Testing The Water

2002-11-18by Bob Osgoodby

I don't care if you are in an affiliate program, are involved in Network Marketing or just trying to sell your products to a niche market. Just ask yourself this: How many of the "High Fliers" have their own web site, and how many of the "Also Rans" don't?

No one is going to take you as a serious on-line entrepreneur if you are promoting a program with the URL such as: http://www.someonesmlm.com/member/script.cgi?59432. However if you have your own site - http://www.yoursite.com It will show you are serious.

Search Engines will strip off the script.cgi?59432, so there goes your commission right out the window. That is if they bother indexing the site in the first place. Undoubtedly the affiliate page will already be indexed, and your page with them is most likely going to be ignored as they already have it. They won't re-index a page if it does not contain anything new, and since you can't change it, it won't.

With your own site you will be able to easily track which of your advertising campaigns are generating traffic and, more importantly, which ones are generating sales. Without being able to accurately track your ads, you will be wasting a lot of money and time.

Having your own site will enable you to build up trust with your clients and potential clients, something that is much overlooked these days. Everyone involved in online sales, recommends that you put contact information on your web site. You can't do this with an affiliate page, but can do anything you wish with your own.

Now here is the best part. Suppose you join a program, and get an affiliate page that you spend a lot to promote. If the program is "played out', or is simply not producing, and you decide to investigate another opportunity, all the ad money you spent is wasted. Many people also are in multiple programs, and must advertise each independently as they all have their own domain.

If you have your own site however, this is not the case. You can choose which, and how many, programs you are promoting all from your one site. This means that if you change or add programs, there is no need to go through all your ads and change your referral URL, You just need to change yoursite.com. A big bonus is that if you do have multiple programs on your site, someone may come from one ad, see another program they like, and join that one as well.

I have only come across three arguments as to why people do not have their own dot.com's:

1. I Already Have A Site With One Of The Free Hosts.

Look at your site through the eyes of a potential client. Do you think the banner ads the free web site provider puts on your page, enhance the information you want your potential clients to see? Go to http://geocities.yahoo.com and see if this is the image you want for your business.

2. I Can't Afford My Own Dot.Com Name And Site.

Really ? You don't need many of those "bells and whistles" included by many providers, so why pay for them. You could have your own dot.com registered AND hosted for about $30 a year. That's about the cost of one fast food lunch a month. Do you really think this is too much to invest in your future? For an example, stop by http://bitshack.com and you'll see what I mean.

3. I Can't Design A Website.

We are not talking anything complex here, just a simple site will have dramatic results on your traffic, and sign ups. There are also an abundance of free web building programs out there. Go to: http://www.cas.psu.edu/docs/cashome/guides/htmllist.html and you will find plenty of free and low cost tools you can use. Remember you are talking about an on-line business, and this is one skill you should learn.

Let's talk facts. As more and more people spend time on the web, they quickly learn that if they've seen one affiliate site for a company, they've seen them all. They also develop a dislike of the "pop down" screens and banners of the free sites. They also look with disdain upon free web space provided by ISP's, as there is no degree of permanence there.

If they're going to do business on the web, they want to deal with someone who will be around for awhile, and your own web domain and site is a good indicator. You at least are showing your prospects that you are serious about doing business on the web, and are probably not just "testing the water", hoping to make a quick buck or two.

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Bob Osgoodby

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