Introduction to Online Marketing for Affiliate Web Sites

Written by Rich B
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Online marketing can be a whole new world if you're not used to it. It can be an expensive and frustrating world too. The good news is that it is relatively easy to pick up the basics. This article (like most of articles in the tips section) is designed to help you learn. So, let's get started.

Like offline marketing you're only really limited by your imagination (and the law) in what you can do to promote your site online. In fact, you could get started right now - add your site's URL to your email signature. There you go, now anyone you send an email to will know about your website. If they like or trust you, they're quite likely to visit your site rather than some random one found on google. There we go, you're marketing, it wasn't that hard, was it? Now, unless you are an incredibly popular person who sends a lot of brilliant emails that get forwarded all over the Internet, this probably won't be enough to make your site a success. If you are one of those people, you should definitely consider running a newsletter. But even for us average people, adding our URL to our email signature is a small step in the right direction. The secret to success in anything is to just keep making small steps in the right direction.

What about if you're a member of a forum? You could add a link to your signature there too (if it's allowed). This not only lets people know about your site, every post you make helps your Search Engine Optimization a little bit. As long as you're not spamming a forum with automated or useless posts, this is a good way to get a steady trickle of traffic and Search Engine Optimization for very little extra effort.

But what is Search Engine Optimization? SEO is trying to get your site to rank as highly as possible in the results pages for searches people make. How do you do it? There are thousands of books, courses, forums, and companies devoted to SEO (including a few articles in these help files). The very short answer is that you have good content, good links, and a well-structured site. But that's like saying that writing a novel is just putting some words together - true, but very simplistic.

The problem with free methods of promotion is that they can be hard work and take time to produce full results. There is also a limit to how effective they can be. That's why almost every successful website uses at least one paid method of getting visitors (especially at the start).

The two basic models of website promotion (outside of affiliate programs, which are very difficult to run for portals) are Pay Per Click and Pay Per Impression. Pay Per Click advertising is typically sponsored search results, although text ads and banners can also operate on a PPC model. Pay per impression advertising is more traditional in that you are paying for the exposure your site gets, rather than by results. This is sometimes called bulk traffic and includes things like banner ads and popups.

These are by no means the only ways of promoting your site (for example, you can buy other people's forum signature, or run a competition of some sort, or come up with some unique idea for content or theme that draws people in.

Hope this brief introduction helped you a little, at least by providing a starting point for further reading.

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