Entries from November 2009 ↓

What Is Keeping You From Making Money

If you read my last post correctly you should start realizing by now that the technical skills that you need to make money online using seo techniques are more generic than specific.

You don’t need to be a copywriter

You don’t need to be a programmer

You don’t need to be a network whiz

You don’t need to be an interface/graphic designer

You don’t need to be a search algorithm expert

Even if you had all those skills yourself, you would need to organize your own time and make sure you deliver what you need to deliver in order for your project to come together. In this case your major expense would be time.

So if you don’t have ALL of those skills (like most of us) you will need support from someone else. So you will have two major expenses: time and money.

Welcome to the world of business: you can’t do everything by yourself, your job is to make sure you identify what needs to get done, and find the way to get it done.

“I can’t do it myself” and “I can’t afford to hire contractors” are two excuses that will take you nowhere.

So start by creating the list of tasks of everything that needs to get done for your current project to come alive. Then make sure you either allocate enough time for yourself to get it done, or that you have enough cash for contractors to fill the gaps.

If lack of investment equity is your problem, sounds like you need a business plan and an investor. Watch out for a future post on Black Hat SEO and Financial Skills.

Black Hat Skill 1 – Organization (Post 1 of 15)

Not having good organizational skills is incompatible with being a successful black hat SEO. I would argue that is even more important than knowing anything about search algorithms in the first place. In this post I will hopefully show you why.

The purpose of this series is to knock down some of the stereotypes around black hat SEO and the skills you need to develop to become a successful one.

Most people have the wrong impression about black hat search engine optimization. They think that if they can get access to a bunch of well kept secrets, they will suddenly get flooded with traffic and sales. Guess what, aint gonna happen.

Doesn’t matter how much you know about google’s algorithms, and how to manipulate them. You still have to take ideas into actions. The traffic and the sales will come after a lot of implementation, testing, tweaking and hard work.

That said, I believe Organization is one of the key skills that you need, yet often overlooked.

Black Hat Skill Number 1: Organization

Dealing with thousands of username/passwords and login details is not an easy task. You need a strategy to deal with such amount of information, as well as making sure you are not building a footprint that connects a big chunk of your web properties with each other.

As the managing director of your Black Hat SEO business, you need to think about the following challenges, and come up with a strategy to manage them successfully:

Where do you keep your domain registration information?

How do you make sure you don’t let domains expire accidentally?

How do you make sure your cashflow accounts for all those domain and hosting renewal bills?

How do you ensure you don’t link between sites in neighbour IP ranges?

Does your link building strategy mimic natural patterns?

Do you know what to do tomorrow? Next week? Do you have a list of tasks you need to work on?

How do you manage your contractors? How do you keep in touch with them? Do you brief them properly? Do you pay on time? Do you provide feedback when needed? They are a key part of your business, so you should have a strategy to manage them and improve the quality of their output on an ongoing basis.

Do you work on several projects at one time? How do you make sure you follow through on everything you start? Doing 85% of the job is usually not enough. You need to follow through and tick all the boxes to get the traffic and sales coming.

Once a project is rolled out, how do you maintain it? Do you have an ongoing conversion optimization strategy? Optimizing that landing page to improve conversions may bring you a lot more revenue than starting all over again on a new set of web properties.

How much are you spending? Do you keep a track? Do you have a planned budget? Can you tell apart your fixed costs from your variable costs? The fact that you have a high margin and you are making good money does not excuse you from being a louse administrator. We’ll get back to Financials on another post, since I believe it is a key skill for your business.

When you learn something, what do you do about it? Do you keep a repository of ideas and lessons learned? I can guarantee that you won’t remember everything you thought about or learn about 18 months from now. Take control of your knowledge and manage it properly, make it tangible and let it become an asset you will use to make more money.

Can you list everything you need to run your business? Do you know how much time/money each of those elements cost? Do they require ongoing management? If you can’t answer this, who can?

I think I could keep listing challenges that can only be managed through efficient organizational skills. Hopefully by now you are realizing that running a business based on black hat seo techniques is not about being a whiz kid and running some evil scrips and collecting the bill at the end of the month.

Where do you think you stand in all of this? Do you treat your business with enough organization?

Black Hat Skills to Make Money Online

What skills do you need to make money online using Black Hat SEO?

There may be overlap between some of the skills in the list below, but if you have all of these in your toolbox, you have the potential to become a successful Black Hat SEO:

Technical skills:

  • Planning
  • Organization
  • Finance
  • System modelling
  • Reverse engineering
  • Analytical
  • Logical
  • Creative

Life skills:

  • Self confidence
  • Skepticism
  • Curiosity
  • Ingenuity
  • Stubbornness
  • Generosity
  • Iron proof work ethics

I’ll follow up this post describing each of these skills and the role they play in your money making ventures.

Do you think I missed anything important?

How To Build Links (No BS)

As you know, getting the on-page factors right is merely 5-15% of the game. Push this number up or down depending on the competitiveness of the keyword you are targeting.

Building links is usually the big bottleneck for webmasters and SEOs. Yes sure I could create great content with viral qualities, and spend a zillion of time in social media websites connecting with people who might link to me some time. But you and I know that most of the sites we build links for are not that great, and they sure as hell aint viral.

What options are we left with? Paid links? Directory submission? 3 way link exchanges? Web 2.0 properties? Forums?

Sure, all of the above. There is a right place for everything, and there is a perfect place for what I am about to show you.

Link Farm Evolution allows you to:

  • Pick Any of the 7523+ WPMU & Pligg Hosts to Put Your Links on (how’s that for IP spread?)
  • Fill out Registration Forms Without Ever Seeing Them (how’s that for automating repetitive tasks?)
  • Post to Blogs, Submit News Stories and Comment (how’s that for keeping your link network alive and working for you?

I think wherever the word ‘farm’ is associated with ‘links’, the perception is that of a clumsy footprint-building tool that is going to get misused by the get-rich-quick hordes and fast track their way to failure.

This is not the case with LFE.

It’s a complex tool that requires a decent amount of dedication and if used properly it can become an important piece of the puzzle of a comprehensive link building strategy. Sure, white hat nazis won’t like it, but what do we care what they think?

Check out this space for more on Ling Farm Evolution. I will be posting more about it and I’m sure you’ll be interested in what I have to say.

Howdy Spammers

Almost a year after my last post, it’s scary how fast time goes by.

SEO de Janeiro was the shit, though I’m late to report it :) Got to know some great dudes and was part of some very cool discussions.

This was a very busy year, which partly explains why I haven’t been blogging.

Lots of things have changed… for example:

  • Everyone is tweeting
  • Everyone is using thesis
  • Everyone got their adwords account banned
  • Everyone knows what a flog is (which explains previous bullet point)
  • There is Bing now… watch out

Some things, however, don’t change.

For example, the good news is that Google can still be spammed. Don’t believe what you read or hear, black hat still works, as long as you master the art of making black look white. The old days of throwing mud against the wall and watching your adsense account go wild are long gone. Google’s efforts to get rid of spam separated the boys from the men and made us think like marketers, regardless of the color of the hat we wear.

Sorry for not posting for so long. I saw some old comments asking me stuff. Apologies but I had to delete them all because it was too chaotic to manage. Feel free to leave a comment again if you want to ask me anything, as I will be checking often now.

Next week I’m heading to Pubcon Vegas. If you are going there hit me up with an email or drop a comment and we’ll get together for a beer or many.