When I got started with affiliate marketing in the late 90’s, I simply drove traffic to an affiliate offer and made sales. Plenty of them.
The problem is I had no leverage. I never got the snowball rolling down the hill in my favor.
Why? Because I was creating a list/customer for the company I was promoting and there was no way to increase conversions.
Fast forward to today, you can increase conversions by building your own list and driving traffic to your landing page first.
Before anyone sees your affiliate offer and becomes a customer, you have already added them to your own list. If they don’t buy right away, you can follow up with them and increase your conversion rate over time which will make you more money. If they do buy, you can sell them more products and services that will help them.
I honestly don’t see how you could possibly scale your business without list building especially if you’re using paid advertising methods that require you to at least come close to breaking even on the front end of your business.
So build your own list first. Driving traffic directly to affiliate offers could cost you thousands and even drive you to quit your business in the long run.