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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Being an Amazon Affiliate

I've now been an Amazon affiliate for over 2 years, and I have to say that I started seeing considerate sales only this year around. The first year I was wary of it, as I am with any NEW thing I try out. Because of this, I didn't have many affiliate links embedded on my sites -- just one here and there. Then I saw my first sale and I was tempted to test out more product links related to my niche topics. Yet, I shied away from taking Amazon too seriously, because I had heard horror stories of how the checks never reached your place especially if you resided in India. Only after I received my first check, that I knew this was a real deal -- even for Indians. It takes around 2-3 weeks for me to get Amazon check. It arrives faster than Clickbank's, and more or less the same time as Google AdSense, ShareASale checks.

If you are thinking of becoming an Amazon affiliate, and are feeling apprehensive of the whole thing -- don't be! If I can get checks whilst staying in a rural place in India, so can you! But yes, you can't expect yourself to get sales by carelessly dropping in links all over your site. The product HAS to be related to what your niche topic is about. For example, you can't expect to sell a Paulo Coelho book when your blog is all about sports. If someone has landed on your sports blog after searching for a sports-related topic on Google, they're more likely to purchase a product that is related to your theme. This is one of the first lessons that I've learnt in affiliate marketing.

I've seen a number of newbie blogs where the author talks about everything under the Sun and then drops in an affiliate link for Amazon Kindle. If you ever get a sale out from those links -- it's pure luck. More often than not, you are NOT going to get a sale for those.

Here are some tips -

1. Search for products that are related to your niche. For example, if your blog is about wedding ideas and supplies, look for products that are useful for weddings.

2. Don't just drop links. I've seen that web pages that have loads of content tend to perform well in terms of sales as opposed to those that don't. So yes, use affiliate links, but take your time in explaining why YOU think they're useful. This is probably one of the reasons why affiliate marketing is not for lazy marketers -- coz you need to convince the visitor why your product is useful through your words as quickly as possible. Why quickly as possible? The attention span of readers browsing through the Web is not so good. They are mostly scanning through pages and if they find that a page doesn't convey what they are searching for in the first few seconds of this "scanning" phase - then quick exit left (or right) it is!

3. Do proper keyword research. If you are targeting a general topic, you won't get anywhere. There are loads of competition for keywords like "wedding", so narrow things down a little. What type of wedding supplies do you want to target? There are so many themed weddings happening nowadays, perhaps you should target one particular theme? I will tell you how I do keyword research in another blog post altogether. After doing your keyword research, you can start a blog on the same topic and include appropriate products.

4. One of my favorite features on Amazon affiliate progam is the ability to link to any page using the cute "Link to this page" option at the top left of the screen of This saves you a lot of time and you needn't keep going back to the affiliate program to build customized links. Use this as often as possible. You can link to a whole results page, or you can target any one specific product.

5. People love pictures. If you want to use a picture of the product on your site, use the 'Image link' after clicking on the "Link to this page" option. Select size "large image" and copy paste the code to your page. People tend to click on pictures that they like, and if they do -- they'll be taken directly to the product page.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Why Starting A Blog Can Work Wonders For You

This is the 2nd time this week that I have been contacted for a job proposal. When I ask these people where they got my info from and how they came to know that I love digital marketing, prompt comes the reply - "From your blog!". Gone are those days when employers seek out potential employees from just the online job portals. They are scouring the Web for people who are passionate in doing their work. This is a good sign for people like me who have a certain passion when it comes to work and are looking forward to entering the same zone even when it comes to working in a professional environment. I'm a software engineer by profession but my passion? You might've already guessed that one out -- I've given enough clues already.

I'm not saying dump all your personal stuff and professional jabbers into one single space. The Web is so vast, why not register a different spot altogether for your passion? Set up a new blog or website and start talking about your work. Not many will be interested, but you are putting your knowledge out there on a public platform for the world to see. If you are confident enough to talk about your abilities, employers might just give you that second glance when they hop over to your site.

I have also found that starting a blog which is updated regularly does wonders for a person's business. Just recently I read an article on how Flipkart rose to fame and how they got their initial customers by doing cracking SEO research. The site had a feed on their site which pulled in fresh content from Yahoo! News on related topics. You can check waybackmachine here to see the Yahoo news feed embedded at the bottom of the page. The search engines used to view this as Flipkart updating its site on a regular basis with original content, and if you have done your little research on SEO you will know that the search engines like Google absolutely lurrrrvveee frequently updated sites and blogs. Later on Flipkart had to pull that widget out because it went against Yahoo's terms of the feed being used on a commercial site. Then again, they could have also used a feed for their blog and more or less have achieved the same results provided it was updated frequently.

Whatever it is, if you are someone who is looking forward to rise in business or your profession or just about anything -- you need to get out there and advertise yourself on many platforms as possible. Online marketing is just not an option anymore. Creating your own niche blog or site can be a start.

...So what are you waiting for? :-)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Getting One-Way Links

If you are going to promote any product -- yours or as an affliate marketer -- you need to have a model in mind. I usually write down the things I need to do, and this somehow makes the entire process more clear to me. If you want to promote your main website, it is necessary to have many one-way links to the site. Each one-way link to your main website is like a virtual vote, and depending on the number of these "votes" Google determines whether or not your website is useful.

There are many softwares out there that promise one-way links with just a click of a button and other such crap - don't fall for that. Even if it's a lot of work, you need to naturally build up one-way links to your site because search engines likes it that way. An effective way to do this is by writing short articles on high PR sites. For example, I would totally recommend writing on Squidoo and HubPages and pointing them towards your main website. These sites get a lot of traffic and you can make use of it to redirect the traffic you get to the main landing page.

Coming back to the business model, this is a basic one which I have created (for your understanding).

Here, S=Squidoo (A PR 7 Site), H=Hubpages (A PR 6 Site), and E=EzineArticles (Another PR6 Site) and MW=Your Main Website. As you can see, there are one-ways links from S->H, and H->E. You can even create one more from E->S. All three are pointing towards the main site. Now try adding more Squidoo lenses, Hubs and Ezine-articles with all of them pointing towards your main website. It is recommended though to use different platforms to create one-way backlinks. Other sites you can use include - Tumblr, Blogspot and Amplify. There are many such sites out there that you can use for free and which have a good ranking. Of course, this work can get tedious and most affiliate marketers like to employ others to do the dirty work for them.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

A Sureshot Way to Earn Income from eBay!

I have to start this post by saying that I haven't yet implemented this technique. But I'm sure it will work out if you promote the right products. It seems very doable! The good thing about this technique is that you don't have to write any long articles for selling items. If you suck at writing but still want to earn money online, then this is the method for you! I would love to start a small business on eBay some day and I'm planning on implementing this very technique. I read through a report the other day which mentioned how you can earn some guaranteed income by making sales through eBay using a certain methodology. The person sells branded clothes/accessories. People (women especially) love shopping for these and the demand for these items never dies down! This is why selling clothes is one of the profitable niches on eBay. If you want to earn more money, you can try selling electronic items.

Here's what you need to do in order to sell clothes for a profit on eBay -

1. You get best quality, branded items from malls. You need to raid these malls when there's a huge sale going on. See a 70-80% off sale at an outlet? Get in there and check some of the items out. By getting branded items for a sale, you can make sure that the items you're going to sell on eBay are going to be of good quality. You wouldn't want to sell cheap quality clothes to your clients on eBay and get a bad rating in return -- BAD for your business!

2. You HAVE to get items with the original price tag on them. You don't want your customers to see the sale price tag and think that they got ripped off their money or something! Yes, this is how business is done -- you need to handle things with tact!

3. Take a nice, clear picture of the item using a digicam. Don't have one? Borrow your friend's! The picture should be well lit and of perfect clarity. Somehow people tend to mistrust a vendor for taking shady pictures. Maybe they think that sellers are trying to hide a flaw in the product by taking unclear pictures? Whatever the reason, it has been proven that products with a clear picture tend to attract more sales than those which don't!

4. Select a price less than the original price of the branded item. This is to ensure that the customers believe that your offer is juicy enough to be taken into consideration! Suppose a product's original price was 120 and now it's 60 after a discount. You can sell it for $100 (take the shipping charges in account too and add it to the price).

5. Select a payment mode. Most sellers on eBay use PayPal because it is fast, secure and easy! I'm really worried about the new rule set by RBI for PayPal users in India though. Online revenue more than $500 not accepted per transaction? That just sucks big time and I believe this is going to affect a lot of business owners online. Hopefully, this case will be rectified soon.

6. Pack it up nicely and ship away! You will have to do a little research yourself on how much shipping charges will cost you though.

The people who have followed this method have said it has worked every time for them! I plan to do it soon and my husband fortunately sounds enthusiastic enough to contribute :D Let's see how it turns out. Will keep you posted.


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

What are You Willing to Do for 5 Dollars?

I recently started using and I have to say I'm very impressed. You can offer your services at the site for 5 dollars, or you can get tedious tasks done for you for 5 dollars. This is what makes the site so popular -- you get anything and everything for just 5 dollars! I decided to try it out and started a new 'gig'. Within a matter of a day or two, I had an order! The point is to create gigs which others will find a steal for 5 dollars. For example, I'm quite good at creating hubs and Squidoo lenses, so I offered to create new pages for $5. Since I'm an expert now in using these platforms, it doesn't take much time for me to publish new pages whereas it might not be the same case with people who are new but have no time to learn how to use these powerful marketing tools. The result? You get orders! pays you via PayPal. After you deliver the work, payment is cleared only after a few days (which is not so good, but still you get paid!).

What type of services should you offer at Fiverr?

  • Something which is easy for you to do - You wouldn't want to waste too much of your precious time for just five dollars!
  • Something which can be completed in a jiffy! - But you have to be sure that people will find this service of yours valuable.

Examples -

  • Writing articles. - NOT 1000 word articles or anything! But you wouldn't want to make them too short either. A 300-500 word article is apt.
  • Creating videos of yourself giving away testimonials of a product or a website. - Everyone is on the lookout for creating videos especially Internet marketers!
  • Designing simple graphics. - What's a webpage without one?
  • ..... Anything and Everything!!! You might be surprised at some of the 'gigs' you find there!

You Have to Be Careful About -

  • People who try to trick you out of more than what is mentioned in the gig - They will say things like 'Oh! I misunderstood the gig! I was actually looking out for more'. Don't fall for that! It's just a way of making you feel guilty and do more work than required! :)
  • Be sure the gig you started is something that you can actually do! - There is a set delivery time for each gig within which you will have to complete your task. If not, you will just earn a bad rating and that does your profile no good!

If you are looking for a quick five dollars, I would recommend you to hop over to the site and offer your services. It's a legitimate money making site which is getting really popular nowadays.

Additionally to help you, here's a video tutorial on how to use Fiverr. The guy offers some helpful tips for Internet marketers on how to get the best out of Fiverr -