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Affiliate marketing can be a double-edged sword for bloggers. Handled correctly, it can create enormous revenue for both you and your affiliate partner, and even increase traffic numbers for your blog for great marketing success. In the wrong hands, an affiliate marketing campaign can destroy your blog’s credibility, aggravate your partners and drive down your blog’s ranking in search engine results.

Blogger is a Google tool that allows anyone with a Google account to make a blog from a template, which is then hosted by Google, complete with a unique domain name. Many small business turn to Blogger to save money on hosting costs – as it is a free tool – while building more visibility to their main websites. Better still, Blogger makes it easy for even the least tech savvy among us to begin publishing on a blog without having to worry about coding, design, and even content organization.

During the 1990s Internet boom, search engines (and thus organic traffic) hadn’t quite taken hold of the market yet. Business owners passed out pencils and mouse pads with their websites emblazoned across the front, so it’s obvious that the name of the game back then was building a brand — similar to the Amazons and YouTubes we have today. While branding is still an important consideration, organic SEO is the name of the game for now.

That being the case, choosing good keywords for your SEO marketing campaign is vital to being successful online. Click here to read last week’s Part I of this article.

One of the first steps to marketing any website is to research appropriate keyword targets for link building, on-page optimization, and social media exploits. Of course, it’s also one of the areas where most new SEO professionals make the most (and the biggest) mistakes. Many new web developers simply state that they’d like to “rank number one.” My first question is always “for what?”

It should go without saying that keywords are what drive search engine rankings. Your site could rank rather well overall for multiple keywords, but the main focus is on intelligent keyword targets with adequate traffic to secure visitors, and little enough competition to give you a chance to compete with other websites trying to rank for those same keywords.

So how do you determine the right keywords for a SEO marketing campaign? How can you use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool effectively to nail solid keyword targets for your website?

Search Engine Optimization – or SEO as it’s commonly known since the full term is such a mouthful – can be a complex concept to grasp. Once you get the terms down, like keywords, organic search, link building and so on, then you get to the actual stuff of SEO.

We know it takes a lot of expertise to get it right, but there are a couple of things that you might be doing to make it even harder to get good SEO … and you might have no idea! Here are the top three ways people hurt their SEO when they think they’re helping it, so you can stop the damage before it takes you down: