Start your own work at home business, by building your own Affiliate Website.
Here is a free 10 step program that will guide you through the steps to build and publish your own website. Follow these easy 10 steps, and grab your part of the $54 million dollar internet boom. You can own an incredible affiliate website of your own, and take advantage of the many outstanding money making opportunities on the internet.
What is an Affiliate?
An affiliate promotes products and services on their website for a commission. They choose merchants that fit within the context of their site's offerings. If you have a website devoted to Automobiles, for example, you would select merchants that sell automotive products. You can build websites that specialize in anything you prefer, such as travel, shopping, automotive, sports, gifts, food, gambling, casinos, and just about anything you are interested in. Affiliates enter into an agreement to place links on their websites that lead to the merchant, for the purpose of promoting goods and services. In return, affiliates can earn commissions on click-through leads, or purchases made through their sites.
10 Steps To Becoming A Successful
AffiliateAffiliate websites are both challenging, and profitable. If you are willing to devote some time and energy into creating, and promoting your own website, it can be very rewarding. It takes time, and a lot of hard work to develop a successful affiliate website, but the rewards are phenomenal. Thousands of Merchants have realized the tremendous value of having affiliates sell their products, and are actively seeking new ones. It does not cost anything to become an affiliate, but some merchant programs are better than others. Can you trust them to track your commissions correctly, and pay on time? Do they offer dynamic, current, and proven sales aids to help you make sales? If you are going through all the work to create a dynamic and appealing website, to attract customers and make sales, than you need to know that you can trust them to hold up their end of the bargain. This is after all, a partnership between you and the merchant, and you need to work well together. It's not enough however, just to sign up as an affiliate with a merchant. You need to build a website that will create sales, and know how to promote your website so customers will visit it. I have created a 10-step program for the novice that will take you from the beginning research phase, to optimizing your finished site for maximum exposure. I cannot guarantee you will be successful, only you can determine that. I can assure you however, that if you follow this 10 step program, you can build (without any previous experience), an affiliate website that will make you a lot of money.
#1 Website Marketing
Before you do anything else, get yourself some good books on Web Site Marketing. There are a lot of good ones available on the Internet. Most are not very expensive, and many are free. You can find a list of free and inexpensive eBooks you can download (here). You can find more if you like, by searching on one of the search engines like Google, or Alta Vista. It's important that you do this first, because you will save yourself a lot of time and aggravation if you learn from the experts what you should be doing, before you build your website.
#2 Build Your Website
It is best to build your own website. Most hosting sites have a built in website builder that you can use free. Read step #3 (Web Hosting Companies), to learn more about these options. If you prefer to purchase your own website building program, Dreamweaver and Front Page are probably the most popular programs available. They both offer free 30 day trials, and can be downloaded at Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004 and Microsoft Front Page 2003. This Site Building Tools page, will help you find a variety of tools and software to help you build and customize your website. You will soon find out that building your own website can be interesting, exciting, and challenging. It really is not all that difficult, and if you apply yourself, before long you can become an accomplished Webmaster. There are many prebuilt sites available, but you are somewhat limited in what you can do with them. They are not very expensive, so if you tried one to get your feet wet, and practiced promoting it, the experience can't hurt you. The problem with most of the prebuilt sites is that, what is on them, is what you’re stuck with. A good website should always be improving. Click on Prebuilt Websites for a list of sites you can purchase.
#3 Web Hosting Companies
Find a good web hosting company. There are an awful lot of web hosting companies competing for your business, and you should spend a little time researching some of them. Print a list of each sites feature, and compare them. Web site statistics are a must. It enables you to see where your traffic is coming from, and which ads are drawing in customers. Technical support that is open 24/7 is also very important. If you plan on using your hosting companies website builder, you will want to check it out to see if you feel comfortable with it. I use ixwebhosting.com, and have always been satisfied with them. Site Build 1.6 software, which is easy to use, and produces a very professional looking site, is included in their package. Click on (Web Hosting) for my list of recommended Web Hosting Companies.
#4 Get Your Own Domain Name
You will need your own domain name. There are hundreds of companies that will help you select a domain name, and register it, for a nominal fee. Check with your web host first. Most offer to register your domain name for you with their package. You should always own your own domain name. Do not use a free domain name. Many sites such as Geocities, or Yahoo will offer you a free domain name, but it does not belong to you. It just doesn't make any sense to spend months or even years building name recognition for your site, only to lose the domain name if the company who owns it changes policy, or goes out of business. You can register a domain name for as little as $8.88 per year. Domain names need to be reregistered every year.
#5 Content for your Website
Content is King. Remember this when building your site. People browse the net for information, and you must have good content to attract and keep the attention of people visiting your site. Fill your pages with interesting content about your websites subject. If your website is about shopping, than write about things that pertain to shopping. You can get free articles to paste on your site from a variety of places. Click on Content Sources, for a list of free articles that you can use on your site. You can also get much of the content you need from your merchants, or you can write your own. Use link text and articles to link to your merchants, as much as possible. Banner ads are very good, but you should try to limit the number on each page. A page full of mostly banners can be annoying, and will chase potential customers away.
#6 Sign Up For Affiliate Programs
Once you have your website built, its easy to get merchants that will pay you a commission on sales referred to them through your website. Affiliate programs are available from individual merchants, and from Affiliate Program Companies, that offer a variety of merchant affiliate programs on one site. They supply you with, banners, text, and advertising information that you can use on your site. Many of them offer tutorials, website building tips, and marketing advise to help make you successful. Just click on my Affiliate Programs, and select the merchants you would like to sign up with. They will guide you through the signup process.
#7 Site Promotions
Promoting your site is the one of the most important parts of owning a website. A website without any visitors is useless. Once you've built and published your site, you need to promote it properly to attract a steady flow of traffic. There are a lot of Enzines (internet Magazines) and inexpensive or free classified Internet ads that work very well. Most Affiliate programs will offer advise on promoting your site, and they can be a great source for information and advise. Take all the advice you can get. The best I have found, and the one I use the most is Adland Pro, and I would check them out when your looking.
#8 Optimize and Submit Your Site
Next, but by far the most important, you need to optimize your website and submit it to the search engines. There are a lot of services available that you can purchase, that will optimize your site, and offer to get you rated on the search engines. Be careful when looking at one of these services, and remember, if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is. There are also software programs you can buy for a lot less money, and do it yourself. I definitely recommend buying your own software. It will cost you a lot less money in the long run, especially if you start building more websites, which most of us do. Click on (Website Optimizers) for the latest list of the best and easiest to use software available.
#9 Link to Other Sites
There are a lot of ways to get good ratings on search engines, and you should read everything you can find to get advise, but the most important thing to remember is you need to link to other websites. I can't stress this point enough. The search engine robots place a lot of importance on how many links you have coming into your website. You can make your own link directory, but it is difficult, and you’re a lot better off with a professionally made one. One of the best on the market is Zeus. It’s the one I use, so you can look at my link directory at http://www.budsbestbuys.com to check it out. You can get the basic one free, and it may be all you will need. I recommend you get the free one first. You can always upgrade later if you think you will need the extra features of the pro model.
ARELIS is a top rated software program that helps you to build a powerful business network quickly and easily. Reciprocal links add value to your web site, and you'll get targeted traffic from clicks on your links at other web sites.
Zeus creates traffic to your web site in numbers beyond your wildest dreams and will give you TOP positions in all the Search Engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN and AltaVista. "Trading Links with other web sites brings you qualified traffic, period! The more links you have, the more successful your web site. The more you use Zeus, the more successful your web site. "
#10 Shopping Carts and Accepting Credit Cards
All of your merchants will have their own shopping carts, accept most major credit cards, and they handle all sales. They keep track of your sales activity, and send your commission checks to you. If however you want to sell your own merchandise or e-books, on your web site, you will need to set up a shopping cart program, and accept credit cards. There are a lot of shopping cart programs you can purchase, and if you have a very large store you are setting up, they may be worth looking into. If you were just planning on selling a few items of your own on your affiliate site however, it probably wouldn't be worth the money.
Use PayPal to receive payments easily and safely. Start accepting credit card payments in minutes. PayPal offer an outstanding shopping cart program that is free, and hard to beat. You can place items on your own shopping cart, and if your customers belong to PayPal, it doesn't cost you anything. If they buy through a credit card, there is a small percentage fee they charge you, to handle the transaction. PayPal handles all of the transactions for eBay, and most people know the name and are comfortable with them. Usually your web host will offer a shopping cart program you can use, but most of them charge extra for this service. You can also find dozens of shopping cart companies competing for your business on the Internet.
We highly recommend PayPal. Free is always good.
Ken Asselin is webmaster for the “Buds Best" series of online shopping websites. His 40 plus years experience in retail marketing, bring a fresh outlook to website development and promotion. You can visit Ken's Work at Home Business site at: http://www.affiliate.budsbestbuys.com