March 29, 2015

What You Need to Know BEFORE You Start Writing Online

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There’s so much to learn when you first start Writing Online that it is difficult to know where to start. What do you concentrate on learning first?

Keyword Research?
How to set up a Blog?

Yes, all of these are important, but I have deliberately left a couple of things off that list, because they are crucial issues that a lot of people do not give a thought to until they find themselves in trouble – copyright and image use.

If I had to choose three things I would tell people to learn about first, before they learn anything else and even before they start to publish, it would be:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Copyright issues in relation to using other people’s content
  3. Copyright issues in relation to use of images

Keyword Research – Why Do It?

Over the past couple of years Google has been moving away from giving huge credit to the number of backlinks on a site, because people were abusing this. They were paying for backlinks, automating their backlinking or simply backlinking anywhere that would allow them to leave a link.

The problem with all of this is that many backlinks were being posted on sites that had nothing to do with the topic being linked to. So, now backlinks are less important, leaving the way clear for quality content to really start becoming King.

However, with all the competition, how are you going to get your quality, original content found?

That is where keyword research comes in and I strongly believe that if you do not do keyword research you are foregoing the chance to beat your competition.

Think of it this way – by using keywords you are using the exact language being used by the people searching for the information that you are offering. It is as simple as that.

Content Copyright

The number of people committing Copyright infringements on the net is huge and it seems that they get away with it a lot of the time. However, just because others get away with it, does not mean you should not bother about your own content. Sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, Zujava etc, will penalise people who steal other people’s content, often by taking pages down and cancelling accounts.

It is crucial that you learn what you can and cannot use legally if you want to build a good online reputation.

Image Theft

Just because an image is “out there” and available for public view, does not mean that you can help yourself to that image and publish it on your content. Yes, some images are free to use, but many are not. Or if permission is given to use them, then you must check out the Terms of Use and follow them implicitly.

And then once you are clear on what you can and can’t publish and you know how to write content that is going to get found, by all means start looking at the rest of those “I need to learn how to…” topics :)

Further Reading

Copyright infringements

How To Credit an Image

How To Research Keywords

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Niche Marketing: Niche Blogging

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So far in this series on Niche Marketing, we have looked at establishing niches on free Publishing Platforms, like Wizzley, Hubpages and Squidoo and before we move onto Niche Blogging, let’s just remind ourselves why we can become successful fairly quickly on these sites.

Our success will depend on having a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and the crucial factors in optimizing pages for the Search Engines are:

1) Keyword research

2) Publishing quality, original content

3) Some quality, relevant backlinks – although large numbers is becoming less important

Given an understanding on how to get traffic, publishing on a site like Squidoo gives you the extra “edge”. Google likes Squidoo and Squidoo pages get a boost from Google as a result. Hubpages used to enjoy the same preferential treatment until Panda waddled over the horizon – but that’s another story as we watch Hubpages slowly recover!

And because we know how to get traffic and convert to sales on Squidoo or other free sites, some of us have stayed within our comfort zones and become pretty reliant on those sites. This is not wise, because relying on a site that you do not own makes you vulnerable and this is why we need to think about spreading our content around and why niche blogging is something I personally feel everyone should consider, particularly if you rely on the income you generate online.

Owning sites gives US more control over our online lives. It makes us less vulnerable to changes over which we have no control.

Niche blogging may not reap the same rewards as quickly as publishing in a niche on the free platforms, but done properly you have the potential to build a solid income stream that will start to show results in the medium and longer term.

One of the reasons why it takes longer to establish a good stream of traffic that then converts to sales is that your Niche Blog will not start with the same authority as the pages you publish on the free platforms. You will have to patiently build authority for your niche blog and give it time. Google seems to like sites that have been around for awhile and that are regularly updated, so don’t give up!

And you can use the free platforms to help you build authority for your blog – I will discuss this in a future article.

How to Build a Niche Blog

As with any content you publish, you need to prepare before you publish a single word. And the process for building a Niche Blog is the same as with publishing a page on a free platform. Yes, you do your Keyword Research.

Assuming you already know the specific topic of your blog, you need this keyword research to:

1) Choose a URL

2) Choose a Blog Title

3) Choose a Sub-heading

4) Choose the headings for your articles – try to find enough keywords for 10 articles to start with and then be prepared to do additional keyword research every so often

Once you have the keywords for the URL and Title, then you need to go and buy your domain, which will be the topic for my next article.

In the meantime, you may find these articles useful:

How I Learned To Do Keyword Research

Build It And They Will Come – Not!

How Do I Decide What To Write About

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Where Should Your Writing Income Generate From?

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Should we expect to generate income from our online endeavors by writing focused content and converting visitors into buyers or should we count on systems that pay extra money if our content falls in a certain high ranking from in-house visitors, likes, and a sundry of other little popularity methods? To me the answer is obvious but I’m not sure it is to all writers. Oh sure, it is nice to have our fellow members of a community to come read our articles, leave us a comment, click on the like button, and maybe even link to our article. Is the method of getting inside community traffic in order to get a higher ranking even sustainable and is it the most productive way to earn money? My feeling is that it is not. Too many factors fall into the realm of “out of my control”!

I will admit that three years ago, I fell into the group of thinkers that the inside traffic was all important and I so desperately wanted to make good money. I wanted to have my articles get those high paying tier payments. I played by the rules and was ever so frustrated when I saw people cheating and gaming the system. Stressed about it a lot, I did.  One day, while working with a small group of people, a neon sign come on in my head it read: “You will never be able to get ahead by playing a game that is too heavily weighted on inside traffic and activity. It is a waste of your energy.”

Now at that point I could have thrown my hands up in the air and just given up and said, “I’m done!” I did not make that choice, however. I decided to start being more productive with my time and my energy. I decided to quit playing the game, stop worrying about what others were doing and get on with the job at hand…generate a better income for myself.

I began to learn keyword research and then put what I learned into practice. What better way to get outside traffic that is looking for the very thing you are writing about than to use the words they use to search for it? My focus changed from trying to get a lot of community members reading my articles to a lot more people who didn’t know me to not only read my articles but to buy the items I suggested in my article. I stopped worrying about what would make me popular with the community and started working on what would make my articles popular in a search result. I didn’t cheat, I didn’t game any systems, and I stopped worrying. I just wrote the best content that I know how to write with a good combination of keywords. Do you know what happened? I started generating much better income, that is what happened.

How much better income, you ask? 1000% better. I went from generating such a small amount that it wouldn’t even pay my monthly water bill to making enough to treat myself to a very expensive pair of boots with one month’s income. Do I get a lot of tier money in my payouts? No, I really don’t. Most of my income is from sales. Do all of my articles generate income? No, I have some clunkers just like everyone else. The most tier money comes from the Tier 3 articles and we all know those don’t generate much. I might have a few in Tier 2 and occasionally I might have one in Tier 1. So, I have learned not to count on Tier money, it is too unpredictable. The sales income; however,  just keeps growing. The best part about my decision three years ago is that I am no longer stressed about what others are doing, instead I am focused on generating a growing income each month.



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SEO is Alive And Kicking!! Not Dead – Just Evolved

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It is not often that I get wound up these days by anything that anyone says, but in the last week or so I have seen assertions that “SEO is Dead” and “Don’t worry about keywords”. I got just a tad irritated because some of the people who are absorbing this “advice” are new to writing online and I wanted to scream at them “Nooooooooooo!!!!

OK, calming down now, so let’s look at why I don’t agree.

SEO is NOT dead. It has just evolved. Personally, I like the way SEO has evolved because it looks like what now matters to Google is what I enjoy doing and what doesn’t matter so much these days, or has at least changed, is what I don’t like doing.

Here’s a reminder of the key ingredients of your SEO Mix up until around a year ago:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Quality, original content
  3. Backlinks – lots and lots

Today, this is what we are looking at:

  1. Keyword Research
  2. Quality, original content
  3. Backlinks – but not nearly so many and they need to be relevant

Yes, quality, original content is essential for a successful article, blog, webpage. But that on its own will NOT get you traffic. How are the search engines going to find and promote your pages if you are not using the language that your searchers are using when they go “Googling”?

You can write a brilliant article, full of quality original content but if no one finds it then you are wasting your time.

Yes, without keyword research you may get lucky and use some strong keywords by accident, but why take the chance? Especially when your strongest competitors WILL be doing keyword research.

As far as I am concerned the only thing about SEO has changed is backlinks. Thanks to all the link exchanges, bought links and spam links, Google has decided to do something about the fact that people are gaming the system and actively deceiving the Google Spiders into thinking that because their articles had lots of backlinks, they were quality.

Sites have been warned, sites have lost traffic, sites have been de-indexed. All to the good I say!

Now we are told that we should only bother to backlink through sites and pages where their content is relevant to ours. That is great news for those of us who hated backlinking anyway.

And I can cite examples where pages that have no backlinks have started getting Google traffic within hours of being published. I have also seen how people who realised what was coming have started publishing related content on different sites and on their own blogs and then interlinking that content with great results.

SEO dead? Nah! It has simply evolved and we need to evolve with it.

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Niche Marketing: Common Mistakes

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Today, I would like to discuss some common mistakes made by people new to Niche Marketing.

One of the biggest mistakes I see when people first start trying to market online, is that they just repeat what others are doing. Of course it makes sense to learn from the methods that others are successfully using and put them into practice, but if you simply jump into a niche that is saturated with people promoting the same hot topics, chances are you will just fade into the crowd.

In my last post Niche Marketing: Building Authority In Your Niche I discussed what you need to do to stand out from the crowd. However, in addition to the tips I gave in that post, today I want to mention keyword research. Because keyword research, when done properly, will also help you stand out from the crowd.

Keyword Research is an essential tool for not only narrowing your niche but will also help you target strong keywords in what may be a competitive niche. My best current example is The Hunger Games.

I have written a series of Hunger Games pages on Squidoo that is targetting one of the hottest entertainment niches in 2012. The Merchandising is excellent, much of it officially licensed, and there’s a huge variety. Yet, despite all the competition, that niche is bringing in some nice sales for me.

But here’s where I am beating the competition. Each page is a very specific topic within the niche and each page focusses on some very specific search terms. To give an example:

My best selling product is a Mockinjay Pin. The competition is huge – 387,000 pages when I searched that term on Google a minute ago.

Am I targetting “mockingjay pin”? No, I am not. What I am targetting is where can I get a mockingjay pin, which is the search term people are using who actually want to buy one of those pins.

(And if you are not sure about keyword research, I have written a series of pages that will help you. Check out: An Introduction to Keyword Research. Make sure you read all the pages in the series – there’s four.)

Another mistake you can make is to offer expertise, when you are only just starting out. For example, how many times do you see on sites like Squidoo, Wizzley and Hubpages, a new member offering tips on how to succeed on that site?

Who has more credibility? The person who has only published 5 pages on the site? Or the person who has been around for awhile and can demonstrate that the methods they use are successful?

How about the people offering relationship advice? Who will you listen to? Those who are promoting a get your ex back ebook because it is a hot topic that they have been told converts well, or the person who actually DID save their relationship and it is quite clear they did because they are telling a genuine personal story?

What about a new product? You know it is going to take off big time, but so will a lot of other people. The biggest mistake you can make here (apart from NOT doing keyword research) is to leave it too late to publish, when the danger is that you most certainly WILL fade into the crowd. So, how can you stand out from the crowd?

You need to get your content about this new product published way ahead of time. This will give you a head start over the competition, because a lot of the competition won’t realise that the product is even planned. Get the content published, build authority for that content and you stand a better chance of featuring in the first couple of pages in the Search Returns, when the product is released.

Next time we will discuss topics that generally convert well to sales. Some of these topics are not ones that I particularly like, but that wont stop me from discussing them, because they are good examples of the psychology and thought processes of buyers. And to be successful in Niche Marketing you need to be able to think like your potential buyers.

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Networking – A Time Thief or Crucial?

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As a result of my activities on Squidoo, I sometimes get contacted by members asking for help. Recently Emily wrote to me about Networking and asked:

“With the forums and other Squidoo sharing websites, approximately how long does it take for your lenses to get noticed? Also, does being on all of these sharing websites cause conflict with being treated as spam. Should I only be involved with a few of the top ones, or as many as I can.”

As this is a question that is relevant to all publishing and blogging sites, I thought I would post my answer on here.

It is nearly four years since I started Writing Online and in those days I networked like crazy, looking for every excuse to tell people about my content, while making sure I did not Spam. Like others I believed that it was essential to getting traffic to my Squidoo lenses and the other content I was publishing on Hubpages and a blog.

I was all over the place, like a Pinball, bouncing from one site to another, joining every new site that started up, in case I missed out on a site that would all of a sudden deliver the Gold Pot at the end of the Rainbow: huge traffic that converted to sales.

What a Time Thief!

I was spending more time networking and less time publishing. And it was only when I turned it around and started spending less time networking and more time publishing that I started to see more income.

From Emily’s question, it seems to me that she is confusing several ingredients that make up the SEO recipe that will hopefully combine to get traffic, that presumably she wants to convert to sales.

(Just to digress for a moment – on Squidoo there’s a further distraction that could confuse the issue too. That is Squidoo Tier Payments, that are made depending on the rank of your lens. Everyone aspires to Tier 1 lenses, because the payout is currently around $50 per month plus commission from sales made via Squidoo’s Amazon and eBay modules and direct Affiliate sales.

Sounds like great money, doesn’t it? But the problem is that only approx 2,000 Squidoo pages qualify for those $50 payments and given that there’s now millions of pages on Squidoo, you can see how hard it is to get to those heady heights.

So, tip #1 is to not obsess too much over those Tier 1 payments, as I say in a post over at Squidlog: Getting Squidoo Tier 1 payouts seems so frustratingly out of reach for some, so what to do?)

Getting back to those SEO ingredients, I also think that if Emily wants traffic, then networking is not going to get the sort of traffic she is looking for. And this applies to any site on which you may be publishing.

By all means, establish some backlinks, but dont confuse the task of backlinking with the task of getting traffic.

Actual traffic comes from people who search for the content you are providing. You get this traffic by making sure that your content is among the first couple of search pages on Google. And to this end, although a huge number of backlinks used to count in your favor, because so many people have been gaming the system by paying for automatically generating backlinks, Google is determined to put a stop to it. So it is not the number of backlinks that will count so heavily in your favor any more – which is good news for those of us sent bonkers by the tedium of backlinking!

As for networking, let’s be very realistic. For the time we spend networking, how much traffic do we actually get? How many sales do we actually make from the small amount of traffic we get from Forums and Squidoo?Hubpages/Wizzley sharing websites? I bet it is a big fat zero and that it is because it is the Google Traffic that will get us sales from those people who visit us because we are writing about what they are looking for.

So my response to Emily’s question is this:

No, leaving a link on different websites is not Spam, providing you don’t link drop on Forums with every comment you make.

By all means network to get yourself known within your community. Appreciate the traffic you get from your peers as a result. But most of your time should be spent trying to get your pages noticed on Google, because that is where the long term, consistent traffic will come from. To achieve this, this is the method I use:

1. Do Keyword Research BEFORE you decide on the Title of your content and grab the URL

2. Use the keyword research to find phrases with good search volume and low competition

3. Write unique content, that uses the best keyword (don’t overdo it), plus other good keywords

4. Publish that content

5. Think about establishing 10 backlinks to start

6. Do some initial promotion on Squidoo and Squidoo-related sites to give the page a bit of traffic until it gets found by Google – get the keyword research right and this could happen very quickly

7. Don’t stress over the page, let it develop traffic and backlinks naturally but keep an eye on how it is doing

8. Start with another page

9. Repeat and then when you have 5 or 10 new pages, go back and review the performance and see if you need to adjust anything

Finally, don’t be scared of having a page that does not do well. I have just rechecked the keywords of one of my worst perfoming pages on Squidoo and danged if I can work out what has gone wrong.  The main keyword has very low competition and high search volume but sometimes we have to accept that some pages just bomb. I may try publishing a page with those keywords on another site.

But try to get that keyword research right for every page and publish, publish and publish. Learn from the pages that don’t do well and you will start to get more pages that will do well. But it does take time!

Related topics:

How to Research Keywords

Keyword Research – An Introduction

How to Do Keyword Research

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Niche Marketing – How to Come Up With Ideas For A Niche

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In my first post about Niche Marketing, Introduction to Niche Marketing,  I discussed how I started writing online and that in order to find a good niche, ideally you need to write about topics with which you have personal experience AND those where you can develop a reputation as an authority on that topic.

Today we will look at this in more detail and how to come up with ideas for a niche.

So why do you need to develop authority in your niche?

Think about it this way…if you are looking to spend money on a product, who are you going to believe when they say they have the exact product you are looking for?

Is it the person who has obviously researched hot topics because they believe they are going to make some quick money that way? Or the person who clearly has genuine experience of that topic and who will therefore genuinely know the best products to recommend?

It is all about trust – who would YOU trust?

Establishing authority is about establishing credibility. And this will actually make it easier to choose your niche. Because if you have knowledge and enthusiasm about a topic, it is easier to keep writing about that topic.

How many of us have started a blog on a whim? I am putting my hand up here *blush*.

I have a blog I started as an experiment. I wanted to prove that Link Wheels work. I did some keyword research (of course!) and found a terrific, very narrow niche. It had the potential for some good traffic and there was very little competition.

The experiment worked. The blog got good traffic, it made some sales, but the biggest problem is that it was a topic about which I had very little knowledge – tattoos. No I don’t have a tattoo. I was shocked when I discovered that my eldest daughter sneaked out and got a tattoo when she was 15. I don’t mind tattoos, but not on my kids. Then her older brother got a tattoo for his 18th birthday….I am hoping my younger kids don’t want tattoos but I am not banking on it!

I guess what convinced me to give the blog a go, was because the tattoo niche did involve a topic about which I do have some knowledge, a topic I like and a topic I would not mind reading up on to further develop my knowledge: Chinese Astrology. So, Year of The Tiger Tattoos was born and then evolved into Tiger Tattoo Designs.

The blog still gets reasonable traffic, despite the fact that it is neglected. Perhaps I will sell it one day. But why is a potentially successful blog neglected?

I ran out of steam. I was not sufficiently interested in the topic to be motivated enough to post new content on a regular basis. It is not costing me any money because it is hosted for free on a multi-user platform. So the blog just sits there.

And this is a huge consideration when you start up a niche blog or a series of pages on sites like Wizzley, Squidoo and so on. Are you interested enough to keep the topic going, or will your enthusiasm dry up?

Before Google introduced us to Panda, niche marketers were saying it was easy to set up a micro-niche blog, with very little effort and then watch the money roll in. All you needed to do was your keyword research, identify a topic that had potential and set up your blog, which would cost nothing in a year for the domain and hosting, when you compare the cost to how much you could potentially make.

They reckoned ten posts would be enough to populate the blog and you were on your way to easy money.

But, as I said, that was <i>before</i> Panda!

Now, instead of 10 posts, you probably need more than 30 AND the blog will need fresh content from time to time. Therefore, because of the effort that will be required to set up and maintain the blog, here are some other things to think about:

When choosing your niche, you need to honestly consider if you actually have 30 posts in you to start with. Posts that will need to be added quickly over a period of a few weeks as you grow the blog (and its authority) as fast as possible. Will you be able to produce that much content? Will it be quality and original? Does the topic have potential to be “evergreen” or will it become outdated in no time at all?

Perhaps, you have no problem with a niche blog, (or a series of Squidoo, Wizzley etc pages) that you know has a limited shelf life, or is holiday specific so it will get most of its traffic at certain times of the year. And that is fine.  But if you do have “time specific” topics, try to have a range of topics, so for example, when Christmas is over, you can focus on a Valentine’s blog, then move onto gift giving for Mother’s Day and so on.

When discussing choosing niches with some of my online contacts that are new to publishing online, one of the biggest barriers is that they honestly believe that they are not an expert on anything. They are not confident that they know enough about anything to believe that others will regard them as an “authority”. They have a big problem actually seeing themselves as an expert on anything.

This is where we need to stop and think about our off-line lives, in addition to our on-line lives. Make a list about things you know about or are interested in. What life skills do you have? What experiences do you have, both in the business and social world?

What have you learned and what do you know about that you can share with others who have a problem that you could help solve?

Just sit down for five minutes and make a list of everything that comes into your head. At this stage no idea is a bad idea!

My “one minute list” reads like this, there would be more if I did it for five minutes:

Having teen-aged daughters
Having a grand-daughter  (No! Not from the teen-aged daughters!!)
Eco friendly products
Gardening, growing my own vegetables and having an eco friendly garden
Keyword Research
Wheat free dieting
Backyard wildlife
Teaching Business Planning
Keeping rabbits

There’s more I could add. No, I don’t have all the answers to parenting teen-aged girls, but boy, are they a market that has huge potential and it was thanks to my youngest daughter that I got an idea for a niche, that is doing nicely for me at the moment: The Hunger Games. A very competitive niche that I have managed to get into, thanks to narrowing that niche into very related but specific topics with keyword research.

Every one of us IS MOST DEFINITELY an expert at something and most of us are experts at many things. We just don’t realise it.

But once we DO realise, the trick is to turn that knowledge and enthusiasm into something that is realistically marketable.

If you have not done the list-making exercise, then go ahead and do it before next time. You should then have some ideas about topics and we will discuss more about how to take your ideas and change your thinking in order to be able to identify which ones have the potential to be marketable.

Incoming search terms:

  • how to come up with a niche
  • how to come up with niche ideas

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Checking out Jaaxy – a New Keyword Research Tool

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In the past few weeks within my Networks word has been filtering out,  about a new Keyword Research Tool: Jaaxy, which I am currently trying out. Users are really happy with how easy Jaaxy is to use but for me it is too early to say whether it works or not.

I do most of my publishing on two revenue share platforms: Squidoo and Wizzley. I have written a few articles about how I do Keyword Research on both these sites.  However, in order to try out Jaaxy, I have set up a brand new account on Squidoo, for a niche I discovered on Jaaxy.

I am not promoting any pages made on that account within the Squidoo Community. I am doing this to make sure the pages do not get “artificial” boosts through visits and “likes” from Squidoo members who know me. I want to see how well the pages will do based on keyword research solely through Jaaxy, writing original content based on those keywords and some backlinking. I have resisted the temptation to check out those keywords on the free Google Keyword Research tool and another paid tool I use: Market Samurai.

My first impression of Jaaxy is that yes, it really is easy to research keywords, but I am still thinking that users will need to develop some awareness of SEO and how keyword research works, in order to be able to utilise it effectively. The Jaaxy interface is simpler than Market Samurai and the screen seems cleaner and less cluttered, but if you are prepared to watch the Market Samurai training videos, then it does not take long to get an idea of how to use it properly.

So far I have published 12 pages on the new Squidoo account since February 03 and progress is slow on most of them. I am building the backlinks gradually, so that it looks natural to Google but I have to be honest and say traffic is not exactly flooding in.

However, a page I published on February 07, that I thought would be difficult to get traffic to, because it is in a high competition niche, is starting to get Search Engine traffic. The keywords I am using have allowed me to narrow down this competitive niche and a check on Google for one of the key words showed it on Page 2 out of 11,700,000 competing pages!

As I said, it is far too early to make a proper assessment of whether I think Jaaxy will work for me or not. I anticipate that I will have to run this experiment for 3 to 6 months in order to be able to draw some worthwhile conclusions, but I will update you on my progress – or lack of – from time to time.

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Deleting a Blog and Repurposing the Content

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I have just removed the automatic renewal for one of my domains and tomorrow one of my blogs will be no more. I am clearing out the clutter in my life both on and offline and you know what? It feels good!

At first it was a hard decision to make. The blog was about Bullying, the topic that first got me writing online and when I started to think about deleting it, I almost felt I was betraying a worthwhile cause. However, the blog was not getting much traffic and much as I want to continue campaigning against bullying, keeping the blog going was not the best use of my time.

What made me feel better about the way I was thinking was the realisation that although the traffic to the blog was not very good, I knew I could probably get more traffic to the same content on publishing platforms like Wizzley and Squidoo. And yes, as a result, there may be some income to be generated.

Some people may think it is wrong of me to look at making money from writing about a worthwhile cause. But let’s think about it this way. Making money from pages on Wizzley and Squidoo then allows me to “donate” my time elsewhere. And I do. I write on a major anti-bullying website that produces a Bully Prevention E-Zine.

I am not paid for these articles, I do not expect to be. It is my way of “giving back” because of everything I learned when my own daughter was bullied. Now I want to help other parents and children who may find themselves in the same position we were in.

But I digress. Not only did I decide to dump the blog, it was when I was going through that angst we all go through at the thought of deleting content, that I had my “light-bulb” moment. You know, the thought of all that keyword research, making sure the content was unique as well as helpful, the backlinking….it is the realisation of all that time spent that makes the thought of deleting content almost unthinkable.

However, my content lives on. I redid the keyword research and “repurposed” the best posts, which can now be found on Wizzley. Bullying Help is the page that links all my anti-bullying content together and it is already getting traffic at a higher rate than when it lived on the blog.


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Making the Sale: How to Turn Traffic into Sales Conversions

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Making the SaleOne of the concepts to learn in how to make the sale is the difference between traffic and conversions.  We can get all the traffic in the world, but if those people do not buy anything, then we will not make a commission.

So the first thing to do is make sure that you are getting the right traffic.  To get the right traffic or targeted traffic (traffic that is interested in your niche topic), you need to use keywords in your text that match those of the target searches.  To learn more about keyword research, read this post.

Once you are getting the right traffic, the next thing is to look at the structure of your page or site, and how well the items you are promoting match what people are searching for.

If you check the keywords that people are landing on your page for, you can get a better idea if the match is right.  You can do that using your site’s tracking system or Google Analytics.  So, for example, if people are landing on your page when searching for the “best coffee maker for college students, ” then your page needs to tell them why you are offering this specific coffee maker as the best for college students.  This is a perfect match.

I do not believe that banner ads have a place in the middle of your text on a page.  I find that they become more of a distraction, then an argument in favor of your product.   I find that text links, combined with pictures of the product you are selling, make the best and most convincing arguments in favor of clicking on your link.

It is also not a good idea to overwhelm readers with too many choices.  They want you to tell them why this is the best, that is why they came to your page.  They will read your reasons, then make a decision by comparing their observations with yours.

The layout of your page is also important.  Your audience knows that they are there because they are already interested in your topic, so the best way to turn traffic into sales conversions is to get right to the item you are trying to sell, and don’t beat around the bush.  The world is full of spammy, unethical, and smarmy commercial sales people.  We want to stand out and be the honest seller, offering our opinion.  It is okay to say that there are some things you don’t like about a product, as long as you tell them why you chose it anyway.  For instance, you may be talking about a piece of machinery that wouldn’t work well enough for a professional, but for a hobbyist, it is perfect.

In your page, talk about what the benefits are when someone buys this item, and why it is worth the cost.  Each buyer is weighing the cost vs. benefits on an invisible scale in their mind when they examine any item that they need to purchase.  This is especially true in a tough economy, and even more true as the cost of the item goes up.

As you layout your page, do not wait until the bottom of the item to sell the item.  Start at the top, either in the introduction or just under it.  One of the cardinal rules of selling is that you need to try to close the customer several times before they buy.  In a person to person sale, we use closing questions like “Why do you want to buy this item?” or “How do you see yourself using this in your home?”  In writing, we need to simulate that conversation, and insert clickthrough opportunities throughout the page.

Easy Product Displays for Amazon and Zazzle Affiliates