Jun 18 2010

New free SEO plugin for WordPress

I just came across a new free seo plugin for WordPress. This one is very cool, since it gives you great information on what long tail kewyords people use to find you and it gives you the option to add these as tags to your pages, so you can increase your rankings for these long tail terms.

The plugin is called SEO power and you can get it here for free. You have to sign up to his list, but if you don’t like it just hit the Unsubscribe link once you get the plugin.

Mark Dulisse is giving it away for his launch. I have not bought his course, so I don’t know how good the rest of his stuff is, but this plugin is pretty cool. I am testing it right now on a couple of my blogs and I am interested to see if this helps me to pickup some more traffic from the search engines.

Oh I forget to mention if you install the plugin it also gives you a list of the best SEO plugins directly in your WordPress plugin, so you can add them to your blog if don’t have them installed already. Not sure how long this plugin will be offered for free, so make sure to get it asap.

May 29 2010

My top 3 online marketing forums

If you spend a lot of time doing online marketing and learning about it online marketing forums can be very helpful. They usually have some great people that can guide you along the way and a lot of great free information. From my experience you want to be careful though who you are listening to and that you spend more time implementing what you learn than reading on the forums.

Currently I am visiting 3 forums on a regular basis. These 3 forums have some grest information and people are very helpful. So far I have been reading and learning a lot from these forums, so my plan now is to participate more, since I haven’t done that too much and I feel it’s important for me to give back to people now that I am starting to see some real income from my online marketing effort.

Here are my top 3 forums. (If you know any other great online marketing forums just leave a comment)

1. Warrior Forum – http://www.warriorforum.com

This is probably the oldest online marketing forum. A lot of amazing people are on this forum and they are always happy to help other marketers. They also have a paid option with access to the war room. I haven’t signed up yet, but I am considering it since I get so much value from this forum. Apart from the free information you can also learn about new products and get some real information apart from the launch hype you usually get when you are subscribed to online marketing newsletters. Just go to the warrior forum and type in the name of the product and usually you will find some helpful information.

I also like their WSOs, which are special offers, that can be very cheap and the quality is usually as good or even better than any other high priced online marketing product out there. I got some really great tips and tricks from WSOs that I have never heard anywhere else. Make sure to only buy WSOs from reputable people and read the reviews first before you buy.

Another reason why I like the warrior forum is that you can find people here to outsource tasks to such as writing, web design, programming, research, etc. Unfortunately they don’t allow any link building services anymore, and because of that I recommend the next forum.

2. Backlinks Forum – http://backlinksforum.com

This forum is fairly new, but it’s a great place to learn about link building. They also have a lot of people offering link building services for good prices. This can save you a lot of money and time. The forum is owned by Terry Kyle and he is a well known link building experts. When it comes to link building information this forum is my nr 1 source.

3. Vita Vee’s Forums – http://vitavee.com/forums

This forum is by french marketer Vita Vee. He has some fantastic videos on market and keyword research  you need to check out.People on this forum are very open and knowledgeable. Vita Vee is on it a lot as well, so you can ask him direct questions. All in all there is not a lot of fluff on this forum and a lot of great information. I have not bought any of Vita Vee’s products yet, but the value he provides on this forum alone is amazing. It seems as if he really knows what he is talking about.

Well that’s it for my top3 forums. I am on another private forum that is great, but I will talk about that another time, since it requires some investment firs. All the online marketing forums above are free so they are a great place to start for anyone who wants to learn more about online marketing and improve his skills.

Apr 23 2010

Great post on realistic expectations from online marketing

I just read a great report by Lisa Parmley about realistic expectations from online marketing. I am happy that someone finally tells the truth on how much it really is to be successful online.  Most online marketers give people false hope on how much time and investment it really takes to gat an online business off the ground. I had this experience myself and was extremly frustrated based on my no-results.

I now see things more clearer and know that if I keep up the work I will get to the point of passive income eventually. Lisa also spend quite some money on articles and link building. Now imagine you are a newbie with no cash and the believe that you will create fast results…

Thanks to Lisa for telling the truth! It was about time that someone finally took the courage to separate reality from fiction!

http://www.inlineseo.com/blog/2010/04/23/truth-files-pulling-back-the-curtain-on-autopilot-income/

Apr 23 2010

Who says online marketing is easy?

Road to successI was just looking at this blog and I can’t believe the last time I wrote on here was one year ago. Times flys by indeed. So why after one year am I coming back here to write again? Well sometimes your life takes you in a direction that you don’t expect and sometimes it takes a while to get clarity on where you are going.

Last year I started to fully focus on my own online business. After close to 3 years of online marketing experience my main focus at the time was PPC. I took the PPC classroom course, went to the seminar and even attended a mastermind workshop with Amit and Anik in Boston. PPC and CPA seemed to be the best way to realize my online success.

Well, things often turn out different than you think. In this case I spent about half a year testing PPC campaigns and CPA offers following what I had learned. I have to admit that this testing was very restricted due to my credit card limit and I also had to pay my bills as well. That’s why my  other focus was on building my SEO business for offline clients to create the neccessary cash flow.

It surely was an interesting experience. I had some great campaigns that looked promising, but then they got discontinued and I was back to point zero. I had some other campaigns that made some money, but not enough to get me excited. In the summer I had some issues with Google. They basically slapped a lot of affiliates due to the FTC issues going on. They accused me of running Google scam ads – which I never did. Well I got Google to admit that I didn’t do anything wrong and my account was clean. But they didn’t really care and still closed it down… :-(

At that moment I was severely frustrated and ready to throw in the towel. They whole PPC thing didn’t look like it went anywhere and I was looking for a clue on what to do next. I could have opened another AdWords account, but was fed up with Google. I tested Yahoo for a while, but just didn’t get any decent traffic and conversions. Maybe it was the wrong products I was promoting, maybe it was just a sign that I needed to get out of the PPC game and go back to my roots.

At that moment the only passive income I was generating was from a small website I setup 1 year ago when I started looking into building my online business. The site generated about $50 a month and I hadn’t touched it the whole year. This was definitely not even close to the big suffer affiliate money, but a start. I though if I could make money with this site there must be a way to use the same strategy and scale it up. At least I knew it worked. So I spend some time refining my system, while working for my offline clients.

By the end of the year I felt ready to go at it again. Based on some info I learned on the Warrior Forum I started to build sites and build links using SEO. SEO is what I know very well and I learned a lot more over the last months. So to make a long story short I have a few sites now that are starting to make money and it is all from SEO. I see things happening and I feel I am finally on the right track to success.

I realized that online marketing is not easy. If you need to pay your bills and are short on time and money it might take you a little bit longer. Money can help you to speed things up if you know what you are doing, but it won’t help if you are going in the wrong direction (I will talk about my outsourcing experiences in a another post).

So if you are into affiliate marketing, SEO, PPC or anything related take action and find out what is working for you. It might not be the same that is working for everyone else. I had a lot of people helping me along the way and I am very thankful for that. But in the end it comes down to you and your persistence to keep pushing and don’t give up. I am far from being a super affiliate, but I sure in hell won’t give up now!!!

I also want to share what works for me and what I have learned here on this blog, so be prepared for some more activity from now on! :-)

Apr 6 2009

Is this the end to PPC direct linking to Amazon?

Crazy but true today I received an email from Amazon that states the following:

We’re writing to let you know about a change to the Amazon Associates Program. After careful review of how we are investing our advertising resources, we have made the decision to no longer pay referral fees to Associates who send users to www.amazon.com, www.amazon.ca, or www.endless.com through keyword bidding and other paid search on Google, Yahoo, MSN, and other search engines, and their extended search networks. If you’re not sure if this change affects you, please visit this page for FAQs.

As of May 1, 2009, Associates will not be paid referral fees for paid search traffic. Also, in connection with this change, as of May 1, 2009, Amazon will no longer make data feeds available to Associates for the purpose of sending users to the Amazon websites in the US or Canada via paid search.

This change applies only to the Associates programs in North America. If you are conducting paid search activities in connection with one of Amazon’s Associates Programs outside of the US and Canada, please refer to the applicable country’s Associates Program Operating Agreement for relevant terms and conditions.

I know some people who made quite some money from direct linking to Amazon products from PPC. This would mean the end to their whole business model. I don’t know what Amazon was thinking, but I think this is a very bad move on their side and a lot of people will be very pissed off.

Makes me wonder what happened that Amazon made this change? Also what do you do if your business model is based on Amazon direct linking? Build landing pages?

Let’s see what comes out of this.

Mar 25 2009

The Impact of Google Quality Score on Bid Prices

I just read a very interesting article about the impact of the Google Quality Score on your PPC bid prices. Good to know that a 10 Score can save you 30%.

http://www.clickequations.com/blog/2009/03/the-economics-of-quality-score

One thing I am working on right now is to setup new campaigns using blog driven landing page. Quality scores have been pretty good so far. I’ll report on this blog once I have more data.

Mar 23 2009

New post with new layout

After a long break from blogging I decided to re-activate this blog with a great new theme from Unique Blog Designs.

I have been extremely busy with my affiliate marketing business since the last time I posted. I have learned a lot and I feel that it is time for me to share some of the things I have learned. One thing is for sure. Affiliate marketing is no get rich quick scheme. There is a lot of work invoved and all the successful marketers I have met had similar stories of many failures and a lot of work until they got successfull.

I feel i am on the right path and I am getting closer to my goals. It is a step by step process, but it is definitely worth it. To setup your campaign and see it finally making money is the greatest feeling in the world.

I promise to keep this blog updated more regularly from now on, so I can share my knowledge with the world and help other marketers who are in a similar situation!

Nov 18 2008

Affiliate Marketing Progress

I know I haven’t been writing on this blog for a while. It seems the busier I get with my online marketing the less time I spend posting on this blog. It should be way different, since I really have a lot to talk about. However, I spend any free minute working on my affiliate business right now and my blog is just second. I will definitly work on this, so I can update here more often. For now let me give a quick overview over my recent progress.

Last month I visited Ken McArthur’s JV Alert which was the best online marketing event I have been to so far. 3 days full off information and great networking opportunities. I meet some truly amazing marketers such as: Rick Butts, Paul Counts, Carrie Wilkerson, Dave Lakhani, Jonathan van Clute, Carl Zetterlund and many more. This event truly got me motivated to get more serious with my business. There are really no more excuses if you see what other people have been able to accomplish in far more difficult situations.

When I cam back from Vegas I signed up for PPC classroom, since I realized that PPC marketing is truly my strongpoint and it is also the area of online marketing that interests me the most. I have been following Amit Mehta and Anik Singal for a while and truly admire their work. Amit is one of the most real and honest online marketers I have ever seen.

As soon as I got the course I started to emerge myself into the material. The whole program is structured as an online class with lessons and tests at the end of each lesson. In combination with videos Amit does a truly great job explaining his PPC strategies. In the beginning I was worried this course would only be the same old PPC info I already found in other courses and ebooks. Oh how was I wrong. The information in this course is unique and really amazing. Amit’s techniques make PPC marketing so much more efficient and easier.

I have to admit I was so impressed by his info that I instantly started setting up campaigns. Every free minute of my day I am working on my campaigns and right now I have 4 full blown campaigns running and already made some sales. I am extremely exited for my business now, since I feel I really undestand PPC much better. I see things I never saw before and I have no doubt that I will be able to earn a full time income from PPC in the not to distant future. I am already working on my next campaign and plan to give regular updates on my progress on this blog. As Carl would say “It’s a hustle”. For me that just means “Hustle harder!”.

Oct 14 2008

My top free password management programs

Free password management programsIf you work a lot on the computer and the internet password management can be a major factor of frustration. If you don’t have a system to manage your online passwords sooner or later you face either one of 2 problems:

1. You use the same password on all your online accounts, which can be very dangerous in the long run

2. You constantly look for your passwords and waste precious time recovering your different passwords

I had the same problem and was in denial for a long time. Finally I started to write down all my password on paper next to my computer. Now I was able to find my passwords but this was definitely far from safe. After a while I noted my passwords on so many pieces of paper that I had a hard time to go through my stack of papers to find the right password.

This was the moment when I started to type my passwords into notepad and save it on my computer. This worked for some time and I successfully ignored the whole issue once again. However this was still not a long term strategy and especially not very safe. One instant that made me aware of this was when one of our computers was stolen at work. Luckily we did not have any passwords or sensitive information on this computer.

This was the moment when I started to look into a keyword software program I did quite a bit of research until I found a great free keyword manager called KeepPass. This software is easy to use and stores your passwords safely in an encrypted database file on your computer.I have been using this software now for over 3 years and I am very happy with it so far.

Just last week I realized that it is still a hassle for me if I need my passwords when I am not at my own computer. I did some more research and found another great free solution to safe passwords online. The site is called Passpack and it is very easy to set it up. You can actually use your Google (or even Twitter!) ID or multiple other online IDs to login. As added security you enter a security phrase to access your passwords. This is great, since you don’t have to setup another user account.

To sum this up, if you are looking for good free password management programs checkout these two options and depending on your needs you should be covered. I think it’s a good idea to store passwords in two places and a copy online can be a great help in case of disaster (fires or earthquakes here in California). This way you will always have access to your passwords and will never loose them again.

Oct 7 2008

PPC and Affiliate Marketing: My Experience

Often you hear people say PPC is not working anymore or Google makes it so hard these days to make money with PPC. As so often this is just a reality that people create for themselves. There is a lot of potential in PPC as long as you know how to use it right.

I started my first affiliate marketing PPC campaign in August for a couple of niche products. I have a lot of knowledge about PPC due to my job where I setup and manage PPC campaigns for our client. However, I was not using my knowledge to build my own business.

I finally decided to give it a try and setup a direct linking affiliate campaign (It helped that I got a 50 AdWords coupon from Google). In the beginning it didn’t look too good and it was quite frustrating to get clicks but no sales, but I stayed with it and kept tweaking my campaigns.

Eventually I made my first sale. This was a major relief for me since it showed me that I could make money with PPC. In August I also went on my honeymoon to Maui for two weeks, where I didn’t even check my emails. I came back and found out I made two sales while on vacation. I was more excited now. I still didn’t make a lot of money, but it was a start.

In September I grew my PPC business and made the most sales so far. While I was also working on other online marketing strategies, such as Squidoo and SEO, PPC still made the most profit for me.

I finally decide to go with PPC as my main affiliate marketing strategy for now. I feel PPC has many great advantages, especially when you get started in a niche and want to test it to see if it is worth the effort. My strategy now is the following:

1. Test niche markets and products with direct linking campaigns

2. If market is profitable expand PPC campaign

3. Build landing pages for the best phrases

4. Setup an autoresponder and squeeze pages for the niche and start building a list

This is my plan so far. Right now I am still in phase one. I consider this market research until I find a converting market/product. As soon as I have a good monthly income from one campaign I will continue with phase two.

Something I read last week gave me even more motivation to concentrate on PPC. Amit Mehta and Anik Singal released a great series of videos about successful PPC marketing for their new PPC Classroom 2.0 launch. Amit was able to grow his part time PPC business in a 2.4 Million Dollar a year income. This shows that PPC is not dead at all.

So if you are thinking about PPC give it a try and see if it is for you. I am convinced that I have finally found something that works for me and I will report about my progress on this blog.

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