An Interesting Tactic: Hyper-Local and the Opportunity of Affiliation
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I recently did a search in my area for dog parks because our puppy is now at that age (and level of obedience) that I feel comfortable taking her out and letting her loose around other dogs.
The results I found were typical:
- Local news websites covering different parks
- Dog-focused websites that listed parks in the area
- Review sites with dog park listings
But one that caught my eye (because, like you, I’m into this niche/affiliate/business thing) was one which happened to be a niche site specific (hyper-local) to my area about dog parks.
This piqued my interest so I had to take a look …
I went ahead and removed the personal information just to make sure to keep things private.
Suddenly … it clicked.
The idea of creating a hyper-local website around events, businesses, and other activities is really nothing new. We have seen a lot of businesses spring up where the URL includes the name of the city/town to help with the SEO (though in recent years this has been given a penalty because of the exact keywords in the domain).
But considering that it’s one of those odd-ball topics (“dog parks” in this example) what matters does it make for Google to frown on something like this because when looking through the site provided value.
Okay, back to the topic.
Why do we, affiliates, not take advantage of this type of opportunity?
There may be a few of you that do this already but I’m talking to those in the general group.
If you look at the site you’ll see something quite intelligent:
- The site helps locals find dog parks in the area
- The site offers information about dog parks and training dogs
- The site owner uses this as a platform to promote their training business
It’s quite perfect.
Let’s say you just adopted a puppy. One of the first items on your list is to get them trained because you don’t want them to become a handful and you want to be able to bring them out of the house without worrying about them getting into trouble. Your ownership of the dog would eventually make way to places you could bring them (dog parks being one of them) so if you were to find this site you would get all the info you need about your area. Low and behold – there are also tips about training and information for contacting a professional. It’s a win/win for your research.
So now let’s get into why I’m sharing this tactic.
Developing Hyper-Local Sites for Affiliate Leads
First let’s examine the structure of the website:
- Home Page (with generation information about parks)
- Dog Park Rules (with info about safety and what to expect)
- Dog Park Videos (with multi-media which helps engage and entertain)
- Dog Training (with a sales page about the owner’s services)
- List of Dog Parks (with a list that’s pillar-type content to get ranked)
- Why Go To The Park (with reasons to go which also conveys the need for training)
The site is even built within the basic installation of WordPress and looks like something that was slapped together in about a day or two (tops).
Consider, now, if you were to work on this type of project. How much of your affiliate marketing, website development, SEO, lead generation, and all that other jazz could you bring to the table and utterly dominate the local listings … and leverage that to promote affiliate offers.
Let’s make an example – say you’re doing something like “Local Craft Breweries”.
The structure (and strategy) could go a little something like this:
- Home (with general info about craft brewing, history, and what it’s like in the area)
- Craft Brew Directory (with info on all the different providers in the area)
- Brewing Training (with info for those that want to give it a try – with affiliated offers)
- Events & News (with info on local events and local news)
Even just these four main areas should be enough to really provide a great deal of value to people searching for that information in your area. Sure, a new site or local site for your city/town may have a lot of this information but what if you were to pour your heart and soul into this little project by making it personal? What if you did local interviews, went down to the breweries, reviewed the beers, took classes, and go into the local scene, too?
These ideas can be applied to just about anything on a local level because chances are there aren’t many people making these types of websites.
In the process of writing this post I also recall subscribing to a local foodie blog where the person goes around to the local events and food trucks doing reviews. I even, at one time, made a local site for club nights and music festivals.
The great thing about creating hyper-local sites is that you’re far more likely to get others on board because these small businesses and individuals would kill for that exposure. They’re probably not getting it from the local news and they may not have the money for advertising. But they sure will contribute and do what they can to help get a review or write up about their business when it’s listed on your site which means easy pickings for social traffic and ranking.
I know it’s not the most attractive site and I know some of the ideas may be a bit of a stretch but what’s holding you back from creating sites like these? If you already have the hosting and know-how of developing sites you’ll most likely spend what? About $10 for the domain and a day or two creating some of the base content (which can actually be replicated in style and form for other niche sites you create for the area).
You could bang out one of these types of sites every weekend and by the end of the year cover just about all the good stuff about your city/town. You could promote all kinds of affiliate offers if you had these sites working for you. You could even approach businesses with pitches for advertising or even buying the niche sites.
They say you can’t do niche sites anymore because of all the setbacks by Google but you know what? If you’re providing exceptional value for something that isn’t really being covered in the first place – how in the World are they going to slap you for being better than all the other listings?
I found this tactic pretty interesting. I’d think you would too. Give it a try.