I’m in the Blogger’s lounge and I think I should share my favourite session so far! Yesterday I attended Monetizing Your Blog with Affiliate Marketing and SEO at Affiliate Summit West. The speakers were Murray Newlands from Affiliate Heat, John Carcutt from Media Whiz, Tim Jones from TheRealTimJones.com, and Drew Bennett from BenSpark.com.
I want to share some notes I took during the session.
What is the best blogging platform to use?
Everyone agreed that WordPress is the best across the board. I concur!
What do you do to maximize marketing on your blog?
Murray Newlands: Interview industry people to post on your blog.
Ben Spark: Posts photos daily and engages with all of his visitors. He does guest posts and promotes others as well.
What are common mistakes you see bloggers make that can be avoided?
John Carcutt: When you are first setting up your blog especially in WordPress you need to say yes I want tags. Wordpress automatically sets up no follow (which means you will not be found in the search engines). Also adding too much content too soon and covering too many topics. It causes keyword delusion you cannot talk about one topic and go off topic. Keep focused on your post and stick to 3-4 categories.
Tim Jones: Interact outside of your blog and go onto other sites. Having a clear niche, categories, and keywords set up ahead of time before you start blogging. Set up a foundation so that they come back to your site.
Murray: Do not try to SEO for the name of your blog but focus on the topic of your blog. Don’t research content or what they are trying to target. Not interlinking between posts is a common mistake. I suggest using the related posts plugin.
John: It is important to research keywords in detail. For example: the difference between house and home can impact search results dramatically.
Tips on what others can do on their blogs that have worked for you:
Tim: I want to emphasize to participate outside your blog.
John: You can customize the title of your post as the url structure. If you are using a snip-it of the post they have to click through to read the entire post. Have snip-its on tag pages. Do not have tags and categories that are not the same.
Ben: (If you post photos). I would post a photo on other sites but have a caption that links back to my site.
Murray: If you are linking to someone link to specific terms you want to rank for. For example if you want to rank for affiliate marketing make sure to link to those terms.
John: You don’t want all your links going to your homepage make sure people are linking to deep pages in your site. Organically you want to spend time developing your links to deeper pages. If you have a post on a certain topic it is better to link to a certain post that relates to it. Have a variety of terms not just one. Keep your links diverse and deep link.
How do you monetize a blog and balance between keeping your content independent and with integrity? (Without having too many ads).
Ben: Sponsored posts through IzeaFest and affiliate marketing for products that I use. The way I keep the integrity is by picking and choosing the products I promote. I write genuine reviews because I really use the products.
John: If I can educate somebody and teach someone how to do something at some point they are going to come back to find out more answers. Education is the way to get people to keep coming back.
Tim: Think of how is someone going to search on your post. Also think of what kind of site you want membership, text link ads, banners, etc. If you want a full time income from blogging you have to treat it like a full time business. You have to think of it like a business.
Murray: To me it’s about conversations. What are the people around you are doing around you. What they are branding what new products are coming out. Build a community. Use social media conversations and build great content.
Affiliate Marketing Success Story:
One affiliate marketing business used as an example that has done a great job as a start-up is Skimlinks. Skimlinks, which launched in December 2008, provides an affiliate links tool to enable online publishers to monetise their content by automating the process of creating and maintaining those links. Recently they secured a Series A round of funding, which we’ve now confirmed as $1.5 million. The announcement was made on TechCrunch.
My question to the panel:
I asked about social media search results. Things have changed since Twitter was put into the Google results. How do you filter out results that are too general? For example “MicroSteph” has not been a good term to get google alerts for anymore now that Twitter is in the results I get too many alerts that are irrelevant. Check out my live tweets below to see what answer I received!
Live tweets from the session:
To get more targeted search results on your name or company name add a google alert including the entire url. Thanks @therealtimjones #asw10 5:27 PM
“Something I don’t see bloggers do is integrating product feeds. Works really well especially in a specific niche” @therealtimjones #asw10 5:11 PM
“If you want a full time income from blogging you have to treat it like a full time business.” #therealtimjones #asw10 5:05 PM
“I write genuine reviews because I really use the products I promote.” @benspark #asw10 5:03 PM
“Use the title of your post as the url structure” @johncarcutt #asw10 4:51 PM
“Participate outside your blog” @therealtimjones #asw10 4:50 PM
I hope you enjoyed the session tips much as I did. Check out the panelists blogs for more resources and links.