Tag Archive | "pinterest marketing"

Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 6]

This is a continuation of the previous posts “How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 1], Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 2], Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 3],  Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 4] & Mini-Course: How to start a blog that will actually make you money [Part 5] in which we went over the basics of:

  1. Choosing and purchasing a domain name
  2. Securing reliable web hosting (and what hosting actually is)
  3. Setting up WordPress on your site
  4. Selecting a WordPress theme
  5. Selecting and installing plugins for your site
  6. Choosing a topic
  7. Creating a post & including pictures

If you haven’t read through the previous posts, please do that now, since this week we are going to dive into how to post content to your blog (step-by-step technical instructions).

This week we are going to now fine tune those newly acquired skills and lay out 6 Tips For Writing Articles Faster & More effectively.  

When you are blogging for the initial purpose of making money, the skill of writing is obviously going to be one of the most instrumental assets you can obtain.

Regularly published quality (emphasis on quality) content is king when it comes to building your site up.  This means that you will need to churn out new content on some sort of schedule for an ongoing period of time.

Of course, you could also hire or outsource a writer to create your articles for you, but for the most part the best cost-effective option is to get into the swing of things by doing it yourself.  

Benefits of going it on your own:

  • No additional money out of your pocket to hire someone
  • Increase your writing skills
  • Learn more about the topic you are writing about
  • Hone your research skills

Being able to write well and quickly is probably the single most important skill to help pave your path to online success.  Here are the top 6 steps to take that will help you to increase your speed:

1. Allot a portion of your day that will be devoted to your writing.

Choose a segment of your day where in which you usually feel the most energized and focused and will have the fewest interruptions.  Set aside this time period for your writing.  Switch them up until you find the best time that will be the most effective for you.

2.  Brainstorm

Write (type) down some ideas or thoughts that are related to the topic at hand in a blank document.  Don’t worry about how useful you think they might or might not be.  

This will help you to quickly get a rough sense of direction for your article.  And hopefully lowering the possibility of your mind wandering off onto a tangent that isn’t related to your article.

3.  Research

Look online for 3-5 articles that support or pertain to your topic.  This is where the ability to scan an article quickly will come in handy.  Do not read the articles in depth, but rather skim them for portions that might be useful for your topic.

After you have found a handful of articles, open another document and copy and paste (yes I did say copy and paste) relevant bits that you think will be useful to your article.  

Spend no more than 10-15 minutes on this portion.

4.  Remove distractions

Now that your research is done, it’s time to get down to business.  This means clearing both your mind and physical self of any possible distractions that would keep you from completing the task at hand.  This includes:

  • Closing all web browsers (except the two documents you just created)
  • Turning off your cell phone
  • Closing your web-mail app or window
  • Notifying family / roommates that you are not to be disturbed

5.  Begin writing – Don’t worry about editing

In order to get the most of your time, set a timer or some sort of alarm to go off after 45-50 minutes.  Spend the 45-50 minutes focused only on your article you are writing and nothing else.  (No emails, reading the news, browsing facebook, etc)  After the allotted time, take a 15 minute break and reset the timer to resume your focus for another 45-50 minutes.

Using the research document, read through each of the snippets that you copied and pasted.  Write in your own words your interpretation of each of the snippets. Resist the urge to edit as you go.  At this stage we are concerned only with writing and letting your creativity flow, not editing for grammar, spelling, etc.

Keep writing until you feel you have written enough to fully express what you wanted to get across about the topic.  Although, keep in mind the longer the article the less likely someone will actually read the entire piece.  Best to keep them on the shorter side.  1000-1500 words is ideal.  

6.  Edit

Once you have finished with the initial writing, it’s time to spend some time editing your draft.  

Start by deleting your brainstorming and research notes.  Change up the order of your paragraphs and add in bits and pieces here and there to get a good natural flow when reading it through.

Use a spellchecker and/or the help of a friend to assist with spelling and grammar mistakes.

Walah!  You have now completed your first article written in a quicker more effective manner.

Finding this article helpful or encouraging? Let us know in the comments below.  

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, Blogging, Content Creation, WordpressComments (0)

pinterest for affiliates

Affiliate Marketing on Pinterest Part 1

As Pinterest grows, so does it’s potential as a traffic source. In previous posts we’ve examined how spammer’s are were making money with Pinterest and we showed you how ethical businesses are using Pinterest.

Today, we’re going to learn from the spammers and the ethical marketers and apply it to affiliate marketing.

Build Your Site

Spammers did well by posting images of products that led straight to the product page on amazon. Direct linking to Amazon won’t work anymore though. So make sure that your site has dedicated product review pages your Pinterest pics can point to. You could easily build out a 100 – 500 page site using an Amazon datafeed.

Each Page Should Contain:

  • Product image above the fold
  • Call to action button above the fold
  • As much quality content about the product as you can create (not just default descrip from Amazon)
  • Product review information – tell the visitor what’s great about the product and what could be better

Build a Persona (or use your own)

This is going to be controversial to some and brilliant to others. Pinterest is a social network. Social networks are driven by people (mainly). People are interested in the things that other people use, eat, entertain themselves with. So in order to tap into that network of traffic we need to look and act like real people (which won’t be hard cause you are one, right?).

Put together a basic profile of your niche’s average web visitor. If you’re simply trying to promote a niche that you are personally interested in, there’s no need to fabricate the persona. You are the persona. So the following steps won’t apply. But for most of us in affiliate marketing, we’re promoting multiple niches.

We’ll stick with our golf example for this.

1 – Search Quantcast for Demographic Data

golf demographics

 

To get this data I searched Quantcast.com using a very high traffic site in my market, www.golf.com . This is just an exercise. If you’re promoting products that help golfers improve their swing then find a site with good traffic in that niche. Right now we’re assuming we’re trying to promote any and all golf products via Pinterest.

2 – Find a Picture

Look at the data and figure what the most “average” visitor would be like. This is going to become our persona. We’re going to use the most common denominator, so to speak. Obviously this persona isn’t going to reflect everyone in our niche, but it will reflect some. Doing this will make it easier for us to fill out a natural profile instead of just posting golf images.

After looking at this data here’s what (or should I say, who) I’m seeing

golf demographics

(I pulled this from G Images – for demo only – get your images from istockphoto or someplace similar so you don’t have to put in credits like this → image source: http://www.nationalheritagemuseum.org/Programs.aspx)

3 – Write a Short Profile

=====
Meet Jim Battaglia. After graduating from university he went on to pass the barr exam and become a lawyer. Unfortunately, because of all the long hours he never really found the time to have a family. What he did find time for though is golf. He loves golf with a passion. As he gets older he finds it important to work on his conditioning so he can golf all season. It’s not easy playing 18 holes on a hot day when you’re 50!
=====

See what I did there?

I put together a simple profile of a fictitious person who might be in the golf market. After looking at the data you can tell this guy is 45 – 54, has no kids, is fairly affluent, went to college, and is caucasian. This will help you when filling out a bio paragraph and adding pictures outside of your golf related images.

We’re learning what our target market is like. By getting in the mind of the customer you can approximately behave the way they would on Pinterest.

Next up, building and promoting your Pinterest profile.

Questions? Leave a comment

Posted in Social Media MarketingComments (5)

Spammers Are Killing It on Pintrest

As all massively popular sites discover, there’s a price to pay for popularity.  Today it’s Pinterest’s turn to feel the growing pains of their success.

Spammers are eating up Pinterest at alarming rates.

It’s become so prevalent, so profitable for spammer’s in the know, there’s even a WSO sellingaspambot.  Word to the wise – when bots show up in public forums they’re most likely on their last legs in terms of effectiveness.

Here’s how the spammers are doing it

 1.     Acquire an account (Pinterest acct’s are invite-only)

2.     Generate invites to create new accounts (lots of ‘em)

3.     Auto-confirm accounts

4.     Implement auto-following based on keywords (to create a “human” looking account)

5.     Post Pins of product images with affiliate links built in by the hundreds, if not thousands per day

a.     The most popular bot does this by searching Amazon rss feeds by keyword.  Enter “mp3 player” and you’ll be creating pins of ipods and zunes in no time.

6.     Re-post the most popular pins

a.     The bot simply looks at what’s been most popular on Pinterest and re-pins that in your account inserting your affiliate link.

7.     Repeat indefinitely…

Pretty simple concept really.

Simple and deadly effective (at least until now).  Check out this quote from an interview done with a prolific Pinterest spammer

As the days came my earnings increased and increased and increased. First week of doing this I made around $2,000 which was Feb. 20-29. I stepped my game up and changed the way I was doing some things, and I saw a dramatic increase in my earnings. Went up to $500-800 a day.  Kept at it and for the past two weeks I have made over $1,000 a day with the highest earnings being around $1,900.

source

That’s a lot of cash.  Pretty hard to ignore that kind of money for a lot of folks.  Especially for those with the technical skill to make it happen.

And for those of you who are salivating thinking you’re going to go buy the bot and make a million dollars.  Hear this.

Pinterest knows what’s going on… They’ve been informed and even toldaboutthebotsforsale.  It’s only a matter of time before they pay a skilled technician to reverse engineer the bots and shut them down for good.  And, believe it or not, there are actually ETHICAL ways to profit from Pinterest traffic.  But that’s for another day, another blog post.

On a bright note…Not everyone with the skill is a spammer.  In fact I was just talking with a talented programmer friend last night.  Here’s what he conversation looked like:

Me : “Can you build something like this?”

Mr. S: “not going there even if I could, not my taste”

You can bet your butt he can do it.  I wouldn’t doubt it for a second.  But, as Yoda would say, the ethical fiber is strong with him.

So there you have it.  Which side are you on?  Would you take advantage of Pinterest’s growing pains to make a few bucks?  Or does just the thought of it leave a bad taste in your mouth?  Hit the comments and let me know.

 

This article was brought to you by: Dustin Bow

Dustin Bow is on the cutting edge of Internet Marketing.  His 8 years of experience in SEO, affiliate marketing, teaching, and consulting combines to create a unique voice in our industry.  He writes from an “in the trenches” perspective any level of marketer could find useful in their own campaigns.

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA MarketingComments (7)

Taking Advantage of the Pinterest Buzz

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock the past few months you probably get bombarded by buzz about pinterest.com.

For those of you that are living under a rock, Pinterest is a visual-based social networking site that is absolutely exploding. According to most sources I’ve seen Pinterest has grown more than 40x in the past six months and it’s currently in “invite-only” status.

This crazy explosive growth has caught the attention of not only direct advertisers and fortune 500s, but quite a few affiliate marketers as well. For good reason: Pinterest drives a lot of traffic.

In fact Pinterest themselves attempted to monetize “pins” by using a company called skimlinks. The basic process they were was that any “pin” on the site that contained an affiliate link, pinterest changed to include their own affiliate code…thereby earning the affiliate commission. This seems a lot like cookie stuffing to me (although they are not currently using skimlinks).

Now that Pinterest is not currently replacing affiliate codes with their own, some pretty interesting doors open up again (at least for now).

I suggest getting into the Pinterest game early while things are still a testing ground. Nearly every time affiliate marketers really cash in big with a new traffic source…it’s during the wild west days of the explosive growth of that particular service. Once things begin to calm down and stabalize, competition changes as do ad pricing and rules…and many times this wipes out the big easy earnings for affiliates. Who wants to work hard for less money? So get in now and innovate.

As we are able to play more with the Pinterest platform and test our creative marketing methods there, we will be sure to keep you informed.

One quick tip that we are currently using pinterest for is to look at it as a giant split-testing platform for images. Because everything is image-driven on Pinterst and you can see how many people are pinning and re-pinning posts, you can get a decent idea of the power of specific images and imagery. This applies to not only the things that you post of course but to the images everyone posts. This is powerful.

We’ve already started to implement the most popular imagery for things like weightloss directly into our banner buys and it’s working quite well.

Not only do we have hopes for Pinterest to become a solid traffic source, but for the time being it looks like a great place to swipe powerful image ideas. I’d call that a hint if I didn’t just outright spell it out.

Happy pinning!

 

Posted in Affiliate Marketing, CPA MarketingComments (13)


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