Web Page Hot Spots

Thursday, August 24
If you get a chance take a look at CrazyEgg.com on how they are able to show you how users are clicking natural links and page hotspots. This is a great research site on how you should organize your web pages and think about monitization!  I use it all the time as should you!

Internet Real Estate

Monday, August 21
Something funny happened to me on the way to my online working environment. I was in the mood (more like a tirade) to clear up some of my current and old sites. Some things were out of date, others had old, unused files and images that needed to be deleted. Just as I was checking one of my domain and hosting logs and statistics, I was completely shocked to see something! In fact, I had to do a double take and look again. I could not believe it – my very first online internet marketing site (which I thought I had actually shut down) had received over 4500 unique hits in the last 6 months. That is over 800 hits a month. Now, you might say that isn’t much traffic – but when you look at it – this very small site with no list, AdSense, or even any search optimization is still getting hits. . Frankly, I couldn’t even remember when I thought I had shut this site down but now I’m glad I didn’t!

I had to sit back and ponder this one a bit. In sitting idle for 4 years this site had slowly creeped up in the search engines. What’s more, I now had a site that I could completely optimize. It was like finding a mini-goldmine. Looking back at the page keywords and text, I was surprised that I had been fairly lucky in my choices considering my inexperience at that time. Additionally, the site was pretty lean considering the links and content.

I’m sure some of you are wondering what the site is and it’s URL, well……I’m a bit too embarrassed to reveal it here. I’m going to update it with relevant content, list capture, AdSense and RSS. It will be very interesting to see how much my traffic may increase. Only then will I post the site.

Keeping all of your online real estate active no matter how old and how you judge it, is a wise thing to do. I know a guy who had a #1 Google ranking for golf accessories and just quit because he was sick of the work and the owners and just let the site shutdown. Ouch! I keep asking myself what would have happened if I had switched hosting plans, or deleted the web pages – many times these things are just simple tests for traffice, AdWords, linking, etc. Moral of the story – if you’ve captured some kind of internet real estate out there and have since forgotten or ignored it – be sure to go back and check it! Who knows, you might actually be sitting on an untapped internet goldmine!

Google Webmaster Tools

Saturday, August 19
Matt Cutts from Google describes new tools Google is offering to users and webmasters. google.com/support can answer general user questions. http://www.google.com/webmasters/ provides tools to
- tell Google that www.domain.com and domain.com are the same
- check robots.txt files
- discover crawl errors that Googlebot saw
- see some spam penalties

All this is happening because Sitemaps is renaming itself and tackling a wider scope: all of webmasters. There's even an official Google blog for webmasters now at http://googlewebmastercentral.blogspot.com/

Keeping Your Blog Productive

Thursday, August 17
Found this entry on to-done.com on productive blogging. Keeping your blogs alive and fresh can be very difficult especially if you work full time or are involved with other online activities. How can you keep the information flowing?

One thing I try to do - (which I will mention in this weekend's entry) is to go back to any books or ebooks on the topics that I've been blogging about and re-read sections. How easy it is to forget what you've read and it revives fresh content.

And, by all means keep some sort of notepad or digital voice recorder nearby so you can always keep your blog productive!

Mike Filsaime - The Butterfly Marketing Manuscript

Saturday, August 12
Mike Filsaime has released The Butterfly Marketing Manscript - a condensed version of Butterfly Marketing. I snatched it up right away and so far it looks like a real winner. Stay tuned for a review!

DON'T WAIT TOO LONG! He will be increasing the price.

Don't Forget Your Traffic and Autoresponders

Tuesday, August 8
Every once and a while I find myself working too hard on my sites and not spending enough time generating traffic. Frankly, this is not a good thing to ease up on over time yet it is very easy to do. Traffic is the key ingredient to any monetized site and should never be skipped as part of your daily routine. Would you rather have a very rich and elegant site or thousands of new visitors? Yes, you could argue that there is a relationship between the two, however, traffic is much more important.

Besides direct traffic never forget that building your list must also always be a priority. So, be sure to have your autoresponder, list capture forms and javascript popups ready before you start pushing traffic to your site. There is no doubt that Aweber Communications is one of the top autoresponders out there. Use it! To paraphrase one marketer - "my biggest marketing mistake online was driving one million dollars in revenue without a list - just think of how much more I could have generated!"

Optimizing Your Blog for Profits

Monday, August 7
At some point I'm going to turn this into a full article but for now I'm going to give some quick pointers on how to optimize your blog to drive traffic and hopefully earn some extra Adsense and affiliate income.

One huge benefit of using blogging as a means to create your site vs. trying to build your own is the ability to monetize your content immediately and not have to worry about page layout, graphics, hosting, domain names, and content management. This is a massive time saver when using the free bloggers such as Blogger or Wordpress hosting. The downside is that you cannot fully control the fine tuning of your site for specific optimizations. Nevertheless, you must let go of this desire and focus on your content - which is a very good thing.

So, let's start with the key topics you need to consider when optimizing a blog:
1. The Blogging Service
2. Layout
3. Links
4. Keywords
5. Traffic
6. Site Tricks

1. The Blogging Service - this is a very important choice because some of the free blogging services do not allow you to place context ad such as AdSense on the free blogging service (they allow it if you host your own blog). Because of this I strongly recommend using Blogger as your free service since it is easy to use and is ad friendly.

2. Layout - since you are using a free service you must get over the desire to control your site. Let go! Most free blogging sites allow you to tweak the layout somewhat. There are some tricks you can use to easily keep your site a blog but at the same time add sections as if you were on your own site. For example, keep one blog entry for all of your favorite external links and descriptions. This is where you can continue your link sharing with other sites and continually add new ones. Now, add a specific link to this article on the sidebar so that there is a direct reference when the article gets archived. That way any readers will always find the links article and not have to search or stumble upon it. (Note, you can use this same technique for additional pages that refer to specific topics so that you have a directory of topics on your sidebars).

3. Links - besides the links I noted in #2 you should always use plenty of linking from every article you publish. The internet values links and the more you use from your blog entries the better. Other sites pay attention to who's linking to them and when they see a referral in their logs your appreciation level increases. Also, add your favorite affiliate and topic links to your sidebars. Here's how you would do it in Blogger - place the link in the 'sidebar-title' section:
[!-- End #profile --]

[h2 class="sidebar-title"]Links [h2][/h2]
[li][a href="http://www.agilemarketer.com/"]Home Page[/a][/li]
[li][a href="http://www.stumbleupon.com"]StumbleUpon[/a][/li]

4. Keywords - I cannot stress the importance of this - I'm not going to go into detail on keyword identification other than to say that each blog entry should focus on a SEO keyword phrase or name - especially the title. Be sure to use your titles carefully and use the same keywords in your entry. This will mark the blog entry to the keyword topic (remember, each blog entry is a separate web page that can be indexed).

5. Traffic - don't forget to promote your blog to drive traffic! Use all the means possible to do this - forums, articles, reprint rights, etc. There's enough free material out there to do this!

6. Site Tricks - one simple technique is to place hard coded links to your favorite blog entries / articles in the bottom of the Blog template. That way it will show up on every page. For example, in Blogger you can do this:

[div class="clear"]

[div id="footer"]
[p][!-- Place any article or site map link here. --][a href="mylink"]My site link[/a][/p]
[/div] [!-- end #wrap --]

You can even make this your site map!!

Get Rich Quick Impulse Buys & StumbleUpon

Tuesday, August 1
Ugh! I'm not feeling very agile today - there's just too many things going on which tends to weaken my ability to think straight. Part of this was leftovers from a stressful day yesterday which leads into today's topic - Impulse Buys. Have you done it yet?

If you're like me you get your fair number of emails from all of your favorite marketers and gurus. And, of course, someone comes along with the great new product or method that you have to buy to get rich quick. Frankly, I'm no great master of judgment when it comes to picking up a new product. I tend to use my gut feeling, some internet research and forums to make my decision. But when I'm weakened by stress I tend to get excited too quickly and have made the occasional spot buy. It almost happened last night but I've made a decision recently to always wait one day before doing it even if the price is low.

So, some quick advice for today - when you read about the hot new product to buy do the following: 1) always sleep on it first (wait one day), 2) do a Google search for the product with keywords 'review', 'scam', 'problems', 'success', etc and see what the general consensus is, and 3) post a question about the product on a forum to see if anyone has used it. If you follow these steps it should keep you from the spot buy. (In the future I will post a secret on how you can generally glean the content of a product without buying it - one of my 'black-hat' techniques).

Here is my fun topic of the day - try out StumbleUpon. Just create an account and download the browser tool bar. It's quite fun and a great time waster - sorry!! ;)