- Make Easy Money on YouTube, Guaranteed

Remember seeing all those ads about making easy money with AdSense? Pretty soon those hucksters will be displaying ads on how to make easy money on YouTube, based in part on this NYT article about how a couple YouTube video creators are making $20,000 a month. As Cory Williams said "I didn’t start it to make money, but what a lovely surprise."

When evaluating such "opportunities" one must remember that there are mathematical outliers on every large social network. Generally it is a fools game to chase such a position, because many who are at the top accidentally ended up in the position (see above quote), and your odds of being 1 in 1,000,000 are precisely 1 in 1,000,000.

Many more people chasing that "opportunity" will only pollute the medium and force their relevancy algorithms to show less diversity, making it even harder to get noticed in a noisy market. Google encourages cut throat competition to create diversity, and then filters out the bottom 95% to 99% to maintain quality. Pet rocks may be fun (for a while), but nobody wants to be a pet rock ;)

The NYT article mentions that one of the two people they profiled openly admitted to using product placement in his videos to generate half of his income. Google believes that buying/renting links that get your site placed well in the search results is evil, but it also believes that selling links by the click and unmarked product placements in videos are fine business strategies.

Free Online SEO Presentation on October 21st

I am doing a free web seminar with SEMPDX on Tuesday, October 21, 2008 at 12:00 PM Pacific Time (US & Canada). You can learn more about it and register for free here.

No sales pitches. Just an hour of pure SEO goodness :)

Video Content Tips

I love writing, especially when compared to speaking. If I make a spelling error or need to pause and problem, but with video I notice my awkward pauses and voice inflections and cringe, and then I worry about sounding like the Fox weatherman with coprolalia

I recently came across Chris Martenson's Crash Course and appreciated the clarity of the message and presentation, which got me to thinking I should try to get better with video stuff.

I saw Brian Clark mention Web Video University. Andy Jenkins is quite good with video stuff too. Have you done much audio and video recording? What are some of your favorite tips, and what courses/books/products/etc. would you recommend?

Catch Me on The Black Ink Project Today

Jeremy Palmer invited me to do a presentation on link building for his Black Ink Project. The presentation will be today at 3PM Pacific time. If you are a member of the Black Ink Project please listen in. If you have not joined the Black Ink Project it is free to sign up.

If you have followed this blog for years and are a member of our training program this will not be a ground breaking presentation, but if you are new to this site and the field of SEO I hope you listen in and like the presentation. There is also 30 minutes of Q&A time at the end of the presentation if you catch it live, and the presentations are recorded so you can watch them later.

SEO is a Social Activity :)

Here is a 10 minute and 46 second flash video about how SEO is becoming less mechanical and more social. So far we have about a half dozen members only videos like this one...I am trying to make about one new one each week.

Download the powerpoint file here

SEO Video Subdomain Clean Up

I recently glanced at our SEO videos subdomain and was disappointed with the layout and formatting, so I spent the last couple days adding videos, categorizing them, and adding introductory text. With that subdomain only having 1% of our overall traffic, it hints at how bad the old formatting was. Please let me know what you think of the new subdomain.

Things have been going quite well since we formally launched the SEO community and training program.

  • I have been blown away by the quality of discussion on the forums. On more than one occasion I have opened up a number of tabs for answering different questions, answered a question, and then looked at how great another answer was by different members who answered quicker than I did, where I erased my answer to write "____'s answer was better." It is inspiring to see the community work out that well so early on.
  • In less than 2 months since formally launching I have made over 2,000 forum posts, and it seems this business model scales better than the old model and offers much better interaction between clients and I. Rather than trying to rush to get through all the emails (as one does when they get 100's every day) there is enough time to really interact with customers. The back and forth and variety of participants really enhances learning, and helps me focus on what training modules to create. Smilies.
  • Yesterday I figured out how to embed YouTube videos in the forums, and today we got cool new smilies (white hat, black hat, Google, spam, money, and a cheers mug)
  • The first month after launch I was able to make 4 video PowerPoint training modules. I got nothing but great feedback on those and want to see if I can create at least a few of them a month. Ideally I would make one a week, but eventually I will end up running out of topics at that pace. I have not been creating much video content for the blog because I want to make most of that stuff subscriber only. I probably need to figure out some balance on this front.
  • In the last 3 weeks we had 2 conferences and finished up taxes, and yet were able to keep up fine with both the forum and email. That bodes well for future growth potential and scalability.
  • I use Google Docs to take notes on what to update and what to add to our monthly newsletters. Google recently over-wrote one of these, but luckily I had a saved offline copy and was able to restore it.
  • Recently I did way too many interviews. I think it is important to be aggressive with self promotion when you do new launches, but I bet my interviews would have been better received if I spaced some of them out. I got to feeling a bit unoriginal because when you do that many interviews the questions tend to overlap, and so do some of the answers.
  • The developer of our Rank Checker extension just had another baby (or his wife did). So updates to that will take a bit. I plan on creating a bunch more software, but much of it will likely be decentralized due to the added reliability and cost benefit of decentralization. The decentralization does not lock in users as well as the centralization model does, but at the end of the day if the product is better that is all that matters.
  • In the background of all that I did a joint venture partnership with another big player in our space. I just saw the first version of some of that work and it is looking quite exciting. More news on that front coming soon.

The percentage of site traffic that comes to our blog is now down to ~ 40%. I hope to keep growing traffic, but drive that down to about 30% by the time the year is out, through expanding our training program, community, and tools offerings. There is lots of growth opportunity in creating more tools and improving the integration between our training modules and our community forums.

I have a couple more blog posts I want to make in the next few days, but I am going to start focusing more efforts on cross integrating the community forums with the training modules, and looking for other ways to add value to the membership area of the site.

There are also a few lead content ideas kicking around in my head. I hope to have at least one or two of these done before the month is out. Thanks for reading even though my publishing has been a bit sporadic. Hopefully a few of those features will help make up for that.

Motivational Marketing Video

I first saw this video when Jeremy mentioned it. A singer saw a Barack Obama speech and decided to create a song about his message. In 10 days the video has got 3.5 million views, and has been featured on and The New York Times.

The song is a prime example of how the Web’s user-generated content sites are undeniably affecting voter engagement this election cycle. Purchasing four and a half minutes of national TV airtime would have been near impossible, but the Internet can reach that highly sought youth audience gratis.

As Seth recently stated, almost every effective marketer targets one of a few human emotions: fear, hope, or love.

Simplicity and clarity allow a message to resonate and spread far. Arianna Huffington, reflecting on seeing the L.A. Obama rally, wrote:

After the dark, uninspiring -- indeed deeply alienating -- years of the Bush presidency, the feeling that I took away from these conversations resonates even more profoundly today: that it is time we recognize that our search for a great president is also a search for our better selves. Finally, a political litmus test that matters: Which presidential candidate can lead us to do more good than we think we're capable of

In most markets you do not need to be at that level to compete, but it would be hard to lose if you were. The market for something to believe in is infinite.

[Video] Why You Should Start Blogging Today

This 7 minute and 30 second video evangelizes blogging to new internet marketers. The reasons I am such a big fan of blogs are:

  • they are easy to set up & update
  • they offer many feedback channels
  • it is easy to track how ideas spread through blogs
  • it is easy to join the conversation
  • there are many channels to spread ideas quickly
  • blogs offer many ways to show social proof of value
  • blog posts typically do not feel like ads, even if they are

I am not sure how well it came out. Please let me know what you think of the video. Did I talk too fast? Was it too information dense? Was I clear enough?

And if you have not yet seen The Blogger's Guide to SEO, please check it out.

Find Top Paying Keywords for Google AdSense

High Value Keyword List Data for YOUR Business

This video is about more than just generating keywords for AdSense sites, it is about finding the most valuable keywords for any business. But most the people searching for top paying keyword lists are looking for AdSense keyword lists. I wanted to welcome those searchers to this site by making it easy for them to find this post when they search for related keywords on Google (hence the use of AdSense in the page title).

Discover Your Top Keywords

In this video I explain...

Self Investment 101: Are You Measuring OPPORTUNITY Cost?

When you evaluate the actual opportunity cost of business opportunities, most client relationships, equity stake deals, and other partnership opportunities fall short of what you could do on your own. The only ways it works out is if their is a symbiotic relationship through different approaches that balance out each other's shortcomings, or if you can learn something from working with them.

Problems With Many Opportunities

  • Unwilling Clients: Many clients are unwilling to change their sites to add unique content or value to them.
  • Employee / Slave Wage: Work for equity stake partnerships where the partner provides the domain name and you do everything else are both lopsided and useless.
    • At any time the partner with lots of domains can decide to screw up the project you are working on together, and has 0 time investment and limited capital risk by only putting one or a few domains into the partnership.
    • 6 months or a year after working with you they can take all the knowledge you spent years learning and apply it to their more valuable names while giving you nothing for teaching them everything you know. They were not teaching you how to buy domains why they were accumulating them for years. Why give all that knowledge up for a slice of a slice of a slice?
    • Buy an alternative average quality domain and keep all the equity. Build it up with sweat equity and learn your market. Buy great domain names when you can afford them.
  • Follow the Crowd: Many marketers try to saturate a field with affiliates marketing their products and teach affiliates how to market that same product as a piece of the product that is sold. The margins on those opportunities get compressed with each additional competitor you sell that product to.
    • Many marketers show stats out of context, use meaningless sample sizes, and/or lie about the hows and whys.
    • People hype opportunities long after they no longer exist because they are addicted to the easy profits still rolling in from old work building out an affiliate network.

Are You Moving Up the Value Chain?

I am not against any of the above models as a starting point, as everyone has to start from somewhere. But if you....

  • love business
  • love what you are doing
  • want to create a sustainable business
  • can afford short term risk for long term stability need to build equity from your work, and have a controlling stake in the outcome. If it sounds to risky to change then at least start building a site for yourself in your spare time.

What If? ...

Sure it would have been nice to have been an early programmer at Google, but for every Google there are thousands of market losers. Investing in yourself is the best investment you can ever make, and you one have to be right once.

What happened if you invested in Google a month ago? It seems those who just bought into that market hype just lost a couple dollars. Will Google go back up? Most likely. Will they increase in value at a rate as quickly as you can? Not likely.