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.

Driving Website Traffic Via Google AdWords


The importance of traffic

One of the most basic lessons an aspiring website publisher will learn after s/he creates the first site is how crucial a role traffic plays in the success of that site. This is based on one simple and enduring fact: driving traffic to a website is the most important thing any site owner can do in order for that site to be successful.

It is a fact that any website owner, webmaster or administrator will attest to, if asked. And when the traffic is streamlined (targeted) to a specific topic, niche or product the effect it can have on a particular website is truly amazing; because highly targeted traffic is one of the most important elements in the internet universe.

This is evidenced by a simple fact: that the success of a website does not rely entirely on the site itself; but on the right advertising strategies, without which that site would not attract the high traffic volume needed to be self sustained. In other words, you can’t just create a website and leave it to its own design and mere existence to succeed.

And this is true whether or not the owner has a terrific idea for a website, offers an excellent product/service, or have an exceptionally designed site with superb content; because attracting targeted traffic is a task that must be taken seriously for any website to succeed and/or make a profit.

A popular traffic source

Fortunately for website owners who are serious about their sites’ success, there are Internet marketing tools designed to help them drive traffic to their websites; and one of the most significant and effective of such tools is Adwords, which is one of Google’s advertising services.

If you are not familiar with Google AdWords, then you may ask, how does Google Adwords work? But to answer this question in the best way, it might be helpful to know what or who Google is, so this is where we will begin. Google is the single largest search engine on the web, receiving over 200 million queries every day through its various services.

As Google is the most popular search engine today, webmasters are keen on having their websites achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs) it provides; because a high ranking can mean a great deal of traffic for their websites. The SERPs are also great as a venue for advertisers to promote products and service through ads and links.

Consequently, Google launched its Adwords service as a way for businesses to advertise products and services to a targeted audience, because Google Adwords can actually guarantee instant traffic. Per this service, Google displays relevant text-based ads within its SERPs termed as “Sponsored Links,” and whenever a particular keyword is searched for, these relevant links appear in a separate section giving excellent exposure to the sites listed.

Proper use of Google AdWords

So how can you get the highest and best use of Google Adwords? First, you have to open an account with the Google Adwords Service; then you should indicate your target language and country. This is important because you would not want your products advertised in countries where your product or service cannot be sold.

Afterwards, you should create an ad group, which involves designing an ad, selecting keywords and determining the maximum cost per click that you are willing to spend and defining bid amounts. The most important step in creating a successful Adwords campaign is selecting an effective title tag that will catch the attention of your target audience.

The title tag, generally a short phrase, is the most important part of your Adwords campaign so you’ll have to make sure that it is attractive and catchy. You should describe the website clearly and accurately, since the most effective advertising conveys a clear message to the target audience. This will help you attract qualified leads which can eventually convert to sales. Thus the importance of keywords.

There are keyword variations you can incorporate in order to reach more prospects, and by using these varieties, misspellings and derivatives you can also increase the odds of your ads being served. Broad match is targeting keywords in a loosely defined manner, whereas the ads appear based on the keywords that have been queried by other users as opposed to exact match, which calls for the keyword to match the query exactly.

Create an advertising budget

Meanwhile, a keyword phrase (keyphrase) set to match a particular phrase will only appear when the exact phrase is searched for; but a negative keyword is helpful in filtering unrelated pages. After you have decided on what title tag to use in your ad, you must then define a budget in order to maximize exposure.

Google Adwords recommend a daily budget for each campaign. However, you should determine a budget that you can afford and which is suitable for your purposes. You should also determine the maximum cost per click which you are willing to pay, even though Google will offer a recommended cost per click, but you do not have to stick with this recommendation.

Note, a number one position is usually not ideal as it can also attract unwanted traffic and useless clicks. A number two position is more preferred as it can filter useless clicks and provide traffic with a higher conversion rate.

To conclude

Google Adwords is an excellent strategy and tool for giving your site maximum exposure; but Google Adwords should not be your only advertising campaign, even though it will definitely help you find the all-important, highly targeted traffic that is so critically needed for the success of your website, whether it is a business site or otherwise.