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No-Nonsense General Affiliate Marketing Commandments



1:30 am on Jun 8, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

To describe most successful affiliates the first 10k is the toughest! - I remember how hard i worked but only to make little in AM, but once you "GET IT" ,its sooo straightforward ,simple and lucurative ...The mantra is to work smart not hard!

1 , Never spend too much of your time and energy on site design and looks - Shed your ego , your site is not the reflection of your personality or taste ...The surfer never gives a sh*t about how your site looks - Remember your sales url's are not meant to put on the card you give the girl in the bar :)

2 , Your passion is different from business [unless your passion is debt consolidation or online gambling :) ] , so never confuse business with life!

3 , SEO's are in the "I NEED IT NOW" market irrespective of the industry . So give the surfer what he needs right there and dont distract him much with chocies and stupid stories ...if he typed "dark green round widget" and landed on your site for GOD's sake give him the link to buy instead of blah blah'ing how your cousin's niece liked dark green round widget :)

4, Experiment constantly and dump the niches which are not producing and beat to death the niche which makes dough .

5, Automate , Mass produce and Clone your Success ...

6, Marketing in general and direct marketing in particular is a number's game and affiliate industry is no exception

7, Domains are a $9 commodity

8, SEO is a zero sum game and here dog eats dog .

9, if your traffic is based on SE's ,remember we are not in a long term industry and you can be 100% sure your son is not going to inherit the business :) , so never reinvest or spend all you make ,hide most of it under the carpet!

10, Stay under the radar and never post like this on a public forum :)


2:07 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I'd like to chime in on this ugly v/s fancy debate. I tend to prefer simple v/s complex. Simple sites work.

Perhaps the big affiliates have mastered the right mix of simple/ugly/dancing bears in the background. I have not.

The best case-study would be McDonalds. They have apparently spent millions doing customer flow research and it boils down to this...

1) Get the customer in the door through a variety of means (traffic)

2) Greet them with a friendly smile and ask them "can I help you" (buy button)

3) Don't make the atmosphere too friendly, you want people to eat and leave.

4) Build as many stores as possible with as little expense as possible using the same designs and principles (huge amount of cookie cuttering here)

etc etc .... I'd never call a mcdonald's store ugly.

However, do keep in mind that this is not the only model that works.


3:31 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I don't know about this complex/simple thing. If a site has a ton of features it can work to it's advantage if it is well organized and easy to use. Look how complex Amazon is. It just, no matter how hard and complex it was to build for the developer it should be easy to use for the user.

For me a lot of it comes down to trust. I don't care if a site is just giving info about other sites and links. But whatever site I end up on that wants to take my CC is where it matters for me. I just feel if I can't even trust there judgement on making a halfway decent site, how can I trust them with my business? A website is sort of like a virtual building in itself. If it looks like it is a halfway constructed, falling apart shack it doesn't give me an impression of trust.

[edited by: eljefe3 at 4:41 am (utc) on June 16, 2004]


4:34 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

AW_Learner , Best way is testing all this theories yourself!


4:53 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

Amazon isn't an affiliate site and what they do has no bearing on how you should do your site. You don't have the branding, the loyalty, or dozens of other advantages that they have.

Edit: Yes please do test these theories! We would love to hear about your tests. Make your sites how you see fit. No one here is forcing you to make them a certain way.


8:52 am on Jun 16, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

My sites are not aff. sites either. My own sales and focus are first. Any aff. links are secondary and just a backup if people aren't interested in what I'm selling.


12:48 am on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

My sites are not aff. sites either

I think you are in the wrong forum.

Gopi, an awesome post. Keep it up.


8:55 am on Jun 17, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

I think you are in the wrong forum.

No, why would your site have to only sell and be about someone else's products? The majority of sites that participate in Affiliate programs are not sites "about" and dedicated only to the affiliates products as some are talking about having here. They are about there own products or there own content but with Affiliate links and advertisements laced throughout. Sites don't have to be only about the Affiliate merchant. Ebay is a great example of a site that simply has many Aff. banners and links throughout they make money on. But I wouldn't say that Ebay is an "affiliate" site.


11:41 pm on Jun 22, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

AW* .. I repeat that you are in the wrong forum

In this thread we are not discussing eBay like aff. sites. This thread is about pure aff. sites (aff. A) with no other purpose than aff. marketing!.

If you get it, be happy.

If not, you better move on ..


4:25 am on Jun 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Right. That's why this forum is called "Advertising Sales AND Affiliate Programs" and why the title of this thread is "No-Nonsense GENERAL Affiliate Marketing Commandments".

Gopi's advice would apply to almost any online direct marketing site, no matter what you are selling.

Not everyone has to conform to the same specific cookie-cutter mold.


3:45 pm on Jun 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Looks like there are a fair number of Gordon Gekkos of the affiliate world on here. :)

Sorry, could not resist that.


5:03 am on Jun 25, 2004 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member

Here are a few additional points to add to Gopi's excellent suggestions.

The Baker's Dozen from Native New Yorker are:

  1. Have a viable business plan with clear cut and reachable goals that you want to acheive within a certain timeframe. ie. visitors, clicks, conversions, EPC, CPM, costs, gross income, net income, etc...
  2. Evaluate risk and reward as part of your plan. Do not take large risks for potentially small gains. Risk includes the time and effort you put into something in addition to the monetary aspect.
  3. Put your money links at the top of your page so that it is above the fold (area that your visitor will see without scrolling). Keep in mind that Internet surfers have very short attention spans.
  4. Consider the use of text links which often outperform banners.
  5. Avoid building pages with too much code and graphics that will take too long to load.
  6. Avoid fancy or tiny fonts that are difficult to read and will hinder your sale.
  7. Stick with honest merchants that have a strict policy against predatory software that overwrite affiliate cookies.
  8. Check your affiliate links to make sure they work. If you have coding errors in your affiliate links, all your effort to bring that customer to your site will be in vain, as your commission will be NOTHING.
  9. Check your links to make sure they have your affiliate ID. Do not assume that the ID embedded in a merchant email is correct. There are countless examples of merchants that have sent out emails with new banners and links, only to later apologize for sending out test affiliate IDs or even the affiliate IDs of your competitors.
  10. Learn from the experiences and mistakes of others. Be honest with yourself when you make a mistake.
  11. Be diversified so that the constantly changing Internet landscape does not make you a dinosaur overnight. Apply it to all aspects of your business. ie. industries, product niches, varying demographics, SERPs, PPC, black / white hat SEO, etc...
  12. Be flexible and ready to adapt to changes with your business.
  13. Always have a backup plan.


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