Sunday, November 13, 2005

Viral Marketing and Branding

Another example of a site that's become hugely popular is

I know nothing about the owners of the site, their business model, or how they got to where they're at, but there's no reason you can't learn some lessons from how they became so popular.

The biggest thing they did to start generating lots of traffic was the virtual bartender campaign. Talk about something that got the traffic rolling in. And of course, you can submit your email address to get updates too, and I go back to visit the site every time I get an email from them.

Their content isn't specifically designed to sell a product, necessarily; it's designed to generate traffic. That traffic is then used to generate ad revenue, I'd imagine. No reason someone bright couldn't do something similar using an affiliate marketing model or Adsense to begin with, and then do their own media selling once they have the traffic to warrant it.

Martinibuster's Flying Spaghetti Monster Post

The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster has been insanely popular and profitable. Martinibuster interviews the man behind the Spaghetti Monster.

There are probably multiple lessons to be learned that you could apply to an affiliate business model, or even a non-affiliate business model.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Another Niche Post

A while back I made a list of keyword phrases that were "niche" keywords - such specific keywords that they had practically no competition.

This blog is now #1 in Google for one of those words: "craftsman 315.113860". (I got found for it just today, in fact.)

I should put up an eBay ad immediately for that product search. Their dynamic ads are really cool.

Great stuff.

Little Black Dress Shop - An Example of Niche Marketing

Not much to say about this one other than everyone wanting to get started in affiliate marketing should think about this example. Go check it out.

Niche Marketing Little Black Dresses (Business Opportunities Weblog)

Little Black Dress Shop

Great food for thought. Get with the long tail and find a niche.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Lists of Directories

A lot of talk goes on in search engine blogs and forums about whether or not directory listings help or hurt your ranking. Some folks are from the "any link is a good link" school of thought, while others are only interested in having their site associated with other high quality sites. The latter are picky about which directories they submit to. I think a middle road is probably best. I wouldn't submit to EVERY directory. But I do submit to a lot of directories.

I'm not going to include a list of directories here, because a lot of other people have already created lists. Instead, I'm going to include links to other lists of directories that I've found useful.

1. Link Building Blog - Directories Category has not only a list of directories, but excellent discussion of which directories are good, which ones aren't, and how to tell the difference. Andy Hagans, by the way, is one of the smartest people I know, ESPECIALLY when it comes to link building.

2. We Build Pages Directory List is a list of directories that they will actually submit your site to on your behalf. This is a pretty neat service idea, actually, and I wish I had thought of it first. It's a handy list even if you decide to submit your own sites though.

3. I like Strongest Links' List of Directories because it categorizes the directories and allows you to sort by submission fee and by PageRank.

4. Directory Archives is a list of directories sorted by category. Very nicely done.

5. SEOChat has a thread listing directories. The title of the thread includes the word 'comprehensive', but the thread hasn't had any new activity since July, so surely there are more directories that have sprung up since then.

6. SEO Guy has a list of the best paid directories. It's an OLD thread, but there might still be some gold worth panning for here.

7. High Rankings has a good list of directories in this thread also.

So when you're looking for backlinks, and you need a place to find directory lists, maybe this post will help you out.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Keeping up with All of the Blogging

I'm constantly amazed at the dedication that other bloggers demonstrate. Doesn't matter what kind of blog it is either. I was reminded of this when I was looking at Problogger's network of blogs on different subjects. Here's a guy who's got blogs up and running on a wide variety of subjects, some of which are extremely lucrative, and some of which probably don't get high dollar ads but have so much traffic that even low-priced ads add up pretty quickly. (Like the Jessica Simpson blog he's running. That one in particular caught my eye because of the post about the "best cleavage" poll.)

If you read my blogs on a regular basis, well...actually, no one reads any of my blogs on a regular basis because I don't publish to them on a regular basis. I think there's room in the world for bloggers who post fewer than 4 times a day to 20 different blogs.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Using Article Directory Content for an Affiliate Site

It occurred to me the other day that I could generate a pretty big website just using some of the free content that's available over at Let's say for example that I wanted to make a big website about weight loss. That's a fairly high dollar Adsense category, so there's an easy revenue stream, and Weight Watchers has an affiliate program, and so does eDiets. (eDiets is cool because they have a plan for every diet out there, including Atkins and the Zone.)

One site that generates revenue and is considered a great resource on the internet is As near as I can tell, the content there comes from Wikipedia and some other sources, and none of the content is original or unique to It's just been "re-mixed" to use one of the common black hat phrases that describes what spam site builders do.

But here's the problem with that: duplicate content. Search engines don't like to rank pages with duplicate content very high, and it's entirely possible that you could build an entire site that's 100, 200, or even 500 pages long just using the articles from Ezine Articles only to have the whole thing nuked by the search engines for not having any original content.

The solution? Find ways to make the page that has each article on it less "like" other pages with that same article on it. Your web pages don't include just the text of your content; your web pages also include a sidebar or possibly two with menu items on it. That will help differentiate your content. You could also add a paragraph of your own introducing the article, and a paragraph of your own at the end of the article, with more of your own unique insights and comments.

In the footer of each page, you could add a list of hand-selected, on-topic links to authority sites related to the article's content, along with a description of each link.

You could also use different titles and descriptions for the page.

I've seen different tools that will measure in a percentage how "duplicate" content on one page is to another, and I've also seen different guidelines to how high or low that percentage can be without triggering a penalty. I've seen some guidelines that said no more than 10% duplicate content, and I've seen other guideleines that said no more than 40%. I've tried getting some pages built around the free content at Ezine Articles myself, and I was never able to get the number below 55% or so.

Honestly took so much time and effort to get to that 55% point, I would have been better off writing my own original, unique articles. Or hiring a writer to write them for me.

An Example of an Affiliate Niche Site

People talk about niches and niche marketing all the time these days, but I think the best way to learn about something is by example. This site, online slots, is an example of a niche gambling site. Someone could take "gambling" as the topic, and design an entire site around that subject, but the site would be large, and it would be very hard to rank for the phrase "gambling" or even "online gambling". AND it wouldn't necessarily even be that profitable, because people searching for something that general could want anything ranging from information about gambling laws to help with a compulsive gambling issue.

"Online slots" on the other hand is pretty doggone specific. Someone searching for online slots isn't interested in Charles Fey and the history of the slot machine. That person is probably not an antique slot machine collector either. So by choosing a niche keyword, you're driving targeted traffic that will have a high chance of converting into revenue for you.

Wheel of Fortune slots online is an even narrower niche, because now you're targeting a person who wants to play a specific slot game online. I don't think in this case that you could design an entire site around online wheel of fortune slot machines, but there are sub-niches of "online slots" and "online slot machines" that you COULD build an entire site around.

You could very easily design a site that reviews specific slot games from specific online casino softwares. For example, Microgaming slots are very popular, and so are Playtech slot machine games. Either one of those could be considered a sub-niche of "online slots" that you could build a decent-sized site around, one that would have plenty of pages of content.

What kind of niches or sub-niches can you think of?