Sunday, 21 October 2012

Crash Course In Article Spinning (with 25 free backlinks)

Yep, I'm namedropping today. If you want to skip the crash course and get your 25 free backlinks, then head on over to Social Monkee. You'll ned to use a spinner to get those links so if you have any doubts, stay tuned....

Articles spinners are a wonderful time saver but they are somewhat overwhelming to new users. I'm going to introduce you to some new characters on your keyboard, some cool websites you can use to spin your content and explain why you should be very cautious about using duplicate content on your webpages.

Firstly...why? Over the past couple of years, Google has done some major overhaul to their algorithms. More than ever they are focusing on finding websites which are user orientated. In very simple terms,

Google likes sites that are:

  • Easy to navigate
  • User friendly
  • Is popular among other sites (having lots of links pointing to it)
  • Rich in keywords and accurately (META) tagged 
  • Relevant to those keywords/tags
AND full of new original content. 

Google will actually penalise sites that have duplicate content. It doesn't add to the user experience. It's nothing new, nothing informative. They also see it as cheating the system...as a way of stuffing extra keywords in or as outright plagiarism. Contents sites like HubPages won't tolerate duplicate content either and have been known to ban members for cheating the system.

So there's a few options. You can buy pre-written articles You can pay someone to write for you. Or you can use a spinner to turn your single article or blog post into "original" content that you can post all over the net.

MEET THE CURLY BRACKETS
There are some article spinners online that are totally free to use. Keep in mind you get what you pay for. Most of these spinners will not save your work for future spinnings. Most of them won't have a built in dictionary and auto-spin features. Most of them are a little time consuming and involve a little bit of brain power and need a little forethought.

Before you get started, let me introduce the curly Brackets. They look like this....
And you'll find them some where near your Enter key on your keyboard, along with the vertical parenthesis. You'll have to hold the Shift key down when you use them. 


HOW TO USE A SPINNER
When you use an article spinner, you'll be taking a few words wrapping the {curly brackets} around them and providing the software with some options to chose from, some synonyms. You'll be using this parenthesis | to tell the software that it has an option, that it can use one word or the other.  

Example:  
The sunset was so beautiful this evening that I had to get my camera out and capture the moment. 

(Not really, today's sunset was crap).

So the adjectives (descriptive words) are easiest to spin. We can switch the word beautiful with....what? Stunning. Breathtaking. Spectacular. All of them....

The sunset was so {beautiful | stunning | breathtaking | spectacular} this evening that I had to get my camera out and capture the moment.

We can also spin entire sentences which really changes the make-up of your article. It changes the word count or character count quite significantly. It provides more variables and makes it more difficult for Google to associate with duplicate content or work out that the article has been spun.

The sunset was so {beautiful | stunning | breathtaking | spectacular} {yesterday | this evening | tonight} that {I had to get my camera out and capture the moment | we sat on the beach and soaked it in | we lost track of time}.

BEFORE SPINNING

B

AFTER SPINNING 


A FEW TIPS
  • The first sentence, the first paragraph is the most important - don't spin it. Rewrite your intro every time.  Make it rich in keywords and make sure that it entices the reader to keep reading. 
  • Change the word count - add or remove a sentence here and there.
  • Don't spin the punctation - leave the full stops or comma's on the outside of the {curly brackets}.
  • To help you understand where I've added the vertical parenthesis, in my examples, I've hit the space bar. You won't need to do that with your spinning software. As long as there's a single space before the curly brackets and after the curly brackets, there will be a single space before and after the synonyms. 
  • You don't need a 100 copies of the same article. Don't be sucked in by the promise of creating hundreds of new original articles from one old blog post. The more you spin, the more similar those articles will be. It defeats the purpose of spinning it beyond recognition for what it is...a duplicate. Personally, I don't think I've spun more than 10 "new" articles from the original...... one each for the major content sites, the blogs and the website I've written it for. That's ample. 
  • Stick with it. Trial and error. The first time you spin, you'll think it would be quicker to just write new articles but stay with it. Once you get past that learning curve, you'll be amazed at how much time you'll save. 


FREE ONLINE SPINNERS
Did I mention that you get what you pay for?

The first article rewriter with built in lexical processor 


Extreme Word Spinner

Tonnes of nice features. 10-20 free spins per day, depending on whether you are a free member or a free guest. 


Free Article Spinner
This one is as simple as it gets.

BUT THEN....

You can also find free spinners that are downloaded onto your PC and some of them have nice features too. It really depends on your needs.

AND THEN...

There's the paid spinners. Things like Rapid Rewriter

One of my favourite spinners comes free with a membership at Killer Content and it's very flexible, it has a huge built in dictionary, automated features, I can link my blogs/sites to it and publish the "new" article from my Dashboard at Killer Content....I love it. (Killer Content also provide an enormous library of pre-written articles to spin....hence the name!)

WHO WANTS FREE BACKLINKS!?
Okay, the moment you've been waiting for. Before you head over to Social Monkee and get your free 25 backlinks (every day!) go ahead and post your comments or questions below. Rate. Comment. Subscribe. Whatever.

Hope everyone has a smashing week ahead of them and I'll be back with some more cool tips and tricks soon. It must be time for another case study, eh? Go ahead, get your requests in...what do you want to learn about next?

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

DIY Profession Web Pages That Sell

It's been a few months since I put my last website together and since I started building today, I though it would be a great time to recap what it is that makes a great website and how you can make effective professional looking webpages for your own sites.

Now there is actually a fine art to this. People pay web designers a small fortune for their skills. There are dozens - hundreds - of techniques out there and some are more effective than others. So if you're new to this IM game and you're building your first site (or you're trying to optimise your first site) then this post is going to especially helpful to you today.

Before you start
Research, research, research. It's an essential part of any and every business plan. Start buy looking at the way other sites are built. Look at sites like eBay or wholesalers...notice how they have vertical navigation bars down the side of their pages? There's a good reason for this - it works. So by studying the way the competition have built their sites, you're going to find value information about templates and layouts that work for your niche.

A picture tells a thousand words
You might not have even known at the time, but when this web page was loading, your eyes were drawn to the top corner. For this reason, most webmasters position a a photo or other vital info at the top of the page. Photo's of yourself help to build trust with your visitors which will also aid your cause.

Photo's are an essential part to every page and I suggest you take your time to choose them wisely. Your photo should be placed where it's one of the first things that people see as the webpage is loading and it should show your visitors that they can stop looking, they've found what they are looking for. A decent photo will mean the difference between your visitor scrolling down or hitting the back button and going back to Google.

Icing vs Cake
This is a really difficult one for IM newbies... when you first start out, you just don't know the difference between what's icing and what's cake. For that reason, they have a tendency to pour their heart and soul (and time and energy) into things that are just plain unessential to the success of the site.  Let me give you a few examples.

Customising fonts, colours and themes will not make or break a sale.

It's icing. Spend a few minutes tailoring these things to your needs, then leave them alone.

Content (the text and information on your pages) will make or break your status in the search engines. It will also attract or deter visitors.

It's cake. Focus your time and energy here, on creating great content.

Content is King
It's such a lame IM phrase that just doesn't die...because it's true. The content of your webpages will great points that I have to make here so I'm just going to briefly summarise them.

WRITING STYLES
You'll notice my style of writing, that I'm talking to you, not about people. This style has been proven to be very effective it helps establish a one-on-one bond with your visitors. It's engaging. I'm telling you a story and leading your eyes down the page.

You'll also notice the way I've used tonnes of paragraphs (one paragraph = a few sentences) and I've divided up my content into sub-headings....just in case the phone rings or the kids start crying. It's more convenient for you, the reader. It's stops you from getting lost if your attention is drawn elsewhere for a few moments.

You don't have to be a world class author to write quality content but for goodness sake, use your spell check. When we come across typo's on the page, it interrupts the flow of things and detracts from the message you're trying to send.

SEO & GOOGLE
Content is also an essential factor to the big boys at Google. When the Googlebots come trawling through your site each, they will PENALISE you for having duplicate content, misleading META tags, and content that has been stuffed full of keywords. They are looking to websites which are informative, user friendly and full of new content - those are the pages which get indexed quickly and rank well with Google.

CONVINCING YOUR READERS
Think about the effect your content has on people... words can incite laughter or humiliation, offence or friendship. How does your content "feel" to the reader? You need to come across as informative, as trustworthy (professional) and convincing.

When marketers create sales pages, they put a lot of time and effort into the way they phrase words. Their calls to action, their descriptions, which information to include and which to omit...everything is thoroughly thought out and very intentional.

Building trust with our readers is a huge obstacle to overcome - we do this by making them laugh, or sharing a brief anecdote, giving a brief anecdote, and coming across as the expert in your niche. Your readers don't need to know that you're operating out of your home office - leave it out. They do need you to pass on helpful useful information that implies you're the expert, you know what you're talking about.

Keywords 
Keywords..... if you told me that you spent an hour making your website, and three weeks researching your keywords....I'ld give you a pat on the back. Keywords are just as important as the content of the site because Google is using them to understand what it is that your website is all about and then matching your website with peoples search engine results. It's essential that you choose them and use them correctly. But don't abuse them...Google will bitch slap you for that.

FINDING THAT LOW HANGING FRUIT
What the heck has fruit got to do with professional, effective web pages?? When I talk about the low hang in fruit, I'm talking about effective keywords that are ripe for the picking.

When we Google a keywords like "how to lose weight" Google comes back to us with millions of results. Literally. Why? Because it's such a popular search string...thousands of people use it every single day.

Which means you're competing with millions of other sites. Good luck with that! On the other hand when we search for long tailed keywords like "safe weigh loss diets for teenagers"....we find that there's  only a few hundred matches in Googles index. Which is brilliant! Because it's such low competition, you'll get your pages indexed quickly and they'll rank well.

But...

How many people use that keyword each month? Not many.

So... by using a keyword tool (there's a free one here) you'll be able to find a couple of keywords which are low competition, highly searched for phrases....these are the low hanging fruit. These are the easy pickings.

USING KEYWORDS
There's a couple of simple rules....

Each site should have two (sometimes three) main keywords that you want to rank for.

Always put your main keywords into the title of your articles.

Always repeat that keywords in the first sentence. (At least in the first paragraph.)

This isn't just good SEO practice (SEO = Search Engine Optimisation)....it's good for your readers. It helps them know that they can stop looking, they've found what they were looking for.

You're keywords should be used another 4 or 5 times throughout your page, depending on how much content you have. You don't want to stuff them in unnecessarily though.

Use these same keywords when you label (or add tags to) images and video's - Google Images provides me me a lot of traffic thanks to some well labeled photo's and there's also Google Video's.

I'M HAVING A TEA BREAK.
It's true. It's a long, extended tea break. But I will be back to update this post tomorrow. Leave you thoughts or ask your questions down below. Ciao!!

Friday, 17 August 2012

Online Shopping Trends: Men vs Women

I've got tonnes of great info today about shopping trends and just what it is that men and women buy as well as some demographics for your amusement. If you've thinking about going into business - whether you're building an affiliate website or you want to sell clothing through Facebook - take a good look at these stat's and read between the lines.

So I'm going to throw lots of figures at you. Pay attention. 

WHO SPENDS THE MOST MONEY ONLINE - MEN OR WOMEN?

Not only do women spend more money than men.... they also spend a lot more time doing it. On average, women spend 20% more time than men 

As an e-tailer, it's important to not only know who your target audience is, but what motivates and affects their purchase decisions. For example, if you're targeting women, then you should be aware that they take coupons much more seriously than men. They're also more likely to shop when there are sales  (49% women vs. 36% men) and sign up for incentives (33% women vs. 23% men).


Remember that old joke... The difference between men and women - men will spend $2 on a $1 item that they need. Women will spend $1 on a $2 item that they don't need...but it was on sale.  

RETAIL (AND E-TAIL) TIME



So you can see that some categories are are dominated by males but for the most part, woman are still task with buying for their families.  As an e-commerce retailer, knowing your audience is essential... which is why you should also know that men and women approach online shopping very differently.

Men tend to stay on task - whatever mission they have assigned themselves when shopping online, they stay on task and get it done without too much distraction. Men also read the product page more thoroughly than women (who scan the page then move on to the next potential product) which means they're slightly less susceptible to impulse buys. 

Women on the other hand,  tend to wander among different products, different categories and consult with the girlfriends on Facebook before buying. Yep, women are more attached to social networking in regards to their online shopping...this means they're more likely to ask their friends for advice before making a purchase and more likely to recommend a product or website they've bought from. 



WHAT CAN I DO WITH THIS INFORMATION??
Read between the lines. If you're targeting men in one of those male dominated categories - sporting, outdoors, computers - then make sure your product descriptions are detailed and accurate. Provide customer reviews or testimonials that proves your site is better than the competition. 

Or...if you're targeting women in one of those girly categories, pay special attention to creating promotions and sales. Make your site user friendly and easy to navigate (coz we navigate a lot!). Consider introducing a means by which female shoppers can interact with one another - make it Facebook friendly, encourage reviews/comments, create a forum.

Any questions??

Saturday, 28 July 2012

Early Trends & Olympic Opening Ceremony

Just a brief post as I'm absorbed in the Opening Ceremony. I've briefly been through all my twitters account, my Fb pages, blogs, etc, making updates and reading comments.... it blows me away how many people come out of the woodwork for events like this. I'm not particularly patriotic/nationalistic but I make exceptions for the Olympics an I think the rest of the world does too.

So what are you doing about it? There's some fantastic keywords that are being used and abused right now. Who had the sense to write some posts (or HubPage Hubs or Squidoo Lens's) and cash in on those keywords through AdSense? Last week, those keywords were worth pittance. Next month...they'll be worth less.

But here and now...this week... they will be profitable.

Which makes me reflect on the tides of internet marketing. Trends come and go but if you're quick, if you have a little foresight then you can make a relatively easy dollar.

Whether you're using PPC or writing articles stuffed with affiliate links or building websites...that bit of foresight will make a huge difference. I've said before that much of your time and research should go into choosing great keywords and I stand by that notion but I want to give you some examples of how timing will also affect the level of success you have in Internet Marketing.

Example #1

Hypothetically, you wake one morning to watch the early morning news and discover that Brittany has shaved her hair off. This is huge news. It's going to take the world by storm by lunch time. Like a journalist looking for a lead, you need to get in early if you're going to make a dime. So you jump online, you whip up a few articles or blog posts and run a quick AdWords campaign.

By 9am, when people have finished reading the newspaper or they've watched the news on the telly or they've heard it on the radio.... they're going to be flocking to their computers to learn more. Those keywords will be a bargain today... but next week, when everyone else has caught on, you'll be paying through the nose for them.

Example #2 Based on a true story

One savvy marketer got wind on a new Apple product, an iPhone if I remember correctly. He went and picked up a domain name and for the next year, he spent countless hours in front of his computer hunting for every scrap of info about the product itself, the app's, the user tips, the rumours etc. and he published it all on a wordpress.org site. It was gruelling. He slept little. There were many late nights and one heck of an unimpressed wife.

One year later when the product was released and all the other marketers were scrambling to put together a site or find decent keywords..... his site was mature. It was established as the largest and most informative site and obviously ranked incredibly well coming second only to the official Apple URL's. This site did so well that the owner soon employed two other persons to write posts and keep it up to date.

One guys spends the day browsing the net looking for titbits of news or tips before writing posts and when he clocks off the next guy takes over doing the same. Last time I checked, that site was being updated with keyword rich news almost every hour, sometime twice an hour.

REFLECTION
The tides of the internet really ARE forever changing - not to say that your need the latest get rich quick software or system just to keep up with those changes. Consider that journalist who wakes up early to get the best bits of gossip before the competitors get wind of it. Keywords like "weight loss diet" have been used and abused by so many marketers that they aren't even worth my time. Yes there's a market...but it's flooded.

The alternative is to seek out those keywords that aren't keywords today. To peruse the trending info that you can find all over the internet. To keep yourself up to date with current affairs and online gossip. And more importantly, to recognise an opportunity to act early when you stumble across it.

Alright...back to the Opening Ceremony. May the best land win!!

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!!

Oi! Oi! Oi!

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Some Things You Just Can't Teach

I like to compare this whole "making money online" journey to that of a childhood education. You start off as a greenhorn...the smallest fish in the biggest pond... and slowly you begin to take on knowledge & you grow. You create more articles, or more blogs, or more websites. When you first learned the five times tables, it was tough...maybe you had to whisper your way through the working out before you could call out the answer. These days...it's second nature.

Just as the first time you write an article, the first time you try to put an affiliate banner in the sidebar of your very first webpage...it's tough. You might even need some help, someone to bounce idea's off. And there are dozens (if not hundreds) of places you can find that help. For free. (They're called forums, people...find yourself an IM Forum)

But there are some things that you just can't teach. There are some lessons that just can't be taught. Bill Gates once visited a high school to talk to the students there about the things that they did not and could not learn in a classroom.

I've decided to share this here today because the PRINCIPLES he spoke of apply to me and you just as much as they do to those students. It's about perseverance in the face of difficulty and about WORKING for what you want.

There is NO QUICK FIX. No easy way to make money online. It's going to take time and effort but if you're willing to put in the hard work (and if you can find a little niche market crying out for your attention) then you will succeed.

Would love to hear your feedback & feel free to share.


Online or Offline Marketing Services?

I have been absolutely overwhelmed these last couple of months and tonight is the night I catch up on my blogs around the net. We often hear these online guru's talking about how they got started online and please - if you want to make money too - then buy my product. What they don't tell you is that they make all that money from selling their dodgy product to people just like you.

My words of wisdom are about observing what it is they do. More & more I find myself studying the make up of website and thinking about HOW the owner has monetized it - the affiliate links in the side bar, the calls to action in the articles, the invitations to join mailing lists. There are valuable lessons to be learned just by watching & mimicking what other marketers/self professed guru's are doing.

A few months ago, I came across some statistics about affiliate marketers - approx 65% of affiliate had NOT made a SINGLE sale after 12 months of efforts. Despite all the promises at every turn, making money through affiliate marketing is not as easy as it seems. But after 12 months of trying.... you should have some pretty good marketing/web building skills.

TAKE YOUR SKILLS OFFLINE!
There are literally hundreds of thousands of people out there who are trying to enter the world of online marketing. It might be a local restaurant, it might be a local band, it could be a local artist.

How long would it take you, to sit down with one of those people and design an online persona for them? How long would it take you to throw together a free/paid blog, a Facebook Page, a Twitter account and write a dozen 500word articles for someone like that?

And how much would someone like that...who is already having success offline, who is going into the world of online marketing more or less blindly -  be willing to pay to have someone like you pay to put it all together for them?

If, after 12 months of affiliate marketing you still haven't made a dime, then you need to start retaining your strategy. Market real products that real people are interested in.

For example: Let's assume that you live in a town that has some pretty amazing artists. Maybe you're at the vet when you spot a sign on the public notice board from an artist that specialises in pet portraits.

There are literally hundreds of sites that specialise in selling "amateur" art. There are YouTube video's of painting tutorials. There's the obvious eBay and the lesser well known Etsy (which sells all things handcrafted).

Paintings can sell online for anywhere between $50 to thousands. Would you be interested in creating an online presence for that artist & taking 10% commission on each sale you make?

But think bigger -Giclee's! Giclee's are probably the best way to make high quality prints of original paintings. Now what could you do with 10 prints of an awesome painting? Would it be economical to print on coffee mugs...would you be able to sell coffee mugs.

Think outside the square...that's the moral of this story. Take your online skills and put them in the service of someone in the offline world.


Thursday, 15 December 2011

One of Those Days




I'm having one of those days.

I was supposed to be making some new video's for a friend....but my attnetion just couldn't span that far.

Instead, I've been messing around looking for cool text that I can use on Facebook Fan pages.

So far, I'm pretty impressed.

Having an amazing and eye catching landing page for you Fan Pages really is essential. It helps to create a welcoming feel to the little community. That first impression matters. You HAVE to let your visitors know that they have found what they are looking for before they hit that back button and go looking elsewhere.

Statistically, most people are going to buy from sites that appear to be professionally built so by having that little extra works in you favour, it sets you apart from the other.

Okay, enough from me, had better get back to it!