Happy New Year! As I indicated in a post at the end of the year entitled, “Can you really make money with affiliate programs?“, I’ve starting my experiment with affiliate program opportunities to assess just how someone can make a living on their income from affiliate programs. I began by signing up for a few affiliate programs just to understand the process. Some of them I got approved for, no problem, but got denied for a couple I was really excited about. When you sign up for an affiliate program you have to list your website. Well since this was my FIRST step, I only had ITGeekGurl to reference. Merchants obviously look at your site to see if there is a relevance or if you are targeting an audience in their “niche”…and obviously I wasn’t.
With that said, I think the first step is deciding who will be your target audience. Your target or “niche” can be as broad or narrow as you want it — I’ll chime in later on which one I think is best after the experiment. Then you’ll need to build your website, so you can have something for the affiliate merchants to see that you are targeting their audience. But whoa!!! — getting ahead of myself because before you can secure web hosting and build that site — You have got to select a domain name.
Selecting the right domain name for your affiiliate marketing website because your domain name will play an important part in the success of your site. Selecting a good domain name definitely isn’t as easy as it sounds, I’ve spent the last five days trying to come up with something. Most good domain names are already gone, unlike years ago when I was able to register ChildCareNetwork.com [wow, shouldn’t have ever let that one expire — thinking aloud].
There are two different types of domain names: brand name and keyword name.
A brand name is one that is easy to remember and recognizable which may or maynot reflect what the site is about it. Brand names should be short and/or catchy to be effective. I really like the Web 2.0 words for this type of domain name. Here’s a great Web 2.0 domain name generator.
A keyword name is one that is designed to work well with the search engines. It contains keywords that are informative and consistent with the way potential visitors will do their searches. Examples are: BestVegasRestaurants.com or CoolCustomTshirts.com.
A .com address is definitely best for an affiliate marketing website. The .com Top Level Domain (TLD) is the strongest and most memorable. Folks generally type .com when they don’t know the entire address of a website.
Make a list of desired domain names, then check them out with a domain name registry service for their availability. May registries will allow you to type different variations of the domain to check availability, but I found a cool tool online that checks the domain name you enter, but also variations of it automatically.
Once you find that great domain name is available, register it quick! However, don’t be discouraged if after days (5 to be exact) you cannot find an available domain name that really makes you go “wow—that’s it!”, there are market services available that allow you to get in contact with the owner of the domain and perhaps make an offer.