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  1. #1
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    June 10th, 2008
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    Thoughts on Offering Premade Stores for Affiliates
    I have recently taken over managing my company's affiliate program, and one option we have always offered our affiliates is a "Build Your Own Store." Basically, the affiliate picks a store name and a website is automatically generated for them (e.g. http://theirstorename.ourwebsite.com).

    When the affiliate signs up, they have the option to select the "build your own store" option only. This has been creating problems for us recently. It seems like 95% of the people who select the Build Your Own Store option only don't really know ANYTHING about marketing. To my knowledge, none of the affiliates we pay out on a monthly basis fall into the Build Your Own Store only category, which is leading me to wonder whether we should change our policies so that the build your own store is a supplement to a pre-existing domain, not the one and only tool used in marketing our products.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    ABW Ambassador
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    January 18th, 2005
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    Are the sites identical? How can an affiliate make any money if all they are doing is promoting a site that is no different than all the other ones that your company provides?

    If the site is automatically generated for the affiliate, then it doesn't make sense for you to expect any results from those sites, they are all the same

  3. #3
    Newbie
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    June 10th, 2008
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    They're basically the same. The affiliate has the option to choose from 4 different versions of our catalog. 2 of the 4 are the same as sites we already offer our customers. The only customization we offer on these sites is the ability for the affiliate upload their own logo where ours resides on the main site. I suppose it might be useful from a "co-branded" standpoint, but on the whole I have to say that it's a mess that's causing me a lot of headaches lately.

  4. #4
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    Here's a perfect example of the issue I speak of...

    An affiliate created a Build Your Own Store and chose "ww" as his store name, creating the URL http://ww.oursite.com. Everyone knows how common URL mistypes are. When we shut down his store, he protested that we were interfering with his "marketing."

  5. #5
    notary sojac Herb ԿԬ's Avatar
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    January 18th, 2005
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    I participated in a deal like that, once. The idea was that I should have had working sites to link to the store with.


    Made steady sales, too, over the years. But never knew which link brought those sales.

  6. #6
    ABW Ambassador Boom or Bust's Avatar
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    February 3rd, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by JMDub81
    Here's a perfect example of the issue I speak of...

    An affiliate created a Build Your Own Store and chose "ww" as his store name, creating the URL http://ww.oursite.com. Everyone knows how common URL mistypes are. When we shut down his store, he protested that we were interfering with his "marketing."
    Very clever! I bet he did pretty well until you slammed the door.

    If content is primarily ads and links with very little, or common (to all your generated stores) supporting text, then this type of "thin affiliate site" will never do well in the SERPs.

    Pre-made "stores" will always attract unskilled Internet marketers wanting to "get rich on the net". I believe you answered your own question. Remove the offering from your service.

    Additionally, you're probably hurting your own SERPs by letting affiliates use copies of YOUR website pages.



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