Sunday, 27 December 2009

Blog Feed on Forum Profile

A lot of you that regularly visit niche traffic sale are members of a bunch of internet marketing and other forums. And a lot of the time, people sign up to forums to take advantage of the signature link.

Again my regular readers know that this is not the best way to use forums to increase traffic. But I wanted to tell you an often overlooked and pretty effective method of getting links to your blog posts.

Before I go into it, getting links to your blog posts and signature links should not be your primary reason for joining forums. The primary reason for joining forums is to
  • Build your reputation
  • Learn from others in your niche
  • Find out up to date information on your niche
  • Exchange ideas
There are a lot of forums on virtually every niche online. And I am a member and regular participant in a bunch of forums

If you look in your profile page of whatever forums you are participating in, there often is a slot for you to insert your blog feed.

If you enter your blog feed here, a link to your latest post appears under your user name for every contribution you make on the forum

You must have seen them on the forums

On some forums these links have a do follow link to the particular post

So if you are a member of 20 forums and have your blog feed on those forums associated with your profile, that's a possible 20 instant backlinks, if you are active in those forums

You must remember to ping your posts.

Now I know some people are worried that if they post their blog feeds on the forum profile, competitors on the forums could steal their ideas.

But this is really not a big deal. The potential increase in traffic as a result of good SERPs position far out weighs any risk of your posts being copied.

Another bonus of this is some people actually click through on the latest blog link and visit your blog. If your content is useful, you may have a new follower.

So go to the forums you participate in and see if there is the facility to add your blog feed to your forum profile

Thursday, 24 December 2009

Easy Directory Submissions For Backlinks

Was doing some analysis of the backlinks to one of my websites a few days ago and cam across a few interesting links
They were directory listings, do follow and some had PR as well.

Now if you are a regular reader of this blog you will know that using directories to build links is not something I focus on so much any more. There are more effective ways of getting do follow high PR backlinks

Anyway I scrambled around to find how I had submitted that particular site to the directories. I have only a few methods I use, so it was not too difficult to track down

Before I tell you what tool I used to submit these links, there is something you need to know.
Getting the maximum ROI of time invested is key on this niche affiliate marketing business. You really can not spend too much time on activities that may or may not yield results. For me, manual directory submissions is one of those activities.

By all means submit to DMOZ manually. But for other directories, a semi automated submitter is key, in my opinion.
Semi automated because it gives you the option of varying your anchor text and altering your description. That way you don't end up with a ton of backlinks all saying the same thing.

So back to my research.

I found that the links in question were links I had submitted with a web-based semi automated directory submitter called easy submits. I'll confess these were links I submitted while watching TV so not very effort intensive. And they were submitted months ago.

But hey, I have the do follow, some PR backlinks to show for the 'effort'

The site again is easysubmits.com

Saturday, 19 December 2009

How To Validate Embedded You Tube Videos

For many of us, Youtube has been a gold mine for getting videos for our websites and blogs.

And Youtube has been very helpful by providing an embed code
All you have to do is grab the embed code of the relevant Youtube video and paste it in the relevant area of your sites or blogs html code and Hey presto, you have video on your site

Problem is it causes problems with your website's validation

What is website validation and why does this matter

Standardization

The code for websites, HTML or XHTML, must follow a certain standard which is set by W3 consortium. Your website code needs to be compliant with this standard.
You could argue that some browsers can correct for these errors but not all can. What you want is for your HTML code to be universally understood and interpretable

Search Engine Optimization

We all know that backlinks are a major component of search engine optimization. But on page factors play an important role. If the search engine spiders have difficulty interpreting part of your code, it could have major implications for how they handle the relevance of the related content

Page Loading Speed

Poor HTML coding could adversely affect the speed with which your website loads. And no-one hangs around waiting for a slow page to load. Also there are rumours that Google will soon update it's algorithm to include speed of loading as a factor. Now while this rumour is not verified, I think doing everything that you can to help your webpage or blog's performance in the search engines is not a bad idea.

So enough on validation and why you should validate your site. We will go into more details of this in another post

For now, back to the Youtube issue.

If you embed Youtube videos as is on your webpages, the code just does not validate

To check for the validity of your code use the W3 schools HTML validator
Just type in the URL of the page that contains a Youtube video and the result speaks volumes

But using Youtube videos is great. It has certainly helped increase the traffic to some of my websites

So how can you embed Youtube videos into your websites without corrupting your code

I use a free web based script and it works a treat
The script is at flash embed code validifier
Works for other embed sites as well

Till next time

Monday, 7 December 2009

Unique Method Of Getting Do Follow Backlinks To Your Niche Websites

So to continue with or backlinks theme I thought I would go over how to get do follow backlinks to your site

Now this method I cannot take credit for. But it certainly does work.

Before I go into the details of how you can find websites with do follow attribute on their outgoing links, lets take some time to review the more commonly used methods

Article Directories

Still a very good method of generating backlinks. Article marketing can be effort and time intensive but the links are under your control and the possibility for syndication is an added bonus.

By this I mean if other webmasters copy your article from the directory and post it on their web pages, they are obliged to include your link. Meaning more than one backlink from one article.

The added bonus, if your article gets syndicated, is you get IP diversity for the links i.e links from different websites on different servers per article. As long as your article is of such quality that people will want it on their sites.

I still think using ezinearticles to generate backlinks is a good strategy for generating backlinks I still recommend ezinearticles for this and you can read all about the nitty gritty of using this directory at ezinearticles and your niche website

Blog commenting

This one I am a little luke warm about. For a few reasons.

Your links are totally under the control of the blog's webmaster. He can decide to delete all comments or suddenly change from do follow to no follow attribute on his links or all other manner of behaviour that makes the links 'not so reliable'

Also there are not many high PR blogs out there that are willing to give out do follow links in their comments. Most of them have been sniffed out by spammers and have become no follow as a result of spamming.
So this means that a lot of the blogs you'll uncover will be of lower PR and although better than no links at all you'll need a ton of these links to make an impression on your own sites SERPs position.

Having said that, there are some really good tips on these posts how to find do follow backlinks and No and Do follow link finder

Forum participation

Some forums allow you to have a link in your signature and although the majority of the forums are no follow, there is still a healthy number of forums that have do follow attribute in their signature links. I am sure you have come across those forum posts that have a list of forums with do follow in their backlinks. And we all scurry to join and add our precious backlinks only to find one of the following

  • You need 100 or 250 or some other number of posts before your signature can be displayed
  • Or It's a paying forum...Ouch
  • Or the forums are so overrun with spam that they either go to no follow or ban people at the drop of a hat.
There are still some forums out there that have been steady with the do follow attribute on outgoing links. Some useful affiliate marketing forums has more information on this

And we could go on and on

But I have recently been using a method that helps you

  • Find sites with do follow outbound links
  • Shows you how to find sites with IP diversity [very important]
  • Teaches you how to create backlinks that actually do count
  • Gives you a list of about 500 of these sites to get you going

You can learn more about this method at really serious backlinks

Does this method work. Well for the websites I have used it on, I have had an increase in my SERPs after just a couple of weeks.

Sunday, 6 December 2009

Banish No Follow Links Find Do follow Backlinks

Specifically searching for sites that allow do follow links is something that I am little uneasy about talking about, certainly sharing tips about how to find do follow sites is something that I tend to do with a bit of concern.

Simply because of the share number of people who just spam these sites

But amongst us are ethical bloggers and webmasters and this post on finding do follow sites is for you

Please, please, please do not spam the sites you find using this technique

Make sure you add comments that are useful content and add to the conversation started in the blog or forum.

Before I tell you the method I am here to share today, a little explanation on why I search for the do follow attribute on links to my sites

Generally I tend to comment on blog posts that are relevant to me. I usually do not bother with if the blogs in question are do follow or no follow, call me stupid but I don't

The simple reason for this is most of the blogs and forums are low PR and there are better ways of getting high PR do follow links to your sites.

But I was curious to know which of my blog comments were generating the greatest amount of traffic to my sites. Hence my getting the software I will tell you about.

Funny enough the sites that generate the largest amount of direct traffic to my web pages are the no follow blogs. Go figure!
My explanation for this is people who visit these forums or blogs and bother to read the comments are mainly interested in the content rather than in dropping a spammy link.

Anyway so how can you generate do follow links to your website

This method requires you to use FireFox as your web browser. Click Firefox to download and install

FireFox as you all know is an open source web browser that is very versatile. The main advantage of FireFox is the plethora of plug ins available

One such plug in is the no do follow plug in.
Once you have installed FireFox, go to https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/5687 and download the plug in. it takes a few seconds to install.

So what does the no do follow plug in do

When you launch any page that has backlinks on it in FireFox, right click your mouse to get a drop down menu. Select no do follow and all the links on the page are highlighted. Do follow links in blue and no follow in pink

So before you post your comment you can quickly and easily find out if the website supports do follow links in it's comments...At the click of the mouse literally

This method can help you find blogs that have do follow in outgoing links but again, please use this ethically

Social Networking Does Work

So I am certain that you have seen several posts extolling the virtues of social networking. And you are probably thinking
'Oh No! Not another post on how to use social networking sites'

Well I am not going to do that, i.e. point out all those obvious and rehashed tips that every other blog master has published

Instead I want to share with you a pleasant and profitable experience I recently had

First you should know that I have blogs that are mainly business blogs for example this one... and then I have blogs that are purely for my entertainment

The entertainment blogs are in areas that I find interesting. Hobbies so to speak

Anyway on one of my hobby blogs I wrote about a popular TV show. It's a show I like and hey I had something to say!

It's funny when you are writing without monetization in mind, the content can turn out pretty good

Anyway a few days later I noticed I had about 700 hits and rising. Thought it was a glitch in my traffic analysis. Usually the blog only gets about 50 uniques a day if that

More traffic analysis later and the answer is revealed. A big personality on Facebook had put a link to my post on their account!!

One link and a few days later has resulted in a few thousand uniques to the blog

Who says social networking doesn't work

The irony is, I hadn't done any of the networking. Go figure

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

About The New FTC regulations And Affiliate Marketers

As niche marketers or affiliate marketers, we have all heard about the new FTC regulations and have seen all the doom and gloom emails about how they can affect our business

For those of you who are totally unaware, the Federal trade commission has revised it's guidelines regarding endorsements and testimonials.

So how does this affect us as affiliate marketers

  • Disclosure: As an affiliate marketer, there must be a disclosure included on every page stating your relationship to the product and that you get a commission for sales secured
  • Accuracy: You are responsible for checking out the product and making sure that as far as your level of expertise, it does what it claims to do
  • False Testimonials: that's self explanatory really
  • Corroboration: In promoting a product it is the usual outcome of using the product that you can comment on not unusual outcomes [All those make $10000 overnight training courses suddenly spring to mind] You may be required to provide proof of such claims.

So those are the main things I have picked up so far

The question is does this really affect you as a niche marketer or affiliate marketer.

Well it really does depend on how you have conducted your business so far.

If you have followed the principles in this blog, you have no reason to worry. We have already covered promoting only products that you truly believe in.

We have also talked in some posts about how buying and using the product is the best way to get a feel of whether the product works and also allows you to promote the product with enthusiasm.

We have mentioned that having a disclaimer or disclosure on your site is crucial. Albeit it was with regards to AdSense but seems all forms of advertising apply

So perhaps there is not much cause for alarm for the ethical marketer

I'd advice though that you all take a look at the new guidelines and make sure that you've crossed all your T's and dotted all your I's

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Adsense Can Be So Unpredictable

Regarding adsense and niche websites, the majority of us niche marketers know the basics

You add content that is keyword rich and niche focused.

Get the keywords on your pages right, put them in those oh-so crucial spots in your content and you'll get ads relevant to your content

But sometimes this can be so unpredictable.

While browsing today I came across a blog on niche marketing. The content was not great but it was okay as niche marketing blogs go. You could tell it was a newbie blog with rehashed content but we won't hold this against him or her

Anyway the website name was business something or the other. But all the google ads displayed were on the keyword 'bus'
Ouch!

Why am I telling you this? Because a closer look at the pages shows where he went wrong

Adsense really can be unpredictable when you blindly follow what people tell you without testing things out for yourself.

Keyword stuffing and trying to tell the code what ads to display on your pages is all well and good [actually it's not and doesn't work]. But if you right naturally on the topic you wish to communicate to your readers, the relevant keywords will appear naturally in your content and the adsense code will have no difficulty displaying ads that are relevant to your content

And having said that I'll probably get adsense ads on this post that are totally out of sync with the words on this page

Never mind, the lesson is still valid :)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Email Headlines That Really Bug Me

So instead of getting really irritated when I get a bunch of emails with these headlines, I thought I'd put it out there and see what you guys think

So here are some of the email headlines that really get my goat

Thank you, here's your download

Not a problem if I had signed up for the download. I suppose the sender hopes that we are not keeping track of what we sign up for. Usually contains a product that you do have to sign up for

You've made a commission

Again, not a problem if it really is about a commission you have made. But it usually is not. You open the email and it reads 'Imagine if you could get hundreds of emails like this...Blah, blah' I have noticed that these ones tend to come from safe list users. That's me done with safe lists

{first name} ...

This email probably has some useful information in it. But it looks sloppy and unprofessional. You'd think that anyone taking their business serious would take the time to format their emails properly

This is the most important email I've ever sent

It's usually full of c..p and a major promo. This one usually triggers the unsubscribe button for me

I need your shipping address...

Why? I didn't subscribe to anything from you mate!!


He stuck his hand in gasoline....

Honestly I have never bothered opening emails with this headline although for a while there, it seemed a very frequently used headline. Anyone reading this post who has actually read the emails should please enlighten us with it's content

Can I help you get leads to your business

Again nothing wrong with this apart from the fact that you KNOW you never subscribed for his emails in the first place. Begs the question. 'Where is he getting the leads from?

Till next time

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Affiliate Marketing Money for Nothing

When I first went into affiliate marketing, I had difficulty getting my head round the concept of not having any products in my warehouse and still making money. Money for nothing?

Because that's what affiliate marketing is. You tell people about a product you like. They go and buy that product, mention to the vendors that you suggested it and presto! the merchants pay you a commission. And it's sometimes up to half the value of the product. Shock horror

Pretty freaky but it made sense

So I looked around for affiliate programs for a couple of things I really like. Things I rave to my friends about.

One was my laptop. I loved my laptop. I could go on for hours talking about the reasons why this one laptop is the best on the market.

Anyway after a few minutes searching for an affiliate program for my particular brand and then a further few hours of website building and.... I was an affiliate marketer for my particular brand of laptop. Still promoting it.

The upside is I can go on and on to my hearts content about the merits of this product. And the people reading my content are actually interested in what I am saying. No more eyes glazing over from my audience

And you get a pay check!!

So perhaps affiliate marketing is not exactly money for nothing. But it certainly is a great way of earning a living

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

High Ticket Affiliate Products Versus Inexpensive Products

High ticket affiliate products were a no-go area for me when I was a newbie affiliate marketer. I, like a lot of other affiliate marketing beginners, thought they would just be too difficult to promote and therefore stayed with the low cost products.

It's easier to get someone to spend $7 than $1500 right?

Wrong or so I found out.

High ticket vs Low ticket affiliate product refunds

Imagine you were out shopping and came across a low cost item which you are not sure if you want or not. To make things easier on yourself you buy it. After all it's only $7 and there is not much point in standing there trying to decide. You get home and decide you do not really want this product after all. Most people would reach for the receipt and packaging and make a mental note to take it with them next time they go to that store.

Now imagine that product is an info product that you bought on line with a 30 or 60 day guarantee. [Sounds familiar?]

How easy would it be to click the button to get your refund?

Take the same person who is about to buy a $1500 product. Most of us do not shell out that kind of money without due thought, a lot more thought, discussions and thought again. This means that by the time the high ticket item is purchased, the buyer is absolutely certain that he wants it. Less risk of refunds

High ticket vs low tag affiliate product clientele

The market for high ticket affiliate products is totally different from the customers who will buy the low price stuff.

You have to find each market and access it over and over again.

But the amount of work required for either market really does not vary based on the tag on the product you are promoting.

It's back to basics again here. It takes targeted traffic and a good presell, whatever the price tag of the product you are promoting as an affiliate

High price tag versus inexpensive affiliate products commissions

Generally but not always, high ticket affiliate products give a 15 to 30% commission to their affiliates. And the low priced items especially digital products could offer a commission of 50 to 75%

Please remember I said not always, there definitely are exceptions to this

And affiliates could be put off by the low percent commission payout of high ticket products. But take this real life example

Product ~ $2400 Commission ~ £350
Product ~$60 Commission ~ $45

Which sale do you think made my day?

I am not saying go after high price affiliate products exclusively. That would be bad advice.

But I am saying that affiliate marketers, especially newbie affiliate marketers should not be afraid to include high price tag affiliate products in their promotions.

As I got a little more experience in affiliate marketing, I decided to mix things up a little. So I promote some high price tag items and also some of the lower priced products.

And for me this has worked out well

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Keyword Research Over-rated And Over-loved

Every single affiliate marketing guru will tell you keyword research is crucial...And it is but is keyword research over-rated and over-loved?

Keyword research is supposed to help you discover those keywords in your niche that have a lot of demand and a under supplied to. You optimize posts for those keywords and monetize your pages and 'hey presto' you are laughing all the way to the bank.

The theory is sound and I have done my fair share of keyword research. Still do.

But there are a few glitches in this theory

Keyword research tools. Accuracy
The tools currently available give you an estimate of the keyword searches done. I personally use google keyword suggestion tool. Not for accuracy but more for trends. However I am still searching for that keyword tool that gives you the actual numbers of searches done for any term or phrase

How many keywords can you really research
For most niches there are different kinds of keywords. And in each subgroup are a lot of individual keyword phrases that can be monetized. In the really lucrative niches, these keywords can be endless in number. Just try doing keyword research for 'laptops'. You could be drilling down for days. So from the point of view of numbers and using your limited resource, time; judiciously exhaustive keyword research may not be the best way forwards. I am not saying don't do keyword research! Quite the opposite I am saying do effective keyword research

Time investment
Let's face it. Most of us affiliate marketers work alone. So you are probably invested in generating content, getting back links, participating in forums, social networking and all the other things it takes to run a business as an affiliate marketer. And there are only 24 hours in a day. So where on earth are you going to find the time to research the 201 keywords relevant to your niche. It's just ludicrous.

Unpredictable ranking
Finally let's imagine you did go out and do all that extensive and in depth niche research. And found all those amazing keywords that are going to make you a millionaire overnight. The next task is build your content rich web pages and try to get them to rank in the search engines, especially the big G for the keyword term. Problem is with all the other things you are doing.. oh and the keyword research you are performing for your next project, you just cannot make enough time to dedicate to Search engine optimization so that you page appears in the number one position.Certainly not for the 201 or whatever number of keywords it is you discovered

So what am I saying?

Is keyword research a bad thing?

No!!

But there is a better way of going about it than the general ebooks tell us

In a future post discover better keyword research methods

Saturday, 24 October 2009

About the make money online niche

A lot of newbies find out about affiliate marketing and run out and build their own affiliate marketing site. And the most popular niche among newbies is... make money online

And you can understand the excitement they feel on finding this wonderful new business and the challenge of affiliate marketing. Heaven knows I was really excited when I got into affiliate marketing.

And the make money online niche is profitable and exciting and has a lot going for it. It's one of my niches

But for a newbie, a non marketing niche should be a serious consideration. And there are lots of untapped potentially profitable niches out there.

The reason for encouraging newbies to go into niches other than the affiliate marketing niche or make money online niche is simple

There are people who have been marketing online for many years and whose level of expertise is way beyond that of newbie. And a lot of them are into the affiliate marketing or make money online niche.

As a newbie, you really need to learn the basics and learn them well if you have any hope of competing with these guys.

The time investment and skill required is a huge obstacle for the newbie to overcome before they can expect to make any money in the make money online niche

But if you are into another not so competitive niche, chances of making some money are higher. It is earnings that keep you motivated.

Once you are making a significant amount of money in other niches, then you are in a position of authority i.e. you know what works and have made it work.
It is then that you should start your own 'make money online' website or blog.

Had to write this post because a lot of comments in the forums are from disappointed newbies in affiliate marketing. You click on their signature link and it takes you to a website or blog in the make money online niche.

No wonder they think affiliate marketing does not work

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Page rank versus SERPs position

So which is more important to a niche marketing webmaster. Page rank or search engine results page position

Every so often in the forums people post about losing page rank, or how to get a higher PR or why their PR is still zero or 1

And my standard answer is 'How is the site doing in the SERPs?'

You see page rank is important. After all it is the measure of how important or relevant your website is. But PR does not automatically mean traffic. And for those of us into affiliate marketing via niche sites, it's traffic that is crucial to our business.

By all means, if you are planning to sell a website, then the PR is crucial. And flipping websites is a thriving business online.

Or if you want to sell links from your webpages, then again the PR is vitally important. Selling a link from a PR 7 page will get you more than from a PR 3 page in the same niche

But for those of us who are niche marketers, it's search engine resuts page [SERPS] position that really matters.

When someone searches for a certain phrase in Google or Yahoo or Bing, they tend to view the first few websites in the results returned. It is here that you want your website to be listed. Your position in the SERPs. That's what you need to focus on.

You want to get your webpages to appear in position 1, 2 or 3 of the SERPs for a bunch of keywords relevant to your content. It takes on page SEO. It takes getting relevant content. It takes having the lots of unique content. But when you get there, then the traffic does come flooding in.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

My Dwindling Obsession with Do follow backlinks

Any webmaster wanting traffic is involved in getting do follow backlinks to their sites. At least they should be.

And do follow backlinks are crucial if you want to rank well in the search engine results pages for your niche terms

So we go commenting on other people's blogs and seeking out forums to participate in especially targeting those with do follow attribute

But something has been niggling at the back of my mind about this

I tend to comment on blogs that have posts that I am interested in. And posts to which I have something useful to add. No follow or not. So over time I have accumulated a bunch of backlinks to my different sites.

Now the niggling thought is this.

Apart from search engine traffic, the greatest source of traffic to my sites have been from links on no follow sites or blogs.

I know which sites do follow using this software

I think the message is get your required quota of do follow backlinks. But participating in sites with no follow attribute also has it's rewards

Sunday, 27 September 2009

In Niche Marketing Quantity Matters Also

Everyone is banging on about the quality of blog posts.

And I'll confess, I have done my fair bit of this also.

There really is no doubt that the quality of your website content, be it blog post or website content is crucial.

That really goes without saying.

But there is quantity as well and a lot of people are leaving this one out

Quantity matters
Quantity matters to your search engine optimization
Quantity matters to retaining return visitors
Quantity matters to the reach of your website
Quantity matters to the amount of revenue you can make from your site

I'll give you an example.
If you think about it, the blogs that tend to do extremely well in the search engines post several times a day. Some of the posts are rather dull. But hey! it's useful content to someone.

Again think about this.
How often do you go back to a blog that hasn't had a new blog post in a couple of weeks? For me the answer is 'Not very often!'
Life is too short and a lot of us are impatient to get our next tip or bit of news.
So we tend to gravitate towards sites or blogs that have something new every time we visit

And another thought.

More posts = More keywords

The more posts or content you have, the more keywords and keyword phrases you can compete for in the search engines.
Lets take the extreme example of wikipedia. There is a wiki page for virtually every search term worth ranking for.
I am not saying make your blog or website the new wikipedia.
But I am saying with frequently updated content and frequent posting, you can cover a lot of search terms related to your niche

Now do not misunderstand the thrust of this post.

Quality does matter and the aim should be to write posts that have genuine, valuable information.

But quantity is something that can help get a lot of momentum for your website or blog pretty quickly

Monday, 21 September 2009

My Big Adsense Awakening

Adsense and making a significant income online are a pipe dream. At least that's what I thought when I first started on this internet marketing or niche marketing business path

Like a lot of my niche marketing colleagues, it was a good adsense day when I made $2 in that day

'WOW'
Not really the fast track to financial freedom :(

And like a lot of people out there still seem to believe, if what we read in the forums is anywhere near the truth, I thought the people who make a significant income with adsense must belong to some secret club where they share the real secrets about making money with adsense

And you may snigger but the concept of adsense secrets has been used as a marketing gimmick [successful] by many a marketer

I knew I didn't have a chance of getting into any inner circle of adsense insiders, if they did exist

So I focussed on what I know and urge you if you are reading this to do the same

I focussed on content and traffic. I really knuckled down and worked hard on my sites.

Be it search engine optimization, social networking, forum participation... I was there.

I worked hard.... very hard

And you know I slowly noticed an increase in my adsense revenue.

At first it was sporadic good days, and then things evolved into sporadic bad days. I hope you can tell the difference

And so I had my huge adsense awakening. The information you need to make a success of this is all there. The tools you need to make adsense work for you, most of you probably already have

All you need to do is focus on your content, learn how to generate traffic for the long term. Work hard and adsense will pay you

Saturday, 19 September 2009

What To Do With Long Blog Posts

So what does one do when the idea you are trying to get across just will not fit into 450 words.

There are a few options

Break it up

You can break up your posts into a series. You'll notice on this blog there are a few posts that are actually one topic broken into a few posts. If you do this you have two options in formatting a title for each post

Numerical. This is when all the posts in the series have the same title but are numbered i.e. part 1, part 2, etc. I have done this on niche traffic sale [this blog] and some of my other blogs. But there is a better way.

Unique titles. This method is excellent for optimizing for a bunch of long tail keywords. Each blog post in the series should have a title that is unique to it and competes for a different long tail keyword phrase from other posts in the series. Because you are going after long tail keyword phrases, there is less competition and the chances of each post doing well and therefore getting search engine traffic, is much higher


Page Layout
If you really must include all that content in one post then you should consider laying out the post so it is easy to read. You want you readers to be able to scan your article easily, get the major points you are trying to make, skip from one concept to another without working too hard

To achieve this, you could use white space, bullets and subheadings.

Subheadings are particularly important again because of the all important SEO. Subheadings have emphasis on them. They are areas where the search engine spiders expect your important themes to be.
So include your keywords in your subheadings if this does not ruin the reading experience of your blog's visitors

Friday, 18 September 2009

Ideal Length Of A Blog Post

So what is the ideal length of a blog post?
I see this question asked time and again in the forums.

The simple answer is ideally 250 to 450 words.

...Because...

Readership

Today's Internet user has so many options that he or she is impatient to get on to the next thing. The next website, or blog. Check email. Hang out on Facebook. Or is it twitter? So when they land on your blog and there is a lengthy post on some topic or the other, they move on.

Focus

There really is nothing more irritating than starting to read a blog post which is supposed to be about a certain topic and then find the post goes around the houses instead of just getting to the point. Or worse still, goes off topic completely.

Knowing that you have only 250 to 450 words in which to get your point across helps you focus your content. package your points in a clear succinct and effective form. This gets rid of all the rambling and makes each and every sentence valuable to your reader. Meaning... You get there attention


Search engine optimization

Now this one is debatable but a lot of SEO 'experts' advice 300 to 450 words is ideal for SEO. Certainly we know that low content is not ideal for SEO. It makes sense that with a few words on a page there will be issues like word count to code ratio. And also how often can you include your keywords in a 50 word post?

But sometimes you really cannot cover a topic in a blog post that is 450 words long. Especially if you want to write a pillar article that really exhaustively goes over all aspects of a topic.

So what do you do then?

We'll cover this in a future post. :)

Saturday, 12 September 2009

How To Post Useful Blog Comments And Get Them Accepted

Posting comments on blogs can help generate traffic to your website or blog directly or indirectly if done properly.

By direct traffic I mean a reader of your comment clicks on your link and goes to your website or blog

By indirect traffic we are talking about the SEO benefit of the backlinks to your site or blog in your blog comment if the link is 'do follow'.

We all know this. It's blog commenting 101

But to have any effect, you need for the owner of the blog which you are commenting on to accept and publish your comment.

Gone are the days when comments were posted automatically.

Now there are antispam plug ins, e.g. askimet, and heavy comment moderation going on so you have to be savvy about this

So, to maximize your comments chances of being posted' keep the following in mind each time you post a blog comment

Relevance

Your comment must be relevant to the content of the post your are commenting on. It should directly address something in the post that the author has opened the door to.

Useful

Some bloggers like their egos massaged a little and those bloggers will allow a lot of 'great post on commenting' type comments. But these bloggers are few and far between.

The majority of us want comments that add to the content of our post. It could be an extra tip, a genuine question or even disagreement with the post content.

In allowing our visitors to make comments on our blogs, our main aim is to generate more content on our pages. Relevant useful content.

Links

Most comments boxes allow you to enter a user name, email address and URL.

The URL is automatically linked to the user name if the comment is accepted.

A lot of bloggers get irritated when in the body of the comment another link is dropped. Some will automatically reject your comment just on that bases.

I am not saying don't do it. But if you are thinking about dropping another link in your comment's content, look at the other comments already published on the blog to see if any contains additional links

User name

Because of the automatic association of username and URL, a lot of us like to use our keywords
as our user name.

Some blogs actually encourage this and usually have a little icon saying keyword luv.

However some blogs use plug ins to filter out 'scam' comments. And some of these plugins will reject any user names that contain certain keywords. So, again, look at the previous comments accepted in the blog to see if this may apply

Read the post

In our rush to get as many backlinks as possible, we sometimes do not read the blog post before commenting.

I recently put a post on this blog on generating sitemaps. The post went through everything from generating the sitemap to submitting it to Google's webmaster tools.

Someone tried to post a comment asking how they could generate a site map and submit it to Google. Oh and he or she had his URL included twice in his comment. Hey?

Needless to say that comment was rejected.

When posting, show evidence in your comment that you have actually taken the time to read the article you are commenting on

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Digg Now Using No Follow Selectively

One of the major advantages of Digg was the do follow attribute on links there. You submit your story, you get a back link

Just read on the digg blog that digg has decided to put the no follow attribute on some of the links on the site

These include
  • Links in comment
  • Submit that do not meet a certain threshold in popularity
  • Links in user profiles

Obviously the question now is, what are they using as a measure of popularity?

  • Is it the number of diggs a story gets
  • Or the number of times the link is clicked on

Still a little unclear but I'll let you know if there is any further news

Sunday, 30 August 2009

Digg. How to Get The Most Out Of Your Diggs


So now the shout system is gone, how can you get the most out of Digg for website exposure and traffic

In the past, when you submitted a story to Digg and wanted your friends to Digg to see it, all you needed to do was send a shout. Your friends got an email notification and..instant traffic. It really was as easy as that. And if they liked your story then they in turn Dugg it and, if it's really good sent a shout to their friends. And before you knew it you had a ton of traffic hitting your website or blog

Then one grey day, Digg decide to abolish the shout system. And I understand why....

....Spam. That ugly word. There were so many shouts on a daily basis and a lot of them were tagged with 'please Digg' or ' Digg this and I'll Digg yours' messages.
But then again there were shouts that I was interested in. Shouts that brought to my attention useful or quirky stories that I may not have otherwise come across.

Anyway, now the shouts system has gone, how can you get the most out of Digg. Here we are talking about maximizing exposure on Digg for your stories and getting some click throughs.



Friends

The number of friends and the quality of friends you ave is the backbone of any social networking campaign you run. Digg is no different. You need a solid base of quality, mutual friends. Friends that you have cultivated a relationship with, that are genuinely interested in your content, that Digg stories that you are interested in as well. Active friends. Before making a fan of yours a mutual friend, just take a look at the stories he has Dugg. The guy who only Diggs his own submits is not worth your time. Same goes for the guy who looks like he will Digg anything. You want people who when they Digg your submits, other people take notice. People whose Diggs are consistent.Whose followers in turn Digg their Diggs


Twitter

Add your twitter profile to your Digg profile. Diggers do interact outside of Digg and since the shout system went down I am amazed at the number of people from Digg making connections on twitter


Stories you submit to Digg


Source


You must vary the source of your submits. You can not exclusively submit your own material from your blog or websites.

Well you can but it will do nothing for your street cred on Digg. Blatant self promotion is just not attractive. So submit your blog posts and website articles, but also submit other people's content like stories in the media, other people's blog posts that you have found useful [could win you a mutual friend], articles form article directories, forum posts, you tube videos that are interesting. The trick is to digg other peoples' content that are not indirect competition with you [Obviously!]


Title and Description


This cannot be over-emphasized, YOUR TITLE AND DESCRIPTION MUST CAPTURE THEIR IMAGINATION. Give them an idea of what your story is about, whet their appetite, but don't give too much away.

Formulaic titles like '7 crucial tips for whatever' just do not have the pull they once had. So think out of the box. Be inventive without misleading. Or just tell them what they will gain by reading your story.
Again in your description you are trying to get them to want to read the entire story. There are so many Diggs that I have come across where the description gives away the entire story. "What's the point in clicking to the website if there isn't more to be had?" And we all know that our monetization is on our sites, not on Digg


Categories


Choose your category carefully. You want to make sure that your Digg is submitted to the relevant category but at the same time choose a category that does not have too much activity.

Take the news category for example. A submit in this category will last only a few minutes on the news upcoming front page. Because so many stories are submitted to this category. So you want to choose another relevant category that your Digg has a chance of being in front of the upcoming page for ... a little longer than a few minutes.


Comments


Crucial! Your comments will increase your reputation on Digg of used properly. I recently posted a comment on someone else's Digg. My comment got 135 diggs at the last count. That's a lot of diggs for one comment. [Shame I didn't have a link to my site or blog in that particular comment. Hmmm!]
You can also use comments to bring an old submit of yours back into play. For example say you submitted a story on a topic a while ago and the topic becomes conversational again, or things have moved on a bit and there is more current information on that topic. You could add a comment to your old Digg with the new information. Kind of like bumping a forum post but done ethically. Only do this if it is genuinely relevant


Digg Button


Last but not least, add the Digg button to your websites and blogs that you want to get traffic to from Digg. Another obvious one, but one that is so often forgotten

So the shouts system may be gone but there is still a lot of potential in Digg

Saturday, 29 August 2009

How To Create A Sitemap For Google Indexing

You are going to learn an easy method of creating an XML sitemap for your website and how to submit it to Google for indexing

Sitemap Generator


First you need to generate the sitemap. A free sitemap generator I recommend is http://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
It's a free service and will generate a sitemap for any website with less than 500 pages in seconds



Type in the URL of the homepage of the website you want to generate a sitemap for. Submit and a few seconds later you will be presented with your results which should look similar to this



You will notice that there are quite a few downloadable files.

The files you want are the html file and the uncompressed xml file


HTML file


This file is one that your website visitors will be able to access once you upload it to your website. It is important that you exclude links to your private pages or pages that you do not want the general public to have access to or indexed. For example your download pages.

Download the file to your website folder on your desktop.

You can either upload the file as is to the root folder of your website as sitemap.html or you could first add the sitemap to your website template and then upload it using your FTP to your root folder as sitemap.html


XML file

Download the uncompressed xml file to your websites folder on your desktop. Save it as Sitemap.xml. For some reason the Google webmaster tools account emphasizes the capital S.

Upload the Sitemap.xml file to your website's root folder in your hosting account. Again before uploading make sure you have removed the links to the pages you do not want indexed in the search engines


Submit website to Google webmaster tools

Get yourself a google webmasters tools account at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/
The account is free and easy to sign up for.




Submit and verify your website in your new webmaster tools account

Verification is pretty easy. They give you a code to add to your site. You can either add the code to an existing page or load a new page with the code on it. Obviously you will need to be the webmaster of your site or have quick access to your site's webmaster to do this.

Submit sitemap to Google webmaster tools

To submit your sitemap for indexing, log in to your webmaster tools account.
Go to the dashboard of the website you want to submit a sitemap for
On the left side of the page click on the site configuration link. This will bring up a sub menu. Click on sitemaps on that menu.



The page that loads will have a tab on it that says submit sitemap.



Click on this and submit the exact URL of your xml sitemap

Once submitted you will notice that the status is pending. This soon changes to a tick mark when you site map has been accepted

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Number One Position In Google Search. Now What?

So you have added unique and useful posts to your blog or website frequently. And have worked tirelessly to get those backlinks to your blog.

And finally one day, you find your site at the coveted number one position for your chosen keyword or bunch of keywords in the search engines. Yippee

But what next?

The thing with search engine optimization is it is unfortunately a continual process. You have to continue working to maintain that number one position. Or your website may begin to slide in the search engine results pages. Especially if you are in a competitive niche.

So why does the decay occur? There are a few reasons for this

  • Changing algorithms

From time to time, Google changes the algorithm which it uses to assign relevance to websites. Because of this it is important to stay on top of what is going on in the SEO world so that you can adapt to these changes. A lot of webmasters wake up one day to find their listings have disappeared from position one or even page one of the relevant keyword results pages. Sometimes this occurs as a result of a penalty but often it simply is an algorithm change that favours other sites ahead of yours in the search engine positions race

  • Links devalued

Some links that you have created to your site may become devalued over time. Or the webmaster of the site your links are on could do a revamp and either delete the page your link is on or convert his put going links to no follow. This means a reduction of the SEO boost from your links.

  • Competition

You have to keep in mind that not all your competitors are naive about SEO. In fact with the credit crunch and the rapid expansion of online marketing and increasing competition, a lot of website owners are gaining some knowledge about and applying SEO. SO what does this mean? While you are busy counting the dollars earned as a result of your increased traffic from successful optimization, some of your competitors are busy building more and more links to their sites and getting fresh content.



The good news is once you have achieved your number one position in the SERPs, you really do not need to work as hard to maintain the position as you did to attain the number one spot.

I have some websites that have been number one in the weight loss niche and the internet marketing niche for competitive keywords for a while now. All I have done to maintain these positions is, from time to time, post a few articles to the article directories with backlinks to the sites. And of course add fresh content. But certainly not with the same desperate frequency as when I was trying to get the sites ranked.

So if you have a website or blog that you have managed to get to the number one position for a competitive keyword, and if the resulting traffic is making a significant amount of income for you, take the time or do some outsourcing to make sure that this position is maintained in the long term

Monday, 17 August 2009

How Many Backlinks Are Safe?

Backlinks are crucial to search engine optimization and majority of niche marketers are busy trying to get as many backlinks as possible.

But we know that the pattern with which our links increase is one of the factors that the search engines, mainly Google, monitor to determine sites that are artificially inflating their search engine position




The dates that links appear can also be used to detect
"spam," where owners of documents or their colleagues
create links to their own document for the purpose of
boosting the score assigned by a search engine. A
typical, "legitimate" document attracts back links
slowly.


So what does this all mean?

Does this mean that a sudden rise in the number of backlinks pointing to your site will automatically earn your site a penalty in the search engines? Or worse still get you banned?

Personally, I do not think so.

Let's think about things logically.

There have been a large number of very successful launches in the affiliate marketing niche. And when these programs first launch, a lot of us, affiliate marketers, get on the band wagon of promoting it avidly.

On our blogs, our websites, forum signatures and all what not.

Resulting in a sudden rise in the number of links pointing to the launch site.

But I honestly have never come across the scenario where these sites have been banned or penalized.

You may argue that some affiliate marketers use no follow in their affiliate links, but the majority do not.



A large spike in the quantity of back links may signal
a topical phenomenon (e.g., the CDC web site may
develop many links quickly after an outbreak, such as
SARS), or signal attempts to spam a search engine (to
obtain a higher ranking and, thus, better placement in
search results) by exchanging links, purchasing links,
or gaining links from documents without editorial
discretion on making links. Examples of documents that
give links without editorial discretion include guest
books, referrer logs, and "free for all" pages that let
anyone add a link to a document.


What does this all mean?


To me, it implies that the search engines will note a sudden spike in links but before any action is taken, they try to see if there is any plausible explanation for the 'link flurry'


So the question remains.



How many backlinks are safe? Or to paraphrase the question, how man backlinks can
you generate to your web pages in a short period of time without getting banned?


The answer is the number really does not seem to matter


What matters is


  • The consistency with which backlinks to your web pages occur. This really means that if your site gets 100 new backlinks a day and it consistently gets about that number everyday then you should be okay as long as the links are varied in source and do not all come from sites the public can manipulate

  • The type of sites that these links are coming from. As the document says, the type of link is also crucial. If all the links are from the comments portion of blogs, then I think it would be fair for Google to assume you are a spammer. But if the links come from a variety of places e.g. within the body of articles, forums, other webmasters sites [also within the body of
    the content] then the likelihood of being perceived as artificial inflation of search engine rankings is less likely


What do you think?

Thursday, 13 August 2009

Traffic Exchanges Useful Or Not For Increased Website Traffic

Most affiliate marketers have heard of traffic exchanges. They are websites where you first submit your site's URL and then you have to view other peoples' sites to earn credits. The more credits you earn the more often your site will be shown to other people who are... surfing for credit

Any mildly intelligent person will have read the above statement and thought...hmmm

Let me clarify

Traffic exchanges are great for getting traffic to your site. The more you surf on these exchanges, the more traffic you'll get. There is no doubt about this

In my early days in affiliate marketing, I surfed till my eyes went blurred from staring at the computer so long and my fingers...ouch. All that clicking to load the next site

And I got a ton of traffic

And boy did I brag about my amazing 'talent' of generating traffic to my brand new site

And then the penny dropped

NO CONVERSIONS!!!

You see the big draw back of the many traffic exchanges out there is they are full of people, just like you, surfing just to earn credits and ONLY for the purpose of earning credits

So where is the market for your perfectly set up website?

The aim of affiliate marketing is to get your site visitors to click on your affiliate links and BUY THE PRODUCT

So all that time spent chasing traffic that will not convert. I often wonder how much faster I would have got where I am now if I had spent that time elsewhere.

Like generating content for my site
...or writing articles to distribute to article directories
...or even building a reputation for myself at the networking sites and forums

So like I said earlier in this post....Hmmm

Some die hard traffic exchange users may be thinking....But there is autosurfing

This is when the traffic exchange website automatically loads sites after a time delay.

Certainly that could save a lot of time. but there is the other issues of malware. Some people have reported getting infected by some of these sites. Personally, and thankfully, I did not fall victim to this while I was using traffic exchanges....I think

So Traffic exchanges are great for increasing website traffic. But it is traffic that converts that you need to focus on and for this purpose, there are more effective methods

Till next time

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Make Money With Adsense - Adsense Position

The position of your adsense units could significantly affect your click through rate.

I honestly thought this was Adsense 101, you know the basic basics of Adsense.

So why is it that when browsing the net you come across web pages with the Adsense at the end of the page?

Lets quickly run through how to determine the best position for Adsense on your website or blog

For this I am assuming that Adsense is the main source of income from the web property you are optimizing.


General adsense position rules
  • Adsense Block above the fold of the page

This one is really basic. You want to put the adsense units above the fold of the page to maximize the chances of any website visitor seeing your adsense ads.

Make it the first thing they see on your page.

If you have just content above the fold of the page, a visitor could quickly look at the content and decide to go to another site. No adsense click for you.

If you have adsense ads above the fold of the page, there is the possibility one of the ads titles could be what he is looking for. A click, kaching!!

  • Adsense in page hot spot

Studies have shown that there are certain areas on a web page that attracts the eyes. these are areas that we instinctively look at. The hot spots of the page.

You want to include an adsense block in this area. Most of your web page's visitors will look at this spot meaning most of your web page visitors will see the adsense blocks displayed there, increasing the chances of them finding something of interest in the block. And clicking on it




  • Adsense within body of content.

A really useful tip if used properly. We know that having an adsense block withing the top part of your content increases the click through rate, but this has to be done with some style.

You will see hundreds and thousands of web pages with the 300 by 250 block as the opening of the first paragraph. But the problem is they look like adsense ads camouflaged in content.

And no-one likes being tricked into clicking on an ad. You'll find that the regular Internet user has developed blindness to these ad blocks.

So I put adsense high in the body of my content, but I make the adsense blocks stand out. No tricks, no camouflaging. Just an adsense block breaking up the content

To Sum it all up, your adsense block needs to be displayed above the fold of the page, in the hot spot of your page and preferably with the body of your content

Before you run out and start pasting adsense all over your websites, a word of caution.


YOU ONLY NEED ONE OR AT THE MOST TWO ADSENSE BLOCKS PER PAGE TO MAKE THIS WORK


Hey?


You read this right. There are web pages out there with adsense pasted all over each page leaving the content, which is why the visitor came in the first place, difficult to decipher. Doesn't work.

I'll go into details of how many adsense units you should work with in another post

Before we finish, you must understand that each web page is unique. Above are GENERAL adsense position tips. But what will work on your web site or blog may be different.


You MUST TEST EVERYTHING.

Apply the tips above and see if there is an improvement in your click through rate for the next 100 visitors you get to your blog or website.

If there is no improvement , change the position and run things for another 100 visitors. For some pages it may be the link units that perform better so test those.


Till next time

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Has Pingoat Shut Down

Pinging your blog is part and parcel of blogging these days. Every time you add a new post to your blog you should ping your blog's RSS feed to let feed aggregators know that you have updated your content

I have been a user of pingoat for a while now. It's reliable and easy to use

After adding a post to one of my blogs I went to pingoat to ... ping the post

Unfortunately the pinging service at pingoat is currently unavailable
Instead is one of those parked domain pages.

It's really sad to see pingoat go. I hope in the back of my mind that it is just temporary and they'll soon be back doing what they do best

It's interesting that the other service which I used from time to time kping also went down a while ago. But they have since come back but with a minor difference. There is now an opt in form to fill [name, email address and URL] before you can send your pings. Kping is still a free service, at least it was the last time I checked, but it is now a membership service

The problem with these services may be that they are so difficult to monetize. The Kping idea is an inspired one. The money is in the list after all

The good news is pingomatic seems to still be working...for now

UPDATE!!!

Pingoat is back online.
Yippee!!!

Update of UPDATE!!

Sorry guys.
Pingoat really is down

Not another pingoat update!!

It seems that Pingoat is still working but they are blocking the IPs of frequent users
Because I have so many blogs with reasonably frequent updates, it is understandable that I have intermittently had issues with accessing pingoat.

So to use Pingoat.com you will need a proxy. Unblocked.org is a reasonably user friendly proxy site
Also, there is another site called pingoat.net which looks identical to pingoat.com.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Code Bloat Will Cripple Your SEO

For anyone building websites using WYSIWYGs [HTML editors] code bloat is a real risk to your search engine optimization efforts.

We know that for SEO purposes, the less our code is the better our sites perform, referred to as the code to content ratio. It's one reason why cascading style sheets are so successful.

Before I get ahead of myself, code bloat is the presence of HTML code that is redundant or unnecessary. It includes repetitive code for the same thing and dead code i.e. code that is not translated into anything meaningful on your web pages.

You may think if it's neither necessary nor interpreted, "why is code bloat a problem?"

First as I mentioned earlier, The code to content ratio. Especially if you have a lot of content on your pages. The more unnecessary code you have on your web pages, the more rot the search engines bots have to work through to get to your content.

Second these coding errors could result in the bots not being able to spider your page properly.

So I am convinced, code bloat must be removed

For anyone using HTML editors for any period of time, you will have learned some HTML along the way

Look at the code of your web pages and root out the bloat. It could make all the difference to your site's search engine performance

Sunday, 19 July 2009

No Short Cuts To Building An Email List

There are so many offers these days online to help build a hyper-responsive email list.

Let's take a brief look at some of the 'offers' I have recently come across

  • Buying email lists. The offer usually is for a few thousand emails. The list is usually said to come from people who have opted in for more information. Problem is they didn't opt in to your email list. So why should they take your emails seriously. Or even open them at all.

The other concern is the distinct possibility that these lists are from email scrapers. These are software that go to sites where members have there email addresses and harvest all the addresses from that site. For example a popular forum.

  • Safelists. These are lists that contain the emails of people who have joined the list. The purpose of joining the list is to have access to the email addresses of the other people on the list. Some safelists are free and others paid.

But if everyone on the list is just there so that they can send their marketing or promotional emails to everyone else on the same email list, where's the market? You are all sellers and you need buyers to make a business work. Now some people swear by safelists but to me... well you know what I think

  • List training material. Some list building training material is good. Really good, I used one of these training videos to get me on my feet in the email list building department. But there are some rogues out there. They promise to teach you how to explode your email list. Or how to get a large click through on your emails guaranteed. Or some other marketing hype. My concern is with this valuable training, 'how come it's being sold for $7?' And Guaranteed is one marketing buzz word that is sure to make me wary.

The honest truth is there are no short cuts to building a responsive email list. You just have to put the work in.

  • Create your opt in incentive.
  • Build your web page that ONLY has your opt in offer and form.
  • Drive relevant traffic to that opt in form.

Takes work and time but you eventually end up with a list that does take you seriously

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Twitter Backgrounds Are Just Awful

Having a Twitter account these days is essential if you have an online business. Even I have come round to understanding and benefiting from the power of Twitter in my business.

And having taken the time and effort to build a decent business online, I obviously wanted my Twitter account to reflect my professionalism. And so should you

And I guess the same is true for most of our marketing colleagues out there

So why is it that the selection of templates available on Twitter are so awful. Sorry guys, you've created a great blogging platform but the fluffy cloud, starry night or even birds flying themes just don't cut it

I am not a template designer and haven't a clue how to go about designing my own background

So fluffy clouds it was....till today.

I just found a great website where you can create your own customized Twitter background free. It's http://www.twitbacks.com/

I am still playing with it but they have loads of templates that are varied and you can customize things with your logo and URL and stuff... Still discovering what stuff includes

You can check out my new profile at http://twitter.com/amisuggests

I know it still sucks but a great improvement on what was there before.

No fluffy clouds now

Monday, 13 July 2009

Tweet Later an essential marketing tool

A lot of twitter applications these days have me baffled.
I just don't know why anyone would want some of them. But, hey ho! One mans meat and all that.

But in my trawl through the myriad of twitter applications out there, I have come across some that are actually quite useful and a few essential applications especially if you are using twitter as an Internet marketer or to boost your business

The first of these is Tweet Later.

Tweet later is a multi function application

Automation. Tweet later allows you to automate


  • Automated direct message.

Thank you replies to your new followers is a great way of retaining readership of your tweets.

The thing with twitter is a lot of people are following other people solely to get them to follow them back. Sort of like reciprocal following.

So the person who has started following you on Twitter has, in all probability, ticked the follow box on a bunch of peoples profiles that day.

It is important you acknowledge them if you want them to sit up and take notice.

And the best time to try and see you as a useful 'friend' is soon after they have chosen to follow you.

If you send your automated thank you note as soon as they start following you, they are more likely to still be online and read your thank you message. Leave it a few hours or days and it becomes a blur. They probably, by then, will not remember why they were following you in the first place.

  • Autofollow people who are following you.

Now I don't recommend that you automatically follow all your followers. you could soon end up with a stream of inane tweets on your twitter homepage.

You only want to follow people who share information useful to you.

Tweet later allows you vet people before following them.

Or you could just set it up to autofollow everyone following you. It really is your decision.

  • Tweet scheduling

We all know that to get the most out of twitter, you need to maintain a presence there. But with other aspects of your business to run and probably a day job to boot, there just is not the time to 'post tweets every couple of hours'

Tweet later allow you to write a bunch of tweets and then schedule when they will be posted to your twitter account.

  • Keyword research

Tweet later is excellent for doing keyword research or niche discovery on Twitter

For example, if you are trying to assess the demand for a certain keyword, you can set up tweet later to notify you every time this keyword is used on Twitter.

Or you are going into a new niche. Where better to find out what people are saying about the niche, what aspects of the niche are most popular, current information and even what people's problems in the niche are.

Just use tweetlater to set up a keyword alert and you can follow whatever keyword is relevant.

And the keyword you track could be any word including your niche keywords, your twitter name, a products name, use your imagination

More information on getting your free account at Tweet Later

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Using Feeder Sites For Backlinks And Traffic. Caution

Using feeder sites as a source of backlinks and traffic to your website or blog is for some people a really useful tool.

But sometimes you can get burned

Before we delve into this, let me explain what I mean by feeder sites.

Feeder sites are sites that allow you to post content for free and on which you can add links back to your money making niche marketing site.

For example Squidoo. A very successful web project that allows you to post lens about whatever and in those lenses you can include links to your site. The Squidoo example is actually a well tested and, previously, really successful site to use as a feeder site. The search engines, especially Google, loved Squidoo. Your new lens was indexed pretty quickly in the search engines and if done with some minimal SEO got good rankings in the search engines. This meant a lot of visitors to your Squidoo lenses and, hopefully, some would follow the link to your site. This was two years ago. Unfortunately because of misuse of this site, a spate of poorly put together content and other factors, Squidoo does not seem to have the Google pull these days as it used to.

Anyway to get back on point, if you find a bunch of feeder sites that could get indexed pretty quickly AND do well in the search engines AND help generate some traffic to your site AND may have a do follow backlink to the site....Why CAUTION?!

Lets take a closer look.

The feeder sites like Squidoo, Hubpages, Myspace all have a lot of search engine clout and a lot of content. This means that they already tick a lot of boxes from the SEO point of view

If you build a feeder page on one of these sites that competes for the same keywords as your main money making pages, there is a risk of those feeder pages occupying the top positions in Google for your chosen keywords.

Hey? Why is this a problem?

Because it is your money making site that you want to rank in position one of Google for your chosen keyword.

The way to get around this is to optimize your feeder sites for long tail terms based on your main keyword or optimize them for other closely related keywords.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

Are You Choosing The Right Keywords

So most affiliate marketers know about keyword research,or so they think. It's about finding a keyword that is searched for frequently with few competing websites. Right??

Well maybe not

There is one crucial ingredient missing from this formula

The missing factor is 'Searcher's Intent'

There is no single subgroup of searchers intent that is appropriate across the whole range of methods of making money online

Let's look at the different categories of Internet users

Killing time.

These people are bored.
They are looking for nothing and hoping to find something.
They are not ready to buy anything.
This is not appropriate traffic for your persuasive, cleverly written affiliate sales pitch.
They use general keywords and are more suited for AdSense type sites


Curious Cat.

These guys are interested in finding out more information about a topic but have no interest in buying.
They just want to know.
Tend to use keywords that include 'what is' or 'definition of' or just the general keywords.
It's interesting that they often use pretty long tail keywords but this is a situation where long tail does not convert to sales
Again ideal for AdSense sites


Getting Warm.

These surfers are considering buying a product at some stage in the vague future.
They know they need to buy that new plasma screen TV but are not quite sure what brand or when or where they want to buy it.
They are still at the market research place in there minds.
Keywords used are a mixed bag.
Some general e.g plasma TV and some more specific i.e Sony plasma TV.
The buying keyword prefixes e.g 'cheap', 'discount', 'sale', 'outlet'; tend to feature here
They sometimes use highly specific product specifications and those that do are closer to moving into the credit card wielding category.
This is the crowd you want to throw your sales pitch at, especially the subgroup who are ready to make the change to buyers.
These people and the keywords they target are ideal for affiliate marketing.
They are still open to persuasion and can be converted with a good pre-sell


Credit Card Wielding.

They are ready to buy.
They know what they want, where they want to get it from and exactly how much they are willing to pay.
They tend to use the exact product name that they are looking for, specs and all.
They do not browse for long.
Because this crowd have already decided, they really are not as easy to convert as the getting warm crowd. They have decided about getting the product from Amazon for example. You really need to have a good, concise and slick sales pitch to get their attention if you are not Amazon.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Ezinearticles, Traffic and Your Website 5

My posts on ezinearticles, traffic and your website walked you through how to write an article that is sure to attract clicks and get click throughs to the link in your biobox

By now you should have submitted a handful of articles to the article directory

So far I have left out one crucial step in how to maximize your articles' traffic puling power
And it's this

Promote your ezinearticles

This is crucial
Methods I suggest include

  • Social bookmarking.
  • Yahoo answers
  • RSS feeds. Yes, ezinearticles has RSS feeds which you can distribute to RSS directories. Start with these RSS directories
  • Forum signatures Here are some suggested Forums

That's it.

All the methods above are quick and easy to implement.

You'll notice I did not mention things like link exchange and press releases

The point of using these methods to promote your ezinearticles is you do not want to spend too much effort getting links to your articles. You should be investing that effort in getting links to your money pages

Sunday, 21 June 2009

How To Remove Blog Name From Page Title In Blogger

Blogger is a great free blogging platform.



It is very easy to use with a lot of code built in to the template making the more user friendly, especially for those of us not overladen with technical skills.


But this advantage could be a draw back with regards to some aspects of SEO. The problem being that when you publish a new post, the title page reads 'name of blog then title of post'.



We all know that for the purposes of search engine optimization, the keywords should appear early in your title.



So how do you stop the blog name appearing in the title of every post.


How do you change the search engine listing of your blogger posts from the format indicated by the red arrow to the format indicated by the green arrow ?










It's surprising how easy this is
  • Log in to your blogger account and go to your layout page

  • Click on edit HTML

  • Back up your current template [there is a prompt to do this on your edit HTML page]

  • Click on 'expand widget templates'

  • Look near the top of the html page and find this code
  • Replace it with the code below

  • Make sure that before editing the code you MUST back up your template

  • Once you have finished save

It takes a few days for your changes to show in your blogs title in the search engine listings. The changes occur when the search engine bots have crawled and re-cached your posts

Here's the code for those of you who want to copy and paste

<b:if cond= 'data:blog.pageType == &quot;index&quot;'><title><data:blog.title/></title><b:else/><title><data:blog.pageName/></title></b:if>

Hope this helps Andy

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Bloggers Be Selective About Your Traffic Generating Campaigns

As a solo blogger it is difficult, in fact impossible to individually act on all the good ideas out there. Lets narrow it down to traffic generation
There are so many possible sources of good targeted traffic
And yet the majority of bloggers have problems generating traffic to your blogs.

We know that the methods work, and you are probably thinking 'Well if the methods work and I am implementing these methods, why am I not getting thousands of visitors to my blog a day?'
The fact that the sale of any 'increase website traffic' product is almost guaranteed some success is testament to this

The problem is each blog traffic method needs some investment of time and effort to have a significant impact on your day to day traffic
It really is not enough to have two articles here and a bunch of comments there and oh bookmarked on Digg as well.

Each of the methods mentioned above has the potential to send a torrent of traffic to your blog... if done well!

But it takes time and effort to do this
So as a solo blogger, if you are here there and everywhere, no wonder you are not getting the traffic you want

Identify a maximum of three traffic generating methods and focus on them.
  • Master them
  • Implement them
  • Tweak them
  • And analyze your results from them

You have to remember you will still be generating posts for your blog as well, so you really cannot afford to spread yourself too thin

Some methods of increasing blog traffic are
  • Search engine optimization - both on page and off page
  • Article marketing - Use article directories that do follow
  • Pay per click- but only if you are sure of your pages ability to convert
  • Forum participation - Don't spam them. Contribute useful information at the forums
  • Social networking -Again focus on networking sites that have groups in your niche and preferably have do follow links
  • Social Bookmarking - Build a huge reputation there and get momentum for your bookmarks

And most important post regularly

Again identify the three methods you think you can focus on and master and run with them

Thinking of building your own link farm

So I was doing a little analysis of sites topping the search engines for certain keywords and noted that some of the adsense related keywords have some dud sites in position one in Google.

I mean really poor sites. No apparent layout, just words and images tossed onto a page. Content also seemed random and the design would make your eyes hurt.

So I set out to investigate how these sites got number one ranking

Thankfully I have SEO elite so I did a search for the sites linking back to one of the pages
The beauty of SEO elite is it tells you the pages linking back and also tells you what the page rank of those pages are.

And low and behold, the site in question has about 20 backlinks that were obviously by the owner of the page. oh and those linking sites also had poor content as well

Got me thinking though. There are loads of webmasters whose websites have really good content on the internet. How is it that this poorly written site gets number one position in Google.

It's about building link farms. A link farm is a series of websites that all interlink with each other and are set up for the purpose of providing an SEO boost for certain pages

Now if you are thinking of building your self a link farm, I'll tell you this for free.... It's not worth the effort

Because of the increased competition on the internet, webmasters are having to provide better and better content to keep visitors. This means that todays average internet user has come to expect a certain standard of content and design. What drives conversions is the quality of the content on your pages

So yes the webpage I explored is number one for his or her chosen adsense related keyword term. But I wonder what the conversions are.

Also link farms can get you banned, or at least thats what I read somewhere and am certainly not about to put it to the test