Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Real affiliate marketing through Squidoo

The more I study, the more I find out.

Pulled up another of these PDF's I'd stored and forgotten about. It's Squidoo Profits: Step by Step Guide.

One could conceivably make considerable money through Squidoo, but not in the common ways, but in some uncommon ones.

Typically, you need to build your Squidoo pages around keywords. But you start with your own natural keywords first. Take some article you've written. Post it to your blog and then use Googles External Keyword tool to find what keywords are in it, or associated with it.

Now, look up that same keyword on Google (or your favorite search engine) and add "squidoo" after it. You'll see the top Google-ranked lens. It doesn't mean as much to be in the top 100 of Squidoo if you are on the first page of any Google search for your keyword term.

I've had lenses which climbed and fell all over the place on Squidoo - but only ever had two visitors in that same period. Until I find that Squidoo's rankings affect something, I'm ignoring them.

What you are looking for in Squidoo is links and ways to opt-in, plus some minor links to affiliates.

That is one interesting point that comes up from Schoeffel's pdf above - how to link affiliate sites without looking like a spammer. It might seem a bit complicated, but bear with.

If you have a Cpanel host, you are able to have unlimited subdomains. (That's like You simply create these from your control panel.

Now, you can redirect these anywhere you want. So this author says to make a subdomain and then have it redirect to an affiliate link. To any regular-vanilla search engine robot, this looks like another domain name. And often, people will sell hosting services as a subdomain to their main domain - so there isn't really any way to tell this unless you took a human to look up all of these. (Unless you did some spamming trick of making a dozen or more subdomains point to that same specific link - which a robot could be programmed to find.)

With this strategy, you can have "plexo" modules on your lens - which is just a list of items people can vote for - all of which point to a subdomain which will re-direct over to a sales page you are an affiliate for. People (hopefully) will check out those links and so buy affiliate products.

This is also handy if you have multiple products to sell. Like my self-help library on Lulu. I've published some four dozen or more books, CD's, and MP3's there. You can't even find them all easily on my storefront. Lulu also gives only 2048 characters to describe your book or product. That's one tiny sales page. So make a subdomain for each book which then redirects to that Lulu page. When you can, make a sales page for that product which then links directly to Lulu's checkout page. That should convert your sales more effectively - which Lulu will love, since they get a split.

Why not use affiliate links directly? Squidoo has been hit hard by affiliate spammers taking advantage of their free hosting. So they will take down lenses which are simply spamming affiliate links so someone else can make money.

This pdf author also tells you that you shouldn't have more than 10-20 lenses created for each account - but you can have multiple accounts. He also points out that a person might be interested enough to read all of one author's lenses. So if someone is saying they are an expert on Warcraft, Electronic Gifts, Article Marketing, and Health Care products - that reader would think this guy is just full of it.

However, if a single account encompasses all his Warcraft lenses, while another account covers all his Health Care lenses - then it's not obvious that you could really be an expert in several areas.

How does this fit into your schema for becoming an Online Millionaire?

Consider our plan so far: First - blog your heart out. Second - make a lens from that, utilizing the natural keywords you used. Then convert that to articles and post them to article directories. On your lens you will have those same links and direct opt-in forms, plus plexo's which point to your products directly - or to affiliate and JV products. You are doing with your lens more than you can do with your blog, but not as widely as your articles.

Your lenses should be another income producer - or at least an email address magnet - in addition to the links you have through your articles. If your lens is created well, then it becomes an income source on its own.

This is my problem with a Squidoo lens - on any sales page or landing/squeeze/converter page, once you have it tweaked to high efficiency, you leave it alone. With a lens, you are penalized in your Squidoo rankings if you don't change something regularly. In fact, if it looks like your lens has been abandoned, they will take it down for you. Nice.

So you have to weed your garden regularly on Squidoo - if you have a hundred Squidoo pages, this would become a chore all on its own. That violates our principle of having things automated or semi-automated so you don't have to spend a great deal of your valuable time to generate your income. Might as well go back to that day job.

BUT - you can have plexo's which align with your current marketing plans. If you have product series A which has been pushed for awhile and looks like it peaked, then bring in product series B and give them some more exposure. Or use the plexos as above for affiliate products and remove the poorer performing affiliate products with more promising ones.

With all the above, this would seem to change our strategy. Don't work yourself to a frazzle with lenses. But do use them to complement your marketing. Do use them to collect email addresses for your and give away your viral special reports.

Set up an account for each niche you want to sell your product to. Make around 20 lenses for each niche and link in your various products and also include related affiliate products. Once a week or once a month (on a rotating basis) update these lenses and check to make sure they are the best they can be - but don't do any major rewrites.

Each new niche gets a new Squidoo account - and will get new lenses as you blog and article market to that niche.

I have three niches right now - so I should have three accounts and specific lenses for each. One for general self-help, another for the Law of Attraction, and the third for our Online Millionaire Plan.

In each lens, I only point to a landing/squeeze page which converts that visitor to a specific list and A/R series. These should be the same pages which the articles point to - for simplicity and improved page rank of that converter page. Each lens would also be populated with various ClickBank affiliate products on a plexo via subdomains. And so on...

You spend a certain time on maintenence for each niche, which would include getting new articles posted as well as checking on your conversion rates and tweaking both your converter and sales pages - and also tweaking your Squidoo lenses for that niche.

If you have three niches, spend one day a week working on that niche - leaving you two days for new product development and general marketing research, plus the weekend off.

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Social Bookmarking Tool Found

This same PDF told me about a single site which will post your pages to 20 different social bookmarking sites -

You have to sign up with each of these sites and OnlyWire as well, but then it will automatically post your tags and descriptions to each of these.

Now, a point here on tags. I was a bit irked to find that some of these had space-delineated tags, which meant you couldn't use "law of attraction" but had to use something like "lawattraction" instead (both of which are actually good keywords). This author said if you hypenate that keyword, ie. "law-of-attraction" then the robots will see this as three words, while the database still takes it as one.

So our social bookmarking technology is improving as we go along here.

Check out that guy's pdf above - you might have to pay $9.95 for a set of his five PDF's, but you can make it back in affiliate payments if you want. He seems to be speaking sooth in what he covers. It lines up with what we've already gone over here.

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