How do you launch a new Web site in a highly competitive marketplace?
Here's a step-by-step methodology to follow — even in an environment with many established players.
1. Identify keywords. Use deductive reasoning and some keyword matching software — similar to how NameBoy comes up with domain name matches. For example, in the nutrition space you might find phrases like "nutrition products," "health food," "protein drinks," and "keeping fit" as highly relevant terms that people would type into search engines to locate relevant nutrition product sites.
2. Create personalized pages for each keyword set. Design each page with slightly different content and target it to a specific demographic audience. For example, on the two pages designed around the keywords "health food," the content on one page is targeted at health food store owners and the content on the second is uniquely targeted toward health food lovers.
3. Get links from other sites that offer content or commerce specifically relevant to your products and services.
4. Link to sites as well that are highly authorative like Wikipedia. For example, on a page targeted at store owners, he added links to other health food stores online (mostly noncompetitive) so that his buyers would think of his nutrition site as more than just an e-commerce store.
5. Ask for reseller relationships. Personally contact (not email) site owners to discuss more intricate affiliate relationships. Sometimes, instead of offering standard commissions make special deals.
6. Focus on quality — not quantity. 10 targeted super affiliates could bring you much more business than 1,000 randomly acquired resellers. Supercharge your impact by asking for referrals to other affiliate marketing or joint venture opportunities and frequent updates on the types of promotions (and the results) each affiliate was running internally.
7. Implement a Pay per click campaign. Look for bidding software, like Tangare, to bid on high placements on pay-per-click engines such as Google and Bing. Don't buy untargeted ads; the best ROI for your money today is specific keyword buys on search engines or pay-per-click engines.
8. Provide something for free. Using the guidance of Robert Allen, author of "Multiple Streams of Internet Income," emailing short surveys designed to motivate participation in the development of the site. Space the surveys a week or so apart and slowly build momentum among the email recipients. As an example in the nutrition space, to whet their appetites for a "revolutionary new nutrition site," the email surveys can include some viral recommendation components attached to a giveaway (either a discount coupon, a contest to win free supplies, or a surprise bonus gift to be determined).
So there you have it. For less than $1,000, you can initiate a site launch with instantaneous traffic from both affiliates and search engines. After the launch, wyou can then try other indirect promotions such as public relations and personal appearances.