How To Spend Time, Effort, And Money And Not Go Anywhere, And Why That’s A Good Thing

220px-Battle_of_Broodseinde_-_silhouetted_troops_marchingWhen you get the bug to try internet marketing (and I know you have it otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this post) you are overwhelmed with where to start.  Not only is there an overwhelm of guru’s wanting to sell you the next “surefire” tactic to one-click instant wealth (yeah-right), but there’s more free info than you could ever go through.

Where do you start?  Boot-strapping.

For me, bootstrapping means

  • learning as much as you can for no to low cost,
  • putting what you learn into immediate action i.e. testing it to see if it works,
  • if it didn’t work -figuring out why,
  • if it did work – putting the capital earned back to work.

There are a couple of reasons why this is an important strategy:

  1. learning how to do it yourself in the beginning means you will be a better outsourcer later on
  2. it keeps you from going into debt, it places value and urgency on every dollar you spend

This doesn’t mean I haven’t spent ANY money learning my internet business, but I believe I have spent wisely and frugally.  Which brings me to the point of this post.

(Status Check:  At this point, five months into my part-time, on-again/off-again efforts in internet marketing, I have spent a few hundred on hosting, domains, training, etc… and have earned not one dollar.)

The first training I bought (July 2012), walked me through how to set up an internet business entirely for free using Weebly.com and ListWire (as well as other free tools).  This was a good place to start and I set up two websites according to the training.  And they went absolutely nowhere!  A month later, I got busy with school and work and the sites moved to the backburner, but I learned a lot in the process that otherwise would have taken me years to figure.  This set me up for the next step.  Money well spent even though it didn’t produce a profit.

Fast forward to about a month ago (mid November 2012), and I receive an email from that original course recommending another course.  It sounds intriguing and it’s only $5 bucks for the first month.  It doesn’t live up to everything it promised but it did have a TON of good tutorials that walk a beginner through the process.  I set up my first squeeze page paired to an AWeber account.  One problem, I don’t have a list to send to my new squeeze page.  That’s ok though, because part of my training package included sending out 4000 emails per week to someone else’s list.  This turned out to be one of the promises that wasn’t as good as it sounded.  Still, I learned how to do something I hadn’t done before.  The site also had more tutorials than I could ever go through.  I decided not to go beyond my first month but I feel like I received more than $5 in value so another good purchase.

How do you solve the problem of not having a list in the beginning?  That is what I was asking myself about three weeks ago.  And I was inspired with a solution, which I immediately went to work on implementing.  Now this is where bootstrapping can get a little frustrating.  WordPress is a great tool, but if you want it to look and operate a certain way, you should have someone who can help walk you through it.  The tutorials I purchased got me started with a basic setup but I wanted more than that and that is hard to do with tutorials.  It takes so much time to find the info you need and when you do, since you are a beginner you are probably going to implement it incorrectly.

Still, I soldiered on and finally got my WordPress site up.  It was pretty basic, not a lot of content, but it was a big effort for a newbie like me and I was proud.  Then was doing research on SEO and came across concepts I had not heard in the training I had taken so far – Google Panda, Google Penguin, and authority sites.  The training I had taken so far talked about putting a bunch of low quality articles (my opinion) on your site and spinning them for the article directories.  That never really sat well with me and I hadn’t done it but I was figuring out how to post my good content in multiple places to get links.

Long story, short.  I’m still figuring out what to do with my site in the niche I have chosen but I have learned a lot from the bootstrapping process.

Takeaway I want to share:

  • when you need it, the right information or person will show up (eventually),
  • soldier on if they don’t, they will

I haven’t made a dime from my efforts so far, but I will.  It may not be in the niche I originally chose, but the lessons learned will serve me no matter where I am or what I do next.  And I wouldn’t be in the position to take advantage of whatever is next if I didn’t work myself there in the first place.

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7 Ways To Become An “Authority” Site by Troy Broussard

Troy Broussard of TopMarketingStrategies.com wrote a guest post at Ryan Lee’s site.  There’s some great info on how to build a good site post Google Panda, Penguin, and EMD.   I’m providing a summary here but you should check the article out for yourself.

With internet marketing, the things that sell and the things that are actually useful are not always the same thing.

Strategies Are Long-term, Tactics Are Short-Term.

In the past, marketers used a tactical approach by picking keyword specific domains.  Post Google EMD, this tactic is losing effectiveness.  A better strategy is to build your site around your brand.

Can you do both?  Yes. ” Build up your main strategic authority site as a branded domain and then, in time, add additional “tactical” feeder websites that are EMD’s targeting your main keywords.”

Forget Your Mini-site Strategy

“Google HATES these sites, HATES duplicate and spun content and is actively doing everything they can to take down … these sites and the SEO tactics that prop them up.”

Instead, become an authority site.  Authority sites are the top sites in almost every niche and sub-niche.

How Do You Become An Authority Site

  1. Be an authority
  2. Focus on large quality content
  3. Publish content frequently
  4. Find ways to creatively engage
  5. Be prolific
  6. Diversify your traffic
  7. Go where your readers are

Troy has about a paragraph on each of these bullet points.  You should check out the actual article.

Sounds Hard

It is, well at least its harder than the tactics that worked in the past.  It will take time, but anything worth achieving is.  Troy and his partner Mike have created a flagship product Building Authority Sites to help you.

This article was a good summary of what I have been learning at other places over the past few days and has set me up to take the next step forward.  For more on Panda and Penguin, check my earlier posts.

The Old Affiliate Marketing Advice Doesn’t Work Post Panda And Penguin

google_penguin_updateOver the past few days, I’ve been learning that a lot of the advice and programs I’ve used this year are outdated.  Post Panda/Penguin, the old affiliate marketing tactics no longer work: copying someone else’s content, throwing it up on a keyword rich domain, and posting a bunch of low quality articles with backlinks on the directories is getting shut down by Google.  And that’s a good thing!

Matt Carter of Matt’s Marketing Blog did a good in-depth webinar with Lisa Parmley of InLine SEO Systems discussing how to build quality sites that get consistently high search engine rankings.

And Jennifer Bourn of BournCreative has a nice blog post comparing a website blog to a standalone blog.

You can check my quick summary of Lisa’s webinar here, and Jennifer’s blog post here.

The bottom line is affiliate marketers have to do what we should have been doing all along – improving the conversation by sharing quality content that adds value.

(Note: You can see some of what I learned about good SEO in the previous paragraphs:

  • vary your keyword anchors and
  • link to internal content rather than duplicate it

In the future, I believe success will rely on marketers voluntarily doing good SEO for each other, as you can see above.  I linked to Matt’s and Jennifer’s content with unique keyword anchors.  I don’t get anything out of this, I’m not an affiliate for either one.  It is just quality content that I think should be shared.  This helps build Matt and Jennifer’s brand and keep their site’s Google Penguin friendly.

I linked to other blog posts on this website rather than try to stuff this article with a bunch of duplicate keyword search friendly content.  This helps me stay on the good side of Google Panda.)

So if providing good quality content that adds to the conversation is the way to go, my next question was how do I do that in my niche where I am not an authority?

That is the subject of my next post.

Blog: Website Page or Stand Alone?

Should My Blog Be Part Of My Website Or Should It Stand Alone? |.

Good article here by Jennifer Bourn of Bourn Creative.  I’m going to highlight the SEO aspects of the article here.

The Website Blog

  • hosting the blog on your website reinforces, not only your brand, but your URL by building backlinks as people share your content
  • each blog post grows your website by one page, and each page creates new opportunities for your audience to find you and connect with you

The Stand Alone Blog

  • stand alone blogs typically use the home page for new posts.  This means your home page will constantly be updated with new content which is good for SEO since the home page carries the most weight in your rankings and is often the first page indexed.
  • a separate blog gives you the ability to show up twice in the search rankings
  • a separate blog can focus on a single topic or niche and you can dominate the rankings for specific keyphrases
  • links from your blog can help build your website

My Take: Im using a hybrid approach.  I’m going to start off with the blog on my websites so that I can build momentum.  Full articles are going to appear on the website/blogs and I’m using a Web 2.o blog to post a summarized version of the article which allows me to appeal to a different type of reader and provide back links.

For good advice on how to do SEO post Panda/Penguin/EMD, check out the in-depth webinar with Lisa Parmley at Matt’s Marketing Blog.

For a quick 10 minute review of the webinar, check out my video on this blog or at my Facebook Page.

SEO Survival Webinar Review

Here is my quick review of the SEO Survival Webinar with Lisa Parmley of InLine SEO Systems.  Check it out for some really good info about Google’s Panda, Penguin, and EMD updates and how to do good quality SEO that will get you ranked consistently high.

Check out the complete webinar at Matt’s Marketing Blog.