Free $50 for New MSN Adcenter Accounts

Posted: October 27th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

MSN Adcenter CouponOver on Shoemoney’s Blog he has a coupon for a free $50 when you sign up with MSN Adcenter. If you don’t know, Adcenter is basically Microsoft’s version of Google Adwords. Since I didn’t have an account with them yet I decided to give it a try and claim my $50. There are some limitations however, it’s only good for new accounts and those based in the U.S. You also have to pay a $5 signup fee.

When I signed up though something caught my attention. Look at the screenshot below, this is a tiny one inch box and you are supposed to read their entire terms and agreement through it! No way to enlarge the box, nowhere to click and read it in a new window. What the heck!!!! I selected everything in the tiny box and pasted it into Microsoft Word and it’s 6 full pages of thick text! Now if that doesn’t make you trust Microsoft I don’t know what will.

MSN Adcenter Terms


James Martell’s Online Affiliate Bootcamp

Posted: October 26th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

James Martell Affiliate BootcampYou’ve probably seen James Martell mentioned on this site a few times, his best selling Affiliate Marketers Handbook is one of my Top Recommended Picks. Well, James has done it again and is now offering a full eight-week online course for those who want to learn how to build profitable money-making websites.

Affiliate Marketers BootCamp Online “Night School” Edition will begin sometime this November, with Martell coming into your home “live” through an engaging, real-time online conference room. The 8-week curriculum will be delivered every Thursday evening for eight weeks, each night-school style course is dedicated to one of the eight steps outlined in Martell’s Affiliate Marketer’s Handbook.

The BootCamp materials and live instruction have been further broken down to ensure online BootCamp attendees fully grasp each of the eight steps, and will have time to ask James questions in the live question and answer sessions held at the conclusion of each evening course.

What’s more, online BootCamp attendees will be able to access and review more than 10 hours of NEW video shown recently at Martell’s offline BootCamp held in Canada. Attendees of the offline BootCamp held in Martell’s hometown paid $3400 to attend this event and now online BootCamp attendees have access to this video instruction, and view the videos any time.

The online BootCamp is targeted to new and experienced affiliate marketers alike, to those who already have Martell’s newly released Affiliate Marketing Handbook – “2006″ (THIRD EDITION), and are looking for the extra push they need to get up and running, and to “newbies” looking to break-into a profitable web business.

For more information, and for class schedules just visit the Afilliate Marketers Bootcamp website.


Speed Linking For 10-25-2006

Posted: October 25th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

Speed Linking If your a regular visitor to my blog you may have recently noticed the child on the right hand side of this page. This is a child-sponsorship program I have decided to participate in and it’s a great way to contribute to something other than our bank account or the the latest Internet marketing package. You can get full details on the Child Sponsorhip page. For everyone that decides to sponsor a child I will place a link to your website on that page. Together we can make a huge difference.

Looking for great free fonts? Look no further, Font Freak is your new font source. With thousands of free fonts from over 300 different authors ready to download you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.

WordPress 2.0.5 is in the works. Mark Jaquith of MarkOnWordpress.com lists some of the upcoming changes. I always look forward yet also dread the new updates as sometimes they conflict with plugins. Minor updates usually aren’t so bad so we’ll see.


Block Your Own IP Address in Awstats

Posted: October 24th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 5 Comments »

AwstatsIf you’re like me you look at your site several times a day, when I am designing I do 100 to 200 pageviews sometimes, this could really mess up my statistics in Awstats (standard statistics reporting in Cpanel). Well, there’s an easy way to block your IP address from being logged.

In your home directory of your website (this is the directory above public_html) you will see a file named awstats.yoursite.com.conf.

Download the file, open it, and find this part…

# Do not include access from clients that match following criteria.
# If your log file contains IP adresses in host field, you must put here
# matching IP adresses criteria.
# If DNS lookup is already done in your log file, you must put here hostname
# criteria.
# Note: Use space between each value.
# Example: "127.0.0.1 163.84. 201.101.51.1"
# Example: "localhost abcxyz"
# Default: " "
#
SkipHosts=" "

Simply insert your IP address in between the quotes for SkipHosts then upload the file back to where it was. You will also need to CHMOD the file to 444 so your changes won’t be overwritten the next time your server updates.

That’s it! Now when you view your own site you won’t be screwing up the stats and will get a more accurate reporting of your pageviews. You can find your IP address by visiting this site.


Free Keyword Suggestion Tool

Posted: October 24th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 1 Comment »

Good Keyords Suggestion ToolOne of the tools I use for keyword suggestions and information is Good Keywords. This tool allows you to type in a word and get multiple related keyword phrases back along with their estimated amount of searches per month. It’s completely free, works on Windows, and is definitely worth checking out, no catch.

In addition to keyword suggestion, this tool allows you to generate misspellings, build keyword phrases, and has a keyword organizer. Good Keywords allows you to do your keyword research using Overture, Yahoo, or Teoma and the search amounts are based on those enigines.

How do I use this tool? Well, for deep keyword research I recommend Wordtracker, however this tool is great for finding general more popular words and phrases and I use it for that purpose. For example, if I am writing an article for this blog perhaps, I will do a quick search on popular keyword phrases to find suggestions for my title and phrase targeting, if I find that one term gets twice as many searches as another then I may target my article for that keyword prhase.

There’s many uses for this tool and it’s free, so you really have nothing to lose by checking it out. You can download the GoodKeywords keyword suggestion tool from their website.


How To Customize Your PPC Landing Page with PHP

Posted: October 23rd, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 8 Comments »

Pay Per Click PPCPHP totally amazes me the more I delve into it. PHP is a programming language for the web which is very dynamic and allows you to do all kinds of things with your website. One great ability of PHP is it allows you to completely customize your PPC landing pages with dynamically replaced text. Basically, you can dynamically replace text on your landing page with specific keyword phrases that the visitor was searching for.

Let’s say your landing page is about working from home and you have several keywords, one of them is “free work at home jobs”. Well, with a simple modification to your URL in Adwords and some simple editing of your landing page you could have the title of your landing page be “Free Work At Home Jobs Information” or “We Specialize In Free Work At Home Jobs!” or even “Looking for Free Work At Home Jobs?”. I’m sure you can see the power in doing this. In addition you could even use the keyword in your landing page sales letter copy or your links.

Want to see an example of what I mean?
Put your name in this box, click on submit, then continue reading this article.

Hey that’s pretty cool huh? Well, with PHP it’s very easy to replace any variable such as a keyword or your name and place it anywhere on your page.

So now that you see what can be done with PHP and fully understand what I am talking about, let me show you how you can use this ability on your PPC landing pages.

To start with , you will need to edit the links that you use in Google Adwords or other PPC networks. Basically your URL will need to look like this…

http://www.yoursite.com/page.html?key=YourKeywordHere

or if you have multiple words in your keyword do it like this

http://www.yoursite.com/page.html?key=Your%20Keyword%20Here

Now, all you simply have to do is insert this code somewhere in your HTML…

<?php $keyword = htmlspecialchars($_GET['key']); ?>

And insert this wherever you want the word to appear on your page…

<?php echo $keyword; ?>

Easy enough, right ?

Also, you must either make your webpage end with the extension .php or define MIME types in your hosting account to allow the use of PHP on pages with the .htm or .html extension.

So , I’m sure you can see the possibilities and power of doing this. What I like to do is separate my ad groups out as much as possible, then use dynamic links to customize my landing page as much as possible.

Update: A reader emailed me informing me that this method isn’t 100% safe. Here is what he said…

Outputting the query vars ($_POST/$_GET) directly to your page is a bit risky as it allows other people to actually insert whatever they want, including HTML code, Javascript and in some cases even PHP Vars. This is called XSS (Cross Site Scripting), and it can be misused for various things, like: completely rewriting your page-output, outputting your database connection vars & settings, misleading people, etc.

A quick fix he recommended is to add htmlspecialchars to the piece of code you place in your HTML, I have added this to the example code above. This fix should not be considered completely secure, but is probably the easiest step you can take to provide an adequate level of protection.

Here’s some additional information related to the issue:

General Information

Complete PHP Filter Function

Example Injections

Anyone doing something similar with PPC, have some PHP code to share, need help? Leave a comment.


Landing Page Optimization Tips

Posted: October 23rd, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | Comments Off

Landing Page OptimizationOver on Digital Web Magazine Michael Nguyen writes about 11 Ways to Improve Landing Pages. He makes some great points about sticking to your overall goal of conversions and making your landing page match the creative or affiliate site you are promoting. He also mentions that you should be aware of your ‘virtual fold’; this is the portion of the website people see before scrolling down. I must also add that the ‘virtual fold’ will be different based on the monitor and resolution of your visitor, so keep that in mind.

Here are my 4 additional Landing Page tips…

  1. Customize

    Use PHP to dynamically match your page with PPC Search terms. For example if your search term is “mens harley boots” then use PHP to display “Men’s Harley Boots” throughout your landing page. This not only keeps your page specifically on topic, but you can easily implement this for all ad groups on your site. You can also use this for email campaigns by inserting the recipients name into the landing page. If you want to learn more about how to do this read my article How To Customize Your PPC Landing Page with PHP.

  2. K.I.S.S. – Keep It Simple Stupid

    Don’t get caught up trying to do too much with your page. Keep it focused, direct, and simple. Remember, a confused mind always says “no”. Lead your visitor down a clear and defined path.

  3. Use A Call To Action

    Make sure you are telling your visitors exactly what to do and/or what their options are. Make instructions clear and simple as if you were telling a 4th grader how to do it. Never rely on your visitors to figure things out on their own.

  4. Let Your Visitors Know What To Expect

    You should let your visitors know what’s going to happen ‘after’ they leave your page, whether they are led to a check-out page, another affiliate site or creative, or if they are going to receive an email, tell them exactly and specifically what will happen. An example would be “Click here to go to our secure check out page where you will be asked to set up a purchase account and enter your shipping details.”

Have any of your own landing page optimization tips? Leave a comment and share them.


Speed Linking For 10-21-2006

Posted: October 21st, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 1 Comment »

Speed Linking Remember Markus Frind? He’s the guy who shocked many with a check from Adsense for over $900,000 CAD. He’s the owner of the match making site PlentyofFish.com. Well, he was featured on his local news and you can watch the video here.

What suprises me is that with all that money he only uses a single basic monitor on his desk. You would think as a one man operation running a site with over 600 million page views a month it would it be easier to work with a larger single or dual-monitor system. My guess is that this really isn’t his work area and perhaps just an area at the news station or perhaps one of many computers in his home.Markus Frind

MarketingExperiments.com has a great study on the power of urgency offers. Their case study shows how one site was able to increase conversions by over 500%, going from 14 sales to over 760! Better read about this one now before it’s too late! ;)


Avoid Paypal ATM Fees & Make Money!

Posted: October 9th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 8 Comments »

Avoid Paypal ATM FeesThe other day I needed to get some cash out of my Paypal account. With the Paypal debit card you can use any ATM to withdraw cash straight from your account. When I got to my bank I had my debit card in hand but I realized I had no idea what my PIN was. So instead of using the ATM I went inside to a teller and asked them to do a cash advance using my card.

Basically a cash advance is when a bank runs your debit card as a credit card (through the MasterCard network) and gives you cash for it. My bank, (and most banks) don’t charge for this service. I withdrew $400 which is the daily limit Paypal allows and I was happily on my way.

On the way home I realized I didn’t have to pay the usual ATM fee! Hrmm, did I just stumble across a new way to get cash out of my account while avoiding the ATM fee? I sure did! Not only did I avoid all ATM fees, but when I logged into my account later I realized I got money back!

Yes folks, I got paid to withdraw money from my account. Paypal has a 1% cash back feature for all purchases charged as credit. So not only did I avoid the ATM fees, but I also earned $4.00 for withdrawing it!

I tried this again with another $400 withdraw a few days later and the same thing, I avoided ATM fees and made $4.00 again.

I researched online and apparently a few people know about this already.

Now, I really have to ask myself if I’m technically making $4.00. Since every time I receive money from someone into my Paypal account I pay a fee to Paypal for it, I suppose I’m really just getting some of that money they took back. Either way, it beats ATM fees and I’ll gladly take the $4.00 discount! :)

Edit: Nov. 2nd, 2006 At my bank yesterday I went to withdraw $280.00 from my PayPal Account. I had $282 available funds. After 3 failed attempts to do a cash advance I called PayPal. It seems they’ve added a $3 fee now to all cash advances! Hrmm, perhaps they realized they were losing money with this loophole. Well, it was good while it lasted. :)


Top 5 Viral Traffic Plugins for WordPress

Posted: October 4th, 2006 | Filed under: Internet Marketing | 16 Comments »

Viral Marketing Plugins for WordPressCreating viral traffic for your blog is essential to getting more eyeballs on your site. With sites like Digg, Furl, and the dozens of other similar services appearing every day, it’s really beginning to be apparent that social and viral traffic is where it’s at. If you don’t know what social bookmarking is I suggest you read up about it on Wikipedia. It’s really the next wave of marketing for online marketers and bloggers. If you’re a blogger using WordPress you will definitely want to check out these plugins for increasing the traffic to your site.

  1. The first plugin I recommend is the Tell-A-Friend script by Lester ‘GaMerZ’ Chan called WP-EMail. This plugin allows people to easily tell their friends about your site, it also keeps a log of the people who have told other people through email. You can see a sample image of the viral script here.
  2. You’ve probably heard of Digg I assume, and if you haven’t then you need to read up on it. There is a kick-butt plugin for Digg and you can see it on this site underneath every post. Digg Integrator is simply one of the better Digg plugins available. As opposed to the other Digg plugins I especially like this one because it allows you to select a graphic to display when you have zero diggs in order to hopefully get that article dugg. It’s really easy to use and can be extremely effective.
  3. Social Bookmarking is growing fast, if you don’t know what it is read this social bookmarking article. In it I refer to the plugin I am using on this site called Chicklet Creator 2 by TwisterMC. With so many new social bookmarking services springing up, the drop-down feature really is a nice one for those who want less clutter on their blog.
  4. Tagging is a convenient way to organize your blog posts based on keywords. It’s also a great way to get traffic from sites like Technorati which currently tracks 35.3 Million weblogs! I use Jerome’s Keyword Plugin on this site which actually creates an entire tag system as well as places meta keywords into my header. My site pings Technorati every time there is a new post and Technorati sees and indexes my post based on the tags I use.
  5. There’s another plugin by TwisterMC that I like is for managing all those RSS buttons. In fact, there are so many RSS buttons now I have just decided to create a separate RSS page for them. (Edit: I have since done away with this page, however it’s still a fantastic plugin.) The plugin is called Chicklet Creator Classic and works similar to the Chicklet Creator 2.

There you go, 5 kick-butt WordPress Plugins you definitely should be using to increase the viral traffic to your blog.