Why Two Tier Affiliate Programs?

For anybody who is not familiar with affiliate marketing, two-tier will probably be a new term to you. But to those who are involved in this kind of marketing; it means a reliable stream of income. Two-tier is a feature of any particular affiliate program where affiliates are allowed to sign-up additional affiliates below them. So that when the sub-affiliates otherwise known as second tier affiliates, earns a commission, the affiliate above receives a commission too.

In a two-tier system, the first tier of commission is just like the usual affiliate program. The sole difference is that it has an additional tier/ or sub-affiliate, whereby marketers also gain a commission once the people that the additional tiers referred to the program generate sales. Affiliate programs can have a multi-tier program with infinite number of levels; however, there are practical limitations. As tiers increase, the affiliate program draws more webmasters who are mostly interested in gaining profit from other’s work and effort.

Two-Tier affiliate programs are also recognized as Multi-Level Marketing. When you sign-up for an affiliate program, you are identified as the first tier and the person that you have recruited or encouraged to sign up is the second tier. If there are additional tiers, then the system can now be regarded as multi-level marketing (MLM). But today, MLM isn’t as effective and successful as it was several years ago. This is because at present, affiliates can freely select from thousands of affiliate programs and they can quickly switch from one program to another.

So if you want to use two-tier affiliate programs to your advantage and generate more income by encouraging sub-affiliates to sign-up below you, make sure that you carefully choose your affiliate merchant. Pick those merchants who generate a stable stream of high quality products. Make sure your merchant has a good tracking system and has a good reputation for looking after their affiliates. Look for the merchant who gives high visitors-to-sales conversion rate.

It’s also advisable that you find yourself a web merchant that has a user-friendly website which you can access anytime to monitor your statistics including visits and sales. And if possible, choose the one with powerful marketing tools which you can use in promoting their products.

Pick wisely or you will just be wasting your time and effort, worse still damaging your reputation. As soon as you start promoting a poor program it will reflect on you and your site. This is the reason why it’s so important to pick first-rate affiliate programs. Through these, you can not only build up a good relationship with your visitor, but also, you can easily get more tiers to sign-up under you. You should also be cautious of some affiliate programs that give more importance on the profits to be earned in taking on other affiliates than on the income from sales, because eventually someone has already closed those sales without informing you. Usually, this kind of affiliate program offers a very low first-tier payment but a sky-scraping second-tier commission.

If you want to start an affiliate program of your own, you have to decide whether it will be a single tier or two-tier affiliate program. Which of these two programs are better? Let’s look at the benefits you could get out of the two-tier affiliate program.

First off, your profit will increase due to increased sales from the customers that your second tier has referred. Second, you have a much broader customer base to which you can sell your products and services. You gain more stable income because the customers referred by your affiliate and sub-affiliates could develop a lifetime loyalty for your site and your products. Plus, you have an army of sub-affiliates who will promote and resell your products and services to their visitors and subscribers.

Two-tier programs are a proven winner and should be the number one choice for affiliates as well as for the affiliate program managers. So I hope you can now see the advantages of two-tier affiliate programs.
As Spok would say live long and prosper.

Part 3 Building a Niche Site Step-by-Step

On Day 1 and Day 2, I did insanely fast idea generation using only the places Michelle told me to use; uncovered my awesome new niche and targeted my primary and some secondary keywords; selected my domain using each of the tools Mich recommended (which idea generation led me to another great long-tail keyword I want to use) and purchased my domain.

What I accomplished today:

Today, I actually started and completed the entire Module 2 which is Optimize for Size.  It didn’t take a lot of time to complete but you get more and more stoked as you go and you just don’t want to quit!

Module 2, and my accomplishments for today are:

–> Installing Wordpress and customizing the settings to the specifics Michelle gave which will optimize my site for superb keyword optimization and site ranking.

–> Optimizing my ‘on page’ factors to ensure the search engines clearly understand what my site is about and gravitate toward it.

–> Chose some LSI keywords and optimized my site for those.

–> Downloaded the SEO Optimized Wordpress Themes Michelle provides and installed a few, chose the one I liked and listened while she explained what an SEO optimized WP theme should contain.

–> Set up my widgets according to Michelle’s specifications (that was super fun and exciting because you can just feel the success as you do this!)

–> Downloaded the huge plugin pack Michelle put together, installed them all and set them all according to the specifications Mich provided. These are seriously plugins you MUST HAVE and setting them up the way Mich directs, yet again, gives you that feeling of success as you do it!

–> Set up my site to look good on mobile phones since more and more people are now searching for information and viewing sites on mobile phones.  I hadn’t thought of this before and it’s really fab advice!  She tells you exactly how to ‘floss’ on a mobile phone!

Now I’m going to move on to Module 3 which is Content Architecture…and once I’ve completed Module 3, I’m halfway through Boot Camp and well on my way to raking in the dough with my new niche site!

If you’re brand new to niche marketing, there’s no possible way you can go wrong with these step-by-step, from scratch to money-making, video instructions.  If you’re already knee deep in niche marketing, I’d still be willing to bet that you can benefit greatly from this course, learn a lot of new things, and pick up some fantastic new tricks along the way…nevermind have access to the exclusive tools like:
  • the Snooper (tells you exactly what sites Google is favoring on any given day so that you can link build there);
  • the CM Social Bookmarker that automatically bookmarks your URL to assist you with linkbuilding
  • the CM RSS Blaster that drips your RSS feed across the web
  • the Task Manager which is automatically filled with steps you need to take in building and monetizing your site (you can also add your own tasks and have task managers for all of your sites)
  • …and more!

Building a Niche Site Step-by-Step Day 2

You’ll recall, yesterday I did massive, quick, idea generation with the avenues Mich told me to use to uncover my new niche; keyword selection using Michelle’s specific instructions on how to find the “gems”; and found my primary keyword that looks promising for some comfortable money and my secondary keywords.

What I accomplished today:

Okay, so I came with my “gem keyword” in hand. I watched the video Michelle made showing how to do domain selection.  Now, you might think, “Hey, I know how to choose a domain.”  Well, so do I. But Michelle gives some great extra tips and thoughts on how to choose a domain and why.

No matter your level of marketing, you’re SURE to get some good tips, extra things to consider and analyze, etc. on the things you already know.

Whether you’re brand new to making money online and building sites, niche and otherwise; or you’re seasoned, there’s crazy value everywhere around.

I went through every single step Michelle told me to go through since this is about following her teaching step-by-step to build a new niche site. I followed the various steps she demonstrated and came out with a domain I love, it’s simple and to the point, but a perfect match for traffic!

Well, there was actually another phrase - had 1 extra word from my original keyphrase and I liked it! When I thought of that, I went back and got a little more key word market info from it.  But, it just so happens that when I went to register the domain…it was gone! Grrr.  But that’s okay I chose a synonymous action word and figured I’ll still build a page around that phrase later even though the competition is a little sticky.

So I got my domain name; found another phrase I want to focus on later and learned a little more about my market from the keyword research I’d done.

I’m armed and dangerous now! Ready to start building my site and monetizing it!

So, ho hum, I’m waiting for my domain to be set up so I can use it! Otherwise I would have been here with a few more steps to cover.  After I do a little bit of other work, who knows, I might be back tonight!

How to use PLR content

How to make better use of PLR

First up; for anybody who is not familiar with PLR (Private Label Rights) products, then here’s what you can do with them; on PLRs you have exclusive ownership of that product. You can then use it anyway you wish: change the packaging, the title, the contents; you can do just about anything you want with the product.

Finding PLR Products

One thing’s for certain you don’t have to look that hard to find PLR bundles, there are PLR membership sites everywhere. What you will find is that the quality of some PLRs is to say the least less than perfect; you get what you pay for, so shop around. If you do have poor quality PLRs on your hard drive then you will be doing a lot of editing. There is no point in just slapping this PLR on to your blog, you will have to work the articles and put your own stamp on it. The key to successful posts is rewriting the PLR and shaping it to your own style.

I use PLRs on many of my Blogs and websites;
I can’t proclaim to be an expert on every subject and have used many PLRs myself, but I still research the post properly before I publish the finished article. You might be quite surprised to know that a lot of popular blogs and big corporate sites use PLRs quite frequently.  What you will find from some PLR membership sites is that outsourcing is done by non English speaking writers. This is not good as the content is often poor quality and unreadable. I have come across such PLRs frequently and they take up a lot of time re-editing.

What you can do with PLR products;

There are a multitude of uses for PLRs, here are the main ones.
Offer PLR information products as free bonuses, or to opt-in to your email list. Or you can create your own original information products; how about making promotional content for your affiliates as an inducement to promote your main sale. PLR can also be used to create your own real estate for profitable Adsense sites. Of course PLRs are invaluable for updating your own money making blogs. You can rapidly create eZine content and an autorespondor series. Last but not least use PLR content to create viral eBooks; if you have Open Office then you can convert it into PDFs very easily. And with a good graphics editor like Dreamweaver or the free Gimp application produce great eBook covers.

The great thing about PLRs is that they actually encourage you to learn and improve your writing skills, forcing you to get your own personality across to your readers. It’s a great way to fire you up and start forming your own ideas for future articles. To make your articles sing out to the search engines you will need to start placing keywords throughout your post, this can be a progressive action which in time you will get better at.
One note of caution; Do not use other peoples content and then use it for ad filled blogs, this is Wikipedia’s definition of Splogs;  “Spam blogs, sometimes referred to by the neologism splogs are artificially created weblog sites which the author uses to promote affiliated websites or to increase the search engine rankings of associated sites” Beware because Google actively goes after these types of blogs or websites and bans them without a second thought.
PLRs are hugely popular and will continue to be so with millions of bloggers around the world monetizing their use.  “Happy blogging”

Day 1- Building a Niche Site Step by Step

Okay, so you know what this series is all about - me building a niche site, from scratch, using the No Marketer Left Behind Internet Marketing Membership site that I’d bet my kids on to be the best around!

For this project, I’m building something OUTSIDE of the Internet Marketing Niche.

So here we go, Day 1 of building my new niche site!

I printed out my Module 1 Worksheet that I will use as I work through each video in the first Bootcamp Module which is “Niche the Niche“.

In this module, we learn how to generate niche ideas, find the “keyword gems”, drill down in keyword research to find the perfect keywords to build a site around and the keywords we’ll use, and select our domain.

What I accomplished today:

1.  I created an insane list of great niche ideas. 

These are just the ’scratch the surface ideas - the ones I’ll drill down on to find where the money is. Michelle gives you some great, super easy, avenues to generate ideas from. (You can also use these avenues to generate ideas on creating informational products - which you can give away for free to build your rep and your list; and/or sell to make money on; or both!)

I used the avenues she told me to use and quickly generated PAGES of niches and sub-niches that I can dig deeper into and investigate to find the money. It took me maybe 20-30 minutes to generate several pages of ideas (from which, as we go through the steps, I’ll find the first niche I’m going to build on and then still have tons to pursue as well as some great ideas for information products I can create along the way to help me build).  This is seriously idea generation at its best (you can do SO MUCH with this list!)

I used the 5 top places recommended (one is SO FREAKING SIMPLE and I never thought about it before, it’s totally that ‘duh’ moment) and really I could have generated thousands, literally, of ideas but I limited it to a few pages for now.

2. I narrowed my list down to the top ones I had an interest in pursuing the most at this time.

3.  I narrowed my list down even further to the best choices to start with out of that list using the rating system Michelle provided.  This rating system helps you determine which of those ideas you should start with (the top 2 or 3 to start investigating).

4. From that list, I started my keyword research using the idea that had the highest rating on my worksheet. I know, I know, keyword research - not usually our favorite thing to do but it must be done to find the money and with the keyword research tool we use, it’s almost fun because the results are SO detailed and there are so many ways you can utilize it. I said almost! I’m not going to pretend it’s now my favorite thing to do, but it didn’t seem quite as painful because this is keyword research at its best. And, again it’s a vital step in finding the money - which is the entire point of niche marketing!

I used the video instructions and the keyword tool to drill down into my top level keyword and find other keywords as well as an even better keyword to build the site around.

I discovered the MONEY MAKING words to build my site around and the other keywords I’m going to use within by using the keyword tool to analyze:
  • how many times my potential keywords are searched in a day
  • the SEO Traffic (the amount of clicks a #1 site for this keyword might achieve)
  • the percentage of phrase-match searches out of broad-match searched for my potential keywords
  • my SEO competition (how much or how little there is)
  • the SEO Title competition (how many ppl using my prospective keywords are using them in the title of their page)
  • monthly trends for my potential keywords
  • stats on the chances that someone searching for my potential keywords are looking to actually buy vs. just looking for information
  • the Adwords value = the dollar value that a #1 Google Adwords advertiser could expect to achieve for this keyword(s)
  • the SEO value = the dollar figure value that a #1 ranked site would be for that keyword  (i.e., could expect to make $300/day or $700/day or whatever)

    Analysis of my potential would-be top ranked competition for this keyword(s) such as: how old, or new, their site is; what their pagerank is; how many backlinks they have to the main domain; how many backlinks they have to the particular page that is targeting my prospective keywords; whether their sites are listed in particular directories; if ‘our’ keyword is in their page title, URL, description, header; and the number of days since Google last indexed the page.  All of this information gives me great insight to even more details about how competitive a keyword is and how easy or hard it will be to rank highly fairly quickly and start raking in some cash!  It even shows me everything color coded using green, yellow and red so that I can quickly see whether it’s a “go” or “no go” for me.

Here are 2 screenshots from my keyword research that show WHY I’ve chosen this primary keyword to build my site around (showing the stats outlined in the bulleted list above):

This first screenshot shows the keywords I’m looking into (with the orange field being the one I’ve decided to roll with).

Searches = searches per day (higher is better)

SEOT = approximate hits a number 1 listed page could expect (higher is better)

PBR = percentage of phrase match searches out of broad matched searches (higher is better)

SEOC = SEO Competion (Lower is better)

SECTC = SEO Title Competition (Lower is better)

Search = Monthly traffic trends

OCI = Percentage of chance that someone is looking to buy (Higher is better but should be taken into consideration w/other factors)

AWV = daily traffic value, and cost, adwords advertiser in #1 spot might expect

SEOV = daily traffic value #1 spot might expect

So, taking all of these values into consideration, I chose to go with the keyword in the orange field because it has stats that I like, particularly when taken into consideration with the next screenshot which shows my current top competitors.


This next screenshot shows the Top 10 Google search results (my soon-to-be-competitors) and their stats.

DA= Domain Age

PR = Page Rank

BLP = Backlinks to “Page”

BLD = Backlinks to “Domain”

BLEG = Total links pointing to from .gov or .edu

DMZ and YAH = Whether or not site is listed in these directories

Title / URL / Description / Head = whether or not page is ‘on page’ optimized in these areas

CA= How many days ago since Google reindexed the page

Colors: Green is good for ME, Yellow is so-so, Red is not good for ME


You’ll notice there’s a lot of green = good for me; a slight bit of yellow I feel I can overcome; and very little red for me to worry about.  The big yellow caution area- the backlinks to the primary domain isn’t a HUGE concern for me because I can beat them out in the green areas…and get my site listed on some of the sites contained in the actual ‘domain’ part.  The backlinks to the pages (that focus on my actual keyword) I can certainly beat out without an extreme amount of effort.

Using the various keyword stats and taking everything into consideration, I now have the main keyword I’m going to build my new niche site around.  Let’s see how it goes!

So, recap summary - I created a list of tons of niche ideas (containing many others I’ll be looking into in the future too), filtered it down to the best ideas I wanted to check into now, narrowed it down some more using a rating system to pick the top 2-3 I wanted to dig into, chose 1 and started finding the money-making keywords in my first choice niche using DEEP stats that yield results FAR superior to the Google Adwords or Wordtracker keyword tools (I’ve always loved those tools but they can’t give you these kind of results - and you can use the keyword tool we use for free even though there’s  paid version that I recommend purchasing when you can).

As you wrap up this research, you can’t help but to be super stoked about what’s to come!  You know you’ve found the money and you know you’re on your way to achieving success in this newfound niche!

You’re probably wondering about my keywords I’ve found? Can’t tell you just yet, but I promise it will all be revealed as the building continues!

The next thing I’m going to do is choose my domain name according to the steps in the video.

Starting a Blog on $0

Want to start a blog but have $0 to spare? When the recent down turnings of the economy, more and more people are turning to blogging as a way to make some spare change. Although blogging isn’t a get rich quick method, it is a great source for additional income. You can easily start up a blog, market it, and gain significant traffic before ever having to pay for hosting or your own domain–a huge plus to those who can’t afford to start a new website.

Steps we will take in this article

  1. Discover what a blog is.
  2. Discuss why you should start a blog.
  3. Learn how to start a blog for free.
  4. Uncover how to write blog copywrite.
  5. Find ways to market your blog for free.

What is a blog?

Blog is short for weblog. A web log is an online journal or newsletter which is updated frequently and allows visitors to comment on the articles. This website is a blog, for example.

Why you should start a blog

  • It’s a great way to gain small business exposure.
  • Extra income.
  • Blow some free time.
  • Keep a personal diary to tell the world about your adventures.
Of course, no matter what your reason, the $0 start-up rule remains the same. It is possible.

How to start a blog for free

  1. Sign up for Blogspot.com. It has limited functionality, but it is great for those just starting out. Plus, it allows you to setup Google ads.
  2. Choose an appropriate name for your blog. This should be something short and easy to remember. Throw out anything longer than three words.
  3. Choose a nice looking theme. You can create your own later or find a ree one.
  4. Customize the layout by going to layout/page elements.
    1. Click ‘Edit’ in the Blog Posts area. Select ‘Show Email Post Links’ and ‘Show Ads Between Posts’. You will have to sign up for AdSense first.
    2. Click ‘Add a Gadget’. Find the Gadget titled ‘Subscription Links’ and click the plus button. Press save.
    3. Press the orange ‘Save’ button at the top.

How to write blog copywrite

Now that you are signed up for blogger and have your template, you can begin posting. Here are a few articles to help you on your way to good blog copywriting:
  • Be Productive: Write Ahead OR Emergency Articles
  • Be Productive: Take Notes
  • Be Productive: Set Work Hours
  • Blogging Tip: Be Yourself
  • How to Write Great Content and Keep Visitors Interested

Find ways to market your blog for free

There are many opportunities for blogs to market themselves for free.
  1. Submit your blog to blog directories and regular directories.
  2. Use delicious.
  3. Submit your posts to BloggingZoom.
  4. Create widgets for Google, Facebook, and BeBo. Be sure to include a link back to your blog.
  5. Put a link to your blog on all your social profiles (Facebook, MySpace).
  6. Join Twitter and converse.
  7. Hold contests (May or may not be free, depending on your talents).
  8. Create a web design and submit it to galleries.
  9. Write articles and submit them to article directories.
  10. Write guest posts.
Once your blog starts producing money, you will have to make a decision on moving to a paid host or staying with Blogspot. There are advantages and disadvantages for both:

Moving to a new host

  • It is easier to market a domain than a blogspot blog to clients. e.g. it is easier to remember and more trust worthy.
  • You have the freedom to use the advertising you want.
  • There are better blog platforms out there.
  • You will lose some readers.
  • You will have to start your branding over.

Staying with Blogspot

  • You know the platform.
  • You keep all links and marketing efforts.
It is up to you on what to do next. The best advice anyone can give you is to stay active, keep writing and be patient. Most businesses fail within their first 6 months because they don’t expand their knowledge, stay patient, or plan ahead. If you can do those things, you will already be ahead 99% of your competition.

Plug Your Blog for Cash

Have you ever wondered about all of those plugins that you use every day to extend and monetize your WordPress blog? As we all know plugins are very popular with bloggers especially WordPress users. I know that every day when i login to my WordPress blog the first thing i do is check the dashboard for any highlighted issues that need attention. If you have a lot of plugins then you are more than likely going to have to upgrade on more than one occasion. Here then lies an opportunity for you to earn some residual cash from someone who is more than a little familiar with WordPress plugins.

If you arrived on this blog through any number of different locations one of the first things you will have noticed is the MaxBlogPress Ad Stripe on the header. This is one of many plugins that are available through MaxBlogPress, and I’m sure if you are an active blog surfer you will have seen many of them on other WordPress Blogs. Now apart from the obvious advantages of the ad rotator which are self explanatory, think about how many other uses that can be utilised with this powerful visual element. For a start you could put this space up for rent to other Bloggers, in fact you can put up just about anything you can think of. A blogroll of your favourite blogs or perhaps use it as an announcer for competitions. If you are inventive and think outside the box then this ad stripe could take on a whole new life of its own. What about integrating your social network handles, I’m sure other social networkers will see the value in this.

Just like WordPress.org MaxBlogPress has many free plugins like Psychic Search or BlogRush Click Maximizer or how about the duplicate content checker handy if you have a lot of posts,  and many more useful additions that will enhance your blogging experience. There is of course even more essential premium plugins like “Ninja Affiliate” which is without doubt in a league of its own.
If you want run all your affiliate programs efficiently and effortlessly with all the built in security and keyword monetisation, then I would highly recommend that you take a closer look at Ninja Affiliate.
Here are just some of the many uses that can transform your blog into an efficient cash hungry beast.

Easy Affiliate Link Management - You can easily give each affiliate link an easy-to-remember name..

Flexible Link Management - Accepts every affiliate link format out there, so you don’t have to waste time with various affiliate marketing tools.

Create Professional Redirect Links - Use professional looking redirect links that let your prospects know you’re a pro marketer.

Manage Links by Groups - Too many affiliate links? Ninja Affiliate allows you to easily create different groups to manage your links.

Prevent “Affiliate Theft” - Cloak your affiliate links to prevent link theft and affiliate sabotage. No one will ever steal your hard-earned commissions again.

Insert Affiliate Links Directly - Add your affiliate links directly for your WordPress blog editor - you’ll never have to hunt for links again.

Transform Keywords to Links - Automatically turn keywords in your blog to affiliate links. You can set a limit too, so your posts don’t look like a spam blog!

Advanced Display Options - Ninja Affiliate allows you to display any text you want in your web browser’s status bar.

Use “No-Follow” Links - Control your link juice and escape punishment from Big Daddy Google with ninja precision. In fact, you can control your links any way you want to.

For anybody who is serious about affiliate marketing with WordPress this is a must have application that will seamlessly slot in with your other plugins and which you can control from your dashboard editor. I have only touched on a very small part of what this plugin can do, so to find out more for yourself jump on through, he explains it in a lot more detail.

The Role Of SEO Copywriting In Ranking Your Website

You may have heard the word SEO by now. It has become rather a common jargon for the Internet-savvy. SEO actually stands for “search engine optimization” or “search engine optimizer.” Many companies are now hiring search engine optimizers in order to promote their website and reach out to a wider market.

Many SEO consultants offer useful and reliable services for web owners. Their services include a review and analysis of your present website contents and structure; offering technical advice on website development; content development; keyword mining and research; management of numerous online business development campaigns; and in-house SEO training.

Now let us concentrate on the content aspect of SEO. SEO copywriting is a technique of writing a text on the web page that permits the viewers and visitors to read it clearly, while targeting the requirements of search engine robots. The goal of search engine optimization copywriting is to make the website rank highly in search engines using the particular keywords. Copywriting also optimizes other on-page aspects such as Title, Description and Keywords tags, headings and alt text.

So what really is the concept behind SEO copywriting? Search engines want genuine content pages with relevant texts that are related with certain keywords. It is created for the unique purpose of attaining high rankings. When it comes to SEO copywriting, it is recommended to have around 250 viewable words per page and strategically placed keywords within the text. However, SEO copywriting works for suitable websites and suitable search terms. It is also very important that the writer knows how to avoid the deadly sins of copywriting, with keyword stuffing on top of the list. With these factors, SEO copywriting can attain great results which can direct a website to have higher rankings across many popular search engines.

A page that is successfully optimized by copywriting however, has no warranties. There may be rivals with better SEO strategies. If your website keeps on slipping in the rankings, then SEO copywriting must be redone.

Learn how SEO Copywriting and SEO Strategies can help increase the traffic to your website and thus boost your business!

Top 20 WordPress Plugins

What plugins do you use?
In this post I want to discuss WordPress plugins and narrow down which ones are essential and which of them are useful in other ways. As any self Hosted WordPress user will tell you, plugins are essential for many important parts of your blog from SEO to Statistics and a myriad of other uses. This list includes my top 20 plugins that i use regularly, at the time of writing this list I have 42 plugins and I dare say other WordPress users have a lot more; so I would love to hear about your plugins and how you rate this list.
So let’s kick off with what I use on my blog; I will start with the Essential plugins and list them in order of importance to me. Since this blog is in its infancy my recommendations may not suit everyone but I hope will help you decide which is more important to your particular blog.

1st All in one SEO I think most would agree without doubt the most important of all the plugins, once set up it is a powerful tool that sends your posts throughout the web. You can customise this plugin in various ways to fine tune your SEO campaign. (Update your keywords and phrases frequently and always check in with Google analytics to find out the latest trends)

2nd. Google XML Sitemaps — another essential element automatically generates your sitemap and notifies Google MSN and Ask.com. Set up just once and leave.

3rd. SEO Smart Links — Very useful plugin for linking your posts up throughout your blog by category or tags, great for SEO. Can be modified and tailored to suit your theme or subject. This also gives the reader more information on your blog without them having to go searching somewhere else.

4th. Psychic Search – Definitely useful for yourself and your visitor, this plugin gathers information on the top or most popular searches which are done on your blog and you have the choice to put these results in your sidebar for visibility. This is handy for gathering information which you can use to write more articles on or tighten up your SEO. *Requires Registration*

5th. W.P Thread Comment — Very useful for visitor interaction, simply put it lets commentators to your post speak to each other and reply specifically to any particular discussion.

6th. W.P Automatic Upgrade — Save yourself a lot of time and effort with this indispensable plugin, remember to always check in and upgrade all your plugins regularly. Very simple to use, it walks you through the whole upgrade process and backs up data.

7th. W.P Super Cache — A must for high traffic blogs (not quite there yet <;) and it keeps your blog running smoothly, check in to clear your cache every now and again depending on your traffic.

8th. W.P Stats — Must have an API Key to activate, great for snapshots and highlighting most read posts and pages visited on your blog.

9th. Subscribe to comments — Another great comments plugin that gives your visitor the ability to subscribe either by RSS or email and to be notified by email of follow up comments.

10. Commentluv – Parses the commentators last blog post, I think this is a must and would recommend this plugin to anybody who wants to grow their blog. Users are more likely to come back and comment more often.

11th. Akismet — Perhaps I should have put this plugin further up the list, never the less a very important spam management system. You can even call it Dusty Bin if you like <;

12th. BlogRush Click Maximizer — Increases your click through rate if you have a BlogRush widget on your blog, this might not be for everybody but is another source of traffic. (Early days for me) Needs to be Registered.

13th. DoFollow Give some link juice back to your visitors who leave comments, very simple to set up.

14. FeedBurner FeedSmith — Absolutly essential, I don’t think i need to explain much about this plugin, If your new to RSS Feeds then checkout FeedBurner.com. There are far too many options to mention in this post; check out this previous article.

15. MBP Stripe Ad — You can see this plugin in action at the top of any page on this blog. It has many options including an ad rotator with up to 10 ads at a time; you can also change the font couler or size to blend in with your WordPress theme. *Registration Required*

16th. Add to Any Subscribe Button — Lots of these available always handy and you never know somebody might actually use it (Hint_<;)

17th. Twit This adds a small twitter icon after each post, This social network micro platform is gaining huge popularity, so that’s why I have included it on my blog.

18th. Top Commentators Widget — Involving your visitors and encouraging them to post comments regularly to your articles gives them that stickiness, and hopefully brings them back to your blog more often. I am a great believer in connecting with likeminded people and like to reward input as much as I can.

19th. WWSGD (What would Seth Godin Do) Good for welcoming your visitors with your own custom message with a gentle reminder to subscribe to your RSS feed. Just started using this plugin, so I will see if I like it in the coming months, I suppose it comes down to personal preferences.

20th. Template WordPress Widget — This is just a shameless plug for a great affiliate program that I am part of at the moment, you can find out more on Template Buzz. This plugin can be set to show snapshots horizontally or vertically and with or without prices.

So that’s my top 20 WordPress Plugins; I dare say I have missed one or two so let me know which ones you would include. This list will undoubtedly change in the coming months as I streamline and configure my blog. Although this list is primarily for WordPress Plugins I also make use of other applications like Zementa and Kaalga which I am beginning to see more and more value from. Any application that helps you to be more productive is alright in my books.

Just how hard can it be to sell digital products online?

Well some of the top marketers make it look easy don’t they, but one of the main attributes to this success is just plain old hard work. It all depends on your work ethic and attitude and what methods you use. So with this in mind let’s look at some options for niche products.

Affiliate and SEO Tactics

1. First and foremost we begin by searching for the product to sell;

There are a few choices that you can use like ClickBank, Paydot.com or RegSoft, these are all loaded with thousands of digital products. Make your choice with careful consideration, for this example we want to find a more *niche* orientated product. Once you have made your choice join the affiliate program and check to see what promotional materials are available.

2. SEO (search engine optimisation)

So you have your product, next comes the SEO which is probably the most important element in the whole process. A good idea is to set the domain name to match your product with the magic word FREE; example: (yourproductforfree.com). You can see what an impact this process makes in the search page itself (Google free.com for an example). People who land on this search page are more likely to click your ad than say a sponsored one. If you look for products that *aren’t as popular* you have a better chance of ranking higher for that product with little competition. Do a bit of research on your keywords with Google keywords tool, put in your exact phrase to see what the competition is like. You will want to see low search results for your exact keywords to make your campaign more feasible.

Point to remember, make sure your product offers a free version; obviously you will make your commissions when a customer upgrades.

3. Promotion
Do email campaigns, if you don’t have a list then use a safelist. If you’re not sure what a safe list is then just Google it. Turn out some articles and posts to review the product then submit them to article directory’s'. Do a press release pointing out all of the benefits about the product. Join two or three forums and find a relevant thread that matches your product; spend a little time on generating a good signature box for your bio. Give some thought to the right identity when joining forums; try to be consistent with your brand and U.S.P (unique selling point).

It’s a good idea to use all the power and flexibility of the social networks especially the likes of StumbleUpon and Digg, but also MyBlogLog or FaceBook, look for the high traffic networks, do some research on this. At this point I would mix it up a bit and set up my own minisite to maximise exposure. If this is beyond your experience don’t worry there are plenty of free ways that you can utilise mini sites by picking the right affiliate program which can help you to set it all up. And of course a hosting account is essential.

Another great resource for your promotions is Squidoo and Hub Pages theses are especially useful, make sure you surf around your category and leave comments on other lenses and Hubs to generate links back to your product. Look for some popular Blogs like Problogger and CopyBlogger to drop some more comments; these popular blogs have huge traffic. Make good meaningful comments, don’t just leave a one liner, put some thought into it, you’d be surprised on how many bloggers click through your link if they find it interesting.

If you have some cash to spare then i would highly recommend running an ad campaign through the likes of Google Adsense or Yahoo. To give you an idea of a search page, type in *free.com* you will see some examples and variations of the word FREE in the URL and ad body content.

  • So to sum up the three main areas
  • Find your niche product
  • Research your keywords and phrases
  • Promote through multiple plarforms

It may seem a lot of hard work but the rewards can more than compensate, stick to your task and never waver, be prepared to change tactics if needed. Keep track of your responses and analyse your traffic and sales. Good luck and prosper.