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All Posts by Britt Malka

About the Author

When I was around five years old, I went with my father to work sometimes, and I always loved that they offered me a typewriter and paper.

That white paper… all those possibilities!

A year or so later, my parents gave me a light-brown typewriter made out of plastic. One of those things that was made for children.

With it I typed stories and fairy tales and used my imagination. Later I got a real typewriter (still not electric, though) and I kept typing.

My biggest dream was to become a writer.

High-school killed my imagination, but I discovered a new-found love for writing non-fiction.

For several years, though, I almost didn’t write. I worked in a bank for six month, studied medicine, worked in a supermarket, worked as a childminder, as a secretary and book keeper for a lawyer, before I finally dropped my day-job for good and started to write books.

My books were non-fiction books, and they were published through a couple of Danish publishing houses.

I also sold two short stories (out of the three I wrote) to two of the biggest Danish magazines.

Until recently that was the only fiction I could boast about, because I struggled to write a novel. That’s all over and done with, luckily.

I grew up in Denmark (and Germany for 3 years), but in 2000 I left to live in France. We stayed there until June 2011, where my husband, son, cat, dog and I moved to Israel.

When I write today, I have a view over the blue see, the blue sky and the ever-shining sun.

Jun 30

AAAC – Day 09

By Britt Malka | Challenge

Hi 🙂

Are you still doing the daily tasks?

Today's task is going to be fast to do.

We're going to optimize at least one title of a review.

A Good Title

A good title is one that:

  • Grabs the reader's attention.
  • Get ranked in Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Tells the reader what he should expect.
  • Promise a benefit.

Okay, for reviews, we have an advantage. It's not as difficult to come up with great titles here as if you're writing a blog post or a sales letter.

You could use the following template to come up with good titles:

"PRODUCT NAME REVIEW: plus something else".

For example: "Blue Banana Peel Machine Z-2000 Review: Will This Really Remove Your Wrinkles and Make You Look Younger?"

That headline gives the reader (and the search engines) the name of the product; tells that it's a review; asks a question; gives a benefit (removes wrinkles and makes you look younger).

Or another fictive example:

"Nana's No-Bark XYZ-666: Great For Families with Big Dogs, but Small Dogs Keep Yapping"

That will weed out owners of small dogs immediately, which is good, since the product didn't work with small dogs. Owners of big dogs will see that this is for them, and they'll know they can expect an honest review, since you don't try to fool small dog-owners into buying anyway.

Now it's your turn:

Today's Task

Change at least one title, so it contains the name of the product and "review" and something else to attract the right kind of readers.

Jun 30

AAAC – Day 08

By Britt Malka | Challenge

Welcome back!

I hope you found time to relax and have a good time, during your two off-days here.

In today's improvement tip, we're going to use social proof inside an existing post and we're going to use that as an excuse to link to Amazon again.

This is how you do it:

  1. Go to Amazon, and look up your product there.
  2. Read at least the reviews that show up on the first page.
  3. Find common things people say: Is it easy to clean? Easy to use? Fast? A lot of these reviews show what customers had worried about and what surprised them in a good or bad way.
  4. Summarize these reviews, and link back to the product, telling your readers to "read the full reviews here".

Let's take an example:

I wrote about the Cuisinart ICE-100 and read the reviews. Most were really good, but there was a 1-star review. If I was considering this machine, I would certainly read the bad reviews as well, and so would most potential customers. So I read it to see what it was all about, and then I wrote the following in the review:

Most customers have given this ice cream maker 5 or 4 stars. One has given it one star only. Not because it made bad ice cream, but because she accidentally throw out the lid and couldn't get a new one at that moment. But I would say that most customers really love this ice cream machine. (If you want to see for yourself, take a look at the reviews here.)

Most people say that it's noisy, but they still give it either 4 or 5 stars, so it's probably not that annoying, when you know it.

I used the word "reviews" as anchor text for my link.

Today's Task

Now it's your turn.

Take one of your review posts.

Find and read as many reviews as you like.

Pick a few things that several customers said about the product.

Link back to the product by saying that your readers can get more information here.

Jun 27

AAAC – Day 05

By Britt Malka | Challenge

Hi there 🙂 Today, we're going to talk a bit about writing.

This challenge is meant to be something you can use to improve your existing Amazon sites or lenses. And that's why I haven't talked about finding a niche; buying a domain; setting up a blog; or creating a lens; and all that stuff.

Amelioration = Improvement.

Today's task is not about writing reviews. It's about adding value.

If I were shopping for a new TV, for instance, I would check the possible models, and I would notice that there are plasma TVs and LCD TVs... Probably several others. I have no idea, because I know nothing about TVs.

Now, I would probably know just about which size I would want, but what is better, then? Plasma or LCD? And why? And does it depend on what type of movies I watch? Is one of the types better for sports, which I don't watch, or film?

If you have a review site, and you tell me about this gorgeous LCD TV you recommend, I would want to know more about the difference between LCD and Plasma, before making up my mind.

You could add a brief explanation inside your review, but it would be much better to add a new post, or create a new lens, and tell me all about Plasma and LCD. You could maybe do two posts: One post about LCD and one about Plasma. Then link to that post from your reviews.

Add Information Posts for Higher Value and a Traffic Boost

It doesn't have to be technical.

It could be the story about a cat named Frostie, who refused to use his new cat tree. And then the steps his owners took to get him to finally use it one day.

Or how you went on camping, and it rained all of August, and how if you'd not chosen the right tent (affiliate link) you would have had the whole trip ruined.

Share some info, which aren't reviews.

It can be stories - people love stories - or plain info about things that puzzle potential customers.

These info posts do two things:

  1. It increases the value of your blog/lens.
  2. It gives your blog or lens a traffic boost, because you add more information, and because you can target other relevant keywords for your product/niche.

Today's Task

Create one information post. Your main purpose should be to inform and/or entertain, not to sell.

Jun 26

AAAC – Day 04

By Britt Malka | Challenge

Have you ever read a newspaper?

taken by משתמש:Hmbr

taken by משתמש:Hmbr (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I'm sure you have. I did, when I was a child. When my dad came home from work, I grabbed the newspaper from him and started for the last pages, where the comics were.

After I'd read the two pages of comics, I skimmed through the newspaper (still from the end towards the start) and look at the... TADA!!!

PICTURES

Pictures are important. Even for adults. They catch our eye, and they make us curious, and in a newspaper or magazine, we look at the headline and the pictures first, and then on the capture beneath the picture.

On the Internet, pictures grab our attention, and we've been trained to click at pictures to learn more.

This is why it's very important to have pictures in your Amazon posts, and to make them clickable and lead to Amazon through your affiliate link.

Pictures are also important because of social media. People share pictures on Pinterest and Facebook.

Today's Task: Add Clickable Pictures to Your Amazon Posts

Depending on your technical knowledge, there are several ways you could insert pictures in your posts (or modules on a lens) and make them clickable affiliate links.

If you're writing blog posts, you can install "Amazon Link", the plugin I've already praised here on Day 02 (you can see in the video for that day how to install it and change the settings).

With that plugin, you just need the ASIN number and then to pick a template.

So to show you, I found the ASIN of a product we want:B008UC3XX6

And now I'm going to use Amazon Link and add it there and pick the template called Image, and Channel = Default. (Remember to change the settings the first time you use this plugin.)

That inserts a code, and when you look at your published post, it will show a picture of the product you chose. Like this:

[amazon asin=B008UC3XX6&template=image&chan=default]

You could argue that this picture is somewhat big, and you would be right.

You could also argue that you cannot use this method on Squidoo, and that would be right, too.
So let's look at the old-fashioned way of adding a picture and making it clickable.

Old-Fashioned Clickable Picture

You'll need to do several things to make this work:

  1. Download the picture from Amazon.
  2. Upload it from your hard disk to the Internet.
  3. Add a code to your lens or blog post to show the picture.
  4. Add a hyperlink to your picture.

Download the Picture From Amazon

You go to your product, find a picture of it (NOT a customer picture, only the Amazon pictures), right click on the picture and "Save as" to your hard disk.

If the picture is too big, you can use a photo editor to make it smaller, or to even to cut out the most interesting part of it.

Upload Your Picture Somewhere

If you're already familiar with FTP, and you have a domain online, you can upload the picture to that place. If not, you can use services lick Flickr or PhotoBuckets to host your pictures.

Code to Show the Image

The code that shows the image, and which you must add to the text or HTML part, looks like this:

<img src="" alt="" />

"src" is the URL to the image. "alt" is the "alternative text", a text that tells what the image contain.

If I wanted to show the picture of the above tablet, I would add the following code:

<img src="http://brittmalka.com/pics/samsunggalaxynote101.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1" />

It's best if both the file name and the alt-text contains your keywords.

Add a Hyperlink to Your Picture

Do you remember the code for a hyperlink?

If not, then it's like this in a very basic form:

<a href="YOUR AMAZON AFF LINK" target="_blank">XXX text or image</a> (this will open up a new tab or window).

You have to combine the two, which will give something like this:

<a href="YOUR AMAZON AFF LINK" target="_blank"><img src="http://brittmalka.com/pics/samsunggalaxynote101.jpg" alt="Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1" /></a>

Difficult? No, just do it. It's actually kind of fun to see how plain text like the above can almost magically turn into pictures.

Today's Task

Go through your existing blog posts or lenses, and make sure you have at least one clickable picture on them. Take one lens/blog post at a time, and work around 15 minutes.