Link Building By Being Social

Feb. 28

PPC Ian has been all over the press lately. In fact, I’ve been featured on three high profile blogs within the last week. I’ll get into the specific press mentions next, but first want to highlight my link building strategy. I’m a huge fan of this particular link building strategy because it’s a passive one. And, at the end of the day, there’s a real premium on my time (and I’m sure yours as well) so anything that can happen passively for me is truly rewarding.

My Passive Link Building Strategy

ZK's Web Traffic ROI

Basically, I’ve gone to all of the big online marketing blogs and have become personal friends with the bloggers. I’ve done this by sending direct emails to these high profile bloggers and also via my blog commentating strategy. As a result of being social, I have become part of the community. Because I’m part of the community and all these online marketing bloggers know me on a personal level, they’re happy to link back to me when I post something particularly noteworthy.

The Frager Factor

This is the real reason that Google values inbound links. They’re a measure of what others think of you and your blog. How can you get others to like you and your blog? Get out there, be social, and make friends! Want to learn more about this strategy? I recommend checking out my recent blog post about PR Driving Great SEO Results.

This Week’s Links

My 4-Hour Work Week

So, where did I get featured this week? It all started off with ZK’s Web Traffic ROI. I’m a huge fan of ZK and his blog. If you’re big on blog commentating like myself, there’s no doubt that you’ve run into ZK. He’s an absolute expert online marketer and one of the top commentators on the Internet. ZK discovered my recent series of six free videos from my Stanford GSB presentation and wrote a post all about my videos. (As a side note, you can view my free videos in the following posts: videos 1 and 2, videos 3 and 4, videos 5 and 6).

Now, just being featured on ZK’s Web Traffic ROI was a huge win on its own. However, my success did not stop there. Because I’m well connected on Facebook and posted a link to ZK’s post, my friend Owen Frager from The Frager Factor picked up and recapped ZK’s post on his own blog. This is a true honor, Owen is a true heavy hitter when it comes to online marketing and blogging. After all, his blog is one of the largest on the Internet.

My third success happened today! My friend Eric from My 4 Hour Workweek wrote a truly epic blog post about 142+ ways to make money online. I highly recommend checking out this blog post, it’s going to be one of the best of 2011 in my opinion. I have become friends with Eric and comment regularly on his blog, and Eric was kind enough to mention me as one of his favorite online marketing blogs in this truly epic blog post. Now, this gets even sweeter because Eric’s blog post went truly viral and made the first page of Delicious today. Cool stuff! An interesting fact: Eric won the blog commenting contest I ran on PPC Ian a while back and I reviewed his blog since he was one of the winners!

Images in this post © WebTrafficROI.com, FragerFactor.blogspot.com, and My4HrWorkweek.com

New Look & Feel For Google Sitelinks

Feb. 27

I just searched for my brand name (PPC Ian) on Google and noticed that my organic sitelinks have a brand new look and feel! Check out the screenshot at the end of this post. I’m not sure if this is a beta test or a permanent change, but one thing’s for sure: the new sitelinks rock!

Google Organic Sitelinks: New Versus Old

You may remember from my post Happy Birthday To PPC Ian that I just started seeing sitelinks for PPC Ian around October, 2010. As you can see in the image in that post, the sitelinks were just links with no surrounding text. Moreover, I just had four of them.

More Brand Name Traffic

The new sitelinks that I just noticed today are much more pronounced. There are eight links in total and there is descriptive text below each of the links. My organic listing occupies a lot more space in general. Whenever someone types in my brand name, I’m going to capture a lot more traffic because this enhanced listing with the new style sitelinks really pops. Even better, many of my organic sites that never had sitelinks before now do. With this change, I believe Google is also displaying sitelinks for more sites.

Between the new AdSense formats, the new AdWords mega titles, and these new organic sitelinks, Google is making serious progress through testing. Awesome work, Google!

Google Organic Site LInks

Screenshot of Google Search Results © Google

EWA Private Network Is Accepting New Affiliates

Feb. 25

When I first started PPC Ian, I wrote a post about moonlighting accelerating your SEM career. Then, in my last post, I discussed how PPC jobs are changing. How are they changing? One of the biggest changes is pay per click campaign managers are now in a position where it’s almost mandatory to master skills in all online marketing channels (including SEO, social media, display, email, and others). So, how do you master these essential skills? In my opinion, there’s really only one way: Jump head first into the exciting world of affiliate marketing, immediately! Today’s post is all about getting started in affiliate marketing with EWA Private Network and Blam Ads, two of the premier networks around.

EWA Is Ideal For New Affiliates With Corporate Experience

EWA Private Network

Back in 2007, I first started building SEO websites with the goal of learning new marketing skills (beyond PPC) and earning passive income. I hard coded my sites in static HTML, wrote many articles by hand, and spent hours marketing my sites. As a result of years of hard work, I’m enjoying impressive passive income from Google AdSense, eBay Partner Network, Commission Junction, and other huge affiliate programs, but it was a long road. Why? I really had to learn all types of new skills on my own. AdSense, EPN, and CJ are big affiliate networks. They’re not really going to offer you hands-on personal tips and pointers.

Now, wouldn’t it be nice if I had a mentor holding my hand all the way? Wouldn’t it be nice if I had someone connecting me with the best affiliate offers, providing the best affiliate payouts, and basically partnering with me in the quest to dominate online marketing? Well, this is actually EWA Private Network’s specialty!

Put simply, we’re in a much different situation than 2007. If you’re getting started in affiliate marketing in 2011, you need to join forces with an affiliate network that can jump-start your affiliate marketing operations. It does not matter how much corporate experience you have. The affiliate world, especially when you’re starting from scratch, is very different. After all, that’s why you want to get started in affiliate marketing, it’s an invaluable learning experience that will end up accelerating your corporate career big time. Now, don’t get me wrong. Your corporate experience will help you dominate, and makes you the ideal candidate for a network like EWA Private Network. At the same time, there are so many new skills you will need to learn with the help of a great network like EWA.

EWA Is A Private Affiliate Network

EWA Affiliate Network

So, what’s all this talk about EWA being a private network? Easy! Most affiliate networks out there are large, public networks. As mentioned earlier, Google AdSense, eBay Partner Network, and Commission Junction have thousands upon thousands of affiliates in their networks. Most people that come along get accepted. However, EWA is a true private affiliate network. As you can see from the image on the right, EWA Private Network is currently accepting three new affiliates as of February, 20. I remember seeing this number as high as six earlier this month. When the number goes to zero, it’s hard to say when EWA will open its doors to new affiliates. So, if you’re thinking of signing up, I recommend applying now!

Now, why is EWA a private affiliate network? It all comes down to service. EWA wants to guarantee the best payouts, the best offers, the best inventory (minimal caps), and overall the best service possible. This all becomes possible with a private, exclusive network. When you’re part of the EWA Private Network, you’ve basically been accepted into an exclusive club.

EWA’s Sister Network, Blam Ads

Blam Ads

Now, I wanted to close out with another really amazing opportunity, especially if you have members only content available. Ryan Eagle, Founder and Managing Partner of Eagle Web Assets Inc., just started a brand new company called Blam Ads. (As a side note, I absolutely love their logo. It’s so catchy!) I’m especially excited about the Blam Ads Content Locking Gateway. What does this mean? Basically, the user is able to offer out simple, unobtrusive offers to then gain access to your site’s members only content.

So, there you have it! EWA Affiliate Network and Blam Ads offer two easy ways to jump head first into the affiliate marketing world, taking your online marketing career to the next level. If you’re thinking of making the move, I recommend moving now becuase there are only three spots left with EWA.

All Images In This Post © Eagle Web Assets Inc.

Pay Per Click Jobs Are Changing

Feb. 19

I’ve been in the corporate world of pay per click search engine marketing since 2004. Back in those days, things were quite different. There was no SEM automation, no AdWords editor, and SEM overall was quite manual. In fact, back in those days it took new search marketing employees at least a month or so to start adding serious value to their employer. These days, however, things have advanced so much. New employees are adding value almost instantly and the leverage in our industry has advanced tremendously. As a result, PPC jobs are changing.

They’re changing in two main ways. First and foremost, advanced analytics, bidding, and testing are becoming mandatory. Second, it’s absolutely imperative these days to go beyond PPC and add value in other areas such as SEO, social media, and email marketing. Today, I’m going to share some quick win tips to embrace these exciting changes.

Tip 1: It’s All About SEM Automation

Change Ahead

I’ve talked about this point quite a bit here on PPC Ian so I’m going to keep my first tip relatively short. It’s important these days to bid more effectively than ever, take your analytics to the next level, and manage your campaigns with precision. Why? Back in 2004, the lack of competition created a scenario of somewhat easy money. These days, you not only have to fight to win the PPC game, but you need to prove to yourself, your team, and your company that you’re doing everything possible to optimize your PPC program to the highest possible degree.

How do you accomplish this? Easy! It’s all about getting the right systems and technologies in place. Want to learn about making the best possible purchase decisions for your SEM platforms? Check out my SEM automation buyer’s guide whitepaper. It’s automation like this that will free up your time to diversify your skillset into other areas such as SEO, social media, and email marketing.

Tip 2: Become An Affiliate Marketer, Today!

I wrote about this topic when I first launched PPC Ian with a post titled moonlighting will accelerate your SEM career. I’m more confident in this philosophy than ever. To be successful in affiliate marketing, you must be an incredibly savvy marketer. You must challenge your intelligence, test wild new strategies, and push the boundaries on online marketing. Simply put, affiliate marketing is the education of a lifetime. The education I have gained from my blogging and portfolio of over 80 SEO websites has been truly invaluable. I’ve been able to take this education back to the corporate environment and perfect PPC operations while taking on major responsibilities within other areas of online marketing.

So, how can you get started? I took the affiliate plunge back in 2007. I basically started from scratch and learned as I went. In this day and age, I’m a huge believer in the affiliate network route. A good affiliate network can truly jump start your affiliate marketing career. You want to make sure to have the best offers, the best payouts, and of course expert advice and mentorship. That’s precisely where industry leading affiliate networks such as EWA Private Network and Blam Ads step in! So, what are you waiting for? Go sign up today!

Tip 3: Read Everything You Can Get Your Hands On

To close out today, I want to underscore the amazing wealth of information out there. If you want to get ahead in the corporate world of SEM, it’s imperative to read all of cutting edge material about PPC, SEO, Facebook, social media, domaining, email marketing, display advertising, and more. These days all areas of online marketing are intersecting and you must become an expert in everything.

One thing that’s really important, in my opinion, is to purchase eBooks and online courses that will take your education to the next level. Sometimes, the best information costs a little money (not much, but some). The leverage on your investment, however, is so much that it’s a no-brainer. Two must-haves include Jonathan Volk’s Facebook Ads Guide and Chris Guthrie’s Niche Profit Course.

Image of Change Ahead © arcady_31

PPC Jobs Are Great For Travel

Feb. 14

I’m the largest proponent of the pay per click search engine marketing career path around. This amazing corporate career can really take you places! As you may know, I wrote an entire eBook about PPC career tips (I highly recommend reading it). Moreover, I wrote about three different PPC career paths (agencies, startups, large direct advertisers) and also PPC versus SEO careers. Today, I wanted to do a really quick career-oriented post because I just got back from an amazing trip to Boston, all because of my great PPC job.

A Great Leadership Opportunity, Travel For Free

Airplane

Last week, I had a truly great time at my company’s office just outside of Boston. It was a great opportunity to travel and see new things, get a bit outside of my day-to-day routine, and function as a leader in my organization. I really love my PPC job at a large direct advertiser because I get the opportunity to travel a few times a year, the perfect frequency for me. Just within the last year, I traveled to Seattle, Las Vegas, and now Boston, all free of charge thanks to my amazing job (my company pays all expenses).

Different Levels of Travel for Different Paid Search Jobs

Are you someone that likes to travel a lot? How about not much at all? I have advice for you! If you can’t get enough travel, the SEM agency career path will be perfect for you. As you get more and more senior within an agency role, you will have many opportunities to travel extensively and visit your clients face-to-face, all paid for by your company. If you like traveling a few times each year, but not as much as someone in the agency role, the large direct advertiser career path will be perfect for you. If you can’t stand traveling and would prefer to stay in one location, the startup route might be more up your alley. When you’re at a startup, there’s less need to travel, especially if you’re in an SEM role.

Now, let’s contrast this with the affiliate marketing career path. If you’re a super affiliate and are wildly successful, you can travel all you want (but it will be on your own bankroll). However, let’s say you’re just starting out don’t have a ton of funds. Then, you’ll definitely have less of an opportunity to travel. This is just one more reason I’m a huge proponent of the corporate online marketing career path.

Image of Airplane © travellinglight