We took the kids out trick or treating tonight, and ever the internet marketer, I stopped thinking about the people handing out candy as people. Instead I started thinking about them as affiliate websites.
I know, I’m nuts. But bear with me here – there’s actually a pretty good point to this!
For many houses, it was just a blur to the kids. They went up, they got a couple of pieces of candy, and they moved on. It was like the people handing out candy couldn’t wait to get rid of them fast enough. They barely glanced at their costumes, they didn’t really talk to them – they came to the door and immediately threw candy in their bags and that was it; transaction over.
To me, that’s what the majority of affiliate websites are like. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing – but it is something you should think about. The visitor is barely at your website before you’re trying to shoo them away to another website. They’ve googled “play online poker” or “cheap slots” and within seconds of hitting your website, you’re yelling at them “Here’s the best place to play online poker – now click this and go away!”
Then there’s the houses that go all out design wise. These people LOVE Halloween and they go absolutely nuts with decoration. It’s nice and all and you might remember it – but at the core it’s the same as the last houses: just people handing out candy.
A lot of affiliate websites fall under that banner too. They spend countless time and money on getting the perfect design, always working away at it – when at the core it’s the exact same thing: a website designed to give you a good first impression, and then send you away as quick as possible.
Then there’s the houses that go all out AND add in human interaction. These houses are memorable. One house we went to there was a couple of coffins that we had to walk by to get to the door. On the way out someone jumped out of the coffin, scaring everyone! On top of that, there was people dressed up as zombies walking around. A lot of human interaction.
These affiliate websites are few and far between but they ARE there. And you know what? They are some of the most successful websites out there. Because they understand long-term relationships. They tell the visitor to “stop” – they want the visitor to interact with their website. These can be in the form of a poll, a poker strategy quiz, a flash game, a membership, a community – anything. More importantly these websites don’t want you to go directly through their affiliate link. They value you, and they want you to stick around at their website and check everything out.
The people at those houses were genuinely happy to see us. They appreciated us coming because they loved what they do. They valued us, and they spend time talking to the kids and admiring their costumes. They were memorable, and places that we’ll go back to. (Especially the house that gave us 2 whole boxes of candy – holy crap!)
And by valuing us, they’re the type of people we’d listen to. I like to think Affiliate Bible is a site like that. I write because I value you guys. I spend hours writing on a topic because you requested it. I answer all e-mails, tweets, comments and instant messages immediately. Because I value our relationship.
Then when I do promote a product to you, you’re a lot more likely to listen to me and trust me than some random affiliate page you found via Google right? Because you know I’m not going to push an affiliate program, theme or web host on you just to make a buck. It’s because I honestly think it will benefit you, as it benefited me.
I’m not saying this is the “right” way to go about things; not at all. I’ve also got many sites that fall under the first two categories. Hell I’ve got many thin affiliates sites that their whole point is to make money from and they work out well.
But as you sit at home, munching on all the leftover candy, take a moment to think about it.
These people showing up at your door in zombie masks and superhero costumes spent a lot of time and effort into picking out the right costume, and dressing up. All because they are looking forward to an exciting, once-a-year fun experience.
These people that show up at your website are ready. They’re ready to take your word, and deposit $500 at a casino, poker room or sportsbook. They’re ready to fork over their hard-earned money and buy that ebook or product you recommend, simply because they’re ready to trust you and make you money in the process.
Every keyword has an actual human being behind it.