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Affiliate Web Site Pros, Cons and Getting Traffic
With the web these days growing at a substantial rate, just about everywhere you turn on the web, you will see offers to own your own web business. Many of these offers are legitimate businesses with real products and items waiting for you to open one of their affiliate sites and start selling. They can sound very good, get you excited, tell you that you can make tons of money and sometimes be under $100.00 dollars to start. But there are some important things you should consider before you buy.
Affiliate sites can be a good thing if you're looking for a low maintenance way to have a business on the web, like if you're retired or like to travel a lot. They can also produce a fairly good income 24/7 once you become established and if you know where you can pick up some local traffic just through friends and neighbors.
But there are downfalls to having an affiliate site, and the most important one is you probably won't have much control over it, sometimes none at all. First, you may not have control over the ad banners that appear on your site, you probably won't have control over the content, links or text links and on some of them, you may not be able to control the keywords or optimize the site for the search engines, or possibly even see your daily traffic or check your stats (how many visitors you have gotten and how many items you have sold).
First of all, do some research on the company to be sure they are indeed legit. But one of the things they won't tell you as they are trying to sell you a web site, even if they are a legitimate company, is that even the big time companies with web sites consider themselves a top notch site if they make one sale out of every one-hundred visitors. As the matter of fact, this is what companies web sites aim for. Traffic is simply just not an easy thing to build up. A web site is not like putting a convenient store on a corner and everyone will see it as they pass by, and stop. If you do not advertise in some form, no one will know you're on the web. The old adage "if you build it, they will come" just isn't true when it comes to opening a web site.
Getting The Traffic:
Of course getting some heavy duty traffic will become your main goal when you open a web site, and it doesn't matter how good it is or what it is selling. But web advertising can be flat out expensive, even scary. When you run a search for web advertising, you will find all kinds of bargains and promises to get heavy traffic to your site, and some of these are legitimate businesses, while others are mostly full of wind. Once you have your site and you begin searching the web for advertising, there's one old adage that you should always stand by, "If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is". Don't fall for so-called bargains such as "100,000 visitors to your site for only $39.95!" Because it's not just the traffic you need, it's the quality of it.
If you pay for 100,000 traffic hits to your site that are pretty much forced to land on your page, more than likely you aren't going to land a sale for it. There are plenty of advertisers that will do this. Such as pursuading you sign up on a traffic building list where people are forced to click on your link, just so they can earn a credit for it to get traffic back to their own site. Or joining and paying for an MLM type traffic builder where the member simply passes their site around to other members who desire more to sell than to buy. These sites can have as many as 25,000 members (so claimed), but all they are really doing is advertising their sites to other members while trying to make money from one another. As far as I have seen, normal outside web traffic or non-members rarely see these advertisements, if ever. Watch out for what can also be called FFA ads (free for all). They make it sound really good to join these, but when you place your ad in the rotation, you must give them your email address, and you will get literally slammed with everyone else's ads in YOUR email box.
Personally, I think the best advertising for any web site is word of mouth. Start locally by spreading the word and grow from there. Use flyers, penny saver papers and of course business cards and spread them all over your town, and county if necessary. Put a magnetic sign on the side of your car and give relatives and friends some business cards to pass around. All it really takes to get started, is a few people who know a few people and so on. But above all, don't get discouraged, because it can take up to a year or two for a website to really take off. The most important thing is traffic, traffic, traffic (but QUALITY) traffic. Because the more you get, the bigger chances are of getting bigger and better sales. Good luck!
R.L. Young is the owner of National Wholesalers, a wholesale website open to businesses and the public and to help those who would like to have their own home business. Mr. Young began web marketing in the fall of 2002 with many experimentations and much research in web marketing, advertising and sales; including studies with affiliate web sites, and always learning more. Visit National Wholesalers at: http://www.natlwholesalers.com
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