Should You Use Paid or Free Traffic for Affiliate Marketing is always the question for newbies. Know what they say, “Traffic is the lifeblood of your internet business”. Actually this is true for any business. With a brick and mortar store, the mantra is “Location, location, location!”

Should You Use Paid or Free Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

In the real world, positioning your store in a location with heavy human traffic is one of the best ways of boosting sales. Online, however, you can’t do that. You will actively need to shuttle people to your site. They will NOT come automatically.

Methods for Driving Traffic

There are two ways of driving traffic to your site or blog or whatever page/product you’re promoting. There is the free option and the paid option. Both have their advantages and disadvantages.

Initially, when most affiliate marketers are starting out they will go the free route. This is due to a limited budget and financial restraints. Don’t let that discourage you. Free methods are highly effective too and will snowball with time to drive massive traffic.

Should You Use Paid or Free Traffic for Affiliate Marketing

Free Traffic

You will need some knowledge of search engine optimization. You will target long tail keywords with less competition. These will usually have a lesser number of searches but by targeting many different long tail keywords, you will build up a greater volume of searches.

Blog posting, forum marketing and guest posting are all highly effective methods of driving free traffic. Of course, you will have to spend some time becoming a member of forums related to your niche.

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Then by sharing quality information, you will build trust with many other members. You will add a link to your site in your signature on the forum. People who read your post will be curious about you and click on your link and end up on your site.

The process may seem convoluted and strange. Yet, it works very well. Many marketers only focus on forum marketing and do very well from it.

The downside with free traffic methods is that they will require time and effort… and also take time to show results. This is par for the course. What really matters is that you keep plugging away and not stop just because the results are not coming fast enough.

Paid Traffic

Paid traffic like the name implies, requires you to pay for it. If done the right way, it can be highly profitable and drive surges of traffic to your page or offer. If done wrong, you will lose quite a lot of money.

The cold truth is that most marketers fail miserably all the time with paid traffic. They assume that all they need to do is pay and the traffic will convert on its own. The reality is that you will need to track your spending, increase your conversions, do split testing, know your ROI, etc.

There are a lot of details when figuring out should you use paid or free traffic for Affiliate Marketing. Most beginners have glazed eyes when they read about tracking and analysis. They try to skip it because it seems complicated. It’s not. You just need to get the hang of it.

Before even starting on paid advertising, you must learn all you can about it. Even that is no guarantee that you won’t lose money… but at least you won’t be fumbling without knowing what your options are.

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Paid traffic is highly lucrative and delivers results much faster than free traffic. Once you do have some funds to spare, you should learn about pay per click traffic and give it a try. You could make a few mistakes, but by correcting them and moving forward, you will master this method of traffic.

The best advice any beginner affiliate marketer can follow as far as traffic generation goes is to start with free techniques first. Once you are making commissions and sales with your free methods, put some money aside to experiment with paid strategies.

Over time, you will have more experience and knowledge to scale up and you’ll become highly efficient at driving traffic with both methods.