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DesignSmarts: The Real Scoop on Site Design and Effective Affiliate Links

By Josh Tesolin
Posted Thursday, November 18, 2004

What exactly is this affiliate program stuff? Companies/organizations need surfers to visit their sites. One way they can drive traffic to their site is to create an affiliate program.

As an affiliate, you promote advertisers' Web sites on your site, and when you bring customers to them, you get paid. There is many ways an affiliate program can be run. In general, some affiliate programs pay each time a visitor clicks a link from your Web site to theirs, some affiliate programs pay only when a sale is made. Amazon is one example of an Affiliate program. Sell a book for them from your site and you make a commission.

Sounds great right? Yes, it is a pretty sweet concept. However, you must very strategic in how you use them. I have wondered across a great number of sites that have:

A) Great design - Clean cut, easy to look at.
B) Interesting main focus - Something that would intrigue me & make me want to read on.
C) Something useful to offer - A product or service that can really benefit me.
D) Affiliate links littered all over the place - It's kind of like your waiter bringing you your favorite dish with ten pounds of wet garbage slopped on top.

End Result: I, like many other visitors, leave your site. You the site owner, are sabotaging your site and sending traffic away!

Josh's 2 Step, No Fail, Sure-fire way of making affiliate links work for you:

1. If you want an affiliate link to be effective you must place ones with relevant information in your site. For example if you have a miracle juice link on your Internet business opportunity site, it just won't make sense. Besides, the link will get very little traffic because people find your site looking for that's right, Internet business opportunities. Not only will irrelevant links sit there like "duds", they also take away from the great information your have on your site as the main focus.

2. Don't over do it! Limit your affiliate links in respect to your main content (ie. If your affiliate links take up more room then your main content, you have way too many).

Why? At Worldprofit, when we design the Ultimate Home Business Package we only recommend three affiliate links in the home page design. The reason for this is because:

a) We don't want the surfers to become confused
b) We don't want the site to become cluttered
c) We want the surfer's to trust your site
d) We don't want the site to be too long When a page is too long (and looking crowded) the surfer usually won't read it all and many miss out on the important info intended for them to read.

So what do you do if you have fantastic affiliate links that are relevant to your site, but you just have way too many? I have a couple easy solutions:

1. Create additional pages just for your affiliate links. 2. If you have a Worldprofit Malls plugin (included in the Ultimate Home Biz Pkg, (http://www.worldprofit.com/uhbp/) you could place affiliate links in there by category! This is a great solution because you can fill your malls up with some great info & divide it all up by specific category! You could set up unlimited links!

End Result: You have all of the affiliate links you want, your site is neat & organized, you have raised the value of your Malls plugin because it is getting much more traffic and you get more streams of income!

If you would like some affiliate programs to join, you can visit a site called linkshare.com that has affiliate links organized in specific categories. Also check out, (http://www.trafficcenter.com/main/ap.htm)

About the Author
Josh Tesolin, is a member of the Worldprofit Design Team. Let our expert design marketers work for you! Contact mailto:customerservice@worldprofit.com. Take our free online course at: (http://www.worldprofit.com/autoresponse)