Problogger: The Blog About Blogging

Problogger: The Blog About Blogging

Problogger: The Blog About Blogging

Problogger: SecretsProblogger.com is the blog site about blogging. It offers lots of articles, some books, kits, a podcast, and more. It is a major resource for anyone who is exploring the idea of making money through blogging. While the podcast has current episodes, I was a little discouraged when I saw one of the top items for sale was the 2012 edition. In the age of the Internet, that’s pretty old. There is a book on Amazon by Problogger about blogging your way to 6-figures and that’s also a 2012 edition. What’s up with that?

I really wanted to buy something that draws from the current landscape but I guess eBooks and books are not big money makers. Apparently, the current thing is live events. Tickets run $97 to $500. If you can get to one of those events, that probably would be a pretty good thing to do. Unfortunately, I have filled this year’s conference quota, so no more events for me this year ūüôĀ

Despite the age, I purchased the Kindle version of the book anyway after looking through a few of the pages. ¬†After spending several weeks immersed in Wealthy Affiliate’s training where they teach promoting affiliate programs through your own branded blog, I figured this would provide some additional motivation to finish my next assignment. I really like to read, especially when it’s content from experts like Darren Rowse.

Reading will only get you so far

I have to be honest and tell you, you can read about blogging for money, you can listen to podcasts, and even attend live events, but the “doing” part is what will stop the average person from ever becoming successful. Once I started WA, my eyes were open; this is a lot of work. I had no idea blogging as a business model was different than just being a writer. I am a writer but that’s not enough to make it in the pro blogging business.

If you do happen to purchase the book, you will soon realize that monetizing a blog is not something you accomplish over a weekend. It takes time and if you are learning from trial and error, that could end up being years. No thank you! I am going to finish my next assignment for WA and then sit down and read my book. An evening of reading is going to be my reward for rolling up my sleeves and getting some real work done.

Lessons Learned WA Style

I came to WA with tech skills. Building web sites and working with WordPress was not an issue for me. I skipped those lessons. From another program I am in, I learned about Yoast, an SEO plugin for WordPress that is absolutely amazing. I discovered the world of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) from taking a class from a guy who was creating close to 7-figures with his WordPress Blogs and an assortment o f niche affiliate programs. That got me to thinking, “hmm, I wonder if I could learn to do that?” I went to Google and did several searches until a stumbled upon Wealthy Affiliates. I was not looking for them specifically but after a few rounds of searches, I found out they taught the exact skills I wanted to learn. Below are the learning outcomes covered in just one of the two free modules they offer as part of the Free Starter Progam. If that seems like a lot, trust me, it feels like a lot, also. This program covers the A to Z of Affiliate Marketing using a blog for content marketing purposes.

My recommendation is for anyone interested in making money from blogging is:

  1. Get the Problogger book. It’s available on Amazon.
  2. Take a look at Problogger.com
  3. Learn more about Wealthy Affiliate’s Free Starter Program

Wealthy Affiliates Level 1 Course Learning Objectives

 

What Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

What Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

What Is The Best Way To Make Money Online?

When a person asks, “what is the best way to make money online?” The truthful answer is … it depends. Not all people are suited to make money online. There is a learning curve to any path that leads to substantial income and making money online is no different. Therefore, I will address the question based on a few assumptions about your level of skills and interests:

Assumptions

  • You have reasonable online skills. You can’t be like my sister who can’t remember how to delete her emails.
  • You have to have an up-to-date computer. You can’t be like my friend who is still using Window’s XP.
  • It’s good if you like technology and aren’t like someone I know who refuses to upgrade the old flip phone.
  • Beyond having some basic skills and tools, you need to be willing to learn some new skills.

If you are the kind of person who is willing to learn to earn, then the best way to make money online is find a legitimate training program. Once you find the right program, immerse yourself in the learning process and diligently apply what you are learning. I am a techie and I have been playing on the Internet since the 90’s but I didn’t know how to make the money using these tools. I had to learn. The program I recommend covers A to Z so I am still learning more. You can go slow or you can go fast but if you want to see progress, you need to devote at least 5 hours a week to it.

Learning To Earn Money Online

Sometimes the learning process is a bit overwhelming and that’s the other thing I like about the program, the community is super helpful. There are real people there who are ready to jump in and answer your questions including the seasoned veterans. I help people with technical questions because those are the skills I am already brining to the table. Different people come in with different strengths and we have an community of mutual support. You don’t find that with most online training programs.

Every program will tell you the best case scenario for income potential but there’s always a chance you won’t make anything; that’s true for all businesses. But honestly, if you just want to make a few dollars here and there, you certainly don’t want to invest your time or money in training. However, if you are interested in serious income I want to tell you, there are options.

Recommended For People Who Want To Start Free

How do they they make money

Learn How To Make Money Online

I’m in more than one program but the one I recommend is more suited for the person who want a step-by-step roadmap. It has the best training and lowest entry point (i.e. Free) and it is called¬†Wealthy Affiliate. It’s basically about learning to create a really good blog and tie affiliate products to your content. You don’t have to be a great writer to make this work, but of course if you hate writing paragraphs, this probably won’t appeal to you. If you hate to write, skip done to the section on using Youtube videos.

Wealthy Affiliates has a free and premium training program and both include training and includes your websites. Of course, ¬†you can make money with the free program but you won’t get the advanced training which exposes the techniques that are used to create a real online business. Free members get two sites, premium get 50 along with other premium features. The free version is called a Starter Program for a reason; it let’s you get started, check out the program and determine if it’s right for you. What I like about this program is the training is exceptional and that compliment is coming from someone with a Master’s in Education with a specialization in Instructional Design.

A Good Investment That Doesn’t Break The Bank

There are some things I don’t like about the program but there is no such thing as a perfect anything. You can read my Wealthy Affiliate Review here. I really like the price point for the premium program; it’s 1/3rd of what I pay for a similar training program. That’s $49 versus $150; a big difference. Plus with the more expensive one I am paying over $1,500 for the coaching piece of the program. So you can see, I am getting similar features but the price point is way different.

WA is suited for people who want to make money by attaching income to what they already have a passion for. It’s about finding your preferred niche and then discovering affiliate programs that compliment it. Some niches are more profitable than others but the program really teaches you how to navigate this and make it work for you. Amazon is one of the largest affiliate programs and they sell literally millions of things. That is one place to explore as an example.

There are some many affiliate programs out there. Doll houses, Harley Davison fanatics, designer fashion, , appliances, vacation resorts, and the list goes on and on.

Your Niche + Relevant Affiliate Programs = Income

large Affiliate Brands

Large Affiliate Brands

Many large name brand stores have affiliate programs but there are also small boutique-like programs that you can explore. The reason I think this is the best way for a person to make money online is because you can tie it back to something you already love or are interesting in becoming an expert in. So much of what it takes to thrive as an online marketer of anything is taught in this program.Once you learn the skills you can set up multiple streams of income from multiple niches. I know someone who boasts, “I’m almost at a million a year.” He gave some insider tips and that’s when I realized he was using SEO skills to get his sites ranked in Google from each niche he was promoting. That’s when I set out to learn about SEO and then found this program.

Skills can be learned and with a well-designed program and learning community, it becomes a matter of following the road map that is provided to you.

  • You can learn to create content that attracts buyers
  • You can learn to get your content listed in the first few pages of Google (Search Engine Optimization)
  • You can learn how to accelerate your earning and to scale your business up for more profits

You could start making money within 90 days and start earning money while you are learning these skills. I really like that aspect of the Wealthy Affiliates programs. It’s not like getting a degree where you invest four or more years, incur a large student loan in the process, and hope it pays off in the end.


Earn Money With YouTube Videos

Free Youtube TrainingAnother option for those who are not camera shy is Youtube. However, it’s the same basic premise. You make videos that relate to your niche and the relevant affiliate programs you represent. This strategy is actually faster than blogging, however, it takes more effort and the learning curve is higher. Here is more information about a free training I am offering visitors.

When you combine blogging with YouTube video to drive traffic to your blog and affiliate offers, you have the best of both worlds. Even with YouTube, you have to know how to optimize your pages so they they are found when people are looking for help. You have to know how to do keyword research to know what people are searching for. You have to know how to evaluate the competition to know if and how to position yourself. Video Marketing is an advanced technique that is taught in Wealthy Affiliates. But if it’s where you want to start, then we have the perfect free training for you.

How To Make Money As An Affiliate Marketer Or Blogger

How To Make Money As An Affiliate Marketer Or Blogger

How To Make Money As An Affiliate Marketer Or Blogger

Free Training

Free Training

There are people asking about how to make money as an Affiliate Marketer. They may have visions of neophyte “affiliate marketers” spamming affiliate links on social media or through their emails lists. We’ve all done it, or maybe it’s just me, but when you don’t know … you don’t know. I started out with no real skills, but I had a bag full of tricks I had learned from so-called Gurus.¬†Wealthy Affiliates¬†has been training online affiliates for more than ten years. They¬†even have a Free Starter Membership. You are essentially learning to create content via blogging and later video to establish your authority in your niche and offer relevant affiliate products and services.

But I didn’t know about them at the time. I was still chasing the Internet Gurus who talked about making fast money online. I was one of the untrained online marketers who was taught that spamming was a legitimate online marketing technique.¬†Marketing is key to being successful in any online business. It’s a skill that is best learned through some kind of formal training program from people who make money doing it. That rules out going to college to learn real online marketing skills. I have a Masters so I have nothing against higher education. But the world of online marketing is not¬†an academic subject. That’s why Wealthy Affiliate’s training program is so effective. It teaches you to earn as you learn and learn to earn. It if you decide Affiliate Marketing or Blogging is not your cup of tea, that’s cool; but please invest in getting properly trained in online marketing.

Online Marketing Is A Skill You Must Learn To Succeed

Online marketing is a skill that is best learned through some kind of formal training program from people who make money doing it. That rules out going to college to learn real online marketing skills. I have a Masters so I have nothing against higher education. But the world of online marketing is not¬†an academic subject. It’s about learning small skills and immediately applying them to your own business. That’s why Wealthy Affiliate’s training program is so effective. It teaches you to earn as you learn and learn to earn. It if you decide Affiliate Marketing or Blogging is not your cup of tea, that’s cool; but please invest in getting properly trained in online marketing.

Training is essential to get you up and running fast and avoid making costly mistakes. Of course, training is an investment and before you commit to anything, it’s always good to test it out first. and tools and that’s one of the resources I leverage.

Free Starter Membership: Our Review

Wealthy Affiliates has been teaching affiliate marketing skills for over 10 years. The program is comprehensive, includes the web sites, and an engaged¬†community for support. Read our review then get started. It’s free.

Learn More

The funny thing is, sometimes those random tactics work, but you can’t build a real business like that. Building a business takes real skill and true grit; a willingness to learn to play the game and to start from ground zero when necessary. Here’s something most people don’t get that trips them up … it tripped me up; Affiliate Marketing, as a business, looks like … a business. As a true business model, it is very strategic and not some random act of online activities that periodically deposit money in your Paypal account. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with making a few extra dollars on the side, but that’s not what we are talking about, right?

Content Marketing To The Rescue

The Professional Blogger

The Professional Blogger

But the typical Blogger has a different problem altogether, they grow weary creating content that no one is reading. But even if they do manage to build up a handful of dedicated readers, where does the money come from? Not by placing random ads on website real estate hoping someone clicks the ad. Do you know how many random clicks you’d have to get to make a real living?

In both situations the Affiliate Marketer and the Blogger are missing an important piece of the puzzle;  content marketing. The intentional blog becomes the money maker for both the Professional Affiliate and Pro Blogger. Content marketing is used to build trust by providing value first, before attempting to sell anything.

Four Steps To Make The Money

  1. Find a niche that lights you up AND has good affiliate income potential
  2. Find out what people are looking for when they are looking for solutions, products, services, and info within the niche
  3. Create content that helps these people find what they are looking for
  4. Subtly include links to relevant affiliate products that relate to the query and the content

It’s really that simple – only simple is not the same thing as easy. There’s a lot of moving parts behind this 4-step process. For this strategy to work, the content must be found by those who are looking for it. Thus, we arrive at the almighty SEO. If your content is not optimized to be found and easily provided to those looking, the whole strategy falls apart.

The Rules Are According To Google

Google, Bing, Yahoo, and every platform that has a search engine has its own set of rules. You must be aware of SEO basics so that you can follow the rules and play in their ocean of users. Google is the largest search engine, followed by YouTube, so when we talk about SEO, we focus first on Google.

Google Search

Do you want to leave your success to luck?

SEO is not just about throwing keywords into an article and posting it on the Internet. It is far more complicated than that. There’s the search engine side and there’s the user experience side that you have to satisfy. Have you ever searched for something and landed on a site that looked like cousin Pookie created on her day off? There’s so much content on the web that the search engines are trying to avoid ranking junky content.

User experience means people go to your page and find the content useful enough to read. Maybe they even leave comments and click on the links in your articles? Google is watching for user engagement to make sure real people find the information useful.

SEO Is More Than Keywords

There are all kinds of metrics that Google uses and periodically updates to improve the search experience for its users. They are competing with other search engines and the more relevant their results, the more people will use them. There are rules for SEO and then there is the art of content marketing, both are important to online marketing. You can try to learn these things on your own but the chances are you will get frustrated and quit before you figure it all out.

Why try to do this all by yourself? You can shorten your learning curve and eliminate unnecessary setbacks and frustration by plugging into a well-designed training program. But that is not enough, you need the right technology and a reliable road map that is up-to-date. I recommend this system to my clients, my family, and my friends who are interested in building an online business. Every online business needs traffic, paid is great but earned traffic is even better. ¬†But don’t take my word for it, give it a test drive and sign up for the Free Starter Membership. Complete the two free modules, build your first site, then decide if this program is a good fit for you.

Free Starter Membership: Our Review

Wealthy Affiliates has been teaching affiliate marketing skills for over 10 years. The program is comprehensive, includes the web sites, and an engaged community for support. Read the review of the free program and if you think this is a good fit, get started for free.

Learn More
How To Learn Affiliate Marketing

How To Learn Affiliate Marketing

How To Learn Affiliate Marketing;
Get real training for real results

Many people are attracted to the idea of creating income from affiliate programs … but they cannot figure out how to learn affiliate marketing. There are many programs, courses, videos, and more than a few programs that suggest it’s the pathway to fast big money. While it’s not rocket science, it is a real skill and it involves online marketing skills that most programs gloss over or omit altogether. So let’s look deeper into the premise behind this question, “What is the best way to learn Affiliate Marketing?” The first thing is it presumes that Affiliate Marketing is a skill that can be learned and that is a true statement. No one is born knowing how to market.

There is more than one way to learn any skill and as I always say, there are many ways to pet the cat (we don’t skin cats because we are cat lovers :-). ¬†But if you are anything like me, you want fast, effective, and affordable to factor into the equation. Beyond that, ¬†a good program should include these five building blocks:

  • Training that includes the tools, technologies, and systems to support your goals
  • Training that lets you build a business that is congruent with your interests
  • Training that is not just theory-based but shows you how to reach the right target audience
  • Training that has an easy way for you to earn while you learn
  • Training that includes good customer support and an engaged and helpful community made up of real people operating at different skill levels.

Let’s go deeper into each one:

1. Gives you the tools, technology, and training to build your own website

WordPress, an industry standard, is so customizable, it’s a pain in the a$$! Disclaimer: That’s my opinion and I’m a techy. But even I can’t deny it offers unquestionable benefits to both the newbie while still serving the needs of Fortune 500 companies; that’s why it’s the industry standard. However, smart Affiliate Marketers, we want the benefits without the headaches. The preferred training program teaches you everything you need to succeed and provides the platform to run your business on. The training is interesting and well-designed and offers interactive learning.

The ideal training program also includes the WordPress platform that is preconfigured for Affiliate Marketing. That means they have taken away the complexity and they are using the best hosting platform for reliability, speed, and security. Imagine building a beautiful, unique, mobile-responsive site that is specifically set up to be the hub for your Affiliate Marketing Business. Your website will become the Command Central. You will be learning the skills that will take you from novice to expert in a short amount of time.

2. Allows you find the niche that aligns with Your interests

There’s nothing as painful as learning to build a business that is based on something you don’t feel passionate about. What interests you? What is it that you have always wanted to take a deep dive into and understand it like an expert but never had a reason to. Do you have a mad-crazy skill that you are super proud of, or a hobby that gets you all juice up? There are MILLIONS of ways to connect your passion and interests to congruent Affiliate Programs. While Amazon is one of the most widely known, there are lots of others. Did you know affiliate program that offers luxury watches like Rolex? I sure didn’t.

Many large retail brands have Affiliate program. It's easy to find the ones that fit your niche market

Many large retail brands have Affiliate program. It’s easy to find the ones that fit your niche market

3. Teaches you how to attract targeted visitors to your site

Your goal before you try to make money with any website is to focus on getting actual people to that website. Without people, you have nobody to sell or advertise to. This is a critical aspect of your business. Within the first few lessons at Wealthy Affiliate you are going to learn all about the most current traffic techniques and how you can get an ABUNDANCE of relevant customers to your website by getting your site ranked high in all the search engines like Google, Bing & Yahoo. Premium members even learn how to market on platforms like YouTube, the second largest Search Engine, after Google.

4. Shows you how to earn revenue and lets your earn while you learn

Once you have defined a niche that has a viable audience, that means you are able to generate traffic to visit your site. Now comes the money part; create content that is relevant to your audience and sell them products/services that are congruent. One mamoth affiliate program is Amazon, how many things can you think of that might fit a certain niche market? You’d be surprised how many large brand store have affilaite programs and then there are the boutique type business that run their own affiliate programs. The best part is they are free to join, do not require you to buy anything or maintain a monthly autoship. All you have to do is get good at creating relevant content, attracting your niche audience, and making congruent offers. Of course, I have made it sound super simple but that’s basicaly how it works in nutshell.

Affiliate programs allow you to sell almost anything without having the expense of buying products to sell or creating products to sell. No inventory. No shipping. No product support. And you can be literally run your business from any place at any time. But there is a learning curve and there are marketin skills you must master before this model will pay off for you.

5. Fosters a learning community where there are real people and real support

Humans learn faster in groups. Even when they are at working through different levels of a common topic, there is something wired into us that lets us strive and thrive together. For many, the Internet has brought greater isolation from which actually slows down our personal development. Technology should not separate us but bring us together. You will be inspired by those who have already mastered certain skills and you will have an opportunity to be an inspiration to others to.


Affiliate Marketing Workflow

A strategy that works


Are You Looking For A Real Answer?

If yes, read on.

When a person is genuinely looking for how they can learn Affiliate Marketing, they are likely to have many starts and stops until they find the right vehicle. Master marketing is not a theory-based exercise, you have to jump in and quickly apply what you are learning before the skill becomes fruitful. The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing is not by watching a collection of YouTube videos on the subject. There are great tutorials on YouTube but tutorials don’t lead to mastery especially when applied to complex subjects like marketing.

There is the knowledge base and then there is the practical application that must come together seamlessly. I have invested thousands of dollars trying to wrap my mind around the subject and quite honestly, I came out those training more confused than when I started them.

At first, I thought it was me but then I looked around and saw many of my struggling entrepreneur friends facing the same challenges. This is the conclusion I came to; many self-proclaimed gurus learned their skills years ago when the Internet was in its infancy and spam was not spam and AOL was the new hot thing. They built up enough momentum and massive email lists that they were able to leverage for years. They formed joint ventures and started teaching their methods to the masses but many times, those methods no longer worked.

The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing

Wealthy Affiliate can teach you Affiliate Marketing

These days, there are some Marketers who realize two years on the Internet is like a decade and things change really fast. The best way to learn affiliate marketing then becomes more a question finding the best programs. Plugging into learning community that leverages the right technology platforms and keeps their training current is key. The driving forces like Google, YouTube, Facebook are constantly changing the rules of engagement and you have to be able to change with them.

I want to tell you, I think I have “Googled” up on a very attractive solution … drum roll, platform. The best way to learn Affiliate Marketing and really get it right at the ridiculously low price range of $0 to $49/mo is my best recommendation. WA is a formal training program for Affiliate Marketing, period. They are constantly updating their program and their platform is geared toward average people who know how to read, follow directions, watch a training video, point the mouse, click a button, and ask for help when they need it.

There’s absolutely no reason to try to untangle this complex subject on your own when WA have been doing it for over 10 years and getting it right. 800,000+ students over ten years is a pretty good track record.

It is my opinion that WA is the best way to learn Affiliate Marketing. But don’t take my word for it, sign up for free and create your first two niche affiliate marketing sites, make some money, and decide for yourself. By the way, when you sign up with me, you also get my personal support. This is a learning community where you are not expected to do it all on your own. Have you signed up for my SEO Marketing Guide for Affiliate Marketers yet? If not, that’s just one of many resources I offer to support those who want to learn to make money online. Request your copy by visiting the home page.

For additional information on the secret to successful Affiliate Marketing, check out the article,¬†¬†“Seo Marketing for Affiliate Marketer: The Secret Sauce”.

 

Marketing Funnel Basics

Marketing Funnel Basics

Marketing funnels are not new but when you build one for online marketing, there are some basic guidelines. The top of the funnel (TOFU) is about awareness. The visitor may or know they have a problem or a need and they don’t know what solutions are out there. They are searching for information and are not necessarily ready to buy anything just yet. Then there is the middle of funnel (MOFU) where the buying is evaluating solutions to see which is the best. You can’t rush them to make a decision but give them the right information so that when they compare your solution to others’ it stands out as the best one. Finally, we get to the bottom of the funnel (BOFU). This is the place where you give them the set of incentives and motivation to click the buy button.

Here’s a common problem, your marketing message or ad is an TOFU ad but you ¬†sent them to a MOFU article on your website. The incongruence is experienced by the site visitor and they are likely to leave and go find someone who will provide TOFU information they are looking for. If you have people clicking through and bouncing from your page, check to see if there is for congruence issues. The fix may be as simple as changing the ad or, alternatively, changing where the ad sends the visitor.