September 21, 2014

How to Monetize Your Blog – Ideas to Earn Money Blogging

15 Ideas to Earn Money Blogging, Part 1

Our recent Meetup group focused on blog monetization.  There are some obvious ideas and some that are a little different.  I always like to say that there are many keys to a successful website, but the two that are most important are getting traffic to the site and then converting them.  Conversion can be many things, including building awareness for a non-profit organization or cause, promoting ideas, a candidate or legislation, distributing materials via audio, video, text or photos.

How to Monetize Your Blog

Most people are looking to raise revenues, and that’s usually a goal to sell their own products or services, and that’s the first of my ideas on how to monetize your blog:

  1. Image of Shakespeare asking, "To blog or not to blog."Sell your own products and services. This can be a photographer selling wedding photos or someone who builds birdfeeders to sell online or at a local fair.  Blogs devoted to a specific product are not uncommon and are especially prevalent in the affiliate marketing space. (See below)
  2. Adsense ads.  This is one of the most common blog monetization tactics.  Google has a program where you can show ads on your site and advertisers have the ability to have their ads shown on the Google Content Network in niches that make sense.  Every time someone clicks on an ad on your site, you get paid a small fee.  Usually, blogs write content about a very specific topic and try to rank high for it.  As people find the content, they see the ads, resulting in you earning money with your blog!
  3. Affiliate products. As with Adwords, highly focused blogs are used to attract an audience looking for a specific solution that can be fulfilled by products you sell that are provided by others.  Most often affiliates join networks such as Shareasale or Commission Junction, which represents products of just about every niche you can imagine, from apparel to industrial equipment to furniture to holiday stuff.  This is similar to selling your own products listed above, but one benefit is that fulfillment, such as shipping and product support are handled by the merchants.  Amazon (see below) is a huge supplier of products to affiliate marketers.
  4. Membership programs.  Setting up a free membership site is a great way to attract and retain people who might be interested in you or your products and services.  That can evolve into a paid version where you charge participants monthly or annually for regular content, which may include a regular teleseminar or webinar.  You can take that a step further by adding another level to the membership level.  An example might be to have a $27 monthly membership that includes a newsletter access to archived information.  Next you could add a monthly or weekly teleseminar/webinar for a total of $47/mo.  Kick it up another notch by adding 20 or 30 minutes of one-on-one coaching for $77 or maybe even $97/mo.  I’ve seen layered membership sites go up to $500 or even $2,000 per month!
  5. Amazon.  Amazon is one of the largest affiliate marketers, but they no longer sell products thru publishers based in sales tax nexus states, such as Arkansas, Connecticut, Illinois and New York.  (That will change when a national online sales tax is created – and you know it will!)  One of the cool thing about Amazon is that you can promote a product on your blog, but also get a commission if your reader browses around and finds something else!  For those who do promote books, music movies and anything sold by Amazon, Walmart, Barnes & Noble, Buy.com can often buy from themselves and get a commission for items they’d buy elsewhere.
  6. Sell eBooks.  You can write and produce an eBook using Word and turning it into a PDF, sell it on you blog using PayPal or something similar.  More eBooks are sold today than traditional books and you can get yours in the Amazon marketplace and sell it on your blog and in Amazon.  Once your buyer pays for your book, they are sent to a page where they can download it.
  7. Self-publish your book.  You can sell a self-published book on Amazon, B&N and any number of other places.  Use your blog to promote it and link to it.

People who have come to know you, like you and trust you will buy from you!

Next, we’ll have 8 more ideas on how to monetize your blog!

What ideas do you have?

What challenges have you faced trying to earn money with a blog?

What questions?

 

5 Questions with Lynn Terry

Lynn Terry Website ROI

Look up the definition of super affiliate in the dictionary and you find a picture of Lynn Terry.

5 Questions with Lynn Terry

I have a world of respect for Lynn Terry as a person and marketer and if you investigate, you’ll find she has a huge group of fans.  It’s easy to know why, she gives alot of her time, she knows what she talks about and she is a very successful marketer or “super affiliate.”

She’s big in the affiliate marketing niche and an expert blogger (sometimes those go together nicely, well, maybe all the time!) But her insights on Search Engine Optimization and the ways of  building successful web properties make her one of the core people you should follow. She’s well respected by the experts in the Internet Marketing world.  She’s a presenter at both of the annual Niche Affiliate Marketing Systems (AffLink) conferences in Atlanta and other events around the world.

She was gracious to answer 5 Questions in this interview.  This is part of my new “5 Questions” interview series.

Get more of her at Clicknewz.com and Facebook.

So here are 5 Questions with Lynn Terry…

1) Let’s talk about SEO. You’re well known for your abilities in organic ranking and have taught extensively on effective keyword research, on-site linking and other tactics. What are your top 3 recommendations for achieving page one results in any niche?

SEO is actually quite simple. Unfortunately, it’s often made out to be complicated or difficult – which is not the case at all. There are really only two things you need to do, though I’ll throw in a third which is newer but very helpful:

1. Optimize your page or blog post. Choose your keyword phrase and use it in the title of the page/post, within the content area, and in the URL of the page/post.

2. Get inbound links to that page or post, using your keyword phrase in the anchor text. You want some variety to the anchor text, and to the type and source of inbound links. Variety meaning links from article marketing, bookmarking, social media, other blogs/pages, etc. You never want all of your inbound links to have the exact same anchor text, or come from the exact same type of source.

3. Get social media action. This means Retweets on Twitter, Likes on Facebook, and even the new “+1″ option on Google. The easiest way to do this is to just write awesome content that people want to like, share and vote up – and be active on Facebook & Twitter so that they’ll see it and share it.

To give you a live example, I recently wrote a blog post about Online Jobs Work From Home. The text I just linked to is called Anchor Text. It tells the search engines what the link is about. That text is also my keyword phrase, the phrase I want that post to rank well for in the major search engines. It’s what you call a “long tail keyword phrase” and actually includes more than one keyword phrase.

If you look at the post carefully you’ll see that I used that long tail keyword phrase in the title, and throughout the post. Since it’s an awkward phrase (people search for things in the strangest ways sometimes! lol) I used punctuation to make it read more naturally. You’ll see a comma or even a period that breaks up the phrase. Which is fine, because Google doesn’t count the punctuation.

Website ROI tips

Lynn & me at NAMS3

2) You’re a prolific (and terrific) blogger, could you please point us to your best posts on your recommendations? That way we can get even more insight.

Sure – and thank you! I *love* blogging and I love sharing what I learn with my readers. :)

Ways to Increase Traffic To Your Site – Free

Using Keyword Modifiers to Qualify Your Visitors

Long Tail Keywords: Using Phrases That Make Sales!

3) Besides website optimization, linking and SEO in general, what’s your next favorite online marketing tactic?

I would have to say Guest Blogging. And while it’s part of my SEO strategy, it’s also a stand-alone marketing strategy. Writing guest blog posts for other bloggers in your niche, or even doing interviews like this one, puts you in front of an active readership.

When you are just starting out, you won’t have traffic and readers of your own. So guest blogging allows you to leverage the hard work of others who have gone before you in your niche. While you may mistakenly look at them as competitors… the truth is, they can be your partners.

The one thing every blogger needs is great new content. Constantly. It can be exhausting for *any* blogger, so most welcome a guest post now and then to keep their readers engaged.

Done right, this will not only bring you exposure and traffic from the readers of that blog, but it will also give you a permanent inbound link to one of your posts or pages – which will help that post/page rank higher in the search engines. So it’s a double incentive!

Lynn Terry NAMS

Lynn teaching at NAMS6

4) Getting traffic to a website is one thing, converting the desired action is another. What do you say about conversion?

The biggest mistake I see people make is *not* including a call-to-action. Each web page (or blog post) should stand alone, and lead the visitor to the next best click. For every page you create, ask yourself what ONE thing you want the visitor to do when they land on that page. Then make that action obvious by telling them or asking them – very clearly.

In addition to making that next best click obvious, you need a strong message-to-market-match. That means target the exact person that would be most interested in your offer by choosing the right keyword phrases. Give people what they are looking for, specifically.

If someone is searching for a product to buy, show them the product and where to buy it. They don’t want to read a 800 word article, they want to buy a product. If someone is searching for information on a topic or product, don’t try to sell them a product without giving them the information they requested.

A keyword phrase is a conversation starter. They are asking a question. Your job is to answer it.

5) You talk a lot about keeping things simple and that you don’t use many tools. What are the few tools that you find indispensable as an Internet marketer?

That’s true. I run very little software on my computers, and no toolbars at all. It’s just distracting and unnecessary in my opinion. That said, there are a few things I use daily and couldn’t live without at this point, including:

- WordTracker for Keyword Research
- My smart phone, which lets me practically run my online business from my back pocket – anywhere, anytime
- Aweber for mailing list management

I also recommend a word processor that lets you convert documents into PDF files. You can use openoffice.org which is free, and works very nicely. No reason to spend too much, or have too much clutter, to run a successful online business! ;-)

That’s something else I like about Lynn.  She’s very successful without paying for alot of tools.  That helps you increase Website ROI.

I hope you enjoyed my Lynn Terry interview.  Do you have any questions for Lynn on successful website strategy, affiliate marketing, Internet marketing tools, SEO or being a super affiliate?  Please ask in the comment box below.

 

Why I Attend Meetups and Why You Should Too

Jason Rubacky Affiliate Summit Meetup Chicago

Jason Rubacky

If you haven’t attended a Meetup, you’re missing an opportunity to learn some things that are important to your career or business, network with like-minded people and have some fun! Meetup.com is where you begin and you can look for a Meetup based on location and/or interest. Many Meetups are free and some have a modest fee to cover food or beverages.  Play around with Meetup.com, you may find some interesting opportunities!

I belong to several Internet Marketing or Web Development Meetup groups. I recently attended 2 Meetups that are part of the Affiliate Summit Conference, one in Chicago where I live and one in Orlando where I was on business.  (Note: Affiliate Summit is moving to Facebook Groups from Meetup)

At the Chicago Affiliate Summit Meetup, I was talking with Jason Rubacky, the Affiliate Development Manager from Shareasale, who told me that he could rank in the Top 10 for any image, usually in the Top 3, within a week or 10 days. That’s powerful stuff! His technique is not that much different than anything an SEO with a little experience doesn’t already know, but what is intriguing is the WHY it works so well for Jason. He thinks many of the leaders in image search rankings are by people who don’t really optimize well – they just sort of lucked into a high ranking.

Affiliate Summit Meetup Chicago #meetmeaffsumI believe it!  And that presents an opportunity for you!

Jason shares his optimizing images technique on the Shareasale Blog, but the highlights are to use an exact match strategy for the “File name,’ “Title,” “Alt Text,” and “Description” of the image.

At the Orlando Meetup, Missy Ward, Michael Nunez and Brett Burky  all made made great presentations.  Missy (@MissyWard) presented “Monetizing Your Blog Using Affiliate Marketing.”

Missy Ward #meetmeaffsum

Missy Ward

Tip #1: Video – Including using TubeMogul for easy distribution and tracking for top social media and video sharing sites.  Also, how to use Google Adwords Video Ads

Tip #2: Email – Use Feedburner email subscription on your blog – it’s free.  Use AWeber (aff link) for subscriber opt-in and sending weekly automated newsletters using a template

Tip #3: Photos – Use plugins to rotate images on your blog

Tip #4: Twitter & Facebook – Build relationships by being relevant and genuine.  Make sure you’re transparent and offer full disclosure.  Use automation plugins and consider Facebook advertising.

Tip #5: Podcasting – Missy recommends that you syndicate podcasts to iTunes and AudiblePodcast.com

Michael Nunez from AffiliateManager.com continued with: Automated Commissionable Links.  Michael introduced his Bouncelinks.com program and using it on blogs, forums and social networks. I was impressed and want to investigate it some more!

Affiliate Summit Picture #meetmeaffsumBrett Burky (@BrettBurky) presented on Leveraging OPA. What if you could legally steal traffic from successful websites? You can do this with making frequent comments on blogs & forums, using trackbacks, guest posting and participating in social media, including Twitter, Fan Pages and LinkedIn Groups.  He shared some of the tools he uses to stay on top: Google Readers, Comment Sniper, Google Alerts and Hootsuite.

So, between the two Meetups, I probably invested 3-4 hours of my time.  What I’ve shared with you in this post is only a small portion of what I learned, not to mention the value of the relationships I’ve made.  Participating in Meetups is an efficient way to learn and network and that all helps build your ROI!

Affiliate Summit Orlando MeetupOne other point: I was talking about Meetups yesterday with someone who had looked at them and dismissed them.  Upon further review, she learned that the organizer of a local Meetup she might be interested in is also the Executive Director of an association she’s interested in!  Talk about multiple opportunities to connect!

Click for more Kurt Scholle photos on Flickr of the Chicago & Orlando Meetups

It was just announced that Affiliate Summit Meetups are moving to Facebook Events.  You can look for Meetups in your area, but to attend one of the dozens of Affiliate Summit Meetups Meetings, you need to find them on Facebook.

#meetmeaffsum

Affiliate Summit West – Tweets and Blogs Pt 2

Affilaite Summit West Recap

Here’s a followup to a previous post on the best tweets and blog posts from Affiliate Summit West 2011.  I find good information following hashtags from conferences I can’t attend.  You can look at them yourself: #ASW11.  I also have links to other blog posts below.

The Tweets:

Coming away with tons of ideas, new perspectives & strategic relationships @ #asw11 this year. Cant wait to get back & start implementing!

wow @chrisbrogan, @briansolis and a host of others sharing information is fantastic!

Affiliate of the year Deals.woot

Affiliate of the year: deals.woot #ASW11 (@kimarketing & @sunshinetricia were ROBBED!)

Affiliate Manager of the Year: Carolyn Kmet

Affiliate Manager of year: @ctang

Exceptional merchant: @zappos

Shocked @chrisclarkson did not win the Affiliate Manager of the Year at the #ASW11 maybe next year mate.

Congrats to @lisap for affiliate advocate of year!

Best Blogger: @esnagel

Affiliate Marketing Legend: @toddfarmer

“We’re all brand managers.” – @briansolis The Brand Dashboard: Bringing Conversations to Life –> http://bit.ly/gBHqfe

Who you are online is defined buy your actions and words…and your affiliations

@briansolis #ASW11 says social media command center on rise -rooms of screens where brands monitor social mentions. Social marketing HUGE.

“if I want to reach your network I have to say something compelling to you,” @briansolis #asw11 have to earn trust first

Watching Brian Solis at last day of #asw11. “F-commerce” age of facebook commerce is upon us

“Intersection of transparency and authenticity is the sweet spot” @briansolis

Trust Economy is where we are right now

Before the “thank you” economy we first go through the “trust” economy

People use to turn to traditional media for news, but now consumers want the latest information to come to them

focusing all of his attention on the social consumer in the EGOsystem @briansolis #asw11 our job is to bridge our content & value

Even the best re-tweets last an hour. 6% get re-tweeted

Brian does not use Facebook checkins (yet)

Brian Solis #asw11 Checking-in and likes are forms of currency.

The Ego system is our sophisticated distribution of personal networks via @briansolis

@klout is used by @PalmsLasVegas to see if you are a high roller via @briansolis

92% of retweets happen in the first hour.

It’s not about the click. It’s about the (social) network.

The future of social business is driving experiences and not just responding to them

Context NOT content is King

Why #affiliate summit is the best marketing conference – nothing starts before 11:30 am & strong coffee all day

Social networks consumers spend 1.5 more than nonsocial consumers.

More women than men on Twitter @briansolis

Ads are “can I get your attention?” .. Social Media “can I get your intention?”

@briansolis has an interesting concept about the need for a Trust Economy. Things have gotten way out of hand. Can we get there?

This is your time to lead… Not follow

“Content is key but CONTEXT is king. Marketers, profile yr social consumers & learn what’s relevant”

The Blogs:

Day 2 of Affiliate Summit West 2011

Day 3 of Affiliate Summit West 2011 – Blogger Lounge

ASW11 Session Recap: Local Lead Generation

Monetizing Niche Content

Affiliate Summit West 2011 Wrap

Affiliate Summit West 2011 Recap

Affiliate Summit West 2011 – Tweets and Blogs

I wanted to attend Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas this week, but there are only so many days in the week and conferences one can attend.  But with Twitter, Slideshare and blogs its a little easier to follow along and learn a few things.  And while it’s no substitute for being in the room or the conversations in the hallways, the tweets help you find interesting people to follow and engage.

I followed the hashtag #asw11 and clipped the tweets I found most interesting.  Maybe you will too! Tweets from different sessions are mixed together, so use the conference schedule for more insights as to who was presenting, etc.  I’ll also link to some blogs posts from Affiliate Summit West 2011 at the end of this post.  I’d like to thank everyone who shared their impressions, tips and links, as well as the presenters who put the presentations together in the first place.

And now, on the Affiliate Summit West 2011 in Las Vegas!

Keyword research includes understanding what key phrases mean and how they are being used by your audience.

Google’s new guidelines for affilaites say “Don’t try to hide who you are.”

Single to 3 keyword phrases deliver traffic – four + keyword phrases increase conversion; Top ROI lies in the 3-4 keyword phrases

Use analytics to find out what keywords convert, how people find you, and what qualifiers are used.

Brainstorm, dig, sort ROI terms, remove the junk, prioritize, map core words to content,organize,segment, & group 4 keyword selection.

Finding trends relevant to your niche is critical for creating content.Use google insights to spot the trends.

http://www.google.com/insights/search/?hl=en-US#

“The evidence we have is that people who use Android search twice as much as everything else” Google CEO Eric Schmidt Oct 15th, 2010

WP-Touch Mobile Plugin for WordPress is the Most SEO Friendly for bloggers

Too many choices = no choice.

Have a clear call to action!

Leverage tools such as Google Webmaster tools to look for HTML, SEO, and link errors.

3 Rs of branding: Reachable, Responsive, and Real. @eprussakov

Your personal brand is your promise to the world…

Always document your SEO strategy, content (rough), metrics, labels ,& design before pushing live.Create a simple & seamless user exp.

Trends are all around us… you just need to act on them as affiliates

Its easier/more profitable to plan your sites with SEO in mind rather than play janitor and clean up messes.

Scraping accounts for 10% or more of daily page views on the web, not counting spiders from Google, Yahoo! and MSN

Observe trends and ask questions to other people, friends etc.. people on the street

Check out the search engines… and things like Twitter to spot hot topics and trends

Check out what´s happening with your kids, friends and family to spot actual trends

Affiliates are going to hurt in local SEO as Google rewards local businesses and brands in search results over virtual only.

Write and be written about. Your credibility skyrockets.

As they lose rankings to local & brands, affiliates relying on SEO have to focus on content niches, ppc, & email over natural SEO.

#Tip from @wiredprworks at #asw11 – don’t have an elevator pitch, instead share a mini-success story.

Scraper activity can directly impact your reputation and ability to conduct business after ur website is associated with scraper sites

Be seen online, everywhere.

As lose rankings 2 local & brands affiliates rely on SEO hv 2 focus on content niches ppc & email ovr natural SEO.

Are you focusing on one or two areas only-social media, blogging, forums

Be seen offline. HARO one of best tools. Reporter connection too. Prleads.com paid but good.

Borrow social influence.

Interview the experts and share their expertise. Name associated with them.

Affiliates going to hurt in local SEO as Google rewards local biz in search over virtual only.

How many of you have testimonials on your LinkedIn profile?

JimKukral wears a suit because people who give him money are more likely to give him more if he is seen in a suit.

How people perceive you is huge, what kind of trust are you building?

Put testimonials in your resume, bio, & LinkedIn profile.

#jobhuntchat personal branding #tip from @fawnkey

Trust is required. Do you have it? Once you have trust, there is no limit to what you can do.

Dig deeper into Google insights and compare the longtail with more mature brands or trends

How will you make yourself memorable enough to build your brand today?

Be memorable. Nobody remembers anybody in the middle.

But… Nobody cares that you’re a middleman as long as you give them what they need.

Merchants should give affilaites the tools to succeed. So what tools would an affiliate like to have/would help?

When you solve people’s problems, you win.

2 reasons people come to internet: to have a problem solved & to be entertained. Do either better than anyone else & win.

Update your personal LinkedIn status daily to show you have something to bring to the table.

Is blogging meeting your branding goals? What if you started making video everyday instead?

Content, content, content. Stop blogging and try something different (video, webinar, ?)

Good tip: your title tags should better match the page content

What are you doing that’s different from everone else?

Of all the conferences I’ve been to, #ASW11 has the most people actually doing business compared to any conference I’ve seen.

The experts at #ASW11 say link building and localization will be key to SEO in the next 12 months.

#ASW11 prediction: sites will be under more scrutiny in 2011 – original content more important, associations with low quality sites harmful

ad is deceptive when claim or omission would materially mislead consumers acting reasonably in the circumstances

Use mobiready.com to check your websites mobile readiness

experts say you should create content to try to become an authority in your industry – links come with that.

FTC remedies include bands and bonds – death knell for your livelihood, reference I Works case http://budurl.com/pnn8

“Next 12 months in Search Engine Optimization will be link filtering and localization” says the SEO Pros

Don’t use more than 4 fields when designing mobile signup form for email

if your mom thinks you’re doing something wrong, you’re doing something wrong, it’s the gray legal areas that are tricky

FTC/AG enforcement priorities include financial offers, dietary supplements, upsells, memberships, free offers, CAN-SPAM

SEO Tip: When naming a contest use a keyword phrase in the title.

If you are doing biz online, make sure you are fully aware of existing and new laws

“PR people shouldn’t even be able to say the word SEO”

Interesting questions at #asw11 Ask SEO Pro session.

Google penalties,SEO baclinks.

Google has manual & algorythmic penalties. They can’t do anything to help you if it’s algo.

clear and conspicuous FTC effectiveness of disclosures: must be prominent, easy to understand and close to the language

Lots of talk about the rising importance of Local Search in the SEO sessions at #ASW11

When using email & SMS / mobile, send a welcome message before you start sending offers.

what kind of disclosure is good enough? must be unavoidable and must be in the most prominent place possible

My first Affiliate Summit… Wow…. What an amazing and eye opening experience

Mobile & wifi at @wynnlasvegas is awful. Doesn’t seem to matter what network-AT&T or Verizon-limited connectivity. #fail

Of all the conferences I’ve been to, #ASW11 has the most people actually doing business compared to any conference I’ve seen.

I must be missing some of the better sessions here at #ASW11 What were your favorites? SEO Site Clinic was the best yet for me…

How to create a viral campaign within Facebook? – http://wpbeg.in/exaVsm

Help Illinois Bloggers: IL Affiliate Tax Will Devastate Small Businesses – Sign the Petition | Change.org http://ow.ly/3By19

Highlight for me today was the SEO site review

Loved @BrianWilliams session on Mobile Marketing with Mike Koenigs

SEO sessions were the best this year at #asw11 Local search is hottest topic.

Wil Reynolds’ SEO presentation was very popular.  “Here are all the links from my session today: http://ow.ly/3Bx9Y at affiliate summit #asw11

More Affiliate Summit West 2011 Conference Coverage

Affiliate Summit Blog

How to Make the Most of Affiliate Summit Conference: 10 Tips

Affiliate Summit West Day 1

Asking the Pros About SEO

ASW11 Coverage: Mobile Marketing – The 97% Response Rate Channel

ASW11 Mobile Affiliate Site Strategies

Dominating Your Niche With Blogger Outreach

Affiliate Marketing: The Social Media Connection

How to Create a Viral Campaign Within Facebook

John Chow’s Favorite WordPress Plugins

Advertising Psychology to Increase Conversion & Profits

Affiliate Summit Slideshare

What have I missed?

Market Research: How to Tell What Your Prospects Want

KSonRichesMagazine If you're operating a website, its likely there to solve someone's problem, right?  You want site visitors to buy your goods and services.

If your message appeals to your visitor, you have a better than average chance of engaging them than if you just sling up content without giving it much thought.

And many times, we see messaging that appeals to the site's owner, instead of his/her prospects and customers.  Look for sites that promote features, rather than benefits. (This is one of the most important things for website owners and managers to understand)

FEATURES may be of some interest to prospects and customers, but its the BENEFITS that convey value to your customer. "Features tell, benefits sell."

So, how do you find out what your prospective customers want?  How do you find the terms they use?

By visiting blogs that cover the niche.  By participating in forums and other Web 2.0 communities related to your industry.  By reading the publications they're reading.  By subscribing to online newsletters, both paid and free.

Go to magazines.com and you'll find a publication for just about anything!

Google "blog directories" to find sites that will help you find the most popular blogs by subject. Do the same with "forum directories" and "newsletter directories."

An added benefit of cruising blogs, forums and other communities is that you can leave comments and answer questions, which builds your reputation as an expert and increases your brand awareness.

Don't forget to put a link in your sig file or profile, so that when you answer questions and comment, the readers will know where to find you AND you get an incoming link to your website, which helps with the search engines.

Talk about an ROI!  I would try and spend time doing this every day, even if it's 10-15 minutes.

Sometimes it's helpful to look from the top down.  What are the biggest magazines people are reading, for instance?  Here's an article about magazines that are kicking it in 2010 in terms of increasing ad sales.  Maybe it will give you some ideas! 

But a simple trip to a well-stocked news stand or magazine section in a bookstore can be very incisive too!

Niche Affiliate Marketing Ideas, Tips and Experts Pt 2

Here is my second installment of my biggest takeaways from the Niche Affiliate Marketing System conference (NAMS 3) in Atlanta.  Niche Affiliate Marketing Ideas, Tips and Experts Pt 1

Denise_Wakeman-Kathleen_Gage <- One of my favorite pictures from NAMS 3: Denise Wakeman and Kathleen Gage

Part of my attraction to attending NAMS 3 was the speakers, many of whom I've been following for some time.  I had met Denise Wakeman at SOBcon 2009 and follow her and the Blog Squad. Check out Build A Better Blog.  I love one of her opening lines, the definition of "blog": Better Listings on Google. And she's right!  Blogs are thought to get higher rankings on search engines, perhaps because the content tends to change more than traditional websites and search engines like dynamic sites.  There are usually more posts (pages) on a blog and each usually has a focus, which addresses a niche, if not long-tail keyword.

Denise taught us that blogs should be the hub for all you do.  Drive traffic to your blog using social media, article marketing, comments in forums and on other blogs.

Blogging is a great content management system.  Great way to write a book or ebook.

  • #1 People are looking for information
  • #2 People want to be entertained

She suggested writing 3x per week for 30 minutes each. (I believe she suggested to write at the same times every week and develop a habit)

Concentrate on the 4 E's: Educate, Entertain, Engage and Enrich

NAMSblogdenise Other recommendations:

Use Polldaddy.com to conduct a one question poll.

Good content sources: Google Alerts (on keywords, industry),
Technorati, Alltop, Blogs.com, Tweetbeep, emails from clients and prospects.

Research your niche using Technorati, Alltop and
Blogs.com


Create a blogging calendar

Find blogs in your niche and comment


Recommended promoting an email signup instead of RSS
feed.  Some people don’t know what RSS
is.

Questions you should ask yourself:Who is your audience?
What action do you want them to take?

Niche Affiliate Marketing Ideas, Tips and Experts

NAMSblog4guys Like I said in a previous post, there is a great benefit to continuing to learn and meet people.  If you can't attend a conference, the next best thing is watching tweets from the events or reading the blog summaries.

I attended the Niche Affiliate Marketing System conference in Atlanta recently.  There were some great experts on the panels who presented a treasure trove of marketing ideas that work for affiliates and other website or blog owners.  Allow me to share some affiliate marketing ideas and tips with you!

18 instructors presented to 3 different tracks at NAMS; beginner, intermediate and advanced.  I joined the majority of attendees in the beginner presentations for the most part.  But I have access to recordings of all presentations and look forward to listening to them and reviewing the slide decks.

NAMSblogkurtlynn Lynn Terry (@LynnTerry) is well known to affiliate marketers and apparently more than a third of the attendees were members of her Self Starters Weekly Tips Forum. (I am!)  I recommend your subscribe to her blog, ClickNewz.com too!

Lynn began per presentation by telling us that she was going to do something she's never done before – reveal (some of) her income from affiliate sales.  I must say most of the several streams of income she discussed were significant.  All of the sources of income were for what she described as "poor performers."  The point being that even underperformers can collectively add up to a fair amount of passive income.  One source was a Netflix banner she added to a an old blog post.  The link paid her $339 in 2009 and was really an afterthought.

Want more? Read what Lynn has to say about blogging and free tools for keyword research.  She is a master of linking her content together for search engine domination.

NAMSblogjeffNext, Jeff Herring, (@JeffHerring) the Article Marketing Guy, told us how article marketing and content creation can benefit websites, brand you as an expert and help search engine rankings.  If you ever get a chance to hear Jeff speak, live or on a teleseminar, you'll benefit. (I'm going to post an interview with him soon, so keep watching this space)

Jeff says 2010 is the Year of Content Creation, claiming "There are more people waiting to hear it from you, who can only hear it from you, than you can possibly get to in a lifetime." I believe him.

Here are his tips on developing a 350-word article quickly and effectively:

  1. Pick a specific topic.
  2. Make a list of 7 tips, solutions, warning signs, suggestions, etc.
  3. Write about 50 words for each.

You may need a brief open and resource box (final paragraph with your contact information) and you're done!  Jeff also has some great tips on how to format that resource box.  Check out his many articles on ezinearticles.com for more!

Jeff also discussed doing an article for each of the 7 tips/solutions/etc above.  So now you have 8 articles.  Sweet!

By the way, EzineArticles.com gets about 30 million visitors per month.  That's a million per day and 50,000 per hour!

Want more? Go to: InstantArticleTemplates.com

Jeff and Lynn then teamed together: Here are some golden nuggets:

  • The top 3 organic searches in Google get half the clicks on a SERP.
  • Affiliate clicks typically convert at .5% (200 clicks often result in 1 sale)
  • WordPress blogs can be a one button installation with web hosts featuring Fantastico. (Custom design, if desired, not included) Lynn used a non-custom blog for ClickNewz.com for 5 years before she customized its design.
  • Domain aging are important.  Register the domain and begin hosting even while in development.
  • Get Twitter and Facebook accounts to support each site/blog.  Then EzineArticles, YouTube and Gmail accounts.

Many presenters talked about getting things done and not to wait for perfection, which may never come.  "Ready, Fire, Aim" is OK.  You can always fix or adjust later.  I recently read Ted Ciuba's "How to Get Rich on the Internet" and many of his guests said the same thing.  (Book review to follow)

Everyone talks about the power of having a list.  Most are talking about an email list, but followers on Twitter and Facebook count as other forms of lists.

NAMSblogwilliekevin A panel that included Jeff Herring, Maritza Parra, Kevin Wiley, Willie Crawford and Joey Smith recommended using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube to market websites — then connect them all.

<–Willie and Kevin take time out for lunch.

Willie Crawford (@WillieCrawford), the legendary online marketer, says his favorite lead generation is affiliate programs, a common opinion at NAMS.  Most everyone in attendance was looking to SELL affiliate products.  Some were merchants looking for affiliates to sell products for them.  I think this is a VERY underutilized channel for manufacturers to deploy. 

Sid Hale had a demonstration on his Rapid Action Profits, which is an affiliate management tool.  Once I edit the interview I did with him, I'll post it here.  Great insights for anyone thinking of developing a commissioned sales force.

That's enough for now.  I'll have more from NAMS later this week!

– Kurt Scholle