Web 2.0 Marketing
A Guide To Leveraging Web 2.0 Properties For Internet Marketing Success
UPDATE: This article has now been converted into a Kindle book. Only a part of it is now free to read. The rest is available only via Amazon for the Kindle or Smashwords for all other formats. Members of the Pond also have free access.
Hey Guys and Gals. I know it has been a little bit on the quiet side here for the last month or so. Bottom line is that most of the discussions are now going on in the forum and that is just the way it is at the moment. People have the option of where they post comments and discuss things and many have chosen that a private place makes them feel more comfortable.
But I do miss the massive interaction we had here on the blog so I am hoping that normal business will be resumed with this nice little piece of content.
But, and many of you already know this, I am hell-bent on getting a large number of Kindle books published, a great way to make a living online in my opinion. So far I have three and they have been performing nicely to bring in about $250-$300 a month in income, totally passive. In the new year I am going to spend the first 3 months focusing almost exclusively on writing more books and this piece of writing is going to be one of them.
But I don’t want you guys having to pay for stuff that is inspired by conversations had here and in the forum so as always you get an option to get it for free.
Basically this will be available for free for a few weeks from today and then half of it will be password protected, not to be unlocked again. You will have to buy the book. So you have a few weeks to read for free. I think that is fair don’t you?
Kindle books are going to be a very lucrative career, I can just feel it, so from now on when I get inspired to sit down for a day and write over 10,000 words then I will be turning it into a book that can make a recurring income for years to come.
So, feel free to copy and paste, download, or save this while it is here and available, but don’t forget to buy the book too, just to say thanks Dave 😉
Hope you enjoy it. And if you don’t then don’t tell me, I am a sensitive soul you know!
Let’s have a nice old chin-wag at the end shall we. Missed you Dudes a lot.
A Caveat Before We Begin
While this is a relatively long article and should give you all the information that you need to know in order to earn more money as an online marketer by leveraging Web 2.0 properties I want to also make one thing abundantly clear.
This guide is not designed to allow you to ever stop building content and marketing properties that you own exclusively. By that I mean domain names under your control where they are hosted on your own account and you are the exclusive owner and marketer adding content to the domain.
Web 2.0 properties are notoriously fickle in nature when it comes to results and ranking in the search engines. One day a particular platform can be in favor and it seems like the main search engines rank content highly nearly the minute it is written with next to no extra work being needed by the marketer. And the next day the platform as a whole can be out of favor and nowhere to be seen in organic listing results.
As organic rankings are the approach I take to earn the majority of my living and is the approach focused on in this article when it comes to Web 2.0 I want everyone to be absolutely clear that what follows is but a tiny fraction of what I recommend you do as a marketer if your approach also relies on the whims and vagaries of any given algorithm from a particular search engine, Google being by far the most popular one currently.
Do Not Skip This Information
Many people, particularly those new to building websites for Internet marketing, get drawn in deeply to one particular platform, and create hundreds if not thousands of pieces of content on their chosen platform believing that this is how the Internet works as whole when it comes to rankings. It doesn’t. And sooner or later the bubble will burst on you. You MUST realize this if you are to get, and stay, ahead and earn a living via traffic generated by search engines or even internal traffic from the platforms themselves.
Properties come in and out of favor with search engines and with users themselves.
We only have to look at Myspace over the last few years for the perfect example of a platform significantly dropping out of favor very quickly.
Bear in mind there will always be a new kid on the block and there will always be a new platform that does better than the one currently in favor.
I have personally lost count of the number of people I have seen moaning on forums about the fact that their chosen platform is now out of favor and no longer receiving the Google love they had come to expect as their God given right. It isn’t.
The reality is that if you use any kind of platform at all online, your own domain, a parasitic host, or anything you care to think of, if you rely on search traffic then there is no guarantee of traffic from one day to the next. Recent algo changes have proven this to be true time and time again.
You takes your chances.
Although this will be a relatively comprehensive guide I am not going to hide the fact that I do NOT use these type of properties as the mainstay of my business. And I do not spend a considerable amount of time on them in comparison to working on sites under my control.
And I suggest that you do take the same approach.
Many people get it into their heads that once they have spent a relatively large amount of time on a site and have made some decent money that even if the platform falls out of favor they simply have to stick it out and their properties will soon return to their previous glory.
This is not the case at all and I want you to think long and hard before you invest too much time on any given platform.
A Newbie Exception
Those new to Internet marketing as a means to get search engine traffic to earn money are encouraged to spend a little bit of time investing in creating these type of properties for a number of reasons.
This is not to say that at the same time you should not focus on sites under your control. You should. But when everything is new you need a way to find out just how the system works in general and free platforms are one of the best ways to do this. They are also the perfect way to keep investment to a minimum while you begin your online career. But always bear in mind the previous warning, never rely on them for long term sustainability.
For the “noob” it is certainly worth investing a period of time where you put a relatively large focus on such platforms just to get to grips with the whole concept of writing content, backlinking, keyword research and the possibilities it gives. Which are untold and limitless.
But as soon as you have an idea of how to write content and get it to rank in the search engines you should move away from your chosen platform of Web 2,0 and spend the majority of your time focusing on your own sites.
The Single Most Important Factor
Although this has been relatively negative so far there is some good news. You can leverage these properties to make some very significant income in a very short period of time. And many of the platforms are stable and will be here for many years to come.
But they are not owned by you and can be taken from you at any point, and there is nothing you can do about it.
I am not going to make any bones about this, I want readers to be in the right head-space to avoid any future disappointments. But the great news is that there are plenty of ways to ensure that you never come crashing from your work and earnings by following a few simple rules.
These will follow in due course.
Get ready for a world that is often seen as somewhat magical.
Where content ranks in hours, where you can earn incredibly well and where you can boost your own sites to beat your competition with minimal work and minimal content.
The crazy world of what many now term:
What Is Web 2.0
I am not going to go into the history of Web 2.0 and talk about who coined the phrase, when it originated and so forth. You can read Wikipedia for that. What I am going to look at is what it means for us as Internet Marketers.
The generally accepted consensus amongst those that use it to get ahead in their business is that it refers to sites and platforms that can be leveraged to either earn money or to improve results of other pages online or the page created on the Web 2.0 itself.
The definition amongst purists is that the term Web 2.0 refers to any online platform that basically is based on user generated content and the ability to connect and interact within the platform itself. Facebook being the perfect example.
When talking about online strategies to earn money and get ahead in business though, it is mostly used in a slightly different context.
That of taking a sidestep to ranking that is parasitic in nature.
Leveraging the authority of a large existing platform to meet your goals quicker.
Cutting the waiting game associated with building content and getting it to rank well in search engines. Or leveraging the members of a Web 2.0 community for traffic, earnings and status. Many properties have very large communities that either collaborate or interact solely within the given platform.
Your content within this platform can be leveraged in many different ways because of the loyalty that many have for the medium itself. But for many marketers it is the promise of traffic from search engines that is the main draw (it is certainly mine!). And this is what we will be concentrating on, along with the boost to existing content online that can be given by the use of rather heavy backlinking to the said parasitic host.
Let’s take a closer look at this.
Uses For Web 2.0
These type of properties can be used in a number of different ways but all have one ultimate goal. Increased revenue for the marketer. Authority sites that allow user generated content and interaction are the perfect place for us to learn, dominate and ultimately; earn.
When thinking about a new niche to enter the problem many face is the fact that keyword research tools are simply not reliable. At best they under-estimate the traffic to be gained from ranking position 1 for a keyword and at worst they grossly over-estimate the traffic to be obtained. Either way can leave the marketer with a sick feeling in their stomach after they have spent many months or years working to develop a site only to find the niche as a whole and the keywords targeted either result in minimal traffic or that they have entered a niche that simply never converts visitors to the chosen end action. A sign up, a purchase, or a click on an advertising revenue sharing scheme.
Either way, it can result in heartache and the desire to kill the Internet once and for all.
The beauty of only a cursory glance at a keyword research tool, and time, instead invested in building out a small property on an authority platform, is we have the unique ability to side-step a few years of hard work for a short term result to test the waters.
Web 2.0 properties, at least the best ones, rank quickly in the search engines because of the authority given at any chosen moment. Choose the right one and you can rank for terms that would take a long time to master using any other approach.
We can test the waters with our platform to see just how well our terms actually perform. And because of their authority we also mine keyword data and stats on the platform to see just what other terms searchers are looking for. This can give a wealth of new ideas, and potential content to increase the web 2.0 property or to add to our own sites.
You will find many terms that you simply had never thought of by using this technique and it is one of the best and most accurate ways to actually test a niche and a series of keywords apart from paying for traffic via the Google Adwords tool or other schemes where you are actively paying for traffic.
Earning a decent return for your time invested is one of the main reasons why people turn to Web 2.0.
And the reality is that it can be very lucrative,, even if not under your control. The deemed authority of the platform regardless of page rank, which is often overrated, is a superb leverage when it comes to earning quickly in the short term. For the newbie it is a great sign of encouragement and allows them to realize that yes you really can earn money online.
For the more seasoned marketer this is also the case. We all like money, and we all want to earn as easily as we can.
Although I personally concentrate most of my time on my own sites I do dabble in using these platforms from time to time to test niches and also to earn. I also use them to rank for terms that I have no suitable sites for and know that there is no way that I would have the interest or inclination to build a fully fledged website around.
This is part of the attraction.
We can build a series of single pages on a given platform in niches we have no interest in long term. Or we can build mini sites on the platform to make it a mini website in its own right. The approach depends on your end goals, your inclination and the way the platform works as a whole. Some are set up as blogs, some as subdomains based on user names or keywords chosen, and the approach taken will depend on the platform used.
But be in no doubt, you can leverage a number of these properties to earn a large amount of money in a short period of time and with minimal time also invested. They often act differently to domains that you own yourself as the authority and size of these platforms allows us a lot more freedom when it comes to the approach we take to rank the properties we create on them. More on that later.
We can also use Web 2.0 properties in another way entirely:
I am not going to debate this point but the bottom line is that if you want high positions in the search engine results pages (SERPS) then a lot of the factors involved rely on backlinks. And many people use many different kinds of networks and approaches to get backlinks to their sites to get them to rank.
Web 2.0 properties should be a part of everyone’s arsenal when it comes to backlinking and a certain number should be set up to link to any other page you have created to rank it highly.
We can use these properties to give ourselves a very relevant link in the eyes of the search engines and we can leverage the authority to boost other content of the Web 2.0 platform or on other platforms of a similar nature. The techniques used will be addressed later in this article.
But there is no doubt that a link or two from a selection of these platforms pointing to another piece of content can give you a boost in the search engines and often in a matter of days rather than weeks or months.
How much time you spend on such activities is really down to you. But never forget the golden rule:
You don’t own them.
Use your time with this firmly at the fore of your mind. If the platform died a horrible death tomorrow or your content was taken down would you lose your income? If the answer to this is yes in any way approaching a significant percentage then you need to ensure that from now on you diversify.
This is the heart of making a sustainable income online.
Diversification is key.
There is nothing wrong with going through a few days or weeks building up a network of these type of properties but make sure that you do not use them in such a way that you have little time for your own sites. When used as a backlinking plan this is more of an exception. You are still in effect working on your own site as you will be spreading your content over a series of platforms as a necessity. More than a few links from the same platform will have very little effect on search engine positions so we will have no choice but to diversify greatly the number of platforms we use.
And this brings me to one of the most important aspects of using Web 2.0 properties for earning, backlinks, or niche research:
Move Away From The Crowd
If you have been online trying to build websites and make money for even a short period of time then chance are you will be familiar with a few names. Those that have been in the game for years will know them too well.
I am talking about Hubpages and Squidoo.
We also have other well known platforms like blogger and a number of others. Heck, you can even rank a facebook note, I know I have just done it.
The one thing all these platforms have in common though, and to some degree it is a serious setback, is the fact that everyone HAS heard of them. And the bottom line is that every man and his dog is putting up a Squidoo lens, making a blogspot blog or writing a Hubpage hub.
And this is not the best use of your time or your content in many instances.
Although there are certain factors and benefits to using large properties there are also drawbacks. Let’s take a look at the ins and outs of why you should and should not use the most popular platforms that are the current craze at the moment.
Why Use The Most Popular Web 2.0 Sites
The larger sites often have the most authority. Although this can be taken from them at any given time.
But what they do have in our favor is a series of other pieces of content that are going to be related to our niches. It means that we put up content in a niche and there is already content that is related and often is internally linked to our new content. This creates a mini, or large, silo, in many cases, because of the site architecture used.
But many sites go further than this. They have all manner of widgets and internal linking schemes so that your content is linked to from a number of other in-house pieces of content. This boosts your own content and can help it to rank easier.
In some cases.
But there are serious drawbacks to this way of thinking as we shall see.
Why Not To Use The Most Popular Web 2.0 Platforms
The main drawback is that you are often making life harder for yourself. By using a platform that is the rage at the time you are ensuring that your pages have more to compete with.
Search engines only list a very limited number of pages from a single platform in their results. Normally no more than 3. If you build a piece of content on a platform that is already grossly overrun with others attacking the same keywords and terms then you have them to compete with to rank your content from that platform.
If you type in your terms and they are taken for your Lens title then you can bet that your job is going to be more difficult.
In most cases.
It is not always the case, as we will be the ones working the hardest to rank our own content. Most marketers simply will not put in a fraction of the work that I do and what you should do. Although these platforms have authority we should still not expect magical rankings without some extra work.
But, unless you are sure that the work will pay off, and give you the best return for your money, you should seriously consider stepping away from the few usual suspects and working for a period of time on a platform that is not over-subscribed. One where basically any niche you wish to enter is already there in abundance.
Think outside of the box a little and you will make your job a hell of a lot easier.
Best Web 2.0 Sites
So, what are the best Web 2.0 properties to use?
I will provide you with a number of resources at the end of this article but the bottom line is that you actually have to do a little work yourself to find the best properties. This is a somewhat fluid approach to marketing and anyone who has heard of the recent Hubpages downshift will certainly know that there is no right answer to this.
What can be leveraged in a number of ways today certainly will not hold true the next day in many instances. It is why the following is the best approach to take.
An Eclectic Approach To Web 2.0 Marketing