Q: I’d like to know what merchants seeking affiliates are looking for. It seems to me that they are ignoring applications through LinkShare, for example. Like mine!) Are there any type of websites they are looking for to market their products? What’s your opinion and advice so I can gain an edge? Thank you. Frustrated but Determined
A: It varies depending on the merchant and their objectives. But there are some basic characteristics that will certainly help your cause.
First, you should have your own domain name. You can get one for less than $10 from GoDaddy.com.
This is a modest investment into your affiliate marketing efforts, and by not doing it, you are telling affiliate managers that you are not so committed to being an affiliate.
Fair or not, the conventional wisdom of affiliate managers is that if you aren’t willing to stake a little money into your affiliate marketing efforts, you are not going to have an impact on their affiliate program.
Second, there must be something unique about your site. One of the reasons affiliate applications are frequently rejected is that they do not offer anything unique or useful.
You’d be surprised how many affiliates submit a page with ten random banners. Unless an affiliate program is on auto-pilot, they would generally never accept such a site.
Find a topic that interests you and generate fresh content. You can also encourage your visitors to submit content for your site. When you get going with this unique content, it’s something you should expect to update on a regular basis.
Third, you’ve got to promote your affiliate site to drive some traffic there. If you have some money available for marketing, you can get some targeted traffic to your site fast with pay per click search engines like Google and Yahoo.
Additionally, when you start to get visitors to your site, you’ll want to do something with them. After they enjoy your content, take advantage of their interest and ask them to join your e-mail list. Of course, you’ve got to start an e-mail list first.
The traffic to your site ties back into another item affiliate managers tend to check when evaluating the potential of your site. One indicator used is your Alexa ranking. This rank gives an approximate idea of the popularity of your site.
You see, afiliate managers are focused on bringing in established sites. Of course, many affiliates are just starting out, and they need to earn some affiliate commissions to invest in their site and grow.