Learn SEO and Make Money Online

I wouldn’t call myself a search engine optimization (SEO) expert. I don’t study Google’s algorithms on a daily basis. I don’t even calculate my keyword density, for those who know what that is. But, I do know the basics and I know how to get a website to the first page of Google, Yahoo and Bing. If you’re interested in getting free website traffic, consider these SEO tips.

WHAT IS SEO?

Search engine optimization is creating and maintaining your website so that it will show up in search engine results, such as Google, Yahoo and Bing. You have to remember that everything in the SEO world is based on keywords and keyword phrases.

Keywords are words or phrases that people type into search engines to find websites. For example, if I want to buy a tennis racket, I might go to Google and type in “best tennis racket.” That is a keyword phrase and as a website owner, you need to target good keywords relevant to your market.

ON-PAGE SEO

Everything you do to your website to help rank well in search engine results is often referred to as on-page SEO. Arguably, off-page SEO is more important but when it comes to SEO, every little bit helps. If you get your on-page SEO right, your off-page SEO work will be much more effective.

Domain Name

The domain name for your website is the first thing you need to consider. Without going into great detail, having your domain name as your exact keyword phrase is very helpful. Many keyword phrases are unavailable as .com, .net or .org. There are many top level domains to choose from, but in my experience, it is easier to rank using .com, .org, and .net.

If you can’t get the exact keyword phrase in your domain, add a word to it, or at least use part of your keyword phrase. For example, http://superbadinternetmarketing.com includes internet marketing, I just added Superbad. If you have a long keyword phrase, or you’re wondering whether to add a hyphen between words, check out this article on how to choose the best domain name.

One last thing about domain names. If you haven’t purchased a domain name yet, consider buying your domain for as long as you can, like 2-5 years. Google actually looks at how old the domain is and how long the domain is registered for. If you have a brand new domain name that’s only registered for 1 year, it may take a bit longer to get your website on the first page of search results. It’s one more factor to consider.

Title of Your Website

After choosing a proper domain name, you need to put your keyword phrase in the title of your website. The title of your website is listed in search results and it shows up at the top of the browser when someone is viewing your page. You need to use your keyword phrase so people can find your website when they type in your keyword. If you name your website Smith and Company, that won’t help people find you when they type in whatever product or service you’re selling.

One thing you must understand is that search engines rank pages, not websites. That means you might have one page of your website that shows up for a specific keyword because that page is optimized for a specific keyword phrase. Every single page of your website can have a separate title and target a different keyword, if that’s your business model. If you have a website built on a blog platform, every post is a different page, and you should choose good keywords every time you write an article or create a post.

Meta Description

The meta description for your website is what shows up in search results beneath the title of your website. Search engines don’t always use your meta description, but if it’s accurate, helpful and relevant, they probably will. Use your keyword phrase and any related phrases in your meta description.

Don’t forget, there are two reasons to have a good meta description. First, it can help you for SEO purposes. Second, it’s what people read if your website comes up in search results, so you need to convince them to visit your website. Don’t just throw a bunch of keywords up, that looks too spammy. Tell potential visitors why they should go to your website and use good keywords.

Titles

If you have a blog format website or you use titles on your pages, you should consider using keyword phrases for those titles. However, always create your content for your readers first, search engines second. It doesn’t matter if you have a perfectly optimized site if it looks like someone threw up (literally) a bunch of keyword phrases when visitors try to read your website. Use keywords in the titles when it makes sense to do so.

For blog posts, you should not only make sure that you use keywords in your titles, but you need to set up your website so that the domain name of every page is the title of that page and the domain. In other words, you need to change your permalink structure.

In WordPress, you can do that by going to Settings, Permalinks and click on Custom Structure and type in “/%postname%/” without the quote marks. You can also use month and name, or day and name, if you want. Just be sure the name of the post is in the domain and title of your page.

Content

Of course, you need to use your keyword phrases within the content on your website. Some people recommend that you should actually use the keyword once per every hundred words, or some variation of that. That is referred to as keyword density. I write for people and when it makes sense to use keywords, I use them. When you start writing for keyword density, it looks spammy and the content usually sucks. Don’t over-think this one.

In addition to your keyword phrase, search engine robots expect to see synonyms and related keywords. For example, if your website is about how to make money online, Google might expect to see related words, like “blogging,” or “internet marketing.” Use the Google Keyword Tool to find related phrases or the Google Wonder Wheel, and Related Searches tool, which are both found on the left sidebar of Google search results.

Other SEO Tips

If you have a blog, you will have the option to choose a category and add tags. You should definitely choose appropriate categories, with relevant keywords. You should also add a few relevant tags to each post. Don’t get carried away with the tags, otherwise it starts to look spammy to people and search engine robots.

If you have images on your website, you should use keyword phrases in the alt description. When you add a photo to your web page, you will usually have the option to add a description or title. Search engine robots can’t read images but they can read the alt description of your photo so use a keyword in the description if you can.

The quality of your content plays a role in your search engine rankings. While Google robots can’t actually read and judge the quality of your content, they do use other methods to determine the quality of your content.

Keyword stuffing is typing a bunch of keywords into the content so that you rank higher in the search results. Google can tell if you keyword stuff. If you do that, Google will likely recognize it and treat your website accordingly.

Google really wants to provide good, relevant search results for their users. When people visit your website and immediately click back to the search results without clicking anything or staying for any length of time (referred to as a “bounce”), that means that your website is not providing users with what they’re looking for. If you steal duplicate content and put it on your website, Google will likely recognize that. The point here is, if your website is no good, it won’t do very well in search results for any extended period of time. Create a website that provides people with what they’re looking for.

OFF-PAGE SEO

Off-page SEO is everything that you do outside of your website that helps your web pages rank well in search results. Off-page SEO is what gives your website authority and credibility with the search engines. The main method used is obtaining backlinks. There are plenty of other methods for getting traffic to your website, but creating backlinks is what will help get your web page ranked with the search engines.

Backlinks

Backlinks are links on other websites that link to your website. So, if the New York Times posts an article about how amazing your company is and includes a link to your website, that’s a backlink. The more backlinks you get, the more important your website appears in the eyes of search engine robots. Every backlink is essentially a vote for your website. But, all votes are not equal.

PageRank

PageRank is a system developed by Google for ranking the importance of websites. The scale goes from 0 to 10, with 10 being the most important websites and 0 being the least important. You can determine the PageRank of any website with tools, such as the Google Toolbar or the toolbar at SEO Book. PageRank is only one factor that Google takes into consideration when determining search results for any given keyword, so don’t obsess over it.

When it comes to backlinks, getting a backlink from a web page with a high PageRank is better than a backlink from a low PageRank website. The higher the PageRank, the more “link juice” a web page will carry. In other words, important websites, according to Google, have more “voting power” than other websites. It’s not difficult to see that a backlink from the New York Times should carry more weight than a backlink from your friend’s blog that has virtually no traffic whatsoever. You may not be able to right away, but you should try to get backlinks from websites with high PageRank.

Relevant Websites

Let’s assume you have a website that sells clothing for cats and you’re trying to get backlinks. So, you ask your aunt to put a link to your website on her real estate website. While all links help, a link from relevant websites carry more weight than websites that are totally unrelated. If you got backlinks from your local pet shelter, or a pet store, that would make more sense for a clothing for cats website.

When Google indexes your website for cat clothing, it doesn’t make sense when the search engine robots crawl a real estate website and find a link to a cat clothing website. Not only that, but your goal should be to get targeted traffic to your website. Targeted traffic means people that are actually interested in buying cat clothing, not people looking for real estate.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the text actually used to create the backlink. You could use the url, you could use the name of the website, you could use “click here,” or you could use keywords. Guess which one is the best? Yes, keywords.

When you use keywords to create backlinks, you are telling the search engines what your website is about. If search engine robots come across links everywhere using “make money online” as the anchor text, with links back to your website, it helps them recognize that your website is relevant to the phrase “make money online.” Any link is good but a backlink with your keyword phrase as the anchor text is the most valuable.

SUMMARY

If you understand the SEO basics above, you have enough knowledge to succeed online. Yes, there is more to SEO that I haven’t covered, but nothing that will keep you from getting on the first page of Google search results. If you choose the right keywords, use the tips above and build backlinks on a regular basis, your website will be on the first page of Google search results before you know it.

Check out this article if you want to learn more ways to get website traffic.

Internet Marketing Strategies to Keep You Organized

Being successful in internet marketing takes many skills.  One crucial skill is the ability to stay organized.  Good organizational skills are important in any profession but even more so in internet marketing because in many cases, your efforts today don’t always pay off immediately.  It takes discipline to work every day for a month or more, knowing that your work might not bring in revenue for another month or so.

Being organized also means spending time on the things that matter most; things that will bring in revenue.  You can tweak your website for two weeks straight, but that’s not going to generate traffic and you won’t be making any money.  Good organizational skills help internet marketers stay focused and efficient.

PRIORITIZING

One of the many things that contributes to failure in the internet marketing world is the inability to prioritize your tasks on a day to day basis.  It’s so easy to get distracted or overwhelmed by things that are not important, that many people don’t ever get started.  The ones that do get started get discouraged because they measure their success based on the wrong things.  The solution is to prioritize.

I’m a big fan of the Pareto Principle.  The Pareto Principle essentially says that 20% of our actions are responsible for 80% of the results.  If you drop the 80% of things that don’t really matter, you will be much more focused and you will achieve nearly the same results.  In other words, stop checking emails, stop checking accounts, stop tweaking your website design, stop reading and stop worrying about what might happen if it doesn’t work out.

Focus on the things that will actually bring traffic or revenue, before you do anything else.  Finish the most important tasks first.  Dedicate 80%-90% of your time to  those tasks.  If you still have time, then you can spend a little time doing the other things.  For most people starting out in internet marketing, the important things include creating content, writing articles, and getting backlinks.  The majority of your time should be spent on those tasks.  As your business grows, adjust accordingly.

GOALS

Your business goals are very important and should be written down and monitored.  I know everyone has financial goals, but you can’t directly control how much revenue you make.  Because you can’t control it, it’s not always best to measure your immediate success by revenue.  However, you can control the things that will generate revenue, such as words published, articles written, backlinks created, etc.

When you set your goals based on things that you can’t control, you set yourself up for failure.  For example, if you set a goal to earn $1,000.00 per month within 3 months, what happens if you don’t make the $1,000.00?  Then, you realize you failed to achieve your goal, you get discouraged and stop working on your website.

On the other hand, if you set goals based on things that you can control, such as number of quality backlinks, you will be able to see your progress and achieve your goals.  For example, set a goal of creating 60 backlinks by the end of the month.  If you write two articles every day and submit them to various resources, your backlinks will increase the authority of your website, and you will see your website move up in search engine results.

You may not make money right away, but you can see that you are making progress because your backlinks will increase, traffic will slowly start to come your way, your website will creep up in search results, and you can achieve your goals on a regular basis.  Of course, the money will soon follow, but the money is a result of the actions you take.

KEYWORDS

Even though different people have different methods for staying organized, it’s important for everyone to keep track of their keywords.  Keywords are the heart and soul of internet marketing.  If you don’t know how to target the best keywords, check out this article on choosing keywords.

The best way to keep track of your keywords are to keep them in spreadsheets.  If you use the Google Keyword Tool, then you know that you simply export your keyword lists into a spreadsheet format and save it on your hard drive.  Spreadsheets aren’t the only way to track your keywords, but it helps to keep things organized and you can easily sort the results any way you want.

BACKLINKS

It’s also important to keep track of your backlinks.  It’s important so that you know how many backlinks you have linking to every article, web page, or blog post, and it’s important to know what anchor text you used to create that backlink.  Anchor text is the actual words, or text, that you use when creating the link.  The best link is one that uses your keyword phrase to create the link.

Again, spreadsheets are very useful for tracking your backlinks, anchor text and keywords.  Every webpage or blog post you create should target a specific keyword phrase or set of keywords.  That information needs to go in your spreadsheet.  Every backlink you create should be listed under the appropriate web page, along with the anchor text used, whether it’s your url or the keyword phrase.

Don’t make the spreadsheet complicated or you’ll never use it.  Copying and pasting works just fine.  The whole purpose is so you can track the keyword phrases you use and make sure that they’re getting the proper results.  When you find something that works very well, you can go to your spreadsheet and duplicate the process.  If something is not working, you can look at the spreadsheet and determine what the problem might be.

ARTICLES

This may be a no-brainer, but you should keep all of your content and articles saved in a file.  You should keep them in case something goes wrong and you need to reproduce the content or articles.  And, you should keep them so you can use them for future reference and track how much you’ve written.

ANALYTICS

If you are going to succeed in internet marketing, you need to monitor your websites with some sort of analytics program.  Of course, Google offers free analytics tools, including Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools.  When you use these tools, in conjunction with the resources above, you will learn from experience.  The more you do, the more you will see what works and what doesn’t work.

If you don’t keep track of your information, and you don’t stay organized, it’s much more likely that you will get discouraged and quit when you don’t see results.  The whole purpose of staying organized and tracking your information is to build a successful business online.  Your spreadsheets and your analytics tools will show you the best direction for your website.  In time, you will be able to quickly determine what it takes to generate traffic for your website and how to monetize that traffic.

STAYING ORGANIZED

Whatever method you use to stay organized, you need to create measurable goals that  are within your control, and prioritize your day to day tasks by working on the most important things first (i.e., things that will create traffic and/or revenue).  Keep your spreadsheets simple or you won’t use them.  It’s better to use something very simple to stay organized rather than not using anything at all.  Stay focused and organized, and you will find success online.

Learn Internet Marketing and Make Money Online Fast

If you want to make money online, you need to understand the basics of internet marketing. You need to build a strong foundation. There are a lot of different elements involved in internet marketing and if you want to succeed, learn the basics first. To help you see the big picture, here is a brief guide outlining the process of how to make money online.

EDUCATE YOURSELF

You need to learn the fundamentals of internet marketing before you get started. Keep in mind that learning will be an ongoing responsibility as long as you’re involved in internet marketing. It’s no different than any other profession when it comes to learning. If you want to be good at something, you need to stay on top of the latest trends, techniques and methods.

If you learn the fundamentals in the very beginning, you’ll be much more likely to succeed. Of course, you could always learn the hard way, by trial and error, but if you want to make money sooner rather than later, you should build a strong foundation to work from. If you want to try new things and experiment after you’ve built a strong foundation, then you can do that. But, no matter what, you will always be able to fall back on the techniques that you know will work.

One thing you need to be aware of is that you can spend too much time learning in the beginning.  There is a lot of information available to learn internet marketing.  That flow of information will never end.  There is always a new product claiming to be the best product in the world that will solve all of your problems and create instant wealth with no effort.  Don’t believe the hype and don’t get stuck in a pattern of constantly learning instead of doing.

Once you have a good understanding of how things work, then take action.

Three learning resources you might want to check out.

ADOPT THE PROPER MINDSET

If you want to make money online, treat it like a business. Too many people treat their online venture like it’s just a hobby. When you treat it like a hobby, it’s much easier to skip the work, or complete your tasks when you want to. There’s no sense of urgency.

Internet marketing requires that you accomplish your tasks on a regular basis. If you don’t take the proper action daily, you won’t get the results that you want. That’s why you need to understand that your online venture is a business, and it is CRUCIAL to your success to do the work every day, whether you feel like it or not. If you do, you can create a steady stream of income for the rest of your life.

GET ORGANIZED

This step can really make or break you. So many people become overwhelmed when they first get into internet marketing because there is a ton of information available, and there are a lot of different opinions on what is the best way to apply that information. That’s why you need to get organized and focus on the things that will start earning you revenue.

Good organization helps you stay focused. You need to create a good system to keep track of all of your information, such as websites, website hosts, affiliate links, email addresses, products, resources, articles, links, passwords, lists, advertisements and much more.  In addition, you need to keep track of your keywords and your backlinks. Spreadsheets are a very effective way of tracking this information.

It’s important to keep track of this information so you can analyze the information and improve the effectiveness of your campaigns, and it’s important to measure your results. But, be sure to spend 80% to 90% of your time on tasks that will generate revenue.  When you complete those tasks for the day, that’s when you can learn, read, analyze your stats, or tweak your website.  Make sure you complete your most important tasks first.

CHOOSE GOOD KEYWORDS

Keywords are words, or phrases, that people type into search engines to find relevant information. Choosing the right keyword can mean the difference between getting on Google’s first page of search results in a month versus a year. There is a big difference between keywords and the amount of work required to get on the first page of Google for competitive keywords and keywords that are not so competitive.

The importance of keywords doesn’t end when you choose the keywords you want to target. Every post you make, every article you write, every link you make should be based on keywords. If you are not using keywords properly, then there is no point in creating any content at all. Everything you do should be based on proper keywords with the ultimate goal of strengthening your websites and bringing in traffic.  For finding good keywords, go straight to the source – Google Keyword Tool.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION

Search engine optimization (SEO) and keywords go hand in hand. SEO is really the strategic use of keywords to improve your website’s chances of appearing on the first page of search results for relevant keywords. When you appear at the top of search results, you get free traffic, and free traffic can generate lots of revenue.

You can break down SEO into “on-page optimization” (what goes on your website) and “off-page optimization” (everything outside of your website). Off-page optimization is much more important and consists of primarily backlinks and other methods for generating traffic. Once you create your website, the majority of your time should be spent on methods for generating traffic and promoting your website using proper SEO techniques.

WEB DEVELOPMENT

After you’ve chosen your keywords and you have a good understanding of SEO, then it’s time to put up your website and start building backlinks. Choose a domain name with your keyword in it, if possible. Use your keyword as the title of your website, if it makes sense to do so. Create high-quality, interesting content for your website and start building backlinks.

If you don’t have any web developer skills, it doesn’t matter. Use WordPress to build your website. WordPress is better for SEO than a static website and it’s so simple to install, customize and maintain, that anyone can do it.  If you don’t want a blog format, that’s okay too. You can use a static page as your home page and create a single page or multi-page website.  This step should be pretty quick, depending on what type of website your building,

Creating high-quality content will take much more time than installing and setting up the website. Check out this video tutorial, if you want to learn how to install WordPress.

If you need to get a domain name and website host, check out the links below.

 

GET TRAFFIC

This is the step where most people trying to make money online fail. Getting traffic can be a challenge, especially if you’re targeting very competitive keywords. You have to understand that billions of dollars in sales are generated through the internet every year. When you have that much money at stake, there are companies willing to pay teams of employees to help them rank number one for specific keywords. Choose the keywords that are best suited for achieving your goals, while considering the competition.

There are lots of different methods for building traffic. One of the most common methods is to build backlinks by writing articles and publishing them on article directory websites. This method can generate traffic from people who click on your link at the end of the article, and it can increase your chances of appearing in search results by strengthening the authority of your website, in the eyes of Google.

In addition to article marketing, you can promote your website from email marketing. Email marketing is developing a list of subscribers that are interested in the topic of your website and then emailing them helpful information, offers, or newsletters from time to time. Having an email list is a very important internet marketing tool that can increase your revenue significantly over time.  If you want to develop an email marketing campaign, and automate the whole process, check out AWeber.  AWeber is one of the top providers of email marketing services.

When it comes to generating traffic, you are limited only by your imagination. Many people use social media, forums, blogs, hubspots. squidoo, ehow, and many other sources for building backlinks and trying to promote their websites. When you reach this stage in the internet marketing process, you need to spend 80% to 90% of your time on creating content and building backlinks. If you don’t have time, then pay someone to do it for you. Just make sure it gets completed every single day.

MONETIZE YOUR WEBSITE

Traffic is only good for an internet business if you can make money from that traffic. That’s where monetization comes in. Depending on your business model, there are numerous ways to make money from your website.
One of the easiest ways to make money online fast is through Google AdSense. Google AdSense is the advertising system developed by Google. You simply sign up, copy some code, and paste it where you want it to appear on your website. The ads are automatically generated to match the content on your website. Every time someone clicks on an ad, you earn money. AdSense is easy to use, but it’s not always the most lucrative way to earn money from your website.

Another way to make money online is to sell affiliate products. Affiliate products are products that you promote, but someone else has created. When a sale is made, through your website or affiliate link, you receive a commission. Affiliate products can be information products, such as eBooks, or physical products from Amazon or eBay.

Of course, the best way to make money online is to create your own product. When you sell a product that you created, you get 100% of the revenue. In addition, you can make your product available to other people (affiliates) and have them promote your product too.  Of course, you will have to pay them a commission, but consider it money that you wouldn’t have had in the first place.

SUMMARY

Internet Marketing can be lucrative but not if you don’t understand the basics. That’s why I always stress the importance of learning the fundamentals. You can always try new things to improve your websites and your business, but when you have the fundamentals to fall back on, it makes the process much easier. If you don’t understand the basics, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

1. EDUCATE YOURSELF
2. ADOPT THE PROPER MINDSET
3. GET ORGANIZED
4. CHOOSE GOOD KEYWORDS
5. SEO
6. WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
7. GET TRAFFIC
8. MONETIZE YOUR WEBSITE

Is Content King?

If you believe the rhetoric from Google reps, you probably believe that content is really important for online success.  Many online marketing courses skip right over the subject.  Yes, you need content, but why?  Well, let’s take a closer look at content and why we need it. Content is king…

Content For Your Website

First and foremost, you need content for your website.  This content is very important because visitors to your website will judge you based on the quality of the content.  If you throw up something with no thought whatsoever, it can turn potential clients away.

It doesn’t matter if you have an e-commerce site or a consulting business, the content on your site is an opportunity to stand out and capture attention from your visitors.  If you think an “About” page doesn’t matter, you’re wrong.  People love to find out who’s behind the website.  Creating a unique “About” page is an opportunity to showcase your unique brand.

Content For Products

If you run an e-commerce site, do you use the same boring descriptions everyone else does?  If you do, you’re missing another opportunity.  Be creative, be original, be funny, be something other than just like everyone else.

Do you create information products?  Do you create sales pages for affiliate products?  If you do, I hope you know that creating crappy, run-of-the-mill products is not a long-term strategy.  You need to create mind-blowing content that will keep your customers coming back time and time again.

Content For Email Marketing

If you don’t have an email marketing program, you’re missing out on yet another opportunity.  Email marketing is consistently regarded as one of the most profitable methods for businesses.

If you spend the time to create value through your email marketing campaign, you will consistently get repeat business.  If you run a half-ass, spammy email campaign, you could possibly destroy your reputation.

Content For Search Engine Optimization

Not everyone performs SEO, but if you have an online business, it can definitely help you.  If you’re gonna do SEO the right way, you need content.  Content is important for article marketing so you can obtain backlinks.  The more backlinks you can get, the more free traffic you’ll end up getting from search engines.

Content For Guest Posting

A common method for gaining visitors to your website, building your authority, SEO, and attracting more customers is guest posting.  Guest posting is writing an article and posting it on another website, so you can provide value for their readers and potentially direct some of those readers to your website.

You don’t have to guest post online, you can write articles for magazines, professional journals or newspapers.  Of course, you want to maximize exposure for your brand, but regardless of where you post the content, you need to create amazing, unique content that showcases your talent.

Additional Content

In addition to the areas above, you probably need even more content, depending on the depth of your marketing model.  If you use social media, you need content.  Yes, social media is more about connecting and being a part of the conversation, but you need to bring something unique to the conversation.  If you have nothing to talk about, social media is probably not for you.

If you want to be a part of the 21st Century, you might want to create videos as part of your marketing campaigns.  That means, more content, more ideas, more opportunities for connecting with your market.

There are different types of businesses and different needs for content.  Whatever your business model is, it’s pretty clear that you’ll need some sort of content.  Slick sales pages might give you short-term success but a high-quality, consistent message is essential for building a long-term successful business.

What Is Good Content?

This is a question that really deserves an answer more than a few paragraphs.  Hell, people have written books on the subject and even that doesn’t do it justice.

In a lot of ways, good content is subjective.  It’s hard to pinpoint what makes content good because there are a lot of different scenarios, circumstances, topics, etc.  But, there are a few principles that always seem to dominate when it comes to good content.

Solve problems.  If you know your market well, you know what problems they face.  Good content solves those problems.  If they want to know how to get visitors to their website, show them how to get more visitors.  Teach them a new technique.  Help them solve their problem.

Add value.  Does your content provide value for the reader?  Are you giving them information that they don’t already know?  Is your content unique or is it regurgitated info that everyone else has written about?  Be original and provide value.

Be entertaining.  Writing is different on the internet compared to a professional journal.  Attention spans are short and you need to get to the point AND be entertaining.  Humor helps.  Interesting stories help.  A unique writing style helps.  Find some of your favorite articles and take a look at why you like them so much.  Then, implement those techniques into your writing style.

Be original.  Sometimes, we get so caught up in what everyone else is doing, we forget to think about new and innovative ways of doing things.  If you want to stand out, be unique.  Develop your own methods and show people why they’re better.  Become known as an innovator and this will provide a HUGE boost for your business.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to content.  It’s very clear that content really is king, even if the search engine results don’t always reflect that.  In the long run, your business will benefit from high-quality content, a consistent brand message, and a solid reputation.

Google Pagerank, SEO, Traffic and Your Website

I noticed that the Pagerank for Superbad Internet Marketing was recently increased from PR0 to PR1 in the last few days, so I wanted to discuss a few concepts when it comes to Pagerank (PR).

Most people in the world of internet marketing know that PR is a number from 0 to 10 assigned by Google. Some people obsess over the PR of their website and do everything they can to increase it (through SEO).

Google claims that it’s not very important, it’s just an indicator for internal ranking purposes (or something like that). I’m not gonna get into what PR is and all of that, but I do want to take a look at a few specific examples.

If you don’t know how to find the PR for any given website, you can install the Google Toolbar or the SEO Toolbar from SEO Book.  They’re both free.  After you get it installed, the little green bar indicates the PR when you hover your mouse over it.

Pagerank is not an indication of the quality of the website. For example, Harsh Agrawal, a blogger at ShoutMeLoud ran a little experiment.  He set up a WordPress website with no content, other than the title tag and the navigation menu.  He wanted to see if he could increase PR just through commenting on blogs.  It worked.  The blog, with no content, was increased to PR 3 within 7 months, just based on backlinks from comments.

Since the most recent Google PR update (January 2011), his experimental website has decreased from PR3 to PR1, but the case study is still very useful.  I believe he is going to develop the website into something soon, but if you want to see the website he used for the experiment.

Pagerank is not an indication of traffic.  The website in the experiment above had less than 50 visitors per month, so it certainly wasn’t an indication of traffic.  You might think that PR is an indication of number of backlinks.  Well, let’s take a look at another website.

First, let me just say that I don’t know the person associated with this website and I have no connection with them in anyway.  I came across this example in a forum and it kind of surprised me at the time.  This website is a PR3 and it has only 3 incoming links.

One link is from the forum referring to it, so it was a PR 3 before that.  Another link seems to be broken.  The other link is from a PR4 website.  I’m going to link to it here, so that will make it 4 links to the website.

There’s nothing special about that website.  It has 5 very short pages and that’s it.  I don’t imagine it gets very much traffic, if any.  It’s more of a general website for an accounting business in Australia.  One link from a PR4 website brought it up to a PR3.

So, what’s my point?

My point is focus on metrics that are important.  PR is not an indication of traffic, it’s not an indication of number of backlinks, and it’s certainly not an indication of revenue, which is important if you’re running a website to make money.  Spend time on things that you can control and let Google do what they want with their PR system.

Internet Marketing, Time Management and The Pareto Principle

When you work in front of your computer all day, it’s easy to get distracted. It’s especially easy to get distracted if you work at home using the internet.  You check your email, then you see a breaking news story, which leads you to a video, which leads you to another video, which leads you to an interesting website, and I think you get the picture.

If you work in internet marketing, you probably realize that sometimes the hard work that you put in today, won’t pay off until some time in the future.  For that reason, it’s even more important that internet marketers get focused and do what needs to be done on a regular basis.  Yes, I know, that’s easier said than done.  But, here are a few tips.

THE PARETO PRINCIPLE

Also known as the 80-20 principle, this theory essentially puts forth the idea that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  What does that mean?  It means that if you spend the large majority of your time on the 20% of tasks that really matter, the tasks that are crucial for bringing in revenue, then that will account for 80% of your results.

This is confusing to some people because it’s common to think that everything we do is important to our business. We need to check emails, design websites, read blogs, and come up with new ideas.  While that may be true, the reality is that the more time you spend on those activities, the less results you’ll see.  The theory states that 80% of your results will come from performing those 20% of tasks that are crucial to earning revenue.

PRIORITIZE

Although prioritizing might sound very similar to the 80-20 principle, it’s actually different.  Prioritizing comes into play after you’ve determined what 20% of tasks you should be working on.

Once you’ve determined what tasks are crucial for bringing in revenue – the 20% – then you need to put those things first, before you do anything else.  If you determine that creating backlinks is THE most important contributing factor to your financial success then that should be the first thing on your list for the day.  If creating content for your website is crucial for your business, then that needs to be right after backlinks.

It doesn’t matter whether you do internet marketing part-time or full-time.  Before you ever sit down to work, be sure that you know your priorities and you focus on those priorities first.  Allocate 80% to 90% of your time on those activities that really matter.  If you only have an hour to work, that means 48 to 54 minutes of work on the important tasks, and 6 to 12 minutes of emails, website design, and brainstorming.

FOCUS

This might seem obvious, but staying focused can be a challenge. There are so many distractions that can keep you from being productive, you might want to consider implementing some techniques to trick you into staying focused.

One very simple method is to put a time limit on your task.  If you have to write 3 articles in an hour, set your alarm for an hour and get typing.  If you really want to push yourself, you can try to beat your time every day.  If you finish in 45 minutes, shoot for 40 minutes the next time.

The key here is to keep your mind focused on what needs to be done and avoid the many tempting distractions.  It’s actually surprising how much work people can get done when they’re “in the zone.”  It usually happens on a Friday afternoon, at work, 100 things to finish before you can leave and go to your party.  That’s when people become hyper-focused and finish those 100 things in a record setting time.  If you know something that will get you “in the zone,” be sure to use it.

Stay focused on the things that will actually bring in revenue.  With targeted internet marketing that usually means creating content and developing backlinks.  Prioritize your tasks and focus 80 to 90 percent of your efforts on those tasks that really matter.  When you do, you’ll finally see the results that you deserve.

5 Ugly Truths About Success in Internet Marketing

A funny thing about internet marketing is that people think it’s an “easy” way to make money.  Why?  Because internet marketers sell it that way.

Visit an affiliate sales page and I’m sure you’ll see all the popular trigger words – INSTANT, FAST, AUTOMATED, PUSH-BUTTON, SECRETS REVEALED, AUTO-PILOT.  Throw in a couple of Clickbank screenshots along with a story about how they make money while they sleep and it’s a tempting offer.

Internet marketers sell it this way because it works.  People don’t always want to hear the truth.  They want easy.  They don’t want to buy something that tells them with hard work, long hours and a bit of luck you MIGHT succeed in 9 to 18 months.  Don’t believe me, try it yourself.

The truth is that once you succeed in internet marketing, it can be easy.  Things can be automated.  You can make money while you sleep.  The hard part is getting to that point.

If you want to SKYROCKET your chances of succeeding in internet marketing, develop the 5 qualities listed below.

BE LASER FOCUSED

How will you make money online?

If you can’t answer this question immediately, you’re in trouble.  If you want to build a business with a serious income, you better start treating it like a business.

It’s not a hobby.  It’s not something you’re trying out.  You are building a business and you need to treat it that way.  Yes, there are exceptions to the rule, but they are exceptions for a reason – they don’t happen very often.

Successful businesses have a clear focus.  Figure out what your business is all about and how you’re going to make money.  Ever consider a business plan?  You might want to.

What will people pay you for?  You have to give something of value in exchange for money.

What are you offering that people will be happy to give you money for?  And after they receive it, they feel like it was more than worth it.

There are a lot of different ways to make money online.  Are you going to set up a bunch of affiliate sites?  Are you going to offer consulting?  Are you going to start a blog?  How will you monetize the blog?  You need to think about these things from the very beginning.

The more focused you are, the more likely it is that you will succeed.  A lack of focus can lead to poor execution, and wasted resources.  If you’re all over the place with your ideas, how can you decide the best way to use your resources?  The more focused your business model is, the easier it will be to spend time on the things that will produce the best results.

SUCCESS IS YOUR ONLY OPTION

Building a business from scratch takes a lot of time, energy and resources.  If you don’t have a very high level of desire to make it work, it will be a challenge for you.

This is why so many people tell you to do what you love and figure out how to make money from it.  You need passion and desire to make a business work.  When you enjoy what you’re doing every day, that’s a very good incentive to make it work – so you can keep doing it.

You don’t have to do what you love to succeed.  It might help, but it’s not necessary.  Some people simply have a very strong desire to make money.  It doesn’t matter to them what they do, it just matters that they succeed and make money.  If your strong desire comes from your desire to make money, that can work just as well.

Hitting rock bottom is another way to develop a powerful desire to succeed.  If your choices are become homeless, or make this business work, that’s a strong motivator to succeed.

On the other hand, if you have a comfortable job, you try to do a few things in your spare time, it doesn’t really matter whether it works out or not – that’s a recipe for failure.

Do what you need to do to create the desire within yourself.  Don’t hope for success.  Don’t wish that things work out.  Don’t TRY to succeed.  Succeed.  Get it in your head.  Know what MUST be done, you WILL do it and there is no other option but to succeed.  Period.

VISUALIZE YOUR SUCCESS IN DETAIL

Okay, I’m not talking about “The Secret” here.  It’s a similar principle, but I think you need a little more than “wanting” something to actually make it happen.  That’s where the execution comes into play below.

Visualization comes into play in a few different ways.  First, it’s related to focus.  If your business is not focused, you can’t visualize the success of your business.  You need to see everything from the structure of your website, to the products that you’re selling, to the payments coming in and to the continued growth of your business.

There will be times when you might think your business is doomed and nothing seems to be working.  Maybe friends and family members tell you that your idea won’t work.  Maybe you just aren’t getting the results you want, as fast as you want.  Visualize, in detail, how you will succeed and remove the doubt from your head.

This might sound like a bunch of BS, but the truth is that your mind can’t tell the difference between fiction and reality.  Whatever thoughts you create in your head become your reality.

For example, have you ever heard a noise in the middle of the night and instantly you think someone is in your house?  What happens to your body?  Your heart rate increases, your breathing becomes heavier, you become very alert.

Even if it was just your refrigerator making a funny noise, your mind told your body that the reality was someone is in the house.  Your mind and your body responded as if the reality was that someone was in your house, even though that wasn’t the case.

It’s the same thing when you tell a sad story or a story that makes you angry.  When you tell that story to other people, you relive the experience.  The reality is that whatever made you angry or sad has already happened.  It’s over.  But, your mind is reliving that experience and so you experience the emotions just as if the experience was happening now.  Your mind creates your reality so make sure that your mind is filled with your detailed vision of success.

Michael Jordan was big on visualization.  Before he ever played a game, he saw his team winning the game.  Before he took a shot, he saw that shot going in.  He knew he was going to succeed because he saw it in his head over and over again.

Jim Carrey, the actor, did something to help him visualize his success.  Before he was ever famous, he wrote himself a check for $10 million dollars.  He put “For services rendered” on the memo line and post-dated it about 5 years in the future.  He carried the check with him all the time and would look at it to keep himself focused on what he had to do.  He visualized his success over and over and made it his reality.

EXECUTE DAY AFTER DAY

You can enroll in the best internet marketing courses in the world, that doesn’t mean you will succeed.

You can read 5,000 of the best eBooks on the market, that doesn’t mean you will succeed.

You can be the smartest person in the world but if you don’t get out and execute day after day, nothing will come from your knowledge.

If you ask internet marketers how many people actually achieve great success after going through their programs or reading their ebooks, the number will be very very low.  The reason is – people don’t execute what they learn.

It’s one thing to have the knowledge.  It’s an entirely different thing to implement what you know and make it work.  There is a big difference between theory and actuality.

Let me give you an example.  Have you ever seen a romantic comedy movie?  There are a few really good ones, but there are a lot that flat out suck.

In theory, it seems so simple to create a good romantic comedy.  Have two likeable characters, throw in some funny stuff and there’s your movie.  Unfortunately for the movie-going public, it’s not that easy to make a good movie.

If you write a screenplay, get a production company involved, fund the movie, get a studio involved, have the screenplay rewritten, have the actors demand rewrites, physically produce the movie, edit the movie, and market the movie, you will realize that many things have to come together to create a good movie.  It’s not as simple as it seems in theory.

The same thing is true with internet marketing.  It seems easy in theory.  But, until you actually start creating websites, and content, and using SEO and analytics and creating products, and collecting payments and providing services, you won’t understand the best way to succeed.

When you take action every single day, you can learn from your mistakes.  You get better at creating content.  You figure out the best tools to use for your business.  You find out the best ways to get traffic.  You learn how to succeed by executing to the best of your ability day after day.

When you execute, you take steps towards your goal.  It’s not about learning.  It’s about executing more and more based on what you learn.  It’s important to learn and educate yourself, but executing what you know is what will bring in the money.

BE TENACIOUS

Let’s face it, there will be obstacles when you start your own business.  Maybe your servers crash during your first product launch.  Maybe you run out of money before you start generating revenue.  There will be challenges.

If you want to be great, understand in advance that challenges will arise and you will break through them without hesitation.  Not just break through them, but use them to improve your business and grow even bigger.  That’s being tenacious.

Being tenacious is not being discouraged easily.  If you haven’t made any money after 4 months, that shouldn’t matter.  Be persistent.  Success is going farther than most people want to go.  If it only took a month to be a huge success, a lot more people would be successful.  Success is rare because most people aren’t persistent enough to reach it.

HOW TO SUCCEED IN INTERNET MARKETING

There are lot of things involved in the internet marketing process.  If you want to succeed on an epic level then you need to educate yourself and develop some good habits.  The habits that most internet marketers don’t like to talk about.  Improve these qualities and prepare for massive success.

Get Organized and Take Control of Your Internet Marketing Business

The internet is such an amazing resource.  You can find just about anything and everything on the internet.  For that very same reason, the internet can be a huge distraction and waste of time.

I’ll admit it.  I’m guilty of reading pointless articles on random topics when I should be writing a new post.  I’ve watched one too many stupid videos on YouTube when I should’ve been building backlinks.

It’s easy to get distracted when these things are right in front of your face all the time.  The key is to learn from your mistakes and continuously refine your time management and organizational skills.

I’ve tried a lot of different things over the years to maximize my efficiency, and some worked great, some were disasters.  Here are some of the things that really work well for me.

SIMPLICITY

Work on one project at a time.  Physically, of course, you can only work on one thing at a time.  If you’re writing an article for your blog, you can’t also be building a new website.  When I say work on one project at a time, I mean if you are creating a website or product or whatever, don’t work on another project until that one is profitable or completed.

It’s tempting to start 10 different projects all at the same time so you can get off to a great start, but, what ultimately happens is all of the projects are mediocre and nothing is as good as it needs to be.

When you dedicate yourself to one project until you achieve your goal, you will be much more efficient.  In addition, you will avoid being paralyzed by too many things to do.  When you have so many things to do that you don’t even know where to start, you waste time trying to decide what you should work on and in most cases, you will look back and say, I should’ve spent my time on that one single project I started in the very beginning.

FILING SYSTEM

Create a good filing system on your computer.  In the world of internet marketing, there are a ton of things you need to keep track of.

For example:

  • Affiliate links
  • Passwords
  • Website resources
  • Content for Your Website
  • Content for Other Websites
  • Ideas
  • Backlinks
  • Keywords
  • Images
  • Analytics
  • Sales/Revenue info
  • And, on and on.

The key to developing a good system simply allows you to find specific information quickly when you need it.  It also helps a lot if you’re consistent when naming your files.

For example, I have a folder just for content for my websites.  When I look for something, I want to know what type of content it is and for which website it is.  So, I name it “BlogContent_SIM_Posted.”  Then I know it’s content for my blog at Superbad Internet Marketing and the content is for articles that have already been posted.

I also have separate documents for ideas, and for works in progress.  Depending on what I’m doing that particular day, I can easily find the information I need.

SPREADSHEETS

Spreadsheets are great tools to use.  This goes back to the filing system but really spreadsheets deserve a separate mention.

If you want to stay on top of your website SEO, a spreadsheet is a great tool to use.  I use it for my keyword lists and I use it for tracking my website pages and backlinks.

I create a simple spreadsheet that keeps track of all the backlinks that I create.  It’s really helpful in the beginning because it’s a visual reminder of what you’ve done and what you haven’t done. It’s also a big help to determine what backlinks are working and what backlinks aren’t working.

I don’t create backlinks for every post.  I only create backlinks for posts that provide a lot  of helpful information and have keyword phrases that are fairly easy to rank for.

Here’s a screenshot of how I set up the spreadsheet. Click the image to enlarge.

Every webpage I create is listed in the left column.  The keywords I plan on targeting for that page are listed in the column directly to the right of the webpage.  Generally, it’s only one or two keywords, but I might add to it later if my analytics tell me it’s ranking for a different keyword phrase.

Every line below a webpage is a backlink to that page.  Every time I create a backlink (except blog comments), I paste the link in the spreadsheet and I document the anchor text used and the date it was created.  If a link is not showing up in Google Webmaster Tools or Yahoo Site Explorer, you need to figure out why.

As time goes on, you might not need to use the spreadsheet as much, but it’s definitely helpful in the very beginning.

You can download a copy of the spreadsheet below in MS Excel and Mac Numbers (zipped).

Just replace my info with your own.

BUNDLE TASKS

Bundling your tasks is an easy change that can keep you more focused and save you a lot of time.  If you bundle your tasks, you complete all similar tasks at one time, so you don’t waste time saving, closing, opening, finding, etc every time you complete that task again.

For example, checking your email.  In the past, I probably checked my email 10 times a day.  I didn’t need to check it 10 times a day, but for some reason, I did.  It was a waste of time, because every time I checked my email, that was time I could’ve been working on something more important.

By bundling, I set aside a certain time of day to check, and respond to, my emails and I do it twice a day.  Once in the afternoon and once in the evening.  I could probably even get away with checking it once per day, but this works pretty well for me.

Creating content is another thing that’s really good for bundling.  Instead of writing an article, or blog post, then posting it on a website, then going back and creating more content and posting it, create a ton of content at once.  If you’re in the frame of mind where you’re writing content, keep going.  Write 5 or 6 articles.  Write 2 or 3 posts.

After you’ve completed them, you can distribute them to your websites, or article directories, or wherever they’re going.  If they’re blog posts, you can schedule them to post automatically whenever you want them to.  This process of bundling is a huge time saver and helps you stay focused when you’re trying to complete tasks.

Bundle as many things as you possibly can.  I can tell you that facebook, Twitter and reading other people’s blogs are very good opportunities for bundling.  Set aside a time to focus on Twitter and stick to that schedule.  Read other blogs only when you have it scheduled.

Do what works for you, but the more things you can bundle, the more efficient you’ll be.

PRIORITIZE

This is a pretty obvious one.  You need to do the most important things first.  But, let’s take it a step further and prioritize with the Pareto Principle.

The Pareto Principle essentially says that 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.  People apply this theory in different ways, but what it means for prioritizing is that you need to find out what that 20% is.

What do you do that gives you the best results?

What activity is crucial to making money online?

Is it creating content?

Is it creating backlinks?

You need to look at your business and figure out what’s absolutely positively necessary for getting the best results.  When you figure that out, then you can spend 80% of your time on that 20% that is vital to generating revenue.  Eliminate what you can and spend the other 20% of your time on the other stuff – checking emails, designing websites, reading blogs, etc.

PLANNING

For a long time, I would create my To Do list in the morning, after I checked my emails, looked at my pathetic stats and read a few news articles.  I now make my To Do list either the night before, or first thing in the morning before I even turn on my computer.  This change has made an enormous change in my productivity.

When you work for yourself, there isn’t always a sense of urgency to get things done, other than the urgency that comes from making money.  Getting started is half the battle.  When you get started first thing in the morning on the tasks that are most important to your business, you will instantly increase your productivity.

When you turn your computer on, DON’T check your emails first, DON’T get on Twitter, DON’T tell your facebook friends what you had for breakfast.  Plan your MOST IMPORTANT TASKS first, then you can work on the other things.

At least 80% of your work day should be spent on the 20% of tasks that are directly responsible for generating revenue.  After you’ve completed those tasks, focus on the necessary, but non-revenue generating tasks.

BE SPECIFIC WHEN PLANNING

When you create your To Do list for the day, you need to be specific and you need to list what you want to accomplish.  Focusing on what you want to accomplish instead of what to do, makes you think about why you’re doing something.

For example, “spend time on Twitter” is not a great task to include on your To Do list.  Instead try “Retweet 5 helpful posts and reply to 10 people that I respect.”

When you are specific and you focus on what you want to accomplish, there is a clear sense of what needs to be done and when that task is completed.

TIME YOURSELF

In addition to my To Do list, I started a log of what I was actually working on at any given time.  Basically, documenting every minute of my work day.  If my immediate task was write 4 articles, I would write my task down and document the time I started.

This helped me stay focused.  I had one thing to complete in front of me and nothing else.  Documenting what I was working on and how long it was taking to complete, significantly improved my efficiency and time management.

In the example – “Retweet 5 helpful posts and reply to 10 people that I respect,” add a time limit to that, or time yourself.  In the beginning, you might want to time yourself.  That way, you find out how long tasks take and you can use that as a guide.

When I started timing myself, I was shocked at how long certain tasks were taking me.  Not only that, but when I started a task, I realized that I would get distracted by phone calls or emails or food or checking something completely different in the middle of my task.  That’s not a good use of time.

The great thing about timing yourself when you start a task is that the evidence is right in front of you.  If you’re in the middle of a task and you decide to get a quick bite to eat and then you check your email real quick, the timer keeps on ticking.  Your lack of focus is obvious.

Timing myself has helped me a great deal and it’s actually kind of fun trying to improve my times.

GETTING ORGANIZED

Not all of these ideas will work for every situation.  You have to find out what works best for you and your business.  If nothing else, you should always be aware of your systems and continuously refine and improve them.