How To Make Your Living Online in 2012

Happy Holidays! Well, Christmas for this year has come and gone. I had a good last few days and I hope you did too.. (perhaps you are still enjoying the holiday season like me 😉 ) But as we all do when the year comes to an end, we start thinking about the year about to end and the new year just around the corner.

To be quite honest, 2011 is a year I would much rather forget. There was the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear meltdown in Fukushima Japan which shook everything up for me and those around me. Life here is almost back to normal now, but this year will be a year I won’t forget in a hurry -and not in a good way.

Of course, my internet business helped me to stay focused and headstrong. I didn’t quite achieve everything I wanted to but still a lot of good did come out of this year… (it’s always best to stay positive). I released a couple of IM related products and entered some new niches in non-IM related markets trying my hand at the affiliate blogs/SEO model.

I have to tell you that niche marketing is very addictive and fun, but it’s easy to get wrong if you don’t know what you’re doing and it can take a lot of work to see results. But if you stick with it for 3, 4, 5 or even 6 months, you’ll eventually start seeing sales come through on auto-pilot. That side of the niche blog business model rocks!

Product launches in the IM niche are good too if you create a good evergreen product and can get enough traffic to it with JV and affiliate partnerships. But it’s harder to make the sales last, even if your product is evergreen. There’s always gonna be something new tomorrow in the IM niche. So many IM products are released everyday that the life span for them is usually very short.

The same goes with any product though, as long as you get the right kind of traffic, you can make sales.  But for IM products, it’s a little hard to get JVs onboard for long-term traffic as they are keen to jump on the next best thing and forget about your product. If you can pump out a new product every couple of months, well it’s another story.

With niche marketing, or SE marketing (SEM) as long as you’re site is ranked in Google, you’re pretty much set. The hot niche related problems/keywords don’t change much and the number of product launches are much fewer in ‘niche’ markets than the typical IM scene, so you can keep promoting the same product without your campaign getting old.

I know this is starting to sound like a “product launch vs. affiliate niche marketing” type post, but that’s ok. These have become my two favorite online marketing/business models and I recommend you to get started doing one or the other, or both if you can.

If you’re just starting out, here’s what I recommend you to do. This is just going to be a basic plan of how you could start making a living online in 2012 with affiliate niche marketing. This is not a guarantee you will, because it all depends on how much work you put into it.

1. Find a product to promote (note that I didn’t say ‘niche’). Make sure it’s a product that serves a desperate niche and make sure the offer is easy to take up (i.e. affordable, easy to buy, free offer etc). It can be in an IM niche or non-IM niche. As long as you feel you can help others fix there problem by pointing them in the right direction, go for it!

2. Check how many searches that product name gets per month using google’s keyword suggestion tool. If the product name isn’t that well-known yet, then search for the keyword phrase that the product solves e.g. “how to get website traffic on a budget”, if you’re selling a website traffic course.

3. Check competition on the front page of Google search for those keywords. If there are mostly Pr4 sites and upwards dominating the front page, then try another keyword. If there are some PR2 and PR0 sites and a few affiliate sites/retail sites, then you might have a good chance of ranking on the first page.

NOTE: The more I got into niche marketing, the more I realized how important keyword research is. Get good keywords with low competition and your job will be infinitely easier! Don’t cut corners by choosing random keywords. You’ll pay for it later.

4. Once you’ve got a good keyword or two, register a domain name and get some hosting. Try to get the exact match domain for your keyword. e.g. howtorepairaflattire.com. There is talk about how this is becoming less important, but I still see a lot of EMDs on the front page of google. It won’t hurt, anyway.

5. Install WP on your site using Fantastico. Most good hosting services will have it available. Just don’t use “admin” as your admin username 😉 Don’t worry too much about a theme or plugins because your site doesn’t have to look pretty. It just has to be easy on the eye and direct people to your offer page. I like Profits Theme because it’s dead-easy to use and allows me to create squeeze pages and sales pages for when I want to build a list or sell products from my site.

6. As for onsite SEO goes, install All In One SEO Pack plugin and add your main keyword in your site’s title and in your description.  Of course, you’re going to need content so write 7 to 10 articles using your main keyword for a couple of them and related keywords for the others.

NOTE: You should be aware that a low bounce rate is now very important in the eyes of google so try to make your readers stay on your site as long as possible and click through to other sites. You want as few people to click the back button as possible!

7. Place your affiliate banners and “calls to action” in strategic places on your site i.e. at the end of your post, bnner in the sidebar etc. You don’t want to clutter your site with dozens of banner ads, product recommends or links to other offers. You want to just concentrate on promoting one product.

8. After you’re satisfied with your site’s content, onpage SEO and looks, you’re ready to go get traffic. Of course, you can start doing some promotion even with just a few posts. Don’t be one of those people who has to get everything perfect before they roll out with traffic generation. You need the mind set of “improve as you go”.. or “Ready, Fire, Aim”.

9. Your off-page SEO really comes down to which sites are linking back to your site, aka backlinks. It used to be that the more backlinks a site had, the higher it was ranked on google. But after the panda updates in 2011, things like quality backlinks (High PR and authority site) and diversity of backlinks with a lot of focus now on social sites like google +1, FB likes and Tweets etc. are what you need most of all. So remember, quality more than quantity.

10. Watch your stats in Google analytics and webmasters tools to see what your visitors are doing on your site and make changes from there. Keep improving your site to rise higher in google by adding new content, building more backlinks and you’ll be able to watch more traffic and sales come in. It’s really an awesome feeling to see your hard work pay off.

So there you have a very basic outline of how you could go about starting an affiliate marketing business in 2012. Like I said, you can choose any product in any niche just as long as it is made for desperate buyers i.e. their ‘hair is on fire’ and they need a bucket of water now!

The cool thing about learning how to make a website and get it ranked in google is that you can use it to not only promote affiliate offers, but eventually promote your own products or services some day – which is where the big money is.

Of course, list building is still a great way to capture your traffic, build a relationship with them and offer them great value deals. Even though it has taken a beating in some niches, it still works if you do it right i.e. be cool and don’t spam them!

If you can mix list building with blogs and SEO, you will have yourself a very nice little internet business you can rely on for years to come. Throw in your own product and some JV partners you’re on your way to retiring early!

I am looking forward to and plan to be even more dedicated to helping you succeed in the new year. I want you to know and experience the internet lifestyle and all the good that comes with it. You really can do it if you’re willing to work for it. I’ll be here trying to make that happen for you.

Happy holidays and all the best for 2012!

Stu Sensei

3 Things That Make Up A Killer Affiliate Marketing Campaign

Affiliate marketing is and always will be a popular way to make money online. It’s where a lot of newbie’s start out when they first look into the idea of starting an internet business from home.

Although affiliate marketing comes across as being relatively easy (you don’t need to create your own product or deal with customer service, etc) there are still several pieces needed to complete the puzzle than may first meet the eye, if you really want to succeed.

The biggest problem affiliate marketers face is competition. You’ll find that in pretty much EVERY hot niches there is ample competition fighting for sales of the same or similar products in that niche… so in that regard, it can be quite hard to beat them and claim your share of the profit pie.

You can’t control what your competition does, but there are other things you CAN easily control to make your life as an affiliate easier and more profitable.

If you’re trying your hand at affiliate marketing but not seeing any success, ask yourself these questions:

  • Where are you getting traffic?
  • Where are you sending your traffic to first? (i.e. squeeze page? review post on a blog?)
  • Is the merchant offer converting?

If you look at these, you can usually find the weak spot and improve on it. These I consider to be the most important keys to affiliate marketing success.

1. An Offer Than Converts. If I could give any one piece of advice to struggling affiliate marketers, this would be it – choose an offer that converts!

This also ties into choosing a “hair on fire” niche.. but usually, those niches are full of hot converting offers anyway… you just have to find the hottest of the hot!

Choosing an offer that doesn’t convert is perhaps the biggest killer to affiliate campaigns and is very frustrating. I know… I have experienced it many times. I send good traffic to offers I think will convert, but it just doesn’t turn into sales.

It’s hard to know if an offer will convert before you send traffic and test it, so it’s a good idea to send a little PPC traffic to test conversions before you go all out and build a complete website and campaign for it.

2. Your Own Website. All the successful affiliate marketers have their own website. If you don’t have a website and you’re sending traffic straight to your affiliate link, you’re missing out on a  lot of commissions!

Having a website of your own is essential for running a successful affiliate campaign. For one, it’s pretty much impossible to get good traffic (i.e. Google search traffic) straight to your affiliate link and second, you’ll get better results by sending them to your website first if you a) presell them with extra info or spice up the offer with a bonus, or b) collect their names and emails (i.e. build a list) so you can follow up and offer other offers to them.

Getting a website is not that hard and is very affordable. For less than $20 you can get a domain and hosting.. sometimes less! WordPress is free and makes the perfect platform for affiliate sites.. either review sites or list building sites or both!

If you need help getting your website up, my Newbie Start Up Guide and WP Sites for Newbies guides are the way to go.

 

3. Laser Targeted Traffic. There are many ways to generate traffic. Search engine traffic being the #1 choice for many marketers because it proves to be the finest quality source of “buyers” on the web. But Google is not the “be all and end all” traffic source. There are email ads, banner ads, text link ads, video traffic, social network site traffic, etc.

Each type of traffic is made up of a different group of people. Some will be more ready to buy than others so make sure you’re appealing to the right crowd with the right type of ad and call to action.

Your promotional methods you choose i.e. keywords, ad copy, call to action, play the biggest part for determining the quality of your traffic and how well your traffic is going to convert.

So take a look at your affiliate marketing campaigns you’re running now and do a quick evaluation. You might find the weak link in it as I have pointed out above. If you’ve not yet got started in affiliate marketing, remember these points for when you do.

To your success,
Stu Sensei Stirling

p.s. Have you got any other important keys for affiliate marketing success we could add to this list? Please leave them in the comments below.

Less Traffic, More Sales – Getting Traffic That Converts

You may look at the title of this blog post and be a little confused. Is it really possible to make more sales from less traffic?

The answer strangely enough is “yes” in certain circumstances. (I’ll explain in a second).

This may come to you as a surprise because everyone is talking about internet marketing being a “numbers game”.

You’ve probably heard a handful of marketers say that everything is proportional and you just have to ramp it up! i.e. the more traffic you get, the more sales, subscribers, clicks etc you’ll get.

That is somewhat true, but they often forget to leave out one important part of the formula.

And that is that “the quality of the traffic” is important factor in the traffic/conversions equation.

Don’t Dismiss Quality

I decided to write this post after I was asked this question recently by a customer.. “how long will it take to start seeing sales…?”

I answered by telling him that it all depends on how long it takes you to start getting quality traffic.

I continued to explain that “if you could get 100 targeted unique visitors that come fresh from the Google search results, that will be much better than 1000 or even 10,000 hits from a traffic exchange, safelist or ad blaster”.

If numbers where the only thing that mattered when it comes to making sales, then all the spammers with email list of 1 million emails would be the richest people online.

You and I know that is far from the truth. (warning: whatever you do, do NOT send spam! that example is for demonstration purposes only!)

Google traffic is quality trafficThe point is, that you DON’T need a lot of traffic to get sales.

You just need quality traffic. And when you find a way to tap into that quality traffic, THEN you can start ramping it up and multiply your results.

With my niche blog that I’m working on, I only get about 30 uniques a day but I make 2 to 3 sales of a $300 or $400 product a week.

All that traffic is generated through the search engines (Google).

So if you’ve read this far, you might be wondering..

“Where do you get QUALITY traffic?”

I recently listened to an audio course by Sean Mize in which he told the story about his beginnings in internet marketing and his “quest” for traffic. He tried over 25 different types of traffic… everything from PPC to solo ads, to banner ads and ezine ads.

At the end of his experiment, he had tracked all his sales and when he looked at his results, it was clear that most of the sales had come from two sources – JV traffic and article traffic.

JV traffic is when you swap traffic with another marketer via ad swaps, for example, or they promote your product (usually with an affiliate link) and it’s pretty easy to see why this traffic would convert so well. It’s people coming from a recommendation. It’s warm traffic. It’s not cold traffic like you get with advertising with banners or in ezines.

But aren’t you surprised that his other best performing traffic source was article traffic?

Sean explained a little why he thought article traffic converted so well.

Some of the reasons were because when people find your article and read it, they instantly are able to bond and feel a gratitude towards you, because you simply helped them to overcome their problem or shed light on a subject they were trying to learn more about through your article.

But the interesting thing is that 99% of article traffic comes from the search engines. So in fact, article traffic is really search engine traffic.

In fact, article traffic might just be even a notch better quality than organic search engine traffic because for the visitor to actually get to your site, they have to wade through all the other links on the article page and click on your link in your resource box. Definitely a qualified visitor there!

I completely agree with Sean’s findings. He and I both have the theory and the proof to back this up.

If you want to get traffic that converts, these are the three traffic strategies you should pursue:

1. Article Traffic (article marketing)

2. Search engine traffic (Google, SEO)

3. JV traffic (ad swaps, guest blog posts)

Each strategy is equally good in terms of quality in my opinion.

The easiest ones and most reliable methods to go for are the first two (article marketing and SEO) because you can sometimes get a bad batch of traffic from some JV partners. The other two are surefire.

So if you’re wondering how much traffic you need to start making sales, then it isn’t as much as you think IF you drive quality traffic.

The awesome thing is with the IM game is that you can break things down with simple maths and actually predict your income!

Let’s say you make 1 sale from your first 100 uniques you generate from Google. You can then safely assume that for every 100 visitors you get from that time going forward you’ll make another sale.

And I have noticed that with my own niche blog. I get sales like clockwork. Every 4 to 5 days I get a sale. I was lucky last week and I got 2 sales in 2 days.

How cool is that? See this IM stuff isn’t as hard as you think 😉

Stuart StirlingTo your success,

Stu Sensei

p.s. Got any questions regarding how to get quality traffic that converts? Pop them down below.

Does Article Marketing Still Work?

Does article marketing still work or is it dead? Or maybe just in a coma? Or are people just “crying wolf”?

This is a question I’ve been trying to find the answer to lately since I made the decision to focus more on niche affiliate marketing and getting search engine traffic.

When I first got started online, article marketing was all the rage with “bum marketing” being the term on everyone’s lips.

Does Article marketing  still work?But early in 2011, Google decided to do another update to their search engine algorithms which had many article marketers in a panic because their articles (and websites) suddenly lost rankings and traffic.

You may know about http://ezinearticles.com which is (or was) the preimier article directory to submit articles to.

There was a time when Google absolutely loved EA and all you would have to do was submit your article to them and it would pretty much rank on the front page of G without much effort on.

Since the last “Google Panda/Farmer” update, EA has reported a 35% drop in traffic and other article directories too reported similar drops in traffic.

Ok, so we know there has been some severe changes which have made articles lose their standing with Google.

But does that mean that ALL articles suffered or will continue to suffer?

No. There are still articles that are ranking very high in the serps.

I come across EZ articles on the first page of Google all the time.

As for my own articles which I submitted in the past, I never really targeted keywords that would get me high ranks for high volume search terms.

Instead, I would go for keywords that targeted what people want to know (but that’s a topic for another blog post ), so I can’t really say how my rankings were affected. I do know that they are still indexed and getting traffic so I’m not worried.

For the articles that I’ve been submitting lately, I am not trying to rank the actual article. Instead, I’m using the articles primarily as a way to generate backlinks to my money site. They still get hits and click-throughs so that’s an added bonus.

Reasons Why Articles Got Hammered

I believe that the reason why articles got penalized where simply because they were of poor quality.

They were poorly written, short  length, scraped, spammy, stuffed with keywords, submitted to thousands of directories and overall just junk

So it’s clear that Google is catching up with the marketers who publish junk all over the internet.

This is awesome news for marketers who take a bit of extra time and effort to make their articles good quality.

I admit that article marketing was never an easy job. You just can’t automate article writing and submission and get the quality that directories and Google expect.

And even though some marketers tried to automate it, look where that got them.

How To Succeed Wth Article Marketing Now?

You just can’t take short cuts with article marketing anymore.

You can’t get away with paying $3 an article for a 300 word article written in bad English by a person who has zero passion or interest in the topic.

You can’t get away wth autoblogs.

You can’t get away with stuffing keywords into your artices.

You can’t get  way with blasting your article to hundreds of article directories.

What you CAN get away with is continuing to write quality articles.

Write a unique article for every submission at Ezinearticles. Make sure it follows their new submission guidelines and it gets approved. EA is making a come back. It never rally went away, just the crap articles that used to get traffic on there did.

Then after if gets approved at EA, submit it to a handful of other quality article directories. You can re-write them or spin them with a good article spinner before you submit them again, but you don’t need to blast them to hundreds of directories.

The focus in on quality. Quality content. Quality links.

Quantity is still important but it’s only quantity of quality that will help you, not quantity of crap.

I don’t believe that article marketing is dead or will ever really die…. only the people trying to outsmart the Search engines and take shortcuts that anyone can clearly see as spammy will die. They’ll see that article marketing requires actual work and that will be the end of them.

They might find some other new way to sneak around Google, but it’s only a matter of time before they catch on.

Quality content is king.

Stuart StirlingStu Sensei

p.s. Even though traffic/rankings for articles maybe down at the moment, they are still a great source of backlinks. That’s the other powerful “prong” that article marketing is leveraged for. But if your article is good quality and you’ve done your keyword research, you will get traffic too 🙂 What do you think?

Why The “Internet Marketing” Niche Sucks Balls

Since I started my first online business in 2006, I have always been fanatical about list building and email marketing.

And for the main part (97%), I have been directing all my focus and energy into building my list in one niche; the “internet marketing niche” or “make money online” niche.

I was doing this fairly successfully by setting up squeeze pages, giving away free reports, selling low ticket ebooks, running free membership sites and leveraging affiliates, JV ad swaps, traffic exchanges, safelists, solo ads and giveaways to get traffic and subscribers.

The Good ‘ol Days

For a while there, I was getting sign ups and sales effortlessly. I could get 50% opt-in rates, mail out a promo and get a 10% open rate and 10% sales conversion rate.

I could get 100+ signs ups a day on auto-pilot that cost me nothing, and then make $500+ in sales from one email blast selling a $10 product. I even had a few $1000 days.

Unfortunately, those  easy “send an email and rake in the cash” days are over.

No doubt the “make money online” niche is still alive and kicking (there’s still a fortune to be made in it), but list building and email marketing in this niche is sinking quickly.

It has just about hit rock bottom.

If you’re reading this, I sincerely thank you.

It’s most likely you came here from a link in my email to you. You are one of the mere 3% of people on my lists who open and read my emails. So I thank you for taking the time to read this blog post.

If you do the math, you can work out how many subscribers of mine sent that email to the trash bin.

So why is email marketing in the IM niche on its “death bed”?

I’ll give you just a few reasons which have become clear to me as to why email marketing has died off. I’m sure there are other different factors, and if you like you can add yours or comment on these below this post.

1. List Incest

Every “MMO” marketer is ad swapping, is promoting JV giveaways, is promoting each others products, is selling products on the same forums, etc.etc.

The result is that subscribers or “prospects” that are on your list are on dozen’s of other marketers lists.. which results in the next problem.

2. Too Much Email!

Ever wake up to 144 unread emails in your inbox all from “internet marketers” trying to sell you the next best thing?

That’s what happens when you join dozens of internet marketers’ “newsletters” who are a little trigger happy on the send button.

Subscribers are sick to death of all the email.

Unless you have an EXCELLENT rapport with your subscribers and customers or you pull the world’s most miraculous, hypnotic email subject line out of your a**, your email is going straight to the trash.

And even getting your email opened these days is a feat in itself. You’d better be a John Carlton world class copywriter if you want to stand a chamce to even get your links in your email clicked on.

IM sucks

3. Too Much Pitching Of Too Much Crap

A lot of email may not be such a big problem if you’re giving away good content. But when you’re sending pitch after pitch after pitch of crappy products everyday (sometimes several times a day!) subscribers, again just get fed up with it.. especially when they buy the crap product, realize it’s crap and it leaves a bad taste in their mouth.

It’s just natural for them to begin to see any email from a “marketer” as going to be another pitch for a crap house product and boom – bin.

So my point is this.

Some marketers have ruined and continue to ruin the “mmo” market by continually committing the three things that I listed above.. and most probably they commit every abominable email marketing sin there is.

Now I hate to point the finger and call the kettle black.. I have been known to take a cheap shot sometimes. But the last thing I try to do is abuse my right to send emails to my subscribers.

And, I’m not saying everyone in this niche is ruining it. There are some marketers who I really respect and still open most of their emails.

But the sad thing is that it only takes a few rotten eggs to spoil the entire basket.

Ok, enough of the rant.

So where to from now for Stu Sensei?

As it is right now, I still make money from my subscribers and customer lists in the MMO niche even though it is considerably less than it was 12 months ago.

I could make more sales everyday if I decided to spam you and everybody on my lists with a pitch for the next best “shiny object” every day like the “gurus” do but that is the last thing I want to do.

I truly want to help people succeed online so selling you products on an entirely different topic everyday is not my bag and it doesn’t really help you either.

That only leads to confusion, information overload and an empty wallet.

It might make me a little richer for the time being, but I’d rather help you get to where you want to go and have you stick with me for the long haul.

For the past month or so, I’ve been delving into “niche marketing” and SEO. That’s why I’ve been a little quiet with my emails.

For years, I would run the other way whenever someone mentioned either one of these two terms.

I didn’t know how to do it and it seemed like too much work anyway.

But after seeing my “IM” lists’ response rate (and sales conversions) diminish before my eyes, and having started studying the workings of SEO and niche marketing, I’m seeing this route to be the future for Stu Sensei.

Why Niche SEO Marketing?

First of all, I want to steer away from the “mmo/get rich quick” niche so I want to find other niches where I can use my skills and experience to tear it up!

It was after a chat with mate and mentor James Brown in which he said “Stu, if you applied what you know about internet marketing to other niche markets, you’d totally kill it”, so that’s what I’m aiming to do.

Now that isn’t to say that I’m giving up entirely on the MMO niche.

I still want to help you succeed with internet marketing. The only major change is that what I teach you about making money online will be directly related to this new phase of “niche” marketing I’m venturing into.

And this is why I think this type of marketing style is perfect for me.. and perhaps for you too.

Search engine traffic

Is there any better quality traffic that you can target with such precision?

The whole idea of being able to target buyers with search term keywords has opened a whole new dimension to me.

I realize that if I’m targeting buyers, I don’t need to build a list. Surprise, surprise. I said it. You DON’T need to build a list.

There are some occasions where I think it would be beneficial to build a list but in most cases with this style of marketing, building a list would be a hindrance to making a sale.

Affiliate marketing

Getting paid for selling other people’s products. It’s great. I don’t need to worry about customer service, my product going stale, site maintenance… I just need to focus on driving traffic – BUYERS!

Build a niche site once, rank it and forget about it

One of the things that I’ve learned to leverage with the internet and marketing is automation.. “set and forget” types businesses. Unfortunately, the case most times in the MMO niche is that products become old extremely quickly. Another friend and great SEO marketer Dan McGonagle said to me is “it’s a flavor of the day market”.

The beauty of the niche marketing model is that once you build it, get it ranked high in Google and making sales, it will be a money maker for a considerably longer time than the next “how to make money online” ebook.

I understand about Google’s tendency to slap websites anytime they like, but there is a way to avoid them which I have studied about. That will be for another post 😉

Easy to outsource

Content, backlinks, research, site creation.. it cam all be outsourced very cheaply and easily. Maybe I didn’t look hard enough to outsource stuff for my IM biz… but I know I don’t have to look far to outsource SEO jobs. I’m hitting Fiverr up just about everyday for outsourcing small tasks.

White beach
You Can Catch Me Here In The Near Future

This is perfect because the more I can outsource, the more I can get done and the more I get done, the more coin I make.

All I can really say at this time is that I am really excited about this new phase of my internet marketing career.

I am not yet an SEO or niche marketing “expert” yet but I am learning and putting what I learn into practice.

I already have one niche blog (based on WordPress – I plan to use WP for ALL my sites I ever build again) which has already made $132.61.. and I’m competing with mostly PR3 and PR4 sites!

Nothing to write home about, but it’s enough proof for me to realize the power of this kind of marketing and to keep working with it.

Exciting days ahead, that’s for sure.

And I hope you stay on board and learn with me – and even get into it yourself if you haven’t already.

Enough of chasing dreams and selling the dream. It’s time to make our dreams come true.

Stuart StirlingTo your success,

Stu Sensei

Is A Trailing Slash Good Or Bad for SEO?

This one has been on my mind for some time.

I started to think about it when it came time to set my permalink structure in WP on a new blog.

I use a custom permalink structure for all my blogs.

i.e. /%postname%

But the question was, do I add a trailing slash to the end or not?

/%postname% or /%postname%/ ?

I went on searching for an answer and nothing I found really gave me a clear yes or no answer.

I also was inspecting other blogs and looking if their URL’s were ending in a slash or not.

There was a mixed result.

So I figured.. maybe it didn’t really matter!

I chose to set my permalink structure to /%postname% (NO trailing slash) simply because it looks neater.

It doesn’t matter if you add the slash or not when you point to either type of URL in your browser. But it will end up showing the one without the slash.

The conclusion…

Choose one and stick with it. It doesn’t really matter which one!

The only thing I would be careful about is when getting backlinks, you keep the url structure the same.

Similar to a URL with www. or no www. Google and other SEs may count a URL with and without a slash as 2 different pages.

This could lead to being penalized for duplicate content.

But I have a feeling Google is smart enough to know it’s the same page if it has a slash or not… if not now, it will in the very short future.

Stu Sensei

 

 

How to Make Google Love Your Blog In 4 Steps

Dominating Google is not the “be all and end all” of internet marketing as some marketers seem to be fixated on, but they are still one of the major places marketers are tapping into a lot of free traffic.

You’ve probably heard by now that Google loves blogs.

So why does Google love blogs and how can you make them love your blog?

Here are a few pointers…

1. Set the “permalink structure” so your post title (keywords) are in the page URL. If you use WordPress, then it’s as easy as going to your settings and adding a custom permalink structure.

This is the code I use: %postname% and that makes the page URL for each post contain the post’s title. So when you use this, you want to make sure you’ve got some keywords in your title because as you know, Google loves blogs with keywords in the URL.

2. Update your blog often. Ok, you’ve had this one drilled into you a million times, but it’s important. Google loves fresh new content. It can be a drag updating your blog everyday but updating with a new post everyday is a good idea. It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece or half a novel either. Just a brief post does the trick.

3. Add a sitemap. This one is totally necessary…I don’t know why but it is so just get one! Again with WP, there are a heap of sitemap generator plugins that will make one for you automatically. You just have to search for them.

I use this one Google (XML) Sitemaps Generator for WordPress. If you’re not a wordpresser, you can do a search for a generic sitemap generator on Google.

4. Get inbound links. Getting backlinks, inbound links or whatever you want to call them are super dooper important for your blog’s (or any website for that matter) Google rankings. Basically, the more backlinks you get, the better your ranking. Again I don’t know why this is, it just is 🙂 I guess that Google sees a blog with a lot of other websites linking to it, a kind of “authority” site so it gives it more love.

You can get backlinks by either buying them, getting them free by submitting content/bookmarks etc. to other sites or exchanging them with other webmasters. You want to get backlinks without the rel=”nofollow” attribute..again, don’t know why, just one rule for boosting up your Google PR (if this rule still applies I’m not sure). Here is a list of sites you that can find those “no-nofollow” websites.

SEO can be a tough game when you’re up against some heavy competition, but following these basic techniques, you’ll see your blog rising in the Google search ranks.

It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

To your blogging success,
Stu “Sensei” Stirling