It's surprising, at least to me, the amount of Affiliates who aren't aware of the value and flexibility that the 'sub-domain' can give their promotional website activities. Set up in the right way, a single domain through a host who includes multiple 'sub-domains' in their hosting package can fill ALL the online needs of even the busiest and most diversified Affiliate.
Firstly, for those who need to know, a 'sub-domain' is simply a separate, individual web folder, which can be attached to a 'main' domain and treated in all respects as a separate entity online. It is similar to a 'sub-web', which most hosting facilities include except that it is, in it's own right, treated as a separate domain by the SEs rather than a sub-folder under a domain.
The way in which they are represented online as URLs is as follows:
For instance, if you have a domain name, 'domain.com' and you add a sub-domain named 'bubble', the URL to that particular 'website' (which is what each sub-domain amounts to, a separate website) will be 'bubble.domain.com'. No doubt, many have seen these types of URLs online and in promo emails etc. The 'dot' between the sub-domain and main domain is not to be confused with the 'dash' that can be used as part of a main domain. For instance, 'bubble-domain.com' would need to be registered and propagated in it's own right whereas, sub-domains can be created under a main domain in a matter of seconds, with their own FTP password, image, private and cgi-bin folders etc.
What makes them so valuable a tool, if it's not so obvious already, is that an Affiliate can create a separate website for totally unrelated products or services, fill each website with the necessary pages of content, links and facilities etc and promote each to the Search Engines and other directories, virtually as if it were a different main domain. As I've said, the SEs treat each sub-domain as a separate entity and categorize them as such. A very handy ability when it comes to Affiliate programs that supply a website or webpage for their Affiliates to use and promote. In such a case, you can basically make that page or site your very own in every respect, optimizing for SEs and presenting it how ever you please (provided no agreements are broken).
Obviously, having a 'generic' main domain name is essential to getting the best out of this cost, time and trouble saving method of creating multiple websites. If you have a main domain name 'pillshop.net' (perhaps your initial Affiliate endeavor involved promoting this type of product) it is really only going to be useful for the one type of product or service. Alternatively, something more generic like 'online-plus.biz' is going to be useful for promoting almost anything because it has no specific meaning. For instance, in the case of promoting a Singles Dating Affiliate program, something like 'singles.online-plus.biz' would work as well as 'pills.online-plus.biz' or even 'dogs.online-plus.biz'. However, 'singles.pillshop.net' just doesn't work, does it? (Although, I have seen some pretty weird URLs around!)
The only problem you will be presented with, concerns the traffic ranking facility Alexa. Alexa will read all sub-domains as their parent 'main domain', so the traffic ranking for each website will be the same, as will all the other Alexa information. However, this isn't such a great problem when you consider that the total traffic indicated for each website will actually be the total for ALL of them. In my opinion, not so much of a problem, at all.
So, for the Affiliate at least, choosing the right type of domain name and a hosting facility that includes multiple sub-domains in their package is very important, especially if there's any possibility that you're going to be venturing into promoting unrelated products and services. The first hosting facility I was involved with a few years ago, charged $10 to create each sub-domain. The one I've been with for the last couple of years, allows unlimited free sub-domains (contact me at one of my websites if you want to know who they are).
The 2005 Edition of Steve Brennan's popular ebook title 'The Affiliate Guide Book' is available now. He also operates a number of Affiliate wesbites which include Hair Loss Remedy and Diet & Weight Loss Place.