Thursday, August 21, 2008

Affiliates 101 Part 3 – Focus and Content

There are lots of different ways that you can use affiliate programs. Some are good, others not so much.

The single worst way that I’ve ever seen affiliate programs used is in a general shopping site. This is where a webmaster creates a site that is nothing but page after page of unorganized, unfocused affiliate links. I’m always amazed to see someone use this strategy, but it keeps popping up. I don’t know why.

First of all, since there’s no focus, there are no strong keywords. And without strong keywords, the search engines will basically ignore the site. Without a focus, there’s no information, so why should anyone come there in the first place? If I want to buy a book, I’ll go to first. If I want to find out about underwater basket weaving, I’ll go to a site about it, read about it, and then maybe buy a book about it.

So, in creating a site that’s using affiliate programs as either a supplement to other products, or as the sole method of monetization of the site, keep these two things in mind: Focus and Content.


So, the first thing to do is to make your affiliate site ABOUT something. It should be something that you’re excited about. If you’re not driven by the topic, then you’ll have a hard time creating the content, and a harder time caring about all the work you’ll have to put in to update and promote the site. Find your passion and make a site about it.

As you’re choosing your focus, be careful that it doesn’t get too narrow. My example of underwater basket weaving is probably a bad one, because there are probably not a lot of people searching for things like that. Take a quick tour through the keyword selector tool at, and test a few words that relate to your topic. This will show you just how “in demand” a particular area of interest is.

Be careful that it’s not too broad, either. That can be just as difficult. You’ll be competing for audience with a lot of other sites. If there are too many, you might want to narrow your focus a little bit, and carve out a smaller niche. A google search will tell you how many other sites there are in a particular keyword area, too.


With a focus, you can start creating content on your affiliate program site. Content is what draws people there, and what keeps them there. If there were no information, only products, they’d shop for a minute and then move on. Tell them how to use the products you want them to buy. Tell them about the things your site is about. Tell them about why it excites you so much.

Then, in the middle of the content, when they’ve gotten stoked about doing what you’re sharing, give them a link to buy those products at the retailer’s site that you’re affiliated with.

Like this: Mazimize the value of your affiliate program by reading The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People's Stuff Online!

This method covers all the bases. It gets the people there, by using keyword-rich content. It hooks them into reading and learning, giving them real value. Finally, it directs them to make the purchase. That’s how to make an affiliate program work!

Mark is the co-director of, the search marketing consulting arm of Clickincome ( Mark also has other sites and blogs, including and his MoBoy blog.

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