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A Theme-Based Website, Part 1- What Is It?

By Julie Georg
Posted Wednesday, June 30, 2004

What is a theme-based website? The wave of the future. The
best way to please increasingly savvy visitors AND search
engines. A theme-based website is a site that is based on
one specific theme or concept. Every page of the site
focuses on a single topic that is related to that theme. For
example, if my theme is Italian cooking, topical pages could
include Italian chefs, Italian ingredients, Italian cooking
methods, Italian cookware, etc. Such a site could easily
grow to a hundred pages, each of which focuses on a
different topic, all of which are related to my theme.

Why would I want a theme-based site?
A theme-based content site is a great vehicle for earning
income as an affiliate. How?

Each topical page is a "keyword focused" content page. In
other words, I build the content of each page based on one
of hundreds of keywords that someone might use to search
for information related to my theme. Taken all together,
my tightly focused, themed site scores well at the engines
for hundreds of related terms. And we all know what that
means - lots and lots of highly targeted traffic!

Each topical page is full of valuable content. This content
is used to PRESELL(we all know the importance of preselling,
right?!). My visitors are not searching for sales copy.
They are searching for information. I need to deliver.
Using my Italian cooking example, my page based on the
keyword "Italian chefs" could offer brief biographies of the
top Italian chefs. I could then recommend books by or about
these chefs, providing an in-text link to a book seller.
What else? I could write(or find) articles about olive oil,
Italian ceramic cooking pots, the Chianti region, etc. And
as a good affiliate, I provide in-text links to merchants
selling Italian cookware, imported foods and wines, cooking
lessons in Tuscany(!), etc, etc. Think of the potential.

Consider the advantages the theme-based website has over
mini-sites, which some affiliates use to try to promote
an affiliate program. They may seem easy and cheap, but
mini-sites are not built to do well at the search
engines and rarely get a directory listing - the two
places my visitors are most likely to look for me! Where
they WILL find my theme-based site. Also, mini-sites are
typically made up of just sales copy. I know my visitors
do not want to be sold. My theme-based site GIVES my
visitors valuable content while preselling. Lastly,
a mini-site is pitching one product. If a visitor doesn't
want that particular product they're gone. My site,
however, offers multiple products or services, any one of
which my visitor may be interested in.

Affiliates will also often use gateway or doorway pages.
These are essentially "trick sites" which may score with the
engines but don't deliver good content and so rarely
result in getting the click through, the sale, or the
repeat visit. Also, tricking the engines is becoming less
effective as the engines become more and more sophisticated.
My theme-based site plays fair with the engines and the
engines love it.

Using a theme-based website I create a WIN-WIN-WIN-WIN
situation. My visitors win because they've found the high-
value information they were looking for. Search engines
win because I've given them a site that will add quality
to their search results. The merchants that I represent
as an affiliate win because I've presold my visitors and
they arrive at the merchants' sites ready to buy. And,
last but not least, I win with growing commissions. Can
you say "super-affiliate"?

Think a theme-based website is for you? Brainstorm ideas to
find your site concept. Everyone has experience, knowledge,
interests or hobbies that could be turned into a theme-based
website. You can start building YOUR web BUSINESS.
Don't have a theme? Check out Part 2 of this series.
Or send me an email.

About the Author
Julie Georg is a consultant to individuals and small
businesses interested in establishing a web presence.
Step-by-step directions for building a theme-based site can
be found in the excellent, free Affiliate Masters course.
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