Getting Site Sponsors


Holy Moly! I could not believe what I was seeing and hearing  at the “how do get corporate sponsors” session at BlogWorld. I was amazed, astounded and somewhat stupified by the level of expertise I was hearing.

So the speakers on the panel were agents at an agency that represented big companies like Pepsi, Johnson & Johnson and Nabisco. And they were quite clear in what they look for when they’re looking to partner with bloggers and site owners.

To start with they use lots of tools when analyzing bloggers. Tools like, Radian6, wordle, Klout and their own analysis. They really go to great lengths to determine the extent of the bloggers influence.

For instance with Twitter they look at your Tweets and put them through Wordle to see what you tweet about most often. They look for competitor brand names, bad language and poor trends.

Then they look at your retweets and how much influence those people have.

They look at all your social profiles to see what kind of engagement you have and where you return in the search engines.

They look at your complete reach in different mediums like audio, video, text, blog posts and more. Engagement on your site, your Facebook page, your guest posts.

And sometimes they find you just because you’re already a fan.

So if you want to be ripe for corporate sponsorship, get your influence going and start talking about all the right things, now.

Affiliate Network List


Check here for a comprehensive affiliate network list. If you know of an affiliate network that isn’t on this list and should be, leave a comment to let us know about it.

Also MANY of these networks offer a full bevy of services. We sorted them through what we thought was their primary service, but many offer services in the other categories.

Feel free to leave suggestions. . . there are so many. And our sections on coupons and affiliates is quite weak still. Bring on the knowledge.

CPM Impression-Based Networks

CPC/CPA Networks with Impression-Based Options


Sponsored Posts Networks

Social Media Campaigns

Affiliate Marketing Networks

Coupons and Deal Networks

Product Review Networks

Ad Managing Tools

AdRotate – Plugin to help you manage your ads – sell ads directly to advertisers

Double Click for Publishers 

Repurposing Content and Screen Capture

cdsSo this week, I spent a good amount of time talking about repurposing content. If you have a bunch of stuff sitting around that you’ve already done (ie informative e-mails, recordings of phone calls, e-books, blog posts, etc)- you can reuse these.

You can take 5- 10 blog posts about a topic and turn them into an ebook. You can transcribe phone calls (webinars) and turn them into a real book, blog posts, articles, website material, a home study course, etc.

You could even sell real CD’s by uploading the info to and having them mail the recordings out – or turn them into a bound notebook and have mail it for you.

Continue reading “Repurposing Content and Screen Capture”

Make a $5/Day Website

So we spoke a bit about keywords on FreeWeeklyMastermind. I’d encourage you to listen to that keyword discussion time and again. There was certainly some good stuff in there.  As you learn more, the parts that were “advanced” are really going to be valuable to you.

I’ve told you many times, don’t let picking a niche get in the way of progress – which some of you are doing. Just pick something and try it out.  But the problem is, most people don’t know where to start even if that’s their goal.

So I put together a video tutorial on how to create a niche website that makes $5/day. I suppose if you made 10 of these you’d be doing pretty good.

The reason I decided to do this was because I found a new keyword tool that’s not only fun and practical BUT is a way to find highly trafficked keywords in a niche. Continue reading “Make a $5/Day Website”

How Google AdSense Works


I got asked this question this week, “I don’t understand how Google Adsense Works. I and another blogger have about the same traffic and have ads in the same places but she makes a lot more money. What am I doing wrong?”

Now this isn’t a bad question because Google Adsense isn’t the easiest thing to understand. But it was clear to me the way she asked the question, she just didn’t understand how Adsense worked.

So, let’s talk about it from the beginning. Google built a search engine that attracted lots of people. In fact, something like 70% of all searches go through Google.  With all those eyeballs, Google decided to sell advertising space in the right sidebar and at the top. Continue reading “How Google AdSense Works”

Assess Your Blog’s Income Streams

What if Google didn’t exist? What would that do to your blog’s income stream? Let’s examine how at risk your income is. You’ve worked really hard to get where you’re at now. Can you imagine how devastating it would be if that magically went away?

Photo courtesy of Jorge Quinteros.

What if Google didn’t exist? What would that do to your blog’s income stream? Let’s examine how at risk your income is. You’ve worked really hard to get where you’re at now. Can you imagine how devastating it would be if that magically went away?

Blog Income Sources

What are the most common income sources and how at risk are you of losing that income? Specifically, if you rely on this income as a good portion of your total revenue, how at risk are you? Let’s first identify the sources of income – then let’s cross reference that with how at risk your blog traffic is. Put a high risk traffic source with a high risk income source together and you’re really operating on “hope”.

Google Adsense:

This is a high-risk, low reward income source. Not only does it require a good amount of traffic, but also requires that advertisers continue bidding on your keywords. To top it off Google seems to randomly shut down Google Adsense accounts without a clear path to appeal.

In-text Links:

This is a high-risk, low reward income source. But this is even a bit riskier because most in-text link companies go into the marketplace to advertise their services and find new advertisers. Google AdSense is so big advertisers go to them. So on top of Google AdSense risk you’re also hoping the in-text link company is doing a good job marketing themselves.

Coupon Prints:

A medium risk, low reward income source. On a deal or coupon site, the audience is prepared and looking for these coupons, but they still have to do more than click. They have to print. To add to that, there is no guarantee that the current payout will remain that way. Will a declining coupon print payout affect your business? Somewhat low risk, but not the lowest.

Impression Networks:

Relatively low risk, low reward endeavor. The only real issue with this kind of income is the level of your traffic risk. Most impression networks work with their host sites. Rarely have I heard of people randomly shut down from their networks.

Affiliate Sales:

Medium to high risk, but typically high reward. Income isn’t dependent on large quantities of traffic, but targeted traffic. Since payouts are negotiated on the front, you can choose affiliate sources that meet your needs.

Sponsored Posts:

Medium risk, high reward. The income here isn’t tied to traffic or influence, it’s tied to your ability to procure it. I’ve seen sites with almost no traffic get sponsored post deals regularly. The risk here is you. What if you don’t have time to procure these monies? When you take you out of the picture, the income goes away.

Your Own Products

Low Risk, high reward. Whether it’s an ebook, webinar, .mp3 download, a paid forum, tips, ideas, products or a membership site the money is 100% yours. And with affiliate software you can recruit others and their traffic to drive people to your products and services. Membership site money accrues monthly independent of traffic, search engines, 3rd party sites, or payout reductions.

Your Blog’s Traffic Stream

Let’s start with traffic by dividing it into low, medium and high risk traffic. And then we’ll look at the different kinds of income and assess them as well.

Search Engine Traffic:

Risk Assessment: High This is the kind of traffic you want more than anything. When you offer a product, a service or just plain information you can do no better than to be easy to find by the people looking for that. That’s the easiest way to generate new business, more income, and better quality visitors.

But search engine traffic is pretty high risk. Competitors, press releases, and major events threaten those rankings at all times. Imagine spending years and years building a following and then American Idol comes along and a previously unknown girl who shares your name wins. (Go ahead and search for Carrie Underwood. You know she’s not the only person with that name, but you’d have navigate to page 6 of Google’s results to find another one.)

Not only that but search engines are acquired by other companies, change their goals and change their algorithms all the time. You’re aware of Panda and Penguin of course, but think about other search engines like Instagram and YouTube. Both of those were acquired by bigger companies. And in so doing, their search results changed over time. And a few years ago Google really went local. Search for anything like “front doors” and you’re now going to see local shops, like Frank’s Front Door Painting Service, ahead of niche blog results every time.

The bottom line with search engine traffic is that it is owned by someone else. You are at their mercy. But it is highly targeted and is quality traffic.

Direct Traffic:

This heavenly source of traffic can be divided into two groups: initiative based and impetus based.

Initiative based direct traffic

Risk Assessment: Medium This is when someone opens their web browser and, on their own accord, types your website name in. That’s the best compliment online. While that sounds like a relatively low risk source of traffic, it isn’t. In the best case it is medium level risk. You don’t have the same worries that you would with search engine traffic, but there is one big problem. This kind of traffic relies on hope. If you currently rely on this traffic, you have to “hope” these people come to your site tomorrow. They have to take initiative on their own. Without any outside influence, they have to type your website name into the url bar. No guarantees.

Companies who have spent a ton to become a household name, like Amazon, Expedia and Google, rely heavily on this kind of traffic.

Impetus based direct traffic

Risk Assessment: Medium This is when you are giving your audience reason to type your website name into the browser.  Think of GoDaddy commercials, Infomercials and Woman’s Day Magazine. They’re all in formats where you can’t “click” a link. They constantly ask you to go to their website. Telling you to visit in the commercial is the impetus that person needs to go put that url in the browser. This is a low risk traffic source, but does require promotion, which usually means money. And when the promotion is over, visitors stop coming. Because you’re not likely on your computer when you’re asked to visit the website, this requires the audience to remember. . . go to a computer and then type the website address.

Billboards, magazines and radio create this kind of traffic.

Referral Traffic:

There are a myriad of sources of referral traffic. We can mainly divide this traffic into involuntary, push and list based.

List Based Traffic:

Risk Assessment: Low List building is the act of collecting contact information sorted by affinity group. I’m not talking about that. List based traffic are the visitors that came as a result of list building. They come to your site because you reach out to them by email, RSS, phone, etc . . . It is by far the lowest risk, highest quality traffic there is.  A homeschool blog would attract homeschoolers and thus their list building efforts would result in a homeschool based list. Since lists are your “property”, they reduce the risk of relying on outside sources. The best part about list ownership is that your messages can be delivered at your will and land in an inbox that is largely asynchronous. Unlike impetus based direct traffic, contacting your list via email and RSS requires only a mouse click. .

Push Traffic:

Risk Assessment: Medium Another kind of referral traffic is the kind you push out. Guest blog posts, tweets, link exchanges, Facebook, and articles on 3rd party sites are all forms of push traffic. This is very similar to impetus based direct traffic, but is more convenient since it requires only clicking a link. While the effort is high here, the risk is relatively low.

Push traffic does rely on sites you don’t own and the traffic that visits those sites (like Twitter for example), but it’s low because you control the push. You know that few people visit MySpace everyday so you aren’t likely there promoting. And now that Pinterest is hot, it’s something you’re likely doing more than you were 4 years ago. The risk here is that the audience you are counting on today will not be there when that third party site goes away. For instance, someday Facebook will be a name of the past – if today’s traffic comes from Facebook where does that put you tomorrow?

Involuntary Traffic:

Risk Assessment: High When someone writes about you, links to you or otherwise posts links to your web properties on their own accord you should jump up and down with joy. What a compliment and great thing to happen. But it’s not something you can rely on day after day. When was the last time you saw mention of, OJ Simpson or Webcrawler. These are all things that used to get written about regularly. Perhaps no one on the planet will write about them today. As I always say “Hope is not a marketing plan”.

Now Assess Your Risk

So where do you fall? What is your level of risk? In this table I’ve put together the traffic source and in the income source. You can see in the top right cell that Google AdSense powered by search engine traffic is a “High Risk – High Risk” plan. What kinds of traffic and income should you pursue to reduce your overall risk and exposure to problems?

If you haven’t put together your marketing calendar for this year yet, how are you going to pursue lower risk options to safeguard all your hard work and effort?

What Can You Learn From Your (Black Friday) Campaign?

So I’m using “Black Friday” as a metaphor for any campaign you just undertook which also just ended. Just like list building, just like conferences and events, just like ebooks. . . a campaign is a tool to learn and grow your business.

So I’m using “Black Friday” as a metaphor for any campaign you just undertook which also just ended. Just like list building, just like conferences and events, just like ebooks. . . a campaign is a tool to learn and grow your business.

If you don’t learn from it. . .if you can’t build upon it. . . if it doesn’t get easier each and every time then why are you doing it? Shouldn’t it get easier?

Think about the folks at Target the week, month and quarter after Black Friday. Think they got analysts figuring out what sold well, what didn’t sell, what products should have been on the top shelf versus the eye-level shelf? Did you visit Wal-Mart over Black Friday? Notice that they put bananas in all kinds of crazy places? They did that because it made them a lot more money last year. Think the Target guys are trying to figure out what sold at Wal-Mart that they failed to even carry? I bet they have entire teams dedicated to learning.

How dedicated is your team to learning?

So what analysis should you be doing now? And what analysis should you have done between Black Friday and Cyber Monday? Here’s some steps to print out and keep handy:

1. What did you sell? Let’s make a list of everything you made money on and how much you made. I mean everything from Amazon, ThinkGeek, AdSense,, GoDaddy . . . wherever you derive income. Don’t forget something because it is all important. Where you can, like Amazon, note whether the product was a direct link or something else they bought while they were there.

2. What did you promote? Let’s make a list of every deal that you published and promoted. If you’re using a spreadsheet put #1 in columns A and B and this one in column C.

3. What did people find organically? From Google Analytics export the keywords people searched to get to your site for Black Friday (or you campaign period).

ANALYSIS: Now let’s connect the dots between what we sold and how we sold it.

For instance if you sold 8 iPod Shuffle’s on Amazon during Black Friday but never once promoted nor have a web page about it. . . that would be an ancillary sale. That means someone clicked our Amazon link and then searched Amazon for other things. This is important to note because it tells us more about our customer’s actual interests. It tells us that’s what the customer was going to buy with or without us.

If we promoted the heck out of the “Nemo in 3D” DVD and sold 37, but find that not a single “Nemo in 3D” keyword was used to get to our site, then we know we were able to convince people to get it.

And if we sold a bunch of the fishing pole we posted earlier this summer, and see that “fishing pole” was one of the search terms people used to get to the site we know that organic search sold the product. That means we had the right product at the right place at the right time. If fishing poles didn’t show up in our search results AND we didn’t promote it, we know that people navigated around our site to find it.

If you really, really want to make more money next year then you’ll hire a VA in Australia, the Phillipines or New Zeland next year. And then at midnight on Black Friday have them start working on this analysis so you’ll have it when you wake up the next morning. Can you imagine how much more you’ll sell with this information on Saturday, Sunday and Cyber Monday? Seriously if a bunch of people bought that fishing pole you posted in July, might you want to republish that to your readers today?

And what about the products we promoted but didn’t sell? What about the DVD’s that we promoted just as much as “Nemo in 3D”. . . why didn’t they sell? What does that tell us about our readers’ interests? Where did our efforts go wrong there?

In Google Analytics look at the webpages that got good traffic but didn’t produce sales. Why didn’t they? Are we optimized for research keywords like “iPad features” and not commercial keywords like “cheapest iPad” or “Black Friday iPad deal”?

If today is the day before CyberMonday would it be good to use this kind of information to test and change the poorly performing pages? Would that be enough information to know what not to promote on CyberMonday?

And more importantly, shouldn’t we really be pushing the stuff that already sold? We can use the sales records to justify knowing what people want. Can we then start promoting that stuff? It does make sense to promote what people want to buy, right? And with a good month left before Christmas, might we want to work on our SEO for the products people are buying?

This is the kind of analysis you should be doing after each campaign to see how you’re performing, to adjust what you’re doing, to improve and meet the needs of your clients better. This is what running a business is really about. Growth and change.

With information comes confidence.

Dan R Morris is the author of LettersFromDan a site dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.

Optimizing Google AdSense on your Site

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked here at SavvyBlogging is about optimizing AdSense accounts (most recently in this very popular blog post). And a good question it is because rarely do I run across sites that are fully optimized.

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked here at SavvyBlogging is about optimizing AdSense accounts (most recently in this very popular blog post).  And a good question it is because rarely do I run across sites that are fully optimized.

But what does that mean exactly? How do you optimize your site for Adsense? To be completely ready, you need your front end and back end working correctly. The front end being the ads, and the back end being the way those ads are tracked and reported.

Optimizing the Front End

There’s a couple hard and fast rules for optimizing the front end for Adsense. But these “rules” are only good until you start testing. Then you’ll either prove them and be happy or disprove them and feel like you’re smarter than everyone else. 🙂 You’re more than welcome to try and reinvent the wheel, but should you desire the standard, these rules are based upon thousands and thousands of pages featuring Adsense.

  • Rule #1. Make sure the color and font of your AdSense links are the same as the hyperlinks on your site. (And yes, you can customize them. You don’t have to use the styles they suggest below)
  • Rule #2. Place your Ads in highly visible places. That varies from site to site, but making sure readers can engage the ads above the fold AND below the fold (for the readers who scroll down) is important.
  • Rule #3. Don’t disguise your ads to be anything but ads, but do try and put them near your menus and navigation.
  • Ads right under the post titles make money.
  • Ads between the end of the post and the comments section make money.
  • Ads in the top right position of the sidebar traditionally do best

One way to tell whether you’ve got a good theme is to print out your website page, draw a line where the “fold” is and shade in any area from which you make money. If you find that your header takes up 50% of the space, reducing your header and thus “moving your sidebars” up will increase the # of ads that your readers can engage with.  Some people really like their “white space” and “big headers”. If you’re one of those people, do this exercise just so you have an idea of what you’re sacrificing for beauty.

There’s nothing wrong with sacrifice, but you should at least know.

Preparing the Adsense Dashboard

Even more important than the front end is the AdSense Dashboard. You’ll never know where your ads are making money if you don’t set the ads up right in the first place.  Adsense gives you what I consider to be a confusing backend to put together. In fact, I had to get help the first time I set one up.

So here’s the goal. You want to create a system so you can sort your income lots of different ways. The way you do that is with custom channels. I don’t know why they’re called channels, they should be called tags because they function the way your tags do on your site.

So, firstly (that’s such a weird sounding word) you want to set up strategic custom channels. I would suggest you create custom channels for each of the different ad sizes (300 x 250, 468 x 60, etc. . . ) to start. Then create channels for the different positions you’re going to put ads on your site (sidebar right 1, sidebar right 2, above header, top right post, etc. . . )

To help you figure out all the channels that would be useful for your site, imagine you made $10,000 and you wanted to know where it came from. You will be able to break it out by individual page so you’ll know which pages bring you the most income. Then what? Want to know whether above the fold makes the most? Create a channel (tag) called “above the fold”. How about whether you should have “300 x 250” or “200 x 200” ads. You could even create channels for ads you create that have blue links vs black links.

Then when you create the actual ads, think about where you’re going to put that ad on your site and “tag it” with every custom channel that makes sense. If it’s “above the fold”, add that one. If it’s “300×250” add that one, too. If it’s “above the header”, add that one too.

Then when we pull the reports, you’ll be able to compare all the “above the fold” ads to the “300 x 250” ads. You’ll be able to see if the blue links or the ads with black links do better. And you’ll be able to see if Sidebar Position #1 does better than Sidebar Position #2. With 200 people per day, it shouldn’t take you more than 2 weeks to increase your revenue substantially. I haven’t seen too many 100% gains but it is possible. In fact, once you know which keywords have better paying ads, wouldn’t you make it a point to create more pages with that theme?

Now, you should have both ends ready for optimization. All you need next is some focus, some attention and some testing. Watching the amount of money you make daily, it shouldn’t take too long to figure out the best set-up of ads on your site. Once you figure that out, you’ll know how much AdSense money you sacrifice for email opt-in forms, Facebook widgets, blogrolls, etc. . . You’ll also know the minimum you could accept from an outside advertiser.

With information, comes confidence.

Dan R Morris is the founder of, a website dedicated to improving your revenue stream from online efforts. Dan is an infomercial producer, niche website owner, product developer, author and Mastermind leader. Dan actively encourages marketers to take that extra step so that “Hope” doesn’t become the marketing plan.

The Science of Blogging – What You Need to Know to Increase Reach and Profitability

Bulb II

There are few jobs easier than blogging. In its simplest form there is little to separate the writings of a private diary to those of a blogger. With a computer, internet access and a willingness to pour one’s thoughts out over a keyboard –BLOGGING in essence is easy.

Unfortunately blogging as a business is anything but easy. Success, as we all measure it, isn’t the number of posts we write but the fans, “likes”, comments and money we get. Success rests on the fundamental understanding of the science of human behaviour, the mechanics of search engines, and that mysterious art of writing effective copy.

While blogging is easy, running a profitable blog can be maddening.

There are three main components to business blogging success:

  1. Writing to attract
  2. Writing to serve
  3. Writing to profit

And mastering the tightrope among them all.

While McDonald’s proudly announces how many burgers they’ve sold, we bloggers aren’t given the same freedom to gloat about our income winnings. We’re somehow programmed to be excited about interaction, “likes” and page views, but we keep silent when we start making more money. How odd it is to successfully provide readers with products and services they like while hiding the income proof that we’re doing a good job.

But there is a way to walk the tightrope that progresses all three components. There is a method to writing blog posts to improve their relevance, SEO, profitability AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, engagement by our audience. That process is outlined quite succinctly in our Marketing Calendar Blueprint.

For a single writing to create income it must be found, be timely, be relevant, be readable and be authoritative. That’s the process of the Marketing Calendar Blueprint. In creating a profitable plan for your blogging business, the Marketing Calendar Blueprint takes you through the following steps:

1. Choosing a calendar. Learn why you really need to and under what circumstances a real, paper calendar is the best.

2. Understand seasonal trends. Human Behavior dictates buying 99% of the time. Even when aggressively priced, it’s hard to sell Christmas trees in February. Even fake ones. That seems obvious, but the rule applies to just about everything.

3. Manage the science of search engines. That doesn’t mean just optimizing the post correctly for SEO – but also making sure you plan the necessary time for indexing, moving up the ladder, message testing, customer touch points lead time and how to make sure it’s on the home page just as people are thinking about it.

4. Reading and taking action on your Google Analytics information. Understanding where your customers are from and what they look at is crucial – but more it is more important to know when, how and how long.

5. You can’t win if you don’t write about what people search. If you’re not using the exact phrase people are searching for, you’ll find it hard to both attract and educate. It’s important to know which keywords to use on site, and which to use offsite as incoming links. Furthermore, if you optimize your site for a term that doesn’t get searched – how will you ever know you did a good enough job?

6. Finally it’s important to understand what your niche path looks like to get your customers from novice status to expert status. Helping your clients achieve their goals is our main goal . So understand and implementing the steps for them is crucial to improving the number of page views and time on site. And there is no faster way to move customers from fans to cheerleaders.

The Marketing Calendar Blueprint is your guide to understanding the Science of Blogging. Let us help you transform your current “editorial and content calendar” into a business building machine. Without really thinking through how to improve the lives of your customers, your efforts today will not snowball into your success tomorrow.

Ever rave about Netflix or your favorite restaurant, song or movie? Let’s build those kinds of customers on purpose. Let’s build a blog that meets the needs of the fans the exact moment they’re looking for the answer. Let’s create so many repeat visitors that we no longer rely on the Google Algorithm.

To turn your blog into a business platform that your customers market for you and gladly buy and promote your products, check out the Marketing Calendar Blueprint at You need a very focused, highly effective marketing plan ON PAPER today.

Author:Dan R Morris is a the author of and created the Marketing Calendar Blueprint in conjunction with Savvy Blogging’s own Crystal Collins. Some of the proceeds from the Marketing Calendar Blueprint go to support Savvy Blogging. 

photo courtesy of AnomePhoto.