Thursday, December 12, 2013

Great Ad Rotating Plugin for WordPress

If you've got an e-commerce site, two things you're going to want to do is offer free stuff to increase traffic, and make sure you advertise your flagship products on your own site.  For example, offering a gardening tutorial is a great place to advertise your magic fertilizer.

If your site is driven by WordPress, one plugin that has worked for me is AdRotate.  I had some difficulty getting this to work due to a lack of documentation, but once I found the right tag to use for my ad, everything worked fine.  Here's a clip of the code that worked:

AdRotate will permit you to cycle through a group of ads where you want people to see them.  Remember: you know what's on your site, but a new visitor may land on a page and not know the answer they've been looking for is on a different page of your site.  Cycling ads in the margin is a great way to boost sales.



Friday, September 20, 2013

Clipart for Sparkol's VideoScribe — New Site Launched:

You've all seen those promotions where a hand sketches a cartoon while you listen to a voiceover. Well, now it's possible to download clipart that you can just drag right into Sparkol's VideoScribe without doing any time-consuming editing to the clipart. has just been launched so anyone can create an animation using an auto-drawing whiteboard application.SVG Clipart

In this video you'll see how SVG provides clipart and cartoons in scalable vector graphics format to draw cleanly and efficiently in auto-drawing programs such as Sparkol's VideoScribe. Welcome to SVG — a library of clipart elements designed to draw cleanly and efficiently inside auto-drawing programs such as Sparkol's Video Scribe which you can find at If you've ever used a program like video scribe, you know that it only accepts the Scalable Vector Graphic file format. Our cartoons can be opened and edited in Adobe ILlustrator, and have been carefully constructed to draw smoothly and efficiently inside Video Scribe. Here's one of our cartoons being drawn now. You can see how nicely these cartoons will tell your story and engage your audience. Converting an Illustrator file to draw properly in a whiteboard application like VideoScribe takes a lot of time and effort, and if you've ever tried to do that, you'll know how much time our cartoons will save you. We also have talented cartoonists, so if you need a special graphic created, be sure to send us an e-mail. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Google Keyword Planner — A More Accurate Reflection of Global Keyword Searches?

If you're familiar with the Google Keyword tool, you'll notice it's gone and has been replaced with the Google Keyword Planner

If you're interested in the details of the changes to this tool, I recommend this article from Andre Alpar's Search Engine Watch blog which goes into depth on the topic. 

The most noticeable thing about the Keyword Planner is how many fewer global searches any phrase will get.  For example, right before the Google Keyword Tool was taken down, the keyword phrase "cash back" and "back-cash" both produced identical monthly search results of over one million searches per month.

The Google Keyword Planner produces a much lower number of 22,000 for "cash back" and the phrase "back-cash" gets 70 global searches. 

Which tool was producing more accurate results?  Nothing useful is showing up in the rumor mill, however, in the past, the Keyword Tool was criticized for producing bloated global monthly search figures. It's more likely Google is trying to reduce the number of people seeking to "game" the system using longtail URL phrases with transposed words. In all likelihood, the new Keyword Planner is producing more realistic numbers.  To produce more accurate search results for their users, Google needs to discourage people from choosing URLs only for the purpose of attaining page rank. To do this, both the Google algorithm and Keyword Planner need to work in sync. Since "back-cash" now shows significantly lower global monthly search results than "cash back", it probably means the Keyword Planner is delivering more accurate numbers for global monthly searches and is a more accurate reflection in how the Google algorithm is working and how keyword searches are being conducted.

The false sense of elation we've been feeling when we've found a URL with high keyword traffic in the past, will now be replaced with a more realistic sense of frustration as domains which get legitimate keyword searches will be harder to find using the new tool. Sometimes the truth is hard to take.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Niche Selection

Late this spring, I helped a friend create a web page within a very competitive area. We grabbed the domain a longtail URL using the old Google Keyword Tool (yes, it's gone, I noticed this just today) showed a significant monthly volume, but with high competition. We launched the page without any video and to this day, our URL has not shown up on the front page of Google.

In contrast, our smaller niche business, Cinema 4D Models ( is doing exceptionally well. I attribute this to the fact that the C4D site is a smaller niche with far less competition. Additionally, we have used many videos to promote each URL we own with targeted landing pages and video.

My conclusion is this: achieving good page rank inside competitive categories is not only difficult and time consuming, but without a persistent and well-rounded marketing effort, may prove to be more frustrating than profitable.  If you're trying to rank in a competitive category and don't have time to create videos and perform all the due diligence I've written about in this blog, you may be better off buying your traffic by launching a press release.  I've never done this, so I can't vouch for it, but for $300, it may do more for your page rank than spending thirty hours of your time trying to build traffic in your off hours.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Has Worked for Me So Far

Over the past seven months, I would divide everything I've learned about internet marketing into two three groups:

1 Fundamental Internet Marketing (juicing the search engines and SEO)

2) Ancillary Internet marketing (social media)

3) Tools (tips, tricks and gimmicks)

Using the Google keyword tool, I've selected my URLs based on the traffic the keywords I'm targeting are already getting before I purchase them. Since I'm not selling that many products, I've purchased URLs for each product and launched a website for each product using high traffic, longtail URLs.  As a result, I now rank on the first page and sometimes at the top of Google for the keywords I've targeted.

Cinema 4D Ocean (

Cinema 4D Lighting (

Cinema 4D models (

I have more in the pipeline waiting for their own websites.

Regarding #2, Facebook proved to be a useful tool to jump-start my website, but seemed to lose steam over 90 days, proving to be too expensive for long-term marketing.

#3 is where the bulk of internet marketing gurus try to make their living; selling little marketing helpers, software and tools.  I've found there's pretty much a Wordpress plugin for nearly everything, and if you can't find a Wordpress plugin that does what you're looking for, you should hire someone in Pakistan to write it for you, because that's where you'll make some money.

I'm currently working on a back-link building plugin for Wordpress. It's not cheap and will take over a year to write (because I'm poor), but that's one thing I haven't seen yet in a Wordpress plugin.



Monday, April 29, 2013

Don't Overlook the Obvious

I've been studying online marketing for half a year now, and it's surprising the obvious things that are not that obvious.

Today, I was a bit floored to find out how easy it is to learn what Google wants from your web page. In fact, they tell you.

The Google Webmaster Academy is something anyone interested in SEO should become familiar with.

Webmaster Academy - Webmaster Tools Help

More stuff to read, but this is coming from the horse's mouth, so it will be well worth your while.



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Using a Business Directory to Drive Traffic and Attract Clients

In one day I installed a new a business directory site that cost me nothing.

3D Animation Group | Cinema 4D Talent Directory

If nothing else, it's a great web 2.0 site to add backlinks. And if you can attract your target audience to join, you're killing two birds with one stone by building your client list at the same time.

I simply activated a dormant domain on GoDaddy and installed Wordpress with two clicks. When Wordpress was finished installing, I found this free business directory plugin called "Business Directory Plugin" of all things.  Adding PayPal functionality and other features costs money, but being able to get up and running while getting used to the plugin without spending money up front is great.

I highly recommend Business Directory Plugin.



Thursday, April 4, 2013

George Brown's Predator Software - A Preliminary Review

I just spent $800 for the new Predator software by George Brown, the author of the Google Sniper SEO strategy. For people who are into SEO, George Brown is a credible and well known name in the industry.

The webinar which launched this software pretty much blew my mind. Predator is presented like a digital matchmaker on steroids. It is essentially an e-mail extractor which can also send bulk e-mails. If I could get the software to work as pitched, it would be a digital marketer's dream come true. Such a tool would essentially eliminate the slow process of list building which is currently built upon creating sites and driving traffic through paid advertising, blogging, writing articles and other painful, costly and sometimes risky endeavors.

I was disappointed to quickly learn the webinar was not live as promoted and the release was actually just a rerun of a previously video taped launch back in 2012.  The webinar states that only fifty copies of the software would be sold, but that is clearly not the case, as it had already been released before. This was either a deliberate deception or an oversight. Either way, it caused an unnecessary ding in George Brown's integrity.

So far, with the exception of Craigslist and Yahoo Local, I've been unable to get the software to produce usable results for my keyword searches.  When searching major search engines, the search either never finishes, produces no results, or produces URLs with no e-mails.  This is disappointing considering that most ads in Craigslist request that you not contact the advertiser with solicitations and offers; which is exactly what Predator does.

After submitting a support ticket, I was told the search engines had changed causing the software to not work as it had done previously. Hmmm. So you didn't test the software before launching your webinar?

I saw no way of recouping my $1,200 investment (first and second licenses) any time soon with the software in its current shape, so I followed the refund instructions from my support ticket. Since I did not purchase Predator from Clickbank, I had to go to American Express to get my cash back.  The American Express agent was surprised to inform me there would be no investigation into the claim, suggesting I wasn't the only one who had called them.

My take away from this is to be very careful about what you tell your customers and to guard your online reputation as it is your most valuable asset. Also, be very careful about charging a premium price for your product as this will increase returns and cancelled sales.

I'll still be interested to learn about future improvements to Predator, but even if George Brown spent $100K to build Predator, $800 is a pretty steep price to pay for a utility that really only helps you become a professional spammer.



Building Quality Backlinks: Workflow Overview

Even before I got into internet marketing, I knew backlinks were important to achieve page rank. There are some dodgy ways to buy backlinks, but I've never tried this and from what I've heard about this strategy either backfiring or not working at all, I've been hesitant to try it.

I just finished reading a good article from Smart Passive Income  which outlines a strategy for building backlinks. I'm going to quickly go over it here. Essentially, the idea is to write articles that point to intermediary sites which then point to your flagship site.

Build Your Destination Site

It's assumed you already have a site you want to direct traffic to, so let's move on.

Build Your Web 2.0 Sites

You do not want to point your links to your final destination site. The reason being that building hundreds of backlinks overnight can flag the Google algorithm that something dodgy is going on. For this reason, you want to point them to your Wordpress blog, or your Blogger page, or some intermediary site that will take the heat instead of your flagship site.

A web 2.0 site is just a site that is interactive on some level.  All blogs can receive comments, and so that makes it a web 2.0 site as opposed to a static page that is read only. Facebook is also a web 2.0 site. This is just one form of site you can build. You can and should also build static sites as well.

In my situation, I want people to go to a specific page on my flagship site to buy a specific plugin for lighting scenes inside a 3D software package.  Yesterday, I built a Google page for this plugin. This is the perfect page to send my backlinks to.  Realistic Cinema 4D Lighting.  Here's another example: Cinema 4D Lighting

Write Your Links Correctly

Do NOT write your links like this:
DO write your links with proper focus keywords in your anchor text: Cinema 4D 3D Models and Resources

Below is a snapshot of backlinks:

Royalty Free Stock Photos : James Group Studios
Internet Marketing Tips Internet marketing blog; tips I've picked up
Reputation repair and promotion : Repution Promotion
Cinema 4D 3D models and resources : C4Depot
Cinema 4D Models : Cinema 4D model collections by theme
3D Ocean Generator for Cinema 4D : Infinite Ocean for Cinema 4D by C4Depot
Realistic Cinema 4D Lighting : Studio Kit Pro for Cinema 4D
Royalty Free Christian Stock Images : TrueVine Images

Write a Unique Article

Write something with real content your target audience would like to know about. Make it original and something you can be proud to attach your name to. Your article should be between 350 and 600 words.

Spin Your Article

Make similar versions of your article so Google doesn't flag you for spamming the net with duplicate content. Use software to do this. The Best Spinner  is a highly recommended tool but only works on a PC. If you're a Mac guy, you'll need to use Boot Camp or your spouse's computer.

Upload Your Articles

Upload your articles with links pointing to your secondary blogs and sites.  Those will then point to your primary site.

Create More Blogs that Point Directly to Your Site

Use the article you've made and post unique versions on free blogs which point directly to your site.

Thanks to Smart Passive Income for the strategy.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wordpress Plugins for Site Optimization

Caching and optimizing the site is important to keep the site running fast. WordPress is a dynamic database driven site using php and makes connections to the database to show web content.  The database on shared hosting is on a remote shared server which has built in latency.  This process can causes longer load times and uses more server resources such as RAM and processor time which is also shared by other websites and can be limited.  These plugin will optimize your WordPress sites performance and improve your users online experience.

Here are tools below to optimize you sites.

WordPress suggests using these WordPress plug-ins right away.

WP-DB-Backup : On-demand backup of your WordPress database.

BackWPup  gets a 4 star rating, good reviews and came pre-loaded on my Wordpress site. It is the one I am currently using

W3 Total Cache : A very fast caching engine for WordPress that produces static html files.

P3 Profiler: Our WordPress® Performance Profiler Plugin creates a profile of a plugins' performance by measuring their impact on your site's load time. 

WP-Optimizer: WP Database Optimizer. This plugin allows for automated scheduled database optimization 

Tech Tools

Free Website Performance Tool and Web Page Speed Analysis:

helps you develop a faster, more efficient, and all-around improved website experience for your users. 

WebSite Monitoring Tools shows response times around the world.

To browse your site outside of your network/ISP thought a proxy:

To verify the IP address you are using on your network:

Monday, April 1, 2013

Don't Make this Facebook Advertising Mistake

I've just launched my second Facebook ad campaign and have been stunned with how poorly it has been performing.  We've been getting tons of likes, but almost no conversions.  I called Facebook to see what the problem was and was told that targeting more than one country in the same ad campaign causes a "glitch" to occur in the Facebook system (whatever that means).  I was told that removing all of the countries but one should solve the problem.

We'll see.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

IM and SEO "Gurus": a Brief Rant

I've been up to my eyeballs in SEO and Internet Marketing tips and tricks and "inside secrets" being peddled by so-called "experts" for nearly half a year now. If I actually read all the e-mails and watched every webinar solicitation I get in my e-mail every day, I would do nothing else. Yesterday, I spent nearly thirty minutes watching a webinar that offered no usable information. I must say, I'm getting pretty disappointed.

Getting visibility and rank on the net is the same as money in the bank, so there must be tens of thousands of people trying to convince other people they can get your site to rank if you just give them your money. Most of us are either new to I.M. or oblivious to how it works, and as a result, we're pretty gullible. It's like the Gold Rush all over again, but in electronic form.  One guy will sell you a pan for $10, someone else will sell you their video on how they pan for gold, another guy will tell you where he found some, and so on ad- infinitum.

What I'm finding is that there is only so much you can do for free. You can build your sites, optimize them, and do everything right and still not rank as well as you'd like. At some point, some heavy lifting needs to be done. This is when you need to pay up.  Even running a Facebook ad campaign is not free.

I was just approached by Vocus, the company which owns Web PR. For $5,000/year you can submit unlimited press releases online.  I'm pretty sure this strategy will work because they have a relationship with Google, and unlike many other free press release outfits, they will actually submit your release and get it online.  Still, $5K is pretty steep, and a big gamble for most of us.

Additionally, I'm currently speaking with a programmer in Pakistan to build a back-link building widget that is really going to be a community of people who will share each other's links on their sites. I'm confident that between a solid back-link strategy and a press-release campaign, you can get the rank you need. Sadly, it will not be free.

If you're one of the few people who stumble across this blog, feel free to send me a message if you'd like to share a subscription to Vocus.



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The Straight SEO Dope from GoDaddy

While on the phone with GoDaddy technical support today, I got talking about SEO and my tech e-mailed me a really great list of SEO tips. I'm including it for you.

A list off some SEO tools

Matt Cutts Blog:
Directory of Search Quality at

All Top:
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Research
A premier online marketplace for aftermarket domains 

Thought Convergence
Monetize, individuals buy and sell, and businesses research domain names on the Internet.
Check for duplicate content and LSI keywords

Nimble http://partners.nimble.comLeverage the latest customer relationship management (CRM) technology to close the sales, marketing & customer service loop.

Submit to social networking sites

Make sure your site isn't being copied and creating duplicate sites and content

Online keyword research to find the right keywords

Google Trends:
See search volume trends

Google Analytics:
traffic measurement and interactive reporting...

Google Webmaster Tools: 
Provides you with detailed reports about your pages' visibility on Google.
Consolidated social networking 
Web Boar http://www.webboar.comSee what search engines see about your domain

Internet Officer redirect status, e.g. 301 redirect, 302 redirect or HTML redirect (meta refresh).

DomainTools: http://DomainTools.comMost comprehensive collection of domain name ownership records in the world!

Internet usage for Web users from most to less percentage of time online according to Google?
  • Search sites
  • Commerce sites 
  • Communication sites
  • Content sites

What is keyword prominence and how does it effect the SEO efforts?

Keyword prominence refers to the fact that keywords placed in important parts of the webpage are given priority by the search engines and are a factor that determine the webpage relevance with respect to the keyword. Search engines give keywords more weight and prominence if they are placed within any of the following locations of the webpage.

As an SEO technique, keywords should be placed in all of the below listed locations to increase the page relevance for the keyword in the SERPs(search engine results page) .

  • Title of the webpage
  • Header, subheader of paragraphs
  • In the file name (within the URL)
  • Near the start of the page or right at the top of the page
  • In the start of the new PARA
  • Within the meta tags of the webpage (such as the description & keywords metatags)

How should keywords with two or more words be ideally placed within the webpage?
If you are to place keywords that consists of two or more words, such as IQ test (2 words), you must try your best to mention the keyword as "IQ test" whenever possible instead of the situation where you might place the word IQ separetly and the word test separetly. Therefore if your keyword is actually a phrase, always refer to it in the way you would like to target the keyword for the page. The search engine will see the keyword "a test of IQ" very differently from "IQ test" so make sure you always refer to your keywords accurately. If you must split the words within your keyword phrase, always try to keep them as close as possible to one another. This is termed as keyword proximity and helps the search engine to interpret a relationship between the keywords. While discussing the relevance of proximity it must also be mentioned that some search engines also attach importance to the existence of independent words that make up the keyword phrase within the webpage. Therefore taking the above example of IQ test, you should include the word "IQ" at various places within the webpage and the word "test" at other places. Doing this would satisfy the more discerning aspects of the search engine algorithm of various search engines that are looking for more proof than the simple presence of the exact keyword (i.e. IQ test) in the webpage.