Affiliate programs are a great way to earn an income online in a few easy steps. However, if you don't have a plan you are going to fail. A smart webmaster plan includes some pretty basic steps that you should follow every time.
A website is a lot like a business on the corner. Your advertising methods might be a little different but you still have expenses, and you need to plan for growth. The expenses for a website are usually hosting, domain registration, and some form of advertising.
I don't want you to even think for a moment that being an affiliate isn't a reason to be your own webmaster. There is a reason that 95% of affiliates never make a sale. The reason is they aren't doing what the 5% making money are doing. It's about time you treated your affiliations like a real business.
A real business plans for everything, before spending the first cent.
Don't register a domain name, don't get hosting, don't do anything yet. Let's think about what we want to accomplish with our plan. For our example we want to promote a service site for webmasters. (It makes sense to sell shovels to the coal miners.) We are going to set things up to generate recurring traffic and high page rankings.
Choose your affiliations wisely. Many affiliate programs don't pay, or won't be here in 6 months. When your planning your website, don't make it dependent on one affiliate program. I like to review products that I personally use. For my example here I am going to use Xarawebstyle4 as our affiliate product. The reason is that it is an established company, I love the products, and I use them daily. What better to promote than something I believe in and USE?
Set up your target market. In may case I want webmasters that want to make their own graphics and website templates, but don't want to purchase an expensive solution like Photoshop with a high learning curve.
Research your keywords. There are tons of places to research keywords, and you can spend up to 400 bucks for this type of software. Let's start slow though O.K.? Here is a growing collection of webmaster tools: http://stmadeveloper.com/tools.php . I don't recommend going for broad reaching keywords. Micro-targeting your keywords will get you a better result than going for the term that is already ranked for 10 billion websites.
Now that you have your chosen your product or service that you wish to affiliate with, target market, and keywords it's time to get going to development stage. I'm sure you don't have millions to spend, and the good news is you don't have too. Service review sites are quite affordable to create, they usually have a simple logo, and just a "layout." A good webdesign company can make you a great "template" for this for about 20 dollars.
Your all set, you have your template now, either made yourself or you have hired a designer. It's time to start filling pages with content. What I do first is make an index page. Every other page I create will be linked to the index page. It's going to be your websites "featured" product pages. This page and all your other pages need some content in regard to your products. You will want unique page titles that use your keywords, and you need to make your meta-tags as well. There is a great meta-tag generator at http://www.submitcorner.com that is free to use.
Write your content and reviews. If you need help there are plenty of copywriters out there that can help you. A review should be keyword rich and should actually recommend the product. You should add many pages of content. Even if you need to use other people's articles, the more you have the better. A great site might have 200 pages of relevant content.
It's time to let the world know about your site. While we are doing that we will make sure the search engines find it as well. I like to use a website called groupmarketingsolutions for my first exposure. They get spidered frequently and I get to pick my keywords for the page. You can find them at groupmarketingsolutions.com. There are also plenty of forums that allow you to have a signature in your posts. They are a great way to send traffic and an extra incoming link from the search engines.
Trade some links or purchase links outright. Links all over the web in targeted websites will net you immediate traffic and increased search engine rankings. There are also many free directories where you can list your website with a description.
The end result here is a website that will increase in traffic daily, get listed in the search engines and eventually be worth much more than you are making in the affiliate income. Wouldn't it be great to sell your site for what you make off it in a year?
There is another step here as well though, and we are going to call it "rinse, wash, and repeat." Once you have done this for one or two affiliate programs, you should keep going. There is no rule that says you only have to have one site. A good tactic is dozens of sites (Or even subdomains) that promote a variety of affiliate programs and that grow weekly. The more often you add content the more visitors and sales you will have.
This article was written by Ed Charkow of http://www.stmadeveloper.com. Stmadeveloper is a leading subcontractor in niche and content sites. For affordable content creation contact them today. Full reprint rights with this resource box included is acceptable.
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