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Affiliate Marketing Ė The first steps
When you have decided what your web site should be about, considered all the pros and cons and pin-pointed your competition, itís time to figure out how to build your page; what to think of, what to stay clear of and where to find help if you get stuck. Building it right from the start will make it much easier towards the end.
An obvious factor here is your prior knowledge of HTML and/or HTML-editors - But there are ways to build a website with no prior experience.
For those of you with no prior experience, it might prove a good idea to use a template to make it easy the first time. There are a lot of sites offering free web site templates, some better than others. When you find a template that suits your needs, try to learn enough HTML to edit it a bit to make it stand out from the others using the same template. You need to look at the terms & conditions for the template you are using Ė some donít allow you to edit their design at all, while others let you change as much as you want.
No matter if you are using templates or if you are building your site from scratch - If you are planning on using affiliate programs as your only source of income on this site, you should pick a design with a good advertising space, preferably on top and/or a vertical space on either side. Try to keep it simple the first time, donít overdo it. Make another site if you want to try something different. The more sites you can produce, the easier it will be to have at least one top placement on Google. The sites not placing well in search engines can still be valuable by linking to your main site.
You will need to register a domain, find web hosting and eventually sign up for a few affiliate programs. Have a look around, try to find a good domain name, preferably one with your primary keyword in the name. A short, descriptive URL with a good top level domain, i.e. .com or any market specific country domain will always perform well in any competition. When deciding on a web host you could try a free host for your first site, but you will almost always be forced to show their ads, taking away the potential clicks and sales for your ads. With a site made for affiliate marketing, you obviously do not want competition on your own site; you will get enough of that from everyone else, no need to bring it on yourself. Hosting is very inexpensive these days, so the money saved by going with a free host is negligible. A web host with a good affiliate program can even add to your profit.
Build your site in your head - map it out mentally. Then try to put it down on paper. Figure out what sections you will have, the menu, the internal linking and other important factors. The more thought you put into it, the better the results. When on paper, look at it, think about it some more, make the adjustments you see fit.
Now, you are ready to start building your site, filling it with those profitable affiliate links.
About the Author: Theo Swan - Writing about affiliate marketing and how to generate revenue online.
Read more of Theos articles at Affiliate Ranker's Resources