Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 5 Things That Helped Me Business Wise In 2009

The last day of 2009, what a fantastic year. BANS transformation has begun. Social media exploded. EPN shifted to Quality Click Pricing. Google got another year smarter. Newspapers struggled. I think in all of my years of working on line, 2009 was the most jam packed year I have ever seen with advancements in the web and making money online. It may not seem obvious to some, but in my opinion it is easier than ever to earn a great living online. You have to work hard and smart and be patient, but it is very obtainable. I am living proof of it. Last year I did a Top 5 Things That Helped Me Business Wise In 2008 and thought I would follow it up with a post related to this year. Below are my top 5 things that helped me business wise in 2009. Once again, these are in no order and each one is as important to me as the next and the list could indeed 100 long, but these are the things that topped my list.

1. Twitter - If you read this blog on a regular basis, you know the love I have for Twitter. If used correctly, it is a tool that can reach out to thousands of like minded people within a niche. I can not see anything coming close to what Twitter is and does for a long time. 2010 could also see better ways to monetize your Twitter accounts as well. Could it be ads like Google AdSense? That i am not sure of, but it is coming. Twitter put several niches of mine in front of numerous buyers. I learn more about Twitter every day and utilize it every day as well.

2. More Diversification - I have always been a fan of not keeping eggs all in one basket. In 2008, I made an even more concerted effort to diversify my income outlets. Chitika, ShareASale & the Google Affiliate Network are just a few programs that I delved deeper into. While most people bitched about the EPN shift to QCP, I learned to leverage it better while adding more diversification in the process. I also diversified in my non online areas of income by purchasing a commercial property to add to my residential properties.

3. 31 Days to Build a Better Blog - I love to blog, by know means am I blog guru, but this ebook from Darren Rowse opened my eyes to a few things that made me a better blogger. If you can afford it, it is a great way for you to regain focus and have a well laid out plan to start 2010 with a bang.

4. More Whitespace - I have posted several Wordpress themes over the year that included much more whitespace in them. In the past I attempted to over due it design wise. The cleaner the site in my opinion, the more trust worthy and easy to surf. Merely changing the appearance of some sites has led to even more income.

5. Studying Traffic - I love studying traffic. Where they come from, where they go to. It has made me a better marketer all the way around. Google analytics is very underrated. There are several none, Google type, analytic programs around if you are a Google conspiracy theorist, but none hold a candle to GA in my opinion.

Let me close by wishing EVERY one of you a happy New Year. Now is the chance to take control of your future. Become a student of this business and never be above it. Accept that there is always something to learn and try. There is no ONE way to skin this cat, there are several ways. It just takes work, dedication and willingness to learn. Happy New Year once again and God bless you all. Thank you for a tremendous 2009 year this very blog has had as well. I aim to continue my dedication to pointing out techniques and products that I believe, will help each and everyone of you getting closer to your own goals you have set for yourselves.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Using Syndicated Articles On Your Site

There has been a ton written in the past on duplicate content. If you have a site full of copied articles and content, be prepared not to rank for it. On the flip side, syndicating some articles is fine. Look at it from an online newspaper website point of view. Newspapers are full of AP stories that are shared across several websites. On the flip side, individual newspaper sites also have a ton of their own unique stories and articles as well.

If you are going to use syndicated articles, make sure you have the approval to do so first and foremost. Most of the free article directories like Ezine Articles permit this as long as you keep all of the links and credits in tact. Make sure this articles add to the value of your website and are beneficial to your surfers. Also do not fall into the trap of over syndicating. It is very easy to do. Mix in a healthy dose of your own original content and your site will not suffer.

Article directories have a ton of great articles. After syndicating, you might try to contact the writer through his site in the footer of the article and work out some sort of link deal as well. A few times I have also found freshly abandoned domains as well and bought them. Then redirected them to my own niche site. It won't happen often, but it does indeed happen every now in again.

Like anything else, don't over do it and stay as natural as possible.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Wordpress Datafeed Plugin

A received a few messages regarding this Wordpress Datafeed Plugin. A couple of folks wanted to know if I have used the plugin yet. I finally got around to buying and testing it and it is exactly as advertised. It works off of product feeds offered by affiliate programs such as Commission Junction, ShareASale and etc. The directions are very easy to follow and some videos on site as well. If you are looking for an easy way to integrate more products into your Wordpress blog using feeds, this plugin is for you and I stamp it with my endorsement. This is another great Wordpress plugin to have in your arsenal.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Google Browser Size Tool

I came across an interesting post on the new Google tool from Website Magazine that test your website pages for visible call to actions. Here is the post right here. The browser size tool is right here. The post makes a great point about how visible the call to action sections like Subscribe Now and Advertise Today are visible to 99% of all surfers. Google has a page dedicated as well to How Google Browser Size Works. This is definitely something to think about, especially moving forward with design and layout aspects of your sites. I am sure this will be further expounded on more by experts as we get into the new year. Fascinating to say the least and does indeed make sense.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

12 Examples Of Sites Attracting New Links

I am doing a bit of hard drive reorganizing for the rest of the evening that is long overdue. Last week I pointed you to the Rand Fishkin video on the new model for attracting lots of inbound links. I pointed out that this weeks video would be entertaining as well as Rand points out 12 examples of sites that exemplify that new model. So instead of regurgitating it, i will point you to the Friday video instead. Happy Holidays once again.

SEOmoz Whitebeard Friday - 12 Link Strategies of Searchmas from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

No Reason To Wait

Christmas is over and while 2010 is still a few days away, there is no reason to waste those few days to get a head start on year goals for 2010. It is funny how much a few days and a calender change makes a difference of when people decide to take action on their future. The future is right now. Do not wait for a calender change. That is an excuse that makes you feel better about procrastinating. Do not get ready to take action. Take action right now. Success is an every day discipline. The holiday shopping season is over, get a head start on next year and set it in motion today. Let the others procrastinate over a calender and year change. Those types are always looking for reasons not to succeed.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I wanted to wish all of my readers a very Merry Christmas and Season's Greetings. I hope today has been very enjoyable for you and that Santa brought you everything you were hoping for. If you are reading this on Christmas day, then you have decided to sneak some work in like I did.

Please do not forget about the less fortunate during this time of year. Especially the animals. If you feel so inclined, I would appreciate it if you made a small or large donation to one of my two favorite animal charity organizations.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Things I Don't Do

I contribute a ton of my success in making money online to things that I do not do. They are really simple things, things that you may do, that will free up more of your time and make you more productive.

I do not watch much television, except for Sundays during the football season. I block out about 8 hours on that day and get all work done before and after that. It is the only real mindless R&R time I take during a week. During the week I might watch a total of an hour a day. Maybe!

I do not drink alcohol. I quit drinking years ago. Alcohol causes you to be unproductive. I drink coffee instead and tons of it.

I do not get caught up in the social traps of the world. Talking on the phone, going to parties etc. The only social stuff I do is connected to social media and working my niches.

I do not sleep in. Unless I am sick, I am up early every morning. This is my business and I am on time every day.

I do not handle the accounting and household bill paying. My wife handles every bit of that. I send her my numbers and she takes care of everything else.

I do not check revenue stats every 5 minutes. I schedule times of days throughout the week to do these task. I can tell by quick glance if everything is going fine.

I do not go to bed while in the middle of a task. I go to bed when it is completed, even if it is 3 in the morning.

I do not get caught up in family drama. All of my family knows my wife and business comes first. They know better than to bother me with trivial stuff.

What types of things do you not do that helps you to succeed and be more productive?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Networking With Twitter

If you ask me, I think Twitter is the best thing since sliced bread. To think I just did not "get it" at first. Not surprising though as I am often late to parties. Not only is it great for marketing and promoting your site, you can do great networking with and form some pretty good relations inside niches. Not only have I found people to give me backlinks, I have found some that have agreed to write some content for me for a small price. The best thing is these people know more about most of these niches than I do. You get great factual articles this way. Now of course some of the grammar and structure needs to be cleaned up, because these people are not writers, but neither am I.

When using Twitter to network, start off by creating relationships and establish the common interest. Ask them open ended questions that they can answer quickly in 140 characters or less. Twitter is not very formal, but use common decency. Do not go right in for the kill of what you need or want. You must develop the relationship first.

I have gotten newspaper interviews, radio interviews and done guest blog post all thanks to Twitter. I hope you are using it as well. Make sure you follow me on Twitter as well!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Social Media Strategy

Most of the blog post on EPN really do not catch my eye, but they did address social media today in their latest post. Albeit not much new, I did pick up the Twitter Party link which is an interesting concept. I will delve deeper into it after the holidays, but have bookmarked it for now. I will be posting more about social media myself in the new year as it is a must in my opinion. I have tons of success with it myself and only have scratched the surface in regards to other things I have planned in 2010. I suggest you really get your own social media strategy together and get it implemented sooner than later.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Dealing With Link Request

Sooner or later, if you have a way surfers can contact you, you will receive link trade request of your own from other site owners. While it may seem good at first, make sure you know what you are looking for. First, is the site a good match? Is it a good neighborhood and have content your visitors would thank you for sending them too? Will they be reciprocating the link as a dofollow or nofollow link/ What page of the site where you be listed on their site and we are they asking to be listed on your site?

Remember, you are who you link to and in eyes of Google, you are vouching for that link and accepting any repercussions it may cause you ranking wise. A link trade is not always good. Keep that in mind as it is a huge decision that could indeed affect your site quality and trust factor.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Why Wouldn't You Blog At Least Twice A Day?

I get people asking me advice daily about how they can improve their traffic and acquire better backlinks. I always ask if they are blogging. Most are are not and the others very casually. Very infrequently. Does a site need you to blog on it from now until the end of time to stay successful? Absolutely not, but getting a good 60 post up in 120 days would certainly make you money. Notice I said 120 days. That is one blog post for that site every other day. Now if you had another site, you can post to that every other day as well. On the odd days, you pick two more sites to blog on. In 120 days you will have 60 blog post on 4 sites, surely to be attracting backlinks and organic and inorganic surfers from all of your RSS feeds you have submitted.

What do you blog about? Anything niche related. Anything closely niche related. How long of blog post? I would shoot for at least 300 words or more. No time? Get up an hour earlier every morning. You can't write? Get tutoring or pay someone daily to blog for you. Seriously, the more you write, the better you get.

Want to know more about how to blog properly? This will not disappoint you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

New Model For Attracting Lots Of Inbound Links

Sorry for the late post, but I have been sick all afternoon with a stomach virus. Enough about my puke escapades. I really still do not feel good, so I will instead point you to another entertaining Whiteboard Friday video by Rand Fishkin. Make sure to check next weeks video by him as well as he will be giving 12 link strategies. Now excuse me while I get back to my porcelain.

SEOmoz Whitebeard Friday - Give and Ye Shall Receive from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Attack Content That No One Else Is Attacking

One of the biggest things I have learned over the last year or so is to attack content subject matters that no one else in the niche is attacking. This usually requires a bit more research than a regular article, but if the content fills a void in the niche and is promoted right, it WILL get you well needed backlinks. It is hard for me to tell from niche to niche what this type content subject matter will be, but you if you dig deep and think creatively, you can come up with this on your own.

While creating this type of content, I do not worry so much about keyword focus, I focus on thoroughly engaging the reader and what will bait people to link back to it. These are the best types of backlinks you will ever get. As you go into 2010, keep this method in the back of your mind. You also likely will have to create this type of content yourself, because trying to outsource it, might be tough unless you have a writer that does excellent research before writing and attacking it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Goal Setting Time Again

Wow! I can barely take a breath. What a fantastic month this has been. Hope yours is going just as well. This time of year is when I start putting my goals down on paper for the upcoming year. It usually takes me a week to get everything I want listed, not only financially but personally. I am a very goal oriented person and believe it contributes greatly to my success. I set my goals high business wise to push me. I make them what I feel to be obtainable, yet will push me to obtain them. Last year I set them a bit too far out. I did not reach them, but came pretty close. You know who wins there? Me!!! I nearly had a 30% income increase over last year. Did I fail? You be the judge. If you set goals easy to obtain and that you know you will reach, what are you leaving on the table?

If you have never set goals before, now is the time. Different people have different methods they use on setting their goals. The biggest key in my opinion is to put them down on paper. Something magical happens in your subconscious when you write them. It is if you are etching them on your brain. There are different exercises all over the web you can search for on goal setting. Find a method that fits your style and do it. You owe it to yourself to have a target to shoot out. My goals are one sentence statements and usually are a full page worth.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

MaxBlogPress Huge Christmas Deal

MaxBlogPress Christmas Deal
I received an email from MaxBlogPress that for the next 14 hours, you can get all 4 of their products for just $87.00. I own all 4 myself and paid over $300.00. They are indeed worth $300.00, but $87.00 is a steal. The Wordpress Wizard alone is worth the entire deal as it includes more than 50 step-by-step tutorials on how to setup your profitable WordPress blog in minutes. If you are serious about your business, all 4 of these products is money well spent.

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If you had to buy these products individually you'd expect to pay a minimum $328.00 - but today you can grab all four products and get instant access for less than $90, one-time investment. Remember, this offer ends tonight.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Use Your RSS Feed To Your Advantage

Your RSS feed is your best friend, but it is often the most under used way to promote a site. You never know who or when someone will find your site, so you have to get your post out there in as many ways as possible. First and foremost you should be using Twitter Feed to automatically post each post of yours to your appropriate Twitter account. It takes just a minute to set up and then you are done. I have posted about this in the past and I often wonder how many people do it.

In addition to Twitter, there are several other places you can submit your RSS feed to. Just do a search for "RSS directories" or "submit RSS Feed" in Google. There is also an old post I bookmarked, 55 Active RSS Directories to Help Promote Your RSS Feeds. Sift through them as well. I usually submit to 10 or so at a time over a course of a month. I never overdue anything and suggest you do the same. Remember you want to appear as natural as possible. Get creative at looking for other places that accept RSS feeds as well. You will be surprised at what you find. It just may produce a surfer or another backlink elsewhere if you take a few minutes to promote your feeds.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Rand Fishkin On Duplicate Content

Rand Fishkin hits another home run with the latest Whiteboard Friday video he did on duplicate content. Rand shows how you can protect your content to always rank the highest over someone who may copy, scrape or even syndicate.

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - Dealing with Duplicate Content from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Another Reason To Use Twitter & Facebook

I will let this article speak for itself, but here is just another reason you should be using social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. You can see a running example right now for Heisman Trophy. Notice the scroll box half way down the results front page. I am a huge fan of Twitter and Facebook and the two have helped tremendously over the year. If you have not attacked these two, you better get on it. It's not too late.

Friday, December 11, 2009

How To Get Links From .edu Domains

I stumbled on to this video this afternoon by Charles Lumpkin. He shares an easy and practical way to get links from valuable .edu domains. It makes quite a bit a sense and i will be trying this myself after the holidays. I would suggest being very discreet. Do not tell that you need it for SEO purposes. When you contact these organizations, make sure to compliment their site and tell them something you learned on their site and what you liked best about it. Try to be as personal as possible before going straight in for the link purchase. It may take you a few stabs, but you should be able to land a few quality backlinks for a very small investment.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Longer Searches Flat This Past Month

I found an interesting report on Hitwise that says that longer search queries were flat between October and September 2009. I really can not put a finger on why that would be, myself, but do find it interesting nonetheless. Does this mean you should jump off of the long tail targeting? Absolutely not. In fact you see that searches of eight or more words increased by 1%. Surfers are getting more exact with what they are looking for, so in my opinion it is great for webmasters as well. Keep targeting the long tail, I have a feeling the next set of numbers will show an increase.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cutts Discusses Future Of Search

I was behind on watching some Matt Cutts videos and came across one from last week where Cutts discusses big changes he sees in search in the next few years? He hits on Mobile as well as SMS. Pretty enlightening stuff. Also sorry for the shorter post as of late, but it is the busiest and most profitable time of the year for me, so I really have my hands full on maximizing my holiday traffic right now.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Can You Learn From TMZ?

Like most, I got caught up in all of the Tiger Woods hoopla. It is very uncharacteristic for me, but a train wreck I could not keep my eyes off of for a few days. Most of you already know about the website TMZ. There really is not too much to the site that you can't do with Wordpress. It also shows you that post do not need to be long in nature and the use of photos, video and audio can really engage surfers. Not that you did not know that, but their site is proof of it in action. Their monetization is quite simple as well. Of course they have paid sponsors, but they also use affiliate programs and Google Adsense as well. The layout is nothing extravagant, just simple, clean and easy to navigate. You can apply several things that they do to your own blogs. Have a look around at simplicity in action. Proof that sometimes we ALL over think things in this business.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Black Friday & Cyber Monday Coremetrics Benchmark Reports

If you are curious about how the numbers from Black Friday and Cyber Monday, Coremetrics Benchmark has their online retail data from both of the days up for viewing. They are reporting that both days outpaced 2008 levels. If you are wondering what Coremetrics Benchmark exactly is, they have it described here.

I can tell you that from my own numbers, I saw a huge increase thus far as far as money earned. It is however hard for to quantify it at this point, because of all the changes I have made to better convert my surfers and my traffic has increased as well. At some point I will try to drill my own numbers down better, but for right now I am spending my time on making sure I maximize my efforts for this holiday season. Regardless, they are fun numbers to look at.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

W-9 Time Again

Just a quick FYI to remind everyone that now is the time of year to be checking all of your affiliate programs that you belong to and make sure you have a properly filled out W-9 form on record. You will probably be sent reminders from several companies soon, but I like to nip it in the bud and do a fly through myself in early December.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Joost de Valk SEO Wordpress Video From WordCamp Netherlands

As many know I am a huge fan of Joost de Valk, known mostly as Yoast. He recently did another video at a WordCamp session in the Netherlands on SEO improvements for Wordpress. I highly suggest you follow his suggestions here. He is a guru as far as Wordpress goes. The video is below:

Joost de Valk – SEO improvements for WordPress from Vileo on Vimeo.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Inside the Mind of Google

Admittedly I do not watch much television which I am very proud of, but last night I made it a point to watch the CNBC special, Inside the Mind of Google. If you get a chance, it is a very good story along with great interviews by Maria Bartiromo. While some of the things they talk about as far as ranking high, are not 100% accurate, the rest is quite mind blowing with what goes on with Google and how it has gotten to where it is in such a short time. It airs again tonight at 9pm & 12am eastern. If you have some free time you should check it out. The list the upcoming air times on the page I linked to above as well.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Amazon, Commission Junction & Geo Targeted BANS Addons

If you have BANS sites that you want to integrate Amazon or Commission Junction into, you may want to buy the multi pack of addons offered by Tao from the BANS forum. I installed the Commission Junction one today on an older BANS site and it was very easy. His directions are written with a newbie in mind and the addons do exactly what they promise to do. The Amazon addon works just the same and allows you to show products from Amazon. The Geo Targeted addon is great for any BANS site, especially if you get a heavy mixture of foreign traffic. It matches the eBay products and EPN program based on the surfers IP, so now you can convert any traffic looking to buy from eBay. Tao is a long time user of BANS and I trust his work, he also offers excellent customer service.

You can buy all 3 of these addons in one package for $60.00 which will save you $20.00. You can use these on as many BANS sites you need to. If you have not yet graduated to Wordpress or have sites you do not feel or now how to convert to Wordpress to add other income possibilities, I highly suggest you look at purchasing these. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Know Your Width Limitations

I have a ton of sites, way too many. Like most in the early days of BANS, it was just too easy to build these things and throw them up. I have several that I blog weekly on and really have too many of those as well. Now it is one thing to build a niche site that will not need weekly blog post and maintenance, as long as it is thick with content and done right, but don't stretch yourself too thin. It is very easy to do. The fact of the matter is, you really only need 10-20 well thought out sites to earn a fantastic income. Concentrate on your site quality, not the quantity of sites you can build. I know several are back into the automated sites, but that just isn't my cup of tea. Trust me when I say you will be rewarded by building great sites and you should not stretch yourself too thin. You can only do so much in a day. I do this full time and never get around to some sites, but maybe 3 times a year. Know your width limitations. Everyone's is different. Before anyone ask, no, none are for sale.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tips & Tricks For The Wordpress wp-config File

I came across an interesting video on today that caught my eye. It is by Josh Harrison and is dedicated to the Wordpress wp-config file and the things you can do to it. That file is the most important file in Wordpress. There are quite a few things I learned myself. I have mentioned the site several times in the past and if you are new to my blog or Wordpress in general, you really need to spend some time on that site. there is a ton you can learn there even if you have used Wordpress for a while. I try to visit the site at least once every couple of weeks and try to learn something new.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Track Wordpress Outbound Links With Google Analyticator Plugin

If you are a Google Analytics conspiracy theorist, this post will not be for you. For everyone else, I wanted to post a link on How To Track Outbound Links From Your WordPress Blog. It shows how to use the Google Analyticator WordPress Plugin along with Google Analytics to track your outbound links clicks. If you already have the Google Analytics code on site in the footer or header, you will need to remove it beforehand as the plugin will automatically add the code for you. Give it a try on a site.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Ready For Cyber Monday?

Well, after a great start to the holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday is just a few hours away. This day is notorious for being the busiest online shopping day. Make sure your sites are up an running properly and load fast. You may also want to check for any specials that you can promote from all of the affiliates you have a relationship with. You would be surprised of all the emails I have gotten from my affiliates that are having deals.

Promote, promote, promote. I plan on doing about 30 blog post on Monday myself across several niches. Best of luck to everyone and let's knock them dead.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Saturday Around The Web November 28th

Here are a few things for your reading pleasure. I am knee deep examining traffic this week or the list would be longer.

Marshall Kirkpatrick writes about How Blogging Has Changed Over The Last 3 Years

A cool Twitter too called Who follows Whom!

Paul Cunningham tells What the Top 100 Blogs Teach Us About Domain Names.

Dan Zarrella gives 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter.

Mark Jackson covers the Natural Link Building Practices.

Friday, November 27, 2009

SEO Metrics From Analytics Video

Happy Black Friday everyone. I hope everyone's traffic is through the roof like mine is today. Christmas shopping time is definitely here.

Rand Fishkin released an excellent Whiteboard Friday video on what SEO Metrics you should be looking at in your web analytics. As always, Rand does a great job of explaining the "why" behind it. Theses metrics give you a great idea of where you need to improve in certain areas of your site. Below is the video.

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - Analytics for SEO from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone

I am off to my wife's cousins to eat my fill of fried turkey and pecan pie. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving. I for one am very thankful for the ability to work online for a living surrounded by wife and dog. I truly am blessed. I will be taking MOST of today off, but will probably sneak in a few hours of work later this evening. I just can't help myself. Have a great day and thanks for reading!


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Feel The Need... The Need For Speed

Nope, no Top Gun movie clip here.

Matt Cutts recently did an interview at PubCon with Mike McDonald and talked about Google Caffeine and more importantly gave a hint about how site speed MAY matter in the future in regards to ranking. He noted a few tools you may want to bookmark.

The second link is a Firefox plugin which is pretty dang cool. I highly suggest you give it a try. The video interview is below.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Need A Starting Point? - What Do You want For Christmas?

I get an email every now and again from those that are new to business and wondering where to start niche wise. It is always easiest to niche about things you know the most about. Being it is about Christmas time, why not start with what you want for Christmas. Put down a list of 10 things you would most want for a gift this holiday season. It is a great place to start and will hold your attention, because you already have a vested interest in it. Now this does not mean you set up a Blackberry site, but you can start to attack that niche from another angle. Start wide a whittle it down to an angle or sub niche with lesser competition.

I myself only want 1 thing for Christmas and that is a Booksamillion gift card so I can drink chocolate caramel lattes every Saturday until next Christmas. So I might try to attack coffee gift cards or book store gift cards.

Do not rush in choosing your niche. Research every facet from competition to keyword research. It is OK to start small, it will teach you how to rank and how to convert on a smaller scale. Be creative and think like a surfer. You can attack large niches in an indirect fashion. Force yourself to brainstorm!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Free Mind Map Application To Layout Site With

I have been playing with to brainstorm on site layouts and navigation. It is a simple and free web application that has a ton of uses. You can save what you create and it is a great tool to brainstorm with. There are several more things you can do with it that I have not even touched on. Create a free account and play around with it. Drop me a note of anything you can get it do or uses for it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Another Clean Wordpress Template

I always am on the lookout for clean Wordpress templates with a ton of white space. They seem to perform well for me. I recently found this template from Midmo Designs. You might recognize it from the demo used in the CJ Niche Store plugin I have talked about recently. I like the cleanliness of it and thought I would pass it on to my readers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Solution For Burnout, Make More Money

I got an email that made me chuckle last night. The reader wanted to know why I never seem to suffer from burnout and never miss a post. First of all, I love what I do, it is not work to me. It is fun. If this feels like work to you, and you dread it. You are in the wrong business. Also I love making money. When you are not making money, you are not getting results and you are more susceptible to burning out. I see distinct correlations with me working daily and making more money.

The reader also asked why I don't take vacations? LOL! I assure you that the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino has wireless internet. I learned years ago not to discuss TOO much of my personal life on the internet. I get my time away in, trust me.

I am very organized as far as things I need to get done and treat what I do like a business that needs me everyday. Sure, I get sick, have bad days and such, but always tend to get something done. Being detail orientated is important.

Lastly, I just do not have time to burnout. Sounds funny, but is so true.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Commission Ritual Review

I have been hit up by two of my readers as to my thoughts on Commission Ritual training product. I hadn't had a chance to get to it until today. I never had heard of Brian Johnson beforehand so that is both good and bad deepening on how you look at it. I laid down the money today regardless to see what it was all about.

The great thing about the program is it only cost you $4.95 to have a look. After 7 days if you like it, you are billed the rest. Very nice option as it shows he has faith in what is behind the door.

Inside you get a very detailed 121 page ebook that helps you follow along with 80 videos. That is not a mis-print! Over 80 videos and well done videos at that.

Now quite a bit of the videos are aimed at newbies who struggle with even setting up and installing Wordpress. So if you are new to Wordpress ingeneral, he has you covered in here. He also covers niche research, keyword research, site setup, content creation and the structure. His methods are not new, but a little mixture of everything out there along with common sense.

Why good thing is what he teaches is above level and not trying to game Google. He gives you a VERY detailed and well laid out plan to follow with a bit of a different twist. If you are in need of a structured course and plan, Brian has it in here.

Also thrown in are some 20 plus Wordpress templates and yes he even shows the newbies how to install these. I looked mostly at his meat and potatoes and believe you will profit from it. I intend to pattern the next site I build around his methods, but it likely will be in December some time. There are many ways to skin the cat in the business and his way is sensible and very learn-able.

In closing, for $4.95 you can see for yourself. I do not put my stamp of approval on many of these courses as many are just junk and trying to game Google without any pure methodology. You will see several things that I teach inside along with a few other things I never have touched on. Worth every dime in my opinion. Well thought out and laid out course.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

From Black Friday Until Christmas


I am in the midst of an utterly fantastic month thus far in November. It is shaping up to be record month for me. Some of the success is attributed to some sites that were rebuilt that are starting to reap the changes. The other success I think is to the fact that the holidays are approaching and everyone is jumping into the holiday spirit a bit early. As the calender turned to November 1st, I had sharp spikes in traffic on many sites.

I am not one that checks stats every day as most of you know. I get to looking at stats and I can't put them down. It eats away productive time. I like to check stats once a week and archive twice a month. However, from Black Friday until Christmas, I will check traffic stats everyday and examine very very closely the keywords associated from the SERPS traffic. I look for anything I can attack and attack quickly. Usually I do it in a blog post and a single item. I had a ton of success doing this last year and expect this year to be no different. I also will watch Google trends to see if I can spot anything in my niches as well. You never know when something might get hot and that way I can attack it as soon as possible. Remember, Black Friday is only a week away now, get ready.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

CJ Niche Store Wordpress Plugin Search Results Template Mod

While browsing the PHPBay forum, I came across an interesting mod you can make while using the CJ Niche Store Wordpress Plugin to your Search Results page (search.php) in your Wordpress template to show items from Commission Junction based on search terms a surfer uses. The code below will go in place of everything between the <div class="postarea"> and closing </div> tag. It will of course differ from template to template that are using with Wordpress, but the main code piece is below.

Here's <? echo $_GET["s"]?> for sale at YOUR STORE NAME HERE.
function cjnichesearch($term) {
$keywords = $term;
$text .= '[cjniche keywords="'.$keywords.'" listing="10"]';
echo do_shortcode($text);

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adsense & Chitka Ad Unit Placement Guide

You ever have one of those days when you are making so much progress you do not want to stop and even go to the bathroom? Today is that day for me. I am getting a ton done today, but wanted to stop and point everyone to a free ebook released called Adsense & Chitka Ad Unit Placement Guide. I have used Adsense forever and it has always been a huge earner for me. Even when most bailed on it, I never stopped and never understand or faced the problems others had. You have seen me post a bunch about Chitka as well. They have crawled into my top 10 as far as income producers now and using Adsense and Chitika hand in hand has been lucrative for me. Enjoy the reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Affiliate Marketing for Beginners eCourse


If you have read my blog for a while or ever visited the BANS forum, you will recognize a poster by the name of Bunny. Her real name is Laura and she has been a student of the business for quite a while. Laura is a prime example of how to stick with something and learn every facet of this business. She knows how tough it is for newbies in the business.

Laura has just released her Affiliate Marketing for Beginners eCourse. I was asked to preview this a few weeks back and all I could say is WOW!!! If you are new to this business or have been struggling with getting your feet planted firmly, you NEED this course. It is thorough and I mean thorough. This is no thin eBook eCourse either. Be prepared to set aside some reading time as this is no pamphlet or one night read.

There are 270 pages in this eCourse and it is jam-packed with step-by-step instructions, tips, and techniques to start affiliate marketing. All of this is divided into 55 short, manageable lessons.

If you are new to this business and web site building, I highly endorse this course. You will get your money's worth and be on the fast track.

Use this link and code soggy1116 for $10 off until November 30

The Berries Often Taste Better Than The Coconuts

It is a mistake we all make, especially those new to the business of affiliate marketing. Most look at the coconuts way high up in the tree and overlook the berries growing at the base of the tree. How does this relate to affiliate marketing? When most do their keyword or niche research, regardless of the tool you may use, the focus is often put on the results with high numbers. The higher numbers are often one or two keyword phrases, but are not limited to that length as I have seen many three and four keyword phrases that even I know not to attempt to capture.

MOST properly built niche sites these days will have 30 or pages to them. These 30 pages each can be focused on 2-3 sets of keyword phrases. Even if each page was focused around say 2 each per page, that is 60 in total. Now imagine if the exact phrase count for search was 100 each and each of those were very attainable to rank for. That would total out to 6000 exact phrase counts for that site. Now, will it be that perfect? Absolutely not, but you give yourself a much better shot at garnering "buying traffic" by using those longer tailed, less searched for phrases. Mix in the fact that your content by nature SHOULD include LSI type terms that you will garner organic traffic for and you will find that your site is better off as a whole.

So what do you do if you have a multitude of sites you aimed to high with? You can either re-focus those pages around lower volume keyword phrases or you can add more pages to the site that better attack these phrases. Depends really on the direction you want to go. In my case, I usually re-focus the pages, wait for the engines to come back and index them again and build a few backlinks in the mean time. Using this process, I have taken sites that were only earning a few peanuts a month to sites that earn $200.00 or more a month and the volume of traffic has increased. Not only the volume, but the quality. Meaning more repeat visits as well.

Does this mean you can not shoot for the coconuts on some pages? Absolutely not, but when you start picking the berries, you will be amazed how sweet they are and they are easier to get than climbing the coconut tree.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The 6 Month Measuring Stick

I get a frustrated email every now and again from reader who is wondering why after 2 months they are not on page one of Google. Well, besides there being so many factors that go into ranking to begin with, it is almost an impossible question to answer with being given only a link to a site. Also, 2 months is a mighty short time to be judging a site by. Many people will do the minimum right out of the gate and sit and wait and start complaining at month number 2 if not sooner.

Is it impossible to rank page one at the end of 2 months? Absolutely not. It depends on the keyword phrase and the competition for starters. Several new sites can hit page one right out of the shoot with fantastic SEO and a great launch with light competition. Will it stay there? That depends on a number of things as well.

I use a 6 month measuring stick and a consistent backlink building process over the first 6 months to truly judge my sites. After that time and based on what I have done work wise, I have a pretty good idea if I met my goal and what I need to change to further advance. This does not mean you launch, do a few things and wait 6 months though. I suggest a slow and methodical backlink building process over 6 months time. Also, if the site is built correctly, you should be seeing a steady climb in organic traffic right from the launch date.

You need to remember that solid ranking is not a race, slow and steady will give you better chances at staying locked into page one once you get there.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Google Affiliate Program Continues To Grow

It seems every other day I get an email from the Google Affiliate Network of more and more advertisers coming on board. I use quite a few and have been impressed with the results. I have heard of and seen a few Wordpress plugins that are coming along to take this feeds from advertisers that use them and makes adding products quite easy. None are up to snuff just yet that I have come across, but i is only a matter of time. Google finds their way into everything and usually does it quite well. If you have yet to sign up for the program, you really ought to, you would be amazed at the companies they already represent. I suspect by the end of 2010 that the Google affiliate program will be in top 3 earning programs, it is that good.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Buy A .Net Get A .Com For $1.00

4 comments is running another great deal until midnight where you buy a .net domain and get a .com for $1.00 more. You would be crazy not to take advantage of buying at least a few of these. After this post, I will be purchasing about 5 or so for later use. Also do not be scared of the .net extension. I have never had problems getting them to rank as I would a .com. I will race you there!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

5 Solid Things A Day

I have been doing quite a bit of work as of late on older sites. It has been going on for quite a while. Sometimes it can get monotonous without much proof of work being done from a first glance aspect. I implemented myself a "5 solid things rule" into my daily routine so that productivity on task that can be done on other sites other than redesign work and SEO revamping will make my days more productive from a traffic building standpoint.

Re-design and SEO is productive mind you, but not as productive as adding content and building backlinks. My "5 solid things rule" requires me to add a total of 5 pieces of new content or 5 backlinks pointing to ANY of my sites on everyday. This can include social bookmarks, article directories, link directories, blog comments, you name it. A total of 5 in all of any combination. I usually gravitate to getting these knocked out in the first part of the day to free up the time for the boring work plus other things on my list of things to do. It makes sure I am staying productive from a traffic building aspect of my sites as well.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

On The Money Title Tags

I recently finished some testing on a site that has high page rank and ranks very well for several main keywords and phrases. I wanted to test changing the title tag of a few pages to see how it would effect the ranking. Now this was not rocket science and I knew what the outcome would likely be, but I wanted to see it happen first hand. I singled out 6 pages and changed the title tags of the pages and nothing else. It took a few weeks for Google to capture all 6 pages, but as expected, all pages dropped way down from the number 1 spot that they had.

Your title tag should be reflecting what you are trying to rank for, it should be clear and specific as well. Often times simply reworking a sites title tags to better chase lower volume keyword phrases can help a sites profitability almost instantly. I am finding this on a few of my earlier sites that I was shooting for the moon with as far as high competition phrases. Simply changing the title tags of some of these pages to better attack longer keyword phrases with less competition has helped these sites out tremendously.

Have you looked at your title tags lately?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Matt Cutts Video On Titles & Snippets

Today is one of the better videos by Matt Cutts from Google in which he thoroughly explains how Google comes up with the snippets and titles for web pages. Listen closely and you can see how your content can be reflective how snippets used as well as meta description tags. Good video.

Monday, November 9, 2009

CJ Niche Store Wordpress Plugin Upgrade & New Amazon Plugin

It has not been long since I first posted about the CJ Niche Store Wordpress plugin that allows you to display Commission Junction items easily in Wordpress post and pages. I just received a notice that the plugin has been upgraded and includes a few suggestions I made as well. The plugin now lets you add nofollow to the affiliate links, add a description and use it solely as an Overstock Wordpress plugin as well. In addition to that great news, a new free Amazon Wordpress plugin has been released as well. I have included the videos below that shows about the CJ and Amazon Plugin features.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

I Never Met A Backlink I Didn't Like

While it is true you can not always control who links to you, what anchor text they use and whether or not it is nofollow or not, it all looks good in the big picture. So many people obsess over page rank, exact anchor text and and nofollow that they lose sight of what looks natural. Sure, I build a ton of my own backlinks and often times try to mix them up on what and where I get them. I also use a slow and steady pace and make sure to mix in a few nofollow blog comments and imperfect anchor text as well. Looking too perfect is bad and several folks do not realize this. If you are using a blog commenting service or someone who bookmarks your pages on social bookmarking sites, make sure they give you the ability to rotate through different sets of anchor text and are mixing in a few nofollow links as well. If you do this methodically and slowly, you too will see that ALL backlinks actually have a role and your rankings will rise slowly and most of all will stick in the rankings instead of fluctuating.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

All Of Us Leave Money On The Table

I am still in the process of going back through several sites of mine that are long overdue some attention. Many sites I am refocusing monetization efforts on and trying to find the money that I am leaving on the table for these sites. Most of these sites are by no means high traffic, but they do get some targeted organic traffic nonetheless. You may find that adding advertising in addition to the normal Ebay and Google Adsense very lucrative. Have a look around at the main competition in the niche. How are the top ranked sites monetizing? Could their be a Clickbank match? Perhaps a book from Amazon or even a product from Amazon? Over the last week of work on my sites I created another $87.78 in income that I can attribute exactly to attacking money being left on the table by myself. Is $87.78 a huge amount? No, not really, but times that by 4 weeks and it is nearly $400.00. Now it likely will not be that every week, sometimes higher, sometimes lower, but you get the picture. Not a bad little raise I gave myself, by going back through and searching for money that is always left on the table? How much is laying around for you to collect?

Friday, November 6, 2009

How SEOs Know SEO By Rand Fishkin

The great Rand Fishkin has another gem with today's White Board Friday video. This should hit home with a few of you. My wife is down with the flu this week, so I have not been too active on the boards and such. So excuse this short post. Watch the video below!

SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday - How SEOs Know SEO from Scott Willoughby on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

USB 2.0 Universal Hard Drive Adapter

Here is something for your Christmas list. I did not even wait and ordered it today. I have several older hard drives laying around that I have been "meaning to" extract some important data off of. It is a pain in the ass to take time out to connect these hard drives to my current main computer to merely pull off a few files. This neat new device looks like just what the doctor ordered as it connects from the hard drive to a USB connection and turns the hard drive basically into an external hard drive to extract or store info on. Regardless of how it works, I need it and you may need at as well. I thought I would bring it to everyone's attention.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Every Asked To Guest Post?

You would be surprised how many blogs out there would be more than happy to let you guest post on their blog. If you have a site that specializes in music memorabilia for example, you can easily find a celeb rumor blog or something similar in character that will let you guest post for a backlink in the bio of the post. These "in content" backlinks go a long way when received from trusted domains. Remember that you are not so much in it for direct traffic as you are the link juice itself. Also, bloggers would gladly take a day off for someone else to write a blog post for them. All you have to do is ask. This week alone I asked 6 different blogs if I could guest post and 3 already said yes. Imagine picking up 2-3 quality backlinks a week.

How do you find and get to these blog owners quickly? You can start with Twitter. Many bloggers know the usefulness of Twitter and use it as both a network tool and a medium to circulate their blog post. Also, many bloggers have contact forms right on their sites. Be direct and to the point when asking them. Ask them if they have a topic in mind and if you can guest post for a backlink at the bottom of the post. It really works. All they can do is say no or not answer you at all.

If they do allow you to guest post. Hammer out a quality post. Pretend this post is going on your own site and is both grammatically correct and factually if relevant. 300 words is a great target for length, but you should ask what the blogger expects as far as a word count.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Chris Cemper Advanced Link Building Videos

Let me start of by saying that I am a huge fan of Chris Cemper. I watch and read everything that he puts out in regards to link building. I recently stumbled across a set of 3 videos on advanced link building that he did at the 2009 Budapest Affiliate Conference. They total about 30 minutes time and are well worth watching.

Below are all three videos.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Studio Press Fix For Using ReviewAzon

I recently was implementing the ReviewAzon Wordpress plugin into the Lifestyle Wordpress theme by Studiopress and noticed it shoves the Amazon listing all the way on the right of that theme. This is easily fixed by opening the index.php and page.php pages of the template and adding:

<div style="clear:both;">


<?php the_content(__('Read more'));?><div style="clear:both;"></div>

on both template files.

This should bring everything into alignment. This fix will likely be needed on a few of the other Studiopress themes, but I haven't gotten to any of them yet to check.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Monkey See, Monkey Do, Monkey Still Fail

I have been bombarded with messages today about the Auction 2 Post plugin. First of all, I have not purchased the plugin as of yet. I will at some point I suppose as it does look interesting, but I have no reason right now to rush out and do it. Anytime something gets good buzz, I see people rush out and purchase like it is the magic bean, the secret to success. The problem most have, is that they already have a large stable of tools or plugins that can make them money, but they can't even use them properly. Now if you have an indeed specific purpose for a new plugin like this or see the benefits, then buy it. The problem is that several just buy it not knowing the benefits and how to use them. They are just monkey see, monkey do. Sure the plugin looks interesting, but not interesting enough for someone who can't make money with the tools they already own to rush out and buy it. If you have been at this a while and struggling to make money, what makes you think buying this will change things for you? You should be concentrating on the process first. Like the N1Way guide teaches. Until you understand HOW to make money, merely buying new tools will cost you money. Now if you understand the money making process and see the benefits of the new plugin, then BUY it if it fits your needs as a tool, not a magic bean.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Saturday Around The Web October 31st

Happy Halloween everyone. I am in the middle of treating little ghost and goblins with candy, but wanted to post some great stuff I found across the web for this week. I have already seen one little boy and girl dressed up in a Jon & Kate Gosselin costume. Now that was scary.

Google has posted their Twitter directory of all accounts and categories

Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger tells how he uses email newsletters to drive traffic and make money

Brian Solis addresses the Future of the Social Web

Hank from Money Code has a simple modification to the FD feedburner plugin that he uses along with Facebook. Quite an interesting concept he has going.

SeOverflow has an opinion post on why you should build nofollow links

A short, but to the point post on Everything I Needed to Know About Social Media I Learned From Spider-Man

EPN has a new post on Successful Search Engine Marketing – 1. Selecting and Organizing Your Keywords

Friday, October 30, 2009

Top 10 Lesser Known Affiliate Programs

I was asked a question by email about a some lesser known affiliate program companies that I use outside of EPN, Adsense, Linkshare, Commision Junction, Pepperjam and ShareASale. I have listed a few below that I also use off the top of my head. Just because they are lesser known, does not mean they do not perform. As always, if they represent products you can build a niche around or integrate into existing niche site, by all means you should give them a try. A lot of people really do not know that Google has a program that I listed below as well. I get emails at least once a week of new publishers and products that they have coming on board and they are growing fairly quickly. Have a look below and check them out for yourselves. You might be surprised.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Matt Cutts Site Review Video

I came across an older video I had not seen before. Matt Cutts has live examples of websites and actual reviews them as well as takes questions from the audience. The video is quite long at 62 minutes, but well worth the watch. You will indeed pick up a few nuggets of information along the way.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Cool Ajax Domain Name Finder Tool

I came across a cool domain name finder tool today in my travels. It works off of Ajax technology and lets you know instantly if a domain name is available for registration. All you do is type in a domain name and its availability will appear instantly. You do not have to include an extension to your domain name if you do not want to. If none is specified, instant results are based on your preferred extensions settings on the right hand side. The site also list some coupon codes from Godaddy as well. Not that they are any secret, but just a little window dressing. This is not a must bookmark, but sure makes it quick and simply to see if something is registered already or not.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Get Your Good Stuff Out There

Bloggers are constantly looking for things to link to. If they do not know your great article on "insert your niche here" exist, it has little chance of getting linked to. You should be getting links to these articles out in as many social bookmarking places out there that you can. Nofollow, dofollow, does not matter. Spend a day bookmarking your good stuff. By good stuff I mean non-spammy articles and blog post. A few quality backlinks to these pages from other blogs or websites will go a long way in getting good link juice to your other site pages and help add to the domain authority. You never know when and who might link to it in a blog post, but if it is not promoted and put in front of their eyes, you have little chance it will ever be linked to.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Niche Site Building Network Now Online

Wow, that week went fast. In case you missed it, Kelvin and Adam have the new home base up now and the forum is back online. There was a bit of concern following the relaunch as the forum was allowed to be publicly read without being a member. Several members voiced concern, including myself, and Kelvin then changed the forum back to private. I understand what they were wanting to accomplish, but do not think they truly knew how valuable members of the forum regarded the privacy of the inner walls. It is sort of an exclusive club and there is both valuable information as well as post people have made thinking it would only be seen by other paid members. This was quickly resolved. The great thing is that they listened to the masses.

Going forward, on next Monday, they will be asking for feedback from all members regarding what their ideal niche site builder would include. I highly suggest you pay special attention to this discussion and put in your ideas. This will help them build the perfect beast so to speak. The Monday after that, they will be starting a weekly blog and synchronizing the weekly blog post and weekly newsletter as their primary communication channels over the longer term.

In the mean time, do not wait, it could be a while before something is ready and it will need to be beta tested as well. the worst thing you can do is wait on them. Do not let anything or anyone hold you back from succeeding rioght now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Save 25% On ReviewAzon Wordpress Plugin

It has been a while since I posted about the ReviewAzon Wordpress plugin that lets you add reviews of products listed as well as product info and other features to Amazon listings. This plugin has served me very well over the months and will only get better from now until Christmas.

Also the uplifting news about Amazon stock reaching an all time high is great press at the right time as well It shows amazon has a lot of consumer trust.

If you use the promo code WARRIORFORUMDEAL at this LINK. You will get 25% off the plugin. It will not get any better than this savings wise on this plugin.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Did My Wife Buy Underwear From You?

As much as I know about affiliate marketing and making money online, my wife is on the opposite end of the spectrum. She likes the internet for one thing, shopping. I wonder how many commissions I have missed out on through the years by her random shopping habit. She needed help this afternoon with an Excel file, so I sat down at her computer to give her a hand. I could not help but notice a few browser windows open and peeked at what she had going on. She had just bought some underwear. I had to know where she bought it from and how she got there, so she showed me. She merely searched on Google for a long termed phrase that was product specific, clicked the 3rd link that LOOKED like the best result and landed on the exact page she hoped to land on. She clicked through to buy and ended up on a site that has an affiliate program run through Commission Junction. She of course bought.

I asked her why she bought from that site, she said it looked trust worthy and they had EXACTLY what she needed at a fair price. The lesson to be learned here is that this happens everyday. Give people what they are looking for with a trust worthy site and you will make the sale. The more specific the product pages can be, the better chance you close the sale. Don't just break your underwear site down by brand, go farther. Break the underwear down by type, color and size. Be thorough.

By the way, one of you owe me that commission on those 4 pair underwear she bought.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Made For Adsense Back In Vogue

OK, not really, but I get a kick out of how everyone turns on a dime. People used to swear Adsense was the devil and should not be used. Others said it would keep your BANS site from ranking well or will get you de-indexed. Others said it would take away from your eBay earnings. Yada, yada, yada. People, Adsense never went anywhere, I have consistently used Adsense from day one of signing up many years ago. Never dumped them, never had a problem with them.

A brief history of MFA sites (Made For Adsense), people used to scrape content, build sites with duplicate content and throw up Adsense banners. Other times they would spin content where it was very hard to read and offered no value to the reader. They would quickly get these sites a slew of backlinks in link directories and rise quickly in ranking to Spam up the SERPS. People made a ton of quick cash with these, but Google quickly caught on. If the sites did not get de-indexed, the Adsense account usually got terminated. These sites had zero value to the surfer.

Fast forward to now. Regardless of what you use to monetize your sites with, your site must have value of some sorts. Especially if you intend to try to rank in the SERPS. If your site is full of great content, feel free to monetize with Adsense only. If you want to monetize with just Amazon, monetize just with Amazon. If you feel EPN is cheating you, dump them. If you think Adsense is the devil, dump them too. The bottom line is the bottom line, however I think many quickly jump ship on programs without first looking at their traffic and where it comes from and where it goes. If you do not trust a program, you will not promote it properly. Your subconscious will not let you.

In closing, great niche sites can make money regardless of the way you monetize them. Many over think this whole process. Build a great site, monetize it, promote it, cash the checks. It really is that simply. Made For Adsense is not a bad term, it just depends on what is being used as content and if it is built with the surfer in mind first.

I am off to finish my new Made For Chitika site! LOL, remember you heard that term here first.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Just Build It

It amazes me how many people get stuck on getting "ready to go" that they never get anything done. They wander around aimlessly on the internet with no goals, no game plan and read so much stuff that it scares them off into the direction of doing nothing. Most are looking for a "just add water" process of making money with niche sites. Sorry folks, it takes a little more than adding water.

When many contact me to look at their sites and why they are not earning money, it is pretty obvious what I will see ahead of time. First, they usually only have a small handful of finished sites and second, these sites are god awful thin with probably less than 1000 words of unique content on the entire site. Mostly they are just domains with affiliate links.

Do not worry about building the perfect beast, just build it. You can refine after the fact any errors or oversights you make. Everything can usually be fixed. The main thing is to get it built and by built, I mean with good original content. At least 200 words a page. Excuse my French, but Shitty sites can make money. They are everywhere, the common thread of these sites are good content, content other people link to.

If you sit around and do nothing, you will have nothing. Get off your ass and build something you can work with. Stop waiting for the just add water method, it does not exist.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

CJ Wordpress Plugin Tweeks

In the CJ Wordpress plugin I mentioned yesterday, I have uncovered that you can indeed pull from more than one approved advertiser. In the Advertiser Id section of the setup section, merely separate additional advertiser id's with a comma. So it would look like this: 12345678,87654321

I have tried with up to 3 advertiser numbers thus far and it worked fine.

Another thing you can do is to change the size of the images it displays. In some of my niches, the images were distorted by the default plugin image size. To change the size, go to the Plugins page in your Wordpress admin and click edit under the CjNiche Plugin for Wordpress listing. Then go to line 60 of that code and you will see were the width and height of the image commands are. You can edit these to whatever size you need to better display the product images of that particular niche. Click update File at the bottom when done and check your work.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Free CJ Commission Junction Wordpress Plugin

I am always on the lookout for free or paid items to help me with my niche sites. A reader recently sent me a link for a free Commission Junction Wordpress plugin to check out and I have gave it a try. What a nice little free plugin it is. The setup is quite easy, but please note you will need a CJ developer key. This long string goes in the middle box of the setup. The top box is called the CJ Websiteid and this number should be your PID number for whatever site you are using under the Web site Settings tab that is found under the Account tab in your Commission Junction dashboard. The last box in the plugin setup is the Advertiser Id. You can leave this blank to search all of CJ, but you must be an approved partner for any results it finds.

Say for example you are an approved affiliate through CJ for Overstock, you would enter in the number 2626374 in that box and can have listings from their inventory only. So in essence, this is an Overstock Wordpress plugin as well. To display listings on a page or post, you enter the below call in the content area:

[cjniche keywords="+red+dress" listing="3"]

The above statement would pull 3 listings with the keyword parameters of red dress. If you have any questions about this plugin, feel free to comment.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Build A Niche Store Forum Down For A Week

Unless you missed the news, the BANS Build A Niche Store forum will be down for a week while Build A Niche Store is being incorporated into . The move should be completed and is planned to be back online on Monday 26th October at 12pm (GMT Time).

If you are looking for a place to chat and hang out, Sonjay has started a forum at the link below. It is suggested that you use the same ID you had on the BANS site so you will be easily recognized and approved as a member.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Changing The Header Ad Banner In Wordpress Ads Theme Template

The next change is to change the default ad banner that sits in the header file. If you log into your Wordpress admin and click Appearance and then Editor and then header.php on the right hand side, you will see the code below:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0"></a>

Merely replace this code with your banner of choice and link to whatever you are promoting. You can also just delete this if you want no banner at all or what to add one at a later date. Make sure to save your changes and double check that your changes took when done.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lost A Hard Drive Today

Not much to post about today, folks. Been restoring a key hard drive that went down this morning and reorganizing everything as I put everything back together. Been long overdue. Thank god I had a ghost backup. Never trust that a hard drive will never go down at any given time. It happens and always does it at the worst time. Always back up stuff, every night. Things will be back to normal on Sunday.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Changing The Google Adsense Ads In Wordpress Ads Theme Template

To continue on with editing the Wordpress Ads Theme Template, we will address the Adsense ads that are scattered throughout the template. There are 5 files that need editing. I have listed the 5 files below that need the default Adsense of the creator changed to your own ad. Listed next to the file name is the size ad that you need to replace it with. 4 files use the 468x60 size ad and one uses the 160x600 size add. You can edit all of these files in your Wordpress dashboard by clicking Appearance and then Editor and the the matching file on the left hand side. These is a very easy process and should not take you more than 30 minutes at most.

single.php 468x60
index.php 468x60
page.php 468x60
page-archive.php 468x60
sidebar.php 160x600

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Changing The Header File In Wordpress Ads Theme Template

I meant to knock this out earlier for those using the Wordpress Ads theme. It has some coding issues in the header.php file. If you have already uploaded the theme, you will want to go to your Dashboard and click on Appearance and then Editor underneath that. Then on the far right you want to click on Header (header.php). You will then want to replace the code listed below with the second set of code in this post and click Update File. This will cure some bad coding in the header of the template.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="" <?php if (wp_version()=='21') language_attributes(); ?>>

<head profile="">

<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?>; charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />
<title><?php if (is_single() || is_page() || is_archive()) { wp_title('',true); } else { bloginfo('name'); echo(' &#8212; '); bloginfo('description'); } ?></title>

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress <?php bloginfo('version'); ?>" /> <!-- leave this for stats -->
<meta name="description" content="This is 2 or 3 column Ads Theme and it is totally free for download."/>
<meta name="keywords" content="theme, template, wordpress, wordpress theme, wordpress template, beautiful theme, beautiful template, beautiful wordpress theme, beautiful wordpress template, unique wordpress theme, professional wordpress theme, unique wordpress template, unique wordpress theme"/>

<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="<?php bloginfo('name'); ?> RSS Feed" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="Shortcut Icon" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_directory');?>/images/favicon-adstheme.ico" type="image/x-icon" />

<?php wp_head(); ?>


<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">
<html xmlns="" <?php if (wp_version()=='21') language_attributes(); ?>>

<head profile="">
<meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="<?php bloginfo('html_type'); ?>; charset=<?php bloginfo('charset'); ?>" />

<title><?php bloginfo('name'); ?> <?php if ( is_single() ) { ?> &raquo; Blog Archive <?php } ?> <?php wp_title(); ?></title>

<meta name="generator" content="WordPress <?php bloginfo('version'); ?>" /> <!-- leave this for stats -->

<link rel="stylesheet" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_url'); ?>" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/rss+xml" title="RSS 2.0" href="<?php bloginfo('rss2_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="text/xml" title="RSS .92" href="<?php bloginfo('rss_url'); ?>" />
<link rel="alternate" type="application/atom+xml" title="Atom 0.3" href="<?php bloginfo('atom_url'); ?>" />

<link rel="pingback" href="<?php bloginfo('pingback_url'); ?>" />

<link rel="Shortcut Icon" href="<?php bloginfo('stylesheet_directory');?>/images/favicon-adstheme.ico" type="image/x-icon" />

<?php wp_head(); ?>

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Project Will Be Stand Alone Platform

As was mentioned yesterday, Adam & Kelvin will be having a new reincarnation coming soon for niche site builders. I have received word that this new project will indeed be a standalone platform. Many have speculated it being a Wordpress plugin of sorts, but this is not the case. Also, it appears BANS will still be available as part of the Niche Site Building Network. So as I suggested previously, if that is your comfort level, continue building with it. Also it may be a while until you see the new platform. Do not let it stop your progress waiting on it. Either use your time to plan more sites and write content or go ahead and build with either BANS or Wordpress until the new platform is ready. The worst thing you can do is sit and do nothing.

EDITED TO ADD: Folks that is all I know at this point. I am getting a few emails from people who are asking more questions that I do not have the answers for. Price? Upgrade capabilities from BANS? Sorry, I just do not know at this point. All I know is what I posted.

EDITED TO ADD AGAIN: Please note that this is their "intent"!!! Does not mean something could not be changed going forward. Just wanted to throw out that disclaimer on their behalf and mine.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Niche Site Building Network Coming Soon

Hopefully you received the new email from Adam and Kelvin regarding the move forward they intend to make in regards to niche site building. I had said a while ago that it should be called "Build a niche site", instead of build a niche store as the landscape changed in regards to niche site building. It appears Adam and Kelvin have some developers in place to transform the current BANS platform into a modernized platform that may well include various other affiliate programs other than EPN. I think they clearly see what they had in BANS, but really did not know how to get it to the next phase in regards to branching out from an EPN platform only. The next phase I assume will be a more inclusive aspect of niche site building that will not be limited to just EPN. That of course is just me speculation at this point.

Sure, there are a ton of things uncertain at this point and time with there direction, but I am glad to see they have decided to go forward in some sort of fashion instead of just out right selling off their baby. Will it be good? Will it be worth the wait? I suspect yes, especially if it continues to be aimed at the person that is a novice or a newbie to the business. Time will tell.

Regardless of their direction, the thing that most people lose sight of is that a platform is a platform. It is not the magic bullet that makes a niche site successful. It is how you use the platform that makes the difference and sets your site apart in the niche world. Most of us remember the 1st version of BANS, nothing but product listings and meta tags. It took the search engines by storm and literally people were making money almost over night in some shape or form. The dynamic every changing product listings made for great organic search traps. Merely getting 25 or better backlinks from link directories pointing back with your keyword phrase could soar you quickly to the top of Google in most cases. What most did not plan on was that Google soon caught onto this push button, duplicated process. To say BANS was the cause of Google algorithm changes would be ludicrous, but it certainly had to be noticed in some sort of way by Google. Google does not hate affiliate links or niche sites, they just hate sites that add little or no value to the internet.

If you are looking for the The Niche Site Building Network to be a magic bean, you will likely be disappointed, but if you are looking for perhaps a platform and education to build better niche sites, then you will be in the right place. Look for the BANS forums to be down starting as early as next week and then just watch your email or check the new site for any new movement.

I myself look forward to see the direction they go in.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Changing The Logo In Wordpress Ads Theme Template

As promised, I will address a few things in relation to the Wordpress Ads theme template that I mentioned last week. Today we will address changing the logo in the header.

The current logo looks like the one below:

It is referenced in the style.css file on line 52.

First you will want to create your own logo in a size of 440x100 pixels and save it as a logo.gif file. If you want to change it or save it as a .jpg file with a different file name, you will need to change line 52 of the style.css file. The current statement in the styles.css file reads:

background-image: url('images/logo.gif');

If you want your logo to be mystorelogo.jpg then you would edit that line in the style.css file to read:

background-image: url('images/mystorelogo.jpg');

Upload your newly created logo to the images folder located in the AdsTheme folder located in the themes folder of your Wordpress install.

Reload your site in the browser by pressing the F5 button on your keyboard. You should then see your new logo. Let me know if you have any questions with this process in the comments section.


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