Free Traffic Method: Starting a WordPress blog

One great way to begin generating free traffic is with a WordPress blog, like this one you’re reading right now. WordPress is a free open-source blogging platform that has caught on strongly over the past few years, and enjoys a thriving developer community. With such an active dev community, WordPress system updates are rolled out quickly, and the system is extremely easy to use.

To get started, you’ll need to choose a web host where you’ll store your blog and its related files to share online with your visitors. I recommend my web hosting company Chase Hosting or another quality web host such as Fat Cow hosting, Get Hosted Cheap, or BlueHost. Each of these web hosts supports simple installs for WordPress, which allows you to setup your blog through an easy-to-use wizard installer.

Simple Scripts Install of WordPress on Chase Hosting:

  1. Sign up for a web hosting plan, and login to the new web hosting account with the information you receive in the Welcome email.
  2. Click the SimpleScripts section on the left side navigation. Choose to install WordPress
  3. Enter your blog’s unique details into the install screen, choose your admin account’s information. Click install.

After the install progress bar completes, you’re done! You can login and begin using your new WordPress blog.

To manually install WordPress:

Here’s the quick version of the WordPress manual install for those that are already comfortable with performing web script installations.

  1. Download and unzip the WordPress package.
  2. Create a database for WordPress on your web server, as well as a MySQL user who has all privileges for accessing and modifying it.
  3. Rename the wp-config-sample.php file to wp-config.php.
  4. Open wp-config.php in a text editor and fill in your database details as explained in Editing wp-config.php to generate and use your secret key password.
  5. Place the WordPress files in the desired location on your web server:
    • If you want to integrate WordPress into the root of your domain (e.g. http://example.com/), move or upload all contents of the unzipped WordPress directory (but excluding the directory itself) into the root directory of your web server.
    • If you want to have your WordPress installation in its own subdirectory on your web site (e.g. http://example.com/blog/), rename the directory wordpress to the name you’d like the subdirectory to have and move or upload it to your web server. For example if you want the WordPress installation in a subdirectory called “blog”, you should rename the directory called “wordpress” to “blog” and upload it to the root directory of your web server.
  6. Run the WordPress installation script by accessing wp-admin/install.php in a web browser.
    • If you installed WordPress in the root directory, you should visit: http://example.com/wp-admin/install.php
    • If you installed WordPress in its own subdirectory called blog, for example, you should visit: http://example.com/blog/wp-admin/install.php

That’s it! WordPress should now be installed. You can begin filling your blog with useful information related to your campaigns topic. Pack it full of quality content that you can link to and people will share with others. We’ll discuss how to

Free vs Paid Traffic Sources

Getting started with affiliate marketing can be a bit challenging to a n00b. There are tons of “gurus” out there on the web who claim to have the secret recipe to making millions from internet marketing. Yet, most of these guys’ biggest source of income are their how-to courses, go figure.

Needless to say, you can get started without dropping a dime on knowledge that’s already freely available out there on the web. You just need to spend some time researching and reading up on the various topics, and form a good plan for your traffic methods.

Most beginners will want to start with free traffic methods, and build up the volume to reinvest in paid traffic sources for long-term scale.

Free Traffic Sources

  • Blogging – A great method for building up followers and targeted mailing lists for a campaign.
  • Websites – Similar to blogs, but with a bit more content and structure. Usually in the form of a service, directory, or resource for learning about a topic related to your campaigns. Good for contextual links, ad placements, and content gateways for mailing lists and incent offers.

Paid Traffic Sources

  • PPC – Pay Per Click (Adsense, Facebook ads, Plenty of Fish, Chase Clicks, etc.)
  • PPV – Pay Per View (TrafficVance, DirectCPV, etc.)
  • Email Marketing (Aweber, Senderr, eInfer, Constant Contact, iContact, etc.)

Getting Started with Affiliate Marketing

To break it down in its simplest form: The best way to begin affiliate marketing… is to just get started.

One of the most common obstacles, or what seems to stall most people, are those first few steps.

It could be as simple as you’re completely new and don’t know anything about it, or maybe you’re just clueless as to what “getting started” really is in actual steps. It doesn’t help that it can be a bit of a mystery when it comes to internet marketing and becoming a successful full-time affiliate, and the industry knows that and capitalizes on it often.

When you aren’t sure of what you’re supposed to do, I suppose it can be a bit difficult. When it really boils down to it though, that’s probably the exact thing that’s tripping you up. The mindset, “but I don’t know what to do.. how can I get started?” is one of the most damaging things a beginner can struggle with. As with anything in life, it’s a matter of breaking down what you want to achieve, and accomplishing these steps towards the greater goal.

Don’t worry about “problems” – find solutions!

I’ve always been more of a, “I don’t see a problem, I see a potential solution” sort of guy. Always have been, and probably always will be. I’m never content with just taking something at face value, and neither should you, if you want to be successful in online marketing.

As an entrepreneur with strong programming and development skills, but also a comfort with the design process, and a fair amount of sales, support, and managerial experience, I know that a manager thinks generally in concepts or ideas, programmers in strictly concise and verbose sets of instructions, designers with a lucid lack of structure, and end-users with a horrid distaste for having to think about anything beyond their monitor and mouse.

To be the most successful internet marketer you can be, you’ll want to take into consideration the many variables present when researching and setting up your campaigns.

Don’t assume… RESEARCH! Find out, and know the facts

Life is an endless pursuit of knowledge and as one timeless quote puts it, “Live as if your were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.” This is one of the main defining characteristics of a successful affiliate: the endless quest for more knowledge, more data, more metrics, more market-share, you name it. We’re a competitive bunch.

As sad as it is, I don’t think its just the out-of-touch politicians that think the internet is a series of tubes, I think there may be a few million end-users mixed into that demographic. As an affiliate, one of the best things you can do is equip yourself with a strong understanding of the web from both a user and technical standpoint. Knowledge is power, and to an affiliate, knowledge is another zero on the end of that check.

As a kid, between the various sports and childhood activities, one of my long-running hobbies was magic for fun and profit. I would sometimes literally make $50-200 bucks in tips (as a 6-10 year old kid) simply walking around performing card tricks and impromptu close-up magic to complete strangers for about an hour or two for different events. David Blaine ain’t got nothin’ on me.

Don’t just read about it, learn it & live it

Well, that same desire to decipher the secrets, and the hidden mechanisms of “magic and illusion” at a young age eventually turned into me tinkering with computers and wanting (/needing?) to learn as much about them as I could.

Being an avid reader all my life contributed to me learning at an early age how to teach myself, and productively investigate or research a topic, while stockpiling knowledge. It’s probably one of the main reasons I think people should be more proactive about their thinking, decisions, and path in life, especially with their careers or general finances.

The best way to learn something is to try it. If you read about it, learn about it, then forget about it… it seems like you’d be wasting an awful lot of time. So when you read something that gets you thinking, act on it!

Get out there and start making money!

So, after reading all of that… are you just going to sit there and stare at your screen for hours more, wishing you were making money? Or, are you going to actually get started?

The Basics of Internet Marketing

Many of the people in my personal life have no idea how I make money on the internet.

Most know I run a web hosting company and host thousands of websites. They figure, “that must obviously come with some level of residual income”, but beyond that they have no idea what my internet operations entail.

So, drum roll please….

BIG REVEAL: A growing chunk of my income comes mostly from my online marketing campaigns in profitable niches, and my various online marketing & affiliate efforts in general.

What this means is… I push traffic on several large mainstream networks, my own three networks, and several lucrative internal affiliate programs.

“Cool” you might say, what the HELL does that mean? Push? Traffic?

So, okay, let me try and break it down for you a bit. If it’s something you find interesting… it might just change your life!

Internet marketing is pretty simple at its core

Buzz terms aside, the core of the traditional “affiliate mindset” boils down to a simple “performance-based” model.

In other words, just like in the real world of “kick backs” and “finders fees” if you can refer an online visitor to make a sale, or get them to perform some action, you can get paid for it!

You put an offer in front of a visitor, they perform an action… you earn money. As a merchant, your ideal “action” is that the visitor converts into a paying customer and buys a product or service.

As an affiliate, it could simply be a person filling out their zip code for a search, or entering their email and pressing go. The exact action is specific to the campaign, and your role in it.

As an affiliate, an offer you might promote could literally be as simple as a web page with a text box asking for the visitor to enter their email to win a free iPad, or any popular prize.

Other common offers are debt and educational campaigns, which ask for someone’s contact details so that an organization can follow up with a phone call and further information.

When a person completes a form, or whatever the action required in the campaign terms, an affiliate receives a conversion, and gets paid by the network or advertiser.

As you can guess, these conversions can stack up pretty quickly when you have a good method of promotion, and ultimately put a lot of cash in your pocket.

The Modern Affiliate Lifestyle

The professional affiliates job is much like any other marketing career, but with much more freedom. The basic idea is to run campaigns that drive many targeted individuals to an offer you think they’ll be interested in, and likely to convert, which then earns you a large return.

Beyond that, it becomes a science (and art) of campaign optimization, efficiency, scale, cash-flow, and a bunch of other goodness you’ll only learn from hands-on experience. This is putting it stupidly simple, but that’s affiliate marketing in a nutshell.

If you’re serious about making large volumes of money on the internet, this is all obvious. Connect the dots, and your wallet gets fat overnight. For most newbies, they think this a load of crap. How can it possibly be that easy?

Basic… doesn’t always mean “Easy”

Just because the basic concept is easy to follow, doesn’t mean actually putting it into practice is always as easy as it sounds.

Any full-time affiliate will probably tell you life wasn’t always that carefree and lavish. They probably put numerous hours into researching, experimenting, reading, making money, losing money, learning lessons, discovering new methods, and so much more.

There’s a lot of time and effort that can go into learning a thorough understanding of internet marketing, and the mechanisms and industry behind it. It usually takes even longer to begin applying that knowledge, and making it tangibly profitable.

Most people like to assume affiliate marketing is a lazy job, since you can do it from your home, in your pajamas. While this can be true in some instances, most online workers know the affiliate industry for what it is, a lucrative and worthwhile career. Most people in the online affiliate marketing industry know life is all about working smarter, not harder.

So get started, it wont happen by itself

The biggest thing stopping you from making money online is simply the fact that you’re not doing anything to push yourself further towards your goals.

If you coast through life, wishing you had attained all these great things, it simply doesn’t happen.

So get motivated, get on the AllHatter internet marketing forums, start reading my blog, and search google for affiliate marketing. Or, if you’re confident you’re ready to start making some serious money online, apply at my two public advertising networks, ChaseClicks and CPA Dough and mention you heard about them from my blog!