Winning the Keyword War

In order to win the keyword war, you really only have to beat one site. I keep saying these types of things to various audiences, but no one really seems to listen. I hear people bragging about the fact that they are ranking number 5 or number 1 among “3 million” results in Google.

The truth is, that over 95% of that 3 million are sites that do not get more than a few visitors a day (at most) for that keyword. Not that it’s bad to get a few visitors per day per keyword. If your site is found for 10,000 keywords throughout the month, and you get 3 visitors per day per keyword, that translates to 30,000 visitors in a 30 day month.

Maybe it’s my computer background, or maybe it’s just that I’m cynical. I just don’t think it’s all that relevant whether there are 3 million results, or 30, for a particular keyword. My only competition is the current number one site. As I say… you only have to beat one site to be number 1!

So, how do you go about beating the current number 1 site? Well, you’d have to know what their weakness is. I have a site in my niche that has, according to Yahoo!, over 1 million pages and 40,000+ inlinks (and growing). Can I beat them? Yes, and I do. The questions are… why, and how?

Well, the why has to do with the how, but basically, it’s because they have a weakness. As I’ve said before to a number of audiences…

All other things being equal, the site with the most content wins.

All other things being equal, the site with the most optimized content wins.

All other things being equal, the site with the most inlinks wins.

All other things being equal, the site with the most optimized inlinks wins.

So, what you need to do in order to ensure that you win is build an authority site with the most optimized content and the most optimized linking campaign. If you attack each section of your site as a mini-site and attack those related keywords with tightly focused content and optimized links, you’ll probably win at some point. Optimization plus diversity plus time equals success.

Get your content up, get your links out there to as many places as possible, and do it all in an optimized fashion, and you will win.

Take this blog. I started this blog as a test of Niche Empire Generator. That test crashed and burned as NEG turned out not at all to be the product I expected it to be. I kept the blog though, at least for now. I’m using the default template, some of the plugins don’t work as advertised, I don’t even have a Google sitemap, and I don’t write my blog posts with any particular keyword density in mind. I just kind of… write. I don’t even make my titles all that optimized. It’s not even really supposed to be getting any traffic. I just spit out my thoughts here (I may reuse them elsewhere).

Yet, I added what I consider real content, and I built some links. I posted some comments on another blog and in some forums, and I started to get some traffic.

In one of my tests of the Unique Article Wizard, I decided to see if I could split my resource box links between two separate sites. So, I submitted a couple of articles and created a resource box that linked to this blog, as well as whyamirich.com. The result is that, as of this writing, I rank on the first page of Google for “viral list building.”

If you’re one of those people who thinks you’ve done everything right, only to have some cheesy site like this one beat you, now you know why. Optimized links beats content every time! Aaron wall of seobook.com says that average content beats quality content every time. I agree. Not that you shouldn’t create quality, you should. It’s just that you shouldn’t bet the farm on it.

If you think that you’re going to create quality content around a particular set of keywords and win hands down across the board, then you have been misled. There is much more to winning the keyword war than that. When in doubt, create large amounts of optimized content, backed up by many many optimized links.

I hope this article has been helpfull, and, if nothing else, has opened your eyes to possibilities that you didn’t know existed.

Skinning the Affiliate Marketing Cat

Skinning the Affiliate Marketing Cat

If you’re trying to make money with affiliate marketing, you may have found out that it is not as easy as some have claimed. If you’ve been using pay per click for any amount of time, you’ve realized that you can lose your shirt pretty fast if you don’t know what you’re doing, and you usually have to burn some cash up front. Often, you’ll burn that cash only to find out that the campaign you chose wasn’t for the best offer, and you’ll have to start over.

If you have a website, you may have found that getting traffic is hard work, and getting quality traffic is even harder. If you’ve been trying the affiliate marketing route and it’s not getting you where you want to go, consider this…

Allan Gardyne had a great piece of advice in one of his newsletters once. He said that success in affiliate marketing comes down to only two things. Yup, just two.

One method of affiliate marketing that Allan subscribes to involves bringing people to a content website, and then monetizing the traffic with Adsense ads and affiliate links.

In order to be successful at this, he says to do only two things every day. One, create unique content for your site. Two, get a link back to your site.

That’s it! Or is it? Well, it’s not that simple, but it’s so easy to get caught up in the complexities of how to make money on the web, that this advice really makes sense in a big way.

There are so many ways to skin the affiliate marketing cat it’s not funny. For a while, I was buying info-products left and right. Each one had some great ideas, and I learned something from almost all of them.

But if you try to chase after all these separate techniques and systems, you’ll just be chasing your tail. The 80/20 rule takes over and it just becomes totally unproductive. In addition, most of the info-marketing products hold something back. Well, actually, some of them hold a lot back. Sometimes, this is by design, and sometimes it’s simply the nature of the beast.

You NEED focus.

After a while, if you don’t get down to basics, you won’t have a viable business. All you have are a bunch of half done tasks and half baked failures that don’t amount to any real traffic, or any real money.

What you need to do is plug into systems that are already working for others. Without buying any courses, without buying any tools, and without getting distracted by anything else, plug yourself into a system. A very simple system is the one that Allan describes. Create content, and get a link.

So, if your traffic is not where it needs to be, or your visitors are not converting into cash, try this. For 30 days, focus on nothing but these two things, every day…

1. Create unique content for publication on your website. By that I mean write on-topic, keyword rich articles for the most profitable keywords in your niche.

2. Get a link back to your site. This can be from a directory, or a related website, or by submitting an article to the article directories. It could even be by blogging and pinging, and/or using trackbacks. If you can guest blog on someone else’s blog, even better.

I used to work on getting listed in directories, but I’ve found that for the most part, it doesn’t give me that much benefit. The exception might be some niche specific directories. You’ll have to decide whether you think it’s worth it in your niche.

Seriously focus on this and try this for 30 days, and your business will improve. It usually takes me two to three months to really see the effectiveness of my efforts on this, but it will come.

Tips:

1. I highly recommend submitting articles to get links. That should be your primary method of getting links back to your site.
2. Use an article for your site as the seed to write the articles to be submitted.
3. Use the Unique Article Wizard to submit your articles to the directories to ensure unique content throughout.
4. Submit to ezinearticles.com manually.
5. Rinse/repeat.

One last thought. I highly recommend that you start thinking web-centric rather than site-centric. Start thinking in terms of setting up web-based profit centers, and don’t marry yourself to any particular website, theme, or product. Do what works, and fine tune and refine other people’s working systems to suit your needs. I’ll talk more about what it means to be web-centric as opposed to site-centric in upcoming posts. For now, follow Allan’s advice for 30 days and see your results improve. Enjoy.

Cheaper Prices on Stuff You Were Gonna Buy Anyway

I’m a little miffed! Today, dealdotcom is offering SEO Elite. I own that product already… I don’t like the interface all that much, and I could do without a couple of the features, but it’s good. And, Brad Callen has a way of showing you in video and in writing some pretty interesting ways of using his software to get exactly the kind of success your looking for on the web.

What I’m not happy about is that deaddotcom is selling it so cheaply. If you haven’t checked it out yet, they actually have some pretty good pricing over there. Hey, I figure if I’m gonna buy it anyway, why not? Plus, you can refer customers and affiliates and get paid, and, if you refer someone who contributes their own product, all the better. Check it out.

And, speaking of cheaper prices, how about free?

Weatherman Todd Gross offers Free Monthly Gift, where you can get, at least once a month, a free product that helps you with your Internet marketing efforts. I’ve been a member of this free site for a while, and while I can’t use every product he offers, some of them are useful. In addition, Todd offers deap discounts on products that he thinks you might be interested in. Also, he offers a way to actually joint venture with him. Since Todd is hooked up with some top marketers, this might offer some interesting advantages.

Try it out, it’s free.

Mind Mapping is the Way to Go

I’ve gotten several emails recently about using mind mapping to aid in productivity. These have come from top marketers who use it for newsletters or website concepts. You can use mind maps to plan out pretty much everything from cleaning the house to starting a business.

I’ve been using mind maps to get a good handle on what the various types of Internet marketing businesses can look like. There are many different marketing models that will work on the Internet, and many variations of them can be used together. Using a mind map makes it easy to see how things fit together.

Up until now, I’ve been hand drawing my mind maps on white boards. But that is time consuming and a bit difficult to share. It also takes up white board real estate that I could use for something else. So, I started using Free Mind.

Some of the top marketers are recommending MindJet, but let me show you what I created with Free Mind. Here is the collapsed version of my “Website Profit Center Model.”

mind-map-website-profit-center-model-collapsed.jpg

Basically, I’ve created a simple model here of an Internet profit center. In this case, I’m describing the landscape of the traffic flow into and out of a website profit center. In order to keep it as simple as possible, I’ve decided that I really only have two things going on. Traffic in, and traffic out. I also really only have two types of traffic coming in: traffic I pay to acquire, and traffic that I do not pay to acquire.

For the traffic outflow, there are only two types there as well: traffic that is monetized (earns me money), and traffic that is not monetized.

In reality, there is a lot more going on within and around my profit center than that, so I expand my mind map to include some of the possibilities for both the inflow and outflow of the traffic.

Let me show you what just one portion of the traffic in looks like so far. We’re not done yet, but we’ve got a lot of ideas sparked by the mind mapping exercise…

mind-map-website-profit-center-model-free-traffic-in.jpg

As you can see, I’ve defined a number of ways to get free traffic. The goal here when we mind map is to get as many ideas out as we can, starting from a simple concept. As you think of items and how they relate to the parent item, it will often spark a related idea that allows you to start a new node. Some of these ideas can grow into totally new mind maps. The possibilities are truly endless.

From here, we can refine our thoughts and create a process map by which we can execute strategies based on our goals. For example, let’s say that we have a goal of achieving 1000 visitors per day for a brand new site within 6 months. We can easily look at our mind map and determine which of the possible methods we want to use to generate those visitors, write out the process, and execute it.

I have found it extremely helpful to mind map. Before I would start an idea file, which is basically a text document. Then I would notice that my ideas in it were all over the place, and it would grow to like 10 pages in length. So I’d start a new file, and then another, and another. Pretty soon, I’ve got a bunch of folders with files in them with all kinds of ideas, and no way to relate them to my overall concept.

Without knowing where or how they fit in, I had no idea how to use them properly. Sometimes, I would draw out process maps, but they would get so cluttered and detailed I would lose focus on how to use them. With the mind mapping concept, you can see from a high level view as far down in detail as you want to go.

When I’ve got my mind map matured just a bit, I plan on exporting it to a PDF file. I’ll make that file available to my newsletter subscribers when it’s ready.

I highly encourage you to try it out for yourself!

BlogRush Mania Begins!

John Reese has just released BlogRush, the first offering from his new income.com project. It seems like it might be promsing, so I’m going to try it out and see if it brings any additional traffic.

BlogRush is a viral marketing blog “widget” that works, in some ways, like many of the viral programs out there, but has a few twists to it. If you’d like to sign up for an account and try it out on your blog, head for the BlogRush site.

You can always utilize another method of generating traffic, and this one is totally passive after you set it up. I’m going to let it run for a while and see what happens.

Submitting to Ezinearticles.com Creatively

I love ezinarticles.com. They send me traffic every single month, and they have a great set of stats. If you’re a platinum member, they even speed up your approval time. This, of course, helps you to get indexed faster, get backlinks faster, and hopefully, moves you up in the search engines.

I love the Unique Article Wizard. They send me traffic every single month, and they have a great set of stats. They get you approved quickly, and start submitting to the directories within a day or so. This, of course, gets your unique content spread all over the Internet world fairly quickly, brings traffic, backlinks, and rankings. I’ve seen it happen over and over again.

One thing I don’t like about the Wizard is that they don’t submit to ezinarticles.com. Bummer. I wish they did, but I knew this all along.

So here is what I do to get the best of both worlds. I write an article with the idea of submitting it to the article directories. I format a resource box and rewrite my article based on instructions from the Unique Article Wizard so it is ready for submission.

Since the chances that my original article will ever appear in any directory are almost zero, I could then safely place this article on my website or submit it to ezinearticles.com in its original form. But, I usually go one step further.

I don’t want content on my website to be the same as what I submit (following a recommendation from Allan Gardyne I read a while ago). So, what I do next depends upon how anxious I am to get the material up on my site. If I’m anxious, I’ll put the original, or a slight rewrite, on my website and I’ll rewrite it just a little and submit to ezinearticles.com. 

If I can wait, what I’ll do is wait until my article shows up on uberarticles.com, and grab a unique copy. Then, I modify that unique version of the article just a bit for my website (if appropriate) and post it. Sometimes, I like some things about the original better, so I use that as my guide. Then, I grab another unique version from uberarticles.com, and reformat it just a tad for ezinearticles.com and submit it.

At this point, I can now grab unique versions, or just use the original, and send them to my newsletter subscribers, and post the content on forums if I’m in the mood. So, one article, thousands of unique versions, many uses. And, I get to submit unique content to ezinearticles.com, which is something I suspect very few people are doing.

The Best Conversion Tactic

Aurelius Tjin wrote an excellent article entitled 10 Unstoppable Conversion Tactics For Anyone Selling Anything Online.

It’s an excellent article with great tips for making more sales. His focus here was on process, and these tips will work well for someone who’s already got a marketing funnel in place, or someone who’s currently creating a sales process.

I would have to add, though, that the best conversion tactic of all is to consistently create something of value. All of the techniques mentioned in this article will only get you so far if you don’t offer perceived value to your customer.

Perceived value will create more sales than any other technique, since your customers will naturally recommend your product to others. Not only that, if you’ve built up trust and much of your information speaks to your audience, they’ll pre-sell themselves on the idea of buying something on your recommendation. I know that when someone I respect recommends a product and I think it fits in with my business model, I’m almost ready to buy it before I really know what it is.

In addition, the higher the perceived value, the less you need any of these conversion tactics. In fact, if you build a list and provide great value to that list all along, then your recommendations will naturally translate into sales. At that point, a sales page becomes more of a formality than anything.

What do you think?

Article Marketing Works!

So I was looking at my stats, and I notice that before my article marketing test, I was ranking almost no where for the term cat lovers, and I also noticed that my top keyword that I targeted in my testing is now producing more page views. A lot more.

As an added bonus, I got Google to love the site. Finally! 

If you’re wondering if article marketing works as a website promotion tool, have a look at some of my stats and you’ll see that it definitely does. Since May, I’ve added very little content to the site and done very little updating of existing pages. Yet, there are many more referrers and my site has been found for many more keywords. The number of times my site has been found for my targeted keywords has increased exponentially.

This is only from submitting a few articles using the Wizard.

Here’s what we looked like in April, prior to the test. Oh, and this was during my test of another article submission service, and my traffic was going down at that time…

april-keywords.jpg

 Notice 748 total keywords that my site has been found for in the engines, and that the term cat illness has resulted in 70 total page views from searches for the month.

Now let’s look at August (remembering that August is not quite over as I type this)…

august-keywords.jpg

Wow! A 344 percent increase in total keywords, with a few days left to go in the month. And… my two target keywords are now on top. With cat illness pulling in 1024 page views, up from 70 in April. That’s over a 1462 percent increase in page views from just that one keyword.

Also notice that in April, my top keyword had 181 page views, and now my top keyword has 1024, and my number 2 keyword has 353. I believe this is quite the proof of the effect of article marketing, since that is my major method of promotion here.

Keep in mind that these numbers show the results from organic search. You’re looking at how many page views have resulted from free search per keyword. This is an addition to any other traffic generated in any other way, including from the articles themselves. I highly recommend that you use article marketing and distribute unique content, and I highly recommend that you use the Unique Article Wizard to do it for you.

Article Marketing for Traffic

Article marketing is a fantastic way to generate traffic, and it attacks certain deficiencies that some of the other traffic methods have. I won’t go into on page and off page search engine ranking factors here, but links are a huge factor in how your site ranks in organic search results.

In case you don’t know, organic search results are simply the links in the free search engine results pages that come up when someone does a search. Considering that an organic search listing is worth up to 6 times what a pay per click ad is worth, it makes sense to get your site ranked as well as possible for free search.

Plain old on page SEO works well, of course, but off page factors such as links seem to be more important than anything else when it comes to ranking. And, better ranking means better traffic.

I heard an SEO expert say that he tells his clients that if you ignore using solid organic ranking techniques, you’d better consider that you’ll have to pay for that decision forever with paid advertising.

When you’ve already got a large mature site with thousands of links coming in, and your site is well indexed and considered an authority site, adding a properly SEO’d page may put you at the top for a keyword.

But a brand new site has no such benefits. While it’s all well and good to build your well constructed site up to many pages, a faster, and perhaps better way, is to write a few pages for the site, and then submit articles to the article directories.

Why? Well, submitting properly formatted articles with properly structured links to your site in the resource box does several things, including:

1. Gets you links in from respected sites.

2. Exposes your website to thousands of visitors who might not have seen it.

3. Allows your articles, equipped with links back to your site to be quickly placed on hundreds of sites with no extra effort on your part.

4. Uses the authority and traffic of other sites to improve your site’s ranking and traffic.

5. Brands your name, your site, and your keywords.

6. Promotes you as an authority in your niche.

If you have a brand new site, it has no power. So, why not use the power of article marketing to build traffic? Essentially, this allows you to use other sites to get your articles listed in the top search results. Within days of submitting, I often see my articles on the first page of Google for the keywords I target.

If you’ve been following my Unique Article Wizard journey, I have an update. Our traffic has been improving steadily, with slight fluctuation as expected. More importantly, my Adsense income is now 2.5 times the average that it was prior to starting the Article Marketing.

Enhanced List Building

Enhancing Your List Building

I hope you’ve had some time to look over my viral list building idea using Advertising Know How and List Inferno. There are a ton of list building ideas and techniques out there, but rarely do I see people outlining exactly how to put several techniques and systems together to create your own, customized system for your needs. Hopefully you can use my suggestions to get a system going for yourself.

In order for list building to be effective, you have to have three things. Actually, for almost any web business, you need those three things.

1. Something of value.
2. A method of delivering that value to customers.
3. A way to attract interested parties and turn them into customers.

This trinity of value, delivery, and attraction are the key building blocks to a web business. Each one could be one or more books by themselves, but I’ll try to address them a bit here. As this applies to list building, here are the descriptions of the above 3 items…

1. Something of value – you must have something of value to offer your customer who joins your list. Why would you build a list or have a website, or any business, for that matter, if you did not have something of value to offer?

Now, you do not have to create this value yourself. You can offer someone else’s product or service. This is the core idea behind affiliate marketing.

You can offer information. This can be information you create, or information that someone else creates. What kind of information? Well, if you’re selling someone else’s product, that question is answered for you. Or, you can start with something you know a lot about and build a website, email ecourse, or ebook around the subject. This is often how niche marketers get started.

2. A method of delivering that value to customers – this delivery can be via email, the web, or real goods shipped to the customer. You can package up your thing of value however you like, and even use a combination of delivery methods.

For example, let’s say you focus your list building efforts on a course on “10 Ways to Overcome Procrastination.” You’d use list building techniques to build an email list and send them the ecourse or ebook.

Now, as you build your list, you can take this in a number of directions. You could:

1. Offer an advanced version of the course for a price, and you could ship them a hard copy workbook that they could use for the course.
2. Sell someone else’s course on self-improvement.
3. Expand your offerings to include seminars, audios and videos.
4. Sell leads to another company that offers similar products. Be sure not to sell any leads unless your subscribers agree to it.

As an example of number 4, offer an advanced course for free for signing up for some other offer. The other offer is provided by the company buying the leads from you. Now you’ve got a real business going!

I’ll give you one last example of how to offer value. Perhaps you’re using affiliate marketing to sell someone else’s product on Internet Marketing. Write up a report or ecourse with information on how to better use that Internet Marketing product. Then, offer your list the report or ecourse either as a pre-selling tool, or as a bonus for buying the product.

3. A way to attract interested parties and turn them into customers – something that is almost always overlooked is how exactly to generate website visitors or subscribers. There’s all this great information out there on how to create an Internet Marketing business, or a niche marketing website, but how do you actually promote it?

I’ll have to leave the details for a more in depth discussion, but you might want to try article marketing. It’s a great place to start!