The Internet Marketing Dream

Ok, time to totally change direction with some fun. After all, part of doing this business online is so that you can have fun too, otherwise you might as well go and stack shelves in your local supermarket. In fact, another part is being a little unpredictable. I also posted this, my first ever video incidentally, on my terrydidcott.com blog first, but thought it would be nice to include it here too.

Never let your competitors think they can anticipate your every move. I threw this together after some inspired work from Splork that got me thinking – there is always room for a funny video that takes the piss out of Internet Marketing gurus. Here it is:

Don’t take it too seriously now, will you!

Wiping Cyber Egg Off My Face…

Doesn’t it just have to happen…! I hold off writing about Alan’s blog being deleted and if I’d held off another day I wouldn’t be writing this. His blog is back!

So what happened?

Seems he appealed and got it back. Maybe the whole MMO community came in their collective pants a little too soon and the resultant world-wide ejaculation of contemplations, conversations and theorizing cause a cyber-tsunami that everyone got caught up in… me included! Bugger!

So, does this mean its back to business as usual? Was this deletion just an automated thing caused, as I mentioned in my last post through malicious flagging by some envious competitors?

First, I don’t think business will be as usual, despite the reinstatement of Alan’s blog. There are plenty of other warning signs out there that not just Blogger, but Google are cracking down on sites they don’t like the look of. That means my comments about thin sites still stand. If you want to keep them, you’ll need to make them more useful and interesting to real people, not just add a bunch of crap content to pad them out. You’ll actually have to start writing it yourself and make it real! Oh, that will stop a lot of wannabe marketers in their tracks, especially the ones that use spinners and other software tools to create garbage content.

Second, whether Alan’s blog was deleted by an automated flagging system or not, the fact remains that if you want to build a really bullet-proof site, then you are going to have to pay for a domain and some hosting. Its not as if it will break the bank, either. You can get a .com domain from GoDaddy for around $10 or less with a coupon, and host it at Hostgator for less than $10 a month. Do me a favour and click the small banners for those two companies at the top of my sidebar – it’ll cost you nothing and I get a small commission for my trouble. Thanks!

Its chicken feed for the piece of mind and professionalism that goes with owning your own piece of cyber real estate that not only can no one take away from you but you can even sell at a later date if you have made it into something that really does make money and you have grown tired of it, or you want to flip it for a nice tidy profit.

Anyway, that’s all I wanted to say – jeez two posts in one week! What has come over me???

Make Money The Honest Way Blog

How to Lose Your Blog and Not Make Money Online

Oh dear, oh dear me… there’s trouble at the Old Mill and the boys are gunnin’ fer whippin’ up some strife! Blogger, the free blogging platform that has been used and abused by honest bloggers and spammers alike for the past few years has suddenly send a loud and clear message out to the entire Make Money Online community that they are losing patience with that niche and the people that make too much money from it using their free blogs.

Alan Liew’s blog, moneymakerinfo.blogspot.com was deleted by the Google-owned blogging platform a few days ago… And yes, I am a few days late in reporting something that everyone who hasn’t been living under a rock or playing golf in Florida for the past week (cheap shot, sorry Griz LOL) already knows all about. I’m not writing this as a news event, however, but as my own personal thoughts on the matter and to give me an excuse for writing something in this honest old blog of mine.

The initial reaction was that of shock and then as it sunk in, of despair that the guy worked diligently on that blog for four years, posting almost every day and has now absolutely nothing left of it. All that content, which I believe was all (or at least almost all) original, gone, unless he had the foresight to back it all up which I hope he did. If a blog with so much original, relevant content can be dismissed at a whim for whatever lame excuse or reason can be invented, then what happened to the “Content is King” mantra that Google has us all reciting?

Isn’t that what is wanted any more?

If not, then it means there is a shift in the definition of relevance and it is one that all people who currently make their living online need to think long and hard about. It has already been mentioned by plenty of those in the know that the “Authority Site” is the way to go if you want to get to the top and stay there. Of course, you still need links like they’re going out of fashion to get ahead of the competition, but even the characteristics of those links will need to change to comply with the shift in the way the SERPs are defined.

What is also obvious to anyone who cares to read between the lines is that bloggers who have been using their MMO blogs for revealing how they do the things they do to make money with said blogs/websites are going to have to curtail their enthusiasm to reveal all. This, as current evidence seems to bear out, has probably been viewed with a baleful eye by the Google inspectorate for long enough, but now they seem to be taking more action by making examples of some of the bigger earners, especially those using Adsense to monetize.

So the general consensus is to re-visit your blogs and websites if they are using Adsense and clean them up if they are not up to scratch, by which I mean if they are lacking in decent content and are real in terms of they provide a service other than just to direct visitors to your ads. In other words, your money sites should do more than just sit there with the sole purpose to make money!

I know that sounds a little odd, but the days of throwing up thin sites targeting certain keywords with ads just to make money seem to have come to an end. Even big sites, as Alan’s certainly was, are not immune to the Big Stick if someone with the authority to wield it thinks a site is not providing anything useful other than to make money from Adsense.

One other thing that still leaves a nagging doubt at the back of my mind about this particular case of “blogicide” is the reasons for the deletion by Blogger. The general belief is that it was deleted because it was viewed as “spam”.

Well, correct me if I’m right but spammy sites generally have little useful content, or are full of PLR or other duplicate content with the visual emphasis on the ads, then they are promoted by bombarding the site with inbound links from dubious sources in order to get them to rank high in the SERPs for short term gain before they get slapped down for their obvious illegitimacy. While Alan’s site certainly existed to make money, it didn’t follow any of the other criteria for illegitimacy. If anything, it was the model authority type site with tons of original, on topic content.

What, then is nagging at the back of my mind? Elementary, my dear Watson.

The site sat on top of one of the most competitive niches there are online and clearly made a very nice wedge of loot for its owner. The people with sites sitting below his are not all honest, decent folk like me and you. Plenty of them will have been eying his top spot with a fair dose of envy. Envy is a destructive emotion that causes people to do bad things. It would not surprise me in the least to learn that a fair number of envious blog and website owners may have taken steps to cause trouble for that top site. Enough, perhaps to cause the Blogger employee responsible for the deletion to act?

I think its quite a logical assumption to make. After all, Google probably didn’t have anything to do with the deletion. It was Blogger and the blog was a free hosted blog on their system which they can do what they want with. And if they get enough reports of spam from other blogger members, it can be enough reason to delete a blog. You can appeal but you may not be successful. Its the luck of the draw, and if your draw is in the MMO niche, you might not be so lucky!

Which goes back to one of the fundamental things I wrote about when this blog was young and in the building stage itself there years ago. That is if you want a website or blog that you intend to keep, that you have full control over, then you better get some professional hosting, buy a domain and put your site on there. That way, you control the site and only you can delete it. Your host can ban you if you are hosting a really bad site that goes against the common rules of decency, but you still keep the domain and its content – no one can take that away from you. Google can de-index your site if it breaks their TOS, but they can’t take it away from you.

Just remember that when you are creating free blogs. They may be here one day, but no matter how hard you work on them and how big and legitimate and useful you make them, they are only one “delete” button away from being history.

Make Money The Honest Way Blog

Make Money from Long Term Competitive Keywords

After reading Lissie’s long post on What is a Long Tail Keyword? Keyword Identification for the New and Clueless, I was tempted to leave a huge comment, then common sense kicked in (ok, I had a duh moment), and I decided it would do more good posting it right here and sending a link to that post. Lis gains a link and I gain some content and a post on this blog that doesn’t get so many these days.

I was going to write about the personal success I had been having by targeting certain keywords in certain niches that have become rather profitable for me. In fact one of those keywords (or niches containing many related keywords) is exactly the type that most experts tell you to stay away from.

Yes, I foolishly (at the time) decided to go all out for a the weight loss niche and found just what the term “competitive niche” really means. Its a dog fight and took me well over a year to get my site to rank first page for its main KW, which is a slightly longer tail of “weight loss” but one that attracts almost 100k searches a month. It may at first seem a foolish thing to do, but when I looked at it from the perspective that it would make money for the long term, I realised that I had to go for it anyway, just to prove to myself that it was possible and that I could do exactly what I was told not to do. Yeah, I’m still a rebel!

I have to say this to anyone who is scared of taking on a big, competitive keyword:

DO IT!

Just don’t expect results for a bloody long time! But in the meantime go after lots of related very long tails in that niche and target a few other small niches to generate some income while you’re waiting for the big one to start to pay off. It will – and in spades – if you put in the work, as I have now found. I had to build a huge network of supporting sites and get links like they are going out of fashion, but it can be done. All the work is my own and I haven’t paid for any “tools” or software, I did not have to “join” anybody’s school or academy, and I did not buy a single link!

I did it all for free apart from buying domains and hosting. Yet I now have a page 1 ranked site that makes pretty damn good money in a highly competitive niche.

Does that make me an SEO expert? You decide.

What it does mean is that, with regards to SEO’ing a website into the top 10 results at Google and the other search engines for a competitive keyword or several, I know how to make it happen in the real world without having to call the “experts” to do it for me. In fact the knowledge that I possess and have actually used to get real results for myself, is no different from what the “experts” allegedly have. Probably more so, because I am using it to rank my own sites and making money that way.

I do not need to take money off noobs to show them how to do what I do.

That sets me apart from the “experts” who all too often feel they have to sell something to noobs or get them to buy into a monthly subscription for a marketing school that is supposed to show them how to advance in blogging for money, or list building, or copywriting to sell the same regurgitated garbage that their mentor’s are already selling, or any of the other mainstream Internet marketing techniques that work only for the chosen few and fail the vast majority of the people they are supposed to be helping while taking shamelessly their money for something that they will likely rarely ever profit from.

So who’s the real expert?

The one who pimps a portion of their knowledge to noobs to make money? Or the one who uses their knowledge to further his or her own websites in the SERPs to make money from the very search traffic that is looking for what your site is promoting?

There is no right way or wrong way to make money, because if you make money, then whatever you are doing is right for you. It may just not be right for whoever you are taking that money from, or it may be right of you are selling them something that they really need and what they were searching for in the first place. If that was knowledge on how to make money online, then you really should ensure that what you are selling them will in turn make them money and do what it says on the box.

Because if whatever you are selling does not fulfil its promise, then you have failed as an “expert” and should in turn be labelled a “scammer”.

This is the beauty of selling to search traffic (outside the MMO niche, at least) in that you are selling what people are really looking for, be it a washing machine, the latest cell phone, a megapixel camera, a movie DVD or a book on how to lose weight. These things do exactly what they say they do and the customer gets what they pay for because that’s what they wanted.

The website owner that sells this stuff, or promotes an affiliate program that earns them commission for sending visitors to the site that sells the stuff is the real Internet marketer. They are the real experts, because they are really doing it and really making money online from what they do and the knowledge they possess on how to do it. Its what I do and I sleep very well at night because of it.

Whatever you do, never give up!

Make Money The Honest Way Blog