It Was The Best of Times, It Was The Worst of Times - March 2011 Income Report

March was a very interesting month for me.

The Best Of Times

A lot of good things happened to my niche site in March.  After finally realizing that I needed to invest more in my niche site in order to see some positive returns, I purchased Blog Blueprint to help me with backlinking and I could not have been happier.  It's easy to use and gets results.  I purchased it on March 6 and by March 15 the traffic started creeping in:

Before Blog Blueprint I was maybe seeing 2 visitors a day, but after 9 days of use, adding no more than 10 backlinks a day, the traffic started to shoot up.

I peaked at 27 visitors a day.  And my highest rank was 22.

Now that may not sound like much but it was clear that I was attracted highly targeted visitors:

(Gratuitous pat myself on the back moment)  Looking at the usage stats, visitors were spending a decent amount of time on my site, reading at least one review.  That could only increase my chances of someone clicking through one of my links to Amazon.  At that point the potential transaction is out of my hands, but I was attracting hungry buyers, who needed only the slightest of nudges to make a purchase:
Amazon did its job, converting almost 8% of the visitors coming through via my links into happy, paying customers.  So without further ado....there is REVENUE to report!

Yay Earnings!

I can finally type, "Earnings for March"....$20.52 (of course I haven't turned a profit, but you have to start somewhere)

I'm rich!  Well not quite. But most of those sales occurred over a 4 day period and considering I never ranked higher than 22 for my main keyword I would call this a success.  Now just imagine if I was ranking #1 for my main keyword!  I still wouldn't be rich, but I sure would be happy.

For now that's all I can do.  Imagine.

The Worst of Times

If you scroll back up and take a look at the traffic graph you will notice a little downhill thingy happening.

Yea, Google had to fook with my head.

So after feeling like the world's beset internet marketer, the Big G decided to de-rank my niche site.  I went from the top of page 3 for my keyword, seeing traffic, converting, all that great stuff, to some nether-world otherwise known as page 79 of google search results!

Once I got the crying under control I sought out some advice in the Twittersphere and Warrior Forum and found that this is to be expected with a site that is just about 3 months old.  So now I continue to use Blog Blueprint to backlink, but am varying it up a bit by creating product review videos (thank you Fiverr), profile backlinks, and also blasting mass article submissions to some of my existing articles on Ezine to see if that will help too.

Right now the site is dancing (with two left feet).  It's gone much higher, a little lower, higher again, and just a tad bit lower.  I want to add two more product reviews and I want this dancing to stop (I hate dancing, always have.  I was that guy who thought he was too cool for it, but in reality, I'm just terrible at it, so I pretended to be too cool instead).  My friend Michelle of My Passive Income Online Blog said to give it about two weeks or so and the site should emerge from this dance in a stronger position than when it started.  So, we'll see what happens.

In the meantime I am looking to start two more niche sites (one of which will be monetized only via Adsense).  I guess we just gotta keep on keeping on!

How Blog Blueprint Saved My Internet Marketing Ass

Yea, that was me!

If you've been following my experiences as a rookie internet marketer, then it comes as no surprise that I have been operating under a cloud (a voluminous, dark, gray cloud) of frustration!

Come to think of it, looking back at my old posts, it has reduced me to a sniveling, whiny little baby.

Not what I intended!

I started this endeavor knowing full well (maybe not "full") that it would be some time before those passive dollars would magically appear in my bank account and I prepared myself by defining success in terms other than just making boatloads of dough.

So what the hell happened anyway

I felt like I wasn't getting anywhere and the time I was putting in at night, after a long day of work, was all for naught.  I knew if I had to persevere if I wanted to find any type of success but the forces were working against me, and I was beginning to feel its weight.

And it was suffocating me.

I hadn't given up per se, but I was doing less and less with my niche site to help it with each passing day.  At that point, my main backlinking method was blog commenting.  BLOG COMMENTING.
And it gets worse from there.  I began to substitute reading and putzing around online for doing anything with my site in the name of progress!  Instead of building backlinks, I would look for tweets about backlinking.  Or read someone else's blog, drool over their success, and trick myself into thinking that will be me in a years time.

All I was doing was tricking myself.

A Change In Tide

I needed to shift my perception and treat my pursuits more like a business.  Businesses require investments in order to succeed and that is what I did.  I made some investments.

I bought Market Samurai and the first thing I did was use their rank checker to find out exactly where the hell
I stood before the eyes of Google. As of purchase time I was ranked at 256 for my main keyword.  I was pleasantly surprised (apparently in my frustration of searching for my site in Google I would give up after page 20!)

Then I heard great things about Blog Blueprint from fellow awesome bloggers Pat Flynn and Moon Hussain.  This was the greatest investment I made for my business so far.

Blog Blueprint is a backlinking service that allows you to place up to 20 100-word posts per day on their network of high PR blogs.  Each post is allowed 1 anchor text backlink, giving you the possibility 20 backlinks per day!  And all are do-follow as well!
I started using Blog Blueprint on March 8.  As of this writing, I am now ranked 93 for my keyword when doing an exact match search!  That's a movement of 163 positions!  I already surpassed the goal I set for myself in my last post of cracking the top 100 by end of April!

This feels good! 
Not only  has Blog Blueprint surpassed expectations that I had previously set for myself, it has re-energized me as well. The taste of success has laser-adjusted my focus.  Knowing that one system is working means that other systems can as well as long as I keep at it.  And now more then ever I need to diversify where my backlinks are coming from.  I don't want to rely only on Blog Blueprint because I don't think it alone will get me to the top spot in Google.

If you want to give Blog Blueprint a whirl, you should.  It will set you back $57/month, but consider it a long-term investment that can be used on an infinite number of your sites (no need to purchase again and again for each site you create!)

 *Note: The links to Blog Blueprint are affiliate links.  If you decide to purchase and do so through my link, I am truly grateful!

My Second Ever Income Report - February 2011

February came and went and all without a sale but definitely with some changes (and these changes cost some money!).  The theme for me in February was frustration.

Mounting frustration.

It's to be expected, I guess, especially for a new internet marketer.  In my last post I wrote about my backlinking hell and since then I have taken steps to climb the depths of Google rankings from the dungeons to at least the cellar.

It required me to make some investments.

I had to lay out some cash.

Something I said I wasn't going to do (sorry honey, remember I love you!)

But I think I was being shortsighted.  I realized that I needed to treat this endeavor more like a business and less like a hobby.  And business requires investment.  Investment which will show a return (hopefully).  So I made three purchases during the month of February to increase my efficiencies and mentally get me in a better place.

The first purchase was to help with article marketing.  I purchased The Best Spinner to spin articles that I can distribute to various article directories and gain backlinks.  The marketers I admire most all use this product so I have no doubt in my mind that it is a good product.  I am still figuring the software out (and right now it seems that it takes me longer to spin an article than actually write one!) but I can see that it is a very handy tool.

Next purchase was Market Samurai.  This was more of an emotional purchase for me rather one that is completely necessary for me at this time.  If you don't know, Market Samurai is the premier keyword research tool available.  It not only does in depth keyword research, but evaluates competition, manages the ranking of your sites, and a whole lot of other things I need to figure out.  It was more an emotional purchase because I was getting so frustrated with my niche site, I started to look for new keywords to monetize.  I needed this break.

The final purchase was Blog Blueprint.  This is a tool that gets you contextual backlinks from high PR domains.  It's real easy to use and lots of people can attest to its success (Pat Flynn uses it as part of his backlinking strategy that works, and Moon Hussain is experimenting with Blog Blueprint for her niche sites as well).  All you do is write a 100-word posts and include an anchor text backlink and Blog Blueprint does the rest.  I started using this two days ago and built 8 backlinks so far.  We shall see.

So lets get to the numbers.

Amazon Affiliates....$0

The Best Spinner...$77/year

Market Samurai....$147

Blog Blueprint....$57/month

February Income...-$281.00

As you can see, Blog Blueprint and The Best Spinner have recurring charges.  The downside to that is, I can really get myself into a financial hole if I don't start generating some income.  But the upside is that I can use these tools on an infinite amount of sites, so this should pay for itself eventually.


My Niche Site Progress - An (un)Update

What is so hard about internet marketing, really?  I mean think about it, building a blog takes the push a few buttons; graphics, content, backlinking, it can all be done for you, at relative bargain prices (or you can slog through it yourself).

Sure finding a niche to monetize can be time consuming, but is it really "difficult?"

Being a doctor, that's a hard job. One bad day and someone literally loses a life.  Cops, firefighters, they put their lives on the line for us all the time.  Physicists, molecular biologists, that's some hard shit there.

But internet marketing.  Come on.  This stuff is a walk in the park.

Then why the hell am I having such a hard time with it?

Let me give you an (un)update on what's been going on with my attempt to build passive income with a monetized niche site.

Previous posts covered why I chose to monetize my niche site with Amazon, how I built the site and filled it with content.  Next comes the backlinking. 

I had a sorta, kinda, maybe kind of plan.  It consisted of:
  • blog commenting
  • writing some articles (I won't call this article marketing)
  • some forum profiles
  • social bookmarking
  • a little pinging action
All standard stuff really.  And I was really into it too.  For a while.  I found some relevant blogs to comment on, left my keyword in the name form and got my comments to stick about 60% of the time.  But then what about do-follow vs no-follow?  Oh, and you got to have some .edu or .gov in you arsenal too.  Get good link juice there!  I wrote a few articles, left my keyword rich anchor text link in the resource box,submitted them to Ezine Articles, and boom, more links.  Found some high PR forums to create profiles on, left my keyword rich anchor text link in the profile.  It doesn't matter that the page with my link has a PR of n/a (not even a freakin' 0), I get the good stuff passed down from that main domain.  And the couple other things from my bullet list (see above).


I've been at this diligently for a good six weeks.  I get some organic traffic to my site via long-tail keywords (keywords that I am not choosing to actively rank for but are relative to my main keyword.  For me, these long-tails are product names+some term after it.  So, if you were ranking for mountain bike, a long-tail keyword could be "Specialized bike seat") but it only amounts to an average of 4 visitors a day.  For the month of February I have so far 35 clicks on Amazon but no sales.

But for the life of me I can't even crack the top 1000 in Google search results for my main keyword.  And, I think, here's why

I left a comment on a post related to my niche on (I found the site by reverse engineering my competition.  Note to self, write about this at a later date).  A couple days later my comment was accepted and all is good.  A few days later I am checking the amount of backlinks pointing to my site with Yahoo Site Explorer and all of a sudden I have 4000 backlinks! 

All from!

That's a lot of links and it happened in a very short amount of time.  The damn site uses a recent comments widget, so my keyword rich anchor text backlink ended up on every single page on this site (and this stupid site about celebrity gossip, makeup, and other bullshit has thousands and thousands of pages).  So Google sees a brand new site instantly receive thousands of backlinks all from the same site.

Well, I'm fucked.

I posted comments with a different name, dusting off the old AOL email address, on the sites newest posts to push myself off the recent comments widget and have since then seen a steady decrease in my backlinks.  But I have a feeling I landed in the dreaded Google sandbox. 

Oh, and this happened not once, but twice more.  I didn't get the same amount of backlinks, but it couldn't have been good.

So, I thought I would just slog on through this but lately, that small tiny voice in the back of my head, that small tiny voice of self doubt has grown into a full on choir.  We're talking church bells and all (and I'm Jewish!)

I haven't seen any improvement in my site's ranking.  And because I haven't seen any improvement in my site's ranking I have been working on it less and less (kinda the opposite thing to do, huh?). 

If I'm stuck in a sandbox or whatever, why try and get out?

Eric over at My 4 Hour Workweek just wrote about impatience being a killer to the new entrepreneur.  And I do have a mighty bad case of it.  He suggests that it is okay to walk away from whatever it is your doing, whether it be an hour or a few days, as long as you return to what it is your working on.  The break can lead to fresh perspective and leave you feeling recharged.

Well, I walked away, and for a minute there I thought I might not return. 

But, return I am.  Doing. 

I wrote about goals in my very first post and I think what I need to do is talk about smaller goals with deadlines in the very near future.  So that is what I am going to do here.  I am totally switching up how I backlink and want to give myself until end of April to at least crack the top 100 for my main keyword.  If I am not in the top 100 by end of April I am going to move on.  I will basically start over.

At least I have a plan. That wasn't so hard now, was it?

Backlinks The Completely Unscientific Way - Part 1 Squidoo and You (Updated)

I did a google image search for SEO and this picture came up!
 Thank you
I've been meaning to have a fully articulated, fleshed-out, detailed down to the finest grain of sand, SEO post up and ready for consumption this week.

But I haven't gotten around to it (damn you life!).  Actually, I've been doing a lot of reading up on various backlinking techniques and I realized I don't really have a fully articulated, fleshed-out, detailed down to the finest grain of sand SEO plan, so I have been rethinking what I am doing and will have that for you next week.

But I know all of you out there have been waiting with bated breath how I will go about driving organic traffic to my amazon niche site.

So sorry to keep you waiting.

In the meantime,  I came across this nifty little way to get some high PR backlinks (I originally thought that these backlinks were do-follow, but Alex Whalley was nice enough to let me know that they are in fact not.) 

We all know what do-follow means right, search engine spiders crawling through the fiber optics finds your backlink and follows it to your site, bringing with it all that lovely PR juice.  I am still a little confused by it and am still trying to figure out no-follow vs do-follow. 

For now do-follow = good.

And no-follow = still good, in the sense that the all mighty and powerful google likes to see a mix of no-follow and do-follow backlinks because that appears more natural, and more natural means not spammy, and not spammy means we climb those google rankings! 

When I know more you will know more, unless you already no more and can share the love in the comments.

Head for the Squid

Squidoo is a Web 2.0 property where the user can build, what the squidoo people like to call, lenses (it's really just a blog post with a catchy name).  It's pretty cool because you have the ability to post videos and images and all sorts of other neat things and monetize it, and the best part of all, no savvy interweb skills required.  Alex Whalley over at his awesome site just posted a great tutorial on how to effectively use Squidoo and other Web 2.0 properties.  It's a great read and I will be incorporating it into my broader backlink strategy.

But there are other ways to use Squidoo to get backlinks without having to create a lens.

Some lenses have lists of websites/blogs that can be added to by the reader (*Note you will have to sign up to Squidoo to do this).  I guess the reason why people do this is to gain lens popularity.  All you need to do is find these lenses that have an "Add To This List" button.

How might I do that, you ask.  Well here's a bit of google-friendly search query to get you on your way: "Add To This List" your keyword

Lemme explain: tells google we only want our search to yield domains with in the URL.  "Add To This List" tells google to find only domains with the "Add To This List" feature.  Your keyword is, well, your keyword that you are ranking for so that your link is placed on a relevant site (which, I am learning is important to the mighty eyeless google).  

As I'm typing this I just realized that this is also a nifty way to take a peek at your competition as well!

Tip # C

Head on over to SEO Quake and download and install their toolbar.  Activate the thing, and when you do your search you will have a whole bit of other info pertaining to that particular domain that comes in mighty handy.  Most importantly it will tell you the page rank (PR) of the domain.  Now you have instant info on what high PR sites to leave your link on.

Go find those high PR, relevant lenses. Find the "Add To This List" button. First you will be asked for the URL, then once you add that, you can leave any kind of anchor text that you want to rank for. Hit the proper add button, enter in some captcha and you're done.  Easy.  *Note, be careful because some of these lists are asking for Amazon links, and there is no point in leaving a link to an Amazon product on a competitor's site!  You will know it is asking for an Amazon link when you go and type in your URL and it says to you, "Hey, this isn't a link to an Amazon product!" (not in those words of course)

Now, I am not sure that if you have a thousand of these types of links if google will pass along all that delicious link juice, so I am using this sparingly until I learn otherwise.  Especially because I do want to have lenses of my own. For my niche site, I have 5 backlinks with this method and I would like to build a lens a week as well starting this weekend and until I reach my goal of ranking #1 for my keyword (I can see myself having at least 100 backlinks coming from Squidoo alone).

So if any really smart and experienced internet marketers out there could shed some light on whether having tons and tons of links coming from one place (like Squidoo) will be beneficial or not, please share it here!

There you have it.  I hope you find this beneficial.  All thoughts, questions, and random musings is encouraged in the comments section.

My First Ever Income Report! - January 2011

Is there anything in there for me?
One of the things that inspired me to get into this business was reading Pat Flynn's monthly income reports on his awesome blog, Smart Passive Income.  Instead of falling for all the hype that exists in internet marketing (earn untold thousands per day with 4 minutes of work), Pat's income reports showed that money can be made and you can even make a living off of it.  I knew that if I were ever to try my hand at internet marketing, I too, will want to report back on what I was earning, so that I can inspire and instruct other people as well.

And The Numbers Are...0!

Well, I can't even say I earned zero dollars.  Since I just started it would've taken a shear stroke of keyword research genius to earn money in my first couple weeks.  I would've had to picked such a low competition, buyers keyword, that all it would take to get on the first page of google in a matter of weeks would be to slap a site together, and then the money comes pouring in.  

I'm smart (I like to think) but not that smart.

Right now its all about startup costs.  At least with online businesses, startup costs are nothing compared with brick-and-mortar businesses, and since I am gainfully employed, it didn't hurt too much.  My startup costs consisted of:

  • .net domain registration w/GoDaddy for 3 years (it was recommended to me to register this for 3 years for SEO purposes, I honestly cannot quantify the value for you): $40.51
  • Hosting with Hostgator's Baby Plan: $95.40 ($7.95/month, with a full year paid upfront)
  • my review theme for my review site: $39
  • Physical Affiliate Guide: $17 (I purchased the ebook first, before the full video course was available, and was lucky enough to receive the video course for free when it was released.  It sells on the Warrior Forum for $97)
  • Header design by Logo Nerds: $10
  • Hired writer to help me with my product reviews: $49
Total Expenses...$250.91

Total Income...$0

Net Income...$-250.91

So there you have it, one month in and I am $250 in the hole!  Not terrible, really.  In fact, it feels good to put it all down.  It makes it seem more real and makes me feel more accountable (which is one of the purposes of this blog).  

Like I said in an earlier post, I promised my wife I would not spend any more money on my online business, so as long as I am a man of my word, this should be the only expenses I incur until the year is up and I have to renew my hosting.  Once I start making money, I plan to reinvest some of it back into my business, but I have to start making money first.

As a side note, I am choosing not to place a monetary value on my time.  I don't think I am ever going to do that (even if and when I start making money) because I am choosing to use my spare time the way I want to use it, and to me, that is priceless.

My site is live and I have begun my SEO process, which I will detail in my next post.  It is a hodge-podge of stuff that I have been reading about over the past few months and I will be hungry for feedback. 

So, there you have it, my first income report!  What do you think?

Content The Not Entirely That Hard BUT Definitely Not The Easy Way

Content is king, right?  It's a cliche, but something doesn't become cliche without having at least a hint of truth to it.  In my last post, I went through the steps I took to choose a product, find a domain, host and build a site.  Now all it needs is the content.

This Is A Review Site, Afterall...

The idea behind my monetized niche review site is to provide reviews of products that consumers will find useful.  Ideally, these consumers are pretty much already all revved up to make a purchase and are just looking for a little nudge to confirm that they are making the right decision (if someone is searching for walnut brown wall mirrors, it is a pretty safe assumption that they are looking to buy walnut brown wall mirrors, I mean, who googles walnut brown wall mirrors for the heck of it anyway.  This is why keyword research is key!)  Therefore my reviews have to be mostly positive, and the negative shouldn't really be a negative anyway.

You Don't Have To Be An Expert

If you're an expert on walnut brown wall mirrors than you will have a leg up on the competition, but for the rest of us expertise is not necessary.  But it is important that you can be PERCEIVED as one.  So how will my review show that?

Since I am an Amazon affiliate, I go to, where else, but Amazon to research the products. And by research, I read through the product descriptions on Amazon and basically rehash that info; I also include the bulleted product info in my review as well.  I rehash it in a way that establishes myself as an authority on the product. So if I were selling walnut brown wall mirrors, I would open up the review by saying something like,
if you are looking for a walnut brown wall mirror than this XYZ mirror is the one for you and here is why....
What I am doing is giving valid reasons why this prospective shopper should by this particular product, thereby establishing credibility, increasing the likelihood that they will read the rest of the review, which increases the chance that my affiliate link will get a click, and the rest is up to Amazon (don't fail me now).

The Best Experts Are Those That Use The Product

When you're on Amazon looking to buy something, where do you spend more of your time: on the product description or the customer reviews? If you're like me, than it's the customer reviews.  There is a wealth of real, useable information in those reviews and when creating my reviews I tapped into this great resource.  I scanned three or four of the positive reviews, found what they had in common, and rehashed that into my review, highlighting that this is what actual users had to say about the product.  I include something that is slightly negative as well, to give the review some teeth, but am sure to say the positives always outweigh the negatives.

Then I made sure to wrap up the review by giving the product a ringing endorsement, assuring the potential buyer that they aren't wasting their money on this product.

I will leave two affiliate links in the review.  Once at the beginning of the review, and one at the end.  I make the link a call to action, like, you can find this at Amazon at a great discounted price, or something.  My second link will be a call to action, but it won't be as salesy, just a reminder of where the buyer where to find the product.

And that is basically it.  My site is live right now with four product reviews.  I have six all together, with one being a negative review, where I will not endorse the product (again, to establish credibility).  I published the first three at the same time, and am spacing out the final three one week apart from each other (dripping them slowly because google likes it that way...maybe?)

Now, comes the biggest challenge: SEO.  I will be posting what my plan is, how I am doing in ranking, and if and when, I make a sale.

Building My First Website - The Bricks & Mortor

It's been a few days since I posted and I am finding motivation can be difficult when (for now) there is basically an audience of one!  Plus, I work full time, so I don't get home until about 6:15, where dinner is immediately served, than I clean up, spend time with our daughter and put her to bed.  It is usually 8:30 at that point and by then all I really want to do is veg out with my wife!  But we must soldier on....

So, like I said in my first post, this blog will follow my progress as I build a niche site.  I am choosing to monetize the site via the Amazon affiliate program, despite the fact that their commission rate can be low.  Their referral rate starts at 4% but can go up to 8.5% depending on your volume of sales.  But with Amazon, they do the selling for you because it so trusted.  For me, being new to this, takes a huge psycological burden off my back.  My job will be to get people to click on my affiliate links and then let Amazon do the rest.  Also, when people go to Amazon there is a chance they will buy more than one thing, and if they get there via your link, you get a commission on everything purchased (does Amazon sell cars?).  And, I am pretty sure your cookie (your affiliate scent) lasts for 24 hours, so what I think that means is, your link lasts that long and you will get credit for any purchases made in those 24 hours.

Since I don't know what I am doing, I went to the Warrior Forum for some guidance (a great place to get real answers to your internet marketing questions from people who eat and breathe internet marketing).  I purchased a course called the Physical Affiliate by Jan Roos, which is a step-by-step guide on how to find products, build sites, and get rankings, taught by a guy who makes his living off of Amazon niche sites.  Most of my limited knowledge about internet marketing comes from that course so I will leave it to his program to answer your detailed questions (that is not an affiliate link, by the way).

What Should I Sell Anyway?

Is there a great way to go about this; some secret method that guarantees thousands of dollars a month in passive income?  Probably not (but if you do have one stop reading this blog and start selling your method!).  What I did was just spend a couple hours looking through the various categories and finding products that I find interesting.  A few pointers to narrow your focus
  • choose items that are at least $100.  It takes just as much effort to sell a $10 item as it does a $100 one, so it makes sense to maximize your efforts with the bigger payout.
  • choose items that have lots of 4 and 5 star reviews.  Remember, we want Amazon to do the selling for us; our job is get somebody to Amazon.  Lots of 4 and 5 star reviews will do just that.  Look for products that have at least 10 positive reviews (Jan says to look for that many reviews, but that bit of advice can be found anywhere, so I am not giving away any secrets there).
  • choose a product category that has lots of $100+ 4 and 5 star reviewed items to choose from.  To gain trust and increase your chance of making a sale, you will probably need more than one product to feature on your site.
When I found a few different product categories and the products to go with them I used keyword research to single out what I will build my niche site around.  
Remember: this is a niche site that will rank for a main keyword (product category) that is why keyword research is used to help choose what is the best category/keyword to choose from.
There are plenty of tools available to choose keywords.  In the Physical Affiliate course, we are taught how to use Market Samurai (paid) and Google Keyword Tool (free).  Market Samurai is a great tool, that does a lot of things that can be done using free methods, but does it quickly and efficiently, making it worth the purchase.  I do not own Market Samurai.  I promised my wife I would not make any more IM related purchases until I start bringing home the online bacon.  But I did use its free trial version to help me choose my product category keyword.  The Physical Affiliate course goes into in-depth detail and how to use Market Samurai effectively, the course is worth the price paid just for this lesson.

Market Samurai will give you lists of options on your keyword.  So if your product category/keyword is wall mirrors (I just made that up), it will give you all the different variations of search terms related to wall mirrors.  It will also show you how many daily and monthly searches each keyword gets and assigns an "SEO value" to each keyword.  There is a module in the software that will analyze the competition, (it checks for # of backlinks, on-page optimization, backlink anchor text density, and lots more)  and with this arsenal of information, I chose my product category/keyword.

I thought long and hard about whether to reveal my niche and, for the time being at least, have decided against it.  I am too new and fragile to give away my niche and run the risk of it being used against me in some way.  Once I reach my goal of #1 on Google (or conversely, if I just don't get there after months of trying) I will reconsider.  I hope you understand.

Now, keyword research can be done using free tools as well, but I will save that for another post.

Website Building Time

After settling on my keyword, it was time to purchase a domain.  Ideally, I wanted an exact-match to my keyword domain, i.e. (or .org, .net).  But I couldn't find it.  So I did the next  best thing and added a word before my keyword and my domain became  What I noticed when doing my keyword research was that "best product category" was also a searched for keyword, so while I will not try and rank for that outright, I should be able to rank for that set of keywords as well.  I purchased my domain through Go Daddy because it's the only place I know of to do so.  It has a very clunky interface and, for the future, would like to use a different resource.

After settling on my domain name, I needed a place to "park" my website on the internet.  For that, you need hosting I am using Host Gator (that is an affiliate link, by the way, so if you click on that, and purchase a hosting plan, I earn a commission.  Let me thank you now in advance).  I have nothing but good things to say about Host Gator.  I chose the "Baby Plan"; for $8/month I can host an unlimited amount of domains.  This is an investment because I do want to build a large portfolio of niche websites, and I can do so without having to worrying about web hosting, it is all taken care of.

I had problems "pushing" my domain onto my web-hosting servers, but Host Gator's  live technical support walked me through the entire process.  This is why I would recommend them, their technical support is perfect for newbies.

Once my domain was properly parked, I used their 1 button function to load Wordpress, and once that happened my site was live.

The Physical Affiliate Report recommends a great review style theme that Jan uses on his money-making websites, so I purchased that theme for mine.  This was a minor investment as well because it can be used for all my sites.  It is a very professional theme and the idea is that it makes the site look more professional, therefore increasing the chances of someone to stay on my site and eventually click on my affiliate link.  I customized the site with a custom header that I had designed by Logo Nerds.  It cost me $10 and is much more professional than anything I could have put together using my very limited Photoshop skills.  Again, well worth the investment.

So now I have a live site that needs content.  Stay Tuned...

The One Thing You Must Absolutely Do In Order to Acheive Success!!

Did I grab your attention?  I hope so because that was the point.  Titles that scream to the reader are important and necessary in order to break through the ocean of noise that is the Internet.  You want them to click to your site, not the next one, and because you want your reader to spend some time on your site (time = money, no one will click on your affiliate link or banner ad or buy it now button if they are on your site for 3 seconds), that title better be attention grabbing and more importantly, it should be HONEST.

Which gets me to what I wanted to talk about (it's not about headlines, once I get a few more under my belt we can talk about that), that one thing you must absolutely do in order to achieve success (success can mean different things, by the way, it doesn't have to be strictly monetary).  In my first post I said that I was jumping head first into the world of Internet Marketing for the first time, that actually, is not entirely true (damn that honest thing).

It was around this past summer when I got serious about using the Internet to make some extra income.  I stumbled upon the Warrior Forum (one of the greatest resources if you are truly serious about internet marketing - despite the story I am about to tell) in my research and it was there I found a program for sale that was supposed to show me how to make a decent income online with only 20 minutes of work a day (RED FLAG!).  And you didn't need a website or know any SEO (RED FLAG #2 and #3!)  I bought it (it was only 7 bucks - see how easy it can be to part with $7, that was this guy's business plan) and was eager to dive in and start making some money.  The program showed you how to use Twitter to sell products, this guys product, the exact product I just coughed up $7 for.  You created numerous accounts, used avatars (attractive women was the recommendation) and set up automatic tweets, tweeting inane things like "I eat cereal for breakfast" to make you seem real 4 times a day while sprinkling in a tweet with a link to this product.  It actually worked.  I made 3 sales after two weeks of "friending" and "tweeting".

But it didn't feel right.  Here I am, 33 years old, married with a toddler daughter, and I'm going online pretending to be a young woman who wants to show you how you can get rich quick with nothing but Twitter.  My wife was making fun of me.  I didn't feel like I could share what I was doing with anyone; I was too embarrassed to speak about what I was doing.  I have a feeling that if I kept at it I could have made some decent cash because with a few hundred followers I did make 3 sales (the idea being you get 20,000 followers, convert 2% of your sales, etc) but I stopped.  Because I wasn't passionate about what I was doing, because it made me feel, well, for lack of a better term, icky, this wasn't the right business for me.  So this business failed me.

But I didn't let it stop me.  It made me realize that I can, in fact, make money online, I just need to hone in on what drives me, what makes me proud.  And that is what got me to where I am today.  And that is the one thing YOU must do in order to achieve success:  Find what you are passionate about.  Because if you don't, finding that drive to slog on through will be hard to come by, because this business can be very discouraging.  Those three sales have been the only three sales I have made online and every day a small part of me questions why am I doing what I am doing.  After a long day at work and putting my daughter to sleep (no easy task, I assure you) it would be very easy to settle into the couch and throw on some TV.  But instead, I am at my desk, toughing it out for an audience of one (so far, that will change).

So, there you have it.  My headline wasn't misleading, was it?

Yes, Another Blog About Internet Marketing (But You're Going to Want to Read This One, I Promise!)

I am at a crossroads. Do I take the easy path or do I take the smart path....

My name is Lonnie Feldman and I am an Internet Marketer (am I confessing addictions here?!?)  Actually, I am testing the waters and jumping head first for the first time into the world of Internet Marketing.  My first experiment will be to set up a niche website selling a product via Amazon (more to come on that later).  But first, let me take the time to explain what this blog is about and a little bit about who I am.

I am a father of a 3 year old, with another one on in the way in July.  My wife and I live in Brooklyn, NY and we both work full time (I work in production and she is a writer).  Combined we make a nice low six-figure income, but for some reason we still feel like we are broke all the time!  Mostly, because rent is so damn high (and we don't leave in the ritziest neighborhood in Brooklyn).  We constantly struggle with our finances, have slashed expenses wherever possible, and I am now turning to the Internet to make a few extra bucks.

I don't want to get rich quick, and from all the research I have been doing before finally settling upon my method to earn money, the internet will not make your rich quick.  And anyone who promises that it will if you just buy into their system is lying and you will be broker and more discouraged in the process.  This is going to take work!!!  But it can be done! 

My goal is to add a nice stream of passive residual income so that I can:
  • Have my own business!
  • Finally rid myself of my credit card debt!
  • Build an emergency fund!
  • Open 529 plans for both my children (holy crap, I am going to have TWO children!)
  • Start saving for what seems like a near impossibility: owning a home!
  • Have peace of mind!
That last goal rings the loudest now that I just typed it. There is a good feeling that one gets knowing that you are in control of your future and I want that the most.  I want to be in control of my destiny!

This blog is where I will be documenting my successes and failures (I'm sure there will be plenty of those too).  I will be sharing with you how I go about building my site, navigating SEO, and what I earn (gosh, I hope there is something to report!)  I want to use this blog as a resource for learning and sharing experiences, so it is vitally important that I am not the only one contributing on this site.

Like I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I will be creating an Amazon niche site. Basically, a niche site is a blog (or website) that focuses on one thing (like a product or service).  Your goal as webmaster extradonaire is to build content related to that one thing (i.e. your keyword), drive traffic to your site, and monetize.  I am choosing to monetize with Amazon (more on that in a future post), but there are plenty of other ways to monetize (Google Adsense, Clickbank, etc).  The site is about to go live and I will be documenting everything that happens with that site here.  My goals for that site is too:

  • Follow through!! I do not want to abandon this!
  • Get to the first page of Google for my keyword.
  • Get in the top 3 results of the first page of Google (hopefully by March or April)
  • Make money!  If I did my keyword research correctly (who knows if I did, this was the first time I did keyword research, more on that to come in a future post), based on the number of visits I should be receiving a day once I am in the top 3 spots of Google and I convert a sale 2% of the time, I am estimating about $70/week.
What am I going to do with $70/week?  Not much, that is why the plan is to rinse and repeat; if I can have 5 sites making $70 a week that can turn into some nice passive income.  That is the ultimate goal, a full deck of sites all generating passive income. That's when I can start achieving my personal goals. 

The journey begins now...