Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google Page One - How Important is It?

Is Page One on Google The Ultimate Goal?

In an earlier post this week I published that this blog was on Page One of Google. But is being on Page One of Google the end all and the be all in internet marketing?

NO!

There is a perception out there that unless your business/site is on Google’s page one, then you’ll be whistling Dixie. Yes. In terms of online real estate that is an enviable position to be in and certainly not to be discarded, but there are plenty of other ways to promote online and make good money without having reached the dizzying heights of PAGE ONE!

Before going into some of the other options I want to make it clear, that getting on page one is not all that difficult … or so it seems as witness my 6 month blog doing fairly decently for the keywords “blog along with me”. It really does depend on the keyword that you get ranked for and not all keywords are created equal. The collective wisdom of the gurus is that we should go for keywords that have a decent daily search, over 80, but which are in a small market of ideally not much more than 50,000 returns for that keyword - much more than that and the competition gets stiff. That is what is called a NICHE market or as they like to say “inch wide, mile deep”

But there are huge markets out there which if tackled right can bring in the moolah as well. Anything on money, wealth and wellness, and personal development is a huge market and not only are these markets huge, but they have a lot of activity, that is people are searching, clicking and buying. It may take longer to make money in these seemingly saturated markets, but there are ways to shorten that time:

Adwords: This takes money and you do need to know how to manage this option. You pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad, be that ad is placed in pages of the search result for a keyword or on someone’s content relative site. It is the other side of Adsense, which if you recall, is when Google pays you for hosting relative content sites by Google and when those ads are clicked. With Adwords you need to develop a plan and set a budget and really get to know which of your keywords brings in the business.

A friend of mine is in the travel business. She does almost all her advertising online with adwords. The result is a multi-million dollar business – enough to keep 7 agents busy and a thriving inbound tour business at the primary destination that she markets.

List. This is one of those chicken and egg things … build a list and now you have a target market that is interested in your product. It takes time to build such a list and you need to have something to offer for free that catches your market’s attention. But what if you have a mature offline business and want to branch out to online? You have an income and part of that income should be budgeted for online marketing. You “rent” a list of your market. There are lots of list brokers who will rent you a list of qualified buyers for your type of product … you email this list two or three times for that one time “rental”. The conversion rate will determine whether it is worth a repeat. Good copywriting plays a huge part in conversion rates. If you are not a copywriting professional, it is worth the expense to hire one. The difference can be between no business and a conversion of up to 20% and sometimes even more!

Article Marketing. Another good way to get traffic to your site is article marketing. Write articles on the product you are selling online and publish those articles. They will be published in the category that you select. There are plenty of article directories, my favorite free ones are

Idea Marketers
Ezine Articles
Article Dashboard

You can also submit to for fee article directories. These articles directories market in paid subscription publications and so the interest of the reader on your topic is of a higher quality.

Joint Ventures: Works best with complimentary products … yes, that may mean working with your competition. What if you have a site that specializes in handbags and you joint venture with someone who specializes in shoes. These are really complimentary markets. You are not really competitors but it would be safe to say that you share a common market. Each of you has a list that already buys from you. Cross market to each other's list. Again, this is one of those things that takes time to develop but you might want to identify some of the key players in your broad market and start developing a relationship.

Blogging. Lest I forget …blogging is yet another way to drive online business. While this blog is on blogging, there are plenty of blogs that are specifically set up to promote the main product which may be a natural pet balm or a site on handbags.

PAGE ONE? Important but increasingly less so as other forms of online marketing become available.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS........... its all about sniffing out the cheese.

Quick Links:
PAGE ONE post
Idea Marketers
Ezine Articles
Article Dashboard

Friday, June 26, 2009

30 Day Challenge Forum on Internet Marketing Courses

Earlier this month I posted an article on Internet Marketing Courses and the importance of being ready to take one.

I have always felt that often people do not complete the courses they buy because somewhere along the way the upward curve becomes overwhelming. It usually happens early on in the course. Mistakenly, they then go in search of another course that will take them to the heights of success of the gurus they read about. They start looking for the "secret", the magic bullet that will bring the money truck driving up to their driveway. The vicious cycle begins.

On the 30 Day Challenge forum a somewhat similar question was poised; “…should I first take Course A or do the 30 Day Challenge?”

The replies that came in from both the seasoned moderators and experienced internet marketers were unanimous: take the 30 Day Challenge first.

Why!

The 30 Day Challenge lays the foundation for an internet marketing business and prepares you for more challenging courses.

My point exactly.

Without a strong foundation the business you build will be like a house of cards lacking structural support and therefore susceptible to crashing with the slightest setback. It's a business. There will be setbacks. You need to be able to weather those setbacks.

Lay a strong internet marketing foundation. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go an register for the 30 Day Challenge
.
The price is right - FREE! It doesn't get better than that.

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS… go get your cheese!

Quicklinks:
Choosing the right Internet Marketing Course
Register for Thirty Day Challenge

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ABC's of Blogging #1 on Page One of Google!

WOW! ABC’s of Blogging for Money is #1 on Google and Blog Along With Me holds a respectable #2 position on Google’s page one! I am soooooo happy … I don’t think I have ever been #1 before! But before I sink into the euphoria of this most honored position I have some explaining to do …………..

The next round of topics on this blog is going to be on linking. While I have a fairly good working knowledge of this marketing technique I thought it would be a good idea to bone up on what other top dog bloggers have to say.

The more I read, the lower my spirits sank. I thought once again I did not do enough homework before starting this blog. The glaring error?

Keywords! Or the lack of them in my links. The most powerful link that you have is your domain name. For this blog I had decided to fight for Blogging for Money … while I frequently pepper this phrase in my postings, the domain name rules and it is glaringly bereft of the keyword phrase that I want this blog to become known for.

In an earlier post I had mentioned that this is a long term blog. I am blogging on how to blog – that is a crowded market with professional sites such as Blogger and Wordpress sitting comfortably in the top ranks on page one. Then there is Darren Rowse with his long standing and very popular Problogger coming up strongly in the middle of page one. When I was researching my keyword phrases, I decided that I could live with going for the phrase “blogging for money” which generates a daily search of 145.

While I did not expect to be sharing page space with Blogger, Wordpress or Darren, I did think that at least I would have got Google’s blessing with a page rank … oh, even page rank 1(with Google the higher the number of the page rank, the better it is) would have been great. Nada. Not even a nod.

Linking. Aha. The more I read on linking the deeper the realization sank in … It’s the link, stupid! The domain link does not have the keyword phrase in it! What does it have? It has the far more competitive word “blog” in it. Over 2 million searches daily. Other established and more savvy marketers are cornering that market! Dumb!!!

Now there are other strategies that I can employ to overcome this error but it would take time and aggressive marketing techniques. I could also go for another domain name and have it redirected to this site – I already did that once. I read that as prominent a blogger as Yaro Starak changed his first blog’s domain name three times. But this linking thing kept niggling at me. Then I had an idea. I Googled “blog along with me” and voila, there is my blog on page 1 holding positions 2, 3, 4 and 5.

My first reaction was big deal! Who goes searching for “blog along with me” but then I looked at the numbers – there it was in the 1 -10 of a possible 111,000,000! Be still my heart. How did my little blog of just 6 months beat out over a 100 million other entries?

I looked at each position to see what it was that helped me get to page one and as best as I can figure it out:

Content: The title “Blog Along With Me” is in the header. The phrase “blog along with me” appears in the description of the blog beneath the title in the header. This is a static part of the blog so that everytime a new post is added and the spiders or bots crawl this site, Blog Along With Me keeps showing up. Fresh content, consistent keyword.

Adbrite: I recently added Adbrite as an alternate to Adsense to monetize the blog. It is an interesting advertising system which works in tandem with Adsense, but replacing it when it can do better. Adbrite advertises to prospective advertisers and its ad for Blog Along With Me got picked up by Google. That is a link pickup. It occupies position No. 3.

Blog Catalog: I had submitted Blog Along to Blog Catalog and that too got crawled by Google and once again it is a link pickup

Twitter: One of my readers (bless you Michael) tweeted one of the posts on Twitter. And even though it was a Twitter URL it was a backlink to this site again!

I keep thinking of Mike Litman who was my first mentor. His favorite saying is “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.”

I had an idea! What about my A B C’s of Blogging for Money? That has been up a scant month. To my surprise, there it was on page one holding top spot in the 1 – 10 out of a possible 27,500,000! This time the keyword phrase was in the domain title, and my press release got picked up.

This is really encouraging. It means that if you do enough of the right stuff it will eventually over ride the wrong stuff and your efforts will begin to pay off. More on that in the next post.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS… That’s a big smiley on the cheese.

Quick Links:
ABC's Of Blogging for Money
Blogger
Wordpress
Adbrite
Blog Catalog
Twitter

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Dot Com King

Who is Kevin Ham & why have we never heard of him?

Kevin Ham is the Dot Com King. He reigns in the kingdom of Domain. Until recently I have never heard of him, bet you haven’t either. He rules his kingdom from the seat of Reinvent Media Group, a Vancouver based company that owns over half a million domain names and who is arguably the most powerful and successful member of a small, albeit growing elite group of Domainers; landlords of valuable real estate on the internet. Kevin appears to be a very private man.

I recently sat with royalty and didn’t even know it. No, it wasn’t with Kevin Ham, but with Conor Shankey, the CTO of Reinvent Media. Conor is no mean dude himself when it comes to internet savvy and his role in it. We were both guests at a birthday party at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver. Over dinner he sat across from me. I reached over my dish of lamb shanks – no, there was no asparagus; I did not ask him for a date and besides his lovely wife was seated by his side - and engaged him in polite dinner conversation.

Turned out that Conor was in internet marketing and that’s when all semblance of politeness dropped as at the mere mention of anything internet my ears perk up and my “inquisition mode” – as my husband likes to term my natural curiosity - kicks into overdrive. I was floored when I learned that his company owned over half a million domain names, the largest domain owner in the world. My eyes must been the size of saucers as the sheer enormity of that number sank in. He then told me about Kevin Ham.

Conor Shankey is the founder of the very successful Visual Knowledge which was acquired by Reinvent Media in 2008.

OK … enough with the name dropping. What am I getting at? For several years now I have been following the development of virtual real estate. Ed Dale
and Kevin Wilke to name just two big guns in the internet marketing world are big players in this niche, but I first heard of virtual real estate at a seminar I attended almost two years ago in Los Angeles. I honestly don’t remember who it was that spoke about it. What I do remember is that the concept immediately began to churn cogs and turn wheels into motion as the very idea galvanized me completely.

I wrote about virtual real estate on this blog:

- There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs - April 13



That was Danielle Friedland I was referring to.

And again in:

- Owning Google Real Estate: - April 04

Dealing in virtual real estate is a growing business. From domains being auctioned off at seemingly ridiculous prices – Kevin Ham is known to have paid as much as $350,000 for a single domain name – to buyers wheeling and dealing with existing performing sites such as Danielle’s celebrity babies blog and pulling in a mil or two and oftentimes more.

No matter how you look at it, it’s a big business. I began to assemble a portfolio of domains shortly after my return from that Los Angeles seminar. I thought I was doing ok with 27! ...lol... These are all domains that actually have a web presence as sites and require my attention. They are monetized and bring in money, but not enough yet to outsource any of the functions.

It never occurred to me to buy domain names and hold them for future resale whilst systemically monetizing them in the meantime. My previous understanding of virtual real estate has expanded exponentially. Henceforth I’ll view my modest domain portfolio with a little bit more respect and continue to buy, hmmm, that would be "invest." It’s a lot more affordable than the stock market; the downside is negligible and the upside at best stratospheric. It is after all still a game, a domain name game, and its not just kings who can play at it.

It’s a thought … have I expanded your horizons? Just a wee teenzy bit? I hope so.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS. Now that’s cheese worth biting into!

Quick Links:
Reinvent Media Group
Cellar Jazz Club
I reached over the asparagus and asked her for a date” John F. Kennedy
Kevin Ham
Conor Shankey
There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs
Danielle Friedland
Owning Google Real Estate:

Friday, June 12, 2009

Ed Challenges Twitter

The pre-season for the Thirty Day Challenge has begun. There is excitement. Lots of chats and questions going on in the forum. Teams are being formed ... and, the "boxes" have begun to arrive.

Thirty Day Challenge goodies come in boxes - just like presents. The goodies are the training sessions, some are video, some pdf(or both). The second box has arrived in the training section and its on Twitter. I just knew that Twitter would be a key player in our 30 Day toolkit this year.

Already the sheep mentality is being challenged. Ed says follow no more than 10, or at best 12. Why? Register for the Thirty Day Challenge and find out for yourself. Its a very interesting take and makes total sense.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... that's a little bit of cheese but oh so powerful.

Quick Links
Thirty Day Challenge

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Zero to Ferrari - Blogging?

Once a week I mine the internet for some good blogs. I usually do it on a Sunday – a day when I visit my faves, leave some comments where appropriate, and then go on the hunt for another. Today is not Sunday. I strayed and stumbled on a blog that caught my attention – it was one of those click this link to get to that site to get to an article I was interested in. The author prefers to maintain her privacy. Her nom de plume is Silicon Valley Blogger, or SVB for short. The name of the blog is The Digerati Life.

She writes well. I’m a sucker for the well written word, so ended up reading not only the article that led me to the site in the first place, but several of her other postings as well. As her name indicates she lives in Silicon Valley and in this particular post she writes about the fast money in her industry. She uses the term “… from zero to Ferrari…” actually she wrote 0 to Ferrari.

I loved it!

Wow! What an image it conjured. I thought it would make a fantastic domain name – never mind the content, that could come later – so quickly went to buy it off of Go Daddy, my domain vendor only to find, gasp! that it was already taken? Logged on to see what this site was all about – and there is no site!!! Aha. Someone besides me collects domain names.

So I’m sorry if you thought that I was going to tell you about someone who hit the mother lode while blogging and went from zero to Ferrari! Wouldn’t that just be awesome.

But that got me thinking. You know, there are lots of bloggers out there that are making more than just decent coin. I would venture that Darren Rowse of ProBlogger could probably spot a Ferrari or two and not feel a dint in his bank account. Carl Ocab, the 13 year old wonder from the Philippines is no slouch either as he makes more per month than most adults he knows make in a year. And then there is John Chow, who lives in my backyard, and routinely makes bank of 40K plus each month. Not exactly chump change.

But they all started from the same place that you and I started. Most often blogging wasn’t their first online venture and success did not come overnight, it was more like overyears. Consistent effort was what paid off, it's like making small deposits to your own Bank of Success. It works the same way as depositing money over time - I think its called compound interest.

So keep depositing your consistent effort. Maybe you could be the first 0 to Ferrari, and in the speed of time implied.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina

Cheese? What cheese? Give me the Ferrari!


Quick links:
The Digerati Life
Go Daddy
Darren Rowse
Carl Ocab
John Chow

Monday, June 8, 2009

News Flash - Ed Dale Kicks Off Pre-season 30 Day Challenge

Short and sweet.

Before you buy any Internet Marketing course, you need to check into the 30 Day Challenge. Its free. Its nothing like you’d ever expect. It’s a full blown course with lots of free resources and even some software. The Pre-Season has just started.

You can register at Thirty Day Challenge

I wrote about Ed Dale and his annual 30 Day Challenge here on May 08. Ed runs this course every year in the month of August. To have a handle on the course you need to familiarize yourself with all the tools that we will be using, things like Facebook Connect – hey get this, you can take the entire course within Facebook if you want. There are going to be lots of bells and whistles to get used to. The first pre-season lesson is already up. Ed says its something like spring training camp before starting the baseball season.

This is a course I recommend without reserve. The idea is simple. The course is set up for you to earn your first dollar on the internet.

To register click on Thirty Day Challenge

Ed and me at Mass Control in San Diego where Ed got a standing ovation for his presentation on internet marketing and the importance of the role that social media plays in it.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina Bellicova
Blogger for Money

PS... Go and get your cheese at the Thirty Day Challenge


Quick Links:
30 Day Challenge: Thirty Day Challenge
May 08 Post on Ed Dale & 30 Day Challenge:

Internet Marketing Courses - What's Right for You?

My last post on fish throwing … & Internet Marketing Courses generated more emails, not about fish throwing in Seattle but on internet marketing courses. Rather than reply to each email I thought there might be others who visit here who could also benefit from more information on how to select a course that’s right for you.

First. Ask yourself why are you looking at courses? This is crucial. I know. I have spent the equivalent of a small ransom on courses. As a newbie in internet marketing the thought foremost on my mind was to leapfrog over all the dull and boring stuff, get to the meat of things and start pulling in the dough. I jumped from one course to another. Good thing I still have those courses as I am now revisiting them and plumbing some good content that completely eluded me before.

Many buy courses, dig into them, find the first two maybe even three lessons easy, or at least workable. The next lesson is a bit more challenging. By the time you get to the sixth lesson – if you haven’t put the package aside for “later” by then – you find that you are now way in over your head. It’s not your fault. It’s not the fault of the course either. It’s just that you have not built your IM muscles yet. Overwhelm takes over. I know. It happened to me.

In my opinion internet marketing is just like going to school. What if as a child your parents bought a packaged course that took you from grade one through high school in the one go and worse yet, you were expected to finish it in one year or less! Disaster, right? You still had not learned how to read yet by the end of twelve months you were expected to be doing calculus and reading Shakespeare.

Internet Marketing is like that. The good news is that it does not take twelve years to be super good and even better, you can start to make money in grade one.

That is why the question of why you are looking for a course is so important. If you have been in internet marketing for a little while, speak the language and have some online experience already, then a comprehensive course is right for you. These types of courses vary in cost. Some questions to ask yourself before signing up for a course:


1. What level of internet marketing am I at?

If you are a complete newbie and don’t know affiliate from joint venture, a comprehensive course that takes you from A to Z may not be the best option for you at this time. That is why I started this blog and wrote the e.book ABCs of Blogging for Money. This is “on the job” learning. I believe that blogging is the best way to get started. The e.book is an easy to follow, hands on, step by step system that will ease you into internet marketing and help you build your IM muscles and prepare you for more serious stuff later on. Get your free copy of ABCs of Blogging for Money

2. Am I ready for the big picture?

You have some understanding of internet marketing but have no idea of what the big picture looks like. What are the different options that are available to you. Do you want to specialize but don’t know where to begin?

You may be ready for a comprehensive course. A comprehensive course will take you from niche selection, to domain purchasing, to setting up your site, to the different methods of generating traffic to your site. You will be introduced to marketing models such as affiliate marketing, article marketing, social media marketing, podcasting, video marketing, copywriting and yes, even blogging.

There are so many disciplines within internet marketing that you can never learn them all, but you do need to have a generalist’s knowledge and appreciation of them. A comprehensive course will give you step by step, practical applications to apply to a full blown site. It will also help point you towards a direction that you want to become an expert in. I have taken several comprehensive courses on internet marketing but if I was to pick one, it would be the Nitro System.

3. Am I looking for a specific skill set?

You have taken a comprehensive course and now want to be a specialist. Congratulations! You are now entering the field of where the big boys and girls play. Yes, gurus specialize. Some are great at copywriting, some are great at list building, some are great at social media. They play to their strengths and it is time you do too. Look for a course that is targeted towards the area you want to become an expert at.

4. Am I looking for software to automate some of the steps in my marketing?

You already have at least one site, have been working at it diligently and now understand that there are efficiencies you can implement simply by installing the appropriate software. When looking at software there are two options:

- Buy the software program with a one time purchase fee. Make sure that unlimited upgrades are available to you for the life of the software program.
A software program typically addresses itself to one specific action. An good example is Atomic Blogging which concentrates on driving traffic to your blog.

- Subscribe to a software system at a monthly fee. The advantage here is that the developers of the system typically include several online marketing functions in one. A good example is the F.U. Money Machine which is a fully automated system that helps you run your online business.


5. Am I looking for someone to coach me through the course?

If you have the money to pay for one on one coaching go for it. Often the coaches are contracted out and they cost in the thousands. When considering a coaching program ask:

- is the coaching course specific?
- will the coaching include technical assistance?
- how many coaching sessions are included and over what period of time?
- how long is each coaching session?
- is there additional email coaching support?
- what results can I expect from the coaching program
- what guarantees (if any) are given with the coaching program

Coaching is a tough call. Successful people in all walks of life have coaches and/ or mentors. They don’t come cheap but the trade off is that a good coach will take you to a new level of success … improved performance, increased earnings, heightened public awareness, and the list goes on. A good coach will cut the learning curve in half, but keep in mind, that a coach does not do the work for you, you still have to do the heavy lifting where needed. In my view, I think it is important to first familiarize yourself with what internet marketing is all about. An athlete does not start with a coach on day one but has already displayed some ability in a sport.

The whole question of courses is a broad one and could probably be expanded into a report or even a mini-e.book. The above is a good place to get started.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... plenty good cheese above

Quicklinks:
ABCs of Blogging for Money: http://www.abcsofblogging.com
Nitro System: http://www.nitromarketing.com/g.o/valentina
Atomic Blogging: http://twurl.nl/dmltoq
F.U. Money Machine: http://www.fumoneymachine.com

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fish throwing, Experience Music and IM Courses.

Back from Seattle. Had a great few days with my duaghter. We had so much fun - did the touristy type things.

Yes! Pike Market and the fish throwing guys were in top form - there were lots of people buying fish, which meant lots of fish throwng! If you've never seen this its worth the visit alone!

The Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museums were very impressive. Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft put up the big bucks to make it happen and Frank Gehry, the pre-eminent architect of the Bilboa Guggenhiem was commissioned to design the building! I wonder if Frank Lloyd Wright's creations were so out of this world for his time?

Discovered an absolutely fab boutique Synapse 206. If you are looking for one of a kind, to die for couture that you don't have to take out a second mortgage for, this is one of those rare "destination" boutiques.
Just one of the many unique creations you can find at Synapse 206. This dress was completely fashioned from "retired" designer jeans, and it is simply to die for!



So much more but that would be straying from the topic of this blog! Or would it? Whenever I go and visit John Chow's blogI find it interesting to read about not only the art of blogging for money, but also the places he visits and the people he meets.

Got back to a lot of emails - some from readers of this blog. One was a question on how to leave a comment here. Easy, just scroll down where it says "comments" with a little graphic of an envelope, click on the envelope and a form will pop up for you to leave a comment.

Had several questions on courses. Of the several courses that I took I really liked Nitro Marketing Blueprint
You get so much for your money. When I took it I got hard copy material as well as downloadable material so that I could work on my computer as well as have the material at my elbows for ease of reference. Everyone learns differently, whether your learning style is visual, auditory or through reading, you will find it all there - in a box! Now I did not take the coaching program. At the time that I took this course the coaching program was a bit steep for my budget.

But here is the thing, from my perspective, unless you already have some sort of a grounding in internet marketing, it is easy to get overwhelmed. That is why I started this blog. In my view, blogging is the best way to get your grounding in internet marketing. You learn so much and then you can wade into full blown courses. I know that most every course out there says that if you can log on to your computer you can take their course. That is just no so for the majority of newbies. It is a learning process and it does not happen overnight.

Having said that I strongly endorse Ed Dale's 30 Day Challenge. Ed runs this for free every August and launches with a pre-season which will be this coming Monday. I encourage each of you to register - I will publish the link here as soon as I have it. I think this is the 6th year that Ed is holding this and each year it gets better and better. If you are a newbie you will not be able to get through it all in30 days, but never fear, you download all the material and then you can take your sweet time going through each item, mastering it as you go along. The value is amazing and that it is available for free is nothing short of astounding.

So... hold on to your horses ............. my registration link coming up!

Happy Blogging!

PS... there was plenty of cheese at Pike Market - handmade local smelly yummy stuff! Bought a load!

Quick links:
Fish Throwing at Pike Market
Experience Music Project
Synapse206 Boutique
John Chow Blog
Nitro Marketing Blueprint
Bilboa Guggenheim