Saturday, 31 July 2010

Bloggers, Work Smart Not Hard

It really is amazing how many bloggers are burning rubber out there. By that I mean they are working really hard but doing all the wrong things.

No wonder people think blogging for an income does not work

I was at a forum which I have been a member of for about three years and have about 60 posts on there.

Yeah, I know 60 posts for three years does not make me the most active member of the forum. And it is one of the more active webmaster forums.

I noticed something odd. A chap who had about 2000 posts for a one year membership declared his earnings. About $80 a month.

Shocking.

I don't know about you by $80 a month is not a lot of money, it's quite bad.

So why did this grab my attention?

This guy has done what he was told to do by the gurus, forum participation and he was actively participating as well.

But if you are going to post 2000 posts in a forum in one year...... Doesn't leave any time for much else.

See what I mean by working smart rather than hard.

Now I am not saying forum participation is bad, in fact it's a good thing and I get a fair amount of traffic from the forums. But you have got to be smart about it. Having one well thought out and relevant answer to someones question is going to go much further than lots of inanae posts. it's about the quality of the message not the quantity.

So if you are a marketer who is doing your own thing and not outsourced, try to focus on return on investment regarding time and effort. it'll help you decide how often you post in the forums and how much time you leave for other effective things like article marketing, social networking, product creation, content creation.... need I go on?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

About Buying Make Money Online Products

As affiliate marketers or internet marketers or professional bloggers, we are always, always looking out for the next big thing that will take our business up yet another level.

You know the new traffic generating software, or tutorial on how to quadruple your income in 5 minutes, or how to make x amount in a short time

There is an abundance of them on the web and honestly some of them have really useful tips. I bought a program recently and one tip in the first video I watched on that tutorial has helped me double the traffic to one of my sites.

Well it's not the tip actually, it's implementing it that worked.

I am getting off track here so back to the point. Some of the products out there are really useful and will help your business but the majority won't.

There is a proliferation of products by people who built the blog or website and could NOT make money from it.

So they thought 'Hang on, I can make money by making a tutorial on how to make money online'

???? Hang on a minute. You cannot make money online by affiliate marketing, adsense , whatever so you thought you'd make money by teaching people how to do that which you could not achieve. Hmmm

And people fall for it!!

So before you buy your next training videos or ebook, take a second to find out about the guy who wrote it

Till next time

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Free Software Like Photoshop

Photoshop is the gold standard for photo editing software.
As an internet marketer you'll need photo editing ability to do things like creating your header, making favicons, editing screen captures, etc

And photoshop is second to none regarding this.

But it costs about $700 give or take a dollar. And most of you reading this just do not have that amount of disposable income.

So what are the alternatives?

Gimpshop

Gimpshop is a modification of the open source photo editing software, Gimp, and it is so cool it's unbelievable. The modification according to the official website is in order to make people who are used to the photoshop interface comfortable with Gimpshop.

Gimpshop works across a wide variety of platforms e.g. Windows, Linux, mac

I'll add some screen captures to this post later. Unfortunately I am not at home at the moment.

I do most of my photo editing with Gimpshop. It is free to download at http://www.gimpshop.com/

and there are tutorials on how to use Gimp at http://www.gimp.org/tutorials/


Check it out!

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Get Your Blog Indexed Quickly

"How can I get my blog indexed quickly." It's an ever recurring question in the forums

Or

"I have submitted my blog to the search engines and it's still not indexed"

Another frequent thread in the search engines

So I thought I'd write this post on how you can get your blog indexed quickly in the search engines, specifically Google

I know that Google and Yahoo have a site submission service where you go and submit your URL to them and they eventually get round to crawling and perhaps indexing your blog. Like I said eventually.

But blogging is a business. And we all know time off the search engines is money lost.

So how can you get your blogs indexed faster.

The long and short of it is you have to let the search engines find your blog. The bots crawl millions of sites and follow links from sites already indexed to new sites that are not in the index.

These links do not need to be do follow. Google bots crawl no follow links as well. They just don't give them any SEO relevance.

Problem is how do you find frequently updated websites and how do you get a link to your blog on these sites?

Social Bookmarking Sites

Social bookmarking sites have frequently updated content and the more popular ones are frequently crawled by the search engine bots. Sites like Delicious and Digg. So the links are no follow. But very useful for getting your blog indexed.

RSS Feeds

Your blog has an RSS feed which you use to syndicate your content online. Some of the RSS feed directories are very popular and therefore have frequently updated content. Frequently updated content usually attracts the search engine bots. So if you submit your blog's RSS feeds to the feed directories, it gives another portal of entry to your blog for the search engine bots.

Sitestats Websites

Sitestats websites are sites that give information about other websites. When you query a website with them they give you information about the site like value, traffic, PR, Alexa ranking, etc. Information that may help in competition analysis or just to assess how your website or blog is doing. The problem with these sitestats is you can never find any two that agree on the value of any website. But there is one use of these sitestats. When a website or blog is queried, they create a webpage with details of the website or blog queried. This page has a backlink to the blog or website. The backlink is usually no follow but what you want is any link that can be crawled by the search enige bot. Some frequently crawled sitestats websites are websiteoutlook [one of the most popular], mysiteworth, websitemark.net etc

Forums

There are forums online that are very active. They are easy to find using Omgili.com or bigboards.com. Register with a bunch of these forums. Have a link to your blog in your signature and participate actively in the forums. Everytime you add a post on the forum, your signature is attached. That's a crawlable link. Please make sure your comments are relevant to the topic being discussed or your account will be banned.


Sitemap.
This is another great way to point the Google bots in the right direction. Create a sitemap for your blog and submit it to Google via the Google webmaster tools account.

With the above methods your blog will be indexed in a very short time.

The main theme is do not go to the search engines. rather let the search engines come to you
Submit a sitemap to Google via webmaster tools

Friday, 18 June 2010

Difference Between Successful Blogs And Your Blog

If you are a blogger looking to improve the results you are getting from your blog, this post is for yo.

I don't care if the desired action is to make a sale or get an opt in or get an adsense click, they are all measures of outcome from your blogging activity. They are your desired results.

While it is true that there are a lot of factors that could influence the outcome of your blog e.g. blogging platform, colour scheme, day of the week on which you post, even time of day that you post, all these things all add up to a small part of what determines blog success. Yes they are important but they are the fine print. The difference as measured in cents.

What we want to know is how to make a difference to the dollars. The big impact.

We are told that the motto of a blogger should be

"Write Post
Get Traffic"


And when you read all the blogging guides out there be it John Chow's or Yaro Starak's they all teach variations of the same thing. Post frequently, capture your leads and get traffic.

And you are probably doing this.

So why is it that some blogs generate hundreds to thousands of dollars per month for the blog owner while others do not. We are all "writing posts" and "getting traffic"

The difference is in the quality of your posts. It's not enough to post any old dross.

Your visitors must get something from your blog. An Ah-ah moment, some entertainment, a nugget of information they did not know before, a tip that helps them in their day to day lives, or business, something!

You must give them something with each and every post. It's why autoblogs just do not work when it comes to making a significant income online [I know, it's beginning to sound like I have something against autoblogs. Actually I do but that's for another day]

The amazing blogs that generate hundreds of dollars are written by...people. Shock horror. People like you and me who sit down and put quality content on their blogs.

And so can you!

If I have done nothing else, I do hope this post has stimulated you to try just a little harder with your blogs. It will make all the difference

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Google Alerts Source Of Blog Content

Anyone who has been in blogging for any period of time will have realized that content is crucial if your blog is going to make any big shakes in the search engines and with your visitors.

Problem though is if you are like me, you want your content to be meaningful and useful for your visitors. You want to give them all the information they need and keep out the dross.

But there are times when the creative juices run dry. You just do not have anything to share on your blog. At least not anything that is up to the quality that you would like to show in each and everyone of your blog posts.

And for me when that happens, I simply do not post. But there is a source of content I look to first. Actually there are several but for the purposes of this blog post we will focus on one

Google alerts.

Google alerts, most of you know as a way to discovering when Google indexes your articles or posts. [Seems like a waste of a great resource to me] But anyway that's a popular use of Google alerts

But what if you can use alerts to help you generate content. To give you ideas about what to post on your blog. To keep you up to pace with what everyone else in the industry is doing.

Just set up an alert for your keyword or industry term.

Go to http://www.google.com/alerts


This page will load






Enter the keyword in the appropriate box

If you are using a phrase then it makes sense to put it in quotation marks or your inbox will soon be flooded

Set up an email account that is just for receiving Google alerts. I say this because of your keyword is one that is used often online, your mailbox will soon be full of all these alerts

Another useful tip with Google alerts is if your keyword generates more than a few alerts a day, then set frequency to 'once a day' instead of 'as it happens'

Now you have all the information on the internet about your keyword sent directly to you in your email as it is indexed by Google.

Great source of ideas for content

Monday, 14 June 2010

EzineArticles User Friendly Article Statistics

Ezine articles is probably one of my favorite article directories. It's got decent PR and I have had no problems getting my articles accepted and published by them.

One great feature of ezinearticles is the ability to see how often your articles have been viewed, how often the link in your signature has been clicked etc

And this information is really useful. But ezinearticles have cranked things up a notch. The new article statistics layout is awesome. It gives you all the information AND Trends on one page.

For me recently my articles have not been getting as many views as they did a few months ago.


I suppose I have to spend some effort promoting them. And I decided all this from a ten second glance at the new ezinearticles article statistics page!

Al I can say is 'Awesome!'

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Top Tips from Autoblogging

Autoblogging is the process of creating a blog that automatically populates itself with content. Other peoples' content. Personally I am not into autoblogging. Something whiffy about it. But as an affiliate marketer, I learned everything I could about autoblogging so that I know what the rest of the industry is doing.

And I learned a few things that applied in non-autoblogging have yielded good results.

The thing is the people in autoblogging realize one basic but important thing. Content is King. Lots of content and frequently updated. That's why autoblogs do so well.

But as an ethical marketer who is not into autoblogging, I thought I'd apply this one principle to one of my blogs

The principle is simple. Post content frequently. Obviously the burden on those of us that like to generate our own content is the burden of creating the content. But I gave it a go

So I started a blog in a competitive niche, no point in going for easy pickings. and started writing good quality content often. I admit, I could not keep up to the post every few hours or everyday that autoblogging permits but I posted to this blog a couple of times a week.

I sometimes only posted once a week.Just because I have other online projects that need my attention and then there is the day job as well. And also if you really do not have something useful to post, then I believe you shouldn't post at all

Anyway, a few months later and my blog is number one in Google for some pretty lucrative keywords.

Again I do not autoblog but by understanding one of the reasons why autoblogging works and applying that principle to my blog, result!

Tuesday, 8 June 2010

Disclaimer Page. Every Affiliate Marketing Site Needs A Disclaimer

As an affiliate marketer, you may be marketing via a website or a blog. If you do not have a disclaimer on your website, you need to add a disclaimer page whatever niche you are in
For those of us in the make money online niche, adding a page with a 'no guarantee of earnings' clause is second nature.

But what about other niches?

Here are some reasons why you need to have a disclaimer page irrespective of what niche you are promoting products in.

New FTC regulation

The new FTC regulations effective from December 2009 has implications for affiliate marketers. While the aim is to stop people endorsing products they have not used and also to stop people making claims that are unfounded or outlandish [hype], the regulations leave us affiliate marketers a little vulnerable. Especially because we get a commission for successfully promoted products. This means that we should have evidence that the product we are promoting has the effects we claim in our promotions in the majority of people that use it.

Litigation

There has been a recent spate of claims where the consumer has gone after the affiliate marketer when products do not live up to expectations. While I have not found a record of any of these claims being successful, it really can be a drag to go through the process.

It makes sense therefore to protect your business by having a page with a disclaimer and a statement that you are an affiliate of the products recommended on your site. And link to your disclaimer page from every page on your website or blog.

While the disclaimer does not make you bullet proof, it does go a long way to reducing the number of claims that will come your way.

Having said all that, your best defense still remains promoting products that you absolutely believe in and that do what it says on the can for the majority of users.

Sunday, 6 June 2010

Title Tags And Search Engine Optimization

Title tags are so crucial to your search engine optimization.

Yet when I look at some 'niche marketers' websites, i just have to shake my head in dismay. No wonder sites are not ranking as well as they should be, especially when the keywords that the sites I reviewed are aiming for are not exactly what you would call competitive.

The main problem or I should say a common problem is the use of the title tag.

The title tag as I said earlier is crucial to your SEO efforts. The title tag is that area of text that comes up right at the top of the browser when you load a webpage. And is a real hot spot for optimizing your website for the search engines

So why am I coming across so many sites with index and homepage as the title tag when asked to review websites?

It is important that you use your title tag optimally
Include your keyword or keyword phrase there.

More importantly make sure the keyword you are targeting appears first in your title tag.

I'll give you an example. I could use the title tag 'get the skinny on title tags and SEO' for this page.

But what in earth is 'get the skinny'? How is that aspect of my title tag going to help my optimization

Why not 'Tittle tag and SEO, get the skinny'

Or simply

'Tittle tag and SEO'

I think in our rush to write attention grabbing headlines, which are not a bad thing if used appropriately, we have to consider what effect our choice of words will have on the performance of the website in the search engines.

You can 'get the skinny' all you like but if you are in position 100 in Google for your chosen keyword [and perhaps position 3 for get the skinny :) ] what good is that going to do you

Now I am not saying that the title tag is the only element of SEO and by all means you can get really good rankings by implementing other components of search engine optimization like load time and backlinks. But I am saying that it is an easy to implement and really effective component of search engine optimization

So do a couple of minutes work on your web pages title tags and you'll see good returns with respect to your search engine position

Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Google Wonder Wheel Perfect Keyword Research Tool

In Niche marketing keyword research is crucial.
Here is a heads up on one of the smartest and yet easy to use keyword research tools I have used. It's free and the tool is by Google.

The Google wonder wheel. Absolutely a gold mine. If you know the general niche you want to be in e.g. fat loss that's a great start to setting up your niche marketing website. But what you want is the long tail keywords that command a lot of searches but as we know, are easier to optimize for than the top level keyword.

Problem is there are so many possible permutations and word combinations that constitute long tail keywords.

How do you know the ones that people are actually searching for. The answer is the Google wonder wheel.

So how can you use the Google Wonder Wheel?
Go to the Google home page and type in your top level keyword. For this post I will stick with Fat Loss

On the results page down the left side of the organic listings is a list of links.

Near the bottom of this list is the Wonder wheel link.




Click it

On clicking that link a new page loads with a wheel and spoke diagram on it. Your top level keyword is in the middle and Wonder wheel gives you a few long tail options in the spokes.



Already very exciting.

If you decide that you want to dig deeper, click on the long tail keyword of your choice. A new wheel is added with long tails of your long tail keywords



The Google wonder wheel is just so cool.

I am sure you can think of a lot of possible uses of the information you get from this.

But don't take my word for it. Take the Google wonder wheel for a test drive and please share your views in the comments section below

Monday, 17 May 2010

Backlinks To Avoid - Backlink Lists

Backlinks are good for search engine optimization. In fact backlinks are crucial for SEO, especially if you are after those lucrative keywords.

But there are a number of backlinks that you should seriously avoid. Simply because they could seriously hurt your sites performance in the search engines

In a rather old post on this blog we talked about link farms, bad neighbourhoods and blacklisted sites. These are pretty obvious and, unless you are a total newbie, you would already have figure this out.

But there is another sinister and apparently innocent source of backlinks that could seriously hurt your rankings

The Backlink list

You must have seen them in the forum

"List of 700 blogs with do follow links"

Or

" Auto-approved backlinks, 500 blogs"

Or

"List of do follow forums"

And on the surface of it they look great. And every man and his dog, at least every internet marketer and his outsourced link building guy in the third world will jump on these lists.

But these are websites that you really DO NOT want to get backlinks from.

In analyzing your website and the relevance of your websites in the search engines, Google looks at backlinks pointing to your website. And we all know that we want do follow anchor text links from websites preferably in our niche.

But it goes deeper than that.

From looking closely at how backlinks affect websites, it seems that Google looks at the type of sites that a website links to. If your website is getting a backlink from a webpage that links out to a whole bunch of spammy websites, then your website may generate enough suspicion for closer analysis.

Not a problem if that one site is the only website that is overrun by spammers pointing to your site.

But on analysis of all the backlinks pointing to your website, if the majority of the links are from websites that also point to other spammy websites then the case really is loaded against your website.

So back to those lovely lists of backlinks kindly provided by well meaning colleagues in the forums. Great idea but in reality, probably to be avoided.

Again I do not work for Google and my comments are based purely on observations.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Niche Marketing Statistics. How Often Do You Check

Internet marketing requires you to have your finger on the pulse at all times. especially when it comes to monitoring the traffic on our websites.

And before I launch into this, I just need to say that any serious internet marketer needs to have some method of analyzing the traffic to your websites and your conversions. Traffic analysis is crucial. If you haven't got analysis on your sites, stop reading this and go to Google analytics and set up your traffic analysis. It's free and will significantly help your business. No kidding.

Back to our discussion, for those of us that are smart and have website analysis, how often do we or should we check our stats?

As an affiliate marketing newbie, I checked my stats every few hours. By few I mean at least every couple of hours. I don't know what I was looking for. A sudden surge of traffic to my 6 page website with no backlinks. Wishes and horses come to mind.

And then I started getting traffic and the frequency of the stats review went up.

Then the penny dropped.

How much time am I spending [ or rather wasting] checking my website statistics? Loads.

So the mind change occured and the time was spent on building backlinks and content on my then 6 page website.

Then another penny dropped

My SEO efforts, the backlinks and the on page changes take TIME to have an effect on my websites traffic!

Hmmm. More evidence that maybe checking my statistics every two hours is a bit of a pointless exercise.

So how about now?

With websites getting anything from a hundred to a few thousand views a day [varies with the website] there really is not the need to check every two hours to see if that one visitor has been.

Yes, I do some statistics analysis on most days. But this is to see that the traffic generating campaigns that I have set up are still sending me traffic. And also to see the results of any new methods.

So in sharing my experience with you, I hope you realize that traffic analysis is important but do not let it get in the way of the activities that DO help you make money with your website

Friday, 14 May 2010

Bankerfox Trojan And Niche Marketing

Prior to last week I thought you could only get a virus infect your computer through downloads. And as a result have always been very careful about where I download products from. All those email attachments are carefully scanned before I open them, thank you

So I was absolutely stunned a week ago when one of my laptops suddenly flashed up a warning that I was under an internet trojan attack. What on earth is going on. And I have a fully up to date Norton package on board. Anyway I quickly turned off the WiFi and turned off the computer and after several exhaustive hours of booting and cleaning and deleting and all the rest of it, I found out my laptop is one of thousands that has become infected with a spyware protect 2009 virus

What this virus does is make you think that your computer is infected with the bankerfox trojan, a virus that hijacks your web browser and steals your bank details when you log in.

Basically the spyware protect wants you to buy it and protect yourself from the trojan

It took getting smitfraudfix from http://siri.geekstogo.com/SmitfraudFix.php to sort out the spyware protect virus

Why am I telling you this? As niche marketers we visit a ton of sites each day. And although the majority will be innocuous, some will infect your computer with viruses. I was lucky and it was only the spyware protect virus. It could have been worse and be the bankerfox trojan. Having said that I will not be accessing my bank accounts on that particular laptop in future

So the lesson is make sure you have a good antivirus package on the computers you do your surfing on. In fact make sure you have a good antivirus on all your computers.

Saturday, 8 May 2010

Images And Search Engine Optimization

Images and SEO is one of those posts that I have been thinking of sharing with you for a while now but didn't. Why? Because I thought the value of Images and optimizing your images for the search engines is very much in the 'well known' folder

But looking at some websites and some of the questions on the forums and which I am asked personally, perhaps This article on SEO and images needs to be written

The bottom line is the images on your websites should be independently getting traffic for you, search engine traffic.
Google images is a search engine that is often used by a lot of people when they want to see an image. And when I think of it, Google images is something I use on a daily basis, not related to my internet marketing business

So what you want is for your images to rank well in Google images for keywords relevant to your site and obviously relevant to your images.

So how do you get your images to rank well in the images search engine

File Name. I the old days it was okay to name our images image 1, image2, image3, .... and that's okay. but won't do you much good if you are trying to rank for 'search engine optimization'. So give the images names that contain your keyword or a variation on the theme

Alt Tag. When you add an image to a webpage, you have the option of adding an alt tag to it. The initial purpose of alt tag was so that you have a descriptive text of the image if viewing the site on a browser that cannot load images.

But the alt tag is words on your page. Words that can be read by the search engine bot and can therefore contribute to the keyword density of the page the image is on. So include your keyword in your alt tag. Make it short and to the point. Try not to be too spammy with it or the search engines could red flag you. Not a good thing

Words next to the image. The words around your image are relevant, especially the words immediately after the image. SO if you want one f your images to come up high in the Google image search engine for a particular keyword, have those words appear in the sentence immediately after the image

Okay so I have given you a few tips on how to optimize your images for the search engines

A gentle warning. DO NOT ABUSE THE ALT TAG. Having the same alt tag for all the images on your page, or worse still repeating your keyword in one alt tag over and over again could get you a penalty with Google

So use these tips but be sensible about optimizing your images for the search engines

Monday, 3 May 2010

Get Your Backlinks Indexed

Building do follow backlinks is the core of search engine optimization ... for now
And if you are like most niche marketers you spend a lot of time looking for new ways of getting backlinks or building backlinks to your sites
And be it forum profiles, guest blogging, article marketing or building content on free blogging platforms, you probably have been there and done that

One key ingredient that can take these efforts up a notch is getting these backlinks indexed

We all have been there. You write a post, spin it and submit it to a bunch of article directories. And then wait and wait for the articles and their contained link to your site, to get indexed in Google. And it sometimes takes ages for this to happen.

So give your backlinks a little help. get them indexed by using RSS

You can create an RSS feed for the pages that contain your backlinks i.e. those profile pages or articles on article directories.

To create the feed use http://rss.icerocket.com or dapper.com

The both allow you to add URLs and create a feed that you can then distribute to RSS feed directories

Till next time

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Canonical URLS www vs non-www

Canonical URLS is something that had me confused for a long period of time. And it adversely affected the way my websites and blogs performed in the search engines

You upload a website and throw content and backlinks at it. All well and good.
But in the process of assessing your home page you find that the address is displayed variably as
www.yourdomain
yourdomain
www.yourdomain.com/index

and so on

And for me initially I did not understand what the problem with this was.

Duplicate content. The search engine treat the three examples given above as three different domain names. Three domain names with exactly the same content and layout. Smells of duplicate content to me. Not really great for your search engine optimization

Backlinks. Major problem. You build backlinks to your site. And sometimes you copy and paste the URL and at other times you type it in manually. Problem is instead of getting a ton of back links to one URL, you end up with a bunch to the www domain, some to the non-www domain and others to the /index.html domain. Totally dilutes out your efforts

Is this important. You bet. In fact it is crucial.

Just do a backlink analysis of your own website using the www.domain and then the domain without www. yo could even try the /index.html

You'll find that if you have not canonicalised your domains URL, the results will not make for good viewing

So what should you do now

Decide which version you want as your homepage URL. I tend to go for the www.domain version. This is the version you want Google and the other search engines to index and this is the version that you want your backlinks to point to.

Once you have decided what version you want, do a permanent redirect i.e. a 301 redirect of the other domains to your main domain i.e. the www.domain version

The 301 redirect in my opinion is the best way of handling this problem because it redirects all traffic, human and robot to your desired domain URL

Another option is to use the canonical URL tag. This is a piece of code you put in the header portion of your html code.

The code reads like
<link rel="canonical" ref="http://www.yourdomain.com">


This means that all other formats of the page should be treated as the www version. This is an instruction to the search engine bots and therefore does not impact n human visitors

If you are using Wordpress, canonicalization is easily accomplished. Go to your settings page and type in the version you want as your domain's URL

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Blog Commenting Useful Or a Waste of Time

Is blog commenting useful for creating do follow backlinks and getting traffic to websites or blogs?
I am sure you have come across this question as often as I have in the affiliate marketing forums.

And it's a valid question. Because it takes time to compose a blog comment that will pass scrutiny and get approved by the blogs moderators. You have to read the post first and some posts are just long and then compose your comment. So if it does not work then blog commenting could be a total waste of time.

Before I go further, I must admit that blog commenting is not my main method of generating do follow links to my sites. it's not even a method that I spend a lot of time on these days.

I tend to do a lot of competition analysis and take my cue from there.

or analyze backlinks of the websites that I know are run by SEO 'gurus' and see what they are doing

Anyway during one of my 'guru' analysis I found a webpage that is doing pretty well in Google for a few decent keywords

And doing some backlink analysis found that the majority of the do follow backlinks to that page were.... you guessed it, blog comments

What really amazed me was some of the blog pages the comments were on had decent page rank. No not the home page, the specific post page.

So I think maybe blog commenting is not a total waste of time after all.

See you on the blogs :)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Getting Traffic To A Niche Blog

How do I get traffic to my blog is a frequently asked question in the forums
And whenever I see this question I think, even a blog post is not sufficient to cover the various methods of getting traffic to a niche blog or website. It's just too big a topic

But this picture may help towards answering the question




Sunday, 18 April 2010

Outbound Links And Search Engine Optimization

Somewhere along the line someone came up with the idea that outbound links i.e. links pointing out of your blog or website to another website, can significantly boost your search engine optimization. And like all SEO tips it caught on like wild fire. And a lot of webmasters and bloggers wrote articles on the types of sites you should be linking to in order to maximize this SEO boost.

And there was the suggestion that if your site links out to an authority site like Wikipedia, it will help your SEO.

Hmmm. Does not sound very credible to me.

Having outbound links can be beneficial, don't get me wrong. It's just that there is no evidence that doing this in itself has an inherent search engine optimization effect.

A couple of benefits of linking out include

Natural linking. We have said time and time again that Google looks for natural linking patterns in websites. And most websites will have links pointing in, and links pointing out. So yes for this purpose it makes sense to have some outbound links. And if you have to, then linking to authority sites like Wikipedia which has good content for your readers makes sense

Visitor trust. Your visitors are likely to keep coming back o you if the websites you recommend to them have quality content that helps them. It's the whole physiology behind the Google search engine. No reason not to apply it on your web pages.

Reciprocal link. Reciprocal linking is something that I really do not seek out simply because one way links have more SEO boost than a reciprocal link from the same page. But reciprocal links are better than none. There is the possibility of the webmaster of a page you link to lining back to you in their blog roll or another article. Does not happen often but from time to time blog owners will link back to a reference made to them on another site

So yes outbound links have there purpose on any niche marketing website or blog.

But the suggestion that outbound links give an SEO boost or advantage, to my mind needs a little more evidence

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Content, Best On Page SEO

In a post on search engine optimization which I think I put up two days ago, I talked a lot about backlinks for SEO. In fact I think the post yesterday was also on some aspect of getting backlinks to help your search engine optimization efforts.

But On page optimization matters and it matters a great deal. So do not neglect your on page SEO

When you talk about on page search engine optimization, people start talking about title tags and headers and keyword density, which is all well and good

But the most important aspect of your on page search engine optimization efforts, in my opinion, should be content.

In another post we have talked about volume of content and all that but here I want to talk about the quality of your content.
  • Does you post or website deliver what the title suggests
  • Does it speak to your readers
  • Are your readers likely to come back based on their satisfaction with this one post.
You have to start writing content for people not for the search engines.

Someone said the search engine is an algorithm, a robot, and no robot is going to make a purchase from your site or opt in to your email list.
People however do make purchases, and click on adsense ads and occasionally some even give you their email address so you can contact them again and again.

It is the content on your pages that will compel them to reach into their pockets.

You are probably thinking that what we have discussed so far has more to do with conversions than with search engine optimization

But hang on a minute
Google aims to deliver accurate, relevant and useful content to their search engine users
You aim to deliver useful, relevant, accurate and current information to your website users.

Looks like you and Google are trying to achieve the same thing

It stands to reason then that if you are writing with quality in mind, you'll be delivering the kind of content that Google wants to deliver to it's audience

Think about it

Friday, 16 April 2010

Get Backlinks From Statistics Websites

So for those who are really desperate for backlinks, there is a relatively simple method of getting backlinks from statistics websites.

Statistics websites are sites that show some statistical information about other websites e.g. alexa, websiteoutlook, jinxsun, etc

They show information like traffic, backlinks, value of website. The information is not always accurate and two of these sites can have absolutely different figures for the same site. For example the value of this blog is $9767.4 on websiteoutlook and $48581 in strategicfirst [heavens knows where the point four came from]. So for statistical analysis the information is to be taken with a shovel full of salt. However each of these sites has a backlink to the site being analyzed. Hmmm.

Unfortunately for the majority, the backlinks are no follow but a few have do follow

So how would you use these links?

Indexing. remember we said that to get indexed, it does not matter whether the links to your site are do follow or no follow The Google bot can crawl these links, it's just they only give SEO weight to do follow links. [See Do follow, what exactly is do follow]

So if you have a website that is new and you want the Google bots to discover, then these links from statistics websites could be useful.

Problem is the process could be time consuming if this is done manually.

Solution - an free online script that does it all for you. The site is http://www.freesitescripts.com

Check it out
Till next time

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Changes In Google Webmaster tools

I recently logged into my Google webmaster tools account and found things have changed a little and for the better.

By the way I think every niche marketer should have a webmaster tools account. it's free and gives you a lot of information about how Google sees your website

Recently though Google has added a great feature to the analytics aspect of webmasters tools

Previously it showed us the keyword that our sites appear in the top 100 for. and in a separate column showed us the keywords sending traffic to our websites. This alone is very useful information

But Google has amalgamated this and improved it
Now you have a table showing the keywords your website has impressions for and the click through rate. This is excellent research information for improving your search engine optimization efforts.

If you do not have a Google webmaster tools account, drop everything and sign up for one NOW. it will help you manage your websites better

Till next time

Search Engine Optimization Everyday

Getting a number one ranking and staying there for a relevant and lucrative keyword in Google is not going to be easy but it is possible.

It is why you need a strategy that works when doing SEO for your website.
It's about creating a system that you work at everyday and only vary from when you find a better method

Emphasis on everyday

You could decide to focus on article marketing and directory submissions for example. I am not saying you must do this, the methods you choose are totally up to you, as long as they help create long term, anchor text, do follow backlinks to your site.

For the example above, you could opt to do directory submissions for 30 minutes to an hour every day and create and submit articles for at least two hours every day.

Lets talk a little more about directory submissions. Initially you will find that in half an hour you may only be able to post to 15 directories. But you'll find that as you get more experience with this, you'll get faster at it. or you may find a free software that semi-automates the process for you.
So initially you were looking at 15 directories a day and by the end of a few weeks you could be submitting to 60 directories a day.

You'll find that not all the directories will approve you links and some of them will turn out to be no follow or close down after a period of time. It's why you are going for a lot of volume with this method of generating backlinks

Regarding articles, this needs a little more time.

The articles will be
  • articles for your website
  • articles for your blog and
  • articles to syndicate via article directories.
Obviously the quality of the content has to be great so it takes a little more time. Again the more you do this, the more articles you will be able to write in the time allotted. Initially it took me two hours to write a decent article. Now I put them out in 15 minutes.

Once you have a system in place, the periods of sitting in front of the PC not knowing what to do next are gone. You have a plan, a solid plan that should last you the rest of your niche marketing career. Because if the system works you can apply it to your next website or blog or both and the one after that, etc

I said if the system works. For any system to be invested in, you need to test the system and make sure it is giving you the desired results if not better.


The problem with SEO is the results are not immediate when it comes to changes in your website's search engine results page position.
You can however
  • Do some backlink analysis to see if these links you have created are being indexed.
  • Do some traffic analysis to see if they are bringing you direct traffic.

Analyze the system and see what is working and what isn't. You may find that you need to change the directory you are submitting to, or alter the call to action message in your biobox.

Whatever it is that you are doing in the system you develop, do it everyday and analyze and tweak

Till next time

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Make Money With Adsense. One Website or Many

Adsense is a favorite topic of mine and when I visit the forums I tend to gravitate towards the adsense subforums.

A recurring question in adsense forums is 'Which is better, make one big site and monetize with adsense or make several niche sites?'

And it's a valid question.
The answer however depends on who is asking the question

So if you are a newbie to making money with adsense and you asked the question 'One website or many?' the answer would be start with one website. And I have a few reasons for this

Learning curve. Have you noticed in the forums there are a lot of people making next to nothing with adsense? These people are not particularly dull or lazy. They are just evidence that it takes some work and know how to start making a significant income with adsense. Yes, there is a learning curve with adsense. Problem is as newbies we throw all these sites up, slap some adsense code on the website and then hope for the money to roll in. But if you are making anything more than a couple of dollars a day with adsense, you will know it takes more than this.

So to the newbie I say build one niche website, put content on it, get traffic to it, learn the skills it takes to make money from adsense with the website before making more sites.

Content generation. The newbie is often not in a position to pay a large amount of money for unique content to put on your website. So that means you have to generate your content yourself.

And believe me, content generation is hard work and time consuming. This naturally limits how much content you can generate a day. So I advice focusing all that creativity on one website and get that to profitability instead of spreading yourself too thin across lots of websites

Getting traffic. Not the easiest task in the world. Getting traffic, significant amounts of traffic to a website that will result in a respectable income from adsense, is no mean task. Gone are the days when you just had to build the website and they came. Now you have to build backlinks, do some social networking, perhaps joint ventures, and then there are press releases. Loads of activities involved in getting traffic to this one site. So as the newbie, again focusing your efforts on your one adsense site makes more sense than building a ton of sites

I read a forum post by someone aiming to make 300 adsense monetized blogs.

Hmmm.

The premise is that each site can make about a dollar a day and ... lets just stop there a second. A dollar a day with a blog that you have put minimal effort into getting traffic to... not likely

For the seasoned internet marketer who has a the money to invest, the answer to the question 'one website or many websites to make money with adsense' is many websites. But by many I mean a dozen not a hundred.

Why the different response?

Because of the power of outsourcing. The wonderful thing about making money with adsense on your website is virtually every aspect of the process can be outsourced.

And if you have been marketing online for a while, you will have figured out what works and what doesn't with regards to adsense.

And because you now know what works, you can spend money outsourcing some of the tasks. Outsourcing allows you to effectively run multiple sites simultaneously but the key still remains knowing what to outsource and to whom

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Update Multiple Social Network Profiles with One Click

Social networking is an essential part of marketing on the internet. But for social networking to work for your business, you really have got to be seen to be participating in these communities.

If you are anything like me, you probably belong to a handful of social networking sites and do not have the time to go to each one to post an update.

A stagnant social networking profile does nothing for your reputation. Problem is with so many other things to do, one soon loses track

There is a tool I have been using for a while now to help make things easier.
It allows you to post to all your social networking profiles with one click.

Admittedly all the sites will display the same message but it does keep your profile active.

And if your update contains a link then you could get up to 42 different sites that the link is posted to. Not a bad thing

The tool is http://ping.fm

Anyone following me on twitter will notice that some of my updates are via ping.fm

It's a free service and really user friendly.
There are 42 social networking sites that you can update from your ping dashboard. You do have to be registered with each of these social networking sites and ping.fm will ask for your log in details, stands to reason really.

And you'll find that you may already be a member of the social networking sites updated via ping.fm

the current list includes facebook, twitter, linkedIn, friendfeed, diigo, Hootsuite, Flickr, Posterous, Vox and more

So if you want the ability to update all your social networking profiles with one click, check out ping.fm

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Enable Blog Comments Or Disable Blog Comments

Blog comments and if you should enable or disable comments on your blog is one of those questions that triggers a lot of answers for both sides in the forums

Looking at blogs on the internet, it's interesting to see that the blogs that seem to have the most success all have comments enabled. They encourage you the reader to post comments on their blog

Yes we all know the major problem with enabling blog comments. Spam

Just too many people trying to get quick and easy backlinks to their sites by posting comments on every blog they come across. It would not be so bad if the comments had any relevance to what the post is discussing or if the user names were not so...spammy

And as bloggers we could implement comment moderation to keep the spam out

But if you are like me, you probably have a bunch of blogs in different niches and moderating them all could fast become a full time job.

So yes, it's understandable why some of you are reluctant to enable comments on your blogs

BUT

All my blogs have comments enabled. I'll give you a few reasons why I have comments on my blogs

  • Good source of content. Some comments do truly ad to the conversation and give some valuable information to your readers. Even if the comment does not agree with what the stance I am taking in the post, it gives another view on the subject. And there is the search engine value of the added content
  • Good source of ideas. I wrote a blog post recently and someone asked how does he achieve some other thing with his blog. Hmmm, hang on a minute, he just gave me an idea for my next blog post
  • Reader participation. I like visiting blogs that are interested in my point of view. Call me egoistic or whatever but I like to voice my opinion. I also tend to go back to blogs where the author has responded to my comment. If it works on me, I am certain it will work on other blog readers. it's about being made to feel like you are a valued part of the blogs audience.
So to answer the question 'should you enable comments on your blog?' I would say definitely yes

Friday, 9 April 2010

Website Load Speed And Google Search Position

Search engine optimization can be a real pain. Mainly because of the ever changing algorithms of Google. I know a lot of people say there are other search engines but as long as Google has the lions share of search engine users, the smart niche marketer will try to get some of this traffic.

So we tend to be a little obsessed with SEO, especially SEO for Google. And although they never reveal their algorithm, we guess at the components based on experience.

And it looks like another change is coming soon according to this post.

The change is that the speed with which your website loads will be factored in to where it appears in the search engine result pages for your keywords

Makes sense really as Google's aim is to deliver relevant, accurate results for queries and at the convenience of the web user.
We all know how irritating it is when you click on a website and it takes...forever for the oage to load.

So how does this affect you the affiliate marketer.

You have got to do what it takes to reduce your websites load time.

A few things you can do to reduce page load time are

  • Images. They look great and can help the user experience but do not go overboard with images. Also if you have a few images on one page, consider combining them into fewer images perhaps by using a photo editor to merge them.
  • HTML. Try and keep your code as clean as possible. Avoid unnecessary code or broken code. These just slow things down
  • I frames and redirects. If it's not necessary, avoid I frames and redirects. They just slow things down a little.
  • Music. Some of you like to have a tune playing when someone loads your website. While it may appeal to some of your visitors, it is another drain on the speed with which your website loads
These are just a few tips but a search on the web will reveal a ton more

Till next time

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Backlinks and IP Diversity

So a lot of you are busy building backlinks to improve your SEO, but how many of those links actually do count. There is the concept of IP diversity which I first came across a few years ago, but judging from the forums a lot of people are not paying attention to this.

The basics of backlinks and IP diversity is this.

Aim to get backlinks from websites with different IP addresses. Simple.
Getting several links from the same IP address is not SEO effective, they all count as one link

And you probably know this and are careful to only generate one link from a website to yours

It becomes a little tricky though when many websites in a wide variety of niches share the same IP address.

For example, Ning websites. There are, I am sure, thousands of Ning sites out their but there is no IP diversity with Ning sites. So getting backlinks from a hundred different Ning sites is ... Not SEO effective.

You are probably thinking 'What about article marketing?'

Any regular reader of this blog knows I am a huge fan of article marketing especially ezinearticles. 'But if I am submitting all my articles to ezinearticles does IP diversity not affect this?'

The thing about article marketing sites is you are hoping to syndicate those articles to other websites. The aim with ezinearticles is to have other webmasters take your articles including your biobox with your link and post these articles on their sites. That's where you get the IP diversity from with marketing through ezinearticles.

Obviously, if your articles suck so badly that no-one republishes them on their website, then yes, if you are using just one article directory then your hundred backlinks from a hundred articles has the power of exactly ..one

So take the time to check the IP addresses of the sites you are getting your backlinks from especially if you are using a footprint to build links.

To check the IP of a site, just do a Google search for 'check website IP' and a lot of options pop up

Also you can assess the backlinks that your website already has to ensure that there is link diversity in two clicks

Use SEO elite to analyze the backlinks to your website. SEO elite gives the IP addresses of all the sites it finds that are linking back to the webpage you specified. It's quite easy to see therefore if your backlinks are all valid and from different IPs or not

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Adsense Tips CSS And Adsense Earnings

I never thought changing the way I build my websites could affect the adsense ads displayed on my websites.

Let me explain.

I have a website that the adsense ads are not targeted to the content on the page. I had done everything I could think of e.g optimize keyword density, ensured adequate content on the pages i.e. at least 300 word.

And still none targeted adsense ads.

I even put up some pages with the keywprd in different positions in the page name and still nothing.

The site is in a niche that attracts a lot of adwords advertisers so I knew there was a lot of ads in the keyword pool

So I thought I would change from monetizing with adsense to using a different program e.g. adbrite or info links. Which was a difficult decision for me because I have had some success with adsense on a large proportion of my other sites.

Before changing the advertiser, I decided to revamp the site. Convert from standard HTML to CSS.

My followers on Twitter will be aware of the period when I was making this change because like all nerds, I tweeted my progress.

I kept the content as is but used external style sheets to format my pages layout

You could have blown me over with a feather when I noticed the sites adsense revenue going up. Hmm and yes I forgot to change monetization... and am I glad I did.

What gives?

Reviewing the pages showed the adsense ads were targeted to my content.

Same content, same page names, just external style sheets resulting in targeted adsense ads and better CTR.

Watch some CSS Tutorial Videos Below



Adobe Dreamweaver: Creating CSS Layouts






Introduction


Course Overview

What’s Covered in the Tutorial

What is CSS?

Why Use CSS?

What You Need to Know


Core Concepts of CSS


Understanding Styles

Style Syntax

Creating Embedded Styles

Creating an External Style Sheet pt. 1

Creating an External Style Sheet pt. 2

Organizing & Managing External Style Sheets

Dreamweaver CSS Styles Panel

CSS Styles Panel – All Mode

CSS Styles Panel – Current Mode


Selector Basics


About Selectors

Class Selector

ID Selector

Context Selectors

When to Use ID vs. Class

Editing Style Rules in Dreamweaver


Managing Multiple Styles


How Styles Cascade

Cascading Rules pt. 1

Cascading Rules pt. 2

Inheritance

Tips for Managing Style Cascades & Inheritance


CSS Building Blocks


About Div Tags

Drawing AP Divs in Dreamweaver

Inserting AP Divs in Dreamweaver

Adding Child Divs

Using Contextual Selectors with Divs

Div Widths & Heights

Margin

Padding

Resetting Browser Default Margin & Padding

Border

Border Width & Color

Wireframing with Dashed Borders


Text


Why Formatting Text is Important

Choosing Fonts

Web-safe Fonts

Font Size

Applying Styles to Text

Setting Line Height

Letter Spacing

Other Font Properties

Tips for Improving Text Legibility

Blockqoutes

Indenting Paragraphs

Drop Caps


Color / Backgrounds / Images


Selecting Color Palettes for Your Design

Specifying Colors

Background Properties

The GIF Image Format

The JPEG Image Format

The PNG Image Format

Background Image - Properties

Background Image - Repeat & Positioning


Formatting Links & Lists


Understanding Link States

Link Formatting Options

Setting Up Multiple Link Schemes

Hover Link & Image Linking Tips

CSS List Properties

CSS Bullet Lists Images


Layout Basics


About CSS Page Layouts

Drawing AP Divs in Dreamweaver

Inserting Div Tags

Working with AP Divs in Dreamweaver

HTML Code for AP Div Elements

CSS & the Box Model

Floats & Clearing

Static vs. Relative Positioning

Absolute Positioning

Mixing Absolute & Relative Positioning

Fixed Positioning


Types of Web Page Layouts


Types of Web Page Layouts

Liquid Layouts

Elastic Layouts

Variable Fixed-Width Layouts


Putting it all Together: Sample Projects


Using Dreamweaver CSS Templates

Techniques for Learning Template Styles

Modifying Styles: Div Borders

Modifying Styles: Text Headers

Modifying Styles: Text & Images

Modifying Styles: Div Columns & Links

Creating CSS Pages from Scratch

Creating Styles from Scratch

Tips for Creating Styles

Tips for Applying Styles

Checking for Cross Browser CSS Problems


Wrap Up


Course Wrap Up

Where to Learn More

About the Author

Friday, 19 March 2010

RSS Feed For Traffic Increase Website Traffic With RSS

RSS feeds are something you need to get into as a niche marketer if you are serious about getting traffic to your blog.

It really is amazing how easy it is.

If you use any of the standard blogging platforms like blogger or Wordpress, you already have an inbuilt RSS feed generator. So why are you not leveraging it?

I have been an enthusiast of RSS feeds for a while now and have written a few posts on RSS feeds on this blog.

And I have always used RSS Feeds in conjunction with other traffic generating methods. After all it's about multiple sources of traffic

Anyway I put RSS to the test on a brand new blog I set up a few weeks ago

First, I focused on getting content to the blog, so no advertising, no monetization, no link building, just content with some on page optimization.

It's a wordpress blog so I suppose it already has some potential to get traffic. And I was getting about 7 to 10 visits a day which is pants but not bad for a site with no incoming links. Having said that a lot of the traffic was people trying to post spammy comments :(

Once I had 10 good quality posts up I decided it was time to test out the RSS feed theory. So i submitted my feed to a bunch of feed directories and then went on to other things.

What happened to my blog traffic? Getting 100 to 200 visits a day

I wouldn't believe it if I didn't test it out myself.

I think the RSS feeds work because some of the feed directories have do follow links and help your search engine position.

Also people use your feeds to generate content for their sites. Especially now that autoblogging is on the rise

The question arises. How often should you submit your RSS feeds to the directories. I submitted only once to each directory and I think that one RSS feed submission per directory is enough.

But even submitting once to all the feed directories can be a big drain on your time, especially if like me you have a bunch of websites

To get round this I use this RSS submitter. It's reliable and really easy to use

So something to consider guys. Submit you RSS feeds to the feeds directories for traffic

Till next time

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Generating Traffic Using You Tube

You tube is phenomenal with regards to users and traffic. I can confidently say that 90% of you reading this post have viewed a youtube video this month. And over 50% have viewed a you tube video this week. Just take a moment to think about it. You tube has such great user base and you can tap into this traffic and get some to your website or blog

And a lot of marketers like you and I have gone out and got camtasia and made our videos and posted them to you tube and waited.... Expecting a stampede of traffic to our sites. And nothing happens.

Part of the problem is people want to watch videos that have already been verified by other viewers. And the means of verification is number of views.

Take a moment to think about it. If you have two videos with exactly the same title on you tube. One has 5000 views and the other has 23, which do you click on?

For most of us we click on the one that already has a lot of views. The presumption is if a lot of people are watching 'that' video, it must be the better one

So how do you get the necessary number of views to attract real viewers to your videos.

The answer is so simple I was stunned when it occurred to me. We keep banging on about sources of targeted traffic. And during our analysis of different traffic generating methods we discard some because they do not get us real traffic that converts.

Why not use these methods to generate views for your you tube videos?

Methods like traffic exchanges for example.

Remember the aim is not to get real visitors initially but to get your number of views up.It is the high number of views that then attracts the real targeted traffic who will watch your video and hopefully click through to your site

Monday, 8 March 2010

Autoblogging | Pros and Cons of Autoblogging

Autoblogging has become pretty famous or in some cases infamous lately. Before I launch in, I should perhaps explain what autoblogging is

Autoblogging is short for automatic blogging. Autoblogging involves generating content for your blog from other sources online. The sources could be RSS feeds from other blogs, ezinearticles, you tube, press releases etc. Anything that syndicates it's content via RSS

Anyone reading between the lines will understand why autoblogging has recently become more popular. Webmasters are waking up to the concept of on page optimization. For a while there we abandoned all and focused primarily on getting backlinks. Because we thought backlinks were the key to good search engine position. And they do have a big part to play.

But soon we realized that the amount of content you have on your pages has a lot to do with the ranking and search engine positioning of our pages. So now we are back to generating a ton of content for our pages.

Problem is generating genuine, unique content ain't easy and it can be time consuming. This little post on autoblogging, I am certain, will take me about 30 minutes to complete. Add on that the time taken to research and understand the topic.

So if I wanted to post 3 or 4 articles on this blog a day, that would take a lot of hours. Not time I have especially since I have a handful of websites and blogs

With autoblogging, you can use other peoples' content to populate your blog. This suddenly means the time limit on the number of posts you can generate is gone. So you can set your autoblog to post 3, 4 , 20 whatever number of articles you choose a day.

Problem with autoblogging is the content is not unique. It is duplicate content and therefore you have already given your blog a distinct disadvantage from the start. Having said that the share quantity of content may make up for this

Earlier I mentioned that autoblogging is infamous with some marketers and I'd better clarify that. Autoblogs are not popular with the search engines especially Google. If we keep in mind that Google's main aim is to deliver relevant results to keyword searches, it becomes immediately clear why autoblogs are not their favorite blogs

Also going through the forums, a few webmasters have reported an adsense ban which they feel is due to their use of the autoblogging technique.

Personally, I do not autoblog and have no intention of doing so in the near future. This and all my other web properties are focused on delivering unique and useful content to my visitors. As a result I am not an expert on autoblogs but I feel it is important to tell you, my blog visitors about autoblogging. It may be something you want to pursue

More information on autoblogging at autoblogs explained

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Website Traffic Analysis Hits Versus Unique Visitors

Website traffic analysis is crucial if your website is your source of income. And a lot of us do have tracking of one sort or the other on our sites

I was on one of the affiliate marketing forums a few days ago and someone kept talking about how many hits he was getting on his site and why this was not converting to clicks....something along those lines

And reading through the thread and other similar forum threads, it occurred to me that a lot of the people responding could not distinguish between website hits and unique visitors.

You could get one unique visitor on your web page and record 15 or more hits for that visitor

A 'hit' refers to how many individual small packages of information on your website are loaded.

So if you have a web page with 8 different images, an RSS feed and a PDF, each of these are individual elements on your page and constitute individual 'hits'. One page load, 9 page elements, 9 hits, one visitor.

For the serious marketer, what you are looking for is the number of unique visitors you are getting on your website. Its the visitor that clicks the adsense ad or follows your affiliate link, or signs up to your email list. It's the visitor that you want to know how they found your site and which keywords appeal to them and where they go once they are on your site. It really is important to make the distinction between hits and unique visitors when doing your traffic analysis

Spot The Internet Marketing Cowboys

Internet marketing or affiliate marketing con artists.
Admit it you may have fallen for one or two. I certainly did early in my Internet marketing carrier. You know those ebooks that promise you the earth and deliver.... sod all!
Now, a little wiser, there are some tell-tale signs that you are about to be hijacked rather than gain a whole load of useful knowledge

Here are a few

Any headline or ebook name with the word 'guaranteed'
Now I am not saying that they are all scams but no-one can guarantee any results with any technique!!
All you need to do to confirm this is scroll down and read their disclaimer.
An example of these headlines is '300 targeted visitors free to your website in the next 15 minutes guaranteed' Come on! And people pay their hard earned money for this stuff.
Or 'Get on page one of Google within 1 week, guaranteed' Yeah right!

Ebooks that show you 'How to make $xyza.bc from adsense'
You can be sure that you will not make $xyza.bc if you implement their techniques.

Having said that, you'll probably pick up a tip or two about adsense so it's not a dead loss

Clickbank proof of income or adsense proof of income that doesn't add up
It's reassuring when you go to buy a product and there is a clickbank proof of income or adsense proof of income attached to it. And a lot of us do not bother looking at the numbers. The large dollar figures are so impressive, aren't they?
But sometimes when you take the time to add up the numbers... they do not add up. Oops.
You would think if they were smart enough to know how to doctor their proof of income, they would be smart enough to make sure the doctored numbers add up.

E Book training by a Jack of all trades
This one really isn't a scam.
But if you find a man who claims to be an expert in every sub niche of Internet marketing, it is more likely that he is regurgitating what he or she has read rather than what he has learned through personal experience. Let me explain.

Take Perry Marshall of the definitive guide to Google Adwords. Perry focuses on adwords, he is experienced with adwords, he has made a ton of money with adwords. So when he writes a guide about adwords, we sit up and take notice. This is someone who knows what he is talking about because he has been there and done it all

Another example is Joel Comm of Google Adsense Secrets. Joel knows adsense and again when he talks about adsense we listen.

The thing about these two gurus is they stick to the niches they know. It keeps there training relevant and credible.

What would happen if either of these guys suddenly started churning out books on email marketing, ebay secrets, social networking insider tips and all what not.
I don't know about you but I think 'How can one guy be jack of all trades and master of all' Not likely

Till next time

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Your Adsense Earnings Does Not Need to Be Peanuts

Adsense is a favorite of mine, because it is such an easy business model and Google does all the work for you.

Let me take a moment to tell you what prompted this post

I read and watch every adsense tutorial I come across. Simply because adsense is one of the main methods I use to monetize some of my sites. It's therefore important to keep abreast of new deveopments in adsense.

I was reading an e book that said something like 'With adsense you should be making a minimum of $5 a MONTH by the end of the first year'

WHAT!!!

One year for $60 dollars. In some countries there are laws against such low income.
Even $5 a day would mean £150 a month which again is just peanuts if you have been slogging hard at it for a whole year

If you are in that bracket you need to settle down and read this post

If you have a website up for more than one year and your main source of income from the site is adsense, you really should be making more than $5 a day

If you are not, you are doing something wrong. The question is what are the possibilities.

We'll deal with the obvious ones first

Insufficient traffic

Like I said it's pretty basic. You need traffic to make money with adsense. People need to be visiting your website if they are going to click on your ads. If you think about it, the CTR a lot of webmasters declare in the forums is 2 to 5%. So if you are getting a hundred visitors a day... that's 2 adsense clicks. An average keyword optimized page could attract adsense ads that pay you 50 cents a click. Let's be generous and say $2 a click. $4 a day from your 2 clicks is not going to take you on the road to quitting the day job. Nuff said on amount of Traffic

Insufficient Content

This could be an insufficient number of pages or an insufficient amount of content on each page. Lets talk about the number of pages aspect of things. You'll never come across someone who is 'caning it' with a two page website or blog. You need lots of pages that are optimized for a lot of different keywords. That's a lot of pages on each of your websites. Think about it. The guy who set up the article directory is privy to this concept. You create the content for him/her and he monetizes it with adsense. All those pages with all that content focused on that wide variety of keywords. There is a lesson in there for those with their eyes open

And the content on each page. Agreed there are those who seem to be able to manipulate the adsense code and manage to get adsense to display relevant ads on low content sites. But for the majority of us, we need to present the adsense code with content that tells it what ads to display on our pages. It is within this content that your keywords appear often telling the code what your page is about. Personally, I had some pages that really did not do well. The adsense ads were not relevant. I wrote more content on some of these sites and ... relevant ads.

Ignoring Search Engine Optimization

The best traffic for adsense income is search engine traffic. This is one fact that has not changed for a few years now. Conversions are better when your visitors come looking for you and your content. It's basic stuff. People will tell you that social bookmarking and other things are great for adsense. I say in my experience not. Social networking traffic is pretty good for affiliate sales. But when it comes to adsense, it has got to be search engine traffic. So pay attention to your SEO. If you do not have an SEO approach to creating content for your sites and blogs, start now.

Less Obvious Reasons for Low Adsense Income

Wrong type of traffic

Getting traffic is easy. Just stick your site on a traffic exchange site and surf all day.
You'll get hits, loads of hits. Each will stay on your site for the obligatory 10 seconds and off they go to another site.
This sort of traffic will earn you next to nothing with your adsense monetized sites.

As I mentioned earlier, you need people who come to you looking for the content on your pages. And because you have made the effort on the content front to ensure that your adsense ads are relevant, your visitors will be interested in those also. Not to overstate things, search engine traffic best fulfills this. Optimize your pages for keywords that are relevant to your content and you will get the right type of traffic... the type that converts

Click Exchange

We have all come across them on forums and on blog networking sites. They send you private messages on the blogcatalog and facebook asking you to click their adsense ads and they will click yours in return.

The logic behind these peoples' thinking is just beyond me. Risk losing your adsense income for life [A Google ban usually is for life] for a single click from someone that is never going to come back to your site!!! Does that sound like a bad idea to you or is it just me?.
You want to invest the time in building your content, your backlinks, improving your on page SEO. These are the things that translate to long term earnings on your site


Believing The Gurus

This one was my big mistake when I first got involved with making money online with adsense and with affiliate marketing. Blindly following what that cool ebook taught you is not the way to go. All the guy is telling you is what worked on HIS SITES!!

It does not necessarily mean that they will work on yours.

With adsense you have got to TEST things.

There is no perfect position or banner size or colour scheme that is perfect for all sites or even across different pages on the same site. You have got to do some testing.

The gurus are there to give you a guide, an introduction to adsense and help you lay the foundations. The rest is up to you.

Before I finish this I realize that it sounds like a lot of hard work is involved with making money with adsense.

But if you look at things objectively, it takes a lot of work in the bricks and mortar world to make an income....So why are we expecting short cuts when it comes to making money with adsense?

Friday, 5 February 2010

Niche Bloggers Your Audience Is Human

Funny isn't that.

In niche marketing we are taught so many things. Lots of stuff about search engine optimization and getting your pages indexed. There is a lot out there about robot text files and CSS and php and all the jargon

Somewhere in the middle of all this, the primary objective of blogging for a living or niche marketing or online marketing or Adsense sites or whatever else it is you are into online is forgotten

And what is this primary objective

To get content in front of people that are interested in the content in a format that will encourage the people to read your content and take the desired action

Simple.

Nothing else, matters
The words on your pages must speak to a human audience

And as human beings we do not go to websites looking for something to click so that we have to bring out our wallets...No

We go to websites often to find information about a certain topic or product or gadget

Even for those of us that do our shopping online. You have decided what the product you want to buy is. You know how much you are willing to pay.
Most of us still pause and have a good read of the page before we click on the purchase button.

To cut to the chase...It's the words that sell

So it's great to have the savvy to tell the Google bots to go here and there. You may even be able to make the bots do a back flip for you

But the Google bots are not going to buy your product

Am I saying SEO is bad.... Certainly not. Most of the hundreds of pages I have distributed all over the net are search engine optimized

But more recently I have focused on the quality of content on some of my websites. And the changes here and there have made a lot of difference. Both to my rankings and to the revenue generated from these sites

We have all heard it over and over again 'content is king' but I think somewhere along the way we have become oh so distracted by the insatiable quest for backlinks

I think it's back to basics.

Generated and frequently update your quality content and the results you are getting from your sites will improve

Speak to your audience and they will respond to you

Till next time

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Niche Marketing Blog Basic Guide

Another decade has begun and it's amazing how topical blogging for a living still is. Perhaps because for some people it works and maybe you are looking for a way to make some extra income for yourself and are considering blogging as an option. Here you will learn a few tips to get you on your way. The long and short of it is, if you put little effort into the blog, you'll get poor results. Loads of people start on the path of blogging for an income but few succeed at it

Fail to plan and plan to fail

Niche or Topic. You have to decide what niche your blog is going to target. The topic or niche is the market or group of people whose needs you are going to address with your blog. Careful niche research and selection is crucial and can make or break your blogging career. Who are you going to market to because at the end of the day you want to promote a product or CPA to your readers. Who are you targeting and is the market viable? The most important reason for niche selection is to identify the needs of the market so you can cater to those needs.



Daily Work Plan.
You have to work out a work schedule before you start.You need a plan to work to.
Treat your blog like a real business. This is the biggest tip you'll ever read. Have a set number of hours everyday that you work on your blog and stick to it. The schedule you decide on will depend on whether you are doing this part time or full time.
I would suggest dividing your time into three. One part for generating content, one part for your own training and the last part for generating traffic to your blog


Commit to a posting frequency
There is no doubt in my mind that the more frequently you post high quality content on your blog, the better it does in the search engines and visitor loyalty is improved.
Most blogging tutorials I have purchased advise posting every day or several times a day. Personally I think a minimum of three times a week is okay, especially if you want to avoid burn out, to start with and once you have your audience you can slow this down. Having said that only post as frequently as you have useful information to share.

SEO from The Start
Without an audience, your blog is dead in the water. It's why search engine optimization should be a crucial aspect of your planning. Good SEO means a ton of search engine, targeted traffic to your blog. It's what makes the difference between a blog that commands a few thousand visits a day and one managing 10 visitors a week.It's the difference between looking for traffic to your blog and having the traffic come looking for your content
Search engine optimization will help you decide the most appropriate title for each of your blog posts, the domain name you choose for your blog and the names you allocate to your categories. It could actually determine the blogging platform you decide to use. Wordpress we all know has a fair number of search engine optimization enhancing plug ins. Having said that though, the best SEO you can do on your pages is in the choice of words you use, the volume of your content and the quality of your content. No amount of plugins can compensate for that

Become an Expert on your topic
At the beginning of your new career, your level of expertise in your niche is not particularly relevant. As long as you are enthusiastic about learning about that niche and aim to become an expert in the niche. And for this reason your niche selection must be something you are enthusiastic about. Obviously if you choose a niche that you are lukewarm about either in knowledge base or level of enthusiasm, it will reflect in your blog posts and you will lose visitors...fast.
We have all seen those hurriedly thrown together blog posts that just do not make any effort to make a connection with you the reader. You know, the blogs we never go back to.
And we also all know the blog posts that excite us when we are reading them. The ones that you read them and you feel energized and motivated. This is the style of writing you want to aspire to and choosing a niche you are excited about is a big step towards achieving this


Jump Right in

Perpetual Newbie
You really want to go through the planning stage of your new blogging career very quickly and then jump right in. There is a lot to learn about making money through a blog and this can often paralyze newbies into inactivity. You are not going to start making an income from your blog if you do not start the blog.
You have to keep in mind that no blogger started off with all the knowledge in his or her head. We all learned as we went along. And the best way to learn is by doing. So get that blog up and running. You need to keep moving in this blogging business or you'll find your blog to be one of those million than never make an impression.

SEO Is Crucial
Treat each post in your blog as an individual webpage and apply SEO to each post with this in mind. You want your posts to rank for different keywords so that you have more coverage in the search engines in your niche. Include your keyword or keyword phrase in your post title and early in the content of your article. Keep this concept in mind when you are generating backlinks to your blog. You want to use anchor text backlinks that contain the keyword you are optimizing that particular post for.
To rank well in the search engines the spiders prefer to find a lot of words on your pages. 350 to 500 words seems to be the consensus among bloggers
The content must be original. I would advice not to use PLR articles or other content that can be found elsewhere on the internet. Write your own posts or outsource your content creation but make sure that your content is original

Social Networking
The blogosphere is a rather large place and it is easy to get lost in it. Your reputation is only as big as your network so you need to get busy building a network of friends in the blogging world and in your niche Mybloglog and technorati are good places to start networking with other bloggers. Blogcatalog is another decent option
Facebook and linkedin are social networking sites that are popular with internet marketers. They have a wide variety of groups and you could find one or two in your niche.
It's important that you pay attention to what other bloggers are up to. Learn the techniques of the successful bloggers and learn from the mistakes of others.

Choosing The Right Platform For You
The two most popular platforms are Blogger and Wordpress. Wordpress is particularly popular with internet marketers because of the versatility the plug ins afford. There is a new plugin every now and then to help automate some task or the other

Personally I use Blogger. Blogger does not have the advantage of a whole host of plug ins but it does well in the search engines and the learning curve is not neck breakingly steep.

Whatever platform you opt for, there is the option of using it as a free hosted platform or getting your own hosting account
As a professional blogger the aim is to host your own blogs.
Some beginners opt to use the free platform to start with and then, when they get to grips with how things work, pay for a hosting account and migrate there blogs to the paid hosting. The one major disadvantage of this though is the loss of your backlinks you would have generated to the free hosted blog. [Why I haven't migrated this blog :)]The cost for a domain name and hosting account is not high. So cost in most cases should not factor in to the decision of choice of hosting or free blog

Generating Traffic To Your Blog

Search Engine Optimization
Seems to be a recurring theme but I cannot over-emphasize it. Apply SEO to each and every post on your blog This has been mentioned before but highlights how important SEO is to getting traffic to your blog in the long term.

Pillar articles
These are articles that comprehensively and exhaustively cover a particular subject in your niche.They usually go into a lot of detail about the topic and often become a reference article for other webmasters. These are wikipedia style articles.
To determine what to write a pillar article on, forums are good source of information. Browse the forums in your niche and see if there are any questions that gets asked over and over again. These make great topics for pillar articles This article will act as a magnet for visitors to your site and could help establish your reputation as an expert in the field

Blog Carnivals
These are a very effective method of getting the word out about your blog. A blog carnival is a blog post on someone elses blog that collects the most relevant articles on a particular subject.When published, the carnival post has a short introduction to what the carnival is about. It then has snippets of blog posts that have been accepted on the carnival. There is then a link under each snippet to the blog where the original post is i.e your blog If your post gets accepted in someones carnival it's a good thing both for SEO and direct traffic

Article marketing
Article marketing is still a very effective method of generating backlinks to your blog if done correctly. Article marketing involves writing high quality articles and submitting these articles to article directories online. If the article is accepted, there is a bio box or about the author space where you can put an anchor text link to your blog.

It's good practice to use content for the article directories that is different from the content on your blog

Guest Blogging
A little like article marketing because you are generating articles and submitting them to other peoples' sites. The difference here is instead of submitting to an article directory, you submit your article to a blog that already attracts an audience in your niche. Choose blogs that already have an established reputation in your niche and have a lot of traffic

Blog Directories And Social Bookmarking
Unfortunately, most of the blog directories and social bookmarking sites use the no follow attribute in the link to your submitted blog. This means the link has no Search engine optimization value to you. However these are high traffic sites and also some bookmarks do well in the search engines
Social bookmarking sites need a little work to build a reputation.The results are great if you have a large group of strategically placed followers The earlier you start building a reputation or a network at the social bookmarking sites the better it will be for your bookmarks when you eventually start bookmarking your blog posts


Keep Learning

The world of blogging involves continued education. Both with regards to your niche and also the techniques involved in taking your blog forward. Blogging techniques and the resources available to you are continually upgraded and changing. There are new software being developed, new rules regarding sharing of information and a myriad of things.

Staying abreast of these developments can be daunting. A great way to get information is to join forums in your niche, forums about blogging and internet marketing forums.

There is a wealth of information shared in the forums on a daily basis.You can learn alot from just hanging around the forums for short periods every day.

For internet marketing, the warrior forum is a great hub for bloggers like you sharing and gaining information. Whatever you do, keep learning and keep implementing what you learn

Monetization

So you now have a blog with a few high quality posts that are getting a decent amount of traffic to it. The question is how do you make money from your blog. After all this is the primary reason you set the blog up Blog is up, traffic is coming in. How do you make money from the blog?

Google Adsense
Requires you to register with Google adsense and acceptance to the program is not automatic. Adsense is an ad serving program that allows you the blog owner to make money by displaying Google adsense ads on your pages.

The ads are targeted to your content via a small code that the adsense program gives you to paste in the HTML of your blog. Every time someone clicks on one of these adverts your adsense account gets credited with a small amount of money. This usually is a few cents but if you have a lot of traffic and a lot of clicks, the money soon adds up. At the end of the month Google sends you a cheque for the amount you have made. Pretty cool! Adsense is quite popular with blog owners and webmasters because it is easy to use

Affiliate Marketing
One of the leading methods of making money online and a really cool business model As an affiliate marketer you promote other peoples products and get paid a commission if a desired action is achieved.
This could be a sale or a sign up[called CPA].
In affiliate marketing, you do not have any physical contact with the product so no storage or shipping required on your part. You act simply as a middle man who suggests products to your readers. You role is simple to send buyers to the merchants site through a special affiliate link unique to you

Sell your own product
You may have a product of your own or a bricks and mortar business that you wish to promote.The reach of your blog increases the audience to which you can market your business or product to.

These are just a few of an infinite methods of making money from your blog.

So that was a crash course on getting started with blogging.
More details at free Blogging video tutorials

Till next time