Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What is your main objective in blogging?

Begin with an end in mind - A cliche that's easier said than done?

This is the second post of what could be a series where I'll share my thoughts on "blogging for profits" (and why I think you should not do, as a newbie). If you've not read it, do check it out so there's some flow.

For almost a month since I started this blog, I've been spending almost all my "working hours" getting myself involved with Web 2.0 stuffs: Blogging, visiting blogs, social networking and trying out some related tools (ya, blogrush huh?).

Gosh, I must confess that it's sending me guilt. I feel really bad about neglecting my usual routine of identifying new affiliate programs, launching new PPC campaigns and related tasks. Otherwise, I would have created a few more profitable PPC income streams on auto-pilot.

So is all these time spent on blogging and such worth it? Seriously, the shear magnitude of "things" to do and learn while at it really do drain up one's attention. Learning curves...

After all, it's one thing to be on the sideline just keeping tab of what people are doing with blogs, and another to really get my hands dirty in it. It just dawn on me how overwhelming it could be for a newbie then! (I consider myself an intermediate to advance online marketer - depending on which business model)

Setting my blog objective

A couple of days ago, I ponder over the above cliche and question myself why I've started blogging. This is by far the only blog that I've contributed the most time, but why? I then decided to nail down my objective which I've just updated in my introduction text, on the side panel beside my picture.

Glancing through all the posts written so far, I think I'm still being congruent with the stated objective:

  1. Done and will continue to do some SEO (search engine optimzation) stuffs, mainly to get a gauge on the amount of effort needed and will compare the effectiveness with paid advertising - for a newbie to get traffic.

  2. Started to be quite active in my "web 2.0" stuffs (blogging. social networking, etc.), again to have a feel on its effectiveness in traffic generation and monetization.

  3. Progressively, I'll also introduce more PPC specific posts, but to cover it objectively in comparison to the above. To address the myth around "why pay for traffic when you can get it free - from seo, social networks, etc. - especially if you're new.

  4. I may also touch base on viral marketing - since I've my share of success with it too, having launched successfully one of the biggest buzz around phone call-back services in Singapore; so much so that the officials from our telecommunication authority call me up personally to "tame" down the campaign.

My end in mind?

Other than to create a "branding" for myself as an expert with paid advertising (for consulting opportunity maybe? *wink*), I like the idea of being a source of "enlightenment" for someone who's still wondering aabout the above means to get traffic (= money).

Oh, by the way, perhaps it may also help to mention that I can afford to persue this somewhat "evangelistic" vision because I've already attained my own financial goal and looking at something more than just the obvious ;)

Now, if you like to follow and see how this blog unfolds, remember to subscribe to it.

So have you ask yourself why you're also blogging?

Monday, September 17, 2007

BlogRush users CLICK HERE: Free Bonuses!

blogrush The length of this post title is exactly 40 character wide, and it sure looks like those attention-seeking and clicks-pulling headlines isn't it? I'll explain ;)

Well, if you've landed on this post via a BlogRush widget click, then one of my BlogRush "tips and tricks" works. I've a full documentation on this blogrush tip in how to implement a dedicated Blogrush blog.

Advertising in blogrush (getting good click-thru rate) is pretty much the same as advertising in Pay Per Click search engines. Part of it is about setting an attention grabing headline, just ilke this blog post.

I'll leave this topic for now, if you've been a Blogrush user, check this blogrush squidoo lens too.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

BlogRush - Automatically Promote Your Posts On Related Blogs

BlogRushThis blog gets a fair share of traffic from the MyBlogLog community. Just under 3 weeks and I've gotten over a thousand unique visitors (since August 25th). That's FREE community traffic.

Now, I must admit that was a bit of hard work; I got the exposures mainly from visiting other people's blogs and profile. Doing that attract some return traffic probably from the blog owners or their visitors, when my picture was displayed on their MyBlogLog widget. Someone joke that I should be using a pretty lady's picture so I'll get more traffic. Haha... I'm sure it will, but what kind of visitors I'll be getting is another question.

Here's a new kid on the block which I'm testing - BlogRush.

As you can see on the panel to the right, I've added a new "widget" that displays 5 random posts from other blogs belonging to the "Marketing" category or topic. I've classified this PPC Marketing blog under "Marketing" when I sign up for the free BlogRush membership - as such the BlogRush Syndication Network will display 5 random posts from other "Marketing" blogs here.

The idea is that since it's all marketing related, any referral traffic from these blogs should be more "targeted" readers who are interested in that subject matter. Now, how would I benefit from sharing my visitor traffic with other bloggers via this panel too?

I've detailed quite a lot of goodies in a BlogRush Squidoo Lens. That should give you some idea why it's a good/bad ideas to start adding BlogRush to your blog NOW even though it's on Beta...

If you are totally new to all these, check out the instructinoal videos which I've made on the Squidoo Lens too (Ya, you get to hear my voice); e.g. specific instructions on how to add this widget on various Blogging platforms like

Basically, it's as simple as adding some javascript code (just like Google Adsense) anywhere on your blog's template where you want the panel to be shown. With Blogger, you simply add a new "HTML/Text" widget containing your own unique BlogRush code.

BlogRush Video
Right, I'm promoting it actively now as I'm really interested to see how it compares to MyBlogLog in generating more community traffic to this blog. You should too ;)

If you're wondering why a PPC guy is promoting this thing so actively, have a read on my objective of this blog just below my picture on the side.

Note: Links here contain my referral code.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Information Overload - A Necessary Evil?

Do you think it's humanly possible to avoid going through this "information overload" phase when learning how to make money online?

Maybe for a trained mind.

My own journey on internet marketing is perhaps like most others - easily influenced by what we read and often feel "yank" in different directions by various teachers and their teachings.

It's very demoralizing, but can I blame it on my own lack of focus and discipline?

Look at the numerous temptations and promises of "quick fix" solutions out there disguise in crafty sales pitches that speaks right into our hearts. It's so difficult not to react to them in the way they HAVE predicted we will.

Ya, sounds scary, but if you've been in any decent copywriting classes, you'll know how words are used to manipulate minds. Sure, copies that target at a reader's "wants" are marketing 101 that has worked for centuries. It's unfortunate that most buyers don't know what we really "need".

The best defense against such sales tactics or even a scam is perhaps Wisdom; the ability to identify what's crap and what's not. How can we gain this "wisdom"?

I wish I can suggest better ways, but one of my response to my subscriber was: "...In general, there's lot to pick up from various stuffs and you'll be confused at some stage and even get dishearten. We may just need to go through this 'information overload' phase before gaining sufficient base knowledge on what's out there, then focus on something and practise it to gain competency. Enjoy your journey ;)".

At least that's true for me; I've gone through enough "internet marketing" craps out there until I'm "wise" enough to spot the same crap being rehashed into something else. When you've reach that stage, then you'll be in better shape to focus on what you've settled down to do and not be easily swayed.

Tell me if you've better approach to attain "crap immunity"...

This post is spawned off from a question from the same subscriber:

"Is there any PPC book/blog/forum/software I can get to cut through the "crap"? I don't intend to short-cut the learning process but there are indeed tonnes of crap out there and it does take time to sieve through all of them before landing on the right place."

Answer: Yes, there is and it's none other than from Google's own learning center @

Also get feeds from

The above gives you the textbook lessons on PPC (well, start with Google Adwords first). Once you "graduate" (complete all the quiz!) from the learning center, then you'll have known at least half of what I know about PPC. The rest is more about putting it into practice and sharpening your skills through experience.

That's also when you'll get to appreciate the more interesting PPC strategies and tactics around. But first, do understand that this is not gonna be a short journey; are you prepared to focus or are you still at the information "gathering" (not overload yet) phase?

Next, I'll try to touch base on why I think PPC is great place to start for newbies - unlike what many once-bitten-twice-shy newbie at PPC may think. Now you know why I've to cover some grounds (ramblings) on my take about blogging and SEO for traffic along the way?

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Pay-Per-Click Advertising - Risky?

I've gotten a message just the other day asking me "What is PPC?"...

Looks like I'm attracting all kinds of curious visitors to this blog by visiting blogs all over. Perhaps most came checking out my picture on mybloglog; I admit I do the same especially for those interesting ones ;)

Well, that's one way to generate visitor traffic isn't it? Again, that's what internet marketers like to classify under Web 2.0 or "community traffic". My only vibe about it is how "targeted" can these traffic be?

Obviously, I've should be hanging around blogs that talk about making money online since there's where my target reader gathers. Otherwise I'll be getting questions like the above. LOL

So here's a post to answer that question and something related.

First of all, in the online marketing world there is something call the "Search Marketing". It refers to the act of advertising to those people who do a "search" online via search engines such as Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click) is one form of search marketing, further classified under "paid search marketing". With PPC, an advertiser will bid to have an advertisement listed in the search results, commonly known as "sponsored result". The advertiser pay for every click that a searcher do on that sponsored result, thus pay-per-click.

The good thing about PPC advertising is that the advertiser only get billed for that click if it's performed, and the goal then is to craft the advertisement (usually a few lines of text) to convey a message that will ONLY attract the right prospect - they don't want just any clicks.

Each click can cost anywhere between 1 cent to tens of dollars! It's a bidding (auction) system therefore depending on the advertiser's intention, they control how much they are willing to spend per click and set a budget for the day. Some big corporations uses PPC for branding purpose and simply send these traffic to their home page, but most of the time we find ourselves landing on some sales page of the advertiser.

So, is PPC risky?

I often see new online marketers shying away from PPC after trying it a while and having spent more than they profit from it. Then these "newbie" will jump on the "free traffic" bandwagon (like community traffic and doing SEO) thinking it can't be wrong since it's free...

Well, think of PPC as placing ads on the newspaper; if you're in business have you bought those $5 per line of classified ad space in the classified section of a newspaper? Imagine now you can track and measure the value of every reader who react to your ad (e.g. make a phone call to you).

If you discover that by spending $25 for those 5 lines of ad, you get X amount of phone calls, and Y% will buy from you over the phone thus giving you $Z in profit, will you keep running that ad on the same newspaper over and over again, perhaps testing with different ads to see if it "converts" better?

In fact, online PPC search marketing is so much more predictable than off-line advertisement campagins.

With the ability to track every single click and measure the conversion (into sales, for example) rate of your spent in PPC, the only possibility is to end up either dropping the campaign or tuning it for more profit.

We can get almost instant traffic via PPC adverstising, and more importantly, these traffic are targeted. This means that if I bid on keyword terms like "online marketing tips" or "internet marketing guides" or even "paid search consultant" ;) in the PPC search engines, I can present these visitors the relevant content page on my website since I can roughly tell what they are "searching" for.

Relating this to my first paragraph of this post; I then don't have to be concern about catering my website content to visitors of all shape and sizes, explaining "What is PPC" ;)

Here's another twist: If you're selling something online, bidding on the right keywords bring you so much further into the sales cycle. The trick is to identify those "buying keywords" so you won't waste money bidding on just any keywords that bring non-converting traffic. (and conclude that PPC is not for newbie)

With community traffic such as what I'm getting here with this blog, most visitors are not in the mood of buying anything so there'll be more "work" for me to do trying to get your credit card out. You're just on a different end of the sales cycle, if any. I've to gain your trust, build relationship, yada yada... Not bad at all, just that it's... different. (As such, most bloggers try to monetize their blogs with Adsense and get paid getting clicks from these type of visitors - Adsense is a whole new topic I may blog about later)

What about SEO traffic? Yes, these can be targeted and great (because it's free) IF you can get good ranking in the first few search result pages for the "buying keywords" you would otherwise bid for. The caveat is the big IF. Anyone every ask whether SEO is risky for the newbie?

Do the obvious, but do it differently.

(hehe... this last phrase has nothing to do with this post, I saw it on the cover of a magazine call "Expat" in my local shopping center just now)

Later, Hans.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

SEO for internet marketing newbie?

Make no mistake about the intent of this blog, I'm still trying to get it listed in the first page of Google search result for terms like "Paid Search Consultant" and "PPC Consultant" with simple SEO tactics I learn from a workshop not long ago.

Along with that little SEO practice, I get to promote myself as a guru an expert in paid search marketing and feeding some targeted visitor traffic to my PPC Blog ;)

So what's the result of this experimentation so far?

Since the last ramblings about my fast generic listing and how it got de-listed, I almost wanted to fall back in my comfort zone with paid listing advertisements. So you see a sudden switch in my subsequence posts on blogging for profits and not SEO... haha. (Anyway, I'll come back to that subject soon, as I've a lot to blog about it)

Today I did a search again on "paid search consultant" in google and wa-lah! I got the forth position on the first SERP!

However, on closer look it's not a listing for this blogspot pages but one from Yup, it's pointing to a paid search consultant "tag" in mybloglog. How does it come about?

Well, for one I believe it's because is an authoritative site in the eyes of Google and compare to the fifth and lower listings, it commands a higher ranking. I know that's at least part of the factor in Google's formula for generic listings.

Still, what happened to my blogger page that disappeared from the first page? Isn't also an authority domain and that I'm riding on this factor specifically to get good ranking? There lies the uncertainty with generic search engine optimization. (I've notice that the formal fifth placing for "Paid Search Consultant" of another website is no longer there too)

Do I need to get so analytical about such matter? Most SEO experts will tell me not to bother; don't miss the forest for the tree. As long as we do all the necessary and proper "on-page" and "off-page" optimization, the listings will come (and go).

Yes, getting high generic search listings does bring tons of "free traffic" and it's something every online marketer should capitalize on. Is it the first traffic generation tactic a new marketer should learn? My personal opinion is obvious (and bias) but I'll love to know your comments & critics too.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Blogging for profits?

Chances are you found this blog by visiting my mybloglog profile as I've been very active visiting other people's (including yours ;) blog too. That's what they call "community traffic" which falls under the latest buzz around "Web 2.0". Hehe... never mind if these sound French to you.

What I discover is that majority of the visitors that came to my site are from the "online money making" group. Why am I not surprised!? Because this blog happens to be dedicated to that "market" and I've been visiting related blogs and websites from this community 8-} *slap*

Anyway, my point in relation to the title of this post "blogging for profits" is that majority of these blogs are in for the money. I see Google adsense ads, text link ads, banners, affiliate links, etc. So people are making money from blogs; there are even a few of these savvy bloggers putting up income statements and such, to proof that you can make a full-time living (and even get rich!) from blogging.

Wow. I must be living in a cocoon to have such revelation only now huh? LOL. Well, I'm impressed to say the least. Blogging is definitely one of the workable money generation system online. That's why I'm starting to blog right?

I know I'll be shot (not literally) in any attempt to argue against that FACT (blogging can make money) - especially as a what... Paid Search Consultant?! Hey, I've my own perspective which I like blog about here. Hint: They also teach us to be controversial in our voice so that may generate some "buzz". (Disclaimer: good or bad traffic is another thing altogether ;)

Anyway here's my take on blogging for profits - at least a "full-time" income:

  • You need traffic

    If you're going for ads revenue, you need LOTS of traffic. Otherwise you need to have, or appear to have authority in your voice, such that the relatively fewer readership will buy things from you or via your affiliate link (these last 2 share the biggest slice of the profit pie, apparently more than selling ads).

    Usually having authority will attract the traffic and having tons of traffic will let you look authoritative. Need to get this spin going...

  • You need to pick the "right" market

    Ideally one that has "passionate" followers, irrational buyers and hopefully a LARGE one too. Do you think ramblings about your own life in general (what they call "online diary") will get you the needed traffic? (Not unless you're a star offline, but then if you're one you already have authority). What about blogging about your hobby? It depends... but the gist of it is that the market you're going after need to satisfy the above ideals.

    Incidentally, all those blogs that I came across as significant money makers target at the "internet marketers" or more general "opportunity seekers". If you came across other case studies on money-generating blogs outside of the money maker group, please share your comments. (Criteria: Start with no authority)

  • You need to expand outside of blogging

    For someone to be able to make a full-time income blogging, this thinking is obvious. Any folks that have the business acumen to attain that should already understand that blogging is very dependent on the author(s); stop blogging and your readership goes elsewhere. Challenges like:
    1. Can the income scale up easily? (What? Start new blogs & live online posting?)
    2. Outsource by getting more authors? (I even know gurus who does this by getting ghost writers to post as their own)
    3. There are more, having a writer's block now; can't think... (It's late for me)
I'll continue this post later, with further dissection on the bullets above and thinking aloud why it's not an easy feat trying to profit (make a living) by blogging, alone. Especially for newbie...

In summary, if you ever want to do this for a living, begin with an end in mind. Try to internalize first WHY do you choose blogging as the model for generating traffic and how do you think you can address all the point above. I know of many who think this is the CHEAPEST way to start an online business - that's the wrong mindset - or at least not a businessman mindset, IMHO.

Heck, what do I know about blogging for profits?! Check around and google for my name, I don't have any blogs to show for myself and the only one I started (with my real name) has been stale for months!

Well, could it because I know something else that work better, which most bloggers does not? Hehe... Ya, I know I'm blowing my own trumpet and no prize for guessing what it is. It's after all just one of the means to generate traffic - which is only the tip of the ice-burg for any businesses. At some point in the various business models, it all converge and share similar strategies.

More about all these in my posts going forward. Woah!! I found something to blog about passionately and for a cause! Join my community and subscribe to my feeds (see top right) to get all these juicy posts!

Zzzzz.... HAns

Saturday, September 1, 2007

"Paid Search Consultant" listing gone!?

Is google reading my post? LOL!!!!

Just three days ago, I boasted about how one of my post got listed in the first page of google for the term "Paid Search Consultant". Today it's gone! (Luckily there's a screen-shot captured to backup my claims ;)

I know what is "google dance" and how erratic it can be. Another suspect could be "over optimization"? Haha... Yup, I did go overboard a bit trying to rank high for that term; i.e. on top of "on-page optimization", I went out getting back-links to that page using social bookmarking (blasted out 20+ links with services like and putting links in forum's profile and sigs, etc.

Could these "extra" effort be detrimental to my "seo" effort and caused that particular post to be de-listed from google index? (All my other posts from this blog are still indexed)

I won't loose sleep over it, but if anyone of ye-more-seo-enlightened fellow out there care to share a comment or two, I'll appreciate.

And you know what? Hitting blocks like these are the neccessary evils for one to master any skill. It's through these experiments (doing) and from the act of seeking solutions that I learn stuffs which eventually become that "secret" to success. This was the journey I took before I became an expert in PPC Marketing.

So stop JUST reading about other's experiences but ALSO go get your hands dirtly and learn things your own way!


Thursday, August 30, 2007

PPC Management?

Now, the next feat I'll attempt is to rank for the keyword "PPC Management"; this will be more challenging as a search in google reveals a number of PR6 and PR5 top listings, with the last few having PR4 at the bottom of page 1 result.

SEO again? Haha...well, this blog was started as an assignment to try out some search engine optimization tips anyway. So if you're expecting more specifically on how I make money with ppc, I do have a dedicated site which you can subscribe ;)

Back to the PPC Management key-phrase, why do I select this term to rank? The whole idea of getting into the page 1 SERP is to look for low competitions keywords and hopefully with some traffic. While there are many other factors that determine how well you can rank against other sites (especially back-links), my understanding is that with all else equal, the PageRank of your page matters most; to Google anyway.

To get some page rank is easier than creating many back-links; you may have read about how creating blogs on domains like or help (that's why I'm blogging here!). More about that if you're interested - post some comments.

PPC Management was choosen because it's listed at the top in my quick keyword research on the generic term "ppc". I got a list of keywords that have "high traffic", but "low competitions" - these easy to rank keywords can help us tap into target traffic and act as the anchor texts! Here's a video on the tool I use for such research. You can also try it free.

This term also relates to my pay-per-click consultancy service; therefore I'm hoping to rank it for some qualified traffic. If you've landed on this page by searching for "ppc management", that means I'm there! What are you looking for anyway? PPC software tools that help you to manage your payperclick campaigns or planning to outsource the management of your paid search marketing to an expert?

Tell me about it?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

PPC Consultant Ranked in first page of Google!

A PPC marketer doing SEO? I'm not kidding when I wrote about learning very practical and effective SEO from the workshop just a couple of days ago.

Hey, PPC marketers are bias towards paid traffic right? LOL

Well, SEO is a must for every websites, just that in my book, SEO comes after I've discover the "converting" keywords from my PPC campaigns. That's probably a topic for another day. In this post I like to boast about my google ranking for the key phrase "Paid Search Consultant":

ppc consultantYa, sure I may have picked an easy target, but that's not the point. This little experiment just open up a world of possibilities for me. Will you be as excited if you have similar result to show for yourself?