BE AN AFFILIATE - PART 3: BUYING OR STARTING FRESH?
This can be a tricky question when setting up your first affiliate websites. Should you take the time to buy a new domain name and build that name's reputation from scratch? Or is it advisable to buy a site that already exists and put all your energies into developing that? Each side of the coin has its own pros and cons and we will outline them briefly for you here.
Buying a new domain and starting from scratch can be a long and drawn out process. Firstly, depending on the market you have set your heart on, the strongest domain names may have already been snapped up by other affiliate site programmers quicker on the draw than you. Domains that end in .com and feature the top keywords in the title with no other characters in-between tend to be the strongest domains. That is not to say that you cannot get what conventional SEO wisdom would deem a weaker domain to be up there on the front page of Google, it will just take more time. New domains and new sites are treated with caution by the search engine crawlers to begin with. They come, they crawl, they leave, and nothing happens for a while, then they come, crawl and leave again, and again. Just keep your head on straight when this is happening, keep piling on the good content and your efforts will almost certainly be rewarded, the point is that with new sites you will have to wait for the search engines to begin to trust you before you begin to slowly rise in the ranks.
With sites that already exist the problems are different. Most obviously these will set you back more money than by doing it the another way. Especially if the site in question has either a strong domain name, has been around for a while, has an okay page rank or all three. But there are also other problems associated with buying older sites. There is no way of you telling what kind of a history the site in question has, has the site been penalized by the search engines in the past? SEO can often be like tiptoeing across the blade of a sharp sword. Some practices are acceptable, some are frowned upon and some are not tolerated. How do you know what kind of affiliate programmer the person who owned the site before you was? Perhaps the site has a bad reputation history that will adversely affect your efforts to climb those search engine pages.
Whatever you decide to do, you can always work with what you've got to make it succeed. Weaker domains can be pushed up there by sheer hard work and constant content. Strong domains with uncertain pasts can be cleaned up by contacting the search engines in question and informing them you are a new owner. The fact that they have been around for years makes them desirable even if their history is unaccounted for. The point is that a good affiliate website programmer will make it work, whatever the problems are, as long as the keywords are relevant, the content is strong, and the search engine optimization is on point, eventually you will be making the kind of money you desire by being a top affiliate website.