How to: Monetize a GEO Domain with Affiliate Marketing

In my last post, I introduced you to one of my new sites, Iowa Guide, which was built using WordPress.    I’ve found whether I’m making a simple affiliate landing page, a static website, a content management system, or of course a blog, that WordPress is usually the best way to go.   Between the themes and plugins available, it is pretty quick and easy to get a site up and running in little to no time.

Okay, so I told you I picked up the City Revolution theme and set off to work.   After about a week of writing off and on for the site, I noticed I had a LOT of content, most of which can be found on WordPress pages.   That was the easy part since it was a local GEO domain and I didn’t have to research much to create the content!

Once you’ve got your content in place, the next step is usually to monetize the website.   The first thing I did was research payout percentages on affiliates.   In the case of Iowa Guide, I knew that these travel companies compete pretty heavily for affiliates, so I decided to start there.  Between Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity, I had three good choices, but I ended up going with Priceline because they were able to build a page directly into my website (sort of).  This way visitors would be able to browse for discount hotel rooms from what appeared to be within my site.  You can check out the Iowa Hotels page and probably not tell that it is actually hosted on Priceline’s servers, because it was built around my site’s layout, including my menu.

With Priceline, I was also able to get affiliate links for their airline and car rental services, but at this time these links will take readers over to their site to search.   Hopefully someday I can do the same for both airlines and car rentals.

Once that was done, I then spent some time looking for other affiliate opportunities and found companies such as Ticketmaster and StubHub for people looking for sporting events and concert tickets.

Once the site is setup, or at least looking respectable, you can then start your campaigns to make some sales.   The travel industry is an expensive one to compete in, but the payouts are huge if you find a good niche.   Currently I’m using PPC to generate additional traffic, then attempting to funnel it to a Hotels page which helps make the sale, then send readers to the hotel page that Priceline built.   I am also going to be adding a post or two each week to grow the sites presence in the search engines and remind Google that the site is active.

Garry Conn Releases Digg Theme

Whether you have little to no HTML knowledge, or whether you consider yourself a web designer, one of the best things you can do is to create a WordPress theme and release it to the WordPress community.   I’ve seen simple themes getting as much use as premium or advanced themes, and this is often because it allows for easier customization.

Yesterday I noticed that Garry Conn has released a new WordPress theme called Digs’em, which was obviously inspired by popular social news site Digg.   He lists it as being search engine friendly as well.   Here is a screenshot:

Digsem Theme

If you are interested in giving it a try, you can download it here.