To have an affiliate website or not, that is the question?
Last week’s post covered the importance of using a good keyword tool to help you with your affiliate marketing endeavors. Today’s topic is even more controversial, do I need a website as an affiliate marketer or not?
As I visit other marketer’s sites and forum posts, I am intrigued whenever I see “experts” tell others that if you are an affiliate marketer, it isn’t necessary to have a website or blog to be successful.
Yet, interestingly when they are on a forum in their signature, they share a link to their site. Or even more ridiculous, they are telling you this from either their web sales page (which is a site) or blog post. Hmm.
To me this is incredible, I mean really. You are online, want an online business, but don’t want to have an online presence? Puzzling!
But maybe part of the problem (which started this issue) is what is considered to be a website or blog in the first place? There are some who believe if you don’t have a domain name attached to your online presence, then you don’t have a site.
To others, whatever online presence you have is a site in itself if you are putting time into it, can be identified with you, and you are putting in effort to keep that presence updated.
To me if you are serious about having an online business even as an affiliate, then you need to have an online presence… your own website or blog!
It doesn’t have to be fancy or be a zillion pages long, but if you want others to know what you have to offer, it would be wise to have your own site.
What is a website (or blog)?
Sales pages are websites. Opt-in forms or landing pages are websites. Even having a Facebook fan page is a website! Okay, you may not have the control over FB fan page like the others, but it is still a web presence.
You can even setup a blog or site on Blogger for free and setup the look and feel of your site. The only issue about it is that your site can be taken down at any time (without just cause) by Google. But until it happens, you can setup affiliate links you promote in the meantime.
One word of caution; if you are wanting to promote affiliate links on a site for free, don’t waste time with WORDPRESS.COM (emphasis dot COM), they don’t allow it and you will find your site quickly banned.
So what is the best way to setup a site or blog?
Quick answer, it depends upon your budget (what it is you can afford). As mentioned before, you can setup a site within Facebook or Blogger (a few other free options are available to you as well).
Even though there are a wide choice of platforms for your site; HTML, WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, and so forth… the most popular and highly recommended is WordPress (that is WORDPRESS.ORG, emphasis ORG).
WordPress has the largest selection of themes (appearance) and plugins (functioning) with the largest amount of support. This IS the platform of choice.
However, it can also become expensive and mind blowing! You can either use free themes or buy premium themes (advantages to either). You can also use free plugins or buy premium plugins. It is your choice, but beware that you may end up spending a few hundred dollars just to get the site up with the look and functionality you want.
Okay, we have a site (something that you advocated Mr. Mike), now what?
The main purpose of your site (online presence) is two-fold; to promote your affiliate links, and to build your own list of subscribers. Of course, this brings up a whole new set of issues (why some experts shy away from this and tell you that you don’t need a site). How to do it?
You’ll need to promote your website (blog) by driving targeted traffic (interested visitors) to your site. The more interested visitors you receive, the greater chance you have to build your list and make affiliate sales.
All right then, if I have to drive traffic to my site, can’t I just skip all this and just drive traffic directly to the offer with my affiliate link?
Oh you clever person! Yes, you can do this and that is the secret behind those who tell you that a website or blog is not needed. You can just drive traffic to the offer!
But wait! What if that offer is taken down or becomes dated and people lose interest? What are you going to do now?
They don’t know how to find you if they even remember you at all! Your source of income is now gone and you have to find another one to replace it and start all over again from scratch.
Yes, losing a product you promote on your own website can vanish as well. But the difference is, your site has established a presence and following which makes it far easier to make the transition. That is why having your own site matters!
As always, I invite you to let me know what you think about today’s topic. I am interested in your point of view as well as any questions or comments you have! 🙂