We often hear about the thousands of affiliates that sign up for programs only to never actually set up a website, generate traffic or income. Many surveys have shown there are a variety of factors for this trend.

There is a portion of affiliates that sign up just to see what the program has to offer; often they could be turned into active affiliates with a simple phone call or e-mail. There will inevitably be potential affiliates that simply aren’t attracted to the product or commission structure. Unfortunately more often than not, many potential affiliates don’t have a clear direction of what to do after they sign up.

Signing up is just one step in a series of steps to become a serious online marketer. It is important to emulate what other affiliate marketers have done to be successful. One of the easiest ways to do this is by joining an affiliate forum and soaking up knowledge like a sponge. Aside from joining our forum, here is a brief guide to the areas you should invest either time or budget to get up and running:

Domain Strategy

Often people purchase domain names that they like or something that helps them create a brand around a concept they personally feel is worthy. Unfortunately obscure terms may not get searched for very often and many search engines look at your domain as another powerful indicator to your market and product. Pick a solid domain name that can offer you great keyword placement AND branding. To do this find out what the most popular searches are for your industry and then search for domains that feature those words, with dashes if available.

Program Resources

Often affiliates do not know what the program has to offer before signing up. Many programs have resources built to help their affiliates succeed. This comes in the form of feeds, content, special product info and graphics. After you sign up contact your affiliate manager or look inside your affiliate admin area to find out if anything is provided. Often affiliate program manager’s are happy to help affiliates with special requirements or at least give them guidance.

Hosting Review

Finding a good hosting provider for your website can be an overwhelming task. There are millions of providers who all seem to offer the same services for different pricing. Not all hosting providers are created equal. When evaluating a provider look at the following important things:

  • Uptime Guarantee
  • Quick Set-Up
  • 24/7 Technical Support
  • Types of Companies they Service
  • Easy Admin of E-Mail and Databases

Once you gather information for these areas, it will be clear to see who really is offering the best service for the price.

Website Design

HTML might look like a foreign language when you first see it, but you will soon find out that it’s very simple and anyone can grasp it. Buy a book on basic HTML and purchase html editor software like Microsoft FrontPage or Macromedia Dreamweaver. This will allow you to build pages in a simple environment similar to Word. If you would like to produce better graphics or manipulate photos purchase Adobe Photoshop. Design templates are also available for a reasonable fee and you can modify them for your website. Keep in mind that templates are often sold over and over again, so be careful not to pick a design that is used often in your industry or get exclusive rights to the graphics. The key to good affiliate web design is building in areas to update your content often, so you will need to get familiar with web technology to truly be a successful affiliate.