How do ad-free websites earn

Make money as an affiliate. What first: website or affiliate program?

There are a number of ways to make money from your website. The huge world of affiliate marketing gives users a flexible approach to how they can earn money - for example with a website.

But what is better: First create the website and then find suitable partner programs or define partner programs in advance and adapt the website thematically?

First of all, there is no such thing as a “right” or “wrong” variant. Both approaches occur in practice. There are often different intentions and goals behind the “Earning Money” project, with one important criterion being indispensable for both variants: passion.

Those who do not have enough time and enthusiasm to maintain their website will not reap much success in the face of high competition. The internet never sleeps.

In Peers Wandinger's article “First the website or the partner program?” From 2011, he explores the advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches to monetizing a website.

The important question "What first?" is still of significant topicality, which is why we take a closer look at the different variants with the help of Peer Wandinger's representations.

Variant 1: First create the website and then select the partner program

This variant of the approach can often be observed, especially with bloggers. Some have analyzed beforehand whether there is a sufficient target group, but many have not.

The advantage:

In the foreground of the variant is not the earning potential on the Internet, but the interest in the topic, which is also the great triumph of the project.

The disadvantage:

In the best case scenario, the blogger will reach many readers and find out on the Internet that you can earn money with your own website. If he learns about the affiliate marketing principle, the blogger may decide to find the right partner program for his website. The problem: there is no thematically appropriate partner program! Although there are now a variety of affiliate programs, some issues are more difficult to monetize than others. Another problem could be the annoyance of the readership if affiliate banners suddenly appear on the blog. Many appreciate advertising-free platforms and do not want to be declared as potential customers.


Before creating websites, it never hurts to:

1. Analyze the target audience. Is the subject interesting?

2. Look through the partner program catalogs of affiliate networks or use the partner program search engine from can the topic be monetized?

With the second point, it is not necessarily decisive whether the partner program is one hundred percent suitable for the website (e.g. computer game partner programs for a website about computer games), but also related partner programs (e.g. a travel partner program for a website about mountain hikes) are possible.

When choosing a partner program, the first point must always be taken into account: Does the partner program also suit my target group?

Variant 2: First define the partner program and then create the website

This approach is usually chosen by prospective website operators who are already familiar with affiliate marketing.

Experienced affiliates first analyze how many matching partner programs from different merchants are on the market, how well the partner programs are performing, whether there is a sufficiently large target group and how high the competition is on the Internet.

The advantage:

Thorough analyzes of partner programs and a suitable topic with a corresponding target group usually mean that an affiliate website runs well with a well-thought-out monetization strategy.

A professional affiliate will always first look at the market and weigh its potential before creating a website.

The disadvantage:

Many affiliate beginners have made the experience with this variant that affiliate managers of the partner programs often do not give approval for the application of the partner program when the website is still offline (a problematic aspect that is worth discussing).

There is also still the risk that the affiliate program will reject the affiliate when the website is online. In the worst case, the project would have been in vain.


In the second variant, despite the thorough market analysis, the following should be taken into account:

1. Do I have a certain passion for the topic? In the best case: Does the topic suit me and is it easy to monetize?

2. Are there multiple affiliate programs for the theme of the website? Can other affiliate program providers be used in the event of a rejection?

As Peer Wandinger puts it in his last sentences:
“As is so often the case in life, there is no right or wrong here. But you should keep an eye on the consequences of both approaches. ”But even those who already have their own website or blog can make a profit as a budding affiliate.


The conclusion is very simple. If you want to earn money with affiliate marketing, you should combine your passion for the topic with a thorough analysis of the monetization possibilities before creating the website. When either of the two factors goes away, making money online becomes more difficult. Usually users notice when the affiliate is an expert and visit the website again and again when they are convinced of the content.