While you can essentially get started in affiliate marketing without a website, and many Internet marketers have done this out of necessity, sooner or later (sooner if possible) you are going to need your own website in order to grow your business. If, however, you do find yourself in the all too common but unenviable position of not having the funds to get a website of your own just yet, there are ways you can participate in affiliate marketing without one. Smart marketers, though, will pour their profits right back into the business in order to get their own website. Let’s take a brief look, though, at two of the most popular ways you can get started with affiliate marketing today without a website.

Forum Posting

Most forums will let you post a link in your signature line and that link can lead to an affiliate website or back to your own. First, find the affiliate products you want to represent or if you are already involved in forums within a certain niche, look for products to promote within that niche. You might want to check the ClickBank marketplace for a list of digital products you can promote but there are also many other affiliate programs you can join without your own site. The trick is actually not to promote your products at all within your forum posts. That is, not unless someone posts a message asking for a good whatchamacallit or something of that nature. If you’re responding to an honest call for help, by all means, talk about your product but in most cases the posts will revolve around the niche and not the particular product you are promoting.

The key, then, is to get involved in the forum community. Ask questions, answer questions, post relevant comments and get known as a regular member of the community. Then at the end of every post include your affiliate link in your signature line, which is commonly at the end of your post. Make a couple of sales and you’ve earned enough to pay for your own domain and hosting in no time, which of course, will afford you many more opportunities to promote your products.

Article Marketing

You should use article marketing as a promotional tool whether or not you have your own website as it can come in really handy either way. The trouble is, not all article directories will let you post affiliate links. In that case, you must have your own website in order to include a link. If that is the case, look for article directories that will let you post affiliate links. In addition, if you need to make a few sales before you can purchase your own domain and hosting, look for article directories that share ad revenue with the authors. This would give you the chance to earn the upfront money you need to build your own site. In fact, Associated Content offers upfront payment for articles and they share ad revenue as well. To earn ad revenue only from your articles, you can also try Helium and ehow. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way so if you need to earn the start-up costs for your own website there are relatively painless ways you can do that online.

You may think of bartering as something that took place long ago and far away from Internet marketing but it is alive and well and that includes the Internet too! While you are searching for ways to promote your online business, don’t discount the power of bartering. Internet marketers use this tactic all the time, trading their products for the products and services of other Internet marketers when they can’t afford to hire someone to do what they need done.

As the economy has weakened, bartering has taken a front seat both offline and online. There are several websites that cater to the bartering enthusiast and, luckily for Internet marketers, skills such as writing, graphic design, software design, and writing computer code can be bartered with others in all parts of the world. So, for the sake of argument, say you are a graphic designer but you hate to write articles. You could trade your services to a writer who could provide you with your website content and articles for marketing to article directories. That writer may need their own website designed or a logo designed or a variety of other services the graphic designer could provide.

Brainstorm for Bartering Products and Services

Many of the larger cities across the United States have formed bartering exchanges and you may even be able to get office supplies or office furniture in exchange for your products or services. Some people have gotten vacations, house painting, and even dental services in exchange for what they have to offer so there is almost no limit as to what you can get for bartering. If you need the kind of service or product that can be sent to you in a digital format, such as writing or graphic design, you literally have the world at your fingertips. For more tangible items, you may need to barter locally, although there are some bartering exchanges that ship items, especially movies and games.

You can join a bartering exchange that is already in existence or you can run your own ads where you advertise the services or products you are willing to exchange for the ones you are in need of. Sometimes, you may need to add cash or accept cash when the value of the items you are exchanging vary greatly. Most items involved in bartering exchanges are assigned a dollar value so you will be able to trade products and services fairly. In addition, some of the online bartering exchanges offer a feedback system, similar to the one found on eBay so that others can gauge a barterer’s reputation before they exchange their own products or services. Bartering can be a great way to get the things you need to run your online business so don’t overlook it as you are growing your business.