One of the most attractive business models online is affiliate marketing, because it means you can have a truly digital business, and have no stock, no transactions, no customer support too! However, there is a right way to do this and a wrong way. In this post, you’ll learn how to plan great affiliate sites.
The key thing to understand about affiliate marketing sites is that you need to position yourself as a great resource for people in the niche. You ideally want to build the kind of sites that people want to bookmark and come back to and share with their friends. This is where most affiliates fall down, and instead of focusing on the end-user they focus on building sites for search engines.
The easiest way to get an affiliate site online is to use WordPress, which is free to install and then you can use what is known as ‘themes’ to get the style you prefer. I always tell people not to stick with out of the box WordPress themes though, and to instead get a designer and coder from Odesk to tailor the theme so it is well matched to the niche.
When planning an affiliate site, it’s important to make sure the content you include on the site covers all the major topics in the niche. For example, if you have a site about dog training, it would be a good idea to have categories with content in them. These categories might include; ‘how to do tricks’ ‘behavioral training’ ‘dog nutrition’ ‘potty training’ etc…the key is to make a great all-around resource.
The next step is to consider what the user experience will be like on your site. By this, I mean how easy will it be for people to find their way around and locate other articles. Some ways to do this are to have an easy to find navigation, internal links in the articles, a list of related links at the bottom of your articles, etc.. all these elements make a website easy to use.
When it comes to making money with your affiliate sites, the best way is to collect emails via an opt-in form on the site. By doing this you can build a relationship with your leads by sending them out emails with free information. The key is to provide great value to your list, and this will train them to look for your emails, open and read them. Of course in the body of the emails, you can have links to products that you are affiliated with.
Some places to find products to promote as an affiliate are clickbank.com, cj.com, shareasale.com, offervault.com and of course by just doing simple Google searches like “Dog training affiliates”.
The next major thing to undertake with your site is getting traffic. Most affiliates prefer to get traffic by doing SEO, and ranking their sites on the front page of Google. This has been a great option for many years, however, times have changed and Google is no longer as easy as it used to be to rank websites consistently in. With that said SEO is still a viable option, but a better approach is to combine SEO with other forms of traffic such as banner advertising and social media too.
If you are doing SEO a few things you might want to make sure you watch out for are:
Avoid over-optimizing your sites. By this I mean do not overuse the keywords you are intending to rank for in the content of the pages. For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “dog training” make sure you don’t use this phrase alone in your page title, description, and headings, but instead embed the keyword phrase in a much more natural-looking way. For example, a title like this would be much better: “5 Dog Training Tips for Obedience”
If you focus on the end-user and build up a database of subscribers in your niche, over time you will start to do very well as an affiliate.