Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads can be a great way to reach your niche audience, as they provide a variety of categories to target.

Facebook ads

You can choose your audience by location, age and interests, and test both image and text-based ads to figure out what works.

There is the option to promote a Facebook Page or your own site – you'll want to send the traffic to your site. Why? Because this section is all about techniques to drive traffic to your site, that's why!

Also, Facebook Ads enable you to set the daily budget for your ads, and you can adjust your daily budget anytime. And you can choose to pay either when people click (CPC) or see your ad (CPM).

I've used Facebook Ads for affiliate sites, but easily my most import campaign to date was one where I was trying to accelerate the same of my house in August 2010. I ran a number of different ads to test elements of the ads, as well as the target audiences.

This one here, which used the real estate short-hand language from my house listing, was the best performer and ended up reaching the buyer.

Facebook Ads to sell a house

I combined targeting an area my real estate agent said was the source of most of her sales in my town, as well as testing a theory that the best prospects would be folks married in their 30's, since they would be family-minded and looking for more space.

The overall Facebook campaign cost about $1,000 and the offer came in a week after we listed. I did some research at the time and houses in our range were selling in about six weeks or so.

I run a number of small campaigns currently for affiliate sites with a budget around $5/day.

An important thing to point out – be sure you use a unique link for the traffic to your site and monitor it, so you can track the effectiveness.

More details on Facebook ads at http://www.facebook.com/advertising/.


Podcasting is a great way to reach a niche audience, and to drive traffic to your site. But wait… podcasts are audio, so how can they drive traffic?

Affiliate Summit West 2011 Blogger Lounge

Well, one of the ways people listen to podcasts is by streaming them from a blog or other website.

And the posts for podcast episodes typically include podcast notes, which recap the show and include links to items mentioned on the podcast.

I use a WordPress plugin called PowerPress to incorporate podcasts into blog posts, and the plugin includes stats of where people are listening to the podcasts.

When I take a look at a sampling of podcasts on GeekCast.fm, a network of business podcasts I started years ago with Missy Ward, 75% of people are listening to the shows on the site, and the balance are using their iPods or other devices to hear the shows offline.

So anyway, is the amount of traffic from podcasts worthwhile?

Well, I've been podcasting weekly since 2006 – sometimes more than one show a week. If I wasn't seeing a benefit in doing it, I would have stopped long ago.

Check out 7 Minutes in Affiliate Heaven, which I record solo every week.

And have a look at GeekCast.fm to see a variety of podcasts and how they work out their podcast notes.


StumbleUpon is a tool that helps people discover and share sites on their particular interests.

It's different from a search engine in that the pages they serve up have been explicitly recommended by your friends or one of over 15 million other websurfers with interests similar to you.


But the reason you should be using it is that you can submit pages and sites of yours for free for others to share.

You can join for free by filling out the profile at StumbleUpon or you can connect your Facebook account to StumbleUpon.

It's a quick process to get started, and then you can begin Stumbling pages and sites.

After you have created your account, you can Stumble sites at StumbleUpon.com or use a toolbar to do it with your browser.

Stumble a site or page

I would suggest going relatively broad with the topics you choose to describe your submission.

As you might imagine, the more popular topics get more attention through StumbleUpon, but it's also a great source for free, targeted traffic for niche sites.

Flickr Links

I use Flickr to host a lot of the photographs I feature in blog posts.

flickrThe reason for this is that Flickr pictures often get indexed well in search engines, and sometimes people will steal bandwidth through a technique called inline linking.

Anyhow, it's fine to host your own images for a blog. I do it sometimes myself, but Flickr is a good alternative.

But the merits of Flickr are not limited to being a quality photo host. It can also be a traffic source directly to your affiliate site or through one of your affiliate links.

The way it works is that you've got an area to write a description of a photo, and you can either include a full URL or add in the HTML code to create a link out of a phrase in your description.

If you take a look at the yellow area below, the phrase “Toby Keith” goes through my Amazon affiliate link to the results for his name on Amazon.

Flickr description

In order to optimize your photos on Flickr, you'll also want to enter a descriptive title and relevant keywords.

If you're going to use Flickr, I would suggest going with a Pro account, which has lots of benefits, including unlimited uploads and storage and stats on your account.


Extra! Extra! You can automatically create an online newspaper with Twitter, Facebook and RSS feeds.

There is a free service called Paper.li that enables the automated, daily, twice daily or weekly creation of a newspaper customized by you.


But why would somebody subscribe to one of these online newspapers? Well, that's up to you to assemble interesting content.

Paper.li will create an online newspaper based on Tweets from a single Twitter user, your Twitter account and the people you follow, a Twitter list, a Twitter # tag, keywords on Twitter, keywords on Facebook, or an RSS feed.

The benefit to you is that your content should be incorporated into the newspaper, so that it will regularly point to your affiliate site.

People can subscribe by email to a Paper.li newspaper, and you can also have it auto-posted to your Twitter account.

I have used Paper.li newspapers in the past based on my Twitter account and people I follow, as well as for the Twitter list of speakers for each Affiliate Summit conference.

There is an opportunity in an “Editor's Note” box in Paper.li to add a note to your readers, but I've found that it's a great spot to feature some sites.

Paper.li Editors Note

You can add live links into that area.

I'd definitely suggest activating the option to have your Paper.li newspaper to automatically post to your Twitter account, as many people mentioned in the Tweet each day will ReTweet it, which provides more exposure for you.

LinkedIn Applications

LinkedIn is a powerful tool for driving quality traffic to an affiliate site if it is relevant to your professional life.

There is an Application Directory on LinkedIn with a variety of tools to enhance your profile.

LinkedIn Applications

There are many that can make your profile more dynamic and interesting, but the most useful LinkedIn Applications to me are those that refer people to my site(s) directly or indirectly.

The WordPress application in LinkedIn enables you to pull the RSS from a blog into your profile.

The links from the WordPress application go directly to your blog.

WordPress on LinkedIn

I like this application a lot, since it provides the excerpts and links, but it's stuck at the bottom of your profile.

The Twitter application (Tweets) is better, as it features your latest Tweet right at the top of your LinkedIn profile.

Twitter on Linked In

You can also have your Tweets included in your Activity stream, which displays on the right of your profile.

There are lots of other applications to explore and figure out ways to leverage for traffic, but I'd suggest these two at a minimum.

If you'd like to see my LinkedIn profile and connect with me there, go to http://www.linkedin.com/in/shawncollins.

Meetup.com Perks

Lots's of people think of Meetup.com as a useful site to organize local meetups, but they also have an advertising option where you can sponsor targeted meetup groups for a small fee and drive traffic to your site.

Meetup Perks

The Meetup Perks opportunity enables you to create a compelling discount or member Perk, submit it to Meetup.com, and they share that Perk (upon their approval) with relevant Meetup Groups that you want to target.

You can approve or deny the groups, and you just pay $5 per month per Meetup Group that accepts your Perk.

However, and this is even better news… the price is free until further notice!

So, you're able to get targeted traffic from a set of groups, and you can choose to sponsor as many or few as you choose.

I'm currently sponsoring over 60 groups. I started with a few and scaled up, and it's worked out well for me for traffic and sales.

More details at http://www.meetup.com/sponsorships/.

YouTube Descriptions

There are three hurdles to get videos popular on YouTube, so you can generate traffic back to a site. The first two are up to you, but I can help with the third one.

Optimize your videos for YouTube

  1. Pick a topic people are interested in
  2. Produce a decent video
  3. Optimize the video

I've got some experience with testing on YouTube with over 500 videos on one of my accounts alone: youtube.com/affiliatetip

So anyway, once you've got a video, you need to optimize during the upload process, and there are a few key items where you can improve the potential exposure of your video, and therefore the resulting traffic to you.

The title is your headline, and you should treat it as such – make it descriptive and simple. If you're reviewing a product, use the complete product name as the title.

The description is the magic field where you can set yourself up to get traffic, because if you put a complete URL in the description, it will turn into a live link.

Some people just plant the URL before the actual description, but I think that makes for a bad user experience, so I go with something like this…

Shawn Collins of http://blog.affiliatetip.com answers a question from an affiliate about whether he should be worried that he will get caught when he blatantly violates the terms and conditions of the affiliate program.

That's just the first line of the description – you can see the whole thing at the Should Cheating Affiliates Worry About Getting Caught? video on YouTube.

Next up are the tags, which are the keywords that best describe your video content.

Finally, there is the category. YouTube currently lets you choose from about a dozen categories, so just pick the one that's closest to what you are covering in the video.

Here is an example of a video I did in 2007 that continually drives traffic for me.

YouTube with a live link

In this case, I probably should have used a direct affiliate link for the product, but it's been great for introducing visitors to the site.

But I have tried another spot for URLs that went direct to the products, and that has been successful, too. I've included the URLs right in the video like this one.

URL in the video

I was a bit surprised at the number of people who actually typed in the URL from being in the video like that, and that short link redirects to an affiliate link.

A big plus on having it in the actual video is that when people embed it to their site, your description doesn't show, but the link in the video is still there.

If you use both a URL in the video, as well as one in the description, be sure to make each unique, so you can track their effectiveness.

AWeber RSS to Email

I've touched on using email previously with Using Email to Drive Traffic to Your Site in chapter five, and I can't emphasize the importance of email.

Simply put, using the RSS from my site(s) to automatically generate email newsletter for my subscribers is one of my biggest traffic sources.

RSS to Email

The great thing about reaching your audience by email is that they have double opted-in to receive your email, so they're genuinely interested in consuming your content.

Now it's up to you to deliver.

The cool thing about RSS to email with AWeber is that you can set up automatic email newsletters to feature excerpts from your posts, and when your subscribers click to read more, they are back on your site.

I explained back in chapter five how you can set up RSS to email with AWeber.

So take a look there to set up your RSS and enable more people to make their way to your site(s) from email.

Twitter Tools

I use a couple different tool to harness the power of Twitter to drive traffic back to my sites, and it is routinely one of the best referrers of visitors for me.

TwitterIf you're not familiar with Twitter, it's a social network where people can communicate messages in 140 characters or less.

And those messages, or Tweets as they are known, can include links.

So you want to have a presence on Twitter, and if you don't already have an account, go and sign up right now at Twitter.com. But you should have already registered for Twitter, right?!

While you're there, be sure to follow Extra Money Answer on Twitter @xtramoneyanswer.

After you're all set with your Twitter account, there are two other services I use and would recommend: SocialOomph and TwitterFeed.

SocialOomph is a service to send out time-delayed Tweets.


They have a lot of other useful features, too, but the time-delayed Tweets are my favorite.

These aren't going to be Tweets about your site, per se, but just part of your contribution on Twitter. Nobody wants to follow an account that just has links blog posts.

So, it's important to post on Twitter to interact with your followers and initiate conversations.

That's not as easy if you're traveling or really busy in some other way. In those cases, you can set up Tweets to go out later with SocialOomph.

One way I use the service is to enter in dozens of Tweets about different events and times for things taking place during the Affiliate Summit conference.

My other vital service is TwitterFeed, which connects the RSS feed from your blog to Twitter.


When you sign up with TwitterFeed and then get it all connected to your RSS feed, every time you make a post to your blog, it will automatically post a message to your Twitter account, too.

One thing I would suggest that you tweak in the Advanced Settings in TwitterFeed is to select “Title Only” under Post Content. Then your blog post title will appear with a link to the post.

There are some other options, but you can ignore them without any problem.