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My New Journal: Affiliate Marketing Journey

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by hiding_whitehat, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Yeah, yeah, so I decided to start fresh since my old journal (http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...raziest-journal-my-entire-financial-life.html) seems pretty irrelevant now that I'm not doing any MLM stuff. That kinda failed.

    So I'm working on affiliate marketing, I have 4 campaigns going on right now and I haven't spent any $$$. I'm going to use the profits from these 4 campaigns to pay for things like AdWords, Domains, Hosting, etc. etc. etc.

    Here's the details on each campaign:

    Campaign 1

    Method: Part I of Mark Joyner's Online Affiliate Income

    Keyword Research: It wasn't great. He outlined some random-ass AdWords keyword tool method, but I went with it anyways. He recommends having about 15-20 long-tail keywords. I'm rather skeptical about these methods, but I'm giving them a try anyways.

    Hosting, Domains, Website: 000webhost free hosting, with a free domain with DNS for SEO purposes, and a one page website- a presell page with an autoplaying video and it's also cookie stuffed.

    SEO: On-Page SEO includes some META tag work, and then stuff that was NOT included in the method- some extra pages from Full Metal SEO. Off-page SEO was also not included, but I submitted a sitemap a couple places and added the link to TrafficBug, an online-based directory/SE/RSS submitter.

    Promotion: So far, I've had 10 articles written (one for each of 10 of my 17 keywords), but was only able to submit 2 to eZines because I ran out of submissions. One is still waiting but the other was accepted and was also published to GoArticles. The rest of the method has to do with Web 2.0 properties and YouTube.

    Results: Nothing yet, but it's just starting out.

    Where to go after this: OAI Part 2 and/or Commission Ritual
    ----

    Campaigns 2 and 3:

    Method: Commission Blueprint 2.0 FREE Advertising Plan

    Keyword Research: Using Market Samurai, looked for keywords with a high SEOT but also a high SEOC. Checked SEO Competition for said keywords to make sure that we can at least get in some of the bottom front page positions.

    Hosting, Domains, Website: Just free dot tk domains going straight to clickbank sales pages (this method focuses more on promotion, and doesn't require a website).

    Promotion thus far: I've got two keywords each for two products, as the course recommends, and I've got a HubPages for each keyword, and just made a Lens for one. Two of my keywords are SquidDon't topics, so I'm going to have to find an alternative. I still have to make a lens for each keyword, and an eZine article for each keyword that links to the Hub and the Lens. That's only Month 1, and in Month 2 we build backlinks to all the properties and make even more properties!

    Results: A few views to my Hubs, but nothing else.

    Where to go after this: Commission Blueprint 2.0 PAID Advertising plan

    ----

    Campaign 4:

    Method: The 30 Day Challenge 2009

    Keyword Research: Using Market Samurai, looked for a lower SEOT but a MUCH lower SEOC, making it a bit harder to find good keywords. Also looked for a decent PBR. They were less particular about the SEO Competition Matrix.

    Hosting, Domains, Website: Different free cpanel hosting, free domain with DNS for SEO, and a WordpressDirect blog, which uses WordPress but automatically installs it, has it's own dashboard, and has special plugins and SEO properties.

    SEO: Just some simple on-page SEO with WPDirect so far. Also added the site to Traffic-Bug.

    Promotion: So far, I've uploaded a Scribd document and am currently making a lens. It's not a lot, but hey, I'm only on day 10/32. Each property is also added to Traffic-Bug.

    Results: None yet.

    Where to Go After This: Add some twists and do the 30 DC again and/or 30 Day Challenge Plus

    --

    That's all! Hope you'll stay with me!
     
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  2. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Also thought I'd post my rankings so far:

    Campaign 1:

    Only the 1 published ezine article has been ranked. It ranks #2 phrase for it's main keyword and #3 phrase for a secondary keyword. It does not rank broad yet.

    The Free Gift page on the site has been indexed.

    Campaign 2:

    No domain backlinks, PR, etc. Expected, because it's a dot TK domain.
    The Hub for Keyword #1 has been playing around in the 500s for phrase match. It's been indexed for Broad, but not ranking.
    The Hub for Keyword #2 has not been indexed.
    The Lens for Keyword #1 has not been indexed.

    Campaign 3:

    One of my two hubs has been indexed.

    Campaign 4:

    My Scribd article has been indexed for keywords 1,2,3 but not 4. It's not ranking yet.
    My site and it's one post so far have not been indexed


    ---

    Traffic Bug Stats:

    Campaign 1:

    1 Bookmark
    13 URL Directory Submissions
    139 Search Engine Submissions

    Campaign 4:

    Main Site:

    2 URL Bookmarks
    4 Other Bookmarks
    7 URL Directory Submissions
    1 RSS Directory Submission
    139 Search Engine Submissions

    The First Blog Post:

    1 Bookmark

    The Scribd Article:

    3 Bookmarks
    1 Backlink
     
  3. peter2002

    peter2002 Senior Member

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    Good to see that you still try hard to accomplish your goal! Best of luck.
     
  4. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    A quick mid-work update:

    Since my last post, I've had a couple things change. My rankings have been bouncing around all over the place, mostly for the worst, but today eZine Articles accepted that 2nd article for Campaign 1, and now it's ranking #5 broad and #1 phrase within just a few hours of being published!

    I'm starting to see traffic come in from all my sources, and the two eZine articles I've published so far have a 24% view:clickthru rate. Not too bad!

    Campaign 4 has gotten a lens, a hubpages, and a lot more backlinks/submissions. Next up is a new post on the site using MS's Publish Content module.

    Once my eZine account is upgraded, I still have 8 articles to publish for Campaign 1, 4 for Campaign 2/3, and 1 for Campaign 4. I still have to write the articles for campaigns 2/3/4.

    Anyways, things are starting to come together, and action will only push them further. Maybe I'll report in more detail later.
     
  5. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    w00t! Good things happened in just a little while today!

    Campaign 4:

    I just finished Day 12 of the challenge. On Day 11, they had you take a brief look at stats. They said you should already be seeing some google traffic.

    Well, I saw none. I wasn't even indexed. I found this particularly discouraging. After I finished Day 12 and put a new post on my blog using MS's Publish Content Module, I went ahead and did a little SEO myself. I submitted sitemaps to Ask, Yahoo, Google, and API. I pinged my site. I added feeds to FeedAgg, Feedage, and Yahoo Site Explorer. Wouldn't you know it, within half an hour google had indexed all 3 pages on my site!

    That's fast indexing!

    What surprises me is that my Squidoo Lenses and HubPages aren't yet indexed. I may try dropping some USFreeAds and 3StepAds backlinks to those pages. That usually seems to work.

    Goals for the rest of the day:

    Campaign 1
    Make a Squidoo Lens
    If my eZine is upgraded today, submit 3 more articles.

    Campaign 2 + 3
    Make a squidoo lens
    Find a squidoo alternative for Campaign 3 (SquidDont topic)

    Campaign 4
    Set up microblogs at Wordpress.com and Blogger (Day 13 of the challenge)

    ---

    Progress in instruction:

    Campaign 1
    Just starting out, really. The eZine articles show great results, and it's time I move on to more of the instruction. Squidoo, StumbleUpon, YouTube, and a bit more are ahead...

    Campaign 2
    Still need to make a squidoo lens and write 2 ezines. Then I'll be done with Month 1

    Campaign 3
    Need to find a Squidoo alternative, make 2 properties there, and write 2 eZines.

    Campaign 4
    Day 13 (on my to-do list). Day 14 is about Weebly and Facebook. Day 15 is more microblogging. Then you do some assessment of progress, analyze stats, test stuff. The next step after that is AdWords. Then after that, you do some more assessment, maybe some AdSense, and if it's a no-go, flip the site.

    ---

    Business To Dos:

    Write a business plan

    ---
     
  6. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    So I guess updates won't be as frequent as I'd like. Here's one though:

    Campaign 1

    Doing decent, getting some StumbleUpon traffic
    Still to do: Youtube video, and a few extras
    Then: Done with part 1! Move onto Part 2 where we start a new niche, but continue work on the first

    Campaigns 2 and 3
    No updates

    Campaign 4:

    Ugh! My rankings are all over the place! My site was totally deindexed, none of my properties are indexed... this is really aggravating! I've done some more SEO work, and we'll see when Google gets a chance to look at my sites.

    a Wordpress.com blog was created with a post too.

    I'm holding off on working any more on this campaign until I start to see some rankings.

    ---
     
  7. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    MIDWEEK UPDATE:

    I MADE MY FIRST SALE!

    $52 from selling my Campaign 1 product. Ain't it sweet? Moving on...

    Campaign 1

    As mentioned above, I made a sale! I realized I haven't been doing much tracking on this campaign, so I added Analytics to the site a little bit ago, and that should help. I still have to make/watermark a YouTube vid and upload it. My conversion rate is a little less than 1:100 right now, so I'm thinking of ways to scale up the traffic while keeping it just as targeted. I've come up with a few ideas, but I'm just going to write them down and save them. I want this campaign to be a test of the OAI method, so I'll just do OAI for now. After I finish Part 2 I'll implement these other ideas I've come up with, and we'll see how that helps.

    Campaign 2:

    Finished my final Squidoo Lens for the Month 1 portion of the plan. Now I need to write/publish 2 eZine articles, one for each keyword. Shouldn't be too hard, and I have the money to outsource if I'd like. I think I'll write one, and outsource one.

    Campaign 3:

    No updates..

    Campaign 4:

    I wrote an eZine article centered around my main keyword, and hopefully those backlinks will give my sites a little boost at Google. The lack of indexing and ranking at Google for all my properties in this campaign is extremely frustrating. That being said, Squidoo seems to be driving a little amount of traffic (around 10 users a day). The eZine should be published by this time tomorrow, at the latest.

    I think I'm just going to sit on this campaign a little bit longer. In a few days I'll make a Blogger blog, a Weebly page, a Propeller, and one other site (forget what it's called). If that still doesn't work, I'll sit on it a bit longer before I put any AdWords money into it. I'm a little cautious to put AdWords money into it before it's profitable.

    ---------

    Ranking Stats:

    Campaign 1

    Article #1 is indexed and ranks #12 phrase for it's secondary keyword (this dropped recently), and is indexed for it's main keyword. 2nd best performing though.

    Article #2 is ranking #8 broad for its only keyword

    Article #3 is ranking #6 broad and #1 phrase for its main keyword, and is indexed for 3 other keywords.

    The squidoo lens is not indexed.


    Campaign 2

    The HubPage for Keyword 1 is indexed, and at position 214 for phrase match. It dropped there on the first and hasn't moved since.

    Hub for Keyword 2 isn't indexed, and neither are the two lenses.

    Campaign 3

    Neither hub is showing as indexed.

    Campaign 4

    The only property indexed is the Scribd article.

    My WordPressDirect dashboard shows that my blog is ranked 36 phrase for my main keyword, but I see no evidence.

    ----

    General To-Dos:

    • Make some USFreeAds postings for my Web 2.0 properties, ClipClip and ClipMarks, and do other things I know will get my properties indexed and ranking
    • Continue work on my business plan to show my parents that I'm serious and to get some AdWords funding :)

    ---

    That's all for this update! I have the next 4 days off of school, so lots of work should get done!
     
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  8. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    Forget using traffic bug, it's utter shit and makes no difference either way. Congrats on your sale though!! Keep it up. You actually accomplished something unlike most other journal writers on here so I have to commend you for following through. I'm going to be following this journal for the simple fact that you're actually making things happen.
     
  9. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Yeah, I was starting to think that TrafficBug was a load of crap... Do you have any suggestions for an alternative? I'm looking for something that's just as easy to use. Thanks for your kind words, they really encourage me.
     
  10. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    Well, 30daychallange basically advertised traffic bug as a king of automatic substitute for socialmarker...Automatic it is, but it's also shit.

    If you're looking for a free way to do bookmarking then socialmarker is the best alternative. Traffic bug doesn't even tell you where it is submitting to (at least it didn't when I was trying it out) so the whole thing lacks transparancy and shows zero results both to me and many others who I've heard from.

    It can take up to an hour to go through every single bookmark on socialmarker so if you don't want to spend that time on it I suggest just checking the "best" on the top for submissions to the best bookmarking sites. It's semi automatic service, definitely much faster than doing it manually. But it does bring in result unlike TB.

    Once you start making money (which you already are!) I suggest you outsource the repetitive work or buy senuke because that can save you a ton of time on the manual work. You need to use your brain to e making money not be tied down on all the nitty gritty. But for now I'd just try socialmarker and do things semi-auto so you learn while you do it and also so you don't invest in something until you have made the earnings to do so. It's a good morale booster.

    BTW, I just added the 30DC+ to the members download section so you can download it there for free before you consider paying for it! :D

    As for your campaign that you're having trouble ranking with, have you done any competitive analysis aside from using MS? Have you taken a look at the first two pages of google to see what kind of sites are ranking? (authority sites? sites with pr3 or more? How relevant are they?) You should also check if there are other web 2.0 sites ranking a well. If there aren't it may mean they have a difficulty ranking for that keyword and the ones ranking may be viewed as authority sites by google.

    For your capaigm with the sale I'd look into scaling that one up now and working on my conversions. Did you make the sale off your main site? If so look at the wording, placements of links, design, etc and test if you can increase conversions or not. It's a lot easier than increasing traffic.

    I'm not investing into domains until I make a sale and then I know it' worth targeting. Are you promoting clickbank? There's a good thread (140+ replies forget the name) in the clickbank section of the forum. I'm posting in there for the time being and it's a good resource of people sharing their bum marketing experiences.

    Anyway, I'll shoot you a PM sometime because I plan on going through the 30dc a well and twisting that and gsniper into something more automated. So hopefully we can help eachother out and share strategies. I haven't done any aff marketing before but I want to break into it.

    Christ, sorry for the long ass post! Running my mouth here. Hope you found something of use. Keep at it and DO NOT stop updating this thread, You need to keep yourself accountable and push yourself through. I hate seeing all these failed journal threads, but yours can be a succes. You've already proven you have what it takes to make a sale (MONEY) online. Just keep to it, rinse and repeat and scale it to the heavens.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2009
  11. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    @SocialMarker comment: Thanks for the advice. Yeah, as far as I can see, TrafficBug isn't doing jack for my site. I'll have to go through with SocialMarker and give my properties a nice little kick in the butt.

    @Outsourcing comment: That's exactly my plan. I also plan to move into some paid advertising methods once I have the capital- AdWords, maybe some PPV, More websites, etc.

    @30DC+ : Thanks! I saw that. I'll look through it once I'm done with the 30DC.

    @Trouble Ranking: I never really thought about looking at some of those things. I think that may be the issue. However, I do have some nice tricks I picked up over the summer for ranking Squidoo lenses, so I'll try them out and apply as much as possible to the Hubs, Scribd, etc. etc. etc. In the end I think backlinks really does it.

    @Increasing Conversions: I plan to do that once I finish some more advanced work on my campaign.

    @All the other advice: Thanks again. I've been thinking about most of this stuff, but just to have you reinforce it was great.

    Talk again soon.
     
  12. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Mid-Evening Update

    Well, I've had a productive night so far, and I thought I'd post a quick list of what I've done so far. I plan to do more too!

    • Watermarked/Uploaded a YT vid for Campaign 1
    • Submitted an eZine article for campaign 1
    • Created a WetPaint for Campaign 3 (using this as Squidoo alternative)

    That's enough content writing to fry me for now, so I'm going to eat and then maybe do something a little more mindless like use SocialMarker or ping.. that kinda stuff. SEO. basically.

    Soo... yeah.
     
  13. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    So how are things coming along? Any new sales?
     
  14. Jared255

    Jared255 Jr. Executive VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I don't understand 50% of what you are typing because I have no clue about anything related to SEO but it seems like you're doing a good job. Keep at it.
     
  15. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Here's the latest:

    Problem:(well, not really a problem per say, but...): No new sales for Campaign 1. However, the sale occurred on Monday. There were 40 hops that day. The next day there were 36. However, they dropped dramatically Wed. and Thur. there were a depressing 0 hops. So that's why there haven't been more sales. But why the drop? Well, right on Wed, one of my top articles dropped right off Google. All my rankings took a slight dip (all the eZines in this campaign at least), but this particular item was totally deindexed.

    So we have the cause of no sales, the cause of no hops, but why the drop in ranking? My only explanation is that Google often drops authority sites temporarily while it decides what to do with them. I heard that from Pot Pie Girl, and since she's a bum marketing expert, I trust her :) !

    Solution: Just leave it be? I'm thinking about dropping a backlink or two here or there, but not much else. Other things I'm going to do to make more sales: Make my own little "Online Affiliate Income Part 1.5". I'm going to use the advanced techniques in PArt 2 and apply as many of them as possible to my first campaign.

    I still have 60% of the articles left to post. I only have 40% already up. So there's another thing that'll help.

    ---

    Real update later tonight!
     
  16. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Campaign 4:

    I used SocialMarker since TrafficBug doesn't seem to have any results. (thanks for the suggestion tbootz!). Not all the sites worked for various reasons, but most did. I went through it and then pinged my site afterward (for good measure). No difference yet, but my HubPages was magically indexed. ??? Oh well. My eZine article was also published and is starting to rank, and all of a sudden my Scribd is too. Cool!

    Campaign 1: My latest eZine was published, and it's ranking #5 broad and #1 phrase. Sweet!

    Still more work to do tonight... stay tooned!
     
  17. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    Ezine is quite powerful for SEO purposes. I just submitted two today and will submit several more tomorrow. I've also done a lot of bookmarking today and some of them got indexed already on page 2 and 3.

    No visitors yet though. Most will probably come through ezine I suppose. I'm definitely going to be outcourcing the article writing and bookmarking once I make a few sales though, it's gonna save a whole lot of time and scale op the operation if it's already converting.
     
  18. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    Any updates?
     
  19. hiding_whitehat

    hiding_whitehat Junior Member

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    Boy oh boy you read my mind! I was just about to come here and do a much needed update.

    Anyways...

    ---------

    Campaign 1.5:

    I uploaded that YouTube video to TubeMogul, which was only able to send it 4 places: YouTube (again), Zoopy, MySpace, and DailyMotion.

    The original YT one has 23 views, the dupe has 11, DailyMotion has 5, MySpace 4, and 0 for zoopy. That's a total of 43 video views, no promotion done. There's a consistent 2-3 views/day.

    I also have 2 eZines in waiting, and I should submit another tonight.

    The Google Analytics Data (just started collecting over a week ago) shows that eZineArticles is responsible for 75% of my traffic, with Direct being my 2nd source, and 1-2 hits each from GoArticles and YouTube.

    Upcoming: More eZines, more GoArticles. One more Web 2.0 property, then it's time for Part 2!!!

    ---

    Campaigns 2 and 3:

    No updates. I seem to be really lazy here. The only thing is that my hubpages have magically started being indexed, and some ranking very low for phrase match.

    ----

    Campaign 4:

    My eZine is on Page #2, and even though my Scribd is way down there, it's getting hits from somewhere. The HubPages is still indexed, but not ranking.

    I have since set up a Blogger blog, a Weebly site, a Facebook page, Propeller pages, and a Postulous blog/Twitter account.

    More then half of my traffic is direct according to GoogleAnalytics, which I know I'm not 100% responsible from. Where the rest comes from, I have no clue. Maybe some site blanks the referrer?

    In a close second place is Squidoo, which sent visitors in amounts unprecedented by any campaign I've run there before. I only made one lens, and I've never seen Squidoo drive this much traffic. I think it shows a. that I'm in a good niche, and b. that content is king.

    eZine Articles, Scribd, and Propeller also show up as driving traffic.

    ----

    In overall news, I learned how to use/set up Google Reader, and this has been helping me stay up-to-date on the IM world and learn a lot more about SEO and IM in general. Stay tuned, I think this'll help a lot.

    Well, thanks for reading!!!
     
  20. tbootz

    tbootz Regular Member

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    Good update!

    BTW, I was wondering what course have you found most helpful as of now out of the ones you have been following? (CB 2.0, 30 day challenge etc?)

    I've read and watched so many courses the past year or so that I can call myself an expert on theory...But only recently have I started putting these into action. BIG DIFFERENCE.

    Right now I'm following the 30dc and Google Sniper. I think 30dc is the best course out there but the gsniper fits well into what I'm doing now as well with clickbank.

    Have you had any new sales?

    I haven't had any yet but I've been half-assing it cuz of other projects I'm involved in. My focus is still on clickbank atm. Can't wait for that first sale so I can outsource article writing on the heels of that.

    Are you outsourcing your articles or are you writing them yourself? If you're outsourcing them how much do they cost a pop and are they in good English? Are they keyword optimized or do you edit it after to sprinkle in your keywords better?