Affiliate Marketing With & Without a Website




Website ownership responsibilities

Dating back to the “dot com” boom of two decades ago, a website has always been something that people wanted to possess. Some individuals paid to have websites created, while others learned how to create their own sites with the aid of software platforms like WordPress, Joomla, Weebly and other such providers; and while there were varying reasons for coveting a website, the underlying motivation was most often about making money from home.

We can all agree, however, that whether or not an individual owns a website, making money is often the result of providing a useful (in-demand?) product or service to consumers; but this is where many new website owners – and those who still wish to own one – encounter a significant challenge because, simply put, most people have nothing in the form of a product or service (‘product’) to offer and end up supporting a website from their own personal resources.

Yes! It takes money, time and work to operate a website; and while the cost of a domain name (ranging from $3.00 to upwards of $20,000 yearly, depending on the type of domain and extension), and the cost of Web hosting (ranging from $3.99 to upwards of $55.00 monthly, depending on the hosting company and account type), may not be a lot of money to some folks, there are still costs that must be absorbed if the website is not generating an income.

The website expense solution?

It is because of these costs that so many new website owners have sought ways to make money from their websites and, as a result have joined affiliate marketing programs, many of which are readily available at absolutely no cost for new affiliates. In short, affiliate marketing provides first time website owners the chance to market something online without their own product to sell, and the only requirements are to sign up with affiliate marketing program and agree to adhere its terms.

Affiliate marketing programs are usually owned by online merchants and/or retailers (‘merchants’) who encourage affiliates to sign on and promote the the merchant’s products in exchange for payment of a commission or flat fees to the affiliates for sales and/or referrals generated through the affiliates own efforts and expense.

That having been said, if you are a new website owner or you’re new to online marketing and want to make money from your website but you don’t have enough experience or capital to start your own online business, you might be in luck, because there are a number of affiliate marketing programs for you to choose from.

Becoming an affiliate marketer with the typical affiliate marketing program is often a pretty straightforward and easy process; but many newcomers still have some reservations about signing up, since they lack experience, basic knowledge and many of the skills required to generate sales and earn money. But they still must spend money to maintain their websites, so signing up is often the most practical thing to do, as it gives them an opportunity to earn money.

It’s a well known fact that affiliate marketing can be done without a website, as evidenced by the many instances in which online marketing has been done successfully by individuals who did not own websites; but these marketers utilized different strategies to promote their affiliate products. Such strategies included email marketing, offline promotions, e-book writing, article writing via ezines and participation in online forums, chats and message boards.

The following paragraphs describe such strategies in more detail

Email Marketing

Email marketing, or maintaining email lists, is actually the most popular affiliate marketing strategy that doesn’t require the affiliate to maintain a website. In this affiliate marketing strategy, what you basically do is maintain a list of the email ads of your prospective customers and provide them with articles that are relevant with the affiliate products and programs you are promoting.

Articles that you provide your contacts with need not always be promotional, because many individuals find such types of email annoying. To avoid causing such annoyance it would be better if you provide them with some relevant and informative content with just one or two small text ads that link to your merchant’s site.

Offline promotion, ebooks & free ezines

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

If you are comfortable with expressing yourself via the written word, writing an e-book can be the best way for you to promote your affiliate products in the absence of an actual website. Just like in emails and newsletters, your readers would 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 in email marketing, you can just place text ads or banners somewhere near the end of your e-book that links to the merchant’s site.

Ezines are publications or articles that aim to inform individuals about a particular topic. If you don’t have a website and yet want to be an affiliate marketer, you can certainly use ezines to promote your affiliate products through articles that you write in which you insert links to your merchant’s site.

On the other hand, if you have a website, your ezine article may actually work well as content for your site; but when you have no website you can simply submit your free ezine articles to various websites that host ezines, like goarticles.com, ezinearticles.com and others. You can learn more about article writing, or refine your article writing skills to insure success.

Online discussion venues

With or without a website, you just can’t ignore online discussion venues (forums, chats, message boards, etc.) because they are great places for marketing your affiliate products. In chats, forums and message boards as well as discussion boards with topics related to your products, you can easily find people who may be interested in the products you are promoting.

With all these strategies it may seem that a website is really not a requirement to start marketing affiliate products and promoting affiliate programs; and while starting an affiliate program without a website may be easy, achieving success in without a website is quite another thing. A marketer can actually achieve enormous success in affiliate marketing without a website, but it is a rare instance when a “newbie” will reach the same level of success.

Having a website is not a pre-requisite for entering into an affiliate program, unless the program owner requires you to have one; and while this is so, I would still recommend that you have your own website, if not now, then maybe at a later date, because having a website can create a lot of advantages in affiliate marketing.

For one thing, a website provides you with a place where you can creatively promote, not only one of your affiliate products, but all of your affiliate products; and with a website you can also advertise your affiliate products to a wider market.

Again, having a website is not a requirement infor marketing affiliate products; but with the advantages that a website can provide, having one would certainly enhance your marketing efforts and could possibly be helpful in many other ways beyond making your affiliate marketing a lot easier.

Increase Earnings With Product Recommendations


To increase sales and earnings

In world of affiliate marketing there are many ways in which to increase earnings and maintain affiliate accounts that so much time and hard work have been put into developing. Most of these methods and techniques can easily be learned, so there’s really no need to go too far because they are available online, 24 hours a day 7 days a week.

One of the more important ways of increasing sales and earnings from affiliate marketing is through the use of product recommendations. Many marketers know that this is one of the most effective ways to promote certain products, especially if an affiliate has already garnered the trust of customers or new website visitors.

That having been said, this approach to product promotion must be dealt with very carefully, because if an affiliate starts promoting everything by recommendation, his/her credibility will actually wear thin which can certainly lead to a suspicion that recommendations from that affiliate are exaggerated and without much merit.

Truth gets positive results

The one thing an affiliate can do to protect his/her credibility is to state – without fear – the truth about those things that s/he does not like about a given product or service. This way, instead of losing any points, the affiliate’s recommendation will be received as more realistic and trustworthy, thereby enhancing credibility.

Furthermore, if you are that affiliate with visitors who are really interested in what you are offering, they will be more than delighted to learn (from you) what is good about the product, what is not so good, and how the product will benefit them. Keep in mind, though, that when you recommend a certain product, there are some things to remember on how to make it work effectively and to your advantage.

Demonstrate expertise in your field

Remember this simple equation: Price resistance diminishes in direct proportion to trust. Meaning that if visitors to an affiliate’s website feel and believe that you are an expert in your niche, they are more likely to make that purchase from your affiliate website or product page.

On the other hand, if you are not exuding confidence and self-assurance in endorsing your products, your visitors will likewise have little confidence in buying from you, and therefore go in search of another product or service which they think is more believable.

How do you establish this aura of expertise? By offering unique and creative solutions they would not get anywhere else. Show proof that what you are promoting works as promised; and display prominent testimonials and endorsements from respected and known personalities from related fields.

Avoid hype at all costs!

It is better to sound low key and confident, than to scream and seek attention; especially since you would not want to sound unprofessional and have that thinking permeate through your website to your potential customers and clients. So it’s best to appear cool and self-assured at the same time.

If you are new to affiliate marketing the one thing you should always be mindful of is that prospects are not stupid; because they are constantly seeking information and advice from other experts and may already know the things that you know. So if you back up your claims with hard facts and data, they would gladly spend hundreds, or even thousands of dollars on your promotions.

Respect the intelligence of consumers

On the other hand, if you don’t respect their intelligence and believe that they are smart enough to seek comparative information from your competitors, as well as take a serious look at those competitors’ offers, you are gravely mistaken and will be sorely disappointed in your own performance.

While recommending a product, it is also important that you give out promotional freebies. Most Internet users are already familiar with the concept of offering freebies to promote products; but not as many affiliates do this to promote their products; so go ahead and offer freebies that can promote, or even have some information about your products or services.

Test, try and know your product

Before adding recommendations to your product, an obvious first step should be to try and test the product and support, so you don’t run the risk of promoting junk products and services. Just think how long it took you to build credibility and trust among your visitors. All it will take to destroy that is such a mistake on your part.

If possible, offer recommendations of products that you have 100% confidence in. That means you must test the product support before you begin to offer it, so that you can be assured of the fact that people you are referring it to would not be left high and dry when a problem suddenly arises.

Have a look at your affiliate market environment and look at the strategies you are using; and if you are not focusing on the recommendations that your products need to have, then your plan of action can be adjusted in a manner required to make your affiliate marketing program work. Try product recommendation and join the few who have proven its worth.