Affiliate media buying has become a mainstream money-making model for many affiliates. Digital marketing is incredibly adaptable because it enables you to create cash in a wide range of methods. 

Today, the most convenient way for consumers to find and learn about new products is to run an online search. Therefore, the internet is the best path to connect with users who are actively looking to make a purchase.

With this in mind, there is a plethora of different digital advertising models to choose from. You can either:

Affiliate Media Buying
  • become a typical affiliate marketer and run your own website, or
  • take a more dynamic approach and become a media buyer who buys placements on other websites.

There are numerous parallels between being an affiliate media buyer and running your own platform, including the necessity to know your audience. 

However, being a media buyer is a one-of-a-kind path that can yield quick results and big earnings without the need to manage your own platform.

Below, we’ll define media buying, explain how the process works, and offer advice on how to become a good affiliate media buyer.

So first, let’s clarify what media buying is.

What is media buying?

Purchasing ad space is not a unique concept. Marketers and businesses have been pushing for decades to purchase the best pieces of marketing real estate at the lowest possible cost. In other words, they are buying the placements and time slots that receive the most exposure and, as a result, are most likely to deliver paying clients without exceeding the budgeted amount.

Affiliate Media Buying - TV ads

The biggest distinction is that there are billions of quality placements available, so you must learn how to navigate the world of affiliate media buying to achieve the best results.

It’s crucial to recognize that becoming a great media buyer requires ongoing learning, training, and optimization. You may evaluate data before and after purchasing certain placements, just like you will with any other form of internet marketing. 

This allows you to determine the success of each location and use the statistics to guide future decisions.

Who is a media buyer?

A digital marketer that promotes affiliate programs through media buying campaigns is known as an affiliate media buyer. Unlike affiliate marketers, media buyers do not own their platform and instead focus on purchasing the best placements and running campaigns across several platforms based on the needs of the advertisers.

What is Affiliate Media Buying? - Affiliate Media Buying

While a media buyer might engage with individual websites, these affiliate specialists frequently rely on ad networks to connect them with high-quality publishers. It would be best if you also created a toolset that allows you to:

  • analyze the platforms where your ads are posted
  • track your campaigns (using affiliate tracking software)
  • determine the best keywords for your ads.

Media buying is a protracted process because it is difficult to evaluate a network or publisher without substantial investigation objectively. Not only that, but even entering the industry may necessitate some preparation.

Individuals who wish to shift into media buying must be patient and keep in mind that the only way to decrease the learning curve is to practice as often as possible.

What is Affiliate Media Buying? - Affiliate Media Buying

While media buying varies by industry, the path to becoming a good buyer may usually be separated into three distinct steps. 

  1. Establishing relationships with the relevant stakeholders
  2. Learning about your options (and bargaining to achieve the best prices).
  3. Build connections with publishers and ad networks.

Assuming you understand the fundamentals of affiliate marketing, the first step is to cultivate strong connections with publishers and ad networks that offer the best inventory. If you need to go over the fundamentals, keep in mind that publishers and ad networks will give you access to the best placements if you stay on their good side.

What is Affiliate Media Buying? - Affiliate Media Buying

For newcomers to the realm of digital marketing, working with a network may be the most convenient alternative until you can establish which individual publishers are worth the effort. Seasoned marketers should go above and beyond to investigate both options and uncover new publishers who offer relatively inexpensive costs for potentially useful traffic.

Media Buying Basics: Examine all your options

Publishers and ad networks should be at the top of your list, but you should also consider the elements that require your attention and how you will build up your campaign. Because there is no one-size-fits-all solution, you must assess several affiliate networks, tracking software, keyword research tools, and other tools to find the best fit.

Your level of knowledge should heavily influence the resources you choose. 

Suppose you are unfamiliar with the advanced capabilities available on some of the platforms. In that case, you can start with the basic packages and then upgrade once you have mastered the starter features.

Negotiate the best possible deals.

One constant in media buying is the necessity to bargain in order to achieve the best deals. Even though multiple packs and set prices are available, there is always room for negotiating with publishers and networks.

where to find good affiliate offers when starting your affiliate network

When you negotiate with independent publishers directly, you have the opportunity to work out long-term contracts that help secure lower prices. If you’re dealing with an ad network, it’s critical to maintain a positive relationship with the sales staff and make it obvious that you want to work with the platform that offers the best deals.

One of the reasons media buying has become popular is that it provides a variety of benefits without sacrificing profitability. 

By mastering the fundamentals of media buying, you may expand out and specialize in other types of digital marketing that complement this approach, resulting in superior results.

Media buyers are the most adaptable marketers because they learn to integrate different methods into one winning money-making campaign. 

Furthermore, some of the inherent benefits of media buying include:

1. Quick Turnaround.

The turnaround, or the amount of time it takes before you can withdraw your money, is influenced by a variety of factors, including the CPA network you work with. However, because media buying campaigns are designed to last less time than typical affiliate campaigns, they generally have a shorter turnaround time.

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And, because becoming a skilled media buyer takes a lot of practice, structuring your campaigns to run for a shorter amount of time is always a good idea. This will assist in identifying crucial patterns and allow you to learn from each campaign without exceeding the budgeted amount.

2. No website upkeeping.

Even while publishers may feel more in control, running a website is a full-time job. In addition to server performance, you must test your platform on a regular basis to ensure that all features are operational, that the necessary security certifications are in place, and that it adheres to any compliance protocols.

Media buyers may have to spend a little more money to run their campaigns, but they also have a lot more time to devote to monitoring and optimization because they don’t have to worry about on-site upkeep.

3. The competition is not as fierce.

Although affiliate marketing is becoming increasingly popular, the media buying sector is seen as less competitive than other forms of digital advertising. 

Most marketers that enter the ecosystem hope to establish their site in order to increase their income. Even when some of the transition into media buying, there is still little competition, so you can still find quality placements at a reasonable price if you do your homework.

4. Better budget allocation

Media buying streamlines your budgeting and resource allocation processes because you don’t have to pay server fees or other expenses. Instead of tracking many costs across the board, your calculations will simply boil down to:

  • the cost of your ads, and 
  • your business tools

This would allow you to easily measure revenue and pick where your next investment should go.

What is Affiliate Media Buying? - Affiliate Media Buying

It may take some time to learn how to be a media buyer, but it’s a terrific way to generate money without having to run your own platform. 

Furthermore, there are numerous tips and tactics that can improve your chances of success and help you get the most out of your advertisements. 

Keep in mind, for example, to: 

Choose a Well-Converting Product.

Regardless of how well you understand your audience or how hard you work on creating the perfect campaign. If your product isn’t mindblowing, your advertisements are unlikely to convert. When selecting a CPA offer to promote in the places you’ve purchased, make sure it’s an appealing product with customer value.

Incorporate Landing Pages

Successful media buying campaigns should, in the most basic model, follow a “click -> click -> convert” model. Users should, ideally: 

  1. Click on your ad, 
  2. then on one of the CTAs on the landing page, 
  3. and finally, complete the conversion process.
how to create killer landing pages

You run the danger of provoking an unwanted action if you send potential leads to the offer page too soon.

The good news is that landing pages may help describe your goods and guide interested users through the purchasing process.

Combine Media Buying with Other Affiliate Strategies.

Whether you’re transferring from another kind of marketing to media buying or starting from scratch, you should consider integrating this approach with other techniques to boost your chances of success.

You can, for example, start social media campaigns that somehow integrate with your campaign and increase traffic to the page that houses your ads.


It is not easy to become a successful media buyer. Even marketers who are well-versed in the realm of digital marketing must adapt to the complexities of this approach.

However, if you understand the subtle differences between media buying and traditional affiliate marketing, you’ll be able to create winning campaigns that deliver outstanding results.

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Last Updated on December 5, 2023


Elizabeth is a Senior Content Manager at Scaleo. Currently enjoying the life in Prague and sharing professional affiliate marketing tips. She's been in the online marketing business since 2006 and gladly shares all her insights and ideas on this blog.