Associate Programs Newsletter #534
Right now, successful affiliate Steve Scott is living the Internet lifestyle that so many affiliates aspire to, but don't quite manage.
Steve and his girlfriend began a six-week vacation this week. They're on a cross-country trip from New Jersey to California and back.
He'll be working – but not TOO much. Applying the 80/20 Rule, he aims to concentrate on the essentials that will keep his affiliate business ticking along. He expects to work about 10 hours a week while he's on vacation.
He knows from experience what's possible. In 2010, he spent seven months backpacking in Europe.
Steve has a simple but effective three-step business model.
He attracts visitors to a squeeze page where he offers a freebie. They sign up. He sells them stuff.
There are two really good things about Steve's business model.
1. It doesn't rely solely on Google.
2. He builds valuable emails lists, giving him multiple opportunities to make sales.
Before he began his vacation, I interviewed Steve about the process he follows, the lessons he's learned, what he could have done better, and especially how to create squeeze pages with high conversion rates.
In his affiliate business, he believes strongly in providing genuinely useful info. In this interview, he does, too…
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Are you setting the wrong sort of goals?
Joanna and I aren't fanatical about setting goals. In fact we tend to need a gentle reminder now and again to look at what we've achieved and be grateful.
We attended a talk yesterday on goal setting. It was given by a neuro-linguistic programming practitioner, Lynda Petterwood, who's also a hynotherapist and empowerment coach.
You probably know that goals should be specific, measurable, realistic and time-based. It's also good to be grateful for what you have, and you need to remember to enjoy the journey.
One thing Lynda talked about was the difference between…
* Fear-based goals (“I don't want to be broke.”) and
* Forward-looking goals (“I want the freedom to travel”)
Lynda says that if your goals are fear-based, you spend more time thinking about the fear, and you give more power to the fear. You create a vicious circle.
Instead, you should set forward-looking goals, where you're looking toward something you want. Forward-looking goals are much more powerful.
Early subscribers to this newsletter may remember an item I wrote in 1999 on achieving goals…
It was written before I'd even heard of blogs. In those days, any feedback used to arrive via email.
Worried about Panda and Penguin?
If you're worried about Google's algorithm updates – Panda, Penguin (and what next, Platypus?) the first thing to do is avoid panicking.
The algorithm changes have thrown up lots of weird search results. It looks to me as though Google has achieved the OPPOSITE of what it wants. MORE low quality sites are appearing in search results, instead of less. So it's inevitable that Google will keep tweaking things. You site might improve in the next tweak.
One option is to try to improve your rankings by investing in a new link-building scheme. But, hang on! That's exactly what got thousands of websites into trouble with Google – too many dodgy links from low-quality link networks.
What you need is a high-quality link network, one SEO guy tells me.
However, what's the difference between a low-quality link network and a high-quality link network?
The “high-quality” network hasn't been caught yet. Perhaps Platypus will get it.
To me, it makes more sense to look for ways to get more HIGH-quality links.
SEO “experts” are a bit like economists. The more you have, the more different opinions you get.
However, ONE link-building method I've never seen any SEO people argue about is writing guest posts. In fact, it's one of the methods that all reputable SEO companies seem to love, if you watch what they DO, as well as what they say. They write guest posts for other blogs and sites.
If you're looking for a good 80/20 Rule to follow, where you concentrate on doing things that matter most, it's “Do guest posting.” As well getting high-quality links, guest posts help you build new relationships and introduce you to new communities.
Talking about setting specific, measurable, attainable goals… you could decide to write one guest post a week, or three a week, or whatever suits you.
SITES DOING WELL
Another thing to do is study sites that are continuing to do well.
You can find HUNDREDS of good examples in the updated mini-directory of SBI sites.
The owners of these sites attract hundreds, thousands, even TENS OF THOUSANDS of visitors a DAY, in all sorts of different niches.
They know what they're doing.
They're in the top 0.5% of sites for traffic.
And it's exactly the kind of traffic affiliates need – warm, ready-to-buy visitors.
I've been talking with an affiliate coach who's agreed to talk about what his students are doing. More about that soon.
Feedback on blog comment spam
Many thanks to everyone who commented on my article about blog comment spam. It was interesting to get your thoughts and useful suggestions…
Thought for today: Unhappy?
“Keep busy at something. A busy person never has time to be unhappy.” – Robert Louis Stevenson.
All the best
P.S. Remember… have a look at what Steve Scott is doing.
He has a very nice business model…