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