lInk swaPPIng anD guest PostIng One of my favourite methods for getting new followers and readers is to swap information with other blog owners. This can be a huge way to generate new readership.
No matter how cutting edge or original you think your content is, trust me – it’s not new. There are dozens of other blogs and hundreds of other writers out there offering content in your niche and you shouldn’t necessarily view them as competition. They can also be partners, helping you find new readers.
The key here is to find people who can actually help you, and that you can in turn help.
Building a Relationship
To meet and build a relationship with other blog owners, you need to get out there and start interacting with them. There are a few ways to do this, including: • Comment on Other Blogs – If you thought only your readers would be commenting, think again. One of the easiest ways to meet other bloggers and to develop additional readership for your own blog is to comment on other niche blogs with lots of readership.
If you have something interesting to say, people will follow your links back to your blog, including the blog owner. You’ll eventually develop a much larger following as a result. Additionally, when you contact this blog owner, they will already recognize you from your comments. • Link to Them – If you have a story that relates to a post on another blog, or you simply want to give them kudos for a post you liked, link to them. It doesn’t need to be a blogroll link or a prominent link for something else, but a small, basic link can create quite a bit of attention. Most bloggers will know immediately when they get a new back link. • Email Them – You can contact someone directly and ask them for a link swap or guest post opportunity. Many blog owners, assuming they’re not running a small corporation, will be interested in what you have to say. • Follow on Twitter or Facebook – Get on Twitter and Facebook and start looking for these other bloggers and stay in touch with them there. It may seem informal and distant, but you’d be amazed what a few comments and wall posts will do for you when trying to get to know someone. • Offer Guest Posts – If you have quality content on your site, simply offering a guest post to someone can be greatly beneficial to you. However, you will need to be sure to generate a good chunk of content before doing this so they can see what they are agreeing to ahead of time. • Meet them in Person or IM – If the other blogger lives near you, find a way to meet up and discuss your mutual projects. If they do not, use a service like Skype or even an Instant Messaging program to chat with them about the needs of your site.
Keep in mind that, until you’ve developed a couple dozen posts and a readership of your own, you don’t have much in the way of collateral to offer in exchange for someone’s help. If you go to a blogger who gets 500 hits a day and ask for a link swap, what do they get out of it? It’s important that there is a fair exchange of value happening between you and your fellow site owner. So, build your site, generate value and then start looking for swapping opportunities.
wrItIng a guest Post Guest posting is a big deal and should be taken very seriously. Already, I hope I’ve instilled in you the value of a good blog post. But, with a guest post, you need to notch things up a bit. It needs to present a certain level of value to the readers of that other blog and you need to show that you have expertise in a given field that exceeds what the original blogger could have offered.
Why would another blog owner need you to write a post about “10 ways to train a dog” when they have already written plenty of similar content? Instead, you need to develop a set number of hyper specific niche areas that you can showcase your knowledge in. This will allow you to offer something unique, original, and highly valuable to other bloggers.
Additionally, you should go above and beyond the normal 400 word posts you write for your own blog. If you get 20 hits a day and the blog you’re writing for gets 400, think of your post as being 20 times more important. And if something is that much more important, shouldn’t you spend a bit more time working on it?
otHer fun ways to generate traffIC froM otHer Blogs While guest posting is one of my favourite methods around, there are other ways to generate traffic from other blogs. Here are a few of my favourites. • Blogroll Placement – A blog roll is a list of blogs you like. You can create a list of your own, but in reality, you should try to get listed on as many other blogrolls as possible. Provide regular free content, comment a lot and mention those blogs you’d like to be linked to. You can even ask for a blogroll link and many bloggers will consider you. • Interviews – I do a lot of audio and video interviews with other top niche experts and it has a huge impact on the traffic I generate on a regular basis. People love to hear podcasts of me talking to experts and in turn the buzz it generates on their pages and on Google in general adds a lot of traffic to the site. • Advertising – You can always pay for a posting on someone else’s page as well. This can be costly and sometimes a bit dangerous if you’re not careful about where you publish your links, but if you find the right resource and blogger, paid advertising can generate quite a bit of traffic for your site.
• Link Swapping – Once your site offers a good amount of content and develops a strong following on a regular basis, you’ll be able to ask other bloggers to swap links with you, either in blog rolls or in a post where you simply mention the other site. This is a powerful SEO strategy and a great way to get new readers. • Comment Linking – Comment on other blogs and if they are nice, they’ll leave your backlinks intact so anyone who reads your comment can click back to your site.
The long and the short of it is this – if you get involved with other bloggers and get to know them and their content extremely well, you’ll be able to take advantage of the traffic and readership they have on a daily basis. And eventually, you’ll have other bloggers coming to you for the exact same thing, and you’ll get traffic just for being the awesome blogger that you are.
soCIal MeDIa If ever there was a topic I could write an entire book on, it would be social media for traffic generation. So, you’ll have to bear with me if I keep this section fairly straightforward and related only to blogging.
To start with, traffic generation as a whole is very much related to the performance of your social media sites. If you have a good following on Twitter or Facebook, you’ll get a lot more traffic to your blog, squeeze page, or whatever other website you’re promoting. For bloggers this is even more true because of the nature of your site.
Marketing Yourself as an Expert
The goal of a social media profile for a blogger is to showcase your expertise and your name as a brand. The difference between this and marketing your blog itself is that when people see a website name they tend to think of a faceless entity that will feed them information. However, when they think of a blog that has a regular author they can interact with, they think of a conversation – an ongoing back and forth that they can take advantage of and learn from.
So, in my opinion, any blogger who uses their own name on their blog should have the full range of social media profiles to keep their readers up to date on all new posts as they become available. However, that doesn’t mean you need to use your personal account. It just means you need to have a page set up for your blog.
Linking to Social Media Sites
Once you at least have a Twitter and Facebook page set up for your blog, you should place links to your social media pages on your blog, preferably beneath your content in a prominent location. Don’t place it next to the social media bookmarking links as it can be confusing. Instead, you should say something like “follow me on…” and then have links to those profiles. Here’s an example:
As you can see, the intent is very clear. I want my readers to click the link and stay up to date with my recent posts. It goes in both directions, however. On your social media pages, you need to place links back to your blog posts as they become available. There are very easy ways to do this. In fact, both sites have multiple third party options for updating content on the page over and over again.
On Facebook
With Facebook, however, it can now be done directly through Facebook’s interface (recommended).
1. Go to “Profile” and then “Settings”
2. Here, you’ll see a section that lists where you can import stories posted by you. You’ll see a number of options here. Click on “Blog/Rss” and a small box will show up beneath this section for you to enter a URL
3. In this box, you’ll need to enter the URL of your RSS feed. The RSS of any WordPress blog will be http://www.YOURSITE.com/RSS. Enter that into the box and all of your future posts will automatically be posted to your wall as a new “note”. All of your friends will see it in their newsfeed when an update occurs.

On Twitter
On Twitter, you will need a third party tool, but thankfully it’s incredibly easy to use and very fast – updating your posts on Twitter within a few seconds of posting something new to our site. My site of choice is “TwitterFeed.com”. You’ll need to register for the service, but once you’ve done that, all you need is your Twitter URL and your RSS Feed URL (shown above).
Within seconds, you’ll have the Twitter account setup to post all new blog posts with a tinyurl back to your blog. If all that sounds like Greek to you, don’t worry – it’s so easy to setup that it doesn’t matter how it works. In short, people on your Twitter follower list will see when you have new blog posts available.
Maintaining Your Social Media Profiles
One of the major benefits of having a direct link between all your profiles is that it automates everything. You really don’t need to go into Facebook or Twitter very often to add content when you have blog content being blasted there three or more times a week. However, if you’re serious about adding followers to your social media sites, you’ll need a lot more content than just your blog posts. People expect value, and syndication is not value (it’s too easy).
Proper maintenance of a good social media profile can be time consuming and require new content every day, but trust me in that you’ll get your time’s worth out of it. The higher levels of fans and followers will almost instantly provide you with the added level of readership your blog needs to be successful.
tHe Value of a strong followIng for your InCoMe Your income is directly tied to how successful your blog becomes (at least in this endeavour). If you are serious about making a substantial amount of money, you need to have readers on your blog devouring that content. Part of your readership will happen naturally, if only because you have a lot of quality content to offer. However, a good chunk of your income will need to be built up by you through commenting tactics, social media, viral marketing, and link swapping with other bloggers.
Never be satisfied with just a handful of comments and readers. Always aim for more readership and more responses to your content on a daily basis. The greater you can perform, the better your overall results will be when it comes time to cash in on all that hard work.

adsense on your Blog Thus far, everything we’ve discussed has related directly to creating, maintaining, and getting traffic to your blog. I’ve only barely mentioned how you’ll be making money with this site, but trust me, there is plenty of money to be made. Before I get knee deep in how affiliate marketing integrates with your blog, I want to touch on probably the easiest money making method with a blog – AdSense advertising.
How aDsense works Google AdSense is a program provided by Google in conjunction with their paid advertising service AdWords. It allows content sites to join the content network, where advertisers pay to have their ads placed. If someone clicks on one of the ads that an advertiser places in Google’s listings, you get paid a share of the money the advertiser spends on those ads. Google’s cut varies, but usually you’ll receive between $0.01-$1 per click depending on the niche and the bid values of those clicks.
Luckily for you, most of the niches that you’ll be marketing in are high volume, high price niches that will allow you to make a hefty profit, but only if you generate content and traffic in a way that will optimize the ads that appear and the number of people that click on those links.
How aDs are PlaCeD Advertisements from Google’s partners are placed using a number of different algorithms and while no one has a blueprint for how to manipulate those algorithms effectively, we can discuss what Google looks for from your content and the ads to place them. Why does this matter to you?
Because, if you want to make a lot of money with AdSense, you want ads that have high click values. Some ads are only worth a penny or two when clicked. Others are worth a dollar or more. If you can manipulate your content to attract ads that get those $1 clickable ads, you’ll have a much better chance of making money with an AdSense blog. You would only need 100 clicks to get your first check, and that isn’t all that hard to do. Here are the factors that indicate which ads are placed:
• Publisher Preferences • AdSense Context Filtering • Advertiser Choices
In short, other than what you set in your options (which are minimal) and the format the advertiser chooses, the majority of filtering is done according to your site’s content. In recent years, Google has also grown more adept at measuring how well the ads on your site convert to clicks. Google then optimizes further to match what has proven successful in the past.
aDDIng aDsense Once you’re sure you want to place ads on your website using AdSense, it’s as easy as signing up for an account through Google. You should already have AdSense management tools in your blog from the themes and plugins we discussed earlier in this issue. You can alternately choose to manually place your ads, but beware of the technical issues related to doing this.
Signing Up for AdSense
If you don’t already have a Google AdSense account, visit http://adsense.google.com and click the “Signup now” button to get started. If you have ever started an account with Google, you must use that account as you’re only permitted to have one account per name and address. Google will dig through its records and see you already have one and you’ll be out of luck in starting a new one.
After clicking the “Signup button” you’ll be taken to the basic information page where you can get started.

Google wants a few pieces of basic information to get started. Like most of these signup screens, if you’re unsure of the answer or you need to change it later, that’s fine. You just need something to put in there right now. • Website URL – Enter the URL of your new blog. Make sure it is up and has content on it first or you could get declined. • Website Language – Choose a primary language for your blog. • Disclaimers – You must also click on both links that state “I will not place ads on sites that include incentives to click on ads” and “I will not place ads on sites that include pornographic content”. These are both against the Terms of Service and Google wants to make extra sure you have read them. • Account Type – There are two account types – individual or business. It actually doesn’t matter which one you choose unless you have a business name you’d like them to write your check to. For now, choose individual if that’s not the case. • Country or Territory – Choose where you’re located and where your checks will be sent. • Payee Name and Address – This should be your name and address and should be 100% unique to the system. If you already have an account, you’ll be rejected. • Telephone Numbers – Google requires a number on record in case there are complaints or issues with your site. • Policies – Finally, you need to agree to all of Google’s rules and regulations. Note that you’re not supposed to click on your own ads, and should not already have an AdSense account approved with Google.
Once you’ve completed this page, your application will be submitted for approval and you’ll need to wait for a short while for Google to approve and send out verification of your new account.
Once you’ve been approved, you’ll receive an email with your Publisher ID and a login to AdSense. Now, you can get started creating your ads and placing them on your blog.
usIng aDVertIsIng Manager If you have a custom theme or a premium theme with AdSense Management, you should refer to the documentation that comes with the theme. Most paid themes will have detailed instructions for how to use these features. However, for Advertising Manager, I’ll give a short walkthrough on how to integrate ads into your posts.
Creating an Ad
To create a new Ad, go to the “Ads” menu located on the left side of your dashboard screen. You can either “edit” or “create new”.
Advertising Manager will ask you to past in your ad “code” which you can generate from AdSense by creating a new ad there.
To do that, return to AdSense and go to the “AdSense Setup” menu located at the top of the screen

From here, choose the “AdSense for Content” option. Next, you’ll need to choose which type of ad you’d like to create. Your options are Ad Unit or Link Unit. I generally recommend the “ad unit” option so that you can also receive image ads.
Choose the format of your ad (the size you’d like to place on your site) as well as the colors. Most of the time, the default Google colors are fine, but if you have a specific layout you like, it might be a good idea to match them up here.
Next, choose your fonts and corner styles. These are all aesthetic options and I generally leave them as the default. However, if you want to split test later to see what works best, these are options worth checking.

Next, choose what to display when there are no relevant ads for a given page of content. You can show non-Google ads, which I recommend, or you can leave the space blank. There is also an option to display Public Service ads, for which you will not make any money from clicks.
The next step is to choose Ad Channels, which allow you to track certain ad units on your site. When you review you earnings, the channels are used to show you which types of content are generating you the most income. I would recommend you create channels for the name of the website and at least one or two for the niche topic.

Finally, submit your ad and get the code which you can paste into the Advertising Manager back in WordPress.
Setting Up Your WordPress Ads
The ads feature is pretty much automated once you’ve installed it so that you can add a widget to any part of your page in the “Widgets” menu. The “advertising” option should appear at the top of the list now, allowing you to place your ads anywhere you like on the screen.
Drag and drop your Advertising unit to wherever you want to place it on your blog. Each section of the page should be labelled accordingly. You may need to do some plug and play to see where each one appears (sometimes the labels don’t match up right because of the theme you’re using).

After placing your ad unit, give it a title, and choose which type of ad you’d like to place. Right now, you want to choose Google AdSense, but if you decide you’d like to use another service like AdBrite, the option is here as well.
Your ad should be established now and will run automatically in that position. The Plugin will track impressions, clicks, and overall performance on its own, and you can get reports from Google AdSense as well, allowing you to analyse how your ads perform overall.
Placing Your Ads
I would like to go into detail on the actual placement of your ads – something few bloggers pay much attention to.
There are quite a few places you can put ads and there is no perfect answer for where that should be – it really depends on your blog and your testing results. Here are some of your options: • Banner at the Top • Side Bar • Between Post and Comments • Before Post • Navigation Bar
These are all viable locations, but in many cases, only one or two locations will prove effective for your particular blog. So, it’s a good idea to test your positioning.
If you want to make money with AdSense, they need to be in the right place. That means two things. First, you need to ensure every visitor at least sees the ads. However, you also need to be sure your readers see your titles and read your posts, otherwise they have no reason to click the ads before leaving the site.
In my experience, the following locations have proven effective for placement, based on testing and a decade of experience: • Above Post Content • Below Nav Bar • Above Page Footer • Side Bars
There are plenty of other locations to put your ads – in banners, in the footer, on the right side of the page, or at the bottom, but these four locations have proven most effective for me. It could be for any number of reasons.
Readers read top down and left to right, something that my ad positioning takes advantage of. Additionally, placement of ads beneath the nav bar ensure that the content is never upended by ads – a psychological no-no that tells your readers your ads are more important to you than what you’ve written.
I recommend you test each position multiple times. For each testing session, spend at least 2 days gathering data to see what kind of click-through rates you’ll enjoy. If you get better results in one location but have not tested every location, don’t stop. You never know how a small change can affect your overall earnings.
aDVanCeD aDsense tIPs For most people, AdSense seems rather straightforward, but it can be a lot more complicated if you let it. Here are some tips that help improve the ads that appear and how they convert to clicks. Content Rich Sites
A good AdSense site is content rich in a way that will not only attract ads, but that will keep readers on the page. It doesn’t mean anything to have the right ads on your page through content targeting if your readers don’t stick around long enough to read those ads. You need to focus on longer on-screen time, then worry about which ads appear. Maintaining Your Theme
It’s easy to become distracted and start writing about off-topic ideas. And for the most part, there’s nothing wrong with this. But, the vast majority of your blog should stay on topic and utilize specific keywords that will draw the right ads. Just by staying on topic, you can generally guarantee that your ads will remain as you need them to be. Popular Formats
We already discussed placement of your ads, but format is equally important. The format you use will vary depending on your audience and your test data, but for the most part, the most popular options are the ones that are compact and easy to read, including the 336×280 rectangle, the 300×250 rectangle and skyscraper ads (any size). They present an easy-to-read chunk of text and it sits beside your content easily. The Number of Ads
Google only allows you to place three blocks of ads on any one page. That’s fine because you can easily adjust how large those blocks are and how they are placed. However, don’t let yourself be worried into not placing enough ads. If they are out of the way and you don’t place enough, not every reader will even see the ads. Your goal should be to maximize exposure with at least 2 ad placements, and probably three. Images with Ads
Placing images near or beside your ads can have a dramatic impact on how many people click on them. The human eye is attracted to images, so if you place an ad next to an image, you’ll guarantee more people see that ad and consider it. This is a fantastic way to boost your overall click-through rates. Tracking Your Ads
Use whatever tracking tools you have at your disposal. Google AdSense gives you channels you can use for tracking, with up to 200 options. These channels can be used to track ads on a per-page basis if you like, though with a blog your ads will usually appear site-wide. Additionally, Advertising Manager will provide you with data on how many impressions and clicks each of your ads receives per day.
No matter what kind of advertising you’re doing, the data you receive from tools like AdSense or Advertising manager is vital. It’s not enough just to place an ad unit on your blog and wait for clicks to come in. You need to be active, providing content that will draw readers, ads that draw the eye, and incentives to keep coming back. Do that and your ad units will start generating far more income that you ever expected.
otHer aD networks A point of major frustration for me is when writers and bloggers assume that the only viable advertising option is AdSense. Google would be happy to hear it, but I’m not, because there are so many other options out there – many of which can make you a pretty penny.
Ultimately, what works will depend greatly on what you write and how well it performs on your site. But, until you start testing, you won’t fully know the potential of your content. Do you attract visual readers who respond better to banner ads? Or do you have more cerebral, text-based followers who want basic ads from Google? Do they spend money more often or are they likely to signup for something?
AdBrite is probably the largest competitor to Google AdSense, providing a wide array of ads that match you up with advertisers by demographic, space and ad type. In short, it’s a much more direct, one-on-one style of ad syndication whereas AdSense is all algorithm based.
The big benefit of AdBrite is the breadth of ad options you can install as well, with keyword targeting, full page ads and in-line text ads. I don’t recommend the in-line ads for a blog due to the nature of the content, but full page ads can be effective and the ability to generate content based on your preferences, not the keyword breakdown of your content, is very much welcome.
Although AdBrite and AdSense are the two biggest and most common ad networks on the internet, don’t be afraid to look around. There are dozens more that all offer simple integration and that are supported by Advertising Manager in WordPress.
Affiliate Marketing with Your Blog All the AdSense strategies in the world won’t get you to the plateau you’ve been dreaming of – the big numbers and hefty profits that you have heard about from other super affiliates and Internet Marketers. Sure, you can make a nice profit from your blogging with just ads, but if you’re interested in real profits – the kind that come with $27 commissions on info products – you need to turn your attention toward affiliate marketing.
I won’t say there are any problems with affiliate marketing on a blog – it’s a very effective place to do it after all. But, it’s not exactly straightforward either. You cannot just put up three basic posts and then write a review that says “buy this book so I can get a new TV”. People won’t do it. They need to trust you and they need to know that they actually have a reason to buy that product.
It’s entirely your responsibility to show and tell them those things. If you want your readers to follow your advice to buy a certain ebook, you had better give them a good reason to do so. That’s where the following strategies will come in.
MaIntaInIng QualIty The first thing every blogger must do when they start trying to make affiliate commissions is to maintain the quality of their blog. I’ve seen a lot of marketers start off strong and then start copy-pasting marketing copy from a product’s affiliate page without personalizing or polishing it one bit.
There are a dozen things wrong with this, but primarily, it’s a wasted opportunity. Not only will you fail to get it indexed in Google where reviews of popular info products do very well for bloggers, but your readers will immediately know that you didn’t write it. Every blogger has their own style and when you take content from somewhere else because you’re too lazy to rewrite it, they’ll know.
Imagine if a stranger called you up and said they were your best friend Jim and that you should buy a new Dell computer because they really like theirs. Not only would you ignore the recommendation, you’d probably try and find a way to complain about the message.
Maintaining voice and quality are the two most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer with a new blog. Otherwise, you’ll lose your readers and potential customers, negating the purpose of your blog immediately.
To make sure you’re not “selling out” your readers, have a friend take a look at any plugs you write before you publish them. This will give you a good idea if the content crosses any lines that might hurt your site’s readership.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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

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.
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.

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:

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–>

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

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 informa


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