[Theforum] Affiliate Hosting Site Review #1

Ron Dorman rwd at csi1st.net
Mon Sep 9 13:07:33 CDT 2002


below is a response to some the review questions I worked up last night
and refined a bit today.  I am thinking we should send this response,
with changes you think appropiate, to evolt.org and copied to you.  Then
you send and I forward your email to evolt.org.

Your thoughts?

Ron D.

> Jeremy Ashcraft wrote:
>> We are ready for the first review of a site built for an Affiliate
>> Hosting Program for evolt.org . . . [snipped by Ron D.]
> I applaud the effort you've put into this.  I think this is a great
> start for evolt to become self sustaining.

thank you Jeremy.  I also believe it could make evolt.org self sustaining.

> My initial thoughts:
> From an end user standpoint, its not very intuitive as to what i'm
> supposed to or what is being offered once i'm at the site.  I figured it
> out soon enough, but a novice may click elsewhere.  I'd put a little
> more detailed summary of what's offered on the front page.

Dean also noted this and Elur noted that the design is very important.
 That's why we wanted reviews done and solutions selected.

> I'm also a little wary of the registering for an account in order to
> purchase,
> although i know some sites make you do that(maybe i'm just paranoid or
> something)

I understand and know others are wary of registering.  I do not know
what other option to use for repeat monthly/annual billings for the

Our thoughts are that we would send email invoices each billing cycle
with a link to a secure page listing the services being billed.  Each
person would go to the secure page to submit payment by credit card.  On
the current site, when a registered user logs in, an "Acct. Maint."
option appears on the top nav bar.  In the secure account area, the user
can see their orders and maintain their contact and billing information.

We could offer automated credit card billing also, but seems to me, now
matter how we set it up, we need information on each hosting account.  I
am open to ideas on this.

>> The site is not pretty yet . . .  [snipped by Ron D.]
> I think the evolt affiliate site should carry the evolt look  and feel
> as well, but that's just me....

Dean and Elfur concurred that evolt.org look and feel might be the way
to go.

The initial discussions were to keep it seperate from evolt.org, so I
looked for options.   I talked to my brother about evolt.org and he
became interested and wanted to help.  He had the ez-profits.com domain
registered and doing nothing, so we used it to build the site.  The site
is only raw templates for delivery of content and processing of orders
but we had to get a start with something.

Should we make the affiliate program a sub-domain of evolt.org?  Do we
want a new domain?  A sub-domain of csi1st.net?(the actual hosting
domain/company)  Other ideas?

> All in all, i'd say this is a great start that can only get better.

Let's get moving and make it better.

> Elfur Logadottir wrote:
>I like the affiliate hosting program concept and value your work Ron, but there are three things that i feel are important points for any affiliate program we'll do:
>[snipped by Ron D.]
>* it has to be the farthest it can be to looking and/or feeling like a spam. and i must admit ez-profits.com is an url and a concept that screams spam to me.
as mentioned above, lets get feedback on the domain, or sub-domain to
set it up under.  ez-profits.com was established and un-used so we used
it to get things going.

>I know that i probably have to accept something like this if we are to generate some income, but i feel i need a bit more info before i can say run with it.
>what does ez-profits do?
>(i know what their about page says, but that is telling me little about their line of business, except that ez-profits is probably a "passive" business ;) and what is their gain in this affiliate hosting program. (it's normal to have one, just like to know theirs)
>there's a little voice in my head saying that ez-profits is an unnecessary middle man in any affiliate hosting we might be able to establish, but i might be wrong -- i'd like being wrong, for once.
>i honestly like the idea, but feel like ez-profits, as presented on their website wouldn't be a positive addition to our reputation while an affiliate hosting program might.
Randy and I have built a functioning site that can get income flowing
today, knowing it needs more work.  In a nutshell, Randy's company and
my company have developed the backend applications and hosting services
to support this program.  Our companies will donate to evolt.org, 10% of
all hosting revenues (gross revenue, not just profit) generated by
evolt.org members hosting sites on our servers.  If our current
membership was only 4000, and if only 10% hosted only one site in this
affiliate program, at the lower end of hosting services ($8 average),
evolt.org would realize $320 a month.  Most of our active membership is
hosting more than one site, some at more than the low end mentioned
here.  Do some math and you can see that a program like this can do more
than pay for hosting services for evolt.org.  We could seriously
consider the training programs, schoolarships, and other ideas we have
mentioned in the past.

At this point, ez-profits.com does nothing, other than the URL for the
development and review for the affiliate program site.  It is a passive
site only, not even a business.  The site is a joint effort of NetWorth
Enterprises, Inc. (Randy's company) and CSI, Inc. (my company).

Randy's company provides consulting and custom development services for
the mortgage banking industry (has been doing so for several years) and
has been providing internet services for 3 years.  ez-profits.com is a
domain name Randy owned (which was doing nothing) and we used it to
create the site for the affiliate program.  See nweinc.net
<http://www.nweinc.net> for more information on Randy's company.

My company has provided consulting and custom development services for
the manufacturing and retail industries since 1987.  My company has also
done development work in the banking and insurance industries.  We have
been involved in the internet industry for 5 years, providing hosting
services for 3.5 years.  My company hosted the evolt.org lists when
evolt.org started and we now provide co-location services for the
evolt.org servers.  We also provide co-location services for
symbolics.com and host 80+ domains for our consulting/development customers.

My Company had been preparing to move into general/public hosting
services and had things in final test when evolt.org had a need for
different hosting and a need for funding.

Our two companies (Randy's and mine) expedited development of the
affiliate program site for evolt.org to help provide needed funding,
which brings us to now.

Our gain in this is any profits that remain after expenses and donations
to evolt.org.

Ron D.

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