Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Rock Stars at Frank Kern's Mass Control

Hey! Just got back from a San Diego weekend.

Surf Dude and big time Internet Marketing Rock Star, Frank Kern, taught, entertained and delivered as he played host to a crowd of 500. We rocked, we rolled, we had fun, but most importantly we learned.



Frank Kern and me.

The happening was appropriately held at the Hard Rock Hotel in San Diego. The stars at this venue did not come playing their guitars or drumming on their skins; instead they played on their strings of knowledge, experience and success. Headed by Frank himself the retinue included names like Filsaime, Deiss, Carlton, Moffat, Dale, Serling, Walker, Mulligan, Koenigs, Belcher, Reese, Lemberg, Jenkins, Johnson, Rozmanith - and those were just the speakers! Now that’s what I call an Internet Marketing Rock Star lineup! And then there was a passel more of them in the audience. So …. Does that make us their “groupies?”

Two pads of notes … too much to cover here, but over the next few months tips will be dropped into the appropriate postings so that you can apply them to your own blogging.

Some observations:

1. The thing that impressed me most was not the content, although undeniably that was awesome. No, what impressed me most was the graciousness and ease of accessibility of these extraordinarily successful men. Is it just me or is it a universal truth that the more successful a person is, the more generous and giving?

2. Twitter and all that Web 2.0 stuff. I have mentioned it here before that I haven’t quite got the hang of why social media is so important to internet marketing. Ed Dale, who runs the annual 30 Day Challenge gave a most compelling talk on this subject. In his view, the holy trinity in social marketing are Google, Twitter and You Tube. There was much more meat on Ed’s talk and for that he got a standing ovation. There will be more posts on this subject in the future.

3. Jason Moffat talked of the 7 Characteristics of Highly Successful Marketers. They were all good but the ones that caught my ear were nos. 6 and 7: Connections and Cause. Connections is not just who you know, but who they know. Cause is do you really know why you are doing this? It really is more than just the money. Another one I liked was courage, that speaks for itself.

4. Jeff Johnson talked on becoming a super affiliate. I thought that was an appropriate subject for this blog and will write a whole post on it, but the gem that I picked up was to make sure that you choose the right product/offer to promote. It’s your time, your list, your reputation. By becoming an affiliate of someone’s program, you are in effect endorsing it.

5. Your ideal client. Who is your ideal client? In other words who are you marketing to. If you could advertise for your client, what would your ad look like?

6. Determine what you want to be known for. Do you want to be the brand or do you want your business to be the brand? Both have their pros and cons.

7. Time Management: Are you doing your highest valued activity? Too often we get bogged down doing the small stuff, the admin: things that don’t really advance our business. Concentrate on those activities that make a difference to your results. The other stuff can wait.

8. Back to Twitter. Be selective as to whom you invite and equally selective as to whose invitations you accept. Follow the right people and the right people will follow you.

People often wonder what is so great about attending these weekend seminars. Aren’t they just pitch fests? Are they not self serving? What do you get out of it?

I am not fond of the term “pitch fest” because that implies that all you hear are pitches to buy, buy and buy. Let me tell you, when you attend a seminar weekend like Mass Control, the host has taken a lot of time and trouble to line up quality speakers who have valuable information to give to the attendees. Moreover, the host will also spend a good deal of time on stage, giving more good free advice and tips on how to ramp up your online success.

Speakers typically are on stage anywhere from one hour to as many as three. During that time they give you information on some of their most successful campaigns, what they did that was different, how they pulled the whole thing together. Granted, there is a lot that is not fleshed out, but hey! give me (and them) a break! You can’t do that in the short period of time that they are on stage. Yes, of course, they invite you to purchase their course – what? What’s wrong with that? I think it is a wonderful opportunity for attendees to purchase valuable courses at “a seminar price” which is often significantly less than the cost of that course on their sites. So you get:

- valuable free information, and
- big time cost savings if you want to purchase the speaker’s course.

Attendees are typically at different stages of their online careers – there are some that are just starting out and others that are well along to big pay checks. There is something for everyone. A seminar is a good place to make connections and form alliances. I for example, have several dog sites and was able to make connections with other internet marketers who also have dog sites. The importance of that is that you can support each other’s endeavors resulting in increased traffic and sales.

Seminars are fertile hunting grounds for joint venture partners – again, very much like connections, but somewhat more advanced and more appropriate to advanced marketers who already enjoy a list of subscribers in your category. Joint ventures differ partner to partner, but in a nutshell say you have an awesome product that you just completed, you are new, do not have a large list to send the offering to, but you meet a few people who also play in your niche and already have a list of hungry buyers who would be good prospects for your product … how valuable do you think such a joint venture would be.

I like meeting and talking with people who are like minded, success oriented, open to new ideas and to sharing. That’s the kind of person you meet at a weekend seminar such as Mass Control. It invigorates, motivates and confirms your own beliefs as to why you are in the market you are in.

When you go home you have a few new colleagues that you can stay in touch with, and you know, just positively know with certainty, that there is a financial future in internet marketing and that you are in the right place at the right time to make a success of it.

Happy Blogging!

PS... talk about cheese! The kahunas of the big cheese were in San Diego!Quick links:

Frank Kern's Mass Control

Ed Dale Thirty Day Challenge

Jason Moffat

Jeff Johnson Super Affiliate

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Keywords - A Spider's Buffet

Keywords make or break your blog … use them wisely and mother Google will deliver traffic to your site, and you know that the more traffic you get, the more money you can make.

Keywords is the diet of those crawlies on the internet – the spiders – that come visiting your website for relevant content and if they like the spread of the buffet which is your article they carry a favorable review back to their Search Engine. I tend to refer to Google as the mother of all search engines, but there are many, many out there. Two other biggies are MSN and Yahoo and they all have their army of spiders.

How to use keywords, and more importantly, how do I find the good ones for my topic?

Good question grasshopper.

Let’s use this blog as an example. The topic of this blog is blogging, so blog and blogging are my main keywords. As mentioned in an earlier post, this certainly defies my own suggestion and that of the gurus to select a topic that is inch wide and mile deep – OK… I am going for the long term. I love the topic and eventually, one day mother Google will smile kindly on this blog and maybe, just maybe put it on page one. But of the two, which keyword is more likely to earn that spot?

There are lots of ways to do keyword research, many of them requiring several steps. Wordtracker is a software program that many gurus recommend. I use Market Samurai. Both have a basic free option, which for the beginner at least gets you started. Both offer a for fee option. I took the latter with Market Samurai. It is a new program, indeed still in beta. I was introduced to it when I took the 30-Day Challenge last year (watch this space for the announcement of this year’s Challenge). It is a one time software program purchase which updates frequently. Here is what I found using Market Samurai:

Blog: daily searches: 1,827,945
Blogging: daily searches: 32,877

So of the two, Blogging has a better chance of eventually showing up on page one of Google. But if I do my marketing right (and therein lies the challenge my little chickadee), search engines will deliver traffic to this site for that keyword.

When I put in “blogging” into Market Samurai, it delivers 200 related keywords, including phrases. Here are some of the more interesting ones:

Blogging for money – 145
Blog for money – 145
Make money blogging – 595
Blogging tools – 217
Blogging for dollars – 33

And so on…………

So “blogging for money”, “blog for money” and “blogging for dollars” seem to be closer to my reach. In fact, ideally one of them should have been the domain name for this blog. Alas, the domains were all taken! But I can still fight for those phrases by frequently sprinkling my posts with them.

The next thing I want to know is who is my competition for those keyword phrases. I like Blogging for Money. I ask Market Samurai to deliver my top 10 competitors and here is a screen shot of what I am up against:


I see some interesting things:

Competitors no 9 and 10 seem to be within reach. Let me explain.

Competitor no. 10 has had the site up for 3 years, enjoys a Google Page Rank of 4 and has a total of 652 links pointing to a webpage (presumably one that says blogging for money), and 882 total number of links pointing to the entire domain.

Competitor no 9 on the other hand is only a 2 year old site, has a Google Page Rank of 2 yet outranks the 3 year old site. This may have something to do with the links which are 2340, and 4380 respectively - Links coming up in the future.

So there is hope in the land of “blogging for money” but I need to attack it aggressively as clearly No. 9 is going for the top and has a two year leg up over me.

Another interesting thing is that positions 4 through 7 do not show any hard data. I checked them out, but for now, will leave that alone.

What other relevant to blogging keywords might I use in my future posts? I just run down the 200 keywords that Market Samurai delivered, select a few and include those words in my posts – ideally using them in my title. My goal? Set out an ever changing keyword buffet to keep those hungry spiders visiting Blog Along With Me!

Happy Blogging!

PS… Heading out to San Diego to attend Frank Kern’s Massive Control seminar. Hmmm … can hardly wait to pick up lots of cheeseworthy morsels to post on here!

Quicklinks:
Wordtracker

Market Samurai:

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Social Media Marketing & CRM - There's A Whole Lotta Tweetin' Goin' On

This hot off the press … or should that be off the net?

I just had the pleasure of attending a webinar on Social Media Marketing. The guest speaker was Brent Leary, Co-Founder & Partner, CRM Essentials.

So?

So, Brent was behind the Barack 2.0 campaign which can be argued as having been the tipping point that helped Barack win the presidential race. That is POWERFUL.

I have to admit that Social Media Marketing is still something I am trying to wrap my noggin around. Like so much that is IM it is at once a curiosity and presents a huge learning curve for me. I thought that eventually I would fall into this discipline and apply it to my internet marketing mix. After attending the webinar today I realize that I have to pick up the pace. A lot.

You know what they say about when the student being ready the teacher will appear? I am honored to have been invited to participate in a product launch that will be using social media as its main marketing tool. The product is not an internet product but will be sold on the internet. So hands on, behind the scenes learning. How cool is that?

It is too early for me to be posting any tips on Social Media Marketing, or, as Brent calls it “Conversation Relationship Management” (CRM). If you are ready and/or want to leap ahead and start concentrating on that very crucial and increasingly important online marketing discipline go on over to Brent’s Social CRM Blog and subscribe to his RSS feed … you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Blogging!

PS… this is more than Big Cheese, this is LA GRANDE FROMAGE!

Quick Links:
Barack 2.0 Campaign
Brent's Social CRM Blog

Monday, April 13, 2009

There's Money in Them Thar Blogs!

Blogs are virtual real estate and you know about real estate: there's always money to be made!

I was recently browsing through the net when suddenly my eyes popped out! I popped them back in again and reread:

“ … but while their dreams are fueled by high-profile Internet deals — Condé Nast’s $25 million purchase of Wired News, People.com’s acquisition of Celebrity Baby Blog and, most recently, a deal this….”


A quick check in my mental filing cabinet and I quickly shot a note off to my friend
David in New York:

"...Hey David! Wasn't that your friend that started the Celebrity Babies Blog?..."

"Yes" he replied. "She sold it to People Inc in 2007 or 2008 for an undisclosed amount."

"Undisclosed Amount" is always good. Read it any way you want but I can tell you it usually means that your bank balance has just been fattened.

I remember our conversation several years ago. David was telling me about a friend of theirs who started a blog on celebrity babies and how she was having so much fun and that the dollars were beginning to roll in. We chuckled and continued our conversation on something else.

As I started to learn more about Internet Marketing and the importance of blogging, I often thought of the Celebrity Baby Blog. I even visited it several times to get some tips on putting up a blog ... I had thought of maybe celebrity dogs or something along those lines. Never did it. I mean, I did start a dog site, but never a celebrity dogs. I'm not one for celebrities so it would not resonate strongly with me.

But that's not the point! The point is that blogs and websites get bought. Earlier this month I posted on your blog being Google Real Estate. ABSOLUTELY! Now there is a motivator. Blogs and websites are virtual real estate and you can buy and sell blogs and sites just like you do houses and land. It is a growing business on the internet and a very lucrative one.

Still in its infancy, you can buy existing sites for under $10K, do a little bit of work, add value,increase traffic volume and sales, and sell it to a bigger buyer.

Typically blogs and sites sell 2 to 8 times the annual net income derived from that blog or site. Now don't go bananananananas! 8 times is not likely unless you happen to be a You Tube or Twitter or some other online phenomena. But say you bought a blog for $10K and it was already producing that much in annual sales(sometimes owners of blogs just want to get rid of them without much thought as to their real value). With a little effort on your part you add value in the way of higher page ranking, increased daily unique visitors and the annual sales goes up to $40K ...you sell it for $80K. That's $70K in your jeans. Rinse and repeat. Can you say Blogger Mogul?

Its a neat way to make money. But you do need to know something about how to make a poorly performing blog into a star ... and that's what we are trying to do here!

Happy Blogging!

PS...Now that's the kinda cheese I like!

Quick Links:
Celebrity Baby Blog
Google Real Estate

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Blogging and social media - through the eyes of Randy Gage

In yesterday's blog I mentioned the importance of social media marketing. Frankly, I don't fully understand it. When I check out the posts on either Facebook or Twitter it leaves me nonplussed - I mean, how can the posting of having just had breakfast make any contribution to traffic to you business blog? And, I don't yet see the value of numbers and numbers of friends, be they tweeties or otherwise.

Then today I logged on to Randy Gage's rant blog - Randy was "ranting" long before it became the rage of the internet - I like reading just about anything that Randy writes, mainly because he makes sense and because not quite so coincidentally, he writes rather well.

On the heels of my post of yesterday, read Randy Gage's rant today and his very interestesting "manifesto" on social media:

http://www.randygage.com/blog/tweet-this-a-twitter-manifesto

Enjoy the read.

Happy Blogging!

PS... now that's what I call Big Cheese!

Quick Links:
http://www.randygage.com/blog/tweet-this-a-twitter-manifesto

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Owning Google Real Estate

How do you get to own Google real estate?

Here it was, early Saturday morning, the sun shining and the flowers finally beginning to show color, yet here we were, indoors, listening to a rock star talking to us about what? Google real estate?

I belong to a private marketing club called Smart Thinking. Once a month on a Saturday morning we meet. Every member is a business owner. We network, share stories and learn important marketing strategies that help us take our businesses to the next level. The power of this club is evidenced by the distance that members are willing to travel to attend. Each meeting we have a guest speaker. That guest speaker this morning was Colin Wiebe.

Colin is a singer and songwriter. He currently has 4 CDs released. Names like Bon Jovi and Kid Rock pepper his presentation like uncle Tom and best friend Jane would ours. We sit enthralled. Oh yeah! He played and sang with the legendary Randy Bachman of the Guess Who and Bachman-Turner Overdrive for over decade.

So what is a rock star doing on a Saturday morning talking about Google real estate to a bunch of business owners? Lots.

Colin is also an Internet Marketer, the owner of Fast Creative and this morning he was talking about how to own the most expensive real estate on Google - that would be the top left hand corner of page one for the keyword you are fighting for. To bring that closer to home that would be the topic that you chose for your blog.

We haven't got there yet, but I hear it and read about it everywhere: social media marketing. That's what the internet is all a twitter about these days. Companies like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, StumbleUpon, Technorati and myriads others can play a vital role in driving traffic to our sites.

Just like blogging, social media is no longer the stronghold of teens and tweens writing about their piercings, goth getups or the latest heart throb. Corporate America has taken note, or more to the point, it may be argued that the newest President of the United States owes his win to the savvy online social media campaign his team launched. I gotta tell you, when politics and business find a new media format to promote their product, it has gone mainstream, and that means that you and I need to get to get our cohoons together and start learning how to use this powerful media to our advantage.

Happy Blogging!

PS...where are the best cheese bars in your city?

Quick Links:
Smart Thinking Inc.
Colin Arthur Wiebe
Fast Creative Inc.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

March Blogging Results - Statistics Tumble

March has been brutal ... I just did not expect that the anchor month for the first quarter of this project would deliver the worst performance since start up --- all three months of it!!! I looked with horror at my results and gulped, I mean, this is not a stock graph after all, but it could be.

On closer examination I think I have found part of the answer. More on that further. For starters, here are the stats







I must say I am a bit confused about something and will need to clear that up. As this blog is Adsense enabled, every time someone visits this site, Google captures that as an impression. The odd thing is that when I do some comparisons, I find that they just don't jive. For example, on one of the days where the analytics chart shows just one lonely visitor, my Google Impressions data tells me that it captured 38 impressions. Which got me wondering.

When I started this blog it had a different purpose and was called Rip Along With Me with a "blogspot" URL. When I decided to change tact, get a unique domain name and redirect that URL to the existing blogspot URL I thought that everything would fall into place nicely. I thought that Google Analytics would merge the two.

I was wrong! I just checked Analytics and note that I need to make changes to my tracking code if I want the statistics to reflect both URLs. There! Sooooooooo.... everything I have captured to date is not entirely accurate! The Analytics to date represent only the original RipAlongWithMe URL!

Since all my promotion has centered around the unique domain BlogAlongWithMe, none of those results have been captured! OK... that makes me feel better. No wonder the "sources" do not record any search engine traffic! Of course, I will make the necessary changes (here goes that techie thing again!)



I have gone over my posts, examined keywords and therein lies aother telling tale. I looked at the titles of the previous months' posts, and either the word "blog" or "blogging" has been in the title, whileas none of my March posts carried either word in the title. I used other keywords, but clearly this blog is not strong enough yet to get Mother Google's blessing for anything other than what I started out with: blog and blogging!

Details, details, details. It is always the small things the make the difference.

Happy Blogging!

PS. No cheese for the month of March!

Quick Links:

Original URL: http://www.ripalongwith.blogspot.com
Redirect URL: http://www.blogalongwithme.com