On a basic level, affiliate marketing sounds easy. All you have to do is
put up a website, recommend a product and get paid when somebody buys
through your link. Sounds simple – right?!
Unfortunately, while the concept of affiliate marketing is easy to grasp,
actually putting these ideas into practice can be challenging for new
marketers. What kind of site should you build? Should you promote your
product through a squeeze page or an authority site? Does your site need
to have a multi-level funnel structure or can you get buy with just a few
pages of content?
To make sense of it all, let’s start by reviewing the most common types
of affiliate websites and how to choose the one that will work best for
your business. Next, we’ll look at how to get started with each of these
different site styles in order to start you off on the right foot towards
making money with affiliate marketing.
So, for starters, the most commonly used types of affiliate marketing
1. Squeeze Pages – A squeeze page is a simple one-page site whose purpose
is to get people to take one action quickly. Generally, this desired
action is getting a prospect to “opt-in” to receive more information via
email, although squeeze pages can be set up to presell visitors before
arriving at different sales pages or authority sites. Squeeze pages
typically feature bright colors and provocative headlines designed to
capture attention as quickly as possible.
2. Presell Landing Pages – Although presell landing pages can take many
forms (the most common being long form sales letters and review sites),
they all share the same goal – getting visitors so excited about your
product that they simply can’t wait to buy. Presell pages are great to
use when you expect to receive lots of cold visitors (ie – visitors that
wind up on your site with no previous exposure to you, your brand or your
3. Affiliate Content Sites – A content site is a small 5-10 page site
that’s written in order to support and sell a single affiliate product.
The home page typically features a review of the product, as well as text
and image links that redirect the visitor to the affiliate home page.
These sites can later be scaled up to become authority sites targeting
multiple products if the market is there to support it.
So which type of affiliate marketing website is best? Well, that’s a
trick question – each of these business models can be the right choice
for you, depending on a number of different factors. Here’s what to
consider when deciding which type of affiliate website to build:
Traffic Generation Strategies
The way you plan to pursue traffic should play a major role in
determining the type of website you’ll create. In general, there are two
major types of traffic you can try to attract – free SEO traffic or paid
pay-per-click (PPC) traffic.
Free SEO traffic comes from getting your affiliate website ranked highly
in the SERPs. That is, if your website targets the product keyword “acai
berry cleanse”, you’ll earn SEO traffic by building backlinks in order to
get your site ranked #1 in Google whenever someone searches for that
phrase. SEO traffic can be great as it’s both “free” and regular, but it
can take time to achieve these top rankings depending on how competitive
your chosen keyword is.
PPC traffic, on the other hand, can be set up to start flowing to your
site right away. The downside is that, if you aren’t careful, you can
blow through hundreds or thousands of dollars on a single promotion
before you’re able to find the right combination of keyword phrases,
headlines and calls to action that result in conversions.
If you plan to target SEO traffic, you’ll need to build a content site.
Google, Bing and Yahoo are all cracking down on poor quality sites
ranking highly in the natural results, and the factors they’re using to
do this – including the amount of content on a site, how frequently
content is updated and how often people interact with the site – can’t
really be influenced by a single page squeeze page or a static presell
Alternatively, if you plan to buy your traffic through Google Adwords or
any other PPC program, you’ll want to create a squeeze page or presell
page. Visitors who are coming to your site through these advertisements
are naturally more skeptical of your claims, as your site hasn’t
officially been “endorsed” by the search engines with high rankings. So
you’ll want to capture their attention as quickly as possible and keep
their focus on your product and its benefits.
Time Versus Money
Like so many things in life, choosing the right affiliate website model
for your needs comes down to whether you have more time or more money to
invest in your business.
If you have more money, learn PPC and build the squeeze pages and presell
landing pages that work best with this traffic stream. Paying for traffic
will enable you to quickly split test different on-site elements and hone
in on the ad campaigns that result in the most sales, meaning that you’ll
make money faster than someone who’s waiting on a backlinking campaign to
finally bump a site up the SERPs.
Or, if you don’t have the extra cash up front to burn through on PPC ads,
stick with SEO traffic and the content sites that thrive on it. Most SEO
activities – including writing content, building backlinks and submitting
guest posts – can be done entirely for free, making content sites a great
point of entry for new affiliate marketers who want to learn the business
without losing their shirts.
Once you’ve identified the type of affiliate site that will work best for
your needs, the best thing you can do is to get started! Don’t let
analysis paralysis prevent you from moving forward – instead, take the
following steps to get your site up and running as quickly as possible.
Building a Squeeze Page Site
Setting up a squeeze page site can be quick and easy – that is, if you
don’t set out to reinvent the wheel! There are plenty of proven squeeze
page templates out there that you can purchase that can have your site up
and running in just a few minutes. The key things to look out for when
setting up a squeeze page site are:
Pick the Best Format – Different squeeze page formats exist, including
those that feature text, images and even video files. Look for templates
that have been proven to increase conversions, but be sure that they’ve
been tested on the kind of product you plan to promote (as different
industries respond better to different types of promotions).
Test Your Headline – The headline is arguably the single most important
thing on your squeeze page, as it’s the element with the best chance of
capturing your visitors’ attention quickly. Be sure to keep a split test
running at all times in order to hone in on the best possible wording.
Add Your Opt-In Form – Since you’ll likely be encouraging your squeeze
page visitors to opt-in to your email list, finding a squeeze page
template that makes it easy to integrate your web form code is a big
plus. Look for a template package that comes with instructions relating
to the major autoresponder companies (including Aweber, Constant Contact,
Mail Chimp and others).
Getting Started with Presell Pages
Because successful presell pages can vary widely in format and
stylization (from reviews to long form sales letters to other website
structures), the fastest way to figure out what type of presell page will
work best with the specific affiliate product you want to promote is to
simply do a Google search for other affiliate pages.
You might need to try a few different searches in order to uncover the
most common presell page structures (for example, consider searching for
your product’s name, your product plus the word “review” or other generic
niche keywords), but ultimately, you should start to see a pattern
forming. Don’t copy a competitor’s page word-for-word, but try to pick up
on general themes that seem to exist across multiple pages. For example:
- What site structures are used most often?
- Which website colors are used most frequently?
- Which product benefits do affiliates seem to promote most often?
- What headline structures do you see repeated?
Answering these questions should give you a good idea of how to start
building you presell page, but keep in mind that it’s just as important
to split test these elements as it was in the squeeze page process
described above. It’s only through careful analysis and data-driven
decision making that you’ll be able to improve elements on your site to
best maximize conversions.
Launching a Content Site
By far, the easiest way to launch a content site to market your affiliate
products is to install the self-hosted version of WordPress on your own
hosting account. These sites can be set up in just a few minutes and
benefit from the number of free and premium themes, plugins and
extensions that exist to expand the functionality of the default
Once you’ve installed WordPress on your hosting account (using a domain
name that includes your target keyword), you’ll want to add 5-10 keyword-
focused content pages to start. In the “Affiliate Sites that Make Money”
article linked to above, I show you exactly how to find the topics for
these articles, as well as when and how you should add them to your site.
Keep in mind that if the thought of writing content and uploading it to
your site sounds overwhelming, you can always outsource these processes.
After your site has been built, you’ll need to focus on building
backlinks in order to get your site ranked highly in the SERPs. This can
be done in a number of different ways, but I recommend focusing on guest
posting, submitting articles to blog networks, creating linkwheels and
directory submissions as the fastest ways to get your site noticed. It
might take some time, but if you’re willing to invest in your site at
this stage, you’ll see the long term benefit of a money-making affiliate
marketing site that holds the top spot in the organic search results.
More answers you will find answer-question