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ALL ABOUT MAKING BLOG MONEY
affIlIate MarketIng MetHoDs There are quite a few ways to make a sale as an affiliate marketer, but we need ones that will work in conjunction with your blog. Luckily, many of them do just that – allowing you to integrate standard marketing tactics with the content you’re already writing.
But, just like any marketing method, those tactics need to be specifically crafted to match up with the tone and purpose of your blog. If you’re not writing a “review blog”, you won’t want to suddenly start posting 20% of your content as reviews of other products. Your readers won’t like it. So, let’s take a closer look at how to integrate these affiliate marketing methods, as well as how to ensure they fit in with the content you’re producing.
Reviews
The easiest way to reach your readers on a blog is to write a post that promotes a particular product. This is a tricky practice, however – as we discussed back in the section on writing your posts. At any time, you could cross the line from “advice” to “shameless promotion” and most people don’t like it.
That’s why a review always needs to be properly framed. The biggest problem I see with affiliate marketing blogs is that the blogger tries to make the sale too quickly. They write two or three posts and then post five reviews for products, all with hard sells and a lot of urgency. It’s what they’ve seen on similar blogs and they assume it works just as well.
The truth, however, is that your blog shouldn’t be about “selling” anything. Rather, it should be about providing valuable information to your readers and they should always see it like that.
NOTE: You must disclose to your readers that any review you write could result in you receiving a commission from the sale. They need to know that you benefit monetarily from what you’re writing and that you have in-fact used the product.
That’s why a good review needs to be comprehensive. Include screenshots, outline pros and cons, and provide a detailed rundown of what the product includes and how it is used. When you spend 300 words raving about how amazing a product is, you’re not giving your readers any value. You’re just selling to them and they can tell.
On the other hand, if you offer an impartial review of a product that is actually good, they will see yet another useful, informationally rich post from a blogger they know and trust and they will consider checking out the product in question.
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Affiliate Links
Another common tactic for a niche blog is to simply post a link on the front page or within the content that directs to a vendor pitch page or even to a squeeze page of your own. There are a few things to consider here. 1. Do You Have a Presell? – Without some form of presell, a link is as good as invisible text. Few readers will click on a link that has no context or perceived value. You must at least write a post that references the link and outlines how it can provide value to the reader. 2. Does Your Prospect Have Background? – If your blog is about dog training and you post a link to a book about how to make your own dog food, you may think that your affiliate product is related to the same niche (and it is), but without any context, your reader has no idea why you’re showing them the link. What value do they gain by clicking and how does it help solve their problem? In this particular instance, a blog post about a dog’s behaviour being improved with proper diet would be a good presell tactic. 3. Do You Disclose the Purpose of the Link? – Don’t forget your FTC obligations. If you link to a vendor site where your reader is asked to spend money, you must tell them ahead of time. It’s an ad and it needs to be disclosed, along with your monetary gain.
As you can see, a lot needs to go right for a link to be effective. But, it can be done. Do yourself a favour and take a look at articles posted on EzineArticles.com. The bio boxes at the bottom of each article do a fantastic job of providing context and a strong call to action that frames any links to vendor products. A lot of those links go to the author’s own sites, but not always. The idea is the same and it will give you a good idea of how to frame your own links.
Enticing Your Readers to Click
As you’ll see from those article links, most of them don’t just toss a link at the end of their content and expect someone to click it. They frame it with a sentence and a call to action that explains to the reader why they should take the next step and go to that website. Here are some things to consider in a good call to action with your affiliate link: • Frame Your Argument – Always provide a basis for your recommendation. Don’t just say “you should buy this”. Tell them you want to help them solve Problem A or Issue B. They need to feel like you’re actively trying to help them, not just out to make money (though you’ll need to admit you are gaining a profit from their clicks). • Provide Tangible Benefits – Don’t just say “This Dog Training book has chapters on X, Y, and Z”. Outline what those chapters will do for the reader and how they will specifically benefit from them. People like to hear what’s in it for them, and many of them are not imaginative enough to figure it out on their own. • Create Scarcity – The idea that something is only available for a limited amount of time or that the problem may soon outgrow a solution is a scary thought for many people. If someone thinks they have 30 days to make a purchase, they’ll often put it off for a few days.
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If they think they have 24 hours, they’ll act now before they forget and miss out. Even if a product is not necessarily something they need, the thought that they only have a limited amount of time to make a move will hurry them up. It also has a nice little side effect in that they’ll feel more exclusive because of the limited availability of the product. • Use Envy and Social Proof – If anything works better than a limited time period to act, it’s the thought that their neighbours could have it when they don’t. Whatever the Ten Commandments tell us, we all tend to covet that which our neighbours have.
It’s human nature. If you can’t have it, it becomes much more desirable, especially if you’re faced with it on a regular basis. So, use that to your advantage. Adding a simple “dog owners in your area are already benefiting from this new training method” has a profound impact on click-throughs. • Generate Interest Based on Context – Everything must be contextualized. If you’ve never discussed a particular problem with your readers before, they might not even realize it’s something they should address, similar to the dog food book example we discussed earlier. Before you recommend a product, write a couple of contextually related posts to get their minds framed up to listen to your mini-call to action.
When done properly, a call to action can be placed in any blog post and provide your readers with just enough reason to click those links. These same strategies will also work fantastically well for your email marketing campaign when you get to that point.
Graphics
One of the few ways you can throw out a link without a lot of context is with a banner ad or small graphic on your page. Don’t expect exceptionally high click through rates when you place ads on your pages, but don’t be surprised if you get a few commissions just from placing a graphic on the right side bar or below your posts.
There are a few things to keep in mind when posting graphics on your WordPress blog. First, you want to avoid overdoing it. Too many ads is always a turnoff. Existing readers may not mind, but newcomers to the page will be overwhelmed by the clutter. Second, search engines don’t always respond well to ad-heavy content, unless there are plenty of backlinks to offset them. As a new website, having that many backlinks is unlikely, so you should start slow with your ads.
I usually recommend you choose one or two banner ad campaigns for your site and stick with them for a short while to get an idea of how they perform before swapping out. Don’t put 20 banner ads up on the fifth day your blog is live and expect to make sales right out of the gate.
What Kinds of Graphics to Use
Most affiliate programs will provide banner ads to you for free. They’ll usually be on an affiliate tools page, or come in a package of content provided by the vendor. In this case, you should have a collection of graphics and banners that can be used anywhere on your site.
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If the banners are all animated, make sure to place them below the fold. There are plenty of marketers who would argue with this – that nothing should be placed below the fold – but the blinking, flashing nature of animated banners can be distracting to readers who arrive for content and can scare some away. Your primary goal should be to attract readers, then to make sales, not the other way around. If you’re interested only in sales, consider a presale or squeeze page instead.
Most blogs come with just two columns – the center column for your posts and a side bar column that includes your navigation and category links. If your theme includes the option for a third side bar, I recommend you use this for your advertising.
A single strand of AdSense can be placed here, or you can use 150×150 banner ads to fill out the space. If you want to place a long banner, the options is also there for a 150×960 ad bar that goes down the side of your page, but again, beware of overdoing the graphics on your page and turning off new readers.
There is some argument about whether you need to explicitly say a banner ad is an advertisement or not, with the new FTC guidelines making it harder to squeeze ads in without clarification. In my opinion, the ad is pretty self-explanatory.
However, it is a good idea to include at least some text along the lines of “sponsored link” just to cover your bases. If someone clicks that link, they are pretty well aware that it’s an ad, so adding a label that says so as well shouldn’t hurt you.
CPA Offers
Selling a product directly to your readers is not always easy. However, not all affiliate marketing is devoted to selling info products. Cost per Action (CPA) advertising can be incredibly lucrative for a website that focuses largely on providing content like a blog. It’s easier to convince someone to hand over an email address or opt into a free trial, and it’s far easier to convince them that you’re a member yourself.
But, how do you effectively integrate CPA into your blog without selling out your posts to the offers you’re trying to get people to respond to? This is the biggest sticking point for many newcomers to CPA offers, but if you do it right, it can make you a small fortune in the process. How CPA Works
If you’re not familiar with CPA, it’s an alternate form of affiliate marketing that pays you for each action you drive from your readers rather than for each product you sell. And in some cases, the payment per action is substantially greater than what you’d get for selling an info product. Here are some examples: • Email Submissions – Up to $3 • Short Registrations – Up to $50 • Free Trials – Up to $50 • Sales of Physical Products or Services – $50+
The idea is that in some industries, a lead is incredibly valuable, to the point that the companies will pay big bucks for them. And as you’ll no doubt learn, generating those leads can be a lot easier in some niches than selling a product.
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It also opens you up to a number of other niches. While affiliate marketing for info products is limited to 1020 very lucrative niches (and some new ones if you get lucky), CPA works for any niche that requires lead generation. Top niches here include entertainment, legal, dental, insurance and more. Standard industries and topics that are not usually represented by info products can thrive in this environment.
If you opt to go with CPA marketing, use sites like Offer Vault to find offers that match your niche and provide decent payouts. This search engine keeps track of all CPA offers and will allow you to generate pretty solid returns on your time investment.
The thing about CPA is that you need to apply for most networks and it can be tough to get accepted if you don’t meet all their requirements. Luckily for you, with a blog that has established content, you are generally considered to be a prime candidate, as long as you have a clear idea of what you are marketing and why.
How to Integrate CPA into a Blog
For the most part, you can use all of the other tactics I’ve mentioned in this chapter to promote a CPA offer on your blog. The idea is almost always the same. You provide high quality content to build readership and trust and then you cash in on that trust to convert a reader to one of the actions you’ve recommended.
The best part of CPA though is that you don’t have to worry about people thinking you’re shilling products to them. If you say something like “I had a great experience with Geico for my insurance; you should check it out” that’s all you would need to do to encourage people to enter their information into a short registration.
The big issue with CPA that you need to be aware of is honesty. With a blog, the urge to bend the truth about which offers you’ve tried or how they work for the readers can be strong. Not only is this unethical, however, it is illegal.
In fact, anything short of full disclosure is illegal with the new FTC regulations in place. So, make sure you are clear that you are making a recommendation for monetary gain and only endorse products or services you have actually used and can vouch for. Otherwise, stick with ads or indirect sales methods.
Email Marketing
This is one of my favourite ways to monetize a blog, due to the ease with which you can do it and the long term profit potential. Keep in mind, however, that there is some additional work you’ll need to do that can be time consuming or costly depending on who writes your newsletters.
The idea here is that you extend your blog as a representation of your knowledge on a topic and turn it into a squeeze page. You’ll install a flying popover to gather email addresses from your readers in exchange for free information of some sort. Once you have them in your autoresponder list, you can send them newsletters every 3-5 days with useful information about your niche and a hard sell for a product related to the niche.
The best part about this form of marketing is that it creates a list of prospects that can easily be contacted time and again, and many times a prospect on a list like this turns out to be worth more than a single sale. Plus, they will get a reminder to return to your website time and again to keep reading your blog posts and clicking your AdSense ads.
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Gathering Email Addresses
If you have a good blog with solid content and a good readership base, you already have half the tools you need to generate profits from this method. You’ve built an authority source in your niche and started to build trust with your readers.
Now, you just need to put a form in place that will gather information from those readers so you can email them in the future. There are a few ways to do this, which I’ll outline below, but I will admit up front that my favourite method is the flying popover – a search-engine safe popup that you can time and place as you see fit on the screen. Within a Post
You can place your signup box in a blog post and refer to it from other posts or via a Page link. I don’t like this method because it doesn’t ensure that every visitor to your site sees the signup box. You want to maximize exposure as much as possible, so it needs to be prominent on any page of the site. On a Sidebar
The sidebar is seen on every post and page in your blog, but it doesn’t guarantee they actually notice it. Due to the out of the way nature of the side bar and how many people surf from link to link, they may never actually see the box or what you’re asking for. It can also reduce valuable screen space for things like ads. Popup Box
A popup box can be done simply enough in JavaScript and remind people to go to your sidebar and enter their personal information. However, a popup box is intrusive and can be seen as a spam tactic by the search engines. Flying Popover

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Which brings us to the Flying Popover, the choice I’m most fond of. First up, you can do a flying popover with a simple WordPress Plugin, which is always fun – much easier than trying to code something from scratch. Second, you can use HTML in the popover, which will allow you to make it look exactly as you like, without having to worry about a poor visual presentation. Finally, you can time it to appear on any page of your site a certain amount of time after the visitor arrives.
So, someone can arrive on a blog post from five months ago that they found in an article directory and if they read the page for more than 15 seconds, they’ll see your flying popover asking them for an email address and name. The box can be removed easily so they continue reading, or they can give you the information and get added to your email list.
How to Install a Flying Popover
To create your flying popover, first head to your Affilorama account and visit our premium tools section. You’ll find the Flying Popover at http://www.affilorama.com/writing-tools/popover-generator. 1. Window Options – Your first set of options here is the window options for your popover, how the actual popover will look. I recommend leaving it in the center of the screen and not extending the size too much. Having a large popover can be overwhelming for a reader and can drive them away from your site. A small, non-intrusive popover will get the job done. You can also choose to change your background and border colors here as well.
2. Process Options -The important details are in the process – how the popover works and will appear on the page. The default option is to have the popover show up after someone arrives at your site. For a blog, this is your best option, hinging on the interest of your reader up front. Alternately, you can have a popover appear when someone is leaving the page, but this is best for squeeze pages.
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You can also set a maximum number of times the popover will appear for each user. By default, it’s set to 200 which may be a little too much for a blog where most users will visit multiple pages. I would change it to 1 or 2 times per day per user.
The delay timer is important here as well, as it allows you to determine when the popover will appear. The best time in my experience is about 15-20 seconds after someone arrives on your page. If they’ve stayed that long, the popover is less likely to drive them away from your content.
3. Subscription Details -This section is a little technical but incredibly important. The popover generator will create a form for you, but you still need to provide the codes from Aweber to ensure the email address gets properly parsed. You’ll find the Form ID of your Aweber script in the code when you create a new mailing list on Aweber. Additionally, make sure you get the exact name of the newsletter from Aweber so it doesn’t get bounced back.

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4. Content – This is the actual content that will appear in the popover – your main selling points. You can add images, change font colors and add bolded text if you like. It’s a standard WYSIWYG editor, so feel free to be creative and generate whatever content you like.
I recommend keeping it to the point, straightforward and very clearly identify what the benefit of signing up will be. Do they get a free report? Do they get a 6-part mini-course? Do they get blog updates? Tell them exactly what they get and why those benefits are important to them.
Once you’re done, click the “Generate” button and the tool will spit out all the code you’ll need to get started. This is where you’ll need to go into WordPress’s code and make a few changes.
Adding Your Code to a WordPress Theme
In many themes, you should be able to paste the code directly into the “index.php” file using the instructions on Affilorama. However, some themes will not allow you to edit the files or will be written in straight PHP which makes it hard to find where to put those additions. If this is the case, there is a plugin that can help you create Flying Popovers directly in WordPress.
It’s called WP Popup Scheduler and once you’ve installed it, a new menu will appear in your Settings menu on the sidebar. From here, you can choose when the Popup appears, the delay for the popup, which pages to show the popup on, the effects for the popup, and the text and images that will appear in the Popup.
If you choose to use the WP Popup Scheduler, ignore the first three boxes of text on Affilorama and copy only the one that is to appear after the <body> tag:

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Now, go to the WP Popup Scheduler settings in WordPress and to the Rich Text Editor at the bottom of the screen. In the menu options for the Rich Text Editor, you will see a small icon that says “HTML”:
Click that icon, and you will be taken to a separate popover that will allow you to paste HTML code directly into the popover settings. Paste the text from Affilorama’s popover creator and click save. If everything worked properly, your popover should now display as you set it to in Affilorama, but without having to edit any of the files in your WordPress Themes.
When pasting your content, delete the following text from the HTML box:
At the beginning:
<!–PopOverBox Body–>

”Image”
At the End:

<!–PopOverBox Body End–>
How to Get People on an Email List
You’ll need to do more than simply ask people for their email address and name. Most people are at least mildly protective of personal information which means you need to trade them for it. Luckily, the price isn’t often that high, and you’ve already offered some credit in the form of your blog.
The easiest way I’ve found in the past to get these signups is to use either a free report or a 6-day minicourse. In either case, the free content you give away needs to solve a very specific problem they may

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have. Aim for between 3,000 and 5,000 total words of content that work to solve a problem your readers likely to have.
This will create an even greater sense of trust that you can capitalize on when you start sending out promotional emails in the future. Because you’re operating a blog loaded with such content, feel free to compile important messages and rewrite them or expand them slightly to offer the content. Some originality is recommended as you’re still using existing content, but because it’s free don’t feel like you need to get too carried away.
MonetIzIng In MultIPle streaMs The thing about an email list is that technically you’re not monetizing on the blog. You’re offering a free product above and beyond your blog and then later down the line, you’re doing some light selling to your readers on that blog. It’s pretty simple and it works well, but it’s not a hard sell by any means.
So, that means you can feel free to add a secondary marketing tactic to your blog to take advantage of straight traffic. Your email list will generate profits based on the trust you build and the information you share, but the raw traffic you manage to acquire for your blog posts is still valuable and can be traded in for a nice pay check as well.
AdSense is by far the easiest way to do this, especially if you’re already promoting a handful of different affiliate products in your newsletters. However, feel free to integrate reviews and banner ad as well. Too many marketers feel like they can’t do more than one – that if they try to sell in more than one medium, they’ll appear too eager to make a sale. That’s only true if you fail to balance it all out with some quality content.
autHorIty BuIlDIng The last thing I want to talk about for your affiliate marketing efforts is the concept of authority building. The goal of any good blog is to develop a strong following from people who look to you for information on specific topics. If you want them to click on your links, sign up for your newsletter, or come back for more later, they need to see you as a sole source of info. That’s a hard role to fill and it requires dedication on your part – far more than you’ll put in with many other marketing methods.
It can also be quite a bit of fun, however, and the traffic potential of a good blog is fantastically high and can continue to grow with each passing month.
So, when it comes to creating a blog that will not only gain you a lot of readers, but load your wallet with a lot of money, remember where your focus should be – not just on the monetary end of things, but on the actual knowledge-building end, where you will prove to the world that you are a valuable source of information.
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optimizing your Blog It’s easy to say “your blog can make money”, but in reality, it won’t make a cent until you start gaining much needed traffic, and that requires work all on its own. Already, we’ve done quite a bit of work in building up a following of devoted readers, link bait and viral content, but you still need to generate raw traffic that can visit your site in the first place.
And while there are plenty of solid SEO tactics out there that can help you do that, you’ll still need to spend quite a bit of time doing very specific blog boosting exercises if you’re interested in direct traffic to your posts.
searCH engIne oPtIMIzatIon The simplest way to get traffic to a blog is to pay for it, but I’m going to advise against that for a number of reasons. While I don’t generally have a problem with paid traffic (I wholly encourage it in many cases), I do discourage it for straight content sites because it misses the point. When you create a content website, your goal is to generate information that is interesting not only to the readers but to the search engines.
So, ideally, without having to spend anything, you should be able to show up in search results for a variety of industry-related terms, and as a result, you should get traffic for free. Of course, there are certain things you need to do as the author to make this happen. • Your Blog’s Format – We’ve already taken care of this with a few well-placed plugins. Your blog should already have well chosen, highly optimized titles and descriptions for all of your posts. You should also have a large number of tags that directly link up to your posts. This is a great way to increase SEO, as they will appear in aggregate sites and create internal links for easy navigation of your blog.
We’ve also removed duplicate content from your site, ensured original tags on every page, and generate SEO friendly permalinks for every blog post you wrote. So, all the usual snags that a WordPress blog runs into have been taken care of. • Your Keywords – Early on we developed a list of keywords for your blog that matched up with both general and specific needs of your readers. Now, it’s time to start integrating them. The main keywords should hopefully appear for each of your posts on occasion and in your links. This is a natural part of blogging – the words that you’re targeting will get used a lot.
But, you still need to optimize your blog for all the long tail and lower ranked keywords that are on our list – of which there are quite a few. So, before we move too much further, make sure you spend a bit of time generating a list of keywords that you can use to base your posts on. These keywords will be used not only for your posts but for your link building tasks in a couple pages. • Frequency – I’ve mentioned posting frequency already as an important part of reader retention. However, it’s equally important for generating strong search results. Google loves blogs, but only because they produce regular fresh content. If you don’t write content at least two or
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three times a week, you’ll quickly fall out of the rankings and waste whatever value there might be in your existing content.
Remember to post at least once every 48 hours and more frequently if possible. This will ensure you remain in the search engines and that your site doesn’t lose the added link juice it gains from posting often. • Originality and Variety – To ensure you appear in as many search engine locations as possible, your content needs to be both original and different in format. So, don’t copy and paste press releases or posts from other sites, even with quotations. Yes, you’re safe in terms of plagiarism, but Google doesn’t care what’s legal – it wants original content and for that, you need to write your own posts from scratch. Even if you cover the same topics, write it from scratch every time.
Additionally, use a variety of different mediums to present your posts. This means lots of images, videos, links, lists and more. The more varied and interesting your posts look, the better they will perform when it comes time for Google to index those pages. It will also ensure you show up in multiple search engines, including Google Images and YouTube.
lInk BuIlDIng Of all the optimization techniques currently used to get blogs atop the search listings, link building remains at the top of the list. This holds true for pretty much any website on the internet. If you want traffic, you need to get sites linking to you. Not just any sites either. You need high quality, informational sites sharing links with you. This not only generates direct traffic, but helps you land much higher in the search engines for your keywords.
Already we’ve gone over how to swap links with other bloggers and share guest posts, which helps both blogs perform better, but other blogs are not the only places to get backlinks to your posts. There are dozens more resources you can use to generate backlinks, but it may take a bit of work. Tools to Use
Located in Affilorama’s Premium Tools section, you’ll find three tools that can help you track down high value pages to generate backlinks from. The goal here is to find sites that have high Page Rank and provide a “follow” link. It might seem like a simple enough task, but once you get beyond your fellow blogs and some article directories, finding sites like this can be very tough. So, we’ve put together ways to track them down automatically so you know where to put your links and produce new streams of traffic. Social Snoop
This tool searches through an array of social networks with your selected keywords and looks for pages or content that has high search engine presence.
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Just enter your keyword, select the social networks on which you have an account, and start searching. Here’s an example of a search I did for “golden retriever training” on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Digg, and MetaCafe:
Next to each result, you’ll see the search engine that was tracked, the ranking in that engine, the Page Rank of the result, and whether the page offers a “follow” link. Remember, not all “no follow” pages are worthless, but I do recommend you start with the “follow” links and go from there.
Now, go to each of these pages and add a comment, a piece of content, or a link if possible that will point to your blog. This can be done in almost any niche, and is a great way to build quick traffic.

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Trusted Sites Tool
The trusted site tool works in much the same way as the social media snoop, in that it will search a set number of sites for high ranking pages that will pass along link juice to your blog. The difference here is that the trusted site tool looks only among what are considered “trusted sites” – government and educational sites that Google is prone to rewarding high page rank and rankings to.
All you need to do is enter a keyword, your geographical region, and whether you want to search for blogs or forums for your links. Keep it on a broad match (unless you’re looking for particular keywords), and hit the search button.
When the results appear, you’ll get the same information you received from the Social media snoop – site type, Page Rank, and whether it allows links. You’ll find that most trusted sites don’t provide “follow” links, but again, remember that this doesn’t stop some of the benefits from coming through. Additionally, sometimes it is unclear whether a site provides “follow” or not, hence the question marks. Many times these sites do provide follow links.

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Back Link Checker
The third tool provided on Affilorama is the Back Link Checker, which will go through the backlinks of your site or those of your competitors and provide a listing of backlinks, the location of the link, the search engine status of those links, and the anchor text. This is not only helpful for analysing how effectively your site is performing, but for determining whether your competitors have any backlinks you could duplicate.
Simply enter the URL of the site you want to check into the URL box and you’ll receive a listing of all the backlinks that the site currently has, along with the pertinent information for each link.
You can then print or download this data for future use if you so desire.
Using the Information You’ve Gathered
If you just ran through all three of these tools, you probably have a bucket full of information and no idea what to do with it all. That’s why we need to create a plan. Remember, your goal is to always be getting new links to your site that are high value, full of useful information and loaded with Page Rank to boost your site’s performance. 1. Create a List of Sites to Visit 2. Create Accounts on Those Sites 3. Outline Productive, Valuable Additions You Can Make to Each Page 4. Actively Engage on Multiple Sites 5. Continuously Add New Links Every Week
The goal here is to not just go out and spam other sites, but to provide value to those sites that will translate to a back link and a boost to your reputation. The easiest way to ensure your backlinks survive is to ensure you frame them with valuable information and insight, not just a shameless plug that gets you banned from the site.
It will take a lot of research and a lot of time to develop a good list of links, but remember how few people actually do the leg work here. Just by using these tools to generate a list, you’re ahead of 90% of your competition, and if you follow through with them all, you jump into the 99% percentile. You can almost guarantee success in most niches with this formula.

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rss feeD Most people don’t even realize that their blog has a built in service that broadcasts content to readers around the globe. It’s called RSS, which is short for Really Simple Syndication (seriously). It isn’t just for blogs, but it is most frequently used by blogs because of how often they are updated.
The idea of an RSS feed is that whenever a new piece of content is added to a database, the RSS feed will send a blast out to anyone who has subscribed to that content. Those readers can then choose to install a piece of software that reads those RSS feeds and syndicates blog posts, news articles, and fresh content from sites around the globe into a single list of news features.
It’s simple and it cuts down on the time it takes to review blogs. However, most bloggers either don’t know about RSS or don’t think they need to do anything with it to ensure their readers are getting the most out of the content.
RSS Boils Down Content
An RSS feed automatically gets your content to more people. Not only can readers subscribe to your content, other sites can subscribe and syndicate your content in their listings. However, while RSS gets your content to more people, it also creates a greater concentration of content in that target location.
If someone has an RSS reader with 20 different feeds tracked daily, they need to decide which posts are interesting to them when they login each day. If they’re not sure they want to read your content, or if you don’t clearly outline what they’re reading, you’ll lose readers quickly.
Tips for Your RSS Feed
To help avoid these problems, I’ve included a list of common tips that can help your RSS feed perform better, ensuring long term readership from your subscribers as well as from new readers who might be interested in your content. • Be Clear with Titles – By default, your blog post title is included in every RSS broadcast, along with either the META description or the first 50 words of the post. In either case, you need to be sure the title and description are keyword rich and clearly outline what the post will cover. If someone sees 300 titles, what will make them click on yours over the rest? • Customize – One plugin I didn’t mention in the earlier chapter is “Ozh’ Better Feed”. This plugin will allow you to go in and manually customize each of your RSS feed entries. You can submit it to specific directories, add images, insert links, change the formatting and more. Its unparalleled control allows you to determine exactly how people see your RSS entries and it can allow you to draw more attention more easily. • Avoid Automation – A common RSS mistake we see a lot these days is to over syndicate from other feeds. People will take a feed and use it to populate their own blog, then rebroadcast
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it in an RSS feed. It’s a mess, it doesn’t help with Google, and you won’t make much money doing this. In short, it’s a bad idea. Plus, it tends to be illegal if you’re stealing someone else’s content and rebroadcasting it as your own. • Multiple Versions – Avoid sending out multiple versions of RSS. I won’t show you how to do this, because it’s unimportant. Most people don’t know or care what the difference is between the older and newer formats. They still get the content from your site in their feeder and you get a reader. If you try to send out multiple formats, you risk duplication and confusion among your readers.
RSS feeds are a powerful way to get your content to a wide array of readers all over the Internet. If you use them properly, they will streamline the way your content is syndicated and then read. If you use them wrong, it can actually hurt your blog’s overall performance. So, be wary of how you use them, but don’t neglect their value.
PIngIng anD InDexIng a Blog A tool that most websites don’t get the benefit of using is the blog index or aggregator. These sites take blogs from across the Internet and syndicate their content to a wide audience of potential readers. Many of the aggregators will pick up your content automatically if they come across it through a link, but for our purposes it makes more sense to ping them so your content is updated every time you write a new blog post. What is Pinging?
Pinging is a very basic term which means to send an electronic signal to a target to let it know you are there. It’s what your computer does every time it asks for information from a website. Your blog needs to be setup to do it as well, sending out a signal to the blog indexes so it can show up in those lists whenever they are searched.
If it sounds ridiculously complicated, don’t worry. All you’ll really need to do is create an account with a couple of websites and copy-paste a line of text into your WordPress installation. Signing Up for Blog Indexes
The big blog index, despite how messy it can be, is Technorati. Three years ago, sites like Technorati were vital for blogs. Today they are not nearly as important due to so many other optimization methods, but it still serves a valuable purpose and it’s a good idea to claim each of your blogs in the site’s database whenever you create a new one.
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Signing Up for Technorati
When you arrive at Technorati.com, you’ll see a mess of recent blog posts from other bloggers. These are all posts that have been indexed already by other writers who are members of the site. You will show in those listings soon.
Start by creating your membership from the Signup button located in the top right corner.

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From here, you’ll need to enter the standard membership information including your name, email address and member name. There are no tricks here – just be sure to choose an email address that you will check often and don’t mind getting a ton of inbound mail to.
Once you’ve logged in, you can go to your Profile, http://technorati.com/account/ and upload a profile image or add a bio. These are good tasks if you plan on actively promoting your blog and persona on Technorati. But, if you’re just here for the added traffic, you can skip it for now.
Next, you need to claim your blog. To do this, scroll to the bottom of the page and enter the URL of your blog in the empty URL box there:
On the next page, provide the following information: • Blog Title • URL • Feed URL (usually just your URL with /rss at the end) • Linking Blogs – If you know for a fact that these blogs link to yours, add them here. It helps speed up indexing and boosts your ranking out of the box.
• Site Description – Add a keyword rich description of your blog here for anyone that searches and finds your blog on Technorati. You should outline both what you write about and why you write about it. • Categories – Choose any number of categories in which to place your blog. The more the better, but make sure you actually fit in them or you could get denied for spamming.

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