The SEO Benefits of Article Marketing

Are you using article marketing to increase your niche sites inbound links?   Recently the Affiliate Classroom blog wrote a great post about the importance of article marketing, and why this strategy is possibly the best SEO for affiliate marketers.   After reading through it, I wanted to mention it here.

There are actually 8 reasons listed, but I wanted to point out a few important ones that I think people fail to think about:

Links are one-way. Some SEO experts believe that search engines downplay reciprocal links in their results calculations. While reciprocal links can still be valuable, they don’t count as much as one-way links to your site. Article directories give you a one-way link.

Links are guaranteed. If you’ve never asked a webmaster for a link before, it can feel a bit intimidating. But when you submit articles to directories, you know you won’t get turned down. Seeing those backlinks show up in the SERPs is a nice confidence booster, especially if your site is brand new. As long as your articles are of good quality, they will also send you targeted visitors for a long time to come.

Links per page are fewer. This is a little known, but valuable benefit. Some SEO experts believe that the higher the number of links per page, the less SEO value each link will have. But the link back to your site in an article directory is usually only one of only a few links on the page.

Backlinks soon multiply. Article sites exist for a reason – to provide other webmasters with access to free, quality content. So just one article, in just one directory, can actually turn into hundreds of links, as webmaster after webmaster finds your article and uses it.

If you’d like to read more about article marketing, I recommend you check out Josh Spaulding’s Article Marketing Domination eBook.

Introducing the Success with WordPress eBook!

I sort of teased it in last months income report when I mentioned a project I am working on, and then again this last weekend with my post about Mark’s contest, but now it is finally official.   The Success with WordPress eBook is now available!

This project started way back in February 2008 after polling Hack WordPress readers about their interest in a WordPress eBook, and after confirming interest, I have been working on it off and on in the 6 months since.   I took my techniques and experiences with WordPress and built them into the book, then built in some affiliate marketing and AdSense techniques, and finally I did a good amount of research for other sections of the book to make sure it is a useful resource for people that purchase it.

Here is what is included with this WordPress eBook:

  • Building a Multi-Author WordPress Blog
  • Using WordPress as a Content Management System (CMS)
  • Building a WordPress Forum
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips designed specifically for WordPress
  • Maximizing CPC Income with Google AdSense
  • Advanced Affiliate Marketing Techniques
  • Building a Niche Blog with WordPress

In order to tie this post to affiliate marketing, I also wanted to share with my readers here that the Success with WordPress eBook has an affiliate program that uses E-Junkie and pays out 33% per sale!   You can find out more about this WordPress affiliate program on the affiliate page, including how to get setup and we are also offering a 125×125 banner you can use to advertise the product in your sidebars.

Any questions?  Let me know in the comments below!

Why Won’t I Share My Affiliate Sites With Readers?

A couple of emails and comments recently have come to me inquiring about why I don’t provide specific examples of my affiliate sites, BANS sites, etc.   While I certainly understand that it would be ideal if I provided specific sites you could click over and examine closely, there is actually a reason that I don’t.  Well, there are actually two reasons that I don’t, and I figured I would share them in this post.

  1. Niche Theft – Maybe even more so than the Make Money Online niche, Affiliate Marketers (especially upstart ones) often take each others ideas.   That is why I stressed in my previous post how important it is to find people that you trust.   If I shared on this site which niche sites are making me the most money, I guarantee I would magically see several clone sites within a few days.  This is especially true for BANS sites, as it is pretty darn easy to mimic someone else’s BANS site because most of the changes will be in the stylesheet, which people ‘View Source’ and copy on to their BANS themes.
  2. Experience – Trust me when I say that experience is HUGE in affiliate marketing.  In other words, no matter how much myself or anyone else helps you, you will only learn how to truly succeed through trial and error.   I would say 3 out of every 5 sites I launch fail, but these are the experiences that I covet the most and that motivate me to keep refining my techniques.

Though I encourage everyone just starting out to do plenty of trial and error, one thing I do recommend is once you find a niche that does well, or at least is profitable, attack that niche!   Make a cluster of websites in that niche before moving on.   An example would be if you find success in the Barbie (toy) niche, maybe launch a Barbie poster site, Barbie clothing site, and/or whatever other Barbie stuff is selling.   You could also inter-link these sites (as long as the content is similar) and benefit that way.

On a side note, I have launched a couple actual sites (not niche sites) and plan to blog about some of these sites here and what methods I’m taking to monetize them.  Hopefully some of you will have an interest in that.

Mark Sierra Announces Huge New Contest

Mark Sierra, who is a good friend of this blog (and also the guy that built our logo), has announced a new contest over at his blog, which includes a number of great prizes!

Here is the list prizes:

GRAND PRIZE
Garmin nuvi 350 GPS navigation system – This cool prize is sponsored by Market Leverage. I’ve seen this thing go for upwards of $320 on some sites. Take it with you in the car or walking around town. Never get lost again. You won’t find this on any other contest they’re involved with!

Prize 1
Apple iPod Nano 4GB Silver1 – Hey, it’s from Apple and it’s an iPod…need I say more? Valued at $149. Sponsored by MeAndMyDrum.

Prize 2
WOW-Pen Joy – These aren’t available in stores yet, so one lucky winner is going to be among the first to receive this superior ergonomic PC mouse. I’ve been using another model made by the same company and love it!. Sponsored by WOW-Pen.

Prize 3
1-hour Consultation with Garry Conn – Garry continues to provide great tips and information about how to make money online and does so at an incredible rate. He has created untold numbers of blogs for a variety of market niches and has become very successful at it. If you’re interested in making money online, then make it a point to get to know my friend Garry. This hour he’s giving away will no doubt change the way you blog. Valued at $250.

Prize 4
Free 1-year Membership to LifeFoc.us – this prize, valued at $324, is generously offered by another successful online entrepreneur, Aaron Abber. This recently launched online community is already off to a great start and is sure to provide you with encouraging tips on planning and achieving your goals, both online and offline. Happiness can be found in many different areas of your life and LifeFoc.us can help you find them.

Prize 5
1 Market Leverage 2GB USB Pen – Another prize sponsored by MeAndMyDrum, this is something I won from another contest that I’m throwing into the mix. It’s brand-spanking new!

Prize 6
Free ebook: Success With WordPress – Written by Kyle Eslick of Hack WordPress, this hasn’t even been released yet, so the winner will be among the very first to grab a free copy and become even more successful with using WordPress.

Prize 7
Free ebook: Blog Adrenaline – Written by John Moston of DNXpert, this is an 80-page ebook that also includes a 24-page guide to building WordPress themes, AND a “skeleton” WordPress theme that can be customized and given away for building backlinks.

Prize 8
2 Market Leverage Rewards Cards – These guys came through again with another popular prize. Each card is worth $20. There will be 1 winner per card.

Prize 9
Advertising on KeithJamesLock.com – Keith is offering some great advertising opportunities on his blog. One image ad will be placed beneath each of his posts on single post pages as well as beneath the post on the home page. Size can be up to 400×250. He’s also offering a text link up to 50 characters in length. Both will have do-follow links which can be affiliate links if desired. 2

Prize 10
Niche Adsense Themes for WordPress – Created by Mark Mason, this rising star in the Internet marketing world is someone I’ve been following closely. His recent release of these specially designed WordPress themes has been well-received in the online community. Do yourself a favor and get to know Mark so that you can carve out your slice of the make money online pie.

Prize 11
Free ebook: Article Domination – Written by Josh Spaulding, this has been a best seller in the article marketing world for a while. It’s packed with step-by-step, easy-to-understand instructions to making money online using articles and article directories to drive qualified traffic to your site or blog. Valued at $39.

Prize 12
125×125 ad on BlogAboutYourBlog – a $20 value, Matthew Henrickson is offering ad space at the top of BlogAboutYourBlog for one month. His blog gets a lot of traffic so your ad will certainly get a great deal of exposure.

Prize 13
Free ebook: Written Prompty Everyday – Written by Christine Senter, this is an inspiring book designed to help you get your creative juices flowing and get over your writer’s block. It lists some very creative prompts that will help get you that spark of creativity you’re looking for.

Prize 14
Free 1-year Membership to I’m On A Budget – My friend Joe Swopes has launched a great new membership site called I’m On A Budget that provides its members with very affordable videos, software, and audio products that cover a wide variety of topics. Valued at $60.

Click over to check out more information about that prize and the information you’ll need participate in the contest.

Importance of Finding Affiliate Marketers You Can Trust

Most of you will remember that last month I gave my thoughts on the Make Money Online (MMO) niche.   Basically (in my opinion) if one of those guys is talking about something, they are either being compensated for talking about it (paid reviews), or they are getting paid when you purchase it (affiliate payments).   In other words, pretty much every post they make is self-servicing in some way.  Trust me when I say that people that make money online aren’t eager to share their secrets without some compensation, and overall these people are no different.  Most of the people that are actually making money online, are to busy doing that to blog and help others.

One thing I like about affiliate marketers is the community that has formed around the industry.   Though an affiliate marketer typically won’t give you the exact URL of their top performing websites (with good reason as readers would copy it or compete with it), they are often very open and honest about their techniques and more than willing to help others.

One strong method I recommend to people entering this field is to find a very select group of people (3-4) that you can trust.   Within this group, everyone should be 100% open and honest with each other about their business models and an understanding should be in place that you will not directly compete with others in the group.   This way when you have a new idea, you can run it by the group and get their input before spending the time and money involved with launching a new campaign.   With this method you can use others input to save a lot of time and money launching bad campaigns, and you can help your friends to succeed at the same time!

Unfortunately, the life of an affiliate marketer can sometimes be very secluded as most sites are run anonymously.   I’ve found that some good ways to meet people are by running an affiliate marketing blog and probably more important is to be active on message boards.  If your budget allows it, you’ll also want to consider attending affiliate conventions, etc.

I have a few people that I have business partnerships with online and it has been a great experience for me.  I’m pretty open with them on what projects/websites I’m building, what strategies I’m using to monetize them, etc.  They do the same with me, and all ideas are kept confidential.  These are business relationships and even friendships that I truly value as they have helped me grow as a blogger, affiliate marketer, and more.

Ultimate Collection of SEO Tools?

Affiliate Marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) are two things that will always go well together, so I’ve always made it a point to stay current on the latest SEO techniques and strategies.  I recently noticed a new post over at Search Engine Journal that really caught my attention.   They’ve called the post the Ultimate Collection of Internet SEO Tools, and I have to say that after reviewing the post, I’m going to have to agree.

Though it isn’t a complete SEO collection (as it only includes web-based tools), it is a great resource that I think people will love.   It is almost overwhelming just how many SEO tools there are out there!

What are your favorite web-based SEO tools?

The Four P’s of Affiliate Marketing

You may have heard before about the four “P’s” of Marketing.   This is a common saying within the marketing niche to describe Product, Price, Promotion, and Placement.

This is something people will often think of when talking about marketing in our day-to-day lives, but I’ve found that it also extends itself well to internet marketing as a whole, and affiliate marketing specifically.

The Four P’s of Affiliate Marketing

  1. Product – Researching and finding the right product to sell.  Would people want to buy this?  Is there are a lot of competition?
  2. Price – This one goes two ways.  Is the product affordable to the consumer and is the affiliate payout worth your time?  Find a product that is in demand and that will pay you a decent share of the earnings (usually 20%+).
  3. Promotion – Possibly the most commonly forgotten.  Most affiliate marketers use a variety of PPC tactics to get traffic, but there are also link building and article marketing methods to promote your new site(s).
  4. Placement – Have you strategically placed your product on the correct domain name?  Especially when dealing with small niche sites, strong generic domains or strong keyword domains will go a long way to help you find success.

Many people think affiliate marketing is easy money.   In my June income report, I mentioned that I made around $2200.00, most of which was profit.   This was an accurate figure, but when you factor in roughly 40-50 hours a week working on it (on top of 40 hours at my day job), that only works out to about $10.00 an hour, which is nothing to get excited about.

The thing I like about this is that work I’ve done in the past continues to generate income each month, so the work I’m doing now will hopefully add to that income.   That is the brilliance of affiliate marketing, especially when a niche you find stays relevant for many years.

Overall, it is all about perspective and motivation, which is why I’ve worked so hard to set you guys up for success.  I have a bunch of things I’ve been trying, but have a lot more risk involved and I don’t want any of you to fail early on and get discouraged.   That is why my early focus has been on things like BANS and keyword sniping.   Things that at worst should make you your money back and help you get use to the world of affiliate marketing.

Traffic Secrets Revealed 2.0 Now Available!

Have you ever heard of John Reese before?  Unless you’re new to the world of internet marketing, chances are this guy is a household name to you.   For those unfamiliar with the name, John is the author of the incredibly popular Traffic Secrets home study course that has propelled the careers of most full time internet marketers today. 

As we all know, getting traffic (especially search engine traffic) is the key to drive any affiliate campaign, but doing so is much easier said than done. This is especially true without purchasing your traffic via PPC or other methods.  Did you know that there are SEO techniques and other methods you could be using to get natural (and free) search engine traffic?   John has covered all of this in his home study course.  

If you would like to check it out, or purchased the original course, I wanted to give you the heads up that as of 1:00 p.m. EST today, the Traffic Secrets 2.0 home study course has been released. 

Check out Traffic Secrets 2.0!

Don’t Sweat the Summer Slowdown

As you probably already know, pretty much every business has a slowdown period, and the world of affiliate marketing is no different.   Typically in the summer both traffic and conversions take a hit, and for certain niche markets, it is sometimes often known to be extreme. If you aren’t one of the lucky people that has a profitable summer site (such as a Fireworks site), this can sometimes be discouraging.

Fortunately, things always pick up in the fall and of course Black Friday/Cyber Monday and the holiday season follow shortly after.  I guess my point is just if things aren’t stellar right now, keep working hard and your hard work you are doing now should pay off later in the year.  I know many of you are just starting out, or just ramping up your affiliate campaigns now, so I just want to make sure no one gets discouraged and quits during the summer slowdown period.

Oh, and if you use a lot of Google AdWords PPC marketing, one thing you may want to consider is lowering your bids percantage with Google’s scheduling feature. You can lower your bids, then schedule your percentage to return to normal around September.

How To: Researching Good eBay Niches

If you decide to pick up a copy of Build a Niche Store to increase your affiliate income, one of the first things you’ll probably find yourself doing is researching for good niches that convert well on eBay.

Because most popular niches won’t necessarily convert well on eBay, you instead need to focus on products that are in demand.   One place I’ve found success when conducting much of my research is in eBay’s popular section.  They actually go out and track trends, then let us know what is hot.

If you check it regularly, you can often find emerging niches that have a number of keyword-rich domains still available.   For you BANS users, how do you locate good niches?