Continued from yesterday's Affiliate Marketing Tips, Brian had several questions in regards to the various types of Affiliate Sites that you might create...
Great questions, too. I decided to create a new post so that you don't miss my answers to these six questions on creating various types of affiliate sites.
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?
Sure, but keep in mind that these are just examples, and you can easily find more by doing a simple search. Also, there are tons of styles and options so these don't necessarily stand as the only way to do it or even as perfect examples...
Example Ecommerce-Style Affiliate Site:
Example Affiliate Blog
Roamsters.com (travel blog by Rosalind Gardner)
Example Affiliate Mini-Site
studentcreditcards.com (5 page site, not including blog)
In addition to giving away a freebie to build a list, a lot of people will create & sell a low-cost info product to build a list of qualified buyers - instead of just a list. I actually favor that option over the giveaway model.
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?
That's a bit of a myth actually. Google gives more weight to off-page optimization than on-page. Meaning that the number and quality of inbound links carries more weight than the content in regards to rankings.
A frequently updated page will get spidered more frequently, so this can be helpful if you're adding new pages or new links to the site - as those links will get found and indexed more frequently if the page is spidered more frequently.
Google tends to crawl or spider your page on a frequency relative to the frequency of updates to that page.
This is the reason that new blog posts tend to get indexed super fast, especially on blogs that update daily. Google treats blog posts as newsy or current, and so they'll often rank them fast & high... but they tank just as quickly as the 'conversation' dies or new content appears. See Rank & Tank.
If you have a static page that really doesn't change much, such as a squeeze page or a mini-site, you just need to get fresh quality backlinks to that page on a regular basis to increase & maintain your rankings.
I have one web page that has been online for over 3 years, that I have not updated or changed since. It ranks in the Top 3 on Google for three different keyword phrases, and makes sales every single week.
3. Out of the above mentioned affiliate site models, which one have you found to be most successful in marketing affiliate products?
I use them all, and often use a combination of models in any one niche. It depends on what I am promoting, and how I can best reach that particular market.
In an earlier post where I answered a question on the best internet business model, you'll find that I often use these combinations to take a project to max profit potential.
Using one of the site examples above, an ecommerce style site on exercise equipment, there are several options. You could create a free report outlining how to shop for exercise equipment online - features to consider, scams to be aware of, etc. You would create a squeeze page and build a mailing list for this.
You could also set up a blog to target all of the informational searches. I like to add a qualifier to my keyword research, so I would search "how exercise" and "how weight" and similar at WordTracker (or your favorite keyword tool) and create blog posts on all of those keyword phrases.
In both cases you would funnel the traffic into your "money site" (the ecommerce style site) using a strong call-to-action in your emails and blog posts.
No one affiliate model is going to be better than the others. The best model is a combination that works best in your particular niche, with your market, or with your type of product. There are many elements that go into this such as the age of your market, whether they are tech savvy, how they are searching, etc.
Understanding your market, doing your research, and even being a bit intuitive all help. But often you have to test to know for sure.
4. Is it easier to make money with a Affiliate Mini-Site or Squeeze Page site than a traditional blog site?
Not necessarily. I recommend that you build a mailing list in your niche regardless of your site model. You can offer a free guide or report to encourage them to subscribe from any type of site (ecommerce, content, blog).
One of the advantages to creating a Squeeze Page or Mini-Site for a low-cost digital product is that you can set up an affiliate program and let other people market it for you. A lot of people offer 100% commission on the product, basically paying their competitors to build their niche list of buyers.
5. I just realized 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?
Sure. You will need content regardless though. For article marketing, for example. The entire web is made up of various types of content. And there are tons of options for creating content. I use PLR, you can outsource content writing, doing interviews is a simple way to create great content, etc.
Also see: How to Optimize an Ecommerce 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?
It has to do with creating that "message to market match".
If your buyer is searching for information, you have to offer them information first and then strategically lead them into a buying decision.
If they are searching for a specific product by name or type, they already know what they want - they don't need to be distracted with "content". In this case you would give them the best places to purchase online with direct links - including a breakdown of best prices and best shipping rates.
The best advice I can give you is to put some thought into the keyword phrases. Try to get in the shoes of your searcher and think about what they are searching for and why. What is the intent of the search? You then create your page that is optimized for that phrase to deliver exactly that.
p.s. Have questions or examples you want to share? Comment below!