Posts tagged Online Business Opportunities
How a Few Minor Tweaks to Your Article Marketing Campaigns can Sky Rocket your Profits
By Paul McCarthy
This is all about making money with articles…Something that was easy back 10 years ago, but somewhat harder now that every man and his dog have cottoned onto the whole “bum marketing” method originally coined by the legendary Travis Sago.
For those of you who are new to internet marketing, “Bum Marketing” is all about writing articles for article directories such as http://www.ezinearticles.com with either a link to a landing page that presells a product, or a link straight to the product page itself through a Top Level Domain.
Of course, you are affiliated with said product and “make bank” when somebody reads your article, clicks to the sales page and makes a purchase.
The beauty of this system is its simplicity. Pretty much anyone can do it and can get started within the hour. It’s not difficult at all.
That said, many people fail horribly with this method….And, yes, I’m speaking from personal experience here. You’re reading an article from someone who managed to write his first 50 odd articles without return; something that I tend not to shout too loud about!
Yet now I can write an article and guarantee an excellent return. In fact, one well placed article can easily earn in excess of $100 per month.
So the question is, what separates those who are banking from those who are wasting their time? Or, to put it a different way, what do I do differently now that I didn’t do back when I was wet behind the ears?!
I’ve added below my war notes from being on the article marketing front line and failing many times over! If you’re new to article marketing, definitely pay attention to these points, because they’ll probably save you a lot of time and you’ll make a return where others are unfortunately failing:-
1. Commercial Intent is Everything
Snap up the low hanging fruit. Herein lies probably my biggest error.
By targeting key phrases such as “how to …….” or “ways to ……” I managed to attract a lot of traffic. But only a very small portion of those visitors had credit card in hand ready to make a purchase.
End result – A massive load of “hops” (otherwise known as sales page impressions on Clickbank) but hardly any sales with a very low EPC (Earnings per Click). They say a picture paints a thousand words:-
You can see why I was finding it hard to make any real money with article marketing at the start. Now I focus on key phrases that I know have a significant amount of commercial intent attached to them.
Sometimes you just know through intuition if a keyword has commercial intent attached to them. A typical example of this type of keywords is : “product x review” or “product x coupon”.
This is clearly a keyword that is searched by someone right at the end of the buying cycle who is looking for reassurance or the best deal for a product that they’re already thinking about buying.
The issue is that these keywords are very competitive because they are the lowest of the low hanging fruit. So, sometimes you have to move back up the buying cycle slightly to find keywords that are less competitive but still have a decent amount of Commercial Intent attached to them.
As everybody seems to love the acne niche, an example might be “Benzoyl Peroxide Products”. This is a keyword that is relatively uncompetitive and has a significant amount of commercial intent attached to it.
Of course, if I’m not sure, there are a few checks that I can do…
Firstly, I’ll go to the Adwords Keyword Tool, add the column that shows estimated cost per click and have a look at the prices. “Benzoyl Peroxide Products” currently shows the average CPC to be £2.55 – which is high.
Compare that to “how to clear acne naturally” which is currently £0.04 per click.
Here’s something important: Many brands will actually pay decent prices to have their names displayed for non-buying key phrases because brand exposure increases the likelihood of a purchase further down the line. This means that CPC is not a great metric to use on its own – it’s just one piece of the jigsaw.
Certainly if a keyword is 0.04p per click there’s no chance I’d ever write an article targeting that key phrase. It simply won’t pay (unless, of course, you’ve stumbled across an obscure buying keyword that not many people have recognised, which is pretty unlikely).
If the CPC is decent (certainly over $1.50 per click) then I’ll investigate further.
And that brings me onto the Microsoft Online Commercial Intent tool. Here is a tool that has been created to give us an idea of the commercial intent of a keyword. It’s not 100% reliable, but it can help give us an idea.
Anything over 0.75 on the scale is a good sign.
A keyword that gets over $1.50 per click and more than 0.75 on the OCI tool is likely to convert nicely.
2. Understanding what the Market is Really Hungry For
If you spend any time analysing the acne industry, you’ll notice that the vast majority of people searching for ways to cure their acne are looking for physical products and not an e-book from Clickbank.
They want some magical wipes or pills that will cure their acne – not information.
If you try and sell an e-book without targeting a group of people who are predisposed to purchasing information then you’ll have little success.
Analysing Google ads is a great way to figure out what everyone else thinks your market is looking for. Type “how to clear acne” into Google and you’ll see that every ad is for a physical product. You’ll also note that there aren’t many ads (warning sign = not a buyer keyword!).
Conversely, type “Benzoyl Peroxide Products” in and you’ll be loaded with ads. This is another good sign!
3. Don’t Sell. Presell
Selling and preselling are two very different things. If you’re going to have a landing page to send people to once they’ve read your article then you need to create a presell page that warms people up to the point of purchase.
This means providing valuable information. Not hyped up headlines.
Here’s something to note about consumers – they hate to feel like they’ve been influenced. And they always want to feel like they’ve made the decision to buy based on unbiased information.
The moment they feel like they’re being sold to during a product recommendation they’ll realise your hidden agenda and drop your site like a bad habit.
It’s the vendors job to sell. Your job is to make them feel like they’ve been genuinely recommended a decent product (which should be true, anyway!)
4. Get your Articles Ranked
…And yes, this involves backlinking.
This is going to get people all up in arms because you’re building backlinks articles that sit on other people’s sites. And some internet marketers really hate doing that because it’s not your asset.
They’re right – but simplicity is the name of the game here. And you’ll get your articles ranked faster on an article directory than starting a site from scratch – so that’s why I recommend it to beginners.
Simply put, your articles will only bring you targeted traffic if they get visitors from the search engines. And to get your articles listed highly in the search engines you need to build link popularity to them.
Backlink your articles and track their ranks. If your article is not in the top five results for your key phrase then you’re pretty much wasting your time.
5. Stick With Winning Niches
You’ll find that certain campaigns will perform better than others. For goodness sake don’t make my mistake and continually delve into new niches. If you find a winning niche – stick with it and scale it up to new heights by writing more articles and building a list!
Focus on what’s proven to work than guessing what might work in the future. It makes perfect sense, but, stupidly, I still didn’t made the mistake of starting from scratch all the time!
And there you have it…
These are the five ways that I guarantee a return on each article that I write.
I imagine that a few lightbulbs are coming on for some of you who are reading this. If so, then fantastic, because it took me months of failing to figure out where I was going wrong and I want you to bypass this struggle!
I’d love to hear about your experiences with article marketing, too. Drop your comments in the box below and I’ll be sure to respond…
Paul McCarthy eats, sleeps and breathes all things internet marketing and teaches others how to make money on the internet and fire their boss!
Your comments are always welcome, please leave your comment here
Affiliate Marketing – How to Screw It All Up In Just 3 Easy Lessons
By Keith Everett
Are you making sales in affiliate marketing or are you just BASHING your head up against a BRICK Wall?….
you could be leaving a STACK of CASH behind, simply because you are MESSING it all up in these 3 specific areas…
Screw Up 1. You have countless affiliate offers running, probably too many to keep check on properly. You are concentrating (or not) on several niches – you lose your affiliate links because they are all over the place and so are you when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Screw up 2. You mail your list offers that are unrelated to what the your current list email is about. You have several different price points for products that you present to your list, but you present them in no specific order, therefore you could be promoting a $97 product in week one and a $17 product in week 20.
Screw Up 3 – You blast affiliate links out to anyone who will listen. You Facebook friends get a face full of spam daily and your Twitter buddies don’t escape this barrage either. Spam rules and the more you get your links under peoples noses.. the better !
Affiliate marketing to some is a license to SPAM… people believe that the MORE you can throw that link about, the more people will click – It’s just a NUMBERS game, right?…… WRONG.
Let’s look at Screw Up 1 first..Too Many Offers..
Symptoms – A complete lack of direction, too much going on – spreading loads of different links, some shortened, some not – all over the place like a WILD person..
Cure - Stick to one Niche to start with, become an expert in that niche. Create a file on your desktop, add a text file with a list of all your links, the short links (bit.ly’s etc), the Clickbank Vendor code – so you can keep a track of the clicks & sales of the product in Clickbank, for example.
Screw Up 2 – I don’t know what to do, once people start joining my list
Symptoms – No clear path as to how often you should mail your list or with what, or how much…
Cure – You should be looking to build a long term relationship with your list therefore it’s not all about here and now. Your first email should be a “welcome to the list” type email with a repeat of the free gift download link, in case they missed it originally.
You should then be telling them about the benefit to come to THEM over the coming weeks by being on your list, and tell them to look out for your email and the great content you are going to send them. Make each email a “useful tip” or something interesting about your life, don’t make them too long – 500 words is more than enough.
Space the text across the page to make it easy for people to read (70 – 75 characters per line or less, is plenty).
Send your first 3 or 4 emails without any sales link. Just useful content – build a good rapport with them. Your first 3 or 4 emails should be spaced about 3/4 days apart.
This gives your new list member 2 weeks to get to know you, and how good your content actually is. You haven’t tried to sell them anything in this two week period and this sets you apart from 75/80% of the marketers out there.
My email price point formula – this is what works for me.
Now after 2 weeks send them a nice informative email with a couple of “Click Here” links throughout the copy to a RELATIVE low price point product – $17 – $27 -> Next email in 3/4 days, same product $17 – $27. Then send a couple of emails with NO links, except your site – over the next week or so.
Next, send them an informative email with a link to a $37 – $47 dollar product, 3/4 days later – different email, same product -> Next email in 3/4 days, same product $37 -$47, Then send a couple of emails with NO links, except your site.
Next, send them an informative email with a link to a $67 – $97 dollar product, 3/4 days later – different email, same product -> Next email in 3/4 days, same product $67 -$97, Then send a couple of emails with NO links, except your site.
Next, send them an informative email with a link to a RECURRING membership product. You are now looking to create RESIDUAL income… The beauty of this is, if you are sending the customer to a USEFUL, great value membership site – people will keep coming back for more and will keep paying the monthly subscriptions. Hence, you will be building a great repeat income each month and your customer will be learning something NEW each month from the product.
3/4 days later – different email, same product -> Next email in 3/4 days, same Membership product, Then send a couple of emails with NO links, except your site.
RINSE & REPEAT…. you’ve PEAKED… now repeat the process…. $17 -$27….. $37 – $47…..$67 – $97… Recurring membership…..
As I say, this is what works for me - you tweak it to fit your process….
Question – How Do I find recurring products on Clickbank, to promote? – firstly, log in to Clickbank The easiest way to find recurring billing products to promote is by filtering your Marketplace search to only include these products. You can do this by selecting the Category/Sub-Category of product you want and/or entering any search keywords, then selecting ‘Recurring Billing’ from the Product Type drop down menu and clicking Go. This will limit your search to just those products and ensure that any product you choose to promote will deliver these recurring commissions.
Screw Up 3
Symptoms – You blast affiliate links out to all and sundry. No one is safe from you SPAM… You think you are like Elliott Ness in the Untouchables, a good guy at heart but you have a loaded machine gun full of ugly SPAM…. just waiting for some unsuspecting person to “LET EM HAVE IT..
Cure – I don’t know about you but I get absolutely SICK of spam.. I get it in on my Blog, my Facebook wall and in my email inbox, every day, almost 24hrs a day. I would never click on it, you don’t know if it contains viruses, porn or what.
Who really BUYS from this?. OK you might get lucky once or twice and someone who is very bored just happens to click on your link. But you do far more harm than good. People do NOT want to do business with SPAMMERS…
Give people GREAT content and they will listen to you when it comes to you recommending a GOOD product. Build relationships FIRST, over deliver with the content, people will like you for it and when people LIKE you, they will TRUST you – and with that trust, they will happily take a look at your products.
This is how it works in the NEW 2.0 World Restaurant.. SPAM is definitely OFF the menu…
P.S I hope you have enjoyed this article, please let me have your comments. And the next time you get a face full of SPAM in your Inbox, or on your Facebook wall, feel free to pass this article on to them… Spam, is just like HAM – an acquired taste, except SPAM leaves a BITTER taste in the mouth.