A mini-site is basically a website that is dedicated to just doing one thing via one to three pages. In the case of affiliate marketing, you would use a mini-site to promote an affiliate product or service. The main benefit of having a mini-site is to pre-sell the product. By putting a testimonial on a mini-site between the advertisement and the merchant you get many more converted sales than without it.
You can use mini-sites on their own, or you can use several domain names, each selling one product, and then link them together to increase search engine rankings.
If you have a content site, another option would be to link your mini-sites with your main content site. The content site will get ranked well with the search engines and draw traffic, which can then be re-directed to the mini-sites selling the products. This re-direction could happen with the use of a related article on your content site. You can easily create an article by using an excerpt from the product you are marketing or using information from the sales letter. Be careful. You don’t want the article to repeat word-for-word what either your mini-site or the merchant sales page is going to tell the customer.
Most traffic will be sent to your mini-site from pay-per-click search engines or e-zine ads. Both these mediums are very effective for affiliate marketing.
Mini-sites help people focus on the product you are selling. You don’t want them to get distracted with a bunch of other links on the same page. These could draw their attention away from your main product, and you could lose the sale.
The best mini-sites are only one page. If you can keep people interested and get them to click through to the affiliate sales page, why do you need more than one page? Also, you don’t want to put too much effort into setting up to sell an affiliate product in case the affiliate merchant discontinues that product or disappears altogether. This is one of the pitfalls of marketing someone else’s product.
One example of a mini-site would be to include some of the merchant’s promotional material, such as a picture, and then put a testimonial about the product. If you aren’t using the product yourself, then try to get a testimonial from someone who is. Maybe even one of your customers who you know has purchased the product. It’s never a good idea to put a testimonial on your website if you don’t know the source or at least know the reputation of the sources. You have your own reputation to think of.
When setting up your mini-site, make sure your content is original and unique. Don’t just make a copy of the merchant sales page. Change it around, make it short, punchy, and just focus on getting them excited about the product. The mini-site does not need to close the sale. That’s what the merchant sales letter is for. A lot of merchants spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars having their sales letter written. Unless you are a professional ad copywriter, you won’t be able to write anything that will sell as well as the merchant sales letter.
The mini-site needs to tell them enough to make them want to know more.