How To Build A Successful Website
This is a complete guide to build a successful blog business or Website.
It will assume that you do have some basic knowledge about getting a hosting account, buying a domain name etc and know the basics of SEO and a few other slightly jargon-esque terms.
If not then feel free to ask.
This guide to building a successful website business is based primarily on building sites that earn via affiliate commissions from companies that offer the relevant programs. The information is designed to maximize how you build a Website or blog that wishes to gain visitors via obtaining high rankings in the search engines, especially Google.
It is not always easy to know what readers already know and what they do not, but as we deal with SEO Tips and link building strategies and the like here then the majority of us know the basics, and to be honest, that is about all you do need to know. We are going to look at just what it is that makes a successful Website and learn just how to build a successful blog business or Website business simply depending on your preferred platform.
This won’t be quick, in fact it is a very long read.
What Kind Of Site
In the past I have been a proponent of having at least one general site where you can basically put on any product that you care to think of. A mini Hubpages if you will. We all know what happened to Hubpages in 2011 (they bombed for a time) and I no longer recommend this.
I feel that as time goes on more and more sites without a very fixed field will no longer stay ranking well. Sites that are about 1 topic almost exclusively are going to begin to do better and better, unless you are a behemoth. I have seen a rather general site of mine tank and although I do have a number of relatively general sites that still do really quite well they have never been, and never will be, a priority.
So, especially if your time is limited, and even not, then I do not recommend you go down a super general site road. Make a broad site but a site that stays strictly to one niche and never wavers outside of it.
The Best Site
The best site is simply going to cover your topic in all of its aspects. We will get in to this more later on but basically a site that is about a single niche and that really covers it as comprehensively as possible is always going to be the best approach for most. Our goal is always to be the absolute best resource online for our chosen topic and it will be covered from every angle we could possibly think of.
Sure, mini sites have their place and they can earn amazingly well, I know, but nothing like how large sites earn. I am not talking about a thousand or two thousand dollars a month here, I am talking about money that is able to change a persons life. And we all have it within us to build one of these sites, we just need to take the right approach.
Starting with a good name is of prime importance. I have had some ridiculously stupid ones in the past in an effort to get in as many cool keywords as possible and the truth is that the shorter the better. Get your keywords in the domain if you can because it will help you rank better for them but don’t forget the power of something memorable too.
With a little bit of work a domain name that is something that your visitors will remember can still rank for the keywords you have chosen. But you should never just be aiming at one or even just a handful of keywords, thousands should be your aim and we will get on to that in a short while.
The fact is that as time has gone by I have seen less weight being given to exact match domain names for keywords. They do still give you a bonus in terms of ranking but not as much as they did only a few years ago. Think about branding your site more than getting the boost from a keyword rich domain name.
If exact match domain names lose more weight in terms of ranking for the terms in the future then you will have missed out on simply being the owner of a site that has a totally memorable name. The choice is yours but a one or two word memorable domain name is preferable over one with a few keywords.
New or aged domain names
Age matters (a lot)
After Lando’s guide and setting up sites, well, wow. Age matters, a lot. Add in Page Rank and you are on to a real winner.
If you read the guide written by my good friend Lando: How To Buy Aged Domains, then you will see the results of buying an aged domain name to base your business around. Spending maybe a few hundred dollars to buy a domain name that has been active for years and years, has gained trust with the search engines and has Page Rank can very effectively knock years off the work you need to undertake to get a Website ranking well in the search engines.
I recommend spending some time and a minimal amount of money searching out an aged domain that has a great name and will be perfect for your purposes. You are basically eliminating the waiting period that newly registered domain names normally incur before they can rank well in the search engines.
How To Choose Products For Websites
How To Guarantee Huge Sales Numbers
This is probably the most important aspect and often the one that is most overlooked by people. They simply do a little keyword research and take a look at Amazon to see what is popular and leave it at that. This is not the best approach at all and you are going to basically guarantee success if you really take some time to find the right products before you even begin to do anything else at all.
I really cannot emphasize this enough:
The niche you enter is the most important factor bar none. You can forget about site design, how pretty it looks and anything else if you pick the wrong niche. You MUST pick a niche that is basically full of people to spend their money online because of a variety of factors. Everything else is secondary. You MUST enter a niche that either converts amazingly well or is so easy to rank for many keywords that the sheer volume of traffic makes up for the lack of excellent conversion rates.
This is because just because something is searched for a lot it does not mean that hordes of people actually buy online. But there is one simple rule to follow if you want to guarantee that your site will be a success in terms of earnings and future earnings potential.
Make a site about a product or products that are hard to find.
It really is as simple as that.
This is not something that I have talked much about in the past when really I guess that it should actually be the most important thing I ever talk about. I kind of have taken it for granted that people spend some time thinking about what they are actually going to make a site about if they are going to make commissions from products. You really should take a long hard look at what it is that you are going to be selling.
If you take time to pick the right niche than half of the battle is won. Do not enter niches about weight loss and Insurance and other highly competitive terms that, although lucrative, are going to take years to earn any money from. It is imperative to pick topics for blogs or Websites where competition from our sites is generally low key and not in the least bit a cut-throat business.
I don’t mean stay away from anything competitive but think carefully and wisely about the business you wish to be in and if the niche is one that you know attracts very professional Internet marketers then you should think long and hard about whether you are making the right choice or not.
Let’s take a look at some key factors when it comes to picking a product that is basically guaranteed to make you rich. IF you put in long hours of work over years, that is. Anyone who tells you there is a magic formula to dramatic earnings in months is an outright liar. Making money from Websites is extremely profitable but it is hard work for years and years to come.
The harder a product or service is to find then the better you will do if you are one of the few places that people can go to get it. Basically you will want to pick something that is very hard to find anywhere apart from online. This can be looked at in a series of ways.
Size can actually play an important role in how you do. Large items that most people simply cannot take home with them can do very well. The average person simply isn’t going to be able to pick up certain things from a store so if it is very large and available online then many people will take that option.
But as so many bricks and mortar stores offer a delivery service then this is not enough to go on for guaranteed success. But it is certainly an idea for a Website, just maybe not one that is going to be the main focus of your business. Think picnic benches ordered online and delivered..
As with size, heavy items can also do well online. Saving the back and all that. We don’t want to go down the Back Pain Relief route, now do we 😉
Choice For The Consumer
This is where it gets a little more meaty.
Many products are simply not available with much selection at many high street stores. The lack of choice is often why a lot of people turn to the Internet. There you can find all possible products in any possible range. From barbecues to Kitchen-ware, you can find the best options online as you can basically find anything that you are looking for.
Building a site about a particular range of products and easily offering all the many variations is going to get you traffic and sales. But this is still hit and miss as you never actually know how many people are really going to buy a product until you get the traffic. But if you take a look around various bricks and mortar stores at various products and compare that to online resources, if the choice of colors, sizes etc is much more comprehensive online then you are certainly heading in the right direction.
This really is where the money is at. If you can scout out such items, be they physical or information based, you are going to do well. I am not going to talk about digital products, e-books and the like, although if you read the post about how to publish books on the Kindle then you know that this is a worthy endeavor and many people love to promote digital books etc.
But basically the truth is that if you can find a physical product that is only available on the Internet from a retailer of your choice with an affiliate program then you are taking a huge leap in the right direction. Easier said than done, no doubt, but you are going to nail it if you can find a product that is rather exclusive and available from very limited places.
Not only is this going to give you a much higher chance of making numerous sales but it also invaluable as it means that you may be dealing with less competition than just the average “go to Amazon and pick a product” crowd.
Not that I don’t have a number of such sites that make good money, I do, but aiming for some kind of exclusivity is going to take you a long way. My aim here is to give you the best possible advice and that means trying to scout out products that are exclusive in some way. It doesn’t mean some esoteric product, it means hats for large heads or some such items that are hard to find in general High Street stores. Think long and hard about it to get off to the best possible start.
Huge Price Difference
For many products the traffic that you are going to get is going to be from people looking for the best deals. It may not be reflected in your actual keyword stats but the honest truth is that a lot of traffic for products is based around searchers looking for low prices.
We have all heard of Amazon right?
And we all have a number of names in our head that could probably sell us a product if we went there direct. But still, people search online for the product they are after to see just who sells it the cheapest.
The trick is to get your visitors to click your affiliate links because you can offer them a resource to buy where the product they are after is so much cheaper than on the high street. It may mean they have already been to Amazon and are now looking to see if anyone has it cheaper. Even if you are explicit about the fact that you are working through Amazon you can still get people to click your affiliate links with some simple word play.
We can talk about the fact that we have teamed up with them to offer great deals, the inquiring mind will follow such a link to see if your site is offering better deals even if it is through a site that they have already visited such as Amazon.
Rank number one for your terms and you are sitting on a gold mine if you get such search traffic.
At the heart of a successful website is a site based around products that are simply expensive to buy on the high street and people are more than happy to pull out a credit card and buy online. We should always endeavour to build a site around such products, those that are practically screaming out to be bought online because of a huge price difference. Find such products and you are a long way to making a success of what you are doing.
The fact is that in this day and age an awful lot of products are a lot cheaper online. If you can pick products that are in this arena and are also products that people really will buy online because they are cheaper then you can make a real success of your website. This is why picking, or more importantly, finding, the right products to build a site around is of such prime importance. Think toasters to match kitchen color schemes that are simply impossible to find anywhere apart from online but are also sold at dramatically lower prices as well.
Personally I have built so many sites that get traffic yet fail to convert in to sales it is not even funny. If I added up the hours, days, and months I have wasted I would probably cry. But the reality is that you never know just how well things are going to do until you have tried, and most often, failed. But one day you will stumble upon a few niches that simply do amazingly well in terms of sales per visitor, or conversely, stumble upon a niche where it is so easy to rank for so many terms that even with a very poor conversion rate you can succeed down to sheer weight of traffic. Let’s look at one other very important factor that is perfect for an online business that is concentrating on earning through affiliate sales of products or even informational guides.
Let’s face it, there are simply some creams that you don’t want to go in to the pharmacy to buy. Welcome to the world of the embarrassment factor.
You will certainly find that, as with many niches, you will be struggling to compete in a large majority of niches where the product or information is based on a persons embarrassment and unwillingness to buy from a real live human face to face.
But if you delve deep enough and look long enough then there are an untold number of products, be they actual, or digital, where people would really rather buy from behind the anonymity of a computer screen. Think male tanning creams not acne remedies, be realistic about the competition you would be facing.
Ranking for terms that are based around people not wanting to buy face to face is certainly a very lucrative arena to delve in to. It will simply be a matter of picking your terms and your products very carefully indeed. If you do decide to go down this route then you should look very closely at he competition and certainly not jump in to any of the more popular niches without realizing that you will have a long upward struggle to get any traffic at all in any kind of decent time frame.
But get it right and you could be the richest bum cream affiliate online! Sweet (money, not bum cream).
Before we actually get down to the nitty gritty of our actual websites or blog based platform we really do need to think about our keywords.
Anyone who reads my blog (Zen Duck) knows that I am not actually a big advocate of too much keyword research. At best any tool you can find such, as the google adwords keyword tool, is a guide at best and totally inaccurate at the worst. None of them are going to be totally accurate and if you base your sites solely on numbers you get from any tool then it is no guarantee that that traffic actually exists. It is why I never recommend basing your income expectations off only a single, or even handful of keywords.
The best sites will discover their own keywords once they are up and running and becoming even moderately successful.
It is then that the real work begins and the fun happens. But more on that later. Picking your initial keywords should be down to common sense as much as anything else. And the exclusive slant you have because you took a lot of time to think about what your products actually are. Think about what I talked about earlier in terms of how to pick your products and then think about what terms could be typed in when people are searching. There are literally thousands of buying keywords, terms that people will type in when they want to actually buy a product or information. And this is where our focus should lie.
Most searches performed online are unique. They are a one off that is unique to the person typing. Sure, there are terms that are searched for by thousands of people every single day, and they are very hard to get a good position in the search engines for.
Go For The Longtail
I have talked about this many times on my blog and it bears repeating. It is the most important factor that people simply overlook in their drive to rank for a single search term. Rather than banging your head against a wall trying to rank for a single term for months and more likely years the truly successful website targets search terms that are relatively long in nature and are searched for only infrequently.
What this means is that there is less competition from other site owners to try to rank for these type of queries and it allows us to rank with little effort apart from actually writing the content. Picking our terms wisely allows us to make maximum use of our time and to build traffic to our site quickly and effectively.
This is so important yet so many people totally fail to follow through on it. That is great news for us as it gives us a backdoor to earnings that many ignore. While other site owners chase hard keywords, we bide our time over years increasing the authority of our site by attacking numerous long search strings that all add up to massive sales numbers and increased authority thanks to the vast number of search engine queries we rank number one for.
DO NOT OVERLOOK THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS POINT
The most successful blogs and websites will most often get the majority of their traffic from terms that are searched for infrequently and even then most terms that attract our traffic will be ones we had never thought of and ones that certainly will never show up in a keyword tool.
It really is so important that we target such terms that it is one of the most important factors when it comes to making a successful site or one that simply flounders and gets nowhere.
This is especially the case for new sites where you immediately hit some kind of wall in terms of trying to rank. Trust is important and it comes with age and maturity and you simply cannot rank for hard and competitive terms in the short term. Buying aged domains goes a long way to circumnavigating this problem but aiming for the longtail allows you to build more trust and authority in a shorter period of time.
The longtail, or “long-ass search” is a different matter entirely. The wisest possible move that you can make is to target long search strings and build a solid base from such terms.
I am not saying not to target hard search terms, you certainly should, but do not get too focused on them, they will come in the long term, maybe years down the road in your Internet Marketing journey. Patience is of prime importance for such terms and I will talk a lot more about this later. Let’s get down to some serious business now and see just what is involved once we have picked our products, our niche, and have a very simple idea of some of the terms we may like to target from the search engines.
Creating A Successful Website
The reality is that the most successful sites are never going to be too narrow in nature. To some extent the broader the site is the more chance you have of it being a success. Within reason of course. None of us are going to be able to build the next Amazon, not unless we have many millions to invest, but neither should you really go too targeted.
The fact is that if you are looking to build as long term a site as possible then you really do want to have plenty of options. The fact is that products fall in and out of favor, brands come and go and products simply stop being produced.
This is why the most successful sites are going to be those that cover a niche that is broad enough to take these kinds of losses and can focus in on other products in their stead. Don’t get me wrong, I have a number of single product focused sites, but they are satellite sites around a main site or relatively small, but still respectable, earners in their own right. But the best sites are going to be large enough to be built in to an authority resource covering a whole and relatively broad niche.
Focusing our energies too much on a single product is never wise. Do it, by all means, but make the main part of your focus on a site that never relies on just one or two products. You want a site that is large enough to be able to withstand products coming and going and basically covers a relatively broad niche topic with plenty of products or products that are often changed yet still in plentiful supply.
But all of this is for naught if we do not have a site that is run well, set up well and designed to take advantage of just how search engines function on the most basic level.
Let’s take a look at a number of things we should keep at the forefront of our minds if we are to get our traffic from search engines, still, in most instances, the best way to get free traffic that has a person who is interested in spending their money. Not the only way, by any means, branding and traffic from non-search engine resources can certainly be a very successful way to earn a living from a website, but we are talking about search traffic here for the most part:
Website SEO Tips
Search engines work in certain ways and to a large degree there are criteria that need to be met to gain trust, authority and ranking. Don’t believe for one second though that just because you make use of the following that you will be a success. There is more to it and it is changing daily.
Search engine rankings are relying on more and more factors daily and for many the unfortunate result is that social factors and branding are playing a more and more important role in just what sites take the front page of the search engines. We do as much as we can to comply with what is required and we will need to constantly adjust our approach to what is required to stay in the running.
I am not a social person as far as my websites go, apart from at the Zen Duck, but I know that certain criteria is becoming increasingly important. To some extent I believe the social side of things in terms of ranking is grossly overrated, we will get to that in due course, but my main point is that the following is what are basic guidelines search engines look for when it comes to ranking sites and putting them in the order which they deem they merit. We certainly ignore such things at out peril, 3 years building websites has certainly taught me that much.
One of the most important, if not THE most important factor in terms of getting a page of content ranked highly is simply the post title.
In fact I would argue it is more important than the actual url. In fact I know this to be the case from experimenting. A change to the title of a post or page can dramatically effect its position in the search engines results pages (SERPS). This is simply not up for debate.
A tremendous amount of weight is placed on the title of a piece of online content. Get the terms in the title in the order you believe people will type them in to the a search engine and you are already a good way to ranking, given time and other factors. But the bottom line is that at the heart of a successful placement in the search engines is the ability to think about the traffic you wish to attract and what they will type in to find your page.
The titles of your content should be thought of as the most important beginning to your success. If you want to rank for a term then use it in your title. And your titles should all be thematically similar if at all possible. We talked about this when discussing what type of site to build.
You want all of your content on your whole site to be easily discerned as about a single topic. This is not as important as sites become old or have gained true authority, but for the average site builder sticking to one theme is the quickest way to gain the trust and the authority we desire to become a success.
Are Short Or Long Post Titles Best
There is much debate over the length of a post title. From experience I have certainly found benefits to both options. Depending on the age of the site. Newer sites do better with longer post titles. Not ridiculous lengths but titles that reflect more of a longtail approach. Basically because the shorter the term the harder it is too rank for. More people will type in short phrases than long phrases for a topic. But look at the whole topic and overall there are a lot more phrases typed in never to be repeated than for those that type in a single short phrase.
The best approach is to pick a title for your content page that has the best of both worlds. You may want to rank for “socks” for your post title, no easy thing, but a post title of “Socks For Sale” will be that little bit easier. The longer the title the easier it is to get some traffic. You can still attack the most competitive term but you will also be able to get traffic a lot easier for the longer query by ensuring that the best guess at the best longtail for decent traffic is a part of your post title. Post titles are only a part of the use of titles in our overall content and I will now talk about titles as a part of the content itself. This is something I see overlooked way to often.
When I know for sure that the use of titles within the content is not only a guaranteed way to attract more traffic for more search terms but it simply helps to rank the overall page and the main content title a lot easier and higher in the search engines with the least amount of of-page work.
This piece of content is the perfect example. Those using wordpress have instant access to various header sizes and for static sites the option is easy enough too. Content that is perceived to, or preferably really is, covering any topic in depth and fully is going to be given better search positions in a fair world. Sadly it is never always fair but in recent times search results have come on leaps and bounds and will only improve in time.
And what they are about is delivering the best results for people’s queries. And content that simply covers a topic properly and answers the search query is going to be the easiest content to rank highest and this should always be the endeavour of the site owner.
And when you write a comprehensive piece of content then you will have content that requires breaks to improve the readers experience and keep them engaged and you will also have different headings to mark out the various sections you are covering within your content.
This means that you make H2’s for in content titles that are all a part of your overall topic. Header 2’s are seen as carrying weight with the search engines as they are re-enforcing to the search engines and the reader (who should always be at the front of your consideration) exactly what is to be expected and what the content contains.
I am not saying a whole site should be made up of such content, but producing something extraordinary on occassion full of different headers, quotes, italics, bullet points, images and videos not only gives you an immense sense of satisfaction it works absolute wonders for the authority and trust, thus rankings, that your site as a whole, and thus all of its content, gathers.
And for us the humble site owner it allows us to rank for many queries from single piece of content. It also allows us to rank better for our main terms simply as we have written content that covers our topic in as comprehensive a manner as we possibly can.
As just discussed, the more comprehensive your content is then the easier it is to rank. This is partly why long content can often be easier to rank. Long pieces of writing such as this can often give you the edge in ranking for your keywords. The more content on the page the more longtail queries you will pick up and these can be built upon.
But this is not a hard and fast rule. I personally have plenty of pieces of content online that are longer than 150 words and they do just fine. The power of the post title in action.
Just another of the fallacies that many so called exerts will say no longer work. The fact is that the title of the content itself is so important in terms of ranking that it should always be kept in mind. But there is no doubt that if we really do want to build a long term and sustainable site then we need to certainly ensure that our content is at times very comprehensive and delivers more than expected. You want to produce something that is the star of the show. You want a number of very comprehensive articles that can be linked to from the whole site and will show your readers in no uncertain terms that they have arrived at a valuable and very informative resource indeed.
Be it search traffic or traffic from your online advertising via forum profiles where you hang out, a signature in emails, or any other form of traffic, you need to ensure that your site is informative, useful and stands out above the rest. This does not mean writing epic content purely for the sake of it, although if it comes to that then you will simply have to bite the bullet and do it. It means making your site the best there is and then your promotions can be for something you are genuinely proud of. Even if you, in reality, have no passion for the niche itself, although that is obviously always preferable.
I have any number of site that do not fulfill the above criteria. They are stuffed full of affiliate links on every page and they do just fine. But I have also lost a number of such sites and the days of such sites are well and truly coming to an end.
More on that in a moment.
For the absolute best results in terms of ranking for a term there is little doubt that the longer the content and the more comprehensive then the better the chance you have of ranking for your post title and for the various titles within your content, as well as literally hundreds of terms that you never even thought of.
But don’t force it just for the sake of it. A variety of content length and a mix of short and long is not a bad thing, it is more natural in terms of how a website owner would work naturally, and if you cannot work naturally on a site to rank for your terms then you need to at least give the appearance of doing so.
This is why personal blogs and sites that have a passion as their basis often do so well. They do not mimic a natural style, they actually have one.
But I am not so naive as to believe that we are going to have any passion whatsoever for our chosen niche, and if we do not then we should at least know what a passionate sites content contains. So many online “Gurus” will tell you that you must build sites about a topic of interest or passion and I find it frankly ridiculous. It comes down to nothing more than a work ethic and a personality suited to such tasks. If you are not at home doing daily mundane tasks then you are in the wrong business. The work is un-glamorous to say the least and why there are so many failures.
I would rather write about socks all day even though I have no interest in them apart from as a purely functional piece of attire than go work for a boss. Your choice. Obviously the more interest in the topic the easier it is to write great copy, but it is by no means a requisite of a site that is successful. Research and a work ethic can make up for a lack of knowledge or interest if you are so inclined, which I personally am.
Your post content should be what it needs to be and nothing more. If it needs to be 150 words as it is just a short piece that says
“You can buy white socks the cheapest via this link”
then so be it. Variety is the proverbial spic of life. Don’t let so called experts dictate what your content should be. If it needs to be 20,000 words then write that. If it needs to be short then keep it short. If it needs to have a video or you feel it would be of use then post a video.
If it is a review of a product then give your personal opinion and basically follow what you feel in your heart would be best for the visitor.
Now, to contradict myself.
I have very few sites that follow the above. Many of my sites are full on affiliate sites of content of around 300 words and an image and an affiliate link. They work well, but they are, basically, crap. I am honest about my sites and I know that many contribute nothing to helping people in any way.
But I am also honest in that I know that they point people to the cheapest place to buy something. So, I sleep fine at night. But these type of full on affiliate sites with every page nothing more than a portal to Amazon or some other affiliate program are slowly becoming a dying breed. And this is why I no longer recommend people spend all their time making such sites. Let’s take a look at what a successful website or blog’s content actually looks like. This is from personal experience of what works, what will continue to work, and what allows you to stand the best chance of building a successful website that will stand the test of time.
Overall Site Content
Unless we are in the exalted position of having our own products to sell, and that is certainly an option for those so inclined, then we will be basing our sites around some form of product or information that we hope to earn from.
Those without their own products can build sites that take and process orders if they are so inclined and run a dropshipping program. Personally I have been there and done that in part by selling products I have ordered and selling them on ebay. For me it is simply too much of a headache to deal with all that goes with dealing with customers and processing orders, packing and shipping them, but there is money to be made in such circumstances and the style of your site is down to how you wish to run your business.
I prefer affiliate marketing in the form of getting search engine traffic and delivering what is expected by the searcher and providing them with an affiliate link to a destination where they can buy a product that fulfills their search query.
Whatever approach we take there are a few caveats that are universal. We need to build sites that will allow us to rank in the search engines so that we can get this form of free traffic that is highly targeted to spending money.
And it is our site content that allows this to happen.
Of late search engines are doing a better job than ever before of delivering results that are what the user expects to see. And the sites that are in favor are large sites that cover a broad niche in the most comprehensive way possible. I am not going to go in to actual site design in this piece of writing. It has been covered comprehensively in the guide I wrote to making a success of the Amazon Associates program. Available to all for a minimal price and certainly worth a read. Available from the books section of my blog: Zen Duck Books.
But the actual content of a successful site needs to be evaluated and we need to build content that is going to allow us to rank well in the search engines so we need to deliver what is now expected. And what is becoming more and more apparent is that what is expected is a site that has a healthy mixture of content both short and long, informative and maybe even shared publicly by those that find themselves reading and acting upon the content.
Having lost a few sites in terms of organic search I know they have one thing in common. The content is not stellar and the overall site has too much content that is of a similar length. And the death knoll was taking what was a successful site nonetheless and trying to rank for terms that were not closely related to the overall niche. I do not recommend that you now do this. Keep your whole site tied closely to a theme for less risk of it being seen as not the best resource for the user.
As discussed earlier the content length of an individual post should be what is needed to cover the subject matter in the detail expected by the searcher.
If this piece of copy was 300 words then you, the reader would, be sorely disappointed. You would simply not expect to either pay for, or read for free, a guide to making a successful blog or website based around affiliate sales and for it to be 300 words. You have an expectation in yor head about what it would entail and hopefully I am fulfilling what is expected from you. If not, then my apologies.
At the same time if the searcher is simply looking for a quick guide to making a link nofollow or some such query then they would to expect to have to wade through 20,000 words. We should write content and include what is needed and no more. The search engines seem to be doing the best job they have ever done at mostly delivering content that is suitable to the queries submitted. And this is all well and good.
Certainly not perfect by any means and there are lots of results that show up that are downright bloody awful, but if we want to be a success we should not base our site on this kind of inferior content. Build a site that is the place to go for the niche.
It means writing guides and it means writing how to’s and it means writing price comparison posts and it means writing feature articles that will leave people dying to click a Facebook like link or recommend it to a friend. These social signals may not play as important a role as many currently seem to suggest they do but they do certainly play an important role in the Webmaster getting an inkling of if their content actually delivers the goods from the searchers point of view.
Add in a FB like button or business page to your site and if you get absolutely no positives from it then you may need to reevaluate exactly what it is that you are doing. Worth doing strictly from a point of view of gauging exactly what people think of your content.
Polls are other great ways to gauge visitor interest and opinion and for certain niches they can be great indicators of the type of visitor and whether they like some form of interaction. If they do then you can maybe adjust your content and your site accordingly to reflect the type of habits your visitors have.
Basics for your content should not be overlooked. Write a mixture of articles of varying lengths and certainly write guides and informative copy that is there purely to help and with only the slightest of ulterior motives.
What do I mean by that?
I mean that we need to be honest and not pretend that we are not building a site to make money. And to do this there is no doubt that the better the quality of the content the better our return will be in the long term. By all means make short copy designed to optimize whatever you want clicked on. Above the fold affiliate links and the like are a basic way to get your visitor to click a link but there are factors such as bounce rate on a site overall that can be ignored less and less as sites are ranked in different ways as algorithms advance.
Make The Site Interesting
If you think about it from a logical point of view then a site where every visitor clicks off it in a second or two can hardly be engaging. I have been very guilty of recommending people build sites in exactly that manner in the past but the times are changing and we need to adapt or die. This is not to say such sites are not very effective and can earn a tremendous amount of money, they currently can. But do not build these type of sites thinking they will retain high serps positions over the long term, they won’t. But for part of your online arsenal they do still work very effectively and making maximum money with minimal brain power or effort.
If every article on a site leads a visitor to click off the site almost instantly then it may well not stand the test of time.
But what if we combine short sales copy with long informative articles and information on site that keeps a certain amount of our traffic reading for some time? Content such as this, that also links to other informative and thematically relevant content? It makes it a more worthwhile site surely?
From personal experience I know for a fact that the best performing sites are those that have a mixture of both useful and informative content and direct sales pages, if the end desire is still to make sales through an affiliate program of some sort.
Long content engages the reader if written well and from an informed point of view and it allows us to actually funnel the reader to other pages on the site which further gives us a bonus in terms of being seen as a site of some authority and importance.
There is no reason why you cannot write very long copy that has been given your all but also directs the reader to another piece of content, maybe very short, on your site that offers up an affiliate link.
If nothing else you are building out a resource of real value, and although this is still much overrated in terms of what content really does rank well in the search engines (bots can’t distinguish amazing information from average content) you can bet your new pair of white socks that the time will come when less and less filler and crap is shown high in the serps.
Better to begin on the right track and make something to actually be proud of from the get go.
And it does not mean that you sacrifice your goal of making the best possible living online in any way. These type of long posts and guides and high quality information based articles work wonders for both your traffic levels as they contain so much information but they also allow us more opportunities to rank that content better in the search engines and thus gain more trust and authority for the site overall.
A thin affiliate site will not attract natural backlinks and we certainly will not be given the opportunity to write a guest post on another website if we ask for a link to our crap site. But if we write amazing copy these opportunities and many more and now open to us. More about backlinks shortly, first let’s take a look at one of the many misconceptions many new and seasoned Internet Marketers seem to share.
I read so much nonsense about keyword density and the like that I find it ridiculous. By this I am talking about how many times in a single piece of copy you repeat the terms you wish to rank for. Many say that the keywords should be repeated no more than 2% of the time or some other relatively low and arbitrary figure. It is frankly nonsense as far as my own personal experience is concerned.
No, I have not run extensive tests from sites ranking for terms, but I can read and that is all that I need. Read any piece of content that ranks and you will soon see that the number of times a phrase is repeated is not of prime importance when it comes to ranking. Other factors are far more important.
Naturalness is the most important part of anything to do with keyword density and nothing more. This is something so many people get totally hung up on when our copy should just be written mostly naturally. I say mostly as I am not a fool and know that if I wish to rank for a term then it needs to be included at least once in copy for the simplest and most basic advantage to rank for it. In the post title is most important and in the copy is second. As long as it is repeated at least once then we are good to go.
We should then simply write as naturally as we wish to write and nothing more. We can work our keywords in to our writing as naturally as we possibly can and never worry about how often they are repeated. The content should flow and we should not count such things, we should simply use our words as often as we need to, or do not need to, to make out writing deliver on what is expected of it. Now we come to the crux of how we actually make money from our sites if we are making our money through commissions.
How To Use Affiliate Links
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