Affiliate Marketing Traffic Sources

There are various affiliate marketing traffic sources you can create. Your budget, strengths and interests can help you decide which ones are best to apply. Create videos for YouTube, articles for Google, share content through article marketing sites and use paid for advertising. There’s also a huge array of possibilities for affiliate marketing traffic sources on social media. But which ones do you use, which are the easiest and which are the fastest?

Affiliate Marketing Traffic Sources – Free Methods

I’m starting with free methods because a lot of affiliate marketers are starting an online business simply because cash flow is a problem. Most of us don’t start out with a big budget. If you want to get your affiliate marketing going faster, paid for advertising is the way to go, with the right products that is. More on that later. I started with pretty much no money and tried to do everything on the cheap. It’s a long road and I learned plenty from it, mostly by failing!

Article Writing

affiliate marketing traffic sources

The process of blogging on a daily basis gives your affiliate business some structure which most of us need in the early days. Affiliate marketing can lead you down many dead end streets. It can be a lonely path and unless you have a strong idea of where you are going it’s easy to fail. I have done a lot of writing for blogs over the years and some of my articles have brought me a nice steady stream of traffic. Most of them, however, haven’t. The more you do, the more you find what works and what doesn’t. The main two things I recommend when writing articles are:

Write for the right audience – This sounds pretty obvious but it’s not always so straight forward. Given your product, what content can you write which will attract the right people? Your target audience is one of the most important things to consider when writing. Some of the best results I have had from article writing is from writing reviews of products.

Article Directories

Article directories like Ezine articles can help you build a larger audience. With these kind of directories, other online marketers can use your content for free, so long as they credit your work with a link to your site. This can be a useful way of generating links to your site and getting shared on similar sites to your. Guest blogging is another method which accomplished this goal. If you target the right websites it can make a clear difference to your traffic.

Why Reviews?

A review is something someone will read just before they buy a product. They know the product they want and just want to be reassured before they buy. A review article which gives an honest view of a product can lead your readers to products straight from your site. A good example of this is Martin Lewis’s Money Saving Expert site His site gives advice and help about all sort of finance related things – saving on bills, credit cards and purchases. It’s an authority website which offers great value.

How To Get Found

Getting found is not the same as writing articles. Although the most important this is quality and value in your articles, you still need to be visible. No one will share your content unless it is worthy. Making your content shareable should therefore be a priority. This applies for finding traffic through shares on social media, viral traffic and Google rankings.

Viral Traffic

affiliate marketing traffic sources

Everyone want to go viral with their content. They can get thousands of visitors back to their website and make a lot more affiliate commissions. But how is this done? Getting a piece of content picked up by an authority is one way. This means you need to write for authorities in your niche.

Why else would industry leaders use your content to share with their audience unless it provides huge value to them and their audience? By finding leading authorities in your niche, and sharing your content with them, you can access their database of followers. Although this isn’t quite the same as going viral it’s a good way to build an audience. You need shares to go viral. Create amazing content and get it out to as many people as possible.

Content which goes viral often inspires, solves problems and instructs. If you can create content like this which is also related to your affiliate products you’re off to a good start. Viral traffic is hard to re-create. It relies very heavily on ‘word-of-mouth’ advertising. Create amazing content and share as much as possible, particularly to industry leaders. Don’t expect it to go viral though.

Long Tail Keyword Research

keyword ideas

Targeting articles by their keywords is another ‘free’ method to get your content found. By ranking a long tail keyword article on Google, you can have visitors to your website for potentially years to come. Again it must be good content or Google won’t rank you, people won’t share and you won’t stay on the top of the searches, or even get there in the first place. I say ‘free’ method here because this takes time. Creating content takes time. Keyword research takes time. After all the research and content creation, your article may not rank still. Even if it does rank, this takes time!

I cover keyword research in more depth in my ebook Niche Blogging For Profit. In short you can find long tail keyword titles which are untapped, or less competitive on Google. Rank for them and receive a steady flow of traffic for free.


YouTube is a great free resource for traffic and much less competitive than the organic search engines. You have much more chance of ranking a Youtube video than you have ranking an article on Google. YouTube also do a paid for advertising platform which is very useful since you can target very specifically the people you want to show your adverts to. More on this later in paid advertising. Start by searching for keywords in your niche on Youtube.

Type into the search bar and you will see suggestions come up of the things people are already searching for. Target those keyword chains in your videos. Use the keywords in your title description and tags. You can also use and pay someone to build back links to the videos with the same anchor text.

affiliate marketing traffic sources

I have had some success with this method and still get some people signing up to my email series through a video I created some years ago. You need to be consistent and don’t expect every video to rank. Again, quality will determine whether you rank and for how long. Make the best quality videos you can and offer loads of value.

Other Free Methods

You can also use sites like ebay, Gumtree, Freeads and Craigslist to list your websites. Some of these site will charge you for a listing however. There are ways round this though and you can benefit from some traffic streams this way. Using the right category will mean you don’t have to pay for listings. However, this method takes time and you need to constantly renew your listings when they expire. There is also no way to scale up to reach more people. You can pay for these kind of listings too and increase your spend for more visibility.

Affiliate Marketing Traffic Sources – Paid Traffic

When you venture into paid advertising, it’s like starting all over again. Paid advertising can make a massive difference to your affiliate marketing business. However, you should also tread carefully. The great thing about paid advertising is that it is scalable.

All the blogging and video creating in the world is still at the whim of YouTube and Google. They can always change the algorithm or stick you with a penalty. With paid advertising, you can control your budget, audience and advertising platform. Paid advertising is not without it’s own problems of course, you need to follow the advertising guidelines carefully or you can get your account shut down!

Paid advertising is one of the best affiliate marketing traffic sources for a couple of reasons:

  1. You can scale up when you have created a profitable advertising campaign which proves itself – When you are spending $1 and making $2, you are in a position to increase your budget and reach more people.
  2. You can target, very specifically, what people are actively looking for, or people by their interests, demographics and search activities on the internet.

The targeting you can achieve with paid advertising can’t be matched as quickly with other methods of advertising. If you want to build an online business quickly, you should definitely use paid advertising.


affiliate marketing traffic sources

Facebook is a social media platform. Advertising on it is therefore a kind of ‘interruption’ marketing. You should plan your adverts accordingly because the people on there are not actively searching for you or your affiliate product/s. However, with Facebook you can target people who fit your ideal customer ‘avatar’ with a number of demographics such as age, interests, location, job, hobbies, books, films and other areas of interests. This is an amazing platform for advertisers.


You can also ‘track’ visitors who have already visited your website and ‘follow’ them around the internet with the use of retargeting. This is a great form of targeted advertising which means you are paying only for adverts targeted at people who are your most likely customers.

Lookalike Audiences

Another amazing ability of the Facebook advertising platform is to allow you to take a list of people from your email list and create a lookalike audience. Facebook uses your email subscribers to match other likely potential customers who are listed on their database. They match with similar interests, likes and various other demographics. Again, this is a very clever way to target potential customers very specifically. In doing so you can maximize potential earnings and minimize expenditure.


Adwords is a brilliant platform for businesses and one of the best affiliate marketing traffic sources you can use. By creating adverts which target keywords people search for every day relating to your business, you can get very targeted customers straight to your website. By testing and measuring all components of your adverts, you can increase your return on investment by lowering your costs and increasing profits for each customer you ‘buy’. I cover this in more depth in my ebook “The Ultimate Guide To Online Marketing“.

Testing and Measuring

Testing and Measuring is the key to mastering all the paid for advertising campaigns available – both online and offline. Many business owners try Adwords and give it up as a waste of money. This is because they haven’t tested and measured. Try out several adverts with various keywords and landing pages of your website. Some adverts will bring more custom than others. This can be for several reasons:

  • The wrong keywords can bring you less targeted customers – Think into the buyer intent of each keyword
  • The wrong landing page – Does the specific keyword bring you to the right specific landing page of your website? Or are you sending all queries to one generic page?
  • Title of your advert – Does the title have the keywords in it. By making adverts, keywords and landing pages congruent, you can increase the likelihood of getting buying customers, while simultaneously lowering your cost per click.
  • Wrong Product for keywords – Does your product match the keyword/s you are targeting in your advert?

Only by testing and measuring can you accurately answer all these questions. When your advert is consistently bringing in a good return on investment (over the long run), you are in a position to scale up your advertising expenditure. Simpy by increasing your daily spend, you can reach more customers instantly. You don’t want to rush into this however, as doing so before you have done all your research can be very costly.


Youtube offer a very targeted paid for advertising platform. Create a video for your potential customers. Then pay to show it to people who are likely to want it. You can target YouTube advertising to people searching for a number of keywords and also to people looking at certain videos. Access Youtube advertising here.

youtube paid adverts

Affiliate Marketing Traffic Sources


There are a number of other social media platforms which offer affiliate marketing traffic sources too. Not all of them are as good as the ones mentioned for targeting or reach, but their prices can reflect this too. Reddit, StumbleUpon, Linkedin and Twitter also offer paid for advertising.

Yahoo and Bing are also worth considering as alternatives and additions to Google’s Adwords platform. Ideally start with one method and work on it testing and measuring until you have found a campaign which works. Start with a small daily budget and don’t expect immediate profits. Begin with the intention of testing and measuring with the long term view.

affiliate marketing traffic sources

Affiliate marketing traffic sources don’t have to be online either. Don’t forget traffic sources from traditional advertising too. Banner adverts, newspaper adverts, fliers and other traditional methods can still be tested and measured in the same way as online advertising.

Other Free Methods

Depending on your particular business model, you can also consider using Places. Places can be set up through Google, Bing and Yahoo and allow local business owners to advertise for free online. Although this is for local businesses and requires a proof of residence,  this method can be added to other affiliate marketing traffic sources for a nice free source of continuous traffic. You need to set it up from your business residence or home address. Do a Google search for Google Places to get started.

Back Links

Building incoming links to your website will provide two affiliate marketing traffic sources. Firstly if you manage to get links from other authority websites in your business niche, it will bring in traffic from other blogs whose topic relates directly to yours. This is an instant win because you are tapping into an existing source of targeted readers. Back links from existing authorities will also have the effect of building your authority with Google. It will reward you with a higher authority and better rankings on the search engines for your content. This in turn will bring you your second source of traffic.

Good and Bad Back Links

affiliate marketing traffic sources

Not all links are the same. Google looks at your link profile as one factor (among many) to determine how people view your site. Back links from authority sites in your niche are therefore much more valuable than back links you buy from directories which anyone can get. Ideally your link profile should happen organically over a long period of time. People should link to you by finding your content and choosing to share it. So, the first step is again back to creating great quality and useful content. This should always be your priority when attempting to build affiliate marketing traffic sources with content.

Can you think of any other affiliate marketing traffic sources? If so please add them in the comments below and let me know if you have found this article useful.