Quick Shout Out to Pat Flynn
Now, before I get too far into the show I’ve got to give a shout out and a thank you to my good friend Pat Flynn for that bumper intro into the show. I’ve known Pat for a lot of years now, we’ve had dinner together in San Diego. I admire this guy, he’s awesome. And if you don’t know Pat, get on over to SmartPassiveIncome.com and check him out as soon as possible. He is the bomb.
Farm Tool Niche Affiliate Site and Keyword Canine Experiment
So last week I told you that I had been talking to my buddy Josh Spaulding and he is involved in a joint venture project with one of my other friends Jonathan Leger. Josh and Jon have this product called Keyword Canine.
One of Keyword Canine’s features is it spiders around in keyword space looking for keywords that have a combination of commercial value, traffic, which part of commercial value of course, and low competition. It marks those keywords and it allows you to query the database and say things like, “Show me some keywords that have a competition rating of easy, but that Adwords or Adsense says is worth more than $0.75 a click.”
So you can do those kind of queries and find some keywords. So Josh and Jon have been working on these kinds of keyword tools for years, so they’ve teamed up to put all their best ideas together. That’s a really cool product and that will go on sale here pretty soon. You can check out my review of it over at KeywordCanine.net where I’m working on a review site for that product.
In any case, I was talking to Josh – and I think I explained this to you last week or a couple weeks ago – and I said “If you’ll give me a keyword I’ll throw a site together and we can test this thing and see if it really is easy to rank for. Give me one that the tool says is easy and I’ll throw up a real website with really good content and I will see what happens.”
What has happened has been incredibly interesting and I wanted to share it with you. Now, I’m not going to tell you the exact URL yet. I thought I was going to be able to do that this week, but the site is really starting to do some stuff and I don’t want to contaminate it by having a couple thousand listeners pop over there and see what the site is all about.
So I promise I will tell you after I get through collecting data on the site, but in this episode I wanted to tell you exactly what I did so you can kind of get in my head a little bit about exactly what you might want to do if you want to create a quick affiliate website.
First thing was when I was looking at this keyword what I was looking at was whether or not the keyword had some ads running against it in Google. For example, when you type the keyword in Google do paid advertisements appear on the right hand side of the Google search results? This is a very common test for commerciality. Sure enough, there were five or six or 10 ads.
That tells me that someone is selling ads against this keyword. And the only way you can afford to do that for very long – I promise you I can tell you because I’ve done it – is if you’re making money. If you’re not making money you take your ads down after a very short period of time because Adwords clicks can be very expensive.
So if you see ads that’s usually a pretty good indication that people are actually making money selling something. That means that you can probably make money if you have qualified traffic against that keyword.
The other thing I look at is the competition and for that I look at a couple things. The first thing is simple, just Google the keyword and look at the kind of sites that are there. Do they look really strong? Are you talking about competing against Wikipedia or WebMD? Or are you looking at these sites going, “I don’t even understand why that’s ranked there.” And that was the case with this keyword. The Keyword Canine tool had correctly identified the fact that the sites that were ranking for this keyword just weren’t very strong.
Once you have a gut feel for that then you can start to do a more in depth analysis with a tool like Market Samurai or one of these tools that will tell you what the backlink situation is for the competition on the first page of Google. When I did that analysis I saw that there weren’t very many backlinks.
So I knew right away that I could build a website, get a couple hundred backlinks to the website for the keyword, and probably rank for the keyword and be successful. What I wanted to do was give Josh and Jon independent confirmation that their tool was actually working. That’s valuable to them, it’s valuable to their customers, and it’s valuable to me as an affiliate marketer who will probably choose to promote that tool once the affiliate program cranks up. So it’s a win-win situation.
What I did was I went over to Odesk and I put in a couple of jobs for articles. One 800 word pillar article for the front page of the website that was just a general overview of the keyword, just some general facts and very useful information. I actually paid on the order of $30 for that article. I want that article to be really high quality. The person I hired to write it had a B.S. degree and was a native English speaker and it was a very high quality article.
Then I ordered five other articles for subsidiary keywords, not the main keyword. If the keyword was suede shoes, for example, (which it wasn’t) I was ordering articles for things like blue suede shoes, suede shoe cleaner, stuff that based on my keyword research I saw other people would be searching for that were related to the main keyword.
So I ordered those six articles and then I registered the exact match domain name as a .net – the .com variety was gone, it almost always is. So I registered the exact match keyword.net domain, I installed WordPress and I went about starting to create some content.
Now, one of the little tricks that I do whenever I create a new website like that is I immediately get some lightweight content on the front page. I take down the Hello World post that WordPress puts up and I get some amount of content, even if it’s just a few hundred words, on the front page and I embed a related YouTube video.
I started doing that because sometimes when you put up a new WordPress site and the pinging engine inside of WordPress goes off, sometimes that website can get spidered by Google in just a matter of hours. When that happens and they cache that first page I think it’s to your advantage to already have some keyword rich content on that first page. It doesn’t have to be great, just a little something to make sure that Google knows what that page is about. So I always do that and I embed the most popular video for the keyword as it shows up, just so that there is some content there that makes sense to Google for that keyword.
Right away without any actual content you’ve got a 10 or 15 page website once you’re done with all the about pages and welcome and all this stuff that you’ve created. Plus another six pages of real content.
Then I went over to ArticleBuilder.net, which is another product from Jon Leger, and I got some related PLR content. Now, this is content that’s not 100% completely totally unique, although if you’ll go over to ArticleBuilder.net you can see that it’s very unique. I’ll put a link in the show notes and I reviewed the ArticleBuilder.net product on the blog at MasonWorld.com.
This is a really neat product where you can get almost completely unique content on a variety of topics. He doesn’t cover all topics under the sun, obviously that would be impossible. But, he covers a bunch of topics. So I was able to get 10 or 15 articles off of there that were loosely related to my keyword of interest. I just put them on the blog and scheduled them to post and drip in there over the next couple of weeks.
So now I’ve got a blog with one outstanding excellent article, five or six really good articles, and about 10 related articles that are pretty good, plus all the legal stuff that you need to satisfy Google’s terms and conditions and website guidelines and all that kind of stuff. That ends up being a 20 to 30 page website and it takes about a day to create it. Add a custom header, an SEO optimized theme like Thesis, and now you’re good to go. So in a couple of days I have this website up and running.
Then I used another one Jonathan’s products, 1WayLinks, which is a really easy way to generate backlinks to a website. This is kind of a complicated product that I won’t explain today. Basically it syndicates content around the web, all the content is human reviewed so it has to be pretty high quality, so it’s not spammy content. It’s well written articles syndicated around the net and it generates backlinks. I asked for 200 backlinks to be dripped into the site over the next month.
So backlinks are building up and the content is out there, Google starting indexing the site, the site was indexed within the first two days. Sure enough I started to see traffic to the site. Now, this was really surprising. I expected traffic, but what happened next really surprised me. I’m pulling up the traffic stats now.
The first couple of days there was just a few hits of random long tail keywords, which is a good thing. You want those long tails. I think Pat Flynn will tell you that if you look at his security guard niche website a tremendous amount of his traffic actually comes from long tail keywords, not from the main keyword of security guard.
So there’s all this traffic coming in. On February 18th the site got 89 organic views. Now, that’s a lot. I was really surprised because at that point on February 18th the site had only been live for 11 days. I thought that was an amazing result. I’ll grab a screen grab of the website stats and add them to the show notes so you can see what’s going on with the site. So 89 views on February 18th, very impressive, at least to me.
But, what was neat is the part I didn’t tell you about. The additional content that I put on the site was a few pages of eBay links of items for sale on eBay related to the keyword. I just did that because this keyword happens to lend itself exactly to things that are for sale on eBay and I have a really nice plugin called phpBay, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes.
Lo and behold as of today, let’s see that would be 12 days after the site had launched, the site has made $7.00. Now, $7.00 is not a lot of money, obviously it doesn’t recoup the money that I’ve invested in the site to this point. But, that’s pretty fast for making any money at all on a website, seven days and I haven’t done any real serious promotion, everything was sort of automatic. There was no hocus pocus here, I just did exactly what I told you. I used the 1WayLinks tool, which you can learn about that in the show notes as well. The traffic is starting to come.
The interesting thing is I am not ranking for the main keyword yet, I’m on page two. All of the traffic is coming from these long tail keywords that are around the main keyword. So it’s a very interesting result. As I said, once I’m done collecting data – I probably need another couple weeks of data collection so I can make sure I really understand what’s going on here, I’ll be sure and let you know.
But, if you have questions about what I did here or how to do this yourself just drop me a comment in the show notes or on my Facebook page over at Facebook.com/MasonWorld and I’ll be happy to answer any and every question that you have about this niche site experiment. It’s really exciting.
I promised you that I’d try to hit motivation. As a late night internet marketer one of the key things is staying motivated and let me tell you, it’s tough. Right now it’s creeping up on midnight at my house and everyone is asleep but me. Even the dog is asleep, so it’s really late here.
I will get up at 5:30 in the morning and head on out to my day job. I’ve got a full schedule planned, probably about seven meetings ranging from 30 minutes to an hour long tomorrow. And then I’ll come home and do it again. It’s exciting though, because I love it. I love internet marketing, I love this podcast, so it’s all good.
I got to thinking about “how did you get here,” and I mentioned several episodes ago a post from Jonathan Leger about “Don’t forget how you got where you got.” One of the things I can tell you is I’ve always had sort of a set of friends in internet marketing that I could ping and bounce ideas off of, whether it’s been people like Nicole Dean, Lynn Terry, or Josh Spaulding, people that I’ve gotten to know and that I consider friends and that I would have lunch with, like I went to dinner with Pat Flynn.
This kind of relationship that you can develop with people online is one of the things that can really keep you going. You can joint venture with those people, you can talk to them when you have an idea. If you have a great idea that’s not a fit for you, you can give them the idea and send them on their way. All kinds of things are possible when you reach out to people and build relationships online.
I think that’s a really important idea because those intangible things, that little extra stuff, that’s the kind of stuff that pulls you through whenever you’re trying to stay awake at midnight or 1:00 in the morning to do that last bit of editing or get that last blog post out. It’s the intangible stuff, it’s not the money. Money is great, you’ve got to pay your light bill, everybody does the kind of work that they do for money.
Money has to be a part of it, it has to be in there, but there are these other intangible things. For me it’s helping people, I’ve talked about that many times. But, it’s also these relationships with people that are really valuable to me personally. And I think they might be valuable to you too, so I encourage you to reach out to your fellow bloggers, the people in your niche, people that you admire. And let it go the other way too, when people reach out to you, consider that because you never know what kind of great relationships are going to come out of just simply responding to the people that contact you.
Affiliate Marketing with Pinterest
How rich would I be if somehow I had recognized the true greatness of Facebook in the very beginning and figured out how to get my hooks in that deal? Same thing with Twitter. How great would it have been if you had really figured that out? I know a lot of people, for example, made money on Squidoo when it first came out.
There are two of these things that are happening right now that I recognize as being pretty important. One has been talked about a lot and that is this Tumblr. We’re not going to talk about Tumblr today, but the other one that I think is really interesting is called Pinterest.
I have a Pinterest account. I don’t care about it very much, I haven’t paid much attention to it and I am not a Pinterest expert. But, I did see in my Google Reader an article come across my desk on the Clicknewz blog with Lynn Terry. She had a guest post by the Sterkly CPA Network.
Pinterest is a social bookmarking site, but it’s a photograph based social bookmarking site. This article is really insightful because it tells you kind of the interesting thing about Pinterest is instead of being a backward looking thing “what happened to me a few minutes ago,” that’s kind of what Facebook is, “this is what’s happening to me now,” or what happened to me yesterday or an hour ago. Pinterest is more of a forward looking site, it’s kind of a vision board kind of thing, “this is the car I want, this is the vacation I want to take, these are the things I want to do.” There’s a lot more of that kind of content on Pinterest, so that’s an interesting point of this article is it’s more of a forward present-future position sort of thing, is the nomenclature that’s used in this article.
That’s really good for affiliate marketing because this capturing people’s dreams and imaginations, and it turns out that these pins that you create you can control with a link to and you can use affiliate links in those pins. So that’s one of the many ways that you can use Pinterest to make money. You can also use it to drive traffic. You have the opportunity for your stuff there to go viral and so forth, because people recommend photos to other people and comment on them just like a typical social media site.
It turns out that Pinterest is way up there in the list of top 10 social networking sites. Actually, in the list in this article they show from Computers and Internet Social Networking Forums List they’ve got Pinterest at number five above LinkedIn and Google Plus, which is sucking wind down at number eight.
So I think Pinterest might be one of those things that is an early thing that if you catch it now you might actually be able to get ahead of the game. I don’t mean you’re completely ahead of the game because a lot of people have already discovered Pinterest, obviously. But, compared to Facebook it’s just a tiny little baby thing. So it’s something to look at, go check it out.
Affiliate Marketing and Chocolate
That brings us to my topic of the day that I’m totally digging, which is chocolate. I told you when I was asking on Facebook, “What do you guys want to hear on the podcast?” that Loretta said, “I want to talk about chocolate.” And I love chocolate.
I’m totally on a diet right now though, so I thought it was really unfair of her to mention chocolate. I’ve lost 15 pounds since the 1st of the year, which sounds really exciting until you realize that I’ve got to lose 50.
I started off at the 1st of the year weighing 245 pounds, I’m six feet tall and my physician said, “Dude, you are going to die.” I was like, “I don’t want to die, I’ve got to lose some weight.” So according to the United States government, which publishes statistics on these things, for my mass body index I need to weigh something on the order of 185 pounds. So that’s a little too small for me, so I’m shooting for 195. I’ve got 15 down and 35 to go. So I can talk about chocolate, but I can’t eat it.
If you just think about affiliate marketing and chocolate, kind of put your mind in the space of someone who is Googling around for chocolate. One of the things that occurs to me always is to add the kind of buyer keywords, like gift, to whatever it is that you’re talking about. So in this case, chocolate gift.
If you think about that, let’s say you wanted to send somebody some chocolate. You’d sit down to Google and you’d type chocolate gift, you’d find some place to enter your credit card number and boom you’re sending chocolate half way around the world. So that sounds like a really good idea for affiliate marketing.
Now, there’s a lot more that goes into research, but Loretta said she wanted to talk about chocolate so here we are talking about chocolate.
In terms of chocolate gift, if you do a little bit of keyword research on that you find that the Adwords cost-per-click of the phrase chocolate gift is over $3.00 per click. That means Adsense alone is going to be paying over $1.00 per click.
You also find out that, at least Marketing Samurai is reporting, if you held the number one position for chocolate gift, which I’m sure is incredibly competitive and impossible to achieve in the short term, but if you held that position you’d be looking at 1,000 clicks a day on your website just out of Google. So there are affiliate marketing opportunities in something like chocolate.
So if you were going to do something like chocolate what you’d want to look for is not chocolate gift, but a longer tail chocolate gift related keyword where you could build a site around chocolate, put some useful information for people who were trying to find chocolate gift ideas, and target one particular, maybe two or three or four particular keywords that targeted offers for chocolate gifts on the internet that you believed in and thought were really good values that had an affiliate program that you could direct people to and that’s how you could sell chocolate on the internet.
Now, when you start to think that way that becomes very dangerous because every time you see something in your normal life you’re going to want to build a website, and you need to avoid that temptation because that’s how you end up with 137 domain names about 136 of which have unfinished websites on them. That’s where I was a couple years ago.
I can tell you that the reason you get in that situation is because the ideas, the keyword research, the building the website, getting everything going, that’s pretty easy. Marketing the website and getting the traffic, building the links, and creating the value, that’s the hard part. Marketing is the hard part of internet marketing. You’ve heard me say that before.
So I’m not suggesting that you go and every idea you have you do 10 minutes of keyword research and build a website. But, I am suggesting that there are all kinds of things you can sell on the internet and chocolate is just one of them. (Thanks for that, Loretta. Now I’m hungry for chocolate.)
Mark’s Mail Bag – Talking About Content Syndication
That gets us down to the last part of the show and I wanted to talk about some user feedback that I got by way of email. I love it when people send me email. You can send email to [email protected] or even better you can call the digital voice line at 214-444-8655 and ask your question. You can even plug your website, I’ll use your submission on the air and answer your question.
Rom sent me a nice email and he said, “I love your blog and I would really appreciate it because I’m starting a blog and I need some advice. I’m going to create all this content on my blog, but should I take that same content and spew that same article in lots of different places over the web? After all, I’m going to write this article, doesn’t it make sense that I would want to put this thing all over the web?”
Generally my answer to this is going to be no. So generally what you want to do is put your best content on the web and then you want to get backlinks to that content by creating related articles that are not exactly the same and linking back to your article. In those related articles, in the case where you’re attacking a long tail keyword, a lot of times you don’t even want to focus on the same keyword because here’s what’s going to happen.
If you write a killer article on your new blog and you put it there and you put it on Ezine Articles and they’re identical there’s a really good chance that the Ezine Articles post that is identical to the one on your blog is going to outrank you, because Google is not always the best at understanding what the original source of the article was and Ezine Articles is a site with a lot more authority than you. They have internal links coming from a lot of places in their site to the article and a few people from outside the article might link to it if it’s a really great article, and before you know it you’ve outranked yourself.
You can’t really make any money or it’s harder to make money with your content on the Ezine Articles website. You’re making money for Ezine Articles and their Adsense ads that they have there. It’s a lot better to put your unique content on your site and then create other content that serves the purpose of linking back to your content, whether that’s in social media or in article marketing, or on sites like Tumblr or wherever you’re driving links from.
That’s what you want to do. You don’t want to take your article – at least not in my opinion – and spew it around all over the internet because there’s a good chance that you’ll either dilute the search engine results so that your article won’t rank at the top or you’ll actually outrank yourself on the wrong site.
I’ve actually run some experiments in the distant past where we were able to show that sites like Ezine Articles, particularly back in the day when they were ranking really well, could outrank brand new sites because brand new sites just don’t have any authority.
So that’s my answer to Rom. I hope that makes some sense. If you have follow up questions on that, I’d be glad to take them over on the blog at MasonWorld.com.
That does it for the show. I really appreciate you being here. Thank you so much. I look forward to seeing you next week, because this is a weekly show and I will be back next week with another episode and I want you back here too.
In the meantime, while you’re waiting on me to come back feel free to go on over to iTunes and leave us a great review. We love those, we read each and every one. Those five star reviews really help us rank over on iTunes, we really appreciate them. Head over to iTunes, find us, and give us a great review.
Thank you very much and have a fantastic week!