Friday Dec 15 2017

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5 Simple Strategies To Boost Your Minisite Sales

Creating minisites can be a great way to make money from affiliate programs.

1- or 2-pages long, minisites are quick to create, and they focus on one thing only - making the sale (or pre-sale) at the merchant-partner site!

-- Aside --
If you don't really know what a minisite is, or how to go about building a successful minisite, then I recommend you read the following article:

- Build Minisites
http://www.AnyoneCanSellOnline.com/build-minisites.shtml

-- Aside --

I, like many other successful affiliates, make a full-time living online by creating and promoting such affiliate minisites, and have done so since January 2002.

It's no longer 2004, though, and the minisite-rules have changed a little!

a) It's now not as easy to rank highly on free search engines, especially the dominant Google, with 1-page websites.

b) Getting cheap pay-per-click listings on Overture is definitely getting harder (with the recent raise in the minimum bid to 10p).

c) And, there are simply too many "me too" competing minisites.

So it is now more important than ever to offer something else to your minisite visitor, other than a compelling reason to just click-thru to the merchant site. (So 1-page sites like my http://www.mobile-phones-4free.co.uk will eventually stop earning money!)

Yes, I'm talking about the C-word: content. But it's not just about content; it's time to create a micro-site (as it were), that concentrates on the following strategies:

              1) Build Trust In Your Minisite
              2) Capture Your Site Visitors' E-mail Address
              3) Automate Your Minisite
              4) Test Your Minisite
              5) Promote Your Minisite

 

1) Build Trust In Your Minisite

As I said above, there are many minisites out there, some of which offer very little in original content. Why should anyone trust a "me too" minisite that looks the same as so many others? (Yes, you may make some sales but you could make a lot more!)

Site visitors *may* click-thru to the merchant-partner site from your "me too" minisite, but it's unlikely they'll ever return to your site. And if your site doesn't have basic contact information on it, and basic site navigation, they may not even do that.

There is a better way - build trust in your minisite.

==> How To Build Trust

- Create a professionally-designed fast-loading website, with high-quality images, and easy-to-use navigation. Write a clear, compelling headline too.

- Make sure your site design meets the need of your visitors. Take a look at your log files, or website stats, to see what keywords people are using to find your site.

- Create a site-map with links to all your major pages (as well as links to the major search engines (like Google)).

- Include product reviews, and provide alternatives (alternative products, or alternative places to buy the same product).

- Create a custom 404 page, so any bad links return visitors to a friendly web-page on your site. (Don't know what a 404 page is? Visit this site - http://www.404lab.com/ .)

- Hide your affiliate links if possible. You can use JavaScript to do this, or create simple meta-refresh pages, like this one http://www.shoptour.co.uk/go/amazon-electrical.html .

- Create an About-us page, and describe you and your organisation, how you do business, and the merits of your merchant-partner site(s). Use testimonials from the merchant site, if available, and put your contact details on the site too

- Ask for site feedback (and offer a unique bonus for doing so)

- Add a site-disclaimer page. Basically, you are not liable for the operation of the merchant-site, but are available to help if required.

 

2) Capture Your Site Visitors' E-mail Address

The whole purpose of your minisite is to send your visitor to another (merchant-partner) website. The merchant makes the sale/lead or they do not, but it's unlikely you'll ever see your site visitor again.

That's why it's vital to try and capture your visitors' e-mail address, if you can, before they leave your site.

==> How To Capture E-mail Addresses

- Write a newsletter/ezine containing information your site visitor is interested in. And sell the benefits of subscribing to your newsletter (make sure there are some!).

- Offer a relevant competition or prize-draw.

 

3) Automate Your Minisite

Basically, automation means being able to:

  • Update your site with latest offers;
  • Respond to your site visitors; and
  • Create content, etc. as quickly and easily as possible.

You spend less time *doing*, and your site spends more time *earning*.

(In 2000, I spent hours and hours and hours updating one of my sites, but it *still* didn't make any money. So, believe me when I tell you this: automation is very important. Automation simply lets you focus on what's working; lets you make more money, in less time!)

==> How To Automate

- Create your minisite using templates. You are then able to make site-wide changes by simply editing one template.
http://freesitetemplates.com/

- Create your minisite using cascading style sheets (CSS)
http://willmaster.com/a/18/pl.pl?187part

- Create an anti-spam feedback form (Master Feedback form)
http://willmaster.com/a/19/pl.pl?cgilist

- Integrate automatically-updating content into your site. This could be a pay-per-click search engine feed, or it could be content taken directly from the merchant site (Amazon lets you do this)

- Create a frequently-asked-questions autoresponder, and use it to provide general answers whenever anyone gets in touch. (How easy it is for you to set up an autoresponder depends a lot on your chosen web-host, I'm afraid, but there are hosted solutions you can use like Aweber, GetResponse or AutoResponse Plus - read my autoresponder reviews here!)

Basically, if you find yourself spending a lot of time taking a certain action on your minisite, try and find a way to automate it if at all possible!

 

4) Test Your Minisite

Testing what works and what doesn't work on your minisite is very important (especially if you're paying for visitors to come to your site via pay-per-click search engines).

=> How To Test Your Minisite

- Make sure all your links work, and your site looks good on at least IE6 and IE5. Visit NetMechanic for assistance in this
http://www.netmechanic.com

- Invest in a decent website statistics package, and find out things like: how many visitors you get; where your visitors come from; and what search terms they're using to find your site

- Track your links (inbound and outbound) with ad-tracking software. Find details at http://www.ad-tracking.com

- Track your affiliate links. For merchant sites belonging to the following UK networks (and Commission Junction), you can simply add the following to your affiliate links:
. Affiliate Window - &clickref=LinkName1&p=/path/to/url
. DGM2 - &nwk=LinkName2
. Commission Junction - ?sid=LinkName3
. Tradedoubler - &epi=LinkName4

 

5) Promote Your Minisite

Obviously, you have to promote your minisite, but I only want to cover the site-promotion basics in this article. And there are some easy things you can do, whilst building your minisite, that will improve its search engine ranking.

==> How To Promote Your Minisite

- Try and make all the links on your homepage link to internal pages on your minisite; i.e. try and have no links to external sites available on your home page.

- Create a links-page - yes, really! - and make it easy for other sites to swap link with yours. Here's an example (not mine)
http://www.cheap-contactlenses.com/contacts_us.html .

- Link to your other minisites (if you have them) at the bottom of the page separated by |, say.

- Promote your site-map (see above) to the major search engines.

- And finally, visit a website promotion guide (like mine below) and do the basics: http://www.howipromotemywebsite.com

 

==> Article Summary

So there you have it, 5 simple strategies you can use to boost your minisite sales:

      1) Build Trust In Your Minisite
      2) Capture Your Site Visitors' E-mail Address
      3) Automate Your Minisite
      4) Test Your Minisite
      5) Promote Your Minisite

Remember, minisites *are* great ways to make money from affiliate programs! You just need to adapt your minisite strategy a little, and go back to the basics of how to build a trust-worthy website.

Thanks for reading; I wish you every success.
:-)

Steve M Nash


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