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.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

How to make 1000 per month in adsense with 1 site

This is will be my journal as well as step by step guide on how I intend to create a new authority site and take it to USD1000 in adsense by end of June 2011. It is definitely a very realistic timeframe and I hope that whatever I have written here will help somebody who is struggling with adsene in general. That being said, I am not the expert. There are better adsense gurus out there such as Griz and Court and Mark and the xfactor guy.

I have taken sites to USD1000 using adsense programme before so this is not new to me. In fact, my passive income goals for 2011 is to take 10 such sites to 1k, which will net me a 10k per month passive income. A year ago, this target seems so far away but now, I feel that it is within reaching distance because I have the knowledge and resources now that I do not have 1 year ago. Hopefully, you can be as successful as well.

Ok, back to the topic of how to make 1k per month in adsense.

Here is how I would go back doing it. This is not the only way but is the way that I found to be effective for me.

Step 1: adsense niche selection
After dabbing in countless niches over the past year, I realise not all niches are created equal. By this, I do not mean just in terms of money making potential. Rather, some niches are just difficult to expand on as a useful adsense site.

For example, a product based site should not be an adsense site. Not only can a affilitate site make more money but is more useful for the searcher as well. If you are searching for an ipad cover, you want to go to a site that offers you the chance to buy an ipad cover. You do not want to go a site that rambles on about how useful is the cover, where can you buy it etc. I rather put an affilitate link in my ipad cover article after reviewing a couple of designs. That is what a product site should be offering. So, my criteria for choosing an adsense niche has been narowed down to the following:
  • information based
  • have new products being introduced constantly (will explain why later)
  • the niche must have high CPC in general (over USD1 per click)

Step 2: Set up the site and post a couple of articles on it

After you have done your niche selection, pick a couple of easy keywords to start with. If you do not know how to analyse competition for your keywords, check this article on how to build authority site. In it, I described a simple way of doing so.

Step 3: Build 100+ backlinks
With the keywords selected, write the articles and post them up. The next step will be the challenging part where most will give up. It is time to build backlinks. I recommend post runner as one of the best backlink system out there. It is a network of blogs owned by different people so you get a wide diverse range of places to promote your articles. For experience, if you want a strong site, you need at least 100 links so be prepared to get busy. Write the guest post articles that promote those you have written for your site and post them to the postrunner system. This might take 1-2 months.

Step 4: New post that target new products
After the 100 links, your site should start to gain a little trust from Google. If not, you might need to wait 1-2 months more. Anyway, it is time to start writing for your site again. This time, we will write only about new products that have been introduced in our niche. The reason is simple. New products have little competition in the search engines so it is easier to rank. There are 2 benefits to doing so:
  1. Once these articles start to rank on the first page, your site will gain more trust from Google. The more pages you have that is ranked, the more trust your site will be. That is how authority sites are built and is the approach that is advised by Griz.
  2. You will also start to see traffic very early on if the new products can generate interest. This means that you can start to make money much faster compared to targeting lucrative keywords that have lots of competition. You can still do so but it means you will need to wait for a long time before seeing any results.
That is why in my niche selection, I only go after those niches that have new products that I can target constantly. In fact, I make sure that there is a couple of sites that will provide me with such information so that I don't get stuck on trying to find new products. I just go to these sites and write an article about whatever is new. If the new product has been featured on mass media, even better as it will likely generate traffic if you can rank for it.

Step 5: Backlink your most profitable articles until they are number one
Once you have finished the articles, allow them the site to just sit there for a month. After that, analyse which pages generates the most traffic. That will be your winners and it is time to backlink them until their keywords reach number one.

That's it.

I am using the above step to build a new site that will give me 1k by end of June 2011. I have already selected the niche and I have already at step 4 with it. Currently, the site has 25 articles and each article makes between USD3-5 dollars on average without me doing any backlinks for them. My intention is to finish up the 100 articles first, which will net me about USD300-500 per month and analyse the data to see which keywords to backlink. Once I have backlinked my most profitable keywords, the entire site should yield me USD1k.

So, I will be reporting back here on the progress of this site every month. (Btw, this is not a main thing for me. I am starting this new site to see if my approach is sound. I have other more important projects that are making me money now so treat this as an experiment.)

Currently, here are the stats for Dec (until Dec 21). The numbers in brackets represents last month's figure.

adsense: USD55 (USD8)
adsense impressions: 1,100 (140)
articles live: 25 (5)

So, overall, the site is off to a good start. The numbers might be low now but I think the growth will be good. Let's find out if that is the case. See you in the next update on my experiment to take a new site to USD1000 in adsense by end of june 2011.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

What are long tail keywords How to backlink long tail keywords

A short post (Edit: not really short) today as one of my reader (out of 2? LOL) emailed me some questions on long tail keywords which I thought would be better answered via a post that can benefit anybody who might stumble upon my blog.

The question was "I read your blog on targetting long tail keywords which can potentially get more traffic into my website way more quickly and was wondering if you can share more on what are your traffic getting methods and giving so many different variations of long tails, how you backlink them."

So the topic at hand: long tail keywords. I have briefly mentioned them in my previous articles on how to select keywords for your blog and how to pick keywords that generates passive income, but I am not done so in a thoughtful and systematic way so here we go.

What are long tail keywords?
If you have read Chris Andersen's book on the longtail, you will know about this concept. Basically, it says that aggregating your longtail demand can add up to quite a substantial revenue given that the cost of generating these long tail demand is low in the digital age. This concept holds true for online marketing. While the main phase keyword will always generate more traffic, they are not enough to give you the 800 to 1000 visitors a day that is needed to make a significant income for any site. These numbers can only be achieved by generating lots of long tail keywords that surrounds your main keywords.

Importance of long tail keywords
Besides giving you more traffic, why is long tail keywords important? One of the main reason is that long tail keywords are usually buying keywords. For example, people searching for 'ebook reader' are not necessary buyers as they can be people looking for information about ebook readers in general. However, someone who types in "where to buy cheap ebook reader" is going to serious in buying one. So, if your site generates lots of longtail keyword searches that contains buying intentions, your income will most likely increase as well.

Another benefit is that long tail keywords are easier to rank. That will give you two bonuses. Firstly, the more pages you have that are ranked, the more trust Google has in your site, which increases your overall authority. Once you have become an authority, going for more competitive keywords will be a much simpler task. The second bonus is that you might hit upon something that brings you significant traffic even though it is a long tail. I have had instances where a 5 word long tail produces about 40-50 hits on my site.

How to generate long tail keywords
Now that you understand the importance of long tail keywords, the next thing is to generate them. This is where a lot of different strategies can be used. This is how I do it but there lots of different ways. If you have a unique approach and will like to share them, please leave a comment.

Keyword tools: I used all the usual google keywords tools: including google adword tool, google suggest and google insight. Among the three, google suggest is really useful. I like to add these operators to get more longtail keywords that have buying intention:

"for": this to get a list of keywords that tells you who is the receiving user of the keywords e.g. "ebook readers for kids"

"under": this will give you a list of prices that users are willing to buy

"in": this is a location based keyword that is really important if you targeting geo based ads

"w": this is a funny one. by adding a w and a space between the w and your keyword, google might give you a list of question based keywords such as "where to buy ebook reader" or "who sells ebook readers" etc

Long post: when you site has certain trust and age, long post such as this one can really give you keywords that you never thought of. If you are making money through adsense, then it is worthwhile to hook your analytics and adsense account so that you know which long tail keyword triggers high paying ads.

How to backlink longtails
Once you have include lots of longtail keywords in your content, it is time to watch the analytics. One of my adsense site that generated over 1k in earnings have thousands of long tail being generated every day. Trying to backlink all of them will be impossible. Here is my criteria in choosing which keywords to backlink:

High potential: if a long tail is in page two and is generating consistent clicks (1-5) or traffic (10-30) per week, it is worthwhile to backlink them until they hit number one

Containing my main keyword: if a bunch of long tails has a common keyword that I want to rank, I would give them at least 1-2 backlinks since they will help my main keyword

High CPC: if a keyword generates a high CPC such as above USD5 or even USD10 per click, I would backlink that. It might help to trigger even more of such high paying ads.

In summary, long tail keywords are really important to any SEO efforts and for making passive income. If you master this, it will be easier for you to build any site and start to earn money from it within a short timeframe.

Btw, the vacation has been great so far. My lovely wife and I have spent 3 days in Holland (Amsterdam and Den Haag) and we are now currently in Belgium. In the coming days, we will spending a couple of days in Luxembourg, Munich and Prague. It is super cold right now but I am enjoying myself. It also gave me a taste of how my dream life will be. Traveling and making money online while doing so. This is a great way to live! I did some calculation and figure out I need to make 30k a month to be able to live our dream of traveling all year around. This is a 5 year target that I have set for myself which is entirely doable.

In fact, in the coming posts, I will be talking more about how to really scale my online business models beyond adsense and amazon. If you are read the book entitled "what get you here will not get you there", you will know that jumping from one state (say making 5k a month in passive income) to another state (say making 50 or even 100k a month) requires a total shift in how you do things. If you do not change with the different states, you will probably not be able to get to a higher ground. Personally, I am used to different business models since I am from a startup background so applying that to my online business should be very interesting for anyone who wants to really grow their passive income.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Tips to earning USD1000 with Amazon within 6 months

In my previous post on making USD500 with Amazon, I thought that my total earnings for Nov will be around that number. The good news is that it exceeded my target by quite a few hundred dollars....

What happened during the last few days is that my traffic really picked up and I was getting USD60-USD90 days. All that added up to increase my Amazon earnings quite significantly. Now, I want to set another target for myself.

USD3000 per month by end of June 2011. Let's see if I can hit that as well.

For new readers, Amazon is not my only source of online income. I started with Adsense much earlier and have already reached a full time income with that. Amazon was the new challenge I set for myself and I am happy to see that I have progressed in my understanding on how to make money with it. Once I hit the 3k target, I might move to a new form of monetization to learn new stuff. It is good to diversify your online earnings in case anything goes wrong with one particular approach. That being said, beginners should not juggle too much balls at once. My recommendation is to master one monetization method first before moving to the next.

Now, on to the new meat of the post, which is to share some of the things I have learned during my Amazon challenge.

Tip 1= Product selection is everything. Unlike adsense which pays you for every click, you need to people to buy for Amazon. Picking products that will accomplish that is the hard part. You will need to experiment with quite a number of products from different niches before finding the one that can convert. You can either do this through Hubpages or free hosted sites. I prefer the latter although it is more work because I gain another site that I can control for backlinks...

Tip 2= When testing your niches, always go for long tail first. These are easier to rank and will let you know in the fastest time possible on whether that niche is worth developing into a full site. If a long tail can bring you traffic that converts, you know that main niche will be very profitable. Why do you think Griz always target long tail first when developing any sites?

Tip 3= Amazon sites convert better when they are prettier. Unlike adsense when you need to be more ugly to draw clicks, people tend to buy more if your site looks to be more like a professional store. I tested a few themes and the better looking ones always draws more sales.

Tip 4= Authority sites can make more money in the long run. Majority of my Amazon earnings just come from 1 site. It was earnings peanuts before Nov but once it gains the all important trust from Google, the kind of growth is quite scary. Not only that, the potential for expansion seems to be limitless as you can always add in new product keywords to draw more traffic and sales.

Tip 5= When building authority sites for product niches, remember to go for both product specific keywords such as kenwood smoothie maker and general evergreen keywords such as best smoothie makers. The former can be ranked easily and helps your site to gain trust from Google through its ranking as well as to help you to make money faster. The latter is to let your site be more passive in the long run so that you don't have to worry about the buying interest for a particular product model slowing down.

Tip 6= Search out communities for your niche to fish out new product keywords even before they are on Amazon. If you are the first, the position will not be easily eroded if you have a strong site and have send some backlinks to these new product keywords.

The above is not a step by step guide to earning money from Amazon. Dave from making money on the Internet is the guru in Amazon and I suggest that you read his blog for specific instructions. What I have written are just my own personal experiences. Hope this will be useful to you and good luck in making money with Amazon.

Friday, 26 November 2010

How to earn USD500 with Amazon affilitate program

In august, I have set myself a target of reaching USD500 with the Amazon affiliate programme by Dec. You can read about it here in my post called how to earn USD500 with Amazon as well as my initial plan in my how to build authority site post.

Well, I am happy to say that I have achieved my goal much earlier than expected. Below is a screenshot of my amazon earnings for the month of Nov. Although the month has not ended, my earnings is only a few cents away from the USD500 mark.

So, what is the secret? WORK.

That is it. If you know the basic of doing keyword research and getting keyword anchored backlinks then you already know what to do. The next step is to pound the site with content and backlinks in the ratio of 10:90. For every article you wrote on your site, you need at least 9 backlinks to make it rank. Most of the time, 9 will not be sufficient and you need lots more.

Let me give you a perspective with my own Amazon site. This site has around 30 articles and 500 backlinks (in total) pointing to each of the articles. That is the kind of work that is needed to be successfully.

While it may seems like a lot of work, the payoff can be very rewarding.

First, let's talk about the growth. Last month, my amazon earnings was only USD39. Yes, you read that right. Only USD39. In a single month, it grew to what you saw above. That is the magic of internet marketing. The earnings will really start to roll in once you finished all the work. Best of all, the growth will continue even after you stop now. Which job can give you such a huge jump in increment after a couple of month?

Second, it is totally passive. I can stop tomorrow and my Amazon earnings will still continue day after day. I don't need any boss or annoying staff to bother me while I am earning my money. Isn't that great?

I hope this shows you that with determination, anything is possible. I started with nothing in August in terms of my Amazon earnings and within a few months, I am starting to see real money coming in. While it is not full time income yet, it will be after a couple of months more.

So, in this year, I have master both adsense and amazon. It is not really difficult at all. If you are willing to put in the work, you have lead a very different life. A life where you have enough money to pursue your dreams. We don't have to work for corporates for the rest of our life you know?

Picking the right niches for Amazon

The biggest difference I found between Amazon and Adsense is in the niche selection. For adsense, we tend to pick unknown niches in the beginning to avoid competition. However, for amazon, I go for the best selling items. Amazon requires sales and not clicks but the best seller list is the best guide. If you pick an unknown niche, it might be difficult to get sales even though you might get clicks.

In terms of keyword selection, I pick product names that have lots of reviews and have prices that range between USD25 and USD150. The former is because of what I called social validation. People need product reviews to assure them of their purchases. The latter is important because that is the range of prices that I think people are comfortable in paying online.

Be in mind though that some niches just plain suck. The hardest thing for making online with amazon is not in doing your SEO for ranking but in finding out what converts. More often than not, you will find that most niches do not convert well.

I tested at least 30 niches with long tails before finding 2 that converts well. The rest just stinks. If you trust me, you can send me you niche and I will see if I have tackled that before.

Have fun in find the right niches for Amazon!

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

How to target buying keywords for Amazon products and earn passive income

This is how I have built up my Amazon supersite. I have mentioned in my previous post on how to make 500 with Amazon that I want to hit this revenue by end of this year. Well, I am happy to say I will definitely hit it In fact, I will go past it quite easily.

Here is what I have learned. Although I have no problems in sharing what I do, do bear in mind I am not THE expert on amazon. It is just that I am starting to get it as I am seeing large increase in my traffic and earnings over the past 2 months. Also bear in mind that this stragety is applied to a 6 month old site so I am not sure how well it will work for a brand new site. I will break down what I do in terms of keyword research, article writing and backlinking.

Keyword research

When it comes to amazon keywords, I don't use google keyword tool that much. One reason is because I am targeting primarily new products so the tool is not very useful. This is what I did:

I always look for new hot products. This is because there is very little competition and you can always rank easily.

I look for these in 2 sections of Amazon: (i) one is in the hot upcoming release and (ii)the other place is in the best seller list. However, I don't go for products that have already stayed more than 50 days in the best seller and that might mean more competition for me.

One of the challenges for product keywords is knowing exactly what keyword to target. For example, I took this product name from the toy section a while ago: "Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit". So, what do you target? The full model name? How about only "Ever Bracelet Making Kit" or "Alex Toy Bracelet Making Kit" or "Bracelet Making Kit Alex toys" or blah, blah, blah. I solve this issue by using Google insight and Google suggests. I start with the broadest term and see what Google recommends. Insight is good in terms of comparing relative keywords.

Another method I used is to use past info to guide me. For example, there might a "Alex toy product Y" last year. I will use google insight to see what kind of keywords people used to search this past product and apply them to the newly launched one.

Article writing

Every new article I wrote targets a hot new product using the keywords process I mentioned above. In terms of the actual article, I always target buying such as "Alex toy bracklet kit For sale Where to buy alex toy ever bracket making kit".

My article titles are typically long because they do affect how well you rank. The more keywords you have in there, the more long tails you are going to pick up. Notice how i squeeze two different possibile way to search for the product in the above example i.e. ""Alex toy bracklet kit" and "alex toy ever bracket making kit"


My new post I made received at least 10 backlinks from either Postrunner or BuildMyRank. The latter is especially potent for my site. Every keyword I hit with their backlinks will see a rise in SERPs within days, not weeks. However, I made no gurantees here so it is up to you to decide if you want to give that service a try.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

How to target higher paying keywords for Adsense

I just thought to share something that has helped me to increase my adsense earnings over the past months. Again, this is just my experience so please feel free to add your comments.

This realisation came about because I linked my adsense and my analytics during late July. I wished I had done it sooner!

When looking at the data, one thing that really stuck me is the range of payout that I was getting. Some were really low such (0.5>3 dollar range). I began to analyse the data and realise there were root words that can trigger the higher paying ads. I began to use more of these root words and then magic! I began to get the higher ads.

An example:

Normally, I would target something like tummy tuck. The traffic is high and the payout is decent but it was not the highest paying keywords. I then realise by adding roots words such as price + location (imaginary example, NOT REAL), the higher paying ads begin to come. So something like:

tummy tuck cost in London


cheap tummy tuck prices

I noted down all the different root word combination and analyse which combination can yield the highest paying ads. I then use these combinations in my post titles and find that not only do they trigger better paying ads but they are easier to rank as well. This is how my income jumped even though there was little movements in my main keywords.

Result: can you say USD12 click baby : )


I find that this approach works for every niche. I tried it in my furniture niche as well and find that I can raise the average paying click from the typical 0.5-0.8 range to my current 1.2-1.5 range, just by targeting the right root words.

All these targeting will raise your eCPM and makes it easier for you to earn more money without having large amounts of traffic. For example, an eCPM of USD20 will mean that you need 5000 visitors per day to cross the USD100 mark. If your eCPM is USD50, then you will need 2000. What we are doing then is sacrificing more traffic with higher paying traffic.

Tuesday, 10 August 2010

How to earn USD500 with Amazon

Another update on my money making or passive income journey. In my last post, I talked about how to find hot niches and have shown my eclipse clothing line. Since that time, my site is now ranked no 2 within a couple of weeks. Unfortunately, this is s dud keyword, meaning that there is little traffic to it. As a result, income from this site is minimal, about USD15 per month. Compared to my new moon site, this eclipse site earns much less and might a sign that the trend of twilight is dying down.

However, I do not regret doing that experiment as I have gained another site for linking in the future,

This couple of months, i am targeting Amazon and have set up a number of sniper Amazon sites. These are smaller site that are laser target to the keywords. I will show you one example, white melamine shelving. The aim is to get a couple of these sites up and you should see USD500 within 3-6 months of work.

The best way to find buying keyowrds for Amazon is to look at hot products in Amazon and then using Google keyword tool to dig deeper into what keywords should you consider. Using this approach, I have found a goldmine of keywords that has large number , and very little competition.

Saturday, 19 June 2010

How to target hot niches

This is an experiment to show you how I target hot niches that can generate you some money in the short run. These types of sites can be set up quickly and are meant to target some short term trends. The good thing about such trend niches is that they typically don't have existing authority sites to compete against, meaning you will have a much easier time to rank for them. This experiment is a demonstration of what Grizzly has been showing us in his American Idol and Blinkweb review posts.

For this experiment, I am going to target a keyword and report its earnings and ranking for about 2 months. We will see how much effort is needed and for what kind of returns can I achieved. In this experiment, I am targeting eclipse clothing line to capitalise on the latest Twilight craze. The site has already been set up and is now ranking on page two to three, depending on where your data centre is. This out of the box ranking can be achieved through the exact domain bonus as well as the non competitiveness of the keyword itself.

As a first step, you need to have a source for finding these hot trend niches. Personally, I often use AOL hot, Amazon Hot New Release as well as all the niche forums that talk about new products and services. I used to visit Google Trends as well but all the other Internet Marketers guys are crawling over that so to be successful, you need to have your own areas to draw ideas from. The best way is to look out for new products in the forums or social networks that you are currently hanging out in. See what things are getting people in your niche excited. This is the perfect keyword to target. Most of these trends will die off but if you can earn some passive money while they are still hot, it is not a big deal. Moreover, some of these trends might turn out to have some lasting power. That is where you really hit the jackpot.

Once you have found these keywords, the next thing is to set up a site optimised for that keyword. If you want to know how to set up an optimised site, here is a basic breakdown:
- keyword in URL
- keyword in blog title
- keyword and related keywords in blog description area
- keyword in post titles

This is how a SEO optimised site will have. However, to really rank well, you need anchored backlinks. This means get backlinks from article directories such as ezine, inforbarrel, hubpages, post your articles etc. All these sites can give you good links. For non competitive keywords, they will be enough to bring your site up. If you need more sources for free backlinks, I will cover that topic in a post scheduled to be published in July.

When targeting keywords, it is always good to target related keywords as well. For example, in the eclipse experiment, my site will also target related words like eclipose fashion line, eclipse clothing, where to buy eclipse clothing line etc. All these longtail keywords will bring you more traffic than just one word. If you want to know more about these anchored keywords, click on the link to read my previous coverage for more information.

Stay tuned for the my update on this experiment. I shall be back in two weeks with income reports and other interesting facts that come up in the experiment.

Btw, this is my last day in US. I have been spending about two weeks touring the western coast with my wife. The good thing about passive income is that while I am on tour, the income doesn't let up and continues to come up. My amazon is also up meaning my authority site experiment is beginning to see some results as well. I will report on that as well once I have more data.

In the meantime, go earn some passive income. It will change your life and your perspective on what is possible : )

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

How to find keywords from ezine that brings in traffic

Most of the time, beginners are advised to do keyword search using Google adword tool. While that is a good start, I find that the tool is useless for longtail keyword that beginners should target. What I am currently using now is a different approach.

This is how I do keyword research. It is a variation of the common strategy that IM folksuses. When analysing keyword competition, they look out for an ezine or hubpage or other web 2.0 properties on the first page of the SERP, because that is a strong indication that the keyword is easy to beat. However, this process is tedious and is very dependent on luck. You just need to try a lot of keywords to see which one has the result that contains these Web 2.0 in the first page.

What I do is the reverse. I first analyse which ezine article is already getting lots of views in a short time by using the following search string:

site:ezinearticles.com “This article has been viewed″ “Article Submitted On: * 2010″

The first part allows you to see the no of views directly on the SERP so saving you the trouble of clicking into individual articles. The second part is your niche. The third part will filter the articles according to date.

For me, I look for articles that have been written in the past 3-4 months and see which ones have a couple of hundred views. This tells me that the market has interest in the niche.

Then I look at the post article and try to deduce what are the keywords that the article is ranking for. I then do a search using the keyword that I have deduced. If I see that article in the first page for the keyword, it means that the keyword is easy to rank for.

The reason I look only at the past few months is to take away the age factor. If an article written in April has gather ranking and generate hundreds of views within 1-2 months, it means we can probably achieve the same result by either using an EDN or creating a page on your current site and point several Web 2.0 properties to it.

As an example, this is what I found just 15 minutes ago using the diet niche


Submitted on 13 April 2010,
Ranking for: 1300 Calories Diet Menu

I have tried this method a couple of times and so far, the results are what I have expected. However, I need to experiment for a longer time to draw any meaningful conclusion. In fact, I have all these data in my spreadsheet. Once I have enough sample, I hope to derive some formula such that I can estimate any monthly traffic based on these few statistics that been mentioned.

If this method works, it will be interesting because I can use the same approach to data mine all article directories like ehow, associated content etc. In fact, with some alterations to the search string, you can identify a lot of big seasonal money makers : )

Thursday, 6 May 2010

How to create an authority site for passive income

This a long post about how to go about creating an authority site. It comes from an email that I have sent to my 'students' learning how to do internet marketing. I thought it would be useful to produce that here:


As you guys know, Google undertook some serious cleanup for the past few weeks. I have already told you guys how to position your blogs to be sustainable in the long run. I am going to summarise this in this email as well as to rant a bit of other stuff, so do stay with me for a while.

One of the thing about making money online is about commitment. It is all about doing CONSISTENT work for the first few months before seeing any results but they will come. To show you evidence, here are the adsense earning trends of my fellow marketers. As you noticed, the shape is all the same although the amount earned can be different i.e. a flat line for the first few months and a sudden jump in earnings. This is because age plays an important factor in the ranking. All the good work done in the first few months is just to convince Google that your site is genuine. Once Google trust, they will suddenly release your content into the SERP, resulting in a jump in your traffic and money.






Hopefully, these will help you set the right expectations. Nothing good in this world comes easily and it is the same with passive income. You need to put in the work first before seeing any result. I had quite a number of ‘students’ in the past and 95 % of them failed because they didn’t really commit. Sure, verbally they will say they are ‘in’ but action wise, you know they are not committed. By commitment, I mean do mean commitment. The kind shown by sportsman who want to win medals, who trains everyday rain or shine. That is commitment. Not the type where “oh, I need to go out with my friends today; oh, I need to do XXX”. All these are excuses.

One way to commit is to set targets. A lot of my students didn’t. They work as and when they like and whenever I gave them a push. So for you guys to really succeed like me, you need concrete targets. These targets should not be in the form of earnings or rankings or traffic, they should be in terms of work. More specifically, they should be in the form of articles produced per day, per week or per month.

You might say this is easy for me as I have been through this already. Fair comment. So, to work along with you guys, I am setting myself a new challenge and target. For the next 2 months, I am going to master Amazon. Currently, my Amazon earnings are pitiful as they range from 20 cents to 20 dollars a month. I don’t know how to do this properly but I am going to take these 2 months to try. For this experiment, I going to use 2 new sites and create content on them that targets the grilling and toy niches respectively. My target is terms of workload for May and June is this:

- 50 articles on 1 site with each article focusing on reviewing one specific model and brand

- 50 backlinks to each article

That means a total of 200 article within 2 months. I am going to throw these out and see what happens in July. In the meantime, I will not check my stats or ranking or traffic. The only thing I will be checking is the work I have done.

I hope you can commit yourself to some target along with me. I suggest you focus on one site and create 100 articles for it within these 2 months: 50 to be posted on your site and 50 to be used for backlinks. 100 articles within 2 months means an average of 1.6 articles per day, very doable if you commit.

Guys, this is a great time to start. A new month is coming and that is good to start something new. With the Amazon experiment, I am now on the same footing as you. I will be working on the new site as well and I am will figuring out how to do things. If I can try something new, I am sure you guys can. Remember, I am still be doing work on my Adsense sites even when doing this experiment so my personal workload will be much much heavier.

Ok, as a recap on how to create an authority site, here are the basic things you need to be aware of:

1) Pick a wider niche that obeys the same principles:

a.Competition: PR3s and below in the Google search result page. PR4 is ok if the main keyword didn’t appear in the heading of the search result

b.Potential: I would recommend more than 500USD to worth the effort, even 1,000USD.

Notice that I didn’t say pick keywords, I say pick a niche. A niche can have lots of keywords. When calculating the potential of a niche, you need to sum up all the profit potential of all the keywords within the niche. For example, if I am picking the niche “ rain boots”, I would sum the profit potential of not only the keyword “rain boots” but for all related keywords such as “women rain boots”, “rain boots for kids”, “red rain boots” etc. So, a keyword itself might not give you 500USD but the summation of all the related keywords in a niche can easily hit that target.

2) Write 50 articles for your site:

a. Each article should target a long tail. I have sent you guys some info about how to do that yesterday. Read that again to understand what is long tail keywords. In the beginning, your site will only attract long tail keyword searches and the more you have, the more traffic you will gain in the short run. Once you are ranking of many long tail keywords, your main keyword will start to appear.

b. Your long tail keyword must appear in the article title. However, do not make it spammy by including just the long tail keyword. In the past you can do that but with the new changes, you will want a post title that appears natural and yet contains your keyword. For example, if you are targeting ‘yellow rain boots’ in an article, you should use titles like “best looking yellow rain boots”, “where to find the cheapest yellow rain boots” etc.

3) Write another 50 articles for backlinks:

a. Nothing much to say except that each article should target the backlink to one of your articles that you have written for your site. The good thing is I have a backlink resource you guys can use. When I started by myself, I need to literally beg for these backlink resources.

4) Enforce what Google already recognizes you for:

a. By the third or fourth week, you should start to see some traffic if you have been diligent and have put up more than 15 articles in your site. Use analytics software like StatCounter to monitor what keywords are bringing you these traffic. For example, you might find that ‘green rain boots’ is giving you traffic even though your article was about ‘yellow rain boots’. You just happen to mention the word ‘green’ in the article and got ranked because of that. If the traffic is good for this keyword, you might want to write a new article that just targets ‘green rain boots’.

If you finish these within 2 months, I can safely say you will have your first click by July. However, the full effects will come only in September or even October when the site has aged and there will be a sudden jump in your earnings. If you do have your first click in July, I think that will motivate you enough to continue what you are doing and you should have a good passive stream in the future. The tough part is always the beginning.

So, how badly do you want this? Take a moment and think for yourself. If you are not willing to do the work above, I suggest you stop now. Seriously. No point wasting your time as you wouldn’t get anywhere with half hearted attempts anyway. I have seen this happen to my old students so many times so I don’t want it to happen to you.

Are you in or out?

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Buying keywords for beginners

I have not updated this blog because I am been working hard at building my niche blogs and making money. It has been a very rewarding experience to apply all the SEO tips that I have learned to make a real living. However, this is not instant wealth. Don't expect to create one blog and expect to quit your job. It wouldn't happen that way. Making money online using niche blogs is a long process. Give yourself a year and tw0(plus constant hard work) and you will have a passive income stream that can then allow you to quit your job and do what you really.

A year or two of hardwork is not actually that long. Most of us have worked for 5 years or more and we are still stuck in the same 9-5 working conditions. However, we don't complain about working for 5 years. Relative to that, 1-2 years is nothing because the rewards at the end of the day is so much richer. My plan is to have enough passive income to travel the world for almost everyday of my life. Because I can work anywhere with my niche blogs, I can practically work from any country. Even if I don't work at all, it will be ok because I have the passive income coming in. That is my end goal and that is why I am motivated to do this.

When you first start out as I have, the beginning is always the most difficult. The income you get is so small that you will think whether this is worth it. My first month adsense earning is only $15. Well, that wouldn't get anybody excited and this is why most people will fail. They can't see the long term potential of that USD$15. My second month is around USD$50. Again, not exciting but the growth is there. I break theUSD $100 mark in my third month and things got really interesting. I am now at the 6th month and I am on track to break the USD$1000 a month mark. That is my aim for this year and to break the USD$5000 a month by next year. Based on my current progress, this is certainty doable if you put enough hard work into it.

Making money using adsense is not rocket science. You just need to

(i) select good keywords which can produce profits,
(ii) create keyword relevant content on free platforms such as Blogspot, Blogetery, Blogpico or your own self hosted blogs, and
(iii) the most important part, getting anchored backlinks to your site using a variety of varied phases relating to your keywords.

If you do the above, your site will be ranked on the first page of Google and you will received targeted traffic that will click on your adsense because they are relevant to the searcher. Once that happens, you make money.

However, getting the anchored backlinks is the most difficult because as a beginner, we don't have a lot of resources to place our links. Therefore, we need to think of out the box and figure out niches that our site can get to the top page without that many backlinks. To do that, I have 2 tips for you.

The first is to buy domains containing the exact keyword phase. Domains carry quite a bit of SEO juice so they can rank out of the box if the competition is not strong. If you select keywords that are typically three letter long and the result pages in Google showing 100,000 or less, the chances of that domain ranking for its keyword is very high. This is my current strategy and I am using it to create 100 micro sites. I called this my microsite challenge and I intend to finish it by end of May. With 100 microsites making roughly $10-$40 per month, you are looking at USD$1000-USD$4000 a month, a full time income right there.

I will detailing this challenge in my future posts. So far, the learnings have been great from creating these sites and I can't wait to share them here.

The second tip is to look for keywords that have no authority sites for them. What are authority sites? These are sites that Google trust and you will find that there will be 1-2 for these for any 2 word common keywords. Take window blinds for example. There will be ecommerce store selling blinds that have around since 2000 and these site, due to the age, will have a lot of trust in Google's eyes. Trying to outrank them is possible if they don't have a lot of anchored backlinks but it will take a while and most beginners don't have patience or confidence for this.

The tip is then is to look for new keywords that have no authority sites. Where to find them? Look for trends and events. One good example is movies. There are always new movies so the title of the movies are new keywords that have no authority sites. A personal example is New Moon. This is the title for the second saga for the popular Twilight series. This word is new and there were no authority for it. I created a blog around a merchandise item around New Moon and got ranked on the first page within 3 weeks with only 3 backlinks. This 2 post blog made me a few hundred dollars a month during Nov and Dec.

While the earnings have tailored off, it still gets a constant traffic. Even if the earnings stopped, so wait., I have earned the money and I now have a blog ranking on page one of Google for its keyword that I can use for backlinking.

So, look for trends and spot keywords because they are easy to rank for beginners. However, do try to pick out buying keywords. Going back to the Twilight example. Ranking for something New Moon trailer might get you lots of traffic but the clicks will have low paying ads because the searchers do not really want to buy anything. When going back such niches, think of the product side. What kind of merchandise will fans of the movies looking for. These product related keywords are definitely buying keywords and will tend to have more clicks and higher paying ads.

If we continue the movie example, I will then look for what will be the hottest say, kids animation movies for 2010. I will do a little research to see which one of these titles have an existing fan base and will then select my keywords accordingly. For kids animation, things like coloring book, songtrack, toys, action figures etc are good buying keywords that you can tag below the name of the movie like this example: diary of a wimpy kid coloring book, or how to train your dragon toys.

Of course, besides movies, there are other types of niches that has new keywords with no authority. Look out for new product launches. Products can be in home applicanes like the new bladeless electric fan or they can be services like new type of cosmestic surgery. All these type of niches are easy to rank for. Of course, some will turn out to be duds but if you build on free blogspots, where is the cost?

I hope this post on selecting buying keywords for beginners has been useful.