Affiliate Heroes Teleseminar Series Howie Schwartz and Dr. Mike Woo-Ming
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Mike: Another teleseminar, my good friend and partner is on the call, Howie Schwartz, and coming up on 2 year anniversary of working together. He is going to be talking about in his affiliate marketing techniques, great traffic strategist and knows all about web 2.0. Thanks for coming to the call, there are some people here who are just getting started and others who have been around. Tell us how you got started. Howie: Sure, I started marketing online about 8 years ago, the first thing that I tested and actually failed miserable at was affiliate offers. I was using an old program that was rolled into cj.com, I performed horrible, I was able to drive traffic and that was something I was comfortable with. Affiliate marketing actually never really took off with me, I treated it incorrectly. Ex. Basically just starting up an affiliate mall and banner farm, and throw in all these offers and portal sites and threw in tons of banners. Eventually I would started segmenting out the niche, there wasn’t anything but banners in those pages. When people still try to do that they won’t even get traffic, back then you could actually get traffic. That is truly the mistake I made. I didn’t quickly learn that wasn’t the best idea until a year later. The first thing I did was just focus on one offer per page. When I first started there would be 20 to 30 banners for different products, I started realizing that people were getting confused and started using single action pages. When you give people a clear direction they are more likely to make that one decision that will either make the sale or leave the page. All of the sudden someone who was interested in searching in the niche, and I put a decent banner for the niche, I gave them the option to buy or leave. Mike: I think we were all at that level, with the multiple actions. Let’s jump forward to more of today, with web 2.0, not a lot of people know how to best utilize it. You have certain strategies that you use; can you go over the mindset? Howie: Sure, the thing I do is really research out what my end game is, I pick the niche and do the same niche research that I would do if I was doing my own page for it. Then the next step is keyword research. I actually used to build several sites and register 100 or more domains for a specific niche. I registered keyword domain names. You would try to pretend you were different people to get more domain names. Then you have to more accounts. I had to worry about 10 registrars, then there was hosting for 100 domains. You have learned terms for class c addresses, if you don’t know this that’s fine, you don’t really have to go through the horror that I did.
Then I had to figure out what I was going to with those sites and actually get hosting for those sites. It was just a bloody mess, and then what would happen was you would get your affiliate offers going. The problem is by the time you get these online, and depending on how aggressive you were with getting searches, these would drop out of Google quite quickly. Registering all these domains is quite expensive then set up all the hosting and it would last a few months then it would go away. It was a lot of work and a big expense. Looking back my dad pretty much sucked; even when I was out sourcing. All I ever thought about was being defensive. I needed to get from the mindset of a defensive affiliate marketer to an offensive affiliate marketer. It sounds kind of silly, but you kind of need both. You need to have a good of both, at then end of the day your offense is going to score the goal. Getting to an offensive affiliate marketing mind set; how do I just dominate where my potential customers are going to be? Mike: That is a really interesting stand point the offensive, defensive thing you’ve got going on. We are always trying to out wit Google, what can I do to be just under the radar it’s kind of difficult these days. Howie: Exactly, just a few years ago we could easily fly under the radar. Google has definitely gotten smarter than I have. The search engines rate of acquiring intelligence, it makes it really hard. You aren’t going to make the same amount of money with the defensive point of view. It also starts to become less profitable. Mike: You carry things on a grand scale. Some people have heard about squidoo and my-space, could you kind of tell us about it. Does it all start with a lens or a blog? Howie: That’s a great question, before I might want to talk about what my dad looks about right now. Basically the Howie day sucked, I wake up I no longer register any domains or set up hosting. I like to do things at a big scale, I still have the same 100 pages, and with dealing with blogging it would be 100 still. I still am working on things on the aggressive scale. We were talking about a market where you could have 1500 profiles going, and I was targeting pretty major keywords. You could definitely start small and targeted. The question was if you just start where do you start? The best place to start no matter how much experience is with a blog. The mindset that we are describing, you don’t need to set up hosting
or a domain name. This is 100% focused on third party hosting sites, like bogs. Wordpress.com, is quite powerful, it is the leading blogging platform. It is a free hosting blogging site. You have the advantage easy set up and constant editing; you write a post about your niche and easily anchor it with more links. Having different topics everyday is quite helpful. Writing new posts are really easy because you don’t’ have to do anything complicated. The biggest hold up is the technical gap. It is hard to get it on the hosting account; it’s a challenge if you don’t know how. Blogging enables you to be able do everything quickly and easily. RSS feeds are useful because it is a way for you to send offers with your blog. It shares all your content; you are opening yourself up to a world that is much wider than Google. Getting traffic from tons of niche blog areas, every time you write a post, it updates you need to do the important step called pinging. You can ping your RSS feed, all you are doing is raising your hand and telling everyone that I just wrote something new. Then the search engines start searching your site. When you have a blog, it is so much easier because you are just telling everyone you posted something new. People get concerned, oh I’ve never blogged. Wordpress.com, blogger.com lots of sites. I am right now I am running content on 60 or 70 different blog hosts. Again if you are just starting just start with wordpress.com or blogger.com. Mike: Could you give us an example that would get them to get people to buy your affiliate product. What are you doing? Howie: There are several ways to do it, you can go into the affiliate programs and look at the product and you or your ghost writer write content. And it doesn’t have to be a banner; it could truly be a screen shot of the page or a picture of something from your niche on the blog. Easily you can include your affiliate link; you can put images in it to. That is the only thing your blog post is about, why this product is going to solve your potential customers problem. If you don’t target and offer a value you won’t get sales. Talk about the benefits of the products and compare and contrast it. Trend spotting is quiet helpful, a great example is the pet food disaster, where the pet food was tainted and there was a complete mess. If you were in the pet space, and you had pet products, if you start reviewing products you can start advertising tons more and you are adding value and solving a problem. If they can find you, you can sell tons of stuff. Offering a lot of stuff that helps people then you will get tons of sales. Then give them a single action way to get them closer to
what they want. That is the trend spotting part of the stuff. In every niche there is something happening and you need to be able to identify this type of thing. In every market there are conversations, there are new things happening. You need to identify these things. You need to interact with your potential customers, when you weave your offers within your conversations, then you can use web 2.0 to get Google rankings; getting high in the top 100 spots in Google. You're not working on just one blogger; you need to get a scale going. Bigger the better, there is work; there isn’t much of the lazy affiliate marketing, its quite difficult. Once you’re doing this it’s quite unbelievable what you can do; becoming the authority in your niche. You can manufacture your authority; just by using the web 2.0 everywhere people go you can become the authority. Mike: All this is very powerful stuff that he is talking about and I really want to delve into that. Getting back to the affiliate marketer and getting started, as you mentioned you can have great content, but if you don’t have great traffic you don’t get anywhere. Isn’t your content being used as feeder stuff for the engines? Howie: Yes, these days the search engines are looking for content and not just thrown up banner ad sites of 7 or 8 years ago. They are looking for related keywords, and content. When Google turns in results, they are using universal search, they are showing you what people are searching for right then. When you start to work at that level, you need to spend time getting keywords; you need to get available product descriptions. If you take that you can make some changes and make sure you don’t deal with duplicate content. It is easiest to modify it and add your own text. Start with the basic stuff and write your unique content in your post. That is where you are leading them into your offer; lots of free stuff. Click here free stuff, anyone who is looking at your niche is interested, start looking for targeted stuff. Think of related problems in your target niche. Looking at that you can start to craft your text a little bit, here are some examples: When I didn’t bother pre-selling, and you might get a sale, but when you start giving incentive you get tons more results. Mike: Not only are you having people opt in to your list, is that your ultimate goal getting them on a list? Howie: I try to diversify, I still have plain old ad sense sites, where it’s one click and others I am building lists to push them into other affiliate
offers. Then there are the single offer pages where I just sell the product. I want to have the diversity to find out what people want to do. I don’t only own the one of the top 100 in Google I can own the top 80. It makes a lot of sense to be able get a lot of traffic this way. I have different pages that got different sites, some basic some more common. Adoppt.com, new social networking site, it could lead to a page in affiliate junction. I’m diversified and I’m still in aggressive and defensive mode. I could have 6 out of the top 10 sites that are running in different agenda. Some people don’t like something then, they continue to their own list and then they decide to the next thing then they still go to my site because I still own all of these. Which one of my single action is best for them? It’s what they want to do, some people love CPA offers and others like eBay, another’s hate opt ins. If you do it right you can start to let people choose their own path. The best performing site can actually be the worst. Testing these markets out definitely helps, getting as many of the top results gets the word out there and helps me discover what people are more comfortable doing. Mike: Howie, you’ve definitely mentioned a lot of web 2.0 properties, we just talked about blogs, what do think affiliate marketers should start on. Howie: video is tough; I would recommend starting with blogging. You can start out with conversations in videos, it starts really nicely, and it works great. I could get so many rankings because of the thousands of sites. I think if you are just starting out, don’t really start with video; unless you want to craft something for your offer then you might not do as well. So, you’ll get there but if you don’t give them a compelling reason then you don’t have much to go off of. Converting is the hardest part, you have to put a little extra time into, and it’s all about Camtasia. You shouldn’t have to put a video that has you. You can just use Camtasia. If you put a little offer then you can really get people to follow through. I see people failing because of the lack of effort that goes into these videos. Mike: Just a little effort goes a long way. Howie: Camtasia just sounds a little funny, just going through the shopping cart process, here’s how you do all these things, editing, and then give people a coupon or something. Stuff like that works really well.
Mike: Something like that definitely works well; just a little effort makes it a little easier. Howie: Its hard for people to understand that they can go beyond and start little pod casts and static videos for people. It gets into the search engines and it gets so much easier to sell at the end of the day, as they are clicking and going back and forth. Mike: We are kind of running out of time. Tell us more about what you have been doing lately. Howie: I think probably the best one because its really relevant time wise, there is a show on VH1 is basically something called the pick up artist. You’re probably familiar with the pick up artist niche and it teaches men to pick up women. There is the mystery method and they gave this guy a show. I got to meet him, really nice, tall guy. When you look at a market like this it always goes back to niche identify the keywords that are most relevant, each one of our markets should have keywords and the buying cycle. The next part is to analyze the search engine results before you start. Different markets will have different results. Google is getting really good with the different types of keywords people are searching. They are getting the news keywords, media, sales, search everything. Pay attention to what mindset your customer is looking for. For the Mystery Method there were videos, books, press releases, and pod casts. These are all conversations of things that are recently happening. Once you open up your mind you can have tons of search boxes in Google, I can do videos, pod casts, press releases and different content for squidoo, and have my stories on dig.com. My pod casts on Netscape and del.ic.ious. All of the sudden you are weaving this web and giving it to Google. Any web 2.0 property anything with an RSS feed you can ping. This is a really powerful way to get recognized. This is the reason we are focusing on blogs. If you get enough of these profiles and blogs. If you get something for this mystery show then you can dominate this profitable niche. People will spend tons of money on this niche because people are spending money on this. I don’t think I used one internet marketing niche, selling to what the normal people want to buy not just selling to our circle. Its fast, the mystery method work that I did happened, and actually it kicked off. If you launch a website it could take ages for your site to get recognized. Once you do this you never want to wait for something that takes so long.
Mike: How often do you update your content on your sites? Howie: That is a great question; it all depends on the activity of the conversation. We will go back to the pet food example, if nothing is going in pet food that is happening you don’t really have to update it that often, you just include links for everything. You don’t worry about interlinking or class c addresses. I don’t worry with other domains. You’re linking back and forth so these can rank on their own. Update it at least once a month. How often you send things that depend on what you doing and how much people want to look at it. Posting every day will definitely dominate the account. I don’t post one thing to the same account; I switch it around and spread your content around. It all depends on how active the conversation is. Mike: Gives us some guidelines, we wish we could post and be done with it but relevancy is important. Howie: it’s really the same thing with static pages, you may get rankings over time, if you stop showing love to your website Google won’t look at it. It’s definitely a lot less work then nurturing a static site. You can just leave a site or profile there, there is some effort. My stuff is 100% outsourced. Mike: We are reaching the hour I know you want to share more about what you have been doing and conversation domination. Howie: Yes, yes, the stuff we talked about tonight is identifying the conversation and start dominating it or creating a conversation. Mike: Where can we get more information about that? Howie: A new service that I am launching, it will be at conversationdomination.com, I’m sharing all the video case studies, mystery method, I thought people would be interested in some internet marketing stuff with some new keyword methods. Kind of without doing anything, with the click here buy now stuff, then within the first week I get a sale. What I try to do is show all this visually and once you see it, it kind of clicks. Its mostly video case studies. Again I just want to stress this, I know you have a bunch of experts, some of them are very focused on the internet marketing niche and others are broader, there are lots of real word niches that are quite profitable.
Again conversationdomination.com, I talk about Jack Humphrey and how we are stealing and jumping over his rankings. It should provide a good example of this technique. Yes I do kind of believe this stuff that you can start making it bigger. Creating a conversation is quite powerful. There might be stuff with recalls, that doesn’t have to be a conversation that you started, eventually you dominate the conversation, and you are leaving appropriate comments. You are participating not spamming. Participating in something that you can eventually dominate it. Any niche that you are in you should be able to think of a problem that you can start blogging about. Your directing it with videos, content pod casts etc. People start starting fires and you start a conversation and all roads lead to you, you can do that without going to school and start a conversation and you are known as the authority. Mike: Howie as always it’s a pleasure, and you very informative in these calls, I know a lot of people listening, you really stepped up the notch. Howie: Thanks Dr. Mike. Mike: Stay tuned.