Review by Kellie Fowler (in Ontario, Canada)
A Comprehensive Review Of James Martell's "Revisited" Affiliate Marketers Handbook - 2005
As someone who regularly reviews written works, it is rare that I stumble across published materials that I believe are truly well written and offer extreme value to the reader. After reading James Martell’s Affiliate Marketers Handbook, this previously justified view has changed, and so have I!
Martell’s Handbook is a must for anyone working to better understand affiliate marketing and even how the Internet works in general, making it as beneficial to the amateur Internet entrepreneur as it is for the already successful Web-based businessperson. What’s more, it is clear, concise and easy to understand, making it as refreshing as it is valuable!
Without a doubt, this is the affiliate marketer’s guide you want if you are looking for success in this field and for straight-talk that serves as a catalyst for a quick, high ROI (Return on Investment).
Martell is a surprisingly good writer who sorts through all the hype and provides readers with thoroughly explained tips, techniques and proven facts. And, because he shares with readers exactly how he has used affiliate marketing to carve out a very successful business and an enviable lifestyle, paired with the simple fact that he continues to practice what he preaches in this handbook every day, provides an up-to-date guide that enables anyone to achieve his high level of success, all from the comfort of their own home, by using a computer that accesses the Internet (and his handbook, of course).
In short, there is not a better resource to affiliate marketing available anywhere (online or off) and there is not a more credible, reliable source in this field than James Martell.
The handbook starts with a brief, interesting look at Martell and how he got into affiliate marketing. Reading the introduction, you are sure to be impressed with Martell’s insight and how he took what was in the beginning just a hunch, and turned it into a very successful affiliate marketing business.
Martell has proven once gain to be ahead of the curve, relying on his past entrepreneurial experiences and successes to lead him through what was once a confusing maze (at least years ago when he first ventured into the great World Wide Web and affiliate marketing). And, taking notes every step of the way, penning what worked and what didn’t, he was able to take his five-year journey and develop a guide that is detailed roadmap for anyone looking to navigate through this too-oft confusing field (which took Martell six months to write, simply because his standards are so high and he was committed to crafting a guide that is uniquely comprehensive and leaves no question unanswered).
And, recognizing that technology continues to evolve almost daily, Martell posts up-to-date changes and revisions to an easily-accessible 'Updates' page that purchasers of the Affiliate Handbook can readily access, making sure everyone who has read the handbook remains on top of the ever-climbing Martell information curve and is equipped to utilize and make the most of every Web tool available.
If that’s not enough, as I read through this training manual, I was pleasantly surprised to find that he also offers a unique audio newsletter, appropriately entitled “James Martell’s Affiliate Buzz,” every two weeks. Martell uses the Affiliate Buzz to deliver insightful 30-minute conversations with associate Charles Johnston to discuss expanding the affiliate marketing business and how to successfully publish revenue-generating websites, proving that despite his unparalleled success, he remains accessible, hands-on and committed to sharing information, further setting him and his work away from the ever-growing pack.
In fact, the updated version of the Affiliate Marketers Handbook boasts two and a half years of updates and reflects Martell’s commitment to sharing the same knowledge that made him a success years ago, and the same knowledge that continues to make him a success today (and undoubtedly well into the future)!
Almost 350 pages, Martell’s Affiliate Handbook is broken down into smart, well thought out chapters that makes the material a dependable and extremely quick reference guide for any topic or question the reader may need as he or she ventures down the affiliate marketers path, even well after the initial read (or, as Martell says, if and when you “get off track”).
Particularly interesting are the chapters on keyword density, which detail, among many things, how to use Wordtracker software tracking tools. For, no matter how much I have read about these topics in the past, I have come away confused or with more questions than I feel I can ever have answered. With this handbook, this is not the case.
For instance, when Martell explains exactly how to develop a keyword list using Wordtracker, he includes everything; and I do mean EVERYTHING! As he says in the handbook, “ This was an eye opener for many who hadn’t realized this data was available – OR that there were so many different ways that people searched the Net. for the same thing.” And, he couldn’t be more right.
Of course, the original section that details Wordtracker information is still quite valuable for those who’ve never built a keyword list (even I understand it), but this previously published information has been added to and expanded upon in this revised edition. Now, it includes everything from details on the numerical totals (count), which represent a fractional amount and not a true count (or, in other words, each list shows the comparative results) to knowing that the actual amount doesn’t really matter (because, as Martell expertly points out, if any keyword was searched 6088 times, you can be sure it was ACTUALLY searched many times more! Simple enough, but who knew, right?
Knowing this, and the other pertinent information Martell shares in this book enables successful affiliate marketer wanna-bes to finally understand that the keyword list is the very backbone of a successful site, especially if the goal is to have the pages located and accessed through “natural search” (meaning surfers find your pages naturally in the FREE listings).
Considering this, did you know that, as a rule of thumb it should take about 5 to 10 hours to comprise a thoroughly researched keyword list? Probably not. Learning from Martell, widely considered the master of affiliate marketing, provides you insight into this area and many, many more. The result: a realistic plan to carving out your affiliate marketing success.
And, as he cautions, affiliate marketers need to remember their purpose if they desire such success. And, according to him, this purpose is simple: each keyword selected by you eventually becomes the Primary Keyword for a different page of your site. And search engines rank “pages” not sites. This said, a keyword list of 300 phrases becomes a website with 300 pages and each page has a shot at a ranking! This point is further emphasized in Martell’s audio report, entitled “Google Mastery,” that Martell prepared exclusively for readers of his handbook.
Martell’s Handbook even shows exactly how to develop keyword rich text and points you toward reputable, affordable authors in the event you (like most) experience writer’s block or just don’t have the time or know-how to regularly craft the necessary copy. And, he shares with readers one of his golden rules, which is to ensure site visitors are able to quickly and easily get the information they want/need, for this ensures an affiliate marketer’s success.
And, if you use Martell’s measuring stick of online success which is somewhere near 30,000 pages of online content, you’re sure to see that measuring up is going to take some time, but with the tools and know how he graciously shares in his manual, readers are sure to make promising protégés.
Take his notes on Keyword Density. As he shows us, his original formula still works. Even so, in this revised edition, he shares with readers new-found ways to increase his Google rankings by as much as 30% with some adjustment to the original formula. These new rules include: optimizing each page for keyword density by including “Primary and Tier-1 Secondary Keywords” in the following ways: Primary Keyword: use once in the headline and again, just once, in the first paragraph. Now, do not use this keyword again anywhere else on the page. For “Tier-1 Secondary Keywords: use once in the first or second paragraph, then nowhere else on the page.”
Martell follows this with proven solutions and use of keyword variations (individual words that are based on your Primary and Secondary Keywords) all written in a manner that translates into a thorough understanding, which lends itself to strong results.
Take Martell’s advice on a simple 300-word article. In his Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook, he explains that keywords should be used repeatedly in the following density: no less than 24 times; no more than 36 times. Martell advises to “extrapolate the above ratio on longer articles and to randomly included Tier-2 Secondary Keywords throughout the text in no particular density, but added only as they would naturally appear editorially. This is followed by very intuitive clarifications, advice and tips that further demonstrate why Martell remains a cut above the rest.
He also takes a look at the latest technology, including Google’s new “stemming” technology and makes even this cyber-jibber make perfectly good sense.
Martell’s Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook also boasts a wealth of information on website design, including buying website templates (complete with links to simple, effective templates designed specifically for affiliate marketers) from which you can easily and economically build from in a flash.
Martell de-myths Internal Linking (I previously thought this was some sort of inner-office dating service) and makes backlinking (which I though was something even less desirable than internal linking) as understandable as it is important in this highly specialized Web arena.
And speaking of Web arenas and cyberspace, I’d be remiss not to point out that Martell’s explanation and use of “Artificial Intelligence” is cosmic, to say the least!
As for site submission, the horrors once associated with this are a thing of the past, thanks to Martell’s documented trials and errors. He expertly (yes, again) explains how to submit each of your sites to all the major search engines through a fantastic service called SelfPromotion.com. Once submitted, the search engines will spider your sites automatically each month looking for additional content – a real bonus!
But to find out Martell’s even better way to submit, you’ll have to read his Affiliate Marketer’s handbook. However, I’ll go ahead and give you a clue. It includes leaving a certain box unchecked and the results this little step yields are remarkable!
Now, as you read the handbook, you’re sure to agree that Martell is as resourceful as he is smart. Unfortunately, most of us lack his intuitiveness and the sheer genius with which he approaches and breaks downs affiliate marketing. Fear not. Martell shares his best secrets for creating a more resourceful you and even shows you how to search for potential merchants at CJ.com. In fact, he walks you through this process step-by-step. And, as he says, “With the knowledge of how to do this you can now go to another commission network and get their ad copy (even though they might have different protocols), and do a Google search if you want other options; for instance, if you’d like to see if you could get a better commission with an independent merchant. Cha-ching!
About this time, Martell starts talking about “wiggle room,” something we all need more of. Anyway, he shares some of the best information available today on simplifying web design and understanding publishing tools, showing exactly what he deems “resourceful” and what he terms “wiggle room.”
Perhaps one of the highlights of the handbook is the section on Revenue Links, after all, this is the name of the game, right?
And while I could go on and on about the meat and potatoes of Martell’s Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook, suffice it to say it is a feast, one I will gorge on over and over again as I make my own way through each succulent course (and build each of my new sites), savouring every bite of the rich information, looking forward to the next tip or technique, mouth watering as I devour every chapter, every appendix, every workbook page, topped off with a dessert of the richest kind – luscious, sought-after updates and ongoing support information that rounds out one of the few truly perfect meals.
So pull up a chair and get ready for a life-changing experience. Trust me, your future never looked so good. And, if you don’t believe me, just ask your taste buds! You’ll be feeding them very well on the income you can make with Martell’s Affiliate Handbook, your own persistence and what I hope is a strong desire to succeed.
See you on the World Wide Web...
About Kellie Fowler
Kellie is an award-winning copywriter, editor and reviewer who crafts copy for Associated Press, PR Newswire, the BusinessWire, Fortune 500 companies, national business and healthcare magazines, well-known corporate newsletters and publications, countless high-traffic Websites and more. She spends her free time in the home she shares with her boyfriend of six years and their family of six rescue animals on the Rideau in Eastern Ontario, where she enjoys kayaking, fly fishing, gardening, cooking, reading in her hammock and, of course, writing. Kellie, a native of the Southern U.S., is the owner of Write Solutions, a full service copyrighting and editing company.