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AJWalton's November InfoBarrel Earnings Part 2: Let's Talk Tactics

This article has been generously donated to InfoBarrel for Charities.
By Edited Nov 13, 2013 8 28

So you've seen me go from $7, to $32, to $198 a month over in Part 1 of my November update. That's great, but those numbers don't help you much, they just show you what is possible. Now it's time to see how it's possible, and how I plan on improving things drastically over the next couple months. If you think you'd like a piece of the action you can sign up now, this article won't go anywhere.


Let's Talk Tactics: How Do I Do It?

I've taken a lot of time creating an InfoBarrel "System" - with the objective of doing things both as efficiently and effectively as possible. This system was designed to answer these questions:

-How can I get the most with the least effort? (return-on-investment)
-What is the best-use of my time? (If I were to do one thing really well, what should that be?)
-Can I get someone else to do this, or find anothe way to never have to do it again?

Here's the different parts of the system I applied these questions to:

1. Keyword Research
2. Article Writing
3. Article Publishing
4. Article Optimization
5. Backlinking (SocBks)
6. Rewriting (backlinking with article directories)
7. Interlinking

Nicely numbered so you can skip to a section of your choosing (due to length I've split this up - 4 through 7 will be in part 3)

Part I: Keyword Research

"Keyword Research" was my answer to the question "what is the best use of my time?" Everything else stems from this. This bears repeating, and probably bolding as well: All of my success stems from good keyword research. My November earnings were as high as they were without social bookmarking, rewriting articles for directory submissions, or doing on-page optimization. My SEO effort consisted of writing good titles. That's it!

Because I do keyword research well, I've increased my earnings over the course of a month where I payed almost no attention to the rest of the system due to the contest. And yes, you can do effective keyword research with all the free tools on the internet, case and point being jcmayer, who probably does this better than anyone.

For me, without a doubt the key to my success has been a program called Market Samurai. With it, I've created a list of about 2500 keywords that should perform well without me doing anything except writing an article. These are always in groups of 10 or more, so I get some nice niche saturation, plenty of interlinking opportunities, and plenty of information for rewriting (for article directory backlinks). I did this in less than a week. Imagine the time it would take to do that with various tools that give you different pieces of data. How many hours would it take to research 2500 proming keywords?

The best part though, is the ability to gauge the strength of the competition. This is the single most important factor - indeed, I would argue that it is really the only important factor, so long as it's a revenue generating keyword (yes, I could rank #1 for "xnjakend" but why would I want to?)

Here's how my "floristry courses" article stacks up against the competition: (click to open a larger version in a new tab)

Market Samurai (33807)

Anyway, Market Samurai has probably saved me 500 hours of work so far. If I can teach a guitar lesson at $30/h that's $15,000 I've saved. If you're skeptical (and you should be), take the 12 day free trial and give it a spin. I'll even tutor you on Skype if you want.

One additional point (thx freedomw for asking in the forums) - I almost always combine keywords in my titles. The title is the most important thing you can write in terms of grabbing traffic from competitors. "Snowmobile Decals for Sale" isn't as catchy as "Snowmobile Decals - Pimp Your Sled" (also note the use of both "snowmobile" AND "sled").

I'm never doing keyword research again - or at least for the forseeable future, that leaves only 6 things to take care of now!

***Additional note: Good keywords have 3 characteristics: They have low/weak competition, high commercial value, and high traffic. I never want to be the bearer of bad news - but if your articles aren't earning, you are missing one of these three things. This is also good news, as you can usually do some troubleshooting to rectify the problem.


Part II: Article Writing

I have a very simple approach to article writing. SEO the heck out of your first paragraph, and then just write completely naturally the rest of the way. I usually write articles around 750 words. This can be done rather quickly while still providing good information. Writing batches of 10+ articles within a niche makes this process even easier as you become comfortable with the information - and it helps a ton with optimization. I try to make my articles answer these questions:

-What is it? Why is it cool?
-What does it do
-Where can I find some?
-How much will it cost?
-What goes with it?

I think of tags, affiliate links, page layout, and all that stuff as "optimization" and not "writing." When I write, I write and do nothing else. It comes back to my three questions - this way I get the most return for the time spent.

So the problem with article writing is I actually have to do it. Hopefully in December that will change. I've developed a detailed set of article guidelines and I'm considering a couple of North American writers to take the writing job out of my hands...errr...voice. I think this will work because of the great keyword research I've done, and the article "formula" I've created.


Part III: Article Publishing

I do this on Sundays. I used to do it whenever I had a finished article, but I find that's no longer the most effective use of my time. Publish 20-30 or however many articles at once, you can get into a sort of publishing "zone" and get it all done quickly - and you're not breaking the creative train of thought necessary for writing. Try it, you'll find you get more done, silly as it may seem.

I have a huge spreadsheet where I keep date of publishing, what website, keyword, URL, tags, and a short description (for social bookmarking) for each article. I don't update tags or description here, but I do the others. At this point I'm not hiring an editor to do my publishing and spreadsheet updating. Looks like I will have to keep doing something myself, but at least it's done efficiently.

Continue to Part 3: Let's Talk More Tactics

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Comments

Dec 1, 2010 12:40pm
dadbintheadmin
Wow, a ton to digest. This is one of those articles I will bookmark and read multiple times.

Oh, and just a tip for the folks who read this article...when I click on the image of your MS screenshot in the article it doesn't do anything, but the image on the right will bring up a larger image that's easier to read.

Thanks again AJ!
Dec 1, 2010 1:30pm
AJWalton
Thanks for the feedback dadbintheadmin! That makes the effort of writing worth it.

ahh I'll fix the image - I forgot about that
Dec 1, 2010 1:30pm
chezfat
AJ - I'd love for you to detail a bit more about how you bookmark. Do you write a unique description for each bookmark or do you just copy paste the tags and description for each bookmark from your spreadsheet you referenced in this article. I've shyed away from much social bookmarking because I get tired of writing 75 word unique descriptions so I've just stuck with doing article dircetory and postrunner backlinks.
Dec 1, 2010 1:34pm
AJWalton
I use the same description for each EXCEPT for Xomba. Actually this is an important point that I'll edit: I outsource the description writing.
Dec 1, 2010 2:17pm
chezfat
Thanks AJ - I think I'm going to implement some of your bookmarkign strategy into my routine - I think it can add a lot without actually taking up too much more of my time. We'll see how it goes.
Dec 1, 2010 2:33pm
AJWalton
Yeah let me know how things work for you. You'll probably hit on something I've missed.
Dec 1, 2010 1:45pm
aidenofthetower
This is a great article that is sure to help many people working on developing a good plan of action. Thanks for sharing.
Dec 1, 2010 1:46pm
AJWalton
Thanks for the feedback aiden!
Dec 1, 2010 2:08pm
LoveSpaces
Thank you AJ for another useful and inspiring article.
Dec 1, 2010 2:33pm
AJWalton
Thanks LoveSpaces. I have a good feeling about your contest chances.
Dec 1, 2010 3:04pm
Writerguy64
This is a great article! I myself downloaded Market Samurai, but I can't seem to figure out how to fully use it to my benefit. Is there anyway you can talk on skype, but not through video? I know you have bad tendinitis, so this might not be possible.
Dec 1, 2010 3:10pm
AJWalton
This comment has been deleted.
Dec 1, 2010 3:14pm
AJWalton
Sure add "towerandlawn" Writerguy64.
Dec 3, 2010 12:32pm
Writerguy64
When might I expect you on? I'm in no rush! (This is Finals week at college)
Dec 3, 2010 1:02pm
AJWalton
I'll try to leave Skype on. I'm usually around the computer 24/7 these days ugh, but I forget to have Skype open.
Dec 1, 2010 8:59pm
Ernie
How long didi it tak eyou to learn how to use Market Samurai efficently?
Dec 1, 2010 9:03pm
AJWalton
Not too long - but I'm a numbers junkie. Probably a couple weeks until I came up with the settings I currently use. They have good training videos on the site, though they are geared to niche sites not articles.
Dec 1, 2010 10:54pm
dpeach
Good stuff. Heady, but something nice to read after banging out several articles today.
Dec 1, 2010 11:34pm
AJWalton
Good to see you're starting the contest strong!
Jan 6, 2011 4:12am
Spondicious
tI would be interesting to know how you spend your week or your day to divide the time between the necessary tasks. How much time on keyword listing from Market Samurai and then the writing and then the back linking to the articles.

You must be very organinsed to bash out so many articles.
Jan 6, 2011 9:59am
AJWalton
I have incredibly detailed spreadsheet where I keep track of articles, keywords, back linking, directory rewrites and much more - staying organized is paramount to what I do.

In terms of allocating my time - I have a keyword list of 2500 words so I don't have to worry about that anymore. I basically just write. I can only backlink for 5-10min without my arms hurting, so it's a low ROI activity. I just write write write. Wouldn't recommend it for most people really.

Also, I try to pick one day to do all my publishing, and then another to go back through those articles in bold the titles, add images to them etc. So my brand-new articles are usually not very aesthetically pleasing.

I take batching to the largest extreme I know how. When I have 1500-2000 articles I will probably backlink and do directory rewrites. By that time I'll definitely have good data regarding where my time would be most effectively spent.

WHEW long one :)
Jan 18, 2011 2:29am
BarryCross
Absloutely awesome AJ!
Love the way you've created a system, because its systems that = success when action is applied.

I'm new here but I'm looking forward to reading all of your training material. Your success story is an inspiration not just to IB'ers but anyone wishing to make it online.

Massive congrats on your achievement!

Continued success to you my friend:))

Cheers

Barry
Jan 18, 2011 10:22am
AJWalton
Hey Barry. Thanks for the great feedback! I hope you find the materials useful, and I wish you the best writing here.

Systems building is my favorite concept, since it'll allow me to become more and more automated. I'm always refining it, but something's clearly working so far.

Andrew
Jul 29, 2011 12:52am
CapstoneTrends
This is awesome.... Thanks for posting!
Jul 29, 2011 4:58pm
AJWalton
You bet :)
Oct 11, 2011 10:17pm
oxfordian
You're the BEST. I don't know what I would have done in getting up and running online if it hadn't been for you. Thank you sooo much. I'm transitioning from a writing job that paid by the article to InfoBarrel, Squidoo and Xomba (so far) and there's going to be a real adjustment problem financially. You've really given me hope! Any suggestions for other sites?
Oct 11, 2011 11:09pm
AJWalton
I think HubPages is a good option. I also have some content at PostUROwn that does alright.
Oct 11, 2011 10:21pm
oxfordian
I've been "stumbling" all your articles (through "Stumbleupon." I don't know if that does much, but I want to do whatever I can so as many people can benefit from your articles as much as I have. Thanks again (and again)!!
Oct 11, 2011 11:10pm
AJWalton
Thanks for the feedback oxfordian :)

Thanks for stumbling my stuff.
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