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Affiliate Marketing: Widget Wizardry

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Previously used as a catch-all term for "thing" in accounting textbooks, the word "widget" has shown well in the New Millennium. In fact, widgets are now a big deal on the Web.

In fact, effective employment of widgets may increase your affiliate marketing income.

What Is a Widget and Why Should Affiliate Marketing Care?

The definition of widget, today as in the past, remains somewhat vague. Therefore, let's define what widget means in the context of this column:
A widget is a piece of software that does not stand still and wait to be looked at, but instead moves, changes, and may even interact with visitors to your website.

Common widgets include stock tickers, weather modules, and quizzes. Frequently, widgets draw information from third-party sources. Facebook is increasingly full of widgets created by Internet marketers who hope their particular widget will go viral and spread worldwide.

Affiliate marketers should care about widgets because:

-- Widgets can add variation to your website ("content" need not always mean words).
-- Widgets are easy to maintain (once you install a widget, it'll run forever).
-- The vast majority of widgets are free (check out for proof).

Other People's Affiliate Marketing Widgets

Affiliate marketing widgets are widely available, and can add immediate value to your website with minimal work on your part, and without any cost whatsoever.

Think your audience might benefit from knowing when and where the next search engine optimization or e-commerce events are taking place? There's a widget for that.

Want to sell "showcased" products from your affiliate partners without maintaining a full-scale store on your website? There's a widget for that.
What about incorporating content from your favorite blog into your pages? There are a few different widgets for that.

Did we mention that widgets are easy to maintain and free?

Make Your Own Affiliate Marketing Widgets

If and when you believe that widgets belong in your affiliate marketing repertoire, you may want to consider the option of creating a widget specifically tailored to your website(s).

The benefits of creating your own branded widget can be significant. Especially if you can come up with something truly original, creating an affiliate marketing widget may increase your search engine ranking, your visitors' satisfaction with your site(s), and your affiliate marketing income.
Underpaid computer programmers from other countries await your call.

Facebook, as noted, is a wonderful breeding ground for cool widgets, so if you develop one, make sure to hit Facebook hard. MySpace and WordPress can also prove fruitful in widget distribution, which can in turn prove fruitful for the growth of your website(s).

Or you can keep your widget in-house, exclusively for your use.

The Best Widgets Are Much Better Than the Rest

When seeking to use widgets for affiliate marketing purposes, you won't want to mess around with too many of these things. Instead, use widgets sparingly, choosing only the best.

What "best" means for any specific situation, of course, depends. But the best widgets always, in all cases, are low cost, low maintenance, and add that "something different" feel to your page.

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