Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Affiliate Programs: New Playing Field for Super Affiliates?

by Paul Jerard

Has Google changed the rules for affiliates? For “organic” search engine optimization, not too much has immediately changed. Google has been, and still is, looking for quality content, and your affiliate site must be relevant to your particular niche. In regard to Google’s pay per click program, which we know as AdWords, much has changed for affiliates quite recently.

The important issue is to understand the new rules, and why, because Yahoo and some of the smaller pay per click programs might just follow this same path. The days of putting an affiliate page together with “tons of hyperlinks,” and little or no content are, for the most part, over.

This will only hurt those affiliates who have not adjusted to the new rules. In truth, you should be familiar with, or have tried, the products and services you recommend to others, for your affiliate commissions. If this is so, all you need to do is write a review of each one of these products or services. Writing relevant content has been a foundation for search engine optimization and is worth the exercise. If you don’t have the time, hire a copywriter or a personal assistant.

What should you do to develop an affiliate site that sells? Here is a Super Affiliate secret to success: You must have a newsletter for Email marketing. You must be ethical in your Email marketing efforts. Permission based, double confirmed, opt-in, Email marketing will help you avoid any Spam accusations.

You should have a firm privacy policy, stick to it, and post it on your site. As a rule, do not ever share your lists for joint ventures. If you want credibility on the Internet, you have to establish a reputation of integrity. Instant money is tempting, but compromising your ethics, will ruin repeat business. As a result, you will be out of business.

Adding a Blog or Forum to your website will help develop free, relevant, and valuable content. Depending on what kind of Forum or Blog you set up, you may have to weed out some content Spam from people who would be better off to use their marketing efforts on relevant sites to their niche.

However, content Spam clean up issues aside, the feedback you receive from your members will be full of relevant keywords. Your answers to comments should be full of relevant content, as well. This strategy will serve as a “magnet” to targeted Internet traffic.

How can affiliate managers help their own affiliates? Again, a Blog or Forum will help; as it becomes a coaching tool for all of your affiliates, regardless of their level of experience.

Are the days of “sky scraper mini-sites” over? Not really, but if you want to run an AdWords campaign, you must have connected pages, which are full of content. Otherwise, you can pay five to ten dollars per click. Once you “do the math,” you will see the value in adding content to your affiliate site.

© Copyright 2006 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

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