Your first question just might be “what is Bum Marketing?” Simply put the idea is internet marketing that is so easy any ‘bum’ can do it. I disagree with the premise a little bit, the basics are easy, but still involve some time to get right and make successful. With that out of the way let’s take a look at how this model can work. The general idea here is to develop a few web 2.0 pages, link them to one another and watch the revenue roll in from ads and affiliate marketing. Sounds a little too good to be true but let’s explore the idea some.
One of the main points most make when talking about bum marketing is that all it costs is time since you are using free web 2.0 services like WordPress, Squidoo, and Hub Pages. Sounds awesome right? The question is will it work, and if it does will it work as well as if you were using your own website in conjunction? I think the answer is No! it won’t. Let me tell you why. When you develop pages on the free Web 2.0 sites you get some benefits, they are free, usually indexed fairly quickly, and you have a chance of being spotted by another user. While these are all great you just don’t have the control that you will in optimizing your own site, some of them also have their own ads on your page that you can do little about and that can siphon off your potential revenue. In my opinion a mix of the two is the way to go, you can get hosting relatively cheaply and the benefits of driving traffic to your own site are far superior.
So since we have the main point down let’s move forward into just how this style of marketing works, at least in theory.
Step One: You pick a subject that you want to monetize.
Step Two: You develop a few keyword rich pages on various web 2.0 sites and link them together.
Step Three: You drop in some Google Adwords and affiliate links.
Step Four: You move on to doing the same thing for another subject while the money rolls in from the old one. Rinse and repeat till you strike it rich.
That certainly does sound like something any bum can do, but is it really as easy as all that? In truth, unless you get very lucky, no. The internet is loaded with other pages just like you pumped out in a few hours. There is likely little to any value to the content so it will not likely generate many organic links from other websites and you will be lucky to crack the top 100 in any search result for any keyword. I can not say with any certainty that this will never work, but this will never work, at least not consistently.
So what should you do if you want to market this way?
It can be done, just not as easily as many ‘courses’ you can buy on the web or through infomercials will have you believe. I am going to try to give you a good idea of what might work. I say might because no matter how grand your planning and preparation there is no telling with the net exactly what will happen.
Step One: Make a list of things you are genuinely interested and at least somewhat knowledgeable about. It is much easier to develop content ideas if you are actually passionate about what you are writing about.
Step Two: Look over your list and take a poke around the web for affiliate marketing potential for each of your subjects. Narrow the list down to three or four ideas.
Step Three: Take a look at the competition for each of the ideas on your list. A great tool to find keyword information and get great information on your competitors is Market Samurai. It is an invaluable tool and has a 14 day full trial. You can of course get your information the old fashioned way by combing through Google and manually researching each keyword.
Step Four: Pick the idea that has a good balance of low competition, a fair amount of ability to monetize, and that you have a good passion for.
Step Five: From step 3 you should have a few good keywords in mind, double check how often those terms are searched and look over some of the Google suggested alternate keywords and find 5 or 6 to focus on. Again Market Samurai is a big help here.
Step 6: Start writing, and writing, and writing. It is fine to do research for your subject on other sites, just try to keep your content as original as possible. Once you have a handful of articles/posts/ etc. ready start some pages. Develop a lens on Squidoo, A WordPress blog and a Weebly page at least. Put different content on each and link to the others from at least one of your pages. Don’t link every page to every other page. If you have started your own personal website as well, www.yoursite.com, then make sure to link each of your web 2.0 pages to it.
Continue to develop new content on your primary site (your own site or pick one of the 2.0 to be your primary). Don’t copy and paste any content from other sites, at least not enmass, you might be penalized for duplicate content by search engines. A brief quote or similar is fine.
Join some forums that have to do with the subject you are monetizing, if they allow you a signature for your posts make sure to link it to your site.
Comment on other blogs that are relevant, offer to guest blog if you can. Make sure anchor text for any links back to your site are varied and keyword driven. If you are trying to sell fishing lures then anchor text like “sure-fire fishing lures” is good, text like “www.awesomelures” is bad.
Don’t spam blogs and forums, there are plugins that can not only block you from posting but if a webmaster marks your comments as spam you can be blocked by anyone else running that plug in. Actually read what the post is about and add to the conversation.
DON’T buy x number of links from a service, not only are they usually poor quality, they usually just spam blogs that are totally irrelevant, and it is a great way to get yourself ignored or blocked.
DON’T publish articles on your site to article directories, If you want to use that as a marketing method develop a new article to do so. Posting content on your site to such a directory will most likely make it look like you have the duplicate content to the search engines.
Finally Continue to develop your content, give your users a reason to come back and a reason to want to click on your affiliate links. Make sure whatever you are linking to is something you would actually use or buy. If you recommend junk products you will lose the trust of your followers and diminish your potential earnings.
Once you have a niche up and running and you feel it is on the move then rinse and repeat with another idea from your list.