My blog has moved!

You should be automatically redirected in 2 seconds. If not, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Friday, July 21, 2006

How Strong Is Your Website?

There's a nifty little tool out called "Page Strength" and it takes Google's PageRank to a new level. It offers more insight into how valuable, important and popular a site or page is as compared to others on the web.

Check it out here.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Your Affiliate Revenue Sucks

I apologize if that title offends you, but at least I got your attention. :) And if you're affiliate sales don't suck, then you probably already grasp what I'm about to talk about.

Did you know 90& of affiliates never make hardly anything? That's not a very encouraging statistic if your goal is to earn a lot of money out here.

The good news is I can tell you how to fix that easily and it won't cost you a single dime if you already have a website. It will cost you some time, though.

First of all, if you don't have your own website and you're relying on the merchant's site to do all the work you're doing yourself a disservice. You need more than just that affiliate link with your ID attached.

As affiliates we must PREsell through our own content first. That means we have to put our visitors in a "ready to buy" mood BEFORE they click our affiliate link.

That doesn't mean to write a page with benefits about the product or service and just paraphrase copy from the company's sales page. When you do that it looks too much like you're trying to sell. That's the merchant's job to close the sale, not yours.

Stay with me here...

Let's say someone joins an affiliate program of a company who sells books and courses on how to improve your golf game and other golf related products.

Here's what UNSUCCESSFUL affiliates do:

If they have a website, they may write a sales page for the products listing the benefits, and then at the end they link off to the merchant site with their affiliate link.

Their audience instantly feels "pitched" and they arrive at the merchant site less likely to buy because they came from what felt like an advertisement.

What's worse is when the affiliate's website is not even related to golf so when (or if) a visitor sees this "write-up" they'll either be uninterested or smell the sales pitch right away.

Here's what a SUCCESSFUL affiliate does:

First off, they already have a content-rich site on golf that is already getting good traffic. (search engines LOVE content and reward those that provide it in abundance!)

This affiliate knows who their visitors are because they check their site stats to see what keywords people use to find their site. He ensures the content delivers information his audience wants.

Second, because his site is already filled with useful content, he probably has visitors that bookmark the site and return often.

Instead of just posting banner ads and writing a sales pitch for the golf products, he cleverly weaves in a recommendations for them inside his articles, blogs and newsletter.

Instantly the credibility for this affiliate is a lot higher than the one in the first example because his site is providing a ton of useful content that benefits his audience.

When he recommends products, his visitors don't feel pitched. They are just taking advice from someone they believe is a credible source. After all, they have learned so much from his site on golf, they trust his recommendations. Useful, informative content allows you, the affiliate, to build that trust.

You CANNOT become a successful affiliate if you don't have visitors that value your content and view you as a credible source in your niche. You have to give them a reason to trust you.

And if you are a "backward affiliate" (That's what I call those people who join affiliate programs first and then build a site afterwards), then perhaps you need to start over. Create a site on a topic you love, THEN join affiliate programs that fit your theme.

Also, don't feel like you have to choose "Internet Marketing" or "Home Based Biz" affiliate programs to make money. These topics are way too competitive and the market is overly saturated. Choose something you know about and have an interest in. It could be acne tips, marrital advice, weight loss tips, etc.

Problem-solving websites that offer advice and solutions are the BEST because you are helping your visitor with their problems - an INSTANT credibility booster if your content is useful.

After a while the search engines will start to bring you free traffic. Your content will help you PREsell to your audience and they will be more likely to buy products from companies you are affiliated with because your site has helped them.

What's cool about this is many of your visitors may even realize you're getting a commission from the products you recommend and they don't mind because you've helped them so much.

(I've had people email me and tell me they want to make sure I get the commission because my site helped them so much.)

If you follow this advice, you'll join the small percentage of affiliates who actually do this right and make a lot of money. Just make sure you select a topic you know a lot about like these successful affiliates did.

If you want an awesome, free course on PREselling, join the 5 Pillar Affiliate Program. Even if you choose not to promote their products you'll still get a free guide on how to PREsell and you can use it to help you become a better affiliate.

Website Money Scams - UGH!

When will people learn that if it sounds too easy, it probably is? I've made a lot of money on the Internet, but I would never tell you it was "easy" or done overnight. Yes, it was fun because I build websites on topics that interest me, but I work hard.

After getting an email from someone who got "had" by an Internet scam, it inspired me to write an article. Read it here.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Your Website Needs CSS

It took a while for me to bite the bullet and learn about CSS. I had always known bits and pieces but didn't really dive into it until a few months ago when I redesigned my site

For those of you who have been designing for a while, CSS is no new fact it's probably very old news to you.

Now, for those that are just grasping or only know HTML, you won't want to ignore what CSS can do for your site.

It's a great way to manage your layout (colors, styles, etc.) all with one file. CSS also makes changing certain aspects of your design a breeze. You can even change the color of the scroll bar on your web browser to match your design if you want.

Here's a great CSS tutorial for beginners.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Word "Free" Has Power

If you are trying to build traffic to your website, giving away a free item that your audience values can be an excellent way to generate visitor loyalty. It's even better if you can give away something on a regular basis.

Just make sure if you do decide to do this, your gift is relevant to your audience and is something they can use. Don't insult them by giving them away cheap or useless items they can find anywhere on the net.

Put some thought into your freebie and you can create dozens of loyal fans if you do it right.

Ken Evoy of definitely does it right.

He knows the importance of giving away valuable freebies. In fact, some people have called him "crazy" for giving away such great products when he could easily charge for them.

I don't think he's crazy at all. In fact, I think he's brilliant. He understands that giving away free items that his visitors value immediately puts them in a "ready to buy" mood for other products.

See how Ken creatively markets his premeire web host by giving away a variety of free services and products that do an excellent job of PREselling his other products.