In today's blog post I'm going to show you some of my secret Web 2.0 strategies that I use to turbocharge my money sites and increase my affiliate marketing income. If you haven't read part 1 of my Web 2.0 miniseries yet, check it out here (it's all about the reasons why you should be using Web 2.0 sites in your marketing campaigns)
AffiloBlueprint has a great SEO section, where Mark covers using Web 2.0 sites to build backlinks to your website. What I'm going to do today is build a little bit on Mark's Web 2.0 training, and show you how to use Web 2.0 to generate targeted referral traffic to your money website. By this, I mean visitors who WANT to join your list or buy the products you recommend. The added bonus of using this method is that you can also create backlinks AND earn residual income from the profit-sharing arrangements Web 2.0 sites offer.
To demonstrate my Web 2.0 secret strategies, I've set up a brand new website in a brand new niche (Diablo 3 - for anyone who knows video games you will know this niche is "hot property" right now) I've used the AffiloTheme and set up a very basic website. At the moment, it's basically just a landing page that pre-sells a popular Diablo 3 strategy guide. There is very little other content on this site.
Web 2.0 "Cheatsheet"
Here is my personal "cheatsheet" for Web 2.0 residual/referral traffic:
- Pick a keyword around which you want to focus your Web 2.0 properties. You want to create one group of Web 2.0 properties per keyword (for today's example I'm using the keyword 'best Diablo 3 strategy guide')
- Focus on building engaging Web 2.0 properties by making use of the different modules they offer. Embed lots of videos, pictures, quizzes, and other fun stuff. This also saves on writing time.
- Link your Web 2.0 properties together (you don't have to use the linkwheel structure - feel free to randomize it)
- Vary the anchor text of all of your outbound links; both to other Web 2.0 properties and to your money site. This will make your links more natural and give them more value
- Always aim to build up traffic and social presence - don't just spam for links or money!
HubPages - The Web 2.0 Cornerstone
One of my favorite Web 2.0 sites to build up powerful residual traffic, social presence, and links is Hubpages.
Although Hubpages is no longer the "holy grail" it once was (where you could almost instantly get 1st page rankings on Google, and then promote Clickbank products directly in your hub) it is still very effective.
Let me walk you through how to properly build a HubPages "Hub" for maximum benefit:
Start by trying to get a Hub title/domain that matches your keyword (or at least has your keyword in it):
Also, make sure you have picked the most relevant category possible. This helps to ensure that you get targeted visitors who click through from category pages.
When it comes to adding "tags" use your keyword and logical variations here. You can always come back and add more later. Many affiliates fail to properly tag their Web 2.0 properties - this can mean the difference between being found, and being lost in a sea of competition
With any Web 2.0 property (especially HubPages) the first paragraph of your introduction should be completely devoid of any promotion, and instead set a friendly tone. Remember that our aim here is to build up a "social" profile of Web 2.0 properties that generate lots of referral traffic that trusts you.
Next, you want to prominently display your main keyword. This lets the search engines know what your Hub is about, and also makes it clear to readers:
One of my Web 2.0 tips is to always let people know you'll be adding more content over time, and that they should check back regularly. This helps to encourage repeat visitors, which is good for building trust (and search engine rankings)
Here's another Web 2.0 super-secret (that applies not only to Hubpages, but Squidoo etc) Make sure that you always add a video above the page fold - this will encourage people to stay on your page for longer and make your page more interesting. Nothing is more boring than being greeted by a massive wall of text when you first open a page. Find an interesting YouTube video and then embed it into your content.
Even better is taking one of your OWN YouTube videos and embedding it in your Web 2.0 sites. This will increase your view count and also increase the chances of your video ranking more highly in the search engines.
Always add plenty of eye-catching images as well.
Once you've got all that set up, your next step is to add what I like to call a "social supercharger" to your Hub. One of my favorite things to do is place a simple quiz/poll module beneath the introduction.
This will be fun for your readers, and also make your Hub more entertaining (other platforms such as Squidoo also offer quiz/poll functions, so make use of them)
With Web 2.0 sites you need to get out of the mindset of milking them for money, if you ever want to see REAL success by using Web 2.0
Next, you want to actually add the part of your Hub that is going to bring your referral traffic and backlinks. What I like to do is create simple reviews or "mini articles" that have a whole heap of bullet points (they're easier to read and more informative for your visitors)
Don't fall into the trap of being salesy or promotional here. Instead, you want to inform your readers and make them want to click through to your CTA link. Once the traffic starts to build to your Hub (or Squidoo lens, InfoBarrel page, or any other Web 2.0 property) it is this CTA that is going to drive the majority of traffic for you.
My CTA link directs users to my main Diablo 3 game guide site.
Bonus tip: If HubPages won't allow you to link to a page on your money site (because it contains Clickbank links, is too promotional, or is on a topic they don't allow) then link through to a different Web 2.0 property. For example, if you have a Slideshare presentation you could link to that instead - and then link to your money site from there.
You should always add a product screenshot as well! This makes your Hub more vibrant and interesting, and also helps to draw more attention to your link.
Revenue sharing is a big part of Web 2.0 sites such as HubPages. Amazon Associates (sign up for it here) is one of the perennial favorites. Just about every Web 2.0 site offers some form of revenue share when people buy from Amazon. Google Adsense is also another service that you should definitely sign up for.
I like to insert Amazon modules on HubPages (and Squidoo) Even though these "cold selling" modules don't convert that well, once the traffic builds and you have more Web 2.0 properties you will see some residual cash build. However, the main reason I like to use them is to really beautify your pages and make them more interesting.
Protip: HubPages now offer a new feature where you can directly link to an Amazon product using the "insert hyperlink" function in the text module. Say, for example, I'm writing about Diablo 3 strategy guides - I could write a CTA such as "buy the official Diablo 3 guide here" and insert an Amazon link directly into the Hub. You can even search for products from within the "insert hyperlink" function. These links convert at a much higher rate than the standard Amazon modules.
With HubPages, the "links" module is one of your best friends. It allows you to add a list of useful links to your Hub, and format it properly. One of the best things to do is search HubPages for your topic or keyword, and then add links to at least 10 related hubs. You can do this in a matter of minutes.
What's the benefit?
Linking to other Hubs:
- Makes your Hub more of an authority
- Shows readers and moderators you aren't just out to promote your own links
- Increases your chances of receiving reciprocal links from other Hubbers
You can add another link to your main site here, using the anchor text you are trying to rank for.
Finally, you want to write a unique Hub summary that includes your keyword (and a variation or two) This will help you to rank higher in Google, and also make your Hub easier to find:
Once you've published your Hub, make sure that you Tweet about it and share it on your Facebook account. This quickly builds social proof and can get more visitors. Although I personally believe that social signals are overrated in terms of their ability to build links and increase your search engine rankings, I do think they are very useful for referral traffic.
HubPage Hubs usually form the cornerstone of any of my Web 2.0 "groups" - HubPages is therefore the only Web 2.0 site I'm covering in step-by-step detail today.
However, now let me walk you through some powerful secrets of other Web 2.0 sites I like to pack in my arsenal:
Here's a shocking secret - when Slideshare first came out I wasn't really too fond of it. My presentations got presented in an "ugly" manner, and they weren't ranking highly in Google.
However, things have changed a lot now - Slideshare presentations frequently rank on Page 1 of Google, especially for long-tail keyword phrases.
What I like to do is create simple Powerpoint presentations that are between 10-20 pages long. The presentation should be focused around either teaching something, or reviewing a product.
Here are my Slideshare tips:
Always embed lots of images - it makes your presentations eye-catching and more appealing to readers
Notice how attractive this particular slide is when I added a simple screenshot of the product's sales page? I like doing this as it familiarizes the visitor with the salespage before they have even arrived at it (thus reducing buyer resistance)
Another secret with SlideShare is to always make sure that you have clear calls to action for people to click back to your website. Here is an example:
Note that this link actually takes visitors to a product review on my website. This presentation has been live for about a week. It took me 5 minutes to make, and has earned me $50 in sales already - how neat is that?
My biggest Slideshare secret is to make sure that you properly optimize your presentations. Take a look at this example:
What optimizations can you notice?
- Keyword in the presentation title - check
- Keyword in the tags list - check
- Keyword (and variations) in the description - check
I've often wondered if naming your Powerpoint file in accordance with they keyword you are targeting actually has any effect on the search engine ranking of a presentation. While I have no conclusive evidence to suggest it does, I still recommend that you use your keyword as your presentation file name (for example "best Diablo 3 strategy guide" becomes "best-diablo-3-strategy-guide.pptx")
Other Slideshare tips:
- Take your presentation link and add it to the "links" module on your HubPage Hub (and Squidoo Lens)
- If you have Web 2.0 blogs on platforms such as Blogger, embed your presentation using the embed code
- Make sure you use really clear fonts and bold colors
- Bookmark and ping your presentations
Squidoo is very much like HubPages (only a bit more flexible in my experience) However, I don't think their interface is as friendly as HubPages, nor are Squidoo lenses as easy to rank with.
However, Squidoo is still an important part of my Web 2.0 strategy. When making Squidoo lenses follow my HubPages method, but keep the following in mind:
Here are my Squidoo success secrets:
- Squidoo has many more module types available than HubPages. Make sure that you use them wisely. The Amazon Plexo module, for example, allows visitors to vote on their favorite products from a list you provide (great for social proof and more sales)
- Use the RSS feed module. Go to HTML2RSS and create an RSS feed of your other Web 2.0 properties, as well as article submissions. Paste this RSS feed back into your Squidoo lens for supercharged backlinks. In a future blog post I'll show you the power of HTML2RSS.
- While we are on the subject of RSS feeds - take your HubPages author feed and add it into your Squidoo lenses. Every time you publish a new Hub it will get instant links and an SEO boost.
- Always embed lots of YouTube videos.
- Use the links module to build links to all of the Web 2.0 properties in your group
- Build your lenses up to the point where they are not "works in progress" - this means you will get much more referral traffic from within Squidoo itself.
Other Web 2.0 Secrets
HubPages, Slideshare, and Squidoo are the heavyweights of my Web 2.0 strategy. They bring me the majority of the traffic and backlinks (not to mention passive income)
However, there are literally dozens of other Web 2.0 sites out there. There are also many different Web 2.0 tips and strategies you can employ, such as:
- Always follow all the rules on Web 2.0 sites. Since Google Panda they have become much more cautious about members promoting their own sites or affiliate offers.
- Create a group of Web 2.0 properties focused around a keyword (for example, 1x Hub, 1x Squidoo lens, 1x Slideshare presentation, 1x Scribd doc, 1x InfoBarrel article)
- Once your group has been created and has been live for a week or so, go back and add more content to each of the properties in that group.
- Always reply to any comments you receive, especially on Hubs and Lenses.
- Create RSS feeds from each of your properties (or use your profile RSS feed) and submit to popular RSS directories for more backlinks and traffic.
- Make sure you are signed up for all the relevant ad programs each Web 2.0 site offers for revenue sharing. You might only earn a pittance per page (PPP marketing anybody?) but over time it all adds up to build a nice little side income.
- Make sure you add backlinks to your money site on all of your profile pages.
- Really get involved in the community aspect of Web 2.0 sites - comment on others' works, post in the forums etc. This will help to build up your presence and drive more referral traffic.
- Focus on one keyword/group at a time. This will keep you focused on the task and avoid confusion.
So there you have it - my Web 2.0 secrets revealed. Hopefully you have learned a thing or two today, and will put this into action in your own affiliate marketing campaigns.
The methods you have learned today work very well alongside Mark's AffiloBlueprint system. Build a site using his system, then add this knowledge to the link building section of the course and you'll be a country mile ahead of your competition. If you haven't already, check out the latest version of AffiloBlueprint here.
If you have any questions, comments, or queries just drop a line below. I'd love to hear from you!