Archive for the 'affiliate marketing' Category

Keeping Up With the Joneses

There are always going to be times when you look at the results that other Internet Marketers appear to be getting and wonder how on earth they seem to be making so much money when you are only just getting by. Its frustrating to know that you are working away diligently at creating great content for your blog and doing everything you think the search engines want you to do only to watch other sites that appear to be full of crap and a guzillion affiliate links surging past your site in the SERPs.

So what can you do to keep up with these other site owners, or to put it more commonly, keep up with the Joneses?

First of all, you might want to take some notice of what your site is lacking that the sites that are beating you out of a first page place have in their armory. Chances are if they are holding good places in the SERPS they are doing more thing right than you are. Take a look at their on-page SEO for starters. This is easy to do because all you have to do is look at their sites. You don’t need any special software to do this, just your eyes and a knowledge of what good on-page SEO looks like.

If they have lots of content pages that are linking internally to each other as well as to the pages that are holding their reviews of products and the affiliate links that are making them the money and you don’t, then try emulating their way of internal linking. If your site has too many affiliate links, then par them down to a max of 2 on any page. Affiliate marketing is getting harder but you can still win if you do it smart.

You can also check what their external backlink profile looks like, although now that Yahoo Site Explorer has gone, its not so easy. You can get a free copy of SEO Spyglass that has some value and will give you some idea of what your rivals have linking to them. Chances are they have lots of links, but some will be from sites that have some authority, or pages with Page Rank above PR3.

You should also check the age of their domains using a free whois service like domaintools. An old domain will carry more authority than a new one! Also check the obvious – the keyword in the domain name that they are outranking you for.

There are lots of telltale signals that you can copy and use for your own ends, while some things simply cannot be copied, like domain age and keyword-in-domain. If they have a lot of strong backlinks, then you are going to have to get more stronger ones to overtake them. How you do that is up to you and outside the scope of this article.

When all things are equal, it will be the most useful site that wins, so even if you can only obtain external backlinks slowly, you can keep improving the look and feel of your site as well as its internal linking structure to make it easy to navigate for real visitors and not just search engine bots!



Affiliate Marketing Basics

There are some basic things to be aware of with marketing affiliate products from your website or blog these days, especially in light of the several major changes in the way the search engines view your site and its content. This short post takes a brief look at what changes you need to make to comply with what the search engines expect to see in websites and how you can minimize the risks of being penalized for having too many ads and not enough content.

The first major change you need to make if you have been operating thin sites is to flesh those sites out with original content. If the pages displaying affiliate ads are all about the ads and there are plenty of them on the page, you need to cut down the number of ads to maybe two or three max. If there is less than 400 words in the form of a review, you should really only have two or one affiliate ad on there. If your sidebar is loaded up with ads as well, you might want to par those down severely. The whole operation here is to reduce the number of ads showing on any page to three or less.

As to content, longer reviews are better and best are those written in your own hand, by yourself. Google are spending a lot of money paying outsourcers to manually check websites for quality and if they come across your, which they will do sooner rather than later, then you had better show them a site that speaks quality or face life in the poor (I mean no money) regions of the index!

If your site or blog is all product review pages with every page having affiliate links, then write some articles on the subject of the products you are promoting and leave them free of all affiliate links. This shows the search engines that you are working towards providing a useful user experience by providing useful information on the products without the big sell.

You can avoid many of the penalties that are being handed out to affiliate sites these days by boosting the quality of your own site so that is becomes a place that you would be proud to have your mom visit and read through for a while, and then tell you that she got a lot out of the site! It makes a big difference and its worth investing some time and effort to create a space in the online ether that is worthy of you and worthy of the visitors you are hoping to attract.

Halloween Affiliate Sales

Hey, its Halloween soon! So I hope everyone’s ready for a great evening on that special day of the year. There will be plenty to do for families, kids and adults. But on a business note, did everyone who is involved with making money from the Internet manage to cash in on the commercial side of this festive event?

Well, the general idea is to jump on any popular date in the calendar when people are in the mood to buy stuff and, well, sell it to them! That is, after all, what most of us are here for, aren’t we?

I’m often asked what are the best ways of monetizing a site or blog to get the best out of certain festive occasions, such as Halloween or Christmas, not forgetting those other big hitters like Valentines Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day etc. Well, the simple rule of thumb if you don’t actually have your own e-commerce site selling your own stuff is to set yourself up as an affiliate and sell other people’s stuff to your blog’s visitors.

Its not difficult as long as your blog has got a good stream of organic search traffic who are generally looking for the products that everyone wants for the occasion. For Halloween, it has been fancy dress costumes, masks, makeup and everything else that goes with Trick or Treat for the kids and adults too (the grown ups parties that follow…). Also, there are always the small gifts that people like to buy each other and there you can really let your imagination rip!

With Christmas coming hot on the heels of Halloween, you need to be ready with whatever sector of the gift market that you intend to target as well as Christmas trees, decorations, party supplies and the whole nine yards. But that’s a subject for a later post. So here’s extending everyone my congratulations if you were successful with Halloween stuff as I was, and good luck for the forthcoming season of goodwill.