Once you’ve done your keyword research, written your first articles and added them to your website, you should start to look at how you can leverage that writing to create links from authority sites back to you.
What is an Authority Site?
Authority sites have lots of other sites linking to them. There are 2 types of authority sites. The first are ones that show high in the search engine results within your niche. The second are sites such as Squidoo that show up in the top results across a huge range of searches.
These sites seem to be able to rank above everyone else consistently and in most cases contain lots of information about your topic. Some allow you to create your own pages or submit material to be added. They are quite often Web 2.0 sites built around the “user created content” theory.
Even after the Google Panda update, EzineArticles.com would still be considered an authority site, useful for building links back to you.
Authority sites tend to have:
• High PageRank (PR)
• Lots of incoming and outgoing links to topic related sites
• Thousands of pages
• Content that is updated often and in large volumes
How can I find them?
The best place to start is the search engines. Do a manual search for each of your top 20 keyword phrases and see what sites appear more than once in the first page of results. Add these to a list and investigate whether they accept submissions.
High ranking themed websites
Once you have a list, you will need to sit down and make your submissions either via their web form or email depending on the site. Realize from the start that many may reject your submissions depending on whether they are still accepting new content or if yours meets their quality guidelines.
You should also look to see if they have a contact person whom you could write to. This is the person who handles submissions or manages the website. Sit down, write a personalized email to them asking if they accept content and include an example article. Do not just submit the same content that is on your website. The first thing they will do is check for duplicate content.
Building good relationships with these sites can be well worth your time because they can bring a strong stream of traffic to your site.
Web 2.0 Sites
Some of the more popular Web 2.0 type of sites that you can build your own content on include:
Obviously with research, you will find more but the above list is a good place to start. It takes time to create your accounts, add your content and get it working properly. Like any new website, which they kind of are, you need to get to know how to use the software.
How do you add an article to a site like Squidoo?
Let's look at one site, Squidoo.com, and the process that you need to follow to set up a lens. A lens is their term for a page or sub-site.
First, you need to create a profile and confirm your account. After this, you can create a new lens. One thing you may notice, as you try to use your keywords to name the lens, is that they often won’t accept terms like “affiliate marketing” or “keyword research” so you may need to choose a lens name which is related to your main site’s niche or industry. An example of this would be “Green Lipped Mussel Extract” rather than “Health Products”.
Work your way through the creation process, which is quite straight forward. They step you through it. Make sure that you insert at least one anchor text link in the content of your article. I suggest that you don’t just copy and paste a page from your website but take the time to rewrite sections of it so that it is a little more original.
If you prefer to use an article spinner, that will work quite well too. The one major problem with spinners is if you let them automatically rewrite your content, you normally end up with a mess which is unfit for humans to read. This does nothing for your credibility or your success. Google will no doubt get better at recognizing poorly written content. You need to make sure that you increase the originality without destroying the readability of the article.
If you have an RSS feed from your website, add that. Also build a link list that links to your main site and maybe a couple of your other articles. If you have them, you should insert couple of YouTube videos to fill out the lens.
Save your lens to make it live. In my experience, these lenses index in the search engines quite quickly and if you build them around long-tail phrases, you can get them to rank quite highly.
My stats show that I get quite a lot of traffic from my lenses to various sites so quality content seems worth the effort.
Once you’ve built your first lens, you can go on to setting up more Web 2.0 pages that link back to you.
Be methodical and gain valuable SEO knowledge
When you create links to your site, don't just link to your main page. Link to any page that you're keen to see ranking well. Use a variety of anchor text.
For best results, be methodical and organized. Keep careful notes or a spreadsheet. As you watch your pages climb in the search engine rankings, you'll want to know how many pages link to each of your pages, and what anchor text is used in the links. You'll gain valuable knowledge if you keep careful records.
What final step can I follow to ensure that my articles and Web 2.0 content gets indexed?
Start to build some social bookmark links plus take the time to Facebook and tweet about each site that your content is on. This sort of link gets followed quite quickly. Obviously many Web 2.0 sites have their own indexing procedures such as sitemaps and pings that also reinforce your work.
Leveraging your content to create authority links
Creating original content is time consuming and often hard work. For many people, it’s one of the most difficult parts of affiliate marketing so where possible you should take your content and use it over and over. Turn it into videos, podcasts, Web 2.0 content, articles, quizzes, software and more.
Once you have your original article, you can outsource it and leverage someone else’s skills to recycle and upload it for you. This is not only a better use of your time but you’re creating jobs too. It doesn’t mean you should do nothing, you should be working on your next quality article for your site.
Remember “Reuse, recycle, reduce…” your workload.
Creating authority links back to your website works not only to improve your search engine rankings but it can provide a valuable source of traffic even if you lose your rankings. I’ve had sites dropped out of the search engines that still get 400 visitors a day from authority links and that traffic has been flowing for more than 5 years to date.
Affiliate marketing isn’t just about making a quick dollar. It’s about building ongoing cashflow that continues for years to come. Authority links can help you to do this even when you don’t have an authority site yourself.