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CAN AFFILIATE SITES BE "STICKY?"
by: Cary Christian


For many of you, your site is an affiliate site. Others among you have your own site but use it to advertise your affiliate programs. Some of you sell your own products in addition to affiliate programs.

You work hard to get people to visit your site. Regardless of which type of site you use, it costs you time, money or both to get people to it. Knowing that most people need to hear or read your message about seven times before they will buy, do you ever think about how to get these people to come back?

Repeat visitors are well on the way to becoming customers. If you build your repeat traffic, your sales conversion rates will improve dramatically.

Typically, people will attempt to make their site "sticky" to get people to come back. How do you make a site "sticky?" You can offer lots of free content that people will come back to read, or games that people come back to play. You can offer free downloads that change every week so that people will come back at least once every week to see what the freebie is. You can also make your site a resource that people refer to when they have questions about the subject matter you are involved in.

Anything you can place on your site to make people want to return makes it "sticky." Hopefully, in the process of referring back to your site some of your visitors will also become customers. At least you have given yourself a chance to convert them.

If you don't have your own site and instead rely on the sites provided to you by your affiliate programs, you don't have any of these options. So what do you do?

First of all, you need to get your own site. I've said it before and I'll say it again: if you're serious about making money online, you need your own site. It gives you credibility and a way to set yourself apart from the masses who are promoting the same programs.

It's not expensive to have your own site these days and you don't have to be a programmer to create one. If you don't have one and are ready to make the plunge, check out SiteBuildIt at http://buildit.sitesell.com/peaksbc.html  You'll get everything you need including submissions to all the major search engines.

Start out with a "mini site" to promote your favorite affiliate program. Offer your visitors a reason to join with you or buy products from you rather than the thousands of other affiliates you compete with.

Think about it. As a visitor, are you going to be more impressed with the affiliate whose advertising directs you to the same old tired site every other affiliate uses or the affiliate who has taken the time to take you to their own site and offer you more?

As you progress, you may choose to go in one of two ways: a series of mini sites or a content site.

With a series of mini sites, you basically create a new site for every affiliate program or product you want to sell. Each site becomes a sales page and contains nothing but copy to push the product the site is dedicated to.

In this situation you are not all that interested in getting visitors to return. They will either buy, bookmark to come back later or leave to never return again. If they bookmark, they are doing so because your site has almost convinced them to buy but they want to think about it a little more. Some will return and buy but probably not all that many. This type of site is designed to sell first time or not at all.

If you use mini sites in this manner, you do not want to try to make the mini site sticky. I know that goes against the grain of this article topic, but there is good reason. This type of site works best when it is totally focused on one product and one product only, with no distractions whatsoever. If you clutter up a mini site with content, you will dilute its effectiveness.

A content site is just the opposite. You will offer several different products and programs among the content you have created. This allows you to get your products in front of people multiple times so you don't have to concentrate on making the sale immediately.

There is also a way to get multiple exposures when using mini sites. The idea is to pre-qualify your visitors before they visit your site so they are already more receptive to your pitch. You would do this by using an autoresponder.

Get yourself a series of messages related to your products. These could be an email course of some kind, product information, tips on using the types of products you sell, or anything else that would be interesting to your target market.

Then, instead of advertising your site directly, advertise your site in the autoresponder messages. This gives you multiple shots at the sale and helps your visitors get to know you and your products better.

There is also one other option that makes a great deal of sense: create both! Build yourself a content site and make it sticky, then create mini sites for each of your major products. This gives you the best of both worlds.



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