Back in the day, many web designers got started by building a free local website. By building a website for their town, they could get local visitors and rank pretty easily for terms related to their town. The site usually had tons of local information, including phone numbers to local agencies, restaurants, local businesses and even rentals/real estate items.
Why did they build a site with all this information for free? I mean, that's a decent amount of work (trust me, I know) just to give all the information away for free. Where's the money?
Well, back then, the money was simply in brand recognition. Building a nice local site (and then promoting it) gave the web designer a great ice breaker when approaching local businesses. Offering the businesses in town a free ad on your site could lead to a web design job, as well as the networking value that just contacting the businesses gave.
So if you've got an affiliate offer that you want to promote, how can you give away free content that will lead many people to your site, and ultimately your affiliate offer(s)?
Think outside the box, as they say. Don't just build a site that obviously pushes people to your offer. Give them value.
Pushing mortgage loans? Offer a free mortgage calculator.
Pushing ringtones? Offer a cell phone forum. (Then watch for posts from people looking for information. Find that information and build more pages)
Pushing zit cream? Provide information on acne doctors (by state) all around the country.
Pushing something like PhotoBlocker? Find out what cities around the country are putting up red-light cameras and post articles about speeding.