The Art Of Finding The Right Writer

To some of us, writing is a gift. To others, it is a hobby, profession, or a dream.

Content writing is a current fact of life and the rise of e-commerce makes it a reality for business owners and entrepreneurs who want to pursue this job.

There is no shortage of supply and demand in this field. However, finding the right writer to fill your website or blog site is not always an easy task.

How does a business owner who is not a writer, find the wordsmith that expresses his core values, business presence, and unique personality?

You have just entered the world of the content writer.

Content Platforms

While some of us manage to build a portfolio from established clients, articles and ghostwriting, others find breaking into the industry difficult.

The difficulty felt by the writer is one shared by the business owner needing them. This is the concept that birthed the content platforms.

Content providers do the legwork for the entrepreneur. They seek out the writers.

They work with them, grade them, develop them and provide an avenue for the business owner to find them. The client connects with the writer and they receive quality work at a reasonable price.

The writer is paid by the middle-man at their agreed rate and everyone is happy. While this is the basis of the business, building your relationship with the writer is much more complicated.

Content platforms have hundreds of writers on staff.

These writers are all different. They have different experience levels, training, and personalities. The art of choosing the correct writer begins with the writer matching your requirements.

During the process, you will inevitably find some writers that seem to “get you”. You will communicate this with the writer and the relationship building begins.

You will hear writers talk about finding their “niche”. This is usually their experience.

For example, in the private sector, I spent 20 years in the HVAC business, I was an inventory manager and an office manager.

I know a few things about the HVAC business. In my spare time, I did charity work and raised funds for the homeless. I am married with grandchildren and I am deeply spiritual.

My family is my passion. I could easily write about any of these topics. Does this mean, I am a sure fit for your site if you own an HVAC business?

No.

While my job title was inventory manager; charts, forecasted orders, and material costs were not my “first love”. I began in sales. My boss was the vice-president of sales, and I supported the sales team.

I knew what customers needed before they did. I pressed service contracts and knowing when to upgrade. I was a pro at troubleshooting issues.

So if you are looking for someone to inspire your clients to have regular service, when to call, what to watch for and listen to in their systems, I am a rock star.

If you are looking for someone to explain to your team how to plan inventory for winter months and when to phase out their 13 SEER systems and push for higher numbers, I can do it but I am not going to shine at it.

The same is true in any business. To find your writer, you need someone who shares your passion. By working with a good content provider, those relationships can be formed.

While we are talking about providers, if you are judging your provider only on their price, you are missing the boat. There are content mills that take advantage of the new writer, the writer who does not write English as their first language, and the people who simply do not know the value of their work.

These mills will offer you writing for pennies. To put it bluntly, is finding the writer that represents your voice of so little value? If you want to pay someone $2.00 for 400 words, you must expect low quality.

No respectable writer would sell their work for that price and no respectable provider would hire a writer of such low value.

The bottom line is this

Finding the perfect writer requires a bit of work. Whether you do the work, or allow a content provider to do the work, someone must do it.

The end result is awesome content that keeps your readers returning for more. That is worth the small fee you pay. It is rewarding for people like me, who love to write for people who think like I do. Win-win situation for all parties involved.

Once you have developed a relationship with your service provider and writer, you continue to grow. As a preferred writer, I would get to know you.

I would learn your requirements and what you appreciate and what you will not allow. I communicate through the provider and I take direction.

You are spared the sometimes frustrating details of expression, as your provider is a professional who turns your instructions into a working template for the writer.

This three-way relationship is seamless in the content industry. You have probably heard the saying “Content is King.”

That is true to some extent, but turning that content into communication makes people like me; Queen. Using the right content service provider and the right writer, guarantees the success of your site.

We all make money and we all win.

This was a Guest Post from Dennis Hemming.

9 Guest Posting Commandments Thou Shalt Abide By

Guest Posting Commandments

Guest Posting CommandmentsI have 2 websites that accept guest posts and whilst I don’t have much experience with outreach myself, I have a fair amount of experience with…inreach (?)

So to that end I decided to put this list together detailing what I think you should do to get your outreach in order.

IT’S BLOODY DIFFICULT

Personally I hate outreach, (I know that I said I liked it before but I changed my mind), I get really nervous about it, then I end up procrastinating for about 2 hours and end up searching about Who would win in a fight: 1 gorilla or a pack of 3 wolves?

I get it and I am with you my brothers and sisters...outreach sucks balls.

This is exactly how I feel when I do outreach.

Some people love and more power to them, but it isn't really my cup of tea.

However there are some things that might make it easier...

Things You Can Do To Make Outreach More bearable and Reduce Your Fear of Rejection

As I say, I am actually in the position of receiving guest posts, so the following points are mainly my pet hates and the kinds of things that make me not even bother to reply:

Write or pay for a good post

It will get shared much more.

Not much more to say about this point but it is kind of related to all of the other points.

Don’t just do it for a link

most bloggers are pretty savvy about SEO nowadays and do you really think that a website owner is going to risk their site getting smacked down by Google just so you can muscle in an link like: “best dick pump expander” back to your shitty penis enlargement affiliate website? (Answer: no).

I know that it is kind of annoying because let's be honest here, we all want a juicy link, however if you go in with the attitude that you want to help the website you are submitting to, they are waaaay more likely to help you out with this.

I have actually let people get a nice in content back link because they were so helpful.

Be respectful

If the site is of a medium size and authority, (I guess like 100+ posts of decent content and DA 30+), then you had better believe that the webmaster has put in a not insignificant effort to get it to that stage.

Be slightly considerate and just follow their guidelines and put even the tiniest amount of effort in the grammar and layout.

Make sure to understand what kind of content that site actually puts out themselves

I.e. if they have a tech site, then make your guest post about tech or at least somewhat vaguely tech related.

You would be surprised the amount of times I get a guest post to my health site that is like: “Why you Should Buy the Best Running Shoes”.

That sounds great on the outside because running and health go together like a fart and a piss, but upon further inspection of these kinds of posts, they only want to shoehorn in their exact match anchor text, (see point 2).

DON’T USE A SCRIPT FROM AN IM WEBSITE

Seriously, I cannot tell you the amount of time I have read a blog post from like Authority Hacker or something, that gives an example of a script they use; only to be bombarded with emails using that script almost verbatim!

Please for the love of the guest posting script Gods, just write an outreach email that is somewhat original.

It really isn’t that difficult to come up with something and if I am getting these kind of canned outreach emails, you can bet your arsehole that other webmasters are.

Even if a webmaster is not au fait with SEO and SEO type blogs, you should understand that they are not stupid and the penny will drop soon enough and will make them fed up and possibly even consider scraping their write for us page.

Use something like Buzzsumo

I use the free option and just type in a keyword about something I think is interesting and related to their site, then see what comes out.

Then either I will research and write myself or hire a writer.

This way you should be able to see what is popular and then stand a better chance at getting a response.

List posts

If you are sending a list post; it had better be a good un’.

Honestly I have lost count at the amount of times I have received a post like: “10 Methods to Lose Weight”, and upon reading it, it is garbage like 1. Go running, 2. Jump about bit or whatever and it is just some boring, regurgitated shit that some dickhead has probably just copied from a website from 2002 and then placed into The Best Spinner.Anyway,

THAT’S NOT COOL and did I mention boring.

That said, I have received some pretty descent list posts that are obviously well researched, nicely written and had some care and attention put into crafting them.

Don’t use the same post for all of your outreach

I do have a premium Copyscape account and I know how to use it.

If I have to use up one of my 5 cent credits only to find out it has been plastered all over the web; I am going to be a bit peeved.

Provide value and you should be rewarded

I have published some really good guest posts from people and I have actually gone the extra mile for them in terms of promoting the post and also their website via my (small) list and (small but growing…like the product from point 2 really) social media channels.

The really good guest posts regularly get viewed and people actually visit their site.

So a great guest post can get you the coveted double whammy of a nice in content back link + real referrals.

Rant Over

So that is kind of my rant and now I am focusing on going full on beast mode in my outreach with some of my websites, it has been a valuable lesson to learn what a normal human webmaster thinks when they receive pitches.

There are more points but I just wanted to rant and cover the basics.

If you have any other stories about bad guest posting then you can let me know in the comments so we can all have a good old laugh and bumsmack about it.

Healthy Update!

Updated Content Section 06/01/2016

So this is long time coming and I apologize to everyone that wanted to follow along, (I don’t really think anyone was waiting with bated breath…but a man can dream!).

Anyway, things are going pretty slowly and this new authority site of mine has been growing at a slow but steady pace.

Below I will detail a few things that I have been up to so that you can see what my failures are and how you can also avoid them.

Current State of Affairs

This particular site is not really a niche site per se, but rather more of an "authority site".

That means that I am not going for buyer keywords directly and hoping to rank naturally for some decent terms.

That said, I do come from a purely affiliate background, and as such I can't resist tracking some keywords of content that I researched.​

So you an see some of the keywords I am tacking below and their rankings as of the update of this post:​

So as you can see, nothing really to write home about, but these rankings are with either 0 back links, or some basic ones like social shares, infographic directory links, randomly acquired links and so on.

My goal here is not to go crazy about single keywords, but rather to create topics surrounding certain conditions.​

To that end, I have focused on some key niches such as:​

  • Sleep
  • Nutrition
  • Detoxing
  • Medical conditions
  • Beauty
  • Lifestyle (kind of making this the generic "blog" section that I can lump in random posts)

Niche

OK, so I am in the health niche and I think that this was probably my first mistake!

Not actually getting into this niche, but rather my niche is: Health!

That is way too broad and I didn’t really think it through that much. The reason I went for it was because I wanted to create an online magazine and then I was going to just pay for content, perhaps 8-16 posts per month.

However that was when I had a steady online income that I could reinvest.

Anyway I lost that income stream, (I put all my eggs into 1 basket…so don’t do that), and I was kind of left scrambling around a bit.

I went through a kind of sadness and despair about losing everything, however it kind of turned out not that bad and opened my eyes to other forms of income that…well it’s a long story and I will go into it a bit further in another post.

Suffice to say that I had invested a fair amount of money in setting my new site up and had an asset that I thought I may as well expand n.

That was in May 2016 so how have I been doing so far?

Social

I decided from the outset that I wanted to get a large chunk of traffic via social media and this niche is especially ripe for this kind of traffic generation.

In particular Pinterest.

Facebook

This is always the first thing I set up with a brand new site and it was no different here.

However I decided that I wanted to get some ads to boost numbers and it kind of worked, but I did it half arsed and only got around 50 followers, (pretty engaged, but very few nonetheless).

Twitter

This site has never been of much interest to me really, but it is something that, like Facebook, I start with every site. However it has actually been a blessing in disguise, because according to my analytics, visitors from Twitter are some of the most engaged readers I have!!!

I used a service called Quu.co by buying a special deal from AppSumo, (btw if you haven’t already singed up with them…go and do it now. Or after you have read and shared my post!).

It is a great program where they essentially have 2 side. ! side is where you can pay them to post relevant topics on your social media pages to keep them updated with interesting content, the other side being for people like you and me that want to have our content shared.

You just upload a great image, (I always use Canva for this and all of my website images), then add a few hashtags and wiat for them to approve it.

Once it gets the OK, you get floods of shares and some decent traffic.

I have used it on about 8 of my posts, (all well written and engaging) and usually get anything from 200 – 300 shares per post of FB and Twitter, but mainly Twitter.

It is great as well because it opens up loads of opportunities to network.

For example if you see that a website has shared a post of yours to their many followers, you can reach out to them and thank them. Sometimes nothing happens, but other times you might get a link or another share of another post or a guest post opportunity.

Pinterest

Now this was the thing I really wanted to target because health related things get shared like mad.

I used a special software called Follower Liker that automates sharing, pinning, repinning etc and speeds up the process of getting followers.

So now I have around 1,200 followers, perhaps 1,000 of those are people as opposed to brands, in about 5 months. I could have got more but my HDD on my computer decided to die on me along with the software 🙁

I won’t go into the ins and outs of Pinterest marketing because there are much better guides out there that will explain it better than me, but it is very worthwhile.

However you must make sure to set it up correctly from the start.

SEO & Organic Traffic

As much as I want social traffic, to me being an affiliate marketer at heart; I crave organic traffic!

With regards to each point, let’s go through them both individually:

SEO

As with everything about this new site, I didn’t plan it through properly but am now starting to get things into shape.

At the beginning I just did a mixture of post types with a strong emphasis on keyword research. The way I did this was to both do my own research and also to buy a Clickbank keyword from this guy (aff link but I have used him multiple times to great effect…just make sure to specify the general niche you are in).

I then either wrote a quick post myself and optimized the on page, or outsourced it.

Don’t get me wrong, this is quality content and I have mixed it up with some 3 -5,000 word, super detailed posts.

However I am not getting the traffic I was expecting. But I know the reason behind this.

The main thing was that they are not connected to each other in any significant way.

How Did I Fix This?

I wrote several more related articles, then grouped them together in a kind of quasi, category based silo structure and then cleaned up the homepage and menus to reflect this.

I have also been on an inner page, interlinking rampage and going back over many older posts and updating them to link to related posts.

For example, I have a section about detoxing, so I have linked all the detox posts together with exact match anchor text, (where it makes sense) and I have found that this has helped engagement and keep people on my site.

Traffic

I have been receiving a steady amount of traffic from all over the place and my 30 analytics shows this:

Now this is isn’t the full picture and I have not really analysed it properly, but I would say that about 1,000 of these visits are junk. Some of the junk is real people, but very un-targeted or have stumbled upon the site in random manner.

However I am fairly happy with the way it is looking.

BTW, some of the weird spikes there are from some tests I ran but ultimately decided against continuing it, adverts etc.

Content

The backbone of any successful website.

In a usual affiliate website, I would expect to reach a certain number of posts before seeing some income, but this site is a different beast.

I have settled into posting 1 time per week and am now considering ramping that way up.

But, How Can I Do This With No Income?

Good question and one I was scratching my head about until I found a solution to get medium quality content for free, (kind of free you give something in return).

The answer is to accept guest posts on your site!

Now I will add a caveat here, you have to spend some money or write a decent amount of posts to start with, and you also need some authority.

I don’t really care for website metrics, but in this case it helps a lot.

you see, my site is now DA 23 PA 34 and TF 14 CF25 which is quite average, but great to anyone looking to get a nice backlink.

What I did was to create a page titled “write for us” (important because this is an operator people search for when looking for guest post opportunities).

On that page I displayed certain rules that must be followed in order to pitch me a guest post. This is also important because I only want high quality content for this site and not a 400 word piece of shit, boring ass post like: “5 reasons you should care about your health” YAWN, aint no one got time to read that crap!

I also specify that any link back to a site will be from an author byline, however if the content is exceptional then I allow a non exact match link back to an inner page of their site as a reference.

I also require that they must cite all sources used to research the post and I will also fact check every post for quality.

This generally ends up with me declining about 1/4 of pitches because it is either a shit article or they demand an exact match anchor text in content.

However this means that I end up with medium to high quality posts that I can add to my site that only costs me a small amount of time to fact check and edit to look pretty!

Paid Content

I also pay for some content when I can’t be bothered myself, or I want to write a huge post and need a skeleton to build upon, (I always find that starting a new post is the most difficult for me, so if I can pay for 500 – 1,000 words to start something off, I will).

Below is a list of the services I use:

Paid Content Services I Use

I have used several services over the years with varying degrees of success.

This is a quick list of the 3 that I use regularly and they work well for me, plus there is a new service I recently found out about that I will use much more from now on.​

TextBroker

This is one that many people recommend and with good reason.

It is reasonably priced and the quality is fine. I have had very bad experiences with it and they are pretty unhelpful with trying to help you out, but I have also managed to find a great health writer that I have made favorite and always use.

The key is to write a very detailed brief and give examples of what you want.

I Need Articles

Interesting one created by a guy called Jon Leger who i follow for IM related things and who seems to know his stuff.

I shy away from using his exact methods, but use some of his tools like Best Spinner and the like.

I Need Writers (INW) is pretty consistent at delivering what I want. I mainly use this service to create a bare bones post that I will flesh out and make into something more interesting.

I use it really for someone else to research a topic first!

However where INW really comes into its own, is rewriting content.

You can check out my post about the lazy mans guest posting method to see more about them, but I also use them to rewrite one of my posts so that I can pitch to another website and get a topically relevant backlink to my site, (I am sure this is what others do when they pitch me a post!).

​Writing Pack

This is a new one that I tested out to see how good the quality would be and I have to admit…I am pleasantly surprised and will be using them much more.

I wasn’t really expecting much from them because it is $10 per 1,000 words and I have found that decent quality content general goes for around $20 for the same amount of words.

I also gave them a pretty tricky subject to write about, but lo and behold, the post I got back was more than acceptable!

It needed very slight cleaning up because they write based around the keywords you give them and I changed some of it to some synonyms or swapped a few things about, but I generally do this for most content, and for 10 bucks, this is fine!

I am going to test out a 2,000 post on 1 topic and see how they do. I have a feeling that 1,000 is there sweet spot and they may go off repeating things, but you never know 🙂

(UPDATE: One of my online friends read this post and informed me that they have used these guys before and after running it through Copyscape, found that they didn’t seem completely unique. I have only used them this one time and my Copyscape result came back 100% clear, however I am writing this so that you know the facts before ordering).

Money

So this is the beef that you all want to eat, I know.

Well to completely honest with you, the site has only really made about $100 or so, but it is only about 8 months old and I was expecting this to be a super long term project.

I know that these things have a tendency to snowball after a certain “critical mass” of links and content so I just plugging away getting links and creating content.

OK, So What Would I Do Differently?

There are many things that I would do differently if I could repeat time, but I want to preface this section by saying that this site is an ongoing effort and I am constantly learning things myself and I am always jigging things about.

However these are some things that I would either like to change or am in the process of changing:

  1. Use the correct size images from the get go – I used file sizes that were way too big and it ultimately slowed my site down significantly. I have corrected this issue now and always resize images in Photoshop or MS Paint, (yes I do use that!).
  2. Set up my Pinterest profile correctly – This is an ongoing thing for me, but I have not got the gains that I am sure I would have got if I had optimized my boards and pins correctly.
  3. Networking – This is ongoing and I want to boost up my site to become a bit more authoritative by networking more with other site owners.
  4. Build high quality links – Again this is ongoing, but tend to be slightly lazy and really need to send out more guest posts. I was hesitant at first because I really hate getting a brilliant post written, only to give it away! However this is a stupid attitude to take and now I have used Writing Pack, I am comfortable getting about $100 worth of content to send off as guest posts.
  5. Not enough content – Perhaps a bit of an odd one seeing as I have a publishing schedule of 1 post per week, but I want to increase this up to at least 2 per week and when the site is starting to pay for itself, I will outsource this to an article writing service and perhaps spend around $300 per month to keep it updated. I will still write the big pillar posts myself, but I just want lots of content as this is an online magazine style and it really needs a ton of info.

Conclusion

This is a somewhat brief overview of everything that I have been doing, but I don’t want to on about it too much.

However what I will do, is to write more posts about each point individually.

This has been the main online thing I have been focusing on recently so it has taken up a ton of time. However I have been getting some great income from a previous Amazon affiliate site that I have gone 50/50 with a partner on and I have also been keeping that updated slightly.

I have also begun a process of turning around an old Amazon site that gets about 350-400 visitors per day, into an AdSense website with some success, (the ads generate about $80 per month which is not a lot I know, but it’s something. I also use SkimLinks on it which helps me to pay for some of the new things I am doing).

So let me know of any questions you have in the comments below and I will see what I can do to anwser them 🙂

I Need Guest Posts: The Lazy Man Method of Outreach!

I Need Guest Posts
I Need Guest Posts

I know that you know that links are important.

I also know that you know that guest post links, especially contextual links, are just super duper.

What’s more I even know that you probably haven’t started yet for a number of reasons which I will list below, (I know these are true because it’s how I feel, so don’t you be lying to me):

  • You don't know how to go about it
  • You are scared of contacting other people, (the antisocial syndrome)
  • You don't know what the hell to write about or how to write a guest post

Amiright, (yes I am).

Anyway, the reason that I am writing this is because I recently started an interesting new project, and I feel as though I have enough content right now to start building/ earning links.

However I wanted to make this new site something a bit special and something that will last through all of the stupid ass Google updates, but also to actually get proper referral traffic from links…kill 2 birds with 1 link so to speak.

Now like you guys, I also have an immense terror at having to speak to other human beings outside of the IM world, but I decided that I like money more and I sucked it up, put on my big boy trousers (pants to my American friends), and started to get cracking.

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Bit of a Disclaimer

This process will make your life easier, but you will still need to spend some money to do it.

You don't need to spend any money for outreach, but your choice is Time or Money and only you can choose what is right for you, I personally spend money most of the time, but mix it up with doing my own writing​

A Little Bit of Backstory For Context

So I have been using a content service for a long time now, called: I Need Articles (affiliate link), (stylized as iNeedArticles but I don’t want to write it like that because I’m not 5 years old).

So this service is actually pretty good, and I was originally using it for rewrites and it is bloody fantastic for that job. In fact you give them any article you have (no plagiarizing here please), and you will get back a fully rewritten, Copyscape passing piece of wordage that looks original, reads original and is basically a brand new set of words that you can use with impunity.

In fact one of my favorite bloggers who I trust a lot wrote about some article writing services he uses and I Need Articles was one that he uses often to rewrite articles.

Um, Fine. So What's The Point Here?

OK, OK pipe down you impatient fiend.

The point is that I Need Articles is a great rewriting service.

Now we don’t actually want any articles rewritten for the purposes of this post, but they have something interesting that I have found myself using more and more…an article marketplace that is essentially a whole load of pre-written articles about all kinds of subjects and niches imaginable.

All original and all ready to buy immediately.

Now,

I will get back to these guys in a moment, but the next step to this amazing process involves another tool:

Another Tool

Right, this is where things start to heat up.

Don’t ask me where I found it, but it it was probably from an email or something.

Anyway there is a pretty great program called: Guest Post Tracker (no aff link).

Understand here that this isn’t even an affiliate link by me, but it is such a great tool that I want as many people to know about it as possible.

What Is It?

So one of the main issues with guest posting is sifting through shit loads of crap to find a golden nugget of a website that actually accepts guest posts and then going through the motions of finding contact details and then emailing and then…well you get the idea because you have probably already gone thorough this tedious process.

There is also the outreach failures that you have to contend with when you do things purely manually, and these aren’t so nice if you have paper think skin like me 🙁

This is where Guest Post Tracker comes in.

It’s around $70 (at least it was when I bought access to it), and it kind of collates lots and lots of websites that accepts guest posts, for all sorts of niches.

If you can’t find your niche (unlikely), you can kind of think outside of the box, for example I have a health site, but I have been contacting webmasters from:

  • Health
  • Fitness
  • Food
  • Lifestyle
  • General
  • Family
  • Self Improvement
  • Women

And all of these different categories can be connected with healthy posts.

What I am trying to get across here is that you will be able to find something, in fact just check out the categories they actually have:

Guest post advice

Let's Connect Everything Together

Now this is where things start to get fun because your life will start to get easier from here on out and as we all know:

“Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.”

-Yoda

Or something like that.

Basically fear of doing somethings leads to inaction which is very, very bad in the IM world, but this process will make things easier.

Here Are The Steps To Take

There is a bit of work involved, but nothing painful.

Step 1

Find a website from Guest Post Tracker that you would like a link from

Step 2

Check out the requirements and specifications that the site is asking for, and do a small amount of research into their website out of courtesy, and check out what posts they are missing or what you could do better

Step 3

Find an article from the article marketplace of I Need Articles, buy it and edit it slightly to match the voice of your site

Step 4

Send over your edited article to the webmaster either via their own contact form if needed or via email.

If you have to send it to an email address​ make sure to just let them know that you have read their website and enjoy it and find some of their own articles that catch your eye, and just let them know how much you enjoyed reading them.

You don't have to do this, but I do & appreciate it when folks do this for me...so it doesn't take any extra effort and it's nice to be nice.​

How Effective Is This Method?

Since I have seriously started doing outreach in the past few weeks, I have found it to be pretty effective. However as with everything, there are good points and bad points.

1 bad point is that you might buy an article and never actually have anyone accept the post for their own site. I actually don’t ever worry about this though, because if no one wants it, you can just use it for your own website which is never a bad thing.

Pros & Cons

  • Very simple to do
  • Loads of options
  • Can use the article for your own site if rejected
  • Or you can just apply it to another website
  • Hundreds of potential sites, and therefore links, to check out
  • Much, much cheaper than some guest posting services out there
  • Can be expensive
  • A few moving parts to combine
  • Still involves some research, (but this is minimal compared to the usual method)

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That's All Folks

So there you have it, a simple but effective method of guest posting for yourself! I use and if you have some capital to spend, you should certainly give it a go.

Now the links to I Need Articles are all affiliate links, and I do get commission every time you deposit money for articles, but you don’t need this…it just makes you life easier. I also use them a lot for my own articles to just keep my sites updated with fresh content.

The 1 program you do need is, is Guest Post Tracker which I don’t get any affiliate commission from…but it is just a great tool to make use of and again, if you have a some money to spend, you should highly consider it.

If you only have a small amount of money, then go for Guest Post Tracker first as you can always write your own guest post, I am just lazy!

The great thing about this method, is that even when you combine all parts together, it is considerably cheaper than either buying links, or paying someone to get guest post links for you.

Don’t get me wrong, I will still use high quality guest posting services like those over at Niche Site Project, but this method will save you money and gain you some extra links into the mix.

How to Buy Websites (and Have Success) as a Beginner

This is a guest post from the super talented Josh Shogren of Passion into Paychecks fame (and an intern at FE International). He emailed me about writing about how to properly buy a website and seeing as I am currently working hard to regroup, this couldn't have come at a better time!

I will give my own analysis at the end, but strap yourself in, this is a seriously good post right here.

This is a fully informational post that requires reading NOT skimming. So if you are going to be scrolling all over the place then I suggest that you go away.​

​Take it away Josh...

Purchasing an established website and bypassing 6+ months of building from scratch is both smart and effective. You save countless hours working on a website that may or may not be successful and instead you get to skip right to the point where it’s making money.

Although this idea is very enticing, it’s not something that you should jump straight into as a beginner. In this article I’ll be walking you through the most important factors that will help you have success as a website buying beginner.

The Prerequisites

If you have zero experience running and operating an online business, then I would suggest waiting before you buy a website. Instead, you should think about starting a website from scratch and learning the ropes that way. This route will allow you to learn the necessary skills to successfully run a website without minimal risk. The skills that you’ll learn from doing this will translate over when you decide to invest in your first site.

I personally started out building my own websites from scratch for 5+ years before I moved into buying them. During those 5 years I was able to hone my skill set which has allowed me to find success buying and selling websites.

Here are some good resources on how to get started building your own site from scratch:

Those resources will point you in the right direction and have you building your own sites in no time!

Now, for those of you who have successfully built your own websites before, but have yet to take the dive into buying a website, the rest of the article is for you!

Play to your Strengths

This is so important.

In order to have the best chance of success, you need to stick with what you know and what has worked for you in the past. This applies to two main areas: skills and business model.

Let’s start with your skills. If you have built up a solid expertise in an area or two, then you should buy a site where you can fully maximize them. For example, if you have gotten really good at keyword research, then you should try to find a website that is underperforming with its content and hasn’t reached its full potential in that aspect. This will allow you to purchase this site with confidence because you know exactly how you are going to improve it.

The other part is the business model. If the bulk of your success has come from building Amazon Affiliate sites, then it would be smart for you to stick to the same business model when buying a site. Doing this will greatly increase your chances for success. It’ll allow you to apply the knowledge that have gained in the past onto the new website.

You should avoid buying a website that is outside of your comfort zone. For example, if your experience has primarily been with affiliate sites and you purchase a SaaS business, you’re looking at a sizeable learning curve. SaaS businesses require a lot of technical knowledge, and running a successful SaaS isn’t something you can learn overnight.

Bottom line here, stick with what you know and play to your strengths. I can’t stress this enough for those who have never purchased a website before.

Know the Market

The fact that there is a whole market dedicated to the buying and selling of online businesses is eye opening for most people. And the truth is, it’s only growing!

So before you start buying any websites, you should first familiarize yourself with the market and begin to understand how everything works. 

This means having a solid understanding of:

  • How to properly value websites
  • The average multiples used for valuations
  • How to spot scams (there’s a ton of them out there!)
  • What metrics are the most important
  • And a whole lot more

You will begin to gain an understanding of each one of these things once you submerge yourself in the market. Looking at the listings on a marketplace such as Flippa can be useful in learning about market trends. Take notes on the sites that are super active with bidders and seem to be a hot commodity, and try to understand why that is.

Get a feel for what the scams look like and how to avoid them (hint: a site making $2k a month selling for $1k is NOT a good deal, it’s a scam).

One caveat: If this is your first time buying a site, doing so through a marketplace has significant risks. Marketplaces are best used as a way to research the market due to the information about each site being publically available. In addition to being rife with aforementioned scams, you’ll have to do all of the work on due diligence and negotiation on your own. As such, buying through a qualified broker is recommended for first-time buyers.

I would suggest reading this website valuation guide here, it’ll explain what the most important metrics to look at when valuing a website and a whole bunch of other useful info.

Be Patient

Don’t rush into buying a website. This is probably the most common mistake that people make. They want to get started so badly that they settle for a subpar website and it ends up biting them in the butt.

I fully understand wanting to buy a website as soon as possible and how frustrating it can be to not find any good deals for a period of time. To give you an idea of how often I make new website purchases check out how many websites I have purchased in the last 12 months and the dates of each:

  • August 2015
  • March 2016
  • April 2016
  • May 2016

So in the past 12 months I made a total of four website purchases, that’s it! And I look at listings practically every day. Now, this isn’t to say that there were only four good deals in the last 12 months, but that is how many I ended up buying.

If I had to guess, I was probably seriously interested in around 20-30 deals in the past 12 months, and ended up pulling the trigger on four of those. If we averaged that out over a year it would come out to around 1-3 websites PER month that caught my eye. Keep that in mind when you are looking for sites.

The best deals don’t come right away, you have to stay patient and wait for the good deals. This is a long-term game and you can’t rush good deals.

The most important takeaway from this is that it takes times to find the good deals.

Have a Plan of Attack Before You Buy

In my opinion, the most important ingredient to any successful website purchase is to have a strategy for how you plan to grow the site BEFORE you purchase. By doing this, you have a clear path on how to achieve quick wins within the first few months of it being under your ownership.

To explain this idea further, I’ll use a personal example from a recent site that I purchased. Here’s the quick backstory.

I came across a website that was making around $130 per month over the past 6 months. The bulk of the earnings were coming from AdSense, but here’s the thing. The site was only using ONE ad per page!

I knew that Google allowed six total ads per page (three regular units and three link units) so just from that alone I knew this site was severely under optimized. My plan once I bought the site was to not only add more ads per page, but also start split testing them using AmpedSense. From my previous experience, I knew I could easily find the best performing ad layout and that it would way outperform the earnings from that one ad.

It’s been just over one full month since I took over ownership of this site and in that time period the site was able to earn over $202.

Along with my plan to improve the AdSense earnings, I also knew that the niche of this site was perfect for QuinStreet, which is lead generation network for colleges and training programs. I’m fairly confident that QuinStreet will outperform AdSense by a longshot and it will be something that I’ll be testing in the future.

Aside from monetization strategies, I also had a few different ideas for growing the traffic to the site as well. I am going to be targeting local search terms and try to rank for them. This will allow me to target less competitive keywords since it’s on a local level. Also, the traffic I get from these local keywords will be extremely targeted for turning them into leads.

As you can see, before I purchased this website I had a handful of different methods and strategies to grow this site. Because of this, I was very confident that I would be able to increase the earnings for this site and have a successful website purchase.

You should try to do the same thing for any site that you are interested in buying. If you don’t have any ideas to grow it then you are basically buying the site for its current cash flow. This is perfectly fine, but wouldn’t you rather buy a site where you could grow the cash flow and increase the overall value of the site? I know I would!

The other aspect you should try to plan out is your exit strategy. Whether that is for you to flip the site within 6 months or hold onto it for 5 years and then sell. You don’t need an exact date, but a rough idea on the timeline of this site will help guide all of your decisions.

When you do go to sell, I’d highly recommend staying away from going through a marketplace or auction, such as Flippa. Instead, you should go with a broker.

The biggest reason is because they will properly value your website and help you sell for what it’s actually worth. You can avoid worrying about the auction not meeting reserve and instead have peace of mind knowing you are selling at the true value.

Only Spend What You’re Comfortable Losing

Just like with any type of investment, there’s always a risk of it not working out and you losing money. Well, the same principle applies to buying websites. There will always be that chance that the website could flop and you be out the money you paid for it.

For that reason, I’d recommend that you only spend the money that you are comfortable losing, and work with a reputable advisor on your purchase. This is even more important if you’ve never purchased a website before.

Wrapping It Up

That’s going to bring us to the end of the article, I hope that you’ve enjoyed.

If you stick to the rules that I have laid out in this post you will increase your chances of success as first time website buyers. If you have any questions I will be hanging out in the comments answering all that I can.

My Analysis

If you didn't get at least a tiny bit of value from this, then you are an idiot and you should read it again.

Go on, read it again.

​However if you read it properly which I know you did because you're a cool cat like me and my dog, then you should have got some seriously useful information.

As I said in the intro, I am currently trying hard to re establish a way of making money since my Amazon account got banned, and so when I received Josh's email in my inbox, my eyes just lit up.

I have actually been looking to purchase something ​in the past, but I have never really been comfortable with knowing how to go about it...until now!

Anyway,I just want to thank Josh for this amazing post and I am sure he is willing to answer any questions you might have in the comments below.

My Most Ambitious Test

I'll tell you what sucks...

Having an established website making thousands of dollars a month and an up & coming site with massive potential; washed away from under your feet 🙁

This is what happened to me not too long ago, and it is really a story in ​not putting all of your golden eggs in 1 bastard basket.

In my case the basket was Amazon and they took back their basket and all of the eggs that I had accrued in it.​

However there is a sort of silver lining in this story.​

Reinvestment

Luckily I spent most of my profits in other online ventures and​ reinvested quite heavily. This was in part because I have pretty severe shiny object syndrome, but also because I am always acutely aware of the fact that you have to spend money to make money.

1 of the projects that I started when the money taps were open, was a health related website.​

No I am going to do something interesting here, and share the website with you guys so you can see just what it and what I will be doing.

There are a few reasons that I want to share this site with you , when I decided to hide my other niche site.

I will go through each point individually first before telling you the site...because I want to lower my bounce rate and increase the time you spend on this page :D​

  • I love you guys and I want us all to be able to help each other out
  • The new site isn't necessarily based around 1 keyword and is a mixture of viral, social posts and long form :Ultimate Guide" style sites
  • I think by sharing, you will also be able to see just what to do to get something up and running
  • This site isn't really the kind of website that can get negatively spammed etc

Because we are friends

You guys are either reading this for 1 of 2 reasons, either:

  • You are here because we are already connected somehow and you want to read what I have to write, or:
  • You are here because you typed in something peculiar to Google or Bing or Duck Duck Go and ended up here

Both of these are cool and if we are not already friends, then let's become buddies!

Not a super niche, keyword based style site

Basically there isn't really a niche or a keyword that you can steal for yourselves you horrible bastards.

Just kidding, but seriously I would do the same...​

However it is more of an authority site, so to speak, that I want to be a go to guide for both serious and fun articles.

Whilst some of the posts are based around keywords, they are super specific and you will have a bit of a time finding out the KW used or even replicating the content because it is well researched and written.

Even if you wanted to copy it, you would have to spend a bit of money and it isn't really a "get to position 1 of Google" kind website anyway.

It Might Help You

It may actually help those of you that are just starting out and help you to see just what a fully fleshed out website can be.

Now I am not trying to toot my own horn here, even though I do enjoy a good horn tooting...especially when there is a lady involved. However I am quite proud of this site and have big plans for it and have spent a few hundred dollars on it.

This doesn't mean that you need to spend this kind of money, my biggest cost has been content because I want to get it up and running as fast as possible.

I know I am on to something here as well, because I put it through my Stumbleupon test where it gained traction pretty fast and spiked at over 2,000 visitors for the 1st day, then around 800 visitors per day for the next ​6 days before trailing off, as is usual with these kinds of things.

Check out the screenshot below to see for yourself:​

SPAM Sandwich

It could get spammed to death, but I don't really know why because I am not really targeting any keywords here.

There is a possibility that it could get thousands of links sent to it by a pissed off arsehole, but I don't think this will happen​...I hope :O

Like I have said, it isn't really targeting any specific keywords and the few that I have chosen for the blog posts, I hope will get a boost form the overall authority of the site when it takes off.​

Let's Get To IT Then!

OK, so here you go, my newest project is...

A Few Notes For Context

  • It is a bit all over the place right now, because I had originally designed it to make use of Amazon, (along with other things), but since the ban I have been trying to move into other methods of making money form it.
  • I have a long term plan for it invloving mailing lists and creating my own product, but in the short term, I am just focusing on traffic from various methods like SEO, paid traffic (Facebook, Bing etc), and trying to create viral content
  • I am using a mixture of different methods ranging from Digital Marketers content engine, Rank XL long form "pillar posts", to Fat Stacks gallery lists. I hope that a mixture of these will create a viable, long term flow of traffic.

That's All For Now

So there you have it, my newest, latest and greatest (and most ambitious) site to date!

now I really have gone out on a limb here by sharing it with you guys, so I would really appreciate it if you gave me some feedback about it.

But you know what else would really help...if you could share the posts that you like on your social media with your friends and family so that it can get out into the wild a bit 🙂

I also really want you to follow along with me, so from now on, most of my posts are going to centered around this site.

I will add in other posts here and there, but I think I want to focus on this bad boy and see what happens 🙂

Next post, I will be talking about the plugins I am using, with 2 in particular that I hope will boost it into the stratosphere !

Please ask any questions in the comments and I genuinely would love to hear what you have to say because I really want to make a little community with you guys and ​if there is anything that I can do to help you out; all you need to do is ask 🙂

The Ban Hammer Hitteth…

I'm still seeing stars

OK, so here goes…

I was minding my own business the other day when disaster struck :O

“What happened?”, you say.

Well pull up a seat and sit down. Or if you are already sitting down; stand up and then sit down again.

The day I got smacked upside the head with the ban hammer

If you have all been following along with my niche site case study, (which of course you have been because we are all friends here, you will know that I have been making steady progress and that I am using a program called Amazon Associates to monetize it.

Well the other day, 10 June 2016, I logged in for my daily ritual of seeing how much moola I had made and low and behold…they had banned my account 🙁

What's the fallout?

Well there are 3 very major issues here that really suck balls:

  1. I had just over $6,000 waiting to be paid out, which I will not see now
  2. I had partnered up with an expert with one of my sites and it was just about ready to make some serious money
  3. I might not be allowed to use this program again

I will go through each point here to show you how bad this feels…like rubbing salt into an open wound and then washing it away with bleach kind of bad feeling.

Money

So everything else aside; I will never get to see that money that I had earned which is nightly annoying.

Luckily I had reinvested a lot of the earnings into other sites and some long term things that will help me to regroup and start again…but that is still a shit load of money that I really wanted in my bank account!

Partnership

I won’t go into too much detail here out of respect for my partner, but suffice to say we may have to seriously reconsider and possible find a load of different affiliate programs to recoup something.

This is bad because Amazon is such a conversion machine, that we will never make as much money as we could have done otherwise, (slight chance we could make more though because other affiliate programs generally offer 10% or more, which is higher than Amazon).

Lifetime arse pain

Yep, this is the one that pisses me off the most.

I have been researching like crazy to see whether they ban websites, or people and I just can’t seem to find an answer.

If this is a lifetime ban, I can kind of live without the lost money, but I really want my other website to be cleaned up to comply with their terms of service then added to another associate account.

I also want to be able to use this program again because it is just so dammed convenient.

There is a few silver linings though:

  1. I will try to create a new account and let it marinate for a bit to see if they shut it down again. The purpose here being that if they keep it open, I will start to add my niche site case study site to it and hopefully start making some money again.
  2. If they shut it down completely, I will just use someone else details and open a completely separate account with a brand new website. I don’t really want to do this because it is a royal pain in the starfish and I will have to use a different computer, name, bank details and IP address. All very doable, just time consuming and frustrating. 

What's next?

Well I’m not going to give up…that’s for pussies and fucking wankers.

I will make money online one way or another and I just need to regroup myself a bit.

Most likely situation will be that I will take a bit of time off to gather myself, (I am also renovating a house so a bit busy irl), and then get back into it.

My first step will be to clean up my recent niche site and make it as compliant as possible. This is because it is just starting to rank for some medium competition keywords and really seeing some movement and traffic.

Luckily, because it is in the kitchen/ cookware niche; there are plenty of other affiliate programs so not the end of the world.

I have also slowly been creating a new, authority site that I will try to monetize with AdSense and Clickbank offers. However this is a really long term site and I don’t expect to start making even 1 cent for at least a few years.

I also need loads of content for it and I was previously buying it, but I guess I will just have to research and write it all myself now!

What you can do

If anyone reading this has an Amazon associate account, I would highly recommend reading this post from Marketever, and then going through your site/s with a fine tooth comb and get it nice and compliant.

I have noticed a shit load of accounts getting banned recently and a whole load of lives being turned upside down. So be safe and make sure to stay clean. Remember kids…drugs aren’t the answer. Unless you have just had your account banned, then it might be the answer, (DISCLAIMER: probably better to stick with the whiskey).

It is also a lesson in not putting all of your eggs in one basket. Try to diversify your income as much as possible. This means that if you are currently only running 1 kind of site with 1 source of income, start to invest heavily in other forms of income so you are more secure if one goes down.

Wrapping it up

As frustrating as this is, it isn’t the end of the world.

I am not even bitter towards Amazon, (although I do wish that they would just allow people to correct their site and then reapply…a lifetime ban is a bit much imho).

I will see about making a new account somehow, and I will start to focus my efforts away from 1 source of income to hopefully several and I really think that I will try to transition to creating and selling my own products when I get some decent traffic.

Let me know what you think in the comments and I will get back to you.

 

Charles Floate Affiliate Course Review

charles floate affiliate course logo
Is this online course worth the cheddar…well read on you fool, to find out!

You or may not be aware of who Charles Floate is, but seeing as you are reading this post; I will assume that you have a basic idea about who he is.

For those of you who don’t know, I will give you a brief overview below.

But for this intro, I will just say that the Charles Floate Affiliate Course is by far one of the most interesting courses I have ever bought, (and I have bought a lot…I just love spending money:P).

However, does interesting = good?

Check out the full review below…

charles floate affiliate course logo

Use: To get a higher level of understanding with regards to all aspects of affiliate marketing

Usefulness

You won't find any other course online that gives you such a comprehensive overview of "moneyhat" methods

Usability

Videos, text and a simple navigation menu...not much to get lost with tbh

Price

Expensive, but there is more to it than just that. Read the whole review to see why it is so worth while

I will be going through each section of the course in this review, to give you an overview of what you can expect.

NOTE: I tend to ramble on a bit, so feel free to use the table of contents to jump to the part you are most interested in!

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Information provided by one of the most well known and respected affiliate marketers around
  • Fantastic, high quality video explained and accompanying text
  • A lot of thought has gone into this course and it really shows
  • Very interesting explanations about how to kick off your site quickly using blackhat methods, then to slowly transition into whitehat link acquisition in order to "flip" the site for more money
  • Section including all of the high quality SEO vendors that Charles uses himself

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Focuses a bit too much on the final "flipping" aspect, (explained further below)
  • Not the best course for beginners

First things, first

If you are a complete beginner, I would not recommenced spending money on this course. It is aimed at slightly more intermediate to advanced affiliate marketers.

That doesn’t mean that beginners won’t get any value from it; but rather some of the modules and language can be confusing without prior knowledge.

This course Will NOT teach you about the basics of setting up a website or the very basics of affiliate marketing…so be aware of this before deciding to purchase.

Charles Floate Affiliate Course: Is It Worth It?

The bottom line is a resounding yes…but with some caveats.

You can see in the cons column, some of the issues with the course revolve around the price, the end result it focuses on and it not being so beginner friendly.

However all of these issues are not really big deals when you dig a bit deeper.

So to that end, I will start with the price:

Price

Let first address the elephant in the room here…the price.

So what does it cost?

$499

That is how much it costs and there is no way around it…that is pretty expensive!

However when you start to stack up what you are getting, the cost is not so bad.

As said and as I will go into more detail in a moment; this is not for those of you just starting out, and this is kind of aimed at people already making some money and willing to reinvest part of it to get a deeper understanding of some of the more specific details regarding making money online.

Random Japanese story moment

I once saw a TV program about a Japanese chef.

Said chef was being interviewed by a Westerner about why he had just spent nearly $100 on a tea towel, (kitchen towel).

His answer surprised me a bit and completely changed the way I thought about investments both online & offline and also investments in time or … well everything really. 

It was enlightening.

Do you know how he justified spending that amount of money for a simple towel that he could have bought for a fraction of the price?

He said that as a result of it being of exquisite quality, it would last him a long time, by his reckoning about 10 years based off a previous towel he was using.

Remember!

This is 10 years of hard use, everyday.

So he broke down the cost to $10 per year…$0.02 per day!

His reasoning was that the amount of time spent buying a new one every year was time and effort wasted.

Now, I understand that this is quite an extreme example, but if something is of high quality, then the cost attached to it should be looked at in terms of what it will achieve for you in the long term, NOT the short term.

This is why I deem Charle’s affiliate course to be right on the money when it comes to its cost.

In fact, it isn’t a cost at all…it’s an investment.

VIP GUIDES: Get access to the VIP Section where you can download a growing library of guides for free. FREE to signup; FREE to download!

All about flipping

This is another one that can be also a positive, but for my purposes I will take this a con of the course.

I say this because my main aim with making money online is that I really want to be able to create a long lasting income source that I can use as a monthly income of sorts.

You see ever since I read the 4 Hour Work Week, I somewhat changed my goals. I would obviously love to tap in my password into an ATM machine and see millions of $$$, but I also live that very frightful thing called, “The Real World”!

So to that end I have made it my mission to be able to do pretty much what I want, when I want and how I want. I have decided that a certain amount per month is sufficient for me to achieve this goal. I won’t disclose that amount because it my own personal goal, but it is 5 figures and not as much as you may think because I live in Laos which is substantially cheaper than the West.

I can hear you saying right now, “that’s great and all Harry, but what the fuck are you talking about!?”.

Well apart from asking myself that same question everyday; the point I am trying to make is that my goal isn’t getting lump sums of cash throughout the year. I have a family and need the security of a monthly amount.

This course is very heavy with flipping, (not exclusively and you certainly don’t have to flip the site at the end of it, but that is just the impression I get).

What's website flipping?

If you are unfamiliar with the phrase, “flipping”, it is essentially just getting a site to earn money then selling it on.

You can buy and sell websites at specialist brokers such as Empire Flippers & FE International, (there is Flippa as well, but from what I gather, it isn’t quite as good as the former 2 for various reasons I won’t get into in this post).

Sites usually sell for around 20 times the average of its previous 3 months.

So for example if your site was consistently earning an average of $500 per month, you could expect to sell it for around $10,000 before the brokerage fees are taken off.

There are obviously subtleties to this and depending on the actual website you have made; you might get more or less than 20 times, but that is the ball park figure.

In fact, usually websites that are “whitehat” tend to sell for more, which is why Charles Floate’s course is different to others, it has something unique which I will get into a bit later on.


As you can see, this really isn’t actually a bad thing about this course and I really want to stress that it is just my opinion.

You guys may be chomping at the bit to flip your sites and if so great, I say go for this course and you will get absolutely everything you want.


OK, so now onto the good stuff!

I appreciate that the previous section may sound pretty negative, but I wanted to get that out of the way first because actually, most of the benefits are really positives depending on how you look at it.

Let me explain:

Price...again

There is a lot of information here. Seriously a lot and you can tell that some serious work has gone into creating it. 

It’s a very polished product and one that you will get value from.

It would be great if it were slightly cheaper, but overall I would say that this is probably the right amount. It also has the effect of weeding out any tire kickers, the type that buys a course, reads it then proceeds to do nothing!

This will hep Charles in the long run because if you are willing to spend nearly 500 big boys on a digital course; you can bet your fucking arsehole that you are going to do something with the info. When you end up succeeding; you will give him a good review!

What makes this course unique among courses?

There is very interesting aspect to this particular course that sets it apart from others and something that makes it potentially the most useful.

It has 3 kind of sections, that you can follow and an overall game plan that will help you to succeed quicker and get greater profits.

The White Knight strategy

White Knight


He teaches you how to be whiter than white, getting a nice clean back link profile and just basically being a good boy or girl.

The reason for this section is so that you can eventually flip your site for a higher amount.

Downside being that it takes longer and involves outreach, which is good or bad depending on just how antisocial you are.

The Dark Knight Rises (Tiered) strategy

Dark Knight Rises


This is a way to make your tier 1, incoming links look clean as a whistle. But fucking those links in the rear end is some dirty, fucking power that supercharges them.

Benefit is that it can be quicker, but make no mistake, this method is not easier than the white method, just different and requires a different skill set and a different amount of capital to produce.

Churn and Burn in 2016

Again, this is not an easy method, but can be very quick if you do it right.

This is not a sustainable way to earn online nowadays and even Charles himself makes this clear. However it can get you some money to get started on a more sustainable, long term money making endeavor.

So what's good about that?

The thing is, sites that use PBN’s or have used a link building campaign, generally sell for less and can be prone to penalties.

Hell, every damn site can be prone to penalties to be honest, and some whitehat sites also get punished in the inevitable mass dredging that the big G does.

However, if you can move toward the white you will be better placed to weather the storms that periodically arrive.

This course actually promotes the use of link building (done in a smart way), to get you ranking. Once you rank, you can start to acquire natural links and slowly remove all of the links that you built unnaturally.

I don’t know of any other course that does this.

Layout of the course

It is broken down into 6 different modules which I will outline below:

  • Part 1: The theory - An explanation behind the ideas of the course. The reasons why this particular course works so well.
  • Part 2: The build - How to correctly build your site. Not the basics, but rather the more advanced methods involved.
  • Part 3: Link building - Includes the 3 methods mentioned above and how to do them, (in detail).
  • Part 4: Maintenance & growth - What you need to be doing so that you don't get complacent and how to keep your site from going stagnant.
  • Part 5: Black to white - The things you should do to turn your "blackhat" site; into a "whitehat" one.
  • Part 6: The flip - How to sell your website to get the highest return.

Some images of the back end 

Overall, final conclusion

So the question that you are really after, is if it is worth the money.

Now if you decide to buy through this website, I will get a commssion.

However I have bought this course with my own money and am currently absorbing all that it has to offer, (as well as rearranging an existing website of mine based on its principles).

I have no issues with saying that this course is well worth it.

As I have stressed throughout this review; it won’t really be useful for complete beginners, but if you have already stared to make a bit of money online, this is the course for you.

In fact you don’t even need to have made any money because you can do the churn & burn method to get some capital.

However you really need to understand certain aspect of SEO before you spend nearly $500 on it.

So if you are everything I have described, you need to get this course and if you follow its teachings; you will achieve more.

Outreach: My Success, My Failures

skull-682973_640Shit…Outreach eh, what a scary task!

Well kind of, but I am here to tell you that it really isn’t as bad as it sounds. I have been concentrating on some outreach for my newest niche website and it has been a mixture of good and bad.

In this post, I will tell you how I went about it and give you an example of the good and an example of one that kind of took the wind out of my sails a bit, (don’t worry, I got over it with the help of whiskey).

So let me first begin by giving you a quick background…

What Is Outreach?

I understand that Harry Vs Internet has many readers that are just starting out and some of the vocab can seem a bit alien. Don’t worry about it, I will briefly explain what I mean by outreach anyway and hopefully you will gain an understanding that you didn’t have before.

What I mean when I talk about outreach, is essentially trying to create a kind of relationship with other bloggers – usually in a similar niche – in order to hopefully get something back from them in the form of a link via guest post/ resource page etc, social media share to their followers or even a mention on their very own email list.

Now, before I go any further, I want to make it clear that this isn’t a 1 way street.

In fact you have to give much more than you might receive and this is not only the right thing to do, but also necessary if you want to nurture a relationship that will benefit you in the years ahead.

I also want to make clear that whilst I am slowly moving towards a purely outreach based, long term business model type of online adventure; I still use my own PBN and will do for some time.

They work. They work well and more importantly, they work very well for simple affiliate based websites that you just want to rank and make some money.

As I always say, I am not any kind of expert but I do love to test things out and tweak them.

However outreach is certainly part of my technique and will be for a while for several reasons:

  1. Creating a relationship with other bloggers just makes your life easier, plain & simple!
  2. You can get real referral traffic if you play your cards right and get a good link from a similar site
  3. It really diversifies your link profile making it less likely to be hot with either a manual or algorithmic penalty

My Own Experience

So as the title suggests, I have had some great experiences and some really depressing and not nice outreach attempts.

I will go over 2 examples; 1 good and 1 bad and then explain the process I went through to get the best one and what I did after getting knocked back from the other.

Let's Start With The Bad...

If you are following along with me and my making a brand new Amazon affiliate website, you will be aware that it is in the food/ kitchen niche, and I have gone all out with creating the proper social media channels, (and keeping them updated which is an important but often overlooked aspect).

I created a pretty spiffy infographic about meat, well I say I, what actually happened is that I paid a company to make it or me and it turned out amazing!

Anyway back to the story here; I was promoting it pretty heavily on Facebook & Twitter when I got a Twitter like from a hot sauce company. Not a big company; but a sizeable one which made me sit up and take notice.

So I contacted them via Twitter and after a bit of back & forthing, they finally asked me if I wanted to write a review of their hot sauce in return for a large supply.

Well, I live in Laos so apart the logistical challenges of getting tons of hot sauce through the Laos customs office; there is also the small fact that all the food here is so hot that it could melt Captain America’s Vibranium shield in a matter of seconds…so didn’t really need any of the stuff to be honest.

So I asked them instead, if I could write them a post for their blog in return for a links.

It all started out great with their social media guy, (or gal), being quite receptive to this idea. Also their blog was in dire need of an update and looked severely underutilized for a medium sized company.

Boom, they said yes!

So I got about writing an interesting piece about how I could see anecdotal evidence of chilli’s good effect on health by observing how Lao people loved to punish their tongues, but seemed to have no incidence of joint issues into old age, I backed this up with a few links to some real authority sites showing some correlation between chilli and arthritis.

I sent it over and then something kind of depressing happened. You when you accidently get cc’d into an email where the writer basically says that they think you’re a pure dickhead? No!? Well that must just be me then, but anyway it happened again, but this time regarding my guest post and not quite as aggressive, but still kind of a punch in the stomach.

I got an email with this exact message, verbatim:

This guy is putting each sentence on a new line. It’s weird. I don’t see any reason to put this on our blog.

That is all that it said!

I was slightly disappointed when I read that, not necessarily because of being rejected for a post I spent an hour writing. But because I thought I was doing all the right things!

Anyway, I reconciled myself that the guy didn’t know what he was on about. I was going to write him back an email about how times have changed and this is how you have to write for the internet.

Lots of sentences, paragraphs and lots of whitespace.

What Happened Next?

I decided against doing that and just carried on and forgot about it, until one day I received a Twitter direct message from the social media person saying this:

Didn’t forget about you. Been slammed. The English needs some work. Hope to fix it this week

Now it was nice of them to message me back and I really appreciate that they did that, but it was another slap in the face just after I had forgotten about it!

Guess what I did when I got that message…

I wish I could say that I was super sensible and did what they asked for and got a nice link.

However I can’t say that because I was pretty drunk at the time and not really thinking straight.

What occurred over the course of the next 10 minutes or so, was me trying to make friends with the hot sauce social media persona and getting awkwardly broken off!

So essentially nothing came of this outreach, apart from a post which I used on my site, and a whole load of experience.

Remember folks, you never lose anything if you consider it learning!

Harry, You're Being Way Too Sensitive, man!

Yeah you’re probably right and thanks for pointing out my thin skin and horrible flaws…thanks a lot. I thought we were friends.

Nah, just kidding.

It is true that I was being a tad over the top sensitive about this, but it kind of burns a bit when someone criticizes you after you think you are on a roll.

So from this bad experience, I’ll move onto the good one:

The Good

For this outreach story, I was using Brian Dean’s video course that he sent out via email, about how to do outreach the right way.

I wish I could link to it, but I can’t remember the actual URL so instead I will just give you his blog which is full of useful info: backlinko.com/blog/. You will probably find it somewhere in there.

It basically involves finding influencers in your niche and sending out an email, the template of which he gives, then following up with them.

I chose one of my non affiliate posts about a certain type of green tea, and went about following his method.

After lots of nothing, I finally got a reply from a very nice chap who has a website purely based on this type of green tea asking for more info.

SO I sent it to him and he replied back with this:

Excellent. Thank you.

Is it OK for me to use the information in your post on my site or in my newsletter?

Boom, punch the air moment 😀

Obviously I said yes to him and got a very nice link on a DA 27 TF 41 website, as well as a mention in his newsletter, (number of subscribers unknown).

What did I learn?

Well I am always learn, just as you should be too, but from this particular story, I learnt 2 things:

  1. Don’t be afraid to just get out there and email folks
  2. Don’t let others get you down
  3. Grow thicker skin

OK so that is 3 points, but the last point is kind of related to the 2nd point…so shut up.

Really though, there is something that I learnt and will keep me in a generally happy state for a while…outreach is still just 1 part of ranking websites.

There is a massive thing nowadays online, about how we should all stop using any kind of “blackhat” technique to rank our sites, and only focus on acquiring “whitehat” links.

Well to that I say, shut it!

Just from the very fact of reaching out to someone in the hope of getting a link back is considered “blackhat” to Google.

They hate it whenever anyone gets a link that hasn’t come about from completely arbitrary methods, so even those super “whitehat” folks are breaking the rules themselves!

I also hate this whole “whitehat” / “blackhat” labeling…as a very clever man puts it; there is only MoneyHat!

Sorry about that, rant over now I swear!

SO if there is anything you want to ask, just use the comments section below and I will try my best to answer you back 🙂

When Did Trying To Rank A Website, Become A Hobby?

Watch Mechanism
Every action has a reaction and every step can take you forward or backwards…like a game really!

I am aware of such things.

What a peculiar opening for an internet marketing blog.

But there is a reason for this. It seems that more than technical skill; you need to have a certain mindset to want to succeed in this game.

There’s something fun about it; you play the game and you try to win.

Winning means money, but than that it means validation. It means that the very thing you are obsessing about; is paying off.

The money is great and I want to live very well as a result and of course I also want everyone who I know to be in the same position.

But it is more than just money.

It’s a game…a hobby.

Something that has grabbed me and won’t let me go.

When did wanting to make money online become a full time hobby!?

I will quibble over spending $5 for a pair of socks, but think nothing of spending $500 on software!

It has taken hold and will not let go!

“As for me, I am tormented with an everlasting itch for things remote. I love to sail forbidden seas, and land on barbarous coasts.”

Herman Melville 
Moby Dick

What am I on about?

Well you know, I am member of quite a few different online marketing groups and forums etc and I overwhelmingly notice people in need of help to even just begin!

It can be pretty tricky to just get started, but the thing is, once you have made your first $, it starts to become addictive.

Scarily addictive.

In fact, for me it has become a hobby of mine and something that I am a little bit obsessed with. I am now 100% certain that I will be making my living online as soon as I can become more proficient and efficient at actually bringing in regular money.

Now I have had my fair share of success and failures, (mostly failures), but the point is that I want to keep going because I know that from each failure comes something learnt.

From each expensive and useless piece of software tat I waste money on, to the bad links I have bought comes knowledge; nothing else.

It seems that nowadays, the key to online success is taking things slow and steady and making actually useful content.

If someone is on your site looking for a cheap r/c drone for his son’s birthday then you should give that reader exactly what they want.

Make sure that you give that example a list of the 5 best and make each option a winner.

  • The best priced
  • Most features
  • Easiest to control
  • Most add ons
  • Steadiest with a camera

You get the idea.

Put them into a nice easy list and then give a short description of each.

Make your call to action nice and obvious and away you go!

drone

This is a hobby. A fun hobby!

Wait, is that it!?

Ah, you got me. So it’s not really that simple but rather bloody difficult and kind of confusing!

There are many different ways to start an online business, I myself focus on Amazon affiliate websites for the time being, until I get skilled enough to really earn the big beans other ways.

However one thing that keeps me going is the thrill of seeing money coming in, the learning and the technical aspects to it all.

Let me go through each one of these one by one:

Money 😀

So I am quite certain that anyone who says they are just doing this for fun; is a liar.

A liar, lar liar Jim Carrey from that film, what was called again? Oh yeah, Lair Liar!

Anyway,

I’m not necessarily talking about the lovely person who is just using their personal blog to document their wonderful life, traveling around Peru to see the world and treating it like an online diary of sorts.

No, those people perhaps do just enjoy blogging for the sake of blogging.

The people I am talking about are you and me.

The type of weirdo that will spend several days and weeks researching keywords for a website about Natural Ringworm Remedies just to sell a Clickbank product. Or even finding out about how to use a meat grinder effectively in order to get someone to buy a meat grinder though Amazon.

You see what I am getting at here right?

Basically, we don’t care all that much about the actual product we are promoting; we just want to make a sale and get some money in the bank to spend on beer.

Important Note

You should still always respect your readers and understand that they care about the product.

Not caring and disrespecting are different things

Money is at the very heart of why we are doing this.

However there is another reason that I personally enjoy, and if you are reading Harry Vs Internet, perhaps you do to. What am I talking about?

Learning. Learning all about the ins and outs. What Google is up to, should I “blackhat”, “whitehat or “moneyhat“.

Just learning lots and lots of online based things.

Inflating One's Brainial Cavity

Guess what course I enrolled in recently.

Actually I have enrolled in many courses, (the most useful so far being Rank XL – aff link), but there is one that is seemingly unrelated, but it is really to sate my copious thirst for knowledge.

I am currently in the process of learning Digital Branding & Engagement from Edx.

It is really interesting (and free!), but the main reason I decided to give it a shot is becuase I just want to learn more and more about marketing and all of that good stuff.

I just love to learn and I know that you also do. Why else would you be reading this blog!

The thing is, I have a genuine interest in marketing whether it be online or offline. In fact I am actually a marketing manager for a medium sized elephant camp in Luang Prbang, Laos – don’t worry, our elephants are treated very well and have constant supervision by a professional veterinarian.

In fact let me list the types of things I am interested in, and see if they are similar to your interests, in no particular order:

  • Making money
  • Marketing – online & offline
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Link building
  • How to rank a website
  • Conversions
  • Copywriting, (I am not a copywriter but I want to learn it)
  • Building websites
  • Science fiction
  • Brand building
  • Persuading people
  • Business
  • World affairs

Well I will stop there because the list will just go on and on.

Actually, let me know in the comments what kinds of things you are interested in learning about in the comments section below.

This kind of leads me on to the technical aspect of it all, (if you are on the bus and don’t want to fall asleep and miss your stop; I suggest you skip this step).

Total Technical Technicalities, Technically Treating Technicians Tactfully

Did you like that heading, I just made it up!

So waht do I mean when talking about the technical side of things?

  • SEO?
  • HTML
  • CSS
  • Silo’s
  • Other related and confusing website things?

Well all of them and more really.

If you are just starting out, then you should only be worrying about setting up a WordPress site in its most basic form, and then learning as you go.

However, once you become a little bit more comfortable with things, you can progress onto some of the more interesting things about building a website.

I will go through each of those points briefly, but I will not go into too much detail about them, but I will give you a link after each section to a website that I love and thoroughly recommend you also read…just don’t leave yet, read my post 1st 😛

SEO

Search Engine Optimization or SEO.

Nothing struck fear into my when I was just starting like SEO did!

It can be infuriatingly confusing when you start and can seem to be so opaque that you just want to throw in the towel. However the more you stick at it, the more you pick up and therefore the easier (and more obvious) it becomes.

At its most basic, it is just making sure your website adheres to some principles that make it easier for a search engine, usually Google, to crawl and show its users.

At its most advanced, it involves making sure you have quality links pointing at your site with relevant anchor text that all appears to be natural and “earnt”.

It also involves onpage SEO, often overlooked by most or not fully understood. You will read a lot about getting great links pointing towards your money pages, but without a properly optimized website; you will struggle to rank well.

Required reading: 

  1. Yoast
  2. Quicksprout
  3. Bruce Clay
  4. Backlinko
  5. Moz

HTML/ CSS

It almost seems unnecessary to bother learning about these things if you are going to use a Content Management System (CMS) like WordPress.

However it would be a big mistake to disregard it completely. Of course you don’t need to be able to make an entire website from scratch using just HTML, but you really should learn some basic things that will make your life easier in the long run.

NOTE: Remember that whole  on page SEO thing I went over a moment ago?

Well you will find that a basic knowledge in HTML and CSS will help you massively when optimizing your page.

For example, the best way to optimize; is to see your page as Google does. To so this you can right click on this page and click on the "view page source" option if you use Chrome. If you are using another browser, just find the option that has "page source" in it.

That, my friends, is how Google's little spider army sees your page!​

HTML – HyperText Markup Language

The building blocks of a website.

If you know some simple commands, you will be able to improve your users experiences as well as helping yourself out.

Headings:

– Title. Usually the thing you write in the Post Title bit of your post – this is NOT the SEO “title tag”

SEO Title Tag – If you are using an SEO plugin like Yoast SEO or All In One SEO, then this will be in the SEO options of that plugin:

Post vs SEO title

– Heading 2, used to create separate sections. For example with this post, each section has its own heading and subheadings to create a logical hierarchy which makes it easier for a search engine to crawl and a reader to navigate.

– Heading 3, used to separate each main category into different, but related categories. E.g.:

Best Meat Grinders

Best Meat Grinders Under $200

Product 1

Product 2

Best Meat Grinders Under $100

Product 1

Product 2

Why Use A Meat Grinder?

Fact 1

Fact 2

Etc, etc. You get the idea.

Useful commands:

I will give you 2 of the commands that I most commonly use with my websites.

  1. rel=”nofollow” – This stops a search engine from following the link to its origin.

    This is useful for a number of reasons such as not passing any “link juice” and stopping a search engine from following an affiliate link, (to help you to reduce the effect of having an affiliate website which sometimes search engines frown upon).

  2. target=”_blank” – Notice how when you click on a link on Harry Vs Internet, it opens up in another tab on your browser? Well that is this command doing that!

    This has the effect of keeping your readers on your website, lowering bounce rate, and keeping you in your reader’s mind.

    You see, if I just linked away from my site to another very interesting website, you would be so engrossed in the new site that you might forget about little old me 🙁

CSS – Cascading Style Sheets

Have you ever seen a website from the 90’s? Well go and Google it after you have finished this post and you will see that they are pretty…bare bones!

What CSS does is to make your site look pretty.

You should understand some basic things about it because it will help you when you want to reposition something on your site even if your theme doesn’t include an option. I mainly use it to change the color of things to how I like it.

Required reading:

  1. www.w3schools.com
  2. searchengineland.com
  3. usabilitygeek.com
  4. www.stonetemple.com/cascading-style-sheets-css-and-seo
  5. www.htmlgoodies.com

Siloing

I will not go into too much detail here because it is a bit complicated and I am still learning about it myself.

However, it is a way in which it make your website nice and easy to navigate for both search engines and also humans, as well as being a way to recycle “link juice” around the related pages.

Required reading:

  1. www.bruceclay.com
  2. nichesiteproject.com
  3. www.nohatdigital.com
  4. www.gotchseo.com

Why Did I just go off tangent there and start detailing all of those things?

Now do you see what happened with that whole post?

This was for 2 reasons:

  1. I didn’t really plan this post that well
  2. I want to get across to you how this whole online thing has become my hobby – This point is best!

I ended up talking more about why I enjoy making websites than anything else. In part because I also enjoy writing!

But you can see how making websites has become on of my hobbies purely by the excitement I have when writing about it.

Harry Vs Internet was created in part because I have learnt so much in my short journey, that I want to share what I know with you and hopefully help in some way to turn this kind of thing into your hobby as well.

I promise you that when you start to look at it in a fun way, you will really start to want to create more and more value and will slowly leave behind the attitude of wanting a quick fix of cash; and move more towards a long term mindset and want to succeed.

Summary

Online marketing is a huge subject and full of success and failure. By turning it into a hobby, it becomes slightly easier to just get on with the process of starting and earning.

The thing is, that when you only think about it as a business or a means to an end, then you will always be procrastinating. What if I do this? How many links? What theme is best for Amazon affiliate/ AdSense/ Clickbank?

When you start to treat it like a hobby, you will start to become interested in the nuts and bolts and want to teat things out to see what works the best etc.

In order to test, you need to start.

So turn your online activiteis into a hobby and just go out and start something!