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(b). What if I don't want to use a website to promote the affiliate programs? I may want to use PPC (direct linking), for example. Would they still force me to present a website?
And some merchants are very concerned about their brand and what context it appears in. For example, not all merchants are willing to be associated with other brands or services on a website even if they get sales out of it.
That said, if a merchant allows you to advertise via PPC without a website, send them off an email and let them know of your plans. They basically just want to know that you are serious and have a plan for promoting them.
Likewise, some networks enable you to list your promotion methods in which case it should be pretty easy for merchants to gt an idea of how you will promote them.
I finally just recently decided to create sort of a "portfolio" type of site for this purpose. It has my business name and a short bio of who I am, what I do, the industries I publish in or promote, methods used to promote affiliate sites, etc. But a word of caution: I haven't used it yet to apply for any new programs, so the verdict is not in yet on whether I can vouch for it being a good idea (or not).
Thanks a lot for the replies. I appreciate it.
CatLady, your suggestion is brilliant indeed, and I actually think that it can work well. Coincidentally, I talked to a super affiliate and he suggested the very same thing (i.e: building a portfolio site).
[edited by: eljefe3 at 5:24 am (utc) on Nov. 29, 2007]
A few networks -- bound by the limitations of their traditional views -- may insist on a website anyway. You're probably better off not dealing with them.
I use this "affiliate role" URL as the web page I list in affiliate applications.
Quite often, merchants click to my "affiliate role" page, see that it's not actually a web site for consumer, and then blindly reject me because my "portfolio page" isn't a web site about widgets. I've found this to be a very successful "screen" to exclude "clueless merchants" from my efforts.
This month, ShareASale actually added a text box to the "join program" form for each merchant, so affiliates can provide specific information in the application email -- thus, if I am applying to a widget merchant, I could list my widget-world-dot-com web site in this text box, and when I am applying to a grommet web site, I could list my grommets-r-us-dot-com web site.
I did not have a site to show them. On the application when I had applied, I put I am a search marketer in the comments area.
Then I would receive a call from their office to be certain I was a real person and I am serious about promoting their products.
I again explained, all I do is search marketing, period.
Never had a problem.