By Thomas Benton
Direct response minisites are designed to force one of three responses: 1) Buy now, 2) Bookmark now, buy later, or 3) Leave. Adding a little content can make it search engine friendly and cause visitors to return.
You’ll find some who say that a direct response minisite is the only way to market on the Internet. Others say that a content rich site is the better way to go.
Proponents of direct response marketing maintain that a minisite can be set up in a matter of hours or days whereas a content rich site can require weeks or even months to build. And a minisite will start producing an income long before a content rich site can be up and running.
The negative is that direct response minisites aren’t attractive to search engines and consequently do not rank well. This makes it virtually impossible to find in a search. This means that all traffic must be generated via advertising of some sort. Nothing wrong with that IF the conversion rate produces profit.
On the other hand, a content rich site can produce free traffic. It takes time and planning to rank well in the search engines, but when that is accomplished they will generate free traffic (and sales) for your site.
Of course, even a content rich site can't depend solely on the search engines to generate all their traffic. Advertising is an essential part of producing targeted traffic.
Why not combine the positives of both?
Build your minisite. Get your product offering online now. Advertise in pay per click search engines and ezines. Set up some joint venture offerings with websites and ezine editors that cater to your target audience.
This tactic will produce instant results and sales. Start slow. Then tweak your sales copy until you get a decent conversion rate and return on investment.
Then gradually transform your direct response minisite into a theme site. Add a dozen or so articles that directly relate to your product. Exchange links with a few other sites that fit your theme. Offering an affiliate program is a good way to do this.
Now that you've got content and links, your site has suddenly become attractive to search engines. Tweak your pages, title, description and keyword meta tags to take full advantage of search engine algorithms. Then, manually submit your site to the popular search engines.
Add a few more articles or info pages every month and resubmit to the search engines. It may take a few months, but you will eventually notice an increase in traffic.
Publish an ezine and give away a freebie to new subscribers. Advertise your ezine on every page. And/or use an exit popup window to solicit subscribers.
Plug in one or two related affiliate products to create multiple income streams from your site.
Then, do it all over again with another new product!
In a few years you will have developed a steady stream of income from your Internet business.
When a product becomes stale and stops selling, update it or replace it with another. Stick to your theme if possible. Use the same URL to take advantage of your existing search engine traffic.
A Word About Web Hosting:
If you're going to have separate domains for each product (you should), you'll need a web host that allows you to add domains to your package without paying the full price for each one. You can get a package that allows 300MB of space and 10 gig monthly traffic for $24.95 per month. You can add additional domains for $5.00. And, you can sell hosting as an affiliate. For more info visit http://www.hosting-connection.com/.
What's the *secret* of creating an Internet income? Get started. Learn from your mistakes. Apply what you learn. Don't quit. That's all there is to it! See you on the web!
Thomas Benton's WebDesignWisdom.com is a comprehensive website design and Internet marketing resource featuring free articles and tutorials to help beginning netrepreneurs get it right the first time. Subscribe to his ezine, Active-eBuilder, at http://www.active-ebuilder.com/ or at http://www.webdesignwisdom.com/