Sunday, November 30, 2008

Page By Page Site Building

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The days of building a complete Build A Niche Site at a push of the button are gone. If you are not building page by page, you are only hurting yourself. If you insist on building a complete site and then coming back and filling in the blanks, you must block all the SERPS access before starting. It is better viewed by the SERPS to add pages as you go. This will also allow you to complete a page and properly SEO that page and fill with content before moving on to the next page. Indexed pages with nothing but product listings, run you a big risk, especially with Google. Proper niche site building can not be done in a day, I do not care who you are. You need to be laying out the structure on paper before hand and then put your plan in action page by page.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Free Htaccess Tool

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I was running through some bookmarks today and wanted to make sure everyone had this one listed. It is a free htaccess tool. This tool you will enable you to create .htaccess commands for hotlink protection, password protection, or blocking of hitbots. You can also generate error documents and block certain IPs as well with this tool. Make sure to bookmark this tool.

Friday, November 28, 2008

An Oldie But Goodie Matt Cutts Video

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It seems as if every once in a while I need to touch on some basics as it seems a new crop of newbies is coming in and only a few of the last batch remain. Right now definetaly seems like it is one of those times. I ran across an old bookmark video of the Anatomy of a Search Result done by Matt Cutts. This is an informative video that I suggest everyone watches. With the influx of new niche site builders, I may be forced to dedicate a post or two a week to rehash some things they may not know or have seen. Enjoy the video below.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

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I wanted to take this time to wish Happy Thanksgiving to everyone that reads this. Even to the Googlebot. May this be a very blessed begging to your holiday season. We all have several things to be thankful for. Enjoy your day wherever you may be.

Dave

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Final Push For Suzanne Franco For Blogging Idol 2

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Suzanne Franco has been really pushing hard for the Blogging Idol 2 title. I believe the voting ends in a few days. Suzanne truly is a good soul. Go here and vote for her. I really want to see her win this. Hopefully she will not forget the small time bloggers like me when she wins. One contest I hope to never see her on is Celebrity Blogger Rehab. If you want to read the Suzanne Franco interview I did, click the link.

I believe she is choice #7. Vote now and send an email to grandma and grandpa and tell them to vote as well.

Good luck Suzanne!!!

WordPress Version 2.6.5 Now Available

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If you are not using an automatic upgrade plugin, you will likely see that a new version of Wordpress is available now. I usually like to give about a weeks time so some kinks are worked out before upgrading. Upgrade is a breeze to do and it is always a security risk to use too outdated of a version of Wordpress.

Obsessing Over SERP Rankings Will Drive You Mad

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We all do it. We all easily fall back into the trap of chasing the SERPS around. I get guilty of it as well every now and again. I have noticed though the more I just follow what Google and other SERPS want from me, the better those sites rank and recover.

The Google algorithm changes constantly. Trying to change on the fly will hurt your site and waste precious time. I have said it time and time again. Great sites find the way to the top. Of course there are basics you need to follow, but even Google is letting you know what they expect. I see people get so freaked out from SERP drops, it stops them dead in their tracks.

Keep abreast of the changes and constantly be striving for a better site for the surfer with the SERPS in mind. Checking rankings 10 times a day does no good. Keep adding content and only modify a site when you are sure it is working towards both what the surfer and SERPS benefit and expectations. There are constantly new tricks introduced daily, but just make sure this isn't a temporary piece of gum in the dam crack. If there is one thing Google is good at, it is self healing itself and closing up weaknesses.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Yahoo Finalizing Search Index Update

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If you are like me and watch your traffic logs, you are probably seeing either an increase or decrease in traffic from Yahoo. Yahoo announced late last week that they were in the process of rolling out some changes to their crawling, indexing and ranking algorithms over the next few days and expect that the update will be completed soon. You can keep track of all Yahoo search message board activity here as well.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Always Be Concerned About Site Security

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The web is always full of people wanting to hack into your website or account info. It seems as if there has been a resurgence in people hacking either EPN account or BANS sites as of late. It is always good practice to stay on top of your own security by constantly changing your login details for FTP access, admin sections of both Wordpress and BANS and yes even affiliate program details. If you have some upcoming free time over the holidays, I highly suggest you set aside some time to change your passwords and login information. You should never get into the habit of using the same username and password across several sites. As tempting as it is, you are just asking for problems. Keep a notebook if you must a write it down or create a secure file on your computer to house them all. Do not let yourself be an easy target. Security should always be first and foremost in your mind.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Getting Your First Site Approved By EPN

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EPN (eBay Partner Network) has been really tightening the ropes on new affiliates. This has been going on for probably two months or so. To ensure you get accepted, you really need to look at your site. I would highly recommend building the content first. At the very least a good 6-10 pages of unique content. Forgot about the store pages until you are approved. Plain and simple you must offer up an engaging site, not just a thin doorway site. This will only help you in the future with the SERPS and better engaging the surfer for the long run. This is the hardest lesson any new affiliate webmaster learns and you might as well accept it early. The SERPS and other affiliate programs as well are expecting more engaging sites. I have mentioned this litmus test several times in the past. If you removed all eBay listings and ads off your site, would you even have a site? Does it offer value to the surfer. I am willing to bet the answer from several new webmasters would be no. The quicker you accept the fact you will need to work and add content, the sooner you can get on your way learning other things with affiliate marketing and earning money.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Google Taking On Wiki And Digg Type Function

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Google has finally pulled back the curtain on a new feature that until now has been in restricted beta: the addition of wiki-style functions in standard search results. Once logged into a Google account, this allows you to click a small up or down arrow to move a specific result, click and delete it from your search entirely, or click on a small comment bubble and leave your comments on that result. Google will remember those settings the next time you search for the same keywords, and has said it may even work for similar or related searches. In many ways, Google is taking the same principles that power a site like Digg and applying them to search.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Keep It Simple Stupid

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I see a ton of newbies struggling with a bunch of different things. Sometimes it is better to step back for a little bit and keep things real simply on yourself so your head does not explode. As my old man always told me, "Keep it simple stupid!"

There are a ton of very simple ways to use the EPN program to create income as I just showed in the the EPN Blogger Store post. Some of you that are new to the web, tend to over think things as it is very easy to do. This weekend take a step back and look at things, sometimes no progress is made because we sit and stew over things and over think ourselves out of doing them.

I don't know about you, but I am as a stupid as they come. The more ways I can keep it simple, the more success I tend to have. Hopefully you are as stupid as I am, but I doubt it.

Have a great weekend!

eBay Ads Even In Blogger Post

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I have been playing with a few things for those people that are really technically challenged and still want them to earn money too. I will be addressing this in full soon, but wanted everyone to see how easy it is to even post eBay EPN items on a simple free blogger blogspot post. Total investment required to build a whole Blogger EPN store ...... zero, nada, not a dime, zilch. Start using your creative side and let the ideas go crazy in your head.

I can hear the doubters now, javascript can not be read by the SERPS. Well if you are relying on the product text to rely help in ranking, you have been missing the whole boat all along.

Anyhow look below.

Edited 7/19/09
Removed the listings until EPN makes a final determination on weather they will continue to allow Blogger blogs to show eBay listings or not. Bookmark this post and check back.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

One Page A Day

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Several times over this week at the 2008 Pubcon, there were references to the timeless post by Brett Tabke, the CEO of Webmaster World (which by the way is well worth the subscription price). The post for the most part is still timeless and a great blue print for success. One thing he really likes to drive home is the original content point and adding one page of quality content per day. Timely, topical articles are always the best. I have seen the magic of this now myself, not only with this blog, but several of my other sites as well. Now let me say that I do not have the time to add one new page of content or blog post to EVERY site I have, but I try to rotate around through as many as I can. I do post one page a day on my sites that have jumped out as my heavy hitters though. It really will make a difference in your earnings. By adding a page of content everyday and staying closely tied to your niche, you are giving yourself more and more opportunities to rank for long tail and short tail keywords. In the beginning do not even worry about keyword research for the post or page, just get in the habit of adding it daily or every other day according to your time constraints. Keep checking stats and referrers and watch what and where the traffic surfaces. Start with your niche that most interest you first as it is easiest to write about what you REALLY know and understand and project authority on.

Here are some more great tidbits of information that is coming out of Pubcon.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Google Unveils Beta Search-Based Keyword Tool

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The new beta Google search-based keyword tool helps generate keyword and landing page ideas that are relevant and specific to your website. The tool will help you find additional advertising opportunities that aren't currently being used in your current AdWords campaigns. Pretty cool little tool to play with for ideas.

I forgot to add that this tool will let you expand on existing keywords and export top 800 keywords for specific topics as well.

Don't Fear The Future, Ebrace It And Work Towards It

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Meet George Jetson! His boy, Elroy! Daughter, Judy! Jane ... His wife!

Ah, the Jetsons, what a great cartoon. The things they did in that cartoon do not seem so far off or unreal now, do they? I have gotten quite a few PMs and emails in regards to the 2 Pubcon video interviews I posted yesterday. Most of you are freaked out about it. Well you shouldn't be. There is still some uncertainty of what EXACTLY is and isn't on the way in regards to search and ranking. The general direction that is pointed out as a whole is definitely on the way and in some sorts already in place in Google. I see several rushing out and adding Youtube videos to their sites thinking that is the answer. Wholesale changes right now is not the best choice, but gradually working in the direction of a more interactive web is what you should be doing. The world is or should I say has been changing drastically already, right before our eyes. We are in a very interactive, engaging world as evidence of all the advances in cell phones and their addons, Youtube videos, social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Surfers want to and expect to be engaged, even when looking to buy.

Already being phased out are the full effectiveness use of link directories and blog comment spamming. It used to be that merely doing effective on and offsite SEO combined with a great backlink building campaign using keyword targeted anchor text could catapult you up the SERPS. What will be expected now is delivering what you are saying you are going to deliver a surfer and in the process engaging or interacting them with your site. Although video was mentioned, it is not just the preface to throw up 20 different related Youtube videos on some pages and you are ready to go. Your site might not even really constitute video. You can fully engage others through the use of allowing comments on blog post, having a forum, reviews of products, podcast and yes if justified, video. Of course videos made by you are even better and more personalized.

Rest assured, Google is already monitoring bounce rates with or without you using Google analytics, so you might as well get use to using it so you can see numbers they are seeing. Personalized search is already being used by Google and surfers as well.

In closing this is actually good news for dedicated niche site builders as the webmaster that is the most in touch with his or her niche and can provide what searches are looking for will rise to the top. Be looking to better your sites from a more interactive point of view and you will be right where you need to be. The days of the doorway affiliate sites are long gone. As I have said before, engage or be engaged. Do not fear it, embrace it and work on taking your sites in that direction.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Great PubCon Interview Videos

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The 2008 PubCon Search Marketing Conference is going on right now and there are a couple of great video interviews to come out of it. One is from Bruce Clay , who claims ranking is dead. The other is an interview with Matt Cutts and his rebuttal to the first video along with a few more SEO tidbits in relation to Google. Make sure to watch both.

Analysis of United States Google Patent Application: 0070094255

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This Google Patent summarizes the Google thinking on link development and how it rates to ranking in Google. The patent is entitled DOCUMENT SCORING BASED ON LINK-BASED CRITERIA. Google may analyze time-varying behavior of links pointing to a web page. We can also conclude that Google tracks both a start point and an end point for links and develops a rate of link acquisition from those points. This is why if your rate varies in link acquisition quite a bit from what Google believes is expected behavior, Google may penalize for it. Better link weight is now given to fresher links and could be “toned down” after the freshness period ends. It does seem on the surface that an influx of temporary backlinks, if it were heavy enough, could hurt you. This seems like an easy way for Google to combat co-operative advertising link type networks. To really sumarize this, you should be acquiring backlinks as natural as possible, but at a slow and steady rate. Links should be mostly from relative type sites as well. The best way of course is the creation of backlinks to your site because a surfer links to your site on his or her site because the content is very link worthy. Here is another breakdown on this patent.

Monday, November 17, 2008

When Google Attacks

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Yeah the title of this post is a little sensationalized, but that is what it feels like when a huge Google algorithm happens. I have been bombarded with emails and PMs since the beginning of November and try to answer as many as I can. Near about October 31st, there was a shift in the Google algorithm. Even a few of my own sites were affected. Many BANS owners seem to think it was aimed at BANS, but from my research it affected non EPN affiliates as well. If I could tell you exactly what it was, I would be the king of SEO. There are many theories, but I really have not seen anything concrete as of yet. Will it stay? Will Google correct it soon? Was it a mistake? I wish I could answer these questions, but they would merely be my guestimations.

What to do?

The worse thing is to make wholesale changes on a site that was ranking on page one, at least for now. If you make any changes, you should clearly notate them so they can easily be changed back. I do think this was aimed at affiliate type sites, not just BANS or EPN sites. One thing that should not be neglected regardless is still adding useful original content either through content pages on straight BANS sites or through the use of a blog if you have implemented one. Another thing is to still be slowly building backlinks. Acquiring links from like sites is still crucial and great traffic. I do forsee a need to shift more to landing pages and then directing traffic off to store pages from there. Google does things in their own time for their own reasons. If I find a reasoning that holds more water, I certainly will inform you. If your store seems like a mere doorway to EBAY, fix it! One thing I can assure you is that thin doorway affiliate sites are a thing of the past. Concentrate on building imformative sites for the surfer that emcompess the niche. You do not need 50 sites to earn a good living. Concentrate on building link worthy useful sites and the rest will fall into place.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

301 Redirect For URLs With Spaces

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A few post back I talked about proper URL structure with your BANS stores. If you do a site:yourdomain.com in Google, the bad URLS will stick out like a sore thumb because they will have %20 in the URL where a space normally is. If you go into edit the URL to take out the space and enter in a hyphen, undesrcore or anything without a space, you will have to do a 301 redirect in your .htaccess file so the SERPS now the page has moved.

Lets say the bad url looked like this below:

www.yourdomainname.com/Bad%20Link%20Structure

and you corrected your URL in BANS admin to the below:

www.yourdomainname.com/bad-link-structure

the line in the .htaccess file would look like below:

RewriteRule ^Bad\ Link\ Structure(.*) http://www.yourdomainname.com/bad-link-structure$1 [R=301,L]

Using the backslash escapes the space. Your old bad URL should redirect to the new URL in your browser.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Niche Ideas For The Lady Readers

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Wanted to give some niche ideas for the lady readers of my blog for next year. In earlier post I mentioned that my wife has already had me set up the Christmas tree. It gets earlier and earlier every year, but she enjoys having it up as long as possible. The picture to the left shows that she clearly likes white and gold themed decorations. The whole house is decorated white and gold. She collects gold Santas as well.

So next year you may want to niche out a store for gold and white ornaments and decorations or whatever niche theme. This niches you a little tighter than just a decoration site, think tighter. Several women love niched trees. Start now for next year as my wife shops year round and I am sure several other women do as well.

Friday, November 14, 2008

My First $1000 Day

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CLICK TO GO BACK TO BUILD A NICHE STORE
CLICK TO SEE THE BUILD A NICHE STORE GUIDE
I have been on cloud number 9 today as I celebrated Thursday being my first $1000.00 day in affiliate marketing. I am not ashamed to say that my high ACRU score and the ability to earn $40.00 an ACRU helped out a ton. Not all was EPN or Pepperjam related either as I had several Amazon, Commission Junction, Linkshare and Google Adsense earnings fall in perfectly as well. If you set your goals and keep working smart and learning, anything is attrainable. I was once a newbie myself and it seems so long ago. Dedication and the want to learn and try new things should be at the forefront. I am not one to really stop and smell the roses. I do not ever go through any type of burnout because I always have a list of things in front of that NEED to be done. I just do not have time to bleed. The internet opens up a world of limitless possibilities to anyone who wants to achieve something. Free and pay information is right at your fingertips. It is so hard for me to believe that I only use to thump this thing on the head every now and then. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. Jump in feet first, live it breathe it, hunt it. It is their folks. If a redneck like me can figure this out, anyone can do it. Keep your heads up, keep striving.

BANS Store Landing Pages

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Tonight I wanted to discuss landing pages in relation to BANS stores. A landing page is just that, a place for a surfer to land, although in this example, and on most ecommerce stores, no products are listed for sale. A landing page directs surfers off to more niched out pages where products will indeed be shown. Once again I want to direct you to the example BANS store of Adam and Kelvin. Their NIKE golf clubs page is a perfect example of a landing page. This page gives the ability to list several models, brands, sizes etc. on it. It directs the surfer off to a direction they choose plus with different brands, model numbers etc and a brief description of each makes for a clean (no affiliate links) page for the SERPS to chew on organically. In addition, I have found that using landing page links in my article bios helps get past some article directory reviewers on article directory sites that do not like you linking to a traditional BANS store page. In addition, the landing pages anchor text links are good internal backlinks as well. You never know when one page on your site will get better page rank or authority over another one. Existing BANS stores that you have can easily be fitted with landing pages. It is never to late to add them in. You can really learn alot when crawling through that example store page by page.

Here is little more on landing pages in relation to other uses.

How do you use landing pages?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

eBay Product Listings Are Affiliate Ads

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Since my earlier post this morning about the number of items to show per BANS store page, I have received a number of PMs and emails. I wanted to clarify a few things.

Like it or not, eBay product listings are advertisements. They each carry an outgoing affiliate link. Plain and simple, it is no different than having 20 ad banners pointing 20 different directions.

I also believe there is a correlation to actual word count of content versus the number affiliate links a page should have. What that ratio is, I can not truly say as of yet.

This sample Nike Irons page from Adam and Kelvins demo site, is more in the mold you are probably looking for in my current research. Lots of content and only 8 products being shown. Add in the top ad banner and that makes 9 ads or affiliate links.

Imagine if you had a page with zero original content and 9 banner ads. What do you think Google would think of that page?

Does this clear things up a bit better of my previous post?

Lessen Number Items Being Shown On Pages?

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I am always testing and have even sacrificed some heavy hitting stores rank in the SERPS to carry out testing. As of late, I am finding store pages with 6 or less items being shown seem to rank better than those listing more. Is this scientific? Absolutely not, but I can see Google having a filter in place that would penalize for a certain amount of affiliate links on a page. Is there one in place now? No one really really knows right now for sure. Also I am no longer a fan of listing eBay listings on a front page of a site. It is not needed and I believe this too can affect the ranking as well. It is not only BANS specific, but advertiser affiliate wide as well from what I am seeing and reading. Google does not want 20 ads on a page. If using the search operators correctly, one should be able to show 6-9 solid results per page, enough to peek the surfers interest to click through and set the cookie. Also the PHPBay plugin and PHPZon Amazon plugin can make great use of 3-6 listings per blog post as well.

How many listings are you using per page?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Matt Cutts & Google Q&A Session Highlights

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Google top dogs and Matt Cutts very recently held a live Q&A session for webmasters, aimed at answering important questions from readers. This link offers a quick summation of some key questions of interest, including dedicated vs. shared IPs, article directories and 301 redirects. You can view the entire Goggle Q&A here.

Google Offers Up Free SEO Starter Guide

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The Google webmaster blog has been full of info as of late and their latest gem is a free SEO starter guide. It is a full walk through that encompasses pretty much all the basics you will need and what Google is looking for in proper SEO. I highly suggest downloading and printing this out for easy reference. Read in over and over again and put it into use on you niche stores. The Brandons Baseball Cards site is not live, www.BrandonsBaseballCards.com only redirects to Google right now.

;)

Confusion With BANS Page URL

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In doing some template conversions for some customers as of late, I am seeing some errors as far as BANS users and their Page URL setup. If you look at the image on the left, you see 3 settings. The first one is a drop down menu that lets you choose the parent category for the new store page or content page to fall under. I am not seeing too many errors with this. The second spot is the Link Name, this is what the link to the page you are creating will be named, also known as the anchor text. Make sure this targets a keyword or phrase you are targeting for the said page you are creating. Most people seem not to have a problem with this. The last are, Page URL, is where I see most of the problems. If you can help it, do not include spaces in this. If the page name in box 2 is Red Fury Widgets, the Page URL should look like one of the examples below:

redfurywidgets
red-fury-widgets
red_fury_widgets

Also get in the habit of using all lower case as it is just good basic webmastering. Leaving spaces in the Page URL is just asking for errors or 404 problems.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Surfers Can Easily Spot Junk When They See It

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NEWS FLASH: The Internet is not new!

With that being said, surfers are getting better and better and recognizing a useful site when they see it. If you are fluffing your site with automated content, merely for the search engines, the surfer will merely bounce back where they came from. Blogs that are on automation are usually the main culprit of this and are now a dime a dozen. There are many true losers here. Everyone. Not only to the SERPS get manipulated and lose, the webmaster and the surfer loses as well. Some afternoons I will be talking to my wife while she surfs with her not knowing I am watching her habits as well. She knows nothing about web mastering and only uses the web to find stuff she is looking for. She will bounce off of a site in 3 seconds flat if it does not engage her with the info, product or news she is looking for. Everyday surfers are no different. You would be better served to make one solid blog post a week, then you would be automating duplicate web spam 50 times a week. Soon the SERPS will penalize you anyway. Remember that the whole idea of creating a website or niche site is to give the surfer what they are looking for. Over time, the site that can continuously do this will rise to the top. The days of keyword stuffing, web spamming and throwing mud up on the wall are long behind us. Engagement is here to stay and will be awarded over the long haul. Remember the surfer going forward and the surfer will remember you.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Use Open Office For Easy PDF Creation

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There will be times when you will want to give away free PDF downloads. Perhaps free ebooks or checklist or even reviews of products. PDF files are very easy to make. A great free program is Open Office. I have used this for a long while to create downloadable PDF files. Simply use the Open Office writer program and when done hit the PDF button up top in the menu bar. This will easily convert your Word like document into PDF format to save to your hard drive. You can easily upload the PDF file to your server and link to it any where on your site. Always make sure to put the link to your site on every page as you never know where the document may circulate to and having a link on every page may be beneficial in getting traffic or even a few backlinks, should the document be uploaded elsewhere or shared on the web.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

PHPZon Plugin Producing Amazon Sales

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Amazon has always been hit or miss for me, but since installing the PHPZon Amazon Wordpress Plugin I mentioned a couple weeks back, I am seeing conversions on a more regular basis. Wade, who created the PHPBay plugin, is really progressing this plugin and it works great on BANS/Wordpress conversions and straight Wordpress blogs as well. The price will be raised soon, so I highly suggest buying this plugin ASAP, before that happens. Currently it is $30.00 for owners of PHPBay and will cost $49.00 once released to non PHPBay owners. You get free updates as well and it is more than work it's current price.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Using Blog Post To Emphasize Store Pages

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My latest student is catching on very fast to the world of utilizing blog post in addition to his BANS store. For example if you are going to blog about a certain product, model, series number, brand etc. and plan on linking to a store page with keyword anchor text to fortify the store page, make sure you stay on topic with what the user will find on the store page as well. Now not every blog post has to be written to filter to a store page, but fortifying store pages with other on site pages is powerful. You never now when a blog post will go viral or end up being a high ranking page, so use it to your advantage and as if it was a totally different site advertising your store page.

Friday, November 7, 2008

eBay Partner Network US Program Update

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Below is the latest release links from EPN concerning updates to the US Program concerning Value Based Pricing, New Category Reporting and Custom Banner Widgets and Holiday Promotions.

http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/news/new-custom-banner-widget-is-now-available/
http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/news/value-based-pricing-starting-november-1st-for-all-publishers/
http://www.ebaypartnernetworkblog.com/en/news/ebay-holiday-promotions-and-creative/

Complete One Store Before Starting Another

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This is hard for a niche store builder to stick to, me included. Your mind races with tons of thoughts and new ideas that you end up starting some stores before others are completely done. I am getting much better at this, but need to force myself. An unfinished store is just that, unfinished. SEO, content and promotion all MUST be done in uni some and a timely fashion. There are so many little things that go into a properly built store, many that are boring as hell. Several of my older stores are finally coming alive now that I have circled back and completed them. I do not build many new stores nowadays, merely because I do not need to. I still have a good 3 months left of straightening out past unfinished stores. Do not fall into the trap of constantly starting a new store before TRULY finishing your last one. A finished store is golden and can produce a healthy income with limited up keep. If time is a factor, concentrate on one page at a time. Meta tags, keyword research, onsite SEO, unique content, ads, etc. When done with one page, move on to the next one. It can become a drudge, but in a few days or weeks, it will be done and done right. A finished, properly built store produces, plain and simple. I would take one completed store over 20 uncompleted stores every day of the week. Fight through the urge to go and start a new store when you might possible are already sitting on a money niche, nearly ready to produce.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Block Internal Pages That Do Not Need To Be Indexed

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Privacy policies, contact pages and other pages that are deemed necessary, but not needed to be indexed can be blocked in the robots.txt file. A robots.txt file tells most of the search engines, what you would like and not like them to have access to or index. Most major SERPs follow it's commands and the ones that don't are likely spam crawlers anyways.

More reading on robots.txt

Why would you care if they are blocked or not? You want you link juice to flow to pages that need it and use it for ranking. The less you split the juice the better. While not overly crucial, every bit helps. There is no sense to pass PR or link juice to those type of pages as they are their mostly to keep advertisers and affiliate programs happy and for on site surfers to read if they choose to.

You can use this robots.txt generator, to generate a robots.txt file for pages you want blocked from the SERPS and save that link juice for pages that need it and need more of it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Utilize Your EPN Campaign IDs

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Tracking what does and does not work is one of the hardest things to measure as an affiliate. Knowing what sale or conversion came from where is helpful in letting an affiliate marketer know what is working for them. EPN gives the ability to let you set up a campaign ID for every occasion. If you are working with stores that utilize both BANS and PHPBay, it is a great idea to have a campaign ID set up for both. Same goes for stores that utilize different sub domains that they have integrated in. You also might be using some of the EPN creatives on site as well. Make sure you set them up with their own campaign ID as well. By doing this, you can see exactly what is producing results on each site and can make adjustments of adding more or less of something based on the results you are seeing.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sometimes All You Have To Do Is Ask

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I was at an online newspaper site today that had a section dedicated to one of my niches. They also had a few blogs and feeds listed in the sidebar of blogs dedicated to this niche. They also had a "contact us" section on that page as well. I filled out the form and politely asked that they would kindly consider my blog for that section on the next review of that section. I provided a URL to the blog and also a URL to the rss blog feed. I thanked them for the consideration ahead of time and told them I understand if they are unable to accommodate my request. I then hit the send button. Merely 5 minutes later, I had a reply saying that they had added my blog and thanked me for my submission. The page is a PR4 and gets indexed quite regularly as it is a newspaper site. All links are dofollow as well. It just goes to show that you never know what you will get if you just merely ask. Keep your eyes open for every opportunity to promote your site or blog.

Asking For Build A Niche Store Help

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I help a ton of people throughout a weeks time and by tons, I mean a ton of people. Time consuming as it is, I try to help everyone. The biggest problem I run into with people asking for help is they do not clarify the problem they are having and they also do not send a link to the said problem site. I also help many of the same people more than once and they too do not send a link the second or third time. I can not possibly remember who owns what site, so please help save time by sending a full description of what is wrong and a full URL to the said site with every request. The same goes for asking for help from others on the BANS forum. The less time we have to devote trading private messages or emails just to find out what the problem is, the faster we can help and save more of our own time.

Also be prepared to send login info. We often times need access to the site and if you do not trust us to with the info, then please do not ask for help. You can always change your login info after we have straightened out your problem. Doing these little things are courteous habits to have as many of us do not get compensated any for our time.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Common Sense Is The Best Webmaster Tool Available

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The days of keyword stuffing and manipulating the major search engines are long gone. Some will still tell you that keyword density is key, others will tell you to stuff your meta tags, while others will tell you to only acquire dofollow backlinks. what a bunch of malarkey. Google is growing smarter by the day, as are the other SERPS. You harness one of the best webmaster tools known to man, your own common sense. If a page sells "shoes for pet frogs", what do you suppose the surfer would search for in the search engines? Frog shoes? Pet frog shoes? Designer frog shoes? Let us for the sake of this example assume these 3 searches were terms that surfers were using while doing keyword research with the Google keyword tool. What would the meta title tag look like? Maybe:

Designer pet frog shoes for sale

or even

Frog shoes | Pet frog shoes | Designer frog shoes

What would the description meta tag look like?

We carry designer pet frog shoes for all sizes of frogs. New and used frog shoes available here.

In the first 100-250 words on the page, what would we try to convey in the content?

Perhaps the different types of frog shoes we carry and the different brands of frog shoes that we have? Sizing instructions to fit your frog for the perfect shoe?

Get the picture? Sure is simply, but we make it so hard. Lets go to off site SEO.

What would a backlink and anchor text look like pointing to that particular page?

Perhaps Frog shoes or Pet frog shoes or Designer frog shoes or frog shoes for sale

Yes this is overly simple broadbrush look at SEO, but if you use common sense as a starting point, you can refine things from there SEO wise. Stop counting your keyword density and start worrying if the page makes sense to the surfer and the search engines.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Using Google To Find Niche Related News & Blog Post

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If you are searching for ideas to blog about in my 21 day blog post challenge, you can start with Google. Many newbies to niche store building do not know how to use these features, so I will cover them quickly.

Google news can be searched here.
http://news.google.com/
Simply put your niche in quotes to start with. We will try "red corvette" and then click the sort by date feature. Within the last 24 hours was this story:
http://ranchomurieta.com/node/7385

Now if red corvettes were our niche, I would just recap this article in my own words and link to the article as the source of info.

The same can be done with blog post, Google blog post can be searched here.
http://blogsearch.google.com

I think you now see the idea. If you find an interesting blog post, just recap it in your words and link to the post. Also see if there is a trackback link to the post so you can get a backlink in the process.

Be creative with your phrase searches related to your niche and you will surely find info to blog about.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The 21 Day Blog Post Challenge

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Sorry for the late post today as most of the morning was eaten up with charity work and the later part of the day getting the Christmas tree catastrophe out of the way. My wife bought a new tree and has it up already and I had to solve some world ending crises for her.

Speaking of Christmas, it is now right around the corner. If you have a blog attached to your site, I challenge you to make 21 post in 21 days to it. Even if it is only a paragraph or two and even if it just points to a news story or product review on another site. Be creative and on topic with your niche blog and stay dedicated to it for 21 straight days. You may be surprised at the results. Post like no one is watching. Live it, breath it, research your niche for 21 days. Play with your post titles and dedicate them to long tail keyword phrases. You can really make a difference between now and Christmas. Challenge yourself and get a head start now.

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