PageRank is updating

Matt Cutts has just given a heads-up that we can expect to see the pageranks changing over the next couple of days. Besides that he talks about some old penalties that will be expiring. More on this here.

How to build a Virtual Real Estate portfolio

This blog has always been about topics somewhat related to building virtual real estate but as the blog has had a new design and as I have decided to pick of the pace, the blog will now only focus on topics that will help you build your VRE portfolio.

But before I start sharing the knowledge I’ve build about building a VRE, I feel that I need to define what I consider to be virtual real estate. Eventhough it is just three little words it is actually more or less the sum of everything that goes on online (that is the “virtual part”).

The idea of virtual real estate is no different than the idea of normal physical real estate. It is about buying land and developing it to become more valuable than it was when you bought it.

The best part is that since non of us were around when physical land was “invented” we had no change of being part of it from the beginning. Now some of you might consider the internet to be “old” already but I promise you that it is not even getting started. That is why NOW is such a good time to start building a portfolio of websites, domains, online services etc. before EVERYONE does it.

More and more people are coming online every single day and as that happens there will be less and less virtual land to grap. Sure you can argue that because it is “virtual” it is “infinite” but I have to disagree. Why do you think that there are people and companies willing to pay millions for dot com domains? It is because not all “land” is “good land”. So you need to grab it while it is still available.

Now my point of this blog is to help you get as large as piece of the virtual real estate pie as you want. Because the topic covers so many different areas I believe that there will be something for everyone. At times I’ll discuss and teach topics that are broad and apply to all and at times I’ll be going into details about specific types of VRE opportunities and how to best take advantage of them.

I trust that you’ll get a lot out of it and I hope that you expand your VRE portfolio to as great an extend as you desire.

Blogging Conversion Video Released by Yaro Starak

Yesterday the famous blogger and internet marketer Yaro Starak released a couple of videos as a warmup for his course called Blog Mastermind. The first video is packed with good and simple blogging knowledge and is definitely worth the watch. It is all free and you don’t even have to give him your name and email (you’ll only need to do that to see the second video).

Now I have to be honest that I’ve know of Yaro for a long time (ever since he became famous in the blogging industry) but I have never really paid much attention to what he is doing. Its not that I don’t want to have what he has but there has always been some other “guru” making millions and millions of dollars so why not listen to them instead of listening to a guy that “only” makes 6 figures a year?

After spending years listening to the guru and still not making millions (hint: it is not enough to just listen – action is required), I decided to spend some time finding out who Yaro is and what he does.

What I found is that he is a very down to earth guy and the things that he does it something that we can all do. You don’t have to be a brilliant genius to make it work. By following his advice consistently you will (over time) get the same results.

But I’ll let Yaro do the rest of the talking in his new video. Its about 30 minuters long so get yourself a nice cup of coffee/tea/soda etc. and listen to what he has to say.

Click here to see the video

What is it about blogging?

Just like the majority of other blogs starting out, I have fallen into the trap of writing a lot of articles the first few weeks and then suddenly something happens and the blog goes dead. Now I know that this blog isn’t all dead but I haven’t been good at writing articles in a while.

Please don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying that you should write blog posts just for the sake of writing. That be not only be a waste of your own time but even more important a waste of your readers time.Is this post one of those “waste of time” posts? No I don’t think so.

The point of this small posts is to let my subscribers know that I have not forgotten them and that I will start posting more regularly but ONLY when I feel that I have something valuable to share with you.

I’m looking forward to yet again provide you with some valuable money making online marketing tips in the near future. Take care until then.

Do you want a 70-620 or a 1Y0-259? There are plenty of online courses you can take. I suggest you also have a look at SY0-101, 70-236and N10-003. You will probably find most of them really useful.

Building Email Lists: 42 Ways to Increase and Maintain Your Opt-in Email Lists

First let me try to give you a little background as to why focusing on creating or expanding your email list is so vitally important to your web business. The first thing is that to have a successful internet business requires traffic (meaning people that visit your site). It doesn’t matter whether you have a blog, a web shop, a forum or any other type of website. The fact is that the more quality traffic you are able to attract to your site, the greater opportunities do you have to convert that traffic into customers/income.

Note that I said “quality traffic”. Traffic come in many forms and traffic from people that will only spend 2 seconds on your site is worthless and will only take up bandwidth. There is absolutely no need to attract that to your site. You would rather have a site with 100 interested visitors that are likely to buy from you than having 1,000 visitors doing the “hit and run routine” on you.

There are many way to attract quality traffic and one of the most basic ways are from searches performed in search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN. When people come through search engines it is because they have found your site from a search phrase that the search engine found matched your site. That means that this individual will very likely be a “quality visitor” that you can possibly sell something if you can get his or her attention.

Now it is a fact that generating a lot of search engine traffic is a very time consuming task and it can take you months and years to build a site that will gain a decent amount of traffic to provide you with an income worth your while. But what if you were able to multiply this traffic with a factor of 2, 5, 10 or 100 within a few months? Wouldn’t that be something to spend some time on?

The fact is that building an email list does exactly that. You have a visitor that comes by once and unless you somehow get a hold of this person they’ll never ever come back to your site. They’ll be lost forever and that is a petty because they are probably still interested in the topic that your site is about.

Let’s say that you have 100 visitors to your site per day and you are able to catch only 10% percent of their email addresses. That would be 10 (otherwise forever gone) people that you can send an email to and have them re-visit your site. The result will be that the day you send out the email you can potentially have 110 people visit your site.
After one month you would have approximately 300 people on your mailing list, which means that whenever you send out an email where you inspire those people to visit your site, then you can potentially have 400 people visit your site in one day. Going from 100 to 400 people in one day is a 400% increase. Now I do say “potentially” and that is because you can expect everyone you send an email to come visit your site. But you get the idea.

So let us look for more ways to increase the amount of people that you have opt-in to your site.

42 Ways to Build and Maintain an Email List

1. Rent or Buy: You can always rent or buy other people’s email lists. This is one of the fastest ways to increase your list rapidly but it is also one of the most expensive ways and therefore it might not be the right solution for you if you’re just starting out. One disadvantage with these lists are that you can never be 100% sure where they got the email addresses from and that can potentially hurt your image if you’re accused of spamming.

2. Offer Content: Most people will not give their email address away for nothing and that is why offering people content is a great way to collect their emails addresses. You can send them information via email or you can have them download an ebook. You might even send the videos or podcasts if you want to get a bit more technical. Offering content is one of the most commonly used ways to have people opt-in and it works really well.

3. Make It Easy: Place the opt-in form in the most prominently place on your website. It is vitally important that people see it and can act on it with the smallest effort possible. You’ll see that this is one of the things that most internet marketers fail at by either not having their opt-in form present or by having it tucked away in the far bottom corner of the site. Make it stand out in front of your visitor.

4. Privacy: We have all heard stories of people that have signed up for email newsletters only to find themselves being spammed with 10-100 emails a day because the website sold, rented out or gave away their email addresses. People are scared of that happening to them so you have to assure them that you will keep their information safe. The best way is to place a privacy link right next to the opt-in form so that people can click and see that you will play nice. You can also make a statement that “You’ll Keep Their Information Safe” next to the form.

5. Don’t Use Force: Some sites will not let people in unless they give their email information upfront. The result will often be that people click away and they never come back. That is not what we’re looking for. Secondly you don’t want to have people enter too much information. Normally you will do just fine with just the first name and the email address. You can even make the first name optional or remove it completely if you like.

6. Give Away Gifts: This is somewhat like the information you gave in point number 2, but the difference is that this gift should represent some kind of value. It doesn’t have to be a physical gift and you can still use ebooks or other content as a gift, but if you attach a value to it (e.g. $9.95) it’ll change from being information to being a gift.

7. Send to Friends: Make sure you place an option to pass the email or the offer on to a friend. This is also called viral marketing (in a light form) and if you are passing on valuable information this can truly spread like wildfire. Be sure not to underestimate this little tool.

8. Multiple Choices: When you’re asking people to opt-in, you can have a greater percentage of people opt-in, if you offer more than one thing. Some people might be interested in receiving the free ebook, while other might want to receive the podcast or the newsletter. Multiple offers will appeal to more people and thereby have more people opt-in.

9. People That Know You: If you didn’t think of having an opt-in form on your site from the beginning then why not call or write to the people that have already bought something from you and ask them whether they would be interested in receiving your free newsletter. These people already know and trust you and most of them would therefore be likely to accept your offer.

10. Have an Opt-In Form on Every Page: This goes along with point #3 but it is vitally important that you have an opt-in form on every page of your site. Your visitor will probably not enter your site through the main page anyway so don’t miss out on the opportunity to collect email addresses from visitors entering through a backdoor.

11. Show Samples: If you’re sending out newsletters then why not show the visitor what previous version of the newsletter looks like. This will not only work as valuable content on your site but it’ll also show the visitor what they’ll get and if your information is great they’ll be more inclined to opt-in.

12. Show Testimonials: Have you had people from your mailing list write you back with testimonials saying that the value the information that you have sent them? If you have then why not show them to the people that haven’t signed up yet? There is nothing that converts as well as great testimonials from other “regular” people.

13. Archived Newsletters: Be sure to archive your previous newsletters on your website because they work as great and valuable content and will bring in more visitors from the search engines and that will in return result in even more people signing up.

14. Use Adwords: You can pay for traffic using Google Adwords. Whether you’re using Adwords to send people to your sales page or whether you are sending them directly to a squeeze page (that is a fancy word for opt-in form), you should be sure to provide them with the option of opt-in.

15. Snail Mail and Catalogs: Be sure to also let people that receive your printed marketing material see that you have an option for them to receive free information or ebooks from you.

16. Leverage: If you have people working for you, make sure that they include a “sign up for our newsletter” in their email signature.

17. Phone Opt-in: Whenever you (or your employees) call a (potential) customer, make sure to ask whether they would want to receive your free newsletter.

18. Send Out Postcards: If you have postal information on your customers (but no email addresses), then you can send them a well designed postcard asking them to sign up to your list.

19. Hand Outs: Whenever you are at an event (presentations, talk shows, seminars) make sure to hand out material that mention your newsletter and other free information offers that people can sign up to receive.

20. Transaction Emails: Even when sending out order confirmation emails or any other auto-generated email, be sure to include a passage about how to sign up for your newsletter.

21. Invoices: Even invoices that are sent out should include a passage about signing up to your newsletter.

22. Warranty and Product Registration: Like with the invoices even these hardcopy materials should include a passage about your free information offer.

23. Article Marketing: If you’re doing article marketing (which you should), then make sure to also let people know how to sign up for your free newsletter in the “authors box” of the article.

24. Press Releases: As with article marketing you should include your opt-in offer in any press releases that you send out.

25. Plug The Hole: If you find that a lot of people are leaving your newsletter then you need to find out what is wrong. Some people will always leave but if too many are leaving you need to find out why so that you can plug the hole. It is stupid to fill more water into the bucket without repairing the hole and hope for the water to stay in.

26. Let People Change Their Information: People change email addresses over time and it is therefore important that you provide them with an easy way to change their email address and stay on your newsletter.

27. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (1): When people opt-out of your list, make sure to send them a good bye and thank you email. In the email you should offer people to receive fewer emails from you and even let them decide the timeframe. Maybe two to three times a week was too much for the so why not suggesting a weekly or bi-weekly alternative?

28. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (2): Let people change the type of information that they receive from you. Maybe they are sick of all your promotional offers and they only want the weekly newsletter. Let them have that option.

29. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (3): Make a list of all the ways that people can receive your information. If they don’t like emails then suggest that they subscribe to your RSS feed, your podcasts or IM deals. You might even suggest them to receive old fashioned catalogs by mail.

30. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (4): Tell them how they can change their information easily as some of the people that opt-out are actually only trying to change their information. Provide them with a direct link (no password) to the page where their personal information is already filled out so that they can update with just a few clicks. Make sure to remove all thinkable barriers.

31. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (5): Be sure to include double opt-out as well as you use the double opt-in. In the opt-out confirmation email, be sure to include a link to re-opt-in in case they unsubscribed by mistake.

32. Don’t Slam the Door on Opt-Outs (6): Ask why they are leaving and use the feedback to improve. Most marketers don’t take opt-outs very well but you need to see it as valuable feedback that you can learn from to keep even more people on your list.

33. Use Co-Registration: Another way to increase the number of people that opt-in is by using co-registration. This can be done by having people opt-in when they subscribe to other sites. Your opt-in information will be placed on the other site. You can enter into a partnership where their users have an option to sign up with you and your users have an option to sign up with them. Another option is to simply pay per email. Be sure that they use and “un-checked” option so that people have actually chosen to opt-in by choice.

34. Use Pop-Ups, Hover Ads and Pops When Leaving: Pop-ups and Hover Ads have been around for some time now and though most people hate them, they have proven to be extremely effective when done right. They have increased opt-in ratios by several hundred percent in some cases. If you don’t want to bother your visitor with them, then what not use a pop-up when the visitor leaves your site? They might be gone forever but you’ll just add that one extra change to capture their email address.

35. Use Out-of-Office Emails: Whenever you are out of your office make sure that your OOO email contains a message about how people can sign up for your newsletter.

36. Opt-In Through the Shopping Cart: Make sure that your shopping cart let people subscribe easily to your newsletter before leaving.

37. Voice Mail: If you use a voice mail, be sure to mention how people can sign up to receive your free newsletter.

38. Signatures: If you are posting comments in forums, news groups or blogs, be sure to include a link to your opt-in form with a compelling offer for people to actually click the link.

39. Use Radio and TV: If you are using radio broadcasts and TV spots, make sure that you mention how to opt-in to receive free information.

40. Yearly Updates: Every six to twelve months you can send out emails with user data to ensure that everything is updated.

41. Link to Other Newsletters: Don’t be afraid to link to other valuable newsletters that would interest your subscribers. They will be glad that you did and will share your newsletters with other people not currently on your list.

42. Have a Webinar: If you’re in a business where an online based seminar would be appropriate you can have users sign up to it in order to participate. At the same time you should encourage them to opt-in to your newsletter.

There are even more ways than these 42 ways to build and maintain an email list but I think you’ll have enough work on your hand for now. If you need more inspiration be sure to check out this post.

Please Stumble or Digg this post if you found it valuable

Thank you.

Indian Outsourcing of Link Building

I have just made a deal with an Indian outsourcing company to do a link building campaign on one of my websites. To start of with this is merely a test to see what benefits I’ll get for my money. To be quite honest I hate linkbuilding because it is so time consuming. Unfortunately getting links to you website is extremely important if you want to rank well in the search engines. If you have extraordinary unique and high quality content you might get some viral effect going that help you get links but personally I don’t count on it.

Outsourcing to India has been on my mind for several years but I haven’t really done anything about it. So now the time has come and I really looking forward to see what they’ll be able to do for me.

The market I am targetting isn’t that huge and getting good ranking should be obtainable within reasonable time. If you have any experience with outsourcing to India please share your comments.

Time to get busy – Niche project

I haven’t posted here for quite some time now and I’m truly sorry about that. There are no excuses for that but I’ll try to make it up to you. When we entered into 2008 I made a goal with myself. It isn’t huge and it definitely isn’t like the many you’ve read in the last couple of weeks.

My goal is simple: Keep focus on one thing for a whole year and see whether I will be able to take an old passive pet insurance blog I own to get a daily visit from more than 1,000 uniques. Currently I’m seeing just about 10-15 daily visitors but I haven’t done anything to it since I set it up.

Now I’m starting to build links to it as well as finding writers etc. to help me expand the site. I’ll need a lot of links and a lot of content to be sure to hit the 1,000 mark within the year. I am sure that it can be done and I’m looking forward to that. Even with a poor CTR that would give a nice little extra income.

I invite you to follow the steps I’m going to take to achieve this goal :)

MDW – Experiment – Make Money With It

I need you help hereI’ve recently bought a page at the Million Dollar Wiki site because I wanted to see whether it was possible to make some money from it. The purchase price for a page is $100 and that will get you a page this will not only get a fair amount of publicity through viral marketing but you’ll own it for at least 15 years.

Professional bloggers like John Chow and Shoemoney have bought pages as well and that was the tipping point for me. These guys seem to know what they are doing and I am pretty sure that if done correctly I’ll be able to get a decent amount of traffic to my page.

However I would really like to ask for your help. If you’re reading this blog I would appreciate it if you would give me a link from either your blog or any other site you might own with the anchor text of “Baby Boy Names”. As you might have guessed I bought the page Baby Boy Names for one single reason: TRAFFIC.

If you have ever used WordTracker for your keyword research you know that they do not exaggerate their statistics. I have often found them to be way less than I am actually seeing from the visitors that hit my sites. Using other keyword research tools I found figures of 2-3 million monthly visitors where WordTracker only shows around 70,000 visitors. If it’s possible to get just 10% of 2 million visitors to my site I would really have to give it some effort in order to not profit from it.

What will I do for you in return? I’ve not going to promise any prizes but I promise to give you a link from this blog to a site of your choice. Please submit a comment to this post if you have linked to my Baby Boy Names page containing:

1) A link to the page that is linking to it and

2) Anchor text and link to the page that you want me to mention here on the blog.

I would like to use my last words of this post to thank all of you who decide to help me try to accomplish this. I’ll need all the help I can get so feel free to post ideas and comments that will help me reach my goal.


New Blog Makes Money with TLA Text Ads

Now because things have been extremely busy around here I haven’t written any posts since my post where I compared John Chow’s BlogRush stats to mine. But yesterday I got an email from PayPal that TLA had sent me some money and I was literally stunned. Why?

Because I had totally forgot that I had installed their little plugin adding TLA text ads to the blog. I haven’t had anyone want to buy links on my site and therefore this came as a pleasant surprise. Now it wasn’t large figures but money that you do not expect is always a lot more fun than those you do expect.

So why this post? Well, I just wanted those of you that, like me, have fairly new blogs know that money can be made from TLA even though you still don’t have a PageRank.

Click here to signup

Certifications like 350-001 and 70-290 equip one in a better way to advertise on the internet. Courses like 70-649 and 70-270 help one in understanding the way algorithms work. All of these courses are necessary to cover 646-204.

My BlogRush Stats – Compared to John Chow dot Com

Now this might seem like an odd thing to compare but so far John Chow is the only blogger I have seen that has revealed his stats. I’ve tried to place the different stats from BlogRush “side by side” with John Chow’s to show you what you can actually achieve if you have a blog with enough visitors and you’re able to make enough referrals sign up through your affiliate link.

I’ll let you guess who has which stats *LOL*

The Graph

Credit Balance & Referral Network Stats

Activity by Generation

Syndication Activity

From what I can see it looks like my CTR is far better that John’s. I have a conversion rate of 0.826% whereas John’s is 0.333%. But well… he makes up for it in traffic :)