If you are marketing your Merchants by developing content websites around their products or product categories, then there are a few things you will need to think about. Here are a few things that you should consider when you begin developing your content websites as well as a few ideas that might help you along the road to developing a successful Affiliate site centred around good content.
More is More!
Content websites are those that provide information about a product or services. Usually these will be in a specific niche - for example, travel, technology or cooking. The common thread amongst Affiliates who develop these kind of sites is that they often develop big sites - very big. The more content you develop around you niche, then the more likely you will be to generate a lot of traffic to your site through incoming links and search engines.
The type of content can vary and as a general rule, people tend to develop content sites around things they either know or love. This reduces their chances of burnout, because it is very unlikely that you will enjoy developing content around something you are not interested in. Choose something you like or can constantly develop content around and then develop as much quality, original content as you can.
The more page you have listed in the search engines, the better the chance that people using search engines will find those pages. Some of our top Affiliate have as many as 50,000 pages listed by the major search engines because they have been adding content on a daily basis for many years.
Do the Maths
When planning your site, you should always do the maths in regards to what it will take to create a successful site.
An average to poorly designed Affiliate site will usually get a click through rate on their banners of around 1%. An average to poorly designed Merchant site will convert around 1% of their traffic into sales. While these are on the lower end of what you can expect, they are useful figures for making conservative estimates for Affiliate income.
By using those rates, you should try to calculate how much traffic it will take you to generate a sale (obviously with room for improvement). By using the above figures, you would need to get 10,000 targeted visitors to your website to generate a single sale for your Merchants.
The actual income for that sale would differ from Merchant to Merchant, but you could get some idea from looking at the Merchant EPC (Estimated Payout per 100 Visitors).
In short, you will need to ascertain how many unique, quality visitors you will need to get to your site in order to return the income that you are expecting.
If you are going to be producing a content website, then you will also get more and more traffic from the search engines, the longer you keep adding content to your site. Time is on your side if you keep adding content because larger sites draw more search engine traffic on average (of course, you should try to adhere to the general principals of SEO when building your site).
Plan Your Content
Now, getting 10,000 targeted visitors to a specific page of your site might be easier said than done (find more tips on getting traffic here). One part of that is producing content that could attract a constant flow of visitors. "Evergreen" content is something to think about - that is content that is always current and useful for visitors. This would usually exclude news type websites (though not always). A directory type site is an example of evergreen content - think reference material rather than topical material. The most successful Affiliates with content sites usually produce material that will not go out of date in a short amount of time (there are many exceptions to this rule though, so if you are determined to start a niche news site, don't be discouraged). Of course, there are sites that successfully combine reference material with topical material too.
The core of the issue is that you need to develop as much quality content as you possibly can. By developing large content sites, you increase your chances of getting traffic and also of converting that traffic into Affiliate sales.