Saturday, 30 July 2011

Video: How I Make Back Links For Articles

For absolutely FREE. This service is absolutely perfect for article writers - you don't want 350 and backlinks to an article. That sort of stuff is going to put you on Google's suspicious radar.

Free membership gets you 25 backlinks from 25 different IP addresses dribbled in over a few days, perfect. You can also upgrade for free if you have 12 friends. And if you can't find 12 friends? $50 odd bucks will give you 100 back links to four different articles or blog posts each day.

Check it out. Marvel at my stunning special effects.  (Or not). Watch as I submit an example URL to Social Monkee then let them do all the work publishing my backlinks around the Internet.




25 UNIQUE BACK LINKS EACH AND EVERY DAY
FOR FREE 

This is as easy as it gets - my 11 year old son has his own blog about a computer game...he has got his own account at this free back link building service and it took his about 4 posts and 2 weeks to get #10 for his major keyword** and he's got #1 AND #2 for his more obscure keyword (which still as 0.7 million results).

** My Cody's blog is called furoninvasion.wordpress.com His main keyword is "destroy all humans" (3.7 million results) and the more obscure keyword (which has 0.7 million results) he competes for is "furon invasion" ....if you don't believe me, check it out for yourself...I would. But then I'm a natural skeptic!

Article Marketing For Affiliates: Article Structure

Article Structure is an important factor
If you're new to article writing, then you'll be wanting to know the structure of your articles. What they should look like, How they should read. When to introduce the product that you're promoting. Having a structure that works is important so we're going to break it down - paragraph by paragraph. By extension, the article structure that I'm about to share could also be applied to email marketing and other forms of Internet Marketing too - the concept is the same.

First and foremost, the biggest mistakes new article writing affiliates make is trying too hard. Yeah I know! It's not fair. None of these super affiliates are trying any harder than you. They don't want it more. They aren't losing any more sleep or staying up later than you are. You work your guts out for what?

So let's get this right before we go and talk about structure. Affiliates are dealing with pre-sell. NOT writing a sales page. You are roping people in from the search engines and warming them up for the sales page. You do this by giving them valuable and relevant info.

You are the match maker. You are matching people's problems with a solution.

Think about it this way. If somebody you loved came to you with a problem, you would not jump down their throat and say

"Hey! I know this great eBook that can fix that problem. It's only $29 and you get this bonus and this bonus and this bonus and a free bonus BUT there's only 109 copies left so you have to act right now or you will never be able to solve this problem on you own."

You wouldn't have many loved one's left if that's the way dealt with family crisis. Let's break it down...

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
People decide in seconds whether or not they are on the "right" page - if you can't convince them that they are, they are going to hit the back button and head back to the search results for another try.

For this reason, a picture is a great way to introduce your article. This picture should be related to the resolved problem. If someone is trying to get their rocky marriage back on track, a happy couple will serve well. If you're talking to someone with fertility problems, a relieved looking mother and newborn will serve well.

They have a problem, you need to let them know that you have a solution. Easy, right?

FIRST PARAGRAPH
Once again, you need to convince you reader very early on that you have that solution. The first paragraph needs to be enticing and encourage the reader down the page and through the article. You need to introduce your keyword early on (in the first sentence when appropriate). Feel free to highlight your long tail keyword or the solution that you're going to share in bold.

THE SECOND PARAGRAPH
Should expand on the first providing the reader with knowledge. Valuable, relevant information. Think about the type of things you would tell your daughter if she came to you with this problem. You would sympathize with her. Talk about the different problems people with this issue encounter.

If you cannot imagine being in that situation -- because if you haven't spent the past 7yrs trying and failing to get pregnant, trying every fertility treatment available, (holistic, voodoo or western med's), watched friend after family member get pregnant, refinanced your home or sold your second car just to come up with the $10 000 for one cycle of IVF and six cycles later your still not pregnant...you cannot in your wildest dreams imagine what that's like. Hell...I deal with these women most days of the week and I like to think I understand (I had a little trouble conceiving my second) but in actuality...I don't have a clue -- if you haven't walked that mile, don't claim to "know what it's like."

Unless you know what it's like to be living the dream life one day and the have your whole world turned upside down the next because your wife is having an affair...or your boyfriend suddenly dumps you...or your child is diagnosed with ADHD...

There's somethings that you cannot hope to understand.

People are very perceptive to lies - say something like:
  • If my daughter was facing this problem then this is what I would tell her...
  • When my best friend had this problem, this is what we talked about...
  • When I talked to my Doctor about this, this is what he/she recommended...
  • I won't have another chance to tell my [deceased or long lost] [friend, lover or relative] these words that I want to share with you...
Honesty is your best policy here.

Your second paragraph is dedicated to forming some trust, building that reader/writer relationship and passing on the facts about the problem.

THIRD PARAGRAPH
Now you can introduce your solution - you need to play it cool, keep your wits about you. Remember what we said about having this conversation with you daughter? You're not going to force this down your readers throat. Many people(and I'm one of them) love shopping but hate being marketed. Does that make sense?

I want info about my fave hobbies or interests, I want to know where I can get the best deal but I don't want some spammy letter in my Inbox telling me to buy this or be unhappy forever.

So you're still writing with an air of neutrality and you're not bursting with excitement. Informative - you might even mention the drawbacks (if it's appropriate). If you're hooking up a workmate on a blind date, they need talking into it. You don't say:

"Hey, I've got the perfect match for you. Stop looking. I've found him - you guys are going to be so happy, you're going to get married and make babies and buy a little block of land in the 'burbs and live happily ever after,"


But you might say:

"I might know one person you would be interested in. He got XYZ in common with you, he's cute and he has his own house, drives a nice car. He's got his head screwed on straight but he does have his own business and it takes him on the road sometimes...I don't know if that's fits into your grand plan or not."

You see me do the same things here. I'll tell you straight up if I think something I'm promoting is ideal for beginners or you need to have some experience to get the most out of it.

You don't need to write a laundry list of flaws...but you don't need to rant on about the product like it's the perfect, faultless solution to world hunger either. That's your challenge - finding that balance.

THE FOURTH PARAGRAPH
Here's where you might like to mention some reviews from other websites or other customers have provided. Most sales pages have a few words or success stories that you can paraphrase:


"Take Jennifer for example. She was a working Mum who could never find the time to do [XYZ]. After making a few small changes and actually applying the advice that [product XYZ] outlines, she was able to [accomplish her (and the readers) goal]."

Or

"[Product XYZ] was voted best buy from [this reliable source or well established website]."

THE FIFTH PARAGRAPH
If you are going to mention it anywhere, this is where you can mention the value or compare this product to the cost of others. Include the bonuses or freebies.

I do NOT recommend you do this unless you are a gifted writer or are actually writing a review article.

As far as I'm concerned, let the sales page justify the price.

THE SIXTH PARAGRAPH
This is where you need to throw your support behind the product. This is where you recommend the reader goes and watches the video on the sales page (many affiliates don't use the tools they have - if your sales page has a video or a newsletter or a free "mini course" or free anything...use it) or checks out these weight loss recipes or read more about Jennifer's story.

Your recommendation. And a strong call to action. Affiliate link. (Or..if you have a blog or website, you can send readers there instead)

By 'strong call to action' I do NOT mean "Do this or positively die." Two things more than any other make people click through - curiosity and humor. If you can use both in the same call to action then good for you (I struggle with this one...I think it's much easier in theory).


SO YOU HAVE A FORMAT, 
A SYSTEM THAT WORKS...NOW WHAT?
Rinse and repeat. If you've written an article that converts, well done. Now study it. Pick it to pieces. What have you done in that article that you haven't done on others? You've found something that works so repeat it and double your earnings, triple them, quadruple them...rise and repeat.

Let me take this opportunity to remind you that you didn't learn how to drive a car without a few lessons. You didn't learn how to read without years at school...

You won't make you first sale with your first article.

These skills need learning over time - Article Writing For Newbies can help you get there a little bit faster - and once you have them, you need to refine them over time. I sincerely struggle with the thought that we are happy to spend $35 on Mc Donalds for the kids one night and yet we are reluctant to spend $7 on something that can give us an article writing education and further our knowledge, refine our skills and give us long lasting results (this knowledge is certainly going to hang around longer that a Mc Happy Meal!).

For $7 you're buying a lasting education
So that's my little recommendation to you. If you're new to writing or new to affiliate marketing (or both) then you are going to benefit enormously from learning how successful article writers do their stuff. Article Writing For Newbies ($7) is just that - designed to teach new writers how to enter a highly competitive and cut throat business of article marketing and come out on top.

Good luck folks, I hope I was able to shed some light on how articles are structured. =)

Friday, 29 July 2011

Oh WOW! Why Didn't *I* Hear About This??

The Secret Classroom - at first glance, the sales page looks a little tacky. I dunno about you, but I'm downright sick of all these "hidden basements" and the "super secret bat cave where I suck the money right out of people's pockets!" but upon further examination, The Secret Classroom is something special. Something very special.

What is the first rule of learning a new skill? Any skill (hint...look to the left). Finding a mentor that you can work with.

You didn't teach yourself to drive (I really really hope you didn't).

You didn't teach yourself to read.

Or look at it this way...those skills you did teach yourself...

How many meals did you burn before you mastered your signature dish?

How many shirts shrunk or changed colour in the wash?

How long did it take until you could find your way around your Inbox and send an email? Or send a text message on your phone? Or sign up for Facebook? Or tune the old DVD player?

Not so long ago, I was completely and utterly technologically challenged. After building my first website, I realized that I was going to have to learn a whole new language. Tech talk. Marketing lingo. And not just that, when I branched out from simply selling my artwork online to promoting other peoples products and affiliate marketing (my art really isn't that bad!) I learned that I was going to have figure out how to refine those skills. It's the subtle things that matter.

Sincerity, writing a pre-sell article instead of a sales page style article. Being honest with the reader. Connecting to them.

Having zero sales skills (I've never had a "real" job in my life) and next to no experience with the Internet, I knew I had a lot to learn but I was extremely cautious about buying any of the products and systems and get rich quick schemes that found their way to my Inbox each day. Even the good one's.

I regret that now in hind sight. Truly! I do.

Because I have absolutely no hesitation buying something that I think will further my son's education. My bookshelf is full of those scholastic's at home workbooks for kids (I'm a mean Mum!) I buy the kickarse wind-up crayons instead of the one's from the $2 shop. I've got a box full of flashcards that I've subjected each of my kids to.

The point is, there's a HUGE difference between buying the latest cutting edge get-rich-quick scheme....

AND BUYING AN EDUCATION

That is what the Secret Classroom is. I've had other video's from successful Internet Marketers...but nothing like these.


The Secret Classroom is so much more.


Take 12 Internet Marketing millionaires from around the world. Give the a small group of up and coming Internet Marketing wannabe's and 2hrs each with a microphone....and you have a recipe for success.

I don't want you to go there thinking that this is going to make you instantly rich. If you're new to Internet Marketing, then this may be over your head - I don't know if that's going to be a problem for you or if it's going to push you further and faster than you could have dreamed to on your own (I was in this latter, stubborn group of D.I.Y.'ers).


Go, check out the video, let me know what you think - I've picked up my copy. I'm only part way through the second video and I know that this is the stuff I wish I had in my first year.

12 SUCCESSFUL INTERNET MARKETERS
A SMALL GROUP OF WANNABE'S
24 HOURS WORTH OF MISTAKES AND SUCCESSES
ALL CAUGHT ON CAMERA

THIS IS NOT A GET-RICH-QUICK SCHEME
THIS IS ONLINE MARKETING EDUCATION

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Super Changing Your Articles and Affiliate Efforts

We recently put a close to the whole aglo updates (because we've Getting To Know Google this month) and I promised to show you how you can
  • super charge your affiliate campaigns, EzineArticles (or any other content farm) 
  • safeguard yourself from future algo updates
  • recover from the last one!
  • get more backlinks (without trying to figure how you can get other sites to link to you without returning the favour)
  • get more traffic
  • yadda yadda yadda
All that boring stuff that once you realize the shortcuts DON'T hold any long term benefit become essential to your Internet Marketing business.

HISTORY LESSON - In my last post we learned that if we are promoting a keyword that has more affiliates than web searches each month then we are in trouble.

We talked about how the affiliate marketers of old (as in last year) virtually spammed the hell out of keywords and FORCED Google to clean up the content sites (we crunched some numbers from Squidoo.com Hubpages.com Ezinearticles.com and ehow)

That was to purpose of the algo update; to clean up the Internet and remove spammy style article and mini-sites - and we should be THANKFUL because it put a LOT of affiliate marketers on the back burner and de-indexed thousands of webpages of our competition.

TODAY - WE'RE LEARNING FROM OUR MISTAKES. THE MORAL OF THE STORY. HOW TO SAFEGUARD YOURSELF AND BECOME AN UNSTOPPABLE AFFILIATE. 
HOW TO DO THINGS THE "RIGHT" WAY

The rules of Internet Marketing (and affiliate marketing) have changes - it's time to throw some new light on the matter and stop worrying about what we can't change...but learn from our mistakes.
New opportunities are opening up each day, New ways to access the Internet (tablets, mobile phones, etc) new keywords, new networks, new products, more businesses are opening up to the idea of affiliate programs.

So the moral of the algo update story is to branch out and find new opportunities. Do NOT mistake me - there is no need to constantly chase the latest craze, the latest "cutting edge" push button software or any of that other garbage.


I'm talking about using tried and true methods to do things...but doing things a little bit differently from all the other thousands of affiliates around the world.


AFFILIATES MARKETING AT IT'S MOST PROFITABLE
(The "Right" Way)

Okay, let's get stuck into this, Few things are easier to sell than when a well established company creates the latest model or version of an existing product - it's like shooting fish in a barrel.


The first thing I can't stress enough is that you need some link love. Backlinks are essential to getting to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results) and sticking there like glue.

When the Google-bots crawl the Internet, they follows the footprints - the links - that we leave behind. The more links we have pointing to our site, the more important our site must therefore be. It's like one big popularity contest. And just like the Miss Universe contest id rigged - because all the winners come from Earth - we can also manipulate Google into giving us a better page rank by creating a steady drip of backlinks to our site, our article or our blog.



BACKLINK LOVE
Backlinks force Google to rank you well

This is how you are going to increase your page rank, boost your traffic and hopefully make a few more sales in the process. More traffic does not ALWAYS lead to more sales - but try telling a new webmaster that!

See this spider web on the right? That's where you want to be...right there in the middle. It doesn't matter if you're thinking of your latest article or you blog or your website...you need to have other webpages backlinking to your web page - one way backlinks from niche relevant websites are more valuable than trying to find a link partner or partake in a dodgy link share scheme.

I strongly urge you to get out there and start building backlinks to your articles, blog posts and webpages. Did I mention this is essential? There are two services that I recommend and they are both free. (Right click now and open in a new tab so that you don't lose your place here)


FREE BACKLINK BUILDER #1 Social Monkee
Under a free membership you can submit your URL to Social Monkee once a day and they will publish it to 25 different IP addresses on your behalf. The catch? You can only submit your URL once a day (which is perfect for article writers and blog marketers) AND if you want to upgrade (than submit 3 times a day) you can hand over $50 OR if you know 12 friends you can upgrade for free,


FREE BACKLINK BUILDER #2 Directory Submitter
This is not one of those automated submitters that rarely gets you accepted; most directories don't like it when the bots submit your URL. This is like a turbo charged, suped up manual submitter - I have it installed on my desktop and love it!


Free membership gets your URL in 350 directories. Free. The catch? You will have to pay for your upgrade - I've been testing this one for a while and I think it's great for the owners of mini-sites, blogs and websites.

Seriously, if you can't see the value of either one (or both) of these then you are either crazy or are so cynical that it's going to interfere with your



USING CONTENT SITES - Article Marketing
Ezinearticlescom has over 8.8million webpages chock full of affiliate links. BUT Not a whole lot of them have ANY backlinks though. I strongly recommend that you establish yours ASAP.

I've used the example before of Google being like a school - when the new kid on the block shows up (your latest article) then one of the cool kids points at you ad says "Hey, this kid's alright. You should listen to him" then you become instantly, on the spot popular.

That is the purpose of backlinks - you have to force Google to give you the page rank you worked for. You do this with quality (one way, relevant) backlinks and keywords.

So how many articles per product or per niche are you going to need? Keep reading, I've included a great little illustration below.


BLOG MARKETING
You should always publish your articles on your blog first. After they are indexed (get a few backlinks pointing to your latest post) THEN you can go ahead and spin that post into "new" articles to publish at the content farms.

Get lots of backlinks & publish on your blog first, content sites second
Let's look at those gorgeous little "pests" - beavers. These critters are a downright nuisance in many parts of the world but here in Australia, I have to say I admire them. The thing that causes so much grief is the way they dam up the native waterways. That's what I want you to think about as I explain this - the dam.

Each and every blog post you make should be indexed by Google under your blogs URL. Occasionally after spinning and submitting to other article directories, some articles may slip through the gaps (meaning you haven't done your job properly or changed enough of the content) and be picked up by Google as "duplicate content."

If it does get picked up then Google will recognize that it was your blog which was first credited with publishing the original. You do NOT want Google to think that your blog is made up of duplicate content from the article directories.

What does this have to do with beavers and dams?

Basically each time you submit an article or publish a blog post, you are that little beaver adding another stick to your dam - you are increasing the likelihood of capturing traffic.

Make sense? So you find a product at Clickbank and you write a couple of articles, you use a couple of keywords - it's going to be like trying to hold water in a sieve. If you write 20 articles about it...well now we're talking! What if you write 20 articles every week? Well now you're really talking. Now you've got yourself a sweet little dam that which catch the traffic from the search engines.

BUT...You want Google to recognize you BLOG as the original publisher of that content. Make sure that your post is indexed first - by pointing a few backlinks to your new post then go ahead and hit the content sites.

Blogs have another advantage over article farms. Firstly, prospects need to be exposed to a product about 7 times before they buy it - you want them to do this on your webpages and not head back to the search engines (Hubpages and Squidoo give you the option of linking your pages together...use it). Useful, relevant content is essential to getting readers to stay at your blog.

Secondly, your blog is where you establish yourself as an authority in your niche. This is where you prove that you're the go-to-guy (or gal). Trust is essential. You build trust by...

You guessed it...

Providing useful, relevant information - not sales pitches.

THE AFFILIATE "MINI" SITE
Let's face it, the rules have changed. Mini-sites worked wonders for affiliates in days gone by but since the algo change many were dropped by Google because they amounted to little more than spam.

Building a mini-site these days is a little more complicated. They need to be larger than ever before. Approx 5 pages used to be the norm. Nowadays, 10 pages minimum. Content needs to be original - do not think that grabbing a few articles from Ezines is going to cut it. I'm a fan a PLR...but I also go a little crazy when spinning it.

In times gone by many affiliate mini-sites also had a lot of banners at the top of the page (in prime position - it's the first thing that loads and so the first thing prospects see) however Google doesn't consider this a great "user experience" these days and so we now limit the amount of advertising we put up there.

WORKING WITH PLR CONTENT 
I know that once upon a time, PLR was a popular choice for many affiliates making mini-sites. Some common sense goes a long way. For the sites on which I do use PLR (mostly on my pregnancy and relationship sites) I always, always re-write the entire first paragraph (often two) and the title. I add as much as I know to the article. I take away many of the pointless questions or sentences like "Are you looking for info about [keyword]?" that are there simply to boost work count and keyword count. I'm constantly thinking about how the reader will benefit from reading this (Google judges our web pages according to "user experience" remember). Will they? Will they find what they are looking for? Have I answered their question?

I make sure that each of the duplicate articles I spin have a different word count. If one article is targeting boyfriends, I'll change the next one to target girlfriends, the next one wives and so on. Yeah, I go a little overboard but that's just the way I roll.


WHICH NICHE IS MOST PROFITABLE?
The short answer is not one you want to hear. The short answer is they all are IF you know HOW to target them successfully. I'll give you an example though...I'm not that heartless!

The long answer is:
  • It's not what you're promoting but WHO you're promoting to
  • The BEST types of niches are evergreen - people will still be wanting info about this interest or hobby or problem in 5, 10 or 20 years time ie, insurance, weight loss, dating, break-ups, etc (these examples are highly competitive markets btw - think about micro-niches if you're thinking about trying to target them)
  • These people talk about their problem - they have forums or websites dedicated to discussing this problem or interest. 
  • When you Google this niche, you should see Google AdWords along with your search results - this means other people are making money from this crowd
  • You can probably find a magazine about this niche in your newsagent
  • These people think about their interest, hobby or problem a LOT - how many times a day do you think about the weeds in your garden? Not very often? Okay...know how many times a day would you think about your love life if you had just broken up with your partner? Or your unborn child if you were pregnant? 
  • Are these people likely to buy something? Seriously - think about it. Cooking is evergreen, right? But the majority of people searching for recipes are housewives worried about how they can turn some sausages, half of a week old cauliflower and a can of mushy peas into dinner for the hubby. They want free information, not necessarily a new set of steak knives or another eCookbook; you can still make money from these people...but you're going to have to really work for it.
Go. Think long and hard. Do your research.There are hundreds of niches out there to choose from.

The big niches are often dominated by the big boys so I recommend that you think sub-niche or micro-niche. Don't think weight loss. Think about a diabetic who needs to lose weight before surgery. (A market of people within the market). We always seem to do much better targeting micro-niches; we make more money, we get indexed faster and rank better for those long tail keywords.

PROMOTE ONE PRODUCT OR MANY?
I have a few personal suggestions...and you know how I can't write a post without giving you an example! As you read, try to work out the underlying principle. Once you figure it out the rules of the make money online game, you can profit from any niche

Example - Think micro-niche...a wife who suspects her hubby of being unfaithful.
Suspicion is a very powerful motivator
  • Is this evergreen? HA!
  • Are other people advertising? (Go on, open a new tab and ask Google "I think my husband is cheating" - see any ads? 
  • Do these women think about their marriages often? Or sometimes?
  • Are these women motivated buyers? Well? Wouldn't YOU be willing to part with  $50 to find out FOR SURE? 
  • Do they talk about it? (HINT - Google "I think my husband is cheating forums")
Okay, so we have a nice little targeted niche here...what would YOU promote? Well...what would YOU want to find out if your husband was cheating on you?

Would you want a psychic reading?

Or something tangible - some rock solid proof - one way or the other - that you could take to your partner and confront him with?

Are you thinking?

Come on...self sustained affiliate-in-the-making...what could you sell to a suspicious wife?

How about something that could tell her to whom those strange phone numbers on the phone bill belong?

Something that could track his computer history?

Or record his phone calls?

ANSWER: All of the above.

Sure you may have to look a bit further than Clickbank to find these products but they are going to be an easy sell to a suspicious wife.

Clickbank does have a few persuasive sales pages if you're stuck.

So that's my hypothetical suggestion - make a little site about how to track and record a husbands activities, throw in a few banners, a dozen articles, affiliate links to a few quality and related products and...viola! Profitable site in an evergreen niche!

THEN, you also have the option to create a mini-site about each individual product in addition to your mastersite.

At the end of the day it's up to you to make an informed decision (or guesstimate) about using a master-site to promote many sites...or not.

PROS AND CONS - WEIGHING YOUR OPTIONS 

Promote one product per site...or many?
I'm here to provide that info so you can make the best decision for You. When you find something that works... Rinse and Repeat.

PRO's of having a Master-site
  • Once established, new pages are indexed quickly
  • You're more easily established as an authority in the eyes of you readers
  • You don't need to begin backlink building campaigns each and every time you add a new product
  • Each new backlink adds to the authority of the site from Google's perspective
CON's
  • One backlink too many, too soon and you're going to find yourself sandboxed
  • A generic domain name will take longer to rank well compared to a keyword rich domain name (domain names aren't everything; I'll explain in a minute)
  • You're putting all your eggs in one basket - if Google sandboxes that site you're really going to know about it
  •  A single product site allows you cover the product more thoroughly ad provide more targeted info to your prospectsHowever, what will happen if the merchant stops selling that product? Or changes the commission? Or makes some royal stuff up, changes the sales page and your traffic stops converting?
But wait! There's more...

Consider what you will do with your single product mini-site if the merchant has a change of heart and stops selling that product? Or changes the sales page and your traffic no longer converts? Or the product suddenly gets a bad rep and is associated with a s.c.a.m.?

I know, when I write articles, that I am writing a fairly generic content in regards to the product I promote. Why? If I see that I have a lot of traffic and none of it converts...I go back and SWITCH OUT the product. I swap the product for something else that may sell better.

For the same reason, when I buy domain names, I do not buy a name that I can't use on other related or similar products.

Mini-site or master site? Both. Go ahead and create a master site with several products and then create a few mini-sites about the individual products. You don't have to do it all at once. What I mean to say is that both are successful and as affiliates we need to have variations, we need to cover all bases. If your master site gets slapped then you're not losing you're only source of online income.


DOMAIN NAMES
They are not the be all and end all of your page rank. They do play a role (and they seem to rank well weeks even months faster) BUT using (long tail) keyword rich content is even more important. Relevant information is far more important to SEO than having a keyword rich domain.

Domains should be
  • catchy, easy to remember, 
  • be wary of spelling variations (or you'll send prospects to the competition), 
  • short and sweet - avoid anything longer than 15 letters...and even that is a huge domain name
  • consider 

Wow. We've been through Sooo much info (I swear I hadn't intended this to be such a long post!). We will be going into some of these things in a little more depth over the coming weeks as we wrap up our Getting To Know Google month.

Questions? I know you have them! Feel free to drop me a line and tell me what I've forgotten or what I've skimped over.

Good luck new webmasters and affiliates. I hope to be seeing much more of you in the coming weeks *insert cheesy grin here*

Monday, 25 July 2011

Farmer Update | Algo Update Research

Is it just me or are you getting a bit tired of hearing about Google's algo changes? It's getting a bit old isn't it? Time to stop complaining about something you can't change and start re-framing the problem. Let's look at this in a new light and let's figure out what we can do to get some status back at Ezines or HubPages or Squidoo or GoArticles or eHow or wherever it is that you prefer to publish your articles.

Sooo....

Let's put this to rest. I like to break things down and dissect things here at Mwah ha ha Money so let's make sure we really have a handle on this. We've spent the better part of this month "getting To Know Google and this two part post is all about learning from our mistakes - what forced Google to implement it's Algorithm changes, how to avoid getting slapped and how to super-charge your articles in the process.

This is what I've done and what we're going to be covering in today's post:
  • I've done a little research into the REASON for Google's Farmer Update and I wanted to share my results with you
  • We'll go through what the results mean 
  • Learn how YOU can super charge your articles at your content farm of choice.

SOME BACKGROUND INFO INTO THE FARMER UPDATE
There's approx 3 billion webpages at our disposal. Rumor has it we're running out of IP addresses. Affiliates of old spammed the hell out some keywords with their slapped up "mini-site's" consisting of banners, affiliate links, a squeeze page and about 5 pages of content - often that which was poorly spun PLR articles or duplicate content.

WHAT IS THE FARMER UPDATE?
After the latest algorithm change in Feb '11 approx 12% of webpages (11.8% to be precise) were affected - many were de-indexed, many lost their high page rank, many were sandboxed. It was known as the almighty Google Slap.

HOW DID THIS EFFECT AFFILIATE MARKETERS?
12% of 3 billion webpages...anyone got a calculator? That's 250 million wepages, the vast majority of whom were affiliates that were slapped by the changes.

SO WHY??

What made Google slap those pages and not others? Why were some affiliates sandboxed while other affiliates saw an increase in visitors and a better page rank?

What made those affiliates different?

TIME TO CRUNCH SOME NUMBERS
I'm a numbers sought of gal - I never really thrived in the back of my maths class but I do love my statistics so I've crunched a few numbers (painstakingly...ingrates).

According to Ezine Articles blog, these are the most overly flooded keywords found on the site - you'll probably recognize a lot of them from Squidoo's own list of SquiDon't's (banned topics at Squidoo.com)


1. Penis Enlargement
2. Get Your Ex Back
3. Acai Berry
4. Reverse Cell Phone Lookup
5. Credit Card Debt Relief
6. Male Enhancement Pill
7. TV for PC

So let's look at what I've spent the evening doing,,,

Firstly, I've taken some keywords that I know are highly competitive and are often associated with spam or are amongst the most popular topics on banned topic lists around the content farms.

These words are:
  • weight loss
  • get your ex back
  • acai berry
  • penis (as in penis enlargement, penis enhancement and erectile dysfunction pages also include this keyword)
  • male enhancement
  • credit card debt relief
First things first, find out just how big a few of our favourite content sites really are. I do this by using Google's search bar and typing in
site:example.com

then checking the number of results. Then I used the advanced search feature and asked Google how many pages from each content site it has added to it's index in the past month. Pretty impressive stuff, my fellow affiliates - how many of those are yours?


Ss how big are they?
  • ezinearticles.com  8,860,000 total       369 000/mth
  • squidoo.com         2,190,000 total        350 000/mth
  • hupages.com        1,600,000 total        726 000/mth
  • ehow.com             3,540,000 total    15,400,000/mth

Here's where it gets a little tricky, I've taken these keywords and I've asked Google to tell me how many webpages are in Google's index that contain these keywords.

And then...

Just to make it a little bit more confusing, I've asked Google, how many NEW webpages have been added to it's index in the past month.


EZINE ARTICLES         
8,860,000 total     369 000/mth


Weight loss                   628 000 total      18 200/mth
Get your ex back         357 000 total          286/mth
Acai berry                     45 700  total            67/mth
Penis                             109 000 total           424/mth
Male enhancement       44 900 total           201/mth
credit card debt relief   67 400 total           162/mth

SQUIDOO                   2,190,000 total     350 000/mth 
Weight loss                    51 700 total         9960/mth
Get your ex back          27 300 total         9280/mth
Acai Berry                        2 630 total           41/mth
Penis                                 1 840 total           45/mth
Male enhancement            538 total           18/mth
Credit card debt relief -    1470 total           39/mth

HUBPAGES                 1,600,000 total      726 000/mth

Weight loss                    59 700 total       20 600/mth
Get your ex back          13 500 total           901/mth
Acai berry                        3 450 total            90/mth
Penis                                 4 410 total          128/mth
Male enhancement            832 total           46/mth
Credit card debt relief     1 720 total           73/mth

EHOW   *                      **32,540,000 total 15,400,000/mth
Weight loss                    803 000 total     127 000/mth
Get your ex back             4 550 total          412/mth
Acai berry                         1 770 total          112/mth
Penis                                  3 010 total          113/mth
Male enhancement             666 total           20/mth
Credit card debt relief       3 560 total        477/mth

* Google is giving me inaccurate numbers tonight for eHow.com - according to my search tonight, I have 3 million webpages in ehow or 15 million new pages which have been added in the past month. Good one Google! I will amend ASAP. Does anyone want to leave me a message and tell me what they get?

** This number is based on webpages indexed by Google in the last YEAR and not all time. I will amend ASAP.
 
BUT WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

Okay, some of these keywords make up a HUGE portion of the webpages on that site. Let's take a look at HubPages (sentimental reasons, I published my first article there!)

Out of the 726 000 new webpages from HubPages that Google indexed last month, nearly 3% of them related to weight loss. Doesn't sound like much when you say it like that but that's over 20 000 pages.

Just how many of those are affiliates marketers we can only guess but what do you think? About 500? Maybe 1000 of them are real people talking about their own weight loss of lack there of? The rest are often spammy,  salepagey articles that aren't worth the time of day for the average person looking to lose a few pounds.

THIS IS THE REASON THAT GOOGLE DID IT'S MAJOR CLEAN UP.
These affiliates spammed these keywords onto Google's radar and forced them to do a MAJOR clean-up-athon. We HAVE to give Google NEW content and stop spamming the life out of these old keywords on our favourite content sites.

If you're promoting a keyword that has more affiliates than searches each month then you're heading for trouble.

Google prides itself on great user experience - we've spoken about it in detail this month - and we need to find a balance between giving Google what it needs AND pleasing our readers. The very core beliefs on which Google has built it's empire don't really change all that much.  It all boils down to giving the best possible results for peoples searches.

Knowing how to give people (and by extension Google) what they are looking for  - original, quality, valuable information - is a crucial key to the puzzle. The rest is SEO, backlinks (remember the illustration about being the new kid at school?) and using long tailed keywords.

So the question remains...

What can YOU do to make sure that you don't
suffer from the next clean-up-athon?

Because I can guarantee, there will be others.

That's what we're going to talk about in our next post. we're going to talk about how you can safeguard your articles AND make them rank better, pull in more traffic and hopefully convert a higher rate of that traffic.

Stay tuned =)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Make Money Online - More Than One Way To Skin A Cat

Internet Marketing mistakes, scams & lies
There are sooo many ways to make money online and that is exactly why you are NOT making money online. You're distracted. You're confused. You're walking around the Internet trying a little bit of this and a little bit of that and not exactly putting yourself in prime position to make that better life for yourself.

Yes, there are a million and one ways to make money online and many (but by no means all of them) of the products, the systems, the software and memberships that you come across have the POTENTIAL to make the bacon but only if you actually do the work.

There are some common mistakes that new Internet Marketers make, Some common misconceptions. Some common big fat lies that you've been told. There are some "guru's" who insist on selling you their methods that worked for them...five years ago. And filtering through the hype, the garbage, the downright dishonesties is what we do here.

We've covered them before, but let's go through it again...

Big Fat Lies, Scams and Mistakes:
>> I can make a passive income in my sleep with a click of a mouse or a push of a button

>> I HAVE to tap into the latest fad to make money online

>> There is a super secret system or software and until I spend that $39.95 on buying this system or software I will keep trying and failing, then go back to my day job

>> This deal expires in 1hr:36min:28secs BUY NOW BUY NOW OR ELSE

>> I will never understand HOW to make money online without buying this product

>> Affiliates...check your links BEFORE you publish (you don't want to be sending readers to the wrong sales page or worse, sending money to another affiliates bank account - *groans* please don't ask how I know!)

>> Forget about all those tried and true methods - the SEO, the backlinks, the keywords and common sense - why don't I try these get-rich-quick schemes, the black hat/grey hat methods, the instant make money online software systems first...and then when they fail, I'll go back to the forum and complain that nothing I do is working

>> I have to spend money to make money (true and false - begin with your free services and when you start making a regular income, THEN you upgrade to paid services to supercharge what you already know works)

>> I'll keep looking for an EASIER way to make money online...because the money should just pour out of this CD Rom drive with me lifting a finger...right?

Or...I have to do everything all by myself and do everything absolutely perfectly.

>> I can make money without having to do any work - I just set and forget, and leave it as is, there's no need to review my webpage or update my SEO from time to time

>> I believe everything I read on a sales page - it is after all everything I want to hear

MORE THAN ONE WAY TO SKIN A CAT
I get to review a lot of different products and systems and I've also been at this game for quite some time now - I got my start online selling my paintings and I've branched out from there.  I KNOW that there are hundreds of thousands of different products out there that are designed to build backlinks or spin articles or suction traffic from the search engines or force them to convert into customers...

But...

I also know that there are hundreds of products that promise the world and deliver the dirt.  

Many of these make money online products have the potential IF and ONLY IF you are prepared to invest the time and energy into MAKING them work. Many of them are outdated, they worked for affiliates or Internet Marketers a few years ago, but the rules have changed.

This is good news and bad news. Google's algorithm changes hit hard - around 12% of search results were affected by the latest update in February this year. Considering there are upwards of 3 billion webpages at our fingertips, that's a hell of a lot of Internet Marketers who were crying all the way to the bank.

These Panda/Farmer updates are simply Google's way of doing a little housework. Too many affiliates were spamming the Internet with mini-sites that had been slapped together with duplicate or poorly spun PLR content and more adverts or affiliate links in the than sustenance - Google does NOT hate affiliates, just the lazy ones.

This means that with a little bit of common sense, YOU can have profitable affiliate sites set up and running in hours. Rinse and repeat. One sites makes money, you make another one, and another and another.

Which is all well and good, but what if you can't even get past the first step - making ONE profitable site? Unstoppable Affiliate has recently launched a fantastic training series of videos. It's jam packed full of instructions that really work. I recently picked mine up - if you get in quick you can still benefit from the launch discount (four days remaining at the time of this post).

Check it out for yourself - I'm usually highly reluctant to recommend products because I know that what works for me now would not have worked for me when I first started trying to establish myself online. This however is the real deal, Andrew holds nothing back and yet everything is thoroughly explained and easy to understand. (Okay, so I have a bit of a crush on him too!)


Unstoppable Affiliate - it actually works.

3 Lies That Are Stopping You From Making Money Online

Let's not waste time. Three of the biggest and most common lies that are preventing you from making money online, as an affiliate marketer, an article marketer, as any Internet marketer, these lies are standing between you and your success.

LIE #1 Click Here, Push There
The first and foremost, biggest lies that is preventing you from making  money online is that you can make money with the click of a button. *Groan* Here's the truth of it. If you could click seven buttons, four buttons,  three buttons or make money online with one simple click of the mouse and enjoy the benefits of having money come pouring out of your computer and into your wallet, then wouldn't every big business own this software? Wouldn't it sell for thousands of dollars? Wouldn't you hold on to it for dear life and make sure that nobody but your nearest and dearest got their hands on this sort of software if YOU were the creator of it?

Truth -
A genuine passive income is made after following a series of steps. It doesn't have to be an extensive, confusing system but each the steps need to be taken. You never, ever get from A to B without somebody taking some steps - there are shortcuts...somebody else to do the lifting and carrying ie you could outsource your backlinking campaigns or hire a ghostwriter...but you still have to take the steps to put it all together and make sure it flows. An income online, no matter how big or how small, no matter how modest or pie in sky it needs to be earned. Period.

The secret is...rinse and repeat. You want some extra money, you want another $500/mth...the rinse and repeat. Repeat the steps, make a new blog or campaign or more articles. Rinse...and repeat...and repeat...and repeat.

Lie #2 - The Latest Fad
The Tides of the Internet ebb and flow so quickly that the only way to make money is to find the next big thing in the market that nobody else is doing or even knows about and get in first. Finding and capitalizing on the latest craze is the only way to get ahead of the crowd. It's true that the Internet is ever changing. Each and everyday people come up with a new way to use the Internet, new ways to make money online, new ways to exploit loopholes. Trouble is so many of them are useless especially for a brand new marketer to try to use for their own benefit. Fads can be very profitable...for only as long as they exist.

Truth - The truth is that you should never, ever rely on  "The BIG Thing." There is tried and true protocal. Been there done that, done and done and done again, PROVEN methods to make money online. Sadly, too many new marketers skip over those posts in the forums because they seem dull compared to the promise of quick and easy money making products. After struggling blindly around the Internet for months even years, dropping money at every get-rich-quick corner, they finally decide to go back and read those other posts in the forums - the one's about SEO and building a steady supply of backlinks and using long tailed keywords.

Lie #3 - The Super Secret To Success
The reason you haven't made any money so far is because you haven't discovered the super secret formula, the one big thing that nobody else talks about because they are too busy hoarding it for themselves. Once you figure it out, then and only then will you join the ranks of the elite Internet Marketers or Super Affiliates...unless you know the secret hand shake, then and only then you will be allowed in the club house, until then ...good luck to ya!


Truth - The reason you haven't succeeded online yet is because you have been distracted. And who could blame you? EVERY decent sales page for the "make money online" niche has a comment or two about "trying ever other system and still not succeeding" or how "confusing it is for new Internet Marketers to make a regular sale." And the fact of the matter is, what worked for so many people a few years ago, doesn't. The market is too competitive or the Panda/Farmer updates from Google all but killed their profitable campaigns and rather than adapting to the new rules of the game - better and more content - they gave up on that and started making all these get-rich-quick systems instead. There are literally thousands of them online

The reason you haven't been successful online is because you're not quite sure HOW to make money online, You are easily distracted and probably find yourself spending more time walking in circles than you do find yourself making new blogs or websites, writing new articles establishing a backlinks or two to get yourself indexed and then ever more to get yourself ranked on that first page of search results, refining your keywords ad testing new calls to action, new headlines for your blog posts of articles (the URL may e permanent but that title doesn't have to be).

A Grave Misconception Other new marketers think that every little detail must be perfect, they seem to think that they have to customize the color of their fonts or find the perfect picture for their article or they write and re-write paragraphs until it's just right...I call this getting distracted by the shiny things. Presentation is important, to some degree, but it's not going to convince someone to click through and buy what you're promoting, it's not going to convince them to read all the way to the end of your text, it's not going to get you on the first page of the search results.

So there you have it my fellow Internet Marketers. Three big fat lies that we've all fallen for - some harder than others - at one point in our journey to become online ka-zillionaires. I've been very fortunate in this regard and I'm always extremely cautious about buying things like this - the sales page is designed to sell, it's downright convincing and I've always looked at these pages with a pinch of salt.

On A Personal Note Now however, looking back I think I am starting to feel that it was a mistake on my part. I'm happy to spend $40 on McDonald's to feed the family or $60 at the movies - a few hours of satisfaction - yet I wouldn't chance the $30-$50 on buying something that could educate me - a technologically challenged, marketing noob (newbie) - to reach a goal of becoming an online marketer.
The Price An Education Think about it. I'm not talking about get rich while you sleep systems, I'm talking about knowledge. We spend thousands of dollars on our education, going through the school system and college or apprenticeships without giving it a second thought - we don't ask "Does it work?" - we just assume that because we have the knowledge, we're going to get the job. Perhaps it's better that way, it certainly works out for so many of us because we aren't over analyzing the situation (or getting distracted by the shiny things).

I'm actually starting to wish that I HAD invested my money in that knowledge sooner rather than later - it would have saved me so much unnecessary trial and error.

Which is what I'm offering you today - an Unstoppable Affiliate action plan. If you want to drop me a line, I'll send you the free (seriously, no strings attached free) pre-launch guide (they have just recently launched btw) or check back soon and check out our Free Stuff page (I'm actually out of town at the moment, enjoying some time with my family but I'll have that there for you ASAP).

I can personally vouch for Andrew at Unstoppable Affiliate, I've been waiting a long time for him to release these video's and kudos to him for sharing his methods - good onya mate =)

It works.

>> Unstoppable Affiliate

Good luck fellow marketers. I hope to see you again real soon.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Overview: Make Money Action Plan For Affiliates

Had a few frustrated affiliates sending me emails of late so I think we need to readdress the whole action plan. And I'm even going to throw in a little overview of what you should be doing to get your profitable sites up and running. Cool? Let's get started then.

What is the first thing you do when you decide to built a new house? Before you look for the perfect block of land. Before you choose your builder. Before you create a budget...the very first thing you do...

Is PICTURE what it looks like.

Affiliates...you need to have a picture of how your business fits together. You need to have a system in place so that you can work your way from one step or phase to another. So I've thrown together a few pic's for you so that you can see how it should all fit together.

The first is an overview of how your website or blog (or even your articles) should work. This is as basic as it gets...I just wanted to give you a visual!

Affiliate Marketing isn't a hobby. If you want to make money online then you're going to need a plan.

BLUE - Traffic Generating sites
GREEN - Branding Sites
ORANGE - Money generating sites

So here's how it works...

TRAFFIC GENERATORS
Traffic might come from AdWords, search engines, Facebook pages/advertising, YouTube, Twitter, Hubpages Squidoo EzineArticles and other content sites or ANY other source that you can think of.

I think a lot of affiliates and webmasters underestimate the importance of organic (or free) traffic that shows up on the SERPS (Search Engine Page Results). Just because you are using PPC (Pay Per Click or AdWords) methods to generate traffic doesn't mean that you should neglect your SEO.

Adwords is great, but affiliates have to compete with some very big businesses who are willing to invest a lot more money in their bids knowing that they will gain repeat customers. Affiliates, more often than not, only get the one sale per customer and with a conversion rate of 2% or 3%.... you could end up spending a small fortune without the results you want. Sending visitors to a squeeze page is also going to increase the cost of your minimum bid because Google considers a squeeze page "low user experience."

A little common sense SEO and a few backlinks will result in a better page rank on the SERPs which means more organic traffic and smaller AdWords bills.

Facebook has just as much traffic pulling power as Google these days - it has been likened to what Google was 10 years ago. Like anything, there is a technique that you will need to study up on before diving in there and spamming all your friends with news about your promotions. Twitter Marketing can also be another means of generating traffic and requires a similar (and yet strangely different) set of social marketing skills.

YouTube and other video sites are a wonderful way to bring in traffic as well as brand yourself with the public. Video's are one of those Internet Marketing tools that so many affiliates have at their disposal but fail to use.    

If you have a freebie (a report or an eBook or something that you can give away or sell seriously cheap) then you can throw in a squeeze page so you can add people to your mailing list. I like to give people the option to access it regardless because you'll always lose a few who don't want to hand over their precious email - it's up to you to prioritize which is more important...building your mailing list or getting people on your site, blog or webpage.

BRANDING SITES
You have noticed that you there are a few. First and foremost is you "Problem Resource." When somebody in your niche has a problem, they can go to this resource for information.

In theory, this resource could be as little as an Ezine Article. Ideally, it should be a website with it's own domain name (it''s own address eg www.example.com).

There is of course a middle ground which can please the people and your bank balance - a free blog. Wordpress.com has great ranking power and it's easy enough to buy your own domain name should the time come.

Your Problem Resource need to be full of useful, relevant, informative and sincere information to appeal to your readers. It also needs to be rich in keywords, relevant,  easy to navigate and have incoming links (known as backlinks) to appease the Google gods.

Backlinks remind me of high school - it's all one big popularity contest. When one of the cool kids points at the new kid (that's you) and says "Hey, that kid has something to say, he's pretty cool so you should listen to him," then you become instantly, on the spot popular. That is why backlinks are so important. They tell Google that your site is important resulting in a better page rank (resulting in more free traffic...that doesn't always convert into customers but it sure doesn't hurt)

Gone are the days of the traditional "mini site." In days gone by, affiliates would build their empire by putting together hundreds of mini sites (but not all at the same time!). They would consist of about 5 pages - give or take - of adverts, PLR content (pre-written articles) and affiliate links. These mini sites were so successful that these Affiliate Marketers virtually spammed the hell out of the niches which led to some BIG changes at Google. These algorithm changes led to mini sites being de-indexed or losing face and many marketers couldn't keep up with the rule change, They dropped out (which is great news for you and I).

I know, I know...I'm getting to the point! Bear with me =)

These days a "mini site" needs to consist of about TEN pages - it needs to be bigger and relevant and have original content. Google doesn't hate Affiliates (as so many are whispering in the forums)...it just hates Affiliates who try to cheat the system - Google prides itself on quality. Give it what it wants.

WHAT TO DO WITH THE TRAFFIC ON YOUR BRANDING SITES
Okay, you need to "brand" yourself. This is where you ESTABLISH YOURSELF as THE go-to guy in this niche.

Problem Resource Site - I call this is a "Problem Resource" for a reason - you provide knowledgeable info for your readers.  Content. Content. Content. You want to try to give these readers a reason to return. Customers need to be exposed to something about 8 times before they buy it and you don't want them to wander back to the search engines on their 4th exposure.

You're the boss. You're the authority. There is no "Please click here for more info"...you TELL them what to do. You tell them to go to you Business Card Blog (or website) or the sales page of the product you're promoting.

Business Card Blog - This is your own personal blog. If you have any experience with traditional marketing, you know that a business card is a valuable asset. Internet Marketing has a MASSIVE obstacle that you need to overcome.

Building a relationship of trust. In a brick & mortor store, if you don't like the look of the salesman/woman, you're going to be reluctant to take their advice. However, if you feel that the salesman is sincere and honest looking and empathetic then you are going to be more inclined to take their advice when they suggest that your bum looks better in THOSE jeans or that THIS used car is the one for you...even if it does cost a bit more.

That's why a personal blog is so important - it allows people to get to know you. I refer to this as a Business Card Blog because you should NOT attempt to market through this blog - it's a business card not a sales flyer. Make sense?


Building an Email list - This is not a critical priority of a new Affiliate Marketer however it IS an essential ingredient in successful Internet Marketing. Mailing lists give you the opportunity to turn customers into repeat offenders...er, I mean repeat customers. This is how Affiliates make the big bucks. The biggest obstacle that you need to overcome in trust...once somebody buys something off you once they are more likely to do it again.

Email Marketing needs to be subtle. Like any Internet Marketing, it requires a Give-Take relationship...you give them valuable info...then you take their money. Simply dropping your subscribers an affiliate link just ain't going to cut it. You'll have people dropping off the radar faster than they are signing on. You build a list by offering a freebie which people can access after they have given you their email in exchange for the product.

The less info you ask for on the squeeze page, the higher the sign up rate. However that means less targeted marketing because you are guessing demographics like gender, age, etc. It's all about finding a balance that works for you.

MONEY GENERATING SITES (The Sales Page)
Perhaps the least complicated part of you Affiliate Marketers business plan now that we've been through all of the above. For Affiliate Marketers, the sales page isn't owned by you. You have no control over it. All you have to do is get people there!

So let's talk click through techniques instead.

A STRONG CALL TO ACTION - Humor and curiosity work better than any other call to action. If you can use both of them in the same call...then you're doing a hell of a lot better than me! It's much harder than it seems =)

Call to Action Dont's:
  • "Click Here" is NOT a call to action. It's lame. 
  • Don't say "please." You're the authority. Take control of your traffic and direct it. Be firm
  • Don't use "For more information visit [my affiliate link]" 
  • Don't forget about the assets you have at your disposal
Call to Action Do's

Many Affiliates forget about the assets they have at their fingertips. Direct traffic through your affiliate link with examples like these:
  • "Check out this video about [something uber important]"
  • Or.... "Find out how eating chocolate brownies can help you lose weight" (providing there's a weight loss recipe on the other end of your link)
  • Or.... "If you want to get back with your ex...forget it! Your plan stinks. Unless you know [these tips and tricks you'll find out about via my affiliate link] then you don't have a chance of healing old wounds."
Seems a lot easier once somebody actually SHOWS you, hey?

Adding Banners To You Blog
Banners are those little pictures at the top and side of a blog (you can see a few at the top of this page) that, when clicked on, will take people through your affiliate link to the sales page. In days gone by, before the Google algorithm changes, affiliates would positively STUFF the top of their pages with these banners. These days, it doesn't make good SEO practice... Google doesn't appreciate it.

As far as business sense, the first part of the webpage that readers look is the top left corner. The top of the page is the first impression and people decide in a split second whether or not they are going to hit the back button or stay on and read. Use a little common sense - think SEO as well as Marketing methods.

Common Click Through Mistakes
There's no reason to talk about the product you are promoting in your articles or blog posts. You can mention it, a few times , but you don't need to SELL IT. There's no need to mention or try to justify the price. No need to talk about how this product changed you life (unless it truly did), rescued Little Johnny from a well and cured the world of poverty. That's what the sales page is for.

Your job as an affiliate is PRE-sell. You're the matchmaker. You're taking people with a problem from the search engines (or Facebook, or YouTube etc) giving them valuable info and then pointing to the sales page. That's it. Pretty simple, huh?

In theory, yeah, it's easy. Just keep putting one foot (or webpage) in front of another. I mentioned earlier that making money online is NOT a hobby that you can do in your sleep. You're building a business from the ground up - one brick (or webpage) at a time.

Balance SEO with building a relationship based on trust and respect wwith your readers. Ask for help (you didn't learn to read without a tutor) and be patient with yourself...learn from your mistakes. And so concludes the second longest blog post in the history of mankind =)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Free Guide For Affiliate Marketers

We've been Getting To Know Google this month and we've covered heaps of info thus far. But now I have a little treat for you. A free 28 page report that teaches you how to build an affiliate income that doesn't get battered by Google's latest algo change or suffer at the hands of Internet Marketing's ever changing tides.

One of the problems many Internet marketers don't seem to understand is that the Internet is not a calm blue lake that twinkles in the sunshine and effortlessly pours money into your PayPal account. Affiliate Marketing in particular is like a never ending, forever changing tides of the ocean that are constantly on the move.

The masses will follow trends and what may have worked in the past just don't pull in the traffic anymore.

What used to enjoy a 1st page rank on the SERPs has been sandboxed or de-indexed after Google's algorithm changes.

What used to be the norm has all but been wiped from of existence or flooded by such competitive, cutthroat marketers that it's nearly impossible to get your foot in the door.

Howevaaahh....

However, we know that the ocean is a great place to be once you know what you're doing. Every year, millions of people around the world flock to beaches near and far for recreation or relaxation.

If you have the right SKILLS, you can harness that ever flowing ocean's tide for good - they have the surfing comp's to prove it! And consider some of the stunts these guys(and gals) can pull of on a surfboard..it's down right amazing to watch them in action.

Perhaps that's not your cup of tea? Perhaps you would find somewhere a little less dangerous, some safer waters to go diving in? To cast your net?

Once you learn how to swim...then you can learn how to enter the ocean safely, how to harness it, how to use it for your own pleasure and benefit.

And that's the point...

Once you understand what it is that you are looking for, once you understand what skills you need and the rules of the game THEN you can build yourself an unstoppable affiliate empire.


This 28page, obligation free report has been great to read. It's very well written, very easy to follow along and you have got to be crazy to pass up anything that is free if you are trying to make money online!

*Sigh* I love free. I can't help it...it's my Scottish blood! =)

Jam Packed FULL of Info For Affiliate Marketers Trying 
To Make It Online In a Changing Market

Saturday, 9 July 2011

I'll Choose Your Niche, Your Keyword & Tutor You (Official Update Re Video's)

For free, of course! You know how much I like free. =)
Why do so many online businesses fail? They don't commit to a cause. BEcause they are unsure of what they are supposed to be doing, they end up bouncing from one method to another without giving it everything they have. They treat the whole "make money online" game as a ...well...a game. A hobby. Something they can work halfheartedly on and yet mysteriously pull in $100G a year, a month, a day!

We've all heard the stat's that say 95% of new online businesses fail but in reality it's closer to 97%. Allow me to clear this up for you...

You are building a BUSINESS...
From scratch.

This is NOT a hobby. This is not a game that you can play without a strategy.

On this note, I warned you last month that I was working behind the scenes to bring you some goodies. The wait was over as yesterday I released the first in a series of tutorial video's that will help you to learn the basics of Internet (more specifically at this juncture, affiliate) Marketing. I also confessed that I have plans for you--that I wish to take under my wing a few lucky noob's and show them EXACTLY how I work.Exactly what is required of just one form of Internet Marketing.

SO FAR THIS MONTH
In the first video off the production line I gave you a great video about your work ethic - doesn't matter what project you're working on, this video will give you strategies that have proven themselves to me and others whom I have shared these techniques with. 

WHAT TO EXPECT NEXT
Coming up (really, really soon) I am going to give you a very special treat. I'm going to hand it to you on a golden platter. This video shows you exactly how I 
  1. Researched a low competition keyword that will get indexed & ranked fast
  2. How I learned that this keyword really is worth my time (well your time really...I'm giving it to you!)
  3. Worked out the EXACT number of webpages that use this EXACT long tail keyword. In other words, exactly how many competitors are using this keyword in a clearly profitable niche. (Give you a clue...154 at the time I shot the video!!)
  4. What you need to do with that keyword to profit from it.
  5. How to find a product to promote with that keyword.
  6. WHERE and HOW to promote this keyword.
COME OFF IT ELIZABETH--WHAT'S THE CATCH?
In exchange for this video and info I am NOT going to rope you into my mailing list...or charge you a dollar...or ask anything at all from you other than your feedback.

Honest to goodness? I'm actually giving you a profitable niche, a profitable keyword and the instructions to use it purely for selfish reasons.

I would like a guinea pig...or 10 =)

MY MOTIVES
You can find my "master plan" at the bottom of this post.
I mentioned that this isn't a hobby at the start of this post. That every Marketer need to have a plan, a goal, an end result that they are working towards. My current "bi-plan" I guess you could call it is to fine tune my teaching ability. The instructions in the video are tried and true. They are a proven, effective way for new marketers to break into the game with no website, no money and no product. People have been making big bucks using this method for years.

I asked myself, how could I teach my son how to make money online? How could I teach the Hubby (who is technologically challenged) to start profiting from the Internet? In this 10minute video, I have shown you precisely how and what to do so that you can replicate your research, your promotion of products and the marketing side of things.


THE REAL REASON I'M GIVING YOU A PROFITABLE NICHE AND KEYWORD
Now I need to know if the video and instruction makes sense to a beginner AND if the instructions were easy to carry out. I want you to use the keyword I give you - you can follow all the instructions without spending a cent. I want to hear what snippets need elaborating, what bits made sense, what didn't, the way you went about promoting it and the results of you campaign.


The reason I'm not selling this to you is very simply because a) you're doing me a favor by being my guinea pig and b) I like to take care of my readers--other webmasters woulf be selling this for $5 a copy in some Internet Marketing forum. I reckon we should give the new guy (that's you) a break--it's the teach a man to fish concept.

YUP...I'LL TUTOR YOU TOO
Look at it this way. If you follow the instructions I give you, it could very well mean the start of something beautiful. If you commit yourself and fail then I'll be so surprised that I'll have to poke my sticky beak into your campaign and help you fix it. Deal?

There's a little fine tuning that I need to do before I give this to you so,...
  • You can bookmark and come back soon. 
  • Hit the RSS feed at the top of the page. 
  • Or hit the Twitter icon to make sure you are first in on the scene when I do publish.


PLEASE NOTE: I'm going to be a bit sneaky about the way I release this video--I would be doing you a disservice if this video went public. Those 154 webpages with this exact keyword would soon turn into 1540 webpages. I hate to put any sort of time limit or "number of copies remaining" limit on this but I really do have to. It wouldn't be fair to let 600 people have this - you don't need or want that sort of competition.

The smartest way to make sure that nobody misses out and those who take me up on this offer stay in prime position with this keyword is for me keep a careful eye on the number of times this keyword is indexed at Google--when it peaks at 500ish, I'll be taking the video down. There may be other opportunities in the future...if you twist my arm.


APOLOGIES: For sounding like a sales page. I simply want you to understand why this is so special, why it's worth your time and attention. It's the first questions on every new Internet Marketers lips - what's an easy niche? Which niche is most profitable? Or how do I chose a profitable niche.

I have never, ever seen an answer from the "guru's" that doesn't require you to learn by trial and error. This offer is going to take the guesswork out of the equation. Drop me a line down below and let me know what you think about that!


OVERVIEW OF MY MASTERPLAN
I give a number of new Internet Marketers a training video and written information about choosing a keyword, researching the competition and what to do with that keyword (how to promote a product and get traffic flowing). I also give them a long tail keyword in a mirco-niche that is already profitable and show them how to go nuts with it and build a campaign of ______.

In exchange, I get feedback about the information provided - whether or not it needs revising, whether or not it made sense, whether or not the plan was easy to implement. To assess this accurately, I will need to know what you chose to promote and where you promoted it.

I will offer my personal time to help to strugglers--this will help them by giving them one on one tutelage and help me to refine my instruction, include troubleshooting in my instruction or include more information about common obstacles and how to overcome them in my instruction.

Google vs People

Reader Relationship Optimization vs Search Engine Optimization
In a follow up to our Getting To Know Google series, we really need to understand how to balance SEO with marketing to real, living, breathing people who have real problems.

We've got a LOT of info to get through:
  • Why it's important to build a relationship with your readers
  • Your readers are actually people not customers (the money is a by-product of your good service)
  • The REAL purpose of SEO
  • What Google looks for when it assesses your webpage(s)
  • How to use SEO effectively to bond with your readers
  • What a quality backlinks to establish your page rank and increase traffic
  • How to optimize you webpage and reader relationship with the proper use of keywords
  • Finding a balance between SEO and reader relationship and how they work hand in hand 
One of the common mistakes many new Internet Marketers make is they don't understand how to find the right balance between building a relationship with their reader and using SEO techniques. They make the error of writing for Google. I've said it before...

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME GOOGLE BOUGHT ANYTHING FROM YOU?

In fact, SEO and reader relationship should work hand in hand. When we examined the core principles of Google in the last two posts in this series, we learned that Google built an empire based on giving relevant results to users, the way Google critiques our webpages and how our webpages are labeled according to the type of "user experience" that Google perceives the page as having.

When we examine the techniques of SEO, when we really break it down, the real purpose is not about page rank (that's a by-product) but all about giving visitors a "great user experience."


SEO IS important. It really is the difference between getting ranked and getting spanked...

BUT!

Building a relationship with your readers is also a top priority because that's what makes the difference between a visitor and a customer. RRO (Reader Relationship Optimization) and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) have a symbiotic relationship with each other and you really cannot become master of one without understanding the other.

TARGETING YOUR PEOPLE (NICHE)
What do the majority of users search the Internet for? There are many people who love shopping...but they hate being sold to. More often than not, the average user does not get online with the sole purpose of buying something, they are looking for information. So how do sell to someone who doesn't want to be sold to?

By teaching them. This is perfect because you probably don't have a lot experience with marketing. But you sure have a lot of experience teaching, especially if you are a parent.

When you are targeting a niche, you're keywords and long tail keywords need to flow naturally throughout your articles or blogs. RRO is a two way, give-take relationship. Your goal is to give your readers something valuable and highly sought after. Accurate information.

In return, they click through and but whatever it is you're promoting. Give your readers informative, interesting, relevant information and they will have every reason to return. This leads to return visitors.The average buyer has to be exposed to something about 8 times before making their purchase. You want them to be exposed those 8 times on your site.

If you haven't yet built a website (it is a mammoth task) then you need to go and start a blog at Blogger or  Wordpress. They are free, easy and an important stepping stone in your business. (Make no mistake, you are building a business from the ground up - not stumbling across an untapped, never ending source of easy income)

Then you need to go back to the content sites you have been submitting articles to and link them all together. Your readers should be able to find one of them in the search engines and either click through to the sales page via an affiliate link or visit more of your articles for more information.

Your article in the content sites (Squidoo.com HubPages.com EzineArticles.com etc) should direct traffic to your site. You are creating a funnel which in it's simplest form looks like this

User searches for info with Google >>>User finds your article at Squidoo >>>User clicks through to your
  • website >>>then the sales page
  • blog >>>then the sales page
  • or sales page via an affiliate link
Make sense? You are establishing yourself as the authority in your niche. Over time, as you grow into a fine young Internet Marketer and you understand how the system works a little better, you can replace the sales page with a squeeze page - in exchange for a free eBook or signing up for your newsletter, visitors are squeezed out of their email address. You will then have an opportunity to learn all about Email Marketing - there's something to look forward too!

Email Marketing is highly effective and an essential element for so many businesses that are making the big bucks. If people have signed up for your mailing list, then you already know what interests them - you offer them more valuable info in their newsletter as well as another affiliate link. Clever, huh? Let's get back to basics.

I like to use the example of a magazine when I teach people how to target their niche. Magazines contain highly effective and targeted information. You would never buy that mag again if you opened it to find a 800 word article about why you can't live without some product or service.



The marketing strategies employed in magazines work and they build a loyal following of die hard, repeat customers. When you are finished here, go grab a magazine and reverse engineer it. Every single word on every single page has been phased that way for a purpose. Every picture, every poll, every advert has a purpose. Study it. Learn from it. Duplicate it in your own Internet Marketing ventures.

TARGETING GOOGLE & SEARCH ENGINES (SEO)
There are two things that you can do to get noticed by Google and both require work. Sorry. It's just the way it is. New Internet Marketers have an unfortunate habit of looking for shortcuts. Eventually, after multiple failures, one of two things will happen. They either quit and crawl back to their day job with their tail between their legs.

Or...

They go back to the forums (or blogs like this one) and read all those posts that they skipped over the first time. The posts about SEO, backlinks and quality content. They realize that methods actually WORK--it's not some loophole or some cutting edge plugin or system. It's tried and true, proven methods that have been around for decades...because they work.


Backlinks

Right there in the middle - that's where you want to be!
Google scans the web each day by following the links we make.
When a webpage has many links pointing to it, it means that it is
an important and influential page and therefore finds
favor from Google.
Firstly, why do we need backlinks? What are they? How do they work? Much like the strands of web pictured here, backlinks determine the status of your webpage. When Google sees a site has many links pointing towards it, it must be a pretty darn influential site.

When backlinks are accompanied by relevant information (quality content) then Google will
shine it's glorious light on that webpage by means of a great page rank.

A great page rank means free organic traffic which leads to more traffic. More traffic doesn't always mean more people converting into paying customers...but it sure helps.

Backlinks aren't solely for Google's benefit. Backlinking in social area's of the net (forums, Facebook etc) also help to drive traffic to your webpages. There is a somewhat hazy line between creating a backlink and spamming somebody elses  blog--do be careful to leave a great and relevant pearl of wisdom with your link that encourages the reader to clickthrough and discourages the moderator to mark it as spam.

I don't really fancy myself as a Jane of all trades so to speak. Once was a time when I would build my backlinks personally (I am after all an artist--I like to get my hands dirty) and now I'm thrilled to bits to know that I have other people doing it for me. By other people, I mean Social Monkee - totally free (it's even free to upgrade). They go ahead and publish 25 backlinks for me each time I submit an article or post. That's me. What about you? What system do have in place for creating traffic driving and page rank boosting backlinks. If you don't have one, make one.

KEYWORDS
For optimum results, you should use your keyword in the first sentence or two or your article. I have a peeve about people who open their articles with that question...

"Are you looking for ways to [keyword]?"

It seems like pointless keyword stuffing to me however it is an effective use of SEO skills. Get creative - two things encourage people to click through more than any other. Curiosity and humor. There are better ways to get you keyword in there without resorting to a pointless question. Think outside the square. You don't even need to...
  • When you're looking for ways to [keyword] it is absolutely, positively essentially vital that you understand this.... (okay, that's a exaggeration but you get my point)
  • If you have ever had to search for ways to [keyword] then you would know how difficult it is to...
  • Understanding the concept of how to [keyword] is essential to your success...
  • Never let anyone tell you that if you want to [keyword] then you should do XYZ...
  • If you're trying to [keyword] then you can forget it because unless you understand the concept behind [keyword] then you don't stand a chance.
 See what I mean about senseless keyword stuffing? Get creative.

Throughout your article, the keywords should flow naturally. Depending on who you ask, you should use your keyword no less than every 200 words - again, it should read naturally. Bullet points can be an effective way to get your keywords out there. For example:

The best diets plans will show you:
  • How to lose weight safely
  • How to lose weight quickly
  • How to keep the weight off
  • Exercises that will help you lose weight effectively
  • Why you should avoid fads when you're trying to lose weight, and
  • How making some simple changes to your diet will make you lose weight faster than you thought possible.
When appropriate, you should also use your keywords as the anchor text to create the backlinks to your blog or website as well as your affiliate links to the sales page of the product you are promoting.


QUALITY CONTENT
When I talk about "quality" I don't necessarily mean that you need to be a world class author but I do mean that it needs to be relevant, informative, helpful and engaging. Think back to you magazines - that's quality content.

Content is King. It's a common comment that gets thrown around a lot online, but what does it mean? Why do we need it? We need content so that Google knows what our site/blog is all about. We also need content to expose our products to readers as much as is sensibly possible. The more content you have, the more likely one of those pages is going to be found in the SERPs (Search Engine Page Results)

FINDING A BALANCE 
BETWEEN SEO AND SERVING THE PEOPLE
As an Affiliate Marketer, a Blog Marketer or a Webmaster your goal is to create a relationship built on trust with your readers. This trust leads to sales and repeat customers.You can only accomplish this by means of quality and relevant content. In the first post of the Getting To Know Google series, I discussed that Google crawls the 3 billion odd webpages and assesses each and every one of them according to the "User Experience."

SEO is important but it's vital that you understand the whole purpose of SEO. Why does Google respond so well to SEO? What unchanging core belief does Google have that it values some sites over others? 

The vast majority of SEO techniques is to better the user experience. Show Google that you have something to offer people and an easy to navigate site that is well maintained and you will bask in the glorious light of Googles favor. 

And so concludes the worlds longest post. Good for you for reading it all!