User Contributed


User Contributed09 Jun 2011 02:21 pm

This post was written by a good friend of mine and one of the best media buyers I know Max Teitelbaum. He owns WhatRunsWhere and has previously offered to write a guest post on the subject for you guys, but with all the buzz and relevancy of his new WhatRunsWhere tool I requested he write a post that mixes the two using his own experience. I shouldn’t forget to mention that WhatRunsWhere was programmed/partnered by the great and very familiar face SlightlyShady. I’m a paid member myself and its not a product I think should go without some sort of beginner guide to make it complete.

My name is Max, I am one of the guys over at WhatRunsWhere.com, we offer the premier online media buying intelligence tool. What I’m going to attempt to do below is teach you how to start media buying on display inventory (banners) with a small budget and little risk.

Media buying is one of the hardest channels of marketing to get into. Usually to do media buys through large sites or networks, you have to shell out quite a bit of cash (usually the 5-10k range to get your foot in the door), but I’m going to show you how to test with a small budget (low risk) and find out what’s working for anyone that wants to get into this highly lucrative space (mo money!). This is how I personally got started media buying and how I scaled my first media buying campaign (it blew up and made me a fair amount of cash). I’m going to talk about two traffic sources that are low risk and can get you in the door and profitable on media buys fast, adbuyer.com first and Sitescout.com secondly (this may be a bit long just warning you guys) – plus a small bonus for those of you that make it all the way through.

The trick that most people don’t know is exchanges/resellers exist. My favourite site to start testing stuff on is adbuyer.com. I love adbuyer because it sells remnant inventory from right media network, ad networks (remnant inventory is inventory they have left over or don’t sell, so you get it at a discounted rate). Right Media is yahoo’s ad exchange platform so they have inventory from every network that uses that exchange, and allow you to target specific networks in their functions. You can do this by selecting manual targeting instead of their audience score (see image below).

Click To Enlarge

What doing this allows you to do is see what networks are converting for you and which shows promise. You do this by dumping in a test to every network and seeing which ones show promise (conversions) on your limited budget. It allows you to vet out what networks have a shot of working and save a LOT of money and time testing the various networks. Also you can do this on a small starting budget of around $500 instead of say $5000 per network.

You can also limit your risk here by using whatrunswhere.com, if you simply look up some of the networks in here and check what’s already running on them within whatrunswhere.com you can select a range of networks that already have your niches product on them and working.

A big part of media buying is your creative and landing page. Obviously your landing page like any other traffic source needs to be optimized, but your creative is key. A good creative can make or break a campaign. This is because of the bid structure of the media buy, most are run on a CPM (cost per thousand impressions), obviously if you have a banner with a high click through rate (CTR) your cost per click (CPC) will be lower, and you’ll be paying less for interested eyeballs. Testing what creatives give you the best CTR while keeping your CPA low is a main factor to having a successful media buy (later on I’ll put in a product plug and tell you how you can use whatrunswhere.com to do this).

Ok, mini break from adbuyer.com and lets go through how to research and get a creative set to be ready to test. What I’d do is go into whatrunswhere.com and search my niche keywords into our banner ad search. Tons of banners in your niche that are currently running and making money will pop up. From there, I try to spot similarities. What do the most popular banners have in common? Also, by looking up banners on whatrunswhere.com you’ll be able to see how long the banner has been running. Banners that have been seen a lot overtime are probably working, because why would you keep running something as a direct response marketer that wasn’t making you money.

Using this as inspiration, I can build my own set of creatives to start testing with. I like to start broad with very different creatives to see what does best. You honestly would be surprised what far out creative ideas pull in huge CTRs and conversions. It’s about being eye grabbing but also communicating your message properly to your audience.

I like to build my creative set of about 10 or so varying banners in different ad sizes. Personally, 300×250 ads have always done best for me, but the other IAB standard sizes like 160×600 also do well on specific sites as they engage with visitors in different ways.
I like using whatrunswhere.com here because it saves me time and money. By using concepts and ideas from what others are already doing, I can take out a lot of the risk of having to test EVERYTHING and focus on testing what major elements of what’s working, works for my specific campaign.

Once you’ve identified what networks you think may have promise, go contact them directly. You know their remnant inventory is ok, or at least converts for your page/offer. Most likely you won’t be profitable off the bat here (most media buying campaigns don’t make money from day 1, they need to be optimized), but it’s a good starting indicator of what will work (if you are profitable off the bat, jump on those networks asap and start raking in some cash). Example: if you test on adbuyer and see that network A is brining you in conversions at over your CPA but no other networks are bringing in conversions, network A would be a good place to start working on optimizing and buying directly with to get profitable.

When you go direct to the network, there are a few things we need to hammer out with the network to give us the best leverage:
Out clause (how much time you need to give them to pause the campaign if you want to stop it) – try to get a 24 hour out clause or a 48 hour out clause at the latest
Frequency cap (how many times your ad will show to a user per day) – I personally like to frequency cap at 2/24 or 3/24 but you should play around with it yourself
Demographic targeting – If you know the demographics of your offer, the network can try to exclude irrelevant inventory (this will save you money)
CPA – make sure to place pixels and track a cpa, its not like ppc or social, the network needs this data to be able to help you optimize placements
Network buys are like a black box, they do most of the placement optimization (Where your site shows up) but you can always make recommendations based on referrers that you see (where the traffic comes from) in your own tracking.

Ok, onto Sitescout.com. Sitescout is a RTB (real time buying platform). What this means is they take a low margin and broker you out direct site buys from Rubicon Project. This varies from adbuyer.com because instead of buying from a “black box” media network, you can see exactly what sites your buying on and exactly where on those sites you’re buying (but expect to pay higher CPMs on a lot of sites for this privilege). It’s like doing major media buys on large sites, but without the huge insertion orders (IOs) or prepays. You can also literally get started here with just $500.

I like this as well because this is where I REALLY can use whatrunswhere.com to give me a huge competitive edge. Every site has a visitor demographic (the type of people that visit the site), by using whatrunswhere to search what other people in my niche are doing, I can view the exact placements (websites) they’re showing up on. If they’re in the Sitescout repertoire, I could test my campaign on them as well to see if those placements would work, but more importantly, I get a idea of site demographics. Using Quantcast.com, compete.com and alexa.com I can build a pretty solid idea in my head about the demographics of any one targets website. If I notice that a lot of similar demographic websites are being targeted, that tells me something.

I can take that information over to Sitescout and look through the various websites they offer. I can use this to match up my offers key audiences to other sites within Sitescout that have the same demographics to try to maximize my chance of finding sites that work.

Not every website on a direct buy will work, and some will burn out. The key is to find a few nice placements that make you money and milk them for all it’s worth.
Once you’ve found what’s profitable on Sitescout and you’re ready to go to the next level, you can go direct and try to place buys on these websites. This isn’t cheap and should only be done if you’re profitable already. Sitescout takes very thin margins as is, so going direct will only make you marginally more and you have to worry about rotating in multiple offers to stop creative burnout (banner blindness) with that websites audience. Luckily, as I mentioned before, whatrunswhere.com is a kickass tool for finding new creatives to test that are already working and keep your campaigns fresh and visitors noticing them.

Negotiating a direct buy is much like negotiating a network buy (you have to consider all the same factors), but usually your out clause will be a bit longer and they’ll charge much higher cpms (it’s the price you pay for knowing EXACTLY what you’re getting). So you need to make sure it’s worth it, don’t just go in there blind and swinging. I did this when I was starting out and lost quite a bit of money this way before I finally wised up, did what I described above and started being able to profitably media buy ever since (when I started, Sitescout wasn’t around, boy I wish it was).

Get out there and start testing. The truth is most people will read this post and do nothing. The few people that take action and actually test and play around will learn from this testing and start making money from media buys. This is great for them, because this fear of testing sets a high barrier to entry for others meaning its harder for your stuff to get ripped off by any new marketer into the space. The best thing to do is just get your feet wet and start testing

BONUS: for all of you that read this far down the post, here’s a way to test banners on a CPC instead of a CPM. Google content network. You can upload banners here but you’ll pay a premium since your single banner has to have a higher ctr than a whole block of text ads or you have to make Google’s eCPM (how much they make the site per thousand impressions) higher than they would normally get, to get shown frequently. But using their placement specific tools or keyword related sites, you can test your creatives across a large range of related websites, optimize cpms and such all on a budget. Again, whatrunswhere.com is awesome here as it shows you the EXACT placements on the content network where your competitors are buying so you can test them out to, and not waste money testing stuff that you’re not sure if it’s working. It’s a decent way to test out banner ads if you have an even more limited budget to the point where you can’t spend the money testing on sitescout or adbuyer. That being said, adbuyer and sitescout are a lot more affiliate friendly and will let a lot more types of offers and more risky creatives through the network than Google will, so it’s a give and take.

As with all IM tool related posts here is your discount with no affiliate link:
Special Order: https://www.whatrunswhere.com/signup/index2.php?pkg=2
Coupon Code: bhseo
$45 off your first month

Thanks Max for the awesome guest post!

User Contributed12 Jul 2010 02:14 pm

Got a question in my E-Commerce SEO Checklist post from Rania, who didn’t leave me a link for credit.

“4. Steal your competitors articles and product reviews and do article distribution.”

You recommend STEALING articles from competitors as an advanced SEO tactic?! Seriously?!

How about recommending that users create their own unique content in order to increase their site traffic and ranking.

Suggesting that people steal competitors work really says a lot about you- and your company.

Good luck.

I know you’re only trying to make a point but I’ll accept the question anyway.

Why would I steal my competitors articles for article distribution instead of writing/sharing my own?

The answer is much more than a time or ethics response.

1. Unnecessary Competition
A typical article distribution involves submitting to around 1-5k worth of article directories and E-zines. Any time you submit the same piece of content to that many sites it creates unnecessary competition. This is especially true if your site is new. The article directories and ezines are old, your site is new. They win. While they usually won’t take you out on the primary keywords especially with your site linked in the article, they can snag a lot of unknown positions in your longtail and mediumtailed phrases pushing your site down and losing you an unknown bit of long term traffic. This can go all the way up to a worse case scenario. Last year when Acai Berry was a hot niche a lot of people were seoing for the term and many did article distributions. While their sites never made it into the top 10, the articles they submitted came closer. So when Google did some manual reviews and bitch slapped a bunch of rebill promoters and affiliate pages on the term most of what was left was the articles. All ranking and for awhile there while everyone else readjusted left a bunch of article directories taking all that good traffic. The first thing the article directory owners did of course was edit the articles and take out the links to the authors websites and throw in their own affiliate links. Lesson learned, but that brings us to point two.

2. Don’t Do It Unless Others Are
ESPECIALLY IF YOU ARE IN A SMALL NICHE! God damn, I see people do this all the time. They find a nice little niche with nearly zero competition and in the miniscule effort they have to put into ranking they realize the only way they know how to build backlinks is to article submit. They get flooded out and cry. Uhhg. The point is, same as point one. Don’t do it unless others are. I follow the rule outlined in SEO Empire, if you want to win Match and Exceed. If it becomes a problem for you to maintain your ranking, then submit where they submit and a bit more. So don’t submit unless you have to, but if you do make sure you…

3. Submit Your Competitors Articles Only
All those same articles on thousands of sites creates a massive duplicate content penalty opportunity. So the worst choice you can make is to go through the articles published on your site and submit them. In the middle of the bad choices spectrum would be to write unique articles and submit those. Unique articles are for pulling in seo traffic and thus they belong on your site and preferably nowhere else. You throw little fits when people steal your content, why would you willingly give it out? The wisest choice is to submit your competitors articles because if you’re going to put anyone at risk for duplicate content you might as well put them not yourself. I’ve always said, there’s two ways to rank: You going up or them going down. I own about 170 article directories as part of my basement. I understand how the article game is played. People aren’t submitting articles to my sites because they want my directory to be the best smelling turd around. They want the links. I want the pages of content for link laundering and they want the links, that is what its all about and nothing more. No one owes me unique articles, nor is it doing them any favors to give them to me.

Hope that clears up the game rules for you Rania, sorry its not advanced, but there’s good reasons for everything we do. Please understand, I don’t tell people to be evil just because I enjoy watching them be evil (even though I do). There is always some form of risk whenever you are. Yet never hesitate to be evil when its a sink or swim situation, always match and exceed.

User Contributed11 Mar 2008 04:25 am

This is a fantastic guest post by Harry over at DarkSEO Programming. His blog has some AWESOME code examples and tutorials along with an even deeper explanation of this post so definitely check it out and subscribe so he’ll continue blogging.

This post is a practical explanation of how to crack phpBB2 easily. You need to know some basic programming but 90% of the code is written for you in free software.

Programs you Need

C++/Visual C++ express edition - On Linux everything should compile simply. On windows everything should compile simply, but it doesn’t always (normally?). Anyway the best tool I found to compile on windows is Visual C++ express edition. Download

GOCR - this program takes care of the character recognition. Also splits the characters up for us ;) . It’s pretty easy to do that manually but hey. Download

ImageMagick - this comes with Linux. ImageMagick lets us edit images very easily from C++, php etc. Install this with the development headers and libraries. Download from here

A (modified) phpbb2 install - phpBB2 will lock you out after a number of registration attempts so we need to change a line in it for testing purposes. After you have it all working you should have a good success rate and it will be unlikely to lock you out. Find this section of code: (it’s in includes/usercp_register.php)

if ($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result))
{
if ($row['attempts'] > 3)
{
message_die(GENERAL_MESSAGE, $lang['Too_many_registers']);
}
}
$db->sql_freeresult($result);

Make it this:

if ($row = $db->sql_fetchrow($result))
{
//if ($row[’attempts’] > 3)
//{
// message_die(GENERAL_MESSAGE, $lang[’Too_many_registers’]);
//}
}
$db->sql_freeresult($result);

Possibly a version of php and maybe apache web server on your desktop PC. I used php to automate the downloading of the captcha because it’s very good at interpreting strings and downloading static web pages.

Getting C++ Working First

The problem on windows is there is a vast number of C++ compilers, and they all need setting up differently. However I wrote the programs in C++ because it seemed the easiest language to quickly edit images with ImageMagick. I wanted to use ImageMagick because it allows us to apply a lot of effects to the image if we need to remove different types of backgrounds from the captcha.

Once you’ve installed Visual C++ 2008 express (not C#, I honestly don’t know if C# will work) you need to create a Win32 Application. In the project properties set the include path to something like (depending on your imagemagick installation) C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.3.7-Q16\include and the library path to C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.3.7-Q16\lib. Then add these to your additional library dependencies CORE_RL_magick_.lib CORE_RL_Magick++_.lib CORE_RL_wand_.lib. You can now begin typing the programs below.

If that all sounds complicated don’t worry about it. This post covers the theory of cracking phpBB2 as well. I just try to include as much code as possible so that you can see it in action. As long as you understand the theory you can code this in php, perl, C or any other language. I’ve compiled a working program at the bottom of this post so you don’t need to get it all working straight away to play with things.

Getting started

Ok this is a phpBB2 captcha:

It won’t immediately be interpreted by GOCR because GOCR can’t work out where the letters start and end. Here’s the weakness though. The background is lighter than the text so we can exclude it by getting rid of the lighter colors. With ImageMagick we can do this in a few lines of C++. Type the program below and compile/run it and it will remove the background. I’ll explain it below.


using namespace Magick;

int main( int /*argc*/, char ** argv)
{

// Initialize ImageMagick install location for Windows
InitializeMagick(*argv);

// load in the unedited image
Image phpBB("test.png");

// remove noise
phpBB.threshold(34000);

// save image
phpBB.write("convert.pnm");

return(1);
}

All this does is loads in the image, and then calls the function threshold attached to the image. Threshold filters out any pixels below a certain darkness. On linux you have to save the image as a .png however on windows GOCR will only read .pnm files so on linux we have to put the line instead:


// save image
phpBB.write("convert.png");


The background removed.

Ok that’s one part sorted. Problem 2. We now have another image that GOCR won’t be able to tell where letters start and end. It’s too grainy. What we notice though is that each unjoined dot in a letter that is surrounded by dots 3 pixels away should probably be connected together. So I add a piece of code onto the above program that looks 3 pixels to the right and 3 pixels below. If it finds any black dots it fills in the gaps. We now have chunky letters. GOCR can now identify where each letter starts and ends :D . We’re pretty much nearly done.


using namespace Magick;

void fill_holes(PixelPacket * pixels, int cur_pixel, int size_x, int size_y)
{
int max_pixel, found;

///////////// pixels to right /////////////////////
found = 0;
max_pixel = cur_pixel+3; // the furthest we want to search
// set a limit so that we can't go over the end of the picture and crash
if(max_pixel>=size_x*size_y)
max_pixel = size_x*size_y-1;

// first of all are we a black pixel, no point if we are not
if(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black"))
{
// start searching from the right backwards
for(int index=max_pixel; index>cur_pixel; index--)
{
// should we be coloring?
if(found)
*(pixels+index)=Color("black");

if(*(pixels+index)==Color("black"))
found=1;
}
}

///////////// pixels to bottom /////////////////////
found = 0;
max_pixel = cur_pixel+(size_x*3);
if(max_pixel>=size_x*size_y)
max_pixel = size_x*size_y-1;

if(*(pixels+cur_pixel)==Color("black"))
{
for(int index=max_pixel; index>cur_pixel; index-=size_x)
{
// should we be coloring?
if(found)
*(pixels+index)=Color("black");

if(*(pixels+index)==Color("black"))
found=1;
}
}

}

int main( int /*argc*/, char ** argv)
{

// Initialize ImageMagick install location for Windows
InitializeMagick(*argv);

// load in the unedited image
Image phpBB("test.png");

// remove noise
phpBB.threshold(34000);

/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// Beef up "holey" parts
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
phpBB.modifyImage(); // Ensure that there is only one reference to
// underlying image; if this is not done, then the
// image pixels *may* remain unmodified. [???]
Pixels my_pixel_cache(phpBB); // allocate an image pixel cache associated with my_image
PixelPacket* pixels; // 'pixels' is a pointer to a PixelPacket array

// define the view area that will be accessed via the image pixel cache
// literally below we are selecting the entire picture
int start_x = 0;
int start_y = 0;
int size_x = phpBB.columns();
int size_y = phpBB.rows();

// return a pointer to the pixels of the defined pixel cache
pixels = my_pixel_cache.get(start_x, start_y, size_x, size_y);

// go through each pixel and if it is black and has black neighbors fill in the gaps
// this calls the function fill_holes from above
for(int index=0; index
fill_holes(pixels, index, size_x, size_y);

// now that the operations on my_pixel_cache have been finalized
// ensure that the pixel cache is transferred back to my_image
my_pixel_cache.sync();

// save image
phpBB.write("convert.pnm");

return(1);
}

I admit this looks complicated on first view. However you definitely don’t have to do this in C++ though if you can find an easier way to perform the same task. All it does is remove the background and join close dots together.

I’ve given the C++ source code because that’s what was easier for me, however the syntax can be quite confusing if you’re new to C++. Especially the code that accesses blocks of memory to edit the pixels. This is more a study of how to crack the captcha, but in case you want to code it in another language here’s the general idea of the algorithm that fills in the holes in the letters:

1. Go through each pixel in the picture. Remember where we are in a variable called cur_pixel
2. Start three pixels to the right of cur_pixel. If it’s black color the pixels between this position and cur_pixel black.
3. Work backwards one by one until we reach cur_pixel again. If any pixels we land on are black then color the space in between them and cur_pixel black.
4. Go back to step 1 until we’ve been through every pixel in the picture

NOTE: Just make sure you don’t let any variables go over the edge of the image otherwise you might crash your program.

I used the same algorithm but modified it slightly so that it also looked 3 pixels below, however the steps were exactly the same.

Training GOCR

The font we’re left with is not recognized natively by GOCR so we have to train it. It’s not recognized partly because it’s a bit jagged.

Assuming our cleaned up picture is called convert.pnm and our training data is going to be stored in a directory call data/ we’d type this.

gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 130 convert.pnm

Just make sure the directory data/ exists (and is empty). I should point out that you need to open up a command prompt to do this from. It doesn’t have nice windows. Which is good because it makes it easier to integrate into php at a later date.

Any letters it doesn’t recognize it will ask you what they are. Just make sure you type the right answer. -m 256 means use a user defined database for character recognition. -m 130 means learn new letters.

You can find my data/ directory in the zip at the end of this post. It just saves you the time of going through checking each letter and makes it all work instantly.

Speeding it up

Downloading, converting, and training for each phpbb2 captcha takes a little while. It can be sped up with a simple bit of php code but I don’t want to make this post much longer. You’ll find my script at the end in my code package. The php code runs from the command prompt though by typing “php filename.php”. It’s sort of conceptual in the sense that it works, but it’s not perfect.

Done

Ok once GOCR starts getting 90% of the letters right we can reduce the required accuracy so that it guesses the letters it doesn’t know.

Below I’ve reduced the accuracy requirement to 25% using -a 25. Otherwise GOCR prints the default underscore character even for slightly different looking characters that have already been entered. -m 2 means don’t use the default letter database. I probably could have used this earlier but didn’t. Ah well, it doesn’t do a whole lot.

gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 2 -a 25 convert.pnm

We can get the output of gocr in php using:

echo exec(”/full/path/gocr -p ./data/ -m 256 -m 2 -a 25 convert.pnm”);

Alternatives

In some instances you may not have access to GOCR or you don’t want to use it. Although it should be usable if you have access to a dedicated server. In this case I would separate the letters out manually and resize them all to the same size. I would then put them through a php neural network which can be downloaded from here FANN download

It would take a bit of work but it should hopefully be as good as using GOCR. I don’t know how well each one reacts to letters which are rotated though. Neural networks simply memorize patterns. I haven’t checked the inner workings of GOCR. It looks complicated.

My code

All the code can be found here to crack phpBB2 captcha.

Zip Download

In conclusion to this tutorial it’s a nightmare trying to port over all my code from linux to windows unless it’s written in Java :D . If only Java was small and quick as well.

It’s worth stating that phpbb2 was easy to crack because the letters didn’t touch or overlap. If they had touched or overlapped it would probably have been very hard to crack.

I plan to look at that line and square captcha that comes with phpBB3 over on my site and document how secure it is.

Thanks for the awesome guest post Harry.

User Contributed17 Oct 2007 09:19 am

Here’s a nice little guest post contributed by SEOcracy. I love guest posts that involve some form of creative money making idea. :)

——————————
I hope you have all been paying attention over the past week, because today I am going to build on last weeks database revelations and tell you all how to use database content to make serious money (and build serious traffic) through Google Custom Search.

Now, I have been making decent bank with Google Custom Search for a while now, and having recently amp’d up my efforts in a big way, I feel confident enough to make the claim that you should all be able to make at LEAST Fifty Dollars a day using the techniques I am about to outline.

Google Custom Search came on the scene back in late 2006 and it really didn’t make the splash that I expected it would in the SEO scene. Google Custom Search, in good Web2.0-Mash-Up style, gave me a brand new way to inter-link and cross promote my diverse network of niche sites, and I thought that was pretty cool. In fact, most people thought that was pretty cool, and that was about all we really heard about the launch of GCS.

But let’s stop and examine three things that make GCS especially cool for us SEO’s and Affiliate Marketers, shall we?

1) GCS engines can be highly targeted, returning extremely relevant results. This means that we can create a GCS that will satisfy the search needs of our site’s users based on their specific interests; and a satisfied user is a loyal user.

2) GCS engines allow us to return results only from the websites we choose. This means that we can set up a GCS to promote only those sites within our network. So if we have a mini-network on home development, our GCS can be set to only return those relevant results from sub-sites within our network. For our mini-network on home development our GCS might return results from sub-sites that provide mortgage offers, information on concrete polishing, or how to select granite countertops. This allows us to cross promote the sites within our network instead of having visitors turn to our competitor for more in-depth information.

3) GCS is made to be monetized. You can display your Adsense ads in your search results and thus can profit from the increased impressions when people use your GCS.

From an SEO point of view, GCS is solid gold because it lets you bypass the usual google.com search completely and in so doing, you bypass your competition! Of course, as I’m sure many of you who have played with Google Custom Search have already realized: your search engine is only as good as the number of users you can funnel into it. Meaning, if you have a GCS that only does 10 searches a day then you are really not going to see any tangible benefit to having it setup on your website.

The hardest part about making a profitable custom search is getting traffic to it. Often people add GCS to their website as an afterthought. Maybe they just feel like it is a cheap & easy way to provide search functionality and increased accessibility to their users. That is all well and good, but we aren’t just trying to make our site more accessible, we are trying to make some extra money, and this implementation of a Google search is rarely profitable because only a small percentage of your websites visitors will ever use it.

As of this post, I am running a HUGE amount of different GCS engines. I have a GCS engine for every single niche I am involved in. Every time I start a new niche, one of the first things I do after going online is to create a GCS for it. I constantly maintain and update my GCS’ settings and configuration, adding and removing websites from each niche network. This is a lot of work, but depending on the subject matter for each niche, the profit returned from the GCS alone can rival the profit I make on the niches individual websites themselves.

But still, we face the same problem. My many GCS engines are useless and won’t make a cent unless I am providing them with a sufficient volume of visitors performing searches. I can’t depend on people to use my search engines just by visiting the website and then typing a query into a box. There are too many distractions on a website, too many places to click and things to see. Because of that, you will find that only a very small percentage of your websites visitors ever actually use your GCS.

Rather, what we need is a way to take every one of our users interested in a given niche and funnel their attention directly towards using nothing else other than our niche’s GCS to find the answers they need. This is where things start to get interesting.

The secret here is thinking outside of the box. Sure lots of websites offer inline search functionality, but how about offering a search-based service outside of a proper website? How about getting people to search for answers in your niche without ever even visiting your website, and without ever even knowing your website exists in the first place?

What I am referring to here are desktop widget platforms like Google Desktop or (my favorite) Windows Vista Sidebar. Even web-top widget platforms like Netvibes, Facebook and more. For the sake of this post, I am going to focus solely on Windows Vista Sidebar.

Out of curiosity, I installed Vista on a partition just to take a peek at it, and one of the first things I started messing around with was the sidebar widgets. They have made it incredibly simple for people to create and publish their own widgets to the Windows Live Gallery website for other people to download and use. Also, Windows Vista Sidebar widgets can be very lucrative since not many people are creating them yet! Now is a great time for you all to get a slice of this action before the whole world eventually ports to the Vista OS.

A Vista sidebar widget is comprised of simple HTML and an XML file that acts in many ways like a PAD file does in as much as it identifies your widget and its provenance. If you know how to copy-and-paste and some basic HTML, then you can easily create a desktop widget.

So here is what I do:

Finding the proper niche is key to doing large search volume. Be SPECIFIC. For example, one of my most high traffic search engines was one that enabled people to interpret their dreams.

Realizing that people love to know what their dreams mean, I did some brief research and compiled a database of dreams and their meanings. Then I created a website around that database and did all the usual SEO stuff on it, got it indexed and laid in some Adsense ads just for good measure.

Next, I went to my Google account and set up a custom search engine. The setup interface allows you to target your search engine to a pre-defined list of websites or to have to search the entire web. For my purpose, I made the custom search engine return results from ONLY my website that I had made around the dreams database I compiled. That way, not only do I stand to profit from the ads displayed in the SERPs but since all the SERP results are for pages on my site, I am funneling traffic into my site which in turn shows more of my ads.

After going through all the setup steps, Google spat out the code for me to copy-and-paste into the HTML for my Sidebar Search Widget.
I am not going to go into detail on how-to create your widgets as it is extremely easy to do and you will be able to figure it out with just a little research on your part.

So I designed my little search widget with nice clean interface and a snappy title and then I published it to the Windows Live Gallery website. Within one week, over 1000 people had downloaded my widget to their desktop sidebar. Getting that kind of desktop real estate on peoples computer screens is something that most internet marketers would KILL for. My search box is on their screen every day and it continually sends their requests to my website.

The important part is repeating this process on many different subjects. The more subjects you cover, the more search volume you will pull. The beautiful thing here is the sky is really the limit. If you want to pull in that $50/day I’ve been talking about, then you better be prepared to create a GCS for every niche you are in. And you better be prepared to present each of your GCS’ in a different widget for each platform. Ie: Create one widget for Netvibes, one for Vista, one for Google Desktop, etc, etc. Once you get the hang of it, you will find that you can create a simple template for each platform and then just plug in the different GCS code into each one. After a while, you’ll be creating new search widgets at an amazing pace.

Now, remember how I said that this post was going to build on the previous posts about Google Hacking? I wasn’t kidding.

Take a sec to peek through the Free Downloads section of the website and think about how you can build websites around the databases provided there. How about creating a database of Bible verses, and then creating a Bible Study search widget that funnels all searches into that website? How about creating a website of food and drink recipes and making it searchable via a desktop widget?

The databases provided give you an excellent leg-up in creating websites with large amounts of information that are perfectly appropriate for Google Custom Search widgets.

Here are some other ideas to get you started:

* Video Game Cheats Search Widget
* Myspace Layouts Search Widget
* Baby Names Search Widget
* Restuarants Search Widget
* Celebrity Gossip Search Widget
* Product Recalls Search Widget
* Lyrics Search Widget

In parting, here some more food for thought for all your Affiliate Marketers:

Instead of just relying on Adwords for profit, how about a desktop search widget that returns Amazon Books with your Affiliate Link? This is where the real money is.

Before you comment below, I want to make a few things clear: I know that “Make XXX dollars a day” posts tend to be incendiary and/or contentious topics for people. The success of this technique, like every money making technique, depends on how much creativity you employ, and how much volume you push. Further, the number “50″ is completely arbitrary; it makes for a nice round number and a good title for a post. Truth is, if you are smart and play it right, there’s no reason you can’t pull in a lot more than $50.00/day (a lot more). Conversely, if you are half assed about it, like with anything, you probably won’t do nearly as well. So if you are about to bitch and whine about not being able to pull $50/day (which is pretty easy to do) then take a step back and ask yourself if you really are doing everything right and pushing enough volume.

–Rob

———————————
Thanks for the great post Rob. He has some great articles and free stuff at his blog SEOcracy.com so be sure to check it out.

User Contributed31 Jul 2007 01:07 am

Here is a contributed post by Tobsn. He’s the dude who made the Recommend-It plugin for me awhile back.

Making big $$$ with Links
Over the last few month I was testing out some of the big link selling sites. I wanted to know how much they pay you, in this case me, and how easy it is to get your links sold out.
First of all, I cut it down. I don’t like those freakin’ big postings like Eli does it, I like informations compressed into little pieces. so lets start.

At the beginning I want to reroute the German visitors to teliad.de. It’s big and it works good. The prices are not that high as on TextLinkAds but it works fine for German sites and just btw. I don’t like linklift. Don’t ask me why, i just don’t like them. rest of Europe: sorry nothing else tested. Any hints? Write it down in the comments!

My Test Sites
I tested this with two very simple sites. One is a poker blog with very good bought content like a terms glossary (”full house” etc.), descriptions about the most common types of poker and similar card games and of course a few news about poker 1:1 ripped from poker news sites. The site has around 50 very unique pages. PR4. The other site i want to sell out is a German dept consulting page. You can put you ZIP or city in the search field and you get back dept consulting offices near that point ordered by range. A nice geo search site, well indexed by Google, sorted by state and city. It also has some unique content pages like a glossary etc. We’re talking about something like 50,000 pages on that site. PR5.
Both sites are touched with sprinkles from Adsense and affiliate programs.

Lets get to the big players: LinkWorth vs. TextLinkAds

First, before we come to the highlight TLA, we’re talking a minute about linkworth.
The site looks nice, the features are getting better and the concept probably works. at the end, just not for my sites. I have them in linkworth for about four month and nothing. not one sell. not one single crappy 10 cents link.

Nothing. I played with the options, I did everything I could do but nobody wants a backlink on my sites. Probably it just happens to me and others making billions with 10 sites, I don’t know and at this point i don’t care

Because it doesn’t worked out for me.
Just while I was writing this someone wanted to place a link on my poker site. one link for $40. This probably saves linkworth from a bad rating. So i visited the “pending” links site to approve the link. On the next site after clicking approve next to the link, linkworth asked me that I have to choose how i build in the links. I selected the Wordpress plugin because its a Wordpress site and with a plugin I don’t have much to care about.

The Maintenance
After selecting the Wordpress plugin and getting the download link on the next site linkworth told me:
“www.somepokerdomain.pl Failed - Please trying again in 24 hrs” - and the link I had to approve was gone.
No love for linkworth. That’s all I have to say.

Now lets talk about TextLinkAds - Where you make the big money with crap.
TextLinksAds, yeah I like that sound. They send me so much money each month, it let Larry and Brin look like hobos.

Compared to my richness. seriously, they pay out very good.
In detail that means after the first month it doesn’t happens anything at all but from one day to another i sold out all 8 links and one RSS link on my poker blog in like a week and around 2 weeks for 6 links on the dept consulting page. 8 and 6 links are not sound like the big money. I thought. but i wasn’t aware of how much they get for a good, niche matching, unique content site backlink.

Lets Put It Into Numbers
poker - 9 links - $77
dept - 6 links - $72

That means one link on my dept page gets me $12 and one link on the poker site around $8.5.
I’m impressed. I’m sold out all my links, get nice money for doing nothing. literally nothing. The best conversion I think is the poker blog.

… and now comes the bluehat kung foo …

I just set up a wordpress blog on a nice *poker*.com domain, trackback spammed 83 visible backlinks on google, 84 on MSN and 528 visible backlinks shows the site explorer on yahoo.com. I don’t put any effort in it. I just scraped myself a small list of trackback urls and hit the ping button. costs me around 30 minutes.

Now Comes The Interesting Part
A) I figured out that many, many blogs blocking trackbacks with *poker* in the title and/or url. what meant i had to use some other similar words like “card games” or “casino”. So I’m not really good “ranked” on google with major keywords. Sure i got myself a PR4 domain in like two weeks (PR update was shortly after. HA!) but I’m only have good positions with loooong terms. That ends up in not much search engine traffic.

B) you don’t need niche relevant backlinks, probably they get you a slightly higher PR at the end but for now it just counts that you get many backlinks doesn’t care about the keyword you link because you don’t need the search engine traffic.

C) sites with a PR higher than 3 and a serps ruling niche are selling very good at TLA. $8.5 for a crappy backlink on a not really traffic making page, with a lousy PR is, i think, awesome.

That means, if you can get a good PR for a domain, themed for a big subject like poker or mortgage or loans or debts or whatever is overwhelmed by SEO optimized, backlink buying domains on every search engine, you can make nice money very fast.

Lets Take A Calculator
say we have 200 domains with the topic poker. on each we put up Wordpress, fill it with RSS news and also some bought

Content, build in the TextLinkAds for Wordpress plugin for links sidebar and the RSS feed links. Now we get a PR4 for every domain. somehow. magical.
we would earn with just 6 links in the sidebar, based on my $8.5 per link: $10,200
nice, for just setting up stupid domains, doesn’t care about your own backlinks as long as they get your site a high PR…

Just btw. If you need 30 minutes per weblog and work on it 8 hours per day you’ll need 12.5 days to set up 200 blogs. say you take a bit longer, take a month. after that month you could earn a few thousand dollars… with just keeping the PR of your weblogs stable and high as possible.

… and you know what? TLA keeps it real:

My Referral Link For Text Link Ads If You’re Interested In Signing Up Under Me.

(by Tobsn)

User Contributed25 Apr 2007 09:18 pm

Mark, a knowledgeable reader and benevolent commenter here has made a separation and started his own blog called Digerati Marketing. It’s pretty new and only has a couple posts so far, but I got to say the material thus far is absolutely fantastic. I think it’s a great representation of the Blue Hat spirit. So I have absolutely no problem plugging it, because I really do think you should add it to your readers in case he keeps up the excellent work. He was kind enough to donate one of his posts here. It’s called Making Money With A Video Blog. I think it’s a great post and if you’ve been paying close attention you’ll know that I also already do this idea and he is absolutely right on all counts. So enjoy.

-Eli

An Introduction to Video Websites
There’s a lot of them about, a lot. Apart from the old-timers like Ebaumsworld, Google’s acquisition of YouTube has really seen them starting to eat up this market. The great thing is, that doesn’t matter, videos are a disposal media - people look at them once, show their mates and then it’s old news. You’re only as good as your last video! What we’re going to look at doing here is setting up a video website with minimal cost & time and maximizing our profit.

Now, I’m not claiming this will make you a millionaire, but you can earn around £500 ($1000 to our American friends) per month without too much trouble. So it’s well worth it for the day or two it will take to set up!

Step #1: Monetization Strategy

Okay, for this site we are going to make our bucks from a couple of different sources. Our main income will be made from Google Adsense. If you haven’t got yourself a Google Adsense Publisher account, click the big button below and sign up. Adsense will display contextual adverts which you can neatly blend in with the design of your website, to make them non-intrusive, yet a natural click away. For this website we are aiming at generating a 25% click-through rate while staying well inside the Adsense Terms Of Service.

An important note: I’m going to give you some tips on optimizing your Adsense placement and layout later, if you want to take the optimization further, you may be pushing the limit on what Google does and doesn’t allow. The Adsense team can be merciless at times if they think you are breaking their TOS, which can be quite “grey�? at times. So, stick to the guidelines and you’ll be fine, cross the line at your own risk!

So, if you haven’t already,
Step #2: Setting up the website with Wordpress
Yay for Wordpress and its many uses! Wordpress gives you an off the shelf platform for out video blog (vlog). It allows comments, pings, trackbacks, easy archiving, it’s SEO friendly and has loads of plugins. For this kind of mission, it’s definitely the number one choice.

There are two ways you can go about getting Wordpress up and running:

1) You can go to wordpress.com and sign up for a wordpress account, they will provide you with a hosted blog such as myvideoblog.wordpress.com

or

2) You can go wordpress.org and download Wordpress and install it on your server. This is really the preferred option as it will give you the power to use some neat features in the future, which will smooth out the money making process! If you haven’t got web hosting, I use Site5 (aff link) and they’ve always been good to me and are fairly priced.

Once you’ve uploaded Wordpress to your server, follow the installation guide (it’s pretty simple) to get your Wordpress installation and database up and running.

Step #3: Choosing a domain name
Probably the hardest part of building any website is finding a domain name! Don’t worry too much about getting keywords in there, organic SEO isn’t how we’ll be doing the bulk of our promotion, try and focus on getting something short, snappy and memorable. (That means no hyphens!). If you can get something with a keyword or two (funny, video, comedy, humor - reach for your thesaurus) all the better, but as I say - don’t sacrifice the name for it. Once that’s sorted, point it at your server so it will have resolved by the time you’re ready to launch.

Step #4: Plugins Galore
There are some great plugins for Wordpress that will save you a hell of a lot of time and coding. I’ve experimented with quite a few and whittled the list down to some essentials.

Viper’s Video Quicktags - This plugin will save you having to rip out all the embed code from videos on major sites like YouTube, all you need to do is paste in the video ID and this plugin will do all the rest of the code & alignment for you. It’s essential to make adding videos as quick as possible.

WP-Email - This plugin adds an “E-mail This To A Friend�? option at the bottom of every post (which will be your videos). I’ve been using these for a while and although you don’t get loads of people use them, personally recommendation is the best kind of marketing your website could hope for.

WP-PostRatings - This will add the “rate this video�? 0-5 stars function at the bottom of each post. It’s a nice addon to get people to try and interact with your site if the can’t be bothered to post comments. Interaction is good - it’s the first step in relation building with your visitors and ultimately trying to get them to come back.

Sociable - Adds a mini-bar of just about every popular social bookmarking site worth mentioning at the bottom of each post. Digg, Reddit, Bloglines, they’re all there. Optimization Tip: From experimenting, I found it is best not just to select all the social sites going, choose a maximum of 5 major ones, then rotate to see what is most successful. Having a line of 20 social bookmarking icons looks a bit confusing and seems to ultimately put people off using them.

StumbleUpon It! - StumbleUpon is a really great way to promote sites with entertainment and disposable content. This plugin gives you a “stumble it�? button at the bottom of each post, which will play a part in our future marketing strategy.

Did You Pass Math? - Did you? This is just a basic anti-spam measure that puts one of those sums before you’re allowed to comment. Spam is a major problem, so I’d recommend this one, just to save you some time.

Akismet - This should be present in your default Wordpress installation, you require a Wordpress API key - but this little gem has stopped more spam than anything else I’ve ever tried.

Step #5: Get Feedburned
Okay, with further promotion in mind it’s time to sign up to Feedburner. RSS is going to be one of the main ways we keep in touch with our readers, letting them know we’ve put more videos on our site and Feedburner offers a load of other ways to let people subscribe to your content.

Step #6: Theme Design
There are loads of great Wordpress themes at themes.wordpress.net. Have a good look through them until you find something you like. I would generally recommend going for something fairly simplistic and neat with an either 2 or 3 column design. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, you could always design your own!

Once you’ve got your theme and uploaded it, I’d suggest tweaking some of the graphics to make it your own. Get your branding up there, design a logo and base your site around the domain name. This is why we wanted something easy to remember and relevant earlier, it’s no good calling your site “Video Hustler�? then having www.my-funny-internet-videos.cc and hoping people will remember it.

Some Wordpress essentials
There are a couple of other tweaks you can do in Wordpress to make your job easier.

1) Add a few categories, I used “Funny Videos�?, “Extreme Videos�? and “Sexy Videos�? just so I could tag my content as I add it.

2) Use custom permalinks! This will make your URLs easier to remember and will help various bots crawl your site. To do this go to the “Options�? menu, then “Permalinks�? and at the bottom check the “custom�? radio button and put /%postname%/ in the field.

3) Change page titles.

What we want to do is to swap the position of “Post Title�? with “Blog Name�?. This is because:

* Search engines uses your Page Title as the linking text in its search engine results page (SERP).
* The search keywords are bolded for page titles in search engines
* It makes it easier for search engine users to know right away if what they are looking for is correct

Now, this will involve some editing to your template files, which is normally called “header.php�?. Find this:

and replace with:
And you’re done!I’m not going to tell you how to design your layout pixel by pixel, because one of the keys with maximising your profit is experimentation. Here are some guidelines:Adsense Placement & Optimisation
This is how you’re going to make your money, so it’s pretty important! On your main index page you want to have an Adsense content unit at the very top, below your site header, but above the first video. This for me, is by far the highest click though, achieving around 30-40%, with the right keywords later on we can marry these adverts up with your content beautifully.

In your Adsense control console, under Adsense for content, go into your “Ad Units�?. These will get you paid after 1 click, whereas link units require a click to bring you to a results page, then a click on the results to get paid. So select link unit and leave “text only�? (default) selected. There is 468×60 pixel size which fits perfectly above your standard Google or YouTube Video.

You second biggest earner will be the ad unit which will create a gap between the first video and the rest of the videos on the site. Your first video will obviously be visible above the scroll, but being an average 10-30 second long funny clip, people will never be able to resist at least looking at the other videos on your front page. You must exploit this human curiosity! The 336×280px “large rectangle�? unit fits the bill perfectly. Again it will fit in nicely below your video and will give a nice chunk of adverts. This ad unit must only be displayed below the first video as there are limits on the amount of ad units you are allowed on 1 page. You will however, want this ad unit again on the “single post�? page. So, if somebody links directly to one of your videos, you still have max Adsense coverage.

I would recommend showing the first 5 videos on the first page. Having less, will reduce the chances of people looking at anything but the first video on your site and will effectively reduce the page size - minimizing advert space. Having a lots of videos will distract people from using other parts of your site navigation (well, by this I mean will keep people too amused to click on your ads!). It’s a fine line between wetting their appetite but then keeping them hungry for more.

It’s also worth having a vertical unit (skyscraper) near your navigation. You want both of these units clearly visible without scrolling down, so you’ve got the top of the page and the central part covered in lovely adverts, which is where people’s mousey clicks tend to go!

It is important to blend your Adsense into your site and there are two schools of thought on this. The default “blue�? hyperlinks on websites will get the most clicks, always. This color has been drilled into our head since the dawn of the www and your brain just says “click�?, so if any of your other links on your site use this color, you will need to use this color for your Adsense titles. I however, think this color is ugly, so I refrained from using it anywhere on my site at all. If you follow this approach as well, then you simply want to make your Adsense units the same color as your standard hyperlinks. If you’re using Firefox there is a great Colour Picker addon, which gives you the hex code for any color, live on a web page. Since you’re allowed a link unit on the page as well, I tend to put one of these in the footer, just because it looks okay and it does earn a few pennies every now and again.

Beating Adsense Smart Pricing
“Smart Pricing�? is Google’s way of trying to keep its advertisers happy by lowering the cost of junk traffic. Unfortunately, they do this at your expense. Having poor advertisers on your site, will lead to you users clicking the adverts, then leaving the horrible site they land on almost instantly. When people do this, Google will think you’re sending out junky traffic, when actually it’s the advertiser’s site that is at fault. This will lead to the money you get per click, going down.

Fortunately, Google offer a “competitive ad filter�?, which allows you to block certain advertisers from showing ads on your site. Login to your Google Adsense account and go to “Adsense Setup�? and you’ll see a “Competitive Ad Filter�? tab. Click this and you’ll be given a box of URLs to block.

Copy & paste this list into your competitive ad filter and this should help you keep a strong amount per click.

Google Coop
Google Coop is a custom search engine (CSE) which basically allows you to click a few buttons and make a custom search engine. The great thing is, you can tie this in with your current Adsense account and it will pay out when somebody clicks on a sponsored result from your custom search engine. So, rather than leave in the standard Wordpress search, you might as well make some money from it!

Find the bit of code in your theme that shows the default Wordpress search box and comment it out. Create a Google Coop account and you will be presented with if you would like your search engine to search the entire web, with preference to selected sites, or simply search specific sites. Choose the option to select specific sites and just add your own URL. Don’t forget to enter your Adsense Publisher ID!. Google will then generate a chunk of code for you, which you can paste in place of your current Wordpress search. Viola! Monetized search! My search box generates around an extra 30% of my site revenue.

Get Feedburner on there
Login to your Feedburner account and get it to give you the code for an e-mail subscribe box. I’ve found I get more e-mail subscribers than RSS readers. I believe this is because RSS is really only embraced by the more “web savvy�? user and they will be fully capable of finding videos on Digg, YouTube, Google and are more likely to be aware of the bigger sites. So for your regular Joe Blogs (heh), e-mail a nice, easy to understand way to get them to sign up to updates. If you can squeeze your Feedburner RSS subscribe button in above the scroll, all the better - but I have found people that want an RSS feed will find it.

Feedburner also offer “chicklets�? which is a little button that shows the world how many subscribed readers you have. Generally, I’d advise not to install this until you have 100 or so readers, there’s no point showing people how unpopular your site is to begin with! Leave it for bragging rights later. It is quite possible to achieve 500-1000 readers within 6-12 months.

Here’s one I made earlier:

In Green: Our main above the scroll Adsense
In Yellow: CPM advertising (we’ll talk about this later, but save some banner space!)
In Red: Our monetized Google Coop box
In Brown: The Feedburner subscribe bits. That’s most of the design info covered.Step #7: Sourcing and adding video content to your website

Okay, so how do we go about getting videos onto your site? Well there’s a quick and profitable way and a longer but more profitable away.

The quick and profitable way
I don’t recommend this method to begin with, even though it’s quicker, this is only something you should be doing after your site is established, or if you are very short on time.

Go to digg.com/videos and see what other people find funny. Follow the link through to the video site, grab the video ID and pop it in a post.

When you are post a video, make sure every 2-3 videos you have the words “funny�? and/or “video�? in the post title. Wordpress uses header tags for these titles and it will help make your Adsense adverts more relevant. Below the video, type a couple of lines explaining the video (without giving too much away!). Be as funny/sarcastic as you like, but keep it short and interesting - and write your own descriptions!

The longer but more profitable way
Okay, this takes a bit more work, but will really, really help you promote your site. One neat thing about Google Video is that they allow you to download the videos. So, go have a search around Google Video and download 20-30 videos that you think are funny. Download them in “PSP�? format which will give you a .mp4 format file.

If you have some decent video editing software that can handle mp4 files you can skip this step:

If you’re stuck using Windows Movie Editor you’ll have to convert the file before you can edit it. Now, if you can find a free program, let me know. I’ve been using Riverpast Video Cleaner, which will convert the mp4 files to avi without any real quality loss. It’s $30 but it will be your only expense in this operation. Riverpast will be able to convert all your videos in batch, so go make yourself a cuppa.

Once you’ve got your video in .avi format, create yourself a bitmap image with your site logo and site URL on it. Use your video editing software to show your logo for 5 seconds at the beginning and end of your video, so it’s all branded to you now!

Get your branded videos out there!
Once you’ve got branded videos, you’re really onto a winner. I pull in around 500-800 visitors per day from YouTube alone. Google have a batch video uploader, so your first port of all is to re-upload your newly edited videos onto Google Video.

Once they are uploaded you can add the video information. Generally in the title I again try and get the words “funny video�?, “extreme video�? or similar in. These help pick up a bunch of generic searches. I’ve found the description doesn’t make a huge difference to whether the video is viewed, as long as the title is good. If you’re uploading to Google, using the batch uploader there is a separate field to link to your website, which becomes an active link, so you may as well type a description. Keep it short and snappy to try and get as many views as possible. For tags, I use a set of standard: funny, video, humor, humor, comedy, laugh, lol, cool, extreme, stupid, insane, accident - then add a couple of video specific keywords on the end.

Repeat this process with YouTube. The only difference with YouTube is that there is no separate field for your own site URL. If you just pop your URL into the description, this will automatically become a clickable link. YouTube is a bit more of a pain because you can only upload 1 video at a time, but you can always do other stuff at the same time! The sheer amount of traffic that YouTube gets makes it worthwhile doing this.

Once you have a “base�? of around 30 videos, you don’t need to keep finding new ones. You just create a new YouTube account under a hotmail address every week or so, since you’re a new user and uploading new content, your videos will more often or not appear on the front page briefly which will get you spurts of traffic.

Using your imagination, there are loads of places that accept video uploads that you can use. MySpace anyone? MySpace Video is taking off big-time at the moment, so if you have access to some large MySpace accounts, this can be a great way to get traffic. One other technique is taking a screenshot of your video at 00:00 then posting this picture on a MySpace profile or bulletin, so it looks like an embedded video, but will take people through to your site with the video on. Hey, that’s pretty scrappy - but it works. Make sure you use the border=�?0? attribute on such images so you don’t get a blue border around them!

Step #8: Kick Starting Promotion
Following this recipe so far, you’ll probably make $5-$10 per day. If you want to get up to the $40 per day mark to make your $1,000 a month, you’ll need to give your site a kick up the backside. Here’s how:

Go to www.stumbleupon.com and register yourself with an account and install their browser toolbar.

Once you’re all ready to rock with StumbleUpon, make your way over to www.stumblexchange.com. Stumblexchange is a system where you sign up, stumble a whole list of other people’s sites, then in return they stumble you back. StumbleUpon is fairly simple - the more stumbles your site gets, the more traffic they send you. StumbleUpon has a ton of users and this step will get you 200 more uniques a day for months to come. So login, register your account details and stumble everyone’s site. (If your so inclined, you could script this). Well done, you just added another $200 a month onto your earnings! There’s also a diggxchange and deliciousxchange in this network, however I haven’t experimented with them to comment on this.

Get some links
Everybody loves links, especially Google. There’s a massive list at RSSTop55 of directories and blog aggregators. I would start with these:

Next Steps
Now you’ve got some readers and some regular traffic, you can sign up for a CPA advertiser. Burst Media is quite easy to get into and has a large inventory. Having CPA ads will earn you money for page views, without clicks and makes for an excellent secondary income.

Above all, experiment, experiment, experiment! Let me know how you get on!

User Contributed19 Dec 2006 04:53 pm

This one isn’t so much a contribution as it was me begging to post it. :)
Its a great article from Phil at HelpWebmasters.com on a technique called Domain Kiting. The original can be found here. He promised he’ll post more great articles like it so be sure to check out his site in the future.
Domain Kiting
I’m going to let some secrets out of the bag about Domain Kiting

So for those that don’t know what this is, listen up. You can register a domain name and cancel it within 5 days of purchase. It USED to be that the registrars would let you do this for free. Now most registars charge between $0.25 and $2 per canceled domain. See I would register hundreds of domains a week and cancel about 99% of them, just keeping the good ones that got traffic in the 5 day period. I would reg the domains and then change the DNS over to a parking page (like sedo.com) then I would be able to easily see how much direct navigation (type in traffic) I got.

Here is the formula for figuring out which domains to keep:

1. (Amount of type-ins in 5 days) * (365/5) = amount of traffic you could reasonably expect in a year. Now a good parking page will get ~20% click through rate, so take your clicks per year * 20% = number of clicks that you get paid on.

note: keep in mind seasonality…so if you register xmas domains expect to see higher numbers in December.

2. Find out the average CPC via the overture tool by taking the top 5 bids and averaging them so this formula is: bid1 + bid2 + bid3 + bid4 +bid5 / 5

3. Now take that average bid per click price and divide that by 2. This is the rough amount per click that you can expect from a PPC program on a parking site or Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, etc…

4. Next take the price you paid to reg the domain / average PPC from step 2 =# of clicks you’ll need in a year to break even on your domain.

5. So, if the # from step 1 is > # from step 4 then you are in the black.

Let me do some real numbers to highlight this again.

1. So I got 4 clicks in 5 days during my domain testing period. Take that number times 73 (73 is from 365/5) that that equals 292 clicks per year. Take clicks per year 292 * 20% and you get = ~58

2. Now by doing keyword research we find that advertisers are paying $0.34 a click.

3. Divide $0.34 by 2 to get your estimated earnings per click at $0.17

4. Let’s say I register a domain name for $7.00 per year divide that by $0.17 and you get ~41. So you will need 41 clicks a year to break even on your domain.

5. So you estimate that you can get roughly 58 clicks and you break even at 41 clicks. So u in da black.

Conclusion:

So imagine what happens when you find one that gets a TON of clicks and advertisers are willing to pay BIG $$$ for each click…Booya! Or, think economies of scale, it takes you very little time to register these domains and if you do them by the hundreds or thousands then the profits add up quick.

Disclaimer/Pitfalls:

Start slow and ease into this. This formula is an estimate only, the variable that will put you in the red are:

1. Conversion rate on the parking/landing page: I see ~20% on most of mine, some higher some lower, it all depends on the matching for your keywords. To get a good idea of what this might be look at the ads that appear with your domain keyword, Are they relevant? Would you click on it?
2. Advertiser CPC, seasonality and advertisers just pulling out will affect how accurately you can predict what they are willing to pay per click.
3. Your individual cut from the parking program or contextual advertising program, this number will vary as well.

Enjoy!

Thanks Phil for the great article! 

User Contributed12 Dec 2006 03:51 pm

Here is an experimental user contributed post. The reason why I say its experimental is because the post was originally written and sent to me by George Tucker from Intelligent Coffee. It’s a great article that really got me thinking about what is normally a pretty commonly discussed topic in SEO: typos and misspellings. From there I couldn’t help myself and had to add my own little ideabox into it. So here are both!

From George Tucker:

I once enjoyed #1 Google rankings for a misspelling that was only listed once on the page, and that was in the META keywords tag.

This particular website is a review site for anti-aging and anti-wrinkle skincare products (tons of bucks in that particular niche). I found that there were three different types of keywords that were relatively easy to rank:

- Brand names (lots of skin care brands don’t have a strong online presence)
- Scientific / chemical compound names (N-6 furfuryladenine, anyone?)
- Typos

Ranking for typos has become a fairly common concept, but there are three specific methods to generate typos and to make them more effective.

1. Do you habitually misspell a word? (For me, it’s caffiene.) Odds are, others do, too. Use WordTracker to generate a keyword list based on the proper spelling and use find/replace. Congratulations, you’ve just created your own sub-niche!

2. Can’t remember how to spell something? Take your best guess - then jot down your inadvertent misspelling. (Ridiculous numbers of people are trying to buy expresso machines.)

3. The simple transposition of letters due to typos. When you’re typing fast and you flub a word, make a note of it. (This is where my formerly-#1 ranking misspelling was born.)

To cast a wider net for typos, make use of an automatic typo generator like the Typo Trap. This particular tool generates typos based on accidentally hitting an adjacent key on a QWERTY keyboard while typing a search term. Because they’re auto-generated, the words don’t make much sense, but they’re good for machine-generated pages and sites. (I find the WordTracker misspelling generator to be completely worthless.)

Typos are an excellent example of the long tail, and one that’s fairly easy to exploit. Often, they’re low-hanging fruit. Keep track of your own typos and sprinkle them throughout your white hat sites. Generate random typos and plug them into your keyword.txt file for machine-generated sites.

—————————————————

Great article. Thanks George! I’ll keep my portion short.

As mentioned there are quite a few typo generators available to try such as Typo Trap. However if you’re an automation junkie like myself and are actually looking for a nice list you should try this…
1. Open Microsoft Word on your computer
2. Click Tools.
3. Click Autocorrect Options
4. Look towards the bottom of the dialog box

Microsoft was kind enough to provide a nice big list of the most common misspellings and typos in the English language! The downside? No mass select or copy and paste on the list. Yeah bummer right?! Try going to http://support.microsoft.com/kb/207748 and getting the macro utility. Export your autocorrect db using the macro utility and then see what happens when you open it up in a text editor. :)

Outside Resources
Wikipedia’s List of Common Mispellings
- Scrapable version.
Your Dictionary 100 Most Common Mispelled Words

Food For Thought
How about celebrity names and brand names?

User Contributed03 Dec 2006 04:43 pm

User Contributed: Rose Water


Sheesh, he posted two brilliant articles on this subject.
When adding links to the articles listed on “what links here”, as eli at bluehatseo recommended, if you add your link to the first listed articles they will probably be deleted, because the “what links here” widget lists the most popular or most edited articles first or some sort of popularity metric. To spell it out for you guys, add your link to the bottom-most non-talk-page articles first. Even if that article isn’t closely-related to your niche, it is usually tangientially-related. Then go up the list adding another link on another day.Also, I’ve found my precise phrase (eg: “quoted phrase”) on wikipedia in a completely unrelated article, and changed that phrase in the article into a link to my site, and no one has noticed for a month. Remember, find articles with the fewest edits or no recent edits, because you want articles where no one is anymore personally attached to their articles/edits!
for example:
blue river valley corporation
becomes:
blue [http://www.mysite.com river valley] corporationthe howto:
http://www.bluehatseo.com/wikipedia-links-part-1/
http://www.bluehatseo.com/wikipedia-links-pt-2-the-semi-automated-white-hat-way/
http://www.bluehatseo.com/wikipedia-links-pt-3-chumbawumba-method/
part four is forthcoming.Here is the original
http://www.syndk8.net/forum/index.php?topic=3970.msg82076#msg82076