An Affiliate Marketer Using Visual Basic to Automate Simple Tasks
I’ve always been interested in computers and enjoy using a computer to solve problems. To this end I am always writing little macros to make the process simpler. I generally, though not always, use the visual basic editor in Excel which provides all I need (and lots more).
I am not intending to write a teach yourself Visual Basic manual here but just provide a simple view of what it means to automate a task in this way. I’ll do this by describing what I want to do and then how I solved the problem.
What I want to do.
I am an internet marketer and frequently wish to change the text that I have or count the characters etc. If I publish an article then different publications will allow a different number of characters or words for keywords, a summary and the article itself. I find myself with a spreadsheet with a list of keywords and just not knowing whether I have too many keywords or could accommodate another 1 or 2. When I want to add some keywords or tags to some bookmark then I may wish to add double quotes around word phrases or replace a comma delimiter with a space delimiter. I may have a string of keywords separated by a comma and a space for example word 1, word 2 and all I want to do is replace the surplus space after each comma. By replacing each comma space by comma only then I will reduce the number of characters in the string and may then include another keyword. If I don’t know how many keywords I have or how many characters they represent then I maybe failing to use the most relevant.
How I solved the problem.
I have now written a small macro in excel using the visual basic editor. A macro is just a small computer program that you can initiate from within Excel by pressing buttons. I’ve written many macros to perform complex tasks but this routine is very simple. When you are using Excel you can view the source code of a macro via the Tools, Macro and Visual Basic Editor Tabs. If you have never understood what a macro is then you may find this interesting to see how the statements are written. My routine now has 3 buttons to perform 3 basic tasks. The easiest task is to clear all data so you can start again. I have included another button to replace one string with another string and a button to provide me with a string where each keyword or keyword phrase is wrapped with double quote marks.
If you are using a computer daily to perform a variety of tasks in your quest to become a successful internet marketer then you’ll rapidly realise how much easier life could be if you were able to automate some of the simplest of tasks. Another example of a small task I have automated is an ability to record statistics and manipulate the data. When I review a site for which I am an affiliate I can copy a string of data which tells me how many clicks and other information I have received today. I then paste that information directly into a spreadsheet and then have a macro to present the information in a way that is more useful to me. In this way I can automatically record a date, calculate the number of days since I last checked the site and more.
You can access this little routine from my website by following any of the links.