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SEO & Social Media Marketing - Attracting Customers


Selling eBooks? Make it a Kindle Book & Profit

It has been far too long since my last post, but I actually have a pretty good excuse. Since my last posting, I wrapped up a book I had been working on for a while and I published it in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore.

At one time or another every online marketer has sold (and possibly created) an information product. The end product could be in the form of a report, video course, ebook, etc. Selling ebooks has been an Internet staple for almost as long as the Internet has been open to the public.

Amazon, the largest bookseller on the planet, transformed the publishing world when they introduced the Kindle reader a couple of years ago. Since that time, Amazon now sells more Kindle books than they do print books.

Do you have a book inside you?

Just about anybody you ask will tell you they have a secret desire to write a book. Today, the barriers to entry have been demolished. There is no cost to publish a Kindle book, you will not need an agent or a publishing company.

My new book, “Kindle, How To Publish, Promote & Profit” is a step-by-step blueprint that will teach you everything you need to know about publishing your book on Kindle and what to do to promote it to maximize sales.  Get your copy in Kindle format today!

Do you own a Kindle, tablet PC or smartphone?

Virtually everyone these days owns one or more of these devices and the reason that is important is that they can all read a Kindle book. So, the market for a Kindle book includes everyone with a computer, laptop or any of these other devices.

The meteoric growth of Kindle books has been breathtaking and people new to the publishing game are becoming millionaires. Recently, two self-published authors, John Locke and Amanda Hocking, each sold more than one million Kindle books.  Ms. Hocking, at 26-years-old, sold over 450,000 copies of her ebooks in January alone. Read the rest of this story here…

Get published! My book can help you learn how to publish your book on the Kindle platform, but just as important, it will show you how to promote effectively online.  Learn more at http://www.kindlehowtopublish.com.

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Is There Still Money to be made in Exact Match Domains?

Today I have a ‘Guest Post’ from Penny Lewis that I think will be of interest to many online marketers, enjoy!

For as long as there has been an internet to exploit, people have been exploiting it. From those dark corners where nobody ever goes, to the more family-friendly end of the spectrum. Wherever you are on the web you can bet there’ll be someone behind the scenes who is monetizing it. As any budding SEO specialists will tell you, there’s always been some money to be made in optimising a page for a specific search term and peppering it with Adsense blocks. Sometimes, these sites can make thousands per month, other times they can make absolutely nothing. Call it niche marketing, micro niche blogging, or whatever you’d like, the question remains: is there still money to be made in this way, and more particularly in EMD (Exact Match Domain) sites?

A Matter of Distinction

So what’s the main difference between an EMD site and a regular blog or website? Well, simply put, an EMD site is dedicated to one particular keyword. The SEO, or whoever is running the site, will do some fairly thorough keyword research, find a niche that has low competition but a high search volume (and yes, this can take hours on end), then check that it has an EMD available. If so, they’ll snap it up and build a whole site around it. Ever seen a site on the web when you’re searching for something that’s plastered in ads and oddly targeted? That’s probably an EMD site. For example, if you wanted to find the best skincare product for acne, you might find a site called bestskincareproductforacne.com, filled with posts and articles on that very theme. The endgame of these sites is to have you click on the ads. Some are specifically designed to ‘confuse’ the visitor into clicking, by disguising the ads as links or other nefarious practices.

Are EMDs a Licence to Print Money?

When the web was very young, and the web-going pubic were naïve, EMDs would have made millions is Adsense revenue. Nowadays however, it’s a slightly different ballgame. Not only are web users getting a little wiser to such things, but the competition for practically every keyword combination is ramping up. So not only is it hard to get people to click on ads once they’re on one of these EMD sites, it’s also very difficult to find a niche which can bring in enough organic traffic to make the whole venture worthwhile. Remember that these sites can’t just be knocked together in an hour, it takes time and effort to create index-worthy content. Most EMDs these days are filled with cheap content that reads terribly, and it shows. That’s dilution of the web, and it’s not a good thing at all.

It’s not all Bad News

This may all sound like bad-mouthing of EMD projects, but that’s not necessarily the case. Yes, some of these sites are designed to draw in organic traffic simply to click ads. They serve no real purpose and offer no real answers. These sites are the ones that give niche marketing a bad name. However, there are a great many exact match domain sites out there that have become ‘authority’ sites. These are the other side of the coin; yes, they will have ads to generate income, but they also have valuable content written by people that actually know what they’re talking about. It’s the simple difference between a spam site and an informational one.

What it Boils Down to

So, the bottom line is that yes, there is still some money to be made in exact match domain websites; however any SEO who is planning to take on such a project will need to remember the golden rule: content is king. That means that if you’re planning on covering a site in ads, you need to have some real content to back it up. There are plenty of ways to get good content on a site – and sometimes writers will even provide it for free (think backlinks) – but that’s a discussion for another time. For now, don’t be tempted to fill the web with even more spam; if you want to make money with Adsense, do it the right way and make the web a better place for all of us.

Penny Lewis is a professional freelance writer and researcher who has worked in all manner of fields from promotional work with a hyper-luxurious furniture company to news pieces for a political blog. She has interests across all areas but has a strong background in online marketing and branding. 

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WordPress Themes

A fellow called me yesterday because he had some questions about my book and wanted to know more about what it covered and if it could help his particular situation.  We had a great conversation and I encouraged him to get back to me if he had other questions, which he did. What follows are his questions to me and my response. I hope this might help you also.

Hi Tom, My Name is Lewis and we talked yesterday on the phone. I was telling you, that I must have my wife and friends website up in the next two weeks, because her GoDaddy account will expires then. For the WordPress site she using Catalyst: http://catalysttheme.com supposedly, one of the best Themes for WordPress. I like to use it since we paid for it, but we can’t I like find a WordPress Theme that is easy to use and works well with the search engines. Do you have any suggestion? ~Thanks, Lewis

Hello Lewis, thanks for the good questions. First off, all WordPress Themes work well with search engines. The WordPress platform, enhanced by certain Plugins, is what interfaces with search engines. It might help you to think of WordPress as the engine and chassis of a vehicle and the Theme is the bolt-on body.  Auto manufacturers will take one frame & engine and mount different body styles with various options and sell them as unique models. That’s what happens with Themes and “Child Themes”.

They all utilize the WordPress engine and create different models to address unique applications.  There are themes that are geared to photo portfolios, magazine style layouts, e-commerce applications, product showcases and of course the traditional essay style blog. The Themes control the look & feel, page placement of text and image blocks, font type, size and color, width and a host of other design-related options.

I am not personally familiar with “Catalyst” in that I have never used it. From looking at their website it appears that this is a theme platform or framework, vs. a generic WordPress Theme. There are a number of such theme framework/platforms that operate this way such as Thesis, Genesis, etc. Their claim to fame is that they offer the ability to customize the entire presentation.

The best part about themes is that the content you create never goes away.  The text and images (posts and pages) that you create over time work like they are part of the WordPress platform if you will. While the Theme will rearrange that content relating to its placement on the page, colors, fonts, etc.

Most WordPress Themes work ‘out-of-the-box’ and require little or no customization to display your posts and pages. The problem is that we seldom can find a Theme that addresses our needs 100% of the time, that’s where the customization comes in.  The problem with the high-end packages like Catalyst, Thesis, Genesis, etc. is that they can offer you hundreds of customizable options, but most come with a steep learning curve.

Additionally, there are free themes that offer excellent customization options, but they also require that you spend time learning how to customize the Theme. One perfect example is a favorite of mine, the Atahualpa Theme by Bytes for All. I have used this Theme for dozens of my customers’ sites and a number of my personal sites. It did take me a while to learn how best to customize it, but that investment in time has paid off tremendously.

The picture below shows just one screen of the many customizable options in Atahualpa. The left-hand column shows some of the main items and the right-hand pane is where tweaks and adjustments are made.

theme options WordPress Themes

WordPress Theme Options

If you can invest the time, I recommend that you choose a Theme that can be highly customized and learn it. You’ll find that it can be adapted to almost any website building project and the more familiar you become working ‘under the hood’, the more rewarding it will be. If you want to find a theme where someone else has done the work to customize it and you’re looking for an off-the-shelf solution, I’d recommend that you browse some of the low-cost Theme collections such as:

I hope this helps you with your search for the Theme that fits your needs. Remember that the best part about WordPress Themes is that you can upload and try out new Themes all day long and it won’t affect the most important part of your site…the content.  Good luck to you and let me know if you have other questions.

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Viral Video / Corn Shucking?


1 Video, 2 Million Views

You’ve probably heard it a 1000 times, that creating good unique content is the secret to writing an interesting blog post or creating a video.  This is true but sometimes we confuse creative writing with good content, and they are not necessarily the same thing.

A story can be written or told through a video, and it can be well constructed and reported in a creative fashion, but that may not make it interesting. Additionally, the topic we are writing about may be headline news or it could be as obscure as shucking corn.

How many times have you labored over a blog post or video trying to make it the best it can be hoping that it will go viral?  What makes this video so compelling that almost two million people have already watched it?

What caused this video to go viral?

Is it the elderly gentleman who is the star of the movie?  Is it do to the popularity of his topic?  Is it the lavish sound stage where this is filmed?  Is it the script?  Obviously, it is none of these things.

This video went viral because it offered a cooking tip that resonated with a lot of people.  It is probably something you have never heard before; I was not aware of this tip and the video was forwarded to me from a casual friend.

This video is the epitome of unique, interesting & believable content.

I can guarantee you that this fellow had no idea that his video would become a viral sensation across the Internet.  If you note from his channel, this is the only video he has produced. Neither his YouTube channel or this video uses any SEO. It does not appear that this gentleman has a website, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter account, for all we know he made this video with the intention of sharing a cooking tip with his kids.

Take away…

So the message here and the answer to creating a viral video is simply to make it interesting.  If two million people are interested in learning a new method of cooking and shucking corn imagine how many people might be interested in what you have to say.

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