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About a week ago I stumbled across the concept of affiliate programs for the first time, and I've been lurking around in these forums ever since. I've also searched the web for more information how this works and how much work would be involved if I chose to join an affiliate program. Now, I've been thinking about doing this mainly to get some extra money. But the thing is, I can't seem to figure out where and how to start.
I've been on the Internet for a long time (about 8 years), and I'd like to think I know it fairly well. I do know HTML, CSS, etc and I can build pretty decent-looking websites. I've also been playing around with ASP, PHP and similar languages, but I'm definitely a newbie in that area. So what I'm wondering is, is it possible to build a relatively small static site, join one or more affiliate programs, and get anything out of it? Most affiliate sites I've seen are these huge dynamic sites with forums and search engines and the works. I do realize that such sites attracts more visitors and make more money, and maybe someday I'll get to the point where I can make such sites myself, but I'd like to start small since I'm new at this. I'm just wondering if there's any point in even trying to do this unless you have a big site that would take months to build. And I'm not even sure it's a good idea to make a site just so you can join affiliate programs.
Any opinions would be appreciated.
you're not sure? you're kidding, right?
yes it's a good idea. take your time to get it right. start small and grow. you won't make a fortune from day one, but with time and effort you'll start making some money. not enough to live on, but enough to pay for a few good nights out. the best thing you can have is experience. when you've done a couple of smaller sites and discovered what works and what doesn't, what pays best and how to make the most from an affiliate site, you'll be able to build bigger sites and maybe make a living from them.
look at what affiliate links are available, pick a topic relevant to those links, write loads of content, optimise the pages, build good incoming links and see what happens. keep reading webmasterworld to find out how to build and optimise sites properly etc - and i mean read, not simply ask and wait for replies. eventually you'll succeed.
oh, and welcome to webmasterworld :)
That is only partially correct. I use dynamic pages that look like static pages, doing URL rewriting. After I had learned PHP, I never designed a static page since. It's just so much easier to handle, and much more powerful. I have know PHP, or if you have the chance to learn it fast, do it! But it is no requirement for earning money through affiliate programs.
One important thing is to build up content. Follow Brett's 12-Month-Plan to get started.
I guess I'll just start building a site and follow all these suggestions and see what happens. 100 pages of content seems like a lot to me tho, especially since I'm just getting started. Isn't it difficult to get hundreds of pages of content if it's just supposed to be a niche website?
Anyways, right now I just want to get started with building a site and publish it. I guess I'll consider this a trial run or something, since I don't really have any idea of what to expect.
Do some building every day and the results will come, maybe not in your time, but they will come.
Remember, the web is very fluid. I'm regularly surprised to see that some work I did, say a year ago that didn't seem to pan out too well, is suddenly producing some income. Don't give up.
Definitely its worth a go. I've been doing hobby types sites for a while, and have more or less got the hang of SEO principles. I started a new Affiliate (only) site back in Feb, and during the first full month of being Live (ie March) it made a very comfortable amount, certainly comparable to the salary a new clerical starter would be getting at the company for whom i work on a daily basis (not web related). My 2nd site is now up & running (approx 30 pages in size) and is beginning to show results too. Like others have said, give it a lot of thought, design your site in such a way that its nice and easy to update as merchants come & go, and keep at it, it WILL pay off, so long as you read read read on WebmasterWorld and get your site ranking well.