Re: Affiliate Websites
In some ways, "what software platform do you use?" is the wrong question.The right question is: "what content should you put on your site -- and how does it promote your business?"
There is a wealth of wisdom on the affiliate blog on this very topic. Read it all! Then read it again -- and act on it.
In previous lives, I have been a web executive for broadcasters, publishing and high tech companies and think tanks. These days, I am a consultant to non-profits on social networking, membership recruitment and fundraising.
As a public service: here (gratis) are my top five Web mistakes of CrossFit affiliates.
#5 - Scaring off the potential members. Avoid home page photos or videos of shirtless dudes with tatoos. Remember: pictures overwhelm text. Many people will glance at the pics and conclude CrossFit is a black iron bodybuilding program for muscle heads.
#4 - Lack of plain English. Save the jargon for later. "Increased work capacity over broad time and modal domains" is an accurate description. But it is not immediately comprehensible to the uninitiated. So it shouldn't be at the top of your home page. Instead, talk about how CrossFit will get you in the best shape of your life.
#3 - Failure to harness your greatest asset -- the passion of your existing members. Testimonials are crucial. Include some from hardcore athletes, stay at home Moms, military, business people, students, etc.. Better yet, when prospective members visit the gym, provide them with handouts that list phone numbers of members who have agreed to endorse you.
#2 - No "about us" or "about the trainers" section on the website. Asked how he decided where to to invest, a wise venture capitalist once told me: "I look at the people before I look at the plan." In the end, CrossFit affiliates are selling the expertise of their trainers. So you MUST MUST MUST include detailed biographical information -- even if self-promotion doesn't come naturally.
#1 - Lack of regular updating. The Web is littered with abandoned sites. A site that hasn't been updated within the last few days begs the question: "are they still in business -- or is it just some amateur playing at business in a garage?" So there is also an issue of professionalism. There is a disconnect between asking for fees in excess of Globo gyms and not bothering to keep your site current.