Online advertisers, more than anything else, seek quality referrals from their Web-based affiliates. Think about it: do merchants want “window shoppers”, or people who are serious about buying?
To attract prospective purchasers, you need serious, high-quality content that satisfies the reader’s need for information. Like all strong publishing content, it should:
- Satisfy a niche. Websites don’t have to satisfy all aspects of a subject to be useful. In fact, the more completely you cover a subset of a topic, the more value it will be to those interested in your subject area.
- Be original. This is the golden rule. Nothing draws and holds site visitors like fresh, useful material. Newsfeeds and syndicated copy are valuable content sources, but they won’t score traffic.
- Get to the point. Obviously your content must contain critical keywords, but it needs to focus on the subject matter. It’s remarkable how many publishers fail this test with long home page introductions or bait-and-switch text.
- Contain no flowery language. To hold your visitor’s attention, avoid needless adjectives, polysyllabic mumbo-jumbo and self-important technical jargon (unless, of course, keywords are in play). And if you can say something in five words instead of ten, do it.
- Be updated regularly. Active Web sites score higher in searches. While you don’t have to rework your entire site every week, make sure you are adding content regularly.
It’s possible to save by writing the content yourself, as long as you have expertise in the subject matter. But don’t be afraid to hire a professional writer. Freelancers are affordable.
Don’t forget that original videos, site-specific applets, graphics and animation all count as fresh content. What’s more, free online services such as DM-2 enable you to easily organize your content using attractive page templates, and even host your site at no cost.
Strong, unique content is your key to success as an affiliate site. Chances are your core audience will return frequently, bookmark you, and even refer you to others. Best of all, you’ll find your efforts to be as valuable to your marketing partners as it is to your readers.