Welcome to aaron chua make money blog

Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

Below are some current and past make money projects that details my learning journey.

My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

Tools and tips for keyword research

I have been relatively quiet these part weeks, focusing on building my niche blogs and learning all the SEO tricks I can find. I am quite surprise at some of the creative ways and useful tools that one can use in their SEO. So, rather than keeping it to myself, I thought of sharing it here in case you are interested in such things.

Before moving to the tools and tips, I want to put on record saying my first niche blog is a complete failure. If you google for fish oil effects, you can see that one of my niche site for this keyword (fish oil effects) is on page one of Google. That might seem like something to celebrate, given my short stink at SEO but closer examinations reveal otherwise.

At first, it seems strange to me that after following the SEO techniques and achieving what I set out to do, the adsense revenue is not coming in. This prompted me to delve deeper, which is when I realise I made a fundamentally error in my understanding of keyword research.

I thought fish oil effects has a monthly search volume of 27,100 based on google keyword tool, until I realise Google sums all the relevant searches that contain these words. For example, keywords like fish oil side effects will also contribute to the search volume for fish oil effects, even though they are 2 separate keywords. The right approach is actually to view the 'exact' results, rather than the 'broad' results of the google keyword research tool. When I switch to the 'exact' mode, guess what? The monthly search volume of fish oil side effects is only 170. That explains my pathetic adsense revenue for this particular niche blog.

Anyway, to cut the long story short. I decided to relearn many things and that is how I discover these new tools and tips that I am to share right now for those that want to do more effective keyword research:

#Tip 1: Calculating your earnings potential
Beyond the low search volume, one other mistake I made in choosing keywords is not knowing their full earning potential. It is like a startup not doing his financial modeling before launching his business. Anyway, I now used a simple formula to calculate the earnings potential for a niche site, relying on adsense alone

Number of monthly EXACT search*
Probability of these searches coming to your site*
Probability of those coming to your side will click of your adsense*
Average CPC*
Your share of your CPC.

How you get these numbers? Here are the definitions:

Number of monthly EXACT search: these are numbers you can get from the Google keyword tool

Probability of these searches coming to your site: This will depend on your ranking on Google's first page. I have listed the percentages in my previous post

Probability of those coming to your side will click of your adsense: I assume 5%

Average CPC: Again, use google keyword to get the average CPC

Your share of your CPC: I assume Google takes 75% while I take 25%

#Tip 2: Know you competition well
I used a variety of tools to derive my competition levels.

I initially only use plain Google search to know the number of competing sites. After a while, I find that that is not really enough as I don't know the quality or pagerank for these sites. I then discover and use this free tool called SEO for firefox, which allows you to see the pr ranks of the Google result page. Using this, I then decided to only choose keywords if the top sites in the result page doesn't have any sites that are pr4 and above.

Finally, I used the following link to determine the number of backlinks each site on Google's result page has.
This helps me to know how many backlinks I need to build before being able to be rank #1 on the search result of the keyword that I desired. If the number of backlinks is too many, I will start all over again and choose another keyword to target.

All in all, these steps have helped me greatly in selecting good income potential keywords with minimal competition. So far, the results look promising. I will talk more about what exact sites am I working on if they turn out to be successful.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

How much traffic does each rank on Google's top page gives you?

I always wanted to know how much traffic does Google gives you if you are ranked on the first page on a certain keyword. While I couldn't find the exact percentage, I pull together information from different sites to derive a rough percentage.

The first piece of crucial information is what percentage of traffic does the top link on a Google page gives you. From different online marketers, the general assumption is that around 40-50% of the monthly traffic will click on the first link.

The second thing to know is the percentage differences between different rankings on the same top page. This article gives us exactly that information. It is found, for example, that the top link gets 3.5 times more clicks than the second link.

Based on these two pieces of information, I derive a rough estimate of the percentage of traffic you are likely to get based on your ranking:

Percentage of monthly traffic that goes to a keyword
if you are number 1 on your keyword, use 50%,
number 2, use 14%
number 3, use 10%
number 4, use 7%
number 5, use 6%
number 6, use 5%
number 7-10, use 3-4%

This squares well with my niche blog experience. If you targeting a keyword that has only 1000 monthly searches and you are ranked number 6, you are likely to get only 50 clicks per month, which is not going to make me any money. Hence, if you are into keyword research, do take the above into consideration.

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Wednesday, 15 July 2009

3 learning points from online marketing

As I continue to explore the 'underbelly' of the Internet, looking at both real and scam-like affiliate programmes, I realise these learning points are interesting (to me at least) and I want to share them here.

Demand driven
One of the traits of a great online marketer is a total focus on demand. When they talk about generating niche ideas or new affiliate products, they will scan and research on demand indicators like Amazon Best Seller, Ebay Pulse, Google Keywords and Trends, Yahoo Buzz etc. They want to create something that solves someone's pain. Compared that to most geeky 2.0 launches that are more on the cool factor, rather than genuinely solving the market's pain points.

The downside of such demand driven focus is of course foregoing the ability to create Twitter like success. Using the above demand indicators, it is virtually impossible to even imagine such a service from a demand point of view.

There is a market for digital products
There is a common belief that it is difficult to sell digital product online as most people will not pay for content. I even wrote about it a few times on this blog, contrasting that to how mobile enables content to be paid. However, looking at places like Clickbank, you can see that more than 1billion digital products have already been sold. Why the contrasting views?

The main reason I think boils downs to the act of selling. If you pop over to most popular content sites, you can see the selling process is acutally not there. There is no strong reason or value proposition of why you should folk out money and pay for the content. Compared to that to this sales letter, which is putting the value proposition front and center of the users. I do not endorse that product but I am learning from the way sales are done. I think in moving online, a lot of us have lost the art of selling. We focus on building products but forgot about communicating the value proposition clearly and attractively to the people who would benefit from the product

Innovations in copyright
Umair Haque talks about copyright innovations being key to discovering new strategies for digital media. We haven't seen much of that in main stream media but in Internet marketing, they have created all lots of new copyrights. Just google for master copyright or PLR and you will see what I mean. These guys understand that the key to profiting in the Web world is not by restricting your content. Rather, it is to enable other people to spread it for you by building incentives for them to do so, while at the same, embedding your own revenue streams within each copy.

Friday, 10 July 2009

SEO tips to select good keywords

SEO tips for selecting keywords is the topic for today's post. One of the starting points of any online marketing efforts is selecting good keywords. My venture into niche blogs is no different. As I tried different methodologies for selecting good keywords, I developed 4 SEO tips for doing so.

SEO tip 1: Pick keywords with desperate demand
Google Keyword Tools allow you to see monthly search volume for any keyword which is a good proxy for demand. I have learned however that high demand is not sufficient. The SEO tip is to pick what I called high desperate demand. This refers to people who needs a solution now, rather than just browsing for information. Such keywords will help you to convert users to sale much more effectively. We will take a look at an example in later paragraphs. They key thing is to select keywords that have some decent monthly search.

SEO Tip 2: Supply
Just key in your keyword into google search and you can see how many competing sites are there for your keyword. The lessor the number of competing sites, the lessor your potential competition will be. Beyond this, pay attention to the top page result. See whether these sites have been optimised and whether the content there is relevant. Keywords that give a less relevant top page implies you have a good chance to create relevant content and dominate the top page.

SEO Tip 3: Intention to purchase
A good keyword for niche blogs should have high buying intentions. I don't select keywords that are mostly for people looking for information. Rather, I tried to pick those where users are actually looking to purchase something.

For example, let's look at baby sleep, which is what I am currently working on right now. Some good keywords might be: baby sleep tips, baby sleep information, baby sleep facts etc. However, these are not desperate keywords. People using them are looking for information, rather than desperately trying to find a solution. For this category, desperate keywords might be things like: make baby sleep, putting baby to sleep, baby sleep solutions etc. If you compare the two lists, there is a subtle difference, which might explain why some sites convert better than others.

SEO Tip 4: High revenue keywords
Since the amount of traffic we are getting is defined by the monthly search volume, the only other way to improve revenue is to select keywords that have high CPC or affiliate products that have high payoffs. This is done by usually looking at Clickbank to see what products sell the most and whether they have high commissions. Alternatively, you can also skip over to Google keyword tool and see what is the average CPC.

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Tuesday, 7 July 2009

SEO Tips to create profitable niche blogs

I am going to talk about using SEO tips to build niche blogs. Each of these element has much more meat to it, which i will go into for my future posts on SEO tips. Now, I want to simply sketch out what I am doing to give you guys a broad picture first.

SEO tip 1: Keyword research
One of the most element in using SEO tips for niche blogs is in picking out a niche. Rather than thinking of random ideas, there is actually a well defined methodology using keyword analysis. To understand this, you can imagine the Web as a constant flow of information. People are always looking for something on the Web. These keywords not only help you identify what are people looking for, but also serve as funnels to channel these flows to you. A good keyword research is like building a blueprint for a good funnel system. You need it to build your niche blogs.

SEO tip 2: Finding the right domain
Related to keyword research is finding the right domain. Your domain should contain the keywords that you are targeting. That is a good way to increase your relevance in the niche. However, good domains are getting scare. You need to know how to efficiently search and get the domain you need.

SEO tips 3: Setting up the blog
This is the easy step. I am experimenting now with both Blogger and Wordpress to see which is more suitable. Currently, Wordpress seems to be the better choice. One thing worth noting is the theme to use. Keeping the theme simple and optimized for adsense or other affiliate products is important. We don't need flashy themes for niche blogs.

SEO tip 4: Getting your blog indexed
This is well you can really used for the SEO tips. I highlighted one here on using SEO tips to get you index within 2-3 hours. This is a critical step to begin directing traffic from Google to your site. You can wait for it to happen naturally if you desire but if you want quicker turnaround time, there are a couple of steps you need to do. More importantly, you must recognised that more and more content are getting created everyday so getting indexed will be much harder. I will share what I learn here for the following posts.

SEO tip 5: Creating the content
The key thing to note about creating content is this: posts must be keyword optimized. This does not mean spamming your posts with keywords. Rather, you must research on what are the second level keywords that will support your main keyword and build posts around them. Tags must also be optimized in this way.

SEO tip 6: Creating the revenue streams
There are numerous tools and affiliate programmes to give you revenue. I personally used Adsense, Amazon and Ebay as they are easy to work with. I am learning now not just to use them but to optimise their usage. Take adsense for example. There is a lot of research out there regarding their placement, their font size, the type of ad unit used etc.

Each of these elements has great depth in them and I will be covering them in future posts. If you find any of these interesting, do drop a note to indicate what you want to read more about SEO tips

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Starting from basic

I have been very quiet for the past week as I am embarking on something new. For the past 2 years, I have been talking about abstract concepts and new ideas that need lots of experiments to get right. After 2 such years, I feel that I am getting out of touch with what is real. It is easy to sit here and blog about wonderful opportunities but another thing to realise them. With that in mind, I decide to go back to basic.

The web has its own set of business rules and engagement. I want to do something simple that lets me relearn these rules, both in theory and in execution. I don't want to spend time developing technology or products. I want to go right into business. That is why I decided to go into niche marketing.

There is nothing breakthrough about this. It is simply discovering unique niches i.e. the Long Tail, that are looking for good information and fulfilling them through simple blog sites. Through this simple plan, I am relearning lots of stuff such as keyword research, affiliate marketing, effective outsourcing, and tons of other stuff. These are the nitty gritty of an online business and I am loving the fact that I am doing them all.

So, for those wondering what am I up to, that is what I have been busy with. I will posting about this more in the future. If you have no interest in that, I apologize for my shift in my content and thank you in advance for your past attention if you decide not to follow this blog anymore.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Can we use the GasBuddy model to create efficient economies for other industries?

I just finished reading "Content Nation" and it is a nice book that summarises a lot of what we know. I particularly like the rules that encapsulates the spirit of what each section is about. One such rule states that:

Empowering anyone to understand supply and demand builds efficient economies that benefit the most people

This is a thoughtful statement and the example given is GasBuddy, which is a website that enables users to learn about gas prices in US and Canada. It is a simple and powerful illustration of the kind of information that reveals demand and supply. Umair Haque talks about creating more markets. Revealing demand and supply is the perquisite to doing so.

Now, which industries do you think is in desparate need for a GasBuddy equvialent? On top of my head: Health Care services, Legal Services, Photography, Financial Products, Medicial drugs etc.

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