Could you describe what you do and how you earn your living Lisa?
I am an affiliate marketer. That means I create websites on topics that interest me and I earn commissions by referring my audience to products and services that relate to the themes of my sites.
A huge percent of your traffic comes from search engines, what’s your top tip for getting ranked well in search engines? Your domain is very SEO friendly for your niche, do you think this has helped you to rank highly?
My top tip is build useful, relevant content that your target audience would value. I honestly don’t spend a lot of time stressing out over my meta tags, keyword stuffing, and all those SEO tactics some Webmasters seem to lose sleep over. I’ve learned to write for humans (instead of the spiders). And when humans value your content, they link to you voluntarily. That’s what the search engines want to see. You can spend all day perfecting your meta tags, but if no one is linking to you using the keywords you target then you’ll never see much search engine traffic. SEO has definitely changed over the years. When I first started, it was all about on-page criteria such as meta tags, keywords, etc. But now it’s all about popularity and inbound links.
I understand that you make most your money through affiliate programs on 2createawebsite, what’s the secret to selling other peoples products and selling on commission?
Use what you promote and prove it! Anyone can say “this product is great”, but if you want to build credibility, you have to show that you use the product and also don’t be afraid to mention the cons along with the pros. Some people are afraid to mention negatives about a product. Sure, it may turn a few people off, but in the long-run it will build your credibility and improve your overall sales. If all you do is write glowing reviews for every product, people will get suspicious. Ever since I started reviewing the products I use, my affiliate commission shave sky rocketed.
Not many people are great bloggers and also rock it with YouTube, what advice would you give an Internet entrepreneur trying to get more publicity on YouTube?
With YouTube, the same principles apply for marketing a site or blog. You need to be creative, fresh and have useful information to present. Also, relax. When I first started YouTube-ing, I was very uptight because I was afraid of making a mistake. Now I don’t take myself so seriously. I try to keep a conversational tone as if I’m talking to a friend, and if I make a mistake, there’s always editing. 🙂 And sometimes I leave the goof-ups in and have fun with them right on the video. Also, spend a bit of money on good editing software and learn how to use it. I cringe when I see people getting up in their videos to turn off the camera. Even the free software like Windows Movie Maker will allow you to edit that out. I use Pinnacle Studio and love it. Lots of fun bells and whistles to help your video look more polished.
A lot of people make mistakes when creating their first website, what would you recommend new Internet entrepreneurs keep away from?
If you aren’t yet making any money online, don’t create a site or blog telling other people how to make money. First of all, this niche is extremely saturated, so if you want to stand out, you have to create something fresh and prove that what you’re doing is working for you. There are too many “how to make money” online sites that basically say the same things. And I think a lot of people choose this topic because they can’t think of any other topic. Since they are trying to make money they figure they’ll create a site about it. I think it’s best to choose topics that you have personal experiences with. Your content will be more fresh and inspiring. Not to mention, you won’t run the risk of getting burned out because you have a personal connection with what you’re writing about.
You also run a successful forum, something most people never achieve. What advice would you give an Internet entrepreneur thinking of creating a forum for their website?
Don’t ever start a forum until you have an existing traffic base. This is my 4th attempt at a forum. The other 3 failed because my main site did not have enough traffic to build up the activity. Only a small percentage of the people who join your forum are going to participate regularly, so you need to have enough traffic to give the forum a chance at success.
You are one of my favourite female Internet entrepreneurs and often we don’t hear to much from women entrepreneurs. What would you say to any women reading this interview who are thinking about getting involved and making money online?
Don’t believe the hype about this being a man’s world. The field of programming is still dominated by men, but you don’t have to become a programmer to make money online. Yes, you will need to learn the basics of HTML and CSS, but there are many women out here flourishing in both Web design/programming and affiliate marketing. Don’t feel intimidated. Just get out here and do it! 😉
Running an Internet Business gives you choices and freedom to do what you want, when you want. What would you say the Internet Lifestyle is for you?
You just said it, F-R-E-E-D-O-M. No day is ever the same and I love not having to live by a schedule. If I feel like putting in 12 hours I can. If I feel like sleeping in, lounging in my PJ’s and watching DVD’s all day, I can. 😉 A lot of people get turned onto running their own business because of the income potential. But I’ve got to tell ya, the money is nice, but nothing beats the flexibility and freedom. I always joke with people and say if I ever have to go back to a 9 to 5, I will need intense therapy. 😉
What would you say is the biggest single reason for your success?
I’ve learned how to connect with the people I am targeting. Creating a successful site is not just about throwing up pages of content and weaving in a few affiliate links. People want to know there is a human behind the site, and they have to trust and connect with you. I’ve learned to do this through both video and my content.
If you could go back in a time machine to the time when you were just getting started, what advice would you give yourself regarding making money online?
Good question. I touched on this before, but I would definitely emphasize the importance of choosing a topic you are passionate about. The reason I warn people about the “how to make money” sites is because I used to own one of those. I was barely making anything myself so there was nothing fresh or unique about my content. For 3 years, I struggled to get traffic to that site, but never got above the 100 visitor per day mark because there was nothing original about my approach. Today I have articles about making money on my site because I am having success and I have proof, personal advice, etc. But when I first started, I wish I had chosen a topic that I was more connected to.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
If you want to become a successful affiliate marketer you still have to apply the fundamentals of business. Throwing up a site is not enough. You need a plan, a target market and you have to learn how to market effectively.
Thanks very much for the interview, Have you any plans (personal or business) that you can share with us about your future plans / goals /lifetime goals?
Next week I am launching a free e-book titled, The Perfect Site Guide. It’s a free guide/manual that teaches you how to create a website and make money online. This is long overdue and I’m looking forward to the release. I think it will really help a lot of people. You can download it at http://www.ThePerfectSiteGuide.com
Lisa teaches people how to create a website, you can see her website by clicking here.
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