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Before you make the decision to use a template or 'ready-made' website to promote your affiliate program or business opportunity, you should take Jan's points into consideration.

6 Frightening Pitfalls of Ready-Made Websites
By Jan Peterson

A question I am asked everyday is "Do I need to have my own website built or can I use a pre-made one? " Good question. Most people who ask this question are looking at shopping malls, affiliate programs, network marketing, or business opportunities to make money whereby the company gives them a website already built with the bells and whistles. My experience has taught me that having your own website built is the right way to go. I know, it costs a little more money but it is well worth it. Let me explain why.

Let's say you have joined a network marketing company and as a part of signing up you get this gorgeous website that supposedly does all of the selling for you. On the surface it seems this is going to be the gateway to your fortune on the internet. But most of the time, ready-made websites are just that: one big canned ad. They can provide some information to the prospective person looking at your company but they have far too many limitations.

Let me give you an example. Nearly 70,000 people searched for the term "Network Marketing" last month. Wow! That's a lot of eyeballs looking for information on network marketing. So you of course know you have the best company and products or services. And you want to get in front of those 140,000 eyeballs on the internet. Visions of success are dancing in your head but how do you drive this traffic to your ready-made website ? A cloned website is an eye soar to the search engines.

The issue I see with ready-made websites is that driving traffic to it will be nearly impossible. Why ? Well, search engines love sites that are constantly updating or adding new information. To the robots this means your site is worth visiting. You are a mover and a shaker, and building an informative website that they want to list. I am constantly adding or updating information on my website daily. Why ? Because I get crawled often. I want the search engines to continue to know that my site is valuable.

Here's another inherent problem with ready-made websites. Let's say that you and 5 other of your teammates are lucky enough to get in the top 5 positions in Google. Most people will click on a few sites. They will see that all of your websites are clones or duplicates. One doesn't provide more or better information than the other. So what happens ? People will generally let their fingers do the walking and keep searching for the website that provides them with the real meaty information they are seeking. Remember people who come to the internet are looking for the website that has the most information about the topic they are searching. It sounds so obvious but people often forget this basic building block of a successful website.

Another scenario is that let's say you had a dynamite rep you brought into your downline. And you wanted to tell the World about what this individual has done in the short time he or she has been in this business. That would be a great marketing tool for you. You could maybe even have a written and streaming video testimonial. But you can't do that in most ready-made sites. It is static and in my opinion, a dead website.

Let's use a whole different ready-made website scenario. Let's say you have a shopping mall. You paid $99 and they have set up a pretty mall for you on a cloned website. The concept looks great that you could have your own Mall for a mere $99. They have set up all of the products, shopping cart and done of all what appears to be the hard work. But again, how do you drive traffic to your website ? Not to sound like a broken record but people come to the web looking for information. They come to shop because they believe you have more information about your products and will provide a good buying experience for them. It would be important for you to have tips and ideas and testimonials on your website but you can't. And people can tell when your website looks like it was stamped out.

Another important variable that you need to look at is getting your visitors names and email addresses. If your company website did not come with an opt-in way for you to capture this important information, you have lost a valuable means of communicating with people.

So, to review, the biggest obstacles I see in having a ready-made website are:

1.Can't add or change content
2.They have a canned appearance that turns visitors off
3.No opportunity for growth or expansion
4.Can't place your own articles, ideas, tips or information
5.Can't offer anything new
6.Can't capture their name and email address

Now is all lost if you have a ready-made website ? Here are some solutions to still driving traffic to your website.

First, you can use pay per click advertising through Yahoo or Google. But be prepared to pay top dollar to be in the number 1 position. However, you will really want to take a look at what keywords to bid on and how much. This is important so you get the biggest bang for your buck and is an art form all by itself.

Second, I would suggest that you create your own website. You could have lots of information there and then redirect them to your ready-made website for ordering, or company video or program details. This way you have taken a step further than your next closest competitor and provided real information to your visitors. Of course, it would be wise to check with the company who provided you with the ready-made website to make sure this fits within their guidelines of operation. Better to be safe than sorry.

Third, you can be very proactive and write articles on your subject matter and send them off to magazines or e-zines. You will obviously put your website address in the resource box at the end of your article. So if you have information to share, get it out there and point them to your website for more.

So all is not lost but I would give thought to these marketing strategies and be more creative than the next guy. And if you have yet to start an online business, I would look at having a website built. As you grow your business, you will be able to grow your website.

Jan Peterson founder of researches and reviews business opportunities including internet marketing, real estate investing, affiliate marketing, financial investing and more. Over 400 FREE reports available.

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