you could potentially get targeted traffic for many YEARS to come, which will lead to more affiliate sales.

The major downside of doing affiliate marketing with a website is that it is hard, slow and very time-consuming. It can take YEARS to build a high traffic website that makes lots of affiliate sales. My first website took me about five years and over 1,000 pages of content to start making steady affiliate sales.

I’m not telling you it will take you that long to succeed with your own website, but it could! On the flip side of the coin, there are much FASTER ways to make money with affiliate marketing than by building your own website.

Doing Affiliate Marketing Without a Website

doing affiliate marketing without a website

You can also do affiliate marketing without a website. Many people do this. I believe this is the easier way to do affiliate marketing. Here are several options you have:

# 1 Email Marketing

You could promote affiliate products through email marketing. I’ll cover that in more detail below. More than 90 percent of my own affiliate sales come through email marketing, so I know this method works great. Best of all, it’s very inexpensive.

# 2 Pay-per-Click Ads

You could just sell affiliate products through PPC ads on Bing, Google or Facebook. Lots of affiliate marketers do this. Basically, you create ads, pick your keywords, and drive targeted traffic to your sales page. If you have a sales page that converts well, this might be the fastest strategy I can think of. However, if you don’t know what you are doing, it could cost you an arm and a leg, so be careful!

# 3 Social Media

If you have a large social media following on LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter or Pinterest, you could promote affiliate products to your tribe. This could be a very easy way to make affiliate sales, if you have the right niche, the right products, and the trust of your following.

# 4 YouTube

Millions of YouTubers are making a great income by selling affiliate products on YouTube. You could make videos reviewing different affiliate products, or educational videos for people in your niche, and then recommend a product at the end of your video.

# 5 Podcasting

Podcasting is a gold mine. Not many people do it, so the door is wide open. A podcast is basically like an online radio show. You could talk about different affiliate products during your live show and then provide an affiliate link in your description where people can buy the affiliate product.

# 6 Solo Ads

Solo ads blow my mind. This is when you send your ad to someone else who has a large email list and they send out your ad on your behalf. People visit your website and opt-in or make a purchase. You pay the person for a certain amount of clicks to your website. I normally pay about 35 cents per click when I purchase solo ads.

If I Had to Do It All Over Again

if I had to do it all over again

While I love writing content and owning my own websites, it is a ton of work. Competition is fierce. The search engine algorithms are always changing. You can be at the top of the world today, yet have your website deindexed tomorrow.

If I knew what I knew now and I was starting all over again, I would definitely do things differently. What would I do?

First off, I would pick ONE audience. I would pick a niche filled with HUNGRY buyers who are ACTIVELY buying stuff online. Once I had a niche, I would build a capture page. This is simply a one-page website designed to collect someone’s name and email. Here’s an example capture page.

Once my capture page was set up, I would create my sales funnel. This would be nothing more than 3-5 different affiliate products that align with my niche. I would create an auto-responder email sequence of 10-20 emails promoting those three different affiliate products.

After my sales funnel was set up, I would simply focus on MARKETING. I would take my time and money to advertise my capture page and build my email list. As people opted-in to my email list, I would get them to like, know and trust me by providing valuable information in my emails.

From there, I would monetize my email list by promoting those three to five affiliate products.

This is what I currently do. I just happen to own websites to help me build my list. But, if I was starting over with affiliate marketing, I would skip building a website and just focus on building an email list, and use email marketing to sell affiliate products.

I believe it’s easier and less time-consuming to do than building a large, successful website or blog.

Final Thoughts

There you have it folks. I hope I answered your question: “Do you need a website to do affiliate marketing?” By all means, do what is best for you. Maybe you want to own a website and write articles. Or maybe you just want to focus on building an email list and selling affiliate products through email marketing. The choice is yours. Neither method is right or wrong.

What are your thoughts? How do you do affiliate marketing? Do you have a website to promote affiliate products or do you do it some other way? Leave a comment below to let me know what you think. I look forward to hearing from you.

While you are here, be sure to check out my best affiliate marketing tips!

Please follow and like us:

Suggested Tools & Resources

56 thoughts on “Do You Need a Website to Do Affiliate Marketing?

  1. Great post, Chuck.

    Owning a website is definitely helpful, but you are right that it isn’t the only way to make money with affiliate marketing. 

    Many people do many other things, just like you mentioned. You just need to find a strategy that works for you and then focus on that. 

    I chose to go the website route because I enjoy writing. 

    Seun

    • Seun,

      Thanks for the comment. I really appreciate it. Here’s to your success with affiliate marketing. 

      Chuck

  2. To the best of my knowledge, so far in affiliate marketing, promoting affiliate products without a website is like eating chips without ketchup, or going by back to the analogue days.

    The goal of a website is to build up the like, know and trust factor with your audience, so they WANT to buy from you. When you just try to promote affiliate products to strangers via other methods, it’s a much harder sell. 

    • Good points, Kehinde. 

      Having the like, know and trust factor definitely makes life easier when it comes to promoting different affiliate products. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      Chuck

  3. Great post and good info, Chuck. In my opinion, a website is the number one method when it comes to affiliate marketing, since you can write whatever you want, and your post stays online forever. 

    For me, on the next best option is Instagram, because you can build a following and then recommend different affiliate products. 

    Thanks for sharing this information. I really appreciate it. 

    • Yes, both websites and Instagram are a great way to sell affiliate products. Thanks for the comment and thanks for stopping by today!

  4. I am of the mindset that you are much better off creating a website than doing the non-website ways to market.  First of all, you can write your own content and help people, you don’t have to pay for ads if you can get ranked, and it’s your own business.  I know some people disagree and think they can get away with no website, but I really believe the website is the way to go, and Wealthy Affiliate helps me build mine.

    • Yes, Babsie, having a website is a great option. It’s just not necessarily the best or only option. Just my two cents. 

      Chuck

  5. Thank you for sharing your article with us: ¨Do you need a Website to do Affiliate marketing?¨. It´s quite comforting to know that you don´t, and you mention other ways such as email marketing, pay per click ads, social media, podcasting, solo ads and YouTube. 

    But, it´s this very last medium I´d like your opinion on. Is doing affiliate marketing via YouTube profitable? Who does it? How do you get into? And is it actually worth investing in YouTube affiliate marketing? 

    I can see outright it must be profitable, because it´s so massively popular, among creators and consumers. It doesn’t make sense not to, but I see content creation a big hurdle. Also I think it´s niche specific i.e. What do you think?

    • I actually believe doing affiliate marketing on YouTube is much quicker and easier than building a website. YouTube videos typically get indexed in the same day you publish them. Not so with blog posts. Plus, people love videos. Depending on your niche, you might be able to dominate on YouTube right away.

      All you do is make great videos and then share affiliate links in the description below your video. Your goal is to get your videos to rank high, so lots of people can learn about them. I hope that answers your questions.

      Chuck

  6. We need a capture page or email opt-in form. For this, we need a website. If we own a small website, it should be difficult to rank the website in search engines. Therefore, why should not we make the website more effective by making a static capture page and a blogging page as well? I have not tried solo ads so far. I will try that. Thanks for your article. 

    • Prabakaran,

      Thanks for the comment. To clarify, a capture page is a one page website with the sole purpose of getting someone to leave their name and email. Your goal should not be to rank a capture page in the search engines. Instead, you use free and paid advertising strategies to send targeted traffic to it. The major benefit of doing this is that it takes a WHOLE LOT LESS time to build a capture page, and promote it, than it does to build a stand alone website that gets ranked high in the search engines. I hope that clarifies things. Thanks.

      Chuck

  7. Thank you for this great post. I have once pondered over this same question, but in my own opinion, I think it is better to have a website up and running as an affiliate marketer. A website will help you build a strong connection with your readers and potential customers, and will give you the platform to write useful review and up-to date content about a product. 

    • Thanks for the comment, Clement. Having a website is not a bad thing by any means. I just don’t think you need a website to do affiliate marketing. There are many different strategies you could use, like the ones I put in the article. Ultimately, you have to pick what works best for you. 

  8. Here’s my belief on the subject: It’s kind of a hybrid belief, but one that makes sense. I’ve always believed a website can serve as a hub for the rest of our marketing tactics. For instance, we have our email lists, our affiliate products, which then becomes our sales funnel, our social media pages, our target audience. 

    But each of these can be led straight back to the mother-ship, as I’ll call it, in other words, our website. Our website also has links to each of our social pages, products to be given away in exchange for an email, and of course, affiliate links promoting the products within our niche. They can work hand in hand. 

    • Great points, Todd. That’s how I see my website: as my hub of operations. It’s where everyone can connect with me online, even though I also promote things through email and social media. Thanks for the great comment. 

  9. I believe having a website helps. Even though you can promote affiliate marketing products without a website, I would rather add content to my site and have affiliate links on the right.This is what I have done with my site. I agree with you that you can promote these links using Social media sites. And I find solo ads interesting.

    • Saj,

      I agree that having a website helps. However, you can spend a year or two building up several hundred pages of content, but none of it gets ranked high in the search engines. Or Google could decide they don’t like your website and they could turn off your traffic. With a website, you are pretty much controlled by the search engines. If you use the other options to sell different affiliate products, you are in control. Just my two cents. 

      Chuck

  10. Once more I am lucky to come across your post, personally I did not know that you can perform affiliate marketing without having s website. If I knew that beforehand, I would have started with that way because I consider it being quite cheap compared to the website way. 

    All the same, I think having your own website is even better, because it will help you create your own blogs and articles that may have great impact in the affiliate marketing. Having gone through the post I have come to learn more new marketing skills. I really appreciate it, Chuck.

    Joy

    • Joy,

      Having a website is fine. It does take a lot of time and patience and hard work to build a successful website that gets a steady amount of traffic. That is my experience anyway. If you do affiliate marketing without a website, it is much quicker. There is still a learning curve, but you can have that mastered in three to six months. Just my two cents. 

      Chuck

  11. Do you suggest that blogging is not as effective as a one page, one product niche? I am currently doing the content driven approach, and like you said, it is a lot of work. I find that most of the time, I doubt myself if I am approaching the right method of doing affiliate marketing. I need to start thinking about different approaches. 

    • Nuttanee,

      Yes, building a high traffic money making website can easily take four or five years. People don’t like to mention that, but it’s the truth. Most successful websites have been around at least five years, if not ten years or longer. There is a big learning curve and most people don’t have the patience to stick with it if they aren’t making much money. That being said, if you CAN build a high traffic website, it’s pretty easy to maintain.

      I just believe that if your focus is going to be affiliate marketing, there are easier ways to go about it than building a blog or website. Just my two cents. 

      Chuck

  12. Hello Charles,

    Good to be here again.

    You probably have touched on every point about doing affiliate marketing with or without website here.

    I like your points on posting on social media, doing a YouTube video and podcasting. 

    Your exuberance is refreshing while I find it quite penetrating to read your blogs. Keep up the good work. 

    • Thanks for leaving a comment. I’m glad you enjoyed the article. You really don’t need a website to do affiliate marketing. However, if you love to write, it might be the best option possible. YouTube and podcasting also work great, especially if you love being on camera and are outgoing. 

  13. Thanks for the great post!

    I have to say, having a website, or more to the point, a web presence, is a must.  If you get down to literal definitions then no, you don’t need a website, but you do need an online presence and a place where your efforts can be centralized, such as a Facebook page or group, etc.  I’d argue that is very much like a website in many ways.

    I appreciate the benefits of having a website you’ve listed and love the non-website options you covered.

    This post is very informative.

    Thanks again

    • Glad I could be of help, Scott. Having a website as your hub of operations is essential, but it doesn’t have to have hundreds of pages of content. If you are using Facebook or YouTube instead, it still makes sense to create a simple website so people can learn more about you, and know which products you promote. 

  14. This is a question I get a lot from people too. I think many people understand the commitment it takes and the work it takes to get a viable website and blog in place and then over time add a considerable amount of content that has enough ranking keywords to start drawing in significant amounts of traffic to get the leads and sales everyone wants.

    I have to say that I somewhat agree with you on skipping the whole blog thing. There are so many ways to build an audience that is interested in what you have to offer, and specifically, the social platforms come to mind. If you take the steps to capture the leads, you can use email or Messenger marketing to sell using a sales page…

    Having said this, it still makes sense to have some presence over and above the social platforms, as these accounts are owned by the platform, not you. This means you could be cut off at any time. There was a period when YouTube was shutting down accounts and I knew of marketers that lost a lot as they had no backup plan.

    It sure is easier and faster to skip the blog path, and I know more and more people who do not have any website or blog. They live from the sales funnels and paid traffic combined with warm buyers who have purchased from them in the past. If you have the money and can afford to learn by trial and error this can work.

    In my case, since I already have a blog that is 4 years old, and people are aware and look for my posts regularly, I will likely stick with the blog option in addition fo leveraging the other means of getting traffic. I think building a variety of traffic sources is important.

    Interesting post and a useful one coming from someone that has 10 years in the business. It is good hearing the thoughts of someone that knows what it takes and can pass this on to the rest of us with less experience or those that may be just starting out. Thanks!

    • Comment the month! Woot Woot!

      You are spot on. Using multiple platforms, having a hub of operations (your blog) and building your email list is the way to go. Blogging, or starting a website is the slow and hard way to make money with affiliate working, but it does work. With the cost of doing it the other way, most people cannot afford to do it that way. Blogging is for the little guy! That’s what I love about it. 

      Chuck

  15. You have provided some really valuable information. I think only those that have experienced what you have experienced would know exactly what the best option is in doing affiliate marketing. 

    The idea of building an email list to promote affiliate products is a good one but what you have forgotten is that it is probably not newbie friendly. Not a lot of newbies have the budget to run email marketing and also it requires some level of experience to be able to write emails that convert. 

    Running an affiliate program with a website is definitely time-consuming, but I think if you are able to rank your website, it would definitely lead to more sales. But like I said it is really time-consuming so what I suggest is that if the budget is available I would probably do both.

    • Hey Jay,

      Learning to do email marketing is not that difficult or expensive. You can get an auto-responder for about $20 per month. You can watch a few free YouTube videos and learn what you should be doing. 

      I still believe every blogger or webmaster is CRAZY not to do email marketing with their website. Almost ALL of my sales come through email marketing. I simply use my blogs to build up my list and do most of my selling through email. It works. 

      Yes, you can make money with affiliate marketing with just a website, but you are leaving a lot of money on the table. Basically, you’re only making money on the low hanging fruit, the people who are ready to buy right now. If you collect their name and email, you can stay in touch and get them to like, know and trust you. Then you can send out emails a few times per week and make sales on demand. 

      Having an email list that likes, knows and trusts you is like owning your own ATM machine. 

  16. Even though one can do Affiliate marking without a website, in my own opinion, I believe it is best and more profitable to do affiliate marketing with a website. I believe that what is worth doing, is worth doing well. 

    Again there are so many benefits of doing affiliate marketing with a website. You even listed them. It leads to trust and the content you created for it stays on the web and can lead to passive income. 

    Thanks for also mentioning the downside of marketing with a website so that one will not get his hopes too high, but I believe with hard work and determination it will pay off. 

    It did in your own case, if you hadn’t persevered, you wouldn’t have started making steady affiliate sales. Thanks for listing other ways of doing affiliate marketing apart from that of website. 

    • Glad I could be of help, Gracen. Having a website is the slow way, but it is time-tested and does work. You don’t need a website to do affiliate marketing, but it certainly helps. I think the real key to success is to pick no more than 1-2 strategies to promote your affiliate products, and then take the time and money to educate yourself on those strategies AND take massive action. Within a year or two, you will be VERY proficient using those methods. 

  17. Nice article! Thanks for sharing. Honestly, I never thought about doing affiliate marketing without a website, until I read your article.You make a lot of positive points in this article. Podcasting is another one that was a great thought too. I guess everyone needs to find what works for them and just go for it. 

    • Yes, lots of people make money online with affiliate marketing without having their own website, especially YouTubers and podcasters. Both of those venues offer a tremendous opportunity. 

  18. A very informative and helpful article. You have clearly defined what affiliate marketing is and how to do affiliate marketing with or without a website.

    Lately, l have seen the trend has changed, many sites like ClickFunnel, LeadPage, etc has offered ’Done For You’ sale funnel because it is more effective than building a conventional website which takes years to drive free traffic and conversion. But one of the disadvantages of this funnel is that you have spent money to get traffic to build up your email list. 

    I never try solo ads, do you think it is worth your investment?

    Thank you.

    • Shui,

      Thanks for the comment. In today’s world, things have changed, and you do not NEED a website to do affiliate marketing, although this method still works. With the sales funnel option, everything is based on PAID marketing. You will see lots of ads online of people making several hundred thousands dollars or more per month in sales. What they don’t tell you is they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising to make that happen. Not all of their revenue is profit. Most of it is not. 

      By using a website, someone without much money, can build something equally as powerful, although it takes a LOT longer to do it the website way. For most people, affiliate marketing with a website is a great option. For someone that has cash to burn and invest in their business, there are much faster ways. Just my two cents. 

      Chuck

  19. Nice write up on whether a website is needed for affiliate marketing or not. Personally, I believe you SHOULD have a website. This can be your hub of operations where you send everyone. Having a website gives you credibility with your audience, that you might not be able to build with other platforms. 

    • Thanks for the comment. I would argue that you could build equal credibility with a YouTube channel and not have a website at all. The key is to pick what makes the most sense to you and do that. 

  20. This is a really interesting topic and one that has much debate around it. I’m firmly in the camp of having a website, for many of the reasons you cover in your post.

    I do think the credibility argument is a strong one. I know if I want to buy something online, I will take the time to research my purchase thoroughly. I’ll definitely trust a seller who has a solid online presence (website) over one who is just peddling affiliate links.

    You need to know, like and trust someone before you buy. As well as this, Google now places a huge emphasis on delivering quality, helpful content to your audience – not easy to do without a website…

    • You make some good points. You can do the same thing with email marketing though. Just write your content in an email instead of a blog post. That works well for me. I personally use websites too, but almost all of my sales come through email marketing. 

  21. A lot of people are killing it without creating an affiliate marketing website. I have personally made money promoting affiliate products on my social media account. Everyone needs to find what works for them, but the competition on the search engines is demoralizing. It takes time to get results. When I tried YouTube, I was able to get over 20 people to sign up on a website using my affiliate link. It is bad to limit yourself only to a website. 

    • Yes, you definitely need to try different things. Having a successful affiliate marketing website is the ideal course of action, but it takes SO long to rank high in the search engines. There are faster and easier ways. However, IF you can build a successful, high traffic website, that is the ultimate. For most people, I would suggest YouTube, podcasting or email marketing over building a website. 

  22. I love knowing that I can do affiliate marketing without having my own website. The idea of using YouTube sounds a lot easier than writing hundreds of blog posts. I also like the idea of doing everything through email marketing. You gave me a ton of great ideas in this post. Thanks for sharing. 

    • Glad I could be of help. There are TONS of ways to make money with affiliate marketing. Blogging, or having a website, is just one of those methods. 

  23. I found your article fascinating.

    Of course there is more than one way to do affiliate marketing, but surely it depends on what budget you have, would you not agree?

    Personally, I do use a website, although I may use one of the other ways you mention in conjunction with my website in the future.

    Many thanks for a very interesting article.

    Chrissie 🙂

    • Yes, lots of things depend on your budget. However, there are many FREE ways to do affiliate marketing that do not require blogging or writing. The key is to find a strategy that makes sense to you and focus on that. 

  24. Wow Chuck, this is amazing stuff you are sharing about having your own website and making money with affiliate marketing! I have to say that I particularly loved the section where you told what you would do if you had it to do all over again. 

    Hindsight’s 20/20! I consider this article a great training guide, which I know I will refer to again and again in the future.

    I’ll also be bookmarking your site! Thank you so much for your candor and valuable tips!

    Sue

    • Thanks, Sue. Hindsight definitely is 20/20. We learn. Things change. We evolve and improve. I have too much vested to shut down my websites, but I do a lot of other affiliate marketing strategies as well. 

  25. Great post, Chuck. I already have my own website and promote lots of different affiliate products. My next step is to set up an autoresponder and start using email marketing to make even more money with affiliate marketing. Any tips on the best way to do that? I’m all ears. 

    • I would immediately add an opt-in form to every page of your website AND a popover so you can start collecting names and emails. From there, send out 3 to 5 emails per week that promote content on your blog, provide value and recommend affiliate products. I hope that helps. 

  26. This is a great topic all bloggers should consider. If you want to do affiliate marketing and make money online, do you really need to have a website?

    I have done it both ways in the past. For me a website makes it more organized and you can keep everything together in a nice neat bow. I tend to go down rabbit holes and end up going from one thing to the other, and the website keeps me focused and going back to the main source. 

    I can be scattered brain and unorganized. So the website works best for me. Everyone is different and should do what is easier and works better for them. Work smarter not harder. Thank you for your very informative article.

    • Yes, either method can work. Each person is different, so ultimately they have to choose what is best for them. 

  27. I’ve always found this topic interesting, but never really given it a shot. I use a website myself, but I know there are people out there who promote affiliate products in forums and such, and seem to do quite well at it. 

    Personally, I like the idea of podcasting and I’ve been thinking about it for quite some time. I’m still looking into all the different platforms that exist for it, so I haven’t dived in yet. 

    The other method I like involves YouTube, but I know I need a better camera. In any case, this article helped me put it all into better perspective. I’m definitely going to try a couple of these methods, but still keep working on my website. Thanks for sharing!

    • Yes, you can make money via affiliate marketing with a website, podcast or YouTube channel, or even a combination of all three. 

  28. Your website has very powerful images and quotes. Nice font and formatting and it’s very easy to read. The topic is very relevant in today’s market and you have provided much valuable information in an easy to follow format. 

    As a new affiliate marketer myself, I am in need of the information on your site and have bookmarked your page for future reference. 

    I think this site will be very helpful to people who are struggling with trying to make their own sites better viewed. When you provide stories of your own experience, it gives credibility to your site. 

    Visitors will be happy to know of lessons that you have learned so that they will not have to make those same mistakes. Very well done website and no improvements are needed.

    • I’m glad you enjoyed my website. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *