Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Are You Taking Advantage of Your Web Host? You Should Be!

There are plenty of web hosting services out there and they’re all scrambling to keep existing clients and to add to their customer bases. That’s a good thing – a very good thing – for experienced and fledging site owners alike. Here’s why.

Because hosting is so competitive, web hosts look for any opportunity to spread the word about their services and with online advertising rates on the upswing, these companies are looking for low-cost ways of getting the word out.

That’s where you and your web site come in.

Become an Affiliate Site

Affiliate sites are simply web sites with a link to a services or goods provider who pays money to the affiliate site owner (that’d be you, of course) every time someone signs up for their services or buys some product through your site.

All you do is read the affiliate agreement posted on the home company site, agree to the terms and you’re an affiliate. Simple and easy.

Once you are an affiliate, you’ll receive a small HTML graphic of the home company’s logo that you strategically place somewhere on your site. In addition, you’ll receive a small text string to add to your site code. This text string identifies your site as the source of the click through. Also, it identifies you as the one who gets the bounty for each new web host client who signs on through your site.

Why Is This Such A Good Idea?

There are several reasons. First, you know the quality of service you receive from your web host. Assuming it meets your standards and expectations (not to mention all of your site needs) this is a company you can feel comfortable in recommending. The last thing you need is a bunch of unhappy customers coming back to you with complaints about your affiliation with an unscrupulous, unresponsive web host. And they’re out there. Anyone with a server stuffed in a closet can become an ISP. Remember, on the Internet no one knows you’re a dog.

When you become an affiliate site for your own web host, you know you’re selling a service that other potential site owners will appreciate.

Second, income derived through this affiliate program is passive income. You don’t have to add new products or offer new services, you don’t have to process the order, pay shipping and handling and (ugh) process returns and handle customer complaints. All you do is sign up, place the link and watch for those click-throughs to start generating regular, steady revenues while you focus on your own core business model. How cool is that?

So, by becoming an affiliate of your own hosting service, you’re recommending a product in which you have confidence and you’re generating additional revenue simply by placing a small link on your site. It’s a sweet deal.

Making the Most of Your Affiliation

If you’re going to become an affiliate for your web host, you might as well take a few simple steps to get the best return on your partnership.

Start be reading the affiliate agreement top to bottom, including all of the whereas’s and wherefores. Actually, if the managers behind your hosting service are on their toes, the affiliate agreement should be pretty straightforward. You agree to do blah-blah-blah and the hosting service agrees to pay you money for each sign up you deliver. Just make sure you know what you’re getting into before you get into it.

Next, link placement is a very important consideration. If you bury the link back to the host company on page 18 of your site, you’re going to get about zero response and, consequently, approximately zero dollars for your efforts.

Place the link somewhere on your site’s home page for best results. It doesn’t have to be huge, nor does it need to appear in the middle of the page. Place it discreetly to one side or the other so visitors will see it but it won’t distract from your own site’s sales. You don’t want visitors showing up to buy some of your products only to bounce them to the sign up page of your web host. (Or, maybe you do!)

Sell the service. Yes, you can simply place the affiliate link on the homepage and keep your fingers crossed, but you’ll do a lot better if you provide just a few sentences of sell copy above the link. It doesn’t have to be fancy or a hard sell. Simply a few words describing your complete, 100% satisfaction with the service provider and a short call to action: “Click here to get started building your own web site.” That ought to do it.

Finally, know something (a lot) about the services you’re recommending. This is important in developing a little blurb that will appeal to many of your site visitors. For example, if most of your visitors are w3 rookies, you’d want to mention just how easy it is to get started. On the other hand, if your B2B site attracts a lot of savvy, online business owners, you’d want to emphasize the low cost and full featured menu offered by your web host. Know who visits your sites so you can best direct them to the sign up page of your own host.

What Does The Home Company Bring to the Table?

Look for a couple of things, here. Terms of payment is a good place to start. As an affiliate, you’ll have access to the affiliates’ page within the host’s site. This is where you’ll find data on how many click throughs from your site actually converted, i.e., signed up with the web host. If your hosting service doesn’t offer access to such information, how will you know how much you’re owed?

The amount of payment for each delivered new customer is another key consideration. Some hosts give you a few bucks, others a few more bucks. If you’re going to all of the trouble of signing on as an affiliate and placing another company’s logo right there on your home page, you want the affiliate program to actually generate more revenue than the space it takes up. Lots more.

Check to make sure that your hosting company offers sales collaterals that you can use to actually sell the service. These might include sell pages, downloads of terms, maybe an animated link and other goodies that will boost your click-through rate and your bottom line.

Finally, look for a contact telephone number that provides affiliate services. Problem with your most recent payment? You want to pick up the phone, talk to a host company rep and get the problem fixed without blowing off an entire day to do it.

Partner With Your Web Host

That’s what you want – a partner and a symbiotic relationship. A relationship that benefits you and the hosting company. Some companies simply send you the HTML link and leave everything else up to you. Others actually want to partner with you to generate more business for them and more revenues for you.

Indeed, your hosting company wants your affiliation to be profitable for you. If it is, that means you’re driving a lot of new sign-ups to the host’s site. So look for a host that offers the biggest bang for your affiliation, a host that wants your efforts to pay off for you so they pay off for the hosting company.

If you aren’t taking advantage of your web host’s affiliate program, you should. It’s easy money and you’re selling a service you know is good from your own experience. It’s a win-win-win proposition so sign on today and start generating some of that easy, passive revenue this time tomorrow.

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