Monday, 29 December 2008

Own Website Necessary For Successful Affiliate Marketing?

It's a question that comes up again and again

Do you need your own website to be successful at affiliate marketing?

Probably not could be an honest answer, but having your own website makes the job a lot easier

If you think about it. What are your options for advertising your affiliate links if you do not have your own site

There are a few options

  • Use Pay per Click ads with your affiliate links as the destination link. This is what used to be called the google cash method i.e you put up an adwords ad with the affiliate site's URL as your display URL and your unique affiliate link as the destination URL. Used to work but now with high bid costs and a very competitive market, there are very few niches that you can actually make serious money doing this. At best most people report breaking even. not really what a business is about. Also there is the problem of tracking your clicks. I mean which keyword actually generated the click that went on to buy?? it's anyone's guess

  • Use other people's websites e.g Squidoo or Hubpages. The benefits of this is that you don't have to pay for hosting. The problems though are that you are GIVING AWAY your valuable content and the sites are not totally under your control.

  • Use USFreeads. Admittedly an effective method. Tips at USFreeads And Niche Marketing. Again the limitation is that you actually need a premium account to make USFreeads work for you and your niche marketing campaigns. The free account is just not worthwhile

  • Other Free Classified sites. I think anyone with any experience in the free classifieds sites knows that the majority of the traffic is people looking to place their own free ads. I tested free classifieds for about a year and yes I got some clicks but nothing that added up to serious conversions

  • Buy an email list and spam them: A definite no-no. Besides, bought email list recipients tend to be very trigger happy when it comes to hitting the SPAM button

Advantaged of having your own website or Blog:

  • Totally under your control. The content is yours. you can tweak it, add to it, alter it , improve it's search engine properties, take it down, you have total freedom with regards to what goes on those pages

  • You can focus on driving traffic to this website on which you can promote more than one product or even have different methods of monetization

  • You can build a reputation and have your personality reflected on your site. If you think about it, a lot of people out there make purchases from one person and not the other because they liked the way the sales person approached them.

  • You can build an email list from an opt in form on your website and then work on building a relationship with the people on your list. Again sales are easier and people are more open to recommendations from people they feel they know

So let's get back to the original question

Do you need your own website to be really successful in affiliate marketing

I suppose the answer is probably YES

Till next time

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Does a Niche Affiliate Marketer Really Need a Laptop

In niche affiliate marketing, there is obviously the need to have your own computer with internet connectivity

Personally, I have a laptop and a desktop but tend to use my Laptop most of the time. Even when I am at home

But does a niche affiliate marketer or any other form of internet marketer actually need a laptop?

The Portable Business Model:

One of the things that probably attracted you to affiliate marketing as a business is probably the idea of being able to take your business anywhere with you.

With a bricks and mortar business, you are really constrained to the office, shop floor, wherever.

As an internet marketer as long as you have access to the internet and the relevant log ins and what have you, you should be able to conduct your business from just about anywhere, be it a nice hotel in La jolla or a sandy beach in Goa.

So what is the point of having a business with these perks if you do not have the tools to take advantage of them??

The Efficiency Factor:

You know the feeling.

You are stuck on a train, plane, boat, whatever and have nothing useful to pass the time.

You have loads of ideas runnng through your mind and nothing you can do to implement them...till you get home to your trusty old desktop.

So you make notes on little scraps of paper that you know you'll lose before you get home or will come out as little bits of felt in your pockets once the laundry is done. Yikes

Admit it, it's happend to you. Perhaps more often than you'd care to admit.

But take the same scenario with a laptop in your hand luggage. Totally different prospects.

You may not have internet connectivity but you can at least make notes of your ideas and save them in an ideas folder for example. Or even write a draft for your next blog post.

By the way, I am writing this sitting on a coach, stuck at Sheffield, England.
Don't ask why I am on a coach trip. Long story for another post

But to get back to the point, imagine the 30 minutes spent waiting here or there and what you could achieve in those 30 minutes.

...If only you had a laptop

For me, my laptop goes everywhere with me.

SO what stops you from investing a few hundred dollars in a piece of equipment that could help take your business to the next level

Free ground shipping on all Sony Style orders $100 or more.

Till next time

Friday, 12 December 2008

Search Engine Optimization. The First Paragraph

This search engine optimization tip is one that I try to apply in all my online work. At least where possible.

So if you have your own blog or website, by now you will have realized that you need some SEO if your site is to get anywhere in the search engines

And these days getting good ranking is like going to war. The competition is really that fierce

Anyway here's a tip that works

Pay attention to the first 25 words on your webpage, be it blog or website

They really do matter.

It is important that you include your keyword /phrase AND some related words here

When the search engine bot gets to your page and finds a well crafted first paragraph, the bot knows precisely what keywords your page is relevant for

It is important not to overdo it, i.e the SEO, though

Since the florida update, the bot has been on the lookout for pages that are 'over optimized' and will penalize them

Till next time

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Make Money With Adsense Traffic Question

Adsense is an increasingly popular method of making money online

Especially among internet marketing beginners

But the sad truth of the matter is many of them report success as making a couple of dollars a day.

Yes $2 dollars a day and they are all over the forums with their 'check me out' posts

Hang on a minute. $2 a day means $60 a month!!!

Not really a business is it

One of the things that a lot of the adsense training books overlook is how much traffic you need to make a decent income with Adsense

They all say 'drive loads of traffic'

But what's 'loads' of traffic?

For any internet marketing newbie getting 10 unique visitors a day is pretty good going. A hundred and they are ecstatic.

But the truth is this is just a trickle

Let's do the maths for a second

Let us assume that you have really good adsense conversions, say 10% of the website's visitors click on your adsense ads.

And lets say you are in a niche that pays $1 per click on average, for example

To really make a significant income from adsense ads that is going to help you 'Fire the boss' you really need to be making $3000 a month.

That's $100 a day

So to get this income how many visitors a day do you need if your click through rate remains at 10%

$100 means 100 clicks which means 1000 visitors a day

Now lets take a closer look at the forums

Too many posts with people claiming 10 cent clicks and even 5 cent clicks

So it would seem that for the majority, they actually need 10,000 visitors a day with a really high click through rate to get ant decent income from adsense

So am I saying adsense is bad or not worthwhile?

Certainly not

I make a significant proportion of my online income from adsense

But this really is a 'getting you in the right frame of mind' post

You need to focus on your traffic generating campaigns to really make adsense work for you

Till next time

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Fake Clickbank Income Proof

Just came across this video and thought i'd give you a heads up

Go to any make money online product's sales page and you will see the almost inevitable proof of sales or proof of income on clickbank

And for the majority [I hope] of these sales letters, the proof of income snap shot is probably genuine

But there are those products that are supposed to help you make a few hundred dollars a day and you buy them and implement what it teaches to a tee and nothing happens
Your clickbank account is still showing ZERO

And you must be wondering, is it me?

The vendor shows evidence of this system working for him so it must be that I am doing something wrong..or whatever

Well watch this clip and then decide for yourself

Well, you've been warned

Till next time

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Traffic Analysis Niche Marketing Essential

Traffic analysis is one area that a lot of newbie niche marketers or affiliate marketers fall down on again and again

Traffic analysis is crucial to taking your business forward

The formula for success in this business includes your niche site, traffic and conversion

The aim to to get traffic from the sources that provide visitors that convert

Building a niche site and just driving any traffic from anywhere just will not cut it

Yes you may get the occasional conversion; and more often than not that conversion is an adsense click [Peanuts] rather than an affiliate sale [real money], but you will be going through a large amount of traffic to get the conversions

What any niche site needs to have to be profitable is traffic that does convert!!!

So how do you know where this traffic is coming from?

From your traffic analysis software

I know a lot of people are put off because they think it involves buying yet another product. I mean this business is supposed to be about making money, not spending it!

But there are good traffic analysis products that are free and quite accurate

My recommendation is Google analytics. Analytics is easy to use and very up to date

Once you set up analytics all you really need to do is focus on your bounce rate and your length of visit data

A source that has a bounce rate of over 50% is one that I don't really spend too much time cultivating. Especially if you combine this with a length of stay of less than 30 seconds

You could argue that a high bounce rate means that they are clicking on your affiliate links and going to the merchant's page, perhaps to make a purchase

But no-one comes to a website and within 30 seconds has read your content, decide to buy and clicks through to the merchants site with credit card in hand. It just does not happen that way

So get analytics
Monitor your traffic sources
Pay attention to the bounce rate and length of stay
Then focus on the traffic generation methods that are providing you with interested traffic

And if you are willing to pay a small amount of money for a more robust software then consider Site Tracker

Till next time

Monday, 8 December 2008

Top 10 Blog Traffiic Tips. Guest Post By Yaro Starak

In every bloggers life comes a special day - the day they first launch a new blog. Now unless you went out and purchased someone else's blog chances are your blog launched with only one very loyal reader - you. Maybe a few days later you received a few hits when you told your sister, father, girlfriend and best friend about your new blog but that's about as far you went when it comes to finding readers.

Here are the top 10 techniques new bloggers can use to find readers. These are tips specifically for new bloggers, those people who have next-to-no audience at the moment and want to get the ball rolling.

It helps if you work on this list from top to bottom as each technique builds on the previous step to help you create momentum. Eventually once you establish enough momentum you gain what is called "traction", which is a large enough audience base (about 500 readers a day is good) that you no longer have to work too hard on finding new readers. Instead your current loyal readers do the work for you through word of mouth.

Top 10 Tips

10. Write at least five major "pillar" articles. A pillar article is a tutorial style article aimed to teach your audience something. Generally they are longer than 500 words and have lots of very practical tips or advice. This article you are currently reading could be considered a pillar article since it is very practical and a good "how-to" lesson. This style of article has long term appeal, stays current (it isn’t news or time dependent) and offers real value and insight. The more pillars you have on your blog the better.

9. Write one new blog post per day minimum. Not every post has to be a pillar, but you should work on getting those five pillars done at the same time as you keep your blog fresh with a daily news or short article style post. The important thing here is to demonstrate to first time visitors that your blog is updated all the time so they feel that if they come back tomorrow they will likely find something new. This causes them to bookmark your site or subscribe to your blog feed.

You don't have to produce one post per day all the time but it is important you do when your blog is brand new. Once you get traction you still need to keep the fresh content coming but your loyal audience will be more forgiving if you slow down to a few per week instead. The first few months are critical so the more content you can produce at this time the better.

8. Use a proper domain name. If you are serious about blogging be serious about what you call your blog. In order for people to easily spread the word about your blog you need a easily rememberable domain name. People often talk about blogs they like when they are speaking to friends in the real world (that's the offline world, you remember that place right?) so you need to make it easy for them to spread the word and pass on your URL. Try and get a .com if you can and focus on small easy to remember domains rather than worry about having the correct keywords (of course if you can get great keywords and easy to remember then you’ve done a good job!).

7. Start commenting on other blogs. Once you have your pillar articles and your daily fresh smaller articles your blog is ready to be exposed to the world. One of the best ways to find the right type of reader for your blog is to comment on other people’s blogs. You should aim to comment on blogs focused on a similar niche topic to yours since the readers there will be more likely to be interested in your blog.

Most blog commenting systems allow you to have your name/title linked to your blog when you leave a comment. This is how people find your blog. If you are a prolific commentor and always have something valuable to say then people will be interested to read more of your work and hence click through to visit your blog.

6. Trackback and link to other blogs in your blog posts. A trackback is sort of like a blog conversation. When you write a new article to your blog and it links or references another blogger's article you can do a trackback to their entry. What this does is leave a truncated summary of your blog post on their blog entry - it's sort of like your blog telling someone else’s blog that you wrote an article mentioning them. Trackbacks often appear like comments.

This is a good technique because like leaving comments a trackback leaves a link from another blog back to yours for readers to follow, but it also does something very important - it gets the attention of another blogger. The other blogger will likely come and read your post eager to see what you wrote about them. They may then become a loyal reader of yours or at least monitor you and if you are lucky some time down the road they may do a post linking to your blog bringing in more new readers.

5. Encourage comments on your own blog. One of the most powerful ways to convince someone to become a loyal reader is to show there are other loyal readers already following your work. If they see people commenting on your blog then they infer that your content must be good since you have readers so they should stick around and see what all the fuss is about. To encourage comments you can simply pose a question in a blog post. Be sure to always respond to comments as well so you can keep the conversation going.

4. Submit your latest pillar article to a blog carnival. A blog carnival is a post in a blog that summarizes a collection of articles from many different blogs on a specific topic. The idea is to collect some of the best content on a topic in a given week. Often many other blogs link back to a carnival host and as such the people that have articles featured in the carnival often enjoy a spike in new readers.

To find the right blog carnival for your blog, do a search at

3. Submit your blog to To be honest this tip is not going to bring in a flood of new readers but it's so easy to do and only takes five minutes so it's worth the effort. Go to Blog Top Sites, find the appropriate category for your blog and submit it. You have to copy and paste a couple of lines of code on to your blog so you can rank and then sit back and watch the traffic come in. You will probably only get 1-10 incoming readers per day with this technique but over time it can build up as you climb the rankings. It all helps!

2. Submit your articles to This is another tip that doesn’t bring in hundreds of new visitors immediately (although it can if you keep doing it) but it's worthwhile because you simply leverage what you already have - your pillar articles. Once a week or so take one of your pillar articles and submit it to Ezine Articles. Your article then becomes available to other people who can republish your article on their website or in their newsletter.

How you benefit is through what is called your "Resource Box". You create your own resource box which is like a signature file where you include one to two sentences and link back to your website (or blog in this case). Anyone who publishes your article has to include your resource box so you get incoming links. If someone with a large newsletter publishes your article you can get a lot of new readers at once.

1. Write more pillar articles. Everything you do above will help you to find blog readers however all of the techniques I’ve listed only work when you have strong pillars in place. Without them if you do everything above you may bring in readers but they won’t stay or bother to come back. Aim for one solid pillar article per week and by the end of the year you will have a database of over 50 fantastic feature articles that will work hard for you to bring in more and more readers.

I hope you enjoyed my list of traffic tips. Everything listed above are techniques I’ve put into place myself for my blogs and have worked for me, however it's certainly not a comprehensive list. There are many more things you can do. Finding readers is all about testing to see what works best for you and your audience and I have no doubt if you put your mind to it you will find a balance that works for you.

This article was by Yaro Starak, a professional blogger and my blog mentor. He is the leader of the Blog Mastermind mentoring program designed to teach bloggers how to earn a full time income blogging part time.

To get more information about Blog Mastermind click this link:

The Problem With Yahoo Answers

Any regular reader of this blog will know that I consider Yahoo answers one of several methods you can use to generate traffic to your niche marketing sites

And It really does work a lot of the time.

There is an increasing frequency of complaints about Yahoo answers in the forums lately. And one often repeated complaint is account cancellation for no apparent reason

And I must say it really is for no apparent reason.

My Yahoo answer account which has been built up to a level 3 with about 15% best answers was suspended today because someone complained about an answer I posted

No worries except that I do stay well within the TOS of Yahoo answers.

But I am not one to worry about these things so I got to thinking what lessons can we learn from this

  • Back up your answers. If like me you are someone who bothers to put up detailed answers to questions asked, Saving a copy of your answer in a document is a must do. Even if your account never gets suspended, which is highly unlikely, the answers you have given can be tweaked and then used as content for a blog, or an article

  • Never depend on one source of traffic. The idea is to create multiple streams of traffic so if one source gets cut off, like me, you'll not be too concerned. You must continually expand the methods by which people find your site. Obviously Yahoo answers is a very good source of traffic but you can see that there can be problems with Yahoo answers as with any other traffic source.

  • Keep Moving. So often we read on the forums about this or that person's Yahoo answers or Google adsense account has been suspended. And there is this plea for help 'How can I get my account back' My answer to all these posts is move on! One door closes, FIND AN ALTERNATIVE! In the short time since I got the email, I have found several question answer websites that look pretty good. I have found one that allows anchor text links from within the body of your answer. Still need to find out if it does follow. But my point is you can either get busy arguing with whatever body about getting your account back or you can get busy building your business in other directions

So although this post is titled 'the problem with Yahoo answers', I still do believe that it is a good source of traffic but not one to be totally dependent on

Til next time

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Search Engine Optimization Link Building Strategy That Works

Backlinks are very important when it comes to SEO. And it is understandable that once an internet marketer gets hold of that piece of information, they run out and try and grab as many links as possible.

So you end up with a very nicely built website, with great information and lay out and it suddenly gets a gazillion links over about 1 week

What do you think the search engine spiders will do?

Give the site higher PR and better position in the search engine results pages?

I think not!!

You get a great big penalty or even get BANNED!!!

The search engines aim to give the most accurate results for any search term. So any evidence of activity to artificial enhance search engine performance of course will be frowned upon

What the search engines want is a natural pattern of link network development.

So build you links slowly and consistently over time. Be it article submission, directory listings or forum participation you are doing, be a little sensible and patient with it

The aim is to slowly build up your link network over time to give your site good, long term search engine performance

Till next time

Saturday, 6 December 2008

SEO Practitioners. Yahoo An Option

In the world of SEO [search engine optimization], in every SEO ebook or manual, we are told that the aim is to rank well in Google for our chosen keywords.

So we go about trying to generate Quality backlinks amd do our on page optimization and chase the same spot that is being chased down by hundreds of other marketers.

And dare I say, some more savvy that us

And in all this flurry we sometimes forget that Google is not the only search engine out there, at least not yet :)

I just did traffic analysis on one of my sites and found that in the search engine traffic category, Yaho was giving that site about 4,500 uniques per day whereas I was getting a measly 1000 from Google

So a quick heads up to you affiliate marketers and SEO enthusiasts out there

Yes Google is King of the search engines

But Yahoo, well it can provide you with a significant income too

Till next time

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Commission Blueprint. An Honest Review

Commission Blueprint has been out for a while now but I was so busy doing other things I just did not have a chance to take a look at it, till now

To cut a long story short, Commission blueprint is a video guide that teaches you how to effectively use adwords to promote clickbank products

And in one word, it is an excellent series of videos.

If you are regular reader of this blog you will find that posts dedicating to promoting a product are pretty rare.

This is a blog that aims to give free and useful information to affiliate marketing beginners.

But I am so impressed by the quality and mode of presentation of Commission Blueprint that I just had to talk about it

$109,151 Clickbank Secrets -Click Here

It is a series of 14 videos and a bunch of ebooks that really DOES take you by the hand and teach you how to construct effective adswords campaigns for clickbank products

And it works :)

Anyway enough from me

Click on Commission Blueprint for a more information

Till next time