Should Affiliate Marketers Have a Website?

by | Jul 14, 2008 | Marketing & Selling

There are a lot of articles, e-books, and experts who will tell you that you can make money in affiliate marketing without a website. And it is true. You can launch a Pay Per Click campaign that drives people through your affiliate link and collect the paychecks.

But how sustainable is that? Do you know who bought through your affiliate link? Can you market to them a similar product later?

No.

And therein lies the rub.

Without a website for your affiliate marketing, your business is not sustainable. You have to constantly work it, constantly find new buyers, and never rest.

I’m an advocate for sustainable businesses. Who wants to re-create and re-invent their business every day? You can’t grow your business and prosper that way!

Now, you don’t have to have an elaborate, content-filled website like this one to be a successful affiliate marketer. (Although, it can help.) But you do need the following so you can build a list of interested parties to market your affiliated products to:

1. A web page that encourages visitors to opt-in to your list.

2. An autoresponder to manage this list and send messages without you having to manually send them.

This is the bare minimum. But to make this model work even more effectively, you can layer on a couple more things:

  • An ethical bribe that rewards people for opting into your list. This can be an e-report, mp3 file, or something else that provides those who opt-in with something valuable that is related to your affiliate products.
  • Some basic content on the website that shows visitors that they’ve come to the right place and encourage them that they’ll find more where they came from if they opt-in.

O.K. So you have your web page and autoresponder. Now what? There are a variety of things you can do.

– Publish an E-zine
This is actually the most popular affiliate marketing strategy that doesn’t require the affiliate to maintain a complex website. In this strategy, you basically provide subscribers with articles that are relevant to the affiliate products and programs you are promoting. Articles that you provide your contacts with need not always be promotional, for many individuals find such types of email annoying. Rather, it would be better if you provide them with something informative and just add small text ads with your affiliate links.

– Distribute Free Viral E-books
If you have a knack for writing, writing an e-book can be the best way for you to promote your affiliate products. Just like with your e-zine, readers will better appreciate your e-book if it is not too promotional, but rather informative. Be sure, however, to make the contents of your e-books relative to the actual affiliate products you are promoting. And just like with your e-zine, you can just place text ads or banners somewhere near the end of your e-book that include your affiliate links.

Non-Website-Dependent Tactics

O.K. Here are a few more strategies you can use that don’t require you to have a website, but can also be used to bolster your business if you do have one.

– Article Marketing
There are tons of e-zines and website publishers that are looking for quality content to use. One way they find them is by going to article directories. And this is where you come in. You can write high-quality articles on topics related to your products and then post them to various article directories, such as goarticles.com, ezinearticles.com and others. Since anyone who uses them has to include your author box, your ad will be published along with the article.

– Off-line Promotion
There are many ways you can promote your affiliate products offline. Among the common medium used for such promotions are classified ads, brochures, and flyers. Classified ads generally work better compared to the other two because classified ads in periodicals often get a wider audience.

– Online discussions (Forums, Chats, Message Boards, Social Networking Sites, etc.)
With or without a website, you just can’t ignore online discussions because they are great venues for marketing your affiliate products. In chats, forums, message boards, and discussion boards with topics related to your products, you can easily find people who may be interested in the products you are promoting. Just be sure to follow the proper etiquette or you’ll be banned!

With all these strategies, it may appear that you really don’t need to have a website to start marketing your affiliate products and promoting your affiliate programs.

And, to a point, you’d be correct in drawing that conclusion. In fact, if you don’t have the funds to get started with an autoresponder and web host, you can always use these strategies to earn the money you need to get them.

Just realize that eventually, you will want to invest in these tools to grow your business. While you can actually gain enormous success in affiliate marketing without a website, it is a rare instance that this success is sustainable.

Having a website is not really a pre-requisite in joining an affiliate program unless the program owner requires you to have one. But while this is so, I would still recommend that you get for yourself a website, if not now, then maybe at a later time. Having a website creates a lot of advantages in affiliate marketing.

Again, having a website is not a requirement in affiliate marketing. But with the advantages that a website can provide, I’d rather have one for myself and make affiliate marketing a lot easier for me.


If you’d like to learn more about Affiliate Marketing, check out my free e-course.

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