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Right Keywords + Right Platform = Cash!

Who needs new keywords then?  Well any of us who want to make money online in my experience. As I mentioned recently, I’m using Wizzley to make some fast cash – though this approach will make you money regardless of the platform – so long as the website is in Google’s good graces. 

So does it work? Let’s see – I was aiming for 7 articles/day on Wizzley – hmm not quite – I’m up to 17 articles on my main account on wizzley – so what have I have I earned? 

As as of 13 Jan – I’ve made $46 from Amazon and  as of 15 Jan $30 from Adsense, that’s not bad given the age of most of my articles and how few of them I have.  

I’m also getting a 10% order rate ie from around 450 clicks – I had 45 orders – I don’t have a huge amount of Amazon data to judge this by – but to this looks like a pretty darn good conversion rate. 

Gum Digger with His Tools - (Kauri gum made some people a lot of money in 19th century NZ - if they looked in the riight place) Dargaville

What I am doing with Wizzley is a slightly new approach to me. As some of you will know most of us have been continuously frustrated with Google’s Adwords Tool inability to provide long-tail keywords. I’ve pretty much given up on it myself for long-tails. 

Instead what I’m using is a tool which scrapes queries from Google’s autosuggest feature – Keyword Researcher.  Basically it takes a few minutes to basically give me 500-1000 suggestions on everything I’ve tried it on. 

Now KR won’t give you either competition or numbers searched. But obviously if a term is even in KR it must be searched for more than once (which is by some stats I saw ages ago is about 40% of all Google searches). 

Basically for the length of time it takes me to write a Wizzley page – I’m not too worried about how many searchers there are either.  

  1. I basically throw a seed keyword into Keyword Researcher – and let it do its thing (incredibly fast I might add)!
  2. I add all the keywords I  have into Keyword Strategy tool and sort by search volume – you will see a lot of zeros ie no search traffic, but the term is from Google’s own “auto suggest” –  Google lies – proof positive! 
  3. I basically start at the top – focus on the terms with the most searches and create about five pages – all targeting different, but related keywords. I create exact match urls with Wizzley and I interlink these pages. 
  4. Anything that raises its head in the  top 100 – I start sending links to from SEO Cobra (using a link wheel at the moment – which seems to work great!) . Eventually they will all probably get backlinks – but the ones that show most promise get prioritized. 
  5. Rinse and repeat as they say. 
  6. Wizzley is not my site. They could go away tomorrow – I’m using them as a supplement to my income – they are not my main focus long term.  If I find some nice new keyword groups that I think I can rank – I’ll build my own site and use the Wizzley pages for backlinks and traffic funnels. 

Its nothing new – in fact its almost exactly the approach advocated back in the day when Court from the  Keyword Academy – got excited about Hubs. (well except he was using Postrunner for backlinks and Hubpages not Wizzley) – it works. 

Doing exactly the same thing will work on your own site – it will work faster  if it has authority.  How do you know if a site has authority? Easy, does an easy keyword rank with little or no backlinking? In fact its a perfect tool to use to build out a niche site to be a larger one – you really will have too many keywords to deal with! 

Would I go out and buy Keyword Strategy just to get the search volumes easily?
Probably not – you can get them (about 75 at a time) – using Google’s Adwords Tool – or you can just figure out that if you are going after a competitive term like weight loss – is going to take a while and a lot of links, while going after “travel to Burma” – not so much!

If you are doing a competitive niche focus on 3 or long word phrases. Google will tell you there is no searches of course, but my stats beg to differ, and so does its own auto-suggest tool!

Do You Need Backlinks?
I rank #1 for “wizzley review” and “wizzley scam” . I haven’t built a single backlink for those terms – but this site has lots of authority for “review” and “scam” because of previous backlinks.  For “empower network scam” –  I started at #8 but dropped to #14 – so now I’m building links and I’m back to #11 –  this is a competitive term – some people are making a lot of money with this scam. 

So if you are using a tool like Keyword Researcher to find long tail keywords – you may or may not need backlinks depending on a) how competitive the niche is and b) how much authority the site you are putting content on has. 

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Online Income: One Simple Secret to Success

OK this is a bit of a follow up on my recent post on clueless bloggers.  It probably reflects that I’ve been spending too much time on the HubPages forums recently too and I have decided that online there is a single reason why most people don’t make money online, and why online income remains just a dream.

People who fail to make money online don’t fail because they can’t write, or don’t understand keywords. They don’t fail because they don’t have enough technical knowledge, they don’t have a degree, have too many kids, don’t have the support of their partner, or live outside of the developed world.

They fail for a totally different reason. And I have finally figured it out. In fact its stunningly obvious now that I have though of it – and I should probably pad it out to an e-book and sell it for $97! Instead I’ll just make this post a bit long.

Do you want to know what the secret of making online income is? Drum roll…


You have to treat it like a business!

No kidding right! Seriously though I wonder what some people think they are doing, whatever it is, its not being in business. Think about it. What does a business owner do:

  • they develop a business plan – they have an idea about how they are going to make a profit;
  • they work the plan -they put lots and lots of hours into their business with the hope of pay off down the line;
  • they invest in their income in terms of tools which save them money or by outsourcing tasks which can be done more efficiently elsewhere;
  • they develop relationships with others in similar businesses so that they can help each other in the future, the play it forward.
  • they monitor and adapt as the environment around them changes. They don’t complain about stuff they can’t change – they move on.

Now I think the best way to illustrate how I personally came to this not so original conclusion, is to give some examples – both people who are working a business-like way and those who aren’t so much. Now I am not calling anyone out here but I really think there are some useful lessons here ..

So here are my first every Online Income Case Studies!

Focusing on a Business Can Make You a Social Outcast

This post as in part inspired by Chloe from Ben 10 Toys, who left a comment on my Effing Clueless Bloggers post. She said she was excluded from  some of the other parenting/mommy bloggers crowd because they:

“seem to sneer at the fact that some of us are trying to make a few pounds from our sites.”

Now not being a mother I hadn’t really come across too many of the “yummy, mommy blogger crowd” until I joined today dot com in order to build my own backlinks and get paid while I did it. While there I met the crowd who like to make some “pin money” but then whinges that they are underpaid!  Now we have the mob who are above even earning an income – nice for you love but hope your husband doesn’t get fired/gets burntoff/run off with a younger model. Then maybe you will think earning some income is important!

Look  some people write beautiful sites and don’t make money from them.  That’s fine – but why does someone like Chloe who provides a useful site which gives me personally way too much information about a boys toy thats popular should feel like she’s not part of a community? They are losers Chloe move on – get yourself ranked for your main keyword and get popular with real buyers and make some real cash!

Travel Bloggers Need to Focus Their Energies

This one is a close to home – I am a travel blogger at heart. I would love to say I have a wonderful travel site which is a labour of love and which truely provides useful information.  Travel for the Over 30s is really a topic I know a lot about. I’ve just never cracked the market – yet.

Matt over at Nomadic Matt’s has. I’ve been aware of Matt for a while, because of our mutual travel interest, and because he published his e-book on How to Make Money From Your Travel Blog. (Well worth it BTW if this is your niche.) He’s just got back home to the US but has spent at least the last six  months travelling. And during that time he has got his income up into respectable four figures.  For me its a lot harder to build a business with all the distractions of a new interesting destination around you and having to deal with finding a reliable Internet connection, so hats off to Matt.

Now in contrast is Kirsty over at Nerdy Nomad I have been following her for at least three years. She was a member of the first forum I ever joined at Working Nomad and at that stage she seemed to be living the dream, my dream, of travelling and making enough money to pay for it. Don’t get me wrong, I love Kirsty’s work dearly and her blog is excellent – but her recent post on her June earnings gave me pause, because  I earned more than she did in June (including freelance income).  Why was that – well I think its really simple – I have put a whole lot more work into my business especially in the last six months.  Now what Kirsty is doing might well be right for her so this isn’t necessarily a criticism, after all she has been investigating free and cheap volunteering opportunities in Nicaragua where the Internet access is not so good.  But building business seems to involve an awful lot of hard work in the beginning, with payoff time further down the track.  Until you get the business to the level that the passive income is nicely diversified and recurring – you are vulnerable.

Work Hard and Measure Your Success – But Do it Right

Which brings me rather neatly to the one of the hardest working guys on the Internet Ben over at Make Money Online with SEO. Now I am not going to repeat how Ben makes over $100/day with HubPages (which he started with in May BTW) – because all of that information is on his blog. And he still gets people asking him why they are failing – to which the answer is always the same – they are failing because they aren’t working hard enough! So check Ben out Ben if you want to be making money online the right way.

Now what has got Ben such a high profile so quickly is that he has been reporting his income figures and they have been spectacular.  What he mentions to is the number of hubpages/infobarrels/niche sites he has published each day/week. There is one thing he doesn’t talk a lot about though – he doesn’t mention the number of hours he worked.

Which brings me to my final case study Joel over at The Keyword Academy Scam Experiment. Now Joel is new to this game as he says so himself – but I was concerned when I saw his blog’s byline

“If their system can’t make me money within 6 months, they get the boot!”.

Maybe that is the downside of mentoring sites such as the Keyword Academy – people externalise it -“their system”, “make me money”. The only person who will ever make you money in business is yourself – if you don’t believe that you will make money – you won’t – it sounds insane I know, but its true. Something in your brain has to believe in your business – if that doesn’t happen you will always be looking for the next best thing.

The other thing that I think Joel is doing wrong with this sits is quite simple: he’s tracking his time and adding it as a cost against his income.  Two things wrong here: he’s inexperienced in his own admission – Joel I learnt to buy domains and my hosting without any step-by-step video – the fact that you have one probably saves you hours – but I think its totally unfair to then say that the cost you X hours x $8.50 (being the minimum wage in his part of the world). You’re learning – its going to take you longer  that’s your problem not the “systems”.  So stop expecting any approach to being in business to pay you to learn.

But ultimately you can’t rely on any one system to make you money. You will learn sound principals at the KWA and if you keep on working – you will make money – but it will only really become your own when you believe in your business and your ability to succeed with it.

Being in business on the Internet has a big a learning curve, if not bigger, than setting up a florist’s shop or starting a computer repair service. Imagine if I decided that I was going to open a florist’s shop tomorrow? I don’t know anything about flowers, I don’t know how to arrange them, I don’t know where to buy them, and I don’t know how open and promote a shop. Do you think its fair to think that I will be in profit in 6 months? I’m more likely to be bankrupt because of the significant costs that venture would have entailed.

Making an online income is different – you don’t have to risk bankruptcy to do it – but there is a huge learning curve. And if you are struggling and missing something I’d like to suggest that its not a deep misunderstanding of how to find buying keywords or how to optimise a WordPress blog – its how to think like a business owner!

You need to focus on your business if you don’t know enough yet to have a business plan – focus on learning enough. Then develop a plan they work, a lot, and keep on moving forward. The rules change all the time, you need to keep up.

Sorry for the marathon post – its partly an SEO experiment because longer does seem to be better with Google at the moment- but also because I suddenly had an insight – and that doesn happen very often 🙂 So are you in business or are you just playing?

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The Keyword Academy Video Course – A Scam?

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 for fre e…

Why Am I Recommending Keyword Academy Video Series and Membership Site

  1. 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.
  2. The principles taught make me money – they work.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.