Friday, July 31, 2009

Attacking On-Site Articles

When planning out my articles on my sites, I like to not only use the Google keyword tool, but answer sites like Answers and Yahoo Answers. I will start with my base keyword or phrase and drill down from there. I am looking for the questions people are asking in my niche. I will compile a small list of other keyword phrases and go back to Google Keyword tool and see if I can find a hole in the niche with limited competition. I also will search for related smaller searched phrases as well to include in the article to enable me to attack other organic searches.

Another method is to search article directories like Ezinearticles and Goarticles and find articles already on the subject and see if I can pick up any phrases I might have missed as well. Often times these articles can be attacked from a different direction and I can use them as research fodder for my own articles. Once I know what phrases to attack and then set out to write my 400-500 word article or if outsourcing, I form up my list of needs for my writers. This will take a little work for sure, but the research pays off with good quality surfers for my niche.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bahoo Or Ying? How This Affects You!

If you have not heard by now, Yahoo and Microsoft have teamed up with one another web search wise. Both will still be separate sites, but in short, Microsoft will now power Yahoo search while Yahoo will handle the premium search advertisers. Bing will be the algorithmic search and paid search platform for Yahoo.

So what does this all mean? Basically, if you are ranking well already in Bing, you are probably on the right track. If you rank better in Yahoo than Bing, you might have some worries. Yahoo is still very manipulative from an SEO standpoint whereas Bing is improving. While it may take some time for Bing algorithm to get implemented into Yahoo, you should probably start learning more about how sites are ranking in Bing.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the Site Explorer offered by Yahoo. It is a great tool to use to find out who is linking to who. You can rest assure that something will come out to replace it. Might be third party, might be something run by Bing. Jury is still out on that.

All in all both Google and the new Ying or Bahoo want to return the most relative result to the surfer. If you build sites that fill needs and answer the surfers needs, you will survive. Continue to work on quality backlinks and build sites others will want to link to and all should be well.

For a much deeper look at this, there is a great post today on SEOMoz by Rand Fishkin that breaks this down much further than I can. all in all, I am not to worried about and if you are building sites the right way, you should sleep well also.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Description Meta Tag Is For Descriptions

That title is about as simple as I can put it. I also like to call the description meta tag, my selling tag. Picture it as a 160 character Twitter post. Describe and sell the surfer on what they will find on that particular page. If it is the home page, tell them what they will find on the entire site. If you are reviewing and selling XWZ brown widgets on a page, form it up in the description.

Now just using the description tag does not guarantee ranking higher, in fact, the search engines seem to be moving farther away from it as a ranking factor. Many pages, especially with Wordpress rank well without the description meta tag even being included. The SERPS have been pulling the most relevant text from the page to show under the listing in most cases for a while, but it is good to have that tag filled out for returned searches that DO find it as the best match and most relevant text. The search engines have been ignoring the meta keyword tag for a while, but I still fill it out as well, it takes 3 seconds to do.

Have a good look at your current description meta tags on your sites. Is every page DESCRIBING and selling what is on that page? Great descriptions may entice a surfer to click your link in the search results instead of your competitors ranked a few spots ahead of you. Just because it is losing it's relevance for ranking, does not mean it is a useless tag. Any edge you may get is an edge regardless of how small it may be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Commission Junction Form Buttons Fun

I have been working with integrating in some Commission Junction product links into some of BANS sites on pages that I have exact product matches for. At the same time I just want to give the surfer an option other than eBay without cluttering up the page. Lately this form buttons I have been making have been converting quite nicely. I merely strip down the HTML links given in the "Get Links" portion in for certain product in the CJ admin section.

Below is the code it gives me:

<form method="get" action="" target="_top">
<table border="0" width="600" cellpadding="5" cellspacing="0">
<td valign="top" width="10%"><img src="" border="0" alt="How to Make Money Online with eBay, Yahoo!, and Google"/></td>
<td valign="top" >
<p><b><font size="4">How to Make Money Online with eBay, Yahoo!, and Google</font></b></p>
<p><font size="2">Groundbreaking strategies for reaching millions of customers online and boosting traffic, sales, and profits This full-color, seminar-in-a-book presents a proven plan for maximizing your online profits by leveraging the top three services: eBay, Yahoo! and Google. You?lllearn to: expand an existing eBay business to reach millions of targeted buyers; Open a Yahoo! store to build a thriving direct-to-customer business; and send more customers to their online retail business with improved search engine placement and targeted adword buys using Google. How to Make Money Online with eBay,Yahoo!, and Google explains how to use cross-merchandising and integration strategies to promote sales and manage inventory across multiple sales channels.</font></p>
<input type="hidden" name="pid" value="0000000"/>
<input type="hidden" name="aid" value="00000000"/>
<input type="hidden" name="cjsku" value="000000"/>
<input type="hidden" name="url" value=""/>
<input type="submit" value="Buy"/>

<img src="" width="1" height="1" border="0"/>

I strip out everything except for the form tags and input tags and change the "Buy" value to whatever I want it to be. This makes for an unobtrusive ad of sorts.

Below is the stripped down version:

<form method="get" action="" target="_blank">
<input type="hidden" name="pid" value="0000000">
<input type="hidden" name="aid" value="00000000">
<input type="hidden" name="cjsku" value="000000">
<input type="hidden" name="url" value="">
<input type="submit" value="Check Price On">

And here is the finished button:

Monday, July 27, 2009

5 Tips For Buying Original Content From Services

If you are extremely gifted at writing your own original content and have all the time in the world, this post is not for you. If you are one of the niche site builders who needs to outsource original content for your site, you may want to read on. I have used many sources for buying content over the years, including Need An Article, Text Broker and several other independent writers. Here are some tips on getting exactly what you want for your sites from these services.

Know Exactly What You Are Needing - Merely giving a subject, product name or model is not enough. You need to let the writers know EXACTLY the format you are looking for. I often times will write a few myself, just to give the author an idea of what I am looking for. If you can not write it, find an example elsewhere on the web from another site to submit to the service. The more detailed you can be, the more likely you will get back what you are looking for. Never leave it to the writers discretion. It is your site, not theirs.

Provide Sources Of Information - Not all writers can write on just anything. The less they have to look for sources of quality information related to a topic or product, the better and more factual the content will be. The faster the turn around as well. Try to pre-research everything for the writer and send them links when you can.

Do Not Be Afraid To Reject Or Ask For Rewrites - Many new content purchasers are afraid to decline or ask for rewrites. Remember that your are the customer. Run it through a spell checker and Copyscape type service before accepting.

Experiment With Different Writers - Some writers are better at articles and some are better at product descriptions. Do not be afraid of trying out a few different writers to find a few that meet your needs.

Nail Down Your Favorites - I have six writers through various services that I now know meet all of my needs. Once you find a good one, keep them and keep them busy. Praise them on excellent work if the service has a feedback option. Great original content writers are out there. They are gold when you find a few that meet your needs. They are like geese that lay golden eggs.

If you follow these 5 tips above, you will not only save yourself a ton of time, but you will be getting the best return on your money and time. I still write a ton of articles myself as I have more time than most, but on newer sites that need product descriptions, I will farm them out in a heartbeat.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How Navigable Is Your Site?

I have been revamping some older sites to make them more navigable mainly for the surfer, but also for the search engines. I am also integrating landing pages on sites that previously did not have them. This is covered a little bit in the new BANS guide, but a great example of a landing page is here.

The page is tailored around Nike Forged Golf Irons and easy for the surfer to get exactly where they are wanting to go with the fewest amount of clicks. Should the surfer be generically looking for non specific Nike Forged Golf Irons and where to land on this page, they now have 3 easy choices to better suit what they are looking for. The navigation on the right sidebar will easily let them switch to another landing page as well by brand. You do not have to link from every page on your site to every page on you site. The surfer and the search engines do not want this. They want a clear and easy navigable path without thinking. By creating an easier navigable site, they have also added 16 additional pages of content, so to speak and created 16 more doors into the site as well. So check your sites navigability and add landing pages where you can. It indeed helps all the way around.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturday Around The Web July 25th

Happy Saturday to everyone. Here is my weekly segment of interesting things I bookmarked from this past week. Sorry so late today, my nap ran longer than expected. Saturday is when I catch my body up from burning the candle at all 3 ends. Enjoy this weeks links.

Twitcam is a free service to posts your streaming video description and link to Twitter for all your followers to see. While streaming, you can chat with your viewers via Twitter right from your broadcast page. There is no sign up and no software required and it is 100% free. All you need is a web cam.

While we are on video, Wez Pyke has a great post on how to make the perfect screencast. He includes some links to free software to use as well.

Nicholas Carlson and Kamelia Angelova have a great chart on how people share content on the web via social networks.

Darren Rowse from ProBlogger gives proof how SEO helped his forum just by using the VBSEO plugin for his VBulletin powered forum.

Wondering how to promote ClickBank products? Here is a free ClickBank case study guide I came across.

Finally, Chris Garrett has some great traffic tips in four post on his forum. Worth a read.

Forgot to add Tyler Durden’s 8 Rules of Innovation. this link is probably the best one today.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Confirming Domain Names With EPN

Per the new eBay Partner Network Policy, you will need to confirm and validate at least one domain name. As part of their general push towards quality, EPN is requiring greater transparency from their affiliate partners. To do this, log into your EPN account and click Account, then click on Domains. In the Add Domain box, enter in the domain name you wish to confirm. You will then be given an activation code.

Open up notepad on your computer and paste in the activation code. Save the file as: epndomain.txt on your hard drive. FTP the epndomain.txt file to the base directory of the domain name that you would like to validate. If your website is, your file would be located at From the Domain Confirmation Page click on the 'Confirm Domains' button to validate it. You will need to leave the file on your server until ownership of your domain has been confirmed in the Domain Confirmation Page. After confirmed, I suggest you remove it. Although EPN is currently only asking for at least one domain, I would suggest confirming all domains you have that you wish to use in conjunction with the EPN affiliate program.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Price And Sell Through Rate Matter

I have sold a ton of things over the years with the EPN program. Sites built around cheap odds and ends all the way up to automobiles. It is not new news that the more expensive the product, the better the commissions. Not saying that you can not build a good income with lower priced items, it just takes more of them. I would rather convert 1 surfer to buy a 100.00 item then I would one that buys a 1.00 item. All in all, it is just one surfer we are talking about. The more I can get out of them, the better. I do a ton of research with the Terapeak service on every niche. It tells me everything i need to know about sell through rates, ending prices, categories they were sold in, keywords used by eBay users and the list goes on of useful features.

Here is a demo with the word laptop bag per yesterdays post. Play with all of the settings and filters to see just how useful it is. Here are some videos as well to show everything you can do with Terapeak. It truly is a great resource to have at your disposal.

EDITED TO ADD: Forgot the quotes around laptop bag

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Two Page Niche Site?

Now before everyone gets excited and rushes off to build a two page niche site, I wanted to really advise against it. More or less, this is an example of finding a hole in a niche and attacking it. If you first look in the Google Keyword Tool for: 17 laptop bag you will see some pretty good search volume numbers. Next if you Google 17 laptop bag, you will find at the time of this post, ranks number 3. The site consist of two pages with one being a privacy policy page. The site was registered in March and does not have many backlinks. The site at this time should really be expanded out like you have seen the new BANS guide. It is primed and could really be a huge winner. It will be interesting to see if this survives at it's spot, but as you can see, the webmaster found a hole in the niche and attacked it. This is the same thing you should be doing only with a bigger site than just 2 pages.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Slow The F@#* Down

Boy, if I had a nickel for every time my dad has said this to me. It is in my DNA to get in hurry with anything. I think some of you can relate. Since the release of the new BANS guide a few people have emailed me to look at their new sites. They all lacked quality and quantity content, were not laid out properly and were very broad in niche focus. Great sites are not built in a day and usually not even in a week. If you are writing your own content, this will surely eat up most of the time in itself. You need to have a clear, exact, calculated focus on what the ENTIRE site will look like, before the first page is even built. Take your time and plan the whole thing out, meta tags included. I still to this day have to watch myself as well in niche site building, if I get an idea in my head, I want the finished product yesterday. The reward is much greater if you fully understand what you are doing and exactly how you are going to accomplish it. So keep this in mind and "Slow The F@#* Down"! You will build better sites and be rewarded for it in the long run.

Monday, July 20, 2009

BANS Guide Price Increases In Less Than An Hour

URGENT: Time is ticking on you to receive the new BANS guide from the creators of the Build A Niche Store software for the low introductory price of $24.95. At 5PM eastern the price will nearly double. Newbie and veteran niche site builders alike can benefit from this well laid out business plan. It is a cut and dry look at EXACTLY how Adam and Kelvin research, build and market their own niche stores. Whether you use BANS or Wordpress, they have you covered, but you must act now to receive it for the great low price. The name says it all, it is the Number One Way To Make Money Online. Do not miss out on this, it will cost you nearly double for waiting.

Should EPN eBay Partner Network Reconsider Their Stance On Blogger Blogs?

With the release of the new EPN code of conduct rules comes the ruling that all publishers must send traffic from a domain name owned by them and not a third party site like Blogger, Wordpress Hubpages, Squidoo and Facebook to name a few. Now I do certainly understand the reasoning behind it to an extent, but wanted to focus more on the Blogger platform more than anything. I realize some spam sneaks through on every platform, but with Blogger these sites can easily have the header tag modified to accommodate some tracking needs of EPN, much like Google Webmaster tools. Now I am well versed in BANS, Wordpress and dabbled with Joomla enough that this really has no effect on me. I have however been playing with the Blogger platform and EPN to give the more technically challenged people a chance to make money as well. I have always enjoyed playing with the Blogger platform, thus the reason I have never moved this blog off to it's own domain with Wordpress. Blogger takes a little more tweaking to perform up to a higher standard, but is incredibly easy for a newbie to get started with.

Some things EPN could consider is to just not pay Blogger blogs or ANY third party system for that matter any ACRU's at all. What would EPN lose? They still get traffic they sorely need and could appease some affiliates along the way. Another thing they could consider is paying a lower payout to third party sites that convert items sold. This could easily be implemented.

I have set up a Twitter poll for this and am curious for others thoughts and or ideas on this well. All in all it makes no REAL difference to me, but surely there is a better way to help those less tech advanced or newbies in the affiliate world.

What say you?

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Testimonial Wordpress Plugin

I came across a simple Wordpress plugin for testimonials this morning that seems promising. I am just starting to play around with it, so really can not tell you the good or bad of it just yet. It can be used in a multitude of ways if you get creative to display your own testimonials from readers. You can edit the appearance by using the custom CSS box to match your blog or stand out if you so desire or can even rotate a predefined number of testimonials in your Wordpress sidebar using the widgets.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Around The Web July 18th

Happy Saturday everyone, here is this week's installment of some interesting things I bookmarked from around the internet this week. Also unless you have been under a rock or just new to this blog, you know the new BANS guide from the creators of the Build A Niche Store platform was released on Thursday. Time is running out to get at the $24.95 price. I have received great feedback from my readers that have bought it and have answered several more questions about it via email. If you have a question about it, contact me here or leave a comment on the blog.

My new friend, Hank, from Money Code compiled some answers regarding new rule changes to the eBay Partner Network program. Subscribe to his feed while you are there, he is a hell of a coder as well.

Shoemoney is giving away 10 Flip Mino HD cameras on Twitter! Great contest and these cameras are fantastic as I own one myself.

A fairly new Affiliate Magazine is out called, Feed Front. The are offering a free subscription to US residents. The magazine is published by Affiliate Summit.

Are web page meta descriptions playing a bigger role now in Google? Watch Matt Cutts video from last week to find out more.

Kim Krause Berg from Search Engine Land has a great post on How User Behavior Influences Search Results.

Darren Rowse has a great post for new bloggers: 9 First Step Goals for New Bloggers

Andy Beard has a post on WordPress Comment SEO Solutions. I warn you it is a bit of a mind blower.

Friday, July 17, 2009

EPN Platform Updates - Learn it Know it Live it

Just in case it slips by anyone, I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of the new blog post on the eBay Partner Network blog concerning some platform and policy updates. Sometimes interpreting these things you will get 10 interpretations from 10 different people. If you have any areas you are not sure about, you should always contact EPN directly. One good practice they are implementing is that beginning on July 20th, all new EPN applicants will be required to validate at least one domain during the registration process and while existing EPN users are not required to validate their domains, they suggest you do so, as it will help you on a multitude of issues. Below is the link to this post. As the famous quote from the movie "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" goes: "Learn it, Know it, Live it!"

EDITED TO ADD: As you can see by the EPN forum thread below, there is still some confusion. I urge you NOT to take ANYONE's opinion or interpretation of these rules outside of EPN as anything but a guess. There is already a ton of bad information being floated around and I would hate to see anyone lose their EPN status.

Niche Keyword Analysis Research Video

As you have seen in the new BANS guide, niche selection and keyword selection go hand in hand. I love to watch niche keyword analysis research videos whenever I can, because you just can never have too much information on finding good niches and keywords. Below is a great video done by Cash Tactics. It is long, but very informative on he uses several of the free tools to dig deep into niches and keywords. Mind you that this is not the only way, just one of many ways. I am also linking out to the sites he mentions in the video for easy access. They are ones you likely have used before.

Google Insights Top Searches
Google Keyword External Tool
Google Sponsored Links Research

Thursday, July 16, 2009

10 Reasons Not To Buy The BANS Guide

I heard from Kelvin this morning and the Build A Niche Store guide should be ready for purchase sometime today. Many of you may not even need the BANS guide. Just in case, I put together the top 10 reason you should not buy the BANS guide. If you match ALL of the reasons below, you likely do not need it.

10. You earn enough money already - If you are earning enough money already, you by no means need to purchase the BANS guide.

9. You are great at targeting niches
- If you are an "expert" at finding untapped niches and know what makes one niche more profitable over another, you likely do not need the BANS guide.

8. You map out niche sites effectively
- If you know the perfect structure and how to flawlessly map out your BUild A Niche Store, you likely do not need this BANS guide.

7. You write perfect sticky content - Perhaps you know the difference of what makes some content better than other content and can create great SEO content at the drop of a hat. Odds are you do not need the BANS guide.

6. You can build with any platform - If you know the ins and outs of the Build A Niche Store software and Wordpress content management system, you likely do not need the BANS guide.

5.You can effectly market any site - If you are great at marketing your niche sites and getting targeted traffic to them, you likey will not find the BANS guide useful.

4. You fully understand the search engines - If you fully know everything there is to know about the search engines and how they relate to niche sites, you will not find the BANS guide useful.

3. You understand getting backlinks - If you have no problems understanding the value of backlinks and how to get them, this BANS guide is not for you.

2. You think Kelvin and Adam demo sites suck
- If you think the BANS stores that Kelvin and Adam have made available look like crap and do not produce, the BANS guide will not be right for you.

1. Kelvin and Adam owe you money - If Kelvin and Adam owe you money, you might not want to buy the BANS guide as they will profit from your purchase.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

It Is Easier To Be Regimented Than Unregimented

My friends kid my wife and myself all the time of how boring we are and how so regimented our lifestyle is. We laugh it off because we are extremely happy. We wake at the same time every morning and I start my thoughtless regimented morning proceedings. Coffee, shower, coffee, straight to the computer. I wear the same rotation of clothes throughout the week and only change the rotation in the Summer or Winter. If you want to know what day of the week it is, just look at what I am wearing. We eat out at the same restaurants during the week at the same time and usually get the same waiter or waitress. We absolutely love it and it is easy. If something comes up that breaks my routine, it takes me a couple of hours to repair myself. I keep a list of my website work I need to get done in front of me all the time. I like to know exactly what needs to be done and try to schedule out everything. It makes me very productive.

I understand I may be too regimented, as I have developed some OCD issues over the years, but they only affect my wife, me and the dog. It is livable thus far. Many of you that read this blog, probably are not as regimented as you should be, thus the lack of production and success. Many of you know "the how" and "the why", you are just missing a healthy dose of "the do". "The do" is what will catapult you to the next level. Now by no means do I expect you to be as regimented as I am as it can cause problems, but I guarantee you that it is easier to be more regimented than unregimented. More lucrative as well.

I must end this post now, as it is time for me to brew my 2:45 daily pot of coffee. Let's hope nothing breaks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How Is Your Site Linkability?

I have mentioned in the past how sometimes the best backlinks you will ever get to your niche sites will be ones you never ask for or seek out. These are backlinks given by other webmasters that find your site or content useful and link to it freely. The one main problem most have is that their site has no linkability to it. No one will just link to multitudes of product pages linking to affiliate products. If you find someone who does, count yourself lucky.

The key to any site with linkability is the content other than just the store pages. This of course can include product articles and reviews, but it is not the only thing people link to. This content can come in the form of videos, picture galleries, charts or graphs to name just a few. Humor, top list, comparison tables also are great to acquire links to.

If you just have a few of these things as a small percentage of your site, you still might be banging your head against the wall linkability wise. Not saying that one great piece of content will not be linked to, but look at it from the perspective of the person linking to you. They want to keep the surfers trust by sending them to a site they trust will also take care of them.

Creating a site with linkability is just half the battle. If you have what you consider a linkable to page, you need to promote it. Twitter and social bookmarks are great for this, especially if you can link bait them with a catchy title.

Take your blinders off and look at your sites, do they have ANY linkability to them? Remember that it is not only the backlink you might get, but another page in the search engines as well. It is a win win proposition to increase your linkability.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Overwhelmed By Your Micro Niche Width?

A bit of an oxymoronic statement I know. How can a micro niche be too wide? So many times I see great niches, micro niched down properly by site builders, only to find the webmaster was overwhelmed by the niche width of the said micro niche. You are not alone, as I too have gotten hung up on this. To better illustrate this, one can look at the two recent examples by BANS creators Adam and Kelvin.

As you can see, they are attacking Blade Golf Irons as one niche and Forged Golf Irons as another. Browsing the site you can see how many different brands and different models of products this includes. Although the niche is micro sized, it still is incredibly wide in nature. If you are a veteran to this, you by all means have run across this, if you are new to this, you will too.

The best way to attack these great micro niches is to plan them out into more controllable sections. We all are on different time allotments on what we can dedicate to our sites, but if you break it down by brand and keep to a schedule throughout the niche, it will make it more manageable. Even still some niches are so wide they could go on forever even in a brand, so in that instance you can get away with only doing the HOT models or most current models in a brand to keep it more manageable. The key is to just plan and research it out.

I do suggest having the whole brand or make completed on paper before building the pages. This will not take long if everything is ready and will give you a greater sense of accomplishment building a whole brand at a time on site. Remember that it can be as wide or narrow as you want it to be. Just because you have a section on Adams forged golf irons, does not mean you are obligated to list every model known to man. Do your keyword research for what the surfer is looking for in that product, you should see what needs to be addressed in cold, hard numbers.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Build A Niche Store Guide Available Thursday

Well the eager anticipation awaits many as the Build A Niche Store Guide is due to be released this evening. It is so good to see the excitement level back in so many BANS users. Many of the BANS critics seem to be forgiving as well and seem to be willing to hop back on the wagon. You will not be disappointed with the guide. The Firminger's have put every ounce of energy into this ebook. Whether you use BANS, Wordpress or Joomla as your content management system, you can learn from this guide. Some information will be new to you, while some will be very familiar from what I have taught here. All in all it is your well laid out business plan and will enhance your confidence, knowledge and faith as a niche store builder. Happy reading and congratulations to Adam and Kelvin on an excellent guide. :)

Edited To Add: Currently Delayed

From Adam and Kelvin:

As we've delved into our new product presentation format this past week we've seen numerous ways of improving the presentation and illustration of certain points we're trying to make.

We, therefore, want to take the time to see these improvements through and launch day is now set - in stone - to:

8am EDT Time Thursday 16th July 2009.

The Number 1 Way To Make Money Online will go on sale at this time for $24.95 and will stay at $24.95 for the first 24 hours only.

Meaning that at 8am EDT Time Friday 17th July 2009 the price will go up.

To give you a better picture of what's coming our now full product presentation is live which includes written extracts from the guide itself:

The Number 1 Way To Make Money Online

It's a tribute to spring - and the return of reality inside the make money online market.

Thanks for your continued interest and support.

Kelvin and Adam

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Around The Web July 11th

Hope everyone is having a great Saturday. I really enjoy doing this format every Saturday to show things I read and bookmarked over the week from other great sites. Without further adieu:

The great John Cow, not to be confused with the great John Chow had a great post on Website Design & Being a Trusted Expert.

Barry Wise shows you Six SEO Techniques Which Will Destroy Your Website. I have some questions about #3 on his list, but everything else is spot on in my opnion.

Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger has an entertaining video entitled: Don’t Let your Blog Become Like My Sock Drawer. Worth the watch.

For the Wordpress crowd, Digging Into Wordpress shows you how to Optimize WordPress Performance with the wp-config.php File.

Andy Boyd shows you 13 Tips To Improve Your Site’s Accessibility From Mobile Devices.

Google has released it's full list of Twitter accounts so you can pick and choose which ones to follow.

Also do not forget the new Build A Niche Store Guide will be released on Sunday. You will get a ton from it and I highly recommend it. Kelvin and Adam have put a ton of work and information in it.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Breaking Through The Newbie Zone

The first 30-90 days is the most crucial time for anyone new to online marketing. It can be a bit overwhelming if all of this is completely new to you. Most usually give it up before 30 days. If you make it past the first 90 days, odds are you might make it in this business if you have been working consistently. Remember that everyone in this business was a newbie at one time and there are a ton more resources now then there was when I first started. Below are so things you need to concentrate on early on:

1. Get the money out of your head: If you are totally new to all of this you should forget earning ANY money for the first 90 days. Anything you do earn should be considered a gift. Many others will tell you the same thing. Learn the basics first, the money will come later.

2. Learn the platform you are using: It does not matter if it is BANS, Wordpress or Joomla. If you do not know how to upload, create pages add links etc., you will forever be hitting your head against the brick wall. There are plenty of free tutorial all over the web for every platform. Nearly every question has been answered. Use the web or the forums and find the answer.

3. Learn the basis of SEO: You do not need to be a guru at search engine optimization, but MUST know the basics. Once again this info is free here and on most other sites. Seek it out.

4. Concentrate on one store: The temptation to build multiple sites will be great. Avoid it. Until you learn how to build one site correctly, all you will have is a bunch of incorrectly built sites. Learn the right way, then you can duplicate your plan.

5. Content is a must: Get it through your head that you need content. You better be ready to create or pay someone to create original content. You will not get far without it.

This list could go on for 20 more items, but if you master and accept theses 5 things, you will make it past the newbie zone and be on your way to earning money online. May the force be with you!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Get Your Word Out With FriendFeed

FriendFeed is not new, but is a very under utilized service for niche sites. Often times a niche you develop will have a Blog, Youtube and Twitter account associated with it among other things. You might also have articles posted to an article directory under an account associated with your niche. One of the many features of FriendFeed is the ability to feed in your RSS feeds associated with these. This makes for one huge way to get all of your activity related to that niche on one page. Although the links are nofollow, your FriendFeed page is still index-able by the search engines and you never know who will stumble across it, thus giving you free traffic to the page.

Below is a short video on FriendFeed.

Welcome to FriendFeed from Ross Miller on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sometimes Better To Hear It From Other Lips

Many times I have warned about falling into the easy trap of buying and using tools to auto post content. You are just wasting your money. Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger posted about this very thing today and gives 5 reasons why you should avoid them. Sometimes it is better to hear it from someone else instead of me regurgitating my own thoughts. Like it or not, original content related to your niche IS the fastest path to success. To mix in some aggregated reviews or news underneath good content is one thing, but doing it the other way is a waste of time.

If you have not yet seen or purchased the new ebook by Darren, you should. It is the best money you will spend today.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Christmas Is Coming, Christmas Is Coming


Looking at the calendar today reminded me that Christmas is right around the corner. Yes, I know it is July. 6 months is exactly how long you should give yourself to control any niche assuming today is day one for your site. TV giants like the Home Shopping Network and QVC always have Christmas in July features. If you can catch one of these, they do a great job of letting you know what is hot for the upcoming holiday season. If you are creating a Christmas related niche around ornaments, decorations or collectibles, now is the time to really focus on getting that site planned out. Great niche sites are all about planning and if you are like me, you know Christmas is truly right around the corner. Happy Holidays, everyone.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Are Link Directories Totally Dead?

I still submit to link directories. There, I said it. While it is not a link building process I spend a ton of time on, it still helps in getting a foothold in both Yahoo and Bing. Google on the other hand will give you credit, but at what extent relies totally on the quality of the directory. Do I get a ton of traffic from the directories I submit to? Absolutely not, very little if any over a course of a month. Yahoo and Bing still respect the backlinks, but for how much longer we really do not know. They can help though. When submitting to them, make sure to rotate out the anchor text you use between 3 or 4 keyword phrases, as this makes it a little more natural looking. Also the site description should be rotated as well, time permitting. I have used Submit Edge for years to do this and will slide in a few of my own submissions as well from time to time. I have several thin sites that get the majority of their traffic from both Yahoo and Bing as they are just not thick enough for Google. Link directories are what they are, just a very small part of your link building process. They may be on life support, but they are not totally dead.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Will You Buy The New Build A Niche Store Guide?

I thought we would have some fun on a Sunday and do a quick poll. I wanted to try out this free poll code as well from Poll Code. The question is simple. Do you intend on buying the new Build A Niche Store Guide when it is released on July 9th?

Will You Buy The New Build A Niche Store Guide?
What is Build A Niche Store free polls

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Saturday Around The Web July 4th

Wow, another week has come and gone. I hope everyone had a productive week as I have had. Here is just a few of the things I bookmarked this week for your reading pleasure.

Yoast released a great new RSS Wordpress plugin to easily allow you to show RSS feeds in a post or page.

Trip Wire Magazine has listed 30 Essential Tools for Web Designers. This may be a little too advanced for some, but worth a bookmark just the same.

Darren Rowse from Pro Blogger has a simple run down of 8 First Step SEO Tips for Bloggers.

I came across some great SEO and link building worksheets from Your SEO plan.

Copyblogger did a post on How to Write an Ebook that Sells in 2009.

Michael Martine shows you How to Get More Time to Blog.

Top Rank Blog has a feature on 7 Ways To Develop A Unique Brand For Your Blog.

Well that is it for this week. If you are not yet doing so, make sure to subscribe to my RSS feed and follow me on Twitter.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Blogroll Links Only On Home Page

While page rank sculpting for the most part is dead, you can still prevent some bleeding of your blogroll links if you so choose. Yoast mentioned in the past that:

Google and other search engines these days heavily discount site wide links, so you're not really doing your friends any more favor by giving them that site wide link, nor are you helping yourself.

While I do not see this as a big deal, it is only something you may think about doing. Other sites that you decide to link to in your blogroll do not suffer from not being listed sitewide, it does make sense. I want to give them the best link juice possible and in most cases this is from the home page as it normally has the best page rank. As far as click out traffic, most click out from the home page anyway, so people I link in my blogroll really are not losing that much traffic. Besides if the have a great individual post or content page, I will likely link to it a post of my own, thus sending them better quality traffic. Below are some links of how to show your blogroll on only the homepage in both Wordpress and Blogger:

Another option you may decide, is to just create a resources or links page and link out to your favorite blogs from there. The choice is yours. Once again this is not hugely important, but for sites that have an extensive blogroll list it may be the smart thing to do.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Crazy Business Adventures Of Soggy Dave

I was cleaning out some old file boxes and came across some old receipts and stuff of some of the failed attempts of entrepreneurship of mine. Let me start by saying like most of you, I have always been obsessed about making my own money. I was cutting lawns for 3 dollars at the age of 7 and collecting coke bottles to return for deposit even earlier. I loved to collect baseball cards and the only way I could do it was to earn my own money. I grew up very poor, so poor I thought Government cheese was a name brand until I was 14 or so. I loved making my own money, but not every venture I delved into was a success. Below are some of my dubious efforts and a few successful ones:

Amateur Pot Dealer: Teenage years and bright ideas usually do not end well. Let's just say I was not selling for medicinal purposes back in the early 80's. Evidently there are laws against this sort of thing. Luckily I got out of the business with mostly just a slap on the wrist and a night in County hotel. FAIL

Selling Recipes In the National Enquirer: I took out a 3 month classified ad in the back of the National Enquirer to sell my mothers pretzel salad recipe. This was my first attempt at mail order way back when. I sold a grand total of zero. The only success I had was I still have the recipe. FAIL

Trading Card Sales: This was hot as well in 80's put the bottom fell out of the market when the hobby went crazy. I made some money, but failed to reinvest it back in the inventory. the only good thing is I still have an extensive card collection that has gained a little value over the years. FAIL

Mobile Car Wash: I bought a contraption out of Entrepreneur Magazine for about $2800.00. It was a self contained mobile car wash system that worked off of a pump that connected to the cigarette lighter. I did OK, for a little while, mostly from word of mouth, but realized quickly I did not enjoy washing cars. FAIL

Window Tinting: In the 80's this was a hot business, I made a little money, but lack of advertising funds combined with everyone in Florida was getting into it, made it tough. On top of that, sitting inside a car in 90 degree heat in the south is not very enjoyable. FAIL

Amway Distributor: No explanation really needed here. Admit it, most of you reading this blog have this on your resume. FAIL

Coffee Company: Finally nailed one. I had this business for about 10 years and started from scratch. I sold the business about 4 or 5 years ago when the market was right. Lots of blood, sweat and tears over those years, but learned a ton about business and made a pretty penny. SUCCESS

Real Estate Rentals: Another good one thus far. Before the housing market rose and fail about 5 years ago, I built 7 new town homes. Quickly figured out that 7 was too many to manage myself rental wise and sold 4 off at the top of the market here locally. Bought low, sold high. I still have 3 left to this day. all paid for. Being a landlord is not easy though, you learn a ton as you go. SUCCESS

The successful businesses I did have all had a one common factor. They all had solid business plans. Much like building niche sites, you need a solid plan. If you are not thinking about buying the upcoming Build A Niche Store Guide, you better already have an established business plan in place. This guide will be the best $25.00 you every spent. Now if you excuse me, I have a ton of those documents to destroy.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

New BANS Guide Pre Planning

With the announcement of the upcoming new Build A Niche Store Guide, comes another rush of BANS users dusting off their BANS software to begin another attempt at building niche sites. Before the release, I thought it would be good to go over a few things you can do before the guide arrives.

1. Are you using the latest version? You should be using version 3.0 of either the EPN or Pepperjam platform. If not, make sure you get it from the download section. You will need your Clickbank receipt number to get it.

2. Check your host. There is a reason Kelvin and Adam suggest Hostgator. If your prior sites are sluggish and causing host related problems, now is the time to switch. Hostgator will help with any transfers. I still use them as one of my many many host.

3. Do you know how to properly install BANS? If you still are struggling with installation, I suggest buying a cheap .info domain to practice on. It will not matter how good the guide is if you have not mastered the software.

4. Start thinking of your first new niche. The ebook will go into greater depth on this, but start a small list of initial ideas and do some exploratory work before hand.

5. Content ideas. Once again this will be covered in greater lengths in the ebook, but there is never a bad time to write content. If you are not ready to write, at least jot down some ideas you would like to build content around.

6. Computer running good? Nothing can damper spirits like having a computer that is slow or causing problems. If you are not very techie to do it yourself., find someone who is. There are a ton of great pay and free anti virus and spyware programs available to use. Worst case, take it to your local computer shop and get it in tip top condition.

7. Be prepared to work and work hard. The new guide is just that, a guide. It will require some hard work on your end. Nothing comes easy, so get your mind right.

8. Read thoroughly. Once the new guide comes, read it twice thoroughly. It will be hard to not want to jump around. Read it twice before attempting anything.


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