How to Optimize a Coupon/Deal Post for SEO and Connect with Readers

Monetization Monday -
How can you optimize a coupon or deal post for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? The same way you optimize any post for SEO:

Choose a good Post Title 

Name your Photos

Use Keywords

Make Use of Tags

Connect with your Readers! If you engage your readers and they interact with your post and share it, Google is going to take your post more seriously. And you will probably also make more money.

I accidentally discovered this when sharing a post on Pyrex. I just wanted to do my readers a favor and passed on a great deal I discovered. When I wrote the post I did all the things I would normally do for SEO out of habit and the result was that I ended up on the first page of SERPs for that Pyrex item and received quite a bit of search traffic, which I didn’t expect. I didn’t land on the first page of SERPs solely based on my actions, I ended up there because all of the websites who had more credibility than me on Pyrex failed to take those actions.

It is easy to connect with readers about Pyrex when you spend a lot of time writing about leftovers, but what about other types of coupons and deals?

Here are two coupon posts that I feel are a good example of optimizing for SEO while engaging reader from FoodNService:

Free Nyquil and DayQuil at Dollar Tree

Free Cepacol Sensations Cooling Throat Drops (he even includes an internal link to his previous post!)

First let’s talk about the fact that he let’s his voice come through in this post. It is not an automated “go here to get this coupon” post. It is better to write one engaging coupon/deal post a day than quickly push out 10 coupon posts a day. And unless you are a mega blogger,writing one engaging deal post a day is much more profitable than publishing 10 robotic coupon posts.

Now let’s talk about SEO. Why would you go to the bother of optimizing a coupon or deal post for SEO when the offer will expire in a week or two? If you have edited your blog URL so that the date is not included in the post’s URL (How to Customize your URL in WordPress and How to Change Title Format in Blogger) then you can update the post that has already been optimized for SEO with relevant information and links as they become available, and republish the post just by changing the publish date in your dashboard. When you republish that post, it already has a huge SEO advantage all the other similar articles that are posted on the web.

And yes, it is perfectly acceptable to republish posts that have been updated with relevant information!

FREE Kindle Book: Ultimate Heat Map: How to Increase Your Advertising Revenues without Additional Traffic

Ultimate Heat Map How to Increase Ad Revenues without Additional TrafficI just downloaded Ultimate Heat Map: How to Increase Your Advertising Revenues without Additional Traffic  for FREE on to my Kindle.

I more than quadrupled my adsense revenue on my primary blog last month, just by moving my ads around. I am really looking forward to diving into this book to see other ways that I can work smarter without working harder.

I don’t know how long this book will be free, so check the price before you “buy” it. You don’t have to have a Kindle to take advantage of this deal. You can download Free Kindle Apps for your Computer or Smart Phone.

Monetization Monday: Affiliate Programs for Bloggers

Tips for Making Money with Your Blog

I am back after a very long break and instead of boring you with the reason for my absence I am going to give you a gift: A List of Affiliate Programs that you can use to monetize your blog. Originally my intention was to share one affiliate program a week and explain how it worked, but I have decided to give you a list of affiliate programs and then answer any questions you have on them to the best of my knowledge. I want you to apply to the programs that match your site, so you can make more money blogging in 2013.

These affiliate programs are not limited to Americans. You can make money on your blog from just about any location. Why would you sign up for several different affiliate programs? Because although there is some overlap, the different programs cover different companies.

When you apply to the programs you apply as a publisher. As a blog owner you are a publisher, isn’t that exciting? Now go be a publisher that makes money!

My suggestion is to start with the companies that immediately provide you with access to the most companies and campaigns. Skimlinks is by far the best affiliate if you want immediate access to lots of companies. Escalate Network is the best if you are looking for the highest payout for sharing coupons and the easiest methods for sharing coupons.

Affiliate Programs for Bloggers:

Affiliate Programs where you apply once and are then approved for all campaigns:

Skimlinks – You put a piece of code in your footer and then any direct link to a product or store is turned into an affiliate link.

Escalate Network – They have the best coupon resources of any of the affiliate programs.

Logical Media – Has had higher payouts for some of the campaigns and has campaigns like the Mr. Food recipe books which are free to your readers. I like when I can make money offering my readers something for free.

Affiliate Programs where you apply to the program and then must apply to individual campaigns:

LinkShare  Referral  Prg

Link Share –  They have affiliate programs for many companies including Taste of Home, Plow and Hearth, and Walmart.

Google Affiliate Network – Target, Kitchen Aid Mixer, Williams Sonoma and many other companies. There is a Google Chrome extension that will allow you to grab a link for any product on any website that you have been approved for.

Impact Radius – Has the SavingStar coupons, Coupon Network, and many other companies.

Commission Junction – Has DiscountMags, which includes many cooking magazines.

There are more affiliate programs out there, but this list will get you off to a good start. If there is a company that you are interested in becoming an affiliate for,  Google “the company’s name and affiliate program” and you will usually find one of the above companies provide a program.

Related Posts on Monetization: 

How to Monetize Your Blog with Coupons

How to Make Money with the Amazon Affiliate Program

This post contains some affiliate links.

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How to Make Money with the Amazon Associate Program

How to Monetize your blog using the amazon affiliate program

You can easily monetize your blog using the Amazon Associate Program. Amazon doesn’t pay a lot (4% – 10%) but it is easy to use and allows you to create money-making links for items you are already talking about in your posts. Additionally, you receive a percentage of the entire sale, not just the item you recommended.

Ways to Monetize Your Site with Amazon:

Use the site stripe tool bar to quickly create a specific link to a product that you mention in your posts. Every time you mention a specific product whether it is a cooking tool or a hard to find ingredient, you can add a text link to it on amazon. In my Chai Spiced Frosting Post, I linked to both my favorite chai tea and the decorator set I used to frost my cupcakes. If I didn’t link to those items, I would have received emails asking me which tea I used and how I decorated my cupcakes.

The amazon links answer readers’ questions and save me  time. So much so that I was linking to amazon to save time before I was an affiliate. Now I make a little money from doing so. I don’t do this for every single item. I choose to link to the items that I think my readers are most likely to want additional information on.

Share links to cookbooks when you review them.

Share links to free Kindle books. Most of the time you won’t make any money, but your readers will appreciate it. And since you make money on the entire sale, if they happen to add a couple of other books to their free book, you will make a little bit.

Share links to food items when they go on sale. Monitor the food sales and when there is a great sale, share it with your readers.

You can also create a static page with products you recommend and include links to those items on amazon. On your static page, you could also create links to posts you write reviewing those products and add to the page as you think of more products that you like enough to recommend.

Amazon has many options, including widgets, banners, and “stores”, so you can experiment to see what works best for your site.

Disclosure: Although I am talking about affiliate links, this post does not contain any. 

Make Money Selling Your Photos Online

Tips for Selling Your Photos Online to iStockphoto

I am not a good photographer, but my oldest son is quite gifted. Unfortunately, he is busy majoring in anthropology and isn’t available to take pictures of my culinary creations. And he would rather eat my food than photograph it! I can’t benefit from his skill, but I thought that he could profit from it so I did a little research.

One of the most popular sites to buy and sell photos is iStockphoto. It also happens to be the source I turn to when I need a stock photo, like the one I used in my header. To sell photos at iStockphoto, you need to:

1. Be a member of iStockphoto.

2. Read a manual based on the type of photos you plan to submit and take a quiz.

3. Submit 3 examples of your work.

Sounds easy…if you know how to take a picture. If this is something you are interested in, Michelle at SomeGirl’s Website has written a series on How to Get Your Photos accepted at iStockphoto.

How to Get Accepted at iStockphoto Part 1

How to Get Accepted at iStockphoto Part 2

How to Get Accepted at iStockphoto Part 3

Many of Michelle’s tips are transferable to other online photography sites.  Here are an additional 18 options for places to sell your photos online.

FREE eBook: You are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One)

I just downloaded You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) for FREE on to my Kindle.

The  author Jeff Goins says, “This is an eBook about a journey of becoming a writer. It’s a guide to writing and publishing, including how to navigate the world of platform-building and getting your work noticed. Mostly, it’s about believing in yourself. About the process of self-doubt we all go through and the declarations we make to do what we’re made to do”.

You can currently download You Are a Writer (So Start Acting Like One) for free. I don’t know how long it will remain at this price, so check the price before you buy it.

You don’t have to have a Kindle to take advantage of these deals. You can download Free Kindle Apps for your Computer or Smart Phone.

Make Money Working as a Freelance Writer

Make Money Working Online

Earning money through monetizing your blog can take time. So today I wanted to tell you of another way that you can earn money while you are figuring out which ads and affiliate programs work for your audience. It still involves your blog though.

You can trade on your blog’s credibility to work as a freelance writer. Your blog is an easily accessible display of your writing capability and your knowledge on specific subjects. Even if you haven’t worked as a freelance writer before, you can cite your own posts as an example of your work. Once you have written a few articles for other blogs or magazines, you can cite those articles in addition to your blog.

Where can you find work as a freelance writer? 

I landed my first freelance job on the recommendation of a friend and it was based on my knowledge of Greek. How obscure is that? I share it so that you don’t set self-imposed limits on the topics you think  you can write about. You may have a skill that you take for granted that will prove useful to a specialized audience or magazine. That Greek article led to a great job that paid off our truck.

Almost every magazine has contact information online or in their magazine. They usually just provide a name and email, but occasionally provide general guidelines for writing for their publication. Print magazines generally pay much better than blogs. For more information, read this thorough article on How to Get Paid to Write for Magazines.

So if magazines pay better, why do I write primarily for blogs? I like the faster publication timeline and the informality of writing for blogs. As with print magazines, when you become established you will be able to command more per article. Here are a few resources for finding paid writing assignments for online sites:

Jobs for Bloggers at Problogger

The Ultimate List of Better-Paid Blogging Gigs

I often see people looking for freelance writers on Twitter. I recommend following the blogs and magazines you are interested in writing for on Twitter. You can even create a list, so you can easily scroll through their tweets. This will give you a heads up on the topics they are interested in or their writing needs that you can fill.

Have you worked as a freelance writer? Share your experience in the comment section.

Monetization Monday: How to Monetize Your Blog with Coupons

Tips for Making Money with Your Blog

We all start blogging for different reasons, but even if we didn’t start blogging to make money we have heard the rumors that it is possible. But how do you make money when you are giving your recipes away for free? When you are a new blogger, businesses are not exactly pounding on your door asking to pay for a premium spot on your blog. And if you only have a couple hundred visitors each day, how can you convince businesses to take your cold calls (or cold emails) seriously?

The good news is you don’t have to worry about sending or receiving emails from businesses to make money. You can join an affiliate program.

Affiliate programs are a nice place to start with monetizing your blogs because they do all the work. They find the companies, they generate the buttons and the code. All you have to do is sign up, decide which advertising campaigns are a good match for your readers, grab the code, and place it on your blog.

Each Monday, I am going to talk about different ways to make money either on your blog or with your talents on a different platform.

How to Monetize Your Blog with Coupons

Coupons don’t make a lot of money per click, but lots of people use them and readers come back when new coupons are released. So they can be a regular source of income.

My favorite site to use to find coupons is Escalate Network. Escalate pays $0.42 per print session + $0.18 per “new user”. Escalate also makes it incredibly easy for you to include posts on your site. They have a Coupons.com Tool that allows you to check which coupons you want to use. After you have checked the coupons you like, you click Generate HTML (You have a choice of doing images or text). Copy the code and paste it into your post using the HTML Editor instead of the visual editor.

How to make money on your blog with coupons

How to Use Coupons on Your Blog:

You can create a post filled with a variety of coupons. You could have one post a week devoted to coupons.

You can write a short post focusing on just one coupon. Focused posts do just as well, sometimes better than lengthy coupon posts. They allow you to choose just the specific brands that you like and are mostly like to be brands or products that your readers will use. So I could write a post and include a link to the $1.00 off coupon for yeast and then include links to my posts that use yeast.

I could also do a search for all my posts that use yeast and then include a link to the yeast coupon on those posts. Anybody who comes to those posts through any source would then be exposed to that coupon. When I monetize old posts with coupons, I try to remember to remove the coupons after they expire, but since the image is hosted on Escalate Network and they change the image to say expired, I don’t feel too bad if I forget one.

You can add a Coupon widget in your sidebar with Escalate Network’s widget tool.

You can create a Coupon Page with Escalate Network’s iframe tool.

Disclosure and Monetization:

If you monetize your site, you need to let your readers know. Legally, you should have your disclosure policy in a high-profile spot somewhere on your blog. I like to have a Disclosure Page, You can find it at the top of my blog under the header (You can quickly create a disclosure for free at Disclosure Policy. Answer the questions with the best match and then edit the resulting document if necessary).  I also like to include a disclosure at the bottom of each monetized post.

Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link.