Grandma Learns Internet Marketing Rotating Header Image

Online Marketing

My Amazon Woes

As a senior learning Internet marketing I have made no secret of what an uphill learning curve this has been for me. This summer has been no exception.

The focus of the summer has been to build backlinks by guest blogging. I would say this has been quite an enjoyable successful experience. Not only trying to find interesting topics to write about but also actually having them published on the blogs then interacting with the various people coming in to make comments has given me more a sense of community.

In amongst all this I have been having a disturbing problem with my sites that promote Amazon products. It is not a problem with the wide variety of available products or Amazon’s great customer service. It is something called “phantom clicks”. As best that I am able to determine this is something that some but not all WordPress sites can experience. It seems these “phantom clicks” give a distorted picture of traffic to your site and then on to Amazon.

If I go into my sites that have Amazon links to edit something (not the links themselves) then there are many more clicks from different posts within the site. Even if I do not enter the sites there are clicks but not just as many. Along with this sales have dried up.

I have been in touch with Amazon about this problem and they acknowledge that they are aware of it and their developers are working on it. However after two months with no resolution I am ready to tear my hair out.

On the discussion boards with the Amazon Associates I can see that others are having similar problems but no where can I see that there has been a resolution. I would be interested to hear from anyone else who has had this problem or has some ideas about a resolution for it.

Related Posts:

Blog Commenter or Spammer?

Do You Leave Useful Comments on Blogs or Do You Just Spam?

I find myself becoming increasingly annoyed by the many spam comments that I find on my websites. What are you finding on your blog? As a Senior learning Internet marketing it took me a little while to figure out that when someone comes to your site and leaves a comment like ‘you have a nice blog’ that they did not really mean this. The comment was being left in order to obtain backlinks to their own site.

Why Do People Leave Blog Comments?

  1. Links to their own site – this is probably the most common reason for online people to put comments on other people’s blog. It is estimated that approximately 90% of blog readers just read the post and go on to something else. Of the 10% left most of them comment only to bring attention to their own sites and about 1% really want to engage in a discussion.
    This is all well and fine but if this is the only reason to post a comment it may well back fire. Most blogs are set up with a no follow tag on the comment links. So to put some gibberish on a whole lot of other sites for backlinks is a waste of time.
  2. To build traffic – if done carefully this can be an effective way to help a site get traffic. Just like writing content for your site your comments need to be quality remarks. If you want someone to visit your site from reading your comments they need to be interesting and enticing to the readers.
  3. To join the conversation- this is a small group of Internet marketers that want to interact with each other. They work at building relationships with each other. By taking time to get to know one another they establish trust and are able to slowly build up quality backlinks.

How to Successfully Comment

  1. Be relevant – if you are visiting a blog about toy reviews and you leave a comment about how to increase your gas mileage your comment will probably not be approved. If you happen to leave this on a site where the comments are not being moderated visitors to the site will see you as a spammer.
  2. Add value – leaving comments similar to these:
    • My thoughts exactly!
    • Your point is valueble for me. Thanks!
    • Keep up this good work, you have a nice blog over here with much good information!
    • I liked your article is an interesting technology
    • My ideas exactly

    Will also be considered spam. Remarks like this have nothing to do with the post where they have been left. They appear to be put there by some service that has been hired to post as many comments to as many sites as possible. They do nothing but annoy!

  3. Read the post – take the time to read the post and comment on the content. The site owner has left the comments open to engage others in discussing the topic. Be polite, be gracious, and be humble while continuing the discussion.

As seniors working at home this is another skill that we can learn and use to add value to the Internet that is becoming increasing burdened with useless blog comments.

Related Posts:

How To Use Keywords Effectively

Using Keywords Effectively Revisited

Setting up a website is one thing, but how do you drive visitors to it? People will find your site because the right keywords will lead them to it. You have to choose and use the perfect set or sets of keywords and phrases in order to make your website really pop. What does all of this mean, and how can you get the most traffic?

Exactly What Are Keywords?

Don’t bother with a lot of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) high falutin’ talk. It’s simple — a keyword is what folks looking for information on a search engine, type in. Google and Yahoo are the top two search engines and they can find information about most anything someone types into the little box.

If you’re looking for toys, for instance, you could type toys for kids into the Google search field. These are your keywords. If you sell toys on the Internet, you would target keywords such as these.

What Benefits Come From Good Keyword Optimization?

Websites which have been targeted with well-researched and hand-picked keywords, will turn your site up in the correct searches. Someone will find your site right away if the keywords searched for most often, are on there. If you also use the perfect keywords, then Google and others will be able to categorize your site correctly. A very complex algorithm is used by search engines to see if your site is relevant, or if it isn’t. Your site will be listed in the pages of searches returned to a person looking for your item or products or service.

Should we worry that much about keywords? In certain cases, if websites are written naturally and are full of interesting information, the keywords can appear correctly and your site will show up in searches. If they aren’t, or the topic of the search is too common, then you’ll be in the basement of a search list at 999th or something. If you want your website to always be as close to or at the top in ranking, then you do have to worry about keywords.

Keywords are at the core of any SEO work. If you don’t target and have the perfect keywords or phrases on your site, then everyone else in the same business will rank over you. Keywords are vital in getting your site seen, and the more views it gets, the closer to number one it’ll be.

Why Bother Researching Keywords?

You may think about and have a few great keywords already lined up for your site, or soon to be site. Make a list of what you think folks cruising the internet will be searching for, that could be in your area of expertise. Buying a mega millions lotto ticket will get you about the same results.

Don’t shoot your gun off in the dark. Do your research first before writing up your webpages. It’s actually a simple process. Look at statistics and pick the phrases and words most suitable to your needs. Look for three things when you do this:

  1. Words should be relevant to your topic.
  2. The words you pick should rank high for number of searches.
  3. Keywords need to be profitable. If people search for an item associated with the keyword, then they should also buy that item (when they find your website, of course).

Traffic & Keyword Research

Google’s Keyword Tool, which is free, can be used to see how many hits a certain keyword or phrase gets. There are additional and more detailed keyword search programs available, but using this free tool from Google will let you get some experience. You’ll be able to see how much a keyword means in relationship to your product or service or name, and it will also give other keywords which may come in handy. Once you practice a bit, you can get one of those more advanced software programs.

Information gleaned from this free Google keyword search may be limited, but take a look at their Global Monthly Searches. This will let you know how many people worldwide are looking for something which matches that certain phrase or word. You can also pick a local area if you want more definition.

What if a keyword gets lots of searches and you think — “aha” I’ve found the perfect keyword? Not so fast… A word like golf will get millions of searches each month. What’s the chance that someone looking for “golf” will land on your page? If you based your entire SEO campaign on just golf, you’d have to be a real genius to rank number one on Google, that’s for certain!

What is the quintessential number, then? Around ten thousand searched per month is good. That’s like Goldilocks & The Three Bears — not too many and not too little. Use a word or phrase with those numbers and traffic will be good, along with less competition.

The Google keyword tool is also super for finding related keywords. These are valuable. As you enter your search term into Google, you’ll get a list of similar ideas. Click on those you think will work and choose “More Like These”. You’ll get suggestions from Google.

Good Keyword Research Equals Profitability

It can be a little daunting trying to find if a keyword can, and would, make money. Maybe it won’t. The more monthly looks it gets, then it’s more likely that a higher percentage of people will be buying from it.

Type one of the keywords you may use into a search engine and see just how many ads pop up. People pay for these ads which target that specific keyword. If there are a lot of ads then it means that the word is working, and popular.

Search the same keyword in Yahoo Overture. This is the advertising service of Yahoo. Enter a word on their site and see what they’ll charge for an ad. If it seems a lot, then you can bet it’s making people money. Supply and demand applies here also. Take that keyword, and without buying an ad, use it on your site.

Check ClickBank to see what words are proven profit makers. ClickBank is a poplar affiliate network online. It won’t tell you if a certain keyword makes money, or not. Check how many affiliates are promoting any given product. ClickBank’s “Gravity” rating let’s you know just how many affiliates have signed up for any given product. If there are many, then there’s bound to be money to be made.

How & When To Use Certain Keywords

Now you’ve gotten some great keywords picked out, it’s time to put them on your website pages. The use of keywords and how you do it, plays an important role in whether people find you or not. The term “keyword density” means how often the keyword or phrase is used in your content. More on that in a moment, but for now, here are some Ironclad Rules For Keyword Use:

  • Use a keyword in the title of your webpage or article, and in front if possible. Google reads from left to right, as in English and a lot of other languages.
  • Place the keyword or phrase in your first paragraph, as well as you last one.
  • If you can, and as determined by your page design, try and get the keyword in the upper left-hand corner.
  • Your domain name should contain your main keyword if at all possible and someone else hasn’t snatched it up.

When people talk about keyword density they use a term such as 3%. This means that per one hundred words, your keyword is in there three times.

Marketers have different ideas about the perfect keyword density. Even 2% can be too much. The basic keyword and probably optimum usage for keywords are: Title, both last and first paragraph, then in a natural-sounding way, throughout. Don’t go over using it in every paragraph or second one, or it’ll be too dense.

If your content is seen by Google through it’s looking at keywords, then the more the merrier, right? No! Google will think your pages are spam if they have too many keywords, which is called stuffing. Use related keywords sparingly to fill in any gaps.

Use Anchor Text To Maximize Keywords

If you have a link on your site, then use anchor text. This is a link which is clickable. It could say “join now” or “click here”, but use your keywords as anchor text.

Instead of “get a free report by clicking here”, using “free report on most popular toys” makes more sense. Google likes anchor text as it’s direct and relevant to the keyword, and it saves people time.

Google Loves Quality Content

Both Google and web-surfers will ignore your site if it’s garbage, no matter how much research you’ve put into keywords and where to place them. Always concentrate on your content and make sure it’s high quality and informative. People will cruise your site, stay a while, buy, and perhaps most important — return and buy again.

Related Posts:

SEO for Senior Internet Marketers

Here we go again something more to understand! As a senior learning Internet marketing there are many things that stretch my grey cells. Understanding Search Engine Optimization is an important aspect of successful Internet marketing.

It is not good enough to create a beautiful web site full of interesting information that you are sure many people are dying to know all about. If you don’t get a handle on SEO your site will never see the light of day.

Search Engine Optimization is a technique if learned and used correctly helps the search engines find and rank your page higher than other pages about the same subject. The goal for all web pages is to have them listed on the first page of the search results. The ultimate hope is that the page will be listed in the number one position on that search result. By getting this position the web page will get more traffic.

How is this possible? It is estimated that there are over 20 billion pages on the web so how can you hope to have your page found? No one has the absolute answer to this as Google and the other search engines do not publish exactly how they rate pages. Yet it appears that there are certain steps to this. The page has to be crawled by the spiders or Googlebots, the page has to be indexed, it has to be stored in the huge databases, it then has to be quickly retrieved when it is compared to the search terms.

When the page is crawled, the spiders are looking to see what the page is all about. Search engines are text driven and there was a time when web pages were constructed with the keywords repeated and repeated. These sites were constructed for the search engines not for the humans seeking information. Since then, the algorithms have been refined and now they are looking for quality content that makes sense to the reader. While crawling the pages they are looking for links that bind the page to other relevant pages.

They index the page based on the identifying words and expressions that describe the page. They assign the page to certain keywords. It is understood that the search engines have huge databases stored around the world.

When a search request is made for example ‘beginner golf clubs for women’ this phrase is compared to the stored indexed pages. A comparison of the phrase is made to relevant stored results and the sites with the most influence are returned in the top positions. For someone searching to find golf clubs they don’t want to find a page about nursery equipment.

It is thought that the ranking elements are a measurement that the algorithms deem to be important. In no significant order these are things like:

  • Keyword density –some but not too many
  • Links – static page links –every page should be reachable from at least one link
  • Age of site – it is thought that Google likes older sites
  • Content of the pages – original and informative
  • Updates made to the indices
  • Testing new product versions
  • Discovery of new sites
  • Changes in algorithm –from search engine to search engine these can change at any time
  • Pages made for visitors
  • Page titles – short and informative
  • Site has clear hierarchy
  • Information rich
  • Links to a given page less than 100
  • Understandable URLS
  • Site easy to navigate
  • On page SEO titles, tags, meta data, keywords
  • Off page links back from other sites
  • Quantity and quality of web site

For a site to be considered an authority site it needs to have backlinks from other high ranking sites. This is off page SEO. It appears to be becoming more and more important to get quality backlinks to your web pages. On page SEO concentrates on the titles, tags, meta data, and keywords.

Is it little wonder that my poor old brain is so taxed trying to understand Search Engine Optimization? It is possible to hire firms to do this for your web sites but having already been badly scammed I am hesitant to consider this without having a clear understanding of the process myself.

For this senior Internet marketer this is another challenge in the journey of learning how to work at home and to make a living working on my computer.

Related Posts:

Backlinks, Backlinks, and WordPress Plugins

In the last few weeks I have been directing most of my efforts to finding backlinks for my sites. As a senior learning Internet marketing I am finding this a daunting task. Everyone agrees that backlinks are necessary to a successful site. Where they differ is how to find these backlinks.

It is not that difficult to write articles and post them to article directories. Certainly many marketers have had great success doing this. The problem with this method is that Google recently gave these directories a huge slap for not having high quality content on them. It seems to me rightly or wrongly if I am going to expend a great deal of time writing articles I want them published on sites that will give my sites a high ranking backlink.

As a result I have spend my time looking for sites that will allow guest blogging. There are many sites out there that are looking for others to fill up their sites with good content. In my search to find suitable sites I have been looking for sites that have a page rank of at least 3. I sometimes wonder if it is the fact that I am a senior working at home that these tasks seem so difficult. I am encouraged when I read that only a small number of site owners actually do the work of getting backlinks to their sites.

James Martell of Affiliate Marketers SUPER BootCamp fame offers a course called Backlinks Workshop. If you have read this blog before you will know that I am a big fan of James Martell. He is a down-to-earth honest Internet marketer who is willing to help others succeed. James has long been a proponent of finding quality backlinks. He used to advise writing for other webmasters and getting these articles posted with the understanding that the links in the articles would be left in place. However he now thinks that guest blogging is the way to go.

To this end I have been searching to find sites that encourage guest blogging and are willing to give a backlink to my sites. There is no sense in trying to say otherwise this process is slow going.

In an effort to help I posted a job on where I have had very good luck outsourcing some of my tasks. In this case it did not work. I hired a firm to try but it has turned out that they have had no understanding or experience with this type of task. This has been rather disappointing because in the past I have had good success in finding help.

The other thing that I wanted to share with all of you is the finding of two new great plugins for WordPress both FREE. The first is Broken Link Checker. This plugin will check your WordPress site as often as you set it up to check (72 hours) looking for broken links. You will receive an email to let you know that there are broken links that you need to check. The wonderful thing about this plugin is as your site grows it can be difficult to find exactly where there are broken links.

The other great plugin is Efficient Related Posts. This plugin looks for posts in your site that have related content and it links the posts together. If you use tags in your posts this works like a charm. It finds the related posts and puts the links at the bottom of the posts as you publish it.

This has been my week and I am off to look for more Backlinks. I am wishing all other seniors who are learning Internet marketing success in their endeavors.

Related Posts:

Should You Be Personal Online?

If you follow this blog you will know that I am a senior who is learning to work online. With all honesty I can say for me this has been a very daunting journey. This blog is my release for some of the stumbling blocks that I have found along the way. It is also a way to share with other seniors working on line the truly great people and courses that I have found.

Last week two different people that I follow online talked about being personal online. Tiffany Dow whose blog I read as a daily routine was sharing with us the joy and sorrow of her son’s graduation. She has always been very open with the details of her family life. She wears her heart on her sleeve and is not shy about letting her readers know about both her triumphs and her failures. Her honest delivery style allows her followers to know her and to trust her. They know if she recommends something that she truly believes it to be a good product. It is also very useful to many when she has a rant about something that is less than valuable. (more…)

Related Posts:

Building Traffic With Backlinking

There are many courses that teach you how to build a website, how to research a niche, and how to use keywords. I have taken several of them and I have bought numerous eBooks on these subjects. One of the areas that I am having trouble with, as a senior learning Internet marketing, is driving traffic to my sites. If you have built a beautiful site and filled it with great content but are not seeing lots of visitors you will know what I am talking about.

Just like Real Estate where location, location, is everything; for Internet marketing position, position, is everything. To get a consistent amount of regular traffic for your site you need to get it on page 1 in the Google search results for your keywords. It is estimated that if you manage to get on the first page in Google for your niche you can expect the following traffic: (more…)

Related Posts:

Who Do You Believe?

As many of you who follow my blog know I am a fan of Martin Avis. I read his biweekly newsletter and I trust his recommendations. I don’t always buy everything he recommends but I know when he supports something it is worthwhile. I also know that he has tried it before recommending it. He recently posted this and it so closely followed my own sentiments that I have published it here. If you don’t already follow him you can find his news letter at the following link. Kickstart: An Internet marketing newsletter with standards

If the endless onslaught of pitch email after pitch email from
the Internet marketers who I remain subscribed to is anything to
go by, parts of the IM world are going through a really tough

Why do I say that? (more…)

Related Posts:

What Information Goes Into Reports You Give Away?

There are really three types of freebie reports we put out there as
marketers. The first is an opt in report, which we give away to
build a list. The second is a viral freebie for an eBook we’re
either selling or promoting as an affiliate. And the third is an
informative report we’re using to promote a tangible product, like
something on Amazon.

How confused are you about knowing what goes into these three
beasts? Are you confident in your skills? If not, then you’re going
to want to grab the report that’s about $17 by Tiffany Dow called
Gathering and Structuring Ideas, because it covers all three

Tiffany Dow’s Gathering and Structuring Ideas


Related Posts:

Creating Blog Posts That Generate Participation

You know what’s funny? There are some BIG name Internet Marketing
gurus out there with blogs and not one single comment on them. It’s
kind of shocking, considering they’ve built up subscriber lists,
yet most gurus outsource their eBooks and reports and articles, and
tackle blogging on their own – they just don’t know how to do it

Audience participation is so crucial to your blog’s performance. If
your readers don’t feel moved enough (either in agreement or
disagreement) to comment on what you just said, then chances are
they’re not going to click that “share” button either.

Do you know how to blog so that you achieve all 3 of these goals? (more…)

Related Posts:

Rss Feed Tweeter button Facebook button Technorati button Reddit button Myspace button Linkedin button Webonews button Delicious button Digg button Flickr button Stumbleupon button Newsvine button Youtube button
Get Adobe Flash player