One of the big things I’ve been learning about over the last few months, is how important it is to use tools to automate processes related to affiliate marketing or internet marketing. There are two concepts I wanted to address.
“Think bigger” and “Takes money to make money”
When I say “thinking bigger” I’m not talking about your marketing hopes and dreams, but rather, expanding your technique on how earn commissions or earnings, and how to reach out to people. Many of us have the mindset of creating a site, put some content in it, put some ads on it and wait for money to start falling from the site into your pocket. Next, when reality hits that you’re not going to get rich you either quit or you figure out what’s wrong. Usually the problem is traffic, so you start tuning the site and begin promoting it, either via SEO (Search Engine Optimization) or PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising or both. Traffic increases, but you’re still not seeing your income rise.
To think big is to think about your process larger. Increase your sites, increase your backlinks, increase your promotion and the ability to contact more and more people to encourage them to your site. To do this manually can be extremely tedious and time consuming. Time is money, and it’s important to focus your time on things that will benefit you the most. Submitting sites to directories is a poor use of time, but spending your time creating new sites or content is time well spent. Why? Because one can be automated and the other can not (unless subcontracted).
I wanted to describe some of the things are that I would consider vital to my operation.
I’ve been creating Twitter accounts for my support hub blogs. These hub blogs are ways I can promote sales/products, talk about news or information about niche, while connecting to some of my store fronts. My store fronts are good and produce, but it’s hard to create the sense of community to attract repeat visitors. That’s the primary reason why I wanted to create a hub blog within a primary category. To me the best way to attract new visitors and to keep existing visitors engaged is to use Twitter. Having a Twitter account is one thing, but gaining followers is a whole other ball of wax. This is where one of my favorite tools come in, which is Bird Feeder. With Bird Feeder, I can search based on niche related keyword and follow a set amount of users. I can also set unfollows based on time and protect my mutual followers (don’t unfollow if they’re following me). Every morning while I make my pot of coffee, Bird Feeder is doing it’s thing following many people and unfollowing many people. Eventually your counts will rise and rise depending on your Tweet quality. The amount of Twitter traffic I get to my hub blogs illustrates the importance of these Twitter accounts, and not manually following or unfollowing people saves a ton of time!
Research is a time sucker in itself, and it sucked so much time in the past, that I ended up doing very little, which is bad. Research is the key in finding quality niches, and understanding the competition. I’ve been pushing hard with SEO trying to gain more organic, yet targeted traffic to my web sites on top of my PPC efforts. A tool that I’m absolutely loving for this is SEO Elite. Here is a tool that can do many things for you while you work on building sites, etc. It does an excellent job finding backlinks, showing where you’re ranking, finding backlinks of competition, etc. To do this by hand via Google is painful, speaking from experience. It’s very nice to create a query, and let it run while I do other things. When it’s done I review the results and store the information and formulate plans based off of the data. To me, SEO Elite is the best SEO research tool out there and I wish I purchased it years ago.
With SEO, one of the critical pieces is creating backlinks to your sites with proper anchor link/titles along with relating content. I use two tools to help with this. The first is Blog Comment Demon. This is a blog discovery tool. It’ll search for blogs based off of keyword supplied. It will return a listing of sites, their PR, number of comments, number of outbound links, etc. It’ll also let you know what type of blog it is (WordPress, TypePad, etc). Clicking on the URL it will open a browser window inside the software where you can contribute a useful post. It records when you submitted a comment. The other nice thing is the ability to create ‘projects’, which helps organize your backlinking efforts.
The other tool I like to use, made by the same developer (EdWin Soft) is Book Marking Demon. Basically this will help submit sites to various book mark directories on the web, but in a way that is automated. You create a account that Book Marking Demon creates accounts at those directories and submits your sites as that user into those directories.
This is where I go back to the next ‘concept’ mentioned above – “Takes money to make money”. These tools are not free, but the amount of time it frees up is amazing, and are worth their weight in gold. You need to think bigger, figuring out how to reach more and more people, and I don’t think it’s possible, or extremely difficult without the use of tools and services.