You have permission to publish this article electronically
or in print, free of charge, as long as the byline and
resource box are included. A courtesy copy of your
publication would be appreciated.
Affiliates - Avoid These Two Big Mistakes
You hear the success stories and you see the potential
for earning an income on the internet. Mistake number one
to avoid is jumping in and joining a bunch of affiliate
programs, then picking up the services and software that
you're told you need for marketing, here and there, willy-
nilly, spending way too much money, and then making your-
self crazy keeping it all straight and trying to make it
all work together. Do yourself a favor and do some
research. Then make a plan. Fail to plan = plan to fail!
If you are already an affiliate for any program, you've
probably heard that to really succeed you need a website.
Mistake number two is to ignore this advice. You DO need
a website. Yes, many affiliate programs give you one or
more websites to use to promote their program or product.
However, these aren't true sites, they are glorified
sales letters. There's nothing wrong with these and you
will use them, but they are not the kind of site you need
to have to really succeed with affiliate programs. You
need a site that is your unique web BUSINESS. If you're
not building a business, you're not going to go very far.
Avoid these mistakes by planning your affiliate business
and having a website. These two things go hand in hand.
Your website is the presentation of you business, as well
as how you DO business in the Net.
Now, a few questions:
First, what kind of affiliate business will you build?
This is why it is a mistake to just go out and join all
kinds of affiliate programs - the type of business you
choose will determine which affiliate programs you join.
And please forget about just putting up a list of
affiliate links. Be honest with yourself. Does that type
of site encourage YOU to buy? Always keep in mind that
most people are on the Net looking for information, NOT
the opportunity to buy something. Offer good information
and you will find a grateful audience. You'll also find
plenty of affiliate programs to fit with almost any kind
A word of caution - if you want your business to be about
internet marketing - trying to sell all those programs
and services I mentioned - please consider the
competition. A lot of people are doing this and few do
it very well. Consider trying to work a niche market.
Ken Evoy explains this really well in his free Affiliate
Masters course (See Author's box at end of article).
Need some inspiration?
You can see examples of a great variety of different
web businesses at http://www.mikino.com/?assist3.html .
Second question, what kind of site will you build?
If you've spent any time on the internet, you've seen
all kinds of sites. Which ones captured your attention?
Which made you want to click away as fast as possible?
The internet is full of bad sites, ugly sites, annoying
sites, and sites that just float in cyberspace because
they have no value and can't get listed in directories
or get ranked well at the search engines. (You can forget
about the little tricks you've heard about to get a page
a high ranking. The engines are becoming more and more
sophisticated and the tricks aren't working. Besides,
this is your BUSINESS, make it respectable.)
Please don't add to the junk.
Third question - How will you build your site?
Good question. Again, we're talking about the internet,
so there are a lot of options out there. And of course,
lots of services and software available. Do yourself a
favor and forget the freebies, they simply won't give the
impression you want to convey, and don't offer the
functinality you'll need.
Think about what kind of site you want to have and what
you will need it to do for you. Is bandwidth important to
you? Do you want to own your own domain name? (Some
hosting companies retain ownership) Do you want to totally
design everything yourself, or save time with templates?
Do you know HTML, etc? Or would you rather use a site
building program that takes care of all that for you? Do
you want to be able to collect email addresses? Mailout an
ezine? Sell your own products and collect payments?
Answer as many related questions as you can before
chosing services. (If you don't know what some of these
things even are or why they matter, find out. You'll be
glad you did.) Shop around and see who offers what. If
you want to start small and simple, and you're willing to
do the research and work to make your site viable, maybe
all you need is a domain name and hosting. Don't spend
$1000's to get a lot of stuff you won't use. But if you
find yourself also looking for link tracking software or
mailout capability or, or, or ....(you get the idea),
consider looking at the programs that group services
together. See a comparison of 4 site-building
programs at http://buildit.sitesell.com/compare.html .
If you need a lot of functionality, purchasing these
services separately can break the bank, not to mention
complicate your life!
By planning your business and building a quality site,
you will avoid the two big mistakes that many affiliates
make. You'll be way ahead of the pack and on your way
to building a viable web BUSINESS.
About the Author
Julie Georg is a consultant to individuals and small
businesses interested in establishing a web presence.
Step-by-step directions for building a Net BUSINESS can
be found in the excellent, free Affiliate Masters course.
Blank email mailto:email@example.com
See SBI! http://buildit.sitesell.com/assist3.html
Written by: Julie Georg