Automatically Increased Affiliate Revenue by 15%

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Last week I got round to one of those jobs that I’ve wanted to do for a while and that’s making my affiliate links a bit more visitor friendly and readable. I’ve mentioned before how I automatically convert links to sites that I have a relationship with to their corresponding affiliate links, I’ve now taken this a stage further and have created a Word Press plug-in to make it easy to add new affiliates as I find them.

The way the plug-in works is it searches for the domain of merchants that I have an affiliate program with adjusts it accordingly, for example http://www.thinkgeek.com/ would be converted on the fly to the equivalent affiliate link of :
http://www.anrdoezrs.net/se121lnwtnvACIJCEHEACBEGHEDF?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thinkgeek.com%2Fgeektoys%2Fgames%2F7eaa%2F&sid=cg-http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thinkgeek.com%2Fgeektoys%2Fgames%2F7eaa%2F/geektoys/games/7eaa/

As you can see the affiliate link is pretty darn ugly and to the (slighty) trained eye it is obviously an affiliate link which does put some people (especially tech savvy webmasters) off clicking it.
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Professional writing, grammar & proofreading 1.0

Professional WritingThe schools may be closed here for the summer holidays but this post will be your dose of double English 😉 so sit up straight, dust down your dictionary, switch of you mobile phone and pay attention in class.

The internet still takes a written form for the most part and as many of us ‘publish’ content for the web we are in effect professional writers with a duty to make sure our work meets an acceptable level as far as spelling and punctuation.

With text shorthand on phones & spell checkers prevalent in today’s society you have to fear the worst for the next generation, parents can usually calculate sums in their head better than their children due to our reliance on calculators and so this cycle may carry on and evolve as we rely on machines instead of knowledge for spelling and punctuation.

With this in mind I asked Charlie of Perfectly Write whether she would be so kind as to answer a few questions I had on basic grammar, spelling and proofreading.

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Finding What to Write About on a Product Based Blog

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When blogging on CG I often get asked how do I find new products to write about, I won’t provide exact sources but I will share how I found the sources that I use.

In the gadget niche there are a hundreds (if not thousands) of sites reporting on all the latest and greatest gizmos. I subscribe to about 200 feeds and monitor them though out the day, especially the less popular ones which often pick-up on new stories that the big boys haven’t seen yet. If I see something that’s new and hasn’t be covered on a load of other sites yet I’ll write about and link to the source I first saw it on.

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Analyzing Stats to get More Money and Traffic

magnifying_glass_01.pngMy last bout of traffic analysis resulted in two posts here (long tail searches and one on optimising Adsense positioning) and a bit of extra cash (which is always nice). It was also successful in two other ways, one of which should bring me a bit more traffic and the other a bit of extra income.

Remonetize Popular Content
Using Google Analytics it’s easy to see which of your pages are the most popular. I find you never really know which pages are going to become popular in the search engines but statistical analysis does sort of give you the benefit of hind sight. Once I see a page is bringing in a bit of traffic I’ll revisit it and see if there are any suitable affiliate programs I could promote. You know what people are searching for to find the page so if you can find them a suitable product everybody benefits.

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New Tool for Checking Links to your Blog Posts

I’ve just received an email from my friend Patrick telling me about a new tool he’s written (well knowing Pat he probably got somebody else to write it) and it’s so cool I’ve had to break our one post a day tradition and share it straight away.

The tool is called Blog Storm and it tracks how many links your blog posts attract. That way you can see which of your posts are getting the most attention (or not). It produces a league table of your posts and a couple of pretty charts. You can see the stats of our recent posts over here, or the graph below.

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Getting your Subscribers to visit your Blog

rss.gifHaving a high feed subscriber count is great from an ego and getting the word out point of view but not so much for your profit line. Feeds are notoriously hard to monetise well, whether that will change with Googles recent acquisition of Feedburner, time will tell. I find the best way to profit from feed subscribers is to get them to the site, which is what this post is about.

Links
Relevant internal linking is both helpful to your readers and will provide an easy route back to the site for your readers to follow. As well as linking to individual posts also link to categories e.g. “I came across this really cool traffic building tips“, this is also a great way to create keyword rich internal links that the search engines love.

An automated way to add relevant links is to install a “Related Posts” plugin, this will create links to related posts at the end of new ones. Most plug-ins only seem to this on the site and not on the feed so you might need to do a bit of manual tweaking.
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Encouraging Visitor Interaction – part 2

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In the previous post we said how contests are a great way of encouraging interaction from your readers and gave a few samples. In this post I want to cover the basics, so to speak, of getting your readers to put fingers to keys.

Make it easy
Don’t make your readers jump through hoops to leave a comment as they probably won’t. Make it as simple as possible and clear, i.e. no mandatory registration and to a lesser extent captchas.
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Organic links and how to get them

Organic Links
When it comes to getting traffic to your blog (or most other sites to that matter), the most important thing you can get are plenty of inbound links. Inbound links will both send you traffic from the originating site and more importantly they serve as a vote for your site which will influence your site’s position in the search engines.

There are various ways to generate inbound links:

  • Buy them – using services like Review Me or Text Link Ads or source direct in forums
  • Exchange links – this is were you link to one site and in return they link to you. You can contact similiar themed and sized sites or again use a forum
  • Organic links – these are when other sites link to you on their own accord and what this article is all about.

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Which blogs have the most feed subscribers

I’m a bit of a stat head and enjoy trawling through log files and looking at pretty graphs. One statistic that I’m particularly interested in is the number of subscribers different sites have in different niches.

FeedBurner offer a great service for managing your sites feed and provide all sorts of interesting stats. You can also put one of their chicklets on your site to boast share with the world how many subscribers your site has.

I thought it would be both interesting and fun to create a top 100 (or so) of the sites with the highest feeds, so spent Saturday morning doing a big trawl around. Continue Reading

When to monetize a new site or blog

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Many a website or blog are started with the sole purpose of making cash (and if you’re reading this blog I’m sure you know what I’m talking about), I know a lot of new and aspiring webmasters and questions I get asked a lot are:

  • How can I make money from my 3 hour old blog?
  • Are my ads blended enough?
  • My brother and his pet dog have been banned from Adsense how else can I make money?
  • How many ads should I put on my page?
  • I haven’t got any subscribers yet so how should I monetize my feed?

I’m a pretty helpful guy (maybe a bit selfishly helpful due to my belief in karma) and the answer I almost always give is:

  • Ask me again in 6 months

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