Mailbag Post #3
I went back digging through a ton of emails to pick out some for today’s mail bag post. I actually got about 20 emails all asking the same thing (in different words) so I can knock out those questions with one response so we’ll kick if off with the most popular question…
What is the best way to rank your website right now? Can you share some SEO tips?
SEO is a cat and mouse game. People catch on to how to rank in Google, Google changes up their algorithm. What is hurting everyone (except Google) is how Google is using more of their results page to push their own sites, products, services, etc… It becomes less and less organic non-Google stuff on the results page every few months. And the US government looked into it and said this was fine, while the EU is (rightfully so) taking issue with this. But you didn’t ask about that so let’s get back on track. Right now in the SEO world the hot topic for the past few months has been Sape. Sape is a Russian link exchange site that has hundreds of thousands of sites in it. The official web address is Sape.ru but when you go there if you’re looking for an English button you won’t find one. It is all in Russian and it’s not very US friendly. I’ve heard it can takes months to get accepted, if you’re from the US you have to jump through some hoops, and there is a learning curve on how to use it. It is a paid service so break out your wallet. There are people who have taken advantage of these facts by using their account to sell Sape links to US residents. I’ve read a mix of reviews, most are positive but there have been some negative ones in there so you’ll need to decide for yourself if the service is all it’s cracked up to be. But when people are talking about ranking sites nowadays they usually have Sape somewhere in the conversation.
What types of products are you successfully promoting right now?
I was promoting some sports CPA offers very successfully but now that the Superbowl has come and gone those offers go into a lull until next football season. Another thing that was hot for me was GoDaddy and their affiliate program. They had two ad spots during the Superbowl that really drives interest for the week or two after. I’m consistently promoting the ‘watch tv on your computer’ niche though I eventually see this niche fading away more and more as Netflix, Hulu, and the like take a bigger foothold of the market. And then there’s the old timers that I’m always promoting, Amazon.com, outsourcing companies, pay per installs, and the like.
Amazon or Adsense, if you had to pick one to make money with which would it be?
I think both of these programs could bring you tons of money, but I also have a bone to pick with each of them. Google’s Adsense program has been known to terminate people’s accounts for unknown reasons. They literally will not tell you why they are closing your account. Any paychecks you had coming your way are voided. You get nothing and you get no reason why. That’s a bunch of bullshit if you ask me.
In Amazon’s program I have an issue with the 24 hour cookie, specifically when it relates to large items. If I’m talking about snowblowers or wood chippers or a larger purchase a lot of times people don’t make the decision to buy that item in 1 day. They look online first to get pricing. Then they go to a store to see the product in person and to get pricing. Then they decide which product model they like, and they see it is cheaper online so they come back online and buy it. This process does not happen in 1 day. And Amazon will get the sale and you’ll get nothing even though you drove the sale if and when this process reaches it’s 24th hour or beyond.
So if I had to pick one I would pick the Amazon affiliate program. I cannot put all my effort into Adsense knowing that they can ban me at any time based on nothing I did wrong. If you don’t believe me Google it and see how many valid sites got banned by Adsense. And unless you know someone there or your site has a lot of pull odds are once it is banned it is banned for good. Stick with Amazon, the more sales you drive the higher your commission rate becomes for the month. And if they buy 10 items in an order you get commission on each item.
I got into a bidding war on a domain name and I ended up overpaying for the domain name. All the offers I’ve gotten on the domain name are below what I paid. Any advice on how to recoup my investment?
Most of us have had this happen before and from experience I can say you need to set a hard target on what you will pay for a domain KNOWING that you can profit from it. Since you already bought it you have a few options.
1. You could sell it as a loss and use that cash to buy a domain with more upside and try to recoup your investment by selling that second domain for a profit.
2. You could park your domain and generate some income this way and try to make up the difference from this revenue source. Might take a while though.
3. You could lease the domain name out. If it is a premium domain name you can lease it out for 6 or 12 months and hopefully after you collect those lease payments they will make up the difference.
4. You can be stubborn and sit on it until someone will pay your asking price. This may or may not ever happen.
How much does it cost you to get a brand new project up and running? I want to start a site to sell backlinks on but am not sure how much money I need to set it up.
It’s all relative. Depending on how complex the site needs to be, how much graphic design work you need done, how much of a SEO effort do you need… it could be as little as $100 or go well into the thousands. It also depends on where you find the workers to build it for you. Hiring people in the US will cost you a lot, but they work the same hours as you and the communication is always clear. You can hire an outsourced worker from overseas for significantly less but you may run into time zone issue or language issues.
Me personally, I have great guys that I use overseas to do my stuff for me. It took a while to find them, some trial and error, but now that I have them they are my go to guys. If you’re looking for a place to find people to hire I always push Odesk to people for two reasons… first because I use the site myself for 90% of my hires and second because the rates you find on there are the most reasonable (and thirdly because I’m part of their affiliate program and I love promoting a product or service I use myself).
How do you stay fresh when working on the computer so much? I find myself losing focus quite often.
I previously wrote a post on staying motivated, it is somewhere here on Anticareer… here it is: http://www.anticareer.com/how-to-stop-being-lazy-and-become-motivated/
There is no ‘one size fits all’ way to stay fresh and keep focused. You need to try a variety of things and find out what works for you. There’s a bunch of things I like to do and I’ll share some with you.
1. Reward myself. I set a target to reward myself. If I’m going to be working on promoting a new CPA offer I say to myself that I’m taking 15% of whatever I make from this and putting it aside to buy myself something. I’ll have a few things in mind that I want so I’m working towards that goal and that helps, and it’s also a fun little game you can play with yourself.
2. Take breaks. This is important. If you try to sit and knock out something without ever taking a break (physical and mental) then you’re going to kill yourself. I like to stand up, stretch, etc… at least once an hour. Every few hours I’ll take 20 minutes and read the news or articles on one of my go to sites, something to exercise my brain on something other then the project I’m working on.
3. Break your project up into pieces. You can feel a sense of accomplishment when you complete a piece instead of always feeling like you’re never going to finish the project.
What do you do for fun?
I like to try new restaurants, watch movies, play a game on Playstation, fantasy football, travel, work out (which doesn’t happen quite often enough), catch up with friends… nothing too out of the norm.