Tag Archives: affiliate marketing

5 Ways To Milk Your Articles To The Max

Milk Your articles for all they're worthWhen most marketers write articles, the typical scenerio is to submit them to their favorite article directories.  Many article marketers also invest in article submission software to help speed up to process and to get their articles out to hundreds & even thousands of article & ezine directories.

After that, they’re finished.  On to the next one… But why stop there?  Why not milk that article for all it’s worth?

You might be thinking, “well what the heck else can I do with it?  I’ve already submitted it to a zillion article sites, c’mon Jack!”

Well, don’t just stop at the article directories, here are 5 quick tips to super charge the pulling power of your articles.

1. Stick your article on your blog and convert it to a podcast using Feed2Podcast.com.  Now submit the podcast to itunes and other podcast directories.  Don’t have a blog?  Not to worry.  You can use ReadTheWords.com to create a podcast from your article instead.  ReadTheWords.com will even covert .pdf files and other documents.

2. Now format your article into a press release and submit it to PRWeb for premium exposure.  If you prefer the free route, try some of these links:

i-newswire.com
clickpress.com
free-press-release.com

3. Modify your article into a step by step tutorial format.  Now you can submit your tutorial to eHow.com and Tutorialized.com.  If this is a really good article, you could also use it as a bonus incentive to include when marketing your own product, or an affiliate product.

4. Now that you got a snappy tutorial created, why not convert it into a PowerPoint presentation?  Remember to add your link to the first & last slides so that people can click through to your site. You can now submit it to ScreenCast.net & SlideShare.com to name a couple.  Give this an extra kick by breaking it up into a couple parts & link part 2 back to your website.  This is sure to get them clicking through.

5. Finally, convert your tutorial into a .pdf file & upload it to sites like scribd.com, or yudu.  Sites like these get tons of exposure & the .pdf files tend to rank pretty decently in the search engines as well.  I recommend using OpenOffice.org. OpenOffice Writer has a button right in the toolbar to convert to .pdf.  OpenOffice is a free office suite and just as good, if not better than Microsoft Office.

As you can see, by using your imagination, you can stretch out a simple article into a whole host of things that can drive traffic and revenue to your online business.  You can even turn a well written article/tutorial into an info product, especially if you took your PowerPoint & used Camtasia studio to step through your PowerPoint while elaborating on each point in your slide.  Voila, instant info product!

All this from one article.  Just imagine if you made this a regular practice when writing articles.  You will discover that a little extra effort goes a long way.

Instantly Beef Up Your Affiliate Conversions

Affiliate Marketing Money PictureWhen I first got into the online marketing scene back in late 2005, I immediately came out of the gate with my first product.   To me, it seemed logical that having your own product line is ultimately the best way to build a business online… at least for me.

There’s tons of ways to make money online, including creating e-commerce stores, providing services to online & offline businesses, affiliate marketing, etc.

Well, in the beginning, I had no Idea how to market my product, so I stuck it on eBay & did quite well with it.  This was when they allowed digital products.

In the mean time, I was also curious about affiliate marketing.  The idea of putting up a review site with a couple affiliate links, then passively making money every month seemed very appealing.

No tech support, no dealing with refunds, none of the typical headaches that come with having your own products.

So like everyone else, I jumped onto the affiliate review sites & landing pages bandwagon.  I put up my product reviews, pointing out how great product ‘X’ was and pointing my visitor to the affiliate link where they could make the purchase.

I remember after setting up my first affiliate review page thinking that the money was going to immediately start rolling in.  I would check my email about every 10 minutes looking for that coveted “Congratulations! You Have Made a Sale” type email.  Really! No kidding, almost every 10 minutes, heh heh!

Needless to say, that first day came & went, and so did the next… and the next.  Hmmmm, maybe they don’t like the way I write?  Does the product suck?  But it’s a hot seller!  So I started testing different variations of the review page.

Hmmmm, two weeks and counting – still no sale.  Uggggh!  I had already sold dozens of my own product, but nothing from these stupid affiliate products.  Maybe affiliate marketing was just a crock.

About this time, I was ready to pitch the whole affiliate marketing thing out the window.  Around this same time, I had injured 3 of my fingers pretty badly on a Skil saw, and they were sliced up pretty good.  I had lost much of the feeling in them at the time.  Because of this, I was interested in finding some type of skin cream that could help my fingers heal faster and maybe even minimize scarring.

So I did the next natural thing.  I Googled for “best skin care for injuries” and many variations including keywords like “review”, etc.

Well, wouldn’t you know it.  Every website I came across had affiliate reviews of how great THEIR product was.  Hmmm.  I didn’t put much credibility into it because I knew that they were probably just trying to get a sale.

I searched onward…  Onward some more… and more!  I must have went through a hundred results before I finally found ONE site that didn’t appear biased.

This site pretty much had a fact sheet format which did comparisons of different skin care products for fast healing & scar reduction.  I was able to use this information to make an informed decision and I bought the product through their link.

YIKES! I suddenly had the “Duh!” moment when I realized how aggravated and frustrated I was getting, trolling hundreds of search results just to get some real info on what I needed.

I already had made my mind up that I wanted to buy, but I had to have real validation that my purchase decision was okay.  I went back to my own affiliate review page and realized that it didn’t look any different in format that those other hundred sites that did absolutely nothing for me!

This time, I changed my landing page from a fluffy, feel good review, to an informative fact sheet, modeled after the website that I had purchased through.  It wasn’t an exact copy of course, but by educating the customer in a complete non-biased fashion, using bullet points and snippets of customer reviews from other shopping sites (with credit back to them of course), I suddenly realized that this page was now an authority page, not a pre-sell.

This time I was excited again, but I didn’t check my email every 10 minutes like I did before.  The next morning while checking my email, there it was… “You Have Made A Sale!”.  I could hear the angelic music in the back ground as I clicked the email link.

I’ll never forget the excitement of my first affiliate sale and the valuable lesson I learned from that whole experience.  I started to realize right then & there not to follow the herd.  Do the opposite.  As marketers, its easy to get so focused on making a landing page, and pushing your visitors to that affiliate link, that we forget about their real needs.

I have found that the real secret is to intercept the buyers.  People who have already decided that they are going to buy.   Generally, we need to validate our decision before pulling out the credit card and that’s where you should come in.  No need for pre-sell, just the facts validating to your visitor that they had made the right decision, and now it’s time to click the link.

It’s brain dead simple.  Not something the ‘gurus’ want you to know, LOL.

From that point on, I stayed in the affiliate marketing game which ultimately inspired my next product.  That product was AmazingCloaker.   Between the fact-sheet layout and the AmazingCloaker embedded-cookie feature, my affiliate projects became a whole new ballgame!

What’s Your Wall?

wall to success in online business pictureEveryone who has ever journeyed into the unknown in a quest to achieve something is going to encounter many obstacles along the way.  That’s just a fact of life.  Without these obstacles, there would be no learning experiences to evolve from.  That would be a pretty boring way to live life when you think about it.

I remember when I was getting started in internet business, my personal brick wall was analysis paralysis.  I was so overwhelmed with information from trying to absorb it all at once, that I would just find myself endlessly looping through the forums, checking out software and pretty much accomplishing nothing for hours & days on end.

I knew that I needed to start somewhere, but by reading the posts by pseudo experts in the forums, surfing from site to site, looking at other products, etc I was really a busy guy.  So busy, in fact that I almost had myself convinced that I was actually accomplishing something.

In reality, what I was really accomplishing was nothing.  I could justify my use of time because I was “busy”.  The bottom line however, was that my bank account was still an internet virgin.  Other than picking up nuggets of info here and there, I completely wasted nearly 6 months of my life circling around in a sort of holding pattern.

I had finally reached the point where I was getting disgusted with myself and decided to take stock of myself.  What were my real goals?  Ultimately, it was freedom that I was after, but what was stopping me from getting started?  Was it the fear of failure because of the humoring chuckles I would get when telling someone that I was going to make money online?

Maybe it’s just because I needed to keep looking until I figured out what the magic secret to online succes was.  Surely succeding online only belongs to the enlightened few that have stumbled across this “secret”, right?  Nah, the so-called ‘gurus’ didn’t know squat about this stuff when starting out either.  So what was it.  What was different about them?

Well, after stepping back and reflecting a little something hit me like a wet towel across the face.

These guys just took action, grabbed their online business by the seat of the pants and went for it.  This wasn’t simply a hobby for them, it was a business!  I suddenly realized that the real reason I was spinning my wheels was simply a lack of focus!

I had to decide on ONE thing to do, and then FOCUS on it and nothing else.  This is the single most important step to getting started.  Whether affiliate marketing is your thing, or creating an info product about something, or whatever.  Don’t get caught in the opportunity chasing trap.  Decide what you want and stick with it until you make money.

In my case, I decided to make guitar tutorials as my first endeavor.  Every evening after work I dedicated my time to creating a series of videos and eventually completed them.  I kept my focus, and followed through to completion.

That was around January, 2006.  I had worked a couple months on that first tutorial, partially because of inexperience, & partially because it was a software application with embedded video & guitar tablature.

I am still making a passive income off of those tutorials to this day.  Work once, get paid forever.  It’s a great concept.  If you keep repeating this concept, you can easily visualize how this will lead to freedom.

So what’s your brick wall?  If you take a little time to sit back and confront your wall, you are likely to discover that your brick wall is not a brick wall at all.  Instead, it’s simply a door waiting for you to take the action to open it.

Being Proactive is Hard

By magnusmagnus on Flickr

Did you know that nearly everyone that jumps into the “make money online” arena spend tons of cash on how to do this, and how to do that?  Perhaps they’ll shoot out of the gate running and register a web domain & get hosting.  They might even go so far as to put up a web page with a few affiliate links (but not likely).

It’s sad, but true.  I would estimate that a good 98% out there never take any action whatsoever on the information that they purchase.  You might be thinking “well maybe that’s true, but I’m an exception.  One of these days I’m going to get moving and get myself online and making some serious bank, just as soon as I find the right system.”

Hmmm, I hope that everyone reading this blog succeeds.  That’s the point of being here, right?  The keys to success is based on two major factors.  Learning to market online, of course, but it must be followed through with taking decisive action.

This means stepping outside of the comfort zone.  This is unexplored territory, which is a scary place to be if you are to venture out into changing your future.

This is why 98% never actually follow through.  It’s more comfortable to keep ‘working on building a business’.  As long as you are ‘working on it’, you are not failing.  The down side of always ‘working on it’ is that you’re not getting anywhere either.  Before you know it, another year is shot and it’s time to make that new year’s resolution that THIS time, you are going to really do something.

If you fall in this category, do yourself a favor.  Don’t make a resolution this year.  Instead, stop what your doing right now and get that domain that you’ve been thinking about all this time.  Really!  I’m serious!  Go get it right now… I’ll just wait here until you return…

Got it?  Great….  What?  No we’re not finished yet!  Now let’s monetize it.  No matter what you heard, you need to DO something to make money.  Yes, everybody who is making anything off of the internet is selling something.

It could be affiliate marketing, or maybe you like to write and you created an ebook, report, or audio/video CD.  Ok, now let’s find a decent sales page with a similar product from another site and study it.  What is it that makes you want to buy their product?  Nothing?  Find another sales page.  Ok, now what is it?

Write out that sales page by hand to train your mind how to write decent copy and to be persuasive to your visitors.  This is a great way to improve your copywriting skills.

If you are into affiliate marketing instead, go out to some good affiliate review sites and do the same thing.  By the way, you can learn the ropes of affiliate marketing here.

Now download a copy of Kompozer and create your sales page.  Sign up for a Clickbank account and put your product into the affiliate system.  The cost to register your product is $49.  If you’re broke right now, get a PayDotCom account instead… Your first product is free to sell through them.

Paste your payment link into your sales page and viola! you’re in business!  See?  That wasn’t so hard.  Now you can drive traffic to your site.  That will be the subject of my next post.

Staying in a reactive cycle of broke and searching for opportunities is much easier than being proactive, getting out of your comfort zone, and going for it.

Remember what I’ve said before; being broke is a direct result of inaction.  Inaction to build your business.  Inaction to spend your money wisely, etc… etc.

Act on getting your online business started and you will quickly see that actually DOING is a lot easier than you think!

Some Info on Link Cloaking & AmazingCloaker 5

Best Affilliate Link CloakerAmazingCloaker 5 has now been released.  If you are a current owner of AmazingCloaker, the upgrade is free and automatic of course.

There’s a lot of improvements in AmazingCloaker 5.  One of my main motivations for AC-5 was to get rid of the requirement for the Microsoft dotNet Framework.  I’ve found that many people who purchased AmazingCloaker didn’t have the latest version of the dotNet Framework and it was pain to have to upgrade or install the latest version.  This was automatic during the install, but could make for a long install and restarting the computer.

AmazingCloaker 5 eliminates the need for the dotNet Framework, and now for those without the Framework at all, AmazingCloaker will install, because it has been redesigned in an entirely new programming language.

It is much more streamlined in design, and uses a fraction of the resources without compromising the great features that the AmazingCloaker is known for.

One of the most powerful features that the AmazingCloaker is known for is the embedded cookie feature.  You can create an embedded cookie and add it to your affiliate review or landing page. Your visitor will be cookied with your affiliate info, even if they don’t click your affiliate link.

What this means is that if they bypass your link, or simply don’t bother to check out the product, but then think about it and buy the product directly from the vendor, say a week later… You still get credit for the sale even though your link was never physically clicked.

And why not? You still took the time to put up your review page and educate the visitor on the benefits of the product, so why not receive the credit that’s due? It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how quickly that these recovered conversions can add up.

Link cloaking helps keep your affiliate info hidden so that people can’t simply replace your affiliate ID with their own.  This is called link hi-jacking because your affiliate link has now become their affiliate link on their own purchase.  They are reimbursed the affiliate commission, allowing them to get the product at a discount, and at your expense.

Link cloaking isn’t all about security.  Most readers simply won’t trust a review of a product with an affiliate link.  This is because the visitor naturally assumes that the review is biased because you want them to click your link.  Credibility is reduced and they may either move on, or bypass your link… just because.

A cloaked link looks natural.  This is because it is pointing to a redirect page which still resides on your own website.

If you’d like to know more about how link cloaking works, it’s covered in the AmazingCloaker Help file.

You can get it here:

http://www.amazingcloaker.com/AmazingCloaker_help.pdf

You can see the video of the AmazingCloaker’s features here:

http://www.AmazingCloaker.com

Tweaking Your Inner Game for Internet Business

getting your inner game on for internet businessOne of the easiest traps to get caught into is the information overload trap.  Especially if you’re new to online marketing.  Perhaps you’re broke, desperate for money, and don’t even know how to get started.

I remember starting out deep in debt & having my paychecks already spent before they were even deposited into my bank account.  I remember making the decision that once and for all, I was going to start an internet business and get serious about it.

I was toying with the idea for many months before taking any real action back in 2005.  Like pretty much everybody starting out, I had no clue where to start.  I didn’t even know what a blog was, and saw no connection on why it would ever be essential to an online business.

I bought ebooks, videos, lurked around for months in forums, trying to understand and absorb as much as I could about affiliate marketing, product creation, generating traffic, building a website, etc.  The list was endless.

Therein laid the problem, because there are so many aspects to internet marketing, you could easily spend a lifetime studying and never get to the point of actually doing.

Naturally, you need to have an understanding of the basics, but then you need to take immediate action.  Don’t wait around thinking that you need to “arrive” someday before starting.

There was a study done (can’t remember the source) on the most successful sales people & entrepreneurs in their fields.  The study found that they all had one thing in common.  When they got a great idea or an inspiration, they acted on it immediately.

They may not have been entirely sure how to make it work, but they put it into action and worked it out as they went along.  They wouldn’t spend weeks mulling over whether it would be successful or not, or getting opinions from friends & family members first.  They just took action.

Think back to when you accomplished something that you’re proud of.  This can be anything you’re proud of, not necessarily marketing related.  Perhaps you gave your long haired cat a Mohawk that was so cool that it made the cover of Rolling Stone magazine.

But seriously, here’s my question – Were you working within your comfort zone when you scored that home run?  I bet you weren’t.   It’s more likely that you stepped (or were thrown) into unexplored territory and you just had to go for it.

Perhaps it was something job related – a do or die situation & the pressure was on.  Maybe it was a personal challenge of some sort.  It may have been a tough road, but eventually things fell into place as you went along.  Then voila, success!

You probably now look back and think “wow, I can’t believe I pulled that off!”.

While the rest of the herd is busy studying, analyzing, or thinking about getting started in an internet business, you should be different.  You should be taking some type of action every day and building your business.

Get used to stepping out of your comfort zone and taking real action on your ideas.
This is the zone of success, and where great things happen.  You’ll be amazed at what you figure out.  Even when you make a mistake, you’re already ahead of the next guy, because you have something they don’t… experience.

This also applies if you’re already in business.  Have a list of action steps for each day that you can apply to build your business.  Here’s a simple example, Mondays could be your day for writing an article and submitting to eZines.  Tuesdays for blog posting & blog carnival submissions, etc.

Taking consistent action every day is the real secret.  You already have the magic formula for success within you.   You are a creator.  Don’t just sit by and let things happen to you; instead be the one who makes things happen!