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Who Would You Like Me To Interview?

April 29, 2007

My wife, Jill, is curious about who you would like to see interviewed on this blog. I am too, so who would you like me to interview?

Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 4/27/2007

April 27, 2007

This week, I took a bit of a break from business activities. However, I still read some of my favorite blogs and did some searching for new gems. In no particular order, here are some of my favorite reads from the web this week:

New Calacanis link-baiting rules
Jason Calacanis’ post on how to link bait him is an EXCELLENT read for those wanting to learn how to link bait top bloggers. Jason left me a comment last year when I listed him as one of the people I would like to meet in this post. I think that I followed most of his rules, which would explain the comment. I would still like to meet him, along with the other people on that list. I should probably write a new list, since the list of bloggers I would like to meet has grown quite a bit since last year.

Tim Ferris Interview – Part 1
Tim Ferris Interview – Part 2
This two part interview by Darren Rowse provides some excellent business advice. Tim’s book sounds like a really good read.

WordPress Theme Generator
This was a pretty cool find by Mark. The only thing I didn’t like about the wordpress theme generator is that it can’t generate three column themes. Otherwise, it’s pretty cool.

The Ultimate Guide to Productivity
I really liked Wendy’s simple tips in this post.

Using Stumbleupon and Squidoo Advertising to Promote Blogs
Chris Garret reveals his results with Squidoo and Stumbleupon advertising. Based on his results, I might test out Stumbleupon’s paid ads.

The Husband and Wife Blog Traffic Battle
Now this was real interesting. A husband and wife are doing a year long contest to see who’s blog can get the most traffic. Found this via the Sitening Blog. Something worth keeping an eye on.

Develop Your IM Network
If you are interested in gaining some new Instant Messaging friends, then check out Daniel’s invitation. Personally, I don’t use Instant messaging systems. I will probably join one in the near future, because so many of my online friends use instant messaging.

What Do You Think Of Private Label Product Reviews?

April 26, 2007

In my interview with Allan Gardyne, Allan mentioned that affiliate programs work really well on review sites. Anik Signal has just started a Private Label Product Reviews membership site at http://www.plproductreviews.com/.

Anik is providing 100 product reviews in 10 different niches per month. This sounds to me like it could be a really good way to make money online with affiliate marketing. You could set up a product review blog, take the private label product reviews change the text a little, add your affiliate links, and post them to your blog.

The only thing I am not so sure about is that the reviews don’t really reflect your personal opinion about the products. I am not sure how to get around that one without feeling like I was violating some ethical standard I have set for myself.

What do you think? Do you think that http://www.plproductreviews.com/ is a good idea?

I guess it’s sort of like outsourcing your product reviews. Would you outsource your product reviews or not?

7 Steps To Choose A Niche For Your Blog

April 25, 2007

It’s the day you’ve all been waiting for— the long-awaited first post for my new Blog Traffic Series. (Okay, maybe you haven’t been waiting for it, but I’m excited that I’m finally writing it.)

The first step to get solid traffic to your blog is to choose the right niche.

There is no surefire way to pick a profitable niche. Even professional bloggers admit that they sometimes choose a niche that doesn’t get enough traffic or make enough money to make it worthwhile. So don’t worry if the first blog you start flops. Just try again. Perserverance is the key to success.

Here are 7 simple steps to choosing a niche that is right for you:

1. Make A List Of Your Passions
Write down all the things you are passionate about. If you aren’t passionate about the topic you write about, it will show! Passion is one of the biggest keys to keeping people interested in your blog (yourself included). This is the most important step in choosing a niche. If you don’t follow any of the other steps in this post, make sure you write about something you are passionate about.

Here is an example of what your list of passions might look like:

1. Basketball
2. Playing Video Games
3. Officiating Tennis Matches
4. Internet Marketing
5. American Idol
6. Reality TV
7. Being a Good Parent
8. Model Rocketry
9. UFOs
10. Bird watching
11. Carpentry
12. Ridding the world of Ants
13. ...

2. Make A List Of Things You Do Well
Write down all the things you do well. It is advisable to ask other people for input on this. Find out what other people think you are good at. They might mention things you haven’t thought of. You might also show the final list to your friends and family to get further input on the list.

An example list of things you do well might look like this:

1. Basketball
2. Officiating Tennis Matches
3. Cooking
4. Teaching
5. Running Marathons
6. Open Heart Surgery
7. Being a Good Parent
8. Model Rocketry
9. Calculus
10. Bird watching
11. Sailing
12. ...

3. Merge The First Two Lists
Take the lists you made in steps 1 and 2. Write down all the things that are in both list 1 and list 2. This will give you a good idea of things you can blog about as an expert. However, you don’t have to be an expert to blog about something. If you are really passionate about something, but aren’t good at it or are just learning about it, you can still blog about that topic from the perspective of someone trying to improve in that area.

For Example, if we merge the example lists from step 1 and step 2 the list would look like this:

1. Basketball
2. Officiating Tennis Matches
3. Being a Good Parent
4. Model Rocketry
5. Bird watching
..

4. Choose Your Favorite 3-5 Niches
Out of the list you compiled from step 3 (above), which ones are you MOST interested in blogging about? It doesn’t matter if other people write about it. It doesn’t matter if it’s extremley competitive. Just write down the top 3-5 things that YOU want to blog about. It’s okay if you are down to 1 niche at this point, but 3-5 would be better.

NOTE: At this point you have at least one niche you could start writing about. However, if you want to make money from your blog, you need to do more research.

From our example, let’s say that you would want to blog about the following three things from your merged list:

1. Basketball
2. Being a Good Parent
3. Bird watching

5. Determine The Traffic Potential
There are a lot of ways to do keyword research and determine the traffic potential for a niche. To simplify things, you aren’t going to worry about competition, you are only going to concern yourself with demand.

Go the Overture Search Term Suggestion Tool (which seems to be working again). Type in the primary keyword(s) for the niches you selected in step 4. Then you will come up with a list of keyword phrases and their search numbers for last month on Yahoo owned Search Engines.

Note: If Overture doesn’t work, try the free wordtracker keyword tool.

In my opinion, you really want to see more than 10,000 searches a month on Overture for the main keyword, otherwise it’s going to be really hard to get decent traffic to your blog.

Let’s go back to the example and turn your list into a primary keyword list, with a list of the Search Engine traffic. It would now look like this:

1. Basketball – 37845
2. Parenting – 33457
3. Bird watching – 5500

At this point, you might think that bird watching was out of the picture, but what if you wanted to write about birds, in general? What if you wanted to write about your favorite bird, the hummingbird (which had 17354 searches last month)? It is still possible to get a lot of traffic to a bird watching blog, but for the purpose of this post I am just covering a quick and easy method to analyze the potential traffic. You can expand your traffic analysis by looking at other related keywords if you like.

6. Determine The Blog’s Money Making Potential
Common sense might suggest to you that there are products to be sold to people looking for each of the things in our example, but is there a way to be sure?

Here is a quick and easy method you can use to help determine a blog’s money making potential. Go to Google or Yahoo and do a search for your primary keywords. The more advertisers you see paying for sponsored results (PPC) the better. If you don’t see anyone bidding on those keywords then it may be more difficult to monetize your blog but not necessarily impossible.

The sponsored results are the ads that show on Google and Yahoo at the very top and the right hand side of the Search Engine results, under the title “Sponsored Links” on Google and “Sponsor Results” on Yahoo.

So, for our example, I went to Yahoo and did searches for each keyword and wrote down the number of ads I saw:

1. Basketball – 10
2. Parenting – 10
3. Bird watching – 10

From our quick test, it looks like all three niches are capable of being monetized. Sometimes you will type in a word, and there won’t be any sponsored results. For instance, go over to Yahoo or Google and type in “underwater basket weaving”. When I tried it, there were no paid ads on either Search Engine. That is probably a good sign that there isn’t much money to be made in the underwater basket weaving market.

7. Make Sure You Have Time For The Niche
Is the topic so broad that you just don’t have time to blog about it yourself? For instance, if you choose basketball as your niche, do you really have enough time to cover ALL basketball news on your blog? If not, then you either need to:

A. Start a group blog with enough other people to cover the topic.
B. Narrow the focus of your blog. In our example, maybe basketball is too broad for you to cover. If so, you might choose to cover your favorite basketball team or write about funny basketball moments, etc.

There you have it, 7 steps to choosing a niche for your blog.

Posting Frequency – What Am I Doing?

April 24, 2007

I tried posting on this blog a little more frequently for a few days last week and not only did my traffic numbers go down, but I didn’t really enjoy it. I actually think I would enjoy blogging more if I decreased the number of posts that I felt obligated to write. So this week, I am going to experiment with only posting when I feel like it. I wont’ have a “set in stone” goal for my posting frequency this week. I think this will not only be more enjoyable, but will fit my personality type a lot better.

This week I will be posting the first post in my series on blog traffic. I am also working on some interview questions for a well recognized professional blogger.

The rest of the week, I hope to spend some time promoting and working on a few of our other sites. Lastly, I am continuing my plan to take a step back...

Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 4/20/2007

April 20, 2007

Last weekend I was in San Antonio, and haven’t been able to spend much time reading this week. Here are a few of the interesting articles from around the web that I did manage to read:

MasterSeek Business-To-Business Search Engine with Global Reach
An article by The SOHO Quest on a new Search Engine that allows you to promote your business for free and helps you find potential business partners.

Use Social Media Arbitrage to Drive Traffic with StumbleUpon
John Wesley has figured out a great way to increase your Stumbleupon traffic. I am going to have to test this out. I will probably mention this again when I write about my personal stumbleupon results.

Why Your Prospects Are Like Tourists
Part one of an excellent two part series on helping your visitors find what they are looking for.

Web Tourists Part 2 – Helping Your Prospects Find Their Way
Part 2 of Chris’ series on helping your visitors find their way around your website.

How to Get 2000 Subscribers in 12 Days

Interesting breakdown of how a new blog was able to get 2000 subscribers in 12 days.

For a little fun, if you have a cool looking MyBlogLog avatar, then go join Garry’s contest.

PS. Next week, I plan on starting my series on blog traffic…

I Joined AGLOCO

April 19, 2007

In my first post about AGLOCO, nobody really gave any arguments that AGLOCO was in some way evil.

On the other hand, Jimi from AGLOCO Cash Machine made some good points in favor of joining:


...
What concerns could anyone have? Spyware? The Google Toolbar is Spyware. The Alexa Toolbar is Spyware. Neither of those places pay you to use it. Your personal information isn’t used for Agloco. Just your viewing habits. You can turn it off or on at any time.

Not getting any money out of it? Didn’t cost you anything anyways.

They are expected to have 10,000,000 users by July. What does that mean? Advertisers may actually be willing to pay for that kind of audience.

Why join now? To build a network. Get a larger share of the pie. Be a part of a start up at the beginning.

In fact, I went ahead and joined through Jim’s affiliate link. I don’t know how much I am going to do to promote AGLOCO, but I do plan on checking it out and seeing if it makes me any money.

You can learn more about AGLOCO on their official website, by clicking here.

Did I make a mistake, is AGLOCO evil?

Two Blogger Happy Birthday Wishes – With Some Link Love

April 18, 2007

I just wanted to wish Leroy a happy 25th birthday and Kumiko a happy 24th birthday.

I hope both of you had a great birthday today.

I Am Going To Create A Product – With Some Help

April 18, 2007

I am starting work on creating a new product in a NON-Internet Marketing arena.

It’s actually a family project that will be educational in nature. My wife and kids came up with the idea, and I really like it. They will create the product content, and I will handle most of the marketing/web design, etc.

I think it is a great way for Jill and I to teach our children about entrepreunership. I am going to show my children the marketing plans and the steps I am taking to do the market research, etc., so that they will be learning about product creation, product planning, marketing, etc. It may take longer than outsourcing the work, but it’s a great project for our family and it will be fun (which is REALLY important).

Sometimes I feel like my business plans get in the way of my relationships with my kids and wife. I would rather never make another dime online than let my relationships with my family suffer. This project is going to be a great oppurtunity to get my whole family involved making money online. Even if we don’t make a dime, it’s going to be a great learning experience for all of us.

In the future, I will share more about our project and it’s progress. However, I don’t plan on talking about the details until it has been released.

Taking A Step Back – This Month’s Business Plan

April 18, 2007

This month and possibly next month, I am taking a step back to evaluate my strengths, likes, and dislikes, regarding my business.

For a month, I will only work on business things that I really WANT to work on. I will write down everything I spend my time doing. This will give me a better idea of the areas of my business that I need to start outsourcing and will help me better understand in what direction the business needs to move.

I will also spend a lot of time learning as much as I possibly can from John Reese. I am really loving the Reese Report and look forward to learning a lot more from John.

Lastly, I am going to be starting work on a product, but more on that later…

Write A Book In 45 Days?

April 17, 2007

Andy Wibbels has a new course called, “Write a Book in 45 Days“. It starts on April 25 and runs through June 6th. For those interested, you can learn more about it by clicking here.

If you don’t know about Andy, Andy is the “other problogger” who coaches bloggers in the popular blogging course, 6 figure blogging. He is also the author of “Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging”, has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Forbes, Wired, and many other places. If you aren’t interested in his course, but just want to check out his blog, it’s in my blogroll (or you can click here to save time).

I Am Testing Out Kontera Ads – What Do You Think?

April 17, 2007

I am testing out Kontera on four of our blogs (this one, our american idol blog, our apprentice blog, and our onourtv blog). I will let you know how it goes.

I was prompted to do this, because of the results my friend Austin had from adding Kontera ads to a few of his sites. The Kontera ads are the links on this blog with double underlines.

Have you tried Kontera ads on your website or blog? What do you think of them?

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