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Are you a novice publisher and want to learn the basic concepts used in affiliate marketing? Or maybe you are already a professional in this business and you look for equally professional solutions? If you are interested in current trends in affiliate marketing, and what is happening at MyLead, you are in the perfect place. We wish you a pleasant reading.

Paid traffic or free traffic? Choose wisely

natalia.juszczak 2023-03-03 16

Every product, even the most popular and desirable one, needs advertising support. However, what solutions are the most beneficial for a given brand? What types of advertising or marketing activities bring the best results? Where should attention, energy and funding be focused?

The answer seems quite simple - where it is easiest to reach the largest number of recipients. And affiliate marketing offers exactly that!

However, before you start planning your next campaign, read the article and find out why a traffic source is so important, what are the sources of free and paid traffic, how much does it really cost to acquire traffic and what are the advantages of programmatic advertising?


Any platform that redirects potential customers (your audience) to the page of the product you are promoting (the advertiser's page) qualifies as a traffic source. Although it is often said that in order to run an effective affiliate campaign, you need to have your own website to which traffic can be directed, many affiliates use, for example, social media profiles.

So why is traffic source important in affiliate marketing? As you know, one of the most important factors determining the sales volume of a given product is the number of people who know about it. To increase the reach of a group of potential consumers, you need to get to be interested in the product page, or rather "attract" them to the product page using free or paid internet traffic.

Unfortunately, a large number of people visiting your product page, although very important, is not everything. Each type of traffic allows you to attract a different group of recipients who may react differently to the product you advertise. It is important to attract to your affiliate campaign those who convert, i.e. perform the desired action - regardless of whether it is subscribing to the newsletter or buying a product from the store.

Developing a traffic source and ensuring high-quality incoming traffic takes time and sometimes money. But it is the source of traffic that will ensure your affiliate marketing success.


Paid sources of affiliate marketing traffic include paid search ads, ad networks, and paid social media ads.

Before you decide on paid or free traffic for your affiliate campaign, you should get to know the sources of traffic, what exactly free and paid internet traffic is, and how they differ.

Examples of paid traffic sources in affiliate marketing:

  • paid ads in the search engine (the user reaches the website by clicking a link that is an advertisement imitating search results),
  • advertising networks (the user finds a banner, display or push ad, and after clicking it, they are redirected to the landing page),
  • paid ads in social media (users are redirected to the landing page, e.g. from ads displayed on Facebook or Instagram).

Will paid traffic work in affiliate marketing?

When using paid traffic in affiliate marketing, often in the CPM (Cost Per Mille - price per thousand impressions) or PPC (Pay Per Click - price per click) format, you have to pay for each time your ad is displayed or clicked on.

Fortunately, in the case of programmatic advertising, you are able to allocate your budget only to the audience that meets your expectations.

This means that you only pay for traffic that brings:

  • recipients you wanted to reach,
  • recipients interested in the offered product,
  • recipients motivated to buy.

In the worst case, when the ad is completely ignored, the cost incurred is really negligible. In return, however, you will receive valuable information on which users should not be targeted with the promoted product in the future, or what to change/improve in the campaign to reach people interested in the offer.

The essence of programmatic advertising is that the value of each conversion (usually a purchase) exceeds the financial outlay spent on attracting a given user to your website. To achieve this, you need to know what part of the initial target group to filter out, which is why it is so important to test the offer.

A well-optimized ad, which, for example, will be displayed on the user's phone screen at the right time, in the right place, can often be a factor responsible for increasing conversions.

You can be tempted to say that in the case of CPM and PPC campaigns, you pay for quick results and information on when, where and how the recipient responds best to your offer, and when they completely ignore it.

In contrast to affiliate free traffic sources, where due to the limited possibilities of reaching selected people with content, the results become measurable only after a long time. For example, if you run a blog to support your sales activities, unless someone voluntarily searches for the right phrase, they may not know about the product you offer for a long time. Simply positioning your content above competing content can take years of hard work and investment.

In the meantime, thanks to e.g. CPM/PPC advertising based on key phrases, the user will come across the product earlier.

Advantages of PPV/CPM campaigns and programmatic advertising

Knowing where consumers come from is critical to the success of affiliate marketing. It allows you to build a profile of the recipient, analyze their behavior, optimize the undertaken promotional activities and measure their effectiveness and efficiency.

Platforms specializing in programmatic advertising allow for such solutions. An example of one is Zeropark.

Self-serve advertising platforms allow advertisers to have full control over:

  • when and how often (accurate to individual hours of the day and frequency in minutes);
  • where (by country, region or city);
  • in what form (platforms offer various forms of advertising, from classic banner/display ads to push ads, which have been very popular lately and bring great results);
  • who (broken down by user activity) the ad is shown to.

And most importantly, the first results can be noted after a few seconds from the launch of the campaign, in contrast to the long-term building of presence in the sphere of affiliate organic traffic.

In the world of affiliate marketing, this is extremely important. After all, you don't want to invest a lot of time promoting a product that won't generate any interest. The fastest way to check the attractiveness of the offer is programmatic advertising, addressed to a wide audience. In advertising networks with access to large amounts of advertising traffic, you are able to verify the attractiveness of the offer even after a few hours.

Additionally, you have full control over your advertising budget. At any time and in any place, you can log in to the platform and stop the campaign, increase or decrease the budget and, above all, optimize your activities.

Continuous control and access to information collected on the basis of advertising campaigns allow you to increase the effectiveness of activities while reducing costs, and thus increase your ROI (Return On Investment).

To increase the reach of a group of potential consumers, you need to "attract" them to the product page using free or paid traffic sources.

To increase the reach of a group of potential consumers, you need to


Free sources of affiliate marketing traffic include direct traffic, organic traffic, social media, referral sites, newsletters and emails.

Free affiliate traffic
comes from "organic" users. What is organic traffic? Organic traffic means users who found your website in a "natural" way.

If we analyze each of the examples presented as free traffic more deeply, it turns out that each of them also requires financial investment to achieve satisfactory results.

Examples of free traffic (but not really free):

  • direct traffic (the user gets to the site by entering the URL directly, e.g. - it takes a long time for the promoted product to become recognizable enough to rely on direct traffic. And to gain recognition, you need to invest in advertising campaigns.
  • organic traffic (the user reaches the website by selecting the suggested search results, e.g. in the Google search engine) - for the user to reach the website by selecting the suggested search results, e.g. in the Google search engine, the website must rank high enough. The greater the competition, the harder it is to get it, and the higher the financial outlay.
  • social media (users are redirected to the product page through posts published on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or TikTok) - someone has to publish these posts, preferably someone with reach. Creating the reach yourself is doable but it requires time and budget.
  • referrals (users reach the site through links placed on other sites) - they can be a great addition to an affiliate traffic source but also they can be the nightmare of a marketer. Links from high-quality domains are not easy to obtain, and links from domains with weaker authority can do you more harm than good.
  • email/newsletter (the user has subscribed or agreed to join the contact database and receive advertising content through this channel) - based on previous promotional activities or buying a place in someone else's newsletter.


Incentive traffic is traffic generated by users who receive various types of rewards.

Incentive traffic is traffic generated by users who receive various types of rewards such as cash, gift, discount, free ebook or game tokens for visiting certain websites. Incentive traffic in affiliate marketing can attract more visitors to websites and help gather valuable information about users.

When talking about incentive traffic in affiliate marketing, it is also necessary to mention lead magnets, i.e. free value that you send to your recipients.

If you want to find out what types of lead magnets there are, what makes a good lead magnet, and how to monetize a lead magnet, read our article on this topic.

reading about lead magnets button

In addition to increasing your customer acquisition rate in a short time, incentive traffic can bring you other benefits. With its help, you can increase the response and engagement of your audience. Over time, a high number of downloads and a customer acquisition rate will positively affect the position of your website in search results. As a result, more users will see your site.

Incentive traffic tempts affiliate publishers with quick user acquisition. However, you need to be careful because many advertisers prohibit this type of traffic. To avoid promoting a program inappropriately, always read the terms of the promotion carefully. 

checking programs button

An example of incentive traffic is the Content Locker tool. It is called an “empty offer” and it allows you to earn money with your website by blocking a specific part of it.

MyLead offers four types of Content Lockers completely free of charge.

To learn more about this tool, go to the subpage dedicated to it.

reading about content lockers button


You already know what free traffic and paid traffic in affiliate marketing are. In addition to the definition, it is also worth knowing which of the traffics will work better in promoting affiliate campaigns.

The differences between free traffic and paid traffic in affiliate marketing are primarily their cost and acquisition time.

Free traffic in affiliate marketing is a reliable and safe way. It will deliver the expected results, but it may take a long time to reach them. Affiliate free traffic will work better for building brand authority and customer trust in the long run.

Affiliate paid traffic, on the other hand, is a much faster way. However, you have to pay for the time you've saved. Paid traffic will be the perfect solution for testing the sales funnel and getting a quick sale.

When choosing affiliate traffic, remember to match communication channels and marketing tools to your needs and goals. Although the return on investment is the common denominator of many entrepreneurs, the way to achieve the intended goal is very different.

Always look for solutions tailored to your capabilities, not only financially, but also timewise. Take advantage of all available opportunities to maximize profits and ensure a stable supply of traffic and recipients of the promoted product.


The main way to increase the quality of traffic in affiliate marketing is to respond to the needs of visitors, set your goals, increase engagement and conduct a website audit.

Respond to visitors' needs

If you want to increase the quality of traffic in your affiliate activities, make sure that you fully understand the intentions of your audience.

Once you are sure that the page will work when the right audience reaches it, it will be extremely important to properly optimize the page for conversions. You will achieve this by using keywords that respond to the needs of your website visitors.

Set your marketing goals

For any form of affiliate promotion, your traffic will only be as good as the marketing goals you're trying to achieve.

Marketing goals will enable you to invest in providing relevant content that drives both new and existing traffic.

Increase engagement on your website

While a large number of visitors and views can be enticing, it ultimately means nothing if that traffic doesn't generate revenue.

Here are some ways to increase engagement on your website:

  • deliver engaging and relevant content,
  • ask customers for opinions,
  • do research and test,
  • focus on SEO,
  • interact with your visitors.

Audit your website

To increase traffic on your website, an audit will be of great help. MyLead offers such a service. You can order an individual analysis of your website from us. We will provide you with ready suggestions that will increase your profits.

Receiving the results of the analysis does not oblige you to actual changes on your website.

requesting marketing audit button


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How to become a paid affiliate ??


Very Good 



















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