Do a search for “hooked on phonics” and you’ll see 869,000 results on Google. If you’re an affiliate pushing this program, you know how much it costs per click on paid search, plus what the payouts are if you promote via Commission Junction or Amazon.com (if you’re not in certain states)– generally 15% or around $20 a sale. As an affiliate, you’re not allowed to bid on the term “hooked on phonics”, “hooked on phonics”, “hooked on Phoenix” or related terms– they’re branded terms reserved for the advertiser. So the most popular search is off-limits to you if you are just a PPC affiliate.
Incidentally, I think it’s hilarious that so many people who want to learn how to read are misspelling the brand like crazy. It’s like those people who bought time management books, but never had the time to get around to reading them.
Now consider my friend Keith Wilcox who bought Hooked on Phonics for his kids. He’s been blogging for 3 weeks now– never blogged before– and his site is now Google PR2 and is starting to rank for commercial terms. The site gets only a few hundred hits a day– but not bad for a site only a month old and with less than 50 posts.
The key point here is that he’s blogging about what he likes and knows a lot about– how to homeschool kids. You can see his video, where his 5-year-old is reading at the 2nd-grade level and is a month away from starting 3rd grade. The post has 923 words and doesn’t use any formulas for keyword density, page title stuffing, hidden divs, cloaking, or any SEO tricks to get traffic. Rather, he’s just writing passionately about homeschooling his two children. I’ll bet you could come up with some ways that he could get more traffic and make more money here. I’ll list a couple:
- Title his youtube video: “hooked on phonics: teaching my kids“ instead of “reading 06292009”. Also, add a description that says something like “Actual lesson with Hooked on Phonics. My 5-year-old is reading at the second-grade level. I am proud to home-school my two boys.” YouTube is the 4th largest search engine on the planet, based on a recent Google seminar we attended, but there are only 320 videos competing on “hooked on phonics”.
- Link to the Hooked on Phonics site with your affiliate code: No tracking code, no commission earned. Name a product you like– odds are there’s an affiliate program for it.
- Mix up the keywords: Jam in too many reading-related terms and it won’t sound natural. Use Google Suggest and Wonder Wheel to see what the popular terms are.
All this is to show that a person who is not an affiliate by any stretch can get traffic from just writing good content and getting a couple of good links here and there.
Update: He now has a top Daddy Bloggers list, with 115 sites carefully chosen and reviewed. Already, he is building links from sites that are topically relevant and already trusted by Google.