There are certain things that all affiliates should do to increase their chances of earning commissions from affiliate programs.
Get a Domain Name
You should have your own domain name. This gives your site better visibility with the search engines and directories, as well as credibility and recognition that comes with your own URL (web address) instead of an extension of someone else’s.
For example, what looks more credible to a visitor…
www.geocities.com/WestHollywood/9172/baby.html -or- www.babylounge.com?
You can promote affiliate programs from a free web site, but you will create a more professional image if you have your own domain name.
Pick a Web Site Theme
One of the reasons for joining an affiliate program is to make money. You earn commissions from the traffic you attract to your site. So, a theme for your site should be chosen that will attract a fair amount of visitors to your site – visitors that would have an interest in the affiliate programs your promote.
Target Your Market
Trying to sell to everyone is selling to no one. If you are serious about making money with affiliate programs, you must find a market niche and target it. You must know your visitors, or the market you intend to attract. To this end, you need to choose affiliate programs whose products or services match the audience you attract to your site. This is not as difficult as it seems.
For example, if your site attracts people interested in babies, any kind of product or service that parents use would apply. Programs that offer rewards for moms, coupons, clothing, and baby toys, are all potential offers that you could place on your site. Your task is to create content that attracts those interested in babies on a regular basis, and feature affiliate links that make sense with this content.
Focus, Focus, Focus
Many affiliates make the mistake of joining dozens of programs with little regard to their audience. They figure the more programs they join, the more money they can make. Unfortunately, the opposite is true. Frequently, you will see sites that just have a splash page consisting of little more than banner links from dozens of affiliate programs. Sites like these, known as “banner farms,” do not succeed in earning money. Not only do they not attract traffic, but they have little chance of converting the traffic into sales. Join only a few complimentary affiliate programs, and concentrate on providing attractive content that will generate traffic and sales.
Keep Your Site Simple
One of the best ways to drive visitors away from a site, once they come to it, is to load it up with heavy graphics, animations, sounds, plug-ins, and other whistles and bells that slow down the down load time of the site. If generating revenue is the prime purpose of your site, then site content that loads fast and offers true value without gimmicks is a top priority. Another key decision in your site design is banner and text link placement. Putting these at the top of pages will result in more hits and click-throughs. Always emphasize the KISS method: Keep It Simple, Stupid!
Market Your Site
It goes without saying that the ‘if you build it, they will come’ strategy of web marketing does not work. You must market your site. This includes registering with the search engines and directories, learning how to get the better placement in those engines and directories, advertising in eZines and newsletters, and participating in newsgroups and discussion lists. In addition, start your own newsletter or eZine, and promote your site in the signature files of each and every e-mail you send out.
Keep It Fresh
It is essential that you constantly revise your site and site content. Success requires more than just posting an ad on your site. You have to pre-sell an offer, and place it within the context of your site. And this context or content must be refreshed frequently to continue to attract repeat visitors. This is important, because most products are not purchased the first time a consumer sees an offer. It may take several impressions before they make a buying decision.
Build an Opt-in E-mail List
An opt-in email list is one of the most powerful Internet marketing tools around. Using a list to contact site visitors, who have opted to receive it, gives you a chance to offer products or services, and entice visitors to return to make a purchase or perform an action that will generate revenue. You can use this opportunity to promote the benefits of a product or service. Please note – spamming (sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to people that have not opt-ed-in to your e-mail list) is forbidden.