Building an affiliate site is only half the battle.
As an affiliate marketer, you know that the key to making a consistent income from your site is to generate traffic (and lots of it).
There are hundreds of different tactics internet marketers are using to drive traffic to their website. You may already be doing some of these (yay!) while others might be news to you.
So without further ado, here are a 75 different ideas to help you give your affiliate site traffic a boost. All of these may not be applicable to your business so simply use the ones you think make sense.
Have you set up a Facebook page for your affiliate site? If not – do it right away.
Use Facebook to build a community around your affiliate brand. Instead of just focusing on the sell, think about the value you can provide in terms of information, knowledge, news or even just entertainment. The more engaged your audience is, the more likely they are to visit your website to make a purchase.
For more tips and advice, check out our lesson How to Use Facebook for Affiliates.
Facebook's Business centre also has some good information on how to increase website traffic from Facebook.
Twitter too can be a huge source of traffic, but you have to invest time and energy to really build a community. The Twitter audience is very different to Facebook and you have to treat them accordingly.
Twitter users love to retweet content they like and find interesting. So, well thought-out, timely content has the potential to go viral and supercharge your exposure. You have to tweet well and tweet often – making sure to have conversations with your followers while also being useful and relevant to them.
For more on maximizing Twitter, check out our lesson on How to Use Twitter for Affiliates.
Pinterest is one of the fastest growing social networks. In September 2015, Pinterest had 100 million users and that number is only going to keep growing.
For many website and blog owners, Pinterest has become a primary source of traffic so it's definitely time for you to put into use for your business. Additionally, Pinterest users are known to be more likely to make a purchase.
According to Pinterest, 93 percent of Pinners (male and female) shopped online in the past six months. Another look at Shopify’s study showed that people referred by Pinterest are 10 percent more likely to make purchase on e-commerce sites than users of other social networks, and they tend to spend twice as much as those referred by Facebook.
Check out more interesting Pinterest statistics and start planning your Pinterest plan of attack.
More than 75 million people are using Instagram daily. It is also the "king of social engagement" as a Forrester study found; beating other social networks when it comes to keeping followers interested and engaged.
As a unique and very visual social platform, Instagram has the potential to reach your audience in a brand new way. You can not only show off your products (and how they are used) but also create a visual presence for your brand online.
Check out more tips on How to Drive Website Traffic With Instagram on Social Media Examiner.
Real Life Example: LastMinute.com
LastMinute.com is a great example of an affiliate site that does Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram very well. As a travel and experience deals company, their focus on social media seems to be on highlighting the beauty of travel and new experiences.
With good quality images, quotes, questions and lots of links to their site – they're doing an excellent job of building a brand identity. The next time their followers want to make a purchase, they're very likely to thank of LastMinute to make their bookings.
Have you got slideshows or presentations for your website/ product? Don't let them languish away on your computer – upload them to Slideshare and use them to send traffic to your website.
Slideshare has over 60 million unique visitors, so it only makes sense that you start using the platform as a way to drive leads to your website.
Learn how to do it well with Neil Patel's Step-by-Step Guide to Driving Qualified Traffic From SlideShare Presentations
6. Search engine advertising
Advertise your site by bidding on keywords. Depending on how competitive your niche is, you could be paying anything from a few cents to several dollars per click. Be sure to look into the advertising guidelines for each platform before jumping in.
7. Social media advertising
Paid advertising isn't limited to search engines alone any more. Most social networks now offer opportunities for paid advertising. You can pay per click or by impressions – depending on your goals.
Social media advertising also has the added advantage of very refined targeting options so you can really hone in on your ideal customer. Advanced options also allow you to retarget customers who have already visited your website but haven't made a purchase yet.
Combine quality content with engagement and advertising and you could soon be generating a lot of great traffic from social media channels.
Real Life Example: Flight Deals Websites
I'm keeping the travel theme going here. If you search for options to buy flights on Google, the top results you will see are from flight deals websites such as Skyscanner, Momondo and others; that make affiliate income every time a user buys a flight through their website.
I've also seen similar ads on Facebook for flight comparison sites. This is an example:
8. Deal sites
Who doesn't love a good Groupon? Post your services or products on Groupon (or the equivalent coupon site in your part of the world) and use it to drive traffic to your website.
9. PlentyofFish advertising
As a dating site, it has a lot of information about its users so your advertising can often be very highly targeted and more likely to reach your ideal audience.
10. Social media groups
Social media groups are a great place to meet and interact with customers interested in your industry/ service/ product.
Facebook Groups and LinkedIn Groups are usually the most popular places your customers might spend their time online. Remember, these groups are meant to be places to exchange information and help others so don't be salesy and try to promote your products from the get-go. Build relationships, be helpful and throw in links only where relevant. Once people know to trust you – the traffic will come automatically.
11. Online forums
Like social media groups, online forums are an excellent place to find a targeted audience interested in your business. You can find some very niche forums discussing all variety of topics.
Make sure to add a link in your profile so people know where to find you. Beyond this, try to provide value to discussions and just participate actively. Don't be spammy and keep the sales pitch on the down low and you'll be fine.
Read Shopify's guide to Forum Marketing as a starting point.
12. Your own forum
Got a big enough audience already? Then why take the discussion elsewhere?
Create a forum on your own website to start stimulating conversation. At first it might only be existing customers, but if you can build up a reputation for interesting and helpful discussions, you're likely to drive an increased amount of traffic to the site.
Reddit is a unique social networking service that can be very useful for driving traffic to your site. Sign up to get a feel for what the community likes (and dislikes).
Like other forums, participate first, promote later. There are some very niche threads on Reddit that might be helpful for you. Track discussions and contribute on a daily basis. Share links to your site when relevant but don't overdo it or the community may throw you out.
14. Blog commenting
The general rule for interacting and networking online is to contribute not promote. The same goes for when you're commenting on someone else's blog. Add to the discussion, don't promote. Thoughtful, opinionated and helpful comments help to build your reputation.
Always make sure you leave a link to your website when filling out the comment form or as part of your Disqus profile. This way people who like your comment, can click on your name and visit your website.
15. Guest posting on other blogs
Guest posting on another person's blog is a great way to introduce yourself as an expert in your niche. Find blogs relevant to your site, and ask if they will accept a guest submission. Make sure to add a link to your website in the author bio so readers know where to find you.
16. Q & A sites
Question and Answer sites like Quora or Yahoo! Answers are excellent for providing useful tips and advice. Keep your answers concise but helpful and as always, make sure there is a link back to your website from your profile.
17. Industry partnerships
Network with others in your industry for potential partnership opportunities. Team up with them to promote each other's products/ services and reach a brand new audience.
You can promote each other via blog post, display banners, email marketing and any other creative way you can think up.
18. Email lists
An email list is an important part of every marketer's arsenal. If you haven't already got one, start building your email list today.
One of the easiest way to do this is by offering email subscriptions to your blog. But of course, there are PLENTY of other ways to do this as well. Every time your subscribers receive an update about a new blog post, they are likely to come back to your site to check it out. You can also send them other updates and information about new products and services to continuously drive traffic to your site.
Learn more about email marketing in our Introduction to Email Marketing lesson.
19. Email series
Get more strategic with your email marketing by setting up an email series. Say you're an affiliate for fitness products. You could offer a 7-day email series on Getting Started With Kettle Bells, for example. This will go a long way towards building trust and relationships with your subscribers and establishing your expertise in your subject area.
Throughout the course of the seven days of the series, make sure to add links back to your website and as your list of subscribers keeps growing, your traffic will also continue to expand.
Good quality blogging will always be important. As an affiliate marketer, setting up a blog is an opportunity to show off your expertise in a particular industry area. Additionally, it can also be hugely beneficial for driving traffic via organic results, social made shares, email marketing and more.
New and interesting content will not keep readers coming back. Fresh content also sends search engines really good signals and can be very helpful in improving search engine rankings for your website.
21. Shareable content
When creating blog or any other type of content, always try to keep shareability in mind. Don't just regurgitate the same old content that every one else is putting out there – do something different.
Interesting, funny, relevant, knowledgeable and/or helpful content has the potential to be shared by thousands of people. When you create content like this, you expand your reach and also the potential for lots of new traffic to your site.
Our obsession with infographics is yet to die. We love statistics and information presented to us in a pretty layout.
Have you got some interesting facts about your niche? Why not put it together in an infographic instead of writing a long text-based post on it.
Infographics get shared so it's the perfect type of content to create – especially if you are in a unique niche. You could also add a sharing link on your blog encouraging others to post it on their blog. When they share it, you will get credit (and traffic) from it.
23. Link roundups
Running out of content to post on your blog? Why not start a link roundup in your niche. Create a summary post of recommended links – linking to useful content by others. A series like this can become a very useful resource for your readers.
Additionally, every time you mention someone in a roundup, contact them via social media to let them know they have been featured. If they share your post, it could mean a boost for your traffic too.
A popular way to generate traffic is by releasing an ebook. Create a book that will be useful to those in your industry and use it to drive traffic and collect email addresses.
The more useful the information, the more people you will get sharing it and recommending it – so focus on quality.
25. Youtube videos
If you're not already creating video content, you're missing out. Make video marketing a part of your strategy.
From product reviews to how-to videos, internet users are heading to YouTube for everything so make sure you capitalize on it.
Also, make sure to optimise your videos with relevant, searchable keywords. The right keywords can play a huge role in surfacing your video on YouTube when users are searching.
26. Directory listings
Adding your site to directories is a well-worn SEO tactic. There are hundreds of online directories for websites – make sure to add your website to the most relevant/ niche-specific ones.
27. Press releases
Press releases have been around for a long time and they're still useful. An online press release can be very useful for sending traffic to your site, especially if you have something new or interesting to announce.
Use a service like PRWeb to submit your press release easily.
28. The 404 page
Every now and then someone will end up on a page on your website that doesn't exist and that's when they'll see the 404 error page. Instead of losing them, redirect them to one of the core pages on your websites instead.
Make the most of all traffic!
29. Internal linking
Have you been paying attention to the linking structure within your own website? Do the pages on your site link to each other? Do similar pages or posts link back and forth, helping users find more content on your site, faster?
If not, it's time you got organized. An organized internal linking structure is a great signal for Google and helps your site rank higher and hence, drive more traffic.
30. Optimize your title tags
The title tag is the title of your pages and is displayed on the top of the browser when someone visits your site. This is an important on-page SEO factor. Make sure each page has a unique title tag.
If you have a WordPress blog, you might find the Yoast SEO plugin useful when updating your title tags.
31. Create a sitemap
A sitemap is basically a map for your website. It's usually a page on your website that links to all other pages on your site. This HTML sitemap helps search engines crawl and index your website – thus contributing to better search engine rankings.
32. On page SEO
Work on your on page SEO to improve the overall search engine rankings for your website. On page SEO refers to optimizing individual pages on a website and includes both content and HTML code on your website.
In the old days, this would just mean keyword placement but in 2016, it includes several other factors such as unique content, mobile responsiveness, page usability, easy accessibility by bots and many more.
Work on improving your on page SEO for additional opportunities for traffic. Moz's Visual Guide to Keyword Targeting and On-Page SEO is a great place to get started.
33. Build authority links
Linkbuilding, as you know, is a big part of improving the rankings for any website. But don't get carried away building just any old links. Quality links matter much more than just mere quantity.
Focus your efforts on developing backlinks from authority sites.
A quality, mobile-friendly site is critical to doing business online. More and more people are visiting your website through their smartphones. If your website is not optimized for them, they are likely to get frustrated and leave.
Optimize your site so that it renders well on desktops and mobile devices and you will definitely see an increase in traffic. Also, mobile-friendly sites are also becoming a big part of Google's search algorithm.
35. Linking deeper, higher quality pages rather than the homepage only
When linking to your site from other places, don't always link to your home page only.
Instead, find ways to link deeper into your website – to pages that have more content and more likely to be relevant.
Doing a guest post on another site? Link to a useful and relevant post on your blog instead of the home page. This will not only be useful for driving traffic but is also good for improving your SEO.
36. Image optimization
The images you use on your website should be optimized for search engines.
Google's image search can be very powerful for driving traffic to your site. Make the most of it by properly optimizing the name and Alt text of images with the relevant keywords.
37. Social media share plugin/ buttons
When people come to your website, they want to be able easily share the content they find.
Make it easier for them by incorporating a social media plugin or share buttons on your website. This makes it easier for them to share to social media; which in turn means more exposure and traffic for your site.
Check out this article on 30+ Best WordPress Social Media Plugins 2016.
If you're not already using IFTTT, you need to start now!
If This Then That (IFTTT) is an automation service designed to make your life much easier. While you can do several things with it, you can also use it to automate parts of your online marketing that can help with driving traffic.
Create/use IFTTT recipes that:
- Auto-post on your social networks when you have a new blog post.
- Search for keywords on Twitter/ Facebook or other social media and respond to relevant queries.
- Create an updated spreadsheet with new topics in a particular Reddit or Sub-Reddit to contribute to.
- Post to Facebook/Twitter when you upload a video to YouTube.
- …and many, many more.
39. RSS feeds
An RSS feed for your blog is an easy way for your readers to stay up-to-date with your blog.
Every time you publish new content, your RSS feed is updated and your subscribers can come back to your blog to read the new content and continue to engage with you.
40. A contest
Contests are a great way to engage current and new customers. Thanks to the ease of social media, you can run a variety of contests such as photo submissions, slogan writing, a sweepstake, retweet contest, Facebook likes contest, voting contest and so on.
Make sure the prize is good enough so your contest is widely shared and you experience a bump in your traffic.
41. A product giveaway
Like contests, giveaways are another great way to drive traffic to your website.
Host a giveaway of one of your products/services on your website. Give it away for free to one lucky person but require them to enter their email in order to qualify themselves.
If you have a good product/service that people really want – this works very well. It also helps you build your email list. Win-win.
42. Social proof
Using your social proof can be a powerful way to influence visitors. You can display your proof in terms of numbers ("1000s of products already sold"), positive customer testimonials, reviews and ratings, expert mentions and more.
You can then use this proof on your website, in advertising, on social media and anywhere else you are visible online. Social proof makes potential customers feel more secure about their choice so when you have lots of positive proof, show it off.
44. Short courses
Create a mini or short course to build your email list and to drive traffic to your website.
45.Syndicate videos with TubeMogul
47.Start a podcast
48.Host a webinar
52.Ping your site
53.Create an app
54.Create a quiz
56.Leverage holiday and seasonal events
57.Write a definitive guide or Top 100 list
58.Publish a funny image
59.A list of people or websites
60.Free WP theme
62.Create a screencast
63.Product/ service reviews
64.Translate your content
66.Purchase sponsored reviews
67.Write better headlines
68.Add click to tweet widgets
69.Outsource your traffic building
70.Set up your own Tribe on Triberr
71.Become a source for journalists (HARO)
73.Make the most of your email signature
74.Cover An Event (vaping)
So there you go, a 101 different ways you could drive traffic to your affiliate site. Some are easier than others but there’s definitely something in there that you could implement right away!
The question is – when are you going to start?
How do you drive consistent traffic to your affiliate site? Do share your tips with the Affilorama community.