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  1. #1
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    Building a website - damned if you do, damned if you don't
    Hi there everyone,

    I would like to thank you in advance for bearing with me, regarding this rather lengthy question.....

    I'm in a bit of a quandry, stuck in a paradox and caught between a rock and a hard place.....

    There are some authorities out there, who strongly suggest to NOT waste your time building a website, unless you are very certain that you've got a good market/product/niche, that your keywords have value and your content has substance.

    That certainly makes sense, as it could cost you time, money and effort for futile results and you'd have to start from scratch again if your niche didn't pan out. Therefore, these people say that preferably, starting with blogs and articles beforehand, would be the way to go, in order to gauge and monitor your traffic before diving right into constructing a website- again this makes sense.

    However, there are 2 issues that may arise from this method....

    1 - Many merchants don't want to do business with you 'unless' you have a website, so they can first see the venue where their products will be displayed. (I think that's a very reasonable think to ask), so they can get a feel of how professionally, or not, their products will look on your site.

    2 - I would imagine that there are numerous people out there, who would feel more comfortable to buy through a professionally-oriented website, that has great info, content, presentation, etc, (I'm not suggesting that blogs and articles can't contain those either), but which gives the webmaster/affiliate, much more credibility and makes the customer feel more confident with the referral and subsequent purchase....simply because it's coming from a full-fledged website that somebody put alot of effort to making it complete in ALL aspects.

    I'm sure that there have been thousands of people who have made good money, simply by referring through a blog and/or article without a website, but which option is the most practical? I see both pros and cons to each method.

    I can see having blogs and articles to 'compliment' and 'supplement' your website to give it added strength and substance, plus to get your name out there for both visitors and search engines, but can people really do this type of marketing, solely from blogs and articles, without that 'mainstay' of a website, and really hold their own weight without one?

    Thanks again for bearing with me and I'd love to hear what you guys think

    Mark

  2. #2
    SEO: A Specialty - Web Design: Slow or outsourced andbeyond's Avatar
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    You will have problems getting approved by some aff programs if you are on a blog, especially a new one. BUt some dont care. Google Adsense, clickbank, some linkshare, azoogle. etc.

    YOu can test the waters, your abilty to write about the topic, and how good you are at SEO much easier on a hosted blog. But of course some dont like aff links. Blogspot is more forgiving than most as for some amazing reason they have no problem with Adsense.

    If you like what you see from the rankings, amount of traffic, and its abilty to convert then you could make a site.

  3. #3
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    Thanks alot for your reply. It's this 'approval' factor that I was a little concerned about with the AFF programs out there. Maybe there's credibility issues with them knowing you're coming strictly form a blog?

    I appreciate the Blogspot tip and was wondering if you, or anybody else knows of any more lenient directories...for example, Wordpress is VERY strict with throwing in links...I believe it's still possible, but you have to tread lightly and be pretty clever of disguising your link...don't quote me on that, it's just what some people have led me to believe.

    Just from what I sense (and I'm far from being an authorityon this), but I get this feeling that blogs can definitely help for sure - no question, but maybe they aren't 'true' revenue generating vehicles?

  4. #4
    Beachy Bill's Avatar
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    I started a blog about a food product right after I got home from Affiliate Summit East (late July). Last week it had four nice sales. So, don't be afraid to go the blog route.

    For a few bucks per month you can get a Web host providing CPanel and Fantastico. Then you can [very] easily install WordPress. It will be on "your own" server space and will not be subject to the restrictions you mention.

    Good Luck.

    Bill / Marketing Blog @ 12PM - Current project: Resurrecting my "baby" at South Baltimore..
    Cute Personal Checks and Business Checks
    If you are too busy to laugh you are too busy.

  5. #5
    ABW Ambassador JudiMoore's Avatar
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    I think there's a big difference in credibility between starting a free blog on something like the Wordpress site and just using a blogging application to build your own hosted domain.

    Combining pages of products with blogging content on your own site gives you structure and content management and the ability to quickly adjust products or even strategies while getting the benefit of blog directories and some indexing for topical traffic.

    Start by presenting info about something you know or love and then add to it with research in that area to see how people search for the info and what exactly they are looking for.

  6. #6
    http and a telephoto
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    Blogging on Wordpress hosted doesn't allow affiliate links, but a blog on your own site is a very acceptable way to build a website. They are not mutually exclusive.
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  7. #7
    Action Jackson - King of the World
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    I've had affiliate links on Wordpress hosted blog ever since I started attempting blogs. I wouldn't have a blog if I couldn't have aff links A lot of these are Amazon I believe with a few from other networks scattered in.

  8. #8
    http and a telephoto
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    jack, that is against their hosted TOS and they will shut you down if they find you. I know people that have had their blogs pulled. Better make sure you have a backup!
    Deborah Carney
    TeamLoxly.com BookGoodies.com ABCsPlus.com

  9. #9
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    To Beachy, Judi, Loxly and Jack,

    Thanks very much for your responses. I appreciate them very much. I will proceed with this with due diligence.

    Thank you for taking the time to write

    Mark

  10. #10
    Moderator MichaelColey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AffilMarx
    There are some authorities out there, who strongly suggest to NOT waste your time building a website, unless you are very certain that you've got a good market/product/niche, that your keywords have value and your content has substance.
    I think just about any niche could do well if you have a good idea. Just make sure that the time you spend is appropriate for the size of the niche and potential earnings. A really, really small niche is certainly worth a few day's work and a 1-5 page site. Several man years worth of work and considerable expenditures could be worthwhile if you have a sufficiently good idea in a large enough niche.
    Michael Coley
    Amazing-Bargains.com
     Affiliate Tips | Merchant Best Practices | Affiliate Friendly? | Couponing | CPA Networks? | ABW Tips | Activating Affiliates
    "Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world." Nelson Mandela

  11. #11
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    Hi there Michael,

    Thanks alot for answering. Makes perfect sense and good words to heed. I'm actually quite surprised that when I look around, I see so many Affiliate sites that seem to be slapped together in a matter of minutes with very little substance..hmmm?

    That's the last thing I would ever do, as I surely wouldn't want to have to do it all over again.....I'd rather try to take my time and get it right the first time. Yes there will be mistakes made and the ol' 'trial and error' syndrome which may occur at times, but I could never imagine rushing through something like this out of greed, or impulsiveness, or impatience. Oh well, rather be the tortoise than the hare. )

    Thanks again pal!
    Mark

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