Just wanted to say hi

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Blue Falcon, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Hello and thank you all for this forum. Over the last month I have become more and more interesting in affiliate marketing. I was tempted by alot of scams but I told myself that I would research and learn how to do everything myself without paying for coaching. I feel like I have learned alot in the last month (a month ago I had never heard of the word affiliate marketing) and hope to learn alot more. This forum has helped me out tremendously and so I wanted to register and personally thank you all and I hope to be able to give back to the community.

    To tell you a little bit about myself, my name is Eric and I am in the Marine Corps reserves and I have decided to go back to school for computer information systems. I served in Iraq in 2008 and my biggest hobby is aquariums. I also love computers and spend hours a day just researching and teaching myself until my head explodes. haha.

    Anyways, for my niche I chose aquariums because I am very passionate about them. I have had many aquariums over the years and I know more about aquariums than anything else. So I figured that I had alot of knowledge that I could share with other people as content on my site and I signed up for several affiliate programs promoting aquarium supplies in my sidebar. So far I have created my website, epic aquarium which is in my signature if I did it right, I used wordpress to create my site and have been tweaking the content and on-page SEO a bit over the last week. (website has been up for a week). Each day I try to work on getting backlinks by submitting new articles and posting on forums. Unfortunately I have a hard time getting backlinks through blogs because most blog owners dont want you posting a link back to your site. I have personally contacted several site owners in the same niche and asked to do a link swap, I know google doesnt think highly of this but it's better than no links I hope. I havnt yet been able to find my site on google searching for my keywords but I am dedicated and will not give up. If anyone wants to check out my site and give me any advise or constructive criticism about anything, I would be very grateful.

    Sorry for the long post but again I wanted to thank you and I look forward to getting to know you guys and gals.

    Thank you, Eric
  2. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Hi Eric, don't be discouraged about the links or search results yet.
    Google has indexed 23 pages of your site so give it time.
    Links help but are not the holy grail some make it out to be.
    Just keep doing what you're doing and edit often, which pings the update.

    One suggestion on the photos, re-size them to no bigger than 1200px.
    Use a batch program like Kigo or Re-sizer.exe to do them all at once.
    You can still link the pics to a larger version but the smaller load faster.
    When I clicked on one of the gallery photos it was 4x the size of my screen (1600)
    That is why they load so slow and can lose viewers before they load.
    I make my page pictures no bigger than 800px and large versions 1600px.
    Sometimes I'll link to a full size version if it's suitable for a poster print.

    And my fish are jealous after seeing some of your habitats!
    Keep up the good work and don't get "desperate".
    Thanks for sharing.
  3. talfighel

    talfighel Silver Member

    Hi Eric,

    Welcome to the forum.

    Having your site on page one on Google is your main goal and if this happens for your keyword, then you can do very well online.

    But the matter of the fact is that you can not rely on the search engines to get you traffic. You have to find other ways to do things like paid advertising.

    You can be very passionate about a subject but that does not mean that you will be able to get your site on page one bringing you lots of traffic.
  4. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    talfighel: paid advertising
    Tal, that is terrible advice to give someone who admits to being a newbie.
    No faster way to go broke and get discouraged than "paid advertising".
    Learning the ins and outs of tracking ad results should start with free advertising.
    Too many, far too many, people have given up after losing a few hundred bucks.
    I agree PPC is a great way to target customers but most won't buy first visit.
    And most newbies won't have a clue how to target the right audiences.
    Organic traffic from SEO and Sharing buttons is the way to go.

    Tal, do you get paid for pumping PPC all the time? Stop it!
    I have yet to see you tell us how to use paid properly.
    It has it's place but it is not a poor boys game.
    Learn to Earn, not just burn money.
    Eric is already ahead of the game.
    He hasn't lost a dime yet!
  5. mountainmom5

    mountainmom5 Gold Member

    talfighel: But the matter of the fact is that you can not rely on the search engines to get you traffic.
    wrong! [​IMG]

    I rely almost totally on the search engines to get traffic to my sites, and then I work on backlinking as well, to help with rankings.

    My personal opinion is that if you don't know how to get traffic to your sites with the search engines, then you will lose your shirt with paid advertising.
  6. happywife

    happywife Gold Member

    Hi Eric,

    Congrats on coming so far in such a short amount of time. I take my hat off to you. I was so green starting out that I don't think I could have made the progress that you have made in a single month.

    I took a look at your site and you have some great information. Let me make a couple of suggestions and "constructive criticisms" as you suggested.

    First, take the time to read over your page (preferably out loud) after you write it. You'll catch some simple typos that you are missing and are easily fixed. I still find typos on my own sites from time to time because I see what I expect to see and I've noticed that reading them aloud helps solve that problem.

    Secondly, you need to learn a bit more about choosing and using keywords effectively to get the best results (free traffic) for your content. Let me give you an example.

    You have a page about "equipment" under freshwater aquariums. Looking at your page source I can see that your main (first) keyword phrase is "what do i need for an aquarium" which may be a great long-tail keyword phrase (don't know for sure since I haven' done the keyword research).

    Because that is your first phrase in your keyword meta tags, you are telling the search engines that is the phrase that your page is mostly about. HOWEVER, you have only used that phrase 1 time on the page. It's good that you have it as your heading on the page, but you should also use it in your first paragraph and at least 2 or 3 more times on that page (based on its length).

    It should be included in the url of the page (instead of just the word "equipment") and in a text link.

    These are some basic steps that make your page more relevant for that phrase in the search engines and more likely for you to get found for that term.

    Good keyword research and the proper use of the keyword on the page is essential for gaining free search engine traffic. If you learn and master this skill, you will get much farther much faster.

    Wishing you all the best of success.
  7. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    happywife: First, take the time to read over your page (preferably out loud) after you write it. You'll catch some simple typos that you are missing and are easily fixed. I still find typos on my own sites from time to time because I see what I expect to see and I've noticed that reading them aloud helps solve that problem.

    Which gives you a good excuse to "edit, edit, edit" which = ping, ping, ping!
    Google will think you are adding more content and re-visit your page each time.
    Works for me, and I still find "mistakes" made 8 years ago!
    Must be subconscious so I can edit and ping again.
    Being less than perfect has it's advantages.

    p.s. notice the "edited" on this comment?
    Google loves the Work-At-Home-Forum twice as much when I do that.
    But it's not really on purpose, just that I'm less than perfect and self-correcting.
  8. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Hey everyone,
    Sorry it for the delayed response, I was out of town watching the fireworks. woot!

    I want to thank you for you time and help. I really appreciate the great advice and constructive criticism.

    @ happywife, I chose that key phrase based on some research using google adwords. I agree it also seemed like a strange phrase someone would search for. I'll go back and spend some more time on adwords and see if i cant find a better phrase. It's kind of a hard phrase to include several times within the page. Thanks for your advice.

    @Just2EZ, I must have faster internet than most people because the pictures load great on my computer. However when I was at my parents house yesterday I showed my dad my website and I noticed exactly what you mean about it loading slow. I'll definitely be re-zising them and will probably link some of my more favorite pics to a larger version for people that want to see them larger.

    Once again thank you all for this great site.
  9. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Blue Falcon: I must have faster internet than most people
    Don't know about "most" but I have friends still on dial-up!
    Even on my DSL is was a bit slow though not too bad.
    I use FTP to download, re-size, then upload them without changing file names.
    A jewelery store client continues to use large pictures and I sneak in to re-size them.
    (complaints go to the "webmaster" so I can fix them before the client finds out!)
    You have done a great job on that site, just keep editing it whenever you can.

    Personally I prefer links showing to all 23 pages instead of drop down menus.
    At first glance the site looks "bare" instead of full of great information.
    It's a personal choice though and just a visual impression.
    You only get one chance to make a good 1st impression.
    It looks clean but not as full of information as it really is.

    Oh, and Thank You for your service, Sir.
    The "Always Faithful" are some of my best friends and protectors.
  10. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Thanks for your support.

    I tried to do a menu on the side, because I also like to go to a site and see all of my options listed without having to look through the drop downs. I havn't been able to figure out how to do that yet. I think I may have to select a different wordpress theme that allows me 3 columns instead of 2, but I'll check out the wordpress support page and figure out how to do that.
  11. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Blue Falcon: a different wordpress theme
    I use the Atahualpa Theme by Bytes-for-All on a lot of WP sites.
    It allows up to 5 columns and is fairly easy to configure.
    Does have it's quirks though just like any others.
    Still, it is my preferred theme out of hundreds.
    All 3 of the sites in my signature use it.
  12. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Well have been busy today fixing my wife's car but I did get a chance to re-size my images in my gallery. Still need to proof read again and work on keywords.

    I was pretty excited that I found my website on the first page of yahoo today where as before I couldn't find my site on any of the first 20 pages of any search engine. Im still working on backlinks and editing my content and trying to get recognized by google.

    Thank you all for your help.
  13. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Blue Falcon: I was pretty excited that I found my website on the first page of yahoo
    Yeah, that is an exciting feeling - especially the first time - or the 100th.
    You really do deserve it so don't take it lightly, you earned it with hard work.
    On the same note you have to work to keep it up there. (hint: edits & shares)

    If you want to increase sales a good little trick is to link words to items.
    Say you're talking about a special filter, link that term to the item for sale, if you can.
    Some affiliate sites let you link to individual items by adding your id to the page url.
    When your reader hovers over the link have it say "ONLY $14.99 at xyz store" or such.
    That way it looks like you are making a recommendation instead of selling.

    There are WordPress plugins that do that kind of thing but I prefer manual.
    It also can help to link to a url on your site that re-directs to the affiliate site.
    That way the link they see looks like it's on your site before they click.
    It also keeps them from visiting the the site without your link attached.

    Just keep plugging away a little each day and it will only get better.
    Congratulations on a job well done.
  14. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Just thought I would say that my site is now on page one of both yahoo and bing for my main keyword and I'm showing up on page 2 of google. Feels really good and this means that my hard work is actually working. I just need to continue to do what I have been doing and optimize it even further.
  15. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    Blue Falcon
    Was reading your site again and thought of a tip, LIKE buttons at TOP and bottom.
    Not only doubles your chances, some people share things they don't read all of.
    Some days I see a page I know someone else will enjoy and share it.
    Doesn't always mean I spent time studying it, just a quick scan then share.
    Your traffic could increase 10 fold from that one tip.
    My pleasure, reading your site that is.
  16. Blue Falcon

    Blue Falcon New Member

    Thank you very much for that tip. BTW I switched to the Atahualpa theme and really like the custom options it offers.
  17. 8MID

    8MID New Member

    I've been reading threads like crazy for several days now and this one has prompted my first post.

    I'm glad to see a newbie having success and hope it continues to go well for you.

    My question: How do you take an idea like this and turn it into income? If I am understanding other threads right, people are drawn to the original site due to the topic of interest. Then they click on the links or advertisements and purchase products from those other sites. The owner of the original site then gets a commission of the sale they referred. Is this correct?

    If so, how do you make the connection with these sellers? Do you seek them out and ask to do business with them or do they seek you out? Also, how do you know if they are actually paying your for sending people their way?

    Thanks to all for posting here. I look forward to learning more.

  18. Just2EZ

    Just2EZ Moderator

    8MID: If so, how do you make the connection with these sellers? Do you seek them out and ask to do business with them or do they seek you out? Also, how do you know if they are actually paying your for sending people their way?

    You can become an affiliate of real companies through Share-A-Sale or other sites.
    Or sell information products from the likes of ClickBank. Also Amazon or eBay products.
    Good question about the tracking and getting paid, there is a lot to learn there.
    Most companies involved in affiliate marketing provide tracking details,
    but the problem comes when customers remove your affiliate link.
    Using a re-direct or short URL link helps solve that partially by cloaking the ID.
    Many people see an affiliate ID and just go to the URL without your ID attached.
    If they use your link most sites add a cookie to identify them as your referral.
    As for the sellers paying you, they better if they want you to send them more.
    You can check the reputation of most companies, so just know who you're dealing with.
    There is always more to learn if we want to keep growing.

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