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Old 12-13-2009, 11:55 AM
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Default Replicated Websites - Are They Doing You More Harm Than Good?

A replicated website is a site that is usually created at a corporate level, it is then copied, and then distributed to that companyís distributors, or marketers. The purpose of these sites is to give their distributors, or marketers, some kind of web presence.

This they do. They do in fact give someone a web presence. But itís the effectiveness of this web presence that is at least questionable.

Letís see what you get with a replicated website, then weíll break it down.

You get:

* Probably a nice looking website. Just like a thousand other distributors have.
* All the content is created for you, and a thousand other distributors.
* No domain names, and web hosting accounts to mess with.
* You donít have worry about maintenance and updates. Thatís all done for you, and a thousand other distributors.
* You donít have to know any of the technicalities of the website.
* You might get to put your picture on it, and/or a short bio.

All of this is nicely convenient. And it is nice to be able to say that you have a website. But just what are you going to do with that website? How are you going to make use of it? Just how useful can it really be.

One of the things you probably noticed from the list above is that your replicated website will be just like a thousand or more other replicated websites. So you must ask yourself if thatís to your advantage or disadvantage.

Because your site is just like a thousand other websites your site will not get indexed by the search engines. That means people searching for you, or your product, wonít be able to find you using the search engines.

Search engines donít appreciate what is called duplicate content. When they find a website that is just like another, or another thousand, they ignore it. They also ignore the other thousand. Will this really help your business if your website canít be found?

With being ignored by the search engines the only way someone can find your site is if they type the exact address into their browser. That is not very helpful in increasing your exposure.

Also, remember this. You canít even begin to get indexed without your own domain name.

If your website is just like a thousand others, who is getting branded here? Its not you, its corporate. They set the flavor of the website, its content, its design. They want them all to be identical. That brands them, and the product. Which leaves you out in the cold. Your self-branding efforts will have to take place somewhere else than your website.

Being unique goes along with branding. If you canít change the content or even the look and feel of your website, then what makes it yours? How will you differentiate yourself from the thousands of other distributors out there selling the exact same product?

If youíve worked hard to make yourself unique among the other distributors, that is, have better tools and training, but your website canít show that, then your website is letting you down.

Domain names, web hosting accounts, and servers, oh my! Donít worry about these items. Its not that hard to learn. Most 12 year-olds know this stuff. Think of it this way Ė if you take the time, and make the effort to learn this stuff, its just another tool in your pocket to make use of in your marketing efforts.

If you know this stuff, then you can control this stuff. That gives you an advantage over those donít know it, and have to rely on the replicated sites.

OK, lets say youíve decided to learn this technical stuff, and wrestle control of your website back from corporate, but where do you start?

Start with Google. If you donít know how to do something, or how something works, ask Google. You will find a host of teaching sites to visit. Some with a simple ebook, some with power point presentations, some with video tutorials. Its fairly safe to say that whatever you need to learn, there is instructions for it out on the internet. And Google is the best way to find it.

Now, how can you exploit this new found knowledge?

Well, first of all, you can get indexed in the search engines, now that you have your own domain name and a unique website.

Branding yourself gets a whole lot easier. And all those areas that make you better than the other thousand distributors can be advertised.

Your content can be whatever you want it to be. Youíre no longer shackled to the corporate PR department. You can have articles, case studies, or whatever you want on your website. And you can update and change your content whenever you want to.

You can build up a list of subscribers, that you can communicate with anytime you want. How do you think that will help your marketing efforts.

You can tailor the way your website is setup, and its content is presented so that its more friendly to the search engines. This is called search engine optimization, or SEO. And the more the search engines like your site, the more people they will send your way.

Think of having your own non-replicated website as not having to ask permission if you want to be unique. Its about gaining an advantage over the competition limited by their corporate sites. And its about doing your business the way you think it should be done

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