April 20, 2011

How To Make A Living With A Blog – Day 18 – Use Amplify

To continue with my series: How To Start Making A Living Online: 28 days To Be A Better IMer - I present day 18.

Day 18 – Set Yourself Up On Amplify

Making a living online can be done in so many different ways. What I am suggesting is just one way and social media has to be a part of it. Many plans for online businesses center around social media but having a center there isn’t necessary, it is helpful however.

Amplify is a social media site that can syndicate your posts across many other social platforms. You can set up an Amplify account, and post to it linking back to your original article and get a dofollow backlink for your efforts. Amplify will also simultaneously autopost (if you set it up, which you should) to a whole host of social media sites including Twitter, Facebook, Buzz, Tumbler, Posterous, and many others. This is great because each of those sites will also be linking back to the original post helping with indexing of the original post and sending a mix of nofollow and dofollow backlinks to the original post.

On your main Amplify page you can also submit your blog’s RSS feed to receive more dofollow backlinks whenever you post to your actual blog, and you can do a lot of your networking (see this big Blog Networking Guide by Christina) that you might otherwise do on other social media sites. Some call Amplify the dofollow Twitter, or the Twitter for people who actually like conversations with people.  I call it social media with an emphasis on SEO.

What I suggest (which I learned from others - namely Lizzie in the TKA forums) is to setup an Amplify account for your niche blog, and then setup dedicated social media accounts at all the places that Amplify will autopost to and link those accounts to Amplify. On your Amplify sidebar you can setup your page to be SEOd to your main theme or your main keywords and then include your main blog’s RSS feed and possibly your Twitter feed.

It may take some time to figure it all out and get things setup but once you get it all going you can easily Amplify any backlink that you or anyone else creates to help get it indexed and ranking a little. After all, a backlink is more beneficial if it is indexed and when it has a little authority behind it.

The thing to keep in mind here is you should be using this Amplify account to Amplify your backlinks and other people's posts, not every blog post you publish. We can’t keep heavily promoting all of our backlinks forever, Amplify will make it easy for us to simply promote our backlinks in the future so we can spend the bulk of our time actually building backlinks and profitable content.

In the first month we can’t overrun our main revenue generating articles with backlinks which is why we spend some good time promoting our revenue sharing articles as well. In months two and three and beyond we can start focusing more on our own blog and let Amplify simply and easily build the authority of our backlinks and because each post we Amplify will be a backlink article from another site we won’t be simply linking to the same domain over and over again, which is a good thing.

Certainly by now you’ve had plenty of time to get everything published (from earlier days in this series) and take a healthy break so after today we’ll get back to writing and publishing so stay tuned to that. Slowly but surely these efforts will start turning into page views and income. Good luck all.

A Personal Note
If you’ve been following along with this for some time, you’ll know I mostly took the last three weeks off. I have deemphasized (temporarily) blogging and have been investing much more of my time building backlinks (and getting my taxes filed).

As many of you know I am a happy member of The Keyword Academy and am constantly using their flagship tool Postrunner (see my review of PostRunner here). Recently I joined another program BMR (similar to PostRunner) and have been experimenting with it to see if it’s worth it to me. That has naturally received much more of my attention as of late. I may or may not review it down the road here on this blog.

Lastly, the wife and I are getting much closer to the due date of our first little man.  One of these days's he'll come so we are in the last phases of "nesting".  This is a fun time in our lives.  6 weeks to go!
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April 7, 2011

San Diego Memorial Day – A Case Study Revisited

About a year ago I introduced a bit of a case study I was conducting for myself. I was trying some early attempts at GeoTargeting an article. My first attempt was publishing an info article on InfoBarrel on San Diego Memorial Day ideas. You can read more about this case study on the short post here on this blog that I published at that time: GeoTargeting Memorial Day Weekend.

At the time I hadn’t really dabbled much with regional keywords but rather general keywords. General keywords are those which are as applicable in Boise, ID as they are in Austin, TX. This article was really meant for a very specific audience, people looking for information on what to do in San Diego over this short weekend.

Had I really thought about it ahead of time I probably should have targeted a local event or happening that was year round but instead this experiment was not only local but also seasonal. This of course means it gets no page views during the rest of the year and only a little leading up to Memorial Day. Come to think of it I probably shouldn’t be wasting my time on it this time around anyway, but hey, why not do something fun for a change and see if I can learn something new.

Last year I published the Memorial Day article with little regard to how it would be monetized. In fact I had no idea if or how much money this article could make or if it would make any at all. As a result it didn’t really make much as you can see from my InfoBarrel earnings last March 2010.

This year I updated the first paragraph to reference 2011 rather than 2010 and I added a section near the top referencing San Diego’s Sea World as an option for celebrating that weekend. I decided to add a link to Hotels.com (CJ) in the section to see if I could generate any clicks and swing any random affiliate sales my way. This will be interesting to see how it goes.

Overall the article on Memorial day will need to be tweaked some more and I’d like to alter the links to Hotels.com to encourage more clicks but this will be a fun and interesting round two for this case study dating back to Spring 2010.

To embellish the case study even more I will be soon publishing a companion article to this Memorial Day article on IB which focuses more heavily on traveling to San Diego for Memorial Day. This will obviously make drawing clicks through to Hotels.com a bit easier… if I can get any page views to it that is. We’ll see how it goes and I’ll link to the second article when it goes live to be sure.

In 2010 I received 624 page views on this article in the month of May alone, this year we’ll see if I can increase that and see if I can get some eyes on a companion article more tailored to revenue. Cross your fingers for me.
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April 1, 2011

Diabetic Shoes – How My Niche Site Earns

I’ve been ramping up my efforts lately on my Diabetic Shoes website. If you have any experience with sites like these you probably know that they are a bit easier to rank after they’ve aged a bit than when they are new right out of the gate. I started my site back on the 4th of November and filled out the framework of the site back in 2010 including my initial backlinks. You can read more about that process in my earlier updates but largely the months of January and the first half of February saw me really sit on the site just waiting for it to age while I worked on other projects. Sometimes this is worth doing and so far it looks like it’s done well for me thus far.

Since mid-Feb I began looking through the traffic the site was getting and decided to add some more pages of content based on both traffic I was already getting to the site from search engines and based on new keywords I wanted to target which I identified using Niche Refinery, the keyword selection tool provided to members of The Keyword Academy (TKA).

How I Make Money On My Diabetic Shoes Website

Before I go on to what has kept me busy on this site over the month of March I wanted to talk about monetization. I posted a couple weeks back an update showing that my site had starting earning more efficiently; well it has continued to do so.

I have implemented three forms of monetization thus far but only two have converted as of yet. Adsense was the first form, followed by Amazon Associates, and most recently I added a few links to ClickBank in both the sidebar and on a single targeted post. ClickBank has yet to convert but I wouldn’t expect it to so soon after implementation.


Considering Adsense is the easiest form of monetization possible it was the first form I implemented on the site. It earned for me immediately back in November and has continued to earn a bit every month until March where it took off. I included an ad on top right of my posts, a wide sidebar on the left of posts below the fold and an inline middle of the post ad which is only included on long posts. Each ad is tracked separately and so I can see which one is performing best.

Overall I made $58.20 with Adsense in March. The bulk of that came from the top ad, followed by the inline post ad, trailing by the sidebar ad. In the long run I want this site to pull further away from Adsense so I will take this into account while I decide on how to switch these Adsense ads out for other kinds of affiliate programs, banners, or other networks. You may wonder why when the return has been so good but it’s because the affiliate sales potential is likely much better as you can see with my Amazon earnings.

Amazon Associates

Somewhere in the middle of the month, I’m going to say around the 15th I made the change on this site to start focusing more on Amazon affiliate sales. After reading the bulk of Dave’s Make Money On The Internet Blog and more specifically his advice on Amazon I began to implement some of his techniques into this site.

Dave makes gobs of money online – he is an authority and he supposedly knows what he is talking about so having given some of his advice a try I can see why he does so well. I thank him immensely for the info he provides. If you haven’t read his blog then make sure to head over and start pouring through his archives. I read everything and it took me the better part of a month doing it a few posts a day. It will take a while but it’s better than any ebook you’ll ever read that’s for sure.

Enough about Dave – He advises you to be overt about your affiliate links if you are building a product oriented website. Y diabetic shoes website has a lot of good information on the importance of practicing better diabetic foot care and wearing diabetic shoes and any readers of the site will be interested in the products and most likely looking to buy them. If that is the case why would you ever want to beat around the bush. If they search for “good shoes for diabetics” why would I ever give them a landing page that didn’t link out overtly to a good pair of shoes for diabetics to buy?

As such I added prominent links in the sidebar pointing directly to footwear appropriate for diabetics filtered by brand and price and then in many of the posts I took Adsense off completely and included a front and center link to the most applicable product the search visitor is looking for. As a result my Amazon earnings jumped up dramatically.

The first half of the month my Amazon earnings were $13.53 on 5 shipped items and the second half of the month my Amazon earnings were $30.85 on 9 shipped items. Overall I hit $44.38 on 14 shipped items which seems quite good to me. I think this is even better than Adsense so I’ll continue to make a slow transition away from Adsense and more to Amazon as a result.

ClickBank & Other Affiliate Programs

As previously mentioned I want this site to veer away from Adsense and into more of a free information site monetized by affiliate sales. Amazon is obviously part of this but there are many other companies with good applicable products for sale which have affiliate programs. Considering this is such a topical site I imagine these programs will pay well and convert well so I plan on pushing more into this arena. I’ve started off by offering a program from ClickBank which is something I can’t offer from Amazon and I intend on finding some other programs and companies to promote which offer better returns than Amazon sales. This will be an ongoing project for me.

Recent Site Promotion

In addition to the monetization strategies I’ve taken on this site I’ve begun to increase the velocity of promotion I’ve done on the site. In early Niche Site Duel updates I mentioned how I like to build up fewer high quality backlinks rather than blasting them with tons of low quality links. I started with a handful of backlink articles which I wanted to be authority links:

Each of these articles have been independently promoted and they all should be giving me good authoritative backlinks by now. Aside from Snipsly (which hasn’t been showing much promise lately) they all are doing well.

In addition to these main backlink articles I’ve also started promoting each and every post on the site. I’ve backlinked them all (all 18 of them) from SheToldMe, InfoPirate, Folkd, Posturown, and at least twice from InfoBarrel – all of these sites earn me money so my promotion of my niche site has also netted me a fair sum of earnings. Many of my 18 posts also have backlinks from other blogs as a result of my guestposting with PostRunner. As a result all my posts on my Diabetic Shoes website are starting to do very well in the search results and the main index page is being lifted with the tide.

Right now I rank:
  • best shoes for diabetics – 3rd
  • shoes for diabetics – 15th
  • best diabetic shoes – 7th
  • diabetic shoes – 17th

Obviously I also rank very well for a large laundry list of long tails because of my depth of content on site and my growing list of backlinks pointing at all of my pages.

Promotion for April

This month I should continue to increase my backlinking of the site with revenue sharing sources and will begin to ramp up my backlinking with guestposting on blogs, primarily through via PostRunner. I will probably add a few more pages to the blog as well based on current traffic trends. In case you don’t know you can almost always get a surge in new search traffic by posting a new post using a keyword or keyword derivative which is already sending traffic your way to an already existing post. This helps dramatically especially in the beginning when traffic is slow to begin with.

March saw search traffic increase to this site from 256 total visits in Feb to 653 total visits in March, an increase of 155 percent month over month. I’d like April to see another increase of over 100 percent as that could increase my earnings by over 100 percent. That would be nice.

I’ll cut this post here but leave you with my earnings history:

Total Income By Month
  • Nov 2010 - $5.57 on 3 posts
  • Dec 2010 - $15.86 on 5 posts
  • Jan 2011 - $17.05 on 6 posts
  • Feb 2011 - $15.48 on 15 posts
  • Mar 2011 - $102.58 on 18 posts

Total Earnings to date: $156.54

Good luck on your own niche sites – work hard at them and make them helpful to your readers and you’ll be much better off in the long run. Feel free to leave any comments or questions in the comment section below.

For All Other Posts In This Niche Site Duel series:
NSD1 - Niche Site Duel #1 – I’m Jumping Into The Game - November 4, 2010
NSD2 - My Diabetic Shoes Site Is Seeing Results After 4 Days - November 7, 2010
NSD3 - Making Progress On My Diabetic Shoes Niche Site - November 17, 2010
NSD4 - Providing Value With My Diabetic Shoes Site - December 31, 2010
NSD5 - A Site On Diabetic Shoes – Another Niche Site Duel Update - March 16, 2011
NSD6 - Benefits Of Backlinking On Revenue Sharing Sites - March 21, 2011
NSD7 - Diabetic Shoes – How My Niche Site Earns (1st $100+ month) - April 1, 2011

For reference here is the Niche Site Duel hub on Pat's site.
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