With the overwhelming number of websites to choose from, site visitors need to feel a connection as soon as they hit your landing page.
One way to do that is to add a recorded message to welcome them to your site. You can ramp up the connection even more by making a videotape of yourself discussing the product you're offering. Either way, hearing a voice or seeing someone visibly is much more personal than reading cold text. If your goal is to capture your visitors' interest quickly, audio and video are the tools you need.
Even if you've never recorded a message for the Internet, there are easy ways to make that happen. Here's a quick rundown of your options:
* The most technical way to add audio is to record your own message through a microphone or headset using a program such as Audacity. You can then save the audio file to your web server, add the HTML code to point to that file, and direct it to open when someone enters your website. If you're web savvy, or have a great webmaster to help with this, that's an inexpensive way to get audio on your site.
Note: Not everyone likes to hear a voice the minute they open a website. If you want to give your visitors the option to play your recording, you'll need to add a graphic interface (an audio "player" graphic with a Play/Stop button) to your site.
* A VERY easy way to add audio is to take advantage of one of the "instant audio" type services available on the Internet. Several companies have perfected systems that allow you to record, edit, and post a message on your website, complete with a graphic audio player. All you do is call into a special number, make the recording and copy the code they create to your website. Some charge a one-time fee to use their service, others require a monthly subscription. If you want to start using audio quickly and aren't a techie, these services are perfect. Search for "create Internet audio" and compare the services until you find one that fits your needs.
No matter which way you add audio to your affiliate product site, take the time to create a friendly message. Write it down and practice it before you record. A couple more technical notes: the audio you add that plays from your server is called "streaming audio" and does not require the site visitor to download the file. If you want to also feature larger audio files such as podcasts for your prospects' benefit, those should be set up as .mp3s to be downloaded and played from the listenerís computer.
Simple Internet Video Strategies
Video production can also be as technical or basic as you require. There are actual video production companies that focus on producing Internet video, but be prepared to pay a substantial fee for that service.
If you just want to produce a three or four minute product explanation video, it's possible to record yourself with a digital video camera. Again, take the time to make it look and sound professional.
If your computer runs on Microsoft Windows, you probably already own a digital video editing program that's adequate for producing website video. Microsoft Windows Movie Maker allows you to open a file produced by your video camera and edit it for use on your website.
There are several other video editing software options available, so do some research and use the one that fits your level of expertise. Once you've recorded yourself in a short video segment and edited it, it still needs to be converted to
FLV (Flash) format so that others can view it on your website.
This sounds complicated, but it's really fairly simple. There's actually an excellent tutorial for downloading a free FLV converter, converting your video and creating a viewer for site visitors to use to watch your video here: http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/video.html.
If you hire someone to create the video and post it to your website, they'll have the necessary software to do so. Either way, Internet video isn't beyond your reach and it's a great way to establish an instant personal connection with prospective clients.
Audio recordings in your own voice, accompanied by your photo, "warm up" an otherwise cold website. A video welcome and explanation of your affiliate product add yet another layer of warmth. Take the time to learn more about adding one of them to your niche websites. You'll wonder why it took you so long!
E. Alan Cowgill