Wednesday, 31 August 2011

New IM Forum


I stumbled my way into an Internet Marketing forum earlier this week and I have to recommend it, not because it's huge and full of valuable insight. It is in fact only a week old. I have to recommend it because the admin is trying desperately to rebuild this new version of his old forum...this means that he's going to answer your questions, pronto.

So the forum itself is called The IM Forum and it was once upon a time run known as a different forum. I couldn't imagine, and I certainly can't explain it to you, how difficult it is to get a forum up and running. It's one thing to get members, but another thing entirely to get them to contribute. Most people will ask a question, get the answers, and never even come back to share their results.

So after creating a successful forum and then having to start it all over again, I can't imagine the frustration!

So far, the owner has done well, has been on a huge advertising campaign and informed everyone from the old forum and slowly, slowly, it's starting to fill up. Which is where you come in!

If you have ever wanted some one on one tutelage, now is the time to get it. Free. Ask a question in this forum right now - today - and you are going to get some very eager moderators and admin himself jumping all over it trying to prove themselves worthy of your patronage.

So once again, this link will take you to The IM Forum - I was always very reluctant to rub shoulders with other Internet Marketers but these guys are sincere and helpful.

Monday, 29 August 2011

How To Capitalize Your Website

Today is the day you start something new...
The world wide web is like the ever changing tides of the ocean. Fall overboard and it's easy to drown in the cutthroat business of Internet Marketing. However if you know the sweet spots, once you learn how to swim and if you have a surfboard, you can ride those tides into an early retirement.

Today, we are talking about capitalizing on your website and the different "make money online" options that are at your fingertips.

Selling Eyeballs to Advertisers
This is the classic make money business model, selling space on your website to companies who want the attention of the type of people who visit your site. This model will never get old.

Redirecting People To Other Websites
Affiliate marketing seems to be a trending downwards after it positively flooded the dreams of hopeful wannabe's marketers. However it still has a lot of potential - you just have to work a bit harder these days than you would have done 10 years ago. This method involves sending traffic to places like Amazon.com (for example) where they can buy the book you have just been blogging about and receive a commission on all of the purchases they make once there.


Selling Products & Services
Warning: Not actually as easy at it would seen. Merchants worldwide have scrambled to enable ecommerce on their humble websites and in all honestly, there is some impressive numbers to be made despite of the competition.


Charge It...Or Part Of It...
Making a membership site and keeping members happy is a LOT of work but where there's a problem, there's a way to work around it. If your website is home to unique and highly sought after and valuable content...sell it. Or at least make part of your site accessable to members only. For example, many newspapers provide free information however if you want to open up the archives, that's a whole different story.

Collecting Data And Crunching Numbers
Yes, people will actually pay for the information that you collect about your visitors. Collecting info about the demographic that visits you needs to be done with respect for their privacy -in other words, don't sell it without their permission.


Email Marketing
Get your Aweber account ready! Email marketing in many cases is an essentail part of a "successful" website. Provide your visitors with a reason to sign up to your mailing list (often a free ebook/report) and you can continue spamming...er...I mean marketing....to them right to their Inbox. Some day soon. if it isn't already, email marketing is likely to be a part of your business plan. Once a customer has purchased something from you once, they are much more inclined to do it again so email marketing makes a lot of sense.

There you go guys, six different ways to capitalize on your existing website or maybe some idea's for you next website. (^_^)

Today is the day you broaden your online empire (however small it is). Pick something on this list. Add it to your weeks to-do-list. And remember...

A diamond is a piece of coal...that finished what it started. Get on with it!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

How To Choose A Picture That Sells

Internet Marketing has a huge disadvantage over brick and mortar businesses because we do not have that physical contact for our prospects (our visitors) to judge us on. We therefore need to build trust in other ways. The correct choice of picture in your articles, your websites or your blogs will serve not only as a way to build trust, but it is an essential part of Internet Marketing because it let's the visitor know that they have found the information they are looking for.

It also helps to break up large blocks of content and helps to keep the reader engaged. Engaged readers do not hit the back button. Pictures really do tell the story of what it is you're webpage is all about.

There are two types of pictures that I use on a regular basis. The Problem Picture and the Solution Picture. There are other pictures that serve other uses too.


The Problem Photo:
This picture is all about the problem in the heat of the moment. It may be a picture of a couple in the midst of a break up, a car broken down on the side of the road or somebody like me about to take a hammer to their computer after some tech troubles.
These pictures can be fun, sombre, serious or downright insane.
One way to catch a cheat!!
A self portrait (^_^)

The Solution Photo:
These pictures are a great way to let your readers know that you have a great solution for them to consider and they have found the right place to be for the answers they need. These pictures carry a sense of accomplishment and of trials overcome.

These are the happily ever after photo's - the happy mother baby moments, the Olympic Gold medalist crossing the finish line, the rescued baby whale return from the beach to be reunited with it's mother. The classic Disney feel good moments.

The Trust Building Photo:
These are pictures that help to establish a relationship of trust with your readers, the most common of which would be a profile shot of you with a quick bio, Don't limit yourself to mugshots though - there are other ways to build that trust.

People love a laugh. Even if they don't have a sense of humor, they still have a sense of fun. If you can weasel a smile or a giggle out of somebody, that feel good moment is credited to you.

You can also build trust by giving people a visual "testimonial." This is proof that you you know what you're talking about because you've been there done that. Before and after weight loss pictures are a good example of this type of trust building photo.

And last but not least, the "Insiders sneak peek" photo - this could be a screenshot of the inside of your membership site, your Clickbank balance, your PayPal account. All these photo's are testifying that you know your business.

The Instructional Photo:
These are visual instructions. Pictures with a tutorial purpose. These are going to help your Internet Marketing efforts on so many levels. They build trust with your readers, they engage your readers and they assist your readers. These pictures might show your prospects how to download a file or give them a overview of how to tackle a problem.

Just For Fun Photo's:
Engaged readers do not hit the back button. Using relevant photo's is going to help break up large bodies of text and keep your readers interest. There are heaps of great "just for fun" pictures you can access online - photo's, cartoons, comic strips. If you can use photo's to recall fond memories in your reader (like wedding pic's, cutesy baby pic's, etc) or get a giggle out of your reader, they will associate your site with that good feeling.

Where Can I Get Photo's Legally?
If you Google "free photo's" be cautious - there is a difference between royalty free stock photo's and free stock photo's. It all boils down to usage rights. Royalty free stock photo's are photo's that you can purchase and use any which way you like. But then again, so can your competition.

Dreamstime.com have a range of free photo's and they keep track of the number of downloads so you can see how many other people are using them. You can also purchance images from them at a reasonable price.

FreeFoto.com is another one that I am less familiar with. Make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.

The bottom line is photo's sell. They help draw the reader down the page and keep them engaged. And if it didn't work, then you wouldn't be reading this sentence right now - you would have hit the back button 4 boring paragraphs ago.

The thing I love most about photo's in Internet Marketing is that you can turn them into banners or links. When your visitor clicks on the photo it takes them to your money generating web page. So think outside the square and invest a little thought into using the right photo to send your readers the right message.

How Do I Research A Niche - Understanding The Mindset

The key to understanding your niche(s)
Choosing a profitable niche is one thing, but targeting a successfully is another. This post is all about researching the mindset of a niche and ensuring that your niche of choice is something profitable. We want you to make the most of your hard work. There is nothing worse than investing hours, weeks of your time into building a website or blog that doesn't sell a thing. Been there, done that...I actually have the matching t-shirt, hat AND shoes to prove it. (I'm SUCH a girl!)

If you read the last post about choosing a niche, you know I like to model magazines. So if you choose a mag that you love, you have a profitable niche from the outset. Now all you need to do is find out what this niche wants - you'll also find that info in the mag, just check out the contents page.

Where do I Research?

In forums of course. What you need to find how how to TARGET your niche - what makes them tick? What do they LOVE and what do they HATE. What thought process do they go through. What problems, what solutions, what issues, what complications do they run into?

You'll find everything you need to know by talking to and rubbing shoulders with your niche. Which is why forums are such an asset to Internet Marketers - particularly if you have little knowledge or experience with the niche.


The Forum Rules...
Let's get this out of the way. I do not spam these forums with links to sales pages or any other money generating pages that I have. If I do leave a link, I send people to my Problem Resources Pages (find out more about different types of pages here). I will only be so bold if I can sincerely say "If this was my mother/father/brother/sister...I would want them to know the info found on the other side of this link."

You cannot come into a forum one day, and start dropping backlinks or marketing to them the next day. This is a great way to get banned for life in record time. Once you have been actively participating in the forum for some time, once you have a reputation for being useful, then you can be so bold too.

Most forums do not allow you to have a URL (you're web address) in your signature but they may allow you to put it in your bio. Read the fine print!!


What To Look For In A Forum
This one is easy. You are looking for threads that contain a lot of exclamation points or start with things like "Pleeease" and Heeeelp!!"

These people have a serious problem. Their hair is on fire. They have a problem that needs fixing NOW. They are, in other words, pre-sold. All they need to do now is hear the right words from you and they are most likely to buy.

But remember what I said about marketing in forums? What you can do however is take the thread and turn it into a series of articles, blog posts or web pages on your website.


The Benefits Of Researching Your Niche
There are many! In one conception forum, I am known as one of keywords for one of my blogs - Getting Pregnant After. Here are some links to my research - it will take you two minutes to SEE what I mean.


What NOT to tell your niche!! - This thread I called the "Worst Comment Award." If I was to use any of these comments on my webpages while I am marketing in my blogs, at article farms, anywhere...if I mention one of these little gems...they will hit the back button immediately!


Learning where your niche is coming from - This thread is about venting and telling ME what this niche HATES about their problem, I started promoting a self esteem ebook on one of my conception blogs after starting this thread.

So besides learning HOW to market from this niche, I also get a lot of research done in the process. I watch the number of relies and views that a thread has had to gauge how popular it is. If I see a two hour old thread with 70 replies and 400 page views, I KNOW it's a hot topic.

I find the SOLUTIONS right there in the same thread. Think about this. I read the thread then I turn the question into a title and the replies into a "5 Things You Must Know About [keyword] article. Or a "10 Tips For [Keyword]" blog post. I am recycling the replies and using them for my own benefit. Sneaky, huh?

I also glean an "Insiders look" into the niche - I hear the reasoning that goes these minds before they come to a conclusion, their dreams, their fears, their hopes, their rationale, their lingo (the acronyms they use), the complications that arise when they try to achieve something. In short, I learn everything I need to know about who, how and why.

Companion this knowledge with some SEO, pretty pictures, some keyword rich titles, a series of posts or articles and I have an unstoppable campaign.

How To Choose A Niche

Extremely common question for new Internet Marketers. How do I choose a niche that is profitable? Actually, this question has some variations. Which niche is easiest? Which niche is most profitable? And so on. So I'm going to explain (again!) how I find my inspiration.

Many Internet Marketers will tell you to choose a niche that you know and love. I won't. It does make some sense. If you already know and love a niche, then you are going to find that it is easier to stay motivated, find inspiration for new content plus you already have some insight into the problems, the solutions and the mindset this niche has.

However, the hobby or interest or the niche that you know and love may not be profitable. There may be absolutely NO interest in it. Or lot's of interest...but from people searching for free info. The cooking niche for example. Or the "going green in the suburbs" niche.

These are examples of niches that are made up of mostly housewives looking for free information - something they can throw together for dinner before hubby gets home in half an hour or women who are trying to save money (by going green, by recycling, by making their own soaps and cleaning products) not women who want to buy steak knives or some Clickbank recipe book. Of course if you know what they do want, you can still profit from them. But it's not "easy."

So I recommend that you model and magazine that you know and love.

Magazines are ideal models to follow because they apply all the traditional methods of marketing that you should also be using for online marketing. Everything about that magazine on your bathroom floor is done very, very intentionally. From the font used, the percentage of content vs advertising, the pictures. NOTHING IS DONE WITHOUT A PURPOSE.

IS THAT NICHE PROFITABLE? If it wasn't, the magazine wouldn't exist.

ARE THERE MANY DIFFERENT PRODUCTS OR SERVICES THAT YOU COULD ADVERTISE IN THAT NICHE? Open it up. Nearly every page has some form of adverts on it.

HOW DOES THE EDITOR TARGET THE NICHE? I'll tell you what he doesn't do! He doesn't fill up a cooking mag with tattoo idea's. He doesn't get his writers to write about some spammy eBook or product that nobody has ever heard of. He provides, useful, informative and highly targeted info about the things that the READERS want to know. His opinion has little to do with anything - he gives the readers what they want.

Internet Marketing? You should be doing the same thing. You should not be writing ezinearticles about whatever it is you are promoting - how would your niche find you? You should be writing about the problems and solutions that your niche is Googling...then you can introduce your solution (your product) to them.

LOOK AT THE COVER - Do you see what I see? You might see some catchy, enticing headlines on the cover of your magazine. Want to know what I see? I see sub-niches. The magazine itself targets a niche. The headlines on the cover, the articles within the mag...they are targeting sub-niches.

IS THE EDITOR DESPERATE TO GET PEOPLE TO BUY? TO GET PEOPLE TO INVESTIGATE THE ADVERTS HE'S PROMOTING? Probably even more desperate than you! His job and the jobs of every writer, photographer, etc working under him are on the line. This magazine exists because of the companies spending big bucks on advertising in the mag. That editor wants readers to "clickthrough" (in want of a better word) and buy the products that are advertised.

IF YOU LEARN ANYTHING, THEN LEARN THIS...
Internet Marketers, especially new Internet Marketers and even more especially Affiliate Marketers make the mistake of "online marketing," of buying into new software, new products, new systems that are going to skyrocket their marketing success....when what they REALLY need to do is start applying the age old forms of marketing that have served well, made millions and have proven themselves for generations.

There is very little difference between Internet Marketing and te sort of marketing that you find in newspapers, in magazines...and this sort of marketing has already proven itself to be successful.

So before you fill up your webpages with something you think might work, have another look through the pages of your favourite magazine. Apply the same principles. Then build on it. Instead of a photo, use a video. Instead of a static banner, use a banner that flickers between before and after shots. But remember, nobody would but that magazine twice if all the articles were sales pages in disguise - just like nobody will visit your site/blog twice if you don't provide relevant, useful info.

Friday, 26 August 2011

How To Make A Video Of Screenshots

Video's get your point across to visitors quickly & effectively
At the start of the month we spoke about How To use YouTube to generate more money. We spoke about presenting a public image, about using your articles as an auto-cue and about YouTube's search bar getting more searches each day than some of our secular search engines. That is massive.

And definitely worth your attention. But how do you actually make a video of the pictures on your computer screen? That's what you are learning today:
  • What is the benefit of making screenshot video's? 
  • How can I use them to further my business goals? 
  • What sort of video should I make?
  • Or advice to overcome fear of public speaking?
You got it!

SCREENSHOT CAPTURING SOFTWARE
To make a video that captures your movements on the computer, you are going to need some screenshot capturing software. The first (free) screenshot software I ever got my hands on was called CamStudio. For a first timer, it had most of what I needed, namely the ability to record both audio and different area's of the screen. However, Camstudio is probably considered ancient by now!

It was replaced with the updated version called Camtasia - again, I picked it up for free and it served my needs.

These days, I don't make a lot of video's. Well I do, but my needs are pretty basic. I am currently using HyperCam. I actually access it through my browsers toolbar which is very handy. It does have a few options for recording sound and the onscreen images. You can upgrade and get the AVS Video Editor so you can chop your HyperCam video's to bits, join them together etc and edit them properly.

If you aren't a great speaker, you will be wanting an editor like this so you don't have to do 40 takes before you have a video of high enough quality to publish online. I'm pretty sure I also download HyperCam for free.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF USING VIDEO'S OF SCREENSHOTS?
If picture speaks a thousands words...then a video speaks volumes! Especially when you are thinking about sales pages or squeeze pages. A convincing video can, no will, increase your clickthrough rate and therefore you overall profits.


Video's will take the hard work of reading away from your visitors and increase the amount of information you can feed to them. They are engaged and therefore less likely to bounce out of your site or head back to the search engines.

WHAT SHOULD I RECORD? 
What are you promoting? Think video tutorials. Think about showing your viewers how easy it is to download & install your software. Think a comforting (and trust building) video that solves some of the problems your niche deals with. Think YouTube - that search bar at YouTube? It gets more traffic each day than some of our secular search engines. Think humour.

If you want to build trust with visitors, teach them something they need to know. Tell them what they want to hear. Solve a problem for them.

If you want more sales, show them the benefits of having the solution you are promoting. Show them an insiders look behind the scenes.

If you want more people to sign up to your mailing list, tell them how you roll, what they will get from you in return for their interest. Remember people like free.

Walkthroughs or tutorials are a great way of developing a give-take relationship - you give them valuable, relevant, honest advice or solutions...then you take their money. (^_^)

FEAR OF PUBLIC SPEAKING
Personally, I hate the sound of my voice. Listen carefully to any of my video's and you'll hear kids running around in the background. I um and I er. I am not a brilliant public speaker but I have developed the skill over time.

How?

My 11yr old son has his own blog about a computer game. It's small, it's new but if you type the name of this computer game into the search engines, you'll find him on page one (Page Rank #10...I'm proud as punch). The purpose of this particular blog was originally to share with family and friends the knowledge I have learned about Internet Marketing.

So when I make video's here, I talk for my son. I talk to my son. This means that I'm not making a video that could potentially be seen by thousands of strangers. It's a video from a mother to her child,, sharing knowledge and instruction. I talk to him everyday, it makes absolutely no difference if I happen to have the heasdphones on and hit record while I'm doing it.

And when I make video's in other niches, I imagine somebody I love has come to me with a problem. After a quick "professional" intro, I start talking them through the problem they have or showing them the benefits of, or walking them through the solution they need.

That's my advice to you. Imagine that you are making your video for somebody you love. Makes the process so much easier.

PREPARATION
If you need a script in order to speak fluently, print one off. At the very least, I work with some "cue cards" which is simply a scribbled list of bullet points - the list of topics or points that need including and the order in which to bring them up.

Open up a new window and all the tabs you'll need throughout the video should be open, logged in and ready to go before you hit record.

Prepare yourself. Do not sit there busting for the loo, hungry, thirsty and/or fangin' for a smoke. Make sure you're ready to sit down and just go for it with no interruptions. Find some quiet time and pour yourself a drink, have a snack and take some time to clear your head and think about what it is that you're trying to accomplish with the video. Not just what you need to say or do but give a little thought to the overall presentation of the video.

YOUTUBE TIPS
  • Put our URL as the first thing in your desription
  • use your keyword in the title
  • And early in your description
  • Use as many tags as you can think of
  • People respond well to humour and curiosity
  • Add captions to the video - YouTube has editing features onsite after you upload.
There you have it folks. If you've ever wondered how to make a video of your screenshots then now you know not just how, but what to do. Get out there and have a go.

Let's Talk Syndication | How To Syndicate Your Site

I am a firm believer in syndication. Especially if you are new to internet marketing or new to associating with other webmasters and bloggers. So let's start with the basics and then I can give you some syndication tips.

WHAT IS SYNDICATION?
Syndication at it's finest!!
Syndication is all about scratching each others backs. It's the process of webmasters (and bloggers) getting together and boosting each others online status in a niche. Imagine if a group of other webmasters or bloggers, came into your site, make a bunch of comments, shared on the Facebook pages, Tweeted your name... or even gave you some backlinks. That would help, right? Not only would Google appreciate the new found importance of your site but the next legitimate visitor who came to your blog, saw all those flattering comments and how many followers you have...that's going to help them think o you as the expert, someone who really knows their stuff...someone who can be trusted.

HOW CAN I FIND OTHER PEOPLE TO SYNDICATE WITH?
So glad you asked! I recently joined an Internet Marketing Forum and to my surprise I couldn't find a thread for new marketers about syndication! This is insane - this is what every new marketer needs...that little kickstart into the online world. So I started one. Free to sign up and you'll find the thread here at WickedFire Marketing Forum (Hey guys if you came from there. Good for you!) You can, of course, set about finding your own companion bloggers or webmasters by hitting different blogs and sites with a brief invite (including terms).

Ideally, you want to find webmasters who you are not in direct competition with but they are relevant to your niche. For example, I have a few blogs in the pregnancy/conception niches and I would be happy to link to a site targeting the "lose weight after pregnancy" niche.

If you do weight loss, look for partners who do muscle toning or building - partners who cater to the upper end on the fitness scale, while you take care of the lower end of it. You want any backlinks to come from (or go to) relevant sites. That's how you're going to get the most benefit from this.

WHAT DO I GET FROM IT?
You get out what you put in, IF you organize yourselves properly. It's good idea to be clear on the terms from the outset. There are dozens of different ways to syndicate one another, from leaving comments in one anothers blogs, to making a one way backlink circle, to sharing on Facebook, Twitter, email lists, +1's on Facebook fan pages, anyway you please. If you had a group of ten bloggers who all follow one another and leave a comment a day on each others blogs for a week - that's 70 new comments...that's going to give your genuine prospects a reason to think you're the expert.

Whatever your goal is - more traffic, better page rank, more backlinks - arrangements can be made to to cater to your needs and that of the groups. Need traffic? Get your syndicacy to share you on Facebook or Twitter etc. Need to get more people in your forum? Get your new partners to make some comments and get the ball rolling.


SYNDICATING FOR FORUMS
Nobody wants to join a forum that has no members. In this case, having a handful of active members may be exactly what you need to get started. Give your new partners some frequently asked questions from your niche (think keywords and ranking in the engines) and get them to start some threads and then participate in them. Conversations should flow naturally and be welcoming to visitors.

Having a few keywords on hand, will also increase the likelihood of your forum being found in the SERPs when legit people search for these questions.


SYNDICATING FOR BLOGS
This will again center around leaving great comments and "following" the blog. Following is the easy part. It's leaving great comments that many people overlook.

Comments need to be keyword rich (having 50 people say "great blog" and "nice work" isn't really going to help. I feel an example coming onnnn....

You just read a post about a little far flung neck of the woods (in this case my home town) in a travel blog, so build on what the author has tried to say,

"I've been to Rockingham before - you're right about the beautiful beaches and the fishing was awesome.  And the first time I ever saw penguins was when we took the ferry over to Penguin Island (great surf break there too, btw). I would love to get back to Western Australia one day."

The underlined text are keywords - so you've just added to the keyword count on the page. You have reinforced the bloggers status when you agreed with his theory of great beaches. And you've added new, enticing thoughts for the next reader - fishing & surf breaks. And you did it all in a few sentences worth of your time.

SYNDICATING FOR WEBSITES
Websites use many different forms of self promotion, from built in blogs and forums to Facebook fan pages. In which case you would be looking for people to "follow" and leave comments like the example above.

However, if you have a smallish or new site that doesn't use these methods, you're main goal is going to be getting traffic flowing or backlinks. Backlinks work best when they are made to be one way - another site links to you but you aren't linking back. You can get together with some relevant sites and create some link love.

Site A links to Site B, who links to Site C who links to Site A...everyone gets some love. There are considerations though, backlinks have even more influence when they come from authoritative websites. Having a Page Rank #50 website linking to a Page Rank #6 isn't going to have the same power as vice versa.

In fact, I recently came across the stat's of 2 websites by the same owner. One was about 3yrs old, had 6000ish inbound links and page rank #6. The other site was 2yr old, had about half the inbound links and ranked at #2. This would indicate that somewhere in those 3000ish backlinks where some very powerful links from some big name and well ranked sites. The point is, the better the page rank of the site linking to you, the more pulling power the backlink has over your page rank.

What about traffic? Get you new partners to share you. Facebook, Twitter, My Space..YouTube. Wherever and when ever you're site can be shared relevently.

A NOTE OF CAUTION
Besides the backlink issue that I've just explained, you don't want your URL to be associated with spam. Having a group who drop your URL in any old forum or blog is not going to help you. Having a relationship website backlink to your travel website is not going to help you. Having people in the group who aren't pulling their weight is a pain in the beehind - drop them - they aren't going to help you.


For this reason, I like to work with small syndicate groups. Over time, you build a trust and friendship. You'll end up mentioning your buddy's URL in a blog comment not because it's your turn to promote them, but simply because the opportunity arose.


Make your intentions and your needs clear from the outset. When you start a group of your own, you might like to elect a dedicated moderator/mediator or create a communal To-Do-List that you can all edit, check things off (with dates/names to keep track of who's pulling their weight) and add new things.

Organization is the key - isn't it always!

Don't leave yourself vulnerable to guilt by association. If something downright dodgy is happening in your group, remove yourself from it. Don't let your own greed for status or backlinks blind you or sway your decisions. Don't get involved in link share schemes. Or "you click my Adsense, I'll click yours" schemes. Or any other schemes. Common sense people. We all got it, you have no excuse for not using it.

Relevance is crucial - no weight loss comments in relationship blogs, for the love of god!

Enjoy the experience of learning from and rubbing shoulders with other Internet Marketers. I often joke about this secret handshake and how until you know that handshake, no internet marketer is going to let you inside the clubhouse - you have to figure it out for yourself. Then and only then will other marketers be willing to talk about what they do, why they do it and how they do it.

By creating or being in a small group and syndicating one another, you are also learning from each other, inspiring each other, teaching one another. It's a great big breath of fresh air - omg...honest advice!

If you are interested in getting together and sharing some love - if you have a blog that needs comments or a site that needs traffic - you are welcome to leave some details here or come and join me in the forum.

==> http://www.wickedfire.com/newbie-questions/135123-lets-see-some-syndication.html

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Affiliate Website Case Study | Inside My New Website

The "Secret Handshake" Revealed
There seems to be a secret handshake in the Internet Marketing world - unless you know that hand shake, to bad. Once you figure it out for yourself, then and only then will other marketers talk to you about what they do and how they do it. Not today.

Today I spell out for you the latest affiliate website I have been making and how I have managed to get it in Page Rank #1 within 23 days (kinda wish I checked PR sooner, it was probably there a week ago!)

So this is a bit of a case study website - I will be sharing with you the ins and outs of it's construction and how I have got it into Page Rank #1 before I even finished constructing it! 

THE BACKGROUND
This is the way I operate - I write  dozen articles for a content site like squidoo (in this case it's a banned topic that went unnoticed just long enough) or  Hubpages (who do not accept Clickbank links) or EzineArticles.

I watch and wait - I keep track of the traffic, which keywords brought them to my articles, which articles saw lots of traffic, which saw none and which ones were successfully getting people to click through.

I only build a site when I KNOW it's beneficial
I take my new found knowledge to a free blog - much like this one, or Wordpress.org and start constructing a blog about those successful keywords/articles/topics.

I watch and wait - I keep track of which keywords bring people to me, which posts/topic are popular & which ones convert. Most of this is done with Google Analytics.

If that blog is successful at converting prospects into customers...I then know it is safe to invest my time, let alone money into building a website. In this particular niche, I have several blogs, one of which is here at Blogger (called My Marriage Mender).

THE DOMAIN NAME
I purchased the domain name on the 29th of June. Personally, I prefer a domain name that is catchy and memorable. I don't believe it has a huge impact on my page rank and I would prefer people to remember it. I like a generic type of domain name rather than one that is directly linked to a product because if that product doesn't convert, if the merchant stops selling it or it suddenly becomes associated with a s.c.a.m. then I don't want to be left with a domain I can't use. I can simply switch the product I am affiliated with to another similar one and continue on my way.The domain name I chose is 3rdchancelove.com


THE "RESEARCH"
None. Besides what I have learned from the articles and the blogs. I did very little keyword research. I continue to promote the same products that I am using in my blogs, the same keywords and the same topics. This is why my articles, blogs website system works. By the time you get to the stage where you are ready to build a website, you already know how to work the niche.

The only preparation I really did was think about was the construction of the site itself:
  • The presentation, 
  • which sub-niches I was going to target
  • which keywords were already popular in the blogs
  • deciding which banners I wanted displayed
  • finding/making HTML codes for the banners (banners are pictures that once clicked on, will take user to another site, an affiliate site in this case)
  • finding photo's I could use.
 WEIGHING MY OPTIONS
Master site or mini-site? One product or many? There are pro's and cons of each and eventually, you need to have both. You should never put all eggs in one basket.


Mini-site dedicated to one product - This type of mini-site does have a place your affiliate marketing business plan, however they are temperamental. These sites get indexed quickly and they rank well because you are using the same keywords repeatedly throughout the site and use a keyword rich domain name. Your visitors are going to see you as the expert in the matter. On the other hand, if something changes - Google algorithm's or the merchant stops selling - you are risking your position in the Search Engines or the site itself will stop being profitable.


Master site & several products - These sites have a more generic name, they use a wider variety of keywords, they can take weeks, even months, to reach the same status in the search engines as a smaller counterpart. Howevaaah...

Once they do rank well, they have sticking power. They hold a lot more authority in the search engines and are difficult to shift you out of your Page Rank. Not only that, when your visitors come to your master site, they automatically perceive you as the expert in the niche, the go-to-guy, so they are more likely to take heed when you recommend something.

THE CONSTRUCTION
I went for a horizontal navigation bar with a drop down menu. I have four sub-niches and I am aiming for 5-10 pages per sub-niche. I have 3 banners in the side bar along with recent blog posts as there is a blog built into the website.

Rather than having a "Products" or "Services" page (which give the impression of having to spend money), I have a "Free Stuff" page...each product I am promoting has a free mini-course or newsletter - when visitors sign up, the merchant will continue marketing to them in my behalf. Sneaky, huh? (Note, the "Free Stuff" page here does have a few affiliate links but the overwhelming majority are totally, obligation free)

THE PANIC
What The Buggery??
I usually start with page names and build from there. Once I have a page name and a title, I can add subtitles and then flesh out the content, add some pictures, some links and voila! Ready to publish.

For some reason I managed to start 30 something pages in this fashion, but as I began filling some of them with PLR article from Killer Content... the blog caught my eye. I reasoned that if I published some blog posts then I could start working on getting the blog indexed and start getting my new site "out there."

HA! As I published one of the blog posts...I also published the whole damned site!

There was stuff everywhere. I had no banners, no contact us page, no photo's, no affiliate links...25 odd pages with nothing on them at all. Nothing. When I checked the next day. Page Rank #8. OMGoodness?! I was indexed and on the first page of results and I have page after page of nothing...

THE RACE AGAINST TIME
So the race was on. There are about 30 pages in all. At this point I removed from the website the fifth sub-niche that I had intended to target. Once the website is established, new pages will index quickly so I'll re-install them later on.

Killer Content once again paid for itself - I spun a few articles, rewrote some others. I want the overall feel of the site to be personal and friendly so I spent more time than was really necessary on the content. About half of the site is my own original writing, the other half is PLR articles from Killer Content that have been spun and edited beyond recognition.

It was sometime a week later when I logged in and realized that I was already seeing a drizzle of traffic - 5 unique visitors, one of whom was myself, and one of whom had already left my website via an affiliate link! It's an empty site, yet was ranked on Page 1, was getting traffic, and seeing that traffic click trough. Sometimes you just get lucky, I am stoked about it!

THE CELEBRATION
Ta-da!! 23 days after purchasing this domain name I finally published the last page - the last original page, I have others in the making but these are the original pages that had been published ahead of time. I had a brief celebration with my Facebook friends before I thought about starting my backlink campaign...I have done virtually nothing in the way of SEO to this site as I've been to busy trying to get content in the existing pages to worry about more visitors or building backlinks.

WHICH BRINGS US TO NOW
This case study of my newest affiliate website is far from over. Most of the pages were published with little to no SEO let alone my regular standard of RRO (Reader Relationship Optimization). So the plan is to take a few days off then set about going page by page - one page per day if I have to - and ensuring that all the finishing touches are in place.

I intend to add a new content box at the bottom of each page asking readers "What would you like to do now?" and offer them a range of calls to action in disguise. Both internal links (to my other webpages) and external links (affiliate links to the sales page or free mini course page) will be on offer to readers.

There are another 10+ pages waiting in the wings, I intend to add the other sub-niche as soon as I have finished an initial backlink campaign.

Backlinks? So far, I have blogged about this site at my personal blog (Elizabeth Nesbitt's Blog) and that's it! As I go through page by page optimizing it for the search engines AND for people, I will head over to Social Monkee and submit ach page individually.

If you aren't familiar with Social Monkee, they allow free members to make 25 backlinks per page in one easy hit. The Firefox plugin won't work with my 5.0 version however - bummer, I enjoyed it while it lasted!

So...I will be making a video soon about this site, you are invited to have a nosy around www.3rdchancelove.com and see it's make up - how it has been designed and what a profitable site should look like. Yes, it is profitable - I have already covered the cost of the domain name (and about an hour of time!)

If you want to talk about it, you know where to find me. If you want me to build a website for your own business, you know where to find me. If you want some help to turn your site into a site that see's the front page of search results, you know where to find me!

If you're not already following, go ahead now before you forget because I will me making a big old fuss about this case study of an affiliate site in the coming weeks as I completely dissect this site and what I have done and will do with it.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Using Affiliate Banners To Make Money Online

How To use banners on your website or your blog - great little trick that every successful affiliate marketer needs some basic knowledge of. Don't be put off by the tricky language and talk of HTML - I'm going to break this down for my 11 year old son to understand.

Now let's o through some tech talk and what it means:
  • URL = the web page address or the address of the photo (you can right click on any photo to "Copy Image Location" and paste it in a doc somewhere if you need to.
  • BANNER = Fancy tern for a photo that may flicker between images or be static (one photo that stays consistently the same)
  • HTML TAGS = Look like this: <a> And close like this </a>
  • HOPLINK - This is the website address containing your affiliate ID which you receive from Clickbank

You need some very basic knowledge of HTML code, namely the ones like this:

<a href="URL">

In our example, we'll be using a Clickbank hoplink which most affiliates are familiar with.

<img_src="URL">

width="200" length="200"

Some website builders or blogs make it incredibly easy to turn a photo into an affiliate link to the sales page you're promoting but others need you to do it manually.

In our last post, we learned about the <a> tag </a> and how to add the URL (which is the web address or your affiliate link) to the tag like this:

<a href="URL">CLICK HERE</A>

So that all your readers can see is your anchor text or your call to action. We're going to step that up a notch and add a picture to that HTML tag.


We're are going to assume that you are promoting a Clickbank product (most affiliates are familiar with Clickbank but it can be any website URL or affiliate link). When you find a product that you wish to promote, many venders (or merchants) provide an affiliates section to their website. In this section you may find banners, pre-written articles or emails, a long list of keywords etc.

Got it? So if you open up a new tab (or two) right now I'll walk you through what to do because you have a few options here:

THE EASY WAY TO MAKE A BANNER
You can save the picture you wish to use onto your computer. In your website or blog's control panel (sometimes called a dashboard) somewhere, there will be an option to add a photo to your sidebar or your header.

Most blogs and website builders will ask you to "Browse" for the picture you want to use and offer you the option of adding a title, a caption and a URL.

Insert your affiliate link (your Clickbank hoplink) into area where it asks for an URL.  Save and view the site. Once completed, the system will send people who click on the picture (your new banner) to the URL you have specified.

Make sure you test it before you run off. Click through and pretend to purchase the item to make sure you see that the sale is being credited to you.


THE "LONG" WAY TO MAKE A BANNER
Sometimes, this just isn't an option - perhaps the image you have flickers between before and after shots, sometimes the system won't allow you to add the URL or affiliate link to your pictures.

If this is the case, you'll need to look around your control panel or dashboard for something that may be called
  • Custom HTML
  • Insert HTML
  • HTML Widget
  • HTML Module
  • A combination of the above

So, before we go on...checklist! If you haven't already, open a new tab and make sure you:
  1. Have your hoplink (affiliate link) on standby.
  2. Open the Control Panel or Dashboard of the site or blog you want to add teh banner to.
  3. Look an option called "Custom HTML widget" (names may vary) and click on it.
  4. A little box will pop up allowing you to insert a HTML code
  5. Insert you code (i'll elaborate soon).
  6. Save and then check to see if it has displayed the image on your site
  7. Click through, pretend to buy, making ABSOLUTELY SURE that you can see your name displayed at the bottom of your "Clickbank Marketplace" purchase page or that the sales page has something like affil=yourname in the address. (Don't ask!)
 The HTML code you need to insert should look something like this:

<a href="clickbank_hoplink"><img_src="url_of_image" height="200" width="200"/></a>

A real life example looks like this:

<a href="http://37d07btxwz6yrg1jonk6jjxdij.hop.clickbank.net/"><img src="http://fixyoursexlessmarriage.com/images/fixyourmarriage_200x200_4.gif" height="200" width="200"/></a>

It contains
  • my hoplink (feel free to use it...hehehe),
  • the URL of the banner (I found that picture at the merchants affiliate page, the merchants site is called Fix Your Sexless Marriage - you can see it in there)
  • And then it specifies the size of the picture or banner, in this case is a small 200x200.
So you have your hoplink?

And you have copied the "Image Location" of the picture you want to use?

Picked a width and length?

Then wrap it together with the HTML tags you see in the example.

Easy, right? (^_^)

Completely different language, isn't it? Whoever said that making money online is easy...they LIED to you. Making money online requires attention to detail and a basic knowledge of not only salesmanship, writing and publicity but tech talk too.

The first time you do it, it's confusing and slow work but you soon get the hang of it. This really is worth learning however - it opens up so many new doors. Imagine it...at the bottom of your blog post, you take a tiny images like this....


 
And turning them into links that contain your affiliate ID or even just a link back to your website. How cool is that? Surely you see the potential - it's not just adding a few pictures to the side of your blog or your site. I use these HTML tags a LOT. You will too.


Leave me a message if you need me to explain it a little more!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Making Comments & Backlinks That Don't Get Deleted

Comments & Backlinks that DON'T get deleted
First up...what the hell is a html? HTML= HyperText Markup Language

Believe it or not, if you have been using the Internet for any amount of time, you already know HTML basics...you just don't know what it's called. Everyday we use HTML tags to change the appearance of our webpages, our emails, our messages etc. Each time you highlight a point with blod, or underline it, you're using HTML tags. 

Today's post is all about How-To use html tags to change the appearance of your text AND to leave subtle backlinks in places that you want a professional appearance - How-To make a link using anchor text rather than leaving the URL where everyone can see it.

You know I'm a bit funny about people leaving backlinks in my blogs - to me, it's the equivelant of walking into my house and saying

"Hey, Nice place, love what you've done with it. By the way, how would you like to buy some encyclopedia's? No? Okay, I'm just going to spray paint my business card on your wall so your guests will know where to find me."

Okay, that's a bit extreme...but bottom line, that's what's happening when you come into my relationship blog and leave your link for weight loss recipe's (true story btw). It's called spam, people. If you are going to leave a link, you better make damned sure that you are adding to the information that the blogger or bloggess has provided in a way that is relevant and adds to user experience - you'll also find more people actually use the link when you do so.

I'm with Google on this one - some affiliates are just lazy, they're the one's ruining it for the rest of us and giving affiliate marketing a bad rep. It takes two minutes to write out a proper comment for the bottom of a blog post - one that is adding to user experience or one that tells you a bit about yourself, or what you do, or what you enjoyed about the post you've just supposedly read - but many internet marketers are more concerned about getting their CPA or leaving as many links as quickly as possible without caring about quality.

Call me old fashioned, but the only place you should be marketing is your own webpages. That said, there is some value in leaving backlinks in your comments. Today, you're going to learn how to do it subtly - properly. Get this right and your  comment is less likely to get filtered as spam and the webmaster is less likely to delete it.

So how do you actually leave a link that isn't your URL but actually hidden in some sort of anchor text?

Links (backlinks in particular) have the most pulling power with Google when they appear naturally. That means using anchor text in the middle of a sentence - anchor text that actually tells people what sort of site they are going to find on the other side - rather than dropping a "Click Here" at every turn.

Anchor text is the words that we use to make links, example...

Learning how to make money online is like learning a whole new language. It takes time, patience and most of all, you need to have a solid business plan.

So let''s get started...

HTML TAGS
HTML tags start with the < (less  than) symbol, contain a tag (or an instruction) and then close with the > (more than) symbol.

Two tags per instruction are required: an opening tag that looks like this <b> and a closing tag that contains / (the forward slash symbol) looking like this </b>

If I wanted to highlight a word with <b> bold </b> it would look like that.
Or <i> italics </i> would look like that. And if I was <u> underlining something </u> I would use the letter "u" to instruct the system. Without using the </u> tag to close, every word that follows would also be underlined.

There's a HTML tag for everything...
Whether you're making bullet points <li> example </li>
    Or a title <title> example </title>

    Or want to insert a paragraph <p> example </p>

    Or changing the colour <span style="color: #741b47;"> example </span>


    And the list could go on and on and on.

    But we're here to learn about How-To make backlinks that look like - Mwah ha ha Money - this rather than like this - http://mwah-ha-ha-moeny.blogspot.com

    To use an anchor text to make a link, we need to use the <a> tag.

    In action, it looks like this:

    <a href="http://mwah-ha-ha-money.blogspot.com/">Mwah ha ha Money</a>


    So let me this explain...s.l.o.w.l.y.!

    We start off with the <a href= which tells the system that we're making a link. Then we need to add the URL (or the address of the web page) that we want to send people to. But, just to confuse you, we have to wrap some "quotes" around the URL like this before closing the first tag with the > symbol.

    <a href="url">

    Then we want to choose our anchor text. When you get your Clickbank hoplinks, they come with a domain and a HTML code that says "Click Here!" By the way, you want to change that - "click here" does not qualify as a call to action. You might want to change it to "Check out this video" or "Pick up your free mini course"...anything is better than "Click Here"

    So lets say that I wanted to send people to my page of videos, my URL is:

    http://mwah-ha-ha-money.blogspot.com/p/video-training-series.html

    My anchor text is going to be: Internet Marketing Video's.

    My comment would look like this:


    You made a really interesting point about the different types of backlinks and the importance of having a variety of different sorts of links to avoid getting sandboxed next time Google decides to make another algo change - that way if one type of backlink loses it's ranking power, we still have others to fall back on. I've just finished making some <a href="http://mwah-ha-ha-money.blogspot.com/p/video-training-series.html"> Internet Marketing Video's </a> about one of the free sources I use to build backlinks to my articles. Can't wait to read your next post.

    Which will look like this when it's published:


    You made a really interesting point about the different types of backlinks and the importance of having a variety of different sorts of links to avoid getting sandboxed next time Google decides to make another algo change - that way if one type of backlink loses it's ranking power, we still have others to fall back on. I've just finished making some Internet Marketing Video's about one of the free sources I use to build backlinks to my articles. Can't wait to read your next post.

    See what I've done here?
    1. I've used LOTS of keywords in my comment - any savvy blogger is going to appreciate more of those keywords on his or her post/blog. 
    2. Flattery isn't everything...but it does help. 
    3. I have elaborated on the reasons WHY backlinks are so important (so I've built on the foundation started by the blogger) 
    4. And I've given the next reader a reason to click - FREE.
    Clever huh? This is the reason why I hate it when I find those "Great post, My blog is called [backlink to some totally unrelated blog]" comments - it's sheer laziness. 

    Before I go, if you need more HTML codes then you'll want to visit w3Schools - a websites dedicated to HTML codes and how to use them.

    Okay guys, stay tuned, I'm going to show you how to make affiliate banners next. But before you race off...you're welcome to practice what you've just learn right here. (I'm soooo going to regret this, aren't I?)

    Leave your backlink/comment below...and make it good. I'll be grading you (^_^)

    Wednesday, 17 August 2011

    Articles That Sell | Templates For Article Writers

    Greetings my Facebook friends - this one's for you. I hope you've read the last two posts where I've given you a bit of a business plan and a crash course in Internet Marketing. So let's get down to business - how to write articles that sell.

    Remember you can take these articles to your friendly neighborhood internet marketing forum, you could approach webmasters or bloggers and ask if they need some original (and strictly limited) content (articles) or you could ever find a PLR wholesaler or PLR membership site and ask the owner if they need some new content.

    The great idea behind this is that you can sell a pack of 10 articles (about the same targeted topic) for about $10 (or even upwards of $150 depending on your quality and the topic) again and again. The downside of this is that it's a time consuming to set up - to write the articles and find buyers - as well as being a little risky - some PLR packs will never sell.

    Which is why you shouldn't be shy - introduce yourself to other webmasters and bloggers, entice them with a freebie (internet marketers have trust issues and will be more receptive if you give them a sample of your work for them to use) and ask them what it is they need - what keywords do they want to rank for? What topic or niche are they interested in?


    TEMPLATES
    Article structure is important, you need to break up large blocks of text into smaller chunks, making it easier for people to read. Each paragraph should be 3-4 sentences long...give or take. This reduces the likelihood of readers hitting the back button. Forgot to mention that in my last post!

    Webmasters are looking for articles that sell whatever it is that they are promoting so they're looking for articles that are interesting and easy to read. Questions are a great way to keep the reader engaged. Use lots of subheadings and bullet points. Each and every introductory paragraph needs to include the keyword and be enticing - it needs to let the reader know that they have found the information they are looking for.

    I use hookers. Yep, it's true. I don't like to boast about though. (^_^)

    Hookers are things that entice the reader to keep reading, they lead the person down the page, through the information and to the "call-to-action" - that's a little sentence that encourages readers to sign up or click here or find more info on this website etc. You won't need to worry about that though - you just make the article so enticing that readers get to the bottom of the page and let the webmaster worry about the rest of it.

    Practice makes perfect. So does asking questions. Like anything else in life, you need a strategy, you need to take action and you need to be determined to see it through to the end.

    ARTICLE TEMPLATE 1 - PRO's vs CON's

    This is a pretty easy template and if you're writing PLR packs then it's a good place to start.

    The 1st paragraph introduces the long tail keyword and a problem that this particular niche has. Then you weigh up your options.

    You'll need three or four paragraphs of the pro's - one benefit per paragraph. Followed by three or four of the con's, one risk or danger per paragraph.

    Then finish off with another two or three paragraphs for your conclusion. Perhaps it's you personal opinion, perhaps it's a few statistics or which option the majority of people favour for whatever reasons.

    ARTICLE TEMPLATE #2 - TOP 5 REASONS WHY...
    This type of article is great to recycle and use over and over again. There's a lot of different ways to work this template and a lot of different titles you can use. We covered a few in our last post:
    • Five Ways To [keyword]
    • 3 Things You Must Know About [keyword]
    • Top 10 Tips For [keyword]
    All in all, the structure is very similar. When people choose these titles off the SERPs, (remember the front page of the newspaper?), they expect a lot of info in a short space.

    1-2 paragraphs per point. Mark each point by numbering it, make subheading or use the bold or underline feature to mark each point. If it's a Top 10 then you could also use bullet points. Max info, minimum fuss - try to use that keyword in each of your points.

    Closing paragraph (or two) is a simple summary which also contains that keyword.

    ARTICLE TEMPLATE #3 - THE TRADITIONAL ARTICLE
    Paragraph 1 = Introduce the keyword and the problem
    Paragraph 2 = Expand on the 1st paragraph and the problems or solutions that people face regarding this problem. This paragraph is dedicated to building trust and passing on information.
    Paragraph 3 = Introduce the solution to the problem and expand on it a little.
    Paragraph 4 = This one is more about the product that you're promoting. If you're writing these articles to sell off as PLR then just expand on the solution from paragraph 3.
    Paragraph 5 = Mentions some of the downsides to the solution. We're back to the pro's and con's. Even if you're promoting your own product, then you know better than anyone that there is no such thing as one size fits all - mentioning some of the con's will help your reader see that you're giving an honest perspective and a sincere evaluation - that you have considered all side of the story.
    Paragraph 6 = This is where you give your final recommendation and really throw your support behind the solution (or product) that you're promoting. In Internet Marketers speak, this is a "call to action" - you tell people to click here or buy this or read that and watch the video here.

    ARTICLE TEMPLATE 4 - STEP BY STEP ARTICLES (With an example)
    Once more, you're beginning with an introduction which includes your keyword and the problem.
    Paragraph 2 is all about passing in info and will introduce the solution. Your following paragraphs are step by step paragraphs.
    Step one - drink more water & why.
    Step two - 30min exercise each day & why.
    Step 3 - cut down on fatty foods & why.
    Step 4 - replace with a healthy alternative & the benefits of doing so.
    Step 5 -  reduce alcohol intake & why.
    Finish with a strong argument about why losing weight is better for you and your family or about how others have succeeded or a little pep talk about how anything is possible for those with the determination to succeed.

    And there you have an article; "Step-by-Step How to Lose Weight"

    ARTICLE TEMPLATE #5 - Is hard to describe so I'll give you an example...

    Introducing the problem the keyword and sympathizing - just how rotten it feels to walk this mile. There are solutions but it's up to you (the reader) to take action.


    One Popular Solution is [paragraph about the pro's]
    A paragraph about the con's

    Another solution is ...
    But you need to be wary of... 


    A paragraph about another solution - the safest, fastest, the easiest solution.

    The safest course of action is therefore... (the middle ground, the one recommended in the last paragraph)


    Throw your weight behind the argument in your closing paragraph and suggest investing some time/energy in getting peace of mind from someone who really knows what they're talking about...

    There are so many variations of a pro's/con's article it's not funny. Recycle them, restructure similar content using a different template - rearrange things and mix it up a little. Make a pro's subheading and give people three or four points to consider. Make a con's subheading and give another three or four negative points to consider. Using bullet points will help make your text easier for the reader to get through.

    TEMPLATE #6 - QUESTION ANSWER ARTICLES
    This is kind of self explanatory. As always, you are opening with an introduction that includes your keyword and the problem or the solution. The second paragraph expands on the first before diving into a series of frequently asked questions about different aspects.

    Use subheadings, bold font or underline your questions to really highlight them.

    AT THE END OF THE DAY...
    These articles are going to be used by internet marketers for the purpose of selling things or getting more readers to sign up for a news letter, your pack of articles might be turned into an ebook or a report or posted on a blog or published on a website somewhere.

    These webmasters all have their own keywords that they are trying to rank for so use you keyword as much as possible without trying to stuff it in there or asking silly questions like "Are you looking for information about [keyword?]" Useless questions are a pet peeve of mine - they work well for SEO but honestly, there are better ways!

    Don't be shy when it comes to asking questions. If you have approached a webmaster about writing some content for them, then they are going to prefer that you took the time to find out exactly what they want, exactly what keywords they are trying to rank for, exactly what type of articles (checklists or Q&A's or Top 5's) they would like on their site rather than just guessing what they want.

    I did mention that most webmasters will pay about $10-$15 for a pack of articles but if you find the right little micro-niche, if you tap into the right sort of buyers and if you have some internet marketing knowledge that adds to the quality of the pack, you could get as much as $150 per pack! And you can give that pack a make over and sell it as a pre-written report to another webmaster. Then cull some paragraphs and sell them off as blog posts to another webmaster.

    PLR articles can be sold again and again and again. Although it means a lot of work getting set up and writing these articles to begin with, once you have a few dozen (or a few hundred) you can really set yourself up for a genuinely passive income each month.


    Monday, 15 August 2011

    Articles That Sell | Internet Marketing Crash Course

    As promised in my last post, You are reading a crash course in writing for marketers. We're learning about How-To write articles that sell - you can sell them as PLR articles to webmasters seeking new content or you can use this info to write for your blog, your website or one of the content sites like Squdoo, HubPages, EzineArticles .

    If you're one of my Facebook friends...hey! Look at me - I'm a famous writer!! Jokes...
    But that is who this (and my last post) is for - it's all about making some extra money fast, even if you have no Internet Marketing experience.

    I am going to give you some templates (in my next post) and some marketing basics so you can spend an few hours writing about something you know, then sell a pack of articles to other webmasters.

    Firstly, you need to know what webmasters want if you're going to sell these PLR articles and make any real money. People want high quality articles that they can use on their sites, their blogs or spin them into ebooks, reports to use on their squeeze pages, etc.

    So before we have a look at some templates, you need some basic Internet Marketing knowledge. Don't panic - I explain everything, right here.

    NICHES, SUB-NICHES & MICRO-NICHES:
    A niche is a demographic of people that have something in common. Eg people trying to lose weight - that's a niche. Pregnant women - another niche. Marriage in crisis - yet another niche.

    A sub niche, is a market within that market. Eg, weight loss after pregnancy. See how it's more targeted?

    And a mirco-niche is even more targeted, like a camera lens zooms in and focuses on a tiny part of the big picture. Eg, weight loss after having twins.

    When we talk  about niches, we're talking about the big boys - highly competitive and cutthroat marketers who totally dominate the front pages.

    The average webmaster therefore has a lot more success when we focus on the sub-niche or micro-niche instead. How do we do that?

    KEYWORDS & LONG TAIL KEYWORDS
    Keywords is Internet Marketers speak for the words we type into search engines. Type in the keyword "weight loss" and you'll find Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers, Lite n East and all the other big boys. A long tail keyword is obviously longer - it's been refined too give a more accurate search result. Type in "weight loss for teenage girls" or "lose weight after having a caesarean" and you'll find other marketers and affiliate marketers trying to squeeze a foot in the door.

    When you are writing articles to sell as PLR (or for your blog, your website or one of the many content sites),  you need to use the same long tail key word repeatedly throughout the article. Webmasters are looking for PLR articles which already have keywords in place preferably long tail keywords.

    ARTICLE LENGTH
    As a general rule, I suggest that new article marketers stick to about 500 words. More accomplished writers can use about 1000.

    But there is no hard and fast rule. If you're writing an article called 10 Decorating Idea's For Your Bedroom This Summer, you're going to be hard pressed keeping to under 500 words. If you're writing an article called The One Thing Every Man Wants In a Woman, you're going be writing an article shorter than 1000 words. I wont even make any jokes about being able to write that article in 50 words!

    Cover the points properly, keep it short enough that the reader doesn't get bored and you should average somewhere in between. You might find it easier to turn each article into a question and pretend somebody you loved asked you about it - answer it sincerely, accurately and thoroughly without straying from the point.


    ME, MYSELF & I
    There are two things that webmasters should be looking for in quality contentfor thier sites. Articles that have passed SEO test (Search Engine Optimization = it uses keywords) and what I call RRO - Reader Relationship Optimization.

    As internet marketers, building trust with our readers is an enormous obstacle and one of the ways we can overcome this is...well. I've already shown you.

    By using words like you, me, I, your, mine and so on.

    Example. Sentences like "When a girl meets that special guy and they decide to get married..."

    Needs to changing to "When you finally meet the guy of your dreams and decide to get married..."

    Now I'm talking to the reader, not at them.

    SEO - SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
    Your title must include the keyword - a long tail keyword if possible. You also need to use that keyword in your first paragraph, the first sentence if possible. Then you need to squash that long tail keyword in whenever it flows naturally. Don't stuff it in there but try to use it once a paragraph or every 200-300words.

    READER RELATIONSHIP OPTIMIZATION
    Readers (known as prospects, traffic or visitors) want to know that they have found what they are looking for. That opening paragraph is very important - if they don't think they have found the info they want, they are going to click the back button.

    Titles are even more important so here are some examples that people just love:
    • 5 Tips to [keyword]
    • 10 Different Ways To [keyword]
    • 3 Things Your Have To Know About [keyword]
    • [keyword] Secrets: What You Have To Know About [keyword]
    • [keyword]: The Good, The Bad & The Ugly Truth About [Keyword]
    • The Pro's & Con's of [long tail keyword]
    • How To [Keyword] The Easy Way (or the cheapest way, or the painless way, or the fastest way etc)
    These titles appeal to the reader because the reader can assume that they are going to get maximum info in a short period of time - and we're all pressed for time, right?

    As for SEO, 90% of users use Google, if you can somehow squeeze that keyword into the title twice, those articles seem to rank well and get displayed on the first page of the SERP's.


    WHAT THE DEVIL DOES SERP's MEAN? RANK WHAT NOW?!
    More internet marketing talk!
    Imagine you have a newspaper, an ad on the front page is going to be seen by a whole lot more people than one on page 17.

    SERP's is an acromyn for Search Engine Page Results.

    It's the list of web pages that is displayed when you type in whatever it is that you're searching for (or type in your keyword). Page 1 on the SERPs is the Internet equivalent of the front page of the paper - it's highly coveted by every internet marketer, every webmaster and every person trying to get their name, their brand or their product out there because it means free traffic (called organic traffic).

    EVERYTHING YOU HAVE JUST LEARNED...
    Will help you find that balance between SEO (optimizing your article so that it shows up on the front page of the SERPs) and RRO (writing articles that speak to the reader, that the reader can relate to and benefit from)

    Okay, now you're ready for some templates!

    How To Write Articles That Sell | Article Templates

    Enough holiday, it's time to get on with How-To month. I recently asked my Facebook friends if anyone would be interested in checking my affiliate links and doing a little proof reading and had a few replies.

    And it got me thinking that we could all do with a little extra pocket money. It's just that time of year, the rates, the water, my car rego - everything seems to come in at the same time. We're also getting close enough to December to start thinking about putting some extra money aside for the holidays.

    If you're my Facebook friend, welcome to Mwah ha ha Money -  to day I'm going to show you how to make a quick $100 or so, every week if you wanted to.

    For the rest of my visitors, I have a question.

    What's the number one problem for every webmaster, every blogger, every article marketer??

    Content. Content is webmaster talk for articles. 

    As internet marketers, content is king and EVERY serious marketer wants new content. Regularly.

    Quality, original content, on a regular basis is essential.

    So even if you have absolutely no experience with internet marketing or affiliate marketing (which is where you would get paid a commission for promoting other peoples products) you still have an opportunity to make some easy money online.

    I'm going to break it down into two posts for you, I'm going to give you some templates for articles and teach you how to write articles that sell - articles that other people will buy from you.

    And you're also going to find a detailed game plan, right here.  A step by step, how to write articles, how to find people to buy them and the ground rules for selling PLR articles.

    PLR mean Private Label Rights - it means that you are going to be writing articles that other people can edit and use in any way they like; which means they are probably going to be doing things like adding publishing it as their own work, or adding the name of their website/blog, their affiliate links and so on.

    The Plan...

    Step 1: Find an internet marketing forum. Google things like,
    • internet marketing forum
    • webmasters forum
    • affiliates forum
    • Warriorforum.com
    • etc
    Step 2: Have a quick browse through the forum. Find out which niches people webmasters are in - what type of content do they want? There's no point writing a dozen articles about knitting if your webmasters own relationship websites...or weight loss websites.

    Start a thread if you like. Ask people what sorts of content they would like.


    Step 3: Write a package of articles. Don't panic just yet. I'm going to give you some templates and show you what webmasters want. You'll need to write a minimum of 10 articles. More even. 15 or 20 if you're keen.

    I wouldn't recommend that you make packs larger than 10 articles for the time being. Get the hang of it first, once you move past the learning curve, once you know what people are looking for then you reach for the stars. Start small.

    The trick is to find a topic that people actually want...

    And the writing 10 articles about the same topic, targeting the same niche (or the same market of people) and using the same keyword. For example:
    • How to lose weight after childbirth
    • Pro's & Con's of Fad Diets after childbirth
    • 5 Things you have to know about losing weight after childbirth
    • 10 Tips to help you lose weight after childbirth
    • Weight loss exercises to do with baby after childbirth
    • And so on
    This is important: can you see how I have targeted a sub-niche...a market within a market? This is what webmasters want. The weight loss niche is huge and a highly competitive group of marketers dominate the first page of Google's search results. So the Average Joe webmaster will target a smaller demographic of people within that niche.

    Step 4: Introduce yourself in the forum. Let people know that you are new to selling PLR but you have some experience with writing. You're better off being honest and letting people know that you're new than claiming to be the expert and falling short of expectations. That's a really good way to earn a bad reputation and put yourself out of business before you have even begun.


    Step 5: Negotiating a price. PLR articles will usually sell for $1-$2 each - so a pack of 10 will be $10-$20. Depending on the niche, a pack of 10 articles sell for much more too, as much as $50, even more depending on your experience and the demand from the webmasters you're talking to.

    But you know what the great thing about PLR is? You can sell it over and over again.


    I suggest you start a thread in the forum that looks something like this:

    New PLR articles for sale. I have 10 articles about weight loss after childbirth that I'm trying to sell. Title's include: [list a few titles]. Am willing to accept $15 for the pack of 10 which is ridiculously cheap.

    Use them to make an ebook/report for your squeeze page, use them on your website, use them in your blog. I have written them myself so if you get in quick you can even publish then at Ezines articles, Hubpages etc. Each article is a min. 500 words, rich in keywords and strictly limited to the first 10 webmasters. Please find the example below.

    Step 6: Check your Inbox in a few days. You will probably need a Paypal account if you don't already have one. Paypal is free to set up and an incredibly easy way to transfer money whether you are buying or selling online.

    Make sure that their money is in your Paypal account before you email the articles . If you're honest and confessed your inexperience, most marketers will be willing to give you some help or instructions if you have trouble emailing them or come across any obstacles.

    WHAT'S THE CATCH??
    Okay, the down side of this theory is that you need to have some experience with basic internet marketing (which I'll explain in my next post)

    The other complication is choosing the right topic - not every pack will sell. finding out what webmasters need and giving them what they want is half the battle. It may pay to actually approach the owners of different sites or blogs and ask them if they need your services. Actually ask them what they want.

    Selling PLR articles is actually quite a competitive business for a lot of people. Be willing to negotiate a price. If you offered a 10 pack for $15 and didn't get any nibbles, see if anyone will take them off your hands for $10 - it's better than having them sitting on your hard drive collecting proverbial dust.

    Webmasters - or people in the whole "make money online" business are incredibly cynical and untrusting. We have to be. It's up to you to make us feel like we can trust you. Get in the forum and spread you name around. tell people you're a writer and you've got a few hours spare on Friday if they want some new content next week. Introduce yourself.

    That first step is difficult to overcome, but once you see some positive feedback, word will spread that you're the real deal.

    Don't be shy. Approach webmasters or blog and ask them if they want content - ask them what they want, which keywords they're trying to rank for. Let them know that you're a hard worker and serious about quality.

    Alright, stay tuned because I'm going to give you some templates so that you can write articles that actually sell. Good luck guys and gals (^_^)