Affiliate Disclosure: Look, I'm working my ass off delivering value to you. So, yes any links that you see in this post are probably affiliate links to help keep this blog going. They are true recommendations and if you click on them and purchase, I probably earn a commission (at no additional cost to you).
Welcome to this post on the best traffic sources for affiliate marketing.
Today, we are going to be ranking the 11 best traffic sources for affiliate marketing. Alongside, this you will also have a description of each traffic source so that you can make a decision on whether you want to use it or not.
I have actually ranked these in order today, however, you can make a full-time income focusing on any of these. The key is just to become an expert in one of these and growing/scaling it so much that you make at least a full-time income, or however much you want to make.
A lot of people ignore some simple tips that I will give you on each of these 10 traffic methods, so don’t be that person!
11 Best Traffic Sources For Affiliate Marketing
All 10 of these traffic methods work. Although they are ranked in order of traffic quality, you can still focus on just #10 and make a full-time income. I recommend you choose one, then learn it well and get started.
Also, if you choose one of these methods, make sure to read the basic information on them. A lot of people ignore the basics and then don’t make sales.
1. Organic Search
Coming in at #1 is organic search i.e Google, Bing, etc. basically what you achieve through SEO.
Before I go into detail, why it’s at #1, I would like to say that the first three spots are extremely close or even tied for #1. All three of these first three traffic methods are the highest quality, so it’s quite hard to rank them.
With that being said, I put organic search in the first spot simply due to the quality and volume of visitors that it brings for affiliate marketing. On one of my articles, I even stopped my email pop-up as I see a lot more hard CPA conversions.
If you spend one or two years of your life building up a blog that ranks extremely well in Google with a lot of authority, you could be pulling in tens of thousands of targeted visitors for free, every single month. Traffic that you would usually have to pay a lot of money for.
In the long term, you will get:
- Tens of thousands of leads
- Hundreds of thousands of visitors
- A lot of commissions
As we are also talking about affiliate marketing, I would like to mention launch jacking. So, if over the years you build up a High DA site, you will rank so easily for many launches. Meaning, you will probably make the most commissions. Just hitting one big launch per week, could easily add a big chunk of commissions to your income.
I understand, a lot of people don’t want to invest this much time, but I would like to say that this is the most effective method, alongside #2.
So, in #2 we have YouTube. Affiliate Marketing on YouTube can work extremely well, as the traffic quality is great and it also has the virality of other social networks.
YouTube has the exact same high-quality traffic as if you were to start a blog, so in reality, they are both #1. Almost every big marketer has a YouTube channel, so it’s definitely something that you should consider.
It has a similar effect to blogging or organic search and it’s free too. I guess from a beginner’s perspective it could even be better, as you don’t need to worry about backlinks and a lot of that other technical SEO stuff.
Yes, you will have to learn some YouTube SEO, but that usually isn’t as hard as normal SEO. If you like creating videos, don’t even worry about the rest. Just focus on building your YouTube on a profitable niche that has:
- Search volume
- Decent sized buyer potential
- products to sell
Then just hammer out optimized videos and eventually, you will make sales. Even, if you don’t like creating videos, you should still consider YouTube, especially if you are a beginner.
In the third place, we have email marketing.
Technically, Email can be in the first place as the average ROI is the highest, $42 for every $1 spent. (Oberlo)
With that being said, an email list doesn’t grow itself. So, you will need at least one other platform to grow your email list. Whether that be social media, your blog or your YouTube channel.
In fact, I recommend that all affiliates utilize email marketing, as it’s the key to getting repeated sales. If you haven’t yet started email marketing and you are trying to make sales, you need to start building your email list.
Some people will tell you that you don’t need an email list, but they either have no clue or are lying to you. Unless you are an expert in some sort of traffic method and can generate thousands of targeted visitors daily, you will need email. Even, if you can generate that much traffic, you would make more profits with email marketing. On average, each email is worth $1 per month.
So, just collect emails and start sending emails! Of course, that sounds easy but you will have to learn some email marketing too, otherwise, nobody will open, read or click on the links in your emails. A good place to start is by learning how to build an affiliate email marketing business.
On a budget? Check out: Free Autoresponder For Affiliate Marketing
Next on our list is Pinterest. Using Pinterest for affiliate marketing can work great too.
So, if you have a blog, or even a YouTube channel, Pinterest will be extremely useful for these reasons:
- It’s easy to grow
- Eventually, you will get the snowball effect
- It generates the most clicks from all social media platforms (Neil Patel)
By the way, the snowball effect is insane on Pinterest. Once you start getting a lot of pins on Pinterest, you will get more and more. Why?
If somebody pins your pins, then their followers see it. After some of their followers see it, some of them will pin it and it just goes on and on. So, Pinterest has some absolutely insane potential which is why you could consider it.
If your pin is sending them to a blog post or even a YouTube video that contains affiliate links, it can make you some nice additional commissions. Or, you could even go crazy following, creating pins and use the next traffic method that we are going to talk about and make a full-time income off Pinterest.
5. Pinterest Ads
In the fifth place, we have Pinterest ads.
Pinterest ads are good because:
- They are incredibly cheap with a CPC of under 30 cents
- They can help grow your Pinterest profile & pins
- The targeting is decent and Pinterest is almost a search engine
So, first of all because they are so cheap, it’s a lot easier to be profitable with them. When I use them, I like to send the traffic to a “how to” blog post that is then monetized with affiliate links. This can be extremely profitable if the type of content is right.
Additionally, they are very helpful when getting the Pinterest ball rolling. When users pin your ads, it acts a normal pin, so that’s extremely helpful as it will get more eyeballs to your pins. From my experience, you can also gain some additional followers just from running ads.
That’s a lot of benefits for traffic that costs under 30 cents per click.
So, next up is Twitter.
Affiliate marketing on Twitter can be extremely profitable too, there are many success stories.
Twitter is good as you can post multiple times per day, without annoying anybody. This means you can get more traffic from it, than many other social networks.
Additionally, most niches, have their own little community on Twitter, so chances are your target audience does too. You can also save a lot of time on Twitter through twitter automation tools. A really good one is Zlappo that I recently reviewed.
While Twitter is great if you are an affiliate you can’t just use Twitter. Unless, of course, you are amazing at growing and somehow generate thousands of visitors on a daily basis.
I always like to use any social media platform as a “side asset” that sends traffic to my main asset, my blog or YouTube channel. If you really want to mainly use Twitter, you should at least build an email list too.
Otherwise, you will find it extremely hard to make sales. In the link above, I explain how to get started with email affiliate marketing for free, so there is really no reason not to collect emails. It will also make you a lot more commissions.
You can’t just constantly post affiliate links on Twitter, nobody will like you and most people will unfollow you. People don’t go on Twitter to see tons of offers, otherwise, they would just go to Amazon.
7. Messenger Bots
Number 7 is messenger bots.
Messenger bots are seemed to have higher open rates than email. So, why are they in number 7?
First of all, a lot of users don’t like those annoying messenger bots. I know that if I connect to one, I instantly unsubscribe. They can be super-annoying. Whereas most consumers 61% said that they prefer to receive promotions in their emails. (smallbiztrends)
The second reason is simply that they are only on Facebook which sucks. A lot of businesses target audience may be on a different social media platform. Email is widely used and works for every niche.
Of course, if you already have a Facebook page with some likes, then yeah messenger bots might work well for you. However, email works for everyone, not just some. So, that’s why messenger bots are in 7th place, despite their high open rates.
Next on our list is Instagram.
Instagram is quite similar to Twitter in the sense that you can gain followers quickly.
However, it’s mainly focused on pictures. While that might work very well for some niches such as health & fitness, it won’t be as useful for other niches. Also, you can’t really post as many times per day as you could for example on Twitter.
So, you will probably generate a little less traffic. This is also due to there being no way of adding links inside posts. If you do feel like your target audience is hanging around on Instagram and you want to use it, I would again recommend building an email list. You will make more sales this way.
Again, it’s similar to Twitter, I wouldn’t recommend Instagram being your main asset. It should really be a “side asset” that sends traffic to your main asset.
9. YouTube Ads
Next, we have YouTube ads.
YouTube ads are also incredibly cheap and you can talk and get a lot out in the short space of an ad. Also, the cost of YouTube ads is pretty similar to Pinterest, so they are incredibly cheap too.
If you are advertising a high-ticket offer YouTube ads can be great. That’s what most top marketers are using to advertise their high-ticket programs.
Here are some examples:
- Kevin David
- Alex Becker
- Anik Singal
They all use YouTube ads. So, that’s a very good indication of them working. To run YouTube ads as an affiliate, you will need to build a bridge page and run traffic to the bridge page. Here I also recommend that you collect emails to build a targeted list.
If you are a beginner, I probably wouldn’t recommend jumping in with paid ads at all as you can quickly lose your budget. However, YouTube ads are extremely profitable so they are definitely something to consider.
10. Google & Bing Ads
Google ads have extremely high quality.
However, they are also extremely expensive. Also, a lot of companies don’t like you running ads on their branded keywords. Some don’t even like you running ads at all, as they do that so it’s not the method with the most options.
If you find some profitable keywords, then they can be extremely profitable too. However, you could also consider Bing ads. In my experience, they have been a lot cheaper but the search volume has been a lot lower.
Sometimes Google is better and other times bing ads are better. If you want to use Google & Bing ads, you have to research both a lot to find the best advertising platform for you.
11. Facebook & Instagram Ads
Lastly, we have Facebook & Instagram ads.
Why are they in the last place? Because the cost is sky-high. The traffic quality doesn’t beat any sort of organic, competition is exploding and there are simply better options out there, at least for affiliate marketing.
If you are promoting physical products, I can’t even imagine a way for Facebook & Instagram ads to be profitable due to the low commission. Even, if you are promoting high commission products, you are probably still competing with the company of your product and a ton of other affiliates.
You will need a big budget for testing and even then, there are still better options out there.
Don’t get me wrong, if you know what you’re doing and have a good strategy for Facebook Ads, they can be even better than most other methods. But, most people don’t have that great strategy when it comes to using Facebook Ads for affiliate marketing.
How To Get Started
First of all, learn the traffic method that you chose well.
If it is a free traffic method through content creation, start creating content. Additionally, you will want to learn the SEO of that platform or figure out how you grow. So, for example, if it would be Twitter, it may be following specific users and creating specific content.
In case you have chosen paid ads, you should first put a little bit of your budget towards testing. You can then take a look and see what worked well and what didn’t. Maybe a lot of people clicked on your ad, but not a lot of people entered their email address. In which case, it could be the targeting, your ad copy or your bridge page that needs improving.
It’s really down to testing until you find something that works. Testing costs money, so be sure to only use what you can afford to lose. Again, if you are a beginner I would recommend starting with free traffic.