There are various schools of thought for newbies entering affiliate marketing. Go niche, go generic domain, go SEO or go PPC and fame and fortune will await you! Interestingly enough when the experts offer their advice not one ever mentions “go brand” and yet a brand identity could be one of your most important assets depending on where you wish to go with affiliate marketing.
Whilst any domain can be developed into a reputable site, gain recognition, backlinks, authority etc. over time, a bit of forethought about brand identity is in my opinion worth considering when starting off a new site.
A brand doesn’t have to be off the wall like Loquax. It can be generic like “Voucher Codes” or “Red Widgets”, but something a little different can often help you stand out from the crowd.
Take Lee’s Easter Eggs site for example (sorry Lee). Whilst he’s obviously done well with the generic hyphenated .org.uk version of Easter Eggs, could he have done as well or even better being say “IAmTheEggMan.co.uk” – ok that’s a bit of a lame name (and the domain is already taken), but you get the idea. It’s now something that’s not so generic, but a bit more brand identifiable.
Lee would still have the same excellent content and reviews but under a different umbrella it could possibly have helped make the site more memorable in terms of the media – as well as offer opportunities for branding (tshirts, chocolate bars) for users – something many affiliates overlook when starting out on new sites.
When we started Loquax developing a brand wasn’t at the back of our minds, nor was the fact that having an off beat name is quite useful when it comes to search engines. In fact we decided on a non competition or prize related name simply because at the time (1998) we could only afford to buy the one domain name. If the competitions thing didn’t work we could simply switch the site’s focus to something else.
For many affiliates domains are now cheap and disposable items that can be discarded once they’ve served their purpose or if they’ve failed to do as expected in the Google world. However, if you’re struggling to find that niche domain or generic-word.org.uk site that you so desire why not start thinking about coming up with a brand instead?
For us having an identity has been a huge asset and perhaps has been an integral part of the longevity of the site.