Can't figure out the ins and outs of traffic generation?... It was one of my greatest challenges too. In this post you'll learn the different traffic sources for affiliate marketing, the pros and cons of the various sources, and a recommended plan to start getting traffic to your affiliate websites.
Traffic generation is basically getting people to visit your website.
If you build a wonderful website, but nobody knows about it, then you are not going to make any money. You have to find ways to get visitors to your site... targeted visitors that are very much interested in the topic that your site is about.
The Types of Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing
Traditionally, traffic generation has been categorized into 2 types - Free Traffic and Paid Traffic.
What I have learned over the years is that you actually pay for both... with free traffic you pay with your time, and with paid traffic you pay with your money.
Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing - The main (most talked about) free traffic source is Search Engine Optimization (SEO) which gets you organic traffic from search engines such as Goggle, Bing and Yahoo.
Other free traffic sources include:
- Posting on niche forums,
- Q/A sites such as Quora and Yahoo Answers
- Social Media
- Guest Post Blogging
Paid Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing - Paid Traffic sources include:
- Pay-per-click such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc.
- YouTube Ads
- Paid press releases
- Banner Ads
- Online Classified Ads
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Paid and Free Traffic Sources
Free Traffic Sources - here are a few advantages of free traffic sources:
- It's free!... it does cost any money
- Organic search traffic brings in engaged, qualified visitors (more on this shortly)
- Natural search traffic is sustainable - you'll get visitors coming to your site long after you've stopped campaigning.
- Organic traffic can increase your website's credibility
Here are a few disadvantages:
- Requires a lot of your time and effort
- Search engines can change their algorithm for ranking websites without any notice... this can mess up your rankings.
- Takes relatively long for you to see the results.
Paid Traffic Sources - the advantages of paid traffic sources include:
- Traffic comes in FAST
- It's easy to reach your target market
- You can switch it on or off as you wish.
The main disadvantage is that it can be costly... if you don't manage it well.
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Recommended Plan of Action
A common traffic generation that beginning affiliate marketers make is spreading their efforts too thin. They try different methods all at once, or jump from one method to another but don't give any one method the right focus, time and resources to work.
You will get better results from your traffic generation strategy by 1) choosing a traffic source, 2) mastering that traffic source, and 3) rinsing and repeating.
IMPORTANT - Which ever method is chosen, it's important to have your "marketing system" or "marketing funnel" in place before you start sending traffic. You want that once you start getting traffic to your site, your visitors follow a path that:
- converts visitor into subscribers
- converts subscribers into buyers
- converts buyers into long-term customers
If your budget can allow it, you can start a Facebook Ads campaign. Now, you're probably a bit reluctant to get involved in Facebook Ads, because it costs money (you certainly don't want to waste your money).. and the interface can be a little intimidating initially.
I resisted using Facebook Ads for years because of the same reasons, but I'm happy now that I eventually got over that "fear". Keep in mind that you can start with a daily spend as low as USD$5 per day... and you can switch it off anytime you want.
If you're on a shoestring budget, you can start with answering questions on Q/A sites... Quora seems to be the most popular one these days. If you provide useful content, this can be an effective method.
Simply create an account, then search for questions in your niche and answers to the questions asked. Here's what I used to do, which worked really well for me. I would spend about an hour or so looking at the questions asked. Then I would create articles on my website that answer the questions in a thorough way. Then I would go back to the Q/A site and answer the question and leave a link to the article on my website. Done properly, you can see traffic to your site in a few days or so.
SEO should be part of your Affiliate Marketing traffic generation strategy
Here's why... As I indicted earlier, organic search traffic brings in engaged, qualified visitors. Think about it... every time some one wants to get some information about a certain topic, what do they do?... They do a search in a search engine, such as Google... and you'll probably click on one of the results you see on the first page.
This is also what is done when some one is interested in purchasing a product and is doing some research to help their decision.
...that person is engaged and qualified!... and the conversion rate (from visitor to subscriber and from subscriber to buyer) is going to be higher.
My approach is that I set up the marketing funnel first... then test the funnel for a week or so using paid traffic (since it's quick).. it's not that expensive.. you can get traffic from FB Ads for about USD$5/day.
Then based on the results, I tweak the system... and then I get into some free methods to build long-term organic traffic, as well as increase my daily spend with paid advertising.