Design Affiliate Marketing Website Contentto Dominate Search Results in Your Niche
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- Written on: August 14th, 2008
This is the third post in a multi-post series on
how to dominate an affiliate marketing niche.
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In affiliate marketing you can not make any money if you do not have any traffic. You can buy your traffic from a variety of sources, or you can go after organic (free) traffic. Organic traffic is visitors who come to your website by searching for keywords in a search engine.
Since I will not be buying much (if any) traffic, I need to have excellent content to attract visitors from search engines. When it comes to content, there are only three ways to get it:
- Steal it
- Make it Yourself
- Pay Others to Make it For You
There are a lot of ways to steal other people’s content, but content thieves rarely win in the long run.
Google is extremely sophisticated in determining the the source original content. People may be able to trick Google some of the time, but you can’t build a long-term income machine on the back of stolen content.
Hundreds of thousands of websites have been created to do this, and they do make a little money – dollars a day. I want to build a single site that earns $1,000 a day or more. It simply can’t be done with stolen content – put that one out of your mind now.
Making Your Own Content
If you do not have a budget, this is the only way to get the lifeblood your website needs to dominate in the search engines and you will need a lot of it.
There are a few suggestions that I follow when I create content. Note that I said suggestions and not rules. People on the web will disagree on the finer points of content creation, but these suggestions are pretty safe to follow:
- Each page on your website should be designed to accomplish a specific task. A single page on your website should target no more than 5 very tightly related keywords.The keyword density on a page should be targeted between 4 and 7%. Be laser specific on the content covered on every page of your website to increase the odds it will rank for the desired keywords.
- Each page on your website should contain no fewer that 350 words – even that is a little light. Search engines need a certain number of words to analyze on each page of your website so they can determine what the page is about.If you have too few words, the search engine may rank your page lower than you would have liked. You need those #1 search engine spots to make the big money, so spend the time fine tuning the keyword development in your content.
- Frequently add content to your website. There is a general belief that by continually adding content to your website, SE’s will come back to re-index your pages more frequently. This means your new content gets in the search results faster and starts working for you more quickly.
- Make sure all of your pages focus on the central vertical that your website is designed to cover while at the same time adding new search keywords to your arsenal in the search engines. Don’t waste your time adding pages to your website that do not focus on the central theme of your website.For example, if you have a website about rain forests, don’t add a page about the Iraq war. It doesn’t fit and only confuses the search engines as to what your site is supposed to be about. Own your niche. If it doesn’t fit, you shouldn’t print.
So far I have only focused on text content because that is what the search engines can read easily. That does not mean you should ignore video content, audio content, images, etc…
Properly tagged and distributed videos can drive new visitors to your website and add visual elements that will appeal to your human visitors once they are on your website. Don’t forget to give your visitors a reason to stay on your website and consume more of your content. The more they consume (i.e. the longer they stay), the more likely they will monetize well.
Make sure you add keyword-rich alt tags to the images on your website and name them with keyword focused titles. Google will pay more attention to an image named cialis-tablets than it will to IMG0098. Help Google “see” that your content is relevant and related to the purpose of your website.
Buying Your Content
The last option is to buy your content from content creators. This is the fastest – and most expensive – way to get your website up and running with high-ranking pages in the search engines. Because I wnat to start making money in 30 days, this is the option I have selected for my project.
A great source to find content creators id the Digital Point Forums. This is one of the more active forums on the web about making money on the internet and all things related. They have a Buy and Sell section where you can post requests for work like article writing, website design, or graphics design.
I posted a request for English-as-a-first-language content writers to write 350+ word articles. I had more than 25 responses by the next moorning (some within minutes of my post). My request was actually a little odd to many of the people who responded. I wanted articles that read nicely to human eyes AND to search engines.
I got a lot of the usual “I write artikles fur u cheep. Plz consider me for bid.” Obviously those people were eliminated right away. There are a lot of people who will waste your time in life, and its best to just get rid of them fast than to try and make a square peg fit in a round hole.
I narrowed the 25 down to three decent writers who followe dthe directions of including writing samples in their responses. I then tasked all three of them to write me a test article, because two of them will probably flake anyway.
After about a day, I had three sample articles – one for each of the top keyword phrases in my niche. I sent them back for minor revisions and then got email addresses and sent each of them requests for 50+ additional articles to be done in no longer than two weeks. Now I should have 150 articles to launch my website that are all highly targeted toward specific keywords and phrases, yet interesting enough to the human eye to fit in with the other top websites in my niche.
How Much Does Paid Writing Cost?
Almost all of the bids I received offered to write for between .01 and .02 cents a word. This is REALLY REALLY cheap (I charge .40 a word when I freelance). Some of the writers submitted 1200+ word articles with tons of fluff, and I simply sent them, back saying I am looking for a more journalistic (read:concise) style.
I honestly pay my writers better than what they ask for because the higher pay rate tends to show some respect for their talent and it gets my work bumped to the front of the line 😉
They cut the fluff, which made the articles more readable to humans and cheaper for me to buy. I have a target price of about $7-$10 per article. If you do the math with an $8.50 average per article, I will be spending $1,250 on the first 150 articles for my website.
That may sound like a lot, but keep in mind that my goal is to generate $1,000 a day with this website. In the grand scheme of things, $1,250 is not a lot to spend in order to get a $360,000 a year machine off the ground.
Paid Content Rules to Remember
If you decide to go the paid content route, there are a few general rules that you need to remember. If you forget these you will end up with crap content, a massive headache, and either an empty wallet or a bad online reputation.
- You have the money, so you have the control. If an article just sounds spammy (as they often do – seriously, that is how these people are paid to write every day so my request was change of pace for them) don’t be afraid to send it back for revisions. Writers are like dandelions – they are everywhere and as soon as you get rid of one, another is there to take its place. Respect your talent, but get the job done right the first time.
- You are stamping the reputation of your website on this content. READ IT. READ IT AGAIN. Print it and use a red pen if you must, but if you are serious about having good content that appeals to humans, edit your writers work. No writer is perfect and they know that.
- Don’t be afraid to completely reject an article. Let’s face the facts. If a English-first-language writer is working for .01 a word, its only a matter of time until they can’t keep up and quality starts dropping. This is where having a slightly higher payout works well. Also, by having just a few very frequent writers, your website will have the same writing style and tone across the board. Reward your talent if the site takes off. A $100 monthly bonus to someone working for .01 a word is HUGE to them, but small to the guy making $360,000 a year off their work.
- ALWAYS check your writers work with CopyScape. Some writers will plagiarize other articles on the web to crank out fast content and get paid. Be sure to let your writers know you will be using CopyScape to check their work. CopyScape looks at the content of a web page and then searches the web to see if it was copied form some other website. Your organic traffic game only works if your content is unique in the eyes of search engines. As Ronald Reagan said, trust but verify.
What is Coming Tomorrow:
Tomorrow I will post about how to select the right domain for your new website. I will cover questions about whether you should buy an existing domain or find your own. I will also discuss methods to get keyword-rich domains in competitive niches.
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- Comments: 13