I have to say, I was extremely excited to hear presenter Rae Hoffman-Dolan, better known as Sugarrae, on Affiliate Marketing. Mostly, because I knew nothing about affiliate marketing except for utilizing Ad Sense to generate some income for your site. Surgarrae was able to take the room through her history with SEO and Affiliate Marketing which not only was an amazing story, but hit nostalgic notes on internet in the 90s.
My first takeaway was how important quality SEO is the key to affiliate marketing. After a quick poll of the audience that night, everyone in the room was at least somewhat knowledgeable about SEO. As an SEO practitioner, she was able to describe the affiliate marketing process in a way that not only made sense myself and to the room, but was able to break it down into four easy steps that everyone could follow.
Sugarrae Takeaway 1: Do Keyword Research
If you are planning to create a website for the purpose of affiliate marketing, conducting keyword research is imperative to start the process. “Check when the top ten websites in the SERPs have last been updated. If they were last updated in 2006 then it won’t be lucrative to launch an affiliate marketing website in that niche.” said Surgarrae.
Sugarrae Takeaway 2: Grab a Website and Name It
Obviously, one would need to have a website to become an affiliate marketer. However, your keyword research should have uncovered some key phrases that you want to build your brand around.
Note: You do not want to build your site on a trademarked brand because they can and will take your site. With that said, you also don’t want to just pick out your top keyword and name the site that. As Surgarrae said, “Find that sweet spot of branding and keywords when naming your site.”
Sugarrae Takeaway 3: Develop Your Site
Many times, novice affiliate marketers will build a blog and slap some banner ads and some links in text and call it a day. Though one could do this, it won’t be very lucrative, “When users see it’s a blog, they tend to put away their credit cards.” According to Sugarrae.
Though it is a best practice to have a blog, and update it regularly, it should not be the only aspect of your site. Develop other areas, though you are intending to use the site for affiliate marketing purposes, if it is not a quality site with quality content, no one will come to your site.
If you think of your affiliate marketing site, as just a website to try to get money out of, you will fail. “When you are just starting out, pick something that interests you, that you are passionate about and build it up,” said Sugarrae, “…but also make sure that it is a niche that other affiliate marketers are in; because if they aren’t there it’s most likely because it is not a profitable niche.”
“Always launch your site, even if it’s not perfect. Because age is a factor in rankings”
Sugarrae Takeaway 4: Find your point of Difference
This is something that you would have to discover on your own. You want your site to stand out and rank. Find what is already out on the internet and make it better. The better the quality the better your site will be.
Some quick pointers on how to make your site better:
“Empty reviews on sites will hurt your search engine rankings. That stuff will get “pandalized” for sure.”
“Use multiple affiliate programs. That way if one of them starts going into a direction you don’t like you can drop them and still have income coming in.”
“Send out social signals through Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, etc.”
Suffice to say, the latest DFWSEM’s meeting was filled of valuable insights on how to be an affiliate marketer, SEO, and promoter online thanks to presenter Sugarrae. These were just some of my personal Sugarrae takeaways, for a more in-depth blog post on the presentation go to WrightIMC’s Blog.
Written by Jenneva Vargas; Account Executive at WrightIMC. Plano-based WrightIMC is an integrated marketing communications agency that specializes in paid search marketing programs, search engine optimization, web design, content marketing campaigns, social media strategy & implementation, and television campaigns with online components.