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Dual Function Resource Lists

As you build up your blog, and your readership, consider building resource lists that are relevant to your topic. Here are some examples:

  • The Best Magazines About X (e.g. The Best Video Game Magazines)
  • The Best Books About X (e.g. The Best Books By Video Game Designers)
  • Five Great Software Tools For Video Game Design
  • The 10 Best Games On The Wii So Far
  • 10 Essential Books For A Career In Video Game Design

These kinds of resource lists are not only easy to build, but they can also serve a dual function: 1) They provide useful information to your readers (information your readers are actually looking for) and 2) They can often be associated with affiliate product links, offering a steady stream of income.

Think about it: your readers are coming to you as an authority. They are looking for recommendations. Give them useful recommendations, and you’ve basically created the perfect storm for “purchase action”

Here’s a real world example. I own the site BusinessPundit.com which covers various topics in investing, small business, entrepreneurship, etc. Many of the readers of BusinessPundit are looking to further their business or business career. Many of the readers do this by reading books and magazines to get ideas.

So, it made perfect sense for us to create resources like the following:

The Best Business Magazines
10 Books on Investing Recommended by Warren Buffett

These resources offer useful information that matches the interests of our readers. Warren Buffett is a legend in the business and finance world. There was publicly available information about the specific books that he has recommended over the years. It occurred to me that our readers would like to know the books that have had an influence Warren Buffett. But at the same time, I knew that I could make a profit by linking to the Amazon product.

Taking It A Bit Further

It’s one thing to create a resource. It’s another thing to keep it in front of your readers’ eyes over a long period of time. You may think that you can rely completely on Google or other search engines to send traffic, but trust me: your biggest asset is your targeted readership.

Instead of relying 100% on search, I can think of two ways to keep the resource in front of your readers’ eyes over time.

  1. Create a summary page of all your resources and feature a link to it in your sidebar or top navigation
  2. Place sentence-ads at the top or bottom of your content

If you visit a single post at BusinessPundit, you can see that below each post we have a random, no-follow sentence-ad that is intended to draw attention to one of our resource pages.

I have found that this sort of single-line, call-to-action sentence-ad is one of the most effective means for drawing attention to older content.

Author: ryancaldwell

14 thoughts on “Dual Function Resource Lists

  1. I was browsing the best magazines list… the first magazine, Inc looked good, clicked on it, took me to amazon, $15 for a 2 year subscription? Why not? Purchased. Proof that this is a great idea!

  2. I tried that once – but, didn’t follow through on the resource part of the plan – meaning, it kept randomizing either 1 of 2 resource pages that I had.

    On my old music site, I used to do that random amazon album cover of every post that was made and I was getting some bites and purchases.

    I think I personally would have to go back to step 1.5 … after I build a resourceful page – add it to ANOTHER WP page to keep track of them all!

  3. People love a resource list *providing* it contains stuff of genuine use and the list hasn’t already appeared a ton of times, so don’t just copy, create. You will get bookmarks if the list is sufficiently long enough too.

    I find with affiliate stuff, people are less concerned with amazon than other aff links, and linking to amazon does provide more information like reviews etc so you are doing the reader a favor. Perhaps the “are they just pushing this for profit” worry is less with something as common as an amazon link?

  4. Excellent advice. Help evergreen content stay evergreen by keeping it visible. “Related posts” plugins do not always pick up the posts you really want to promote. So have a plugin/ widget in the sidebar that makes your evergreen content visible.

    Start with a “Best of” plugin, where you pick and choose which posts to promote. If you want to switch to a “Most Popular” plugin later, make sure you’re keeping track of pageviews for every post.

  5. Not sure if this has been said yet, but depending on the nature of your goals (links v. revenue) its often a good idea to pull a bait and switch. Meaning for the 48 hours or so that your resource article is picking up the bulk of its links put in natural rather than aff links, and only replace those after the linkerati has done its thing. -Rich McIver

  6. I’ve heard of people making tons of money with affiliate marketing, but have been stumped for a way to do it tastefully for my sites. This seems to be the perfect solution.

    Now if only I can find the affiliate products that match my niche…

  7. Hmmm that is a use for Ad Rotater I didn’t think about. I’ll definitely have to give this a try. I’ve been looking for ways to bring some attention to newer cigars I’ve reviewed and some of my good posts that I don’t think did as well as they should have.

  8. Such round-up lists are also naturals for gaining traction on social media sites like digg, reddit, stumbleupon, etc.

  9. I use no-follow because I do not want to trigger the All-Mighty-GOOG-God’s irrational wrath. I’ve seen evidence that if a domain has enough non-permanent links, rather than just not counting them, a SERP buffer actually gets triggered against the linked-to content.

  10. no-follow because they are for readers and not for search engines. it’s just a way to squeeze as much juice out of your links as possible, and done over thousands of pages it starts to add up

  11. interesting idea – i’ve used that ‘end of article’ spot for short-term promotional campaigns (site surveys, writing competition, etc) and I’ve seen you use images in those spots with stunning effects, so the natural step forward is to take your best posts page (Perf has one, my blog has one as well – does yours?) and put them in a rotating script – for WP users, the adrotator plugin is simple and gets the job done.

  12. Good advice here – I second what is being said.

    Why do you use the nofollow when linking to your own resource lists?

    I know the links won’t be permanent as they are rotated but surely it’s more beneficial just to let the SEs follow as normal or have you seen evidence to suggest otherwise.

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