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Blogging, Article Marketing And Affiliate Marketing
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Blogging, Article Marketing And Affiliate Marketing

When I started looking into internet marketing I was overwhelmed by the possibilities. I didn't know the first thing about any of it. I have a degree in Computer Science and I work as a senior software developer but this is a whole new world. You hear all the acronyms. SEO, PPC, CPC, etc. and you soon get a headache. I still get a little confused by what I consider the big 3 in internet marketing: blogging, article marketing and affiliate marketing but you really can't do one without the other.

Of course, then there is the whole world of search engine optimization (SEO) where you have to concern yourself with keywords, tags, on page factors, off page factors, backlinks, etc. The whole idea behind all of this is to get traffic and convert user clicks on an ad to money in your pocket which can be more difficult than some of the "internet gurus" woul have you believe. Actually it can be a bit like investing in the stock market. If you do your homework and with a little luck you just might make some money and have some fun along the way.

Blogging - By far my favorite of the three. Blogging is short for weblog which in the beginning was a running journal about a particular website and has grown into a pasttime whereby an individual or group of people write posts, or short entries (200 words or so) about a given aspect of a topic. The blog site itself is usually dedicated to a particular special interest or niche. You can find blogs on just about any topic you can imagine. There are blogs as general as cars or more specific like a site dedicated to the 1966 Ford Mustang. By visiting these sites you can learn about a new hobby and leave messages to add your own take on the topic under discussion. The downside of blogging is that to keep a sizeable readership you have to add posts on a very regular basis. Some people will tell you once a day, others will say 3 - 5 times a week. It really depends on the topic. If you have a site about travel for instance, you can probably write something once a day but if you are covering hot stocks you might want to post 2 or 3 times a day to maintain interest because of increasing competition in some areas. I have also heard some people will only post once a week but that infrequent and people will just go elsewhere for more frequent updates.

Article Marketing - The idea behind article marketing is that you write an article about some topic and in the article and in the authors bio, you get to put links to websites. The more interesting the article, the more readers hence more clicks to your website (at least that's the idea) which will hopefully translate into sales. Where does one find articles? Why at article directory sites of course. They are everywhere streetarticles is one along with ezinearticles and articlebase. They each have their own rules as to what they will approve to put up on their site or publish. I find writing articles takes a good bit more time than blog posts but can reach a wider audience at least when you are first starting out. A good article length seems to be in the 450 - 700 word range. I have written 1,200 word articles but the topic was broad (probably too broad) and has been less read than some of my more terse 450 word articles. People generally aren't looking to read a magazine article online (especially when there are no pictures interspersed in the article).

Affiliate Marketing - Affiliate marketing is really nothing more than commissioned sales. You set up a website with what are called affiliate links. These links have an id embedded in them so the website you are linking to can determine who directed the traffic to them. The link directs the user to another website where they can purchase products or services and upon final purchase you get a commission for the sale. You are being paid for directing traffic to them. Just about every large and medium sized website selling anything has an affiliate program. Some of these more ambitious sites will even provide pre-made ads for you to drop into your site to give it a more professional feel. They work hard to attrack the best and most ambitious affiliate marketers to drive sales of their products and services. Signing up with these affiliate programs is generally free and there are even networks that allow you join their site and then you can pick and choose products and services to promote from their catalog. Examples of these are Connection Junction, Link Share and Share a Sale.

So, how does this all work to make you money? Well, you write articles with links to a website you setup either a blogging site or a website dedicated to shopping for instance. The articles can also be linked in the website and blog site as well. On the blog site and/or web site you have affiliate links set up for the products or services you are trying to promote. The idea is to link between each of these avenues to bring in the most traffic and hopefully more sales ultimately.

SEO comes into play because you want your blog, website and articles to be ranked high in the search engine results so working on keywords and tags is critical. You can also pay for top ranking in the search engines with pay per click.

The way this works is you bid so much per click for a particular key word or keyword phrase. Unless you are bidding on super popular keywords like "credit card" you can usually start out at 5 cents per click. This means every time someone clicks on your ad you pay 5 cents. You are betting that out of these clicks you are going to realize sales which will surpass the amount you are paying for the directed traffic.

So there you are, a very brief synopsis of a few aspects of internet marketing. So go out there and blog your hearts out, write provocative articles and link your sites within an inch of their lives so you too can become a gazillionaire on the internet.


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