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.
I saw somebody in a Facebook group saying that she didn't make sites for Amazon.com (only .de and some other), because she lived in Germany, and couldn't have money transferred to her bank from Amazon.com.
That's so true.
I used to ask for gift cards, back when I made a dollar every second month or so.
But since then, I found a solution! A perfect solution!
You can get a Payoneer card (it's free), and if you get it through my link, you'll receive $25 as a free gift, the moment you've earned $100, which could be very fast with Amazon or other affiliate programs. Get your card here, because you'll love it: http://malka.im/e/payoneer (opens in a new window).
Today's Task: Text Links
Text links works.
While some people like to click on pictures, other people prefers text links, and you're going to give your visitors as many options as possible to reach Amazon.
Chris Guthrie recommends several text links already in the first paragraph.
My opinion is that this is great, if it looks natural.
You can link in different ways and using different words, but let me first give you some background about what a link consists of.
How to Use Text Links
In his book, Chris Guthrie gives several examples of how he links to Amazon in his first paragraph.
When you, as a visitor, see a link, you'll see text that is blue and underlined - unless the webmaster has changed the format and made it look differently.
You don't see any code or anything, but when you mouse over a link, the cursor will change and show you a hand. Now you know you've found a hyperlink, and when you click on it, you're send somewhere in your browser.
Behind the scenes, you have the code. A very basic hyperlink consists of the following tag:
<a href="URL to the address you want to send your visitor to">ANCHOR TEXT</a>
Example, if I want to send you to Google, I would make the following link:
You have the web-address surrounded by quote marks, and you have the anchor text, in this case "Google".
The anchor text is what the visitor sees, and it's also very important for search engines. They will assume that this anchor text relates to the address and tells something about the content of that page.
How to Make an Amazon Text Link
You can create text links to Amazon in several ways:
Install the plugin "Amazon Link" - you'll love it anyway. Then you can use that to add the text, you want, inside your blog post.
Go to Amazon, and log in as an affiliate to make sure you have the toolbar at the top of your browser-window. Then go to your product, and click "Link to this page". Choose "Text Only", change the "Link Text", and copy the code you get. Paste that into the "Text" tab, if you're using WordPress, or just directly into the text field, if you're on Squidoo or similar platform.
Similar as above, but slightly different. Go to your product, and click "Link to this page". Choose "Image Only", and right click on the image. Choose "Copy link location", and head back to your blog or lens. In your blog, you can then highlight the anchor text you want to use, and click on the "Insert Link" icon on your toolbar. If you're working on a lens, you'll have to insert the link code manually. And then it should look something like this:
<a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008V6TG5A/ref=as_li_ss_il?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B008V6TG5A&linkCode=as2&tag=brittmyinterandm" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ANCHOR TEXT</a>
The Best Amazon Link (Advanced - Skip If You're Not Familiar with HTML)
If you're already familiar with a bit of HTML, you can do this step. If you aren't, then skip it.
When you're linking to Amazon, you should add an attribute to your tag. The "tag" is the <a href...> code I just showed you.
You need to add the attribute "nofollow", because that will tell Google not to follow your link.
Your tag should look like this: <a href="URL" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">ANCHOR TEXT</a>
The "target=_"blank"" tells your browser to open the link in a new window or tab.
Find 3-5 blog posts or lenses that don't have text links, or which could be improved.
Add several relevant text links to the first paragraph (you might need to rewrite a bit).
Ask questions in the comments, if you have any.
Watch this 20 mins video where you can see how to make an affiliate link in two easy ways, and how you can add a cool plugin (Amazon Link) to help you (for WordPress).
Okay, so this challenge is about improving our Amazon income in one way or another.
It could be by getting more targeted traffic, or by increasing our conversion rate.
You can participate in this challenge if you have a blog, or even if you're building Squidoo lenses. Some things might work a bit differently, though. And as a blog owner, you have some advantages that Squidoo lensmasters don't have, like using plugins. But let's get started.
How to Know If Your Income Has Improved?
Today is Day 01 of our challenge, so you'll have to do some kind of status:
What's your existing conversion rate?
How much traffic do you get now?
How many visitors click on your Amazon links?
Amazon will give you some of this information, but not all.
If you're an Amazon affiliate, you probably do this already - maybe daily, if you're actively creating Amazon posts or lenses.
But for this challenge, I'll ask you to check the following stats:
Log into your Amazon affiliate account.
Under "Reports", go to "Tracking ID Summary Report" (in the menu to the left).
Change the Exact Period to go from January 1, 2008 till today.
Now save all those numbers... You can do this in several ways: Select it with your mouse and copy it to a spread sheet. Or install a plugin called ScrapBook in Firefox and use this. Or take a screenshot. Or simply click on the button that says "Download TSV".
Change the Exact Period once more to only show the last month. This might be more accurate when it comes to comparing your income.
Check Your Visitors
If you have your own WordPress based blog, you can install plugins to check statistics. Or you could use Google Analytics.
If you use Squidoo lenses, you can add Google Analytics, or just check your visitor count on your dashboard.
On my Amazon review blogs, I use "StatPress Reloaded" - You can go to "Plugins" -> "Add New" and search for it. Then install and activate the plugin.
From now on, you'll be able to know how many visitors you had on a given day, which you can compare with the number of clicks you got (from Amazon's statistics).
Our aim is to improve three factors:
The number of visitors to your Amazon site (blog, lens).
The number of visitors who click through to Amazon.
The number of buyers of those who click through.
So I would like you to keep track of those figures. It will be fun to compare with the end result. And even a small improvement in one of the three factors can mean a lot, when the percentages are converted into dollars.
Grab a calendar, or Evernote, or your favorite tool for remembering stuff.
Save your Amazon statistics.
If you don't already have statistics on your blog or lens, install a plugin, or connect it to Google Analytics.