Affiliate Marketing Microsites
If you're new to affiliate marketing and/or want to make money through affiliate marketing without dedicating large portions of your life to the craft, consider creating an affiliate marketing microsite or two--or three or four or 25.
Microsites can be a great way to make reliable, consistent, passive Internet marketing dollars. However, there are some potential drawbacks and dangers with affiliate marketing microsites that you need to be aware of if you are going to go this route.
What Is an Affiliate Marketing Microsite?
A microsite is, as the name implies, a small website that is very targeted. People have different definitions, but we'd say a microsite would be a site with less than 10 pages and certainly no more than 20.
In other words, a site that you could build out in a week or less.
Which brings us to the best part of having a microsite: you don't have to work on it that much! You put it up, you let it go, and then you get some commissions coming in for your troubles, which are, frankly, not all that troublesome.
Microsites can thus fulfill the greatest promise of affiliate marketing: passive income.
Secrets to Microsite Success
It's not hard to find an Internet marketing "guru" who thinks that microsites are not a good idea. And in truth many affiliate marketing microsites, especially the one page "hard sell" variety, do not result in much if any profitability for their owners.
However, the best affiliate marketing microsites do offer excellent return on investment.
So how do you make sure that your microsite is profitable instead of a complete non-entity waste of time? Here are a few keys to affiliate marketing microsite success:
-- Do your keyword research. Microsites are, as noted, focused on one particular keyword, so you need to know what keywords are generating enough search demand to justify a site.
-- If possible, put your targeted keyword in the URL. This can be tricky because you have to be careful not to infringe on trademarks, not to mention that most good URLs are already taken, but there are creative ways to get the keyword into the URL. You can use dashes, such as www.best-website-design-los-angeles.com, for example, which might be profitable microsite if you are a website designer based out of Los Angeles (yes it's available and yes, you're welcome).
-- Offer specific, quality information. The worst mistake you can make when constructing a microsite is to think that because your site is small, it is no problem if it's crappy. Nothing could be further from the truth! Small is mighty when you give your visitors specific, quality information directly related to their search term.
Secrets to Microsite Failure
Just as there are best practices that can help you obtain a profitable microsite, there are many ways that you can ensure failure when creating a microsite.
-- Overpay for web hosting and design. You have to understand that a microsite is not likely to make you rich, so you can't spend like a rich person when you're making a microsite. You have to keep your overhead low.
-- Don't do the math ahead of time. If you are an affiliate marketer who uses Google Adwords--and if you're doing microsites, how can you not be?--you always have to be calculating your "earnings per click." You have to know how much it costs you to bring that visitor to your site, and you have to know how often that visitor converts into a customer. You have to know.
-- Let your microsite go dark for long periods of time. It doesn't take much effort to once every couple weeks add a little something to your little site. You can even use automated software such as RSS feeds to generate new content for you. It's really not hard at all. What is hard, though, is to get Google to respect you when you "set it and forget it" with no compunction whatsoever.
The Bottom Line About Affiliate Marketing Microsites
Follow best practices and avoid worst practices, and you can end up with a microsite or maybe even a collection of them that cause you to have more money in your pocket, every month.
Like the best microsites, sometimes it really is as simple as that.