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Affiliate Businesses: Four Tips For Building Websites Around Affiliate Programs

Aug 18, 2007
An affiliate business program is simply a program in which you earn commissions by selling someone else's product or service. Alternatively, you can also earn money by simply advertising for their site. If you choose to join an affiliate business program on the internet, it would be best if you had your own website, and ideally one that is conductive to selling the goods and services of your merchant partner. In other words, it must be a site that caters to a specific group of people, or a niche market. If people buy your partner's products through your site, you will receive a percentage of the sale price.

Here are four tips on building an online presence for your affiliate business program(s):

1. Hire a professional web designer and ask to see samples of their work. You want to see currently working sites that have been put together by the outfit to ensure that you like what the finished product would look like. It is too easy to be wowed by a web designer's low price tag only to later end up with a site that is either run of the mill - as it the case with many software programs that only offer for one or two variations on a theme - or so packed full of slow loading graphics and flash footage that some consumers who are still not up to date with computing items will be left out.

2. If you decide to go it alone, pay to have your site hosted. While a free host sounds good, your website will also become an advertising solution for the free host. Thus, you will have to display banners, ads, pop ups, and other undesirable bits and pieces in order to have that free site set up. Instead, purchase your domain name and pay for the hosting. An alternative is to create a free blog or squidoo lens which already has an organized system for you to add content and links. You can then simply drive traffic to your blog or lens.

3. Do not overproduce your site. This applies especially to first time webmasters. It is so tempting to add as many "drag and drop" elements on a site as possible. Resist the urge to have email buttons, counters, guest books, weather forecasts, map functions and other items on your site all jostled together. Instead, each page of your web site should be clear, concise, and quick loading. Furthermore, the less links you offer, the less chance there is for a broken link. Consistently stay on top of your links to make sure that customers do not get error notifications.

4. Last but not least, perhaps the most important tip on building an online presence for your affiliate business program(s) is to have content that is sticky and that will be so useful to your customers that they will either bookmark your site or come back time and again from memory. The goal is to offer unique content, articles, news, and other web content related to your affiliate programs that your clients or customers will appreciate, use, and perhaps also pass on to others.

When promoting your affiliate business program(s) you will have to have an online presence to stay competitive. Of course, building an online presence to showcase, and make money, with the affiliate programs you promote is not as easy as it sounds, and the number one mistake made by those who want to make money with affiliate programs is to do it themselves and cut costs wherever possible. This leads to a host of sites that look or feel simply unprofessional.

Sticking to a certain niche per website is an important concept to understand. Many beginners to affiliate program promotion believe that they can just offer up any programs together on one site, drive traffic to the site, and expect money to start rolling in. But in order to get anybody to sign up or make a purchase you have to know who your audience is and cater to them specifically. There may be millions of people on the internet, but your site will not serve you and make you money if you treat is as a "catch all". Having a focus will give you a much better conversion rate than an unfocused website.
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