Friday, January 13, 2012

Affiliate Blogging 5 Mistakes To Avoid

Affiliate blogging sounds great you can get paid to review items and give your opinion about things you already enjoy. Most however soon notice that they aren't getting enough traffic or that the niche they enjoy doesn't lead to many sales. That's when most people begin to get frustrated and start making key mistakes that end up hurting their blogs and websites. Frustration sets in and people give up on their blogs entirely. I know because I made some of these same mistakes and have many times thought about quitting altogether. Here are some of the mistakes to avoid:

  1. Thinking that you can do PPC with a blog. With Adwords  and Microsoft Adcenter's new restrictions on affiliates blogs it really doesn't make sense to waste time and money on PPC campaigns. Really blogs weren't designed with this purpose in mind. If you want to give PPC a try do yourself a favor and build an extremely targeted website with PHP redirects and cross your fingers that google still doesn't nail you with a low quality score.
  2. Filling the page up with ads. Sometimes when you're getting plenty of page views and very few ad clicks there is the temptation to fill up the page with various ads. Not just being content to have a few well placed ads for affiliate products you decide to add a bunch of different ad networks hoping one clicks with your audience. Guess what when I see a website with tons of ads I generally just click back on the web browser and find another. I'm sure many others do as well. When first starting out the goal should be simple get people to read your blog and keep coming. How do you do that? By giving a lot more than you take.
  3. Not building targeted links. Most people know that google looks at links in determining how to rank blogs and web pages in their search. So they go out and comment on a bunch of blogs and leave a link to their home page with the name of their blog. I know because this was what I was doing when started. What I didn't realize is that google looks at the surrounding text to see if it is related to your web page the more keyword related the better. And more importantly they look at the anchor text. Even if a keyword never appears on that web page if it appears enough times in related links the page will rank for that keyword.
  4. Participating in link exchange web sites. There are tons of sites out there claiming that they can get you traffic through a link exchange program. You enter your site and topic and find other great sites to link to and they will link to you. The problem is they hardly ever work this way often times you'll find that there are no sites that are related to yours or that the quality is just bad. Beyond that most sites will want to put your link on a page dedicated to links with no content. Guess what? Google will more than likely not even bother to index the page and give your site credit for the link. My advice don't bother with it. 
  5. Getting involved in time sink activities. Blogging takes a lot of time as it is don't waste time on activities that aren't helping your blog grow. What do I mean? Do you really have to check your AdSense account everyday? They'll let you know when you become a millionaire don't worry. It's okay to check your Webmaster Tools account to see how you rank for certain keywords but it really doesn't need to be done more than once a week. And google analytics don't even set it up until you're getting some decent traffic.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Commission Autopilot - Copy And Paste Is Not A Marketing Method

Hi, I know I don't write on this blog very much but something I saw today online really made me quite upset. I opened my email and was greeted with a message about some sort of free affiliate marketing. Now if your like me then you know that most of these free software programs are just a way to get you to buy the REAL software. I like to check them out though because sometimes they can give you ideas for promoting your site or blog manually (which is what I mostly do).

I get to the download page for Commission Autopilot and download the free software. I then click out of my browser and surprise surprise I'm taken to a "live webinar". I put that in quotes because it wasn't live at all. I don't know if you've seen this there is now some software that will present your video as if it were a live seminar. The idea being that people will not want to leave as they will miss the chance to see a live demo. I know because I was sent an offer for that software as well. Now that didn't bother me that much because those are pretty standard marketing devices so I let him go on a bit.

As the spiel went on we learned that this guy has made a ton of money (don't they all) and that the big secret is a new trend called document sharing. He brings out that a big new trend is ebook readers like Amazon's Kindle and the iPad. And what do people read on those? Ebooks or PDF files. So the basic strategy he comes up with is to share PDFs with links embedded in them to some of the most popular document sharing websites. Sounds fine and good so far but you don't really need software for that now do you. You can easily create a PDF in OpenOffice and share it with some sites to gain a following in the Ebook market and promote yourself. So what does the software do? Well I was shocked to see that it takes people's articles from directories converts it to PDF (a use for which article directories were never intended) and doesn't even give them a link back to the original article. Well maybe this strategy might work right now but when the document sites become as flooded with copied spam documents then the effectiveness will be gone. Not to mention the violation of the of the original writers work.

Here is an idea if you want to dominate the Ebook market take some time and write something original. Copying and pasting is not a marketing method it is spam. If you want to get content from articles go ahead as you'll see I have some articles on this blog that I enjoyed and thought I'd share. And the authors don't mind, why? Because they have been credited as the author and a link has been given to the original work. This is how article marketing is supposed to work. I also write articles and distribute them myself and have gained links this way as well. However someone stealing my article embedding it in a PDF (which has no link value) and attaching their own affiliate links is unethical and clear violation of most article directory TOS and any applicable copyright laws.