Be a Responsible Affiliate and Don’t Build Terrible Sites

I’ve seen many people over the years launch sites that are rife with ads, containing thin and useless content which provides no real value to a visitor, thinking that this is what affiliate marketing is all about.

Newsflash: Your s***ty site will never get ranked, and furthermore, no one is ever going to click on any of your ads in the remotest of chances that it does get found.

This approach may have worked 10 or 12 years ago when it was possible to game the search engines and get spammy exact-match-keyword domain names ranked, but not anymore. Google is smarter than that.

And so are your visitors.

15 years ago people were apt to click on shiny banners, but nowadays internet users don’t even notice them. In fact, often times they’re viewed as an annoyance or a warning sign that maybe they’re on a spammy site that lacks trust.

Search engines want to rank quality content and that’s also what your prospective buyers want as well, so give it to them.

Shame on you if you think that crap site you threw together is adding value to the web and improving the lives of your visitors in some way! I’m sorry, but I get pissed off when I see that sort of stuff.

For the people that try to get away with producing sites like these, then pass this off as affiliate marketing, I urge them to ask themselves…

“Would you honestly buy anything from a garbage site that looked like yours..? F**k No! You would not. You would click your browser back button and never come back.

Now I know I’m passionate about this, and I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, but I do think it’s important to send this message home.

Bottom line when it comes to affiliate marketing…

If you’re not adding value to the web, then GTFO!

The following is a rather diplomatic conversation I had with a WA community member who PM’d me this evening. I think I handled it pretty well…

Wealthy Affiliate Private Message

Here’s what I was greeted with when I pasted the URL into my browser and hit ‘enter’.

Spammy and Thin Affiliate Sites Do Not Get Ranked

Doesn’t really make you want to bookmark this page or dig deeper within this site, does it..?

Okay, so here was my response:

Oh boy… For starters, you shouldn’t even worry about the ads when you’re first launching a site. Before you can even think about making any money with an affiliate site you need to get it ranked, and the only way to get it ranked is to fill it with original quality content. A ‘thin’ site (one with little content) is hard to get ranked, and when you fill it full of affiliate links it makes getting it ranked even more difficult. Google knows what those links are and it will bury you in the rankings unless those links are accompanied by valuable content that visitors will want to read, engage with, recommend, and share with their friends.

When I go to your home page I see a broken layout with ads for a few products, and very little content. This site hasn’t a chance. Sorry to tell you that, but it’s the honest truth. I’d get rid of every ad on there, commit to writing at least 5 new articles per week, then once you have about 30 articles up, and all of your pages are indexed, then you can start adding those Amazon links.

By the way, those widgets don’t work either. People are blind to them. The best way to convert sales through the Amazon Associates program is by using text links in your articles.

Keep in mind that you’re not Amazon, and that there’s no way you’ll ever compete with them as a sales site. What you are doing as an affiliate is providing valuable information that will help a buyer make a more informed decision when looking to purchase a particular product.

I know that may come off as harsh, but my aim is to help you. I’d rather give you advice which will help you succeed, rather than let you get on as you are – eventually growing frustrated over a site that isn’t getting any traffic or seeing any sales.

I think I handled that pretty well, and apparently, so did they… I didn’t know how they were going to react to what I said, but they took it well.

Thank you very much for helping me.

I am so glad you told me this. Finally somebody who tells me the right things…so what do you mean by content? Quality content? Now that you know what I want to do with my website can you give a clear explanation about the content and what I should do from now on please?

And my explanation…

When I say content, I’m referring to articles. Good quality blog posts that are between 400-1000 words in length. Writing them yourself is the best bet – especially when starting out – but if you don’t feel comfortable doing that, you can hire freelance writers off of sites like TextBroker or eLance. I’ve used both and have always gotten good results.

Cost is usually between .02-.05 per word.

I’m glad you are receptive to the advice! Affiliate Marketing can make you money, but it’s not as easy to get started with as some people think. It takes a bit of hard work to get going at first, but it becomes easier to manage in time. Important thing is to concentrate on creating a site that is going to offer people a unique and valuable experience. You do this by being informative, helpful, entertaining, or a combination of the three. 🙂

Their reply…

Right now I am not thinking of money really…I want to have a good website first of all…so for my style of website you mean for me to make 30 articles about organic products in general or about different products…and those articles should be plain, when I say plain I am thinking without any affiliate links on them or..? What exactly would be good articles for my website?

This is what I thought would be good articles for their site…

Herbal supplement reviews or informative articles that discuss the health benefits of the products you’re hoping people will buy once they’re on your site.

People will want to know more about how those supplements will improve their lives by giving them more energy, helping them lose weight, improving their digestion, staving off colds, or whatever else… Help them along in the buying process by making them realize that those herbal caplets are going to make them happier and healthier. Also, be sure to use the keyword tool here to research what sort of things people are typing in when looking for the various supplements.

You get the idea, right..? Give people the information that they are looking for in Google, then once they’re on your site show them some helpful reviews and informative articles that make them ‘want’ the products listed on your site. 🙂

I think I may have discovered my true calling.

Not like this was a consultation or anything, but I feel there is some helpful advice in the discussion that is good to pass on to others, which is why I added it to this post. That, and this person just so happened to PM me that site while I was working on this topic.

Given that they stated in our conversation that others had told them that the site was ‘fine’, I suppose some of you may think that speaks poorly of the WA community, but don’t be so quick to judge. I’m not sure who they’d reached out to, but I know for a fact that there are probably a few other members in there who would have patiently shown them the err in their ways. At least, I hope there would have been.

Alright, well I hope you enjoyed my little rant and were able to glean a bit of wisdom from the few bits of advice I shared with a fellow WA member. 🙂

Until next time..!

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