I am a big fan of article marketing, especially when you are just starting out with a site and need to get a few links pointing your way. I've outlined several other reasons why article marketing works in a previous article, but here we are going to look at some of the benefits that you get by doing article marketing.
The popular article directories get traffic. If you publish a quality article on the directory, then the site might feature you on the front page or in it's newly written articles section. That can get you a lot of traffic to your landing pages right away.
Not only that, but the articles that you submit to the directories will have a good chance of ranking in the search engine results. These sites have a lot of incoming links, so they get crawled frequently. You will start seeing the traffic pour into your article from the search engines in a matter of days.
Another benefit of article marketing is the amount of one way links you will receive. Of course you will get a link from the directory itself, but a lot of times other webmasters will publish the post on their site as well, giving you additional incoming links from even more unique domains. Plus, you control the anchor text over these links, meaning it's an easy way for you to target keywords that you want your own site to rank for!
Marketing articles is going to drive traffic to your landing pages and if you have high converting copy on those pages that is going to translate into sales. You won't have to wait months and months to start getting people to come to your site and see a return on your investment. With article marketing you can turn your site into a money maker in a matter of days.
Those are the main three benefits of article marketing: an increase in the traffic to your site, more link juice and authority due to the one-way links, and more sales due to the increased number of visitors.
Why is knowing the best time to post a blog so important? If you know when the majority of people visit your site and read your stuff then you can time your new material to be released prior to their arrival. This keeps people coming back to your site and will increase your readership. So what are the best practices regarding times of the day you should post your new articles? Let's take a look.
If you are publishing a breaking news story then it goes without saying it's a time-sensitive piece. You need to get these posts published as soon as possible to get the most out of them. When writing breaking news, don't re-read and edit the thing over and over again to try and make it perfect. Instead get it posted then go back and edit the article if necessary. Speed is more important here than grammar because the quicker you are getting your article up the higher the chance the search engines will index you first, bringing you more visitors and more links from other bloggers.
When publishing your general information or how-to articles speed isn't nearly as important. Instead you want to post right before the majority of your readers arrive on your site. This is where having some analytics information on traffic by hour of the day can be helpful. If you do not have that information or are just starting out then you have to know your audience.
If you are focused on people in the United States the best time for you to post is going to be different than if you are targeting Italy. You generally don't want to post late at night when nobody is online. According to Dan Zarrella, most people read blogs int he morning and there is a steady dropoff throughout the day. So much so that half as many people read blogs at night than they do in the morning.
So the most important thing to remember is to get your new content out before your audience arrives. A lot of people use RSS readers these days. If readers subscribe to your blog and you can time your post to go live shortly before they pull up their feeders, you will be at the top and get a lot more views.
A frequently asked question for people just starting out with blogging is how often should you post new articles? The easy answer is you should publish whenever you have something valuable to say. Of course, ideas won't always just come to you so you are going to have to search out topics to right about. There are a number of factors that should go into your decision on how often you should write new posts for you blog. Let's take a look at some of the things you should consider.
Posting Frequency Varies From Blog to Blog
If you are invovled in a news niche or cover a wide range of topics on your blog then you are going to need to post more often. If you write long, quality, in-depth posts then you can post less frequently. Other people like to write short, sharp posts that cover their information quickly and these bloggers can get away with posting more often. Also, if you have a lot of different writers then you can increase your output a lot easier than if you are doing everything by yourself.
You should also consider who your readers are. You don't want people to unsubscribe from your blog because you are posting too often. You have to figure out what your audience prefers and cater to them.
Why You Should Post More Often
Think about going to CNN.com or DrudgeReport.com. Would you keep returning to their sites every day if they rarely changed the stories listed? The answer is no. The same applies to your blog, if you want people to keep coming back you have to give them something new to look forward to.
If you look at the most popular blogs on the web and their posting frequency, the sites that post more than once per day do significantly better than sites that post fewer than once per day. That means that while knowing the best time to post might be important for your very best stuff, but posting more often will help you gain more readers and links than posting fewer items at the right time will.
The more pages you have the more pages the search engines have to index. This means that you will get more traffic. Also, your existing RSS readers will have more opportunities to see your stuff.
Why You Should Post Less
If you post too often then your readers might feel bombarded and unsubscribe. You might also start running out of ideas if you are posting five times per day. You want to make sure you balance you content out on a consistent basis. If you write fewer posts you will also increase reader engagement so you'll see more comments on each post, generating an in-depth discussion.
The most important thing is to find a posting frequency that works for you and your readers and then stick with it. The number one problem that I find with blogs in trouble is inconsistency in posting.
People get excited when they are starting out and post often, but after failing to generate a solid reader base they start tailing off and their blog ultimately fails. Your readers will grow accustomed to your schedule, but it has to be maintained. If you start publishing every day and then take a week off, your readers will get worried. They might start emailing you to see if you are still alive, or worse, forget about your site and be gone forever.
If you can post once every 2-3 days to start, try that. If you feel like you are getting a backlog of ideas, increase that number to 4-5 times per week and keep building up until you find the right amount that works for you. It's much easier to increase the amount of posts than it is to scale back, readers don't find that as easy to adjust to.
How often do you post? Let me know in the comments.
I have had a lot of success making money online by writing reviews for products with affiliate programs. These pages are the probably the most common copy used for promoting products.
Make it Easy for the Visitor
Reviews are an easy way to save the visitor time comparing products that propose to solve the problem they are having by listing the positives and negatives of each one. You want to make sure you list all of the information that the person will be looking for when making a purchase decision. Make it clear to them how each product can help them solve their problem whether it be to save them money, time, or increase their overall happiness. If they read your review and still have questions, they are going to go looking for answers somewhere else without having clicked through your affiliate links.
You have to grab their attention with the headline. The best way to do this is to put yourself in their shoes and describe their pain. Are you tired of feeling insecure due to acne, do you want to build muscle quickly, get rid of those extra pounds, whatever it is that your products do.
I have found that is works best giving a brief description of each product with it's positives and negatives. How well does it solve the problem? How much is the cost, customer support, and money back guarantee? Have a call of action as the last sentence of each review and at the bottom of the page itself.
Rank them in the order of the best solution to buy (actually use #1, #2). People will see right through your copy if you are just trying to push the one that offers you the highest commissions. Your analysis on why the top product is the best out there should be convincing enough that the visitor will purchase it even if it's the most expensive.
Limit the number of products on the page from between three and seven. You'll want to use the most common products in the niche, but you can also add a few of the lesser knowns as well to differentiate yourself from other reviewers.
If you can use images next to the products you are reviewing then do it. It breaks up the text and gives the reviews a more professional look. Just remember to link to the site from all images using your affiliate link.
In order to write the highest converting review page possible you are going to have to test any change you make. The metrics that you will have to monitor are your overall traffic to the review page and then how many people purchase after going to that page.
If you are using advertising to drive traffic to the page you will be testing changes in your advertisements in order to increase the number of people to the page. If you are testing conversion rates, you want to see how changes you make on the actual page increase or decrease the percentage of people that purchase after coming to your page.
Your goal when writing product reviews is to convert your visitors to buyers. You have to motivate people to purchase one of the products and to click through your link to do so.
Have you used a product or service and loved it so much you want to tell other people? I'm sure you have and you have probably convinced friends or family members to give it a try as well. The same kind of principles can work for Internet marketing as well. The difference with people you know is that they already trust you, but most visitors to your site are not going to know you from a hole in the wall. You have to build up trust by connecting with them emotionally.
You really have to get in the mind of the visitor to write a good testimonial for the product you are reviewing. You have to figure out why a person would be interested in the product, what are they thinking, and how it will improve their situation? The more you can relate to what the visitor is going through the more they will believe you know about their situation. If you have walked a mile in their shoes and come out much improved, then you will be giving the visitor hope you know how to help improve their situation as well.
What are the features of the product you are reviewing? How well do they relate to what the customer is looking for? You do have to talk up the product that you are promoting, but don't be too over the top. Remember you aren't a salesperson, but just a happy customer that wants the rest of the world to know about this miraculous cure for what was ailing you!
Why would they be reluctant to purchase the product? Are there any risks? If you are selling a product with a high purchase price, visitors are going to want to be extra sure it's going to solve their problem due to the high cost. Is the product promising something that seems unbelievable or too good to be true, customers are going to have a harder time trusting it will work. If it's a niche where the visitor has tried several different solutions and hasn't seen any results, you will have a harder time convincing them that you have the magic cure. Money back guarantees are almost a must these days. If you will give the customer their money back if they are unsatisfied, it's almost like saying to them "what do you have to lose anyway?"
Experience with the Problem
The easiest first person reviews are the ones that you write based on your own experience and believe in. If you have never hit a golf ball in your life it's going to be hard to connect with the frustration faced by someone who hits a huge slice and is shooting terrible scores on the course. If you are going to promote a product you don't have experience with using a first person testimonial, you need to either have it written by someone with experience or interview someone who would be interested in the product.
Adding testimonials to your landing page can be a great way to increase your conversion rates. Buyers want to feel validated when they make a purchase and testimonials show that others have bought the product or service and have been very happy with the outcome. This gives you social proof in the visitors eyes.
A testimonial is an endorsement or form of praise from a satisfied user of your product. The trick with testimonials is that they have to be credible and believable so use the customer's own words. Even if there are issues with grammar, don't over-edit the piece. This adds a realism to the comments.
If possible, identify the buyer as completely as possible. A testimonial by Justin S. doesn't work as well as Justin Sage, Internet marketer from Clive, Iowa. If he will submit a picture, voice recording, or even a video that is even better.
You want your testimonials to connect with the visitor. The person offering the testimonial has had a similar problem and was in the visitor's shows trying to find a solution. If a customer overcame some kind of worry, it's great to have that in the testimonial.
For example, they didn't know if your dog training videos would work for them since they have a seven year old lab that has never had training, but the dog was trained really well after going through your program. That kind of statement is going to increase your chances of converting owners of older dogs who want to buy a training course but aren't sure if it's too late.
Specific information works well. If you are selling an SEO product instead of having a testimonial that has "our traffic has made huge jumps" it's better to have something like "our traffic is up 432% since buying this ebook four weeks ago."
Work Into Copy
When placing testimonials into your sales copy, it's important that it flows within your content and accentuates your key points when you are trying to make them. This format obviously works best when your landing page is centered around one product, as it could be confusing to the visitor who is endorsing what if you are trying to sell multiple items on one page.
Ask for More!
If you ever get an email from a happy customer, ask them for a testimonial! They are in the perfect mind set to help you in return for the service that you provided for them.
Creating a landing page from scratch is no easy task, but luckily there are all kinds of sites out there that offer free landing page templates to site owners. I have compiled a list of a few that I think are worth taking a look at. Just remember that you have to find the one that works best for your offer and your site. Don't use a landing page that requires video if you aren't going to put something up there, that kind of thing. No matter which template you go with, keep testing it over and over again until you get your conversion rate as high as possible.
Landing Pages Using Text
An excellent free landing page for capturing leads.
Cash Revolution WordPress Landing Pages
Don't use these as your normal blog themes, but if you are creating a domain just for a landing page then this is an easy WordPress theme you can use that comes in several different colors.
Cash Revolution Clean Landing Pages
Nice and clean, simple landing page that can be customized to maximize effectiveness. Has a testimonials section, bullet points, and a clear call to action.
Not only do they put together a clean looking landing page with everything that you need, but this site also adds quite a bit of tips and tricks on landing page design.
Can't be used for any kind of adult content, pirated or illegal software downloads, or anything insulting. Must keep their links in place, but it's easy to customize. I don't recommend allowing visitors to download your offer without giving you their contact information.
Not the best landing page in terms of capturing leads, you'll have to do some modifications to get it to work for that. It's a clean design though and would work for a homepage.
Kind of older looking, but I've used these and had decent results.
If you are specifically looking for landing pages for: gaming, online dating, credit repair, anti-aging, or get cash now then he has five good looking templates.
Weight Loss, Fitness, and Dental are all free, but they come out with some solid packages each month that you can pay a small amount for.
Learning with Leslie
Several free landing pages all kind of centered on the make money online theme.
Landing Pages with Video
Nice looking video squeeze page with the Tweet button and lead capture form. The one I like the best.
Squeeze Page WordPress
Another easy to install video landing page theme. All you have to do is add the headline, copy, opt-in form, and your video.
Cash Revolution Video Page
A video squeeze page that looks really good. The only thing that I would change is that instead of a sign up button, you actually put your sign up form on that page to eliminate an extra step. Here is a list of 5 more free video templates from them as well.
Small Landing Pages for Popups or Mobile Sites
These load fast so can be used where speed is essential.
Facebook Landing Pages
Where "fans" will land at.
Stylish, branded splash page to help boost fan conversion.
A couple of years ago you only had to worry about domain level penalties, but now search engines have refined their penalties for specific pages on a site targeting certain keywords. The most common page that gets hit is the home page. I'm not really sure if that is because the index is the most popular page on almost every site or whether it's the favorite target for people to try to game and get higher rankings for. Here are some of the factors for page level penalties:
Often times the page level penalties are only applied for specific keyword phrases. You might be "over-optimizing" if you have too high of a keyword density on the page. Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past, so make sure your content flows naturally and speaks to the user, not the search engine spider.
If a site owner is obviously targeting a certain page with an overuse of keyword rich external link anchor text the search engines might apply a penalty. With natural links people aren't always going to link to your "widgets" page using that anchor text. They will also mix in your site name, strange parts of the sentence, and the exact URL. If the only links you have pointing to that page are for the keyword, you might get penalized.
Sitewide links can cause a problem. I don't think keyword rich, sitewide links give you as much juice as they used to. If you see natural blogrolls almost all use the site name, or brand name as the anchor text. They don't use keywords and rarely do they link to internal pages over the home page.
You can also over-optimize your internal linking structure. You want to vary how you link to the page. For your menus, think of what is best for the user and don't worry about keyword rich anchor text. Using a "widgets" example don't fill your menu with "red widgets", "blue widgets", "green widgets", and on down the line. Instead title your menu "Colored Widgets" and use the links of "red", "blue", and "green".
Links from Bad Neighbordhoods
Getting links from bad sites, either that have been de-indexed for hosting malware or penalized for some other reason is often brought up by the experts as a reason to draw a penalty. While you don't want to intentionally generate links from these sites, nor do you want to hack someone else's site to get a link back to yours, I don't think the link alone will get you into trouble. If that was the case a hacker would just break into someone's site and add links to a competitor, benefiting from their rankings drop by moving up due to their penalties.
Page level penalties are tough to detect. As the site owner you might think that you need you aren't ranking well yet because of not enough links so you go out and find more incoming links to that page with the same anchor text you are being penalized for! That can be really frustrating I'm sure. You will also still receive a decent amount of traffic to that page, even though it's the less targeted long tail traffic, further enhancing your belief that everything is fine.
How can you tell if you are suffering from a page level penalties?
- Did you buy a bunch of paid links that used the same anchor text pointing to the same page?
- Does that page not rank well for the targeted keyword? You might find yourself with a -5, -10, or -30 penalty so a sudden drop by that many spots is a strong indicator.
- Does the page rank well for related but not too closely matched keywords? It's better to test several so you can see any significant differences.
- Are you linking to that page with your keyword anchor text from every page of your own site?