Sunday, 31 May 2009

Building backlinks with a commenting strategy

I have been trying to build backlinks to my hubpages with a commenting strategy - I seek out blogs in the same niche as the hubpage I am promoting, and then leave a comment, using a keyword as my "name" and my hub URL as the link. It's time consuming and laborious, and no doubt the professionals will be shaking their head at the time I'm wasting.

Anyway, I was checking on a backlink checker to see how I'd done, and delving deeper into the links that Google had recognised, I discovered to my joy that someone had taken a comment I had written and had written an entire blog post around it - and best of all, when they referred to me and my comment, they used my keyword and URL! So my commenting got me a proper backlink in a relevant blogpost on a good blog, and it came about naturally.

If you are using a commenting strategy it's worth writing interesting and valuable comments that add to the discussion you are joining. After all you don't want to just "use" someone's blog for a backlink, you want to add something of value to their site too. And occasionally you will trigger something in someone's brain and inspire them to write a whole post around what you said.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Diversifying my income

One of the downsides with weekends and bank holiday Mondays is that traffic is down and no-one clicks ads (most people seem to surf from work). Therefore logging into my Adsense to check how things are going is very frustrating.

I have thought perhaps I should diversify my income a little. So far I've tried one money making platform (Hubpages) and two advertising methods (Adsense which works, and Kontera which doesn't). I need to diversify both the platforms I use and the advertising providers.

To that end, I have been reading up on Google Knols. They are like Hubpages, but you keep 100% of the Adsense revenue (because they are owned by Google and Google is already making a profit from Adsense). They can't be used for SEO purposes as their outgoing links are all "no-follow", and they prefer your Knols to be purely informational, so no affiliate links etc. You open your account with your Google account, and you need to publish a good quality knol first before they let you put ads on it.

Anyway, it's worth a go, just to see how it all works out.

I have also thought of creating a finance blog, since I enjoy writing about budgeting and debt and all the rest of it, and perhaps monetising it with some other ad platform, maybe Adbrite, to see how that does.

Update: Well, I joined Google Knol and published a new knol. I then linked the Knol account to my Analytics, and to my Adsense. The procedure is much the same as when you link Hubpages to Analytics and Adsense. However, while they show my Adsense account as "Approved", they require additional approval from Knol, which they say will take up to two weeks.

Then on browsing the site I found that they only put a tiny block of ads right at the bottom of the right side bar, plus at the bottom on the page - where no one would click them. Not certain that this is worth it. So after some thought I deleted my knol (it hadn't yet been indexed) and republished it on Hubpages. Here it is:

Being a buy to let landlord in the recession

Oh well, you live and learn. On Googling further I've yet to find an article where someone has said "I've made some decent money with Knols". So I guess they don't! I guess you only learn these things by trial and error.

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Making money with the HubPage Challenge

It's two weeks since I started the Hubpage challenge, and the hub creation is going slowly. Have only made 8 hubs as part of this challenge and will therefore need to make another 22 hubs in the next two weeks. I have been trying to build some backlinks though, through a commenting strategy (where I anchor my link in the comment to a keyword), but it's slow going.

What I've found is that when I get a surge in traffic from Yahoo, the likelihood of a click on the Adsense increases. I don't know why. Perhaps the people who use Yahoo are simply more trusting of ads than Google users. It does mean that I need to think about how I can get more Yahoo traffic.

The other thing to note is that I submitted one hub to Reddit, and while I got only a small amount of traffic from Reddit, it sparked a load of search traffic from Google, Yahoo and even Ask. Clearly submission to these social bookmarking sites right at the beginning does help the hub get indexed in various search engines. It's important not to spam Reddit though, which is why I've only done this for one hub. I might try a different bookmarking site for each of the other hubs (Mixx, etc).

Total money made so far from the Hub Challenge hubs in the last two weeks: $3.52

Here are the hubs I have made so far for this Challenge:

How to repair your credit score
How to settle credit card debt
Guide to peer-to-peer lending
All about Argentinian wine
How to make money online fast
How to find the best mortgage
What to do if you are in negative equity
How to remortgage

Monday, 18 May 2009

Hubpage Challenge update

Well, I have managed to build four hubs so far:

- How to make money online fast
- How to settle credit card debt
- All about Argentinian wines
- What to do if you are in negative equity

What I've learnt so far: The hubs which I built some backlinks commenting on blogs are in the search results. The ones I simply published appeared briefly in the SERPS but then disappeared.

What I will do is try to add material to all the hubs to make them fresh in the hopes that the search engines give them another look. Plus I need to build backlinks, there seems to be no way around that. And I have another 26 hubs to write!

Monday, 11 May 2009

The HubPage Challenge

Hubpages are running a challenge to make 100 Hubs in 30 days starting Monday May 11th 2009 (today), in an experiment to see how much money can be made in that time.

It certainly sounds intriguing. I have been concentrating on promoting my three hubs, but perhaps it might be interesting to see what happens when I try for volume. I'm not sure I can write that many good hubs, but I can certainly try the smaller challenge of 30 hubs in 30 days.

The thing about challenges is that they do give you something to aim for. In this instance, it's simply about making the hubs, but I wonder if I can combine it with another challenge and aim to make a sum of money as well.

Say my challenge is make 30 hubs in 30 days and make $1000 out of it. Hmm. Need to get my creative thinking cap on.

I will of course be updating this blog with my progress.

Update: Well I produced my first hubpage, which of course was about the hubpage challenge: How to make money online fast. I'm hoping the title isn't wishful thinking. I've started another hub too, but it is only half done and unpublished as yet. My verdict on the first day: this is going to be very very hard work, especially if you are producing long hubs full of original material. Oh well. Only another 29 days to go!