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Making Money from Affiliate Programs Without a Website

Aug 17, 2007
Is it possible to make money from affiliate programs without your own website?

Many people want to make money by promoting affiliate programs on the Internet but don't have the experience to develop their own website or the cash available to have someone else design their website for them.

Affiliate marketing is very attractive to people who want to start making money from the internet as there is no need to have your own product to sell, no need to bother with packing and shipping and no need to deal with customer enquiries and complaints. All you need to do is to sign up with an affiliate marketing program, which is usually free to join and start picking the products you want to promote. As an affiliate, you are paid commission whenever you direct a visitor to the merchant's site and the visitor actually buys something.

Becoming an affiliate is usually quick and easy, and for the majority of affiliate programs, signing up is also free. Despite these facts and all the benefits promised by affiliate programs, many people are still hesitant to get into affiliate marketing. The main reason for this hesitancy is the lack of a website. This now leads us to the question of whether a website is required or actually necessary in affiliate marketing.

It is true that you can start promoting and marketing affiliate products even without a website; and there are a lot of ways to do this. In fact, many of the affiliate marketing strategies that lead to success do not involve a website. I'll outline just a few of the main strategies below.

(1) Pay per Click Advertising
If you search for something using Google or Yahoo you may have noticed something at the top or the side of the results page called "Sponsored listings". Whenever you click on a sponsored listing the advertiser of that listing pays for that click. The cost could be anything from a few cents to a few dollars. You can open an account with Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing or another smaller search engine and start bidding on keywords related to the affiliate products that you are marketing, You will only have to pay a fee if someone actually clicks on your ad. Remember to set a daily budget that you can afford and be sure to read the rules of the affiliate program as some affiliate programs have certain keywords that you are not allowed to bid on.

(2) Offline Promotion
There are many ways to promote affiliate products offline. The most common methods used for this purpose are classified ads, brochures and flyers. Classified ads generally work better compared to brochures and flyers because classified ads in magazines and newspapers usually get a wider audience. Rather than put your affiliate URL on the advert you may want to use tracking service or a URL shortening service such as tinyurl.com.

(3) Forum Marketing
Forums and online discussions are great avenues for marketing your affiliate products, whether you have a website or not. If you participate regularly in online chats, forums and discussion boards with topics related to your products, you can easily find people who may be interested with the products you are promoting. Most forums allow a signature which you can use to promote your product(s). Just be sure to read the forum rules before making your first post and do not under any circumstances post spam.

(4) Blogging
Starting a blog is much easier than starting a website and requires almost no technical skill. You can sign up for a free blog with blogger.com and start publishing on your blog straight away. Write posts related to the affiliate products that you are promoting and add affiliate links to your posts. Writing and publishing a post is as easy as writing and sending an email.

(5) Writing and Publishing Articles
Finally, one of my favorite promotion techniques and one that doesn't require a website is article marketing. If you write a short article related to the product that you are reporting you can add a resource box to the end of the article and put a link to the affiliate program in the resource box. You can then submit your article to hundreds of article directories and get it published on other peoples' websites all over the internet.

Having a website is not usually a pre-requisite to 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 your own website, if not now, then maybe at a later stage. Having a website creates a lot of advantages in affiliate marketing. For one, it provides you a place where you can creatively promote not only one of your affiliate products but all of your affiliate products. With a website, you can also advertise your affiliate products to a wider market.

Having a website is not a requirement in affiliate marketing. But with the advantages that it provides, having a website certainly makes affiliate marketing a whole lot easier.
About the Author
Suzanne Morrison is the webmaster of Home Business Ideas Sign up for her free Home Business Newsletter to receive 6 free affiliate marketing and home business related e-books.
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