If you’re an affiliate and have a bright idea for what you’d like to build an affiliate website about (and potentially a domain you like) you’re ahead of the curve already.
Next you’re going to ask yourself, what should my website look like?
If you’re a designer by trade, you’re going to spend hours pondering the correct design for the audience that you’re looking to target and you’re probably going to go through a half-dozen iterations of a website design in Photoshop or Illustrator. There’s even the chance you’ll get most of the way through a design, scrap it and start again. I know I’ve done this a couple of times before and it’s probably a good display of the lack of planning I put into what I was trying to achieve in the first place.
Many affiliate marketers aren’t designers but they would prefer to have a website that looks good. This is where templates come into their own as paying for a designer to build you an affiliate site is reasonably rarely a cost effective solution (particularly when you’re trying to build a site’s traffic organically). We’re going to ignore Ferrit in this discussion although I’m pretty sure it’s no-where near cost effective to date :).
So, you have an idea a domain and need a design.
There are so many template design options out there now it’s a wonder that any real design work gets done at all. I would have to say that a large number of newly created affiliate marketing website I’ve seen this year are created through template designs.
Template designs offer just the right level of cost effectiveness e.g. they’re free and are generally well tested, particularly if you’re working with a large scale Open Source blogging or CMS platform like WordPress, Joomla! or the like.
All it takes is a couple of quick adjustments on a logo file and the website you’re trying to get off the ground can look (to the untrained eye) like you’ve spent the last month in development and have some pretty hot design skills.
So, if you’re looking at designing a website specifically for affiliate marketing, perhaps you can start with a template, build up the traffic to the site (which is what’s really going to gain you the revenue) and then if all is going well, look to expand or re-design once you have proof of your concept.