Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Using Content Management Systems For Affiliate Marketing

by Joe Lloyd

The technical hassles of creating a website have always been a problem for many affiliate marketers. Whether it's HTML, FTP, CSS, PHP, or any other confusing acronym, some affiliate marketers feel that it's a constant battle.

Coming from a technology background, I was fortunate in that I didn't have to worry about that. But that doesn't mean I enjoy writing line after line of code. Far from it.

You see, like most other affiliate marketers, I'm lazy. I'll take an easy, point-and-click system any day of the week over complex code that actually requires me to think in order to use it.

This is something that I have always kept in mind over the years as I've built my Internet business. Recently, I have been looking into newer systems called "Content Management Systems" or CMS for short. These systems will install on your web hosting account (sometimes with only a few clicks) and then let you administer your website online from your own administration panel.

You can add categories, add pages, add reviews, links, and more, just by clicking a few buttons. In fact, I have begun using a content management script on one of my websites, and have been extremely happy with the results.

The script I'm using is called Drupal. From what I've heard, another popular choice is Mambo. The great thing about these systems is that they are open source, which means that the source code is available for modification (good) and they can be downloaded for no cost (even better!)

While each system has its own unique advantages, and its own corresponding learning curve as well, the general functionality of all of them are the same.

In addition, there are several pre-built modules and plug-ins that can be added to the system to add important features for affiliate marketers. For example, I installed a module which makes all of the pages on my site "search engine friendly" and another one which automatically generates a compliant Google Sitemap.

Once the initial learning curve has been surpassed, I believe that Content Management Systems provide an excellent way for anybody to manage their affiliate websites. In fact, I am going to be recommending CMS software to my clients and colleagues as a preferred method of maintaining a large, complex site.

What's best about content management systems is that it takes all of the difficult repetitive work out of maintaining websites. Another benefit is that you can work from anywhere, without worrying about where your website's source files are located.

So, the next time you're thinking about launching a site, consider one of the content management systems. You'll be glad you did.

As far as I'm concerned, it's going to be the wave of the future for affiliate marketing.

Joe Lloyd is the founder of Zen Marketing LLC. His company maintains a comprehensive
affiliate program directory and recently launched a credit card affiliate program.