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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Link Exchange Boo-Boo's

When you're struggling to get enough traffic to your site, it can be tempting to exchange links with anyone who is willing. More is not always better when it comes to link exchanges, so choose your partners wisely.

Swapping links with sites that have little to do with your theme won't do you much good. Think about it. When you go to a jewelry site, you're there because you're interested in buying jewelry. It's not likely an ad on buying furniture is going to get your attention.

Not to mention, the search engines give you more "points" when they see your site is linked with sites that have content related to your theme. If you're targeting jewelry shoppers, partner up with other sites that relate to this subject matter.

Don't confuse the engines (and your visitors) by linking to sites that have virtually nothing to do with your content.

And if your site doesn't have a main theme then that's your first problem. You should be able to describe who your site is targeted to in one or two sentences. If you can't, then it's time to stop and focus your content. Targeting everyone means you really target no one.

It's best to define one main audience and structure your content around this group of people. Then find related sites and develop some kind of link exchange with the Webmaster.

Not only will you have an easier time selling to your audience (because you'll know their needs), but the search engines will bring you more targeted traffic because the related sites pointing back to you help identify what your site is about. Also be sure your link partners link back to you with the keywords you want to be found for.

Take advantage of the benefits solid link swaps can bring. Use them to let the engines know what your site is about to help improve your rankings in the long-run.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Why Most Fail With AdSense

I call it the "Hodgepodge Theory." And if this applies to your site, it may be a big reason why you aren't seeing your AdSense earnings increase.

Watch the video below to learn more about why I believe many people struggle with building their AdSense revenue...

Monday, September 03, 2007

Why My Sites Failed

I thought this would be a great, candid discussion to start in my forums.

Everyone is always talking about what you should do for success. But often times you can learn even more by focusing on what you shouldn't do.

I started the discussion by talking about 3 previous sites I created that failed, and I'm forever grateful for them because I learned a lot.

Feel free to read about my experiences, and/or add your own story.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The Most Critical Website Phase

This blog entry was inspired by a post in my forum yesterday.

It's easy to get bogged down in the technicalities of how to create a website...

How do I create a chat room?

How am I going to setup a membership area?

How exactly am I going to make money?

How do I accept credit card payments from my site?

Sound familiar?

Even though these may be crucial components to your website, they don't mean a thing if you do not know how to attract a targeted audience who wants to participate in the site you worked so hard to create.

THE most critical phase of any site is the planning process in the very beginning. And planning doesn't just involve the technical aspects of how things will work and are setup.

It's imperative that you sit down and think about the kind of person you want to attract, and how you will get them to find you.

Unfortunately building a website doesn't guarantee an automatic influx of interested visitors. People don't just stumble upon your site like they do a store on a busy street.

Sites become popular on the Internet because they are recommended. The recommendations may come from word of mouth, blogs, social networking sites and even search engines.

Yes, search engines recommend sites too. The reason you see a site ranked on the first page of Google for a particular search is because Google knows the site has numerous links from other sites, blogs, etc. all over the Web in association with that keyword phrase. So Google recommends it to you as a relevant search result.

Something about your site has to attract your audience's attention, meet their needs and provide a service, product or information that isn't offered everywhere else.

So if you aren't taking the time to...

1) Plan how you are going to make your site stand out over your competitors

2) Map out the kind of visitor you want to attract and meet all of their needs, wants and interests...

Then it doesn't matter how much the site costs, how you setup a shopping cart, chat room, how you are going to design your navigation, etc.

Don't waste your precious time and hard-earned money on all these site enhancements until you have a definite plan. I guarantee it will be worth the extra effort in the end.

I've created many sites without a plan, and it's no coincidence they are no longer around.

If you are expecting a full-time income from your website, expect full-time work. Take it seriously from day one don't just skip over the planning phase because you're in a hurry to rake in the money.

How you plan in the beginning is the difference between success and failure in the end.