10 Tips on How to Make More Sales Online

by Mira

If you’re wondering how to increase your Internet traffic and make (more) money online, I have some tips I want to share. Maybe they will help you increase your Christmas sales.

I have written 30 pages on Wizzley so far (well, more, but I deleted a couple) and here’s what I’ve learned about increasing traffic and making some sales online. Many of these tips I’ve learned from other writers here on Wizzley, but they have truly become lessons for me to pay attention to when I have noticed them influence my own page statistics.

First lesson: It takes a while. Give it at least a few months to see some money trickling in. You can’t make money online fast. Unless by some fluke you get a meme going in social media and become famous overnight. But that only happens for a couple of people each season, so don’t count on it.

I’ll tell you what works: patience, time commitment, and energy spent making things happen and believing they will. If you can commit that time and patience and energy writing articles online on a writers’ platform / Web site like Wizzley, then read on.

Most writers who write books, ebooks and articles out there write mostly because they are either very passionate about their field and have a lot of knowledge and experience to share, or because they are compelled to write for various other reasons. Or because they like the fact that they learn things (including about themselves and how they think and what they think) every time they write something.

Do you research to increase search engine traffic to your page

Writing articles here on Wizzley involves research. The research I do when I write for my own articles is about nutrition. I like to cook and I’m also trying to learn how to eat better. So every time I write out a recipe where I know some of the health benefits of the foods involved, I do research to learn even more. That way I am satisfied on many counts as I write here on Wizzley:

-  I learn new things

-  I get to share even more with people than I could have before doing my research

-  I have a chance to make some money through Amazon, AdSense, Zazzle, and other venues (so far I’ve set up only these three, as well as Pinterest -- and Google Analytics and a paid campaign on Google AdWords – but more about that later).

Tips nos. 1 and 2: Do It for Pleasure and Be Open to New Things

So Tip no. 1 is a piece of old wisdom: Don’t do it for the money. You read some literature for pleasure, don’t you? Write for pleasure too. First for pleasure and then for profit. That way your visitors will read your articles for pleasure, which is a good thing in and of itself; it also means they’ll spend more time on your pages.

Tip no. 2: Develop new interests and write about them. 

A fun part of writing on Wizzley has been discovering Zazzle merchandise: everything from mugs and T-shirts to wedding invitations and stamps. Hence the second bit of old advice: Be open to new things.

To write or not to write: Is that a trick question?
I want coffee with everything

If you’re not familiar with Zazzle, see in the right sidebar an image link to an article on mine on products fellow Wizzleyans have created there. I called it Wizzleyans on Zazzle, Nature Photographs, Part 1, and it shows photographs. At some point I'll do an article about graphic design too, since we have some fabulous illustrators here on Wizzley too.

Here's a good thing to know about me and Zazzle. It turns out that even though I’ve been advertising Amazon products much more than Zazzle custom products, half my earnings so far are from Zazzle. In fact, Zazzle has a 15% referral rate compared to Amazon’s 4% to 8.50% (based on volume).

So get Zazzle set up and start promoting products which appeal to you. You’ll have a lot of fun.

I have also opened a Zazzle store and started promoting it on Wizzley as well.

Tip no. 3: Use a Keywords Tool

Use Google AdWords or Another Good Keywords Tool

I use the AdWords keywords tool from Google, and am happy with it. Others here on Wizzley like other keyword tools better. Whichever you choose to use, it will help you see numbers of searches per various phrases you put in, as well as related searches. Take a good look and try to work some of those phrases, particularly the low- and medium- competition ones into your writing. It will help Google visitors find you better.

Also, you may want to look into Latent Semantic Indexing. Here’s a page about LSI. It’s nothing too complicated: just a way to discover words and phrases related to the ones you have in mind for your writing. It helps you vary your writing.

Of course, you can write without keywords in mind at all, and still get visitors, on the basis of a few keyword phrases and content that might make it with Google precisely because it's not keywords-driven. (You have to keep a good balance there!) Here's an example of an article written without keywords in mind (except for the title). Click on the link to open the article in a new tab.

Leonard Cohen in Bucharest 2012

Tip no. 4. Find Niches

If you want to write about Christmas gifts, don’t do what I did and write a humongous article on it, in the hope that having thousands of words and a whole lot of gifts in there will make it easier for search engine searches to find it. In fact, as you can expect, there’s a huge competition on Christmas gifts, so chances of people finding your page are rather slim.

What you want to do instead of writing a comprehensive Christmas gift guide for people in a couple as I did is to write about niche products the way other writers have done. Here are some examples. Click on the links to open the articles in a new tab.

Musical Instrument Christmas Tree Ornaments, from sheilamarie. She writes, "Music brings us all such joy! Honor the musician in your life with one of these Christmas ornaments with a musical theme."

Star Wars Christmas Tree Decorations, from JoHarrington. She writes, "Forget the fake icicles and baubles this festive season, we all know what the geeks need instead. Christmas tree ornaments based on the Star Wars universe! Perfect!"

Buy The Elf on the Shelf Storybook Doll and DVD, from katiem2. She writes, "The Christmas tradition of a pixie-elf sent by Santa to watch over children to see if they are naughty or nice then report back to Santa to let him know. Now available in girl elf."

Fun and Unusual Wrapping Paper, from frugalrvers. They write, "Using gift wrap found in stores can be dull, to say the least. Be unconventional and make a statement by wrapping gifts in unusual wrapping paper next time!"

Tip no. 5: Use a Paid AdWords Campaign

This November I got an envelope in the mail from Google inviting me to spend a certain amount on Google paid ads and get four times as much in credit. I have received similar offers in the past based on work I did on another Web site but haven’t used them. This time around I thought I’d give it a shot. So I tested Google’s prowess against my Christmas gifts page (click here to open it in a new tab), to see if despite all the competition, I can generate some visits.

Increase Internet traffic with paid advertising on Google

Google AdWords allows you to set the daily amount you want to spend, and the maximum amount you want to spend for a click. I played a little with those until I got them low enough for the money to last me until Christmas, and high enough for the searches to generate enough clicks to my Christmas page.

Well, but AdWords requires some daily maintenance too. I go over the keywords that made it to my page and then add those as well as related keywords I can think of into AdWords. So far so good. It’s not a whole lot of visitors, but the paid keywords (the visitors that click on an ad Google displays somewhere on its search-results pages – if you’re not willing to pay enough for a click then you won’t get first page, obviously) get me three times as many visits as the organic visits (the visitors directed to my page after a regular search on Google).

Ah, and you pay by the numbers of clicks by the way. Google does a lot of work for you to generate those clicks, but it doesn’t seem to mind. Because I’m not willing to pay a lot for a click, I let Google display my ad about 14,400 times for 100 clicks – and I pay only for the clicks.

So I say give AdWords a shot if you get a similar offer this holiday season. I got mine because I was already participating in the AdSense program.

What is AdSense? Well, it’s the Google ads you see here on this page where it says AdChoices.

Here’s How You Can Make Money on Wizzley

Make Money Writing Online. Increase search engine traffic and sales online

Here on Wizzley there are many venues you can use to make money as an affiliate marketer. You share the earnings with Wizzley. First you earn 50% of the income generated through your affiliate relationships. After you’ve written 50 pages, you earn 55%, and after 100 pages, 60%.

You can establish affiliate relationships with Amazon, Google AdSense or Chitika (one or the other), Zazzle, AllPosters and VigLink.  I have still to set up an AllPosters and VigLink account. VigLink allows you to post items from eBay and other online stores.

Tip no. 6: Use Images, Videos, and Social Media

Use images (more than one) on your pages, and give the image files (.jpgs, .pngs, etc.) a keyword-relevant name. Also add a good description when you upload them through the Text or the Images modules.

I have recipe articles with images and recipe articles with step-by-step pictures. I found that the ones with pictures generate almost double the traffic sometimes for similar content. So go for images! If you don’t have many of your own, you can use Pixabay to get images for free.

You can then pin each of these images on Pinterest, having them all link to your Web page. That being said, Pinterest is swamped with images and I haven’t seen much traffic from there . . . P.S. Eventually traffic did pick up on my Pinterest boards and pins, even as I wasn't always active there. Give it time (half a year!), and keep posting images from your latest articles as well as other images (from Pinterest and the Web) that you may find of interest.

Also, you may want to try other social media sites as well. Here are some articles from fellow Wizzleyans for inspiration. Click on the links to open the articles in a new tab.

Get exposure in social media

Reddit Tips and Tricks for Wizzley Writers, from Paul. He writes, "Founded in 2005 by Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian, Reddit is a social news website which has the potential to drastically increase your page views - but only if used correctly."

What's a Hashtag, from katiem2. She writes, "What exactly is a hashtag or what are hashtags in the sense used today in social media. Hashtags are the new 411 on finding what you want."

Using Twitterfeed to Update Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn & Promote your Writing, from humagaia. He writes, "Twitterfeed lets you use any RSS feed to update Twitter Facebook LinkedIn Hellotxt StatusNet. Powerful tool to enhance reputation & promote blogs, articles, products, news, tweets."

How to Get Pinned at Pinterest, from Jimmie. She writes, "Pinterest is a powerful force for driving viral traffic to your blog or online articles. There are several things you can do with your images so that you get pinned at Pinterest."

Use HD Videos

You will be surprised how many people search for HD videos on Google instead of going directly to video sites like YouTube. Try writing "how to tie a tie" in Google and you'll see Google completes the phrase with "video."

So one great idea would be to do how-to articles and include HD videos. You can do "how to tie a tie" and then sell ties from Amazon or other places.

I haven't taken my advice yet. I only did an article on Herastrau Park and The Village Museum here in Bucharest. I included not only a lot of photos, but also a HD video, which I uploaded first to an account of mine on YouTube.

Click on the link to open the article in a new tab.

A Tour of Herastrau Park and The Village Museum in Bucharest

How to Edit Videos

It's not hard to edit videos at all. There's software out there that allows you to do things galore and costs less than $40. In fact, the one I use, VideoPad Video Editor, sells for $39.95 at the time of my writing this (December 2012).

Of course, you'll also need a camera that shoots HD (1280 x 720 pixels) or Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) videos. A great camera that's a bargain this Christmas is Canon SX40 HS 12.1MP. It records HD video and has a 35x optical zoom, and sells for only $349!!

Tip no. 7: Find Good Titles and Subtitles for Your Articles

If your most important keywords are in your title, then you have a much better chance of being found by Google. And don’t we all want Google to find us?

My most popular article so far is Guacamole Dip: Avocado with a Kick. Part of it has to do with the popularity of guacamole itself, but I think some of it also has to do with the name. I don’t see all the keywords that led to this page, but I can see many of them come from various Google pages around the world. And some of them search for “avocado dip,” “guacamole recipe,” and so on. I have it most of it in the title. I don’t have “recipe” in the title, but it’s in the subtitle, which is also important for Google rankings.

Here are some examples of articles written by other Wizzleyans, who I feel have chosen their words carefully for the title and subtitle. Clicking on any of the links below will open the article in a new tab.

How to Make Eggnog with a Dutch Twist, from mivvy. She writes, "Easy recipe for Dutch advocaat, thick and creamy and eaten with a little spoon. Advocaat is different from eggnog, a frothy concoction of milk, sugar, eggs and brandy or rum."

The Fantastic Health Benefits of White Tea, from Roohi. She writes, "You have tried black tea and green tea. Now it is time to try white tea. Take a look at some wonderful health benefits of white tea, good reasons to switch to this new variety."

How to Make a Text Template at Zazzle, from Dustytoes. She writes, "Make products easy for the customer to personalize by adding template text to them."

Bike Attachments for Your Dog, from Ragtimelil. She writes, "Have you wanted to take your dog for a run while you ride your bicycle? Holding a leash can be very dangerous for you and the dog. Here are some products for a safe ride."

Tip no. 8: Notice Trends and Jump on the Bandwagon. Anticipate Trends in Search Traffic, Too

I don’t do this nearly enough, but looking at top selling Zazzle mugs and T-shirts I noticed some popular Internet memes. One of them was Tard the Grumpy Cat. I had no idea what was on about this cat, so I looked it up. Then I looked up The Honey Badger Don’t Care meme, which started in January 2011. And the origin of Cool Story, Bro.

Of these few memes I’ve tried, I’ve only had some success with Tard (Tardar Sauce) the Grumpy Cat, which has been a popular meme this fall. 

Meet Tard (Tardar Sauce) the Grumpy Cat: "I had fun once. It was awful" Mug

Articles that Use Trends to Their Advantage

Clicking on the following article links will have the articles open in a new tab.

One Direction Gift Ideas, from lou16. She writes, "If you can't get them one of the One Direction boys wrapped up in their stocking this Christmas the very least a fan can ask for is a 1D Christmas ornament on the tree!"

Best New Kids Movies 2013, from lauryallan. She writes, "Looking for something good for the kids to watch at the cinema or just some good family viewing? Then check out this list of the best new kids movies 2013."

Book Review of Catching Fire (The Hunger Games Book Two), from JoHarrington. She writes, "Suzanne Collins's epic trilogy appears to have caught the imagination of a generation. The second installment was my personal favorite. I simply could not put it down."

Tard the Grumpy Cat Meme

As of late people keep searching for Christmas items involving the Grumpy Cat and the owners, for reasons that beat me, are not making them (after generating all this interest -- read here how Tard the Grumpy Cat has become popular). P.S. Eventually, they did make some Christmas cards, etc. with Tard.

So you may not make a lot of sales with each meme you try, but go for a meme or a movie that’s about to be released, or simply merchandise that’s always been popular with fans of certain cult movies, and you’ll have more chances of attracting Internet traffic than if you do a regular article on something that interests you. But don’t give up those articles either. Why? Because there are ways to connect your articles and drive traffic from the more popular ones to the less popular.

Tard the Grumpy Cat NOPE Coffee Mug

Tip no 9: Interlink Your Articles

Interlink your pages to generate more Internet traffic

I’ve written that huge article on Christmas 2012 gift ideas for people wondering what to give their partner for Christmas. So now that I’m getting more traffic than usual due to that paid campaign, I thought I’d direct some of it to articles with bestselling Zazzle coffee mugs and T-shirts. So I placed these articles in the squares (sidebar) to the right of my Christmas page. Go figure, since one of the URLs included the phrase “Tard the Grumpy Cat,” someone who searched for “tard the cat christmas” landed on my Christmas gifts page. And then, surprise, that person bought a Grumpy Cat mug.  

Also remember to integrate links to your articles in your writing, and, if you're here on Wizzley, present them using the Article List module.

Here's an Example of How Nicely the Article Module Works

I invite you to glance over some of my favorite recipes
Say you think you can’t cook, but you want to make something special. Here’s a very tasty recipe for cooking newbies. Easy to make mistake-free. Pictures included.
This is a super easy and fail-proof way to bake fish, and the result, paired with the garlic sauce I give in this recipe, is absolutely incredible. A sure-fire way to relish fish.
Mango is a flavorful fruit, but you can enjoy its taste even more if you mix it with other flavorsome fruit like strawberry and banana, and honey, whipped cream, and coconut milk.

Tip no. 10: Join Wizzley!

There are great modules to help you put your pages together fast, and if you write content with search engines in mind you will even rank highly on Google’s search-results pages for certain common keyword phrases.

Another thing about Wizzley is that the community is great. You get a lot of help, feedback, and inspiration along the way.

So if you're not on Wizzley already, sign up today and start writing! And if you are a fellow Wizzley writer, then I -- and many other Wizzleyans, I'm sure -- would love to hear your thoughts on what is working on Wizzley for you :-).

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Updated: 01/17/2014, Mira
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Mira on 01/22/2014

Thanks, Shadaan!

younghopes on 01/21/2014

HI Mira, these are some of the most amazing tips i have ever read, of course these come by experience and thanks so much for sharing these tips with us

Mira on 11/18/2013

I think no matter how you do it, it's hard to make it through all the chatter online. One thing does it, though: articles that lead to other articles, and articles with many comments. (Two things:) I think that is a great part of Jo's success.

AbbyFitz on 11/18/2013

That's the reason why I got away from using the keyword tool, I was focusing too much on getting them into my writing that it just ruined things for me. I finally said the heck with it and now I write whatever I want.

Mira on 11/18/2013

Believe it or not, Google works a treat! I use it to do the research and in the course of that, I figure out the keywords. I used keywords tools as well in the past, and loved them, but then I felt it affected my writing voice in a negative way. Google searches are better for me. There's so much writing online though, sometimes I'm really surprised some popular keywords find my articles!

AbbyFitz on 11/18/2013

I liked this article, Mira. I have a question though, what do you do as far as keyword research since adwords has changed? I have never really gotten SEO anyway, but I would use the keyword tool from time to time. (Whether I was using it correctly is a different matter:)

Mira on 11/05/2013

Thank you, ologsinquito :)

ologsinquito on 11/05/2013

This is a great article that the new writers here, or relatively new writers, can refer to again and again, when we need some fresh tips.

Mira on 08/07/2013

Glad to be of help, Ceres! Good luck on your Wizzley journey :)

CeresSchwarz on 08/07/2013

Thanks for all the useful tips on how to make more sales online. I'm new to Wizzley and these tips are all very helpful. Also, thanks for clarifying the percentage of our earnings on Wizzley. I knew about the 50-50% split and that it would become 60-40% in favor of the writer but I didn't know exactly when that would happen.

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