"One in a million". What do I mean by that? Well, for those of you who have dabbled in internet businesses such as affiliate programs and network marketing businesses, you would know that these programs generally provide an entire website for you to market their program.
That's great isn't it? Your very own website to promote the business, and it also tracks your referrals and commission!
You Are Not Alone
The only problem is, every single person who signs up for $1.67 A Day gets the same webpage, the only thing different is that each person has their own name at the bottom of the page.
That means, even though you have your own webpage, it is not unique. There are thousands out there with the same webpage as you.
Some of you might be saying that it's ok. That you can still promote your own webpage by emailing everybody (be careful that you don't spam!).
However, the problem surfaces when you start considering search engines and directories, such as Google, Yahoo and MSN.
Let's face it: the vast majority of website visitors find the website via search engines. Certain rare cases get visitors via word of mouth or brand name or via offline advertising. But the numbers still indicate that search engines still provide the most traffic.
And if you have thousands of other websites that look exactly the same as yours, you're definitely not going to do very well in the search engines. Most search engines look for how much value a webpage can provide to a search user. If your page is one of thousands that look the same, it doesn't have much value.
As a side note, Google changed their search engine algorithm in November 2003, and a lot of commercial and affiliate websites appear to get hit the hardest. It is now harder for these sites to rank well in Google.
Stand Out From The Crowd
So what you have to do, is be different from the rest of the affiliates. The first step is to get your own domain. Your domain is basically your internet address.
If you use a URL given to you by an affiliate program, a smart shopper will immediately know that you are an affiliate, and instead of visiting your site, he might himself sign up as an affiliate, and buy the products via his own affiliate site, earning the commission himself. That's one less sale for you.
Also, search engines love a shorter URL with a unique domain. The URL with your own domain indicates that it might not be an affiliate program, and might have something original to benefit internet surfers. Generally, unique domains will rank higher than affiliate URLs, because of the perceived value of the uniqueness.
In addition, it is good to have a domain that contains great keywords that surfers will key into search engines. Domains with keywords in them tend to do better in the search engine rankings as well.
b) Do Something Else
Now that you have your own domain, what do you do with it?
Marketing research has shown again and again that having a website that just sells a product doesn't do as well as websites that provide value-added service. Visitors will immediately know that you're trying to get them to buy something, and they'll immediately leave.
Note: Most internet surfers search the internet looking for information, not to buy stuff!
Having said that, you can change the angle of your website by offering information. Create a website to help the visitor by providing information that they want, and then sell the affiliate program or network marketing product on the side.
For example, you can create a website that teaches visitors how to cook Italian dishes; how to prepare Italian salads; how to take care of their utensils.
This will make the visitors more at home and will get them to trust you. Once you have their trust, you can ask them to subscribe to your money-earner, a great program that collects a recipe directory, such as Recipe Swap.
Isn't that easy? The key is to get visitors to trust you by providing them the information they want, then follow up with your affiliate program.
Steven is the webmaster of http://www.onlinebiz-help.com/ - Your Guide To Internet Business. His website provides various resources on affiliate programs and internet marketing advice to help your online business. Check them out!