It is possible to make a ton of cash by sending visitors directly to the merchant’s website when doing affiliate marketing. This is where the affiliates advertise in any pay-per-click search engine such as Google AdWords, and send the traffic directly to the merchant’s website using their affiliate link.

If the visitor that clicks the link in the Google ad subsequently makes a purchase at the merchant’s website, then the affiliate marketer will earn a commission.

This method does work, and there are people who are silently making millions from this method of affiliate marketing. It is quick, hassle-free and can be extremely profitable if done correctly.

However, I personally think that affiliate marketers who profit from arbitrage could end up throwing away a lot of money, perhaps much more than what they are earning.

Credible studies show that as much as 85% of online shoppers don’t buy a product they find online within the first 60 days. Studies also reveal that most online shoppers only buy a product if they see it quite a few times, i.e. if they are “reminded” about the product numerously.

I personally believe the studies are true, and have witnessed it so many times in my Internet marketing experiences over the years.

Now think about it. When you use the arbitrage method of affiliate marketing as mentioned above, you only have ONE chance of profiting from any purchase made by the visitor.

If the visitor chooses to just browse the merchant’s website, do the research and then make a purchase at a later date, the only person who makes a profit is the merchant.

However, if you had built a credible review website or brand that provides genuine product/service analysis and recommendations, the customer would most likely visit your website as a last minute check just before making that important purchase.

This way, when the customer has their wallet out and credit card in hand, you will be the one sending them to the merchant’s website via your affiliate link.

This way, you not only profit from the 15% that will buy immediately, but also from the 85% that buy a few days or even months later.

Now some will ask… what about cookies? Well yes, some merchants’ websites will set a cookie on the customer’s computer. The merchant will track the cookie and will reward the affiliate marketer if the customer comes back to their site and make a purchase within a specific period such as 60,120 or even 365 days.

However, with a prevalence of short-duration cookies, and even shorter attention spans, most visitors will never visit the merchant’s web site again, even with your cookie still saved on their computers.

If you were to depend on the same visitor to click on your AdWords several times before making a purchase after sufficient exposure, you may end up making a loss, as your acquisition costs may exceed your commission from the one sale.

I could write all day and list points after points as to why you need to build your own brand on a premium domain name when doing affiliate marketing.

It is like killing two birds with one stone. You benefit from the exposure to your website and brand, as well as profiting from any affiliate commissions earned.

Don’t even forget that your branded website will benefit from free search engine and directory traffic, customer loyalty and word-of-mouth and other viral marketing methods.

Also, one last point, when your website has great content and product endorsements, the said visitor may end up buying more products from other affiliate merchants that you recommend, earning you even more money.

It pays to brand. It pays to own a premium domain name. Don’t underestimate the power contained within a premium domain name.

So, the answer is yes. You do really need your own domain name.