How I Made $3000+ on Facebook Without Ads With Affiliate Marketing

freelance woman at laptop

In this post, I am going to discuss how you can make extra cash online with Facebook without using Facebooks ads.

I will take you through how I made $3500 on Facebook and how I did it using nothing more than my friends’ list. No product pages, no group boards, no business page, and no ads!

Just my friends’ list!

The Uncool Uncle of Social Media

So, you’ve probably heard, Facebook is now the “uncool uncle of social media”. Unfashionable, dated, a tool of a bygone era. Some say dead and buried with little chance of reprieve!

Even if you buy into and believe this analysis, does that mean you can no longer make money on Facebook?

Of course not!

Let’s face the facts – Facebook remains the most popular social media platform out there. By quite some margin too.

Here are the number of users in millions for April 2019:-

Thanks statista

Facebook made $55 billion in ad revenue last year alone. Granted some of that is from its sister company, Instagram – but still – this shows that people and companies in their droves are still more than willing to leverage its advertising prowess.

So now we’ve quelled any notion that Facebook is dead, let’s think about how we can use it to make money.

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How to Make Money With Facebook

Unless you have a business selling your own products or a ton of stuff that you’re looking to flog second hand, you might question what exactly are you supposed to sell?

The answer is of course – other people’s products using affiliate marketing.

Let’s quickly recap on what this is:-

Affiliate marketing is a way of earning a commission by promoting a product or service created by an individual or business.

You are given a special link by that business or individual selling the product and you place this anywhere that will accept hyperlinks.  

When your link gets clicked by someone, this takes them to that business’s website. If the visitor makes a purchase, you secure a commission.

So why’s affiliate marketing so good:-
  • You don’t need to spend time making a product. You literally ride on the back of someone else’s ingenuity and hard work. Amazing for the passive income seeker!
  • You don’t have to worry about inventory, shipping or returns. The business whose products you’re promoting has got you covered. Trust me – you’ve just saved yourself a massive headache there!
  • You don’t have to build a brand. The business you’re partnered with probably already has one.
  • You make money completely passively. You can be earning while you sleep.

Leveraging Affiliate Marketing on Facebook

The key to affiliate marketing is having a big enough audience.

It’s a numbers game!

If no one sees your link, they’re not going to have a chance to click it and purchase a product so you secure that lovely commission.

The more people that see it, the more likely it is that someone is going to click your link and drive home that sale!

The great thing about Facebook is that you’ve already got an audience to sell to.

Unless you’re particularly picky about your friends, or nobody likes you, then the chances are you’ve already got a sizeable audience on Facebook to present your products to.

However, unless you’re Mr or Mrs popular, you’re probably only going to have a limited amount of friends on your friends’ list.

In fact, according to Statista, the average Facebooker has around 350 friends – not a huge amount by any stretch.

That’s not to say you can’t present your affiliate products to a list that small, but it’s going to be harder to secure sales if only a limited amount of people are seeing your link.

How I Increased my Friends List

Facebook allows an individual person (i.e. a non-business) to have up to 5000 friends.

That’s quite a lot of people to promote your products to. You can also delete them and add others at your will.

Now, this next part is probably not for you if you:-

a) Value your friend’s list and want to keep it for actual friends only and/or;
b) You are uncomfortable with adding people to Facebook you don’t know.

If this applies to you, then you can skip this part.

The thing is – I don’t really care that much about who is on my friends’ list on Facebook.

I don’t use Facebook that often. I don’t take much if any, pride in keeping my friends list in order.

I do use Facebook to store photographs and to occasionally keep in touch with people, but other than that, I wouldn’t lose any sleep if it disappeared tomorrow.

I therefore started adding people to my list who shared similar interests to me. This way, I was more likely to get accepted and avoid looking like some weirdo.

Granted, not everyone will accept you but many people out there are more than happy to accept friend requests from people who share similar interests to them.

Who knows – you may even kindle some actual friendships!

I enjoy mountain biking so I added people who shared that interest.

They’re easy to find too.

Just add yourself to groups that cover the particular hobby that you like. You can then add like-minded people from that group.

Once you’ve got a fair few people on your friends’ list who share your hobby, chances are they’ll have friends who like that hobby too, so you can add them as well!

My profile is full of photographs of me riding my bike so it was obvious to anyone considering my request that I am a mountain biker!

The bonus of selling to people on your friends’ list is that, however, misconceived, Facebook creates a perceived relationship of trust with your fellow Facebooker.

Trust is a powerful and valuable commodity when you’re selling anything. Does anyone question Apple when they buy a Mac? Does any question whether the watch they’re going to buy from Rolex will tell the time?

Of course, they don’t. That’s trust!

Products to Promote on Facebook

If you’re thinking of leveraging Facebook for affiliate sales, you need to think about what products or services to sell or promote.

Probably the best products/services to sell on Facebook are ones that are likely to interest everyone no matter what their hobbies and interests.

I personally had the perfect product to promote and it didn’t actually relate to the hobby of mountain biking I had used to increase my friends’ list.

It appealed to a wide variety of my friends on my list, whether they were mountain bikers or not.

I promoted a service called Profit Accumulator. They’re a UK-based company that provides a service that guides you on how to do matched betting, which is a method of making risk-free money by using free bets bookies give out.

You can read about what this is with my ultimate guide to matched betting.

The best thing about promoting that product was that the service it provides ultimately helps people make thousands in side income through matched betting.

It was so great because …well… who doesn’t like the money? Not many people.

I had been using the product myself and could vouch for it. I could let my audience know that it worked, that I’d made several thousand from using it and I could back that up with my results.

That was my product but I can think of others:-

Bodybuilding/fitness niche: Crazy Bulk – They offer 40% commission on weight gain/muscle building products. Great if a lot of your friends are fitness or body building fanatics;

Health and Wellbeing niche: Perfect Keto – They offer a 10-20% commission on Keto diet products. Great if a lot of your friends are into diet or losing weight.

If you’re already enjoying these hobbies to which these particular products relate (health/fitness) then it will make it a lot easier to build up your friends as you can build a list of friends on the basis of having those similar interests (like me with mountain biking).

But, even if you’re not, most people these days are trying to get fit or lose weight so you’ll still probably be able to sell those two example products above, regardless!

How Not to be Spammy

If you do leverage this money-making method, it’s important you don’t come across as too spammy or get in people’s faces. Nobody wants affiliate links shoved down their throats.

Especially not on Facebook!

If you do, then people are likely to block or delete you without a second thought and they’ll probably report you to the upper echelons of Facebook for being spam, which may lead to your account being blocked!

My strategy was just to post about the results I had been making with matched betting. I posted these results amongst other things I shared on Facebook such as what I’d been watching, my photographs and memes etc…

Not once did anyone get frustrated with me posting about the product I was promoting. In fact, I actually made quite a few friends by helping them out with Profit Accumulator and matched betting in general.

So How Much Did I Make

It didn’t take that much effort to make the money I made on Facebook.

In fact, it took hardly any effort at all when I think about it. That’s the great thing about affiliate marketing – once you’ve got the right audience – you can crush it quite easily!

To get a result, as a rough estimate, I would say I put no more than 20 posts on my newsfeed sharing my affiliate link. I posted the results I had been having with Matched Betting with my affiliate link to give my audience inspiration that they could also earn this money!

It was much less than an hour’s worth of posting time! Granted, I had to add the new friends to my list which took a few hours, but still….for the results I got, it was well worth it!

The results:-

I am based in the UK so the amount is in pounds. This converts to $3,503.25 on today’s exchange rate.

That’s over $3000 just by posting links on Facebook.

That’s more than $1000 for every 7 posts I made on Facebook.

That’s insane to me and just goes to show the power of affiliate marketing!

Other Ways to Leverage Facebook

As I said above, not everyone will be comfortable with the method I used to get the audience I needed to sell my product.

There are of course plenty of other ways to sell affiliate products on Facebook that will likely be at least, if not more, profitable than the method I used:-

Business Page: If you’ve already got a business then you could promote affiliate products using your business page on Facebook. You aren’t capped on the number of people who can join your page so this has definite advantages over promoting affiliate products through your personal account;

Fan page: If you create a fan page you could promote your products on that. Again you aren’t capped on the number of people who can join your page but it will probably be quite hard to get “fans” unless you’re well known or famous;

Facebook Ads: You can also advertise your products using Facebook ads. If you advertise a web page where your affiliate products are listed, you can make money that way. However, FB ads is expensive so you need to be confident you’re going to get clicks and sales before you do this.


So, no matter what the naysayers say, Facebook is still ripe with opportunities to make money online, especially if you use affiliate marketing in a productive, efficient, and targeted manner!

If you focus on getting your product in front of the right audience then there’s no reason Facebook can’t be used as a source of side income, or even as your primary income, if you’re persistent!

About the author

Oliver graduated from law school in 2008 and has practiced exclusively in the field of civil litigation for the last 10 years. He has a wealth of experience and expertise in litigation involving large financial losses and a special interest in consumer law. He has achieved numerous 7 figure settlements and has been involved in multi-billion dollar class-action consumer lawsuits against companies such as the Volkswagen Group. Away from the law, he is a consumer information and personal finance writer, having been featured in key publications such as Yahoo Finance, GO Banking Rates, NewsBreak, MEL Magazine, and many more.

-Chief Editor and Founder

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