Crafty Content

Writing for QUALITY, not Quantity

Category : Internet Marketing


Hello,

How goes it in the world of content?  There is a new and upcoming Article Directory that I wanted to let you all in on…and one that you can really leverage to create an internet brand, get a jump start accruing status, and build up your overall content reach.  This latest article directory is the new kid on the block and is already showing promising results.

Street Articles

It is important to understand that when a new article directory comes around, it can either be of great benefit to you to get in early, or you can wait it out to see what happens.  However, imagine if you were first on board when ezinearticles.com started taking off…or you were first to set your mark within the articlebase.com directory.

Now is a great time to pick up and get ranked under the more broad search terms.  Now is a good time to start building your way towards expert status.  Now is your time to build creativity within the system.  Now is the time to pick up some good pen names that you want to use to write with going forward.

If I have learned anything about marketing or writing over the years is that it is better to be the first than the last.  This includes anything related to the Internet.

So today, I invite you to create your free account within the newest kid on the block, StreetArticles.com.

Enjoy!

Keyword Tools – How to Find Quality Keywords


Have you been looking around for the best keyword tool?  Are you having a tough time finding quality keywords for your business or your affiliate marketing campaigns?  I can help!

There are many things you need to understand and know if you want to be good at keyword research.  Over the years I have created lists of 100,000’s of keywords, marketed lots of them, and gotten natural search engine rankings under many of them.

New Marketers Put Too Much Emphasis On Keywords…

There is some urge for people to think that there is some “secret” to keyword research.  Sure, there are techniques you should know to find keywords, but the core of a quality keyword is RELEVANCE.

Yes, really.  It has nothing to do with what a keyword tool or system will spit out, it has to do with the relevance between the keyword, your consumer, and the product/service that you are promoting.  For example, say you are promoting guitar picks.  Many people would consider “guitar picks”  a quality keyword.

Not a chance.

You need to understand that the core of any audience are going to have an understanding of that niche.  People looking for guitar picks are likely looking for a particular brand, like Fender 351 Classic Celluloid.  A quick search in Google reveals that this keyword only has 317 competing pages in the world.  This will be a piece of cake to get ranked under using article marketing or SEO techniques.

Fender Guitar Pick

Consumer first, keyword second.  Put yourself in the consumers shoes and if you can’t, then you need to start hanging around relevant forums and blogs to see what your target audience is looking for.  As a marketer you cannot rely on a keyword tool to help you understand an audience, it will purely provide you a set of keywords (some good, some not so good).

A Wide Set of Keyword Research Tools – Which one should you use?

There are many keyword tools out there.  If you have done a search online, you will have likely come across many free tools, many paid tools, and many different varieties of tools that achieve different types of results (and serve different purposes).

The two top keyword tools that are free are:

Google Keyword Tool - This provides the most current results that Google offers.  It is very quick but can sometimes be overwhelming with the number of results and the fact it does not give you any indication whether or not a keyword is quality or not.  It is however the top keyword tool out there as it leverages the data of the largest search engine, Google

Bing Keyword Tool - Microsoft offers a variety of search and consumer tools for free.  These tools provide you with different metrics including keyword forecasts, entity associaton graphs, keyword group detection, keyword mutation detection and search funnels.  This tool quite poweful for a free tool and you can obtain some more conclusion customer/keyword relational data.

Word Tracker – WordTracker offers a free version of their paid tool.  I don’t really recommend this tool for data analysis because it is pulled from a non-existing search engine, metacrawler.  The WordTracker search is alright for finding keyword, but the search data should be disregarded.  I don’t recommend using WordTracker.

WA Keyword Tool – The Wealthy Affiliate keyword tool differs from most in that it gives you analysis metrics.  It calculates the keyword power based on certain article marketing, SEO and PPC metrics and helps you quickly determine whether or not the keyword is a winner or a loser.   It also outlines competition, allows you to spy on competitors ads, dig into more percise keyword lists and save, store and reuse keyword lists.   This tool is part of the paid community at Wealthy Affiliate.  Read more on WA here.

The Process of Finding Keywords Naturally (Brainwork KW Research)

I have a 3 step process that ANYONE can use to find high quality keywords in Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines.  Before I get started, you need to start with the understanding that “keywords” are about relevance.  Not traffic.  Not how much competition.  RELEVANCE.

If a keyword is relevant to your website and ultimately what you are promoting, then you will see a positive ROI.   For this example I am going to run the process on a niche I know absolutely nothing about…equestrian (yes, I like horses…but know nothing about riding them competitively.

Step 1:  Start very broad, gather ideas

OK, lets start with the very obvious here.  I would typically do a search for the broadest possible term in a keyword tool, in this case “equestrian”.  For this example I am going to use the WA Keyword tool.  Here are my results:

Keyword Search: Equestrian

As you can see from the first 10 or so results, we already have some good, but broad, keyword ideas.   Equestrian is more popular than I thought and gets a lot of monthly traffic!

Let’s say you owned and operated an equestrian school.  The next step would be to refine your search (GET MORE SPECIFIC).

Step 2: Refine Your Search

The next step was to take “equestrian school” and put it into the WA keyword tool.  Here were the results:

Keyword: Equestrian School

The bottom 3 search terms are all potentially high quality.    One thing that I like to do is to also do a search with like terms, for example, instead of school, use a term like “training”.  You can use a thesaurus for this if you like @ http://thesaurus.com/.

Here is my next search on “equestrian training”:

Keyword: Equestrian Training

8 more great search terms in one swoop!  On to the next step…picking the winners.

Step 3: Meet the mark (the criteria)

A quality keyword should be:

(1) At least 3 terms in length
(2) Gets a minimum of 50 searches per month
(3) Highly relevant to what you are promoting

Based on the last searches, the following keywords meet that criteria:

  • equestrian boarding school
  • traditional equestrian school
  • equestrian riding school
  • natural horsemanship training
  • horse training equipment
  • horse training books
  • parelli horse training
  • natural horse training

This research took me less than a couple of minutes and I have just brushed the surface.  I have EIGHT highly relevant keywords that meet the all the criteria for a quality search term. It really can be this easy!

A Keyword Tool or Marketing School? (Should you pay to play)

There are many paid tools out there, many free, some good, some bad.  There are only a few paid ones out there that actually pull real data from Google and that is why I don’t make any strong recommendations outside the WA one.

If you can’t afford the expense of another tool, I would suggest to leverage the free ones out there like Google and Bing for the time being, but if you want to save time and speed up the process, you may want to get one that ranks keywords for PPC, Article and SEO for you on the fly.

I hope this post was helpful and if you have any questions or comments, leave them below my name.

Crafty


Have you ever wondered what it takes to really learn Internet marketing?  Many people say it is something that can be self taughtInternet Marketing Training through Internet Marketing Training, whereas other (mainly companies in the industry) try to convince you that it is too difficult to learn on your own and you need pay large fees to consulting services to achieve results.

I want to answer these questions for you and help you make your own decision as to what you need.  I know the Internet marketing world inside and out and I am going to explain my thoughts and opinions on getting an education in IM within the following post.

Understanding Internet Marketing

First things first, Internet marketing is a pretty broad term and can mean many things to many different people.   Internet marketing in it’s broadest form is “marketing of products and services on the net”.  You can read the wikipedia definition of Internet marketing if you want a complex response, but essentially that is all it is.

The thing that makes it more complex is (a) how you promote products (get traffic) (b) what your objectives or (are you the company or an affiliate).

The Vast World of IM

You may have heard terms like Search Engine Marketing, SEO, pay-per-click marketing, CPA marketing, article marketing, affiliate marketing, affiliate, merchant, tweeting, facebook, email marketing…the list goes on.

This is all encapsulated under the “Internet Marketing Umbrella”.  That is the reason people get so confused when they go to get training.  They really are unsure of the best way to achieve their objectives and in many cases, exactly what they need.

(1) Starting an Internet Marketing Business for your Yourself

If you are looking  to become an affiliate marketer or become a merchant (sell your own products or services), this is what I consider starting a business for yourself.  This could be anyone and if you are looking to start a business online without owning a product, you can easily do this.

There are many different business models that work.  All you need is a website and in this day and age, it is very easy to get a website up and running (and ultimately earning you money).

Once you get a website, you need to find programs to promote (affiliate programs).  Once you sign-up for these (free), your goal is traffic and building content on your website.

Sound a little difficult?   It really isn’t and there are so many ways in which a website can be created, 100,000’s of affiliate programs, and quick and easy ways to get traffic (through various techniques)…that there is an opportunity for all of us.  However, in order to succeed, you need to get an Internet marketing education.  You need to get trained and learn the latest strategies.  There are excellent Internet Marketing Training sites out there that provide University style training plans for very affordable prices.

(2) Promoting an Existing Business through IM Strategies

If you have a local business, offline or online, this is what I call promoting an existing business.  If you fit into this category, you need to create a plan for attracting local traffic.

Say you are a “florist” company in Little Rock, Arkansas looking to create on online presence.  Search Engine Optimization for Florist

There are many ways in which you can do this and it would start off with a solid Internet Marketing plan.  Ideally you would want to implement a paid search campaign that would target the search terms that would be relevant to your site.   You would also want to put some emphasis on getting natural search engine rankings under top search terms “buy flowers in Little Rock Arkansas” through a solid Search Engine Optimization strategy.

Can this be taught or learned and implemented in-house?  Yes.   If you want to save a lot of money and learn exactly how to market your business online, you will invest in getting trained versus spending money to get consulting from another company.  An Internet marketing company typically charges out a percentage of your monthly ad spend (several $1000) an ongoing monthly maintenance cost (usually around $500 – $1000).  You can easily see that a consulting solution could add up to $30K-$50K per year.

If you want to do it in house or training employees to do your online marketing strategy, there are Internet Marketing Training companies that are very affordable.  You can usually get an education platform with tools and support for less than $200 per month, and often times this will include hosting, keyword tools, support, in addition to the training.  One company that offers such Internet Marketing training is Wealthy Affiliate.

Where most people fail at IM

Like any other business start-up, a good majority of people fail.  In fact, close to 80 percent fail within the first year, and another 80% fail within the next 5 years.  Only 4% of people succeed after 5 years!

This is very misleading and I believe there are a few reasons for failure that can be “corrected” to lead to online business success.  There are 3 main reasons that I have found that people fail online:

Reason 1: Seek out too many solutions – This is a big one.  People always look for the “next best thing” instead of seeking out a proven strategy.  There is no such thing as a magic bullet in the Internet marketing world and it does take hard work to achieve results.  People tend to become serial buyers (of any related product) and end up wasting money.  Focus!

Reason 2: Inadequate or outdated training – A good deal of the training out there is outdated.  There are only a small handful of companies within the IM world that stay current.  In fact, most of the consulting companies that charge the big bucks don’t even follow the trends or know the current strategies.  It is key that you  learn from from a company that stays current and that you are not being overcharged.  You only have to do a quick search in Google (which you have likely done to get to this page) to see how many Internet marketing training & education sites there are out there.  Sometimes it can be hard to weed through these.

Reason 3: Take Advice from the Wrong People – there are many companies and “guru’s” out there that simply give out false advice.  One of the biggest ones is the claim that these sites can get you listed under “broad search terms” in a couple of days.  If an offer seems like it is too good to be true, it probably is.  Make sure you do your homework online before investing $.

Conclusive Internet Marketing Training Evidence

I conclusively believe that the proper Internet Marketing Training regime can make the difference between a solid online presence and one that is failing.  Simply reading a bit of free content online can be appealing (because it doesn’t cost anything), but often times it will not match all the pieces of the puzzle.  The Internet shifts quickly and I do recommend a quality internet marketing training plan for your business or your start-up.

Hope this post was helpful to you!  Happy marketing!

Crafty


Online affiliate programs are everywhere.  Really…

Since 1996 when affiliate programs were introduced to the Internet, a lot has changed.  In fact, everything has changed.  These days online affiliate programs drive many of the biggest fortune 500 companies online sales divisions.  This includes the likes of Zappos.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Amazon.com…the list goes on and on.

Online Affiliate Programs - Example Companies

Even Google has their own affiliate network and affiliate program!  Affiliate programs are great for both the affiliate (YOU) and the merchant (the COMPANY).  You have the opportunity to earn money through the promotion of products and services you like and if you already have a website or blog, you have the opportunity to turn your traffic into a business.  I have written a post on the affiliate marketing business here:

Affiliate Marketing Business – Is there a PROPER methodology?

The company benefits in that they essentially have their very own online sales force.  Instead of them trying to promote their product to 100,000’s of people, they get 1,000’s of affiliates to do this…and they only have to reward them if they make a sale.    Having 1,000 people (or more) promoting your product is much better than you trying to do it yourself…and for the affiliate, having the opportunity to earn a good percentage of the commission also makes it VERY beneficial and profitable.

So where do you find affiliate programs?

There is an affiliate program for just about every company out there now.  If there is a product or a service for sale, chances are there is an associated affiliate program that people like you or I can sign-up to and promote.

The top place people go to find affiliate programs are “affiliate networks”.  These are networks of affiliate programs that require a single sign-up to access 1,000 and sometimes 10,000’s of programs, products, and services you can then promote.

There are also independent affiliate programs.  These are programs that decide to handle everything in house…that is, within their corporate structure.  This means they handle all credit card processing, support, refunds, and affiliate payments.

Both options are good and I recommend both, it really depends on what sort of products would tie in well with your target audience, your promotion, and your marketing agenda.

What makes a good affiliate program good?

There are four components to a good affiliate program.  I warn you that not all affiliate programs are good, and not all products are of equal quality, so you need to consider the following when choosing an affiliate program.

(1) The quality of the product.

As you know, not every brand or every product is created equally.  The same goes for programs online.  Some products are much better than others.  Some sales pages are better than others.  It is best to research a product before you become an affiliate of it as there may be negative reviews or the quality of the product may be low.

(2) Affiliate training and resources.

Many online affiliate programs offer resources and training for their affiliates.   This may include banners, tutorials, text ads, example emails, and keyword lists.   Although I prefer to get training elsewhere, sometimes this can be very helpful for newbies entering an niche they don’t know a heck of a lot about.   It can also save time.

(3) The affiliate support.

Often times affiliate programs come with an affiliate manager that you can personally work with to give you support with your campaigns.  Also, they may be able to offer you insight into the specific niche based on case studies they have performed within their company.  This data can speed up the research process and save you time.

(4) The Payout.

Yes, the payout is important.  If you are promoting a product that costs $100 and pays 1% you are going to have a very tough time turning a profit or making anything worth the time and effort.  Obviously you want to promote products of quality, but you also want to consider how much you are getting paid.  Digitail products typically pay the most (up to 75%) because the overhead is so low.   I suggest you aim for a minimum payout of $10 commissions.

Where to get Affiliate Program Training

It is important to know what you are doing and to stay if you are looking to become a top tier affiliate.  By this I mean, the Internet changes quickly for affiliates because of new regulations, new Google Adwords changes, new search engine marketing techniques, and new copywriting strategies.

If you are looking to get training, there are many affiliate marketing training facilities out there.  The one the stands out is Wealthy Affiliate University (WAU) and this offers elite training to affiliates on a wide range of topics including:

  • Pay Per Click
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Social Marketing
  • Article Marketing
  • Website Development Strategies
  • Back-linking
  • Copywriting
  • Blogging

This affiliate training also includes access to a nice suite of tools, training, and support to supplement your education and really offer you an opportunity to build an affiliate marketing business from ground zero. For more information about this school, click here.

The benefit of using Affiliate Networks

There are independent affiliate programs, and then there are affiliate networks.  An independent affiliate program is run, managed, and technically controlled by the company, whereas an affiliate networks is a 3rd party company that handles all the transactions, reporting, and payments for MANY affiliate programs.

For example, the largest digital affiliate network (e-books & software), Clickbank has over 12,000 products you can promote within a single network.  This can be beneficial for the affiliate as you only have to sign-up to the affiliate program ONCE and you have access to promote 10,000+ products.

There are many affiliate networks out there, with the top 10 affiliate networks being:

  1. Clickbank.comClickBank is the largest digital network online, that has recently introduced both recurring products and shipped products to their database of merchant offerings.
    Since the Clickbank affiliate network contains mostly digital products, it is very cheap and low overhead for the merchants.  Because of this, they average commission offering is usually over 50% of the total gross commission, often times 75%.  This can easily add up considering the average product price on clickbank is around $50 (you get $25-$37.50 per sale).

    There are tools and training specifically designed for the Clickbank network.  If you are interested in these, click here.

  2. Commission Junction Now owned by ValueClick, Commission Junction was one of the first affiliate networks. It is also one of the most important with many of the Top Fortune 500 companies listed here.CJ is an international network with excellent stats and tracking (some of the best you will find), along with regular monthly payments makes this the obvious first choice for anyone wishing to try affiliate marketing.
    For those new or old at affiliate marketing, CJ also holds regular seminars and training sessions.

    Most merchants offer pay-per-lead or pay-per-sale, one of the best features is the performance bonuses and incentives. As most experienced marketers will know, selling 50k to 100k each month for merchants will bring in the big incentives or bonuses.

    Commissions run as high as 50% but most are in 3% to 15% range. You have the option of direct deposit for your payments. One major plus, CJ will tell you which merchants
    and ads are earning the most revenue for affiliates so you can easily choose which merchants are worth promoting.

  3. Linkshare LinkShare is another excellent affiliate network. It is one of the oldest affiliate networks on the web. LinkShare was recently acquired by the Japanese Portal Rakuten, with a price tag of $425 million.Very good stats and reporting with their Synergy Analytics system. Many Top Fortune 500 companies are presented here so you will no trouble finding products and services to romote.
    LinkShare pays commissions as they receive them from merchants – monthly checks.
  4. ShareASaleThis is one of the most popular professional affiliate networks on the internet. It’s a very large too, with over 2000 quality advertisers you can choose from. Each of these merchants has a different type of product that they are selling.
  5. RegNowThis affiliate program has covered every possible niche within the segment of software – have a look at their product finder and you’ll understand what we’re talking about. Audio, Business & Finance, Games, Home & Education and Internet – you can find it all here, and some more to that.
  6. Flux AdsFlux Advertising can provide you with the best offers online so that not a single impression, email, pop, or pay-per-click action is wasted. As a Flux Affiliate you’ll have access to the ‘Net’s top performing offers and most competitive payouts.
  7. Clickbooth.com It’s an advanced affiliate network with many quality and popular advertisers. Guaranteed highest payouts in the industry for the publishers. Supports referral program where you can earn more money by referring users to this service.
  8. RevenueLoop.comProvides publishers access to thousands of online advertisers. All offers are tracked by a real-time, online accounting system, giving our publishers complete control over their campaign. RevenueLoop’s advertising network will help you to generate that sought after additional revenues.
  9. Affiliate WindowAffiliate Window is an UK based affiliate network which offers top brand companies and good commission rates. Pays once a month and has excellent stats.Savvy affiliate marketers know promoting in other countries can be much easier than promoting in the American market place. Mainly because these other countries haven’t become saturated with online marketers, little competition means more sales.
  10. CPA Empire.comGreat CPA (Cost Per Action) network especially if you do a lot of email marketing and promotions. Geared towards acquiring leads and sign-ups but does offer other merchants as well. Good stats and reporting.

A quick 2 step process to finding ah Affiliate Program for any product

Thousands of companies decide to run their affiliate programs “in house” because they either require or seek full control of their affiliate data and prefer to work with affiliates independently.

I first hand know that some of the top online affiliate programs out there are independent and you can truly miss out on many great affiliate programs if you rely solely on affiliate networks.  Because of this, I want to give you an easy 2 step process for finding ANY affiliate program within any niche just using a quick search in Google.

Step 1: Search using the following template:

affiliate program + YOUR_NICHE  …replacing YOUR_NICHE with, well, your niche.  An example of this in a pretty small niche would be for “dog food” programs.  Let’s have a look using the following search:

affiliate program + dog food

Here are the example results:

affiliate programs for dog food
As you can see, 3 of the first 4 results were related affiliate programs!  For dog food!!  This works for pretty much any niche imaginable, regardless of how obscure.

Step 2: Sign-up to affiliate program and grab your links

It is that easy to find affiliate programs…2 steps to online affiliate program success.

Now it is time to get some training, to get affiliate website created, and to get your affiliate campaigns rolling.

Take care and good luck,

Crafty


Before I get into a discussion of Wealthy Affiliate University (WAU) and what sort of training and tools the facility there offers, I want to explain a bit about the “state of the Internet”.

2009 and 2010 were major SHIFTING years for the Internet marketing business.  Advertisers have been getting slapped left and right, people saw there business go from HERO to ZERO, and a lot of people were absolutely wiped out of the business altogether.  What gives?

The Fundamental Internet Marketing Changes

The FTC made a ruling (PDF) in October of 2009 started the ripple of changes that we are seeing today on the Internet.  Basically, the FTC came in to regulate people promoting products/services online without acknowledging they were not getting something in return.  For example, many bloggers were giving products rave reviews, but were getting free product or other monetary incentives to post about the product…and unexpecting consumers were not aware of this back end deal.

Google followed suits, removing A LOT of accounts that did not meet their quality criteria.  They also made a shift in their business that would prevent both Search Engine Marketers and PPC advertisers from gaming their natural and paid search systems.  Among the major changes to their SEO search index (coined “Caffiene”), is the new backlinking algorithm that takes into consideration “traffic” along side backlinks.  Google will actually discredit backlinks if they seem unwarranted.

In regards to PPC, Google saw their search losing quality because their paid times were often not relevant, had the wrong intentions (pure promotional), or did not offer any value to the searcher.   Because of this they have implemented a Quality Score system that has been updated drastically.  Affiliate links are “liked”, squeeze pages (email marketing) is becoming passe, and keyword injected landing pages are losing steam fast.

That leads me to the next item…

How has Wealthy Affiliate University Addressed these changes?

In order to keep up with the times, a school has to keep up with their training and tools.  Wealthy Affiliate University has made Wealthy Affiliate Universityconstant updates over the past 2 years to keep up with the always changing Internet marketing environment.  They have taken a 3 pronged approach to the training. 

They are as follows:

(1) A brand new website creator

A website is an absolute must these days if you plan on entering the Internet marketing business.  The reason is that all forms of advertising now require a website, whether it is SEO, PPC, or article marketing.  This shift has been put into place by the main search engines like Google to prevent people from direct linking…ie, not offering value, just promoting.

Wealthy Affiliate University now has WordPress Express, their latest website development tool.   You can read my outline of this tool within my blog post, Why WordPress Express.

This website tool is excellent for many reasons.  The main ones being that it creates sites that are loved by the search engines, sites that work well for PPC, and it leverages the largest open-source website framework out there in WordPress, which has over 10,000 plug-ins that you can add to your site to perform just about any function.

This website tool is included within the Wealthy Affiliate back-end.  You can also check out my post on “How to Make Your Own Website“.

(2) New training to reflect changes

Unlike other offline schools, Wealthy Affiliate University has the ability to update their training and resources in an instant manner as it is delivered and updated digitally.  The recent changes to the way we market online have been documented within Wealthy Affiliate University and put into new training tutorials, videos and guides.

Some of the latest tutorials include:

  • A Newbie’s Guide to Avoiding Sharks While Surfing (TUTORIAL)
  • Accurate Domain + Same Title = Top 5 Google Ranking (TUTORIAL)
  • How to get SEO Rankings by Cherry Picking (TUTORIAL)
  • Simple SEO Tactics for your Product Reviews (VIDEO)
  • How to Obtain Relevant Back-links (TUTORIAL)
  • Building a Profitable Website (VIDEO)
  • How to create a successful WordPress site (TUTORIAL)

These were just added within the last week and are a small component of the over 550 quality tutorials, videos, and guides within the the Training Center.

Current updates and training can make the difference between proper implementation, and a failed campaign.  WAU is updated almost daily.

(3) Taking the emphasis away from just a few techniques

There are many ways to create an Internet Marketing Business…in fact, way too many to even list on the page here.  Sometimes we forget about some of the most obvious techniques and stick to what we hear about.  The most common promotional techniques online are PPC, SEO, and article marketing, but there are many other ways and other offers that you can leverage to create a successful business.

Because of this, WAU has ramped up their training and are moving into some brand new categories.  CPA networks, iPhone Advertising, mobile advertising, copywriting techniques, developing your own products, and ad networks like Kontera and Infolinks to earn additional revenue from your existing traffic.

Advancements in the WordPress area has also been one of the main additions lately and I am sure will continue going forward.  The best way to tackle new changes to any industry is to focus on it as a whole.

What is the Requisite Knowledge need going into Wealthy Affiliate University?

You don’t have to be a genius to acquire an awesome education and become an expert in your craft.  What you do need is the knowledge and belief that you can accomplish anything.  I know that when I started out I knew that even if I did not make much progress of it within the first month, the opportunity needed time to grow as I learned more and acquired more knowledge.

Think of any job out there.  The more time and energy you invest in it, the better you become at it.   If you are a stock broker and you spent the last 5 years researching the market, learning about different trading techniques, and making regular trades for yourselves and clients, you are a much more successful stock broken and have likely earned a good deal of money in the process.

Same goes for Internet marketing.  The more time and energy you invest into your training and actually “DOING”, the better you become.  Unlike a conventional 9-5 job though, the financial rewards can be much more significant as you have total control of the amount of success you can achieve!

At Wealthy Affiliate University, you can come in as a complete newbie and become an intermediate to advanced marketer very quickly.  The reason for this is they not only teach you what to do, they give you precise “action steps” you need to take in order to achieve your desire results.  You also have the website, keyword, content, and hosting tools you need to build your business.

And unlike anything else out there, if you get stuck, you can personally get 1-on-1 support from the owners Kyle & Carson.  They are always around and will be more than willing to help you with your questions, problems, issues and help you turn your ideas into tangible businesses.

How many people can really do this “Internet Marketing” thing?

Many people have what it takes, yet they don’t realize it.  Some people think that you have to be “different” to start any form of business…and in order to be successful, some people think there is a “secret”.  Well there isn’t…I can say this from experience.  There are TWO qualities that you need, and if you have these, you will be a prime candidate for starting an Internet marekting business.

(1) Ability to Work Hard
(2) Ability to Persevere

That’s it.  If you carry these two qualities, working hard and perseverance, you can be good at business, in particular, the Internet Marketing Business.

I hope this post was helpful.

Crafty Content

PS. Your feedback and questions are welcomed…please leave them below and I will get back to you.


Today I want to answer a few questions for you and hopefully get you moving in the right direction with your affiliate marketing business.  First, I am going to outline what affiliate marketing really is.  Then I am going to let you know about the different components of affiliate marketing and how the effectively work together.  Then I am going to show you how to leverage this business model to create a profitable start-up online.

First things first though…

What is involved in the Affiliate Marketing Business?

The affiliate marketing biz is composed of two parties, the affiliate and the merchant.  The affiliate represents the person who is essentially working for the merchant by driving traffic to their sites.  In exchange for this traffic/sales, the merchant offers a commission.   This is typically paid on the Cost Per Sale, Cost Per Commission, or Cost Per Action basis.

So, as an affiliate you would sign-up to the merchants affiliate program, where you would then get your OWN unique link in which you could use on your website, blog, email, twitter, facebook…wherever really that you could get traffic and potentially sales.

For a larger explanation of “Affiliate Marketing”, see the definition on Wikipedia.

Clicbank Website

Clickbank - A Large Affiliate Network

For example, one of the largest digital affiliate product networks is Clickbank.  Clickbank contains over 100,000 affiliates and well over 10,000 merchants.  By being an affiliate of this network, you can promote any of the 10,000 products owned by the merchants (or all of them).

Here is an example pay scale for a few of the items:

Merchant: Strip That Fat (dieting product)
Product Price: $57
Affiliate Gets Paid: 75% commission, or approximately $38 per sale

Merchant: Magic of Making Up (dating e-book/videos)
Product Price: $39
Affiliate Gets Paid: 75%, $23.97

How do affiliates become profitable?

By selling other people’s products.  That is in it’s simplest and most archaic form, and might be a reality for some, but things have changed over the last couple of years.

Affiliate marketing is no longer just about “selling stuff”.  Rather it has made a progress into the world of “helping” people out, and holding out for a reciprocation.  Not all people will give back, some will, some won’t, but the core of your business model as an affiliate should be to be passionate about something, and the success will follow.

Let me give you an example.  Say you really loved animals, in particular dogs…so you created a dog-related website.   Once you learn how to obtain traffic, all you need to consider is plugging in relevant affiliate offers within your website.  I know first hand there are many products within the dog niche, the dog training niche, the dog food niche, and the dog accessories niche, so depending on your site, you could target them appropriately.

This could go for any niche.  ANYTHING imaginable.  I know people selling affiliate products within some of the craziest sounding niches!

How do merchants grow their business?

If you own a product or service, you are considered a merchant.  Merchants run their businesses through having quality affiliates.  If you want to be a successful merchant, you should really understand the core principles behind becoming a good affiliate.   The reason for this  is that affiliates are the driving force behind most businesses online.

Let me say that again.

Affiliates are the DRIVING FORCE.

So if you are reading this now (as a merchant) and you have affiliates but have been pushing them under the rug or can honestly say that you have not been giving them the tools and motivation to succeed, then you need to get on it.

If you own a product and have an affiliate program, but don’t have many affiliates, you need to start focusing on recruiting affiliates.  Where do you recruit.  Places where affiliates hang out right?

The main ones are related forums, training programs, and places where affiliates go to learn and earn.

Can the affiliate marketing business be self-taught?

There are mixed emotions and opinions on this subject.  Some people are confident that you can learn for free from related affiliate marketing forums like WarriorForum and Abestweb (among others), however I am not so sure of this.  The problem with getting info for free is that there is usually other motives for the owners to profit from you, and the communities tend to be riddle with negative people that all think they are experts.  You can try this if you want to go the free route, but you may waste several months or even years without creating any profit at all…and ultimately, CONFUSED!

Rather, it is important that you get an education on how to properly set-up an affiliate marketing business.  One that offers you not only the adequate training, but the tools, and the mentors, and a quality community to stand behind you.  I know of one such community that offers this and that does it well.

You can make a go at this alone, but it is not always a wise solution.  It is like trying to build a house without having the initial foundation or education.  Your house may collapse or be constructed incorrectly. The same thing may happen within the affiliate marketing business unless you have the proper training.

Steps to get a affiliate marketing business up and running?

Step 1: You need to know what you are doing

Yes, an education…a PROPER education is important.  You do not want to learn what worked in the affiliate marketing world 2 years ago because it simply will not work today.  Investing in a quality online education is the best route versus offline schools as typically the offline materials become outdated too quick and don’t teach you the “what you need to know now” sort of stuff.

Here is one of the best options for training.

Step 2: You need to decide on what “niche” you want to enter

I know this sounds tough, but you do not need to freak out when you think about finding a niche.  Instead, create a short list of THREE niches that interest you.  What are you passionate about?  What do you enjoy doing?  What are you interested in learning more about?  Answer these three questions and you have three excellent niches that you can start with.

You will be much better off researching, promoting, and writing about something that you like…it will make life much easier as an affiliate.

Step 3: You need a domain of your own

This is easy.  You can go grab a domain from Godaddy.    Then you will need to host it somewhere so you can create your website.  I wrote a post on how to host WordPress sites (like this site).

When choosing your domain name, you should think of something that is relevant to your niche.  For example, if you are creating a site in the football niche, you should have a domain like:

http://www.my-football-reviews.com

This is good for Search Engine Optimization as well as for your visitor recognition (they will instantly see your site is relevant).

Step 4: Build, build, build

Just like lego.  The more you build, the bigger your fort will become.  Once you have a site in place (How to Create a WordPress Blog tutorial here), you have something in place you can build upon and continue to grow.  This will lead to a successful affiliate marketing business and in a matter of a few months, you could have something really special up and running.

Hope you enjoy this and if you have any feedback or questions, just leave it below.

Crafty Content

How to get content in Google?


A big question many people have:

“How the heck do I get my content listed in Google?”.

For example, how did I get my site listed #1 out of millions for the word “crafty content” within Google in under 2 days.

Crafty Content Gets Ranked #1

There are many benefits to getting content listed in Google…many of them financial, but for some people it is just a personal achievement.

For example, if this blog post content gets listed in Google, and someone does a search for “how to get my content in Google”…my site will get listed.  That is pretty cool.

But what is the point?

Well, for one I have just acquired a visitor.  A visitor is web traffic.  And traffic is the most sought after resource online.  Think of it like OIL or GOLD of the Internet world.  If you can get your content listed, you get traffic, and you have the opportunity to leverage this traffic into some nice, crisp Benjamin Franklins.

How do most people get traffic from getting their blog content listed in Google?

There really are a number of ways that you can accomplish this, but the main ways are:

(1) Search Engine Optimization – this is where people write content relevant to specific subjects and keyword phrases.  It also involves things like getting one way back-links to your website through other relevant websites, and creating content on a regular basis.  If Google sees that other sites are linking to yours, they will definitely get your content into their search engines quicker.

(2) Article Marketing – many people leverage article directories like ezinearticles.com, articlesbase.com, associatedcontent.com, squidoo.com and many others to drive traffic to their blog.  Basically how it works is that you submit relevant articles to these directories and they get picked-up in Google (SEO style).  People read your article and at the end, you drop a link to your blog, and they click-through.  Many of these directories offer “do follow” links which mean each link you drop within the article will count as a one way link…thus boosting your Page Rank in Google.

These are the two mains ways to get your content in Google.

I recommend doing a hybrid of both to get the best results.  Aim to write and submit 3-5 articles per week…and aim to write and post at least 3 blog posts per week.  And lastly, work on getting one way back-links.  You can do this using one of the services out there, using social bookmarking sites, or you can leverage existing blogs comments area (where permitted) or wide open forums that are relevant to your site.

Take it easy,

Crafty Content