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 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

and there are tutorials on how to use Gimp at

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


"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, etc


There are forums online that are very active. They are easy to find using or 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.

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

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.


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