Musically Motivated Monday – $1 for what???

Hey Girls and Guys,

I just had an awesome trip from Vermont, USA to Pennsylvania and Washington DC…. It truly was awesome and I recommend DC to anyone who can make it. I’m in a great mood.

I’m still bogged down with client work, which is good and am waiting for my writer to get articles back to me to carry on the $5 A Day Adsense Site Case Study. If you have not been reading then I suggest you have a read:

5 A Day Adsense Site Case Study Part 1

5 A Day Adsense Site Case Study Part 2

Now other things that are going on… I hope to get a post or two out this week non $5 formula related and also I want to tell you about an awesome, awesome limited offer that is on today.

$1 Wealthy Affiliate Trial

I just joined Wealthy Affiliate using the special $1 WA trial offer which is limited to the first 1000 people. Basically $1 gets you 7 days look at the forum and you can see if you really wanna hang around, risk free.

If you choose to stay they will also give you a FREE ebook worth around :$60-$80. I picked one about list building.

Wealthy Affiliate will teach you all about niche marketing, affiliate marketing, PPC and more. It’s highly respected and has an awesome extremely active community.

I like what I see so far and I suggest you come and let me know what you think too…. After all what’s $1 for answering your curiosity?

Here the link again:

$1 Wealthy Affiliate Trial

So for the music this week I wanted something bouncy that reminded me of home so opted for some Libertines.

Let me know how you are and what you think…. Have fun.

Forest.

$5 A Day Adsense Site: Case Study – Part 2

Hi, welcome to part 2 of the $5 Formula Case Study. Before jumping into this part it’s a good idea to read the other parts:

$5 A Day Adsense Site: Case Study – Part 1

$5 A Day Adsense Site: Case Study – Part 2 – This Part

$5 A Day Adsense Site: Case Study – Part 3

$5 A Day Adsense Site: Case Study – Part 4

This case study is based on the absolutely excellent $5 Mini Site Formula by Josh Spaulding and the $5 Formula Video adaptation by Mark Mason.

Deciding Which Keywords Are To Be Used Where

We now have our high paying niche and around 34 decent keywords. We only want 27 in total to start the site so a good next step is to pick out which 27 we are going to use. As the monthly search numbers are all pretty good I am going to use common sense to decide which keywords will fit where starting with a good general keyword as the Main title and domain keyword. I’ll also dump the keywords with a top ten average PageRank of over 3.

Main Index Keyword: Effective Acne Treatment

Site Article Keywords:
1 acne sulfur treatment
2 acne product reviews
3 best acne cream
4 how to clear up acne
5 how to prevent pimples
6 surgery for acne

Articles for Article Marketing:
1 getting rid of acne scars
2 cystic acne cure
3 herbs for acne
4 how to get rid of a pimple
5 how to get rid of acne fast
6 natural cure for acne
7 how to remove pimple
8 pimple home remedy
9 home remedies for blackheads
10 remedy for pimples
11 diet and acne
12 treatment for pimples
13 get rid of zit
14 blackheads home remedies
15 pop a zit
16 get rid of back acne
17 how to get rid of zits
18 zinc for acne
19 home acne cure
20 how to get rid of whiteheads

Choosing A Domain

As the site I am building is aimed at getting visits through Google and Article Marketing it’s not a big deal to get a really catchy domain name. More importantly the main keyword should be in the domain. A quick search of “EffectiveAcneTreatment” shows that the .com and .org is taken. I personally think Google pays more attention to .com’s and .org’s so always go for them.

In this case I always just try and add a short extra word to the end to get a keyword rich domain. So .com and .org EffectiveAcneTreatmentBlog.com is available. So I’ll purchase that.

I always use coupon codes from fatwallet to get my .com domains for $7.69 from GoDaddy.

Setting Up The Site

The formula emphasizes the point to make sure the site looks professional and that the adsense units are effectively placed. Luckily for us, the exact format that Josh has tested are available in excellent and very easy to use adsense themes for wordpress. These adsense themes are also produced by Mark Mason, who made the great video, and very kindly he has given me access to the unreleased v3.0.

I recommend you get the Niche Adsense Themes for these projects as the layouts are proven, you just enter your adsense id in WordPress and you can easily change the header, so hardly any tech knowledge is needed.

snapshot-2009-05-27-22-25-10Niche Adsense Themes For WordPress Options Screen.

So setup is pretty easy. I have an excellent Hostgator reseller account. So I set up a new account for my keyword rich domain, install WordPress using Fantastico (takes 2 mins) and then install Niche Adsense Themes. The whole process takes about 15-20minutes max.

Header and Footer Tweaks

The Niche Adsense Themes already have a great range of headers installed to suit many niches, however I like to put a personal touch on most sites that I create. So I picked a plain header and just did saved them to my desktop for some quick modification.

What do you think?

Getting the Articles…

Ok the last step for this part is to get the articles. We need 6 for the site and 20 for article marketing. For your first site I would advise writing them yourself. However I am a little short of time so I am going to order them…. When some start arriving back I can continue this case study.

The articles you order need to be naturally written without too much keyword stuffing. Ezine Articles only allows the main keyword once every 100 words.

Also the formula says that the exact keyword should appear in the title…. So for example “Diet and Acne, 10 Easy Tips”.

That’s just about it for today. Please let me know your thoughts and any questions so far.

Take  care,

Forest.

Enjoyed the case study so far? I suggest you scrub up on the process we are following. Go Download the FREE $5 Mini Site Formula and watch the $5 Formula Video NOW!

I also highly recommend personal coaching from the original writer of this formula. I’m an active member so come and say hi :). Check out Coaching With Josh.

1,2,3…. Now You're An Affiliate Marketer

Affiliate Marketing on a basic level is very easy.

Basically you just need to become the bridge between a potential client/customer and the business. You become the middleman and earn a little cash in the meantime.

If you know how to display a link and an image on your blog then you are ready to start promoting affiliate products and tapping into a little extra income for very little extra work.

In this post I am going to talk about the basics of using your existing commodities to get a few commission sales and actually add value to your content. If someone is looking to purchase something and you honestly direct them to a link then you are giving them excellent value for their search.

Pay Per Click Marketing is also a great way to earn money from Affiliate Marketing but I am still in the learning stages here and will not be talking about that yet here…. In fact I have just signed up to and am in Month One of PPC Coach, so far it’s great and my learning curve has been rising up very steadily…. I’ll bring you guys a full review very soon.

So let’s find a way for you to get your first affiliate commision, or find ways to increase your current earnings.

First off it’s best to assess your websites. Look for specific posts that are attracting good organic traffic and especially things that are in niche subjects or talk about specific products. If you can’t find much then brainstorm a few subjects that you can honestly and truthfully talk about. Reviews and opinions can make the affiliate commisions fly through the door and if you are honest then many of the people who purchased through your links will come back for more.

Look at your mailing lists… Have a think about what these people may be interested in. Think of things that will be of value to them and prepare to send them some honest promotions. Recommend something that will help them and they will be forever grateful. Just don’t spam them!

Now you should have some subjects, products and ideas of what you can promote. So the next thing is to sign up to some networks so that you can find the right links for your products…. Here are some brief overviews of some of the networks I use and recommend that you join. Be creative if you don’t have exact products or services to promote.

Pepperjam

Pepperjam are a great network to start with. Number one, they have Ebay where you can get a percentage of a sale or $25 for a new ebay signup. You can promote thousands upon thousands of products through Ebay and I prefer using Pepperjam rather than Ebays direct affiliate program. Pepperjam also have tons of other quality advertisers such as Jimi Hendrix clothing and Seasame Street.
(edit. Damian mentioned in the comments that Ebay are now manually reviewing all publishers so he has been waiting to hear back about approval for over two months…. Hopefully Ebay will resolve this soon….. But Pepperjam are still more than worth joinging.).

Neverblue Media, Amped Media, Motive Interactive and Advaliant

These 4 networks all have excellent interfaces, friendly and highly helpful affiliate managers to look after you and a great range of easy to convert offers. I have had luck promoting offers like Zwinky, Vistaprint and Grocery Coupon sites. They are also a great source for diet and fitness related products and services.

Amazon Associates

I find Amazon a bit clunky but they give you the opportunity to promote every product on their site and earn a commision. The possibilities are endless.

Clickbank

Honestly…. Clickbank is full of crap. However wade through the rubbish and you can find some excellent programs, ebooks and products to promote. I have had luck promiting things like Micro Niche Finder and various niche ebooks. It’s a good idea to buy any ebook before promoting it…. I strongly advise you provide honest value to your visitors. A quick note about Clickbank. They will hold payment on your account until you have sold products with 5 different credit card transactions just for their security but 5 sales can be acheived quickly!

There are tons of networks out there but these are ones that I have personally had great results with and recommend. It pays not to sign up to too many to start. Just get your footing and find  your groove. Then you can move forward.

….Now you have your posts or mailing list ready, you have signed up to your networks and been accepted and found the offers you want to promote. Next step is to get them in your posts. Add the affiliate link to places text that mentions the product in your post. Add nice friendly links on calls to action (eg: Buy The New Kindle From Amazon Here, etc etc). Also maybe add a nice friendly banner at the beggining or end of your post.

If you have nice organic traffic I would not be too suprised to see some click and maybe sales straight away. Failing that it’s time to promote the posts via social media and work to get some links back to it to boost it’s place in Google. Maybe also consider changing the post title to something that is more highly searched or easier to rank with in Google.

There really isn’t much more to getting started with affiliate marketing…. See easy as 1,2,3. Some things work well, some don’t. But if you make a consious efforts to ethically promote your links where you can then you will find that over time your blog will have lots of offers and opportunities for people to bridge to their purchase or signup via you. I find sales coming through from posts that are nearly 2 years old. It’s always nice to gain residual income in this way.

Now from this day on whenever you create a new post or talk about a service or product. Work out if it’s viable to provide affiliate links and make sure that you naturally place them throughout your posts.

Let me know how this works out for you.

PS: I recommend cloaking your affiliate links. I wrote a post that gives some reasons and shows you how here: How To Cloak Affiliate Links.

Any questions, as always, fire away…..

Thanks for reading 🙂

How To Cloak Affiliate Links

Superman
Image via Wikipedia

Cloaking your affiliate links is easy and there are various ways to do it. In this post I am going to show and explain exactly how I do it.

Firstly…..

What is Link Cloaking?

Cloaking, Link Cloaking, URL Cloaking, Hiding Your Affiliate Links or Affiliate Link Cloaking are all basically the same thing.

You are creating a redirect from one link to another, thus hiding the destination link from the person who clicks. This can be used for good and bad purposes, I suggest you use it for good!!!

If I wanted to promote a product on my blog….. Say for example the excellent plugin OIO Publisher, then in order for me to earn my affiliate commissions I need to send people to the sales page using my affiliate link.

When you hover over these two links, take a look at the link text in the bottom of your browser.

Control Your Ad Space, Get OIO Publisher Today

Control Your Ad Space, Get OIO Publisher Today

The top link uses the raw affiliate link, as you probably know some affiliate links get really ugly and obvious… this one isn’t too bad:
http://www.oiopublisher.com/ref.php?u=954

The bottom link uses the more appealing and personalized cloaked link:
http://realbloggingtips.com/recommends/OIOPublisher.php

A pretty link is just one advantage of cloaking your links. Here are some of the other advantages:

  • Your affiliate link is hidden from the reader and a nicer link is in place, thus the link looks more professional and trustworthy.
  • People in the know are less likely to strip your ID before they purchase the product.
  • Malicious software should not be able to strip your affiliate ID and steal commissions from you
  • If your affiliate link changes you only need to change it in the cloaked file and it will reflect in every instance that you have referenced the cloaked link.

How to cloak your links….

  1. Create a folder in your blogs directory. This can be done via ftp or file manager on your web hosting page. In my case I named the folder recommends. So now that folder can be found here: http://realbloggingtips.com/recommends/
  2. Open a plain text editor and copy and paste the code below into the editor.

    <?php header( “HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently” );
    header(‘Location: http://www.YOURAFFILIATELINK.com’);  ?>

  3. Replace the code “http://www.YOURAFFILIATELINK.com” with your affiliate link. In my example above my affiliate link was “http://www.oiopublisher.com/ref.php?u=954
  4. Save the file with an appropriate name followed by .php. In my example I named the file OIOpublisher.php. If you was promoting a gas card then you could name it FreeGasCard.php, as another example.
  5. Upload the file to the folder that you created on your web host and test the link. In my case the link is: http://realbloggingtips.com/recommends/OIOPublisher.php
  6. Use this link whenever you want to direct a reader to the product or offer via your affiliate link.

If you want to create a new link for a new product then just copy the php file that you created, rename it (remember to keep the php and don’t use spaces, – are fine). Then open the file in a text editor and replace the affiliate link with the appropriate link.

I keep a generic copy of this file named “CloakedLink.php” on my desktop so I can create a new cloaked link in a matter of seconds.

The WordPress Plugin Option: If you like the idea of cloaking your links but don’t want to bugger around with php files and uploading every time you need to link you can use a great wordpress plugin to easily spread cloaked affiliate links throughout your blog. Check out WordPress Link Cloak.

Hope that helps 🙂

Any questions please let me know.

Is your website for sale… without you knowing?

Someone posted http://bestpicever.com for sale… and it wasn’t even their site! Initially up for auction on SitePoint by the true owner, (and with a current bid of $6,000) they received a number of curious emails referring to a second listing elsewhere. A little investigating showed the site was indeed listed on digitalpoint; a scam that included a word for word copy of the original sales listing but at 1/10th the price!

Read more on Freelancelancetwins.

Faux listing: http://forums.digitalpoint.com/showthread.php?p=8768604
Real listing: http://marketplace.sitepoint.com/auctions/42428