Most people will tell you that to be truly successful with online marketing you need your own web site, and for the most part, that is true. However, it primarily depends on what you call successful. Yes, you do need your own site if you want to make really significant money or build an empire, but there are alternatives if you don’t want to make it your life business, or to check it out before you invest in your own web site.
How to make money online without a web site.
In a nutshell, to make money online without a web site you will either be promoting affiliate products or hosting a blog that gains revenue from “click through” from advertising content, perhaps both.
In the latter, you could go to a “web 2.0” site and start a blog on a topic dear to you, Somewhere like Blogger or HubPages. There are quite a number of popular sites like this. You are allowed to build a web page (blog) on their site, which will also contain advertising of their choosing. The host makes money every time someone clicks on an ad that is featured on your blog pages, and you share in this revenue. This is called Pay Per Click (PPC) and the prospect doesn’t actually need to buy the product, just click on the ad. Adsense is one popular system that provides these ads to the hosts. The ads on your pages will usually be related to the topic you write about, so there is a higher chance of a prospect clicking on the ad.
Your blog may promote a given product, and you would have your affiliate link in your blog postings. If your visitors click on the affiliate link, read the sellers advertising (sales) page and then purchase the product, you get a commission. This is in addition to any Adsense revenue you might get from the site.
On the positive side, this costs you nothing except your time, and perhaps what you pay to buy an inexpensive how-to program to get you going. On the negative side, your site is on someone else’s server, and you don’t control what happens to it. The other big negative is that the conversion rate of a prospect that clicks on your affiliate link is usually pretty low (say 1%) and you usually only get one chance to capture the prospect as a customer.
Making money online With your own web site.
The costs of having your own web site are not all that great, and the benefits usually far outweigh the costs. You can purchase a domain name for $10 or $12, hosting for under $10 per month, and an autoresponder about $19 per month. Given an available discount on the first month web hosting, you can have your own web site with autoresponder for about $30 per month. An autoresponder is a special application that sends out email messages at intervals you choose, so you can build a list of potential customers.
You build a blog just as you would on a Web 2.0 site, and drive traffic to your pages. However, instead of sending prospects directly to an affiliate link, you have them opt-in to your newsletter. Using your autoresponder, you send emails to your subscribers, and periodically promote a product (with your affiliate link). The big difference here is twofold. 1) It’s a lot easier to get someone to sign up for a newsletter, especially if you offer a freebie to do so. 2) Instead of a one-shot try with an affiliate link on your blog, you have numerous opportunities to promote products to your list. If you provide informative content, they will remain subscribers, often for years, and you may be able to sell the same people several different products over time.