My new ride:
. . . in a year or two.
Let me precede this post by saying that I made over $8,000 last month from one of my niche blogs using the tips that I’m about to share with you. $8K isn’t a ton, but it should be enough to perk your ears. If not, maybe you should start working on becoming a doctor or another one of those lame careers that you have to go to school for 8 years for and then work like a dog most of the time. Just sayin’.
Let me also say that I used to be just like you. A struggling affiliate that maybe made $20 bucks a month online – and that was if I was lucky. I’d check my affiliate stats about 200 times a day only to see $0.00 every single time I checked. Gets discouraging after a while, doesn’t it? Well my affiliate friends, lets turn those $0.00’s into: .
STEP 1: FIND A NICHE & START A BLOG
Just for the record: “Niche” is NOT pronounced “NEESH”. I’m not sure who started saying that crap, but it sounds fairy, and you’re really supposed to say it like this: Nitch. Need proof? Dictionary.com will pronounce it for you.
Now that that’s out of the way:
Finding a niche and starting a blog sounds easy enough, right? What’s the catch to this step? Well, you have to start a blog, and be consistent with…actually blogging on it! Pick a schedule, be it once a week, three times a week, or every day. Whatever you choose, just try to stick to it! Google will recognize patterns in your blogging style, and they will start pulling the latest information from your page right after you blog about it. This is vital to climbing on top of the SERPS (search engine results pages) quickly.
Starting a blog is ridiculously easy, and if you know the first thing about the internet, you should be able to buy some web hosting, download WordPress, get an SEO friendly WordPress theme, and start publishing content all within one day. And I’m not talking about getting one of those crappy blogger blogs, either. If you do, I can almost guarantee you will regret it. One day is actually on the long side of what it should take you to get a blog rolling. You should be able to accomplish the task of buying web hosting, buying a domain name, and installing WordPress all within a few hours.. If you have any questions, contact me. After all, I’m a cool dude! ……*crickets*…….. For real, though. Ask me your questions if you have any. Even you noobs out there. I can point you in the right direction.
Finding a niche is probably going to be the hardest part. But screw that. Don’t make it the hardest part. Just pick a niche like dating. A niche where there are tons of offers, and new ones every week. If you stay on top of your game in the dating niche, I’m sure you could generate a few hundred bones in leads every month by just posting about a few dating offers a few times a week. Somehow, somebody would find your blog and they would sign up for one of the offers you posted about. Then once you get some conversions, check your Analytics tracking information, find out where they’re coming from, and optimize for the keyword that’s bringing you the traffic! For much higher conversions, however, you’ll need to have a blog that features posts on products that are for sale. Driving a sale will make you a lot more bank than simply driving a lead. i.e. an email address, or a zip code submit.
COMPLETE THESE STEPS BEFORE READING LESSON 2:
1. Get a web host. I like WiredTree, SimpleHelix, and Dreamhost. (This shouldn’t break the bank. $5 bucks a month for the cheap hosting is all it will cost you. I pay around $70 a month for my WiredTree hosting, but I LOVE IT, and definitely recommend them.)
2. Download WordPress and install it on your server. (WordPress is completely Free)
3. Install Google Analytics Tracking. (Completely Free. Ask me if you need help on this.)
4. Become an affiliate. Sign up for some affiliate networks so you can promote products. (This is also free. I don’t know why, but some people think it costs money to become an affiliate. The networks pay YOU to sell and promote their products. Not the other way around.) Some networks I use, trust, and that have generated some money with are: Market Leverage, CX Digital, Neverblue, and Azoogle. You may as well just sign up for one right now to stay focused, but if you’re anything like me, you’re going to sign up for all of them. Good for you. Just try to keep focused, and more importantly – don’t get overwhelmed!
5. Buy Thesis – The SEO Friendly WordPress theme that I highly recommend. (This theme isn’t free, but it’s a beautiful piece of software machinery. There are tons of themes for WordPress, but Thesis is worth every penny. Even Matt Cutts (A Google Software Engineer) uses this theme. That should tell you something.)
6. Post 3 times on your new blog. Each post should be about a specific offer you are trying to promote. Be it a dating offer, or a product that you are trying to sell. Write at least two paragraphs of original content about the product. This will take a bit of research, but each post shouldn’t take more than a half hour. Think of it like this: That half hour you’re spending writing that post could end up making you $7,000 or more in one month. Seriously. No, for real. I’m being serious. Not joking. No….really guys. I’m being serious. Did I mention that I’m serious?
7. Add 3 Pages to your blog. A page is basically a post, but it’s a page. That makes sense, right? A better example of a page is if you look at the top of my blog, you will see “about” and “contact” buttons. Those are pages. Google puts priority on pages, and they usually end up ranking higher in the SERPS, so pick 3 products you want to rank for, and make pages about them. The pages can contain just a couple of paragraphs and a “sign up” or “buy now” button.
8. Get as many links as you can pointing to your blog and blog pages. At Least 15. This is called “link building”. The more links you have that are pointing to your site using the terms you are trying to optimize for in the search engines, the better. For instance. Say I want my page called “Product 1” to rank high in the Google SERPS for the term “Product 1”. Then I would want to go out to as many sites as possible and ask them to link to my site using the term “Product 1”. If you had a thousand links pointing to your site with the linked term being “Product 1” then I guarantee you would be the first result when somebody went to Google and typed in “Product 1”. Just to be clear: Say the link you are trying to bring up in the search results is http://yoursite.com/product-1. You’re trying to make it so that when somebody goes to Google and types in “Product 1” that your site (http://yoursite.com/product-1) comes up first, right? So you want as many websites as possible linking to your site using the term Product 1 – like this: Product 1. Notice that if you hover over that link, “Product 1” is linking to http://yoursite.com/product-1. That’s what we want! This is where owning tons of websites comes in handy. You can go out and link to your web page from all of your other websites. Beware though: Google is smart. Try to make your link building process look natural. 100 links pointing to your page using the same linked term – product 1 – in one day doesn’t look natural and you’re likely to get your site slapped/banned/b-slapped from Google. Not a good thing. Quite bad, in fact.
BONUS TIP: NAMING YOUR PAGES & POSTS
When you’re naming your “Pages” and posts, try to make the titles keyword rich. what does that mean? Go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and do some research. Type in the product you’re thinking of promoting and generate some keyword ideas.
Say I were trying to figure out which keyword to optimize my blog for. I might go to the keyword tool and do this:
Once you “get keyword ideas”, sort the results by “Global Monthly Search Volume” and “Match Type – Exact” (see red arrows). This will give you pretty accurate results for how many people are searching for the keywords you are looking at.
As you can see, “Utah Entrepreneur Challenge” only got 110 searches last month, and is estimated to only get 91 this month. Probably not an ideal term to try to optimize for, just because there is such little demand for it, but this is just for illustrative purposes. But on the other hand, since there is such little traffic going for this term, there is a very good chance that I could make my way to the tippy-top of the Google SERPS, very quickly. So say that I wanted to optimize this blog for “Utah Entrepreneur Challenge”. I would probably create a page on my blog called “Utah Entrepreneur Challenge” and fill it with some related content. Apply that logic to your blog when you are naming your pages.
So to sum it up: When figuring out what to name your posts and pages, go to the Google keyword tool, type in your product name, sort the results, then name your page or post whatever keyword Google suggests and that you feel good about. Bonus: When you’re writing content for the individual pages, try to repeat your keyword / keyphrase a lot and bold it two or three times. There are people who say that bolding your keywords doesn’t matter, but it doesn’t hurt either. Just don’t do it too much. Try to make it as natural as possible.
Note: Some terms are ridiculously competitive and not worth trying to optimize for. You may want to scroll down and try to optimize your page for a less competitive (lower searched) term. Make sense? Good! Another thing to keep in mind is that if you build a good relationship with your affiliate manager, they may tell you about a brand new product that nobody has searched for yet! That’s exciting news. Now you just need to imagine what people will be trying to search for – in most cases just the name of the product – and optimize your page for that term. That way, you will be at the top of the SERPS when the advertiser launches the product! That = Bling. Trust me.
Do NOT Ignore these bad boys. Every page and post you write should be accompanied by unique meta tags. WordPress makes it easy to add this stuff, but most of the time you’ll be lazy and won’t want to do it. DO IT if you plan on making money off the post. EDIT: I’m not sure if the fields in the image below are standard with the basic WordPress installation. If not, then you’ll probably need the theme I suggested earlier – Thesis. You won’t regret it.
CATEGORIES & TAGS
Put your posts only in one category. For instance, I wouldn’t put this post that I’m writing in “SEO” and “Affiliate Marketing”. I would only put it in “Affiliate Marketing” because that is the most relevant category. From what I understand, if you do put your posts in more than one category, Google will flag it as duplicate content. Also, don’t make a category for each individual product – unless that product takes off. Then it takes priority and I give you permission to make a category called “product name” and post as often as you can about that particular product and put it in that product category. Something to keep in mind is that the deeper/you/get/in/a/directory/the/less/important/google/thinks/the/keyword/is. i.e. Try to put your important keyword in your page URL like this: http://yoursite.com/important-keyword.
Name Your Images & The Alt Tags That Define Them! Don’t leave them generic like “product1.jpg”. Call them specific names like “orange-football.jpg” and the alt tags should be descriptive as well, such as “Orange Football”. I did an experiment with the SEO benefits of this practice that you can read more about here.
I could go on for a lot longer, but I think I’ll leave it at this. Lesson number 2 will be about listening to what your site is telling you and reacting appropriately to the signs to take full advantage of the money making opportunities. Take advantage of what I’m telling you. These tips will make you money.
Good luck, and don’t hesitate to ask me any questions if you need help. I’m your amigo, remember?