Tuesday, 31 March 2009
If you already use adsense video units on your websites, Google will be completely withdrawing this service by the end of April so you have till then to change to the TEXT format
For newbies to adsense, no worries, the option for video ads just will not be available to you.
Not a surprise though that Google is withdrawing this ad format. Any one who has been into adsense publishing for any period of time will confirm that the conversions of the video units are poor at best.
Makes sense really for Google to discontinue the video ad units. If it's not making money for us the adsense publishers, then probably Google are not getting a lot of income from them either
message again is convert your adsense ads display format to Text format by the end of April if you are monetising your websites with adsense
Thursday, 26 March 2009
Till next time
Wednesday, 25 March 2009
It's the Twitter search function. and boy is it something!
Twitter has become a house hold name and to be honest initially I was skeptic about the whole miniblog thing. Add to that the risk of being scammed on twitter and you can understand my less than enthusiastic reception of this social networking tool
Yes, I have managed to get a few followers without soliciting for them.
And yes, it is a good forum for following the trail blazers in this business.
But all in all didn't really 'set my imagination on fire'
Until I found this cool tool. It's the twitter search function and it is a must use for any Internet marketer. Talk about niche research at your finger tips.
And it is really simple to use.
Say you are thinking of going into the plasma TV industry and you want up to the moment information about that niche. What are your options
- Google search. But we know all about the requirements to rank high in Google for any keyword. There is domain age and backlinks and all those things that can be easily manipulated by any savvy SEO specialist. So perhaps not the best way to get up to the minute information on a niche
- Keyword tools. And there are some really good ones around. For example wordtracker and keyword spy. The problem is the links will take you to the free trial which has limited results and you have to pay some money to get full results
- Google adwords tool. Not really up to the moment niche discovery. More demand and supply analysis
Enter Twitter search.
Just enter the keyword and all the tweets on that topic will be displayed. You will find out the latest news and gossip. How people are promoting this. What non marketers are saying about it. You must remember only a small proportion of twitter users are actually Internet marketers. Instant niche research without paying a penny.
Till next time
Saturday, 21 March 2009
And if you read any of the Facebook Internet marketing 'guides' a frequently repeated 'tip' is create your own group.
But I wonder how viable is this.
First I must come clean with you.
I have a Facebook account and it does help generate traffic to my sites.
I don't have my own group i.e one that I created and have no intention of starting one in the near future. But that's just me. And you may ask. Why?
Because I don't yet have the following in my Facebook account to make it work
So what are the requirements to fulfil if you want to launch a successful group on Facebook?
- Establish Reputation
- Build a large group of friends
- Have a really good freebie to give away when they join
- Make sure that you have some useful info and a couple of pillar videos to share with your group
- Moderate your group
The idea is to try and get about 500 members in your group within a short period of time. Why?
Because people are more likely to join groups that already have a large membership.
We have all had those group invites where we click to take a look at the group and find...37 members. Not one to join really!
So perhaps having my own group on Facebook is a good idea. I had better get busy building those relationships
Till next time
Sunday, 15 March 2009
People have started playing twitter
The power behind twitter is reputation.
If you already have a big reputation in your niche, then getting a ton of people to follow you on twitter is not hard work at all..
And we know that the most responsive part of your audience is your followers.
Imagine having a 10,000 followers. That means
- Your tweets go directly on the twitter home pages of 10,000 people
- The mobile phone updates.
- The potential to directly nudge them
Whatever happens, a large proportion of your followers will know you have something to say
But what if you don't have a big online reputation
Well this is where the scam comes in.
Remember your profile name is the user name you register with
Well someone started following me on twitter using the mane of a big name Internet marketer but including an extra L in the name. And he even has his picture as his profile picture
Easy to overlook.
Why did I pick up on this. The big name marketer is already following me on Twitter.
Now you could argue that
- The big name marketer has a look alike, who has almost the same name, and is in the same niche. Stranger things have happened. Or have they?
- Or perhaps the big name marketer has maxed out his twitter account and is building another one. I suppose that's possible apart from the fact that he has been tweeting lately about scams and people leveraging on his name
- Or perhaps this is just the beginning of scammers moving in on the twitter platform
Please before anyone shoots me down, I am not saying 'do follow' links are bad. On the contrary I think if you can get a highly relevant do follow link to your site from a high PR site, Yippee.
But lets face it, How often does this happen? A lot of the 'do follow' lists are PR 3 at the most sites which I suppose are okay for the link, or are they?
Let's take a closer look.
These sites with 'do follow' links tend to attract hordes of webmasters all seeking the PR boost that a link from these pages can give to their sites. So you end up with a not so significant blog post with over a hundred comments.
But hey, do we not know that the more links there are pointing out of a webpage, the less PR value each link has?? Hmmm
So I say forget about whether the links are 'do follow' or 'no follow'.
Just post quality content on sites that are not overrun with comments.
A high traffic, 'no follow' blog, which is not over-run with comments, on which you can add something useful to the conversation is probably going to get you more traffic, from human visitors clicking on your link, than a post that is comment 125 on some 'do follow' site
Friday, 13 March 2009
There was a great sketch on facebook which just had me laughing
Hopefully you can get it on iplayer if you missed it.
I am sure someone will post it on you tube pretty soon
On a more serious note. Please go to http://www.rednoseday.com/ and make a donation to the comic relief drive.
£5 is not too much to ask.
At the end of the day, that's not a large number of adsense clicks and unless you are promoting a really bad product, amounts to about 10% of the commission of ONE affiliate sale
To donate please go to http://www.rednoseday.com/ the comic relief red nose site
Wednesday, 11 March 2009
I decided to go with Odiogo simply because I liked the range of options and the feel of the service
Problem was the podcasts were rather short.
The point of adding audio was to get the ENTIRE blog post into audio format!!
So I contacted Odiogo and the long and short of it is THE PROBLEM IS SORTED
A heads up if you use blogger as your platform. Before you set up Odiogo, you must make sure that your feeds setting in you blog is on full feeds and not short.
To edit the URL feed,
- Log in to your blogger account
- Select the blog you want to put audio on
- Click on settings
- A new page will open up
- Navigate to the "site feed" tab and click on it
- The feeds setting page will load
- Change the setting under the allow blog feeds tab from short to full and click save
To add audio to your site
- Go to Odiogo.com
- Submit your blog's feed URL to Odiogo
- An Audio of all your blog posts will be created
- You will also be given the option of adding the Odiogo gadget to your blog
- Copy the code
- Go into your blogger account
- On the layout page, add the html code you copied as a gadget
- An email will be sent to you confirming your feeds have been generated and giving you the link to your control page
If you have already added Odiogo to your blogger blog before editing the feeds setting from short to full, No worries.
The Odiogo feed is updated a few times a day so the full version of your podcast will be available to your blog visitors before the day is done
Till next time
Monday, 9 March 2009
'How can I get my website indexed quickly in Google?' or 'I have submitted my website to the search engines a month ago and I am still not indexed' are frequently asked question by internet marketing newbies in the forums. And their anxieties are valid. Google still remains the most powerful source of website traffic that converts. There is no doubt in anyone's mind about that. it's the reason why search engine optimization is such a lucrative business.
And obviously, the sooner a site is indexed then the sooner you can get on with your SEO and start getting search engine traffic to it
There are several methods of getting a site indexed
Submit URL to search engines
This method is relatively easy. you go to the target search engine's submission form and submit the URL
The relevant forms can be found at
They are both free but it takes a long time for your sites to get indexed. Personally I do not submit my websites to the search engines any more. I used to in the early days but there are better ways of getting you website indexed quickly in the search engines
Very popular method with internet marketers and pretty effective. Build the site and then build links to the sites from other sites.
Strictly speaking all you need is links from sites that are frequently crawled by the search engine spiders but if you want to get a head start in the SEO game as well, I suggest the following criteria.
The sites should be
- Of content relevant to your site. So if your site is about affiliate marketing then you will try and get links from sites about affiliate marketing to your site. Obviously this may not always be possible so getting a few links from sites with content not relevant to yours may be the only resort
- Frequently Crawled by the search engine spiders. Difficult for you to tell but you can get an idea of how recently a website was crawled by looking at the cache. [In the listings on the search engine results pages, under each site is a little tab labeled cache. This is a snapshot of the page when it was last crawled by Google. When you click on cache, the date it was cached is somewhere near the top of the page.] Other clues are frequency of updates. A frequently updated site is more likely to be frequently crawled by the search engines
- Submit a sitemap to Google webmaster tools. This is a must do. Register for a webmasters tools account at Webmaster Tools . Remember to verify your account. The site will tell you how. Again really simple. Next create a sitemap for your site. You can create a free site map at XML sitemaps. It's really easy to do and the sites are both self explanatory. Submit your site map to the appropriate section of your webmasters tools page. This tells Google that this is your sites layout and expedites a page crawl. Remember to update your sitemap every time you add new content to your site
Buy a domain name that is already indexed.
There are lots of sites from which you can buy expiring domain names. These are domain names that often have had a website built for them and the owner has chosen not to maintain ownership of the domain name. Usually these domain names, f selected carefully come with some backlinks already in place, occasionally some PR and often indexed in multiple search engines. You need to review the history of the site though to make sure you are not getting a blacklisted domain name.
The option to go with really is building backlinks to your site. Works well and could cut down the waiting period
Till next time
Sunday, 8 March 2009
Advantages of having podcasts of your blog posts
- Visually impaired. Makes your blog more user friendly and perhaps increase the pool from which you can draw an audience
- Convenience. The type A personalities who just cannot stop for a second to read your blog posts may think again if they can listen to the posts while getting ready for work
- Portability. Again the convenience afforded to your blog readers by having a downloadable podcast is tremendous. They can download it to their ipod or other mp3 player and listen to your podcasts while driving to work or wherever
- Podcast RSS. Syndicating your podcasts i.e getting the RSS feeds of your blogs podcasts and submitting it to podcast feed directories is one great and easy way of generating traffic to your blog
I had to do a little testing with this one and decide on 3 options to share with you here. Now there are several other programs on the Internet that you can use to turn your blog posts to podcasts but these 3 were what I thought were most appropriate for people who are mainly bloggers and not podcasters
Definitely my favorite.
Pros of Odiogo
- Really easy to use. Just submit your blog's RSS feed and your email address and your blogs content is converted within a couple of minutes to audio format
- Embed on Blog. Again you can embed your podcasts on your blog and the appropriate podcast is associated with the relevant post automatically. All you need to do is add the odiogo widget
- Versatility. Odiogo has widgets for a wide variety of blogging platforms including blogger, Wordpress, Typepad and Blogengine. And they are developing more!
- Control page. Here you can preview your audio files before loading onto your blog. The control page contains the links for iTunes, Juice and Zune users to subscribe to your feeds. The control panel also has tabs to help bookmark your podcast feeds easily
- Choice. You can select a male or female voice, language and accent
- Statistics. These are emailed you from time to time. It's a log of the download requests for your podcasts
Cons of using Odiogo
- My podcasts stop prematurely. It may be because of the feeds setting on my blog which was not set at full. I have altered this but am still waiting for the audios to go to full length
Been around since 2005 and another really good service.
Pros of Talkr
- Easy to use. Just submit the blog RSS feed and email
- Similar to Odiogo
- Allows embeding of your podcast on your blog
- Earn Money. You can earn money with Talkr by allowing adverts to be included in your RSS feed and your podcast
- Stats page. Allows you to monitor the performance of your podcasts
Cons of Talkr
- Personally I preferred the feel of Odiogo. But that's just personal preference
- Talkr asks for more personal info than Odiogo e.g address
- Again my podcast was for shortened to 10 seconds but perhaps the same RSS feed formatting problem applies
- Reports page: Date ends 2007. Still trying to figure that one out
Another blog post to podcast converter. I have to admit that I just found the voice too artificial. And there seemed to be a problem with pronouncing the word blog. Hmmm
So get podcasting
Saturday, 7 March 2009
So you have decided you want to start your very own blog. Be it for recreational or business purposes, the decision has been made.
But there are so many variables and so many possibilities that just deciding on the one, supposedly simple thing opens a whole basket of questions
In the next few posts we will discuss a few of the recurring questions that newbie bloggers have asked me
Today the question is self hosted or externally hosted blog. Which is best ?
The answer to this depends on what you want to do with your blog. Now as this is an Internet marketing blog, I will target my answer at people who are into marketing online.
Before we get into the discussion we will go over the pros and cons of each type
Self hosted blogs.
These are blogs that you host with your own registered domain name on a hosting server that you have paid for.
Pros of self hosted blogs
- Control. What you do with your blog is totally under your control. The limits to what you can do with your self hosted blog are dictated by the limits of your technical ability or that of the blog designer you employ. Limitations with regards to templates, design, bandwidth which could be an issue with externally hosted blogs are eradicated by self hosting
- Domain name. Quite important for some, especially businesss blogs. Some would argue that it is easier to brand your own domain name than a dot blogspot or domain name. Also may have a more professional feel to have your own domain name
Cons of self hosted blogs
- Money. You need to pay to register the domain name and for the hosting account
- Set Up. Although you could get a free blogging platform and use this for your self hosted blog e.g the wordpress platform, setting your blog up is more technically difficulted thann the externally hosted blogs.
Externally hosted blogs.
These are blogs where you can create an account for your self but which are hosted on someone else's server, usually free, and which is partially controlled by them
Pros of externally hosted blogs
- Free. Most of the external blog hosts e.g wordpress.org, blogger, typepad, livejournal are free to use. All you need is a valid email address
- Easy to Set up. The blogging platforms for the externally hosted blogs are usually user friendly and come with a selection of pre-made templates. There is often also a short walk through introduction, making things really easy
- Easier to run. Running a blog does not only involve putting up blog posts. There are also other factors like permalinks for each post, automatic pinging, comment forms, comment moderation, generation of RSS feeds. All these are done automatically with the external blogging platforms like wordpress and blogger
- Leg Up. The externally hosted blogging platforms like blogger already have a wide network of blogs with reputation. By hosting your blog on this network, you blog gets a little leg up with regards to rapid indexing and getting some traffic
Cons of externally hosted blogs
- Loss of content. Because these blogs are hosted on someone else's servers, they can and occasionally do delete blogs at little notice. Can be a problem because even if your account is re-instated the content is often deleted permanently
- Unwieldy templates. The selection of templates for these platforms are rather limited and restrict what you can do with them when it comes to page lay out and add ons. If you are savvy with HTML, you can sometimes get around this but for most newbie bloggers, the option is to try and get the template that most closely fits your requirements
- Domain name. The domain name of the free hosted blogging platforms is only partially within your control. They almost always have URLs that give them away as free hosted blogs. for example the blogger blogs tend to have .blogspot in the domain name
So how does all this apply to an Internet marketer. Again it really depends on what you want to achieve with the blog
Get Backlinks. If you have a primary money making site and all you are trying to do is get backlinks from the blog to your site, then I would suggest a free hosted blog as the ideal option. The advantages are
- Free. You really do not want to spend money getting backlinks. Especially if you can get them for free
- IP address. You want the links pointing back to your pages to be from a different IP address than the site you are trying to boost in the search engines. With a blogger or other externally hosted blogging platform, you can be sure that the IP will be different from the server your home site is hosted on
- Replicate. Because they are free, you can build several different blogs on the different free blogging platforms all with links pointing back to your money making site. This means a bunch of links from different IPs all free, all with relevant content [because you have written the content] pointing back to your website.
Your main money making page
If you intend to make the blog your main online presence then I would recommend a self hosted blog. For these reasons
- Domain name. You want a domain name that is unique and short and hopefully brandable. .blogspot is just not brandable except maybe for blogger and Google. But you want to have your own stamp on your main business page so a self hosted blog with your own brandable domain name is the way to go
- Control. You really cannot afford for your business blog to disappear overnight. Just is not good for business. Self hosting your own blog ensures that your blog will be up at least 96 to 99% of the time [depending on which hosting service you are with]
- Versatility. With self hosting, the variety if things you can easily do with your blogs is vastly increased. Opt in forms, scripts, databases, videos are just a few
- Bandwidth. With free hosted blogs there is a limit to the bandwidth you are allocated. But if your blog becomes successful with a ton of visitors coming everyday, videos to watch and ebooks to download, your bandwidth will soon be used up. With self hosted blogs you can buy more bandwidth as the amount of traffic and usage of your blog increases.
Whatever option you decide on there are free video tutorials on setting up your blog at how to build a blog
Till next time
Friday, 6 March 2009
But the majority fail.
So is it possible to take a blog to super blog status as an individual one man band?
Now this blog, Niche Traffic Sale is nowhere near super blogdom.
But I asked myself could I reach these lofty heights if I wanted to?
And after a shed load of research and analysis the answer is a definite yes.
And this is the result of my research
Characteristics of blogs that have attained super blogdom
The blogs are all branded. Be it shoemoney, uberaffiliate, problogger, huffington post or matt cutts these blogs have branded there name.
For some reason, probably because of the emphasis on SEO we tend to name our blogs based
on the keywords we are going after. Take this blog for example.
But shoemoney? I suppose it has money in the name. But the point is short, easy to remember names and they spend time branding these names.
Majority of the really successful blogs post everyday.
Some post several times a day.
And not just any old stocking filler post.
They post articles that are informative, unique, useful and authoritative. Some refer to these as 'Pillar posts'
Some of us write pillar posts some of the time. But you will find that in the authority blogs, ALL their posts are pillar posts . Each post is thoroughly researched with tons of information and nothing left out
I have not come across a super blog that was not niche specific. Huffington post is politics, shoe money is online marketing.
Name the super blog and you are looking at a specific niche.
So what should you be doing on your blogs. Perhaps staying niche focused is a good place to start
I was reading an article on one of these blogs and I thought 'That's odd! It doesn't have the usual feel to it'
I looked at the top of the post and read 'guest post' 'Aha, that
explains it' I thought.
You see each of blogs that have achieved great status have personality. There is a certain manner of speaking, a way of expressing their views. You could see a post from these blogs on any other site and be almost certain, this is a shoe money post or uberaffiliate entry.
You blog needs to have a personality of it's own. Regular readers should get a sense of familiarity when reading a new post on your blog. Relating to your readers is like relating to your friends. You don't change your personality with every new encounter with a friend so why should your blog?
The focus mainly appears to be researching and putting out useful information on the niche. They give you the impression they are passionate about their topic and aim to share as much information about their chosen subject as possible.
These blogs do not post pitch after pitch after pitch. Yes they monetize their blogs and certainly they seem to make a lot of money from these blogs. But they realize that the best way to get people to trust your recommendations is to first get them to trust you.
All the super blogs I visited have a comments box and have tons of comments per post. I suppose the ability of a visitor to air their own opinion ads to the perceived value of a blog but it seems to go beyond that.
Opt in box.
The majority have an opt in form somewhere above the fold of the page with a really nice incentive that is usually created by them.
None of this PLR ebooks that you can find on a dozen other blogs.
But informative ebooks or videos that are unique to that particular blog
We know that social bookmarking can help generate traffic to our blogs and we sometimes bookmark some of our posts.
But ALL of the super blogs have bookmarking icons on there blogs. The popular bookmarking icons are digg, sphinn, stumble upon and technorati.
A ginormous network.
These guys are EVERYWHERE.
Be it article directories, dmoz, digg, you tube, craigslist. Name it, they've been there and done that
So is it possible to take any blog to super blog status?
The question is have you got the time and dedication it takes to do this?
I don't know about you but for me, well I only do this for the fun of it
Till next Time
And the standard responses are
- Sorry mate find another way to monetize your sites
- It is impossible to get your account back
- It is impossible to get moneys owed paid i.e the balance in the adsense account
- And similar answers
So it is with interest that I read this post at the Huffington post
The long and short of it is Aaron Greenspans bought a domain that was already getting traffic. Probably from backlinks built by previous owners. They proceeded to put put adsense ads on the domain with good results
And then ..bang.. the adsense account was banned
Now we often assume that when people have their adsense accounts banned it is because they are involved in some sort of black hat SEO. But these guys searched themselves and found they were not doing anything wrong. No black hat, no fraudulent clicks nothing.
So unlike the advice given to people in similar situation in the forums, they decided to chase this down
After several emails and phone calls and all what not, they decided to sue Google adsense for the money left in the adsense account, over $700. Which is not peanuts by any standard
The outcome? They won. The outstanding amount plus court costs were awarded
So a little glimmer of hope for those who have been banned by the adsense program and feel they have worked within the terms of service
What do you think?