Monday, 30 May 2011

Choosing And Targeting A Niche - Light Bulb Moment!

When you are new to marketing one of the first questions presents itself is how to choose a niche. And it's a great question. How do you choose a niche? How do you choose a niche that is profitable? How do you choose a niche that isn't already flooded with the big boys? So today we are going to go through it again.

Most of the advice you will find online will tell you to choose a niche that you know a lot about and you are interested in. Might not be so profitable if you love cooking. Most of the traffic will be housewives looking for something quick to throw together for dinner. They aren't interested in buying something. They want free information. 
That doesn't mean that you can't sell to this market and there are many who do...but it requires you to think outside the square and find something enticing. Not so easy for a new marketer to crack.
Before we go on, I need you to think about what the issue is because choosing a profitable niche and targeting a profitable niche are two very different things.

So have a look through some of my older (or newer) posts and pinpoint the problem.
Perhaps you want a strategical step by step plan for Turning a Free Blog Into a Profitable Website (Four steps for targeting a niche and what to do with it)

Still here?
So you need a niche that is foolproof?
A sure fire niche that is guaranteed to be profitable straight out of the gate?

And you want me to choose one for you? Sorry guys! But what I can do is arm you with  the information that will help YOU chose a profitable niche that makes money and recognize when a niche is an untapped goldmine...or a dud.
Sound fair? Great, let's go!
You have heard me say it before....

My advice for the new marketer is not to chose a niche that you love.
Crazy I know. My advice is to model a magazine you love. And I'll tell you why you've just found the perfect model to follow.
When you walk into the magazine aisle, what do you see? You find very specific and targeted information that people are looking for. Each magazine is targeting a single niche, right? So go and grab one of your own mag's and let's really break this down.
Have a look at the front cover. What can you see? That's right.
Sub-niche's

Each headline on that cover is targeting a sub-niche of people - a market within a market.

And is this niche profitable? Of course it is, it's very profitable otherwise the mag wouldn't exist. Now open your magazine. See that?
Adverts!!
So now we know that not only is this magazine making so much money that the owner can afford to pay for editors, writers, photographers, printing costs, distribution costs and all the other expenses involved in a brick and mortar business but it is also a great mentor for you to follow.
Tell me, would you have bought that magazine if you opened it up and instead of finding useful or interesting info, you found one long article that basically read like one long advert?

Of course not.
Warning: Lightbulb Moment
That is one of the most common mistakes I see when new article marketers beginning writing content. They  are so eager to make their first sale that they in essence write about the product they are promoting instead of writing
useful content for the reader.

 People are searching for information. Knowledge. And you know what, it takes real self discipline to accomplish sometimes. The owner of that magazine gets heaps of money - crazy amounts of money - from advertisers. The better those advertisers do, the more demand for the best pages in the mag and the more money the owner can charge for a place in the mag.

TARGETING A NICHE
These owners and editors are basically a twisted form of Affiliate Marketers - they are promoting other peoples products - and they are just as desperate to make a sale as you are because without those adverts, the mag just wouldn't exist. The trick is...they do it tactfully. It's a proven marketing strategy. The trick is to get people visiting by providing them with great original content - just like you should target your niche with useful, quality content.

But you want to do better than that. you want return visits because we know that the average shopper has to be exposed to something about eight times before they click through and buy - you want to keep people on your webpage long enough to reach that stage. So you had better make the first visit count by captivating the...with useful, quality information.
SO WHAT DO I DO WHEN I FIND A NICHE?
We want to zoom in as much as possible and target a small area of a niche - a market within a market. Would you rather be the biggest fry in the smallest pond?

Or the smallest fish in the ocean?

There are some really big websites and companies that dominate the niche itself so we have more success when we focus on a sub-niche or a micro-niche.

So instead of targeting dog owners we want to target Labrador owners. Or Springer Spaniel owners. Or the owners of Springer Spaniels that live in apartments. See how this is targeting a very specific micro-niche? 
These people are more likely to convert into paying customers because you are targeting their specific needs. You are more likely to stay on target when writing your content because you aren't trying to cover all the variables. 
And!
You are more likely to hit the first page of search results when your keywords are Googled. Need another light bulb moment? (Just to make sure that you take your first steps in the right direction)
You don't want to just write a few pages of content about Springer Spaniels.
You want to dominate the mirco-niche. You want to postivley flood your readers with information about them. (Not at the same time though!). You want to present yourself as the Springer Spaniel expert that they know and trust. 
You want to write one article about how to wash a Springer Spaniel. 
Another about how to clean their eyes and ears. 
Another about how to trim their toe nails. 
Another about how to teach a Springer Spaniel to sit and another about how to stay.
Another about funny or mischievious Springer Spaniel anecdote's.
See where this is going?
You're not building a few pages that you hope someone will find in the search engines. You are building an entire house (brick by brick) worth of useful contents each that contains a backlink to your domain (your website or blog ) and an affiliate link to the sales page of the dog training eBook or the dog washing service that you are promoting.
Okay guys...that just about wraps it up for me. Leave your comments (and your questions) below.
Before you go rushing off to start writing some great new, original and keyword rich content full of page rank boosting backlinks, you may like to check out these other posts.

==> Homework - Don't worry, it's just a video about the importance of backlinks and original content. Listen carefully because there are some great tips in here and really important SEO advice 
(And it's my new favorite way to send new, original content to all of websites and the content sites in less than an time than it takes to write two articles)

Good luck guys!! You can DO eeet!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

Really Great Video - You have Homework!

Right I have some homework for you. I know I have written about this before but in case you missed it I wanted to go through it again here it is again. You know how you comeacross all those sales pages that promise some secret loophole that will glue your site to the number one page rank or send hundreds of people to your site within days of buying it...but you never manage how to set it up?

Lies. It's all lies.
There is only one absolute foolproof unchanging you can't get it wrong truth

Content + links = $$

Not quite that simple but that's the picture. 

Your own content plus your links to your sales page equals ka-ching. 

However, there is a catch.

You can't just go around slapping any ol' content into your blogs and sites. If you were to stuff your webpages with duplicate then Google will actually penalize you. 

If the content sites like HubPages Squidoo, Ezinearticles find duplicate content they will remove it (and there goes your backlink) and they can close your account without word or warning.

So why is content so important?

Google uses robots called crawlers to search through your website or blog. They basically follow the links from one webpage to another. You need to have content so that Google knows what your website is about. 

Backlinks are another important piece in the SEO puzzle. Backlinks that have been made with appropriate anchor text and written inside the body of content is always going to get the thumbs up from Google rather than links that say Click Here scattered randomly around the Internet.

ENTER THE ARTICLE SPINNER

Now these have been around for years but it's only recently that the quality has really taken off. If you have been burnt in the past by spinners promising the world then you will be impressed with this one..I actually have it myself (first night I got it I stayed up all night and made two new websites!)

So here's your homework (no...I don't care if you buy it or not) I want you to listen carefully to the video because it has some really important clues into how to get your pages ranked with the search engines.

Watch the video here

Domains - King of the Kingdom

There are many advantages of having your own domain rather than accepting the free address given to you by your provider blog or website builder. Domains boost your status with your visitors, the search engines and help to establish you as an authority in you niche. Let's examine the basics of purchasing your own domain name.

I have always promised that I will keep this information at a beginners level and in order to do so I have to assume that you don't know what a domain is. Consider this as Domains 101!!

An example of a domain is www.mywebsite.com

There are some simple rules that you should consider when choosing your domain name but if you have been chasing your tail around the Internet you are probably exhausted at just the thought of having to learn more tricks of the trade.

Not fear...these rules are common sense and are thankfully easy to learn - you will leave here today with all those rules firmly embedded in your already overflowing mushy grey matter!! There is some more advanced info in here too but don't worry if it goes straight over the top of your head...it won't be long before you understand exactly what I'm talking about.

Rule One - User Friendly
Your new domain should be easy for the user to remember and write. A play on words is nice but if it is going to cause misspellings and send your visitors to the competition then you may want to reconsider.

Rule Two - Search Engine Friendly (SEO)
Your domain should be SEO'ing..'ing (!) Search Engine Optimization in this case means that your domain is either keyword rich or strongly relates to the niche (the type of people) that you are targeting. This increases the position of your website in the search engine page results (which leads to more free traffic)

Rule Three - Appropriate Length
Your domain should be no longer than about 15 (and even that is very long). You want something short and catchy. And spare a thought for when you have to spell your domain out to someone in the off-shore call center over the phone. Not a pleasant experience! (That's right...I was new once)

Rule Four - Only applies to affiliate links 
(Don't stress about this one if you don't know what I mean)
Choose a domain that is related to the product you are advertising but not directly dependent on that product. The reason for this is that if your first choice of product is failing to convert into cash then you can trade it in for another product. Example? (You know I love 'em!)

If you were promoting an eBook called Training Problem Pooches (....um...yeah I know- dogs again!) you might be tempted to race out and buy a domain called www.problempooch.com

But what happens if you have tons of visitors and none of them convert to sales? Then you are either stuck advertising a dud product for the next year or you have a domain name that you can't use.

If you chose a slightly more generic domain name like www.dogtrainer.com then you can simply go back to where ever you purchased your domain and get them to re-point the DNS (Domain Name Server) to the sales page of the next affiliate product.

 But Elizabeth...Why do I need a domain name?
Domains present a more professional appearance in the eyes of your visitors. Think about your own browsing habits -when you scroll down the page of search results do you look at the web address? (Well you should!)

Not only that, they are more search  friendly because they help tell the search engines what your site is about. It's one of the many important factors of Search Engine Optimization.

You also have the benefit of using your own domain at content sites like HubPages that do not allow affiliate links. If you are unfamiliar with content sites, they are a great way of boosting your page rank through backlinks and directing (free) traffic to your websites or blogs.

Check out this one for more info about using content sites

==> Strategic Article Writing 

So using your own domain and asking the provider to redirect your traffic to that address to the sales page of the product you're promoting is an acceptable way of getting around the problem.

How much and what sort?

Ok, this is where we get to the nitty gritty...how much is it going to cost you? It really depends on the company that you register you domain with. The last time I checked GoDaddy.com where charging around $17 per year for a .com

Other places charge about $22 per year. Then we start getting into all the .net .org .info and so on.

The .info addresses can be picked up for less than $10 (less than $5 in some cases) but they don't seem to fair as well with the search engines because they are often associated with spammy content.

I'm not going to recommend a site that you should use to register your domain. But I will gives you some clues. Places like GoDaddy.com are huge and are user friendly - many sites that allow you to build your own website have tutorials for GoDaddy or are easily linked to them. If you have or are currently building a site find out what they recommend or if you can register through them.. Choose your keywords wisely as you search. Type phrases like "cheapest domain names" etc into your browser and see what you find.

The bottom line is...
Domain name's are a genuine asset to anybody serious about making money online and you will do well to give them some serious thought.

re-invest some of that money into making your site(s) bigger and better. Into working smarter not harder.

Before you run off...
Have I forgotten anything? Leave me a message below so I can address any questions that I haven't already covered.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Ready To Make Your First Profitable Blog? (Setup Guide)

Blog Marketing is one of the cheapest
ways to get you foot in the door and
 start making some big bucks
The truth is, as long as you are working for "The Man" you will never be paid your worth. Think about it. If you only work 40 hours a week and you (are supposed to...ha!) sleep for 70 hours per week then we only have 168hrs in a week. You only have 58 hours left and... be honest...how many of those hours are spent doing what you really want?

But you don't need convincing, do you? You're here because you already know that and you want to either supplement your income or tap into that never ending steam of easy income that is online shopping. One of the most effective ways of making some "easy" and legit money online is blog marketing.

I cannot think of a better way to get started. You can begin marketing:
  • without a website
  • without a product
  • without any start up costs (or minimal at least - like...less than $30 "minimal," not the Only $299!! Buy Now "minimal")
  • with nothing but the sweat of your brow...I mean fingers
  • and you can make a small fortune doing it.
I know I have mentioned it before but there are bloggers who manage to pull in five and six figure incomes. Sounds almost to good to be true, doesn't it?

C'mon...have I ever lied to you?  (Can I hear people clicking the back button? lol) Trust me when I say, this is one of the best things you will ever come across online.

We are going to examine a huge deal of info today including:

  • How to choose a niche
  • How to choose a blog title
  • Where you can get your blog (up to ten of them!) - free
  • What content you will put in your blog
  • We're going to get you a PayPal account (free)
  • And a ClickBank account (free)
  • Then you are going to and your affiliate links to your content and (hopefully...with a little practice) start seeing some money coming in to your PayPal account
  • You have already learned your first lesson...I like free. Stick with me and I'll get you sorted!
AND... 
I have even included a checklist for you 
(right at the bottom of this post)

First things first. So what are you going to blog about? Thats up to you. If you are absolutely stuck, just jump in there and start writing about your journey to a million dollars. It will be nice to one day look back and see your progress. You can think about a profitable blog once you have learned the ropes with you private one.

Howevaaahh....

If you have your wits about you, I want you to work with me for a moment.


You may have heard it before; "Find a niche and sell to them" and "Find something you are passionate about...it makes it easier to stay interested"

Great advice...but how do you choose a niche? And is you favourite "interest" something that is profitable?

For the purpose of this blog, I want you to have a think about the magazine aisle. If you choose a niche based on something that you would find in a magazine then at least you know that there is money to be made - no money, no mag's right?

There is literally thousands of options here - money, boating, fishing, dogs, teens, software, computer games,  gardening, shooting, painting, weight loss, healthy living, golf, bridal, housekeeping, pregnancy, crafts, cars, tattoo's, cooking....

Need I go on?

Just give a little thought to whether or not you will find trouble matching products to your niche though. For example, if you were to write about yachting, are you going to have trouble finding something that's worth your effort to advertise? What can you advertise? 

If you think outside the square then you can find something (and if you find something to do with yachts, you will make a killing - owning a yacht is very expensive business) but you don't want to build an empire on one product. In fact you can't build an empire on just one product (nor just one site). You can cover more ground with multiple products. 

I know dieting has been done to death (it's a highly competative market) but let's have a look at it. You can break this niche down into sub-niches and mirco-niches and that's where you'll have more success. Think post-partum (new mum's) diets, winter weight loss, what the star's are doing, organic diets, pregnancy diets, pre-wedding diets...see where this is going?

The name of your blog should reflect the content - and the niche itself - to be traffic and search engine friendly. 

You ready? 

Go ahead...I want you to right click on the orange B at the top left corner and open open a new tab (or window) You are going to join the ranks of millions of other Bloggers around the world.

You there? Okay...you will need to fill in the details and sign up for this free service (I like free) which is provided by Google.

So you have a niche, you have an idea of the type of content you want to include and you are going to check and see if the name of your blog is still available. If it has been taken, think outside the square - you'll have to do this a lot.

So if Making Money Online was already taken, you might choose....

How to make money online

Online money making

Making money the easy way

Making money the fast way

....the cheats way
...the smart way
...the clever way

See how that works? Great! I can see the dollars lining up right now!

Customize Your Blog
Before you get started filling your new site (congratulations!) with content you are going to take about five minutes fiddling with the appearance of your blog. Customize it and  make it your own. Five minutes tops. I want to see you back here in five minutes - you do not, repeat 

DO NOT

...want to get distracted by the "shiny things" that will deter from the content you are about to add. Find a nice lay out. Choose a nice colour scheme. Pick a nice background.

Five minutes (I'll be timing you)...GO!

Filling you blog with content
Well done, little longer than expected but the first time is always is. You'll get the hang of it. So now we are filling your new blog with content. There is no easy way to do this, once you have a steady income then you can outsource and get other people to write your articles and posts for you.

If you aren't a world class author, then this stage is intimidating. Right click on the following link(s) and chose open in new tab (or window). I'll wait here for you. ;-)

==> That Ol' Content Is King Chestnut - will give you the knowledge you need about writing great content

==> How long should my Article Be? - also has some gems

Before I send you rushing off to write your first post...

Monetizing Your Blog
AdSense is one solution
 but it isn't going to make you rich. You can
 find the details in your blogs Dashboard
Do you have a PayPal account? (No? Right click and open another tab so you don't lose your place here.)

And you also need to wander over to Clickbank and open an account if you don't already have one. They will ask you a hundred and one question about who you are (and how to pay you so you need your PayPal details). Choosing Clickbank product is a whole new kettle of fish but let's run over the basics quickly.

ClickBank - Choosing the "Right" Product

Once you are signed up and logged in you are going to click on the tab at the top that says Marketplace. This is where you are going to type in some keys words that are closely linked to your niche or the topic of your first post.

Don't get to hung up on the details - it's not what you sell it's who you sell to remember - but you want to find a product that pays you more than $20...this isn't a rule, it's my preference. If you are going to spend all this time making a blog and opening a PayPal account and filling your blog with content then you deserve the big dollars, right?

You see that little green writing down the bottom? The one that says Grav? You want to pay a little attention to this. I said a little...not obsess, okay? Clickbank has a formula for working out how popular a product is...how many people gravitate towards it. The higher the gravity the more sales affiliate marketers have made  in the past 6 weeks.

This doesn't mean it will be easy to sell though - it may mean that the market is already flooded with it.

See something you like? Click on the red title of the product and you will be taken to the sales page.

Promoting Your Product
When you are satisfied (even excited) with a product, click the Promote button. Up pops a new window. Fill in your user name (don't worry about the tracking ID just yet).

These addresses are very important - open up a Notepad or Microsoft word document and copy and paste them into what will become you list of affiliate addresses. You can also copy/paste the product details from the Marketplace into your document so that everything is labelled.

Making Your First Post
(Well I'm excited! You have done soooo well getting this far...just a little bit more)

Now you are ready to add content to your blog. Start new post and write an article as outlined in that post I gave you earlier.

==> That Ol' Content Is King Chestnut 

You may like to include the links into the body of your post . For example, if I was writing about how you could make legit money online I could use part of the sentence as the anchor text...like that. =)

Or I could finish by saying...

There you have it, one great way to make money on line. If you want an even better one you will have to visit 


Legit online Jobs


Or I could say...


For more information about being your own boss and working from home then click here to visit the worlds biggest and best database of online jobs.


Another option is also highly effective and it includes adding banners to your site...

buuuutt...

I'm thinking you are probably feeling overwhelmed by the masses of information I have just pummeled into your already overflowing brain...

soooo...

I'm going to let you off the hook! (Can I hear people cheering right now? lol)

We can learn about banners and more about Clickbank tomorrow. Today I want you to focus on this checklist. If you can only do a few things that's fine. Come back tomorrow and just keep chipping away at it.
Be sure to come back soon for more info about using Clickbank and monetizing your blogs.

So your checklist...step by step

  • Open a Blogger account (at Google's blogspot.com) This will be your new blog.
  • Choose a niche appropriate name for you blog - sub-niches do better
  • Upload photo's and fill in your public profile (people are nosey!)
  • Sign up for PayPal (in a new tab/window)
  • Make an account at Clickbank (in a new tab/window)
  • Choose a product that you want to Promote (or advertise)
  • Click promote & add you affiliate ID to the new window (and ignore the tracking ID for now)
  • Copy and paste the Domain name and the HTML code (both of the links) into a Word or Notepad document
  • Read my previous article (or post) about ==> That Ol' Content is King Chestnut
  • Write you first post after reading that article
  • Include your affiliate links in the body of your post using the domain name link (the shorter link that was at the top of the window when you were copy/pasting the codes)
  • Publish your post and then View Post
  • Click on your affiliate link (you are going to test it)
  • Scroll down and click on the Download or Buy Now button - don't worry, you're not actually buying it yet.
  • This will take you to the Clickbank order form where your buyers will fill out their payment details. Scroll down to the very bottom of the page
  • Can you see you Clickbank ID?
  • If you can't see your ID then you need to go back to Clickbank and hit Promote again. Make sure you copy and paste the link at the top of the new window that pops up. Replace the affiliate links in your blog post and check again.
  • Write another post 
  • And another...and another! 

Was I confusing? Need more info? 
Leave me a message and I'll get back to you soon.

Look, if you have got this far then I am sooooper proud of you. Once you have finished the checklist, give yourself a break, take the day off. Let all this new knowledge sink in. You deserve a break

Friday, 27 May 2011

MUST READ - Article Spinning & Backlinking

It's time to let you in on a secret that the "guru"s don't want you to know. Article writing is crucial to getting free organic traffic to your website as well as adding backlinks and boosting your status with Google. The thing is, Google doesn't like duplicate content. Article directories don't like duplicate content. Hell, I don't like duplicate content!

Backlinking if you don't already know, is a process very complex and painstaking process of getting natural organic links from as many different domains as possible all linking to your websites or blogs. Traditionally, this has meant writing dozens of articles and submitting them to article directories, websites and blogs.

The more domains that point to your sites, the more important you are to the search engines. This means free traffic - we like free = )

We don't like the hour after hour, day after day (or if you're anything like me, night after night) of researching and writing your articles.

So we are left with a few options. We can outsource.
Many of the big name "guru's" use out sourcing for additional content. They don't always tell you that when they are selling you their miracle system for magnetizing or siphoning thousands of dollars from the Internet, do they?

You can trace down some quality writers who can write your content for you - how cool is that?

Excited yet? Gets better.

The downside of outsourcing is that you don't want to end up with a writer that has clearly learned English as a second language (no offence folks). Finding somebody who can churn out high quality articles and content can be a mammoth task.

It gets worse before it gets better. (Worse then better)

Outsourcing can also be expensive. There are ways around this if you think outside the square but for the rest of us, you could be looking at $10 to $15 per (quality) article. This all adds up and as wonderful as it sounds, it just isn't possible unless you have money to burn. You can bulk buy which cuts down on expenses too but unless you know for a fact that those articles are going to convert into sales, you may as well explore my next option.

Article spinning.

Now I was a little skeptical too. I've been burned by those spinners that promise hundreds of articles in minutes but if you do your research you will be surprised.

For those who aren't in the know prepare to be amazed. For those who are in the know...prepare to be amazed. Like I said, the quality and features have really taken off.

Article spinning is the act of taking an already written article and using synonyms to rewrite it, until it looks like a whole new article. Traditionally, this meant having to pick through your articles and find all the sentences or phrases that you could swap with variables, rewrite an alternative and then spin into 20,50, 100 fresh copies of the content. Add your links and voila!

You can then proceed to copy/paste and submit into every blog, every site, every article directory you stumble across.

When done incorrectly, this means hundreds of backlinks shooting your website to top of the search engines and sticking it there like glue. When it isn't done correctly, you will be penalized for spamming and possibly even have your website banned.


I don't care who you are or why you are looking for lots of content fast, you have got to check out this spinner. And frankly, if you can't see the enormous potential staring you in the face, breathing down you neck even, then I don't know if you have what it takes to make money online.


Sorry. Just sayin'


I have this one myself and love it. If you are serious about your website your your blog then you need content and you need backlinks. If you are serious about making real money instead of just a supplimentary income then you need not one but many websites and blogs...they need filling with content. If you are serious about content (because content is king) then you need to be able to spit out high quality articles in a hurry.

This isn't the only article spinner on the market but it is the best one I have come across.

Rapid rewriter (Article Spinner)

Let me know what you think.

How to Become an Affiliate Marketer

Every day around the world literally hundreds of webmasters decide to take on affiliates. Don't panic though, the Internet is big enough for all of us. There was recent talk that we would soon be running out of IP addresses...can you believe that? Anyway...why should you be interested in affiliate marketing?


Whether you are a webmaster who is looking tomake a few dollars on the side or this is the first ime you have ever dialed up the Internet (do we still have dial up? lol) you will be interested in affiliate marketing.

Affiliate businesses are everywhere these days with the traditional Clickbank and CJ (Commission Juction) even big name retail stores are nw seeing the huge sums of money being made in this form of advertising. Most businesses are selling either a product or a service.

In return for your advertising efforts - which may be adding a banner to your website or writing a few articles for a content site like Squidoo and including you affiliate link - you are paid a commission. Commissions vary from one product to the next and are as high as 75% for electronic items.

Businesses can get away with offering you such high commission because they have done their work already. If it wasn't for people like yourself advertising their eBook or software, it would be sitting on their hard drives collecting proverbial dust.

There are a few methods of affiliate marketing but we're going to look at the no fuss, no frills, no money approach because if you are new to the Internet then you probably don't have a website or blog ready and waiting for you to fill in the empty spaces with banners and links and I am also guessing that you have more time than money.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to make money with affiliate marketing is by going to Clickbank and creating an account. (Make sure you have a PayPal account too of course).

Pick a product that you know something about - if you're into sports, do sports. If you've been through a divorce, choose something about divorces.

Then wander over to Squidoo or another content site (Ezinearticles, GoArtictle etc) that allows you to add your affiliate links. Choose a user name that related to your topic - this gives you some authority when readers visit you.

Go ahead and begin writing your article (your "lens" if you're at Squidoo). And then another. And then another. Write 5 or 6 or 7 different articles each addressing a different question that you think your readers (or your niche) will be interested in. You should link these articles together wherever possible so that the reader can travel from one to the next.

Research shows that people have to be exposed to a product approx seven times before they will purchase it so you want them to reach that point when they are still with you rather than wondering off back to Google.

In each of your articles, you will try to answer a question that your niche is interested in. People also respond well to title like "Top 5 Ways to Do This" and "Four Tips to Achieving That" Answer the  question thoroughly and include your affiliate link along with a comment like: That's one way to do X, if you want to learn more then visit Y.

It's not your job to sell the product  - you are a match maker. Match the people to the products and let the sales page worry about selling it.

There is much more to article marketing than these few steps and I am going to address them in the coming weeks so keeps you eye out and come back soon

Affiliate Marketing...Successfully!

If you're ready to take the plunge, dive  off the deep end and take the plunge into the world of article marketing you have to look at the endeavour seriously. You need to conduct this endeavour as you would any other business - yes, there are few if any overheads, or up front expenses, but if you want to succeed then you need to take it seriously.

If article marketing is to become your only source of income you can forget about the dreams of working from home and beach side holidays and flash cars - for no at least...you'll have time for those things later.

So let's take a look at what you need to do to make sure your first steps are in the right direction and you stay on track.

The first golden rule of any business is to identify the demand. You may have heard the terms already.

"Find a niche and sell, sell, sell"

Finding a niche is one thing but finding a product to advertise is another. Trendy items - Justin Beiber and fare thee well Oprah things etc - will sell like hot cakes one minute and be obsolete the next. By all means chase these markets while they are there...just don't build an empire expecting them to remain.

You are searching for something that people need. You are looking for their problems and finding the answer for them. That is the core essence of an affiliate marketer - matching people to products. 

Don't think for a moment that you will only be advertising one product or even to one market. Times and markets change and while one product will sell at this point in tome, somebody will be along in the morning with a cheaper, faster, fancier solution to your buyer's problems and turn your world upside down.

You also need to set yourself apart from the competition. Establish your name - your brand so to speak. What makes you different from all the other people trying to force products and newsletters and memberships down the buyer's throat?

Do you have freebies? Are you more sincere? More approachable? Better support? Be very tactful when you talk about your competition - explain why you are the one to call on and leave it at that. No back stabbing and bad mouthing of the competition.

Some people would also recommend insuring your home business - if you're starting out, I wouldn't be overly concerned at this point. But keep in mind that you are providing readers with information that will affect the choices they make - if they become injured or something happens, they may just point the finger at you who talked them into it. For this reason, I have always urged you to provide honest and accurate information (as though you were writing an email to a friend). Article writing is a huge responsibility.

You also need to keep in touch with your customers. You can do this several different ways but most affiliate marketers prefer to gather a mailing list - people who subscribe to a newsletter or a six part series of information etc.

By having the contact details of your readers, you can (hopefully) turn them into repeat offenders (you can practice your email marketing and offer them links to your affiliate products hidden amongst useful tips, advice and support.

So how do you get news of your products out there? There are literally dozens of ways to advertise your affiliate links.

Article Writing

Blogging

Monetizing your personal website

Email Marketing. Facebook. Any way you can communicate with people, you can begin matching products with people.

I think by far, article marketing is the best place for beginners to start and I do intend to address the topic one day soon...promise! If you have any experience with HubPages or Squidoo then you have a pretty good idea of what is involved. You write useful, quality (as in readable not world class author quality) and original content that will entice the reader into clicking on your affiliate link and hopefully whip out the credit card when they get there.

But!!

There is a fine art to this. In any case, no matter what or how you choose to advertise there is one little gem of info that you must take note of.

I know I have made this point in the past but it's worth touching on again.

It is NOT your job to sell the product. You do NOT have to justify the price or discuss 
how this wonderful the product is and how it changed you life.

Let the sales page do that.

Your job is to match people to products - find a niche, determine what their problem is, provide them with a solution.

Still confused? I have to confess that I have been running on autopilot recently. Remember way back when in math when the teacher would ask you to explain something how you came to an answer? And you could give her the answer but couldn't tell her how you got it? No? Or was that just me? lol

Anyway, you get to point - it is hard to break it down this info down into bite sized chunks for beginners which is why I'm recommending this little gem of information

Beginner's Guide To Affiliate Marketing

If you are confused and need me to elaborate, you know where to find me (below in the comments box)

Good luck my marketing chums

Blog Your Butt Off

There are a number of free blogging services to choose from these days and they are the perfect stepping stone to making money online. Blogs are so named because the are web logs (an online diary of sorts) andthey can be used for a number of purposes. They are a platform for you to share your thoughts about pretty much anything you like.

We like money =)

So if you are new to marketing and new to blogging then there are some things that you need to consider. The easiest way to get started is to just start. Create an account and get busy penning (so to speak) your thoughts - this is the only way to earn what  it takes to be a blogger. Keep a note of your personal journey so you can track your progress.

Once you are adept at what it takes (because it can require a lot of motivation at times) then you are ready to kick things up a notch and monetize you blog. Blogs have the advantage over the traditional website because they have limited special features - you're not going becaome distracted by the fancy fonts or the flash content ...the shiney things so to speak.

They are also free so you don't have to worry about web hosting and domain names just yet. There are advantages of having your own URL, but as a beginner, you don't need to worry about that just yet. Once you are more capable and your first blogging attempts are bringing in some money then you can move over to another blogging company with your own server and really start customizing and personalizing your little space on the Internet.

So what do you need in a successful and profitable blog? You need to start small. Focus on your niche and provide them with all the information that they could hope for. I know, I know...dogs have been done to death but they are such a good example!

Let's say that you are interested in Poodles (hint - sub-niches are more successful than niches. Just sayin!) and you start blog about them. Fill your posts with everything you can about Poodles - how to train them, how to choose a healthy pup, how to breed them, their diet, how much exercise they need, whether they are child friendly, apartment friendly, training tips...everything.

This  requires a lot of self discipline - Google likes to see active blogs and those that have new posts everyday fare better in SERPs (page rank) than those who have new posts every month. It's not uncommon for bloggers to blog their butts off to the point they reach blogger burn out.

Blogging is only as hard as you make it. There is plenty of marketers out there who are making big money (I'm talking five even six digit numbers here people) using blogging alone. How do they do it?

By starting small like you are just about to, by building up the contents of one blog and then starting another. By constantly keeping on top of their writing and outsourcing when it gets to be bigger than Ben Hur.(That's another big hint...we'll get to outsourcing one day, but let's concentrate on baby steps)

Once you have lots of content, it is easy to monetize your blog....sorta! You can run along and ask Google for an AdSense account which means that whenever your visitors click on one of the adverts displayed in your blog, you receive a small sum of money. The more traffic, the more clicks the more money.

But...

You are not going to get rich with AdSense alone. By affiliate marketing, you can display adverts in and around your blog posts. When readers click through and make a purchase, you receive a portion of the money - your commission. Commissions can be as little as...well, pitiful to as much 75% of the sale.

Blogging can be challenging but if you want to earn how to make money online this is the perfect place to start - if you can become successful at blog marketing, you can become successful anywhere. I don't say that because it's necessarily difficult (though there are a few tricks of the trade), I say that because of the diverse range of skills you will pick up in your blogging career.

Do not expect to see a small fortune made over night. It takes time to build up a fan base and boost your ranking with Google. It takes time to write new content everyday and to advertise you products. And once one blog fills up, you need to go ahead and start another.

But once you learn how to blog successfully, you will never look back.

How Long Should My Article Be?

Article length can vary depending on the topic but no matter who you ask the point is always the same - as long as it takes to cover the question.

There is nothing worse than trying to read through an hours worth of text for a grain of information than getting through two minutes worth of info and still not having an answer.

When well written, you can stumble across articles that actually do take a long time to read but it seems like they are brief. And then there's the others that take forever to get through despite the fact that they are only 500 words long.
Set yourself realistic goals
and shoot  for attainable targets

So what's a good number to shoot for? Something huge and in depth?

Or something short and sweet and straight to the point?

If you are starting out, I have to say about 600-1000 words long. If you are a more experienced writer then I say  about 1000-1500 words long.

However there is no need to count each and every word. I have spoken in the past about imaging that you are writing an email to a friend when you are writing articles and turning your topic into a question...I think we need an example!!

Let's use the done to death dog training topic and people like tips so let's say we are writing about.

"3 Quicks Ways to Stop Your Dog Barking"

So what are these people looking for? They have a problem. They have a problem pooch and they want a solution. In this case, after a quick intro, three tips and a summary (visit us here for more options) you could probably come in at around 600-800 words.

If your title was "7 Quick Tips for Anxious Dogs" or "10 Ways to Soothe Your Problem Pooch"  then you would have a hard time providing your reader with enough of the information they came looking for.

The topic needs covering in detail... but you have to assume that your readers have the attention span of a four year old.

If you have paragraphs that you are unsure about whether or not to include it, leave it out. Ask another question and make another article about it. Parables, anecdotes (and yeah...examples too) can be really effective but only if they are short, sharp and relevant to the point you are trying to make.

Your articles must be original - I hate duplicate content. Google hates duplicate content. Your articles must also be accurate - people are making (sometimes very important) decisions based on the knowledge you are sharing with them..which all boils down to writing an email for a friend again, doesn't it?

Another factor worth you consideration is the way you have written your article. Break it up into small paragraphs instead of large blocks of text. Break it up using photo's or video's (as long as they are relevant). Some article directories have interactive modules like polls that grab the readers attention and keeps them on the page.

The bottom line is to zoom your focus in on a (micro-niche) single topic and cover the problem and solution effectively. Cover it care and with the best interest of your readers at heart.

That Ol' Content Is King Chestnut

If you haven't already grasped this fact, we're going to break it down a little today. Why do you need content? As simple as it sounds, you need content so that Google knows what your site is about.

Google uses crawlers (robots) to examine your site and when you have keyword rich (not flooded) content Google knows to match your web page to the keywords that potential buyers are searching for. The more content...let's rephrase that...the more quality content you have, the more likely your page will star in the first page of results.

Quality content that includes your affiliate links (or links to your products) is how you will bring in the big ones.

If you are starting out with this whole Internet thing then you don't have a lot of money to sink into your endeavours - I like free too - so there's no real quick way around this solution. You have to do it yourself.

"Whoa, whoa whoa...did you you just say I have to write?"

I sure did. And don't be worried because I'm here to hold your hand and show you exactly what you need to do to write killer content.

The first point I need to make is that when you are writing, whether it's a page on your website or a single page article like that at HubPages is to stay on task, You want to zoom your focus in on one thing - your article should not include the links to three different products in other words.

Sounds obvious but I have seen the results of people making this mistake. If you have another point, another product, another subject...make another page. Start with your topic and then turn it into a related question.

Speak to the reader. There is no rule that says you have to right a news report, there is no harm in writing just the way I am now - conversationally, like two friends catching up. If you have your topic (and you have just turned it into a question) then you are ready to start writing.

Ask a question.

Answer it.

Imagine that you were writing an email to a friend that had asked you the same thing. Break your information up into small paragraphs that are easy to read - we don't want readers backing out before the end do we?

You also need to pay attention to the number of key words - they should flow naturally. Articles that have been intentionally stuffed in an effort to boost page rank don't convert into sales - it's as simple as that.

If you are advertising an affiliate product, there is no need to sell the product. That's what the sales page is for. Let the sales page justify the price. Your reader visited the page because he (or she) believed he would find the answer to his question. Give it to him.

Give him a solution to his problem (just like you would for a friend) then you can honestly say I've given you one great option, if you want to find an even faster/easier/cheaper alternative click on this link (and buy my product and line my pockets!).

Make sense?

Quality. Original. Accurate. Your writing must be original - punishable by law and you may think that nobody will ever know but the fact is Google picks up on duplicate content. Even if the original author never discovers your crime, Google will penalise content that has been duplicated with poor page rank.

Content must also be high quality and accurate. Don't get all worked up about this - it doesn't have to be perfect. It just has to read like English isn't your second tongue. Accurate information is essential - not for page rank, not for converting sales (coz goodness knows how many sales pages selling "magic" software and SEO loopholes or backlink trading schemes make a fortune with their honesty) but morally.

People reading your content are depending on you. They are making choices based on what you tell them is the right thing to do. This is a massive responsibility.

Imagine if your were so keen to sell some spammy eBook about repairing relationships that you encouraged somebody to kiss and make up with their abusive ex.

With great responsibility comes great power.

And vice versa lol
You get my point though. your information must be accurate and made with honest intentions.

Time is the biggest problem when it comes to writing content and many people like to submit their article to as many different article directories as they can find. I don't like duplicate content. Google doesn't like duplicate content.

There is an alternative that I am currently working in getting to you and you will be the first too hear about it when it gets here.

Oh, and before I go...research. How do you write about something that you don't know about? My favourite source of research is forums. When people have a problem that they want to talk about, they hit the forums. Not only will this give you insight into the way your readers think and what motivates them, you will most likely find the very solution right there in the same thread.

How cool is that?

So...still here? Off you go, get out there and start writing your very own high quality original killer content.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dictionary of Tech Talk For The New Internet Marketer

If you're new to the whole make legit money online thing then you want to bookmark this page. I often come across people who just can't get their heads around the lingo. It's frustrating enough trying to find a niche and fill your pages with content without trying to figure what on earth SERPS, DNS, and SEO means as well. This post will shave weeks of the learning curve =)


This list is far from finished but I want to get it out there so people can start benefiting from it.


I'll be adding to it constantly and I'll try to keep alphabetical order! Be sure to submit your own comments and queries below - I don't know what you need if you don't tell me ;-)





AdWords - Google product with which you bid for your advert (between $0.20 - $4+) to be displayed on the first page of search results.Your advert is triggered by matchging keywords and you only pay when your advert is clicked otherwise it is displayed for free. Can become very costly and I won'y recommend it until you have a steady source of purchasing traffic to cover the  expenses
AdSense - Google product. In this case, you are paid to display other advertisers AdWords in your webpages and websites. You are paid per click and there are heavy penalties for clicking your own adverts.
Affiliate (Marketer) - Somebody who advertises another persons product in exchange for a commission (Similar to online Avon)
Affiliate ID - The user name or number that is associated with you affiliate account. Can be found on the payments page of the products you advertise too.
Affiliate links - The links that you copy and paste from Clickbank (and other directories) that willl send users to the sales page of the product you are advertising. Scroll down to the bottom of the payments page to check if your Affiliate ID is present to receive your commission for a successful sale.
Amazon - Many article directories allow you to advertise Amazon products within your content as one of many money revenues. You will need to create an affiliate account before including Amazon modules into your article.
Article Directory (Article Farm) - A content website where you can submit quality articles in exchange for backlinks, traffic or exposure.
Article Spinner - The software used to make dozens of fresh new articles from spinning an existing article - when done properly you can publish these articles to dozens of different domains, (adding backlinks to your blog or website) and boost you webpages to the top of Google's search results. When not done properly you can have you site banned.  Details about backlinks and spinning found here.


B
Backlinks - The way of of boosting your website's status with Google by getting many links from as many different domains pointing to your website, webpages or blog. See Article Spinner.
Bio-Box - Article Directories like EzineArticles do not allow you to put your links in the main body of text but they can be added to your bio box. Luckily for us, once published the reader cannot tell where the body ends and your bio begins so use it wisely to summarize your article and call readers to action (ie "Visit us here at [website or sales pages] for more information"
Blog - Traditionally an online diary of sorts the humble blog has developed into another way for marketers to promote and sell their products. Blogs can also be monetized with AdSense.
Blog Marketing - the only way to start affiliate marketing with no money, no website and no product of your own...Blog marketing is effective but time consuming, hard work and requires your dedication. Click here to get started


C
Call to Action - The fine art of telling your readers what to do next ie "Sign Up for [something]" or "Visit us at [webpage]" and the popular "Buy Now"
ClickBank - A directory of electronic products (ie eBooks) where you can buy, sell or market different products. Many affiliate marketers get their start at Clickbank
Content - The contents or information of a website, webpage, blog or article - content must be original (to find favour with Google) and helpful (to entice the reader to learn more via your links)
Content Site - A website dedicated to providing information for readers usually in exchange for financial benefits to the authors (such as AdSense, eBay, Amazon and Affiliate links). Content sites do not sell things directly, they are there to serve the readers.
CPA - Meaning Cost Per Action - system where you get pain for your time and work rather than commissions for successful sales
CTR - Meaning Click Through Rate or the number of visitors who follow your links

D
Dedication, Determination & Downright Stubborness - Essential qualities of successful money makers
Domain - Basically your address on the Internet ie www.yourname.com
DNS - Meaning Domain Name Server - or the server that hosts you domain
DNS Pointing - A little bit like call forwarding on your phone- your host points your domain to the website of you choosing. this may be your own site or it may take visitors directly to the sales page of the product an affiliate marketer is advertising


E
Email Host - The company or server that host your email account (letter box for your domain ie yourname@your website.com)


H
Hop link - A term unique to Clickbank meaning the link which is embedded with your affiliate ID
Host - See Web Hosting
Hubs - A term unique to HubPages.com meaning article
HubPages - An Article directory where you can earn money and add links in exchange for quality and original articles.


K
Keyword - A phrase or question type into the search engine. The longer the keyword, the more specific the results


L
Legit Online Jobs - A directory of business who are searching for everyday people to get paid cash for online work ie advertising, data entry jobs, proof reading, surveys etc
Lens - A term unique to Squidoo.com meaning article
Long Tail Keywords - A long descriptive keyword. The longer the keyword, the more desperate the searcher for information or a solution (the closer they are to opening their purse strings)

M
Micro-niche - A market within a market. People searching for very specific information and products within their demographic
Modules - Content sites provide you, the author, with different modules to create your articles. Examples include the text module, photo module, links module, Amazon module, video module etc. Use as many as required to break your information into easy to read paragraphs and fill your articles with pictures. Some content sites also offer modules that allow the reader to interact with the webpage such as a poll module - these can  be very effective for keeping the reader on the page

Niche - A market of people of a certain demographic
No Thanks - What you should say to all those sales pages that promise you instant success via backlinking schemes, magic software, Google loopholes etc. 


Optimized (Search) Results - The number of searches that show up when you search a keyword
Organic (Traffic) - Free traffic that comes from people finding you with their Search Engine


P
Page Rank - The position of a website, webpage ori blog on the list of search results
Page Results - The list of search results that appears after you type a search term (or keywords) into a search engine
PayPal - An safe and secure middle man for all your money transactions - don't have an account, get one.


S
Sales Page - The page that sells a "must have" (membership, software, products etc). A good sales page will look attractive, have an enticing first look and be easy to read (big blocks of text are broken down). May or may not include video and/or audio which, when made properly, has an effective impact on potential buyers
Search Engine - 70% of users prefer Google as their favourite Search Engine. Others include Bing,
SEO - Search Engine Optimization. Getting to the top of the Search Engine Page Results (SERPS) If you are at the top of the results you are going to get more traffic and in theory more sales
SERPS - Search Engine Page Results. When you type a keyword into the Search Engine you are provided with a Page of Results. Just sayin'!
Servers - The computers that are rented to host your domain on the Internet
Squidoo - An article directory that allows you to place affiliate links in exchange for unique and valuable info
Sub-niche - A market within a market ie Pregnant with twins or Poodle owners


T
Traffic - The number of visitors coming to your webpages. In theory, the more traffic, the more money they bring however not all traffic converts into sales.

U
URL - The exact web address beginning with http:// or https://  for sites with valid security certificates

W
Web Hosting - Like your little block of land that you rent from the king. You approach a Host and rent space on their servers - it's your little space on the Internet.


http://hubpages.com/_SignUpGetPaid/user/new - a friendly place to get started but they don't allow you to add affiliate links. There is a legitimate way to get around this and I will go into more details about that soon. In the mean time. Squidoo.com is another article directory that does allow affiliate links. I found the learning curve a little bit steeper personally but you will need to figure them both out eventually!

Vital Key To Successful Sales Online

The world has been turned upside down by online scams, and scandals. If you have been stumbling around the Internet blindly throwing your money into the next super secret software that is going to siphon money out of one niche or another, or some secret loophole that is going to glue your website to the top of the SERPs or how you can get rich from Facebook or Google ad's. All the while screaming

What do I need to make a sale!?!

Well I'm going to share with you a story that I heard when I first started out.

Consider this question.

If you owned a hotdog stand and you could have one advantage over your competition..

What would it be?

Seriously, take a moment to think about that. What would you want that none of the other hotdog stand owners have, because this will mean the difference between your blogs or sites being profitable and just being.

When the original asker posed this question, he heard several replies.

Some wanted the best tasting hot dogs.

Others wanted the latest technology that would make them cook faster than the competition.

Some went on to say location, location, location.

What did he say?

He wanted a starving crowd.

Just let that soak in for a moment. A starving crowd. It doesn't matter how much competition. Doesn't matter if your hotdogs don't taste all that great or if they take forever to cook.

You are always going to make a sale because the crowd is starving.

So let's take a look at how you can apply this lesson to the Internet. You do know the lesson don't you?

(I'll spell it out to be sure)
=)

It's not the product you're selling.

It's not the fancy website you have.

It's not the advertising you're paying for.

Or the software you are automating.

(All of that helps of course.)

THE KEY IS THE MARKET ITSELF.

It's not what or how

IT'S WHO

It's all about tapping into that mirco-niche and providing them with a solution to their problems.

Make sense? Right now you are feeling one of two ways, right? You either have that sinking feeling that you've already made the mistake of not advertising to the right "who"? All that hard work and all those sleepless nights in vain?

Or perhaps, like me you are excited about this little nugget of golden information? Realize what it means for your future success? You look forward to future potential instead of dwelling on the past mistakes.

In either case, you're asking yourself

"So how do I find the right "who"?

You can overcome the fact that you aren't advertising to the right crowd by asking a few simple questions.

Who are they?
Seems obvious but really take the time to think about it. Not just their demographics - male/female, age, hobbies, interests etc - but try and tap into their thoughts, their trends, their reasoning process. 

The best way to find this information is by becoming a member in their forums. Do NOT spam them with your products. Just learn from them. Soak it all in. You will be able to find out what problems they face and not only that, you'll also be able to find the answers to their problems right there in the very same thread. Forums are a one stop shop for research.

What is their Emotional Temperature?
By this I mean, how desperate are they to find a solution? Is their problem something they think about once a week? Once a day? Several times a day?

As an example, somebody who searches the term "dog training" has probably got a new puppy and they are looking for some free information. Somebody who searches for "How to stop your dog from chewing on the furniture" has a serious problem training their best friend and they want a solution. Now. 

Or consider this. Someone without a lawnmower - only thinks about it when the grass gets to long. A first time pregnant mother-to-be? How many times a day do you think she thinks about her baby?

Another clue to the profitability you will find when you are doing your keyword research. Look for long tailed keywords - the longer and more specific the keyword, the closer the searcher is to buying your solution.

Who else wants a piece of them?
This is an easy way to evaluate whether or not the niche is profitable. If you walked into the magazine aisle, would you find a mag just for them? Don't want to find out? When you Google the subject, have a look at the SEPRs...are other people advertising? If you can see the list of AdWords next to the search results then chances are you are onto a winner. If other people are willing to pay for adverts, then they must be making a profit.

Just to recap...

It's not the product you are marketing,

But the people you are marketing to.