There are advantages and disadvantages of creating your own landing pages and using direct links from affiliate networks. The affiliates will use split testing to run direct links and landing page. It is hard to say which one is better.
We also call direct link as affiliate link. You can get it from affiliate networks when you promote their offers. When you click this link, you will directly go to the merchant’s site. If your visitors click through this link and convert, you can get commission. There’s no need to build an intermediary site or use your own site to direct traffic. When your click-throughs convert, you get a commission.
When the landing page of direct link is ready, you can promote the offers immediately. You don’t need to spend time to think “Headline”, “Calls To Action”, etc.
There is no way to improve the landing page when it is hosted in the affiliate networks. In addition, some advertising networks (like Google Adwords, Facebook) does not like direct links from affiliate networks. So you need to ask your affiliate managers before you start to advertise.
Landing page is the page which is mainly focus on one objective in order to guide the visitors toward your intended conversion goal. Most affiliates or marketers create their own landing page to scale the success of their campaigns.
You can custom your landing page any time based on your traffic data. In addition, this can make your offer look more unique.
Landing page can also capture the visitors’ data through email, Facebook Like, Google Adwords Remarketing and RTB Remarketing pixel. This data can use in the similar offers in the future.
Hosting your landing page is not free. You need to find the stable hosting. In addition, you need to estimate how many traffic will drive to your landing page. If your hosting plan only support few thousand impression per daily, you need to set the daily cap when you advertise.
In my experience, I prefer to create my own landing page which generate more conversion than direct URL. When you check my post: 3 Minutes Create A Landing Page, landing page is not hard to make it.