How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without Followers (4 Paths)

Last Updated on 6th February 2024

Are you wondering how to do affiliate marketing without followers?

Or if it can even be done at all? Well, you’re not alone!

Many people assume that success in affiliate marketing is directly proportional to the size of your follower base.

And while it’s true that having a large audience can help, it’s not the be-all and end-all of the affiliate marketing business model.

In fact, that’s just ONE way to do it.

There are several other affiliate marketing methods that require NO audience.

Intrigued?

Read on to explore how you can generate affiliate income, leveraging 4 affiliate marketing strategies that don’t require you to build a following, or even show your face.

Let’s get to it!


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4 Tips on How to Do Affiliate Marketing Without Followers

Affiliate marketing is an excellent way to earn passive income. In fact, it’s my number one favourite way to build a substantial income online. And you can do it even if you don’t have a following or an audience hanging off of your every word.

To be a successful affiliate marketer, all you really to do is drive targeted traffic to affiliate offers that convert well.

That’s basically it in a nutshell.

Yes, there are a number of steps you need to do in between in order to get this done. But essentially, this is what it boils down to:

  • Know how to reach targeted customers in a given niche
  • Know how to put relevant offers in front of them that convert well

That being said, here are 4 methods you can use to effectively reach potential customers in a lucrative affiliate marketing niche without needing an audience.

Use a Blog or Website – Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Blogging

If you want to make money with your affiliate business without having to build a following, then having a blog or website is a powerful tool. In fact, this is the first method I started with when I began my affiliate marketing journey.

With a blog, not only did I not need to worry about building a following, but I could also build a passive affiliate income without even showing my face.

By using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, you can increase your online visibility and reach potential buyers through organic search results.

What I particularly love about this method is that people are actively using search engines like Google for answers to problems, and then they find your blog posts as a result.

It’s kinda like fishing. Each blog post you put out is like a bated hook. You just put out your articles and wait.

To get started as an affiliate marketer, you first need to choose a niche. Then, conduct keyword research using keyword research tools to find phrases and terms that your target audience is searching for. Each search term needs to be related to your niche for affiliate marketing, and preferably a large portion of these terms also related to the products or affiliate program you are promoting as well.

You can use tools like Answer The Public, Moz Keyword Explorer, or Ahrefs Keyword Explorer to identify these keywords and analyse their search volume, competition, and relevance to your content.

Next, create valuable content on your blog or website, incorporating these keywords naturally throughout your text.

Remember to use headings, subheadings, images, and different text formatting like bold and italics to make your content more accessible and user-friendly for your readers.

If you want a shortcut to creating high-quality content with SEO then check out my video below:

Optimising your content for on-page SEO is crucial for better search engine rankings. If you’re not sure how to do this, then I show you how using one of my favourite AI tools in the above video.

Ensure that you craft keyword-rich and engaging meta descriptions, optimize your headers (H1, H2, H3), and include your target keyword in your URL.

Also, when uploading images, use descriptive file names and incorporate your keywords into the alt text.

Internal and external linking also plays a huge role in SEO. These strategically placed links help to build your affiliate website’s authority and improve your ranking on search engines like Google.

A basic (but crucial) rule of thumb here is to connect your content to other relevant pages on your site, and provide external links to trustworthy sources with high domain authority.

Focus on consistently publishing quality content aligned with the interests, desires, and pain points of your target audience.

It’s also important to regularly check your site’s performance in Google Search Console and track the most popular search terms. This helpful info will give you insights into what content to create next.

Then, of course, you want to place your affiliate links in your articles gentle CTAs to get people to click. If you’re promoting good offers that convert, then you don’t need to do the selling yourself. All you need to do is get people to click and visit the merchant’s website.

Build an Email List

email marketing

Building an email list is a highly effective way to promote an affiliate program or affiliate marketing products without needing an audience.

Now, you could argue that through the act of list building, you are essentially building an audience. While yes, that is true, you don’t actually need an audience in the first place to build a huge email list.

Regardless of whatever affiliate method you choose for your affiliate marketing efforts, I highly encourage you to build an email list. It’s the only one true asset that you own and no one can take away from you. If you do list building correctly like the pros, then this is also the most effective way to convert people into paying customers.

By gaining subscribers and maintaining their engagement over time, you can develop a targeted audience, resulting in higher conversions, more generated leads, and higher affiliate sales.

First, you’ll need to choose an email marketing provider like GetResponse, Aweber, or Omnisend. These email marketing services allow you to collect and store email addresses, and send out automated email campaigns or email newsletters to your subscribers without you constantly needing to be pushing the ‘send’ button.

To start growing your email list, you’ll first need a desirable lead magnet, a.k.a, an ethical bribe to entice people to join your mailing list. Examples include a free eBook, a cheat sheet, checklist, a case study, or even a free mini-course.

You’ll then need to set up a simple affiliate landing page that hosts your free lead magnet and collects people’s emails when they subscribe.

If you’re a beginner, then I recommend using Systeme.io’s free plan to set up your landing page. You can watch my step-by-step tutorial to get it all set up in the video below.

Once you’ve got some subs on your list, focus on creating high-quality email marketing campaigns that not only helps them out, but also promotes the products or services you’re an affiliate for.

It’s important to use a call to action in your emails. These urge your subs to check out your affiliate offers. This will boost click-through rates and ultimately lead to a stronger conversion rate.

It’s important to monitor the performance of your email marketing campaigns regularly. Analyse your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to understand what works best for your audience and adjust your strategies accordingly.

If you’re wondering how to get subscribers to join your email list if you don’t have a following, then this video explains how to do it.

Use Paid Traffic

paid traffic from Google Ads

Another effective strategy for running a profitable affiliate marketing business without followers is to use paid traffic.

Paid traffic sources allow you to reach potential customers and promote a wide range of affiliate products, even without an existing audience. With this method, you’re basically using advertising platforms to target specific demographics and interests.

One of the most popular platform for paid traffic campaigns for affiliate marketing is Google Ads. I’m sure you’ve seen the paid advertisements at the top of Google search results, well, that’s what I’m talking about.

By leveraging Google Ads, you can get your message in front of people right at the top of the search results by creating pay-per-click (PPC) ads for specific keywords.

Tip: Try targeting long-tail keywords, as these often have a lower cost per click and can bring better results.

You don’t just have to stick with Google Ads though if paid traffic is your method of choice. Both Facebook and Instagram Ads are also useful for reaching your target market, that is, if either of these platforms are where they are hanging out.

YouTube Ads also work very well for video-based content, or if your message can be better conveyed through visual means. This is an excellent way to engage users, as videos provide a more interactive experience. Moreover, YouTube offers a range of ad formats, such as in-stream ads, video discovery ads, and bumper ads, which can cater to different budgets and campaign objectives.

Pinterest Ads are another alternative you may want to consider if your audience is primarily using this platform. Again, if your affiliate products are visually appealing, or cater to specific niche interests that are popular on Pinterest, then you may do well by leveraging Pinterest ads.

Collaborate With Influencers

Collaborate with influencers

Even if you don’t have any followers, you can still leverage the power of social media marketing by collaborating with influencers. 

It’s quite easy to get started. All you need to do to begin is first make a list of social media influencers who have an audience relevant to the products or services you’re promoting. Your list can include influencers across a variety of social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or Pinterest, for example. 

If you don’t have any followers yourself then you’ll likely need to pay the influencers for exposure to their audience. Basically, you’ll pay them a fee, and then they’ll run a promo to their social media followers with your affiliate link. If people make purchases, then you reap the affiliate commissions. Simple!

If you’re leveraging this method, then I highly recommend sending people first to an optin page where you can collect email addresses, rather than giving the influencers your affiliate link to send traffic to. This way you can build a list of email subscribers who are interested in what you have to offer. You can then continue to market to these same people again and again instead of only getting one shot to make an affiliate sale.

Partnering with influencers is basically a win-win situation; they have access to a large audience (and can make some quick money by giving you access to it), while you have a product or service that adds value to their content and makes you money.

Look to connect with influencers who share the same target audience as your affiliate marketing campaign. This will help ensure that your promotions reach the right people, increasing the likelihood of conversions and organic search traffic.

To collaborate successfully with influencers you’ll first need to build a relationship with them. Connecting with them and letting them know who you are, what you’re about, and what you hope to achieve from the collaboration is your first step. Similarly, you’ll also need to demonstrate that you understand their expectations and what they hope to achieve from the arrangement.

Once you’ve made an arrangement with the influencers, provide them with and relevant promotional materials that will help them promote your products or services for you. You’ll need to trust their expertise in creating engaging and informative content for their audience. After all, they’ll know their audience a lot better than you do.

Besides reaching out directly to individual influencers, you could also consider joining influencer networks. These platforms can connect you with influencers who are already open to forming collaborations. This will make the process whole much easier for you and get the ball rolling much more quickly.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some really common questions I often get when it comes to making money through affiliate marketing without followers:

What platforms are ideal for affiliate marketing without an audience?

There are several platforms you can use to make money through affiliate marketing without an audience. Some popular options include creating a website or affiliate blog, using platforms like WordPress or Blogger to share your informative content. Building an email list, as I mentioned above is also a great way to go.

You’ll want to also consider paid traffic if you have the budget for it, or collaborating with social media influencers to leverage the traffic they’ve built up over time.

How can one create content for an affiliate marketing program without a blog?

Creating content for affiliate marketing without a blog is more than possible. Instead, you can share high-quality content on platforms like YouTube, SlideShare, or various social networks like Pinterest and TikTok. You can even guest post on other websites. This way, you can leverage other platforms’ audiences and drive traffic to your affiliate links without necessarily having a blog.

Are there ways to be anonymous while doing affiliate marketing?

Yes, you can remain anonymous while doing affiliate marketing. You can create a pseudonym or use a brand name instead of your real name when creating content or interacting with your audience. You can even set up a separate email address and social media accounts for your affiliate marketing activities to maintain your anonymity.

Here is a great method to make money on YouTube anonymously and even without recording videos.

Can you really run a successful affiliate marketing business without any followers?

Absolutely, you can run a successful affiliate marketing business without followers. Focus on creating valuable and high-quality content and targeting organic traffic from search engines by using proper SEO techniques. As your content gains visibility and search volume for your specific keywords increases, you can gradually build a following while earning handsome affiliate commissions from your affiliate links.

How can you promote affiliate links without using social media sites?

You can promote affiliate links without using social media platforms by focusing on platforms like your website or blog, writing guest posts for other websites, participating in niche forums or online forums, and creating video content or podcasts. In addition, you can utilize email campaigns to build an email subscriber list and share helpful content with affiliate links.

Making Money With Affiliate Marketing Without Followers – Final Thoughts

So there you have it!

Whether you’re just dipping your toes into the ocean of opportunities or you’re already sailing in the vast affiliate marketing sea, remember that the size of your ship, or in this case, your follower count, isn’t everything. It’s about navigating intelligently, learning to make use of the right tools, and building trust with your audience, no matter its size.

Whether you’re a David among Goliaths or a single fish swimming against the current, the affiliate marketing industry is yours to conquer.

As we’ve seen in this article, the path to victory is less about mass and more about substance, less about quantity and more about quality.

Here’s to your success in making money with affiliate marketing, and remember, knowing how to do affiliate marketing without followers is a game-changer, proving that the size of your audience does not define the size of your success!


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