Free Vs. Paid Traffic Source for Affiliate Marketing – The Debate Continues

As an affiliate marketer, driving customers towards your offer is the most crucial part of your business. This can be a time consuming process and needs a lot of trial and error before you hit upon the right traffic source that will boost your revenue. In this business, volume of traffic is the deciding factor for how much you can earn. More visitors means greater chances for conversion, which pushes up your commission.

That traffic is crucial for affiliate marketing success in well established. However, the debate over whether you need to choose paid traffic sources or opt for free traffic driven towards your website continues to rage. In the end, it all depends on the option that you think is viable for you both financially and in terms of time invested from your end.

Free vs Paid Traffic Sources for Affiliate Marketing

Free Vs Paid Traffic Sources: The Difference

If you advertise online with the intention of getting visitors to your site, it is a form of paid traffic. Always guaranteed to give you immediate results with the demographic matching required by you, paid traffic can drive focused traffic to your website.

Free traffic on the other hand involves organic strategies to pull traffic to your website and offer.  Participation in social media and the posting of links to your brand or website are some of the popular free traffic generation methods.

Both choices have their advantages and disadvantages but you need to undertake a complete review of your business goals and the return on investment that you are expecting before you make a choice of whether to go in for paid traffic driven to your site by advertisements or wait for organic traffic which visits your site based on your efforts and tactics.

Advantages of Paid Traffic Sources

One of the major plus points for driving paid traffic to your website is that you are not responsible for generating leads and content.  There is no need to spend time on the internet trying to ensure your website shows up in search engines to increase the visibility of your business.

Paid traffic via Pay Per Click and Google Ads almost takes away the hassle of worrying about how you could expand your online presence. A bid and forget kind of option, you just have to bid on the keyword and the spot that your ad would occupy and sit back and relax as focused traffic is driven to your site. However, a word of caution; if you make mistakes in the method of bidding and monitoring, PPC can quickly begin costing you a lot of money.

Free Traffic has Its Advantages too

 The major advantage of free traffic is the really low or zero costs involved. If you do not want to shell out money to promote your website and are wondering how to still drive traffic, there are plenty of free traffic options available to you like Search Engine Optimization, YouTube videos, blogs, social media posts and many others. However, this means that you would have to do the work yourself or hire people to do your SEO and content writing for you.

Because of its decreased costs, SEO has become popular with a whole lot of businesses both old and new who opt for it to drive traffic to their website. However, with free traffic, there can be no focus and it is difficult to precisely target the right audience for your offer. That said, a lot of affiliate marketers have succeeded with free traffic alone. For beginner affiliate marketers, this option provides an insight into the market and helps build a brand name before branching out into other paid options.


What is Right for You


While the debate might continue on which is the best traffic source for affiliate marketing you need to choose the option which you think is best for you. Consider the following points while making this decision.


1. Your Budget


Driving paid traffic towards your website can be a costly affair. Consider how much money you are willing to spend before opting for paid traffic sources.


2. Your Affiliate Networks and Commissions


Think about which affiliate networks you have joined and the commissions on your offers.  Your commissions are dependent on the advertiser and  the amount set by them. Work these into your costing while deciding for or against paid sources for driving traffic.


3. Affiliate Marketing is Designed to be Low Cost


Traditionally, affiliate marketing is designed in a way as to keep your costs low.    However, if you do feel the need for more focused visitors, you can always  consider paid traffic sources to boost your revenue.


Free Traffic Requires Constant Monitoring

Whatever the means you choose to drive free traffic, constant monitoring is always required. A blog or a YouTube video might need you to keep checking for   visits and the type of people viewing the material. While opting for free traffic sources for your offer, never trust a single source for a continuous flow of traffic to your website. Explore myriad options like forums, Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and other forms of social media and SEO to   increase visibility of your website and build a brand reputation. People should remember your website and this is the first step to begin earning big money.


To end with, it does not matter which option you choose as long as you make the choice which is best for you. One thing to keep in mind is to stick to the choice of free or paid traffic once you have made your decision. Many affiliate marketers, by not seeing results with free traffic are driven to PPC or other paid options which might result in them losing a lot of money.Free traffic sources take more time compared to ready traffic being supplied to you in exchange for money. So if you opt for the free options, ensure you chalk out a plan and stick to it till completion before you evaluate the results. Focus on mastering traffic generation techniques by implementing them one at a time. Many successful affiliate marketers have succeeded in making a lot of money by focusing on one method of traffic generation without branching out in different directions.

What has worked for you – free or paid traffic sources? We would love to know.

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