Anyone who follows my regular niche website updates knows making these kinds of sites is not a one-step process. You CAN’T just put it up and hope people will come. There are many steps and actions that need to take place before you can ever expect to see even $1 earned from this effort.
Recall that the formula for success with these types of websites is:
Write quality content
-> Boost the visibility of your posts in the search engines using proper SEO and quality link building
-> Increase the chances that someone will visit your post and click on one of the advertisements
-> Increase monthly revenue!
I learned this lesson the hard way with my first niche site (which I often call NS1). The site was alive with content for about 4 months before I ever decided to start building links to it. As far as Google or anyone else in the world was concerned, the site didn’t even exist! And as you can guess, it didn’t make any money whatsoever.
But eventually I decided to focus on link-building and promotion for the site. After months of effort, I was able to get NS1 up to the #4 spot in the Google search engines! And as a result, the site now has brought in as much as $555 in a single month from advertising! Pretty cool, right?
A Reader Question:
Similar to the questions I had when I first started, one of my readers recently reached out to me with a question specifically about the link-building aspect of this process.
“One thing that I’ve yet to get a handle on is the social media aspect. I noticed several times you mentioned having a VA to build social media links for your sites. Can you please tell me a little more about how you have the VA go about this?”
As you may be aware, links to your websites can come from any number of sources. Even though Matt Cutts from Google denies it, there is a growing popular belief that social media signals and bookmarking are becoming increasing relevant to Google search rank.
If nothing else, they are a very easy way to get large amount of back-links from high quality sites and diversify your back-link portfolio to individual pages.
So if you’re wise, you’ll take advantage of this opportunity and figure out a way to integrate social media into your regular link building strategy.
Here’s how I do mine.
I Really Hate Social Media – So Hire Someone Else to Do It!
I’ve got something to confess: I hate social media.
There, I said it. I hate social media.
Why? As a regular person, I just don’t get anything out of it. It seems like an incredible waste of time. The only reason I have a Facebook account is because my wife created one for me. I make a post on it about every 12 months or so.
So as you can guess, when it comes to doing social media for my websites, I can already tell that this is not a part of the process I enjoy doing.
So I simply don’t!
I hire the job out to a social media virtual assistant (VA) using a service like oDesk. This is extremely easy to do because oDesk has hundreds of capable freelancers who are willing to do a good job.
And for very cheap! My VA charges less than $2 per hour. I can get a full month’s worth of links built for less than $15 per month. And I have full control!
How I Work with My oDesk Social Media Virtual Assistant:
Notice I use the phrase “work with”. That’s the first thing you have to understand about this whole process. You could spend hundreds of dollars and find someone who knows exactly what they’re doing. But chances are you’re going to be on a pretty limited budget and working with someone who isn’t a full-time SEO Jedi.
That’s okay. You can still find success. Here’s how I do it:
1. Make a set of instructions.
It’s been my experience that the quickest way to waste your money is to hire a VA and ask them to build links for you any way they want. Do that and you’ll get 30 tweets to your last three blog posts. That’s not going to do much of anything for you …
What seems to work really well for virtual assistants is to provide a specific set of instructions each week. That way your goals are clearly communicated, and the VA doesn’t have to mind-reader when it comes to knowing your intentions. Also if the VA happens to deviate from those instructions, I can use them to help correct mistakes and get things back on course.
My goal is of course to make this social media link building process as simple as possible. Sometimes when your employee (in this case my VA) fails, the first thing I have to ask myself was “Am I the reason for this? Was there anything more I could have done to prevent this?”
2. Target specific social media sites.
My weekly list to my social media virtual assistant includes a list of 10 or so high-quality bookmarking sites that I believe to be the most beneficial. Those sites include (but are not limited to) exactly the type of popular ones you’d probably expect:
- Google Plus
- Linked In
- Stumble Upon
- More ….
How did I decide on those sites? A little bit of research. Some keeping track of my traffic through Google Analytics. And a lot of trial and error.
In the past I have been burned by link building services or VA’s who submitted my sites to extremely low quality directories or social media services that absolutely no one has ever heard of or uses. Again – that’s not helping anyone and is a complete waste of time and money.
3. Promoting Specific Posts.
The last element to this whole process is to specify exactly which posts I’d like the VA to target. Usually what I’ll do is take – for example – my 6 latest posts and put them in order from newest to oldest. Think of them like train cars on a railroad track going from left to right.
Each post will get 1 to 3 unique website assignments designated to it. Then the following week a new post will be added to the left and the older posts will scoot out to the right. Whatever links the posts received last week will be given to the new posts.
This will continue on and on until I run out of posts to promote. Occasionally I’ll bring one or two of them out of the closet to freshen up and diversify the link profile.
How’s This Been Working for Me?
I can say that this process has worked marvelously for months and I rarely have any problems with the social media submissions that my VA creates for me. And I’d love to believe that it was a combination of the steps above that help to keep an order to it all.
Another thing to keep in mind: You can also be a VA if you’d like to make some money yourself. I’ve had a number of bloggers approach me about performing odd tasks for weekly cash. If you’d like to find out more you can check out this post on how to become a virtual assistant.
Remember: Your money sites can only make money when people can find them and click on them. Until then, they are just billboards out there in cyber-space waiting for a passer-by.
Why not increase the probability that you’ll make some advertising revenue on your site by making a small investment into gaining something as simple and white-hat as more social media links!
Readers – How do you go about getting more bookmarking links? Do you use a social media virtual assistant? How about a full-fledged link building service? What has been your experience with either?
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