Categories
internet marketing

IP Neighbourhood Review

I seen people talking about a new website called IP Neighbourhood on Facebook the other day and I was a little curious to see what it was all about.

The front page of the site tells me that this service provides “competitive intelligence services to businesses”.

Sounds a bit high brow ūüôā but that’s exactly what it does.

The site has a low cost day trial which is a good enough reason to sign up and have a look about and see if it is for you or not.

What IP Neighbourhood does is condense a ton of resources that domainers in particular would use into the one resource.

The Neighbourhood is divided up into a number of areas that you can use to research and gather information on either your own site, sites that you are interested in or sites owned by or interest to your clients.

Overview of the Neighbourhood

If you prefer video you can watch the overview below where I take you on a tour of the service and how to use it:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/hNIXcxlqxAI[/youtube]

Intelligence:   This area comprises data on Domain History, Domain Due Diligence, Domain Comparison, IP Reputation, IP Intelligence, Hosting Intelligence and Auction Intelligence.

You can review data on domain names that have dropped or are expiring, for sale (through numerous resources including auction sites and forums). Finding a domain name is pretty easy nowadays. There are even WordPress plugins that will find great domains that are dropping or expiring for you. What is new with this service is that it also checks forums where domains are for sale, something I haven’t seen with software/plugins/or other subscription based services.

The hosting intelligence gives you an array of information which is incredibly helpful if you want to check if a site is in a bad ip neighbourhood or just using it as an ip neighbourhood checker.

I would suggest that you watch the video so you can really get an idea of what the service does as text does not do it justice.

Brand Protection:¬†I’ve never seen this offered on a website before so this tool was quite a novelty. This section encompasses Domain Name Management and Trademark Monitoring.

Trademark Monitoring

This particular feature would be incredibly handy for Intellectual Property Lawyers. They could use this service to monitor their client’s brands and trademarks. Often clients are unaware that someone is using their name until a lot of damage has already been done.

I could also see a lot of offline marketers using just this service to monitor their client’s names and names that may be similar enough to mislead the public that they are associated with your client.

Domain Name Management

I have domains with different registrars and in different account names. ¬† ¬†I often forget even the registrars for a domain …let alone that it is about to expire ūüôĀ ¬† ¬†Last year and the year before I lost three domain names that expired. ¬†One domain I was able to retrieve during the redemption period (at a higher cost than the usual renewal fee). ¬† Another domain I’ve pretty well lost forever ….. ¬† There was one domain though that I really wanted to get back badly. ¬† After backordering it and going through the auction process I was able to return it to it’s mummy after 18 months! ¬†In that time, I lost the 70,000 odd links associated with it and the new owner had used it as an autoblog ūüôĀ ¬† So even though I’ve got it back it’s not quite in the same state that I had left it in ūüôā

domain-managementI do have domain name management tools. ¬† The problem with them ¬†is that they require me to manually gather up the relevant data and insert it into the tool ūüôĀ ¬†Easy task if you have one or two names. ¬†Not so easy when you have hundreds …

Also, because it is software based it is only installed on my computer but …usually my better half deals with domain issues. ¬† ¬†There are two ¬†things that ¬†I like about the domain management function in IP Neighbourhood. ¬† The first is that you insert the domain name and it automatically fetches the data. ¬†Yay! ¬† Saves me heaps of time! ¬† The second thing that I like is that it is browser based so I can access it anywhere!

I have to say I really prefer browser based services nowadays.    I really hate cluttering my pretty mac with software and I resent having to use a Windows VPS just to run some software.

Domain Names

This is a large section where you can find domain names through a number of sources.

  • Aftermarket and auctions
  • Forum sales
  • Expiring domains
  • Expired Domains
  • New domains
  • Affiliate domain finder

Valuation

There’s also a section that you can use to get an idea of how much your domain might be worth (or how much to offer for a domain).

This section includes Domain Sales and Live weekly reports.

Pros

If you are a low user of this type of data you can get a day pass and do all your research at once for a low cost.

There’s no need to have multiple forms of software, alerts and subscriptions to retrieve the data you need to find and monitor domains.

There are 3 subscription options together with “add ons” that you can purchase to customize a monthly service package that is right for you.

If you are doing a lot of research or site/brand monitoring then having the data in one place is going to save you a lot of time (and perhaps money too!).

You could package part of the services like Trademark monitoring for instance and perhaps resell it to local lawyers to increase your offline services.

Works anywhere! ¬†The service is browser based so you don’t have to install anything or worry it won’t work on your operating system.

Cons

The site is only new so I imagine that a few things are still evolving.

One thing that I would like to see are some tutorials showing how to best use the numerous tools. This is particularly needed because the service is tiered subscription based.  Users are assigned credits and naturally they will want to make the most of the credits that they have to achieve the results they want.

The site is a low cost subscription based. If you are not actively in the domaining marketing, affiliate marketing or monitoring sites for clients it may not be used each month.

There are some tools/services already on the market that provide some of the functionality that IP Neighbourhood does.   These may be sufficient for your needs.  You would need to assess what a difference being able to quickly gather data in one place would make to your bottom line.

Pretty pictures courtesy of pixabay

Categories
internet marketing

PLR Articles For Sale (Mega Amount)

The other day I checked out a PLR article membership site that I hadn’t heard of before that had plr articles for sale. ¬† ¬†Now, I know that a lot of people aren’t big fans of ¬†PLR but I honestly think that is usually because they don’t know how to use it properly.

The Right Way to Use PLR

PLR can be a great source for:

  • brainstorming
  • compiling into reports
  • creating videos from
  • making it into audio transcripts
  • and content
The Wrong Way to Use PLR

The problem with PLR is that generally a lot of people don’t take the time to give it a quick rewrite and give it your own voice and style. ¬† A lot of people just slap up the same article all over the interwebs and expect the search engines to find it and index it (again and again) and visitors to find it engaging. ¬† ¬† Just 10 minutes spent giving the article a clean up, adding some headings, bullet points and a quick rewrite will make all the difference.

Why Most PLR Memberships Suck

In the past I’ve been a member of many PLR memberships. ¬† ¬†However, none of them really suited me. ¬† ¬†One month for instance I would get 400 odd articles on a pile of random topics. ¬† ¬†The only thing to really do with these is to upload them to an article directory style site rather than sort through and try and figure out what sites you could build. ¬† ¬† Another site would supply me with content on two topics each month. ¬† The problem was the topics never really thrilled me and I ended up with them on a hard drive somewhere.

That’s why I was intrigued when the owner of ¬†this PLR Membership site contacted me and asked me to take a squizz at his site. ¬†As some of you may know, ¬†I’ve been sick the last 6 weeks or so so it took me a while to check it out.

I was quite surprised with what I found:

  • over 100,000 articles in their searchable database (and according to their You Tube video they add an extra 1,000 per month)
  • wide range of niches
  • articles show word count and the ones I checked out were well written
  • article spinner (and ability to download articles in spintax form)
  • training on how to use PLR properly and even some basic internet marketing training
  • requests section – basically you can ask for articles on a topic and people can vote on what gets added

What I really wanted to know was if the articles had a download limit. ¬† After trawling through the site I couldn’t find this information so I sent in a support ticket which was promptly answered. ¬† ¬†The site doesn’t have a limit on downloads because like most PLR it should be rewritten anyway. ¬† ¬† After investigating the site a little more I figured out that you can actually work out (in some cases) how many articles have been downloaded if it is important for you.

Inside The Members Area

I shot a quick video so you can see what the articles look like, word count, the amount of niches and how easy it is to use the site.

Pros:

  • Large range of content in a wide variety of niches
  • Ability to request articles on specific topics
  • $1 for a 3 day trial to see if you like it
  • Articles checked appear well written
  • Wide range of ¬†article word counts
  • Number of monthly plans to choose from

Cons:

  • Monthly subscription
  • All PLR needs to rewritten and/or re-purposed

Get Your  $1 Trial for PLR Articles Membership here

Categories
internet marketing

Penguins, Drip Feeding & Viruses

Google Penguin Update

Usually when Google has an update like Panda I sit back and wait a few weeks and see what happens with my websites before I hit the “Panic” button. That’s what I did after the Farmer update and the Panda update. What I found didn’t bother me too much. Sites went up and down but adjusted to their previous positions, more importantly there was no change in earnings so I was a happy camper.

After Penguin hit, I again sat back and waited to see what would happen in the great wash up of websites. This time I got a bit of a surprise. Seems the little Penguin didn’t like a couple of my sites. Penguin seems to have had the most impact on internet marketers than any other update by Google that I can remember. It seems a lot of things that we were doing in the link building world have been slapped down and spat on by the big G. Thankfully, I’m way too lazy to be hit by over doing it on the link building but I was hit.

Penguin Smack Down

The first site that was Penguin smacked was one of my little experiment sites that I’ve had running for about 4 years now. It consistently made money with adsense every month without any unique content or link building. The only form of link building that it had was that it automatically submitted using rss feeds in a mash up to several rss sites. The content was all gathered and submitted ¬†from the free Unique Article Wizard wordpress plugin.

Many blog networks have been affected by the Penguin update leading the majority of the well known networks to close the door. Who knows if more will follow. However, UAW was a network that I had thought was, at the time of writing, not badly affected.

Result:

My site is now de-indexed and I’ve completely deleted the site from the server.

Verdict:

The site deserved to be hit with a Penguin it had no content of any user value and little value otherwise.

Aside:  

I have a similar site that does have automatic content and unique content and it’s doing fine. ¬†It does not use the UAW plugin however for gathering the content and it has a reasonable amount of unique content.

Drip Feeding Blogs

The next site that got hit by a Penguin completely surprised me.

I’d started this site up earlier in the year as a little experiment on running a drip fed blog. The concept is that the site is in a popular niche and comes pre-loaded with uniqueified posts for each day of the year. The posts can include video also to be media friendly. I bought the blog to see if drip feeding your posts over a period of time was a worthwhile pursuit or not.

When I installed the site I went through every single post on the site and manually re-wrote articles, did keyword research to “seo” each post, added images to each post and then got my fantastic writer to create over 100 additional unique articles on particular keywords. In addition, I also created about 50 “review” style videos and uploaded them.

All in all, this little experiment site took about a months work to create but I justified that the time was well spent because I would have great content for the next 18 months.

I added a plugin that was basically an “answer” style plugin to get some additional content as well dripping into the blog.

Result:

Site is now de-indexed. Because of the time and money invested in this blog I’m going to try and revive it.

Verdict:

This is a complete head scratcher because the site truly was the opposite of the previous site in that the content was all uniquely created by either myself rewriting or my fantastic writer. ¬†It did not have any aggressive seo or link building. ¬† ¬†In order to give it a bit of a revival post Penguin I’m going to add some content curation and some natural link building and see how that goes as well as deactivate the “answer” plugin.

Adapting

Internet marketing is constantly changing and internet marketers just need to adapt and roll with the changes.    One of the major changes that is constantly looked at is SEO.

The problem with building a site for a search engine is that when the search engine changes often it is harder for the webmaster to adapt and change. In my Penguin smack down ¬†situation I have two totally opposite sites both with the same result. ¬†Like all things this is one of the reasons why building a site and only using SEO to generate traffic is a mistake. ¬† ¬†An all round traffic system has the benefit of ¬†providing different means of traffic even when your site has been seo slapped. ¬† ¬† ¬†This means that a webmaster might experience a dip in rankings and earnings but it shouldn’t be enough to wipe them out when balanced with other traffic methods.

Recommended Resources

Traffic Grab is a complete “traffic” product that shows you numerous ways of getting traffic to your websites without relying solely on SEO. ¬† The product does not show you step by step how to do it (as most of that stuff is available on You Tube anyway) but shows you the strategies and mind map for a complete traffic plan.

Viruses

The last couple of weeks I’ve been hit with a virus from all directions. The first one that got me was a nasty attack of the flu which comes and goes, comes and goes. So far, it’s put me out of action for two weeks. While I was laying in bed feeling sorry for myself checking my email on my iphone I noticed an email from a customer of mine. The subject line didn’t fill me with joy. Turns out the customer had got a message on Chrome that my site had a virus.

This was a bit of a head scratcher for me because:

  • my web host has a number of firewalls and security systems in place; and
  • I have a number of security plugins installed

Anyway, it was an email worth getting out of bed for and checking for myself. Opening up Chrome I didn’t find any problem at all. Checked with Firefox and Safari and still no problems. Thinking that this was a one off mistake I toddled back to bed (there was some rum with honey and lemon involved as well). The next day, I received an email from Google Webmaster Tools with the same message. When I tried the browsers again I now got the same message that the visitor previously had. I’d been hacked ūüôĀ The last thing you want to deal with when you are sick is a hacked site but it was enough incentive to get me out of bed.

Checking the usual places .htaccess, theme files, blogheader.php I found the hack in less than 30 minutes and fixed it in 5 minutes.

What worried me though was that none of my security plugins had picked this up. Admittedly, I had changed a few in the last month or so to test something different but still they should have picked up the problem before the big G did.

Because of the fact that the security plugins didn’t do their job and I was feeling very sick as by this stage I decided to bring in the big boys and get Sucuri to give the site a once over as well. Poor Sucuri had their work cut out for them penetrating my web host’s firewall. Giving them temporary access turned out to be a 3 day headache – due to time zone problems and changing ip addresses constantly. Sucuri did a marvelous job of checking the site (particularly with the time zone challenge) and provided an up to date report and a clean bill of health.

Verdict:

My point here is this, plugins are not what they used to be. Many have security holes in them. Sadly, from recent experience, even super expensive premium plugins can have security holes in them that allow hackers to access your site. To feel more confident about your website security I’d highly recommend signing up with Sucuri. They have excellent customer service, do a fantastic job and constantly monitor your site for malware.

Recommended Resources:

Sucuri awesome WordPress security and monitoring for your site.

Categories
internet marketing Podcasts

How to make your internet marketing conference a real event

If you have been in internet marketing for any period of time you will have succumbed to the urge to attend an internet marketing conference. ¬† ¬† You might find that you get “free” tickets in your email and you think “what the heck I’ll mozy along and have a look”. ¬† ¬†Day 1, usually starts out pretty exciting, ¬†giant conference hall packed with people with stars in their eyes. ¬† ¬†After an hour you realise that the speakers are rehashing their cheap ebooks from 2001 and adding a $2,000 home study course to boot. ¬† ¬†Your eyes glaze over but you are determined to stick it through, if only to meet people in the industry. ¬† ¬†By day 3 the giant conference centre has been cordoned off to house the few scattered groups that remain, either through sheer determination, or to get value out of any VIP tickets they bought. ¬† ¬†You go home and resolve to never do that again.

Not all internet marketing conferences suck

There are some internet marketing conferences that offer up exciting content, dynamic people to network with, and materials to take home and  learn from.   One conference that does this quite well is the annual 3 day Fast Web Formula internet marketing event hosted by James Schramko and held in Australia.

You can always tell a Fast Web Formula event because the event is not only branded on the retina but on all attending. ¬† ¬† All staff (crew) that make sure the event runs smoothly are clearly identified in their FWF clothes, there’s a sign with FWF on it and all attendees are branded on entry with the FWF t-shirt and hoodie. ¬† ¬† If ¬†you have ever wanted to see what a “sea” of people in the same clothes looks like come to a FWF event. ¬† ¬† Even last year when it was held in Caloundra, Sunshine Coast, Austalia which is known for being quite warm the attendees all donned their FWF hoodies to brave the outside world.

The branding of the event makes it really easy to interact with people you meet on the street or at a coffee shop in the morning. ¬† You don’t have any awkward moments because you are all members of the same tribe. ¬† ¬†You can start an instant conversation just through clothing recognition without even bothering to look at what they have written on or in the workbook they have been supplied with. ¬† ¬†Never has it been so easy to network with people in your industry.

I’ve been to two of these conferences and what has always impressed me is the way that such a large event is organized. ¬† ¬† Everything seems to go like clockwork, attendees are happy and inspired, and the conference crew deal with a ton of ¬†matters from the trivial getting a glass of water for a speaker to probably bigger issues (but you never know about that). ¬† ¬†One of the people that ensures this event runs as smooth as silk is Kerry Finch.

You might associate Kerry Finch with her writing services for internet marketers through her sites Kerry Finch Writing and DFY Content. ¬† ¬† ¬†Kerry is known for writing press releases, site content and article marketing. ¬† ¬†There’s a lot of internet marketers that rely on Kerry to deliver top quality content every month. ¬† ¬† In addition, to her writing skills Kerry is a great organizer and has a knack of making things appear effortless.

I recently chatted with Kerry to find out how the secrets of how she helps to organize one of the hottest internet marketing conferences around.      You can listen to that interview here:

[powerpress]

If you have ever been inspired to put on an internet marketing workshop for a small group or a massive conference then you’ll find a lot of useful tips in this interview including:

  • the difference between a paid and a free conference
  • what you need to think about when organizing a small event and a large event
  • the ideal size for a “hands on” workshop ¬†event
  • what systems Kerry has created in order to ensure that things run smoothly
  • the importance of ¬†the crew in ensuring the event runs smoothly
  • the one important thing Kerry does at any event she helps to organize
  • how much planning is involved in holding a large event
  • the one thing you should not promise attendees

 

Find Kerry at:

Kerry Finch Writing

This is where you can track Kerry down to provide her writing services for you. ¬†Kerry’s team specialize in putting together SEO optimized and engaging content for article marketing. ¬† There are a range of ¬†packages and services you can choose from to best suits your needs.

DFY Content

Have you ever been asked by a business to set up a site for them? ¬† I know that I have. ¬† I know it takes me very little time to set up the site but a long time to finish it. ¬† Simple reason why that is. ¬† My number 1 reason for not being able to finish a site is that I’m waiting for the client to provide me with the content to go on the site. ¬† ¬†Kerry has stepped in here to help business owners (and web service providers) out by providing quality content for website owners. ¬† ¬†This is a great resource for anyone that offers services like web design and development ¬†to businesses.

Obra ¬†– ¬† Kerry’s latest project is providing an information based resource for regional Australians. ¬†Her focus is ¬†bringing internet marketing to the regional areas ¬†of ¬†Australia. ¬† Kerry was inspired to give out this information as a result of the new broadband roll out across regional Australia. ¬† No doubt, this will become an important resource for those considering a career working at home in internet marketing in regional areas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories
internet marketing

Defining Moments of Internet Marketing

Last year I did quite a few interviews with people. ¬† ¬†There’s one that really stands out for me which is this one. ¬† ¬†The reason that it stands out for me is that the interviewer managed to weedle more out of my life story than anyone else ever has.

and that’s how it should be because …

I was interviewed as part of a series ¬†“Defining Moments of Internet Marketing“. ¬† ¬†The series is the brain child of ¬†internet marketer Seth Larrabee. ¬† ¬† Seth approached a number of ¬†internet marketers including greats like John Carlton and Ed Dale and over 50 more internet marketers and interviewed them on what their “defining moments” were. ¬† The “aha” moment that brought people to internet marketing. ¬† His goal was to get into their head and see what you can learn from other marketers.

I was  honoured (and surprised) that Seth asked me to be a part of this.

You can check out the interview below between Seth and I.

[powerpress]

 

You can check out the entire series of Defining Moments of  Internet Marketing here (you can also opt in to listen to some free interviews as well)

 

Categories
internet marketing

90 Million Dollar Weekend

I was reading BRW (Young Rich) Edition the other day and I was really struck by a number of things in the Rich List. ¬† ¬†First of all, there’s the mix of who is on the list – basically Mining, Property and Technology.

When you look at the Technology list you have businesses like Site Point, Retail Me Not, ¬† software programs like ‚Ķ.but there’s a common thread. ¬† ¬† All of these businesses started as one idea. ¬†One site. ¬† One place to make a difference to a user experience on the internet.

Retail Me Not has always been one of my fave websites. ¬† Not for the coupon codes – I just like looking at it. ¬†It’s so deliciously pretty ūüôā What fascinates me about the success of Retail Me Not is that this coupon shopping site was knocked up over a weekend for $30.00 and now it’s worth 90 million dollars (that’s what it sold for earlier this year). ¬† It generates revenue of over $30,000,000 per year.

Here’s the thing

  • They built it in a weekend.
  • They tried it out on the market.
  • It answered a need that they had to find a site that provided up to date coupons/discount codes to shoppers.

After they realised that the market also shared their need then they tweaked the site.  All the while they were getting traffic.   That traffic 90,000,000 visitors per month and returning is why the site sold for the amount it did.

Just to recap

It wasn’t the pretty graphics and the fact that they are so deliciously cute I could lick the screen when I look at the site. ¬† It’s the traffic. ¬†The traffic that returns.

Here comes my rant …

I’ve ranted on this subject many times before (and no doubt I will again) but marketing is not about how pretty your website is. ¬†Marketing is about solving people’s problems and getting the traffic to the door. ¬† ¬†Retail Me Not would have been popular without the graphics because it answered a burning need (take a look at the Drudge Report for an example of an ugly but great site).

Start Traffic & Stop Tweaking

So stop tweaking the site and start building the traffic.  When you have traffic and can monitor user experience then you can make some tweaks.

WordPress Billions

When I think of 90 million dollars I think of that other gorgeous coupon site. ¬† ¬†Groupon. ¬† Lovely site. ¬† How much did it cost to build? ¬†Who knows but it’s travelling on the wonderful WordPress ūüôā ¬† ¬†How much did the other G offer to pay?

What’s my point?

You don’t need fancy graphics, themes and plugins when you are starting out. ¬† ¬†You need a great idea that there is a need for and Traffic, Traffic, Traffic!

Final Words

There were four things that intrigued me about the techno geeks in the BRW List:

  • They were focused on ONE thing
  • they were in a partnership with someone else
  • they expanded into other profitbale arenas after their primary focus was successful; and
  • what they did was not earth shattering. ¬† ¬†We all could have done it, seriously, but they talk action and did it

Which leads me to question a lot of what internet marketers do as their business model.    Usually, instead of focusing on being great at ONE thing we create hundreds of sites, we consume a ton of courses, we are always thinking of new ways to monetize our virtual property and perhaps we are mediocre at all of those things.

What would happen if instead we just done one thing and made that great?

No, I’m not saying tear down the niche sites but what I am saying is, maybe, if we applied ourselves, formed strategic partnerships, kept our visitor in mind at all times then great things would happen to us.

Categories
internet marketing

FTP. Tears. Success

When  I first started in internet marketing there were some things that just would make me cry. One, of course, was WordPress (but I nailed that monkey in the end!) and the other was FTP.

For the life of me I couldn’t understand FTP. ¬† ¬†The concept of moving files from my computer to cyber space was beyond me. ¬† ¬†I followed tutorials on the internet and it never worked out for me. ¬† Sometimes I thought it was because the demonstrator ¬†¬†using different software to me that I couldn’t follow the FTP instructions. ¬†So I bought the same software – only to often find that it had been updated and still didn’t look like the video tutorial! ¬† ¬†I had long cyber chats with my web host which ultimately led to them fixing whatever stuff ups I had made. ¬† I wheedled, whined and probably whinged …and I cried. ¬†Many times. ¬† ¬†It was so frustrating! ¬†At one stage, I wondered why you couldn’t just snail mail stuff to the web host instead of having to go through this torture. ¬† ¬†But I got there …in the end!

I have made so many mistakes in internet marketing that I could write a book about them!

But the biggest mistakes that I’ve made weren’t ones that had to do with technicalities. ¬† The biggest mistakes I’ve made have become the best lessons that I’ve learnt (and continue to learn). ¬†These were extremely important lessons to me. ¬† Each mistake is just an opportunity to learn something new and a step towards getting it right.

That’s why I’m disappointed

Every time I ever get interviewed people always want to know about the stuff that I’ve done right. ¬† ¬† But in fact, I’ve probably done more stuff that is wrong that you never get to hear about. ¬† ¬† You don’t hear about all the plugins and wild ideas I’ve tried and tested that failed dismally. ¬† ¬†You only ever hear about the things that worked. ¬† But, the mistakes are important too. ¬† ¬†In my case, learning from my mistakes is something that I am continuing to work on. ¬† I’m certainly a long way off perfect and I make mistakes all the time.

With that in mind, and because I think it’s important, and (no-one else has asked me) I’ve written a short book about my mistakes. ¬† ¬† ¬† It’s called “Pressing Reset” because sometimes you just need to get back to a default install and take on board all the things that you have learnt and start again.

 

Click here to download your free copy of  Pressing Reset