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5

How To Write Great ReviewsThat Make You More Money

writing a review postA couple of days ago I put up a post showing you what a review website is all about and steps to setup your own review site.

Today, I want to teach you more about how to write a great review.

It’s actually simple if you follow a simple formula.

Put Yourself In Their Shoes

Before you write a review post you need to understand what your audience is looking for.  When it comes to reviews they are always looking for very similar things no matter what niche.

#1.  A good, honest review.

This can be somewhat tricky if you’ve never done a review before.  But, you have to understand this to get the best results.

A good honest review consists of 3 things.

Pros & cons, the good and bad, Yin and Yang…. You get it.

Most products and services in the world are not perfect.  It’s nearly impossible to be perfect and as consumers we understand that.

So a good honest review needs all the pros and it needs to list the cons.  Sometimes there is only 1 negative, sometimes more.  But, every product needs to have a negative side. 

Optionally, include pieces of other reviews that other people have written as this will act somewhat like a testimonial works on a sales page.

What Do You Do If There Are No Glaring Negatives?

Create one!  Let me give you an example.  Most people who have been in Niche Blitzkrieg know how awesome of a course that is.  But, even that course can have a negative.

I.e. “Even with step-by-step training Michael can’t actually fly out to your house and do this stuff for you.”

See?  Even though it’s not expected of me, it can still be considered a negative.  So any product can have some type of negative and should have one.   Just be sure you list all of those amazing positives that the product has and the slim negatives for the best results.

#2.  A call to action.

This doesn’t have to be quite like call to action on a sales page, where you tell people to go buy something.  But, you need a clear area where the consumer can order the product that you’re reviewing.

Don’t just toss in a link and expect people to find it.  Put in a button or use an automated theme like I give you in The Review Formula that does all of this for you (you just plug in your affiliate info).

#3.  Images.

If possible put in images.  Most affiliate programs allow you to use their images for their promotional purposes.  However if not use a stock photo place like www.fotolia.com and you can get them for around $1 each.

Why use images?  Two reasons.  Well, three.

First, people love images and they want to see the products to make sure that is the product they were looking for in the first place.  We’re visual and we want to see what stuff looks like.  Since we can’t actually touch the product the next best thing is showing the person what it looks like. 

Some people also optionally like to showcase things on video.  However, if you don’t own the actual product that you’re reviewing you have to use images in the video as well.

Next, you can share these images on places like Pinterest, SnipIt and really anywhere that allows you to place images and link back to your site.

Again, inside The Review Formula I give you a theme that makes showcasing and adding images a breeze.

Do not underestimate the power of adding images to your reviews.

Additional Things To Consider

No selling language. 

I get it.  You want to make money with your reviews.  But, put yourself in the consumer’s shoes for a moment.  Would you want someone pushing you through the whole article or write-up to go buy something?

Of course not!  Instead it’s better to let the consumer formulate their own opinion.  That method is much more likely to convert the sale. 

Give them reasons why they should buy something.  Give them the benefits of the product.

What is this product going to do for them? 

Make life easier? 

Save time? 

Save them money? 

Enhance their life by not allowing something to happen?

Let me give you an example.

You’re not buying The Review Formula because I am telling you to do so.  You’re buying it because you’re going to make more money for yourself, save time by not needing to test 500 different things that I’ve already tested, save money by not needing to buy expensive tools that barely work anyway, etc.

You get the point.  This works with any niche, any field, digital product, physical product or service.

People will have their own opinions after reading your write-up and if you mention the product benefits and uses for them they’ll be more inclined to buy rather than if you just told them they need to go buy it.

Let me give you another example.  I know you want one anyway.

Let’s say you’re promoting a $500 blender.

But, you’re worried no one will buy it because there are obviously blenders that sell for $25.

Big price difference wouldn’t you say?

So you need to list the benefits for someone in that instance.  Why should they spend $500 instead of $25?

Does the product have a guarantee?  List it.  Some expensive products like that have great warranties included.

Do the blades ever wear out?  Nope they are stainless steel blah blah blah.  Whereas those other $25 blenders use blah blah blah and will fall apart after nominal use.

Will it save someone time and money?  In this case it looks like it.

Will it change their quality of life?

Point these things out and don’t be afraid of doing so.

Make sure you also review those cheaper less efficient models as well so your big ticket reviews get the praise they deserve.

On a personal note I have owned both cheap blenders and cheap coffee makers and I will never do that again.  In fact, I tell people the ones I use now and proudly admit I have had the same coffee maker for 4 years where as the others I’ve owned lasted for less than a year…..

…..and that leads me to my final point.

Word of mouth.

When people find good stuff they tell their friends, family and coworkers.

This leads to them potentially sending their buddies to your site, or even to your exact post.  They even sometimes share this stuff on Facebook, Twitter and through email.

I know what you’re thinking; “But what if they just send someone directly to where you had them buy the product from, rather than your actual review?”

Yep, you’ll lose out on commission in that situation.  But, there are still instances where you will get sales funneled in through word of mouth on affiliate products you’re promoting.  In fact, my uncle often sends me cool products he likes via text and email and in many cases he is sending me to review sites (that aren’t his).

What I am trying to tell you is if you do not write a good review, there is no chance you’ll get word of mouth referrals.  Use the above formula for the best results.

Writing a good review or in this case a great review is critical.  You do not need to be a good writer.  You just need to be able to put yourself in the shoes of those who are interested in consuming the product that you’re promoting, avoid selling to them, give them the direct benefits and let them make their own choice based off of facts and even your opinions.

What are you waiting for?  Start writing your reviews the right way and get started ASAP.

8

How To Build A Money Making Review Site That Can Grow Huge

How To Build A Killer Review Site…

Today I am going to teach you the known facts about making money with review style websites and how you can get started.

First let’s look at a few facts about review sites before I dig in here.

build a review site

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pretty staggering statistics wouldn’t you say?

This leaves one question.  If these work so well why isn’t eveyone building them? 

They Simply Don’t Know How…

But, You Will….Pay Attention, Print This Out, Take Notes….

Part #1: Browse Online Market Places (Select A Niche From Known Markets)

The first thing you want to do is find a great niche market to get into.  I suggest browsing Amazon or large online stores to find hot sellers.

Additionally, get into a market that you can build into a huge, large scale site (more on this in part #4).  Sites like eBay and Amazon allow you  to browse the top selling products.

Let me give you a couple examples.  First eBay has eBay pulse which will show you the hottest markets on eBay.  You can also break down the hottest markets by category too.  Can it get any easier to find a hot niche?

On Amazon just look at the home page as it’s filled with all the hottest merchandise.  Just make sure you’re not logged in to Amazon when you’re looking over the homepage or it will skew the results.

Also, you can visit Amazon’s top sellers page here.  They update this hourly I believe.

These are just a couple of the many places you can start the thinking process.

Keep in mind this is only for niche selection ideas and you do not have to use the affiliate programs for these sites.  You can use any affiliate programs you’d like.

 

Part #2:  Layout Categories

After you pick your niche do all the normal stuff like buy a domain, install wordress and setup your configuration.

Next, layout your categories.  You can do this via style, size or brand.  Get as many categories listed as possible.

The reason we do this?  Oganization.  If you’re organized you can easily crush out a review site that can grow to enormous peaks. 

Part #3:  Pretty Theme

Get a nice theme.  You’ll want a small budget for this. 

I have 2 options for you.

Option 1:  Join The Review Formula

Inside I’ll give you an awesome $97 review theme as part of the course.  This theme is easily customizable and works with any affiliate program.  It’s also designed just for review sites and is point and click simple.

Option 2: Genesis Themes

These are simple, geogeous and easy to use.  The only downside is they’ll cost you almost what you’ll spend on the entire Review Formula Course including the theme I give you!

The nicer your site looks the better for graphically heavy sites.  This is the main reason I suggest having a nice looking theme.

Part #4:  Build Large

One thing you can do with review style sites is build theme large.  Anytime a nw product comes out in your market it you can immediately review it.   This will not only allow you immediate exposure and immediate traffic as you grow but it will position yourself as an authority.

Having those categories laid out as mentioned early will make your growth extremely simple.

Part #5:  Promote Everywhere

You can do it all with this style of site.  You can promote via video, article directories, social media or any other method.  I really love video in this market because people love videos about product reviews.  Youtube, Vimeo and Metacafe work nicely here.

I have also found that socia media (Facebook, Twitter, Etc) will share your reviews if you make them in-depth and make them personal.

Part #6:  Track it

Using a tool ike DRCT2.me or Pretty Links Pro (I give you a free copy of this if you’re a member of The Review Formula too—normally $97).  NO-BRAINER ALERT!

You’ll want to know how many clicks your product listings are getting so you can figure out what you most porpular items are. 

It’s also important to pick a #1 product.  A reviewed product that you want to promote over all the other products on your site!

Why?

Because, as people read your reviews (some good and some bad) they’re going to want to know which one you recommend as the best.  In my experiences your #1 product should account for the majority of the sales your review site brings in!

This is the one product that you tell everyone about that comes to your site.  The one you stamp as your BEST.

Don’t forget to promote your site normally by pumping it into the search engine ranks, link building, share it on Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, articles, press releases and whever else you can.

Finally, have fun with a review site.  Take the task seriously but keep the mood light.  Enjoy building it and drink a glass of your favorite beverage while doing so.

Remember, as with all other sites, you can outsource any or all of the tasks to speed things up.  You don’t need to do all of the writing yourself.

Have you ever built a reviw site?  Planning on it?  Have questions, comments?  Do you love me or hate me?  Let me know below.

16

Something About Lifetime Commission Affiliate Programs That You Don’t Know

I haven't posted anything for a couple of weeks.  Between power outages, ravishing storms and me being face down in some really cool upcoming projects I've been busy and away from the blog.

So enough about me.  Let's focus on why you're here.  You want to make more money with your blog/website right?  Good.  You better want that.

Today, I'll be discussing lifetime commission affiliate programs and a little secret about them that most people do not know.

 

What Are Lifetime Commission Affiliate Programs? 

They are affiliate programs that offer lifetime tracking on your traffic you send them.  This means that even if someone you send through your affiliate link does not buy for a year you still earn commissions.

Pretty cool huh?  No big secret there though just something that many people forget about.

So where do you find join these type of affiliate programs at?  Most affiliate networks have them like Shareasale, Linkshare, Commission Junction and so on.  

The easiest way to find them is log into one of your affiliate accounts and do a search.

Here is an example from Shareasale.

Just log into one of your affiliate accounts and look for an advanced search function and select "lifetime cookies."

This screen shot is from Shareasale.

Now For The Dirty Little Secret….

O.K. it's not a secret and I guess it's not really dirty, but it's something most people do not think about or even talk about.  Just an FYI; dirty little secret sounded really cool when I was first typing this up.  Ok let's move on.

Look for Lifetime programs that people have to continue buying updates, upgrades, additional refills, recharges, replacements and so on. 

Why?

Because after purchase you know every customer you send that companies way has a good chance to continue ordering over and over again.  This means you make more money from the same amount of traffic.

Imagine running a site where you recommend to someone a specific glue gun that takes a specific kind of glue stick.  The person buys the glue gun through you and then they need to keep buying a specific type of glue stick through this company over and over again.

Or perhaps a person buys a single cup coffee maker through you that only uses a specific kind of coffee pod?  Do you see my point?  That customer is most likely to continue buying and because of that every bit of traffic you send their way is likely to make you more money that on products that do not have lifetime commissions. 

In fact, most affiliate programs have a 60 day max.  Some have just a few days and some have 365 days.  365 days are good but I have sites that have been making me money from people way past the 1 year mark.

This also allows you to grow you recurring cash flow.  As you keep sending over traffic and as more people become buyers buying refills and the like eventually you have a built in profit stream that will continue to tick up.

IP Tracking

Some programs out there offer IP tracking as well.  IP tracking tracks more than just cookies it tracks a persons IP address.  This allows you to be sure you'll get paid for all the traffic you send to an affiliate program.  What happens sometimes with cookie tracking alone is that if someone clears or blocks their cookie data then you may not get credit as an affiliate.

Now, the average person has no clue what a cookie is.  The average person believes a cookie is just something we eat.  So most people never clear their browser cache and cookies, nor block cookies.  But, for the ones that do IP Tracking helps get around that.

So how do you find programs that offer IP tracking as well.  It's not as easy to do.  Most affiliates do not offer this.  But, if you're looking for that little extra reassurance you can simple send a support ticket to any affiliate program manager and ask them if they offer IP tracking as well as cookie tracking.  I'll be honest, I rarely even look for this or worry about it.

Finally, going the lifetime commission route can ultimately save your website.  Imagine your site gets knocked offline or drops to dead last in Google search rankings.  You'd still continue getting commission through lifetime commission programs.  This very thing has happened to me before.

Give me some feedback here.  Have you been experimenting with lifetime commission programs?  Have they worked for you?

 

10

Are You Trying To Rank For The Wrong Keywords?

the wrong keywordsWhen you’re building a website (especially a new one) it’s easy to get caught up in getting website rankings for the big, high trafficked, keywords.  We call these “trophy keywords” because you can brag to your friends and family that you’re ranking #1 for a super-killer keyword.

However, before you start prematurely popping the champagne bottles in celebratory fashion you need to understand a few things.

#1.  The trophy keywords often aren’t cracked up as to what you believe them to be.

#2.  Once you rank for that super-hard keyword you have to work at staying ranked there.

#3.  They’re not always the optimum keyword phrase for your audience.

Let me give you some examples below

Let me give you two terms and you tell me which one you’d rather rank for.

A).  Python (550,000 searches per month)

B).  Buy A Python (22 search per month)

First, the top keyword receives a ton of searches monthly (550,000).  However, we don’t know exactly know what they want.  They could be looking for the programming language or information about the snake.  It’s also an extremely hard term to rank for and has many strong competitors in the top 10.

 

Given the chance you are actually able to rank for this term in a few years you’ll probably get a lot of mixed and useless traffic.

The 2nd term “Buy A Python” receives just 22 exact searches per month.  However, it’s easy to rank for and we know exactly what the customer is looking for.  Of course you can’t live off 22 searches per month so you’ll need to compensate for this by adding several pages/posts to your site (as many as possible) but at least with this term you know what to advertise on the site!

 

The terms will not always be that easy to sort out. 

 

Let’s take a look some different keywords now

 

A).  Glass Table (5400/month)

B).  Oak Glass Table (36/month)

Notice that on these 2 keywords it’s not as exact.  We are not 100% sure what the visitor is looking for.  However, when someone types in a product keyword they typical want to browse those type of products.

On these 2 keywords the competition isn’t extremely hard for both.  Obviously, getting ranked for the term “Oak Glass Table” is going to be easier but, overall both are not extremely difficult.

If you were building a website based on glass tables you could do the following…

Build the site based around the keyword “glass table” and use that term as part of your homepage title.

Then add dozens of additional pages/posts based on the individual styling of glass tables like oak, hardwood, metal and pine just to name a few of the hundreds of types.

This technique works great and makes getting your website ranked much faster.

 

What do you do if you’re in a more competitive field though?

 

Let’s do one more example.

A). Jet Skis (8,400/month)

B)  Where to Buy Jet Skis (22/month)

What you could do with a set of keywords like this is to simply try to rank your homepage first for the term “where to buy jet skis”.

As your site grows you can continue to work on your link building to your homepage and vary the anchor text to always include the term “jet skis.”

Overtime you will see yourself climb in the search engines for “jet skis” while you’ll probably rank quickly for the term “where to buy jet skis.”

This is something Ben from Market Samurai alluded to briefly a few weeks ago when he presented some pretty awesome tactics for you to follow when laying out your keyword research (you can watch and read that here).

Again, as I mentioned earlier, if you want to rank for a 22/month search term that’s great!  However, you’ll need to keep building your site out and ranking for a bunch of those types of terms.  This is something you should be doing anyway but it is worth repeating.

Keep in mind the larger keywords simply take time to build up to.  But, using the example I showed you on “jet skis” you can build both sets of keywords at once.

This same tactic can be applied to extremely tough niche markets like weight loss, making money and so on.

If you’re struggling with keyword research I have 2 videos for you to watch.

Keyword Canine VS Market Samurai Video

Using Market Samurai For Easier Research

Have any cool keyword success stories you want to share?  Have a strategy you’re using that you really like?  Share it with us below.

47

Being More Productive While Working From Home

slamming your head into the wall Being productive sometimes seems impossible especially when working from home.  In fact, it can sometimes feel like you’re simply slamming your face into the wall.  In fact, if you're a member of Niche Blitzkrieg you've probably heard me speak of productivity before.

Think of all of your daily distractions…

Cell Phones

TVs

Instant Messengers

Facebook

Twitter

Pinterest

Radios

Household drama

Just normal day-to-day life

Unknowns (car breaks down, tree falls through roof, etc.)

Let’s face it, even when we are doing something fun like working from home sometimes we’d rather be playing video games, having a glass of wine instead of working or just laying out in the sun….

…and that is just some of the millions of possible distractions.

So how do we get a handle on this?  How do we overcome our ability to become sidetracked or overcome chronic procrastination?

Self-Discipline…..

When building your own business and working from home it’s easy to become distracted at any given time of the day.  You MUST be self-disciplined or you have a long road ahead of you.

I am going to list the ways that I avoid setbacks and give you a clear concise path to follow so you may do the same.  Keep in mind while reading these I have my moments where I don’t follow this as well. 

The result? Bad stuff.

I am going to start with some things that most people overlook first before stating the obvious “but little used” things. 

All of the things below tie into self-discipline in some way.

Set Goals

Always set goals.  Whether they are small goals, large goals, short term goals, long term goals or even goals you think are silly, set them!  Goal setting will help you keep focused on the prize ahead.  Look at your goals weekly (yes, even on the long term goals).  Looking at your goals periodically will help keep you motivated.

The more motivated you are, the less likely you’ll want to procrastinate or become distracted and fall in the shallow pool of being non-productive.

I am not going to break down goal setting here as I’ve already done that at my goal setting page.

Build Your Self Esteem

Believe it or not poor self-esteem is one to the biggest problem creators in this universe.  When we allow negativity to creep in we allow failure to show its ugly head.  Poor self-esteem leads us to make poor choices as well.  When we lose track of whom we and what we are we sometimes stop caring about our outcome and take our eyes off the prize.

Feel good about who you are!  If you don’t feel good about yourself then you need to work on it and it will make a world of difference.

Here is an older post I put together about self-esteem issues and particularly some of my past issues…

…and now back to the basics.  These might seem so simple below, but count how many have distracted you.

Turn Off Your Cell Phone

Do you have one of those Smart Phones?  Yea, they are great.  Except now it’s like having an entertainment center everywhere you go and giving people the ability to bug contact you anytime.

It’s great to have one of these gadgets when you’re stranded at the airport, bored at 2 a.m., on a long trip (and you’re not the one driving), need to look up some quick information or to have when you actually do need people to reach you.

So what’s the problem? 

Most people have them turned on 24/7 and when we do, we limit our personal productivity.  How many times have you been writing or working diligently on something and then someone knocks on your door or calls you and your mind is away from whatever you were doing for 5,10,15 minutes or even longer?

Now, think about what it was like going back to that task?  Were you able to start exactly where you left off without hesitation?  If so, congratulations you’re part of the 1% that can do that.  I’m not. 

Trust me, kill the cell.

Darn You Facebook!

OK, to be fair to Facebook it’s really all social media.  This includes Pinterest, Twitter, MySpace, YouTube, Forums, Snip-It and any of the 1000 other social media networks out there.

Turn them off while you’re trying to get things done.  It may not seem like much but each 5-6 minute distraction adds up throughout the day.

Don’t mistake what I am saying at all.  Those networks have their place in building your business but they also have fun distractions.  Fun distractions while trying to be more productive do not mix very well at all.

Radio, T.V. & News = Distraction

This is one of my weaknesses.  I watch the NFL network all the time because I love football.  Some days I’ll be in my office (I don’t dare put a T.V. in the office) and I’ll leave the T.V. on & tuned to the NFL Network in the next room.

I’ll be working and then I’ll hear “Breaking News!”  Guess what?  I stop working and run into the next room to hear what this breaking news is.  Usually, I think it’ll only keep me away from my work for a couple of minutes.  However, 35 minutes later I come strolling back to my office and it’s not easy to pick up where I left off.

I am sure I could go on and on about distractions but you get the point here.  Tune out and turn off the distractions when you need to really just “get it done.”

It’s Not Just All About Distractions Though….

There is something back in the old drugstore days that took me quite a while to understand.  I would work many hours and many days on end. 

Sleep Well Tonight

I can share some funny stories with you about why you should never take sleeping medication when you’re already exhausted

(Men, ever been carried to bed by your wife?  I have!  Ladies, ever carry your man to bed?  Anyway, another time another place – feel free to ask me and I’ll probably share this one with you).

I’d always assumed that working constantly was the only way to get things done.

Heck, I think it might have been the companies motto “Work and never stop working until you die!”  I should have had that tattooed on my chest at the time.

Here’s the problem.  If you always work, never take breaks, skip sleep, ignore all fun and basically become a slave to work it’ll destroy production and productivity. 

I worked with a man named Tom at the time (who I am still friends with to this day) and he’d say things like “Hey, if we don’t stay here all night and keep working it’ll still be sitting here tomorrow.”

That’s a great thought process but he forgot to factor in that we’d already worked 12 hours straight by the time he said that.  By the time hour 17 rolled around our bodies were disagreeing with his philosophy & our productivity dropped to a slow crawling pace.

Instead we should have stopped after a few hours of overtime and slept and gotten our rest before starting again.  I’ve tested this several times now and every time I am rested I get much more work done.

Make sure you get sleep to increase your production.  Along with getting sleep I’ve found that sleeping early and rising early works best for me.  Not only do I feel well rested I feel at peace while I work.  I also feel best with 7-8 hours of sleep, no more and no less.

I used to be a night owl and in fact, sometimes I still am.  I like to work in the middle of the night in the silence.  The problem I run into there is sometimes I ignore being tired and actually get less don in the middle of the night than I do after a good night of rest and rising early.

Coffee Time!

I love coffee and I am not ashamed to admit it!  I drink 3-5 cups per day.  I usually drink 2 cups in the morning and 2-3 in the afternoon.  The caffeine helps stimulate the alertness in the brain, inspires creativity and tastes awesome! 

Of course, overusing it will not benefit you at all so be careful.  In fact, if you want to learn more Life Hacker had a great study on coffee effects here.

Exercise

I can’t stress the need to exercise enough.  When I first quit my job I gained 40 pounds in under 2 years.  I started noticing a decrease in my health, productivity and my mindset suffered.  In return I also took a severe blow to my self-esteem.

I have worked much of that off.  In fact I do P90X now and feel MUCH better on a regular basis.  What I’ve found is that just 20-30 minutes of exercise followed by a shower helps stimulate my mind.

When I sit back down at my desk and start working after that routine I find that my work ethic has increased, my attitude has increased for the better and I am extremely alert.

Trust me, try it!

Do Your Most Important Task First

Finally, one of my favorite things that provides great productivity is to tackle my biggest task first.  Often, we try to knock-off the little projects first and get to the big one later in the day.  The problem with that is sometimes by the time we tackle all of those little projects we miss out on the biggest project and put it off until the next day.

The result?  We start the next day by tackling the little projects again, getting distracted and pushing the big task off, again.  It’s a vicious never ending cycle.

So, do the #1 most important task early in the day while that cell phone is still off, Facebook window is shut, T.V is off, the rest of the family is sleeping and you have an overall time period of less distraction.

This works for me and I found that when I do not follow this method my productivity suffers.  Sure, I get those little tasks done but the big one just sits there taunting me.

In closing I challenge you to change your life just a little bit!  The things I outlined above work for me and when I do not use them I feel the effects.

What methods are you using?  Share them with us below.  Maybe you have some better ideas?  Maybe you know something that will help people that work at home.

Share and let’s discuss!

2

Get Stars or Review Ratings By Your Google Search Results Listings

This all started last year but recently it came back up in one of my favorite forums.  Here is a snippet from Jon's post and below is my take on what I feel about it.

Source: JL Forums

By: Jon Leger

Have you noticed ratings in Google's search results?

To see some live examples, search Google for wordpress seo plugin. Those ratings really make the results stand out, don't they? It's especially striking when there's only one or two ratings on the results page.

What's causing these ratings to show up in the search results? Google is scraping the hreview microformat standard and including it in their search results. You can read about it on Google's "rich snippets" support page.

How can you get ratings to show up for your pages? If you use WordPress, it's a snap. Install this plugin and voila! Google-indexed reviews.

As with all things Google does, this is being seriously gamed.

Go here to read more on this by Jon Leger.

My Take On Google Search Star Ratings (micro format)

I completely agree with Jon that this has been being gamed for awhile now but it's about to get worse.

It's getting easier to show up for results now, more people know about it and more people are looking for unethical ways to abuse it.  Just take a look in some of the popular forums and you'll see what I mean.

Stuff like this is too easy to fake, lie about and manipulate.  Even if they make changes to this and make it harder to game the system eventually website owners will just pay people to start giving other competitors lower ratings in the search engines.

I understand Google's strive to constantly innovate; that's why they took over the search engine market long ago. 

Unfortunately, if you run review style sites you probably need to play the review rankings game until Google realizes that too many people are faking it and manipulating it.

Another Interesting Thing From The Thread

Back in the original forum where I read about this another poster mentioned they are getting micro data pulled into their listings while for the same product Amazon isn't.

To me, with the authority that Amazon has that seems almost nonsensical.

The problem I have with it being pulled from anywhere is that even if it were to pull ratings numbers from Amazon, those too can be easily faked.  In the Amazon forums you'll find hundreds of merchants swapping reviews, paying people to fake reviews for them and review "groups" who just give each other great ratings.

I honestly do not like the direction Google is taking on a lot of things recently, including this one.  However, when you are the lone giant and everyone else is an ant it's impossible to help shift their direction. 

In closing if you have a review site at least take the recommended steps listed above from the JL Forms.  Also I fully recommend getting involved in the discussion there if you have deeper questions on the subject.

Do you have any experience with micro data in the Google search engines yet?  Are you seeing stars (in the Google sense not in the "I drank too much" or "got smacked in the head" sense?

6

How To Make Your Blog Speed Up and Load Faster

make my blog run fasterSource: maxminzer.com

Google and other search engines care a lot about user experience. One of the things that often frustrates people browsing the internet is website speed – how fast websites load and ready for viewing and usage. If real people don't like slow websites neither does Google.

Word Press is built with heavy PHP codes that do take time to load. Hence, any Word Press-based website loses some potential for ranking better in Google search results. However, there's a solution: WP Super Cache Word Press plugin.

This post will show you how to install and setup WP Super Cache plugin in 3 minutes (video tutorial included).

Check out Max’s walkthrough here (complete with screenshots and video)

 

My take:  Max actually introduced me to this plugin awhile back and it has definitely increased the speed and load time of my blog greatly.

Use the settings that Max suggests for the best results.

Also after you put in a new post just click the “delete cache” plugin to clear the cache. 

I’ve noticed that over the last couple of months my average speed time in Google Analytics has increased and it’s noticeable to the naked eye as well.  So it’s not just something for the search engines.

Also some additional ways to boost your speed are as follows.

#1.  Keep your image size down.  Using images are great but keep them smaller.  I usually like to use small pictures in my blogs but I like nothing larger than 400 x 300 or there about.

#2.  Avoid heavy scripts.  This can include extreme over use of ads that use JavaScript as well.

#3.  Keep video sizes down.  If you’re putting videos on your pages or posts keep them as short as possible.  I know it’s not always possible and I personally have many 1 hour+ videos myself.  However, I try to leave long videos off of my website.

Anyway, my thanks to Max for this walkthrough.  It’s helped me and I know it will help you speed up your blog especially as your traffic increases.  By the way the plugin installs in seconds and can be configured in less than 35 seconds.

[WPCR_INSERT]

17

How To Write Good Content For Your Website Fast In 4 Easy Steps

Having a little trouble writing good, unique content for your website?  I have a simple solution that I think you will love.  Better yet you won’t spend a fortune doing this.  In fact, if you have $5 you’re set.

I have been testing out a cool way to make good content for my website with a simple method that might catch you by surprise at first.  I wrote a simple post a few days go on this blog where I demonstrated what the best affiliate markets are.

The blog post itself is over 1300 words and the best part is the only writing on that page that is mine is the headline!  Do I have your attention yet?

Here’s what I did to create that step-by-step.

Step 1 – Put together a simple Power Point based on a problem or subject in your niche market. 

If you do not have Microsoft Word get a free copy of Open Office.  It’s not quite as good but it has a Power Point knock off.  Hey it works and it’s free!

This doesn’t have to be thorough it just needs to cover your topic, be useful for your audience and make sense.

Step 2 – Shoot a video of your Power Point slides using either Camtasia or Jing (free). 

Jing has some limitations though as it will only allow you to shoot up to 5 minutes free.  Camtasia is awesome but you’ll need $300 for it.  If you don’t plan on shooting vids more often do not spend your money and simple get a copy of Jing.  Besides 5 minutes will be plenty for most videos and you don’t want to scare your audience with a nice long 25 minute video.

Make sure to save your video in a MP4 format as it works anywhere pretty much universally. 

Upload your video to a file sharing site like Metacafe, Viddler or Youtube.  I host most of my own but you do not need to do that and any of the 3 I just mentioned will work fine.

As you record your video use you Power Point slides as queue points or notes to keep you on track with your message like if you were to give a speech.

Step 3 – Find a transcriptionist to do all the content writing for you. 

This is the part you’ll need just $5 for.  Head over to Fiverr and do a search for a transcriptionist.  Many will do up to 10 minutes of audio for $5.  Ask the transcriptionist to time-stamp the transcript for you every 1 minute so your audience can reference your video if they need to.   

Make sure to hire only someone who has mostly positive reviews.  The people I hire almost always have only positives and little to no negative reviews.

“Ugh my secret is out and I could have easily made a product teaching this!”

But, I know you’re thinking it’s better to share and help.  You’re right it really is.  J

Step 4 – Embed your video into your post along with the transcript and publish it to the world.

Trust me it’ll be one of the best $5 you’ll ever spend and very time effective.  You’ll have a nice post with a video that your audience can listen and watch or optionally read it.  You’ll also give Google and the search engines what they love – more content to crawl through, which is great for your site and can help you increase traffic.

Alternative Steps….

Are you scared to shoot the video or just do not want to mess it?  Instead, record an audio track with the free Audacity Player

When you find someone to transcribe on Fiverr you’ll simply need to upload the file as per their instructions.  You can then optionally post just your blog post based on the transcription of your audio or you can add the audio file to your post using a plugin like this one.

Conclusion:

It was much easier to just speak on my subject for 6-7 minutes and have someone transcribe that into 1300 words than it was for me to write 1300+ words myself.  Plus, the added element of the video can give your audience something more than the usual text to read through.

The person also removed all of my “umms” and “ahhs” as well.  I sent them a lot of love for that one!

I will certainly be doing this more often in the near future.  In fact, I have about 60 videos planned as I write this to you.

Thoughts?  Feelings?  Would you use this method to create some good content for your website?  Let me know below.

20

The Best Affiliate Programs

Below is a video I shot that I think will really help you decide what the best affiliate program is for your visitors.  I've also included a time stamped by-the-minute practically verbatim transcript of the video.

 

 

Hi, Michael Brown here, and I have a special presentation today, and I want to talk to you about what the best affiliate programs are for your website.  And one of the things we often do—we look at it the wrong way.  Instead of saying, “What is the best affiliate program?”  We should be saying, “What is the best affiliate program for my subscribers or for my website visitors?” 

Because when we’re giving them what they want, we’re giving them exactly what they want, they’re going to be more likely to buy from us, and too often we look at it and say, “What’s going to make me the most money?” or “What is going to promote and convert the best.”

If you’re giving them what they want, it’s going to convert better than anything else, so you have to give them what they want.

So rather than think about what’s going to make you the most money, think about what they want and what you can do to ultimately help them.

So what I always do, I look at it this way.

[00:01:00] Every time I look at getting an affiliate program for any website, it could be a website I’m promoting multiple affiliate programs on, it could be—I could have different, various styles of advertisements on there.  But what I ultimately look at that helps me the most is I say, “What will help my readers the most?  What are they interested in?” 

 

Because if you’re not providing what they’re even interested in…..

 

You’re not going to make that much money with your website.  You’re just thinking about yourself and you’re really thinking about the wrong aspect.  You need to really think about what they are, what they have a desire for, what they’re interested in, and ultimately, what can solve a problem, a need, or provide an entertainment value for them?

So those are usually the three things I look at, and in that last one there, those are the three areas I always look at.  Is there a problem in that niche market?  Can I solve a need for them?

 [00:02:00] And if it’s more of an entertainment style like a gaming niche or something like that, does it provide the entertainment value they’re looking for?

 

Always think about yourself last.  Now, ultimately, yes, you have to make money with whatever you’re promoting, and that’s going to happen, though, if you focus on those things I just talked about.  You’ll make more money in the long run when you put yourself last and you put your visitor first because if you’re giving them what they want, again, it’s going to convert anyway, and you’re going to make the most money you can with your website.

Also, when you’re putting content up on your website, always think about good content.  The best content you can put out, because the better the content is that you put up for them, like if you’re answering questions they have, if you’re taking care of needs that they have, your promotions will convert better because they’re going to say, “Hey, I’m getting this good free stuff here.

[00:03:00] This product this person’s promoting must be pretty darn good.”

Now let’s look at some quick misconceptions about different affiliate programs.  The #1 misconception I see quite often is reoccurring programs make you the most money.  While reoccurring programs can make you a lot of money and they can grow over time to keep making you money, it’s not always best for your website.  It’s not always best.  Sometimes other things convert better.  So it’s not true that reoccurring programs will always make you the most money.

Sometimes it can be trial offers.  But then again, maybe a trial offer doesn’t convert at your website.  And if you don’t know what I mean by a trial offer, it could be anything that has a $1 trial period or a $4.95 trial period, and then the customer automatically gets rebilled….

[00:04:00] …or something along those lines, even if it’s just they get rebilled once, I do that with some of the programs that I have; I put a trial period of $1, and then the customer can get rebilled, or I put a trial period of $4.95 and the customer can be rebilled.

 

These work on some sites.  Other sites, they don’t.

 

Expensive products do not convert well.  Again, that’s not necessarily true because if you remember back to what I was just talking about moments ago, sometimes if you have to test the value of what your visitor is looking for.  If an expensive product is on your website that you’re promoting, but it’s exactly what your visitor’s looking for, that could probably convert well for you.  So it’s not always true that the expensive products don’t convert very well, or that you get a lower percentage.  Give your customer what they’re looking for or website visitor what they’re looking for, and you have a good chance to convert that.

 

And you’ll never make enough money…

 

[00:05:00] …promoting inexpensive affiliate products.  That’s not really true.  I’ve had several small affiliate products I’ve promoted in the past that could be between 5 & 10 dollars that I was making on each of them, and that would add up to over $1000 for that particular product each month.  So it’s not always true that the inexpensive products don’t convert well if your list is looking for inexpensive products, or if your website visitors are looking for inexpensive products, then give them what they want.  So if you’re in a market where maybe your visitors don’t have a lot of money, sometimes you’ll never convert those expensive products, and you have to promote the inexpensive affiliate products to make money with that style of website.

But ultimately, out of those four factors, test.  Test different products to see what converts the best.  And once you find the one

[00:06:00] that converts the best use it.  It’s a very, very simple concept. 

 

But most people refuse to test different products on their website…..

 

……and so they ultimately never know what will convert the best.  They just accept the conversion rates they’re getting.  So test the affiliate programs.  Test different ones, test different things as long as it makes sense for your customer, and as long as you’re asking how it will help them, first, and if your product that you’re putting on there can help them, you have a good chance to convert it.  But just test the different styles, and you’ll have a better chance for success.

I want to thank you for watching this.  Again, I’m Michael Brown.  I really look forward to seeing you soon, and have a fantastic day.

What do you think?  What are your experiences?  Let me know!

5

Fast Way To Write Articles For Content Or Link Building

create articles fastIt seems like every week I get an email, forum post, PM or Facebook message about how much someone hates to write or is simply having trouble trying to figure out what to write about.

I am going to show you something powerful that allows me to get more done in the least amount of time.  Let’s face it, I’m busy, you're busy and we always need content right?

If you don’t want to pay for someone to write for you and you’re working on content creation for your site or simply trying to get more articles published so build more backlinks to your website then this blog post is for you!

 

You Really Can Create 30-40 Articles In Just A Few Hours

It all starts with research.  Now, there are 2 ways to do this so pay attention to the first way and then the second way I’m going to show you.

1st we need topics and we need them in bulk so we can do this as fast as possible.

 

Step #1

 

Way #1.  Load up the Google Keyword Tool and type in your niche keywords.

Next, find any keyword phrases that are question oriented.  (i.e. “How do I saw wood with a chainsaw?”, “Best way to saw down a large tree?”) 

Keep in mind the Google Keyword Tool will not add the question marks at the end so you’ll need to read through each one to determine if it’s a question or not. 

Save the selected keywords to a CSV or word file as you find them.  This will become your list of topics to write about.

 

Alternative Step 1 – The Easiest Way To Research Your Topic

 

Way #2.  Grab a free copy of Market Samurai.

Next, put in the keyword phrase (use the primary keyword phrase for your niche).

When you get to the screen that asks for the keyword phrase length put in minimum of 4.

What this will allow you to do is pull up only keyword phrases for 4 or more words put together (long tailed keywords).

These phrases usually have low competition and many are question oriented.  When you go into the keyword analysis area simply export the data to a CSV file, remove any keywords that are not relevant to your niche and save your work.

You now have a list of topics to write about in just a couple of minutes.

 

Step #2

 

Next, create a folder on your computer called “Your Niche” Articles.  Make sure to replace “Your Niche” with either your website URL or your actually keywords.

Then, create a Word Doc or Open Office if you don’t have Word.  As the title of the Document simply paste in your first long tailed keyword phrase from your research and SAVE your work.

Do this for every single keyword phrase up to about 50 keyword phrases max.

Next, create a folder with the “Your Niche” Articles folder called “DONE” or something like that.

 

Step #3

 

Turn off your cell phone, Facebook, close out of your email account, shut off the T.V., don’t check your commissions for a little while and even ask you family for a couple hours of uninterrupted time.

Basically, this will become focus time and a time where you’re going to just crank out content.

Next, go through each document and answer the questions in full.  For articles that will go into article directories you’ll need 300+ words in each.  For content for your sites you’ll need at least 150+ words.  If you’re writing content for your site, the more the better, but 150 words is the bare minimum.  If you have awesome typing skills you might even be able to blow these numbers away.

Finally, drag and drop each completed article into the "DONE" folder.  When you're done you'll be left with a brand new folder of new content!

Take a small break every 10 or articles you’ve typed to gather yourself.  I can usually type a full article this way in 7 minutes or so for the 300 word articles and less for the 150s.  Sometimes it takes slightly less and sometimes slightly longer and I am a horrible typist. 

This saves time and money and we all know we can use more of both.

Also on writing like this something like Dragon Naturally Speaking (not an affiliate link) would work well.  I have always found Dragon works best for small projects like this and not as well for the bigger projects.  However, you may be different than I and have different results with using a tool like that.

This can also be easily outsourced.  Simply find the topics and give the topics to your writer if you don't want to type these up yourself.

So, that’s it!

Have you ever tried to do something like this?  Are you already doing this?  How has it worked for you?  Let me know below!