To see some of the changes I’ve made to my site over the past week and to find out how I find great blog and forum commenting sources, watch the following video or read my summary below.
Despite being out of commission for much of the past week, I’ve still made a few changes to my affiliate marketing minisite and started my blog and forum commenting campaigns.
On the site, I added a few new features:
1. Additional formatting on the home page. I love that Elegant Themes lets me add things like featured posts, random article boxes and more with a few quick clicks. I think the new changes make my homepage look much more professional – what do you think?
2. Single post banners. In addition to the Amazon search bar on the sidebar (which I may or may not keep), I’ve added large rectangle banners to my single post displays that redirect to Amazon’s product pages. The banners are set up with an ad rotator that’s currently rotating two different versions of the text on the ad and tracking which ad performs better so that I can be continually testing and tracking which ad converts best.
Once I was comfortable with the new look and feel of my website, I was able to get started on this week’s task – promoting my site with blog and forum commenting!
I really like blog and forum commenting for new sites because they’re a cheap, easy way to guarantee that your site winds up in front of targeted visitor’s eyes. When you do things like article marketing or Web 2.0 marketing, you’re never sure when the search engines or other syndicating websites will pick up your content, so the time investment before you begin to see a payoff from these methods can be longer. Not that they’re not valuable, I just like to start out with a method that I know will be seen right away.
Finding good blogs and forums to comment on can be a challenge, though. In the video above, you can see how I use Market Samurai to identify high PageRank, do-follow sites to leave my comments on, although there are a number of different free methods you can use as well. Please keep in mind that Market Samurai is one of the Challenge’s Featured Products, so if you purchase through my affiliate link during the Challenge, 1/2 of the commission will be donated to Kiva.
However, before I could start commenting, I needed to do a few things. The first was to choose my “identity” and then set up an email address and a gravatar for the site.
I decided to stick with Sarah Russell for the site, because it’s a common enough name (and because I’m being open enough about this website here that it’s not exactly a secret who I really am). If you’re working in multiple niches, though, or if you aren’t comfortable sharing your own name and picture, I think it’s perfectly acceptable to set up a pen name for your niche sites (as long as you’re not claiming experience you don’t have).
Once my pen name, email address and gravatar were set up, I started commenting, using the sources I found in Market Samurai. As I went through the sources, I also added them to the Google Reader for my niche site email account so that I can quickly identify new commenting opportunities from the sites I’ve already vetted. Hopefully this week I’ll have more time to devote to commenting!
Any questions about blog or forum commenting? Ask them below!