In an recent podcast interview, Jim Kukral has referred to an interesting observation. He said that people go online either (i) to solve a problem, or (ii) to be entertained. Don’t you love it when someone finally systematizes it for you? Especially when it so eloquently summarizes your own experience! I’ve been discussing this with affiliates for years, but never in such a simple and clear form.
When you are building a website to promote merchant’s products or services through an affiliate program, you want it to be a problem-solving, or an entertaining website. Then they will bookmark it, and come again. Synergies of the entertainment and the problem-solving components also work well. A classic example would be an affiliate website that features daily updated thematic videos (easily done with the help of YouTube.com, Viddler.com or Seesmic.com), and runs relevant merchants’ ads on the side, or even has a “sponsor us” section where they let their visitors purchase products imported from multiple merchants’ data feeds (conveniently categorized into sections, of course).
When starting to work on a new website, let’s keep the two reasons in mind. Thank you, Jim.