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Link Building

Word of Mouth: A Guerrilla Marketing Method For Affiliate Marketing

Word of mouth is a guerrilla marketing method that involves personal recommendations of services, products or businesses. Word of mouth marketing has generated a tremendous amount of buzz with affiliate marketing, mostly due to the effectiveness of this promotional technique.

According to research on consumer behavior, receiving a personal recommendation from a customer is one of the best ways to achieve as successful sale. Why? Product and service suggestions appear as more genuine, honest and trustworthy than standard advertisements.

If you want to increase your online visibility, sell more products or get more subscribers, word of mouth is a strategy you need to consider for affiliate marketing. By enlisting the help of past customers, you can dramatically increase the size of your “sales team” and draw an abundance of new customers.

Getting Started With Word Of Mouth Marketing

The first step in using word of mouth in affiliate marketing is to handpick a number of proven guerrilla marketing strategies. While you may later opt to expand into other areas using fresh ideas and techniques, focus on the tried and tested methods during the initial phases of your word of mouth marketing campaign.

No. 1 — Target Influential Customers

The best way to spread the word about your affiliate marketing offers is to get influential people to start talking about them. Spend some time exploring the web to find websites, blogs and communities devoted to your topic.

Select some target individuals and send them information designed to grab their interest. This might involve simply describing what your website does, or producing promotions that are specifically aimed at these individuals. But remember that these people probably get a lot of similar product promotions. So spend some extra time making yours appealing and personal, it will pay off in the long run. When done correctly, these influential customers can become one of your biggest sales allies. By mentioning your products in their websites, blogs and discussion boards, you can reach out to an even broader audience.

No. 2 — Give People A Reason To Talk About You

According to marketing guru Seth Godin, it is essential to give people a reason to talk about your business. “Provide something of value. The first step is recognizing that marketing is asking for someone else’s time and attention. You need to provide something worthy…when you educate or entertain other people, they’ll pay attention. If you bore them, they won’t,” Godin explains.

Consider the strengths of your affiliate marketing business, then build upon them to create outstanding word of mouth. If your site offers lots of valuable information, make sure that this content is prominent on all major pages of your site. If your affiliate offers are the best in the business, make a point of explaining exactly what makes your products or services so much better than the competition. If you have the possibility, try to exemplifying it with graphs and pictures, to make it stand out from the millions of “best deals” that are out there. By offering something of value, your customers will provide word of mouth testimonials in return.

No. 3 — Enlist The Help Of Satisfied Customers

After every completed sale, always strive to maintain contact with your customers. As part of the purchasing process, include an option for customers to receive further email offers, newsletters and promotions. Then, periodically remind your past customers about your business offerings. By staying fresh in the mind’s of your core audience, they will be more likely to promote your affiliate marketing offers to friends, family and online communities.

Some possible ways to stay in contact with past customers include creating informative email newsletters, offering special promotions or simply informing people about your latest products and offers. The key to success is to make these contacts useful and meaningful.

Always ensure that your emails display content specifically targeted to the needs of the customers. Offer something of real value in the form of information or access to affiliate offers.

No. 4 — Make It Easy for Customer To Rave

On every page of your website, include links that allow customers to email information about your affiliate marketing business to friends. This is a great way to quickly capitalize on the enthusiasm of your viewers.

Social bookmarking is another successful word of mouth tool in guerrilla marketing. Websites such as Digg, and StumbleUpon allow users to share their favorite sites with like-minded web viewers. By including social bookmarking links on your website, your customers can help promote your site to an even wider online audience.

No. 5 — Monitor Your Word Of Mouth Results

Finally, always try to monitor the success of your word of mouth campaigns. Start by noticing important numbers such as website traffic and affiliate sales before launching any type of new marketing strategy. Then, collect records periodically on these numbers in order to determine if your word of mouth efforts have had any impact on your affiliate marketing results.

By |February 20th, 2008|Make Money Online, SEO/SEM|3 Comments Rocks for Buying Links!

TNX logoAs all good web 2.0 style companies, is in beta. However, generally being in beta means that somethings don’t work and the product or service is lacking real features and isn’t useful, yet. TNX is quite the opposite, it’s feature rich and seems to work good all the way around.

Sell Links on Each Page

Unlike many other text link companies, TNX allows you to sell links on each individual page. That means I can sell links on one of my most popular pages, and a regular page that gets moderate traffic. Naturally TNX will sell the links on my page that is more popular for more money. The benefit to this is obvious. If I’m going to be sending a large amount of traffic to an advertiser, I’m compensated more than if I’m sending fewer visitors away. Exactly as you would expect advertising to happen.

DigitalPoint Special Offer

One of the initial reasons I signed up with TNX was because I saw a thread at digital point about free text link ads. Anything that involves “free” and “text links” always gets my attention. Check out this thread, make a post and TNX will give you 5,000 credits in the TNX system.

Payouts and Commissions

As should be expected from any major advertising company, payouts are through Paypal, Check, Wire transfer, and are willing to take suggestions on other payment methods. As long as they pay through Paypal, that’s all I care about. Unlike most other advertising companies, TNX only takes 12.5% of the profit. Most companies that I’ve worked with take 50% (TLA), except Adsense, from my experience they take between 60-70% leaving you without much in terms of profit. TNX wants to keep advertisers happy, and in a competitive market they had to do something different.

Buying Links

An absolute necessity, with Google on the war path killing sites that sell links, is discretion. From TNX’s website, “Our system is Secure and Confidential: No public list of users. All sales are automated.” That is exactly what I want, a company that doesn’t advertise that I buy links and doesn’t list who sells the links.

Buying links through TNX is difficult because it’s different. It’s not necessarily bad, just different. With most advertising companies you buy a link on a specific page or site-wide link on a specific site. With this method of advertising you’re buying specific links one by one. With TNX you specify the criteria of the sites that you want to buy links on and TNX fills the order. For example, I can buy links on sites that are PR5 and better with 5,000 or more links. TNX then goes out and finds those sites that fit my predefined criteria and fills my order.

Link Buying Dangers

Since buying mass links is easy with TNX you’ll want to keep it in check in the beginning. One of the worst things you can do with your website is to buy 10,000 links that show up overnight. Google will see you trying to manipulate the SERPs and is likely to slap your site with lost rankings and drop your PR. If you’re going to start buying links through TNX, start slow and ramp up link buying over 6 months or more. This will hopefully keep Google in the dark about your link buying.

Final Thoughts

Overall, TNX is an easy way to buy links. As you can see from the Alexa graph below, I’m not the only one who thinks is a great link buying system!

Alexa Stats for

By |December 15th, 2007|Link Building|21 Comments

30 Day Challenge – Zero to Hero

During the month of November, Andrew and I will be focusing as much as possible on a joint venture. Our joint venture will be all about the call center industry, especially targeting the keywords call center consultant. During November we have 3 goals:

  1. 2,000 unique visitors. For the past few months this site has had about 30 uniques total.
  2. $100 revenue. This site currently generates $0 revenue.
  3. 150 total articles. So far we have about 6.

As the title says, we’re going to take this site from 0 (nothing) to hero (generating income) in one month. If we can do it, so can you!

I don’t know if we’ll be able to do it, but I sure do hope we can. For me, it’s fun to be working with a partner on a project like this. Andrew is an exceptional writer and we should have great success with this. I’ll keep you updated with how our goals are coming along, and if you want to help, just link to the site!

You can also view all of the posts from this project.

By |November 1st, 2007|Make Money Online, Projects, SEO/SEM|2 Comments

Fun vs. Profitable – Finding Your Niche

Michael Gray made a post recently titled, “Can You Make a Living Blogging” and I thought I would share some of my personal thoughts on making money online via blogging.

Landscaping ideas pictureWhen attempting to blog for profit, it would make sense that you find a profitable niche, right? However, for some people, the niche is an afterthought.

I have a friend who loves playing video games. That’s great, but there are about a million good blogs that cover video games and have 10 full time writers on staff. You, being one person, will fail 99.99% of the time against competition like that. They’re big, established and can blow you out of the water with their marketing budget. Don’t read that number and think you are the 0.01%. You’re not, you will fail if you tackle the wrong niche.

So what does it take to make a profit running a blog? The right niche and the right personality.

The right niche is easy to find, but matching a great niche with your personality might be a little more difficult.

If you’re like me, I can write a post per day about literally any topic in the world, even if there aren’t any current events on the subject. So for me, finding a profitable niche is easy, and I can find a profitable niche in literally less than 5 minutes. I could have a good domain purchased and blog up in 15 minutes. Once the DNS transfers I could be posting in less than 24 hours. If you are like me in this area, check out my free niche ideas category or shoot me an email and we’ll talk about niches.

If you have trouble thinking of posts or find yourself sitting in front of a blank screen that says, “Create New Post”, then finding your perfect niche might be a little more difficult. That is where this post comes in.

Here are a few ways that YOU can find the perfect niche, that is something you’re interested in (at least a little) and can be profitable as well.

What do you like?

Do you like eating? Running? Shoveling snow? Backpacking? Doing crazy stunts? Blowing up dining room tables that you found in a dumpster? Testing new technology? Making new things from old items?

What exactly do you like to do? Write down 5 things that you like to do on a piece of paper. Or in Photoshop like I did since I don’t have a scanner handy. Step one should look like this:

Find your Niche - step 1

Now that you have 5 things you enjoy or like written down, write 3-5 ideas that are in the same niche as the first step. Should look like this:

Find your Niche - step 2

Now you should have 15-30 ideas written down that are becoming a little more focused. Hopefully your list isn’t a technology focused as mine is. Technology is a tough niche to compete in because everyone that knows about technology knows about the internet and knows how to create a website which creates competition. Too much competition is a bad thing. Then again, zero competition is a bad thing as well.

Now that you have your second set of words and ideas, look through them and pick the one that most excites you. Don’t worry if you don’t think it can make money. As long as you can get traffic to a website, monetization is easy. Traffic will come through the niche and long tail keywords.

For me, I might pick landscaping. I really enjoy working in my back yard. It’s fun for me to be out there mowing the lawn, edging, pulling a few weeds, fertilizing, etc. By the way, I do have the best looking grass on my block!

So now that I have a general niche, we need to see if it is too broad and if there is money to be made in “landscaping”. First go to google and type the word ‘landscaping’.

Search Results Matter

1. Advertisers (amount, quality of ad, keyword focus)

2. Domains in top 10 (are they corporations or individual sites? Is the .com of your keyword listed? .Gov sites? Wikipedia?)

3. Other possible keywords (for landscaping, those words were “DIY, Ideas, Planning, pictures, estimates)

Those three bits of information tell us the following:

1. Advertisers. If there are 3 advertisers, drop the niche and move on. Nobody is bidding on ppc keywords, there might be a reason. If the niche is really broad then try to narrow it down. If you still can’t find advertisers, find a new niche. This will also give us an indication as to who the competition will be. It is good to see products listed in this section.

Here are the top advertisers for ‘landscaping’ and my thoughts on those ads:

Find your Niche - step 3

Even though there are only 8 advertisers listed, these seem promising. Now, see how many advertisers there are with the related terms. If you search for “landscaping ideas” you find a goldmine. Plenty of advertisers, tied to a bigger niche (landscaping), it isn’t a dying niche, and you should be able to find advertisers other than Adsense as well.

If I were looking for a niche, I would buy a ‘landscaping ideas’ website and get a blog set up.

2. Domains in the top 10.

For the top 10 results for my selected keywords (landscaping ideas) I found the following:








The competition I would be worried about is and (they’re huge and get a lot of link love). The rest of the competition isn’t great. Static sites that would probably even link to you with the right persuasion. The right persuasion in this case is probably not money, but a good resource for their existing visitors.

These results are great because their aren’t a lot of really big corporations, no .gov sites, just some old established sites.

3. Other Possible Keywords.

Funny thing. Google gives you a list of keywords at the bottom of this search page that GOOGLE thinks are related. Whether they are or not, Google thinks they are, and that’s good enough.

Here are those words:

desert landscaping ideas
backyard landscaping ideas
landscaping photos
landscaping plans
patio ideas
flower bed ideas

A page on the site for each of those words is where I would start. I would turn the landscaping photos site into a gallery. That will garner some linkage. The rest of the pages should fit well within the existing framework of your site.

Looking for more keywords? Here is a list of 200 keywords that you can download for landscaping ideas:

Landscaping Ideas keyword list

Will it work?

“Landscaping Ideas” satisfied all of the criteria. It is something I’m interested in, has advertisers, is active, and the competition isn’t too tough.

If you check Adwords you’ll see an average click cost of $1.00 for “landscaping ideas” but only 10-50 searches per day. If you search for “landscaping” you’ll see $1.28-1.50 cost per click and 1872-2292 clicks per day. That is perfect. You’ll be able to use PPC to promote this website. However, Adsense won’t be a huge earner. I would look for affiliate programs and after about 6 months you might be able to sell some text link ads.

Normally the first idea doesn’t work, but the rabbit hole will lead you to a niche that does work. If landscaping ideas didn’t work out, I could have continued that line of thinking and done lawnmower reviews, fertilizer comparisons, etc. The purpose of this exercise is to see how easy it is to find a niche.

What’s Next?

Now it’s time to write, write, and more writing. I would write for two months straight before I worked on promotion. You’ll want to ping the major blog sites (Technorati especially) and maybe email a few people with similar sites and tell them you’re linking to them. Outgoing links won’t matter now because you’re not making any money. In fact, I would leave out ALL advertising for those 60 days.

Advertising always cheapens the user experience, and right now you need dedicated followers and subscribers. Later you can cash in. Once you start writing and think you’ve covered most of the major keywords, start writing for fun. Write articles like, “3 Reasons You’re Lawn is Dead”, “How To Mow Once a Month – AND Have the Best Lawn on the Block!”, “Ultimate Seed Spreading Comparison”.

Those will draw in more visitors and will capture a lot of clicks just with the title. Those post should probably be pictorial with a lot of content to make them major linkbait.

That’s It!

To answer Michael Gray’s original question, “Can You Make a Living Blogging?” Absolutely! Find your perfect niche, exploit it, write it, live it, breathe it, and make a living from it!

Hopefully that helps you find a niche and make some money online! Let me know if you have any questions, comments or need clarification!

By |June 1st, 2007|Make Money Online, SEO/SEM|9 Comments