If you start from new as an affiliate marketer, you can actually start an online home based business with or without your own website selling other people’s products by signing up with affiliate marketing programs. There are several of these programs and you can start to market the products that they offer. As an affiliate you are paid by the merchant (seller) by means of a commission only basis. You do this by directing internet traffic to the merchant’s site and if the customer buys the product you are paid.
Becoming an affiliate and joining programs is a quick and easy process and is normally free of charge. Despite the ease of this process many would be affiliates shy away from this form of business and possibly the main reason for this is a lack of a website to market the affiliate products. So, we need to ascertain, is it really necessary to have your own website to make money online?
A lot of affiliates argue that you can do affiliate marketing without a website. To some extent this is actually true. The simplest way would be to sign up for an AdWords account or the MSN and Yahoo equivalents, create as simple campaign and point the advert at the merchant’ website’s sales page. Other strategies include email marketing, article writing, discussion forums and many others.
As stated you have to sign up for an AdWords account. When accepted you create campaigns which are effectively adverts. Your adverts are little 2 to 3 line adverts and contained within the advert is a link to the merchant’s website. Also linked to the campaign is a series of keywords. These are the common words that you believe that people would enter into the search engines to look for the product you are marketing.
Google will charge you price for these keywords and when the campaign is live, if anyone clicks on your advert, Google, MSN or Yahoo will change the price of the click. This is known as pay per click or PPC. Be careful PPC can be expensive.
Most affiliates maintain lists of email addresses and this is the most popular way of affiliate marketing. All you do is to maintain a list of prospective customers and you email them with offers on appropriate affiliate products. Contained within the email is a link to the merchant’s website of the product that you are marketing. As with AdWords if the customer clicks on the link they are taken to the merchant’s website where hopefully they will buy the product. The main problem with this form of advertising is obtaining and maintaining and email list. Most affiliates achieve this through their own websites but it can also be achieved by subscribing to the ‘Safe List’, ‘Viral List’ and list exchange sites.
Article marketing is achieved by you writing informative articles on products and services, to the free article submission sites. Once again you add links into the article that take you to the merchant’s website. You must however submit original articles, if you just spin someone else’s article, but change the odd paragraphs, the submission sites will reject your articles.
Online discussions (Forums, Chats, Message Boards, 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 with the products you are promoting.
With the strategies mentioned above you can easily get a foothold into affiliate marketing and most certainly this can be achieved without a website however, it is doubtful that you would reach the heights that can be achieved by having your own website. With having your own website you obtain many more advantages over not having one. You are able to promote many products at once from your own site so, if you use AdWords for instance, should the visitor come to your own site instead of the merchant, you would be able to promote several items instead of just the one. The major advantage of your own site is the ability to collect your very own email list. Once you have an email list of several thousand, you will achieve much more success.