The affiliate model of building websites can be very beneficial for a number of reasons, including the fact that you don’t have to carry inventory, deal with customer support, handle refunds, or anything else besides bringing visitors to your site and sending them to the offer.
One of the downsides is that it can take a while for a new site to get off the ground, especially if you’re waiting around for the search engines to show you love.
Another issue can be the volatile nature, where you’re always close to losing it all, especially in thinner sites, and especially if you’re using risky tactics. You’re only ever an algorithm update away from disaster, but a strong long-term site can overcome and withstand a lot more than a hyper-focused micro-niche site.
The solution is to build an authority site, instead of small, thin, affiliate portals. You need to get out of the mindset of chasing the quick buck, and really start to think longterm. That’s not to say that quick, smaller sites can’t make you some cash, but they also typically have much shorter lifespans. Of course, there’s always going to be examples of every strategy working, but if you’re taking a long-term approach to website building and being an affiliate, here are some things you can do to make sure your site is authoritative and built to last.
If you’re building a long-term project, think long and hard before choosing a brand name and a domain name. For a short-term site, you may be just fine going with something like “Widgets-And-Sprockets-Online.mobi”, but if you’re planning to build and keep this site for years, and you’re planning to have it as your main revenue source in particular, it’s generally worth investing a bit extra into a great domain name.
While there are good names available to register still, it never hurts to send out some offers for names that are perfect. Even if you see them listed for $2000, $3000+, it never hurts to send along an offer for a couple of hundred dollars. Often times, domain investors will overprice their names on the off-chance somebody is willing to pay a fortune, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t open to lower offers, either.
Many affiliates default to SEO, or promoting products to email lists they’ve built up using SEO. It’s important to look beyond that. SEO’s importance can range from a little added bonus, to being your only source of traffic. The sweet spot is probably somewhere in the middle.
When you’re marketing yourself as a real brand, look at what real brands do. If your site was worth millions of dollars, a recognizable brand, known for your great content, how would you promote it? Chances are you wouldn’t be buying fake testimonials on Fiverr and spamming poorly-written press releases into a void.
If you’re publishing content to your site, you need to have some respect for that practice. People are going to be finding your website, and making use of what you tell them. If you’re giving advice or writing guides, it’s important to take the time and make sure everything is solid. If you’re hiring someone else to write your content, you’re still responsible for it before it goes live, so take the time to edit it and make sure you’re putting up the best content you can.
It’s not for altruistic reasons either. Search engines, more and more, are relying on visitor behavior to determine if your site deserves traffic.
Health, fitness, finance, even gaming affiliate sites… These are just a few examples of evergreen niches that have always been around, and always will be. If you’re starting up a long-term project, then making a website about fidget spinners probably isn’t the best plan. When you’re thinking long-term, you’ll want to make sure your niche is in an industry that’s growing, ideally, or that at least won’t be non-existent in the next few years.
It’s all about quality, patience, and longevity. Don’t sit around waiting for search engines to send you visitors when you can be working on your social media, your public relations, networking with other people in your niche or in adjacent niches, and a lot more.