In today’s article, I am going to reveal the top 3 ways on how you can do affiliate marketing very successfully and without a website.
As an affiliate marketer of over 10 years who has used MANY different methods to make sales in this business, I admit that a majority of them came from owning one or more websites.
But a substantial chunk of my overall sales have also come from methods not using a website and you are going to learn about them right now ($10,000’s in sales).
A summary of the 3 ways to do affiliate marketing on YouTube:
- Making video reviews of a product and promoting it.
- Using Medium.com to write articles reviewing and promoting affiliate products.
- Using YouTube Ads to send to YouTube videos that promote the affiliate product in the description.
I’ll be giving you specific examples of each method in this article but this is a preview of the methods and I’ve made my money from the 1st and 3rd options.
Video on the 3 methods of doing affiliate marketing without a website:
And now I’ll get into the details of each of the methods with even more examples with actionable steps. After all, we want to be able to actually use these strategies!
The 3 methods you are about to learn about are explained:
1) Very thoroughly so you aren’t left wondering where to start. You’re going to know exactly how to get started and get going after reading them.
2) Will be classified into difficulty levels.
So if you are a beginner to affiliate marketing, you’ll know which method suites you better and if you’re more advanced, you’ll also see that classification as well. I have listed these methods that suite affiliate marketers of all levels.
Obviously, if you’re a beginner, stick to the beginner methods and if you’re more advanced, use the beginner or above level methods.
3) You will get real examples of each method so you can use them for reference if you decide to try them.
4) None of them involve using a website, but some do involve using things like YouTube Ads, of autoresponders.
5) And finally, as thoroughly as they are explained, if you do have questions about them, ask me abut them below!
1) Making product review videos on YouTube (for beginners):
This option made me $30k in sales as you’ll see.
Let me just say that out of the 3 methods, this is the best one if you’re a total beginner, and I’ll show you examples of how this really works shortly.
I’ll also personally help you get started with doing affiliate marketing on YouTube if you need help with this.
And the beauty is, this strategy works for all levels.
So even if you’re an advanced marketer, you can still use this approach. I do to this day.
Strategy overview (how it works):
- You create YouTube videos that review popular products and programs.
- And then in the description input your affiliate link so people can click it, and buy from it.
- This is an awesome beginner strategy I still use today and it works because:
- You don’t need a website to do this.
- It is a FREE strategy anyone can start using.
- You can set up a video review rather quickly, especially as your experience grows.
- Reviewing popular products ensures you get more views to your videos and that increases sales numbers.
- You don’t need incredibly top notch software to make this work (I’ve had cases where I only used my phone to do reviews).
- There is no limit to how many reviews/videos you can make.
Requirements to start:
- You need to be signed up with at least 1 or more affiliate networks.
- In my opinion, Clickbank and Amazon Associates are great to start with.
- You need to actually have your own unique affiliate link ready to put in the video description.
- You need to have a YouTube channel.
- You need to have some sort of recording device (phone, laptop camera or a screen recording device) to do reviews.
- Click here to see how to properly review products on YouTube so you actually make the sales.
My top 5 tips for making this strategy work:
1) Start reviewing popular products you currently own and love. You can also review top selling products on Amazon.
2) It is important to be genuine and honest with your reviews (be ethical). The better you do this, the easier it is to sell it.
3) Don’t worry about your videos not looking good. The important thing is creating a genuine review that has a good title and good and simple YouTube thumbnail. That is what sells (examples coming up).
4) If you are shy about showing yourself on camera, you can record your hands holding a product.
5) Have confidence when reviewing your products (if you don’t own the product, do this). If you are promoting something you own, show people how much you love it, and it will make it an easier decision for them to buy it. This is something that you achieve with practice.
2 (of many) examples of this strategy working. First:
In the above video, I simply had a friend record me on my phone reviewing a product I love and use for hiking. The description of that video takes people through an Amazon affiliate link and into Amazon itself where they can get this product. But if they do, I am the one who earns the commission.
- This video holds over 29,000+ views and yes, it has made sales.
- It only required a few minutes of recording time and another few minutes of uploading it to YouTube.
- I clearly didn’t use any fancy recording software, just a regular smart phone and as you can see, it works.
Here is the second example of me using this strategy:
In this video (if you watch it), you’ll notice I am actually not actually promoting the program I am reviewing (I am promoting another one in the description) but you’ll find that there are MANY opportunities in reviewing products that you don’t really recommend, the biggest one being is that you have more opportunities to review more things, make more videos, get more views and end up making more sales.
Being that people look up products of all sorts, you can also target products that you wouldn’t recommend (but be honest about why) and tell them what they should buy instead, and that “instead” product will be the affiliate promotion you link to.
That is what I did in the above video. I wasn’t happy with the program so I honestly described why that was.
So far, I made 4 sales for the affiliate promotion in that video, which is a similar, but better program that teaches affiliate marketing. Those 4 sales resulted in a little over $100 made in sales.
If you also notice, I didn’t record my face in this video. Since the product review in this case was digital, I just recorded my computer screen and my voice to explain my position.
Why you can totally make this work!
These videos and others I’ve made didn’t take very long to create and while I have many more examples I could share, these 2 encapsulate the possibility of using this specific strategy to make affiliate marketing work without having a website. You can do this too!
Need help with getting started with this strategy? I have you covered!
Here is a step-by-step guide for YouTube that will take you through the easy, fast process of setting up video reviews on YouTube and doing affiliate marketing there. The methods you’ll learn about generated me over $30,000.
2) Using Medium.com to link to affiliate promotions:
This strategy is for beginner–advanced level affiliate marketers.
Medium.com is a website that in 2019 and likely in 2020 will be very popular with affiliates because of it’s potential uses for it.
Let’s get into how it can be used for that.
Overview of strategy:
- You write articles on Medium.com.
- You link those articles to your promotions via affiliate links.
Because Medium.com is very popular and it’s articles rank well on Google, you can get these articles a lot of exposure, and readers and if you can write a good review, get sales from it too.
Let me say that this strategy is one I have not personally used yet, but the reason I am adding it to this list is because an internet marketer I trust, uses it and I will be showing you his tutorial on how it should be done successfully.
Plus I have had ample experiences with this type of strategy with past sites like Medium.com that basically had the same methods.
I stopped using them because those websites stopped getting ranked high and there is a part of me which believes this will happen to Medium.com, but until that happens, you still have an opportunity to use it and make money from it.
- You don’t need to have your own website to make sales because you’ll be using this one.
- This approach is not free, and can cost from $5 a month and up. But making 1 affiliate sale can be all it takes to make this work.
- Medium.com articles can get ranked high and bring in a lot of readers.
- You need to have a Medium.com account.
- You need to be comfortable writing long articles and adding images.
- You need to obviously be registered with an affiliate network and have links ready.
How to make money with Medium.com fully explained:
This is where I will be sharing the video of the person who introduced me to this strategy.
Now the only thing I found to be outdated about this method is that he says the membership at Medium.com is free, when in fact today, it’s changed to $5 a month, with a second membership of $50 a month. And I also do not consider it easy if you are not used to writing, but anyway, let’s get on with this tutorial:
Now once again, this is not a strategy I’ve personally used, but this strategy is 100% pertinent to this article’s subject and the man whose video I shared is a legitimate affiliate marketer and his videos are things I also watch and learn from, as will you.
3) Using YouTube Ads:
With this strategy, you are driving traffic to your video promoting products (beginner–advanced).
This method is an add on way of getting more views and more sales for the YouTube videos you make with method 1.
It is both a beginner friendly approach, but one that is also advanced because it requires you pay to create ads and not risk losing money in the process.
Even if you are completely not interested in using this strategy, I still recommend you read about it before you make a conclusion on which of these 3 you wish to use.
Because at least knowing about more methods that are out there will help you become a smarter and more experienced promoter.
- You create a YouTube video that reviews a specific product you are promoting (method 1 basically).
- But you use YouTube ads to get more people to find that video so it can get more views and sales.
Not too many people know how to correctly use YouTube ads and/or are afraid of it because they don’t want to lose money, but if you know how to use this strategy, you can get very cheap visits to your videos, and make sales, all without owning a website.
The trade off with this approach is that you have to pay for this to work and there is no guarantee that it will, which is why it is risky.
With practice you can make this strategy work better and better and in my experiences, you can pay as little as $0.03 a VIEW, and if you promote products that pay you good money, then you have a lot of leeway to get a lot of views, with only one of those turning into a sale to make profit.
If you pay $0.05 a view for your YouTube video and the promotion you put in that video pays you $50 per sale, you will need to have at least 1 person out of 1,000 buy it for it to break even.
Anyone who buys before the 1,000 mark = automatic profit.
- YouTube ads can help your video get more views for little costs.
- And again, no website is needed to make affiliate sales this way.
- You can use this strategy AND strategy 1 above to get extra views (you’ll still get views organically without YouTube ads).
- YouTube ads is one of the least restrictive networks that allows you to do affiliate marketing freely.
- Because YouTube ads is a pay per click network, you risk money.
- Most ads you make here probably won’t profit until you’re more experienced.
- You need to have a YouTube channel.
- You need to have a YouTube ads account (credit card and billing details are required to use this network).
- And of course, be approved for and signed up with affiliate networks so you can input your links in the video descriptions.
My top 3 tips for making this work:
These are basic tips and you’ll find more on my tutorial on doing affiliate marketing with pay per click networks (like YouTube Ads).
1) Set a LOW budget if you’re tight on money.
I recommend that if you make a video and decide to use the YouTube Ads network on it, make sure you do not spend anymore than $10 a day. This is a great safety net to ensure you don’t lose a lot of money.
2) Make sure you promote programs and products in your videos that have a pretty high commission sale.
The higher it is, the more leeway you have to get more views and get away with not making too many sales (see my example of the $50 commission rate and spending $0.05 per view to break even). Basically focus on promoting high ticket items as an affiliate if you’re going to use YouTube ads.
3) I will be making my own personal video soon showing all of this.
In that video, I will show you how to set up a YouTube ad that links to your video and makes sales. I looked at other videos out there that teach this for free, and frankly, they are all pretty bad. I’ll make sure mine isn’t, so stay tuned…
Note: Full guide on affiliate marketing with YouTube Ads is now available:
I have written a huge guide on making money in affiliate marketing through YouTube ads here if you’re interested in doing this.
Why doing affiliate marketing with a website is better than without one:
Despite the fact that the above methods of doing affiliate marketing without a website WORK, there are also downsides to these things, that I did not mention above but will right now.
Here are some:
1) Not all of the YouTube videos you create will get a lot of views. This takes practice.
2) Your YouTube channel is technically not yours and can be shut down for a multitude of reasons (violations of TOS). The work you put into that business may fall apart entirely and I would never recommend you ONLY focus on doing affiliate marketing with YouTube for that risk alone.
3) I believe sites like Medium.com will eventually (if not sooner) lose their ranking benefits and this is because I’ve seen it happen numerous times before. The work I used to put into writing articles on similar sites that ranked well, also were lost.
4) Running YouTube ads is risky mainly because if you lack experience and don’t understand how it’s supposed to work, it can cost a lot of money eventually. I will be putting up my own tutorial video soon, but even though that video will reduce this risk by a lot, they are still there and I personally do not rely on YouTube ads to generate my full time income, but on my website.
5) And whatever other methods you can find to make affiliate sales without a website, I can tell you that they all come with their own cons too.
5 reasons to start a website and do affiliate marketing on it:
I know it’s tempting to do affiliate marketing without worrying about the “hassle” of running a website, but seriously, consider these 5 reasons to own one:
1) It is yours. You own everything (your digital property).
With the above methods, when you examine it further, while you own the property/content you create on places like YouTube and possibly Medium.com, because that content is being served on a third party platform, they are ultimately the people in charge of it.
Owning your site reduces the risk of anything bad happening to it like having a YouTube channel shut down. The only thing that could your page shut down is if it does something illegal or gets hacked, but these things are rare and as long as you are ethical on it, everything you create on this page is yours, your digital real estate basically.
2) If you’re going to spend time writing content on places like Medium.com.
Why not put that effort into writing on your site instead?
Let’s suppose that you wrote 10 articles on Medium.com, spent countless hours doing so and managed to get affiliate sales from it.
Then somewhere down the line, that site loses it’s rankings (like I said, it has been known to happen before and I believe will happen again) and at the same time, now all that work you put in is lost on that site, never to rank high again.
If you wrote those same 10 articles on YOUR own website, you’d be the sole owner of it and your blog/site would have the potential to grow beyond the potential Medium.com could bring you. More info on blogging and affiliate marketing here.
The only trade off here is that writing articles on your website in the beginning takes longer to make money, but in the long run has more stability, where the Medium.com option may bring faster sales initially, but in the long run, the risk of it losing rankings can put your whole business at risk.
3) You can mix up your affiliate marketing methods (use the ones above and run your own page).
There is nothing stopping you from running both a website, a YouTube channel and using them both to grow and run a successful affiliate business. This is what I do, in addition to other methods.
It’s just that website option in my opinion carries the most stability out of all the methods that are out there to make money in my opinion.
4) Running a website is not scary or complicated.
I think most people who look for ways to do affiliate marketing without a website may be intimidated by the thought of setting one up, running it and think that there’s coding and programming required that makes it too difficult and that the above 3 methods are just an easier way to do things.
The truth is that running your page is so much easier than you can imagine, especially if you’re new.
The program I learned to build my affiliate sites through, Wealthy Affiliate in my opinion provides one of the easiest set up processes out there.
Honestly, the hardest part of running your own page is writing a lot of content on it, but the way I see is that if you can create content on YouTube and write articles on Medium.com, then you already have the ability to succeed with your own personal site and it gets easier to do overtime.
5) Running a website is actually cheap and easier than you think.
If you know which services are cheapest, whilst providing the best security, easy set up process, and great hosting, then the set up can be done within minutes (yes really!) and again, the Wealthy Affiliate program (where I include my personal affiliate coaching) is where I would recommend you create your first website with, because unlike competitors who look for sleazy ways to upsell you services you’ll never understand or use, the WA program gives you all the essentials to make running the page easy.
The only REAL work you do on the site is building out the content, but that process is what creates long term affiliate success.
And even if you did not want to go the personal website route, you’d need to do the same with YouTube as well.
Can I be an affiliate without a website?
Yes, but it depends on which affiliate network you apply to and if they allow it. Most of them do require a website.
Can I make money as an affiliate without a website?
Yes and one of the best ways is through YouTube. You can promote affiliate items there.
Can you do affiliate marketing without creating content?
Technically yes and it’s through direct linking but that very rarely works. It is better to create good content to do affiliate marketing.
Have your own personal methods of doing affiliate marketing without a website?
I’d love to hear about it if you do!
I thought about including other methods like Pinterest and sites I know about that work, but the 3 above in my opinion are easiest to work with considering the context.
Anyway, please let me know your thoughts about the 3 methods I put up above, if you have your own personal methods to share that weren’t included and if there’s any questions.
4 thoughts on “How to do Affiliate Marketing Without a Website: Top 3 Ways”
My daughter is thoroughly interested in creating YouTube videos and after reading your post, I’ll encourage her to do product reviews and add in some affiliate links. Not everyone is great at writing long posts so for that reason I really like the option of YouTube vidoes. I can see why having a website with many posts is a great strategy for affiliate income, one that has less risks since I will own the domain myself.
Yeah go with whatever your comfort level is Padma, as well as for your daughter. I started with blogging and slowly inched my way into YouTube.
Hello Vitaliy. I totally can relate to these methods especially YouTube. I have a YouTube channel.
I recently came across medium few weeks ago and I have seen some apps use it on their website too. I don’t know much about YouTube ads though.
Owning a website is absolutely the best way to go about affiliate marketing and that is exactly what I want to do.
Although I’d also combine it with YouTube, other social media sites, autoresponders and email marketing eventually.
Yeah I would start with the website and YouTube and only worry about getting into social media, and email marketing later on. These later things should be used when your website is already in a successful profitable stage, and not early on in my opinion.