Q: I want to begin building some sites that will include affiliate marketing. I have a “chicken and egg” question, do I need to build a site, and then apply to affiliate partners… or can I apply, and then build a site?
A: If an affiliate manager is manually reviewing affiliate applications, you’ve got a few seconds to get their attention.
The attributes an affiliate manager looks for in a prospective affiliate will vary for each affiliate program, but one standard reason for rejection is no site submitted or a site that is under construction.
One technique you could consider to get past this hurdle is to apply with the domain you intend to use, and just put up a simple message on the site that reads something like:
Please do not reject my application – I want to build a site dedicated to your affiliate program. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 212-555-1212.
Thanks a lot, Joe Smith
This sort of message site for an affiliate is frequently used by paid search affiliates.
Just to give you the affiliate manager perspective on this issue – many companies are wary of allowing an affiliate into their affiliate program if there is no site to review.
Reasons for this include being protective of their brands and reputations, as well as fighting fraud.
If you apply without a site and get rejected, try picking up the phone to explain to the affiliate manager what you plan to do to promote their company.