Content First…Profit Later

Content First Profit LaterBefore I embark on my latest online project, I want to take this opportunity to write down a few words about website content.

Since starting The SEO Experiment I have been looking into various different methods of monetising my online content without paying any real attention to customer value. Yes I have always tried to write the best possible content on The SEO Experiment; but if I am totally honest, the content on my affiliate sites has been created purely with profit in mind.

One of the first things I did when creating my first monetised website, Staffordshire Fitness, was to insert my AdSense blocks into the page layout and then build the content around them. Looking back at this project I can see many mistakes but if I had to single out one in particular, which I could take forward as a real lesson learnt, it would be the decision to implement monetisation too quickly. I am by no means an expert when it comes to Internet Marketing (IM) but I am quickly realising that to be successful, you need to provide value to your reader; although this may seem like an obvious statement to make, I assure you that it is an easy step to overlook and one which many IMs fail to grasp.

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What have I achieved this week: Week 49, 50 51 & 52 2012

The SEO Experiment - December 2012

This is my last post in the “What have I achieved this week” series for 2012 and for that reason, it is going to be more of a “What have I achieved this year”

This year had been a bit of a strange one for me, not only has it gone ridiculously fast; it has also brought about some major changes in my life. In August, I started a new job which requires me to work away from home throughout the week, not an ideal situation but needs must and all that; I’m not going to lie when I say that it’s not easy to spend so much time away from home   but rather than dwell on the negatives, I find it far more beneficial to focus on the positives. The time I am away in the week has given me the opportunity to focus on developing my expertise as an internet entrepreneur / online marketer and find out first hand, if I have what it takes to make it. Time will only tell on that one but I know that I am going to give it my best shot and hopefully, next year will shed some more light on the subject.

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Keep Moving Forward

One Way TrafficI am currently looking at the layout of my Naturally Grown affiliate site and trying to make improvements.

The site is performing well but I want more from it. As an Internet Marketer it is important that you do not fall victim to complacency and especially when you are just starting out. Your first sale will be a great feeling, so by all means take a second to give yourself a well deserved pat on the back, but make sure it is only a second because it is now that the real hard work begins.

Get in to the habit of questioning yourself on a daily basis, by this I do not mean in a negative way such as:

  • Is this project worthwhile?
  • Am I wasting my time?

These questions may pop up from time to time but when they do, and they will; you need to be ready to smash them out of the park…I’m not going to give you tips on how to do this because everyone’s motivation is different, some people need an E-Hug from time to time and some just need to have something to eat. Personally I only ever seem to have these notions when I am hungry so a good meal usually fixes things :)

The questions I am referring to are along the following lines and are positive in nature:

  • Could my site be better?
  • Could I add more value to my site?
  • What if I did this?
  • How can I improve the customer experience?

Keeping yourself on your toes will keep you interested. I have had sites where the only thing I did was wake up, check my overnight AdSense figures and affiliate earnings, get disheartened by the poor returns and log off, trust me, this is a bad cycle to get in to and one which I believe many people are doing.

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My Google Adwords Experiment

Google AdWords CampaignIn an earlier post , I mentioned how I had received a £75 voucher for use within Google AdWords and intended to use it to promote my Martial Arts Equipment website. Receiving this voucher prompted me to explore the world of Pay per Click (PPC) marketing and I would now like to share some I my findings with you.

As with most things I do, this experiment soon transcended past the realms of my initial intentions and on to something slightly different, still centred around Google AdWords, the following actions have been undertaken whilst working on a different affiliate site of mine,

Before starting the campaign I had a clear set of questions which I hoped would be answered, the main ones being:

  • Does PPC work within an Affiliate / AdSense environment?
  • How do you create a good Ad?
  • Are my landing pages converting successfully?
  • Am I targeting the right keywords?
  • How much traffic would I get if I ranked organically?

For the remainder of this post I will be trying to answer these questions to the best of my ability as well as providing you with as much value as I possibly can from my own experiences.

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Pareto Principle: The 80/20 Rule

Pareto Principle: The 80/20 RuleThe Pareto Principle

Recently I have started reading The 4-Hour Work Week, A life design and self-improvement guide by Timothy Ferris and advocate of the Pareto Principle. The further you get into Internet Marketing and the whole “Passive Income” thing, the harder it gets to avoid this book.

For me, I have been aware of this book for about 8 months. I first heard about it when trawling through Pat Flynn’s website Smart Passive Income. A super cool website and ridiculously successful, the Smart Passive Income blog was pretty much where it all started for me and the main reason I decided to give this a go. I hope that I get to thank Pat Flynn for his tips and advice one day, it can be pretty tough starting out in this industry, time and time again you will feel like pulling the plug but sometimes, all you need is a podcast from someone who has walked this road before you to convince you to keep going.

As an Internet Marketer you will read about numerous individuals who have found success in their chosen field, when I read about such people, apart from being super impressed by their motivation, dedication and creativity, I like to think that I am heading in the same direction but just taking a bit longer to get there ( a late starter if you like). As you set out on your journey, I think it is very important that you read as many success stories as you can, not only will this open your eyes to a wider range of ways to make money on the internet, it will also show you the things that have worked for others, the things that did not and the things you should avoid at all cost.

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What have I achieved this week: Week 47, 2012

Week 47This week has seen a pretty dramatic change in focus for me. It is something that I have been planning for quite a while; I have enrolled in a distance learning course centered around Digital Marketing. The course title is CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing and is accredited by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM). The course is broken down in to 3 specific elements:

  • Digital Marketing Essentials
  • Digital Marketing Planning
  • Marketing & Consumer Behaviour

By completing this course I hope to gain a better understanding of Digital Marketing from more of a business perspective. I believe that the work I will undertake will vastly improve the work I am carrying out within  The SEO Experiment. It will also help me to provide my readers with a better working methodology towards Digital Marketing

As always, I will providing as much transparency to my efforts as possible.

This week I have also been working quite closely with Google AdWords campaigns, I will be completing a detailed report on my findings in the near future but for now, I can tell you that it has not been as successful as I had hoped but I have learnt some valuable information from it. #keepmovingforward

Short Post this week but i’m sure you can appreciate, I have got work to do!

Back to School

NotebookIt’s Back to school for me now!

This week I have enrolled myself on to a new Distance Learning Course. CAM Diploma in Digital Marketing. The course is approved by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM), the world’s leading community of marketing professionals.

I am taking this course to add a little professional accreditation to my expanding portfolio of digital marketing. It is my intention to steer my career towards Marketing over the next few years, the goal is still a passive income but should that fall on stony ground, I have this to fall back on and the qualification may open a few doors for me.

As described on the CIM official website, the outline of the course is as follows:

This dynamic qualification will provide you with knowledge underpinning the principles of digital marketing and skills to undertake digital marketing planning.

 The qualification covers Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay Per Click (PPC), types of online advertising, email marketing, viral marketing, online PR, affiliate marketing and social media. It also looks at digital metrics, legislation, regulation  and codes of practice.                   

You will have the opportunity to gain skills and knowledge to understand the fundamental planning concepts for an online organisation as well as key factors in implementation, measurement and evaluation of successful campaigns.                   

Digital marketing has evolved from a peripheral element of organisational marketing to one which is at the hub of customer-centric communications in an increasingly multi-channel environment. Our qualifications will ensure that you are equipped to deal with this shift and make the most of the new business opportunities on offer.

Coming from an IT background, I am well aware that a qualification does not entitle you to a job, it is your experience and achievements which are most important. The SEO Experiment continues to be my main priority and something which will run hand in hand with this course. Each will compliment the other and allow me to put theory into practice on a regular basis.

All of my progress through the course will be documented through The SEO Experiment.

First assignment due 27th December so better get started, Is that the school bell?


UKMA Shop – Google Adwords Campaign

The SEO Experiment Learn SEOI was extremely pleased to find that Google had been kind enough to send me a Google AdWords promotional code this week. If I added £25 in to my AdWords account, they would credit me with £75. Not being one to pass on such an opportunity, I thought why not; this after all The SEO Experiment and this would provide a nice little insight to the success of Google AdWords within Affiliate websites.

I have used AdWords campaigns before, I used to use them quite regularly when I was advertising web design services. In the 3 months I was running my Ads, I spent £30, along with a promotional £50 voucher from Google (Thanks Again!) and was able to generate over £300 worth of Web Design business. I have only good things to say about AdWords campaigns as I was able to convert them successfully. The only thing I would say about them though is that you need to make sure your landing page is well optimised for successful conversion. I spent at least 3 months getting my site ready before opting in to the campaign and although the revenue from web design services was the primary goal, the fact that I received any enquiries at all went a long way towards proving that the site and landing page was relatively appealing. I must admit, it was my first real attempt at advertising my web design business and was a nice pat on the back moment.

You may or may not get many of these moments when you feel like you have done well, although it important to #keepmovingforward, make sure you acknowledge your own success, even if it is just a quick smile to your self. Just make sure it is quick, and get back to work! :-)

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What have I achieved this week: Week 46, 2012

Week 46This week has seen a major event take place within my online empire and before I go in to further detail, I can assure you it is not a welcome event.

Over the weekend I was just about to log on to my Martial Arts Equipment website to add some information to a product I am advertising, when to my horror, I was unable to log in to my website – I had what is commonly known as the WordPress White Screen of Death. The functionality of my website remained but I was no longer able to log in and administer the site.

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