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  1. #1
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    Looking to start a new site
    I am an affiliate director for my company and am looking to start my own website and get into the affiliate marketing world so I can really understand the other side of the coin. I have no website, and have never had one. I have a few ideas on what type of site I should build, but I need some help from you experts out there....


    1. Besides doing research is there anyway good way to decide what product/service or what type of site I should create?
    2. Is it best to try and build a site from a template and/or buy an beginners HTML book to get started, or pay someone to build for me?


    Thanks for any feedback you can give to me!

    Missy
    Last edited by missycavin; August 9th, 2005 at 04:33 PM. Reason: sorry wrong title

  2. #2
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    Join Date
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    1. Besides doing research is there anyway good way to decide what product/service or what type of site I should create?

    Creating a web site is really just "writing," in most cases. And to be an effective writer, you should write about something you know about.
    That means either picking a subject you already know something about,
    or spending some time to learn about a new subject (your own "learning
    curve" can generate a lot of useful content).

    You should also spend some time deciding what "kind" of site you will
    create. Will it be a directory (listing of products or merchants, with some kind of information about each)? Will it be mainly "editorial" (original articles or opinion essays)? Will it be a "community" site (like this one)?

    2. Is it best to try and build a site from a template and/or buy an beginners HTML book to get started, or pay someone to build for me?

    If you have to pay someone to build the site for you, you're starting off with a big "handicap" -- that cost alone may exceed your eventual affiliate earnings. You should certainly try to learn more about HTML -- indeed, you oughta know some HTML just to help your own affiliates in your day job -- but you will probably find it easier to use one of the many web site editors like Microsoft FrontPage (I don't like FrontPage, myself). In theory, you can create web pages using almost any modern software (for example, Microsoft Word can save documents as web pages), but avoid programs (like MS Word) that "bloat" your HTML pages with lots of unnecessary formatting codes.

    If your goal is to "make money from affiliate programs," you might just want to reconsider that plan, because there are a LOT of webmasters who create web sites and add affiliate links, and even create really good sites with really effective selling tools, but still don't earn enough money to pay their web hosting fees.

  3. #3
    Affiliate Manager Sami B - Uncommon Goods's Avatar
    Join Date
    July 13th, 2005
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    141
    missycavin,

    As someone on the both side of the fence, I suggest you start with mall type site, to gain perspective and ideas on what products/services you should focus on.

    As far as building the website, start with a template, better yet design your own simple site. Unless, you want to keep paying a designer as long as you build websites, I do not recommend one at this time. Your first website won't be the most professinal-looking, best converting site, and you will learn a lot with it.

    Good luck,

    Sami B. - UncommonGoods.com Affiliate Program at Linkshare
    10% Commissions | 30-Day Cookie | Unique Gift Ideas
    E-mail: samib (at) uncommongoods.com
    Web: http://www.uncommongoods.com/linkshare/affiliates.jsp

  4. #4
    Newbie
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    11
    Thank you both for the suggestions/comments! I was hoping that a web designer wasn't neccessary!! :-) I do know some HTML as I do deal with it in my day to day job, but know I can learn more! I started playing around with a template just to get a feel for it, and it seemed to turn out decent.

    Any other comments/suggestions would be fabulous, and I am sure I will have more questions as I proceed!

    Take care!
    Missy

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
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    1,205
    There's no shame in selling. NO SHAME IN SELLING. Don't be timid about it. If you write an article about oranges, provide links to places where people can buy oranges. Provide links to several places where they can buy oranges. Push those oranges into the user's cart.

    COntent might not be king, but it's certainly been initiated into my knighthood. There's a time and place for content. Find what your audience wants. Give it to them. Don't forget to sell while you have their attention.

  6. #6
    Affiliate Network Rep
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    497
    Some small advice
    Hi Missy

    I run the buy.at affiliate network in the UK and would be happy to offer you some advice :

    1. Choose a subject which you love - if you dont love anything then maybe a strong liking for something

    2. Think about the longevity of your subject and its mass appeal

    3. No2 should help you decide whether to go for a domain based on SEO potential or brandability ( if thats a word :-) )

    4. Get your domain from someone who will also give you your hosting - in essence you then have your domain for maybe as little as $10 but you also have a years hosting which should be enough time to either sink or swim before you commit more money ( I like redstation ).

    5. If your going for free traffic i.e natural listings then every visitor is so valuable why lose them - think retention and for want of a better word community - bookmarking , forum - mailing list etc

    Search engine optimising can be painful and its controlled sometimes by factors well out of your control - a good sensible mailing list strategy for your site can see you through the hard search engine winters - again this would be a long term strategy if you have picked that route.

    6. Content is as you will know king - I dont mean product feed content I mean real content - the more of you that goes into your site the more you usp's you will have - differentiating yourself from all the other sites out there is key and the best way to do that is be origional with your content.

    One day merchants will pay more commission per sale for sales generated from sites like this - My reasoning for this is what I call " remoteness of sale " in very basic terms it means the advertiser had little or no chance of connecting with the consumer you sent them so it was worth so much more to them than say paid search.

    7. Linking strategy - unless you already have a hub of sites this can be the biggest pain in the neck.

    A few tips :

    Think about your visitor - would they like to view the site your linking to?

    Is it on a similar theme to your site ?

    Is it a quality resource or a spammy site?

    Does it have good rankings itself ?

    When you ask for a link make it personal to the site in question and be polite - your asking someone for something and so - Hi my site xxxx wants to link to your site xxxx and I have put a link up to your site but if you dont link back in x days ill remove it will quite often get put straight in the bin.

    50 or so backlinks from decent sites will take you a while but should be enough to rank fairly well for small traffic terms. Remember you dont need 1000's of visitors to make 1000's of dollars.

    I hope this advice above helps a little bit - any questions let me know - its not a full start to finish brief and I have missed a few bits out but half the fun is trial and error and you will learn a lot from doing most of it on your own which will stand you in good stead.

    I wish you lots of luck it really is a fantastic industry we are all in - well once the sharks have been taken out it will be but I'm working on that one :-)

    Thanks

    Mal

    Malcolm Cowley
    malcolm.cowley@perfiliate.com
    +44(0)191 241 6500
    The buy.at affiliate network
    www.buy.at

  7. #7
    Newbie
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    January 18th, 2005
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    11
    Again, thanks! I am looking forward to going home and working on this!

  8. #8
    Affiliate Network Rep
    Join Date
    January 18th, 2005
    Posts
    497
    " There's no shame in selling. NO SHAME IN SELLING. Don't be timid about it "

    This is a very good bit of advice if you dont mind me highlighting it weisinator.

    Too often people focus on content - which is v important - but miss the chance to move their visitor closer to a sale. Selling is selling and just because its the internet doesnt mean the dynamics of it change - a lot of the rules that apply in other sales forms apply online as well and if your building a site as a commercial enterprise then dont hide away from the fact that you want to make some money as weisinator says there is no shame in selling.

    Mal

    Malcolm Cowley
    malcom.cowley@perfiliate.com
    +44(0)191 241 6500
    The buy.at affiliate network
    www.buy.at

  9. #9
    ABW Ambassador
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    I don't mind at all. It's one of those lessons I learned.

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