The Original “How To Make Money With Adsense” Recipe

NOTE: I created this guide back in 2010 and it hasn’t been updated since about 2011 or 2012.  Most of the information is still relevant and effective, some of it is not.  Please take this into consideration when implementing.  Post questions below and I’ll be happy to answer them.

***Also, at the end of this page are links to download additional resources, reports, videos and such.

Keyword Research

How to Find Good Keywords

In order to find good keywords you must understand how markets work and how niches work within the markets.

A market is a group or segment of people who are all interested in the same thing.  Each market can be broken down into different niches.  Each niche has its own keywords and acronyms that it uses.

When searching for keywords always have the niche target audience in mind and be sure to look for keywords that have a decent amount of traffic as well.  Below I explain how much traffic keywords should get depending on your site’s structure and size.

When looking for keywords and niches always follow the money.  There is much more money to be made in niches like mortgage, insurance, schooling, law and the like as opposed to niches about how to build a bird house.

Google Adwords Keyword Tool

I use the Google keyword tool almost exclusively.  You will need to setup an Adwords account in order to access it.

This tool provides advertisers using Google Adwords with an estimate of how many people are searching on various keywords and/or phrases.

Using it you can see how much traffic you might bring in for a particular niche or keyword you are targeting.

Exact vs. Broad Searches

When you use the Google Adwords tool you need to know the difference between exact, phrase and broad match searches.

Exact Searches – This search shows the immediate search volume you can expect with the #1 spot for your targeted keyword.  This is always a much lower number than phrase match and broad searches.  When your site is just starting out (3-6 months) this is the search volume you can expect.

Also, exact search volumes to pertain to micro sites as well.  With micro sites (which I don’t advocate) they tend to only bring in exact traffic.  A micro site is not big enough or diverse enough to bring in significant volumes so if you are creating them it is likely that this will be all the traffic you will see.

Samples of exact match searches:

  • ford trucks

Phrases Searches – A phrase match search can estimate how much traffic you can bring into your site once you have it established (6-12 months).  For this search your site of 20+ pages should start to rank for various terms now.

Basically a phrase match is that your keyword is starting to rank for other things besides just ford trucks.  A phrase match is any phrase or long tail that has the exact keyword in it, with other words around it.

Samples of phrase match searches:

  • ford trucks
  • ford trucks for sale
  • buy ford trucks online
  • best selling ford trucks last year

Broad Searches – these types of searches show you the long term potential of a keyword.  If you have a seasoned site (12-18+ months) then you should be pulling in a significant amount of traffic.  Broad matches are your targeted keyword in any order at all.  The older your site and the more content it has the broader search terms it will rank for.  This is the “long term potential” of a keyword/niche and should be considered if you are building a quality site to make money for a long time.

Samples of broad match searches:

  • ford trucks
  • ford trucks for sale
  • buy ford trucks online
  • best selling ford trucks last year
  • ford pickup trucks
  • new ford king ranch trucks
  • work trucks from ford are the best

Minimum Search Volumes

In the Google Adwords Keyword Tool you will see two categories you want to pay attention to; Global Monthly Searches and Local Monthly Searches.  Global monthly searches are the “estimated” number of searches worldwide for a given month and local monthly searches are the “estimated” US searches each month.

I really only worry about local monthly searches since all of my sites are US based.  When searching for keyword volume it is important to think about what kind of site you are building.  This is because depending on the site you create depends on how many monthly searches it should get.  Below are the recommendations that I follow to create different sites.

Micro Sites

If you are creating a micro niche site with 5-20 pages you really need to get the biggest bang for your buck.  Now, niche sites can vary in size, but the minimum you want would be 5 full content pages.  With micro sites I try to target keywords that have 3000-5000 searches.  If you don’t get at least this amount of searches the traffic will be slow and the site won’t be making very much money if any at all.

Small To Medium Sites

A small to medium size site can have 20-200+ pages in it.  With sites this size you can drop the number of local monthly searches down to 500-1000 per month.  Since there are more pages you will be hitting more keywords and should be driving in more traffic spread out across your site.

This is my favorite size site to build.  In the Adsense Guild I explain why this is the best type and how to target niches around it.

Large Sites

Large sites are 200+ content pages/posts.  These sites are good money makers but can require a lot of work.  Not to mention if you only focus on one large site it is a single point of failure.  If for some reason your site drops in rankings or gets banned for an unknown reason this can be a big problem.  I do have two large sites but they only makeup half of my Adsense revenue.

With large sites you can focus on any keyword that is related to the site’s content and gets 500+ searches a month.  This might not seem like a lot, but each page will add up very quickly.  Here is how it could play out.

If you have a site that has 300 pages and each page is focused on one keyword each brining in 500 monthly searches that is 150,000 visitors each month.  Provided each page ranks #1 or #2 in the SERP.  Not an impossible task at all if you are choosing the right keywords that are easy to rank for.

Now suppose that out of those 150,000 visitors you get just 5% of them to click on an Adsense ad that pays out just 50 cents?  In the simplest terms you would be making $3750 a month on that site.  This would be enough for most people to live on.  Oh and by the way, getting a 5% click through rate is very, very easy to do.

Not bad for one site.  However it would be a good amount of work and it could take several years to get this point.

How Much Traffic Will I Get?

Knowing exactly how much traffic you will bring to your website is next to impossible to figure out until your site is established. However, there are some things we can look at that will give you a general idea of how much traffic you can expect from the top five results in Google.

If you are targeting a keyword that gets say 3000 monthly local searches.  Take that number and divide it by 30 days and you get 100.  So if there are 100 local searches a day for your targeted keyword and you ranked in the #1 spot for it, you can expect 40-45 visitors to come through to your site from just this one search.

Use the table below to gauge how much traffic might come to your site if you ranked for a particular keyword in one of the top 5 positions.

How Much Money Will You Make Per Keyword

Ok after reading everything above you are probably itching to know how much money your keyword/niche will bring in.  Well that depends. Really it’s not an exact science, but you can follow the example below as a guide line.  This will give you a general idea of the money to be made.  I always cut the earning potential in half once I run through this formula so that my expectations are not unrealistic.

Ok let’s say we are targeting the keyword super widgets and that each month it gets a local broad match search volume of 10,000.

If you rank in the #1 spot for that keyword you can expect to get 40-45% of the click throughs for it so let’s say you see 4,000 visitors a month.  Divide that by 30 days in the month and we are at 133 visitors a day.

Now let’s say that this keywords value is $1.00 per click.  As we all know Google pays 68% of a click through to the publisher.  If someone visited your site and clicked on an ad that was for super widgets you should see $.68 from Google.

Now out of those 133 visitors to your site everyday let’s say that 5% of them click on an Adsense ad.  This would be your CTR (click through rate) and a CTR of 5% is decent for sure.

So 5% of 133 visitors is 6.65.  To keep this easy we’ll say that 6 people click on an ad that brings in $.68 cents.  Your profit for each day would be $4.08.  Not a lot but at least you can understand the breakdown of potential money to be made from keywords and traffic.

The “BEST” Tip Of Them All

Well this might not be the best tip of them all, but it helps when looking for keywords.  If you are able to find a decent keyword but the domain name for it is taken try putting words like “best” or “top” in front of it.

A lot of people search for things and put best and top in front of the keyword in hopes to get the best results.  As we all know Google will return the best results but the average person searching the net thinks this will help them to find what they are looking for.

Keyword Domains

This is extremely important to do and I have tested it on different niches and sites so I know it works.

Nowadays it can be tough to find a good keyword domain because they have all been bought up and are most likely just sitting there at some parked domain hosting site collecting dust.

So it’s ok to use dashes in domain names as long as you don’t get carried away with them.  Let’s say you want to register the domain FreeWidgets.com, but it is taken.  It is ok and just as acceptable to register Free-Widgets.com.  Or, if that is taken move onto the next TLD like .org or .net.

I have tested domain keywords many times now and in every single test the keyword domain beat out the non-keyword domain.  With the Free Widgets example above let’s say you register Free-Widgets.org and WidgyMan.com.  If you do the exact same amount of work to each domain with regards to content, links, on page SEO and such, the Free-Widgets.org domain will rank quicker and higher for the keyword “free widgets” than the domain WidgyMan.com every time, with no exceptions.

Do your best to get the keywords in your domain name.  Now I know some people will say that it doesn’t matter, but I have tested this theory and know for sure that it matters.  If you want to make money you can follow the directions of someone making $15k+ per month with Adsense (that’s me) or someone who thinks something might work.

Competition

How To Determine Competition Levels?

This really depends on how bad you want it.  If you put in the time and effort no competition is too much.  With that being said we also need to be realistic.  When you are just starting out it is good to target weaker competition so you can get the feel for how it works and see some success and money.

When it comes to competition there are really two parts.  The first part is how many other websites are targeting the exact keyword/phrase you are and second how many backlinks they have.  The strength of backlinks plays into it as well but not as much as just the sheer number of links.  When in doubt go with quantity over quality.  But, be careful that the links are not from link farms, automated services or crap links.  You don’t just want to create a ton of very low quality/spam links.

Below is an outline of the time it takes to either rank in the #1 spot or overtake your competition.

So, to find out how many websites are targeting the exact same keyword, just do a search with the keyword in quotes like “super widgets”.  Directly under the search box in Google you will see something that says About 10,600 results.

This is important because it is one indicator as to how long it will take you to rank.  Below is my outline of search results and time frame on ranking.

  • 50-100k – 3-6 months
  • 100-300k – 6-12 months
  • 300-500k – 12-18 months
  • 500k+ – 18 months+

Now this is just an outline and it is not etched in stone.  This is if you take the slow and steady approach like I teach in this guide.  If you are more aggressive you can achieve these quicker but you must be careful not to get too many links too quickly.  Getting too many links too quickly can be a very bad thing for your site depending on its age and content level.

With the time line above in mind we now want to figure out how many links we need to build.  If the site in the #1 spot for Super Widgets has 1000 backlinks we need to get very close to the same amount.

Take the total number of backlinks and divide it by the number of months above.  This will have given you a very good idea of how many links you need to build.

If you want to overtake the #1 spot within 6-12 months you will need to build 80-160 links a month.  This can be done very easily and most likely you could automate the entire link building process with Directory Maximizer or a like service.

So, in this Super Widgets example if you built up a small to medium site with original content, and you built the specified number of links either with a quality automated service, you could almost rank for the #1 spot without doing very much work.  Now once everything is in place move onto the next site and start rolling.

WordPress Tweaks and Secrets

In the first part of the recipe I explain how to install WordPress using your host with a program called Fantastico.  If you missed that and need to know how to get it installed please re-read the beginners guide.

Configuration Tweaks

Once you have WordPress installed there are several changes that you must make in order for it to be running efficiently.  These changes are all done through the dashboard and are explained in the screen shots below.  Go ahead and log into your WordPress dashboard and navigate to the Settings tab at the bottom of the navigation menu.

General Settings

  1. Be sure to include your main keyword in the Site Title field
  2. Include secondary keywords in the Tagline field
  3. Be sure your WordPress address and your Site address are the same and include “
  4. Your E-mail address must be an address that you use. This is the address that WordPress will send notifications to you for such things as lost passwords and new registered users.
  5. Select the Timezone, Date Format and Time Format you wish to use.

Writing Settings

  1. Increase the size of the post box to 20. This allows for a much friendlier workspace when you are creating posts and pages.
  2. If you want to create posts via email this is the screen to make those changes.
  3. VERY IMPORTANT – Be sure to include a list of Update Services that your blog will ping once new content is added. These services can be found later in this guide under the “Other Important Stuff” section look for “Update Services.”

Reading Settings

  1. This is where you would set a static front page to your blog. Setting a static front page makes your site appear to be a more static type site than it does a blog.
  2. Under Blog pages show at most, this is where you specify how many posts you want showing up on your front page until they become archived. If you only want the last 4 posts showing up put a 4 in this box.  The 4 latest posts will be displayed and anything older will move to the archive category.

Discussion

  1. Under Before a comment appears be sure to select An administrator must always approve the comment. If you don’t select this than you will have many bullshit spam comments going live and making your site look like unattractive.

Permalinks

  1. VERY IMPORTANT – Never use the Default setting for your permalink. Either choose Day and name or choose Month and name.  This way your post/page headline is included in the URL and if you follow the plan your headline should include at least one keyword.  This will help with SEO.  You can also create a Custom Structure like I show below with /%postname%/

Any tweaks above and beyond the ones I list above would be icing on the cake.  The tweaks above are the minimum that you need to do in order to have a properly configured basic install of WordPress.

Using Thesis

Ok the cool thing about WordPress is the ability to change the look and feel very quickly using themes.  Now the best theme I have found to use is call Thesis.  It will cost some money to purchase the license, but trust me it is well worth it.

Thesis allows for so many design tweaks that you can come up with a custom look even if you are not a designer.  Not only is Thesis easy to customize but their OpenHook plug-in allows you to take any WordPress site to the next level.

You can visit DIYThemes.com for more information or to watch videos on how to tweak and change the default look of Thesis.

Installing Analytics

Once Thesis is uploaded and ready to rock be sure to include your Google Analytics code.

From your WordPress dashboard expand the Thesis navigation box.  Click on Site Options and then expand the Stat and Tracking Script dropdown.   Place your Google Analytics code here and be sure to click the “Big Ass Save Button”

Plug-ins To Use

Thesis Openhook

After installing WordPress and uploading the Thesis theme the next thing you want to do is to go get the Thesis Openhook plug-in.

The Openhook plug-in allows you to place modules or snippets of code any and everywhere you want.  Some people use various plug-ins to customize their WordPress installations but really this is one of the only ones you need.  Don’t bother with getting a plug-in to install your Adsense code because Openhook can do it for you.

WP-DB Backup

This handy plug-in backs up all of your blog content and emails it to you in a nice easy-to-store zip file.  If you make a lot of posts and want to make sure and have a backup copy of your site this is the plug-in you will want.

Now most hosting companies will do backups on a daily basis as well, but that isn’t enough.  It is always good to have multiple backups (this is my IT geek coming out) and sometimes it is easier to restore from your own backup instead of trying to fight your hosting company for a restore.

Google XML Sitemaps

If you only install one plug-in make sure this is it.  This plug-in will create new .xml sitemap files anytime new content is added to your site.  You can configure this plug-in to auto ping Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask search engines when your new content is added.  This will help your site get crawled quicker and more often.

Cookies for Comments

This plug-in drops a cookie on the visitor’s machine.  If a comment is left by the visitor it checks for the cookie.  If the cookie isn’t there the comment is automatically moved to spam.  Since I started using this plug-in my spam has gone down considerably.  Well it hasn’t gone down it’s just screened much better and I have less bullshit to go through when authorizing comments.

Exclude Pages

This plug-in allows you to remove pages from your navigation and side menus.  This can come in handy for various reasons.  One way I use it is for creating pages like the Privacy Policy or a Terms of Service page and then exclude it from the navigation menu.  I then use a link to these pages in my footer so that the search spiders can find them and I’m not in violation of Google’s TOS for Adsense.

WP Touch

This cool free plug-in is great to capture visitors from mobile devices.  It will allow your blog to be displayed nicely on most mobile devices.  This plug-in allows for easy navigation of your site, but doesn’t do so well with images.  If your site is image heavy it’s not for you, but if you are looking for a free way to display your site on mobile devices it is worth checking out.

Content Is King

How Much Content Do You Need?

You need to add one new page of content every week for the first six months at the very minimum.  From months 6-12 you can add new original content every 2 weeks and for 12+ months you can start updating content once a month.  This is the bare minimum and if you can do more that is great.

After adding any content build 5-10 links to it using the social bookmarking sites listed below.  Then building the links to the new content build twice as many links to the homepage or index of your site.  This seems simple but it is imperative to the success of your Adsense site.  If this technique is not followed it will take you twice as long to start to see good money.

During the first three to six months this will seem like a dreadful task.  Months will pass by and you won’t see much traffic or revenue at all.  But, let me repeat that it is IMPERATIVE for you to do this weekly.

Adding one page or post a week and building the 5-10 social bookmarks each week shouldn’t take anymore than an hour’s time.  You could even load up a dozen or more posts and schedule them all out for the same day of the week, say Monday’s.  After the post goes live go back and bookmark it on Tuesday that way you know the post has gone live.

This is very important for your site to grow organically and will allow you to hold rankings and not bounce around.  Adding unique content is one of the most important things you can do for your Adsense site.  The more content you can add the better but to start out you need to do one post or page each week, no exceptions.

Outsourcing

Once you start to make a little money the first thing you need to outsource is content generation.  This is one of the most time consuming activities when running a website.  Below I outline a couple places that you can get content from.  Depending on how much you want to spend or how much you can afford will determine which route you go.

Craigslist

Craigslist can be both a blessing and a curse when it comes to outsourcing.

If you are looking to find a quality writer on Craigslist you will have a tough time.  I don’t know how many times I have posted for writers and had my ad removed for no apparent reason.  I’m not sure if it is Craigslist removing it or some angry copywriter out there thinking I’m trying to rip someone off.

Either way here are some things you need to be aware of.

Writers on Craigslist are more hobbyist then writers.  Their quality can be decent, but I find that they don’t stick around that long.  There is no rating system, so it is also hard to figure out what quality of writer you are going to get.  Prices overall are cheaper than Elance (see below), but with cheaper prices come more headaches and lower quality.

When you are first starting out only get writers off Craigslist if you are on a very tight budget.  Plan on having to do some editing as well as copyscaping.

Elance

If you want quality content and can afford it Elance.com is the site you need to go to.

Elance is an Ebay of sorts for outsourcing different needs.  They have many different categories you can recruit someone from but I have only really used them for content writers.

The way it works is you post a job and writers bid on it.  This way you can layout exactly what you want and then sort through the bidders.  Elance has a very good system going and they even allow for ratings and feedback.  This will ensure that you get someone who can produce quality content at the price you want

I have 3 writers that I found on Elance and who have been producing quality content now for well over a year.  Most Elance writers are either professional writers or they are content companies.

If they are a content company you will need to be careful.  Sometimes what happens is that content companies win jobs on Elance and then send the work to countries like India and the Philippines.  This is ok of they are checking the grammar and quality but, if they are not you can receive content that is clearly written by a foreigner.

Things you need to know about Elance.com before you post a job.

Elance will handle all payment via escrow or you can handle them with PayPal.  They will also handle any 1099’s that might need to be sent out if a writer does more than $600 worth of work for you in any given tax year.  They allow for milestones so it is easy to gauge how a writer is doing and if you want to proceed with them after they win the bid.

Lastly be very careful when asking a writer to work outside of the Elance system.  According to the rules of Elance you are not allowed to solicit a writer to work outside of their system until 1 year after initial contact.  I always try to move any contractor I get off of Elance after the first project is complete.  If Elance finds out or the writer tells on you they will ban your account and any credit cards attached to it.

Where To Place Ads

Optimal Ad Positioning

The best place to put ads is above the fold.  Above the fold is anything you see on your website before you have to scroll down.  Most visitors still browse in 1024×768 so when designing your site and ad layout keep this in mind.  There is a trend in the last year of browser resolutions moving towards 1280×800 which is a widescreen format.  As of writing this, most people still browse at 1024×768 so it is important to optimize your site and ads accordingly.  Also, visitor browser resolutions is something you can pull from Google Analytics.  Go to Visitors > Browser Capabilities > Screen Resolutions to find out what your visitors are viewing your site at, it might just surprise you.

Ok with all that being said let’s talk ad placement.  A good place to start is to have a look at Google’s own heat map.  They layout exactly where they think you should place ads and this is a good standard to follow.

With their heat map in mind take a look at the case study below.  Notice how the 728×15 link unit ad runs along the top to simulate a navigation menu.  You can also get this same effect with a 728×90 banner ad unit.  Either format is very effective.

The next thing you want to do is include a 160×600 skyscraper along the left or right columns depending on the site.

Lastly you either want to run one 336×280 wrapped with text or two 336×280 ads above the content but below the headline.

Remember all of these ads are above the fold and will produce the best results.  Make sure to blend the ads into your site and separate them into channels for tracking purposes.

Integrating Ads Using Thesis Openhook

To get ads wrapped with text using Openhook use the code below.  Replace the “YOUR AD CODE HERE” with you Adsense channel code.  Include this code in the After Headline box in the Openhook plug-in on your WordPress dashboard.

You can change the float right to float left if you want as well depending on which side your 160×600 banner is at.

<div style=’float:right; width:341px; height:285px; margin: 5px’>

YOUR AD CODE HERE

</div>

To get the 336×280 ads placed side by side and have them play nicely with both Internet Explore and Fire Fox use the following code

<table border=0><tr><td valign=top>

YOUR AD CODE HERE

</td><td valign=top>

YOUR AD CODE HERE

</td></tr></table>

Again replace the YOUR AD CODE HERE with the actual code form the appropriate Adsense channel.

How To Get 20%+ CTR’s – CASE STUDY

The design below was approved by Google.  I say it was approved by Google because in the summer of 2009 they approached me and asked if I would like to “generate long term income” on this site.  I of coarse said yes and after a few emails back and forth they told me to place the ads like they are on the site below.

Once I changed the ad placement my CTR went from under 10% to over 20% and stayed there until I sold this site for $80,000.  See Proof

Search Engine Optimization – SEO

Why It Is Important

Search engine optimization or SEO is important for two reasons.  First, without it your website or pages will never be seen, and second organic SEO is your best long-term solution for making money.

With SEO you can get your site to rank for terms naturally and you will never have to spend any money on buying traffic or ads.  Using both on-page SEO and off-page SEO are essential for the long term sustainability of your Adsense income stream.

Backlinks

Backlinks are hyperlinks from other websites to yours.  They are super important to your site and the more you have the better.  It is good to grow or increase the number of backlinks steady overtime.

If you get too many backlinks too quickly this will be suspicious to the search engines and you could end up getting penalized or worse.  The bigger your site gets the more backlinks you can create, but when you are just starting out be very careful not to create too many.

Below I’ll explain where you can get backlinks from and how to create them.

Anchor Text

Anchor text is the actual keyword or key phrase used in the backlink.

This anchor text is important because it is one way the search engines relate things.  Think of it this way.  If you are reading an article online about how to build a birdhouse and half way down the article there is a link that is underlined and says woodpecker birdhouses.  If you click on the link you expect to see more information about woodpecker birdhouse right?  This is the same thing the search engines expect to see.  The links from other sites to yours need to have anchor text related to the content on your site.

It Is A Numbers Game

Building backlinks is a numbers game.  The more you create the better you site will rank for your targeted keywords.  Not all links will work or be approved so just keep creating them.

Don’t bother tracking the links you create on an individual basis but instead use backlink tracking software or website like http://www.backlinkwatch.com or Yahoo webmaster tools.

Tips To Follow

  1. Title Tags – Your main keyword needs to be in your title tag and there is no exception to this. Put your keyword in the title tag and put it as close to the front of the title tag as possible.
  2. H1 Tags – Probably the second or third most important SEO you can do for your site. Again put your keyword in the <H1> tag and keep it there.  Be sure to make it reader friendly and surround it by other words.
  3. Use Keywords In Your Content – Couple keywords in the content is good. Like I stated above I’ve never really worried about keyword density but it is good to have a couple of your targeted keywords in a few different variations in your actual content.
  4. Meta Descriptions – These don’t carry as much weight as they once did but still good to have. Descriptions should only be about 2 sentences long and should actually make sense when you read it.  Put your keyword as close to the front of the first sentence as possible and than again use a variation of your keyword in the second sentence.
  5. ALT Tags – If you have pictures on your site be sure to include alt tags on them. Use your primary keyword first and if you have a lot of pictures, use variations of your keyword in the alt tags.  If you don’t have any images add some.
  6. Meta Keywords – The least important on page SEO you can do. Still works with some search engines and is worth sinking a few minutes into.  Again with this only use your main keyword and about 2-3 variations of it.  Do not overdue the Meta keywords as this can actually be a penalty.
  7. Link Farms – Avoid link farms, link circles, porn/adult site links and hidden links
  8. Broken Links – Be sure to check your own site for bad or broken links. A link coming to your site that is broken isn’t doing you any good.  Be sure to review all your incoming links and make sure they point to relevant content.  Use Google Webmaster Tools for this.
  9. Tracking Results – If you are trying to save money and can’t afford a program to track your keywords try this. Run a search for our keyword or keywords in Google, Yahoo or Bing.  When the results come up simply bookmark them.  This allows you to click once or twice and run a search to check and see if your targeted keywords are ranking on the first page.
  10. Verified Sites – Always add new sites to your Google, Yahoo and Bing webmaster accounts. After adding the sites be sure to verify them.
  11. Be Careful Link Building – Do not build crazy links to your site. Links need to come in steadily over a period of time.  The best way to get your site banned or sandboxed is to buy a 100k link package.  100-200 links a month for the first year is fine.
  12. Keyword Variations – Be sure to use variations on your main keyword when creating keyword links
  13. Privacy Policy – Include a privacy policy page in your footers
  14. Sitemaps – Include a sitemap for every site you run. There are some free sitemap tools as well as some you can pay for.  I bought one for like $10 that runs on a cron job and just updates the sitemap every week.  This sitemap is then submitted to all the major search engines.
  15. Duplicate Content – Duplicate content is ok for creating backlinks. Never use duplicate content on your site, but it is completely ok to use for article marketing and blog posts.

Building Backlinks

Automated Link Building Services

This step is super important and it’s not as bad as many people think.

Even if you can only build a couple links a week you must continuously build them.  Below I give you some auto pilot ways to create links.  By using the services you can continuously build links without lifting a finger or a mouse.

AddThis Buttons

The AddThis.com button is one of the best free tools on the Internet right now.  It can single handedly bring your site up in the search engines and keep it there.

The AddThis button allows visitors to your site the ability to bookmark, link to or share your content.  This helps with spreading the word about your site and also gets you free links.  Visitors can link to sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg and they can share via email or print.

Sign up for an account on this site and get using the button.  Put buttons in your side bar or nav menu and at the end of each post.

Directory Maximizer

This is a manual directory submission service that works very well.   Go to DirectoryMaximizer.com and create an account.

Once you are signed up click the “Add a Site” link from the main menu.  On the “Add a Site” page put in all the appropriate information like your URL, category, keywords and email for submission confirmations.

Once that is complete you must choose titles and descriptions for your site.  This is VERY IMPORTANT and must be done exactly as I describe in order for these directory submissions to be worth it.  Be sure to create 20 different titles and 20 different descriptions for each site.  This provides a wide variety of links and will not appear as spammy to the search engines.

Once you have added your site you can tell them how many directories to submit to.  I would only do a few hundred directories a month to start and ramp it up as you go.  If you don’t want to spend the time every month keeping track of how many submissions you’ve done DM has a subscription service and they will automatically submit your site to 100 directories every month.

This is a great way to automate directory submissions.

Social Maximizer

This is another service by the same guys who run Directory Maximizer.  It is for building links with social sites and they do a good job of it.   Also, you can import the sites you created in Directory Maximizer so be sure to create them there first and then simply import them to this site and you are off and running.

This site allows deep linking and is great for creating 50 quick social links to any new content you create.

If you want to be super aggressive with your site and link building I would recommend doing 50 quick links to any new page/post you create.

Submit Edge

SubmitEdge.com is an Indian company that does a decent job at link building and SEO work.  Their prices are reasonable, but at times they can take a while to finish a job.  They always finish the job and provide good reports.

Once you get to a certain level of income you will want to start to outsource link building and SEO and this company might be a good start for you.

Forums

There are various webmaster and link building forums out there that can be used to find people to build links for you.

A couple forums that come to mind are the Digital Point Forums and the Warrior Forums.  Each forum has a section that will cater to people buying and selling link work.  Many people use these forums to outsource their link building.

These forums are also used to find lists like Paul & Angela’s backlink packets and other.  If you choose to outsource link building to forums be sure that the person selling these services has decent feedback.  There are a lot of scammers on the forums so you need to be careful not to get ripped off.

Lastly, there are some questionable techniques being used so buyers beware if you purchase link building services from someone you don’t know.

Manual Link Building Techniques

Link Wheels

Look up “The Latest Rage” in any make money online manual and you’ll see the word Link Wheel.  There are a lot of people ranking and raving about link wheels right now.

Link wheels do work and they can be really effective if you need that extra push.  Let’s say you are ranking 2 or 3 for your targeted keyword.  You are doing everything you can, but can’t seem to get past that next rank.  Try using a link wheel and that might just be enough to get you over the competition and into the next spot.

There are some people out there saying/promoting link wheels as the only thing you need.  I can tell you for sure that this is not true and that you also need to do other link building as well.  It is never a good idea to just rely on one type of link.  You should always use as many variations as you can when it comes to link building.

Wiki / Web 2.0 Sites

Web 2.0 properties are at the heart of link wheels.  They are great sites to get your content in front of a social community.  They are also very effective for link building and traffic generation.

All the search engines love web 2.0 properties right now and content added to them gets crawled and indexed very quickly.

An aggressive link building strategy is adding new content to your site.  Then once the content is live create a second article or a teaser article and submit it to one of the sites below.  In the article create one link to your index page and one link to your content page.

  • com
  • com
  • Google.com
  • com
  • com

Article Marketing

Article marketing is some of the most effective link building you can do.  If done right article marketing can bring in both back links and traffic.  Not only that, but traffic coming from articles can be some of the best converting traffic you will get your hands on.  I highly recommend that if you are just starting out that you should start with article marketing.

The sites listed below are ones that I have found to be the most effective.  I have had good results from each one of these sites and I have articles in each that have ranked very high for years.

  • com
  • com
  • com

Here is a sample bio box that you can use for each article.  It is important to portray yourself as an expert in the niche and include a call to action as well.  I have used many bios and the one below consistently get’s a 10-20% CTR.

“Author” is an expert in “niche” and runs the very successful and popular blog about “niche”.  He has helped thousands of people “do something in niche”. Visit his site right now for more information and/or help on “niche/topic”.

Blogs

Blogs are a great way to build links.  You can create your own blog using the sites listed below or you can comment on other people’s blogs.

When commenting on other people’s blogs, be sure to leave a relevant comment.  Don’t leave comments like “great” or “yeah cool” or “I agree”.  These are just crap comments and most of them won’t even be approved by the blog owner.

Also, when commenting on other blogs don’t post the same comment across multiple blogs.  Bloggers and people who visit their blogs are all the same community.  If they see you posting the same comment across multiple sites it will ruin your reputation and make your comment less relevant.

Press Releases

There are many free and paid services you can use to distribute press release.  Sending out a press release to media organizations and PR sites is a good way build new links and attract new visitors.  Below are a few sites that I use to distribute press releases.  I do this about 3-6 months after I launch a new site.

Forums

When you create posts in community forums you interact directly with other people who have the same interests.  Posting relevant comments in discussion boards and forums is an excellent way to establish yourself as an authority.

Once you find a forum related to your website/niche be sure to create a profile and a signature.  In your signature be sure to create a link back to your website.  Stop by these forums once or twice a week and leave an appropriate comment or post.  You will start to see traffic from these posts very quickly.

The best way to search for community forums based around your niche or website is to use a keyword with the +forum attribute.  So for instance in Google you would search for a term like “dog training +forum” to get a relevant list of sites running forums about dog training.

Social Bookmarking

Right now all the search engines love social bookmarks.  This is the quickest way for your site, page or post to get noticed.

Social bookmarking can be very time consuming, so there are many services that have popped up to help with this.  In the automated link building section above I describe the services I use for social bookmarking.  Below is a list of 20 sites you can use to submit social bookmarks on your own.

  1. Twitter
  2. Reddit
  3. Digg
  4. StumbleUpon
  5. Yahoo Buzz
  6. Mixx
  7. Tweetmeme
  8. Delicious
  9. Fark
  10. Propeller
  11. Slashdot
  12. Clipmarks
  13. Friendfeed
  14. Diigo
  15. Mister Wong
  16. Dzone
  17. Blinklist
  18. Faves
  19. Twine
  20. Newsvine

Nonprofit Organization

Charity organizations locally, nationally and worldwide are a source for quality links.  If your site provides quality information that can be used by someone in need this is a link channel that cannot be ignored.

Start by contacting local organizations that would be interested in your website and after that expand to national organizations.  Create an email template explaining your services and support system and start sending out emails weekly.

I guarantee that within a few weeks you will start to see responses.  The best part about this type of link building is that the traffic is interested in what you do and the link will be quality.  It’s really a win-win situation, so don’t be discouraged about how long it takes to get these links.

Outsourcing

Link Building

This is where Craigslist shines.  If you are looking to outsource your link building I would start with Craigslist and go from there.

To get the best prices on link builders you will need to look in countries other than the United States.  Below are the countries I have found link builders in.

  • Philippines
    • Manila
    • Zamboanga
  • India
    • Delhi
    • Bangalore

The category you want to post in is web/info design and the post just really depends on how much you want to spend.  I would look for someone with the basics in link building and are comfortable with finding their own sites to link from.  This way you can just give them a list of keywords and URL’s and turn them loose.

Here is an ad I would post to attract link builders:

Title – Link Builder – SEO Person

We are looking for the services Link Builder. This will be a long term position building various keyword links to many websites.  You must have prior experience with link building and be able to provide samples.

Skills Required
*Good verbal and written communications skills
*Weekly reporting
*Ability to find and create relevant website links

If you are applying for this position please include past work done. Explain how you find and create links for websites. Candidate will have to pass a Skype interview and payment will be sent monthly via PayPal or Remit.com.

This could be a part-time or full-time position. Pay will be between $1-$3 an hour depending on experience and link building techniques.

I would recommend getting weekly reports from them so you can spot check their work and make sure they are doing a good job.

Prices vary for hiring a link builder, but you can find a quality worker for around $2-$3 an hour.  I wouldn’t pay any more than $3 an hour that’s for sure.

If you are having a hard time finding a link builder you can also hire someone who is comfortable with the Internet and data entry.  If you go this route though there will be some training you will need to do.

Analytics

Google

Google Analytics is one of the most powerful tools you will get your hands on and the best part is that it’s completely free.  If you haven’t started to use it now is the time.

One of the best features of Google Analytics is also the most simple.  Comparisons are so easy that a caveman could do it.  Ok that was bad I know.  But seriously simply doing a week over week comparison to track a change you did or a link you got is huge.  You can quickly and easily see if it made a difference and is worth doing again…

Other things that Google Analytics kicks ass on are:

  • Having the ability to target and/or find entrance keywords you never knew existed. To do this open up GA and go to Content > Top Content and select an appropriate URL.  Now click on Entrance Keywords and bam there you go.  Keywords that were used to find this particular page or post in the search engines.  This is handy for finding knew keywords you didn’t know exists or to pull from when creating or tweaking new content.  Oh not to mention you can use them for building anchor text links as well.
  • This is how I find high paying keywords to use for new content or optimization. Again, open up GA and go to Traffic Sources > Keywords and click the Adsense Revenue  Now sort by eCPM to find very profitable keywords to target.  Use these keywords in your new content for optimizing old content and for creating backlinks.

Really the list keeps going and by no means of the imagination is this all that Google Analytics can do.  The more you play around with it the more you will find useful and the more you will implement.

cPanel

In your hosting account under Web / Ftp Statistics you will find a section called Awstats.  These are the stats from the server side of your website.  It is good to compare these to Google Analytics to spot trends and/or discrepancies.

I primarily use Awstats for the following:

  • To see the times of the day my website is the busiest. This helps to determine when a post or page should go live.
  • To verify the top 25 URL’s and compare them with what Google sees
  • For pulling long tail keywords. Find the section that says Search Key phrases and click on Full List. Here you will find long tail keywords you can use.  These long tails are particularly handy to use with article marketing on sites like EzineArticles.com.  I have used many long tail keywords pulled from Awstats to achieve #1 rankings in Google with article marketing techniques.

Ninja Secrets

Here is a list of secondary sites to use:

www.articledashboard.com
www.articlesjust4you.com
www.articlesnetwork.com
www.articlecompilation.com
www.smartfindsdirectory.com
www.thecontentcorner.com
www.aword2thewise.com
www.articlestars.com
www.articlecell.com
www.articles4reprint.com
www.articlemanual.com
www.pagequest.co.uk
www.articlewealth.com
www.contentsgeek.com
www.content-corral.com
www.purearticle.com
www.addondashboard.com
www.article-directory-pro.info
www.quality-articles-directory.info
www.free-articles-submission.info
www.go-see.info
www.indianapolischroniclesin.com
www.articlediverse.com
www.nashvillechroniclestn.com
www.top-article-directory.info
www.addsarticles.com
www.articlemarketing.org
www.protlandchroniclesor.com
www.articlepantry.com
www.articleportal.org
www.rankeronline.com
www.reprint-content.com
www.online-article-directory.info
www.articlesplace.org
www.themilingplanet.com
www.online-article-submission.info
www.charlottechroniclesnc.com
www.articles-unlimited.com
www.articlekingpro.com
www.rightarticle.com
www.articles.live-webmaster.com
www.funpersonality.com
www.thearticleinsiders.com
www.articledir.uniqueweblink.com
www.houstonchroniclestx.com
www.notepad.in
www.justenjoylife.com
www.articlebottom.com
www.spotyourarticle.com
www.artilceadventure.com

Google Alerts

I have included a video on this, but I wanted to explain it in the guide here as well.

First I’m assuming you have a Google account already so go to http://www.google.com/alerts.

Once there, enter the keyword you want to target surrounded by quotes (see image).  Select Blog type, once a day, 50 results, and the email address you want the alerts delivered to, and click Create Alert button.

Soon emails from Google will start showing up with links to blogs that contain posts or information related to your keyword/niche.

What I like to do is go through each email and open all the links at one time.  After all the links are open in one browser I scroll to the bottom of each page to see if there is a spot to post a comment with my keyword and URL.

Now this is the most important part…Do Not Post Bullshit Spam Messages.  I say this not only because I run several blogs, but that if you post spam comments there is a very good chance your comment will never see the light of day.

Take two minutes, read the post and comment on the topic that is being discussed.  Most bloggers will be happy to approve a comment with a link if it is relevant and they can tell the commenter actually read the post.  So don’t waste your time or the bloggers time and leave a decent comment.

Not all blogs support or allow “dofollow” links but that is ok.  I said above it is better to have a “nofollow” link bringing in quality, steady traffic than a “dofollow” link that maybe brings in a couple visitors a month.

International Blogs

International links are very good to have and getting them is easy.

Do a search in Technorati.com for your keyword/niche and add a country to it and you will get a list of blogs from other countries.  The more links you have from around the world the more diverse your SEO efforts are and the more “global feel” your site will have.

So your search query would look like this – super widgets France

How To Get Repeat Visitors

Opt-In List

If you want visitors to come back to your site a second time and click on another Adsense ad you must create an opt-in list.  There are many different services and scripts that will allow you to run an opt-in list.

If you are just starting out and want to do an opt-in on the cheap take a look at your hosting company.  Many hosting companies run Fantastico, which will allow you to install and setup an opt-in list for your website without needing to know any technical jargon.

If you have a couple bucks to spare and you want all the bells and whistles as well as analytics and such than I recommend Aweber.  Aweber isn’t the cheapest but they are one of the best.  Last time I checked they will handle 10K opt-ins for under $20 a month.

Once you decide on your opt-in service/script the next thing to do is create 12-18 follow ups.  The follow ups will be sent out automatically by your list at the specified times that you tell it.  I like to create follow ups that have three parts.

  1. Part one would be a tips/secrets section to the niche you are in.
  2. Part two would be a paragraph or two of unique and valuable information about the niche you are in.
  3. Part three would be a link back to a “Featured Article” on your site.

Schedule your follow-ups to run immediately after the visitor verifies their email address.  Send the first follow-up directly after the verification and then send a new follow-up every two or three days for two weeks.  After that, send a new follow-up every week until you run out of information to send.

Below is a sample follow up that I used with the School Grants website that was making around $3500 a month.

{!name},

Here are a couple tips for saving money while you are at school.

Tip #1: Did you know that getting a job in the student book store could save you some money?  Most book stores offer employee discounts of up to 30-40%.  Get a part time job at the local student book store and you could make money and save on books at the same time.

Tip #2: When you get to campus and check out the employment office what do you do if all the jobs are taken?  Go directly to the places you would like to work.  Go to the library, bookstore, athletic department and apply to them directly.  Not all jobs will be posted in the employment office and this is a great way to ensure you are seen.  Also, if the area you want to work in is full, be sure to check back every couple weeks to see if anything has changed.

 Featured Article —->  Need Based Grants

Regards,

The Team @ School-Grants.org

http://www.school-grants.org

http://www.school-grants.org/blog/

Other Important Stuff

Link Your Adsense And Analytics Accounts

Once you start to see traffic coming it is a good thing to link your Adsense and Google Analytics accounts if you haven’t already.  By doing this you will start to see an entirely new level of helpful information.

Once these accounts are linked you can see things like.

  • Which pages bring in the most revenue
  • Which keywords bring in the most revenue
  • You can sort by eCPM to target more profitable content and keywords
  • You can see which sites are bringing you the most Adsense revenue
  • Not to mention you can see trending and link goals

Create Separate Channels For Each Ad

In order to get the most out of your Adsense ads you need to put them on separate channels.  This allows you to know exactly which ad is bringing in the most money and has the best positioning and highest CTR.

After creating separate channels for each ad placement it is time to make them targetable.  Channels that are targetable are easier to find by advertisers and in turn will bring in more money.  If advertisers can target your site directly they will pay more for ads and it will create a bidding war for ads on your site.

Not a lot of people create channels for each ad and/or make them targetable but it is super important.  Once you do this you will have to wait 30-45 days to really see results but once you do they will always be better than not doing it.

When To Post Content Live

There are many studies out there that tell you the best time for your post/content to go live.  Some say you target east coast time and others tell you to target west coast time.  As a general rule of thumb you want posts to go live when there are the most eyeballs on the computer screen.  I try to have my posts go live around late lunch or early afternoon on Pacific Standard Time or PST.  This way the west coast is at lunch and spending their time on the computer and the east coast is wrapping up work and wasting the last few minutes of the day until they can go home.

However with that said each site and blog is different.  Once you start to gather analytics on your visitors, it is very easy to see the busiest hours.  Schedule your content to go live when you have the most people visiting your site.

Update Services

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/

http://pinger.blogflux.com/rpc

http://www.kping.com/ping/

http://blogsearch.google.com/ping/RPC2

http://1470.net/api/ping

http://api.feedster.com/ping

http://api.moreover.com/RPC2

http://api.moreover.com/ping

http://api.my.yahoo.com/RPC2

http://api.my.yahoo.com/rss/ping

http://bblog.com/ping.php

http://bitacoras.net/ping

http://blog.goo.ne.jp/XMLRPC

http://blogdb.jp/xmlrpc

http://blogmatcher.com/u.php

http://bulkfeeds.net/rpc

http://coreblog.org/ping/

http://mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatt

http://www.lasermemory.com/lsrpc/

http://ping.amagle.com/

http://ping.bitacoras.com

http://ping.blo.gs/

http://ping.bloggers.jp/rpc/

http://ping.cocolog-nifty.com/xmlrpc

http://ping.blogmura.jp/rpc/

http://ping.exblog.jp/xmlrpc

http://ping.feedburner.com

http://ping.myblog.jp

http://ping.rootblog.com/rpc.php

http://ping.syndic8.com/xmlrpc.php

http://ping.weblogalot.com/rpc.php

http://ping.weblogs.se/

http://pingoat.com/goat/RPC2

http://rcs.datashed.net/RPC2/

http://rpc.blogbuzzmachine.com/RPC2

http://rpc.blogrolling.com/pinger/

http://rpc.icerocket.com:10080/

http://rpc.newsgator.com/

http://rpc.pingomatic.com

http://rpc.technorati.com/rpc/ping

http://rpc.weblogs.com/RPC2

http://topicexchange.com/RPC2

http://trackback.bakeinu.jp/bakeping.php

http://www.a2b.cc/setloc/bp.a2b

http://www.bitacoles.net/ping.php

http://www.blogdigger.com/RPC2

http://www.blogoole.com/ping/

http://www.blogoon.net/ping/

http://www.blogpeople.net/servlet/weblogUpdates

http://www.blogroots.com/tb_populi.blog?id=1

http://www.blogshares.com/rpc.php

http://www.blogsnow.com/ping

http://www.blogstreet.com/xrbin/xmlrpc.cgi

http://www.mod-pubsub.org/kn_apps/blogchatter/ping.php

http://www.newsisfree.com/RPCCloud

http://www.newsisfree.com/xmlrpctest.php

http://www.popdex.com/addsite.php

http://www.snipsnap.org/RPC2

http://www.weblogues.com/RPC/

http://xmlrpc.blogg.de

http://xping.pubsub.com/ping/

What’s Next?

Start On The Recipe (step-by-step plan)

Print off the 12 pages that are in the recipe and follow them step-by-step for every new website you create.  To get things rolling as quickly as possible, as soon as one site is up and running, SEO’d and the link building process is in place, move on to the next.

If you follow the plan and bring on one new site a month that is a very good start and will produce nice results in 3-6 months.

Read Bonus Report

Take a look at the bonus report and think about implementing the technique as soon as you have a small to medium size site.

DO NOT try and use this technique with a micro site or a site with only a couple pages.  It won’t work and you will be wasting your time.  Also, be sure that your site looks decent before implementing this  because first impressions are everything.

Subscribe To My Blog / Opt-In

Lastly be sure to visit my blog http://www.CaryBergeron.com/to be kept up to date on the latest happening with making money online.

In Closing

In closing I just want to reiterate how important it is to build a quality site and provide information that people want.

My recipe and techniques are designed to do this and if you follow them for one year, you won’t be disappointed.  A year might seem like a long time, but it will go by very fast.  If you do one thing a day or at least 3-5 things out of the step-by-step plan on a weekly basis you will be on your way to quitting your day job.

Don’t give up and don’t let the naysayers or haters get in your way of being free and financially stable.

Additional Resources

Advanced Guide – Final – pdf download
Step-by-Step Action Plan – Final – pdf download
BONUS – Mass Media – Final- pdf download