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How to do affiliate marketing without a website and make money

13 min

Affiliate marketing is a compelling revenue source for individuals seeking to monetize their online presence. Traditionally, launching an affiliate marketing venture was synonymous with owning a website or blog, but times have changed. The diversity of online platforms and evolving consumer behaviors have eroded traditional barriers to entry.

If you’ve contemplated entering affiliate marketing but were deterred by the notion of building and maintaining a website, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. This blog post will unlock the full potential of affiliate marketing without needing a dedicated website. We’ll leverage existing online platforms, explore innovative strategies, and delve into the nuances of crafting a successful affiliate marketing business that transcends the boundaries of a conventional blog.

How to start affiliate marketing without a website

1. Choose a niche

The first step to becoming a successful affiliate marketer is to choose an affiliate niche that aligns with your interests and has a potential audience. Selecting a niche you’re passionate about will make the process more enjoyable and sustainable. Niches include fitness, wellness, travel, money, sustainable living, fashion, pet care, etc.

You’ll want to balance broadness with specificity to appeal to enough people. For example, the personal finance niche offers various content opportunities for different age groups. For instance, in your 20s, you can focus on the 18-34 demographic and share your ideas and experiences about saving, reducing student debt, managing credit, and investing apps.

Personal finance impacts millions, so it’s easy to confirm a potential audience without much research. However, the deeper you go into a niche, the more you must validate it with keyword research tools like Google Trends or Semrush. For instance, ‘expat dating’ might be too narrow. On the other hand, dating for seniors has a potentially sizeable audience.

👉 Read on to learn about the best affiliate marketing niches and how to choose the right one for you.

Example of keyword research data. Source: Semrush

2. Create and optimize content

Content creation is central to affiliate marketing because content attracts traffic, getting people to click. Content is critical because some companies only allow affiliates to join their programs based on content quality and publishing frequency. 

High-quality content not only meets but often exceeds the audience’s expectations. It is valuable, original, relevant, and engaging, providing a positive user experience. It reflects a commitment to excellence, demonstrating a genuine effort to deliver the best possible information or entertainment to the intended audience. For instance, relevant content addresses specific questions, concerns, or interests, ensuring it resonates with the intended readers or viewers. Accurate content is researched, factually correct, and supported by credible sources, building trust.

TikTok’s content discovery algorithm is different from Instagram’s. The same is true for all content platforms. Therefore, you must research, experiment, and understand content and search optimization strategies to improve discoverability, using relevant keywords, tags, and hashtags where applicable. For instance, YouTube recommends using up to 15 hashtags per video, whereas Instagram supports up to 30 per post.

3. Join affiliate programs

Next, explore reputable affiliate programs within your chosen niche. Look for programs with products or services that resonate with your audience and offer competitive commission rates. Impact, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, and Rakuten Advertising have established affiliate networks providing thousands of programs in various niches. Many brands run affiliate programs off networks and in-house with affiliate marketing tracking software like GetResponse and Amazon Associates.

Affiliate programs typically pay for sales, but some pay per lead. Also, they’ll offer a fixed commission or share of revenue per transaction, e.g., $12 or 35%.

Discover the best affiliate programs for beginners without a website to get started.

GetResponse affiliate programs
Example of a commission structure in an affiliate program. Example: GetResponse

4. Add affiliate links to make money

After you join one or a few programs, add your affiliate links to your content by copying and pasting them. However, it would be best to understand the importance of advertising disclosures before proceeding.

Advertising disclosures in affiliate marketing play a crucial role in maintaining transparency, building trust, and ensuring ethical business practices. These disclosures are statements by content creators or affiliates to inform their audience about the financial relationships and potential biases associated with the products or services they promote. The importance of advertising disclosures in affiliate marketing can be understood through several key aspects.

Disclosures create transparency by openly communicating the financial incentives behind the affiliate marketing promotions. When audiences know the affiliate relationship, it builds credibility and demonstrates honesty and openness.

Many jurisdictions, including the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the United States, have regulations that require affiliates to disclose their relationships with advertisers. Adhering to these regulations helps content creators avoid legal consequences and maintain a positive reputation.

Disclosures contribute to ethical marketing practices by ensuring that audiences are not misled. When affiliates disclose their financial interests, consumers can make informed decisions, and trust is preserved in the long run.

Disclosures empower consumers to make informed purchasing decisions. When audiences understand that an affiliate may earn a commission, they can evaluate the content with the awareness of potential biases and make choices based on their preferences and needs.

Affiliate marketing can be perceived as deceptive or manipulative without proper disclosures. Disclosures prevent the audience from feeling misled and help maintain the integrity of the content creator’s relationship with their followers.

Failure to disclose affiliate relationships can negatively affect a content creator’s reputation. Audiences may feel betrayed if they discover undisclosed affiliations, potentially losing credibility and followers.

Disclosures serve an educational purpose by helping audiences understand how online marketing works. This awareness can lead to a more discerning audience that critically evaluates promotional content.

Transparent disclosures contribute to the overall accountability of the affiliate marketing industry. When affiliates prioritize clear communication, it encourages others in the industry to do the same, fostering a culture of responsibility and integrity.

Social media platforms regularly update their policies. Stay informed to ensure compliance and avoid issues with your affiliate marketing activities.

Disclosure examples

YouTube video description:

“FTC Disclosure: This video may contain affiliate links, meaning I may earn a commission if you click through and purchase. It helps support the channel, and I appreciate your support!”

Facebook Page post:

“Sponsored post with [Brand]. Swipe for exclusive discounts. FYI, using the swipe-up link may earn us a commission.”

Email newsletter:

“This newsletter contains affiliate links. We may earn a commission if you click on a link and purchase. Your support helps us continue to provide valuable content.”

Where to promote affiliate links

Although thousands of affiliates use blogs as their primary content and marketing method, so much more is available to marketers. 

Social media apps

Facebook pages: Utilize your Facebook Page to share engaging content related to your niche. This can include product reviews, tutorials, or lifestyle posts. Alternatively, use your Facebook profile for the same.

Facebook groups dedicated to affiliate marketing.
Facebook groups dedicated to affiliate marketing

TikTok: Since TikTok doesn’t allow clickable links in captions, include your affiliate links in your bio. Also, direct viewers to check your bio for more information. Many affiliates create a link landing page containing five to seven links. Popular companies include GetResponse, Beacon, Linktree, and Bitly.

How YouTubers and TikTokers can share affiliate links through a landing page
How YouTubers and TikTokers can share affiliate links through a landing page linked in their bio

Instagram: Like TikTok, include your affiliate links in your Instagram bio. You can tag affiliate products in feed posts, Stories, Reels, and live broadcasts. You can also create a shop with recommended products.

Example of placing your affiliate link in an Instagram bio
Example of placing your affiliate link in an Instagram bio

Pinterest: Curate boards that align with your niche and feature a mix of affiliate products and services. Use high-quality images and engaging descriptions to attract clicks. Please read our complete guide to Pinterest affiliate marketing.

Pins with affiliate links on Pinterest.
Pins with affiliate links on Pinterest

X (formerly Twitter): Integrate affiliate links naturally into your tweets. Be sure to use URL shorteners if character count is a concern.

With all these platforms, pin your top-performing affiliate content. This ensures that when someone visits your profile, they’ll first see the most relevant and valuable information.


YouTube attracts significant affiliate marketing activity because of its extensive user base. Incorporate affiliate links into your video descriptions and within the content itself. Clearly explain the benefits of the products or services you’re promoting to encourage viewers to click on the links. You can also include affiliate links in comments, community posts, and About page links.

Example of an affiliate link in a YouTube video description
Example of an affiliate link in a YouTube video description

Publishing platforms

LinkedIn Pulse, Medium, and Substack replace the need for an independent blog, for example, a site run with WordPress software. Also, LinkedIn Pulse and Medium content appear in search results if optimized. 

LinkedIn users enjoy business, marketing, technology, and career content, whereas Medium and Substack support all niches.

I have a website, so I don’t use either of these channels. However, I post regularly on LinkedIn through my profile.

How I promote content on LinkedIn
How I promote content on LinkedIn

Webinars and online events

Webinar and online event marketers get people to register for their upcoming presentations. Then, they follow up with email content containing affiliate links. For example, you organize a webinar about mobile banking apps for expats. Then, you send attendees an email recap of the apps covered with affiliate links included. Top-rated webinar apps include GetResponse, Zoom, and Google Meet.

Online courses and ebooks

Online course instructors commonly put affiliate links in their video descriptions and downloadable resources. Non-fiction authors place links in their manuscripts.

How you can add affiliate links to course modules. Source: Scott Max
How you can add affiliate links to course modules. Source: Scott Max


Podcasting and affiliate marketing can be tricky, but opportunities exist. Incorporate affiliate links or coupon codes into your podcast content. This can be done verbally during the podcast episodes or through show notes on your website. Clearly explain the benefits of the products or services to encourage listener engagement.

Consider creating dedicated content, such as product reviews, tutorials, or discussions around how the products have added value to your life.

Include affiliate links and relevant information in your downloadable resources. This provides an additional channel for listeners to access the recommended products or services.

Negotiate with merchants to provide exclusive discounts or special deals for your podcast audience. Unique incentives can drive listeners to use your affiliate links, increasing conversion rates.

Tim Ferris frequently mentions products he recommends and works with and places them in his show notes
Tim Ferris frequently mentions products he recommends and works with and places them in his show notes

Chat and messaging apps

Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and WeChat do support affiliate marketing. However, your content and affiliate activities won’t be publicly available to gain a sizeable following. Conversely, WhatsApp is becoming a hybrid chat/social media app with ‘Channels,’ allowing users to follow others. Therefore, you can build a followership to promote affiliate links.

Forums and communities

Reddit, Quora, and Discord frown upon self-promotion and affiliate marketing. So, achieving success on these platforms is less likely. However, many Facebook Groups support affiliate marketing and are niche-focused to support relevant promotions. (Read the group’s policies or seek the admin’s permission to post affiliate links.)

Pay-per-click ads

Combining paid advertising with affiliate marketing is possible but not for the faint of heart because costs can quickly outpace earnings. Secondly, ad networks from Google, Meta, and Bing are extra diligent about affiliate promotions. Account suspensions are commonplace because the brands allowing PPC affiliate marketing often provide a poor user experience. (Most companies forbid PPC marketing because they don’t want to bid against themselves, increasing costs.)

Emails and newsletters

Saving the best for last, let’s cover email marketing.

Email marketing is a powerful tool for building and nurturing relationships with your audience. Here are critical aspects of how email marketing is integral to affiliate marketing, especially when promoting affiliate links on third-party platforms like Facebook, TikTok, and others:

When relying solely on third-party platforms, you are subject to their algorithms and policies. Building an email list provides independence from platform changes and ensures direct access to your audience. You also own your subscribers’ contact information. This ownership is valuable because it ensures that your audience remains accessible regardless of changes on external platforms.

Example of how you can place affiliate links in your newsletters
Example of how you can place affiliate links in your newsletters

While promoting affiliate links on other platforms is essential, having an email list diversifies your traffic sources. If one platform’s performance declines, you still have a direct channel to reach your subscribers.

Email allows for direct communication with your fans. Unlike social media, where algorithms can affect reach, emails land directly in subscribers’ inboxes, providing a more reliable means of communication.

Regularly sending valuable content, updates, and recommendations via email helps build trust and credibility with your audience.

Email marketing platforms enable personalization and segmentation, allowing you to tailor content to specific audience segments. This targeted approach increases the relevance of your affiliate promotions.

Email marketing is effective for nurturing long-term relationships. By consistently providing value, you can turn one-time visitors or customers into loyal followers more likely to engage with your affiliate recommendations.

Email campaigns can be strategically designed to drive conversions. Whether through exclusive promotions, limited-time offers, or personalized recommendations, email is a powerful tool for encouraging action.

Email marketing platforms provide analytics and insights into the performance of your campaigns. You can track open rates, click-through rates, and conversion metrics, allowing you to refine your strategies.

Consider creating a website

Although this post is about doing affiliate marketing without a website, it’s worth reviewing the benefits and drawbacks of having an affiliate site or blog. Secondly, many affiliate networks and advertisers make website ownership mandatory to join programs. For example, ShareASale states, “You must have and operate at least one website to create a publisher account at” With a website, you’ll expand your options. Alternatively, if you’re a social media marketer or influencer, many companies have influencer programs specifically for users without websites.

A ShareASale affiliate account signup form.
A ShareASale affiliate account signup form.


A website lends credibility and professionalism to your affiliate marketing efforts. It provides a central hub where visitors can learn more about you, your niche, and the products or services you promote.

With a website, you have complete control over the design, content, and user experience. You own the platform, giving you more flexibility and independence than third-party platforms.

Having a website allows you to optimize content for search engines. This can improve your site’s visibility, attract organic traffic, and increase the chances of earning money through affiliate marketing.

A website supports various monetization avenues beyond affiliate marketing. You can integrate display ads, sell your products or services, and explore other income streams.

A website provides a space for brand building. You can establish a consistent brand identity, share your story, and create a memorable online presence.

Websites are effective platforms for building an email list. Collecting emails allows you to nurture leads, communicate directly with your audience, and enhance your affiliate marketing strategies.

Websites have built-in analytics tools that offer insights into visitor behavior, conversion rates, and other vital metrics. This data is invaluable for optimizing your affiliate marketing campaigns.


Creating and maintaining a website involves initial domain registration, hosting, and potential web development costs. Ongoing maintenance can also incur additional expenses.

Setting up a website can be time-consuming, especially for those new to web development. Learning and implementing necessary skills may require a significant time investment.

Many affiliate marketers use websites, leading to increased competition and saturation within specific niches. Standing out may require additional effort and a unique approach.

A learning curve is associated with understanding and implementing effective search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. However, SEO becomes less reliable each time Google and other search engines update their algorithms.

Websites can be vulnerable to security threats. Protecting your site from hacks or malware requires ongoing vigilance and security measures.


You don’t need a website to make money in affiliate marketing because other promotional channels are available, supporting various content types like images (Pinterest and Instagram), video (YouTube and TikTok), text (LinkedIn and Medium), and audio (podcasts). Moreover, LinkedIn Pulse and Medium fare well against independent blogs and come with existing traffic. Lastly, new platforms surface annually, like Threads. So, monitor tech and social media news for new opportunities.

A landing page, website, and email marketing will enhance your affiliate marketing endeavors. So, get started with GetResponse for free to access multiple digital marketing tools, helping to grow your traffic and commissions.

Chad Tennant
Chad Tennant
Chad is a digital marketer specializing in affiliate marketing. His experiences as an advertiser and publisher give him unique insights and strategies to increase sales. Additionally, he creates content to market companies, products, and services. A partial list of his work includes blogs, guides, videos, and email marketing campaigns. Chad holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Toronto Metropolitan University and a Project Management Professional (PMP) designation from PMI. You can reach out to Chad on LinkedIn and visit his website.