This is the second post describing my journey throughout the Partnership to Success training modules. Let’s move on to weeks 5 to 8 of training. We are now focusing more on monetizing our beloved blogs! 🙂
When I finished the tasks of the 4th week in one single day I tried to access week 5, but I wasn’t allowed to, so I opened a support ticket asking to get access to further training faster than the normal rhythm. I eventually got access to all of phase 1, which contains the weeks 1 to 8.
The Blog Network
I basically added a plugin to my blog. This plugin was developed specifically for P2S and has the ability to link all the members’ blogs together in a kind of blog network. This has the benefit of creating backlinks between each other’s blogs, which makes Google to like all our blogs much more. I already noticed that the traffic to my blog doubled in a matter of days.
This custom plugin displays in a widget a random subset of blogs in the network. You can see it on the sidebar under “Other Cool Blogs“.
The AdSense Account
In the final video of week 5 you are advised to create an AdSense account and get your blog approved. Well, I kinda stuck here.
I already had an AdSense account which was rejected few months ago when I applied for another blog of mine. So I reapplied now for this very blog, and got rejected again. 🙁 You never know exactly why, because they send you a very generic message, not very helpful.
I did this twice with this blog and got rejected each time. Now I asked for help to the community and I’m waiting. In the meantime I’ll move on to the next training units, I cannot allow a small obstacle to stop me.
Well, I got some advice mainly from Mark Wightley, a well established fellow member of P2S, but this confused me even more. As a matter of fact, when you apply for a website approval, you are allowed to enter only the domain name. No path or parameter following the domain name is allowed.
But my mentor, John Thornhill, recommends us to install WP in the /blog/ directory, not the root. I did so and I put a redirect in case someone tries to use my plain domain name. So, marketingwithvladimir.com is redirected to marketingwithvladimir.com/, exactly as recommended by John. I suspect that AdSense doesn’t like redirects, but I cannot be certain as they do not give you a clear information.
One solution might be to configure an internal redirect to a static page as the entry point home page of the domain, instead of the external redirect. This way this page would load directly from the domain root.
My fourth attempt failed as well, despite my efforts to comply with their terms of service. I configured an internal redirect directly to the blog’s home page, but it seems that this didn’t help. So, no AdSense for the time being.
Anyway, I decided to get over it and move on.
Adding Ads to Your Blog
AdSense ads can be added to a site in many ways. John recommends using GARD (Google AdSens for Responsive Design), a plugin that greatly helps adding ads to a WP blog. The ads can be added using the Text widgets containing a shortcode. And most importantly, it’s a free plugin available in WP repository.
Adding Affiliate Banners to Your Blog
In order to monetize with affiliate links, we are encouraged to apply for ClickBank, Commission Junction, JVZoo and other affiliate networks and add some banners linking to affiliate products. We are taught to use different means to do that: directly into a post, in a text widget or using OptimizePress settings.
Any blog should have so called legal pages. This will ensure a more professional look of your blog and will give a greater confidence to the visitors of your website.
I’m not qualified to tell you which legal pages should you include in your blog, nor can I tell you what content should they have, I only can tell you what did I use personally.
John recommends using a commercial plugin for that, Insta Legal Pages, which creates all the legal pages that you may ever need for any kind of website. However, you should use only those that apply to your particular website.
More Affiliate and List Building Techniques
As the last step within the phase 1 we are taught to create the proper environment to promote Partnership To Success using a popover optin form. This optin will subscribe prospects to a new AWeber list that will send a follow-up series promoting a 4 video free course.
This free video course will give to prospects important insights of a successful online business and will hopefully convince them to invest in order to secure their financial freedom.
Let’s get to the point. AWeber has a feature to configure an optin form as a popover. This popover can be configured to appear at certain times for a certain visitor of your website.
You’ll create also a new list and a series of follow-up messages promoting the 4 part video course.
In my case, I’m using OptimisePress theme and it has this feature. John recommends us to insert the optin code in the header. This was OK until a few months ago when AWeber changed their code.
By the way, I am extremely happy to have the opportunity to promote P2S because this program is so damn good, so this is definitely a win-win situation between me and John.
Update April 28, 2015:
I’m aware that a popover optin form can increase many times the optin rate comparing to optins embedded into the webpage body. Yet the default AWeber popover option doesn’t give much flexibility. It activates right after page load, you cannot set a delay, you cannot set for exit intention, so it’s a little bit obtrusive IMHO.
I started looking for an alternative solution and I found a free plugin, wBounce. It also can show a popover at page enter and exit intention. I configured it without page enter activation, only with exit intention. This way the visitor can read the webpage that he originally intended to, before deciding whether to give his email address or not.
This, phase 1 came to the end. Until my next journey post.