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Google Adsense Might Have Broken the Camel’s Back

January 18, 2007

Google Adsense Terms of Service have just changed. Jensense has this great post about the ramifications of the change. Jensense should be in every Adsense advertiser’s list of feeds. She has always given great updates on the TOS for Google. At first she did it via posts on webmasterworld, but now she does it from her blog.

Anyway, Jennifer does a great job of making sense of the Adsense TOS changes and I highly recommend you check out her post.

It looks like none of the changes will affect my sites and blogs, but with all the restrictions I can see why Darren Rowse (who I first found this story from) says:


I’ve already heard from a number of publishers that if given the choice between AdSense and YPN that they’ll jump to YPN because of the less stringent requirements – this change has put one too many hoops to jump through in front of some publishers.

Google might have just added the straw that broke the camel’s back. Personally, I really like Adsense and I don’t plan on switching to YPN. However, the constant changes to the Adsense TOS are getting to be annoying. I do plan on experimenting with YPN at some point. It certainly has the advantage of being less restrictive and there is something to be said for that.

I didn’t plan on doing this but…

January 11, 2007

I decided to go through some of my email this evening, even though I am still on vacation and I came across something that looked real interesting.

Scott Boulch the author of “The Death of Adsense” came out with a new free ebook “The Autopsy” that looks like it will be a good read. I am going to download it when I get back to Texas and take a look at it. You can click here and go check it out for yourself and let me know if it’s any good. I think you also get some sort of bonus mp3 for referring 3 or more people to it, but I haven’t really looked closely at the details yet.

My friend Austin is friends with someone who was heavily involved in the original “Death of Adsense” book. I may talk more about that some other time, but… now back to vacationing!

While I am Out There Will be Tons of Product Launches

January 2, 2007

I will be going on vacation this Thursday, so after Thursday it will be quite difficult to get in touch with me. I will be spending very little time blogging while on my vacation. We are heading over to visit my parents in Tampa and we are going to spend a few days in Disney World. We will actually be spending my birthday and Jill’s birthday in Disney World.

If you own The Product Launch Formula you know that there are going to be a lot of product launches while I am in Florida. This is both good and bad…

Good – because I won’t be tempted to buy proucts I don’t need.

Bad – because there are products I am seriously interested in buying and won’t be available to buy them on the days they launch, which means I will have to pay more for them.

The one product I am most interested in buying is launching on January 10th – Joel Comm’s Instant Adsense Templates membership site. I will be in Disney World when it launches, which means there isn’t much of a chance I will be able to sign up the first two days it is offered.

In the world of blogging, the biggest blogging product being launched has already been launched. It is the half price deal that Andy Wibbels is giving on all of his blogging products combined. He is calling it the Season Pass. For those interested in becoming professional bloggers, I recommed you click here and check out Andy’s offer.

Anyway, you can expect one or two more posts from me, before I head off to Florida. Then I won’t be posting much (if at all) until I get back.

Which Google Adsense advertising placement annoys you the most?

December 25, 2006

In my last poll I asked you:

Which Google Adsense advertising placement annoys you the most?

Here are the results:

  • At the Top of an Article: 50% (34)
  • In the Middle of an Article: 25% (17)
  • At the End of an Article: 0% (0)
  • At the Top of the Site: 4% (3)
  • In the Navigation Bar: 4% (3)
  • Don’t care: 16% (11)

Total Votes : 68

I am not sure how this is going to affect my Google Adsense placement.

Personally, I find it most annoying when ads are in the middle of an article, because I have to pause and stop reading in the middle of an article.

Ads at the top of articles make me the most money, so it’s hard to move them. In fact, this poll showed that Adsense placement that makes the most money is also the placement people find the most annoying. Adsense placement that makes the least amount of money is also the least annoying.

So all website owners are faced with the problem of making money vs. annoying our visitors. That kind of makes sense, since nobody really wants to see advertising.

What do you think of the results?

Some Marketing Tidbits

December 12, 2006

I am going to be out of a town a few days. I thought I would leave you with some good reading from around the net:

Do You Have the Time to be an Internet Marketer or AdSense Publisher

Its not that hard to make $100 US Dollars a month part time

Marketing Your Business on Craigslist

And just for fun, these two blog posts:

Google Copies Yahoo

Yahoo Copies Google

Have you created a custom Search Engine yet?

December 6, 2006

I saw a lot of people do it a few weeks ago…

If you haven’t heard, Google announced this new way to create a custom search engine using the Google search engine. You can create one yourself by signing up for Google Co-op here.

I created a custom search engine for our homeschooling site and called it “The Homeschooling Search Engine”. When you use our Search Engine you are only searching from homeschooling sites that I or someone else has added to the Search Engine.

What is really cool is the whole social aspect. Anyone can sign up to be an editor for the search engine and add their favorite homeschooling sites.

You can even make money with it, by associating your Goolge Adsense account with the Search Engine.

Anyway, you can check out our Homeschooling Search Engine by clicking here. It’s a pretty cool technology that I have been meaning to play around with. I am glad I did!

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My Interview With An Internet Marketing Expert

December 5, 2006

About 6 weeks ago my wife Jill and I went to a couples night out dinner for a local Homeschooling group. At the dinner I met a homeschooling Dad who earns his living entirely online (something most of us would like to do). His name is Austin C. Davis and he runs over 100 websites. His two most popular sites are auro related sites that bring in consisent traffic for keywords like, Car insurance Atlanta, Car Insurance Dallas and the like.

The following is an interview I did with Austin, that I am sure you will enjoy…

Q. Austin, how did you get started in Internet Marketing?

A. I wanted to work from home by myself, make my own hours, not have to actually sell anything, like on Ebay, home school my kids and travel with my family. That pretty much narrowed things down to online stock trading…which I did for a while and lost money, and building a website and promoting products and services that someone else would mail out and take all the responsibility for.

I quit my day job, which is funny because I was the owner of a family auto repair shop in Houston TX that my grandfather started in 1937. I left the company and my father came out of retirement to take over. I knew nothing about the Internet and how to build a website or what and how to sell online, but I was determined and that is all that mattered.

I sat down at my computer and started to learn HTML, SEO stuff, link building skills, how to get listed in top positions in the search engines, how to become an affiliate for other web marketers etc. etc. etc. It took me about a year to really get everything under my belt…but I did EVERYTHING myself which I do NOT recommend. There are tons of places online now that can show you how to build a site, find products and start promoting them very quickly.

I had no idea what an affiliate marketer was so I had to start from scratch, and I was afraid to spend money on education, so it took me a longer time than it should have to get up and running and making a profit.

Q. If you don’t mind sharing, could you let us know what are the favorite sites you work on and why?

A. Sure, I have a direct relationship with an auto insurance company and they are my top revenue producer for me. Google adsense is my second largest revenue producer, then Alldata which is an online auto repair manual program that pays me per new subscriber. Clearly Adsense is the easiest and fastest to implement, but the days of large per click pay outs might be gone.

A year ago there where many, many marketers that were making $10,000 + a month easily with Adsense. I personally know of a handful of marketers that were making well over $50,000 a month JUST in Adsense.

If you can get a direct relationship with an advertiser, you will probably get more money and have more access to statistics and banners etc. than if you used a third party provider like http://www.cj.com which I still use, but look for a direct advertiser first. If you have a quality site, generate a fair amount of traffic and can prove to be worth the extra effort for the advertiser…you should not have a problem asking the advertiser directly.

Q. From the polls I have run on this blog, one of the top questions people have about Internet Marketing is “How do I get more traffic to my website?” Can you give us a brief description of one of your favorite methods to generate traffic to your site?

A. Hands down, KEYWORD RESEARCH! Most site owners make sites and post to their blogs about topics that they as the site owner THINK are of interest to the reader. I do things backwards. I do my keyword research FIRST, find the most traffic for the search term, then I will Google the actual keyword phrase to check out my competition.

I want to get on the top 10 on the first page…or I won’t waste my time making the webpage. So, an example would be the phrase “New Jersey Auto Insurance” and according to http://www.goodkeywords.com using the Overture search engine I see the search volume for that phrase just last month and just on the Overture search engine had about 1059 searches. Now that is JUST Overture, so I take that number and multiple by 5 to include the other top search engines Like Google, Yahoo and MSN ( I count Google twice because of its large search size). So in this example I can estimate about 5500 monthly searches or about 180 daily searches for the phrase “New Jersey Auto Insurance” .

Now I will take the phrase “New Jersey Auto Insurance” and do a Google search to look at my competition. I am looking to see how many sites are Top Level sites, meaning the main page of the site is what Google returned. i.e. http://www.trustmymechanic.com is the top level and www.trustmymechanic.com/newjersey_auto_insurance.html is a secondary page within the site.

If the top 10 competitors are all top level sites…my chances of beating them from my secondary page is going to be very tough, and I would look for other keyword phrases to compete against.

Now, if you did the Google search for New Jersey Auto Insurance, you probably found my page http://www.trustmymechanic.com/newjersey_auto_insurance.html and if you noticed the title of the page, not the title of the article on the page….the actual title of the page you can see what other keywords I am targeting and how I used them in my title so it still reads well, but will pick up on all the varieties of the phrase I wanted to target. Which are

· NJ car insurance

· NJ auto insurance

· New Jersey Car Insurance

· Car insurance NJ

· Auto insurance NJ

If you add up all the potential free search traffic from those keyword phrases it is well over 10,000 monthly potential visitors from those searches. My page http://www.trustmymechanic.com/newjersey_auto_insurance.html gets returned on Google using many of those phrases because I themed the page correctly for each phrase AND I have links from other websites linking to that page using those phrases in the anchor text. The anchor text is what the visitor clicks on, like “Click Here” except I get my link partners to link to that page with “NJ Car insurance” which in turn gives me link popularity credit on the search engines. The more links I can get pointing to that page…the higher the search results I will go.

So the moral to the story is that ONE page on my site http://www.trustmymechanic.com/newjersey_auto_insurance.html is now getting listed in the top 10 results on the first page in the major search engines AND is making money. Incidentally I made that page about 2 years ago doing my keyword research I found that most major auto insurance companies DID NOT write policies in NJ. There is some whacky law that the big insurance companies don’t like, so they just don’t write auto insurance policies in NJ. I got on the phone, and spent days on the internet tying to find an advertiser that WOULD accept NJ traffic and built a relationship with them.

Keyword research is tricky and time consuming, but if you do it right….you will be rewarded handsomely. Don’t forget misspellings in your keyword research….I would bet more than 30% of the search volume contains a misspelling. I purposely add the misspelling and the proper spelling within the articles like this popular page on my site http://myhonestmechanic.com/articles/pontiac-soltice.shtml

I went to the Houston car show early this year and took my own pictures and made my own car review from all the free literature they pass out. You would not believe how many new vehicles that are coming on the market that are prime candidate for misspellings. Think about the visitor and how they might misspell the words you are trying to target. According to the Goodkeywords.com program almost 200 people using Overture last month searched for “break pad” instead of brake pad. 130 searched for nsurance instead of insurance….take these search volume numbers and multiple by 5 to represent the other engines and you can easily see a LARGE amount of easy search traffic that can be picked up utilizing the same articles on your site..

Q. Another thing people always seem to want to know how to do better is monetizing their site. Could you tell us about one of your best money making techniques?

A. From what I see, most webmasters make it too difficult for the visitor to take the action the site owner wants them to do. If you want me to enter my zip code and get a free online auto insurance quote, tell me that upfront on the center of the page…get my attention, make a compelling reason WHY I should get a quote in the first place and why should I get it from YOUR site? Don’t be afraid to be a little pushy. People read a webpage very quickly usually just skimming the content of the page looking for the information they typed in the search engine….make it easy for them.

Back to the NJ auto insurance page from above, look at the page text…I reinforce the same keywords you used to get to the page via Google…it’s my page title with a BIG testimonial from me telling you why you should get a quote from my site and all the reasons why I made the page in the first place….to HELP you find good insurance, because I have already done my research and can save you lots of time and frustration. Bulleted lists work very very well!!

If you have an affiliate program that will allow incentives ( you will give the visitor something in exchange for them doing something for you) then you should make your incentive offer irresistible to the visitor, and your incentive offer must be something they visitor will perceive as valuable and worth their time and effort. Like on my NJ auto insurance page, I will give a free copy of my ebook explaining how they can lower their car repair expenses….its something that is on the same lines as lowering their auto insurance…so the visitor sees value there and takes me up on my offer.

Here are a few good places to find incentive allowable affiliate programs, http://www.modernclick.com (owned by a friend of mine) and http://www.bulletads.com among many other affiliate programs you can Google to locate.

Q. You mentioned to me that you have tons of Internet Marketing products. What is your favorite one? Knowing what you know now, would you have bought as many products as you did or would you have different buying habits?

A. I think I learned the most from Brad Fallon and Andy Jenkins, both are super nice and very knowledgeable guys. Here is their latest venture http://www.instantseoexpert.com/ which QUICKLY sold out. The offer lots of really great info for free! I still buy online marketing ebooks all the time, I want to stay on top of what others are doing and if I can learn just one new idea from a $97 ebook…its more than worth it to me. There are lot of SEO tricks out there, but to be totally honest….keyword research, having good unique content, getting inbound links to your page from other quality sites AND having an affiliate program that will convert visitors to customers is 95% of the game.

Q. If you could only give one piece of advice to someone just starting out in Internet Marketing, what would it be?

A. Find your niche, do your keyword research and consistently add great unique content to your site on a daily basis. The visitors will bookmark your site, tell their friends about you and others will begin to find your site valuable as well. I am giving a BBC radio interview later today, they found me via a Google search and from a recommendation of a listener of their show. If your site helps the visitor…you will be successful.

Q. What do you consider to be the most important thing you have done to increase your online income?

Without a doubt, taking the time to do my keyword research BEFORE I make a new website or even a new page on my websites.

Q. Are there any other things you would like to tell someone just starting out?

Find someone in your area who is making money online whom you can meet with on a regular basis for lunch to discuss new ideas, get your ideas and sites critiqued. You can find people online on the webmaster forum boards pretty easily. I would also spend the money and the effort to go to a few SEO seminars like the http://bigseminar.com/ and http://bradfallon.com/. I have been to both of them and have met and interacted with both marketers…..and learned A LOT from them in a short period of time. Don’t be afraid to ask other marketers. I visit a lot of SEO seminars and trade shows and I ALWAYS hand out lots of my business cards with my email and website address. You never know who you will run into and how it can benefit you later on down the road.

Things you have to look forward to reading on this blog

November 21, 2006

I thought that going into this holiday weekend I would share some of the things I have planned for you in the next several months.

First of all, I wanted to let you know that I will be doing an interview of someone I recently met, who earns his living from Internet Marketing. He has been working entirely from home for a while. I know he has some really good information to share. (ps. he doesn’t make all his money from Adsense).

I am also working on writing a series of posts on affiliate marketing. This will primarily be geared towards beginner and Intermediate affiliate marketers. This should be very helpful for those looking for new ways to monetize their blogs and websites.

Also, I have quite a bit to discuss about some of the things I am doing business wise.

Lastly, I wanted to end by wishing everyone in the States a Happy Thanksgiving holiday.

Now, I am off to go write my newsletter for November. See ya after the break…

Internet Marketing is NOT DEAD!

November 14, 2006

Just so you know, I really like Mike Filsaime’s new free ebook.

However, I think the title is misleading. Obviously, Internet Marketing is NOT dead. If it were then Mike would be quitting and he is not.

There is a ton of money to be made on the net with all kinds of sites (blogs, wikis, forums, download sites, affiliate marketing, Adsense, ebooks, services, copywriting, seo, web design, software, games, membership sites, Internet Marketing, drop shipping, etc). There are all kinds of statistics out there about how fast the Internet is growing and how much money consumers will spend on the net.

So if you are trying to make money online, don’t worry. There is plenty of money to be made on the web and just like Google Adsense, Internet Marketing is NOT DEAD!

I just wanted to make sure I was clear about that.

That said, “The Death of Internet Marketing” is still a good read.

Another Death of Book?

November 12, 2006

I didn’t mention the death of Adsense book when I first heard about it, because

A. I was too busy with my 9-5 job.
B. I knew Adsense wasn’t dead.

There is a new “Death of…” book out called “The Death of Internet Marketing” by Mike Filsaime.

I just downloaded the ebook and I will let you know what I think of it later in the week. If you haven’t arleady seen “The Death of Internet Marketing”, I strongly suggest you go take a look at it. It’s free and you can make money from it by getting others to download it.

The timing of it’s release is kind of interesting, because I am working on a series of posts on Affiliate Marketing. One of the posts I have almost completed is about pay per action/pay per lead affiliate programs like “The Death of Internet Marketing”.

Anyway, you can click here to go download Mike Filsaime’s free ebook now.

Jill has a new blog – Natural Product Reviews!

November 6, 2006

This weekend I set up a new blog for my wife Jill and her friend Laura called Natural Product Reviews.

I have been putting this off for at least 6 months, but it didn’t take long at all to set up. Jill bought the wordpress template for their blog from template monster. It’s really nice and professional looking. We were originally going to try a free template, but we stumbled across the paid templates and decided to go with one of them. I made a few changes to it and have a few more changes left to make.

I think in the long term it will be a really good blog for Jill and Laura, because using natrual products is something they both have a big interest in. Also, they are both very passionate about using natural products, so their passion will show up in their blog posts.

Another good thing about their new blog is that it is a more focused niche than Natural Family News, which I think will make it easier for them to get regular readers.

Also, it should not be too hard for them to establish some initial traffic to the site. So many of our friends are also into natural products, which will give them some good word of mouth traffic to the blog. Plus, Jill and Laura already have a small community built up with their Natural Family News blog, most of whom will be interested in their new blog as well.

The last thing I wanted to say about their new blog is that at this point it is monetized with Adsense only, but once it is established they may find other ways to monetize it.

Where Oh Where Should my Google Ads Go?

November 1, 2006

I have been having an interesting discussion in the comments for this post on Blog the Internet.

We are having a disagreement on the placement of advertising on blogs and websites.

As I stated in the comments, the thing that annoys me the most are ads that are placed in the middle of an article. Vexation from peevelog likes the ads in the middle of articles. Gary from Blog the Internet hates ads at the top of articles. I have run across some people who hate ALL ads.

That’s one of the problems with advertising in general. Nobody really wants to look at a lot of it, we all have our limits and preferences regarding how advertising is handled, but without it how do businesses make money?

From my personal testing, ads at the top of articles pay me the most money. This is why I currently place ads in the top of my posts using the java script I developed a while back.

So what do you think? Does it matter to you where the ads are placed?

Go vote on my new poll.

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