Blogging comes with lots and lots of benefits even in 2020
Anyone and I mean just anyone can start a blog like Linda Ikeji and make money from it
And that is why am going to walk you step by step in the article How to Start Your Own Blog in 30 Simple Steps and Make Money from it just like Linda Ikeji’s blog and other popular blogs on the internet do
This guide is quite a long one so, you need to grab a cup of coffee to keep you company
What you’ll discover here is a step-by-step process for publishing your own blog and making money from it!
It doesn’t matter if you’re not very technical. It doesn’t even matter if you’re new to the internet.
That’s because this guide show you How to Start a Blog in 30 Simple Steps
By the end of this post you’ll know;
- How to choose a domain name and webhosting.
- How to get your first bog up and running fast.
- How to monetize your blog.
- What to write about to keep your readers hanging on your every blog post.
- How to drive targeted traffic to it and turn your blog into a popular niche hang out. And much more!
By the time you finish reading this post, you’ll know exactly how to start and run your own profitable blog!
To that end, you’ll complete these steps:
- Choose a hungry niche.
- Select a profitable, in-demand product to sell to this niche.
- Set up a blog and start creating content that caters to the niche.
- Promote your affiliate/networking products or offers on your blog (sometimes even directly in your posts) and start making money.
- Drive targeted, cash-in-hand prospects to your blog… and start cashing in!
You’ll learn these steps (including all the intricate details) in the coming lessons…
But before we get into that, I want to show you that there are plenty of other ways to benefit and profit (directly and indirectly) from your blog. Read on…
Benefits of Starting Your Own Blog
- Establish Yourself as an Expert
No matter what you’re selling or what your business model is, a blog can help you achieve more because it helps establish you as an expert.
Whereas people use to publish books to showcase their expertise, now almost anyone can publish a blog. And once that blog becomes popular, the blogger’s status is further elevated in the niche.
And that’s NOT all.
The more good content you post, the more your readers start to trust you… and that indirectly leads to more sales.
Plus if you allow your readers to interact with you (by allowing comments), that further strengthens your bond with them and the End result? = A more profitable blog.
- Get Publicity Opportunities
Some people use blogs to raise their status in a niche. And some people use this elevated status as a springboard to more opportunities, such as free publicity and book deals.
So far you’ve discovered some ways to benefit from your blog.
Next, you’ll learn a bunch more, including ways to directly profit… so read on…
Step 1: Ways to Monetize a Blog
We’ve touched on some ways to profit from your blog just to give you a clue of how profitable a blog is.
And even though this guide is all about making money through affiliate/network marketing offers, I want to continue with this discussion so that you’re aware of the many ways to make money with your blog.
Indeed, even though you’ll make money as an affiliate, in the future you may want to incorporate some of these other methods.
- You Make Money From Your Blog With AdSense
When your visitors click on any of these links, you make money. The advantage is that you don’t even need to pre-sell your visitors because you get paid for the click – not the sale.
While this is a “quick and dirty” way to monetize a blog, it shouldn’t be your first choice.
That’s because if you’ve chosen a good niche and you’re sending highly targeted traffic to your blog, then you should be able to make more money by selling affiliate products.
- With Your Blog, You can Sell Advertising Space and Links
Instead of using AdSense or placing affiliate links on their blog, some blog publishers opt to sell advertising.
Generally, this means that they sell banners and text ads to people in their niche. Some bloggers also sell product reviews, but this can get into shaky legal territory if it’s not done correctly.
If this appeals to you, you can put a link on your blog where you present your advertising opportunities.
- Create and Sell Your Own Products Via Your Blog
This is one of the most profitable ways to monetize a blog.
Instead of promoting an affiliate or network marketing offers and just keeping a fraction of the profits (generally a 50% commission for digital info products), you promote your own products and keep 100% of the profits.
You can create these products yourself. You can hire a ghostwriter to create them for you.
Or you can even purchase the rights to other proven products (via resell rights or private label rights). Whatever you choose, you get to keep all the profits.
- Use CPA Offers
Yet another way to monetize a blog is by offering CPA (cost per acquisition) opportunities.
Now you have a good overview of most of the popular ways you can make money with your blog.
Next, well take an in-depth look at how to make money with affiliate offers.
Step 2: How to Choose a Niche, Part 1
As you know, the primary model you’re using to make money with your blog is to promote affiliate links or network marketing offers on your blog.
However, many beginning affiliates/network marketers make the mistake of choosing a product or two and then building a blog around that product.
Then they have to figure out to whom they should sell the product.
Problem is, there may not be a demand for the product. Or there may not be an easily reachable niche market. Or perhaps it’s a “one-hit wonder,” where you can get people to purchase this one product – but you can’t figure out what else to sell to them.
So here’s what you do instead: Find a hungry market first.
And once you’ve determined that a market exists – and these folks are already buying products and services – then you can figure out what to sell them. (Usually, this means you sell them what they’re already buying).
Over this lesson and the next two, you’ll discover how to find and then choose a niche. Read on…
How to Find a Niche
Ask around about how to find a niche, and some people will tell you to follow your passions. Others will tell you to follow the money.
Here’s an idea: Start with your passions… but then find out if they’re profitable.
That way you’re sure to make money, yet you’re also working in a niche that interests you.
So, the first step is to uncover a niche.
Let’s start by brainstorming.
Answer the following questions. Don’t limit yourself to just one answer per question. Indeed, you should list as many answers as possible for each question.
Brainstorming a Niche
- What are your favorite topics of conversation?
- What was your favorite topic in school?
- What job do you work for now?
- What job do you wish you had?
- What kinds of sites do you visit regularly and/or have bookmarked on your computer?
- What kinds of TV shows/channels do you like to watch?
- What types of magazines do you subscribe to?
- What are your hobbies?
- What do you spend your expendable income on?
- If you had $1000 to spend right now to spend on yourself, just for fun – what would you do with it?
- What are your favorite books?
- If you could take three college courses, what would they be?
- What topics do you know a lot about?
- What topics do your friends ask you about?
- What type of events do you like to attend?
- List your other interests:
Your Task: Complete the above questionnaire. Once you’re done with it, you should have several possible niches that interest you and/or that you know a lot about.
Next, you’ll find out if these niches are profitable!
Step 3: How to Choose a Niche for Your Blog, Part 2
If you completed the task, then you should have a list of potential markets, niches, or topics by now.
Now let’s work on whittling this list down by doing some market research.
In other words, you’re about to discover which of your potential niches is profitable – and which ones you should discard. Read on…
How to Tell if a Niche is Profitable
Sometimes a marketer finds niches that seem to have very few other marketers actively working in the niche.
And the first thing the marketer sees is dollar signs, as he believes he found an “untapped” or “unexploited” niche.
Maybe you’ll have the same experience and the same thoughts.
If this happens to you, however, consider this: Maybe the niche really isn’t “untapped.”
Instead, perhaps the reason why there aren’t other marketers taking advantage of it is that there isn’t any money in the niche.
When you become a more experienced marketer, you’ll be better able to tell if a niche is untapped or merely unprofitable.
For now, however, I suggest that you look for niches with plenty of marketers in them.
That’s because a lot of marketers selling a lot of different kinds of products generally points towards a profitable niche.
Here then are some ways to determine if a niche is profitable…
- Search Google
This is easy – simply enter your broad keywords into Google (such as “bodybuilding” or “motor homes”) and see what comes up. You’re looking for two things:
- The organic results. These are the regular search engine results. Pay attention to the top sites (those on the first page).
What are these sites selling? If many of the top sites are directly selling products or services – or if they carry ads for products and services – that’s a good sign. And if they’re selling similar items, that’s a clue about which particular kinds of products are popular.
Secondly, look at the competition. Are there plenty of sites in the results? Again, that’s generally a good sign, because it shows some demand.
- The sponsored results. You also want to look at the paid ads that appear at the top, bottom, and along the sides of the results. If there are only a couple of ads, be worried. But if all the ad slots are taken, that’s good – because marketers don’t spend money advertising if there are no willing buyers.
- Do a Keyword Search
Next, check out a keyword tool like WordTracker.com, MarketSamurai.com or your favorite tool. Enter your broad keywords. Do you see a lot of results? Do you see evidence that people are looking to buy?
Example: You might see searches for product names (e.g., [product name] review).
If you discover a lot of searches and you also notice that some of them are from buyers, that’s a good sign.
Example: A search like “buy [product name]” is a clear indication that the searcher is a real prospect rather than a tire-kicker.
- Check Offline Publications
Now look at offline publications related to your market. For starters, are there magazines devoted just to your market?
Example: If you’re interested in dog training, then you’d quickly notice several dog-related magazines (like Dog Fancy).
That alone is a good sign. But you also want to browse through these magazines and see what type of paid advertising appears in the publication. This will give you a clue about what’s hot in that market right now.
- Keep an Eye Out for Other Paid Advertising
Listen to the radio and watch TV. Are there any channels or stations related to your market? If not, can you find any specific TV programs related to your market?
Example: Take the example of dog-training again: Just a quick look across a variety of channels (including Animal Planet) reveals several dog-training programs, just as Cesar Milan’s “Dog Whisperer” program.
And if you watch the commercials, you’ll see plenty of paid advertisements for paid products. Both the show and the commercials indicate there is a demand for products in the market.
- Look for Offline Marketplaces
Finally, you can look to offline marketplaces to see if there is a demand. You can look for retail shops or entire sections in big stores devoted to your market.
You should also look for offline events, like trade shows, conferences and workshops in your market.
Once you do all the research described in this lesson and the last, it will quickly become clear which of your potential markets have the most profit potential. If you have a couple that seem to be equal, then just choose the market you think you’d enjoy the most.
Today’s task: Complete the research as described above.
Step 4: How to Choose a Niche, Part 3
Last time you started learning about the different ways you can research to see if it’s profitable.
- a) Check Marketplaces
If you’d like to sell information products (i.e., ebooks), then check out the Clickbank.com marketplace. Simply go to www.clickbank.com/marketplace. Then you can use the search function at the top of your screen (“Find Products”) to uncover niche products.
All you need to do is enter your broad keywords as a search term.
Example: Gardening, dog training, weight loss, quilting, horses… and so on.
For the moment, you just want to see if there’s an interest in the broad market (and then you can narrow it down to a tighter niche later, based on what you uncover during all of this research).
Now look at the results. Typically, the products near the top of the results are the more popular products. So if you see several products on the same topic at that top of the search results, that’s a very good sign – it shows there is some demand, and that there’s a market buying the products.
Another marketplace you can visit is Amazon.com. This goes for whether you’re selling info products or physical products. Again, just enter your main keywords. Those products appearing at the top tend to be the best sellers. If you see a lot of products, then consider it a good sign.
Today’s task: Research Clickbank and Amazon as described above.
Tomorrow you’ll start learning how to set up your blog!
Step 5: How to Choose the Right Domain Name and Web Hosting
Over the last few lessons you went through the steps of first brainstorming potential markets and then researching them to see if they’re profitable. And that means you should now have a market that you’d like to blog about. Read on for your next step…
- Choosing a Good Domain Name
There are several factors to consider when choosing your domain name, including:
- Get a .com extension (rather than .net, .org, etc). The .com name is still the most recognizable and popular extension, so choose a .com name whenever possible.
- The name should be descriptive. In other words, someone should get a sense of what your blog is about just by seeing the domain name.
Example: It’s clear that “dogtraining.com” will be about dog training.
- The name should be easy to remember and say. A name like “dogtraining4u” is cutesy, but it’s not a good name. That’s because someone who hears the name doesn’t know if the “4” is for, fore, four or 4. Likewise, the “u” (you) at the end can cause problems.
Tip: Point is, keep it simple – if you have to explain the name, it’s probably not a good name.
Use keywords. Go back to your keyword research. Did you see any keywords that would make a good domain name? If so, purchase a name with those keywords. But don’t choose a keyword-laden name in lieu of the other factors above. That’s because your domain name is just one small factor that helps determine your search engine rankings.
- Hosting Your Domain Name
Your next step is to choose a web host (which in most cases should never be the same company as your domain name registrar. Though can get domain and hosting in one place). I suggest you use a host like NameCheap, BlueHost, CloudWays, TMDhosting, HostGator.com, Interserver, Smartweb and choose any plan of your choice and you get your domain name for free as well.
Once you’ve purchased your hosting plan, NameCheap (or whichever host you chose) will send you an email that includes your “DNS” (domain name server) information. Now what you need to do is take this DNS information and input it in your domain name account if you get a domain different from the hosting. But is there are the same, you don’t need to update DNS as this is done automatically for you
Today’s task: Buy a domain name and set up hosting.
Tomorrow you’ll start learning about setting up your blog on your new domain!
Step 6: Which Blog Platform is the Best?
Last time you set up your domain name and hosting. Now it’s time to set up your blog. If you’ve done any research on blogs before, you probably already know there are a lot of choices.
So let’s go through some of your options to find out which one is the best…
è Self-Hosted or a Third-Party Blog?
Since I’ve already asked you to buy a domain name and hosting, it’s pretty clear that you’re going to set up a “self hosted” blog.
Nonetheless, let me share with you why this is important…
You’ve no doubt seen some of the third-party blog solutions. One of the most
All you have to do is register an account on these sites, choose a blog name… and you can be blogging in a matter of minutes. Most of these platforms are very user-friendly, meaning you don’t need to know a lick about scripts or other technical stuff in other to be up and blogging fast.
So why not use a third-party solution? Here’s why:
- No commercial content. Some of these sites flat-out prohibit commercial content. And since you’re going to turn your blog into a money-maker, a non-commercial blog isn’t an option for you.
- The site could disappear tomorrow. When you entrust your content – even your income – to a third party, you’re rolling the dice. The company could go bankrupt. They could sell to another company who changes the rules. Point is, your blog could disappear in an instant.
- You have no control over your content. Some third-party blog solutions paste their ads on your site. Some have very strict rules about what you can and cannot write about or what you can link to (which goes back to the commercial content issue again). And all of these sites can just arbitrarily pull your content or change the rules… and there’s nothing you can do about it.
Obviously, a self-hosted solution is best to retain control over your content. But which blog platform should you choose? There are plenty of platforms – just search for “blog script” (in hostscripts.com and Google) to see what I mean. There are also quite a few popular platforms, including Moveable Type, TypePad and WordPress.
Here’s what I suggest: WordPress.org. That’s because WordPress (WP) is frequently updated, there are lots of design options, there are plenty of plugins, there’s user-provided support, and it’s highly functional, flexible and customizable.
Today’s task: Go to WordPress.org and familiarize yourself with WP’s main features and functions.
Tomorrow you’ll install the blog, so stay tuned!
Step 7: How to Install a WordPress Blog
Last time you discovered that WordPress.org is your best bet for a self-hosted blog solution. Now let’s install the blog…
How to Install a WP Blog
I’m going to assume that you followed my advice to purchase your hosting through HostGator.com. If you did, then installation is a snap. That’s because HostGator.com will install the blog for you likewise the other hosting providers I recommeded.
Tip: If you’re not using HostGator.com or any other host that installs WordPress for you, then you’ll need to go to WordPress.org to get the installation files. You’ll also have to read and follow WP’s complete installation instructions, which you can find here:
Step 1: Log into your control panel. All you have to do is go to http://www.yourdomain.com/cpanel (where you substitute
“yourdomain.com” for your actual domain). Then enter the username and password that NameCheap, BlueHost, TMDhosting, HostGator.com, Interserver or Smartweb gave to you when you first signed up for webhosting. This information is always sent the email you signed up with.
You’ll now be taken to the front page of your control panel.
Step 2: Scroll down to “Softaculous. You’ll find it near the bottom of your control panel, in the “Software/Services” section. Go ahead and click on it.
Step 3: Click on “WordPress.” You’ll find it on the left-hand side of your screen, under “Blogs.”
Step 4: Click on “New Installation.” You’ll find this option in the main white box on the right side of your screen
Step 5: Install your blog. Now all you have to do is complete your installation by following the onscreen instructions, where you’ll be asked to provide information such as your desired blog admin username, password and other information.
Tip: One of the first pieces of info you’ll get asked for is where you’d like to install WP – specifically, which directory on your domain.
You’ll want to install it on your “root” directory, so that anyone who goes to www.yourdomain.com immediately sees your blog. As such, leave “Install on Directory” blank so that your blog is in your main/root directory.
When you’ve finished filling out the short form on this screen, click the “Install WordPress” button. You’ll now be taken to a screen which tells you how to log into your new blog. The link should look something like this:
Be sure to write this information down, along with your username and password so that you don’t forget or lose them.
Next, go to your domain name (www.yourdomain.com) to see if the installation was successful. If you see any error messages, delete the blog and try again. Otherwise, if all looks good, then log into your WP dashboard.
Today’s task: Log into your WP dashboard and familiarize yourself with all the links and functions.
Tomorrow you’ll start learning about how to customize the form and function of your blog!
Step 8: How to Find and Install a WordPress Theme
Yesterday you installed your WordPress blog on your domain. However, you probably noticed that the blog is pretty plain looking – maybe even a little ugly. That’s why today you’ll discover how to quickly and easily change the design of your blog.
Here’s the good news…
You don’t need to know anything about HTML or web design in order to change the blog’s design. That’s because there are thousands of free and paid (premium) “themes” (designs) available for your WordPress blog.
Tip: If you have a unique theme in mind – or if you want something totally exclusive – then you can hire a WordPress theme designer. Just go to fiverr.com and post your request for a theme designer.
Generally this isn’t necessary, however, since there are thousands of themes to choose from. You’re certain to find something that you like. However, you can start with a theme and then have a designer “tweak” it to make it more exclusive or to better suit your purposes. For example, you can have a designer create a new graphical header that better matches your blog’s name and content.
Here are three ways to find a theme:
Use Google to search for “WordPress themes” or “WordPress templates.”
In all cases, a simple search for WordPress themes will uncover thousands upon thousands of results. That’s why you’ll want to narrow down the results by searching for specific kinds of themes.
For starters, you can search for niche-specific themes, such as “weight loss themes” or “dog themes.” You can further narrow the results by searching for the colors or styles you like, such as:
- Columns: “two column” or “three column” themes.
- Colors: “black and white theme” or “blue theme” or your favorite colors. Style: “art themes” or “professional theme” or “simple theme.”
Tip: Remember, you can always have a theme designer tweak the theme to make it look exactly the way you want it to look.
Once you’ve selected your theme, then your next step is to download it. To do that, you first need to download the theme to your computer. If it’s packaged in a zip file (and it probably will be), then unzip it (using a tool like WinZip). Be sure to note where the unzipped files reside on your computer.
Next, upload the files. If you know how to use FTP, you can use FTP software to upload your theme files. Otherwise, go to www.yourdomain.com/cpanel, log into your control panel, scroll down to “Files” and then click on “File Manager.”
Once you’ve accessed your domain files through the file manager, then navigate to the public_html directory and click on it to access your main directory. There you’ll see a folder called “wp-content.” Click on it. Then click on the “themes” folder.
Tip: You should now be at: yourdomain.com/wp-content/themes/.
Now upload the theme files from your hard drive to the above “themes” folder on your website.
Next, log into your WP dashboard (http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php). Click on “Appearance” (on the navigation menu on the left side of your screen). You should now see the theme you just uploaded. Click on it to show a preview, then click on the “activate” link. Your new theme is now installed!
Tip: You can tweak the theme in your dashboard by clicking on:
If you don’t have any CSS or HTML experience, then go to fiverr.com and hire someone to tweak the theme for you, if desired.
Today’s task: Find and install a theme. More customization tips coming tomorrow!
Step 9: How to Customize Your Blog, Part 1
Yesterday you learned how to find and install a WordPress theme, which ensures your blog’s design better fits your niche. Now that you’ve changed the form of your blog, let’s move on to changing the function of your blog. Read on…
If you really wanted to, you could start blogging right this moment. However, you’d likely soon find that your blog doesn’t function the way you want it to function. That’s why you should take a few minutes today and tomorrow to customize it.
Your first step is to log into your blog’s dashboard (typically http://yourdomain.com/wp-login.php). Next, click on “Settings” on the main navigation menu on the left side of your screen.
Now let’s go through some of the options…
- General Settings
This is pretty self-explanatory. This is where you change options such as site’s name, your email address and your time zone. You may not have to change anything here. If you do, then click the “save changes” button when you’re finished.
Now click on the “Writing” link (under the “Settings” menu on the left side of your screen). Again, these are basic settings, so the default options should suit you in most cases. However, if you plan to do any blogging via email, then you’ll need to enter some information about your email account (check with your webhost to get this information if you don’t know it).
When you’re done, click on “Save Changes.” Then click on “Reading” on the left side of your screen (underneath the main “Settings” menu).
Here you decide if you want the front page of your blog to always show the most recent posts, or if you want your visitors to see a static page (such as an introductory page). For now, keep the default of showing the last ten posts.
Now click on the “Discussion” link under the “Settings” menu.
This is where you decide how comments from your readers are handled. For starters, you should allow comments. People will spam your blog, but you can reduce that using a plug-in called Akismet (which you’ll learn about next time).
To encourage discussion while reducing spam, be sure these options are checked/enabled:
- Allow people to post comments on new articles.
- Comment author must fill out name and email.
- Email me whenever someone posts a comment.
- Email me whenever a comment is held for moderation.
- Hold a comment in the queue if it contains 2 or more links.
You can also add words that will send comments into moderation or on a blacklist, such as: “porn”, “Viagra”, ”casino”, “gambling” and similar “spam-like” words.
You can choose settings for the rest of the options according to your preferences. Then click on “Save Changes.”
Today’s task: Customize as described above.
More customization tips coming tomorrow, so stay tuned!
Step 10: How to Customize Your Blog, Part 2
Let’s pick up where we left off yesterday. Again, navigate to the main “Settings” menu. Then start by clicking on “Privacy”…
By default, WP doesn’t allow your blog to be indexed in the search engines. So the first thing you need to do is go under the “Privacy” settings and choose this option: “I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers.”
Then click “Save Changes.”
Now click on the “Permalinks” option under the “Settings” menu.
Ideally, you should choose a special structure for how your links will appear, as doing so will make them more search-engine friendly (rather than the default “yourdomain.com/?p=123, which doesn’t even give you a clue what the link is about). The “Month and Name” option is one such option.
Tip: You can create a custom link which is even more search engine friendly. For example, your link can use your category and post name. For more information about how to do this, visit http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Permalinks.
Now click “Save Changes.” Then click on the main “Tools” link in your left-hand navigation menu, and navigate to “Plug ins.”
- Tools -> Plug ins
You’ll see the option to activate a plugin tool called “Akismet.” Go ahead and follow the onscreen instructions to do so. That’s because this tool will help “catch” the spam so that you don’t. It’s well worth the effort.
- Other Settings
You’ve changed the main and necessary settings to make your blog perform well. Generally, the other settings can stay in the “default” mode. Nonetheless, if you’d like to further tweak the function of your blog, then go to http://codex.wordpress.org/Main_Page to learn more.
Now you’re ready to post!
Click on “Posts,” then click on “Categories.” Now set up the main categories for the types of posts you intend to create.
Example: A weight loss blog might have categories such as:
- Weight lifting
As you set up each new category, click on “Add New Category.” When you’re finished, return to the main “Posts” menu and select “Add New.”
Today’s task: Go ahead and put a sample post on your blog, just to see how easy it is to add a post, edit it and delete.
In other words, familiarize yourself with posting, because you will indeed start posting on your new blog in a couple days!
Step 11: How to Choose an Affiliate Product to Promote, Part 1
You’ve chosen your niche and set up your blog. Now your next task is to choose an affiliate product to promote.
That’s exactly what you’ll learn how to do in this lesson and the next – read on…
Choosing an Affiliate Product to Promote
You want to promote a profitable product. And one of the best ways to do that is by selecting an affiliate product that your market is already buying. That way, all you have to do is get traffic to your blog and put this affiliate product in front of highly targeted market.
So how do you find out what your market is already buying?
First off, just review some of the research you did when you were first choosing a market. Specifically:
- What are the top sites in your market selling?
Example: When you run a search in Google for your main keywords, what products are the top sites selling?
- What types of products are marketers advertising? Here we’re talking about paid ads, such as those in Google AdWords or in offline publications. You can also look at the banner and text ads placed on the top sites in your niche.
- What are people searching for in the search engines? Your keyword tools (likecom, MarketSamurai.com) will help you uncover specific products that your market is searching for. Just enter your broad keywords and then look at the tool’s suggestions for similar keywords.
- What are the top products in your niche? Again, go back to the com and Amazon.com marketplaces, enter your broad keywords, and check which products appear first in your search results… because these are usually the most popular products.
Now, you’ll likely find a mix of physical and digital products (as well as services) being sold in your niche. You can sell either of these. But keep in mind that digital products usually produce higher commission rates and thus more profits. Meanwhile, physical products (especially through a vendor like Amazon.com) may produce more sales due to the trust factor.
So start with what’s popular – and if that factor alone isn’t enough to help you make your decision, then look at other factors like commission rate and so on.
Tip: If all else is equal – meaning both physical and digital products are popular sellers in your niche — then I suggest you start with the high-commission rate digital products on Clickbank.com. That’s because you’ll need to sell a whole lot more physical products than digital products just to make a decent income.
This is just for starters. Later on you’ll be adding more products to your blog, so you can promote both physical and digital products.
Here’s what to look for:
- Products with a commission rate of at least 50% for digital products (though 40% is okay too, if you find a wildly popular product). For physical products, aim for about 10% commissions.
- Popular products where there are similar products on the market. Let’s say you find a product in your niche that’s a bestseller… and there’s not a single product on the market on the same topic. That bestseller may be an anomaly. Thus it’s best to choose products where you find similar products on the market, as that suggests there’s a general demand for that kind of product.
Today’s task: Find out what your market is already buying using the tips above.
Tomorrow you’ll find out how to do your due diligence before you join an affiliate program!
Step 12: How to Choose an Affiliate Product to Promote, Part 2
Yesterday you started learning about how to choose an affiliate product in your niche to promote.
The main idea is that you want to choose a popular product that your market is already buying. But you also want to make sure you’ll get your commissions.
So read on for tips on doing your due diligence…
è Research the Vendor
If you associate yourself with a shady vendor (by promoting his products), your reputation will be linked to his or hers.
That’s why you want to make sure the vendor is honest. To do this, just search in Google for the vendor’s name, email address, websites and products.
A complaint or two generally isn’t a big deal, as most vendors get complaints from time to time. (Just ask the customer service staff at your local Wal-Mart.)
What you’re looking for, however, is a pattern of complaints… or a complaint that seems particularly serious (like fraud). If you find a vendor with a history of complaints – and the complaints seem legit – then find another vendor and product to promote.
- Read the Reviews
Keep in mind that many of the reviews you find online are likely from affiliates who are trying to promote the product. So even if they are honest reviews, many of them will likely be biased.
As such, you should look for reviews in more neutral places, such as on niche forums. If the person isn’t dropping an affiliate link (or a link to competing product) when they offer a review, then there’s a chance the reviewer is a customer rather than an affiliate.
The reviews should give you an idea of the product’s reputation. But don’t stop there…
- Use the Product
Yes, this means you need to buy the product. But check with your accountant, as it’s very likely that you can deduct this as a business expense.
What you’re looking for is a good, solid product.
Think about this: If your mother or best friend needed this product, would you recommend it to them? If not, then do NOT recommend it to your blog readers either.
Instead, find a product that you’d wholeheartedly recommend to your best friends and/or use yourself.
- Look for Commission Leaks
At this point you’ve found a good product. Now you need to make sure the vendor doesn’t have a “leaky” sales page.
Tip: Some vendors purposely create leaky sales pages, while other vendors are inexperienced and don’t know any better. If you encounter a leaky sales page and think the vendor just doesn’t know any better, than ask the vendor for a special landing page and/or ask him to clean up the “leaks” before you promote the product.
Here’s what to look for:
- Different payment options. If you’re promoting through
Clickbank.com and the sales page offers the option for people to send a check, call in their order or pay with 2Checkout.com, you won’t get credit. So make sure that you get credit for ALL payment options on the sales page… or don’t promote the product.
- Ads or unnecessary links on the page. This includes AdSense ads, banner ads and links to unnecessary pages (like the vendor’s blog).
- Upsell or exit options that don’t give you credit. Run through the payment process and make sure you get credit even if the buyer takes advantage of an upsell or other offer.
- Newsletter promotion that doesn’t give you credit. Also, join the vendor’s newsletter to make sure he or she isn’t sending subscribers to a page where you won’t get credit.
Today’s task: Do your due diligence and select an affiliate product to promote as described above.
Tomorrow you’ll start blogging!
Step 13: What to Blog About, Part 1
By now you’ve chosen a product. So now it’s time to start writing articles that promote this affiliate product.
Today you’ll discover how to promote an information product (like an ebook) on your blog, while tomorrow you’ll learn about promoting other types of physical products.
How to Promote Information Products
Here’s the key to promoting a book or other info product on your blog: You want to write an article that’s useful, but incomplete.
In other words, don’t solve your reader’s problems completely, otherwise they’ll have no reason to click on your affiliate links and buy the products that you’re recommending.
Let me give you a few examples of useful but incomplete information:
- Describe part of a process. Let’s say you’re selling a book about how to write a novel. You may write a series of articles about how to create a theme
for the book, how to round out the characters or how to choose a point of view. But these are just parts of the process, so the reader needs to buy the book to get the whole process.
- Offer tips but not concrete steps. Let’s say you’re selling a book about bodybuilding. Your article may offer plenty of tips for the bodybuilder regarding what exercises to do and how to eat, but no concrete “step by step” instructions. The reader needs to buy the book to get those instructions.
- Explain what to do but not how to do it. Let’s say you’re selling a book about how to grow healthy tomatoes. Your article may include steps like “be sure to get rid of pests using organic methods,” but you don’t go into detail about how to use these organic methods. The reader needs to buy the book to get those instructions
Now, later on in this course you’ll discover exactly what types of articles to create to promote your products.
For now, you can just create useful “how to” or “tips” articles, where you provide useful information about the topic. Obviously, the topic should be tightly related to the book. At the end of the article, you can include a pitch such as:
“You’ve just discovered seven tips for growing big biceps. To discover what professional bodybuilders know about putting on mass, download your copy of [name of product] right now – you won’t be disappointed!”
Today’s task: If you’re promoting an info product, then your task today is to write one article that’s useful but incomplete.
Example: “Seven Ways to [Get Benefit]” or “Three Secrets of [Niche Topic]” (e.g., “Three Secrets of Losing Weight Fast”).
Meanwhile, tomorrow you’ll learn how to write an article that promotes a physical product, so stay tuned!
Step 14: What to Blog About, Part 2
Last time you discovered the secret of promoting an info product is to write an article that provides useful but incomplete information.
You basically whet the reader’s appetite to learn more. In order to learn more, they need to buy the book through your link.
Now read on to learn how to promote a physical product…
How to Promote a Physical Product
One way to promote a physical product is by writing an article about a process, and then including a recommendation for the product as part of the process.
- Your article explains how to do taxes quickly and easily using Quicken software. You provide your affiliate link for this software in the article.
- Your article is about grooming a dog. One of the steps involves spraying a specific brand of detangler into the dog’s hair. Naturally, you provide an affiliate link for this product.
- Your article is about how to make perfect burgers using the George Forman grill. Of course your article includes a link to purchase the grill.
Another way to promote a physical product is by writing an article that explains how to use the product. Then you include your affiliate link alongside a recommendation to purchase the product.
- Your article explains how to juggle torches. You include an affiliate link for the best juggling torches for beginners.
- Your article explains how and when bodybuilders should drink protein shakes. You include a link to the best whey protein.
- Your article explains how to wax a classic car to showroom-new condition. You include a link to your recommended brand of wax.
Today’s task: Whether you’re promoting a physical or digital product, write at least one article that promotes this product. Be sure to include your affiliate link. Then log into your WordPress dashboard, go to “Posts” and then go to “Add New.” Copy and paste your article into the provided window and click “Publish.”
Congratulations – you just made your first blog post! Now make it a goal to write one a day for the next seven days. Then keep an eye out for tomorrow’s lesson, where you’ll discover how to never run out of content ideas!
Step 15: Where to Get Content Ideas, Part 1
Last time I gave you an idea of how to promote affiliate products in your articles. In the coming lessons you’ll discover how to create specific types of articles, such as “how to” or “case study” articles that promote products.
However, maybe you’re wondering how to get article ideas. Maybe you’re afraid you’ll just plain run out of things to write about, eventually.
No worries! In this lesson and the next you’ll learn how to drum up dozens or even hundreds of article ideas in a matter or a few minutes. Read on…
è Read the Table of Contents of Popular Books
If you’re selling an information product, then you can get plenty of article ideas just by reading the table of contents of the book you’re promoting.
Example: You can turn the topic of each chapter into an article.
Tip: Read the above again – I’m talking about getting inspiration from the table of contents. In other words, don’t use the content itself from the book, as you could get in legal hot water.
And the best part? Just look on Amazon.com – you don’t even have to buy the book in order to get a peek at the table of contents1
Example: Let’s say you’re promoting a dieting book with the following chapters:
- How Many Calories Should You Eat?
- What Can You Eat on This Diet? What Foods Should You Avoid?
- How Much Exercise Do You Need?
- How Often Should You Lift Weights?
- How Do You Stay Motivated?
Each chapter is at least one article. For more articles, look at the sub-chapters, too.
Tip: This works even if you’re promoting physical products. For example, if you’re promoting a weight loss supplement, you can still browse the table of contents of popular weight loss books to get article ideas.
Browse the Sales Letters of Popular Products
Instead of looking at a book’s table of contents, read the sales letter. In particular, pay attention to the bullet points, as each bullet point should give you an idea for an article you can write.
Example: A bullet point for a diet book might be: “You’ll discover ten antioxidant-rich foods that taste great and are low-fat!” Bam – you can create your own article from this one bullet point!
Today’s task: Browse the table of contents and the sales letters of popular products to come up with at least 20 article ideas. Then stay tuned for even more ways to get content ideas tomorrow!
Step 16: Where to Get Content Ideas, Part 2
Let’s pick up right where we left off in discovering ways to come up with all the content ideas you need.
Read on… and you’ll never run out of topics to blog about again!
- Check Out Niche Forums
Go ahead and “eavesdrop” on the popular forums in your niche. Browse the archives.
Which topics keep coming up again and again? Which topics get the most views and discussion?
If the forum has the “cloud tag” feature enabled, see which keywords pop up repeatedly. All of these topics are possible article ideas for you!
- Keep an Eye on Popular Blogs
Likewise, check out the popular blogs in your niche.
Do you see a topic that’s popped up across multiple blogs? And which topics tend to generate a lot of comments and discussion?
Again, these are possible topics for your next blog post (but be sure to put your own spin on them).
- Look to Yahoo! Answers
These popular questions are possible blog posts for you. Indeed, you can even make a series of blog posts that address the FAQs (frequently asked questions) in your niche!
Example: A FAQ for an Internet marketing blog might include questions like this:
- How do you pick a niche?
- How do you set up a website?
- How do you create a sales page?
- What’s the best way to drive traffic?
- What’s the best way to build a list?
And so on. You can create a “top ten” FAQ list, where you answer one question in each of a series of ten articles. è Use Keyword Tools to Uncover Popular Topics
Go back to WordTracker.com or MarketSamurai.com or your favorite tool, enter your broad keywords (like “online marketing” or “golf”) and take a close look at the results. These results are the words people are currently using in the search engines – and all these keywords should give you an idea for something you can blog about.
Example: A keyword like “how to grow sweet corn” gives you at least one article idea.
- See What’s Popular in Article Directories
Many article directories list their more popular articles in each category – or at least they tell you how many times the article has been viewed.
So all you have to do is go to an article directory like EzineArticles.com, click on any article in your category, and scroll down for the list of the most popular articles. Then you can create your own article on the same topic.
Note: Again, don’t copy the article. In fact, you don’t even have to read the article. Just use the article title as inspiration to create your own blog post.
- Re-purpose Your Existing Articles
Once you start blogging a lot, you’ll know what’s popular (both in terms of views and profits).
Then all you have to do is re-purpose one of your own existing articles to create a new article on the same topic.
Example: If an article like “Top Ten Diet Tips” was successful, then take each of those tips in the article and create a new article around it. In other words, you’ll create ten new articles based on the ten tips in your original article.
Today’s task: Use any of the methods above to come up with at least 25 more article ideas.
Tomorrow you’ll start writing!
Step 17: How to Create Content That Attracts Google Traffic
Starting now and for the next several lessons, you’re going to learn how to write different types of articles.
Mainly, you’ll learn how to write articles that promote your products. But first, we’re going to start with a type of article that not only promotes your products… it also promotes your blog by pulling in traffic from Google and other search engines.
This is referred to as search engine optimized (SEO) content.
How do you do it?
By choosing the keywords your market is already searching for in the search engines… and then creating content that will get your blog pages ranked well in the search engines for these keywords. Read on…
Step 1: Choose Your Keywords
Time to go back to MarketSamurai.com, WordTracker.com or your favorite keyword tool, enter your broad keywords (like “bodybuilding” or “parrots”), and take a look at the results. The tool will show you how many people search for each of these words in the major search engines.
Obviously, it would be great if you could rank well for a word that gets hundreds or thousands of searches each day. You can just imagine the traffic you’d get. But the thing is, a lot of other marketers are doing full SEO campaigns to rank well for those words. And these SEO experts are good at what they’d do, so they’d easily outrank you for the most popular keywords.
Focus on the longtail keywords.
These tend to be four or five word phrases that tend not to have as many people searching for them each day, but they also don’t have a lot of competition. And that means you can rank well for them.
Tip: WordTracker provides a KEI (keyword effectiveness index) value, which gives you an idea of how popular a word is relative to how much competition there is. You want to find words with a value of at least 100, though the higher the better.
Example: A competitive keyword is something like “weight loss.” But a longtail keyword that’s less competitive is
“weight loss for women over 40.”
Step 2: Create Content Around These Keywords
Once you’ve created a list of keywords with a high KEI value, your next step is to write articles around them.
You should include your keyword in the title of your article as well as one or two times for every 100 words of content. So if your article is 400 words, your keyword should appear four to eight times in the article.
Example: Using the example above: You can create an article titled “The Secrets of Weight Loss for Women Over 40.” Then you can sprinkle the keyword throughout the article, such as: “Weight loss for women over 40 – is it even possible?” Or,
“Maybe you’ve been thinking about weight loss for women over
Today’s task: Research your niche keywords and create at least one SEO article.
Tomorrow you’ll learn more about different types of articles!
Step 18: How to Write “Tips” and “How To” Articles
Yesterday you learned how to write an SEO article. Today you’ll learn about writing two types of articles:
Tips articles and “how to” articles. Read on…
- How to Write “Tips” Articles
Tips articles are just what they sound like – you offer tips on a particular topic, rather than a “step by step” process.
- Three Ways to Improve Your Golf Swing
- Seven Tips for Slimming Your Thighs
- The Ten Secrets of Writing a Great Sales Page
Tips articles work great for selling books and other information products.
Example: The “Ten Secrets of Writing a Great Sales Page” article could easily pre-sell a copywriting product.
However, you can use these articles to sell physical products, too.
Example: The “Three Ways to Improve your Golf Swing” article could pitch a particular club that would help the prospect improve his game.
- How to Write “How To” Articles
The “how to” article is a step-by-step process, where you explain to your reader how to do something.
- How to make money Online
- How to Look Ten Years Younger
- How to Juggle
- How to Replace Your Carpet
You can use these types of articles to sell most any type of product.
For example, if you’re selling an ebook, then you can offer a “how to” article that gives your readers an overview of how to do something, but it doesn’t go into detail. Your prospect needs to buy the ebook to get the details.
Example: Let’s say you’re selling a copywriting book. You might create an article titled “How to Write a Sales Letter.”
You’d then outline the steps such as:
- Profile your target market.
- Write a great headline.
- Create a hook for an opener.
- Craft your bullet points.
- Offer a guarantee.
- Call your prospect to action.
And so on. You’d offer a few sentences for each step. Then you’d promote the copywriting book within your article.
Example: “You now know and have a great overview of how to write a sales letter. To get the full details so that you too can create cash-pulling copy, click here…”
Of course this type of article works for physical products, too. Let’s suppose you’re selling puppy trainings pads. You could offer step-by-step instructions on how to use these pads to housebreak a puppy.
Today’s task: Write one tips article and one “how to” article. Be sure to load them up on your blog when you’re finished.
Then tomorrow you’ll learn about a type of article that tends to attract a lot of attention, so stay tuned!
Step 19: How to Write Attention-Getting Rants and Trackback Posts
Yesterday you learned about promoting affiliate products with tips and “how to” articles.
Today you’ll learn about two types of articles that tend to attract a lot of attention. Read on…
è How to Write a Rant
A rant is a highly emotional, polarizing type of article. Typically, you take a strong stand on some issue and offer your opinion in a bit of a sensationalized way. If you want to attract a lot of attention, write a rant about something that’s on a lot of people’s minds… but hasn’t been talked about too much (yet).
Example: Instead of an article title such as, “Rehashed
Marketing Products,” you write a post such as, “BEWARE: You’re Being Ripped Off!”
See the difference?
The first article is so meek that it wouldn’t get attention. The second one is sensationalized – and thus virtually guaranteed to draw attention. And of course once you have your audience’s attention – and you get them on your side – you can then point them towards your affiliate link.
Let me give you another example…
Example: Let’s suppose you’re selling a housetraining book that teaches people how to train their puppies the traditional way: By taking them outdoors. And yet some people train their puppies to go indoors on “pee pads.” Maybe you’ve noticed that some people think this is ridiculous. Ah-ha: You can use that to your advantage!
All you have to do is write an emotionally charged (even controversial) rant that may even go so far as to ridicule dog owners who train puppies to pee on pads or in litter boxes. Then you can pitch your housebreaking book as the guide for “real” dogs.
It will polarize your audience, yes… but your target market will draw closer to you and respond positively!
è How to Write Trackback Posts
Have you ever noticed the “trackback” feature on your WP blog? Or better yet, have you noticed it on other people’s blogs?
Here’s the gist: On blogs that enable trackbacks, you can leave a comment about the blogger’s post. But instead of leaving it on their blog, you put your comment (or reply) on your blog. Then you copy in their link as the trackback link. If trackbacks are enabled on their blog, your link will appear on their blog underneath the post you’re responding to.
It’s a great way to join the blogosphere conversation while pulling in some traffic from other people’s blogs. The trick, of course, is to make sure that whatever you post is highly relevant to the original post. You can agree with the post, disagree with it, add to the tips, etc.
Example: Maybe you find a blog with “Ten Ways to Lose Weight.” You can create a trackback post titled, “Ten More Ways to Lose
Weight” (where you add to the original blogger’s tips). Naturally, you can promote your affiliate link at the end of your article.
Today’s task: Write a rant and find a blog that accepts trackback posts in your niche.
More article tips coming tomorrow!
Step 20: How to Write “Top Ten” and “Q & A” Posts
You’ve been learning about how to promote your affiliate link using different types of blog posts.
Here are two more types of blog posts…
- How to Write a “Top Ten” Article
The top ten article is just what it sounds like – you write an article that lists the top ten tips, resources, products, blogs, people, books or most anything else that’s relevant to the niche.
It’s fairly easy to promote a product within these types of articles.
- Top Ten Books Every Dog Lover Ought to Read – here you can list ten products using your affiliate links (along with a few lines about why all dog lovers should read these books).
- Top Ten Tips for Putting on Mass – this is a useful but incomplete article. Here you’d simply promote a bodybuilding/mass-building product at the end of the article.
- Top Ten Articles of the Year – You can send your readers to other people’s blog posts and articles using your affiliate links (where applicable). If that’s not possible, then merely creating this sort of useful list can serve as “link bait” – that is, your compilation is so useful that others link to it.
- Top Ten Tools for the DIY Guy or Gal. Again, here’s an opportunity for you to promote ten different tools using your affiliate links.
- How to Write “Question and Answer” Posts
This type of article is a great way to promote reader interaction on your blog.
Indeed, you can even make a weekly “Question and Answer” feature on your blog, where your readers submit questions and you answer one or two each week.
Example #1: Your reader asks, “What’s the best way to get free traffic to a sales page?” You answer the question providing useful tips… and then point them towards a traffic-generation product for more information.
Example #2: Your reader asks, “How do you check if a fuel pump works on a ’55 Chevy?” You offer your step-by-step instructions… and then provide affiliate links to a fuel pump and the tools needed to carry out the instructions.
Today’s task: Create a “top ten” article and load it up on your blog.
Tomorrow you’ll find out how to motivate and inspire your readers!
Step 21: How to Write Research, Case Study and Motivational Articles
Let’s continue with our discussion of how to use different types of articles to promote your affiliate links. Read on…
How to Write a Research Article
Very few people create these sorts of articles. And that means if you create a real research article – complete with citations to academic and scientific journals – your article will stand out from the crowd.
Example: “Does Caffeine Boost Your Metabolism?” Remember, this isn’t an opinion article. Rather, you provide scientific evidence that answers the question. You can then promote a weight-loss product at the end of the article (or caffeine pills or even coffee, if caffeine does indeed boost metabolism).
Two more examples:
- Are Border Collies Smarter Than Poodles?
- The Truth About Creatine and Its Effects On Your Kidneys
è How to Write Case Studies and Motivational Articles
A case study article is a bit of a scientific article, since you’re researching to see if a particular product or theory really works.
You can do the case study using yourself, or you can track someone else’s results.
Either way, you need to keep careful notes, do measurements where applicable and in general keep careful track of the progress (or lack thereof).
- You’re wondering if a George Foreman grill produces hamburgers that taste as good as a regular outdoor Weber grill. You cook hamburgers on both grills and then do a blind taste test to see which burgers your tasters like best. Then you can promote the product that works best.
- You wonder if creatine really does help with musclebuilding and recovery. You start taking creatine and track your results for eight weeks. Or you split up your friends into two blind groups, where one group gets creatine for eight weeks and the other group gets a placebo. Then you write an article about the results of your experiment or case study. If creatine works, then you can promote it using your affiliate link.
Point is, a case study or experiment is fairly scientific. Now contrast that to a motivational article, which is less about the data and more about inspiration.
Let me explain with a few examples…
- “How Jane Lost 100 Pounds and Changed Her Life.” Here you write a motivational article that talks about Jane’s frustrations with being overweight, which the targeted reader (prospect) will identify with. Then you share how Jane felt after she lost the weight. You also offer tips on how she did it, including what dieting products she used to get great results.
- “How a Former Small-Town Farmer Now Generates $103,999 a Year Online.” Here you share a motivational story of how an average person went on to earn a comfortable living online. Again, you use your affiliate link to promote the product(s) that helped the farmer achieve success.
Today’s task: Write a research or a motivational article and load it up on your blog.
Tomorrow you’ll learn about two kinds of articles that tend to create a lot of sales!
Step 22: How to Create Sales Using Product Reviews and Comparisons
You’ve been learning about different types of informational or even inspirational articles you can use to promote your affiliate link.
Today you’ll learn about two types of articles that tend to create a big response and plenty of sales. Read on…
- How to Write a Product Review
The reason why product reviews (and comparisons) tend to generate a lot of sales is because cash-in-hand buyers tend to read reviews.
Indeed, many buyers search for product reviews before they purchase a product. And that’s why you should optimize your reviews for keywords like “[product name] review.”
Here’s the key to writing a review that generates sales: Be honest. That means you should list the product flaws as well as the product’s strengths. And if you don’t recommend the product, say so.
Here’s a general outline for a product review articles:
- Quick overview – let readers know what product you’re reviewing, and give your overall impression of the product upfront. This is good for skimmers who just want to know the “verdict.”
- Share the product’s strengths and benefits.
Example: “The Kindle is lightweight, so your hands never grow tired of holding it (even if you’re reclined in bed).”
- Tell your readers what’s wrong with the product or what type of person wouldn’t benefit from the product.
Example: “If you want to enjoy full-color photo books, the Kindle isn’t for you.”
- Conclude by telling readers why you recommend (or don’t recommend) the product.
Example: “If you love taking books on vacation – or if your bookshelf is running over – -then you’ll love the Amazon Kindle.”
- How to Create a Product Comparison Post
Instead of just writing a product review, you can compare two similar products.
In this case – just as with the product review – you share the strengths and weaknesses of each product. However, in your “verdict” you tell your readers which product you recommend.
Here’s a sales-generating tip: If they’re both good products, then you can recommend one of the products for one segment of your target market, and recommend the other product for a different part of your target market.
Example: If you expect to take any pics near the water – such as when you’re fishing or you’re poolside on vacation – then get the waterproof [product a] camera. Otherwise, if you expect to stay dry then save yourself $40 and get the [product b] camera instead.
Today’s task: Write a product review for your chosen affiliate product and load it up on your blog.
Tomorrow you’ll learn about one final type of blog post that you can use to generate sales!
Step 23: How to Pre-Sell a Product
Today you’re going to learn about the final type of article:
The pre-sell or direct-response article. Read on…
è How to Write a Pre-Sell Article
As the name implies, you use this type of article to pre-sell a product. And that means that you’re basically writing a mini sales letter for the affiliate product.
Tip: You should only post this type of article on your blog occasionally. That’s because a blog full of nothing but ads won’t go over too well with your niche market. If you offer a lot of solid content on your blog and then post a pre-sell from time to time (maybe once a month), your readers will be more likely to read the post – and respond positively by buying the product you’re recommending.
Here then is how to create a pre-sell blog post…
Start With a Strong Headline: What’s the biggest benefit of the product you’re promoting? Whatever it is, that’s what you should put in your headline (also known as “blog post title”).
- How to Get a Bikini Body in Six Weeks!
- The Quick and Easy Way to Double Your Conversion Rate…
- How to Save $500 on Credit Card Fees This Year!
Hook the Reader: Next, you need to tell a story or otherwise hook your reader by reminding the reader of his problem.
- Ask a question: Are You tired of wasting thousands of dollars on credit card fees?
- Share a benefit: Now you too can stop wasting money on credit card fees!
- Tell a story: Joe’s jaw dropped when he added up his credit card fees from last year — $471.77!
Introduce the Product: Next, you introduce the affiliate product as the solution to the prospect’s problem.
Example: “Introducing the Debt Reduction Manual – your guide to getting rid of your debt… and those high credit card fees!”
Share the Benefits: Next, you need to provide some of the main benefits of the product you’re promoting. Ideally, you should do this in the form of a bulleted list. That way, even the skimmers will notice these benefits.
You should have already used or read the product, so you know the main benefits. But if you get a little stuck, just read the sales page for ideas. If you’d like to copy any of the benefits directly, just be sure to ask for the vendor’s permission, first.
Tip: Some vendors provide affiliates with promotional materials that they can use as they please. If your vendor provides these materials, then you can take the bullet points directly from these materials and copy them to your pre-sell post.
Example: Imagine being debt-free in less than a year from now – you can, once you know these secrets!
Provide a Call to Action: Finally, you need to explicitly tell your prospects to click through to the sales page and order now.
For best results, give your prospects a reason to do so.
Example: Click here to order now – but hurry, because the next 50 people to order now will get the Debt Reduction DVD absolutely free!
Today’s task: Write a pre-sell article (you don’t have to post it on your blog yet, since you already have various other articles and product reviews on your blog).
Then keep an eye out for tomorrow’s lesson, where you’ll learn how to start driving targeted traffic to your blog!
Step 24: How to Get Traffic From Other People’s Blogs
Over the last several lessons you’ve been learning how to use different types of articles to promote your affiliate links.
But all that stellar content doesn’t mean a thing if no one is around to read it. And that’s why you’re now going to start learning about getting targeted traffic.
Earlier you learned how to use trackbacks to pull in some traffic from other people’s blogs. But that’s just one method – here are three more:
è Comment on Niche Blogs
This is easy – all you have to do is comment on other blogger’s posts. Then link back to your blog when you do so.
A word of warning: Comment thoughtfully and contribute to the discussion. In other words, don’t post “one liners” or other rubbish.
You want your comment to be an asset to the blog. You want your comment to make you look good. Because the more people like your comment, the more willing they’ll be to click through to your blog.
è Start Blog Rolling
This is where you exchange links with other bloggers in your niche – in other words, you add each other to your respective “blog rolls.”
It helps if you’ve been commenting regularly on the blogger’s blog for a few weeks. That way, the blogger will recognize your name when you send the email. Indeed, the blogger may have even visited your blog.
Please see the next page for an example email:
Subject: Hey [name] – let’s get more traffic to your blog
[Your name] here – you may recognize my name as a regular commenter on your blog. I’m writing to let you know that I just added your blog to my blogroll at [your blog’s link]. You should see an increase in traffic soon.
Would you consider adding my link to your blogroll, too? It just takes a second – you can copy the link here: [insert code for anchor text and link].
P.S. I love the article you posted last week about [topic], because [give genuine reason why you liked it].
è Be a Guest Blogger
Instead of merely changing links with other bloggers, you can exchange content (which of course includes your links). The benefit is that your link will appear in a prominent spot and most of the blog visitors will read your article.
Here’s how to exchange content (preferably, again, with a blogger who recognizes your name from the comments you’ve made on his or her blog):
Subject: hey [name] – can I feature you on my blog?
It’s [your name] here from [your blog]. Perhaps you recognize me from the comments I regularly post on your blog.
The reason I’m writing today is to propose a content swap – I’ll feature one of your articles on my blog, and in exchange you can post my article on your blog.
The benefits for you include free content for your blog, a free backlink, and free publicity on my blog.
Hit reply now to and let’s talk about the best topic for your article. I look forward to featuring it on my blog!
P.S. My readers have been asking about [topic] – I told them you’re the [topic] expert and that I’d ask you about guest blogging. J
Today’s task: Start commenting on other niche blogs.
More traffic tips coming tomorrow!
Step 25: How to Use Content Marketing to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Blog
Last time you learned about leveraging other people’s blogs to drive traffic to your site. This time you’ll learn about how to use content marketing (also known as “article marketing”).
Here’s the great thing about this traffic-generating technique: You already know how to write articles and promote affiliate links within these articles! That means you only need to know how to do two things:
- Write an attention-getting resource box.
- Submit your article far and wide across the internet.
Tip: Be sure to create articles that are optimized for the search engines, as many of the top article directories get a lot of love from Google and other search engines.
è Writing the Author’s Bio
Not all article directories or similar places allow you to promote an affiliate link within your actual article. That’s why you need to learn how to write an author’s bio (also known as “resource box” or “byline”).
But don’t be fooled – just because it’s sometimes referred to as an “author’s bio” does NOT mean it’s actually your bio.
Instead, you should use this space to promote your blog or your affiliate link. Better yet, use this space to promote your email newsletter (see Day 30 for information on how to build your list).
Example: “Are you tired of the debt collectors calling you all day? Do you dread opening up your mail? Click here to discover how to make the collector’s go away – it’s free, quick and legal!”
è Submitting Your Article
Once you’ve written an article and created your resource box, then you can start submitting it to article directories and social media (content sharing) sites, including:
You can even create secondary blogs as a way to get backlinks and traffic pointing to your site. You can create accounts and post articles on:
Today’s task: Write an article (just as you would for your blog), create a resource box and submit your article to the sites above. Then stay tuned for more traffic generating tips in tomorrow’s lesson!
Step 26: How to Use Social Media Sites to Drive Traffic
Last time you learned about submitting your articles to article directories and certain social media content-sharing sites to drive traffic to your blog.
This time you’ll learn how to use social bookmarking and social networking sites to get traffic. Read on…
è Get Traffic Using Social Networking
The biggest social networking site around is Facebook.com. Maybe you already use it for personal reasons, such as keeping in contact with friends and family. Whether you’re already using it or not, you should start using it to stay in touch with business connections and prospects.
If you don’t want to mix business with personal contacts, then open up a Facebook “Fan” page. You can do this by registering for an account on Facebook.com (or logging into your existing account) and then going to: http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php.
Once you’ve created your account and/or your page, then you can start posting your articles. You can also post article “teasers” – this is where you post part of an article and then point your readers towards your blog to read more.
Tip: You can cross-promote your Facebook Fan Page by linking to it on your blog. Doing so gives you just one more way to connect with your prospects on a regular basis. You can also use Facebook’s pay-per-click advertising to advertise your Fan page.
è Drive Traffic Using Social Bookmarking
Another way to drive traffic to your site using social media is by using social bookmarking sites. Some of the top sites include:
When you post an article on your blog, you can then “bookmark” the post using the above sites. Here are a few tips to make it more effective:
- Bookmark share-worthy content. Rants, controversial posts or highly useful posts are the best types of content to share on bookmarking sites. That’s because are more likely to follow your lead and share this content with their social networks.
- Encourage others to bookmark and share your content. An easy way to do this is by installing a social bookmarking plugin on your blog, like this: http://blogplay.com/plugin/.
- Get involved on the sites. These aren’t just bookmarking sites – they’re social And that means you should spend time finding and befriending others on the sites who share your interests. Be sure to bookmark and comment on their content, too.
Today’s task: Choose one of your most share-worthy articles, post it on your blog and start bookmarking it using the sites above.
Tomorrow you’ll discover a unique way to get more traffic – for free!
Step 27: A Sneaky Way to Get Product Vendors to Promote Your Blog
This whole course is designed to teach you how to make money with a blog – namely, by promoting your affiliate links. But did you know that you can get the product vendors to promote YOU? It’s true. Read on to learn how…
How to Get Product Vendors to Promote Your Blog
The vendors whose products you’re promoting on your blog will often be eager to help you make sales in whatever way they can – especially if you’ve already demonstrated an ability to drive traffic and sales to their site.
The good news is that there’s one way to ask for help that also benefits you. Namely, by asking the vendor for an interview.
Here’s how it works…
You ask the product vendor to do either a live interview (on the phone, perhaps as a teleseminar) or a written interview.
Either way, the interview should focus on the product you’re promoting… and any links mentioned in the interview should be your affiliate link.
Example: If you’re interviewing an ebook author about his rose gardening book, you can ask the author questions about rose gardening. Just like the articles you’ve written for your blog, this interview will end up being useful but incomplete. That means the interview offers useful rose-gardening tips and advice, but those listening (or reading) the interview will need to purchase the ebook to discover the gardening secrets.
As mentioned, your affiliate link appears at the end of the interview (or whenever the product is mentioned), so both you and the vendor make money any time a prospect orders as a result of the interview. And the best part is that most product vendors will happily post the interview on their blogs or send them to their newsletter readers – which means you get free traffic and exposure for this interview.
In addition to making affiliate commissions through the interview, you can also promote your own blog. You can start the interview by saying something like this:
“Hi, this is [name] from [your blog link], and I’d like to welcome you all to [complete your opening remarks]…”
Naturally, at the end of the call you can repeat your blog link, perhaps with a call to action. For example:
“I encourage everyone who’s listening to this interview to go to [your blog link] right now and read my review of [product name] – you might be surprised at what you discover!”
All of this sounds pretty good, right?
Here’s how to approach a vendor. Please note that it helps if you’ve already demonstrated that you can make sales for this person…
Subject: [Name], I’d like to interview you about [product name]…
Hi, it’s [your name] here from [your blog]. I’m an affiliate for [product name].
The reason I’m writing today is to request a 30 minute telephone interview with you. I’ll use this interview to promote [product name] to my blog visitors and subscribers. You can also sell or giveaway the interview to your customers and subscribers, which they’re sure to appreciate.
Hit reply right now or call me at [phone number] to set up a time for the interview. I look forward to hearing from you!
P.S. I’ve already sold [number] of copies of [product] – this interview should boost your sales significantly. A good ROI on just 30 minutes of your time!
Tip: Of course you don’t have to rely solely on the product vendor to promote the interview. You too should promote it, by blogging about it, linking to it on forums, sharing it with your social networks, posting ads on CraigsList.org… and so on.
Today’s task: Approach the vendors whose products you’re currently promoting and request an interview.
Then tomorrow you’ll learn about forum marketing!
Step 28: How to Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Blog Using Niche Forums
Yesterday you learned how to get the product vendor to help promote your blog. Today you’ll learn about forum marketing. Read on…
Most forum owners and members frown on overtly commercial posts (also known as “spam posts”). And that’s why you can’t join and forum and just start blasting ads for your blog.
What you can do, however, is join niche forums… become a valuable member of the community… and then use your signature file to drive traffic back to your blog.
Step 1: Find Niche Forums.
You’ve probably already uncovered several niche forums when you worked on your niche research. If not – or to find more – all you have to do is go to Google and search for your niche keywords alongside forum keywords.
- Make money online forum
- Golf forum
- Golf bulletin board
- Golf discussion board
- Golf discussion
- Golf phpBB
- Golf vBulletin
- Golf SMF
Choose forums that are busy, with a large, active membership.
Step 2: Register and Lurk.
Next, register on the popular forums, but don’t post immediately. Instead, spend the next several days just reading the rules, reading the posts, and getting a general feel for the forum etiquette and style. You should also fill out your profile information, including adding a photo.
Tip: Be sure that the forum allows commercialized signature links.
Step 3: Contribute.
After you know the rules, then start contributing. You do this by answering other people’s questions.
Don’t just post a teaser and then point to your blog for the rest of the answer, as your posts are likely to get deleted – and you may even get banned. Instead, answer all questions thoroughly on the forum itself, without every directly mentioning your blog (or any of the products you’re promoting).
This approach helps earn people’s respect and trust. And when they start trusting you and viewing you as a good source of information, then they’re more likely to click on your signature file link.
As such, your signature file should include a short advertisement for your blog.
Example #1: “Did you like my answer above? Then you’ll love all the free advice you’ll discover on my blog. Click here to discover how to [get a benefit] – you won’t be disappointed!”
Example #2: “Who else wants to discover the secrets of [getting some benefit]? Now you can, for free! Click here to discover the secrets…”
Today’s task: Find the biggest and most popular forums in your niche, register accounts on these forums, and start lurking so that you better understand the rules and forum etiquette.
Then stay tuned, because tomorrow you’ll learn how to promote your blog with email marketing!
Step 29: How to Promote Your Blog Using Email Marketing
In the last lesson you learned how to promote your blog using forum marketing. Today you’ll learn about email marketing. Read on…
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve mentioned email marketing a few times throughout this course. And that’s because it’s important for you to start building a mailing list as soon as possible.
You see, some of your blog visitors will come to your blog just ONCE. They won’t buy anything. They might bookmark your blog and promise themselves that they’ll visit again later. But they’ll forget, so you’ll never see them again.
So here’s what you need to do…
Step 1: Get an Autoresponder.
One of the most trusted, cost effective and most popular third-party autoresponder service I recommend is GetResponse.com. you can register an account and move to the next step… When you sign up using this link http://gr8.com//pr/PaNJh/d as a paid member you get 30$ plus free 30 days Trier
Step 2: Create a “Bribe.”
You need to give your prospects a reason to join your mailing list. And one of the best ways to do this is by creating a multi-part mini-course that you deliver by email.
Tip: Another incentive you can offer your subscribers is the ability to unlock a password-protected post on your WordPress blog. Then you can send subscribers the password immediately when they join your list. Learn more about adding passwordprotection here: http://codex.wordpress.org/Writing_Posts.
Listen, you already know how to write this course. All you have to do is expand on some of your existing articles, split the end result into 7-12 lessons, and load each of these lessons into your autoresponder (spacing them about two to three days apart).
For example, if you have a “top ten” tips article, then expand each of those tips to create ten separate lessons that you deliver by email. Or if you have a “how to” article with seven steps, expand on each of these steps and then make each step a separate lesson.
- The Seven Easy Steps to a Flatter Stomach
- Ten Tips for Creating Cash-Pulling Copy
- The 12 Swing Secrets Every Golfer Ought to Know
Tip #1: Just as you would in your blog articles, most
“lessons” (AKA articles) should promote an affiliate product. For best results, focus on promoting just one or two affiliate products within the email autoresponder series.
Tip #2: You should send content to your newsletter subscribers regularly – about once per week. At a minimum, email them to let them know that you’ve posted a new blog post.
Step 3: Encourage Visitors to Join Your List.
Finally, the last step is to create an advertisement on EACH page of your blog. One way to do this is by putting your ad and the newsletter subscription form in your blog’s sidebar. You may also create a “Page” about your newsletter – that way, information about how to join your newsletter appears at the top of your blog in your navigation menu.
Here’s an example of an ad you’d place in your sidebar or on your newsletter sign-up page (also known as “squeeze page” or “landing page”)…
Who Else Wants to Lose 10 Pounds Before Summer Starts?
Don’t you just hate summer? You have to shed those bulky clothes that so nicely hid your overweight belly. You’re paying for the winter-long binge of holiday desserts. And there’s not a swimsuit in the world that can make you look good.
At least that’s how it used to feel. But this year is different. That’s because you’re about to discover the Seven Secrets of a Flatter Stomach – and best of all, you’ll get these secrets for free when you join the “Easy Fat Loss” newsletter now!
Just enter your email address and name in the form below now, click submit and I’ll rush you the first issue of this seven part ecourse. You’re going to love the way you look this summer on the beach… but only if you subscribe now!
Today’s task: Get an autoresponder, write and upload your mini ecourse, and create the ad for your newsletter subscription. Then be sure to include this ad and your subscription form on your blog’s sidebar.
Meanwhile, tomorrow you’ll discover how to create (and keep) a consistent blogging schedule!
Step 30: The Secrets of Maintaining a Consistent Blogging Schedule
You now know how to choose a niche, monetize your blog, drive traffic to your blog, and create posts that promote affiliate products and engage your readers.
But here’s the thing:
The secret of creating a successful blog is to post regularly and consistently.
Think about it. If some visits your blog for the first time and sees a lot of useful content, you can bet they’ll bookmark your blog. If they join your list, they’re sure to visit it again in a matter of days.
But imagine if they check back again in a few days, and there’s no new content. No big deal – at least not yet. Then they check back in another few days. It’s been a week now, and still no new content. They check back in a week – and still nothing new. That’s two weeks without new content.
So what happens?
The visitor is unlikely to check again. She’s lost interest. She may even remove your blog from her bookmarks since your blog isn’t helping her solve her problems.
Fortunately, you can avoid all of this.
Commit to a regular blog posting schedule. You should post at least once a week, but posting a couple times per week is even better (as it keeps people coming back to your blog more often).
Here then are five tips for keeping a consistent blogging schedule…
- Write it on your calendar. Do you have a to-do list or calendar where you note important tasks you need to do or appointments you need to keep?
If so, schedule in two months of blog posts on your calendar right now – and keep scheduling them until you’re in the habit of blogging.
And if you don’t have a calendar or to-do list? Then start one immediately to help you stay focused and on track.
- Vary your posts. Not every post you create needs to be a 400 to 600 word article. Sometimes you may post a single 100-word tip. In other words, you don’t need to spend hours per week maintaining a blog.
- Create weekly features. Earlier I mentioned you could create a weekly feature, like a “question and answer” session where you answer questions from your readers. You can also create weekly features like a “Product of the Week” or even just a “Tip of the Week.”
The point of these features is twofold:
First, they help keep you motivated to post regularly, since you know your readership is looking forward to them. And it keeps your readers coming back regularly.
- Pre-write your content. You don’t have to set aside an hour or two each week just to blog. Instead, you can spend several hours at a time creating several blog posts. Then you can upload them at a later date. Or better yet, upload them today, click “Edit” next to the “Publish
Immediately” button, and choose a future date for WP to post your articles!
- Outsource your posts. If you enjoy blogging, then feel free to create the content yourself. Otherwise, visit com to find a ghostwriter in your niche who can create (and maybe even upload) your posts for you!
Today’s task: Create a weekly (or twice) weekly blogging schedule… and then add this schedule to your calendar.
Well, since you’ve come to the end of this course there aren’t any lessons left.
That means it’s up to you now to apply everything you’ve learned.
Hopefully you’ve been completing the tasks at the end of each lesson. If not, please start working your way through them immediately. Because the sooner you start, the sooner you too can earn money as a blogger!
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