Are Blogs the Ultimate Affiliate Website?
I know many newbies wonder whether to build a traditional website or a blog for affiliate marketing. Both have their place, but which one is more likely to succeed? I have a strong feeling that a blog is more likely to and I am conducting a few experiments to try and prove my hunch. These experiments are blogs in highly niched areas.
Why are blogs great for affiliate marketing?
h3>Regular new content
Search engines love websites that are "active". Active websites are those where content is added on a regular basis. Blogs are just that, so search engines love blogs.
Surfing the long tail
Within any niche market, there are normally numerous "sub niches". For example, lets say that "holidays in France" is your niche market. Within that niche, a sub niche might be "holiday villas in Nice, France". The sub niche will have much less competition than the main niche, and in many cases it will have very little competition at all.
Using a blogging platform makes it very easy to target these sub niches. You can write a blog post for every sub niche, and even sub sub niches. That post will be targeted at the sub niche, and will fit in with the theme of your website/blog. You have covered one of the basics of SEO without even thinking about it.
Product reviews, latest deals, special offers
Your blog can include reviews of a particular product, or simply a special offer from a merchant. At the end of the blog post, you should recommend a merchant where the reader can buy the product. Or even better, a selection of merchants. that sell that product.
Take a look at CNET's review section. CNET write informative, accurate and impartial reviews of products. They build trust with the readers. They then gently recommend various merchants where the reader can buy the product.
Easy to set up
Blogs are relatively easy to set up because most of the work is done for you. You can set up a blog within in a few hours using something like Wordpress or Drupal. There is a wide range of modules that you can plug in to extend the functionality of your blog. You can use any number of available themes or design your own. My approach is to keep it simple at first and test the waters before spending too much time adding modules and a custom design.
Blogs make it easy to organise your posts into categories. This is great for SEO because each category is focused on a particular area or sub niche.
Most blogging platforms come with an integrated RSS feed. Web users can subscribe to this feed and read the content of you blog in their RSS reader. Your blog may include product reviews or latest deals with affiliate links to the merchant. This can be an excellent source of affiliate revenue as people can click through to the merchant from their RSS reader using your affiliate link.
Google XML Sitemap
You can set up an XML sitemap for Google and Yahoo very easily with most blogging platforms. These are very helpful to ensure that Google and Yahoo has indexed all of your content.
It is often easy to obtain inbound links with a blog. Other blogger seem to be more likely to link to a fellow blog then a traditional website. There are numerous blog directories where you can add your blog and receive an inbound link.
More information on setting up a XML Sitemap in Drupal.
All of the above can be achieved using a traditional website, but blogs make it a lot easier and take the pain out of it. It is possible to do very nicely out of some targeted niche blogs.