Posted Thursday, November 18, 2004
Many affiliate sites today create self-duplicating web pages for affiliates to use. The web site URL often looks something like (http://www.company_site.com/xxxyyy/?your_name&zzz) or one of hundreds of variations of this. This is not bad in itself, however, if you are serious about making money via the Internet, there is one piece that is a MUST for Internet Marketers. It is called a DOMAIN GATEWAY PAGE.
What is a domain gateway page? A domain gateway page is a web site address such as (http://www.your-name.com) set up so that when someone access' your web site, they get YOUR information for your affiliate program (whatever affiliate program you are marketing). For example, instead of marketing (http://www.collector-club.com/DET/members/101321/index.shtml) (a sample company URL assigned to you from net detective), you would market (http://your-name.com) instead and it would pull up your net detective page in this shorter URL. More specifics on this will follow.
Why is a domain gateway page a MUST?
1--No Lost Orders:
When someone visits (http://www.company_site.com/?your-id=xxxxxxyyy) the tendency that happens quite often is that the /?your-id=xxxxxxyyy part of the URL will get left off the URL (web address); so you are no longer get credited for the order. Another common problem is that a visitor gets the long complicated URL wrong (ie: (http://www.collector-club.com/DET/members/101321/index.shtml)); so again it is a lost order for you. What happens if they come back to the main site in the future and don't put in your id#? You got it. It's another lost order for you.
Another problem with associate program self-duplicating pages is that some search engines don't accept the /?your-id=xxxxxxyyy portion of a URL. As you go out and market your site across the Internet, some (many) of the search engines will not accept the /?your-id=xxxxxxyyy in the address, so will drop that part of the address.... thus, people get dumped into the main company site instead of your site.....more of your orders get lost or redirected to the main company site.
Now, don't get me wrong. I am not bashing associate programs or the way their self-duplicating pages are set up. I am simply providing information to help you use those programs more effectively.
2--Business centered marketing:
With your own domain name, you can do all of your marketing by promoting (http://www.your-name.com) vs. another web site name. This will also allow you to have your email address as firstname.lastname@example.org (it can be automatically forwarded into wherever you currently check your email, so nothing on your end has to change). This puts the focus of your marketing efforts around YOU and YOUR domain name vs. the vendor company's domain name and creates a business centric marketing stategy for you. You can then set up additional businesses around this same name to market additional products.... such as (http://www.your-name.com/company2/) and (http://www.your-name.com/company3/). Now, what happens if someone drops off the /company2/ portion of that URL? They are dumped into another of YOUR companies and you never loose a potential client!
Here is an example of business centered marketing model that I use. I have two sites in which I promote (among others). Here are their cumbersome URLs:
I market these two sites as: (http://ahwa.com/netdetective/) (http://ahwa.com). My email is sent out as email@example.com. When I join other associate programs, I create new gateway pages on my own domain such as (http://ahwa.com/new-program/). My entire business and marketing strategy is centered around MY domain name, not someone else's.
3--Higher order ratios & portability:
The biggest reason for having your own domain gateway page is that with a domain site (such as (www.your-name.com)) you will get a higher ratio of orders (signups) to visitors because you will loose fewer of your potential clients to the company site.
If you ever decide to move your domain to another host provider or begin to promote a new product/service, all the hundreds or thousands of links across the Internet that are currently pointing to you will continue to point to you. That is not the case if you have a web page such as (http://www.some-other-company.com/your_name/). If you ever move your sub-page to someone else's domain, you will loose all the work and effort you put into building links to your original page.
4--Domains names are cheap:
You can get your own domain (your-name.com) hosted by a good web site host provider for as little as $20.00 per month w/ a $20.00 set up fee (and sometimes cheaper). You will charged $35.00 per year to have the name registered with Internic. You will be billed the first two years Internic fee in advance. So, for the cost of one or two orders (depending upon what you are marketing) you can pay for your domain name and site set-up. If you want a company with a specialty in low cost domain gateway pages visit (http://www.johnsons.net/).
It is possible to make money with the many affiliate and associate programs. I know of people who do nothing but work their associate programs and are making thousands of dollars a year at it. With a little knowledge and advance planning, you can also.
About the Author
Tobe Johnson is the president of Johnson & Associates (http://johnsons.net/). He has been involved in Internet based consulting and web site development technologies since the early 1990's. He specializes in building large network marketing downlines and product sales via the Internet.