12 Best Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing

Free Traffic Sources

Free traffic sources for affiliate marketing

There’s no such thing as a free lunch, but free website traffic is yours for the taking.

In fact, there are so many free traffic sources of traffic that it can be hard to narrow down to a core few. It’s important to be picky because even though you don’t have to spend money on these traffic sources, they do require your time and attention to succeed.

But keep in mind that “free” doesn’t mean “easy”

Once you increase your traffic, you can begin promoting an array of products and services that are in line with your niche. You will need to market these products differently free traffic sources depending on the sources you are using to generate traffic.

SEO

I can’t write an article about free traffic sources without talking about search engine optimization. If you’ve been in the game for any time at all, you already know how crucial it is to harness the power of search engines if you want organic traffic. 

Take a look at Labrador Training HQ, for example: 

Labrador Training HQ is able to generate over $30K per month from leveraging organic Google traffic and monetizing it with affiliate marketing offers. 

Keywords have proven to be one of the most important ranking factors out there. Keywords are how search engines categorize your work and determine if it is valuable to a specific audience. If you haven’t already, it’s crucial that you start conducting keyword research for your site.

Reddit

When we talk about free traffic, Reddit might not be the most obvious choice, but it is a powerful engine that can drive visitors to your affiliate website.

The cool thing about Reddit is that people often use it as a place to get recommendations and advice from other redditors.

By adding links to your website in the comments you can drive consistent targeted free traffic sources to your affiliate offers. For this to be effective, you must add comments that add value to the user so that it doesn’t look spammy.

How to use Reddit as a free traffic source

Take a look at how I used Ahrefs to filter Reddit.com by “top pages” and added a parameter to only include results with the keyword “VPN.”

Notice all the pages that come up, which are currently generating substantial amounts of traffic from Google. 

Ahrefs results for keyword VPN

As a marketer, the first thing that comes to mind is how to use these pages to free traffic sources back to my site. 

Google search results for VPN

If I do a quick Google search for “best VPN Reddit,” the page that shows up in the first position generates over 17K monthly visitors with a traffic value of $79K dollars. 

Ahrefs result for best VPN Reddit

Now, if we take a closer look at that page, you will see that the first comments are loaded with links that drive traffic directly to an affiliate website that recommends the “best VPNs.”

Reddit results for best VPNs

This Reddit page probably generates over $30K dollars per month from affiliate commissions. 

Sounds easy right? Well, it can be if you find the right pages with the right keywords and enough traffic to make money.  

I can pull up hundreds of examples of Reddit pages that have cloaked affiliate links hidden in the comments, or drive traffic to a website that is nothing more than a landing page for affiliate offers.

Guest posts

Collaborating with other content creators in your niche is a great way to bring visitors to your site. As we already know, when it comes to affiliate marketing, it’s all about the right audience. 

Guest posting is not only free, it’s a win-win for both you and the person who want free traffic sources you’re collaborating with. It expands your reach to a wider audience while providing another blogger with quality content. 

How to get started with guest posting

If you’re interested in guest blogging, here’s how you can get started for free:

  1. Research blogs within your niche or similar niches that post quality content
  2. Email them or use their contact form to find out if they accept guest posts
  3. Once you hear back from the site you can send them your pitch
  4. If your pitch is approved, you can submit your guest post
  5. Free traffic sources

You may find that once you start making more connections in your field, exchanging guest posts becomes more natural. 

As always, focus on networking and making connections to free traffic sources increase these opportunities. 

Pinterest 

According to Hootsuite, Pinterest is the third-largest social network in the U.S. But Pinterest is as much a search engine as it is a social network. Think of it as the Google of images and free traffic sources.

Now, the cool thing about Pinterest is that you can upload an image attached to a URL. That means, whenever someone clicks on that image, they are redirected to the attached website. 

If you’re using compelling images and your article falls into a Pinterest category, it’s a great (and free) way to reach a wide audience.

Let’s take a look at a website called The View from Great Island. According to SimilarWeb, this website generates around 650K monthly visitors, 26% of which is generated using social platforms and 90% of that is generated from Pinterest alone. 

The View from Great Island monthly visitors

I think it’s safe to say that this site generates thousands of monthly visits from leveraging the power of Pinterest for free traffic sources.

YouTube

If you’re an affiliate marketer on a budget, the idea of starting a YouTube channel can seem out of reach. Fortunately, you don’t have to invest in any expensive filming set up right away. 

YouTube is one of my favorite ways to generate free traffic because all you need is a phone, and you can actually use your phone camera to get a YouTube channel off the ground.

YouTube is great for affiliate marketers for several reasons. I wrote an entire article about how to do YouTube affiliate marketing with little to no money. 

YouTube affiliate marketing

Aside from being low- to no-cost, it also gives you the opportunity for your videos to get indexed on Google. This will get you some of that sweet Google traffic, as well as organic YouTube traffic. 

If you’re creating helpful tutorials, guides, or reviews, your video may appear in relevant Google search results, which gives you more exposure.

Affiliate marketers can create a variety of content that showcases products and services such as guides, reviews, comparisons, and unboxing videos. You can then add affiliate links in the description below. 

Add affiliate links on YouTube

As with any form of content marketing, you need to create high-quality content that sticks to a given niche. 

Some of the most profitable YouTube niches are technology, beauty, fashion, gaming, fitness, and education.

Niche forums and groups

Here’s an example of how you can use forums to your advantage. 

I recently published an article about a website builder called Beaver Builder. There is a Facebook group dedicated to this particular website builder with several thousand members. 

Because this group is clearly interested in Beaver Builder, chances are they’d be interested in an article on this topic. 

You can do the same with your own articles. Find groups and forums that are centered around your post and share it.

Keep in mind, it’s important to provide context when you post your article. Avoid just sharing a link with no explanation, otherwise, you appear spammy.

Expert roundup

Since we went over guest posting, I think it’s appropriate to talk about expert roundups.

Once the article is published, you can expect the experts to share the post with their audience after you’ve featured them in your post. They usually do this through their social media. So, don’t expect any backlinks from their websites. For link building purposes, you should submit your own insights to someone else’s roundup.

The more influential experts you manage to gather together, the more free traffic you might expect from their social channels. Your ability to attract those experts to share their insights depends largely on your website’s authority and traffic. 

Alternatively, you can use a platform like HARO, where you can post a query for the roundup and wait for people to send their pitches to you. Or if you’re a member of some relevant expert community on Slack or Facebook, for example, you could just post it there. 

Quora

A question-and-answer website founded in 2019, Quora has 300 million active monthly users. What separates Quora from other similar social online communities is that it has a somewhat more professional user base. 

Users who are 18 years and older spend more than twice as much time on Quora than LinkedIn. 54% of Quora users also report having an annual household income of over 100K, and they’re 37% more likely to be in a management position than the general adult population. 

To use Quora as a free traffic source, you need to have expertise in the topic categories, where you answer questions. But everyone is an expert in some topics, right? And ideally, you’ve chosen affiliate products in a niche that you’re specialized in. 

How to build traffic on Quora

Posting direct affiliate links is not allowed on Quora. You will only get your account suspended, or in worst case, banned. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot promote your affiliate offers. You just have to do it indirectly. 

Always make sure your answers are informative most of all. You may add a link back to a relevant article on your website that goes into more detail on the topic and contains your affiliate promotions. But this is only allowed if the linked content actually adds value to your answer.

Start by optimizing your Quora profile. Your profile bio appears on all the answers you write, so it helps with credibility if you include details that demonstrate your expertise in the topics. And you can add a link to your affiliate website to the summary section on your profile. 

Next, you need to choose a relevant topic in your chosen niche. In the “Read” section, you see the most popular questions and answers on the topic. You can then find recently posted questions in the “Answer” section, and also look at the most viewed writers in that topic.

quora topic category for seo tools

Once you’ve selected a few topics and started to answer some of the questions, you will notice a “Questions” section on the left side. There, other users can request your answers to their questions on a topic you’re specialized in. And Quora will also suggest relevant questions to you, based on your previous answers and the topics and spaces you follow on the platform.

quora suggested questions

Write for Medium

Medium is an online publication that offers abundant opportunities for bloggers. Just like with guest posting, writing for Medium offers you access to a wider audience. 

Medium has a built-in audience already, so you can count on reaching a decent number of readers. 

Contributing to Medium is totally free and can be completed in a few simple steps:

  1. Write a relevant blog post.
  2. Wait for an editor to review and approve your work.
  3. Once approved, your post will be recommended to relevant Medium readers. 

Medium doesn’t ban content with affiliate links. So, it’s possible for you to link directly to your affiliate offers on Medium. 

You can also republish your existing content from your website by importing articles to your Medium account. Republished posts on Medium automatically have a link to the original article.

importing content on medium

But just stuffing a bunch of affiliate links into your article and republishing it on Medium isn’t going to work. Only quality content will attract readers and claps, which Medium uses to measure what posts readers like. More claps also means better ranking for your content.

Social media

I would be neglecting my duty if I were to leave out social media from the list of free traffic sources. Social media is free and gives you access to a huge audience. 

As long as you follow the correct guidelines, most social media sites allow users to promote affiliate products on their accounts. Instagram is one of the most popular options out there. 

Learning the ins and outs of Instagram marketing deserves a post unto itself, but if you are willing to learn the ropes, it’s a great platform for affiliate marketers.

List of 10 Best Free Traffic Sources for Your Website

  • TikTok
  • SEO
  • Twitter
  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Q&A Websites and Forums
  • YouTube
  • Reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • Email

TikTok

TikTok is the newest platform on this list, but it isn’t the smallest. It has over 700 million active monthly users, beating platforms like Twitter, Pinterest, and Snapchat. Although it has the reputation of being mainly for teens, its user base is well-distributed between people in their teens, 20s, 30s and even 40s

SEO

It’s estimated that Google processes over 40,000 searches per second, equating to trillions of searches per year. So optimizing your content for SEO can lead to compounding traffic and revenue growth. And when it comes to the buyer’s journey, up to 72% of people looking to make a purchase start by opening Google.

Twitter

If there’s a worldwide event, a new movie or a funny meme, you can bet that Twitter is the first to hear about it. This platform only has 262 million users, but it’s one of the most active places on the internet.

And users are open to brands joining the party. The only catch is that it has to be done the “right” way. Twitter users aren’t looking to be sold to – they want to be engaged with. Humor, memes and hot takes do well on the platform. Just throwing your link up isn’t going to cut it.

Instagram

With 1 billion monthly users, Instagram has become a type of virtual living room. The whole family can hang out on the platform, from young tweens to moms, dads and even grandmas. The average age of the platform has risen and half of American adults ages 30-49 have active profiles.

Instagram users are ready to buy.

Pinterest

Pinterest looks like a social media platform but acts like a search engine. Its 320 million users come to its doors in search of inspiration and information to “pin” to their virtual vision boards

 Q&A Websites and Forums

Q&A websites and forums might remind you of the early days of the internet, but they are far from being a thing of the past. Craigslist survived the 90s and is still kicking. Quora is an active Q&A forum and even Facebook has hopped on the bandwagon with Facebook Groups.

Members of these groups are often looking for advice and recommendations, making it a great place to offer solutions via links or content.

Just make sure that your link is relevant to the question being asked and that you follow the guidelines of the group. Remember that the goal here is to help other users and not to post links randomly. Members are usually more receptive to links that include a little bit of context or genuinely solve their question.

Forums are a great example of “level playing fields” because everyone has an equal chance to impress other users.

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