How To Get Traffic For Affiliate Marketing In 2021 Checklist

Learning how to become a successful affiliate marketer? Here’s how to get traffic for affiliate marketing in 2021 🙂

This is part 2 of a 3-part series on how to make affiliate marketing work for you. 

  1. How to sell affiliate products on your site
  2. How to get traffic for affiliate marketing (You are here)
  3. How to succeed in affiliate marketing

Before you focus on traffic, you should have your website set up with affiliate products to sell. If you missed this step, go do these steps in part 1 first.

Once you’ve set up affiliate products on your site, you are ready to start promoting them. You are ready to drive traffic to your affiliate offers. 


The Importance of Quality Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

Getting traffic can be an obstacle. Because you don’t need just any traffic. You need traffic that matters. 

You need high quality, targeted traffic. 

Because high-quality traffic is more likely to buy your affiliate products. 

If you get tons of traffic with no sales, then you do not have quality traffic. 

To make sure you focus on quality traffic, know who your audience is before you start promoting anything. (Part 1 covers this in detail.)

Choose the Best Off-Site Traffic Methods

There are 4 main categories for off-site traffic:

  1. Organic Search Traffic – Traffic sent to your site by search results from search engines like Google
  2. Social Traffic – Traffic sent to your site from social media networks like Facebook
  3. Direct Traffic – Traffic sent to your site from direct sources like emails
  4. Paid Traffic – Traffic sent to your site from paid avenues like Google Ads

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing in 2021

Within these 4 categories, there are “101 different ways” to drive traffic to your site. 

To make this easy for you, here are 13 popular traffic strategies used to generate traffic for affiliate marketing. These strategies are used by every successful affiliate today.

1. Search Engine Traffic for Affiliate Marketing 

Search Engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo drive free targeted traffic to your affiliate site. All it takes is optimizing your website content to rank in search engines. 

Related: What is SEO in Affiliate Marketing

Traffic from search engines is targeted because of the search query process. When someone searches a particular phrase, they are seeking info about that topic.

When your content ranks for related keywords, you get free targeted traffic from those searches.

SEO traffic is good for limited budgets. Your cost will be spent in the time it takes to create content that ranks. 

Ideally, you are shooting for being on page 1. If the search phrase is popular, ranking on a few pages after 1 can still drive some traffic. 


Google is the largest and most popular search engine in the world. It currently used for 71% of the search traffic, followed by Bing, Baidu, and Yahoo. 

With a lot of great content, you can build up your authority website to generate thousands from search results. (I’ve personally made good money from ranked reviews.)

Once you get your content ranked, your content can remain ranked for years, continuing to generate income over that time span. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Google:

  • Find low competition keywords to target
  • Write quality content around those keywords
  • Publish quality content frequently


SEO works for YouTube Videos as well as content indexed within search engine search results. Videos can also generate targeted traffic for affiliate marketing. 

YouTube is the 2nd Largest Search Engine in the world. (And owned by Google, no surprise.) 

One-third of the internet watches over a billion hours of YouTube videos every day!

No wonder YouTube is popular with affiliate marketers. Many affiliates find it’s easier to get traffic from videos on YouTube than it is on Google. 

The “next video” suggestions increase the chances of your video being shown on YouTube. 

Added bonus: YouTube videos can show up in Google’s search engine results for additional traffic exposure opportunities. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from YouTube:

  • Create video content around specific topics
  • variety of topics and include your affiliate links in the process

Related: Learn YouTube Affiliate Marketing with the Simple Traffic Blueprint

2. Social Media Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

You can’t ignore social media. Pretty much everyone is on one or more social media channels these days. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and so on.

Social Media can be used to get traffic for affiliate marketing in different ways. 

  1. Build your own communities on the social network
  2. Allow people to share your website content with their own social networks

In most cases, you will use social media in conjunction with other traffic methods. But in some cases, social media can drive more traffic to your affiliate offer, than Google.

There are many different social networks to choose from. Each network has its own following and types of audiences. 

It’s important to choose the social media networks that have the audience you are trying to target.


Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. The popularity and diversity of people on Facebook make it one of the most popular social networks for affiliate marketing. 

You can use affiliate links on your personal profile posts and business pages. However, you can not use affiliate links in Facebook Ads. Instead, you link to your website where your affiliate links live to drive traffic from Facebook Ads.

The good thing about Facebook is that search engines like to rank Facebook Pages and Groups. Your content can get ranked which can be a great way to drive traffic to your affiliate site.

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Facebook:

  • Create a group or page around a topic your audience is interested in
  • Share valuable content related to your niche to help your audience
  • Include links to your website content where your affiliate links live
  • Include call-to-actions to your top recommended affiliate product or email opt-in freebie

Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups are one way to get traffic for affiliate marketing. Facebook Groups are a great way to support your audience and potential buyers. 

Since you don’t handle the customer service in affiliate marketing, Facebook Groups provide you with another way to support people. 

When people join your groups, they can connect with you. Get to know your affiliate product recommendations. Ask you questions. And learn to trust you over time. 

All of these types of support can lead to first sales and more sales over time. 

Another thing about Facebook Groups is that they can be private. You can build your own little private communities that pique interest. People like being part of special groups and the privacy part can help people be more open with you and engage with you more. 

Facebook Pages

Facebook Pages are another way to get traffic for affiliate marketing. 

Facebook Pages are a great platform for sharing your expertise, building your authority, and increasing your presence. Your page is where you can build a public identity for your affiliate business. 

The idea is you create helpful posts and content that can generate traffic to your website and affiliate offers. 

The biggest difference between Facebook Pages over Facebook Groups is the sharing and liking capabilities. You can more easily spread the word about your page by liking other pages to gain more fans and build up your page following. 

Ultimately the more fans you have on your page, the more traffic you can get to your recommended affiliate products. 


Instagram is a mobile-based and visual-based social media network. 

Instagram has gained more popularity with affiliate marketers in the last few years. And can be a good way to get traffic for affiliate marketing. 

Although Instagram is owned by Facebook, it works differently. The biggest difference is that you can’t embed links in your Instagram posts. But you can include affiliate links in Instagram Stories. Instagram Stories requires 10,000 or more followers. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Instagram:

  • Build a loyal audience up to 10,000 followers
  • Tell people to click on the link in your bio
  • Use your link drives traffic to your affiliate marketing website site and offers
  • Include your affiliate links in Instagram Stories once you reach 10K followers

It’s important to note that, Instagram has a younger audience compared to Facebook. You need to define the age groups of people you are targeting to determine if Instagram is the right traffic source for you. 


Pinterest is another visual-based social media platform. Pinterest is a popular way to get traffic for affiliate marketing. 

You can easily share captivating images, engaging videos, animated GIFs, and infographics on Pinterest. 

For some niches, Pinterest can drive more traffic than Google. It depends on your niche and who you are targeting with your affiliate products. 

Pinterest is known for having a large female following. Not to say men don’t use it, but it’s usually affiliate marketers who are targeting women for their products. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Pinterest:

  • Create pins and boards around a particular product
  • Include a pin with your affiliate link in a board focused on a broader topic

Another way to use Pinterest for Affiliate Marketing is for niche ideas. The Pinterest 100 is their annual list of 100 emerging trends full of unique, out of the box topic ideas for you to target. 


Twitter is a microblogging social media platform. Using Twitter to get traffic for affiliate marketing is nothing new. 

Twitter was one of the first social networks to pop up alongside Facebook. This social network has been around for a long time.

Twitter is unique from all other social media networks listed above because of its microblogging approach. Each tweet cannot be more than 280 characters. In other words, you only have 280 characters to sell your affiliate product.

Your tweets need to be clear, concise, and to the point. And since Tweets have a short shelf life, plan on publishing 3 – 5 Tweets a day. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Twitter:

  • Focus on quality content first and promoting your affiliate links later
  • Shorten your links to fit with the copy in 280 characters or less
  • Create Twitter Cards to create more visually interesting tweets
  • Drive people to your website content or embed an affiliate link
  • Use the power of hashtags to get more exposure from other Tweeters

3. Direct Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

Direct Traffic has different meanings considering who you ask. 

Formerly, direct traffic was defined as someone who typed in your website address directly in their browser or using a bookmark. 

More recently, direct traffic is being defined as all traffic sources that do not fall into the search engine, social, and paid categories. These scenarios include other websites, forums, and emails.  

However you want to define, all of these sources are proven ways to drive traffic to your affiliate sites. 


Quora is one direct traffic example. Quora is a question and answer website where you can get answers to any question you ask. The mission behind Quora is to “share and grow the world’s knowledge.”

For affiliate marketers, it is a place to help people who have questions in your topic area. You find questions to answer that are related to what it is you’re selling. To build up traffic from Quora, you should strive to continuously answer questions related to your topic area. 

It’s against Quora’s policy to include affiliate links in your answers. Instead, you can add a link to your profile. 

In your answers, It is acceptable and standard practice to include a link to a related post on your website content or an email opt-in page to capture their email address.

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Quora:

  • Add your website link to your profile 
  • Answer many questions relevant to your niche
  • Send people to a related blog post, YouTube video or freebie opt-in  
  • Collect the emails from these people

Guest Posts on Other Related Blogs 

Guest posts are another popular direct traffic strategy for affiliate marketing. They have the power to drive a lot of traffic to your affiliate site. Both directly and indirectly. 

Guest posting is where you write content for other websites related to your topic. Your content includes a link back to your website for viewers to learn more about you. This is a direct way to drive targeted traffic to your website. 

Guest posts are beneficial for two reasons:

  1. Puts your content in front of other blog audiences
  2. Boosts your affiliate site’s SEO

Search engines like when high quality websites link to your site. The backlinks can increase your domain authority which boosts your search engine optimization. This is the indirect way to drive targeted traffic to your site. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Guest Posts:

  • Find authority websites related your topic that allow guest posts (free and paid options exist)
  • Write a high quality post for the website
  • Include a link to your website in the content 
  • Repeat process to increase the number of backlinks to your site

Email Marketing 

Email marketing is one of the oldest direct traffic ways to get traffic for affiliate marketing. Doing email is pretty much stated as a required strategy for marketing, period.

With email marketing, you get people to subscribe to your email list. Send them helpful content that answers their questions and solves specific problems. Sprinkle affiliate links in your emails, here and there. But be tasteful about it. 

People will stop opening your emails if all you do is promote. They are more likely to buy from you after they had time to learn to trust you. 

One way to be thoughtful is to include links to content to your website where your affiliate links live. This way you are offering helpful content along with a proposed solution (aka affiliate product) if the person is interested in taking action. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Email Marketing:

  • Create a way for people to subscribe to your email list
  • Create a email content series around the topic your audience cares about
  • Include affiliate links in automated welcome emails
  • Include links to your website content where your affiliate links live

4. Paid Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

Paid Traffic is a fast way to get traffic for affiliate marketing. You control the amount of traffic you get by the amount you pay. 

The popular paid traffic sources today are Facebook Ads, Google Ads and Display Ads. Each of them have their own ad management platforms and technical requirements you must follow. 

Paid ads can be relatively cheap to begin with. 

You start out with a small budget of $5 – $120 a day to a focused target audience. Once you’ve optimized your ads and they begin to make money, you increase the daily budget amount to increase the amount of traffic to the ad.

Expect to lose money ads before you make money. The first runs will take some figuring out until you get more experience with the ad creation process and the platform you choose. 

Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can definitely drive traffic for affiliate marketing. With 1.6 Billion users, running ads on Facebook taps you into a big market of people to promote to. 

Facebook Advertising offers you specific targeting capabilities to zero in on the audience you want to target. Everything from location, age, gender, interests and behaviors. 

You can also leverage pixels and Facebook’s look alike ad targeting technologies to target people who look like people who are already engaging with your content. 

The audience targeting abilities is what makes Facebook a preferred paid traffic with all marketers. Ultimately, the more targeted your ad is, the better results you can get.

When it comes to affiliate marketing, you can’t link an ad to an affiliate link. Facebook can see this as spam. This can result in getting your ad account shutdown. 

You will want to link to a landing page or an email opt-in form instead. The most common practice for ads is to capture email addresses

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Facebook Ads:

  • Define your target audience details for targeting
  • Create landing pages to link to your ads
  • Do not link directly to affiliate links
  • Run multiple ad variations to weed out bad performers
  • Put more money on the ads that work
  • Make sure to follow the Facebook Ads Guidelines

Get a crash course on how to run Facebook Ads with this free Facebook Blueprint Course

Google Adwords

Google Adwords is also popular for driving traffic to affiliate marketing products. You can leverage Google Ads to appear at the top of the page, over other search results. 

Google Adwords offers you the ability to target specific search terms on topics your audience is looking for. Use their keyword tool or do your own research to find the right words to pay for. 

Ultimately target keywords that are related to affiliate products you are promoting. Your listing for your chosen keywords will show up above all of the organic SEO search results. 

Like Facebook, Google doesn’t like ads directly linked to affiliate links. Create a custom landing page with an optin form to capture email addresses. And then redirect them to your affiliate offer. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing from Google Ads:

  • Define the keywords you want to target
  • Create landing pages to link to your ads
  • Do not link directly to affiliate links
  • Run multiple ad copy variations to weed out bad performers
  • Put more money on the ads that work

Why I Did Not Mention Solo Ads

There are mixed opinions about the quality of Solo Ads. For now, the traffic sources listed above are validated to work for affiliate marketing. 

How to Get Traffic for Affiliate Marketing Checklist

Use the checklist below to help you remember all the steps to ensure your affiliate marketing success. You can download the PDF to refer to again and again.

How to Sell Affiliate Products on Your Site

Which Traffic Sources Work For Me

As the blogger and affiliate marketer behind Affiliate Marketing Informant, I’ve tried most of the traffic sources mentioned here. 

However, I find better success with the traffic method when I focus on it. And not all the others at the same time. 

My personal traffic focus has been search engine traffic from Google. I share my website content regularly on my Facebook Page. I’m working to make more videos for my YouTube channel. 

I have dabbled with Facebook Ads and Google Ads. No campaign was profitable. I didn’t invest the time or money to figure out the ads, audiences and the right combinations to make a profit. Be prepared to do that if you buy traffic from ads. 

What about you? Have you tried any of these traffic sources? How did they work out for you? 

Help others out by sharing your own experiences and results.