Short version – be careful! I use sites such as HubPages as a way to create content on a different IP and to provide free backlinks to my own sites. To honest I started with HubPages because I liked the community and now I stay because I liked the community, and because I can get free backlinks to my own sites – I think HubPages is OK with it – they make money from (some) of my hubs and I contribute to their community.
I’ve never worked for myself before and in the pursuit of passive income I have had to develop my own systems to become more efficient.
In fact I have come to realize that the whole routine of going to work was one of the things I really,really hated about working for some one else, that and having to do what I was told of course!
Another update – in 2011 The Keyword Academy have released version two: check out my most recent Keyword Academy review.
UPDATE: A year later this post still gets traffic and sign ups so I thought it might be time to update it! Short answer is that TKA just keeps on getting better – that’s why I am still subscribed to it! Updates in bold below
Now I can teach you some stuff but I prefer to send you on to an expert – and my experts were letting me down!
I have two main mentors that I have mentioned over and over. Grizz provides great information for free – but even he admits that his sites are designed to bring in search traffic – not necessarily with sound coaching and teaching principles in mind! The information is there but you have to dig – and some people don’t learn like that. UNFORTUNATELY GRIZ NO LONGER POSTS BUT HIS ARCHIVES ARE WELL WORTH READING
Vic – is not everyone’s cup of tea – some people can’t get past the foul-mouthed persona – which is really their problem not mine or his. But more importantly Vic has closed is private forum until further notice as he is busy on a new business venture – which meant I couldn’t refer people to the place I get a lot of my information from.
Now – today – finally- I have a solution. The third person who has provided me decent, quality information is Courtney Tuttle. He started off with a free site – discovered that people don’t appreciate free and went to a coaching/mentoring pricing monitoring. Now to be honest mentoring is not really for me – I just don’t learn that way very well, and of course the time zone difference didn’t make life any easier. Mark Butler, Court’s business partner, now runs the Keyword Academy.
Now Court has, I am pretty sure, a background in consulting and/or coaching in the real world, and he and his partner Mark take a much more formalised approach to teaching the business of making passive income online than either Griz or Vic.
But, and this is the important thing, they are all basically telling the beginner the same thing in terms of doing keyword research, setting up websites, building back links and making money. Its all very professionally laid out, there is no bad language involved, and more importantly the information is good.
The Keyword Academy Membership Site
Court and his partner Mark have launched a new payment membership site: Keyword Crash Course Video Series . The site is new and the main information currently available are 10 videos taking the beginner step by step from doing keyword research, setting up a site with WordPress, adding content, getting backlinks, article marketing, Adsense setup and statistical analysis of your site visitors. Each video is around 40 minutes long. There is also Q+A associated with each video and a full transcript so you can find the bit you want again!
Now this set of videos by themselves could easily be sold for hundreds of dollars. But they aren’t charging hundreds of dollars, or even $100 dollars. Now its free for the first month – insane!
UPDATE: When TKA launched that was all there was – a course and a forum – but over the next year they added a tool to further automate the finding of keywords (NicheRefinary) and a way to make Guest Posting waaaay easier (Postrunner)
What’s the Catch?
Is there a catch – of course there is! After the first month you get charged an ongoing rate of $33/ month (premium includes access to the forums – only way to go in my opinion). Ahhh you say – so how many months does it take to get access to the videos – 3, 6 or 9? No the initial 10 videos are available to you immediately – as soon as you confirm your subscription – yup you have full access for 30 days before you pay anything!
What about the subscription – yes you sign up for an ongoing subscription – can you cancel it? Yes as soon as you gain access if you want – though I wouldn’t recommend it. If you use paypal to subscribe all you do is go to Paypal and cancel the subscription – you don’t have to contact Court and Mark at all.
Why do I say you shouldn’t cancel immediately? Well because the Internet is a dynamic place – the business model that worked 5 years ago or even one year ago may not work now – having access to updated information and support is one of the most important things you need to have to go forward in this business. What I do say – is leave yourself a note and evaluate whether the product is working for you after 25 days and decide whether to continue on with the subscription.
Ahh you say, having been scammed one to many times, you can’t follow the videos without the fancy software right? No, really, the main software used in the videos are:
Keyword research: Google’s free adwords tool
Excel – but you can use OpenOffice – its free
Competitor analysis – SEO for Firefox – free
Statistical analysis of visitors to your site – Statcounter – free and highly recommended by me!
Setting up the site: you will need hosting and your own domain name using the Keyword Academy approach, you can do it for free – but if you are completely new to this I’d advise not to mix and match.
Hosting Hostgator $5/month if you only want one site, $8/month for unlimited.
WordPress – free, recommended themes and plugins – free
Domain name: $0.99c for an info $7.49 for a .com (from godaddy) -cost per a year.
Link building. They mention a bunch of free methods but also recommend that you use Unique Article Wizard for article distribution – this costs $67/month.
With the addition of Postrunner – the additional UWA product is no longer really needed
Will Keyword Academy Work For Me?
I don’t know where to start – I don’t know how to create a website – will Keyword Academy work for me?
If you are a beginner looking for a step-by-step approach to building an online business, if you are prepared to put the work in (Court recommends 8-10 hours /week) – then this will work for you. The program will teach you how to develop sites optimized for Adsense.
I have information over-load – I don’t know where to start – I need to start reading and take action.
Know how you feel – if you are looking for a step-by-step program – check this out and ignore all the other sites for a month or two. Don’t just watch the videos do your homework and create your first site, or first money-making one, and move forward.
I don’t do Google Adsense – I want to sell affiliate products or my own products – is there any value here for me?
Regardless of what you want to sell you need organic traffic to your site. The Keyword Academy will teach you how to do keyword research which will work regardless of your monetization method.
I’m an experienced Internet Marketer – will I learn anything?
Grizz, Vic, Court all have slightly different approaches to making money online – but all work for them. What works for you may be an exact copy of one their models- or a mash-up of your own – but these guys won’t put you wrong.
I learnt several things that were either new to me or I had been muddled on by skipping through the videos. The final video on how to flip websites was all new to me and well worth the $1 in my opinion!
Anyway you are already probably paying for link distribution services – TKA will probably save you money with the Postrunner system!
Bottom Line: Is Keyword Academy a Scam?
No its not. You are committing nothing to signing up for the video marketing course.
Try the videos and forums for a month- you may find they don’t work for you, you don’t want to make money this way, you don’t have the time – whatever – you have lost nothing. Sign up for the forums options so that you can ask questions for a month – you may not like the answers – you can can cancel it cost you nothing.
Will following the videos guarantee that you will make money – no it won’t! Nothing in life is free – and free money doesn’t exist. You will have to do some work. Most of us value our time so this is going to cost you some time. It is going to cost you some money for domains and hosting. But if you are flat broke you could still try this out by developing a site on blogger.com for fre e…
Why Am I Recommending Keyword Academy Video Series and Membership Site
- It will work for people who want a structured learning environment -the cost is reasonable, there is no long-term contract the pricing model is transparent and fair.
- The principles taught make me money – they work.
- They will make you money if you put the effort in. I am strongly recommending that you sign up with the premium version because most people need access to a forum for on-going support.
- There is an affiliate program – if you click on a link to sign up with the Keyword Crash Course Video Series for free I will get a commission. I will happily take Mark”s money for introducing you. Oh and you already have to be a member to be approved as an affiliate so anyone promoting the product has seen what they are selling.
I previously posted about using Twitter for backlinks and I thought it might be time to do a bit of an update.
I still am not terribly convinced by twitter – but I still get do-follow backlinks from my twitwall – so why not? I also find it quite a good place to keep all my actual legit blogs linked to in one place – there are one or two deluded souls (usually related to me who) who ask me what I do all day playing online so I can point them in that direction.
Well what a difference a month makes! Sure its turning cooler here in Australia and we may have seen the end of the Perth swimming season but its all looking rosy from where I’m sitting!
I have been a whole lot more focused in March though the Site Build It fracas was a little distracting. Trust me the amount of traffic would have taken this blog down if it had been on shared hosting – hostgator reseller rocks is all I can say!
I made some new friends during the whole thing and I’d like to give a shout out to Lorecee at Work From Home On-Line Guide who really gave some thoughtful comments from an ex-customer’s point of view.
Some people thought that I did the whole Site Build It Review to make passive income from their affiliate system. I didn’t. I initially did it to build my subscribers and hopefully get noticed my some people looking for information about how to start an online business. I have put an affiliate offer on the post now – a legit piece of software which will hand-hold you through the site building process, is a one time cost, offers a 30-day money back guarantee and allows you to build as many sites as you want.
I build sites using self-hosted wordpress, blogger and MyStarterBlog but some people want prettier with less effort and are prepared to spend the money – that’s fine to.
In between approving Site Build It comments though I did manage to get some sites up and running.
- I’m thinking about doing some SEO consulting when/if we return to New Zealand. I bought two new and one pre-owned domain for that niche and got site up on all of them. All are indexed.
- I set up 2 blogger blog niche sites. One is waiting for content from cyberquest – who were offering 500 word articles for $1 and got absolutely flooded with requests – so the content is about a month delayed.
- Found a great uncompetitive niche and bought 6 info domains (99c each at the moment) to geo-target the term across 3 markets and 2 variations. One site up and indexed and backlinks built.
- Found another 2 pre-owned domains which I bought did the keyword research for and ordered content from Cyberhub– so they are sitting waiting to.
- Bought yet another 2 pre-owned domains and didn’t have them transferred by the end of the month so I had done the research for those to!
So I’m pleased with the progress for the month – more keyword research than sites developed but it will keep rolling now I think!
This month I have a week off over Easter to snorkle with the whale sharks so I have to work extra hard to make up for it!