As a blogger I’m a bit of a plugin hog and I firmly believe that it’s the huge suppository of available plugins that make WordPress the huge success that it is. Don’t get me wrong, even without the plugins WordPress is the best blogging platform out there but adding plugins to the equation just makes it do so much more. There are plugins that deal with spam and there are plugins that make WordPress blogs more efficient. There are plugins that reward your readers, like commentluv and do follow, and there are plugins that help you with your quest to make an online income.
Which brings me to this post where I plan on showing you what I believe to the 5 best free wordPress plugins for the affiliate marketer, or indeed any blogger that wants to boost their online income.
5 Essential Affiliate WordPress Plugins
Affiliate Link Cloaker: Developed by Joe Brewer I believe the Affiliate Link Cloaker to be an essential part of your affiliate plugin arsenal. This plugin does more than just cloak your links, it also makes them appear more professional as well as being ‘geo’ aware. This means it will send American who clicked on your Amazon link to the American Amazon site and any English person who clicked on a link to the English Amazon site. There are also several other unique qualities like making the links nofollow as well as setting up keywords so the links are placed automatically in posts when those keywords are found.
Fast Secure Contact Form: If you want to become successful you have to make yourself available to anyone who’s looking for added information, information that could well lead to a sale. Mike Challis’ Fast Secure Contact form is a perfect tool for making you available to your prospects.
Max Banner Ads: I wrote a post about Max Banner Ads where I talked about it’s ability to rotate ads so as to help prevent ad blindness. A great utility for incorporating your affiliate banners.
SEO Smart Links: Developed by Vladmir Prelovac SEO Smart Links allows you to turn words selected by you into affiliate links. You control whether you want them to appear just in your post or in your comments as well. Turns those words into links in all your posts including past ones.
MediaPass Subscription Plugin: Perhaps not one for affiliate marketers per se but definitely one that can used to add to your online income. When I originally told you about MediaPass it involved installing a code on your blog but now they have developed their own WordPress plugin. For the plugin to work you need to be a member but that’s not a problem because its free to join.
Well, there you go, now you have another 5 plugins to check out to see whether or not they will suit your blogging needs. But don’t go away just yet because there is more for you to do before you continue on your blog hopping way.
Don’t Leave Before You
Leave a good comment: Remember that a good comment has much more value than a mere backlink as it builds your brand by showing others you know what you’re taking about and has a greater potential for building traffic to your site
Promote this post by sharing with your Social Network! Telling me what a great post this is and then not giving it a Tweet or using one of the other social media buttons at the bottom of this post is a pretty empty gesture. Also, keep in mind that promoting this post also promotes your comment giving it more exposure making it a win, win situation.
Cool, now that you’ve left a comment and shared this post with your social network you are free to leave.
In my last post I wrote about how things were tracking with my lottery ticket site. I related how although it had only been three months it had already attained a PR3 ranking. I also mentioned how although it ranked #1 for certain keywords in Bing and Yahoo it was doing pretty dismally where Google is concerned. I failed to mention though that it had an Alexa ranking of 500,994 which I think is pretty damned good considering it’s age.
One of the things that I love about blogging and cultivating good comments is that doing so usually results in useful information. Sometimes those comments may result in another post and other times they could result in valuable information that the blogger can use. This time they actually resulted in both. Like the comment left by my mate Mitch of I’m Just sharing.
And only because it’s you I’m going to tell you why. I ran some stats on just your main page for that blog. First I ran the term “lottery tickets” and on your entire first page, which are all your latest blog posts, you only use that phrase 10 times out of 3,688 words. You only have one link highlighted with that term out of 197 links. That’s not going to get it done.For the term “lotto tickets”, you at least have that in your title tag, but this time you only used the phrase 4 times and only have 2 links.In other words, in the world of SEO Google has you ranked lower because you’re not using your keyword phrases enough. I didn’t have to put in the 3-word phrases because in this case the 2-word phrases were bad enough; 3-word phrases would be even worse.And there you go; you know I wouldn’t do it “for free” for anyone else but you. And now, back to the chess whipping! Mitch Mitchell
Now the question is if you chose the keywords correctly… I checked on Adword Keyword Tool how many searches “buy online lottery tickets” have on Google. It has only 58 global searches per month with [Exact] search, so if you get #1 for this keyword in SERPs you’ll have an average of 2 per day!!!Then I verified the “online lottery tickets” keyword. It has 590 global searches per month, so if you’ll be ranked #1 for this, then you’ll have an average of 19 visitors per day.Now my advice is that you should find some more searched keywords and make SEO on them, rank your website well for them and then you’ll see that it can be possible.P.S. “online tickets” has 9900 global searches per month. It means that if you get your website #1 for this keyword, you’ll have an average of 330 visitors per day. :)
Both Mitch and Marion, who from this day forth shall be known as the M&M’s both made some very good points that are keyword related. Naturally I knew that Buy Online Lotto Tickets wasn’t the best keywords to target, Market Samurai told me that, but I thought it would be the easiest option as they were in the domain name. Still, like Marion suggested the amount of searches for those keywords are minimal.
Taking their advice I decided to change my tactics by focusing on more popular search terms, like lottery tickets, and by ensuring that they appeared more often in the blog. Whereas other bloggers, including yours truly, uses the footer for placing widgets and such I thought it would be more SEO appropriate to use it to optimise the blog for those search terms. You can see what I mean by checking out my SEO optimised Footer.
Finally, there was the comment left by Nik.
Just some quick observations but it appears you have two H1 tags on that site, try removing one. If I were you remove the “become an affiliate one” since google is not in love with affiliates.Also the ratio of different domains vs the number of back-links is very low. You might want to spread your wings a bit.What I mean by the ratio is that you have a lot of backlinks coming from a few domains. I believe yours is 90 domains to 5000 back-links. So spread your wings and get links from a wider variety of domains. To many links from one domain could be seen as spammy.
At first I pointed out to Nik that they were H2 tags, because that was what I thought I inserted in the post, but as it turns out Nik was right and I was able to correct the error. So, I made some changes and I will now concentrate on increasing my backlinks making sure I spread them out over a greater range of domains.
While this post may point out some important SEO facts it points out something that is almost as important. I’m talking about the importance of leaving quality comments on a post. You just never know when your comment will lead to your blog or site being included in a post.
Everyone knows how important comments are to a blog. They virtually breathe life into a post! When people see that a post doesn’t have many comments the first impression could well be that the post itself is inferior. This could cause them to move on without reading the post or at the very least it can give them a preconceived perception that the post is somewhat imperfect in some way.
Knowing that to be the case I have over the years conducted a personal crusade to show people how important comments really are and what they should do get more comments on their blogs. I’ve even written posts, like Teaching People The Proper Way To Comment to help commentators improve their commenting skills so they have more chance of getting their comments approved. More importantly I’ve tried to show them how leaving great comments will actually increase traffic to their blogs.
In my post How Much Do You Really Want To Cheese Off Your Readers I listed reasons why I wouldn’t comment on people’s blogs finishing off with a poll asking people to vote on what things stopped them from commenting on a blog. I think it’s time we analyzed those results.
What Stops People From Commenting!
Closed Comments: OK, obviously you can’t comment if you have the comments closed but the thing to be aware of is that if people can’t comment they may decide not to stop by anymore. 59% of people said selected this choice.
Need To Subscribe: 36% voted that they would not comment if they had to subscribe to do so.
Third Party Comment System: 34% voted that they would not comment on blogs that used third party comment systems. I know those people who use it say people will comment regardless but the facts speak for themselves. What really makes no sense is some of these people say it actually attracts comments and that is just crazy.
Poor Blog Content: 27% said that they would not comment on a blog with poor content! That alone should be incentive enough to publish the best content you know how. Make it interesting and appealing enough and you’re bound to get more comments.
Comment Moderation: 25% of people said the blogs who constantly moderated their comments pissed them off to such an extent they stopped commenting and if they’re not going to comment they probably won’t read it anymore.
Pop Ups: 25% of people found pop ups so annoying they left without commenting, and probably without reading it as well.
Rude Blog Owners: These are blog owners who were unnecessarily rude to some commentators. 23% said they would no longer comment on blogs that had rude owners. Message here is to be polite at all times. Show that you are the better person.
Being Ignored: Only 16% said that being ignored would stop them from commenting. I’m one of those 16% so if you don’t want me to comment read your blog then don’t bother replying to my comments.
It’s A Blogger Blog: only 16% said they wouldn’t comment on a blogger blog. I occasionally do but only if I know the blogger.
Well, that’s it for that poll, and with the end of one we have the birth of another.
Why Social Media Should Begin At Home
Isn’t it weird how so many people are so into telling others how important social media is for growing their business or building their blog but when it comes to interacting on their own blog they are somewhat lacking? Well hopefully this and other posts will educate them somewhat by showing them how it really starts off with their own blog. Heck, it makes no sense at all to do all that interacting on social media sites to get people to visit your blog and once you get them there you fail to continue that very interaction that got them there in the first place!
And yet social media is an important part of getting people to know who you really are as well as building a sense of trust between you and those who have chosen to follow you, something that you need to continue once they come for a visit.
I feel this is a brilliant topic for another poll. In this poll you get to vote twice by telling everyone what your two favourite Social Media Sites are.
Once you’ve voted please leave a comment telling us why you chose the ones you did. You may also choose to use the social media buttons on this post to spread the word amongst your contacts because as with most polls you always get a better result when a larger representation of people take part.
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