Internet

Not all domain registrars are created equally

choosing a domain registrar namecheap recommended for seo professionals

Over the years it’s absolutely astounding how quickly your domain portfolio grows. There are domains out there I totally forgot I even owned.

One of the worst things we tend to do is buy domains from multiple registrars.

The biggest problem with that is you are making life a lot more difficult for yourself. Streamlining your practices is definitely the best way to go.

In terms of domain registrar I would definitely recommend NameCheap. There are several reasons why I would recommend them to SEO experts.

Firstly, as their name suggests, they are one of the cheapest. The second reason is they offer free whois protection with each domain. The reason I like whois protection is simply because I own so many domains and I don’t necessarily want my personal details showing on them. The final reason why I prefer to use name cheap as my preferred domain registrar is they don’t bump up their prices at renewal time.

What pisses me off entirely about domain registrars like Godaddy and crazy domain is they slap you with a domain price that’s virtually double what you paid at the beginning.

My advice is streamline your service providers and bulk transfer all your domains right at the start. It will help you immensely as your portfolio grows.

Oh and one more thing – ensure you don’t tick the option that allows the registrar to ‘auto renew’. Being in the SEO game you are consistently buying and dropping domains so it’s probably a good idea to evaluate these year on year to see if they are still valuable to you.

Can you really make money online?

making money online

I’m sure this topic has been done to death. But I’m not here to sell you an ebook or indulge you in a get rich quick scheme or for that matter sell you anything at all.

For the last 5 or 6 years I have tried very hard to make a sale online. My success was minimal. My expenses and effort to make money were very quickly starting to deflate my confidence and I eventually gave up for a while.

There are marketers online that will try and sell you blueprints promising a step by step guide on how to make money. I’m sure you have already been sucked into one of them if you are reading this page. Some of them even have the audacity to play with your emotions ever further by showing photos of their so multi million dollar homes and try brainwashing you even further with more pics of what your life could be like if you became like them.

My advice here is simple.

STAY AWAY.

They are all trying to sell you something and they are all leading you down a path of disappointment.

These types of marketers should be ashamed of themselves. They are as evil as it gets prying on poor innocent people. Their pathetic squeeze pages, call to action content, poorly written ebooks were never designed to make you money. The next time you come across a squeeze page like this and feel tempted to buy something I want you to remember this scene from The wolf of Wall Street where he sells penny stocks:

Point of the video kids: Don’t get sucked in.

The reality is that you CAN make money online. Granted, it’s not as easy as it once was. The ability to rank and to maintain a healthy position in the search engine rankings is getting more difficult.

But your ability to make money online truly has to do with you and ONLY YOU. You need to think outside the box and work on those unsaturated niches.

You can go ahead and look for some inspiration for niche ideas through Commission junction (recently renamed to CJ affiliate by Conversant. But there are soooo many more out there for you to choose outside of those realms.

The difference between how i make money online and the traditional methods taught online is that i see mundane things we do and explore in every day life and adapt them to my keyword research methodology. On occasion i reach a dead end – but most of the time I hit the jackpot because I don’t try and copy what others are doing. Yes I will go and check out my competitors to get some metrics but I will only look at their work as inspiration to make mine even better.

Making money online is difficult but not impossible. Don’t give up. Think outside the box. Trust your inner guide and follow your instinct when you think you have potentially discovered a good niche and the fruits of your labor will eventually come to fruition.

Virtual assistants. Virtually useless. Sometimes.

Finding virtual assistants online

Most of us start off solo in the online marketing world. For the most part it’s a learning curve but once you start to see the commissions roll in you will want to amplify your efforts and scale your business into something bigger.

In the last year or so I have been exploring the need to hire some virtual assistants to at least take on the mundane tasks.

I won’t lie. The quest to find quality virtual assistants is not easy.

Websites like oDesk have thousands of willing assistants however vetting through those that have the appropriate skill on paper as opposed to those that can actually do the job is not an easy task.

I would be lying to you if I said I have found the ‘dream team’. They all have their strengths and weaknesses. I am continually adding and removing people from my team.

Now, I’m going to make a few generalisations about ethnicity and my experiences with Virtual assistants from around the world. Please note I don’t intend on being derogatory or racist intentionally. I am not a racist person and although these are stereotypes they are true to my experiences thus far.

With that in mind – I tend to split my virtual assistant teams into several categories. This is what has worked best for me:

Filipino’s

Their strength tends to be in customer service, data entry, copying and pasting data from one site to another, basic WordPress work and research. I also use the Filipino community for social media monitoring. If your virtual assistant team gets large enough you could always employ one of these guys/girls to look after your entire team. Again the Filipino workers seem to excel in these type of roles also.

Indians

Indian Virtual assistants have been extremely problematic for me. In my experience over the years I find it that they bid on jobs and they are way out of their depth. On multiple occasions I have had work delivered and it was that bad that I end up paying them and re-doing it myself. Hire Indians for programming work. They tend to excel in this field.

Romanians / Russians

These guys hold their strengths in design, PHP and all the cool technical stuff. I am yet to have one bad experience with these guys. They understand what you want the first time round and will only bid if they know they can do the job. They are more expensive than the others but you get what you pay for.

Native English speakers

Obviously use them to write your outsourced content. Again, you get what you pay for. Don’t hire a writer that will write a 300 word article for $5. You are guaranteed to get garbage. Please also be wary of virtual assistants and writers that claim to be native English speakers yet they are far from it.

The key here is quality. If your content is crap then your user experience will be crap. A bad user experience = no sales or commissions and most certainly no return visitors.

Pay that little bit more to get the quality you need.

I tend to use the same writers consistently. This is beneficial as they begin to understand your style and your needs. I am at the point now where I only give my writers a topic and they know exactly what i need. If you are paying for your writers and still finding mistakes in their work you need to move on and look for a new writer. I have not needed a revision even once since I established my writing team.

I realise this is a bit of a rough blog post but it will hopefully prohibit you from making the same mistakes I did when i started out.

In summary, keep it simple. Separate your teams and find their strengths. Remember that you are the boss. This is your business. Take charge. Don’t expect it all to just happen overnight without any input at all. Don’t expect them to care more than you do and last but not least learn to accept that finding people to your own standards is not an easy task.

It’s hard work, but once you have your teams established you can concentrate on the things that matter – research and making more money!

I will leave you with this final thought on what happens when assistants don’t work out as planned.

Why you need to stay away from Hostgator

avoid hostgator stay away

If you asked me 2 years ago who I would recommend as your web hosting provider I would have said Hostgator in a heart beat.

Ever since the company was acquired by EIG I have experienced an overwhelmingly inconsistent service.

My websites have become slower progressively and I can only assume that has something to do with them overcrowding their servers with thousands of other clients just like me.

It’s extremely disappointing to me considering the length of time I have been with them.

The icing on the cake would have to be their online chat/ customer service department. After waiting for several days to receive a reply (apparently delayed due to high call volumes) I was asked to provide an example of the website experiencing this issue.  It is quite evident to me the hostgator technical team take a reactive role to server performance.

I’ve started to move my websites. If you are starting out I would highly recommend that you stay away from Hostgator. Someone like Bluehost is a much more reliable option that will save you headaches when you are in my position.

I don’t know why these web hosting companies bother to partake in an acquisition process when they clearly can’t handle it.

I will end my rant here.