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On-page SEO and Why Your Affiliate Site Sucks - Juicer's Guide

Discussion in 'Black Hat SEO' started by ryanjm, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    I'm going to write a series of guides to help those of you just starting out with some of the basics, and some of the not-so-basics. This forum and others have been good to me, so hopefully this series will be useful to those trying to figure out how to get started. I'm going to talk about how I do things, and what has worked for me with affiliate marketing. I've been in the game for a little over a year, and in that time I've built up a full-time income stream that just keeps increasing.

    Question: How much time do you spend creating the content for your site? How much time do you spend on the design?

    Did you answer: As little as possible, I just throw up some 500 word article with my keywords, install a basic template, and then start building links? Yes? Guess what? Your site is shit. It doesn't deserve to rank #1.

    Every time you build a site, ask yourself if what you are contributing to the Internet actually deserves the ranking you want. If you build your site and hit #1, does it deserve to be there, or are you gaming the system to put up a shit site that is pushing down a better site than yours?

    This is the #1 basic mistake I see with most affiliate sites. People are in such a rush to make a dollar and get their site ranked that they don't stop and ask themselves if they are actually proud of the work they are doing, and whether it actually serves a purpose of helping other people while also making you money. If you begin work on your site with that mindset, then you'll not only have an easier time ranking your site, you'll be building a real business asset that you can sell down the road to someone who might be interested in it. I haven't ever listed a site on Flippa, but I've been approached by guys that actually take the time to find my registration details (which are all hidden with domains by proxy), and email me asking to buy my sites. I sold a 6 month old site a few weeks ago for a few thousand. It took me around 4 days to make the site, but it had damn good information on it, and it was ranked #1 for several XX,XXX searches/mo terms. It deserved to be there and was better than every other affiliate site ranked below me.

    Design Basics
    Find yourself a good WP theme from themeforest or similar sites. No, I'm not going to tell you which one I use, because I don't want a bunch of clones out there, however you can be successful with TONS of themes. You simply need one that is visually appealing and customizable. They're all around $30-40 and you can use them for every one of your sites. The one I bought allows me to easily change the color scheme of almost every page element, fonts, logos, etc...

    Photoshop:
    Learn how to use photoshop. If you are just starting out, you probably won't outsource logo and header design. If that's the case, you need to start learning how to be creative. Sometimes it's good enough just to have a nice looking font and a few basic graphics or images from the web (that aren't copyrighted). You can go out and download all sorts of cool looking fonts that fit with the theme of your site and will look 10x better than just putting up the basic text that your theme would do. If you want something great looking and can afford to outsource, I recommend logonerds.com and look on the forums for their discount code.

    You'll also need to know how to use photoshop so you can edit the images you insert into the site. Learn how to use the magic wand to make selections and remove backgrounds. If you want something awesome looking, learn to use the pen tool and make selections with that while zoomed in really close. Youtube is your friend for learning.

    Color Schemes:
    This is where I put on my pink hat and penny loafers. You should experiment with what colors work best together, and create good color schemes with your header texts/links/menus. Look at other well designed sites as examples.

    Design Summary:
    With a basic understanding of photoshop, a decent theme, and customizing your colors, you'll have a site that looks better than 99% of affiliate sites. If I were to show you one of my affiliate sites, it would look different than the vast majority of the ones you've seen because it looks professionally designed, or at least, it's not disgusting looking like most.

    Content
    Your content is what you are giving your site visitors in return for their clicking your link and giving you money. If your content blows, then you are just dumping shit on the internet and giving nothing of value in return for the money you make. Eventually, your site will be overtaken by someone like me who takes the time to properly research and review the products I promote. I even buy some of the best ones and do 'real' reviews.

    Ask yourself if you were interested in the product you are promoting, what would you want to know about it? Provide that to your readers and you will have given them something of value which you can be proud of. Better yet, you will make money. If it takes you a week to make a great site, that's better than cranking out 3 sites that suck in the same time period. You may even get organic links, likes, and +1's because people like your site. I know this because I created a site a few months ago that has over 1k likes naturally, and lots of organic links as well. It took me a week to build, and it banks hard.

    Title/H1/Desc
    Those are the 3 golden spots for putting your primary keywords. If you do that, and then sprinkle in some of your variations into your site's copy, you're fine. Don't bother with the 1%-3% micromanaging of your kw density and all of that nonsense. I used to pay attention to that and all of the SEOpressor guidelines, but now I just write, and it works. Just write GOOD content and be conscious of trying to use common keyword phrases where it makes sense. Don't force it or overdo it. Your links will take care of the heavy lifting here. Shoot for at least 500 words, but if you have more to say, say it. Also, make use of H2/H3 tags for either alternate wordings of your main keyword phrase or other important keywords. Your homepage can realistically target 3-6 large keyword phrases if you use your H2/H3 tags well.

    An example: Let's say you're trying to review sparkly dildos. Here is how I would set up the page:

    Title: Sparkly Dildo Reviews | Sparkly Dildos
    Desc: We review sparkly dildos to help you find the best one. If you're looking for sparkly dildo reviews, look no further!
    H1: Sparkly Dildo Reviews | The Best Sparkly Dildo
    H2: Sparkly Dildos vs. Black Monster Dongs
    H2: Are Cheap Sparkly Dildos Worth Buying?
    H3: The Best Sparkly Dildos on the Market

    See how I can easily target 5+ keyword phrases there?

    Summary
    If you can't tell by now, I'm a big advocate of creating real value with your websites. If you wouldn't be proud showing your work to a friend, how can you feel good about what you do? There's no need to trick people into clicking your links and promoting shady products that don't work. Everything I promote (mostly physical products) I believe in and research thoroughly for the content on my sites.

    At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if you're in the game to build a real business, or whether you're just clicking buttons and trying to make a buck any way possible. Me? I'm building a business, and my assets are my sites.
     
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  2. MeetTheVirus

    MeetTheVirus Regular Member

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    I think this is a Great post, this is pretty much how I setup all my sites.

    I think every newbie should learn this before doing black hat link building and techniques. A good foundation is the best, and I think too many newbies want to take the shortcut for easy money.

    I spent over a year learning onsite optimization doing pure white hat before I branched out and started learning the power of link building. I think that is why today I am so successful with a lot of my websites.

    I always was taught to look at each web page like a book - Everything needs to match up. I don't want to buy a book about 80's hair bands and its really a biography about Brittany Spears. Titles, descriptions, h1's content, keywords, etc should all match up.

    Relevancy is key.
     
  3. orzyman

    orzyman Senior Member

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    nice one but do you cloak your affiliate links when you do review/affiliate sites
     
  4. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    No, I don't cloak any links. It looks prettier, but it's deceptive in my opinion. I never deceive any visitors.
     
  5. oscarmike

    oscarmike Regular Member

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    You had me lol-ing at dongs and dildos :banana:. Anyway, this is a good refresher course!
     
  6. Chrono

    Chrono Newbie

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    Could you show us some examples of affiliate sites you feel look great? Which affliate networks do you use? Could you recommend a particular theme thats easily customizable?
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  7. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    "At the end of the day, you have to ask yourself if you're in the game to build a real business, or whether you're just clicking buttons and trying to make a buck any way possible. Me? I'm building a business, and my assets are my sites."

    Nice. I made the mistake of reading to much bad advice on BHW when I first started. Made 2 really bad sites - started making link pyrimids all that shit. Now I do the opposite and make real money with my huge authority site.
     
  8. JonnyBorneo

    JonnyBorneo Regular Member

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    You are full of BS. Deserve rank#1?? There is no such word as 'deserve' when talking about making money. *** time is money.
     
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  9. MrBeastsOnToast

    MrBeastsOnToast Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Excellent post, ty.

    also - BHW now ranks #14 for sparkly dildos
     
  10. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    I use Amazon and smaller suppliers who have their own programs. If you are really knowledgeable about a particular niche, see if there is a supplier who has their own affiliate program. Lots of times they will pay a better percentage as well. For instance one that I use is 15% commissions on products where my average order size is $250-350.

    But Amazon is great at conversions, and if you stick with it you'll soon be in the 8% tier which is a pretty decent commission.

    As for themes, I'm not familiar with many anymore besides the one that I have been using the past 4 months or so. But if you check out themeforest and look at the popular ones, you'll be able to figure it out from their sales pages.

    Here is a decent example of a nice looking affiliate site:
    http://realtruthaboutabs.net/

    He didn't set up the site exactly how I would have done it, but it's clean and professional looking, with good info and strategic links to his product. Better than most.

    Here is an example of a crappy site, but it's ranking well:
    http://weightlossprogramsx.com/truthaboutabsreview

    It's a very clearly outsourced review, no graphics on the page, and basically no visual spice at all. In fact, after checking out this keyword niche "truth about abs review" I realize I might actually target it myself since there is only 1 or 2 decent sites there. The rest are crap.
     
  11. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    Shitty site creator detected. :)

    No one is talking about deserving to make money, I'm talking about deserving to rank above sites that are not as good as your own. There are a number of factors why you would want to create a quality site:

    1) Pride in your work
    2) Natural links, likes, +1's, tweets from people who like your site
    3) G quality raters will give it a higher score than your competitors if it is manually reviewed
    4) Intimidate your rivals. People doing keyword research don't want to go up against a site that already has awesome content and a ton of links. If your site looks like crap and the only thing holding it up is a decent amount of backlinks, I'm coming for you, and you'll soon lose your #1 slot.
     
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  12. blackieman

    blackieman Power Member

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    I think what you are writing is very much in sync with xFactor's new authority model. Away from crappy text headers to nice graphic header, content written with passions, content with good LSI (implying written by someone who knows what they are talking about).

    I think I like the model better than 2 pager microsites.
     
  13. Patel

    Patel Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Add nofollow to your links.

    Add

    Disallow:

    /go/

    into your robots.txt

    Then add a php redirect in the go directory. Google will not follow the link, and will not find that link.
     
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  14. crzyyoungn

    crzyyoungn Registered Member

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    Ryan, quit making my niches public god damnit! I had the sparkly dildo niche on lock!
     
  15. Wealthy Wisdom

    Wealthy Wisdom Power Member

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    awesome post...very informative...I feel like I am lacking on my ideas after reading on this.. but this just gives me more motivation to push my self and treat this as a business and not just a quick buck

    thank you
     
  16. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    ^^Sorry man, there's always black monster dongs.

    ^Yep, definitely switch your mindset. Once you start thinking of what you do as a legit business, and it is, then you'll feel better about what you do AND make more money by building assets which you can sell at any time if you need a down payment on a car/house, etc...
     
  17. daveguy

    daveguy Power Member

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    lol it's kinda like why are you here ryanjm? I ask myself the same question sometimes. Blackhat intrigued me at first, but the more I do (did) it the less I liked it.
     
  18. ryanjm

    ryanjm Junior Member

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    ^Yep, to be honest I've never really done any blackhat linking stuff, let alone cookie stuffing etc... I enjoy reading about it, and I know guys who have great success with it, but I prefer less risk. Gray hat works just fine for hitting #1, and I don't have to have a briefcase full of cash with a list of non-extradition countries ready to go.
     
  19. aka sam

    aka sam Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Wonderful post, thank you
     
  20. Bestbuyfoam

    Bestbuyfoam Elite Member

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    Wonderful post,

    Loved it.

    Subscribed.

    Thanks a million,

    And have a blessed one...