Last Updated: 02 Feb, 2018
It’s not enough to decide a niche and just build an affiliate website. And it’s not enough to decide which merchants you are going to promote. The question is, how are you going to promote these offers? Are you going to build content on a regular basis, are you going to create a forum or a data feed listing? There are various types of affiliate websites and you should choose the most flexible solution according to your needs.
So, let’s dive deep…
Affiliate Websites – Examples and Different Types
a) Content Websites
♦ One of the most common tactics in the affiliate marketing promotion. With this type of website, you need to publish content based on your niche frequently. Articles with tips, advice, tutorials, how-to instructions, lists, best of’s, resources, are among the most popular types of content used in order to attract visitors and build a brand’s recognition. You can even consider writing reviews on products, services, and offers according to your niche and the merchants you are promoting. Consider also publishing important news related to your industry and/or changes regarding your merchants.
♦ By giving away for free valuable content you are building a strong relationship with your readers. The content you are providing must be unique and relevant. If you are outsourcing content or having personnel in your company give instructions and proceed with care when selecting the best possible partners for that task. The whole website will be built around that content so you have to present something solid.
♦ Your website should be focused on a single topic or theme, do not try to attract visitors from various genres, at least at the beginning. The more precise your content is the more targeted website traffic you will get and that means opportunity for conversions.
♦ Avoid using a lot of banners and ads, these are almost always ignored nowadays. Instead, use your affiliate links in certain pages or posts through highlighted texts as links are getting clicked at higher rates. Do not overuse affiliate links though. Your affiliate links should consist of only a small part of your content. You need to provide value and free information to help your readers. Try to have in mind that people are looking for information instead of ads, and why they should visit your website instead of visiting the merchant’s website directly.
b) Blogs, Forums
♦ This category is a more complex form of content websites in which you are inviting a certain audience to subscribe and meet other people with the same interests. Almost always in order to participate in these websites, you have to be a member with a username and a password.
♦ On these websites, there is content available to everyone online, but there are dedicated departments where only registered members can access. Like I do with the DBR membership.
♦ You cannot run such kind of website alone. You may need administrators to watch the progress of comments and the posts that will be published by the members. There is a team behind these websites but if you can handle that, the website’s members will publish content on their own thus increasing the overall rankings of the site. A technical team is also critical to maintain the servers and all kinds of problems.
♦ These websites display affiliate ads on sidebars and/or with text links inside the blogroll. You have to be very careful though and do not allow any kind of affiliate links posted by members. This will decrease your authority and you will lose loyal fans. Spamming inside these websites is something to avoid by all means.
♦ Email marketing can give you an edge with this kind of affiliate website. Having a large number of subscribers is crucial, as you can send email offers and newsletters that convert pretty and offer members a chance to engage with your content and give you feedback. Ask for their personal opinions, what they need to see changed, what they want to be added. Create funny polls and let them vote. Satisfying customers will speak the word of mouth resulting in an ongoing arrival of new members. Member’s feedback will help you improve continuously.
♦ If you offer additional services or products along with the blog/forum function you can grasp a huge opportunity by offering an affiliate program for some or all of your members. You can select them by evaluating the necessary criteria for approval. You can find further information on that matter in my article about advertising an affiliate business online for free.
♦ An alternative approach to promote certain products and services in an industry. By displaying a variety of merchants, not only those who are co-operating with you, will increase your brand’s authority. All the merchants and products should be related to your website’s theme.
♦ User experience plays a significant role. Visitors should be able to search and find anything they want in any possible way they want. Categorize your listings by location, pricing, performance, religion, demographics, or any other necessary attribute. The search option must be flexible and should include all the available attributes.
♦ You can add value to your listings by including personal reviews with ratings or any other important information. You can also include a separate section for guest reviews made by the visitors. Always hold their comments and messages for moderation. Comparisons between similar companies and products are very popular. Visitors can choose between the available solutions easier and they won’t have to search the entire web to find the information they need.
♦ Affiliate Ads can be implemented to your theme and in such websites is very common the advertising of merchants for a price. Additionally, you can let supplementary companies or relational website owners advertise their banners.
♦ If your directory is a shopping portal you can publish certain discounts or key product offers throughout the year, informing members by sending emails or announcements for any changes or special listings. You might also consider displaying featured ads for merchants or websites that convert better or for those that you are affiliated with.
♦ A special section for news about your industry will increase your credibility even further.
d) Shopping Comparison – Datafeed
♦ Another complex format of affiliate marketing websites. You have to offer comparisons about products and services related to your niche. Price is not the only important factor to filter the users’ searches. Make the search option flexible including all the available attributes, like price, performance, size, age, quality, brand’s reputation.
♦ The merchants you are going to display will offer an electronic catalog of their products or services, the Datafeed.
♦ You can co-operate with websites like Golden Can to add merchants data feeds in your website. Golden Can offers Data Feed Integration, store-coupon search integration and more to display millions of data feeds products, discounts, and dropped prices from one or multiple merchants at the same time with only one line of code that you can place on your website.
♦ These data feed websites will often charge you according to your revenue or clicks or any other way. Or simply by cutting a percentage of your affiliate profits.
♦ This type is very complexed, so, try focusing on a single topic inside a niche. Unless you have a team of employees to work for you. But starting small will result in better results and you can expand your site at a later time.
♦ Always stay updated with the latest information from merchants and co-operating sites. Some items may discontinue, some may be left out of stock, or you can deal with delivery or production problems.
e) Coupon – Deal – Voucher – Discount Codes
♦ A large number of merchants offer discounts or coupons for their products or services. Some of these apply only to their affiliate partners. You can stay updated with RSS Feed or email newsletters.
♦ Online shoppers have become more sophisticated and they tend to search for discounted offers more than ever. They might get free deliveries on purchases or short-codes to use them when buying some products. An example of such a website is the Voucher Cloud.
f) Cashback – Reward
♦ The number of people buying stuff online has increased dramatically in the last years, so, the number of reward or cashback sites is growing as well.
♦ This type of affiliate website will reward its users when they purchase through the affiliate links provided on their websites. The merchants or the retailers pay the affiliates a commission which then is split between the affiliate and the customers.
♦ An example is the Nectar website where they offer prizes, discounts, redeemable points, and credits.
♦ Some other cashback sites offer daily deals or meals in sponsored restaurants or trips with certain agencies or paid surveys. This way they increase their traffic and customer loyalty.
♦ Again one very important factor is to offer regular email offers and keep your subscribers alert on “HOT Deals”.
g) Mixed Type
These are some of the suggestions I can offer to intrigue you get started with Affiliate Marketing. You can be creative and mix things up to create a modern website. As long as you progress with your content there will be ideas to implement. You will meet other owners and marketers through social media and you might proceed in co-operation.
Be open to proposals and analyze them. The internet world is moving really fast, online shoppers and visitors are savvier than ever. Follow the marketing trends and stay alert on news for your industry. Subscribe to magazines and authority sites in your niche and follow their newsletters to obtain insights and to come up with ideas. Participate in social media, forums and offer value. Discuss and make connections.
Just follow one simple rule. Start with one specific topic or category and do not try to jump into something “Big” from the beginning. No empire has been built in one day. And always keep in mind the readers, visitors or customers. They are your power.
Affiliate Marketing Resources
The ultimate guide to help you master every aspect of this business model
Affiliate Marketing Resources
Do these types of affiliate websites intrigue you to get started online? What other types do you think should be included in this list? I am waiting for your comments and thoughts. Till next time.