You may have found yourself looking through a tutorial, course, or service page that offers to set you up with a turnkey website for affiliate marketing. The basic premise is that you are given a template, a data feed, and then everything is setup for you to begin making money.

On paper it sounds very lucrative:

  • There is very little development time
  • You don’t have to worry about listing products
  • Content is often created for you
  • Most of your job is just marketing the site

But are they really worth it? With all the updates search engines have done with duplicate content you probably have the thought that if hundreds of others have created a similar site through this service/technique then what’s the chances of yours being a success?

Well, there is more to it than that.

Let me explain why Turnkey websites aren’t worth the effort:

  • Predesigned Templates – Though you may have access to editing the website theme you may not know if there is code lurking deep in there that could cause harm. There are those theme makers out there may have made code that may replace your affiliate links with theirs meaning you’re losing out on commissions. Some of these themes may also not apply best practices which turns into one hell of a time trying to clean up the template if you want to do any modifications (or install plugins which may not work).
  • Duplicate Content – The goal of these turnkey providers is to make a few templates, pieces of content, and populate offers, and then sell as many as they can. If you purchase one that 1,000 others have you have to wonder what your chances are at it being found at all in search engines. You could always bump up the marketing and advertising but content helps identify your brand and if it’s generic your brand will be generic (so you won’t end up lasting too long).
  • Encourages Laziness – It’s one thing to work off a template and make it into your own and then it’s another when you just get into the mindset of “flip the switch”. When you invest into turnkey websites you fail to invest in learning the fundamentals of starting and operating a site from the ground-up. When you know how to operate all aspects of a site you can make appropriate changes, conduct great SEO and marketing, tweak the layout, publish and design content how you want, and strive to always learn something new. Basically it can make you lazy about this whole affiliate marketing and online business thing which you don’t want to do since short cuts leads to short returns.

Hopefully all of this should deter you from investing in this approach to affiliate marketing.

Yes, there are those that have jumped on board and gained some success through these types of sites but those are often the early adopters; since you’re lagging by the time you look into it the marketplace is already flooded.

Verdict: Don’t bother with turnkey sites.

Your best bet, if you still want to streamline it all, is to work off templates but place your effort into hand-crafting the product/service selection, content creation, social, and marketing initiatives. Hard work pays off through brand association, engagement, and promoting great products/services that lead to healthy commissions.


Image by JeongGuHyeok