Affiliate Marketing Tips: Affiliate Site Options

@TraciKnoppe: What are your deciding factors for any niche in deciding between a minisite, blog or ecommerce setup?

This is a great question, as there are different options for creating niche affiliate sites.

A mini-site has various definitions, from the small 5-10 page website to the landing page or squeeze page style affiliate site.

A blog is of course content-based. You can also use WordPress or other blogging platforms to create squeeze pages or more traditional looking websites. But the platform is irrelevant. A blog is a blog. A landing page created with WordPress is still a landing page.

An ecommerce-style affiliate site looks very much like an online store, except that you deep link to the merchant's product detail/checkout page instead of linking to your own shopping cart...

Which type of affiliate site should you create?

The type or style of affiliate site you create is going to depend on several factors. Your market, your choice of keyword phrases, the type of product you are promoting, and how you reach your market - meaning your marketing strategy.

Ecommerce-style Affiliate Site

This style of site is used for promoting a line of products within a specific niche, usually from multiple merchants. An example would be an affiliate site on exercise equipment, or kitchen appliances.

Pages are optimized for specific product types and specific product names. These keyword phrases have commercial intent, and the searcher is looking for purchasing options, reviews, comparisons, the best merchant to buy from online, etc.

In addition to product listings with images and descriptions, this style of affiliate site would also include content pages to help the visitor make a more informed buying decision.

Affiliate Blog

A blog is basically the same as the traditional content-based site, with the added features of visitor interaction. The goal is to establish yourself as an expert on that topic, and build a loyal readership in your niche.

Posts are optimized for informational keyword phrases, and the content is written to answer those queries and follow-up with a specific call-to-action. This method takes the target market from searching for info to choosing a solution.

If your niche has a good combination of informational keywords, and keywords with commercial intent (product names, etc), you might consider adding a blog to your ecommerce-style site to capitalize on both.

Affiliate Mini-Site

A mini-site is a smaller website, arguably anywhere between 3 and 20 pages total. This type of site can be created using the WordPress platform, or traditional HTML.

The affiliate usually has no interest in creating a name for themselves in the niche, but rather to send the visitor from the page to the merchant as quickly as possible (ie high bounce rate, very little personal interaction).

This style of site is generally used in small niches that do not have much market depth. For example, a website on the topic of wheatgrass juicers. Your content will consist of product comparisons and reviews, choosing between manual and electric, and perhaps a few of the best recipes to be used with that product.

Affiliate Squeeze Page

The squeeze page method is used to build a niche mailing list for the purpose of email marketing. This style affiliate site consists of only a few pages, with the main page offering an incentive that the visitor must request via email.

It is most often used to capitalize on informational searches, and then gradually bring them to a buying decision.

You might use an audio interview with the merchant, a case study on the product, a how-to guide on a topic that requires product purchase, etc. You can then follow up with the subscribers and build a relationship via email, recommending specific products related to that topic.

You can use an autoresponder series to automate the process, making this style of promotion more passive than blogging and interacting with blog readers.

Combinations

Many of these models can be used together in various combinations. The most important factor in your decision about which style to use is what will work best in your particular niche - or with the keyword phrases you target.

In an informational market for example, you might use a blog to become known in your niche and then also offer a squeeze page and free download to funnel those visitors into your mailing list.

You want to research your market, and consider the available keyword phrases in that niche, and consider what you can create to best serve that particular market.

Next we'll discuss the use of pen names with niche affiliate sites...

Best,

p.s. I'll be presenting at the Niche Affiliate Marketing workshop in Atlanta this January. There are still a few seats left if you're interested in joining us! If you can't make it to a live event, but would still love to learn niche affiliate marketing, check out my overview of Rosalind Gardner's Super Affiliate Handbook.

About Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry is a full-time Internet Marketer with over 17 years experience in online business. Subscribe to ClickNewz for the latest Internet Marketing trends & strategies, Lynn's unique case studies, creative marketing ideas, and candid reviews...moreĀ»

Discussion

  1. This was a very helpful blog post for me - thank you Lynn, and thank you Traci for asking the question.

    I'd love to have some url examples of affiliate squeeze pages if anyone has any or recommends any that I could check out and learn from (um, but I prolly won't be buying, you understand ;) ). After nearly one and a half years in internet marketing I still didn't really understand what a squeeze page was until today 8-o

    Isha :)

  2. Hey Lynn, this has been one of the most insightful posts I have read here. Thanks Heaps!

    I now have so many questions:

    1. Is there a chance you can post up an example of each of the affiliate sites you mentioned above that are successful, so we can see what they look like, and how they work?

    2. My understanding that in order to get ranked for a keyword, Google likes sites that are updated with fresh content consistently. So then how does an 'Affiliate Squeeze Page' or 'Affiliate Mini-Site' get ranked if it's just put up with no fresh content?

    3. Out of the above mentioned affiliate sites, which one have you found to be most successful in marketing affiliate products?

    4. Is it easier to make money with a Affiliate Mini-Site or Squeeze Page site than a traditional blog site?

    5. I just realised that if you don't like writing articles, there are other options out there for creating affiliate sites, which is cool, I just want to know if they are as successful as creating a traditional blog site?

    6. How do you determine what type of site to set up based on "Your market, your choice of keyword phrases, the type of product you are promoting, and how you reach your market"...how do you know or determine that?

    Thanks Lynn...I'm sure I will have more questions...:-)

  3. Wow! This information is great! I am trying to learn more about Affiliate Marketing and reading your posts over the past few days has been very beneficial!

  4. Lynn thanks for a great post...I believe using a blog is the best way to go...
    Jorge

    • There are two things at play regarding "the best way to go". One is personal preference, the other is what the market responds to best. A blog is usually always a good bet in addition to other methods, but not required or necessarily in all cases.

  5. Elizabeth Crane says:

    As usual, a great post. I'm really having trouble deciding what I want to promote the most, my website or blog. I feel like the blog could potentially get more traffic because I can show more personality and authority there. But the money page is the website and the conversion has not been great. Both are relatively new so hopefully this changes. Thanks again for all the relevant info!

    • Hi Elizabeth,

      The first thing you'll want to work on is the conversion rate at your money site. If you aren't getting enough traffic to determine the true conversion rate - then you'll want to start there.

      The blog should be used to communicate with your target market, and then funnel that traffic from the blog into the money site. This requires a good topic focus and a strong call-to-action.

  6. This information is very useful! I am trying to learn more about Affiliate Marketing and reading your posts over the past few days has been very beneficial!

  7. eMoneyArticles says:

    Hi,

    Thanks for the great article. I have used "Affiliate Squeeze Page" up till now for affiliate marketing. Now, I am going towards "Affiliate Blog". Can you please tell me which one of the above methods has the highest conversion rate?

  8. Hey, I see so many people like your posts. With all those posts, you could build a great blog cabin.

  9. Thank you for your very informative post. Culd you help me with this please, How can I set up a squeeze page using blogger?

  10. Christina says:

    Hi Lynn,
    Great article on the different types of affiliate websites. What if you want to promote one high ticket physical product for drop shipping? Can that be done successfully and would it be best done as a combination of a squeeze page and mini site?
    Thanks,
    Christina

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