Affiliate marketing is the most versatile business model on the Internet. How else can you have a ready made online business without spending a dime, or very little, to get it started?
There has been a question asked frequently, most recently at Lynn Terry’s Self Starters Weekly Forum, www.selfstartersweeklytips.com/forum, “Can I promote affiliate programs without a website?”
It’s an easy answer, but there are some conditions.
Yes, you can build a very strong and profitable affiliate business without a website. In fact, I think that for most people just “testing the waters”, this is the way to go. However, you will not be able to sustain your affiliate business, nor build it stronger, unless you have a website.
So, yes, it’s very possible and people do it all the time. Here’s six ways to make it happen.
Write informative articles
By far, the most productive way to promote anything on the Internet, especially affiliate products, is by writing high-quality, informative articles, attaching a short author’s resource box at the end, and submitting them to every article directory you can find.
Articles will do a few things right off the bat that makes this the best way to promote affiliate products.
- Drive quality, targeted traffic to the merchant’s site. # Establish an “expert” status for you.
When you write articles, and submit them to article directories like EzineArticles.com and GoArticles.com they list them on their sites (thus you don’t need one) and bring in traffic through the search engines.
This targeted traffic will read your article and click on your affiliate link, either within the article or in your resource box, and be at the merchant’s site to browse and buy. You then earn the commission.
Participating in forums
Forums are networking communities online where people go and can either ask questions or answer them. A fantastic way to build connections with other people and promote the products you’re affiliated with.
Of course every forum has a guideline as to how you can reply and how you can promote products. Most generally it’s through your signature at the end of your post.
You will also want to make sure that you provide relevant information. You wouldn’t want to reply to a question asking what’s the best car wax to use for long lasting sun protection by pointing them to your pet food supply store. Not only will your post most likely be deleted, but it wouldn’t do any good.
Use other people’s websites by being viral
Viral marketing is getting other people to promote your affiliate products for you. But, this is where one of the conditions I mentioned at the beginning kicks in.
You must create something; a report, short ebook, video, audio interview, etc., and allow other people to give it away free from their website.
For example, Harvey Segal of SuperTips.com has several ebooks that he has written, one especially on viral marketing, and gives them away to other people. Inside these ebooks are links to his site and his products. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much advertising because he has other people doing it for him.
Now for an affiliate it is a matter of creating a relevant infoproduct (one that deals with the niche of your product), putting your affiliate links throughout the product, and emailing website owners if they would give it away on their site.
If the topic is similar they will jump at the chance because it adds even more content to their site, or they can use it as a free bonus for subscribing to their newsletter.
Place ads in other people’s ezine
The first three tips have all been freebies. You can use them without spending any of your own money to advertise the products you’re affiliated with. This one actually costs some money, but if you do it right you will still earn a great deal of profit.
ezines is still a major strategy in creating traffic to your site. However, it does carry a warning. Research and find the ezine that best fits the product. Ezine co-op’s do not help you generate good, quality, targeted traffic to the merchant’s site. Yes, your ad will be seen by hundreds of thousands of people, but the majority will have no desire, need, want, or tingle for the product the ad is for. A waste of good money.
On the other hand, if you research and find the right ezine to place and ad with, the people reading it will already have a desire for it.
For example, you wouldn’t advertise fishing tackle in an internet marketing ezine. But, if you found camping, fishing, sports, or other mens related ezines… you’d have found a great match.
A few years ago, when everyone was advertising in ezines, the costs were sky high. But, now with blogs and a content focus the prices have come back down to earth and it’s now reasonable. You can profit by placing very good quality ads in ezines.
Do the joint venture thing
Joint ventures are a funny animal. Most people think it’s a “I’ll put your link on my site if you put my link on your site” type of thing. Sometimes it is. But, what if you don’t have a site?
Then you have to be a lot more creative.
Here’s something I did recently with a client that I could not, after much pleading, convince they needed a site so I set out to develop an advertising campaign for them, without a website. First, I found a few other website owners who were in the same niche. In this case it was pet supplies. I offered each of them a deal where both sides would win out.
I offered the site owners good, quality, original web content if they would put my clients affiliate text links and a few banners on these pages. They were all very good traffic sites and I knew that my client would receive excellent exposure.
Out of the 15 sites I contacted, 11 said yes. Why not… everyone loves fresh content. After the initial run of new articles for each site and my client’s links were on those pages, he made a little over $500 in commissions that first two weeks. Now that there are even more articles with his links on them, he is making more.
You can do that too. Just ask people if they need fresh content, for free, and in return you can place your affiliate links on those pages. It doesn’t hurt to ask for a good position on the home page either.
Google it with Adwords
This one takes a lot more research and very focused common sense. Google Adwords is a way to get your affiliate links on Google’s first page, without having a site, but it does cost. And if not done right, and constantly monitored… a lot of money.
However, there are people, like Chris Carpenter of Google Cash that have made an incredible amount of money, a fortune really, just from listing affiliate products on Google Adwords.
Yes, you can successfully promote affiliate products with the above six strategies, but, like I said, there are conditions.
You must be extremely diligent in your efforts, constantly monitoring results, and keeping a sharp eye on your costs to ensure profitability. It takes work, a lot of it, to promote affiliate programs.
Also, at some point, you will have to break down and create a website. Your long term success greatly relies on you developing a prominent and tangible “storefront”.
Until then, promote your affiliate programs without a website using these six strategies