How to work the Pimps in Social MediaPimp: anyone who uses someone else's work to make a profit without any return.
Social Media Pimp: content-hungry sites who get their popularity by being vanity publishers and support themselves by running paid ads - and/or their own mailings to your email about how you should upgrade to paid hosting on their servers.
The "free" blog platforms simply are pimping their authors in order to do lead generation for their advertisers.
You may think I'm being harsh, but hear me out -
Vanity publishing is where you pay for someone else to publish your material. In the old days, (like Thoreau), you'd wind up with a stack of books in your house that you'd have to sell to make your money back. In our modern times, sites like Wordpress.com and Hubpages (to name a few) will host your essays for free as long as they can use them to make money by running ads. Now, if you in turn could make money by promoting your own work, then that would be OK - but there's a twisted line they follow to do this.
Most of the free blogging sites have a real problem with hosting anything as long as they can make money from with their ads. Meaning they take your heartfelt prose and accept it unless you link out to the sales page where someone can buy whatever it is that you're heart-felt-prosing about.
However, they rain down all sorts of *stuff* on you if you try to directly promote on their sites. Ostensibly, it's because people complain about it (and Google lowers their rankings) but any marketer will tell you that it's because you are "homing in on their turf". (Unlike Amazon, which is way more popular, as they simply host your products and ads for a fee.)
Wordpress.com seems the worst at this, right behind Hubpages. If you link out to any direct affiliate page, you're either labelled a spammer (minimally) or more commonly outright banned and suspended with no warning. If you are only labelled, then it's not so bad - because you still have your blogs around - if you can still get to them.
But anyone working affiliate marketing has to have their own site and then link these freebie blogs to it.
Which means that the reports of 40% of various social media are simply spammers.
Wordpress, like Hubpages, over-reacts and makes everyone jump through hoops if they want to promote a product which will actually help somone. Consider this article by Lee Ogden on "Wordpress.com and SEO Blogs - Love or Hate?" He goes into the point that wordpress.com is in the enviable position of being indexed within an hour by Google. So anyone who's got a lick of sense will be posting to WP.com in order to get backlinks.
The really funny thing is that the serious entrepreneurs and socia media marketers are a step ahead of these guys. What they do is to use WP.com and other free blogs to get their own sites ranking well in Google - as long as they stay within the pimping guidelines of that free platform.
What does this really mean for Internet/Affliate Marketing?The solutions have worked themselves out over the past few years:
- Write informative articles which link in turn to
- Review articles you write on your own host which drive traffic to
- Your own or the Affiliate Landing/Sales pages
- Your own content is written in a non-salesy way, but links to your own blog and review pages.
- Your own content is properly SEO'd so that it is in turn ranked highly by Google (as the 'bot's can make easy sense out of it).
- Landing/Sales pages are never more than 2 clicks away from a WP.com blog entry.
A. Get hosting (like Hostgator) and a domain name (from GoDaddy).
B. Then learn how to do simple mini-sites which you can upload by FTP and keep updated. (I'd recommend wordpress as a free blogging platform, but they do lousy stand-alone landing pages, as the overhead of keeping that many databases running can tank your server.)
C. Find the various autoposting sites like Posterous and have them post your content to the various blogs for you. (Just make sure you have several email addresses in case one gets banned by accident.)
D. Make sure these posts are as well SEO'd as you can and all link back to those static review-type landing pages you created on your own domain.
As you post your content and re-publish it, more and more people see it and it gives you backlinks. The backlinks (along with some of the communty work which exists on these free sites - recommended, what's new, and so forth) will get Google's attention so it will come and scrape your site for links.
Any sort of success with the above simply continues this scene - so the pimps become the pimped, after a fashion. Although, if you are writing really great content and sharing versions which the free blogs can use in turn for free (to get their ad revenue up), then everyone wins along this line.
That is what we are after, anyway - creating enough value that anyone can win in Internet Marketing.
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