15 Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing: Pay Nothing

Updated on October 18, 2023

Just started affiliate marketing but are struggling to drive traffic to your affiliate offers without spending a dime?

You’re not alone. I’m cheap too.

Many creators like us face this problem.

The good news?

There are many free traffic sources for affiliate marketing right under your nose.

These include:

  • Blogging
  • Social media
  • Forums
  • Guest posting

Some even work better than paid methods.

Let’s dive deeper.

Skip to the list.

What Are Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing?

Free traffic sources for affiliate marketing are platforms or methods that can help drive visitors to your affiliate links without spending money.

These can be highly effective at generating leads and driving traffic to your affiliate links.

Many affiliates rely completely on free traffic sources to promote their affiliate links — and they are highly successful at it.

But free doesn’t mean easy.

It takes time to build an audience. 

You make up for with time and effort what you save in $$$.

Is it worth it?


You CAN run a successful affiliate marketing business solely on the backbone of free, organic traffic — as long as you pick the right platform and use the right strategy.

What Are the Best Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing?

The internet is a massive and powerful world. Your job is to pick the right opportunities and take advantage of them. 

Let me make things easier for you by highlighting some of the most popular and free traffic sources for affiliate marketing.

  1. SEO Blogging
  2. TikTok
  3. X (Formerly Twitter)
  4. Instagram
  5. Pinterest
  6. Reddit
  7. Quora
  8. YouTube
  9. LinkedIn
  10. Email Marketing
  11. Facebook Groups
  12. Guest Posts
  13. Podcasts
  14. Medium
  15. Telegram Channels

1. SEO Blogging

Organic search accounts for 53.3% of all website traffic — aka 3.5 billion searches per day.

More importantly… A majority of these searches are driven by purchase intent. 

People search Google when they want to buy something.

This makes Search Engine Optimization (SEO) essential for creating a successful affiliate marketing business. 

Leverage this by starting a blog and creating value-packed SEO content.

The goal is to introduce your affiliate products to high buyer-intent searchers in an informative way by emphasizing the benefits through real experience.

Do this by performing keyword research to target commercial intent keywords like “Best [Product Type]”…

Then, create content that revolves around each of these keywords.

Here are some types of affiliate marketing content you can create for your blog:

  • Product reviews
  • Product comparisons
  • How-tos and tutorials
  • Listicles
  • Case studies
  • Round-ups

It’s important to structure your content for readability…

AND populate (not spam) your content with keywords for searchability.

2. TikTok

Did you know TikTok has almost 2 billion users as of 2023?

About 70.7% of TikTok’s audience are between 18 to 34 years old.

With each of them spending close to 50 minutes daily on the app…

That’s a ton of engaged teens and millennials ready for some impulsive buying.

Insert your affiliate links with highly engaging video content…

And you’ll be swimming in cash.

The organic reach on TikTok is also much greater than other matured social media platforms.

So if you’re promoting products or services like:

  • Fashion
  • Lifestyle
  • Electronics

This is probably one of the best free options.

The major drawback of TikTok affiliate marketing is you are only allowed one link in the bio.

A quick workaround is using a service like Zaap.

Users will be sent off the platform to a landing page with all your affiliate links when they click on it.

Note: You need to sign up for a business account to have a link in bio.

3. X (Formerly Twitter)

Don’t ignore affiliate marketing on X

Despite having only 237.8 million monetizable daily active users at the end of 2022…

You can be damn sure that any upcoming trend will be first covered on this platform.

Ever since Elon Musk’s take over…

The platform has gone through massive changes in the favor of creators.

What used to be a place for only memes, fake news, and low-quality content…

It’s now slowly onboarding more mature users who take content creation seriously.

Users are rewarded with more reach for creating quality content consistently.

So, just dumping a bunch of your affiliate links won’t work.

You should create mini-blog posts packed with informational content using threads and subtly inserting links.

Pro Tip: Add a pin tweet of your top recommended tools so your affiliate links are always accessible. But never start the first post (tweet) with a link, as it will look spammy and decrease it’s discoverability.

4. Instagram

Instagram isn’t just a social media platform for selfies and meal updates anymore…

It’s a digital marketplace with a user base primed to buy.

It has over 1 billion monthly users, spanning from tech-savvy teens to impulsive grandparents.

About 52.5% of users are between 18 to 34 years old.

Most scroll for entertainment…

But it’s also one of the best places to discover predominately E-commerce products.

Having success on Instagram isn’t just about visibility. 

It’s about influence.

You won’t see much success if you try affiliate marketing without your face.

Your profile needs to be a credible source of product recommendations.

Start by building an authentic rapport by showcasing honest product reviews by:

  • Using reels for video reviews and unboxings (reels are more likely to appear on the explore page)
  • Carousels for supporting informational posts
  • Responding to comments

Pro Tip: Feature your top 3 affiliate posts on your feed using a mix of videos and carousels to engage new followers. Direct them to your single “link in bio” where a Zaap or an alternative can house all your affiliate offers.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is extremely underrated because it seems like an Instagram copy.

But its 463 million monthly active users make it a highly popular visual search engine.

This makes Pinterest affiliate marketing one of the best social channels for organic traffic because you can leverage keywords.

Especially with visual niches.

Many use the platform for inspiration and creating mood boards for projects.

It’s done by using pins and grouping them with boards…

Each pin can be redirected to your affiliate site or the brand’s offer landing page.

brendan aw how to make ai undetectable pinterest roundupPin

But there are two problems…

  • Most aren’t ready to buy
  • One-off images aren’t convincing enough

So, use pins as a gateway to more comprehensive content with your links.

6. Reddit

Not many think of Reddit as a viable free source because it’s usually full of trolls…

It’s a modern and searchable platform full of individual forums (or subreddits) where people discuss any topic under the sun.

These can include:

  • New trending products
  • Questions not found on Google
  • Unbiased reviews

Most have no incentive to lie because they are anonymous…

And they aren’t interested in affiliate marketing because they’re consumers.

This presents a huge opportunity for you.

The best part?

Followers or domain ratings mean nothing.

Everyone has equal chances of getting their content discovered.

Unfortunately… Reddit won’t allow you to post your affiliate links directly.

Note: Don’t try it, as you will get banned.

So here’s what I recommend:

  1. Create multiple pillar posts on your profile with links to an external site you own with affiliate links
  2. Pin those posts to your profile
  3. Answer questions in various subreddits in your niche
  4. Insert your own articles (if you have any) as citations in your answers

Pro Tip: Be an outstanding contributor before sending others off the platform.

7. Quora

Quora is among the most popular Q&A sites, with over 300 million monthly active users.

More importantly… 

These are high-income users. We’re talking $100,000+ annual income.

This spells the potential for high-ticket customers.

It’s also easy to get traffic and exposure.

You need to answer questions and provide helpful information expertly.

You can also include links to your website and socials in your answers and your profile bio.

Just like Reddit, Quora:

  • Has no “clout” requirements to be discovered
  • Doesn’t allow the direct placement of affiliate links
  • More upvotes will increase the visibility

So the same thing applies:

  • Give your best answers
  • Use your profile as a landing page
  • Direct readers off the platform to where your links are allowed.

8. YouTube

YouTube is the second-largest search engine AND social media platform in the world.

Many users turn to YouTube for product information before making a purchase decision.

You can take advantage of this by creating:

  • Detailed product reviews, comparisons, and roundups
  • How-tos, tutorials, FAQs, and Q&As
  • Unboxing videos
  • Product demos

The beauty of this is viewers are typically in the later stages of the buyer’s journey.

Meaning… They are likely looking for links to these products.

This is where the video description box comes in handy. 

Get the most out of your video descriptions by:

  • Linking to your website and socials
  • Placing relevant affiliate links 
  • Offering a lead magnet
affiliate links in youtube descriptionPin

Pro Tip: Use both verbal announcements and visual cards throughout the video to remind viewers to click the links in the description. Don’t forget to ask viewers to like and subscribe.

9. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has over 61 million weekly active users.

But… Only 1% of them regularly share content on the platform. 

This makes it easy for B2B content creators to stand out and establish authority. 

More importantly…

You can generate high-quality leads, given that four out of five users drive business decisions.

Here’s how you can tap this audience:

  • Publish long-form content (1,900+ words).
  • Limit your title to between 40 and 49 characters.
  • Add as many as eight images throughout your content.
  • Publish videos as standalone posts, not within an article.

Combining this strategy with email marketing is best since most B2B products and services require an extensive marketing funnel.

Promote a lead magnet or a newsletter to capture emails instead of linking directly to your affiliate offers. 

The average user spends no more than eight minutes on the platform, so aim for two to five posts a week to get steady engagement.

10. Email Marketing

Email is one of the oldest yet most effective traffic sources for affiliate marketing.

That said… It takes time to build a targeted email list.

I don’t recommend buying an email list, either.

Instead… Spend time building your own email list.

Start by crafting a compelling lead magnet to get people to subscribe.

Then, take every subscriber through a personalized funnel:

  1. Send a welcome email: Ask new sign-ups to confirm their subscription so you don’t end up in their spam folder. Introduce yourself and tell them what to expect (e.g., what emails they will receive).
  2. Send nurture emails: Share valuable information (e.g., industry updates, how-to guides, case studies, exclusive promotions). These emails will nurture leads and build trust, leading to high long-term ROI.
  3. Send commercial emails: Some affiliate programs give out ready-made email swipes that you can send to your email list. Take advantage of this and add some personalized touches to drive conversion.

11. Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are great for building a community within your niche. 

Actively engaged group members not only make for potential long-term customers…

They also take charge of engagement by posting, sharing, and commenting. 

This means you can lean back and let members connect…

Instead of scrambling to create content to keep them engaged.

You can facilitate discussions by posting:

  • Polls
  • Scheduled Q&As
  • Open-ended questions
  • Daily/weekly themed prompts

Promote your affiliate links as naturally as possible. 

Be conversational. Get in the mindset of a group member sharing something they personally consider a valuable resource to other group members.

Take advantage of the following features to get quality leads:

  • Member request: Filter new members by asking questions like what topics they’re interested in and what they want to get out of the group.
  • Group rules: Ban unrelated topics and limit self-promotion to weed out spammers and competitors. 
  • Post approval request: Check if posts adhere to the group rules before going live. 
  • Welcome post: Introduce yourself and offer a lead magnet to collect emails and drive traffic to your other platform/s.
  • Featured posts: Pin your affiliate posts to the top of the page.

12. Guest Posts

Guest posting is a great way to:

  • Establish authority in your niche
  • Build high-quality backlinks to your website
  • Most importantly, drive free traffic to your affiliate links

You can avoid those who ask for payment.

To find the right sites to guest post to…

You can use this simple Google search operator:

“[Your niche]” intitle:write for us

affiliate marketing write for us search resultsPin

You can then contact those sites and see if they allow guest posts.

Note: Most websites prohibit including affiliate links in guest posts, so you must direct readers to your website first.

13. Podcasts

Podcasting has been steadily surging in popularity over the years. 

Almost 100 million avid listeners in the US alone regularly tune in to their favorite podcasts.

The podcast format follows the conversational nature of YouTube videos.

Except you don’t have to show your face.

This makes it easy because visual components are one less thing to worry about.


Conveying your message only through sound can also be tricky.

You need to be one heck of a storyteller:

  • Focus on topics you genuinely like talking about.
  • Personalize your content with anecdotes and be relatable.
  • Narrate your stories following the standard three-act story format.
  • Get comfortable… But write a loose script so you don’t stray off-topic.
  • Visualize your ideal listener and speak as though you’re talking to them one-on-one.
  • Ask your listeners open-ended questions and direct them to the comments section, website, or social media where they can leave their answers.

Most importantly…

Give your listeners actionable content.

How they can make use of your recommendations. 

Include your affiliate links in the show notes.

podcast shownotes links affiliate marketing millionairePin

14. Medium

Content-sharing or social blogging platforms like Medium instantly let you tap an existing audience…

And a massive audience at that, with 100 million monthly active users.

It’s as easy as creating a free account and writing your first article.

No need for a website builder or any technical know-how.

That said… 

It’s rich with SEO, customization, and analytics tools to track and improve your performance.

You can also join the Medium Partner Program to monetize your content.

For best practices:

  • Follow Medium rules
  • Disclose affiliate links
  • Post member-only stories
  • Do not spam your content with affiliate links
  • Engage with your audience in the comments

15. Telegram Channels

You can create a Telegram Channel on just about any topic… Even NSWF.

Did you know there are affiliate programs that cater to that… uhm… audience?

the girlfriend button affiliate offerPin

But I digress.

Telegram channels allow you to share any content without restrictions.

You can get creative with:

  • Short posts
  • Images
  • Videos
  • Stickers
  • GIFs

Link subscribers directly to an affiliate product page…

To a blog post…

Or to your website or socials.

Telegram channels aren’t just for broadcasting announcements, either.

Subscribers can reply to your posts and talk to each other if you activate comments.

How To Choose the Best Traffic Source for Affiliate Marketing?

As you’ve seen, there are tons of highly effective free traffic sources you can take advantage of.

That’s not to say you should try them all out. — especially if you’re just starting out.

Start with one or two you’re most familiar with and fit your niche.

Consider the following when choosing a traffic source:

  • Audience size and demographic: How many people can you reach through this traffic source? Is this traffic source popular with your niche? For example… Instagram is best suited for fashion and lifestyle niches.
  • User intent: How and why do people use this traffic source? LinkedIn might be a great place to generate leads who can afford high-ticker offers… But people don’t browse LinkedIn to buy products. You’ll need another traffic source to convert these leads into paying customers.
  • Content requirements: What content formats would you need to create — and can you create them? (e.g. creating a YouTube video or designing Pinterest pins)
  • Rules and guidelines: What rules must you follow, and how will they affect your marketing strategies? For example… You can’t put clickable links in your captions or comments on TikTok.
  • Time and money: How long does it take to make your platform profitable? What expenses are associated with building this platform? A website requires web hosting. A podcast requires recording equipment.

Free Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing (FAQs)

Can I Truly Get Free Traffic for Affiliate Marketing?

Yes. Your time and efforts are your sole investments.

Some platforms may also offer paid features for enhanced visibility.

“Free” often means investing time over money.

How Do I Measure the Effectiveness of My Free Traffic Sources?

Most platforms I discussed offer analytics to measure your performance.

Platforms like Google Analytics offer insights into source traffic.

You can monitor engagement and other key metrics.

Are Some Free Traffic Sources Better for Certain Niches?

Absolutely. Some platforms resonate better with specific audiences.

Example? Tech products might thrive on Reddit. Fashion brands might flourish on Instagram.

Understanding your target audience is key.

How Do I Prevent My Content From Appearing Spammy When Sharing Affiliate Links?

Value first. Always prioritize providing genuine value to your audience.

Use links organically. Ensure they align with the content context.

Transparency about affiliate partnerships also builds trust.

What’s the Best Strategy for Combining Multiple Free Traffic Sources?

Diversify but maintain consistency in branding and messaging.

Cross-promote content across different platforms.

Engage and monitor feedback to refine your approach.

How Can I Choose the Best Free Traffic for My Affiliate Site?

Focus on platforms that align with your target audience and niche.

Some popular options include SEO, social media platforms like TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube, and Q&A websites and forums like Reddit and Quora.

Start with one traffic source, learn its nuances, and create valuable content to attract a loyal audience.

How Can I Increase Organic Traffic to My Affiliate Site?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is one of the best ways to get free, organic traffic to your affiliate site.

Ensure that your affiliate content is optimized with relevant keywords, has quality backlinks, and is updated regularly.

This can help improve your site’s visibility in search engines and attract more organic traffic.

Supplement this strategy by syndicating your long-form content across social media and other platforms.

How Effective Is Reddit as a Free Traffic Source for Affiliate Marketing?

Reddit is one of the largest communities on the web and can be a great free traffic source for your website.

However, you must add value to the community, engage with Redditors, and adhere to each subreddit’s rules.

It’s more about building relationships and trust before promoting your affiliate links.

Can I Drive Targeted Traffic to My Affiliate Site for Free?

Yes, you can.

SEO and guest blogging are my recommended methods.

Unlike the other free methods, these two allow you to target high-search intent keywords.

What Is the Best Source of Organic Traffic for My Affiliate Site?

SEO is the best way to drive organic traffic to your affiliate site.

You leverage keywords and rank on Google, consistently driving traffic over time.

Unlike social media, where you need to post daily to gain traction.

How Can I Drive Traffic to My Affiliate Site Using SEO?

Focus on keyword research, create high-quality content, optimize your meta tags, build backlinks, improve your site’s loading speed, and ensure your site is mobile-friendly.

Remember, SEO is a long-term strategy, but it’s worth the effort as it can bring in a sustainable stream of traffic over time.

How Does the Type of Traffic Source Affect My Affiliate Revenue?

Not all traffic is of the same quality.

For instance, paid traffic can offer quick results but may lead to lower conversions if the visitors are not particularly interested in your offer.

Meanwhile, organic free traffic from SEO usually attracts people genuinely interested in your content and is more likely to convert into affiliate sales.

To Sum Up

Free traffic for affiliate marketing is arguably more effective than paid methods.

You need the right strategy and great content.

But if you want to build a sustainable affiliate marketing business…

SEO is the best way to go.

It takes time, but it’s worth it:

  • It has a high conversion rate…
  • It yields long-term ROI…
  • And it works for any niche.
brendan aw black pic

About Brendan Aw

I’m an ex-marketing executive for 6 & 7-figures high-growth startups turned writer, creator & entrepreneur. I share my learnings on digital entrepreneurship, personal finance, and remote working while helping run my family’s crystal chandelier business.

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