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.


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