Adsense on a
“Value Added,” Content-Rich, theme site...
(A quick pre-flight check: If you’ve come here directly and
don’t know what the Adsense Opportunity is, go here first then come back when you’ve
read my overview.)
Building Content Sites and adding Adsense is an opportunity
with a long shelf-life and opens the door to a variety of
different income streams (more than just Adsense); it’s the
type of opportunity that can lead to a very useful income
stream that keeps going for years with little maintenance, and
can even lead to a viable full time income from a home-based
And it's 100% "white hat;" if you do it right the Search
Engines love the sites, visitors love the sites, and the
combination can spell "money."
That's the good news.
This is NOT "Get Rich Quick"
Meaning, you either have to spend some time on developing
sites, or else outsource some of the work (not at all a bad
idea, incidentally). But it's interesting how things are
When I first wrote this page, just a few months ago, I wrote
that even the quick-and-dirty approach takes a more than
trivial effort ... 10 to 40 hours, typically. That’s 10 hours
if you do no writing yourself, just organize someone else’s
“content” (I'll tell you more about this attractive and
entirely legitimate option later on). It can take as much
as 40 hours if you are prepared to “customize” some one else's
content; basically this means writing an intro, and perhaps a
conclusion, to someone else’s content so that the total
page takes on a “unique” flavor in the eyes of the Search
Well ... there have been some interesting changes.
While I still hold with these numbers in general, there have
been two recent developments that change the panorama a
First, there's been a trend to use WordPress Blogs as a
primary web site, rather than just as an ancilliary blog; along
with this has come some software such as Rapid Niche Websites
that enables you set-up a Blog that is every bit as attractive
and functional as a "normal" niche web site, and do it in
perhaps an hour or two.
Second, there's a strong case being made that "customizing"
the content-appearance of other people's articles by adding
starting or middle or ending "commentaries" really isn't
necessary; you can achieve respectable SEO rankings, and
traffic, and Adsense and Affiliate income, with duplicate
content. Which, if true, eliminates a lot of the time needed to
generate 30. 50, 70 or 100 page "Niche" web sites.
Differentiating between decent
sites and Authority Sites
Sideline: Some service-sellers and
software-sellers will claim that you can build an
Adsense site in 30 minutes or less ... and they're
telling the truth. In fact one of the products I most highly
recommend is InfoGoRound,
because you can use their pre-written articles and their
Site-Generating software in combination to build a respectable
Adsense site in under 10 minutes.
This type of site is white-hat (meaning the Search Engines
won't frown on it), decent quality, you won't be embarrassed by
it, and it will cheerfully bring you in $20 to $60 a month.
But it's not of the high standard that would rank you as an
"authority site" where the quality is such that other
authority sites would welcome the chance to link to you. These
"inbound links" from other highly-rated sites on the same topic
are the key to a good Search Engine ranking and therefore the
key to high volumes of traffic ... and traffic means money. The
difference between a quick and dirty (but respectable)
site and an Authority site can be 10X in terms of money
earned ... even as much as 30X.
At the same time, don't confuse these quick-and dirty but
respectable sites with the so called "junk sites" generated
from some software - with some reservations I walk you through
that process in my Software-generated-Site page.
A revolutionary idea ... doing it
If you want to “do it properly" from the beginning and
write your own content so your site is 100% unique content...
well, this can take a long time depending on whether you know
the material or have to research it, and whether you type like
my daughters do (at blinding speed while watching
TV, listening to their ipods and doing their homework) or
with two fingers like mine, that stumble across a keyboard like
a couple of drunks on the way home from a bar.
To give you a sense of scale, there are different models you
can follow but generally speaking a small content site can
be 20 pages or so; but there are often advantages in having
many more pages. Some Search Engine optimization experts
suggest that, all else being equal, the Engines give preference
to sites in the 90 - 125 page range. So it could easily
take you 20 or 30 hours to build a solid 20-page initial
site, and many more hours over future days and weeks to add
more pages until the site is up to that "ideal" size. Don't let
this scare you; a non-tech friend of ours with zero previous
experience has comfortably grown his site to 40 or 50 pages
over a few months, every word custom written, and I suspect
he'll be at 75 or so within another 2 months.
If you ever want to know the size of a site you're competing
against, incidentally, go to Google and search for -
without quotes - "site:www.sitename.com" and Google will tell
you how many pages from that site are indexed; but don't be
discouraged if it's a lot; if you do a few things right you can
probably beat most sites, regardless of size.
For the Lazy, the Rich, or
Possibly Just the Most Sensible
There is another way to have custom-written material without
working so hard; if you are willing to spend a few bucks, you
can hire people to write the content of your web pages for you,
for a lot less money than you probably expect. In which
case you can put together a 100% unique, content-filled
revenue-generating site that the Search Engines will love and
visitors will bookmark, and do it in the same 10 – 40 hours as
the quick-and-dirty approach. It's extremely easy to do,
actually not as expensive as you might expect, and I tell you
more details later. But first ... I just want to challenge an
assumption you might be making.
Don't assume that "doing it properly," and writing or
buying custom content is automatically the best way.
Once you’ve got the know-how, appropriate tools and a
hosting account so you’re positioned to do everything you need
to, a sensible strategy can be to regularly put quick and dirty
(Q&D) sites up first, using some one else's content
(legitimately!! Not stealing it; explanations follow) and
then invest more time later once the site has proven that
it's got real potential; when it's clear that the traffic
is coming, the Search Engines like the site, and people are
clicking on Adsense ads, then you can be very confident that
you'll be rewarded for investing the time or the money to
replace other people's articles with custom content; or to
leave their articles intact but out of the way as a "trawler"
for Search Engine traffic, and simply add your own content into
the main pages.
For example, I know people who put new Q&D sites up at a
rate of 1 or 2 a week; of these, 1 in 10 will prove to be head
and shoulders better than the others, and justify gathering or
writing unique content. And 10 of these better sites seems to
be a basis for a very nice full-time income.
(Incidentally, using some of the latest Software-generated
techniques you CAN put legitimate, white-hat,
article-filled Adsense sites up at a much higher rate of
knots ... several per day ... but these aren't great sites and
their Adsense income is never too high individually. But of
course when you have hundreds of these on the go ... it adds
By the way ... if you don’t understand what the Affiliate
Marketing opportunity is, go read this section of the GoogleCash approach
then come back here.
Quick-and-Dirty ... a Good-Enough
When we get a bit deeper into the topic you’ll see that the
quick-and-dirty-with-a-bit-more-effort approach, using someone
else's material ands making some effort on site
promotion gives you the chance to put a site together that
generates a useful level of Adsense income... perhaps as much
as $50 to $100 a month. (Perspective here: $100 a month for 40
hours work is $30 an hour if it generates money for a year, $60
if for 2 years. Not great but not awful in some people's
But the real power of the approach is that if it’s clear you
have a “winner,” with good traffic flow and people interested
in pursuing the topic (as demonstrated by clicking on Adsense
ads), then you’ve been handed the monopoly card that says you
are to pass “go” and collect $200. If you get a site that's
making $2 to $10 a day in Adsense income, you can
confidently invest time or money in the site knowing it
probably has the potential to do 5 – 10 times that base level
of income. Or more.
And if it isn’t a traffic winner ... move on, be happy with
the extra $60 - $100 a month (or less, it’s still better than
nothing, and all it costs you is $5.99 for a domain name for a
year). It’s a fair contribution to a car payment, after
all. And a site a week of these "losers" (do-able for
some) can still give you $3,000 a month after a year, with
Back to Basics: What is a
Content-Rich Theme Site?
I used the phrase “Value-Added” in the headline for
this page, and it was intended to relate directly to the
concept of a “content site.” We are going to refer to
content-rich theme sites again later when we talk about
Affiliate Marketing, too, so this is worth your time to
Reality: Many Web Sites Do Not
Provide Useful Content
Here’s the issue; there are a LOT of web sites out there
that simply don’t provide useful content for a visitor.
A web site might be just a single page sales letter to sell
you on buying something, just that one thing, and trying to
induce you to do it that very minute. Or a company website that
basically says “This is who we are, this is what we do.” Or a
catalog type site, offering a range of products for sale.
All of these have their role. But the majority of people
searching on the ‘Net are looking for INFORMATION; looking for
an answer to a question. About how to get a parrot to fetch a
stick, or train a dog to talk. How to grow pumpkins bigger than
a person, and how to grow trees that are only 12” high. How to
make money on the Internet. Play better basketball. Fundraise.
Get rid of beavers. Avoid infections from body piercings. How
to save whales. Or barbecue them.
Whatever ... if you provide that information, then
you’re providing value. The test is, if you stripped away
any ads, or any promo for another merchant’s products, is the
content that remains still genuinely valuable to someone
interested in the theme?
So, a content-rich theme site is one that focuses on a topic
or theme, then provides a bucketload of useful content on that
topic, preferably over a lot of different pages that might each
reflect one specific aspect of the topic.
For example, let’s say you pick on “101 uses for a ferret”
as your theme. You could have the obvious major topics such as
ferrets as a source of fashion garments, ferrets as a source of
nutrition, and so on. Then, staying with the nutrition theme,
you could have a specific page on how to make Welsh Ferret.
(The trick is in how to get the ferret to stay on the bread,
but I won’t go into that here.) Another page might be on Ferret
Wellington. Another on Ferret al'orange. Ferret Flambe. And so
This theme-focused, content-rich site is the type of site
that the Search Engines like, and will always like (I believe).
And because the people who visit such sites are genuinely
interested in the topic, it’s also a natural site to add
In fact, many content sites can generate more money from
Affiliate deals than with Adsense; but it doesn’t have to be
“either/or.” You can create a quick-and-dirty but still
value-added site that will generate Adsense income, then
convert it to Affiliate revenue later; or, just as easily
create a site with some custom-written high-value pre-selling
pages focusing on Affiliate sales, and dozens or even hundreds
of other pages, potentially using other people's content,
acting as a huge fishing net to attract searchers for
specific keywords, and carrying Adsense.
Why Is Content So
Lots Of Content = Lots of Traffic = More Money (If
you do it right)
In some areas of the Internet today you'll see a tremendous
focus on the word "content."
Remember the Adsense process: you get Adsense code from
Google, stick it on a web page, visitors see relevant Google
Adwords ads when they visit that page, and if they click on one
of these ads you get paid ... perhaps just a few cents, perhaps
as much as a few dollars.
So essentially, you need lots of content because
you need lots of pages; the more content you have, the
more pages you can build; the more pages (assuming correct
keyword optimization), the more free Search Engine traffic
you'll receive; and the more traffic, the more Adsense
income you earn.
(Just to cover all bases, you COULD make Adsense
money with a single web page, IF you could profitably find
a way to generate lots of traffic all aimed at that one page.
There are ways to do this, in fact; one such approach is called
Adwords Arbitrage, which I'll talk about later. Another
approach, very dodgy, is to to use a "black hat" approach to
drive traffic to the site. It's called "black hat" because
you are being a baddie, an outlaw, in the eyes of the Search
Engines. Not recommended for the faint of heart.)
If You're Aiming for Adsense
Income, Free Traffic is Perfect
So, if you want to get traffic to a site focusing on
Adsense, it simply makes sense to build a website on a
carefully researched theme with lots of valuable content pages
that are going to be attractive to the free Search Engines such
as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. And, do the common-sense things as
you build the site and afterwards to get a good ranking in the
Search Engines (which bring a lot of traffic) without being
fanatical about it.
It’s not difficult – but you DO have to do some work up
front, and you DO have to do some things to maintain your
position, and you DO have to be prepared for the frustration
when the Search Engines change your ranking almost arbitrarily
from time to time. This problem affects almost everyone who
looks for traffic from the free Search Engines; but one added
advantage of the approach we advocate here is
that despite the ups and downs, a web site containing
a decent volume of informative content is likely to sustain
good rankings for months, even years, provided you just take an
hour or so a week to do some basic activities to keep it
But again I want to stress ... the real power of the approach
is that if the site turns out to be a traffic-attractor, you
can easily pay more attention to the site, improve it, add
Affiliate deals where you sell other people’s products and
collect juicy commissions without having to worry about
customers or orders or credit cards or returns, and focus more
on traffic growth. This can move your income from a site from
$2 to $10 a day with Adsense, to $30 or more per day; and
sometimes much more than $30 a day. (Reminder: I explain the
Affiliate opportunity in some depth in the
GoogleCash Opportunity section of this web site.)
In effect, with this strategy you’re letting Google pay
you via Adsense to conduct market research to find the sweetest
Affiliate opportunities! And if you have truly found a
winning site, it also suggests you have a topic that will
justify capturing visitors names and addresses and developing a
relationship with them by e-mail that gives you the chance to
increase revenues even more. I cover this opportunity - which
is the ultimate money-earner - in the page called List Building and e-mail marketing.
Where Do You
So ... Content-rich Adsense sites ... you've got the concept
... where do you start?
Step 1: Research profitable themes.
If all you were focusing on was Adsense income, then the
research task is to find medium- to high-priced Pay-Per-Click
Google keywords with a host (50 to 150) of related keywords
where there are a lot of searches but few competitive
I’m going to explain it, and walk you through that process
in a second. But if you are not familiar with the whole concept
of “keyword” and “keyword research," click on the link to visit
this section of the GoogleCash
page, and this section of Fundamental Skills, then return
But this planning stage is also your chance to keep in
mind the Affiliate Marketing opportunity; so, ideally you
should choose a theme where there are indeed some nice-paying
Pay-Per-Click keywords but also some respectable Affiliate
opportunities so you can exploit a traffic “winner” when you
create one. I walk you through that process in the Affiliate Marketing section of this web
site. To give it a sense of timing ... when you know how,
you can usually find out in minutes if there are indeed some
worthwhile associated Affiliate opportunities.
OK, then. But ...
How Do You Know Which Themes
Include a Lot of Profitable Keywords? And Exactly What those
As I said on the Adsense Opportunity page ... you can always
make educated guesses, then confirm your guess using a free
tool such as the one I suggested from Pixelfast. This shows you the maximum
bids on the Overture Pay-Per-Click Search Engine, not
Google’s, but they do provide a valuable guideline; it's
reasonable to assume that if people are paying $2 a click
for a keyword on Overture then they are paying at least
that, and probably much more, on Google, which is so much
Guessing is not the best way, but it IS do-able (and
free ... if you ignore the cost of lost opportunities).
Realistically, if a topic has demand, and there are dollars
attached to that topic... there’s usually an Adword value.
For example, you’ll hear “mesothelioma” quoted as a very
high dollar keyword ($20+). That’s because lawyers are
advertising for people with a potentially lucrative lawsuit
because they are suffering from this deadly disease and
(hopefully) the lawyers can find someone liable for their
exposure to asbestos. Every patient is worth a LOT of money to
them, so they'll happily pay high bucks per click to find
“Dogs” on the other hand is far too general a search term,
anyone searching for that could be wanting anything from puppy
photos to dog collars or clothes or training or toothpaste or
treats or ... whatever. So it has low value. In
fact, Overture pegs it today at 32 cents which is higher
than I’d have thought, given how general it is. But “Dog
training” is much more specific, someone searching for that is
much more likely to be willing to pay for a solution to a dog
problem, so the cost per click is more than $2. You could
probably do well with an Adsense site on dog
training, and in fact many marketers are doing exactly
that because a how-to video on a software-generated Adsense
web-site builder used dog training as their illustration. (Sigh
... people have no imagination, or it sometimes seems that
Contrary to Nature ... don't go
after the big payers
Side note: While there are some very
high-paying keywords ($30 a click and up, if you can believe
it!) you might be better-off aiming at keywords with a value
between $0.75 and $5 a click. The reason is simple: the big
guys, with lots of savvy and the dollars to hire even better
savvy, are already deeply embedded in the race to win traffic
for the top dollar stuff. They got in there before most of us
even heard of Adsense.
So, to repeat ... you could guess which Adsense words have good
dollars against them. But as I said ... guessing isn’t the best
way. The best way is without doubt to invest a few dollars and
buy a piece of software called Adsense Dominator.
First of all, this software tells you Google’s top 100,000
keywords, ranked in terms of their Google Pay-Per-Click max
bids. That’s pure gold, right there. No more guesswork, and
you’re seeing the Google Adwords bid dollars, not
Overture’s. This can make a big difference. But on top of that,
the report also gives you some valuable info you need to
determine whether you are likely to be able to get good Search
Engine rankings for many associated keywords; and, the exact
topic and keywords of the web pages you should be building to
take advantage of these useful keyword opportunities.
To be clear, this isn’t one of several me-too products; it’s
the ONLY one of its kind I know, and only a recent change in
Google policies allows it to do what it does.
Even so, AdSense Dominator will not do ALL the keyword
research you need. It is likely to point you to some
associated keywords that meet whatever criteria you choose to
apply, for example, keywords with 10+ searches per day and
fewer than 1000 competing sites (I explain the full logic
behind these numbers in the Fundamental Skills page, in the
section where I discuss Keyword Research; see the link in the
However, because the output is specifically a list of
keywords with Google Adword bids attached, it will NOT show you
the MANY other keywords that meet the volume and competition
criteria but have no bids attached. And you’ll need these,
because these will be the basis for the majority of your
traffic in the early months, as I explain in this section of the Fundamental Skills
The Internet's Most Trusted
To get this volume and competition data you need the single
most used and single most trusted Keyword research tool, an
on-line service called Wordtracker (I discuss this in more depth
in the relevant section of the Tools of the Trade
Wordtracker is the most reliable keyword
research information out there. I believe EVERY expert uses
it. Now, to be sure, many of the other keyword research and
analysis tools – and there are some beauties – provide more
information, and are much easier to use; but they have one
fatal flaw. They rely on data from the Overture
Search Engine. It is simply not as accurate as the
Wordtracker data, and the inaccuracy is to a level that
could totally mislead you into doing the wrong thing.
In my opinion, the absolute best combination of keyword
research tools for someone wanting to cash-in on the Adsense
- Wordtracker, for accurate data
- Keyword Analyzer, which can be “fed”
Wordtracker data. I love this software for it’s
analysis, ease of use, and the added data it provides.
For anyone working with Adwords, or Adsense, this is
close to being the perfect tool, and this gem is one of
my personal favorites because it over-delivers to an
In addition to being able to generate (for example) 10,000
keywords in a few minutes, from just a couple of mouse
clicks, it also tells you the number of Google Adwords
campaigns for any keyword (so you can see if you can get in
for the minimum 5 cents, if there are fewer than 8 ads
running), the maximum bids (invaluable for Adsense
planning), and it even gives you the ability to dive right
in and see the headlines of these ads; and there's much,
much more. It's head and shoulders above any other keyword
analysis tool I've seen. The one thing it can't
do, is what you need Adsense Dominator for.
- Adsense Dominator, as I described
earlier, to pin-point the keywords with big bucks
- Keyword Research Analyzer, which I
talk about later: it's an odd duck, with one goal in
life - to tell you where there are niches, where you
WILL get traffic. If you're into Adsense or Affiliate
sites, this just makes sense. It's a timesaver, with
valuable functionality, but it DOES need you to also
Finally, some timeline perspective: if you have the keyword
tools, then to find a theme, and do the keyword research,
you’re probably looking at 30 minutes to one hour. Less time
than it takes to read this page!
Show Me the
Step 2: If you want to leave the door open
for Affiliate income (or even go for it straight away) ... then
you need to confirm that there are merchants offering
Affiliate programs for related products and services;
and make sure their programs are fair.
There are two easy ways to do this.
You can go to a web site where merchants sign up because
they WANT to find affiliates; or, you can actually search on
the ‘Net, if you know what to look for, and find merchants with
affiliate programs in place. I cover both of these in the
Affiliate Marketing opportunity page of
Again, some time perspective; if you just want to confirm
the Affiliate opportunity exists ... you’re looking at 10 – 15
minutes. If you’re going to be all organized about it and keep
notes on the URLs and types of products and terms and
commission rates and so on, then it’ll take longer but you
deserve it, it’s your fault for being brung up wrong :)
Step 3: having chosen the “theme” as one
that offers good-max-bid Adsense prices for some keywords,
having researched to identify keywords that have little
competition, and checked to confirm there are Affiliate deals
available ... now you’re into the web
building side of things.
You have to:
- Choose and register a domain name (5
minutes to 30 minutes). I go into this issue in some detail
in the Domain Registration section of my
Tools of the Trade page. Also, when you've read that,
take a peek at my comments in Useful Tips.
Given all the choices, I recommend you use a webhost
called "1&1" to register your
domains, unless you are registering and managing 10 or
more at a time. Their service has been excellent, their
fee (US$5.99 as I write this) is among the best, and it
includes free anonymity should you want it. This privacy
issue can be a big deal, by the way; I pay an ADDED $10
a domain at another popular domain registrar just for
this feature. (By the way, it is very common to use one
company for domain registrations and another for
If you are planning to register and manage a bunch of
domains at the same time (which probably means you've moved
a long way up the learning curve by then) then I’d still
check whether "1&1" have added a
volume-management feature to make it easier to work with
many sites at a time; I know they are planning
If they haven’t, then take a look at GoDaddy. GoDaddy provides
an excellent service for mass registrations and mass
domain management, but they charge a fair bit more than
1&1 do, and more again if you want anonymous
registration to cut down on incoming spam. Incidentally,
I’m moving a bunch of domains to "1&1" from other
registrars and the process (no matter which registrar
you're dealing with) is a pain, I wish I’d simply
registered with "1&1" the first time.
- Select a Web Host and Hosting program
(you only need to do this once if you follow my
recommendations and choose a host that allows you to have
unlimited domains hosted with one account); then, plan the
web site (you're probably talking about 15 – 60 minutes for
this, to give you a sense of time).
By the way, don't think even for a second about getting
free hosting, and think twice even about $3.99 type deals
unless you're pretty sure you'll never add more sites. And
even then I'd hesitate; you often need more for a
money-making site than the bare minimum packages provide
(for example, MySQL databases, and something called cron
jobs which you might use as things start to get fancy).
There are a zillion hosts out there. I have accounts with
five of them at last count, because I use them for many
different “segments” of Internet Marketing that I prefer to
keep apart, and also because for some of the things I do
there are advantages in having sites on different hosts,
period. However, for 99% of people building Adsense or
Affiliate Marketing sites, you only need one.
You'll find a lot of helpful information on the issue of
Hosting in the Web Hosting section of my Tools of the
My #1 recommendation is the same as my recommendation
for domain registration, "1&1." I especially recommend their
business package (currently $9.99 a month) or, when you
have a bunch of sites, their developer package.
Here’s why I like it: in addition to the convenience of
having my domain registration and hosting in the same
- There’s so much disk space I don’t need to give
this topic any thought (I have a lot of sites from the
bad old days with 2000+ pages on them and I’m not using
even 15% of the space I received with my package).
- There's so much bandwidth I don’t need to give it
any thought (I’ve had 100,000+ visitors in
some months and again, this has posed no
- With my Developer's package I get 100 MySQL
databases, which is plenty (these are necessary if
you get into some of the Internet Marketing twists and
turns, or into Blogs ... and you SHOULD be into
- You get some free domain registrations with the
- You can have as many domains and therefore
sites as you want on your account (absolutely crucial
if you get serious).
- You can have lots of sub-domains (crucial,
- Your statistics are easily accessible.
- And the three most important criteria of
all ... uptime is top notch, support has been
excellent, and the company is rock
If I wasn’t hosting with "1&1," I’d be with
Dreamhost. Again, these folk offer a
great monthly price, unlimited domains, also unlimited
sub-domains and unlimited MySQL databases (actually they
offer a slightly better deal than "1&1," but it's
very close; I have to give "1&1" preference because
I've personally used them so extensively). Plus
Dreamhost also has a great reputation for reliability
(uptime), and service.
By the way, the “unlimited domains” option is useful, even
if you only plan on having a handful of sites. When you get
“into” this stuff, you’ll spot an opportunity ... register
a domain ... put a quick site up in a few minutes, perhaps
a landing page, perhaps just a survey ... use Adwords to
get some traffic to it ... and maybe you’ll walk away from
it 24 hours later, and all it cost you was $5.99 for the
domain, and perhaps 10 bucks for the Adwords traffic.
Or maybe it will have proven the potential to be a solid
new site. Either way, it’s nice to have the freedom to just
respond to the opportunity and go for it. I'm not going to
go into detail but the freedom to add subdomains is also
very valuable; if you get into the GoogleCash opportunity
or Adwords Arbitrage you WILL make more money if you have
- And finally ... actually build the
site including writing or buying or downloading
all the content you need (10 – 40 hours for a quick and
dirty but still good-value site capable of a useful Adsense
income). Make sure it’s Search Engine friendly, and
make sure your “copy” is compelling and persuasive without
being pushy. I talk a lot more about web site creating,
editing and managing tools a bit further down this page, as
well as in my Tools of the Trade page.
OK, now this is the time to dive more deeply into the issue of
Several Choices for the Major Source of Content on Your
- Write it yourself. If you’re a decent
typist, and know the material or have good research
skills, you can probably put together 10 to 20 pages of
content in 40 hours or so.
There are several benefits to doing this; your site has
unique content, which visitors will appreciate and the
search engines will value, you do not have links to other
people’s websites as you will if you use other people’s
articles (which I’ll discuss in a minute), and what
you write can be the basis of articles that you post on
Article Directories ... this can do a lot to elevate
your web site’s rank and bring you traffic.
The problem is, it does take time. And if your site turns
out to be a poor profit maker, that time was not well
- Pay someone to write it for you. You
can go to a magical website called Elance, for example, and put your
job out to bid. In 24 hours you might have a dozen
people bidding astonishingly low dollars to write for
you! After checking samples of their work and perhaps
conducting other "due diligence" activities, you might
find that you can get a batch of articles, 300 to 800
words each, on topics you specify and with keywords used
as you specify, for as little as $3 an article
(sometimes as much as $8 for a single article on the
longer side, though).
There are definite do’s and don’ts on this that I won’t go
into here, but be aware of this opportunity – some people
even use Elance (or similar sites) to find
ghost writers to author entire eBooks for them.
I have to tell you that as a businessman I was blown away
by the fact that I didn't even know that the world of
Elance existed. Want something written? Put your project
out to bid and you'll have a score of bids in 24 hours.
Want some software developing? Ditto. At incredible rates.
Want some graphics done? Ditto. Elance is an amazing place; it's worth
the visit just to see what's going on out there. There
are several other, similar sites; but this is my
- Use articles someone has already
written. Now, this might seem strange, but it’s
actually very powerful. If you go to Articlecity.com or Goarticles.com or EZinearticles.com or any of
a large number of similar sites, you’ll find literally
tens of thousands of articles written by others and
submitted to be available for use by anyone!
provisions, you could download a bunch of articles on (for
example) weight loss, and with some weeding you have the
major content for a 40 – 100+ page web site using these
articles, in minutes!
Typically, you’d have a lot more than JUST these articles
on a site ... there are several ways of getting
supplementary “autopilot” content to add to a site, that
just makes it look better and also attracts the Search
Engines ... but these articles give you a quick and dirty
way to get a site up in a hurry. And, a genuinely valuable
site, with content that is useful to a reader, and viewed
as useful by the Search Engines.
Content Is Serious Business!
Let me tell you exactly how serious this has become. I'm a
member of a site called Content Desk; for my monthly
membership fee I can plug in a template of a web page,
access more than 140,000 articles, choose a bunch of
them by keyword to deal with a specific theme, have
Content Desk Site Builder create a web page for every
one of the accepted articles, correctly formatted; write
my personal commentary on the article to introduce it,
and I also like to add something in the middle and
something at the end of the article, just to customize
it as much as possible to become "unique" content.
Content Desk's program will upload the new site to my
hosting account on the 'Net, then continue to "drip feed"
new articles onto the site as they are added to Content
Desk's "pool." The Search Engines love this "organic
growth," it looks exactly as if a human was slaving away
adding valuable content to his or her site, one page at a
time, perhaps a page every 3 days or something like that
Now, there are a lot of other benefits to membership,
as you'd expect when you're paying more than $100 a
month; but that functionality is the heart of the
membership program and believe me, it's worth every
penny. A single site making $5 a day Adsense covers
the fee; I fully expect to have 50+ sites built within a
year, and my monthly membership fee will remain the
I'm not telling you this to "sell you" on it; in fact
membership is "capped" at 400 people. Every now and
then a few subscriptions become available as people drop
out for one reason or another, so if you're interested, go
and check Content Desk out. It's an
excellent service, offering far more than just the
Content Site Building function; there are video
tutorials on all sorts of stuff, a sister site to help
you get Traffic, some proprietary software you just
can't buy elsewhere, and a forum that is packed with
helpful people and great information. But I'm using this
more as an illustration to give you some indication of
the legitimacy and the importance of the use of other
This past week, a new and essentially similar program was
launched; there was a sign-up fee close to $400, the
monthly fee was 150% of what I pay for Content Desk,
no fewer than 7 of the main gurus e-mailed me to tell me to
buy in to the program as soon as possible, and the
program was closed to new members just 24 hours after it
was launched. They have 800+ people on their waiting
list, in case someone drops out (as some inevitably will).
That's serious business! I'd guess they made close to
$160,000 in that first 24 hours, with an assurance of half
of that amount every month from here on.
ArticleMiner: A Quality Alternative to the Monthly
If any of this interests you, you should be aware
that there's good news and bad news; the good news is that
another program out there, getting very good reviews
in the forums, is called ArticleMiner.
It does most of the "mechanics" that Content Desk's
engine does, but instead of a costly monthly
membership you simply buy-it one-time. You
then download the software onto your own PC and also
download the entire ArticleMiner database, which I believe
is 400,000 articles or more (but don't take my word for it,
check the sales letter yourself) onto your own PC.
This is very reassuring, by the way; it means
that you're immunized against whatever might happen in
The 1-time cost for ArticleMiner is less than 1
month's membership of Content Desk, and it's excellent
value for what it does. It gives you access
to more than 400,000 articles, provides you with
templates and (I think) graphics that form the
basic design of the website, allows you to choose
articles by keyword and keyword density (for Search
Engine Optimization purposes), automatically
generates one page per article in the template (you
can review and approve each one first), and it
uploads the site to your web hosting account.
It also provides the function to have new articles added
on drip feed to your web site, giving it the appearance of
human-controlled, natural "growth." So while it doesn't
have some of the added-value features of a membership site,
it gets to the core function and does it very, very
The bad news? The people behind the software have
decided to limit their sales, and after May 1st this
software is simply no longer on the market. Existing owners
are assured of ongoing updates, and support, but ... the
software is gone.
If you have any interest in building Content-rich theme
sites, I'd recommend that you first check-in at Content Desk to see if
there are any openings. But if there aren't, or if the
monthly fee is simply too rich for your blood, or if you
just want to be conservative with your investments while
you check the whole "articles" scene out ... if it's not
yet May 1st 2006, when the software is being withdrawn
from the market, take a good close look at ArticleMiner. I
belong to Content Desk but my partner uses Article
Miner. That way we have the advantages of both worlds;
the member benefits of Content Desk, the guaranteed
access to a lot of articles via ArticleMiner.
The advantages of using someone else’s articles are, I
hope, obvious; from zero to a 100-page site in a few hours.
To repeat my earlier estimate: perhaps 10 hrs or less
if you don’t add your own commentary, perhaps 40 hours if
you add custom-written tops and tails to all the articles.
These sites are absolutely perfect for Adsense income
generation. And again ... if they prove to be performing
well, then you can add Affiliate Marketing to the mix,
without any changes or (more profitably) invest the time to
make or buy your own content, make the site unique and give
yourself articles you can use for traffic generation by
posting them to Article Directories.
And to add a twist ... we also belong to a membership
subscription site that generates a couple of new "packs" of
theme-specific Private Label articles every month (plus
gives you access to a growing article library, a guaranteed
100+ new articles a month, and to some full-length
topic-specific reports and eBooks).
What "private label" means is that I can do
whatever I want with these articles and eBooks and
Reports (except re-sell them as-is),
and I can claim to be the author! I can
edit them, rewrite them, use extracts from them, use them
to post to Blogs, use them in my e-mails and newsletters,
use them to create an eBook that I sell or give away as a
freebie or a bribe to persuade people to opt-in, ... as
well as using them for simple web page content. All exactly
as if I'd written them myself.
A number of these membership sites have sprung up recently,
again confirming the value of "content" and the tremendous
call for it within the Internet Marketing community.
The site we belong to is called InfoGoRound, and we're very
pleased with it; our first site using their content has
just gone up, and we're using one of their eBooks as the
basis for a for-sale digital product we'll probably have
on the market within a month. One of the characteristics
we like is that as it grows, the company uses a portion
of the membership fee to buy a growing number of new
articles every month. Also, if you are in a position to
write articles requested by members, and do so ... your
membership fee for that month is zero.
There's More to Content than Just
If you look at a good Content site, you’ll often notice more
than just the main text (supplied by an article, for example).
You might find graphics; links to other sites, in the form of
directories or links pages; you might find what’re called “RSS
Feed” headlines and even first paragraphs of RSS news feeds,
from other sites.
Some advanced sites even have product review sections, where
people can write their own reviews, or add their opinions;
or forums, where people can post articles to discuss topics.
These last two are brilliant concepts, by the way, guaranteeing
fresh content and a steadily growing website ... all through
other people's input, not your own.
All of these elements can be added to a Content site,
regardless of whether the main text is yours or someone else’s;
they are just more elements to make your site valuable to
visitors and attractive to Search Engines.
Step 4: Next,
promoting your business – getting visitors to
your site in numbers large enough to generate the income you’re
There are more than a dozen “primary” ways to do this, and an
infinite number of variations.
In the Affiliate Marketing section of this site I recommend
Rosalind Gardner’s book, the Super Affiliate Handbook. I’m mentioning
it here, too, because Gardner’s book goes into Traffic
generation in some depth (I’m looking here at a section in
her book called “9 Ways To Get Traffic To Your Site For
Free” and another “11 Ways to market Your Site Offline.”)
She also covers almost everything else connected to
Content-rich theme sites, by the way, from an Affiliate
rather than an Adsense perspective but in reality they
overlap to a great degree. For example, she goes into real
depth on keyword research, choosing a domain name, choosing
a web host, etc.
After learning all I could on Traffic generation from Rosalind
Gardner and many other reports, I did a lot of soul-searching
before I bought a course - no longer available, because it's
being updated - called “Traffic Secrets ” from John Reese in
the Spring of 2005. The soul-searching was because this course
costs $997, and that’s a LOT of money by my standards. My wife
and my business partner hinted very subtly that they thought it
was a lot of money, too, just to add to the tension.
It was phenomenal and as soon as his newest version is
available I'll grab that too - despite the high pricetag, it'll
be worth it.
So instead you might want to just search the ‘Net, wander
along to forums, and invest in a less expensive “general”
course such as Corey Rudl’s excellent Insider Secrets to Marketing Your
Business on the Internet. Included in the most
comprehensive written coverage of all Internet Marketing
topics you'll find anywhere, this package has 6
chapters on Search Engine tactics to get good
rankings, he has 6 other chapters (50+ pages) on
other ways to generate traffic.
And Rosalind Gardner’s Super Affiliate Handbook goes into Traffic
generation in some depth, as I mentioned.
There are a handful of specific techniques I should mention
The first is called Reciprocal
Linking. What this means is, you ask another site to
include a link to your site, in return for which you link to
their site. The premise is that if you get a lot of sites
linking to you, the Search Engines assume you must have
something good going on so, they'll give you a higher ranking.
Some Search Engines give this higher weighting than others, and
the actual weighting changes all the time, too, but provided
you do this right, it's bound to be of value. ("Right" means,
for example, choosing the anchor text that appears on the other
site in the link to yours, and using different anchor text on
different sites while being consistent around a few
Even better is to have one-way links
coming in to your site from others; ideally, other
highly-regarded ("authority") sites or sites that have received
a good Page Rank (PR) from Google. You CAN buy such links; for
example, a link from a PR8 site can be obtained for $125 a
month or so. Better, of course, is if you can persuade a
high-ranking site to link to you for free. Some Search Engine
Optimization specialists grow their OWN high-PR sites, then
link (naturally) to their new sites as they launch them. This
way the Search Engines, who visit high PR sites regularly,
"stumble" across the new site ... which is without question the
best way to get it indexed in a hurry, and ranked in a
A variation of this is to have a group of
Blogs that link to each other, receive fresh posts regularly
(thank you very much to a marvellous piece of software called
RSS2Blog that automatically posts articles
to your blogs every day with little effort from you) and
mention your site (or sites) in articles posted to them.
You'll see this called a mini-net of Blogs, or even
a Blog farm. It's very effective ... provided you
set the Blogs up correctly. If you don't, the Search Engines
won't find them or rank them. I learned the details from a
couple of the videos on Brandon Hong's course.
You'll recall we've talked at length about using
other people's articles from places like GoArticles,
ArticleCity, etc. Well, this is where YOU become the
Because another powerful technique, possibly the
MOST powerful technique to directly and indirectly attract
traffic is to write an article or two or more on the
topic of your website, being careful to follow the
terms of the major Article Directories, then submit the
articles, one every few days to as many Article Directories as
you can find.
This gets you recognized very quickly by the
Search Engines, and is an excellent way to get your site
indexed. The article writing approach takes work, and time, but
it is very effective. If you write an article on a
popular topic, it's not unusual to find hundreds, even
thousands of references to that article in the Search Engines
over the next few months ... and some very nice one-way links
to your site.
As I said, this DOES take time ... the time is
invested both in writing the articles (although you can have
them written for you at US$3 to $10 an article at Elance, of course) and in going from
Article Directory to directory, manually submitting your
article - keying in again and again all the basic
information … your name, your e-mail, the article title, the
sub-title, then cut and paste the article itself, fill in
the bio information, add the resource box information, state
the category …
All of which can get old, VERY quickly. It's
tedious and time consuming. Especially if you drip-feed
articles into the directories, perhaps 1 per site per week. And
if you submit to as many of the reputable Article directories
as possible, as you should.
So ... how surprised are you to learn that there’s
now a piece of software you can use to make this much, much
easier? Article Announcer cannot fully automate
the process but it automates a LOT of it and shrinks the
time involved by an order of magnitude. To people using
the Article writing path (which should be EVERYONE with a
website) this (relatively) expensive software is worth every
Now, Article Announcer is far more than just the
software; it's also a comprehensive course on article writing,
which is a skill in itself; there are eBooks explicitly on this
topic, for example Jim Edwards "Turn Words Into
Traffic." If you do it correctly, you'll find that the
number of other sites and newsletters that pick your article up
and post it is tremendously improved. You'll also find that
there are "tricks" you can use to induce readers of the article
to come to visit your site; again, the difference in the
traffic rate can be significant. Article Announcer is one of
those products that pays for itself very, very quickly.
Article Announcer has 4 CD's of material in there,
in addition to the software and the books and the videos; it
also goes into how to exploit Search Engine opportunities with
articles, how to capitalize on other people's work (legally and
morally), and he has some very sneaky techniques that add some
spice to an already powerful course. Even if you're not
interested, take a look at his sales letter;
you'll learn a lot about Article writing just from his
You can also take a similar approach with Press
Releases. The on-line AND off-line Press are always hungry for
well written, timely, interesting Press Releases and if you
know how to write them and know where to submit them, the Press
Release route can be a very powerful source of traffic, very
quickly. It can also trigger some neat side effects ... such as
being interviewed for a newspaper or magazine or TV
program, with potentially massive benefits.
Once again, the biggest problem with this is the
sheer time it takes to submit the Press Releases to every
possible location. And once again, technology comes to the
Rescue ... as I write this, a new piece of software is just
about 1 week old, it's called Press Equalizer and it works like a charm.
You fill in some fields, cut-and-paste your Press release
into it, press "go" and watch as it submits your Press
Release to one distribution site after another.
There are many other traffic generating techniques
yet ... and don't forget the ones that cost you money, such as
Adwords, or banner advertising. But as I suggested, your best
bet is to read Corey Rudl's Insider Secrets or Rosalind Gardner's
Super Affiliate Handbook or James
Martell's Affiliate Marketers Handbook. Traffic
generation is one of those areas where know-how ALWAYS
translates into money. For any type of Internet Marketing
site, no traffic = no money.
Step 5 is the management
of the whole process. Staying on top of the business … checking
that the traffic is flowing in … and where from. Checking that
people are clicking on your Ads … and from which ads on which
You also might want to add a Blog to your site; it can be a
great traffic builder, and there are also ways of getting your
main site and the Blog exchanging data that creates fresh
content to both the Blog and the site, which in turn attracts
the Search Engines, which attracts traffic, who leave comments
on the Blog, which gets conveyed as fresh content to the main
site, which atttracts the Search Engines ... you get the
And, a subject for another page… building, managing and
working your opt-in list!
You don't have to do all this; you can simply build
it, and leave it. That's an entirely valid strategy ... but you
should at least make sure that you do enough to give your site
a chance to demonstrate whether it's a potential big
Time to Dive Even Deeper ... Starting with Different
You’ll find a lot of different “models” for building
content-rich web sites, and most of what you’ll see is aimed at
Affiliate Marketing. (Remember, Adsense is relatively new; and
I've never seen any design touted specifically for Adsense
sites. But remember, if a site "works," you'll want it to
become an effective Affiliate Site, anyway.)
The different models or structures take into
account how a site is structured, how pages in the site
link together, and how Sites link together; and 99% of this is
aimed at structuring the site or sites for maximum traffic in
the short and long terms.
Ken Evoy is the head of an organization
called SiteSell.com, where he provides a total
package for site builders; while you have full flexibility
if you go with his service, he promotes one particular web
site structure for Affiliate sites. Rosalind
Gardner of Super Affiliate Handbook fame, promotes
James Martell offers a step-by-step
approach in his eBook (plus accompanying videos), the
Affiliate Marketer's Handbook, that is
supposed to be top-notch. The Martell “model” is one of
the most-copied on the Internet. He puts far more emphasis
on the details of the structure than do Evoy or Gardner.
It’s unconventional in terms of how he builds his sites and
links them together, and I'm itching to get my hands on his
eBook. His students think he's the greatest. What I
particularly like is his realistic claims; he aims to have a
site generating $500 to $1000 a month within 6 months. Then
another ... and another ... I will get his course sometime
soon, his reputation means I can be sure I’ll learn a lot
from him. And it only takes a single good idea to pay
for his course.
A chap called Dr. Andrew Williams has an
interesting approach to designing web sites for Affiliate
sales, it’s a model I use for Affiliate sales and in fact for
Adsense income, because, just as I preach, I always build
my Adsense sites for the possibility of adding Affiliate
income. (You can get his guide to building niche content sites
for free if you sign-up for his newsletter, which you
should do, it's excellent.)
What he does is rather smart (these guys are no dummies).
Knowing that it takes time to get highly ranked on the Search
Engines for popular search terms even with good Search Engine
Optimization, once he has his “theme” set Dr Andy (as he brands
himself) conducts keyword research to identify theme-related
search terms with very few competing sites.
Then, even though they might have relatively few searches for
these keywords (as few as 10 a day, for example), he will
commission ghost writers to write 100 or so articles, each one
key-word optimized to one of these low-competition
He then structures his sites so that he’ll have perhaps 5,6 or
7 “Main” pages where he promotes his Affiliate products or
services; and he’ll have 100 non-selling pages in the form of
Article pages, each with a keyword-smart article written
specifically for those keywords which are searched on every day
but which have little competition. These pages act like a
trawler’s net to catch visitors.
Dr. Andy has his own keyword analysis tool he uses to do a lot
of the analytical work for him; I explain it in more detail
later on this page, where I talk about the keyword research
necessary to do a decent job of getting Traffic.
Most Competing Sites Have Poor
In reality, hardly any of the 1000 competing sites will have
done even a half-assed job of Search Engine optimization; most
web owners know almost nothing about the topic. So
when Dr. Andy tailors his pages precisely to match these
keywords, with little competition, his carefully-optimized
pages get quickly to the top of the Search Engine rankings for
the 100 (or so) carefully selected keywords.
Both “quickly” and “top” are important here. This strategy
means he pulls in a lot of low-volume traffic to his articles,
and he structures his sites so that every article page has a
link to one of the main selling pages. Think about this; if he
targets 100 keywords that have 10 – 20 searches a day, and gets
a top-5 position for each of those keywords, he can attract
several hundred visitors a day, starting relatively
This means, he can get revenue relatively
But on top of this, the multiple links from his article
pages, aimed at a handful of “selling” pages, cause the Search
Engines, over time, to see his main pages as being more and
more valuable ... so they start making their way higher in
the rankings. In addition to this strategy he employs
other techniques, on-page and off-page, to make sure his
pages are highly ranked by the Search Engines. Very
straightforward approach, and works like a charm, I’m pleased
Even at a small search volume this can pay off. Let’s assume
your site gets 300 visitors a day; and you have a 1% conversion
rate for your Affiliate deals, and an Adsense rate of $75 per
1000 impressions. That could easily lead to $30 a day or more
Affiliate income, and a somewhat smaller Adsense income. That
takes you comfortably over the $1000 a month mark. When you
take into account that he has his articles written for him, he
can probably build a site like this in under 30 hours. (I'm
guessing here but I'm probably in the ball-park.) If he gets
$1000 a month for 12 months, for 30 hours effort, that's $400
an hour. Not too shabby; and why should it stop after a
Dr. Andy offers a software tool called Keyword Research Analyzer, designed to
work with the leading keyword tool Wordtracker, that is
aimed 100% at helping you build effective traffic-generating
affiliate sites. It won't tell you which Adwords cost 5
cents; nor which Adsense keywords will make you several
bucks per click. But what it DOES do is it helps
you identify niches, and even niches within niches, and
target your pages with absolute precision to get traffic
from the Search Engines.
My partner is an Excel whiz and reckoned he could do the
same thing in a couple of hours. 3 days later I got a
working version, and I wish I'd just coughed up the money for
Keyword Research Analyzer. With all the lost time we probably
lost 3 grand of potential billing to save less than 70 bucks.
Whether or not this interests you, I strongly recommend
you visit his website and sign up
for his newsletter, at least. It contains more useful
information on building Affiliate sites than many eBooks you
have to buy.
Software to Build your Web
site: Some is Free, but You’re Better-Off Buying
You can find some very good free web page editors or html
editors on the ‘Net. In the “Tools of the Trade” page I mention
two excellent freebies, Mozilla and NVu, and tell you where to
These WILL do the basics (and more). They give you the tool to
build websites. But ... they don’t come close to what
commercial software or a commercial service can do for you.
In that same Tools of the Trade section I mention Microsoft
FrontPage and Macromedia’s Dreamweaver; if you’re fairly
tech-savvy, good with macros in Excel and Word, or you’ve done
some programming, these are excellent tools and you’ll cope
with them being what they are.
But what I want to mention here are two very different
services; Site Build It, which was where I started
my family when they "got into" Internet Marketing; and
XSitePro, which is where they have
migrated now that the Site Build It experience has elevated
their know-how to an enormous degree, and they’re in the
business of creating several new sites every month.
(Soon I'll add a 3rd element to this; the use of WordPress
Blogs as the primary Web Site. I think this may be a massive
new trend, and I'm freshly into it so I'll report back
The awesome Site Build It package
OK, we have to talk about Site Build It (SBI). If you're a
techno-peasant, and see yourself focusing on a single
site, this is an excellent place to start. Possibly the best
place on the whole Internet for a "newbie."
When I dived into all this Internet Marketing stuff, I
wanted to find a way to make money. But more than that, I
wanted it to be something that my family could do; and my
friends could do. And none of them have an ounce of “techie” in
them. None have any experience whatsoever in anything connected
with this world.
So my frustration was that, while I could see the
opportunity AND act on it because I can dive in and learn html,
I can invest in different html editors, I can afford to
try different autoresponders and try different tracking
software and different keyword research software and so on, ...
they couldn’t. They don’t have the time, the know how, or
(sometimes) the money.
I needed some way that complete non-techies could use, to do
And I found something called Site Build It. And what an absolute beauty
it turned out to be.
When you join Site Build It, you get access to a host of
services that provide virtually everything you need to create
an income generating web site via Affiliate income, or Adsense
income, or both; and it also provides excellent support if you
want to make money by selling your own products. The
company offers the functionality for you to set up a
complete ecommerce store within Site Build It (SBI), too,
with shopping cart etc all integrated with your database of
products, autoresponders, etc.
The following list is not comprehensive, but it gives you a
good idea of exactly why I leapt on SBI when I first
- First of all, you get a manual that walks you through
the whole process from reading the manual to having income.
I mean, this thing is compressive with a capital “C,” and
- Then, you are given access to market research tools,
including keyword research tools. To put this in
perspective, the tool is based on Overture data which is
NOT as accurate as my preferred solution, Wordtracker; but
it does a good enough job to provide the information you
need. And you don’t have to pay the $250 a year I pay for
Wordtracker. (In all good conscience, though, I have to
tell you; I would still recommend Wordtracker if you are
going to do more than simply create 1 or 2 SBI-type
- You can register a domain via SBI; the price is good …
it’s part of the service.
- You get full-service hosting for the website, part of
the service. You’d normally pay a minimum $70 a year for
this with an independent web host, perhaps less but quite
- You build the site, under SBI direction, with a
site-builder that requires you to have ZERO experience in
web site building, zero knowledge of the html language used
to design web pages. It walks you through the data you have
to enter to set-up a home page. Then to set-up all the
subsidiary pages. Need a headline? You insert a headline
“block” and fill-in the headline. Want text? You insert a
text block and either type or cut-and-paste the text from
your own text processor. Want a graphic image, like
clip-art or a photo? SBI tells you how to get it from your
computer into the page. Want a link to another page? Or to
an e-mail address? Add a link block. And so on.
To put this in a value context, you’d normally pay upwards
of $150 for an html editor. SBI’s editor IS a bit
tedious. But it works beautifully, generates decent looking
sites and the beauty of it is that virtually ANYONE can do
it. And, this is only the beginning of the SBI service.
- SBI gives you search engine optimization guidance for
every page, to the level of “you need to include your
keyword at least once more and not more than three times
more in the first paragraph” … OK, I’m making that specific
one up, but it IS representative. It’s that precise.
(Realistically, you don’t need the precision because no-one
knows for sure how the Search Engines work, and they all
work differently … but at least it’s a useful
- SBI will submit your pages to the various Search
Engines, and does it in an intelligent “trickle” way that
makes sure it never submits too many at once. Outside of
SBI, you’ll pay $150 for an equivalent software package
providing the optimization guidance and the intelligent
- SBI provides you with a degree of statistics and
tracking that, again, would cost you probably a couple of
hundred dollars to buy independently. (Although some of
these stats come with many regular hosting packages, some
of the most useful do not.) It tells you which Search
Engine spiders visit your pages; which pages are indexed;
and what rank they have in the different Search Engines;
how many visitors you are getting (unique and repeat), to
which pages, where they came from, and which links they are
Now, you pay $299 a year for SBI, which I hope is now placed
in context as a tremendous bargain … if that was all there was.
But it isn’t all.
- You have access to autoresponders that enable you to
have visitors join an opt-in list to receive regular
e-mails or an ezine from you. This is a vital service for
anyone wanting to make serious money off the Internet,
there’s more money “in the list” than in any website.
Normally you’d pay $20 or $30 a month or more for something
like this. But SBI goes further … it provides tracking on
how many people actually open the newsletters, for
- SBI does some neat and useful other things for you too,
such as creating a Google sitemap you can submit for better
indexing, with a similar submission for Yahoo.
- SBI helps you to add Blogging to your site (a “hot”
topic right now).
- SBI helps you generate an RSS feed from your site,
another "hot" topic.
- SBI offers comprehensive e-mail management.
- SBI helps you with pay-Per-Click bidding and
and … there's still more.
- SBI also provides a reciprocal-linking service to help
your rankings with the Search Engines; you can pay for this
type of service outside SBI.
- And, there’s a very active user forum packed with
knowledgeable and helpful people providing great
But There Can Be a Downside
Now, if it seems like I’m a firm advocate of SBI (do you
think?!) … you’re right. For someone with no techie skills,
it’s as close to perfect as you’re going to find. And for
someone WITH techie skills, it packages so many services into a
high-value fee that it’s still very attractive. Every
person I’ve recommended it to, and I do mean without exception,
has been entirely satisfied.
Is there a downside? Yes, there’s one. Plus a
The major downside is that if you add more sites, it’s an
additional US$299 a year for each site. 10 sites in a year,
following the quick-and-dirty strategy ... and you've paid
In contrast, if you open a regular web hosting account, buy
commercial editing software or use free software, buy a
commercial keyword research tool or service, and subscribe to
an autoresponder service, you can add new domains for the
registration cost of the domain... for example $5.99 at 1&1
hosting, my registrar of preference.
To go "independent" you will probably pay a few
hundred dollars for the one-time set-up with some web page
editing software, perhaps a keyword research tool or two,
perhaps some web site statistics software and tracking
software; say, $300 - $400. Then you'll probably pay $360
a year or so for monthly hosting and a top-quality
autoresponders package, and up to $250 a year for a Wordtracker
subscription - although you could choose instead to just buy
Wordtracker service on an occasional, daily basis for much
But every additional site would then cost you only the
domain registration fee, per year; $5.99, for example.
To be fair, many people stay with SBI for years, and DO add
site after site. If you’re making money (and you should be if
you follow SBI’s guidelines, Ken Evoy is no fool) then the $299
a year per new site is potentially chickenfeed; just 10
days income of a site generating $1000 a month.
If you are likely to be building just the one site in line
with your passion, or your existing business, with maybe an
added 1 or 2 sites in the future, and your intention is to
focus extensively on these, to really work at making them great
revenue sites ... then SBI is good economics as well as
But if you do what I do, spend some time with GoogleCash
opportunities popping Landing pages up as I need them, spend
some time with software or services that mean you can pop a
quick & dirty content site up every week, and so on ...
then you really should consider the "independent" route.
I Also Said there's a "Be Aware Of"
The “be aware of” is that even with just one site, some
people simply feel they “outgrow” SBI after a year or two. They
recognize that they have learned a huge amount thanks to SBI’s
superb services, and even though SBI does permit you to use a
regular html editor to make it a lot easier to build websites
than using SBI’s tedious block-by-block web development
software they choose to go the independent route for new sites
after a while.
As I say, that’s not a “knock” on SBI, just a reality you
should be aware of. Buying into SBI is like lucking-in to an
inexpensive education at a fabulous college; but rightly or
wrongly, some people feel they need to graduate beyond that
Designed 100% With Affiliate and Adsense Marketing
Which brings me to one of the most exciting and useful
pieces of software I’ve encountered in a long time; a web site
building package designed primarily for Affiliate marketers and
Adsense marketers, called XSitePro. It’s an absolute gem.
My wife, who is about as non-tech as you’ll
get, started with SBI and we’re both glad she did. It gently
led her through the tremendous learning curve from zero
knowledge and skills to a rather nice site that is still on SBI
and will probably remain there.
But she has since built 3 sites using XSitePro, two of
them 50-page plus, impressive sites that visitors enjoy, that
bring in Adsense income and one of which will (when we find
time, and when traffic has grown a little more) become an
Affiliate Marketing site. She just loves this software. Her
understanding of a lot of issues connected to site-building is
now a quantum step higher than when she was exclusively with
My daughter, who has not had the SBI
background but who grew up with computers and has no fear, dove
in and used XSitePro to build a very nice 30-page site despite
absolutely no background whatsoever in web design or editing.
It looks great, very professional; it pulls in traffic, it
generates Adsense income, and it's a natural to become an
Affiliate site. She’s a student, and time constraints are
her only reason for not adding more pages to this site, or more
sites; she will. She sees this as a way of paying-off student
loans even as she takes them out!
The reason I love XSitePro is that it is designed from scratch
for people who are into Internet Marketing and who want to
focus on Internet Marketing, not on web site design and
development. It’s a very good design and development tool, of
But It’s Much More than Just an Editor.
The simplest thing is that I can create an attractive site
quickly and easily. But in addition ...
- XSitePro also has one-button inserts of your Adsense
code (a terrific feature), and one-button inserts of some
useful scripts (for example, to show today’s date on a web
- The software analyses your web pages from the
perspective of Search Engine optimization and recommends
changes that are helpful.
- It creates sitemaps (great for Search
- It creates the special sitemaps that Google likes for
registration of new sites.
- It allows you to create a contact page, privacy
statement, and links page format you can simply apply to
every site you build.
- You can link to any page of any site you build, with 2
- You can take a set of articles, and import the whole
set to create one formatted web page per article,
- You can take a public domain book, or a private Label
eBook or report, and import it in such a way that you get
multiple web pages created with links between them.
If I haven’t mentioned it already ... this site is built
For me, it’s also perfect for creating templates for the page
generation software I discuss on a different page; and perfect
for creating the 1-page Landing pages that are helpful
(sometimes even essential) for the GoogleCash opportunity.
Literally, I can have a unique web page design in a few
minutes, then just focus on content. Add 5 minutes if I
also have to come up with a unique header graphic.
Organization Becomes Less of a Chore
XSitePro also provides a basis for organizing
a lot of essential data that often gets spread all over
my hard drive.
For example, there's provision to hold Affiliate account
information, including the Affiliate link itself, the url’s of
the pages I have to go to in order to check account status,
plus the Affiliate log-in id and password; Web host information
including url, log-in’s and passwords; domain registration
details including url, log-in and password, domain names, due
dates for renewal, and so forth. It enables me to have a
library of Affiliate information available to all my sites; a
library of images available to all; a library of scripts
available to all.
Anyone who gets into this game will tell you what a pain in the
you-know-what it can be to keep track of all the associated
data with an Internet Marketing business, and it’s a dream to
have it all at my fingertips during the creation of a web
Finally, the Bane of a
Newbie Marketer's Existence - Graphics
One of the biggest obstacles I hit when I started creating
sites was the difficulty in generating graphics, and especially
what’s known as the header graphic.
Look at the top of this page, you’ll see there’s a block
of white with a photo of some coins, another of some
banknotes, and some words on it. That’s a header graphic. While
the experts argue over whether a header graphic causes better
sales or fewer sales on the particular type of site called a
selling mini-site, there’s no question that the majority of
Adsense and Affiliate sites look much nicer, more professional,
and more attractive, with a good quality header graphic.
Lots of Options, but Few are Practical
If you buy a template to use as the basis for your site, you’ll
probably get the header graphic … that you may or may not want
to actually use as-is. If you want to change it, you have a
problem; you need some way of getting a new header graphic, or
editing an existing one.
If you want a custom header graphic, you have two choices; pay
for one to be developed for you, which isn't expensive but even
so - you will typically be paying $75 - $100 or
more. Or, you can buy the sophisticated and powerful
graphics software to do it yourself, something I'd
recommend to people who enjoy undergoing root canals. It's
simply too complex.
There are a couple of other options. You can
actually buy packages of pre-prepared header graphics. Some
look fairly attractive, and with the millions of websites on
the 'Net you don't need to be too concerned with meeting up
with your twin site one day (and who would care even if you
did?). Personally, I just find these too limiting; you either
have to own and know how to use a complex piece of software (in
which case, why not do the damned things yourself?) or else you
are limited to adding words in a specific format onto a fixed
As a bonus with one course I bought, I received a copy of a
graphic header generator that you could buy if you wanted, it's
for sale right now on the 'Net. Unfortunately, it only
generates one size of header, from a fixed bunch of
backgrounds, it's even more limited than buying a package of
graphics and worse ... the output is poor quality. It was
arguably good enough for the software-generated pages used for
Adsense income, the ones I discuss on a separate page as a
distinct opportunity of it’s own, ... but nowhere near
professional-looking enough for a quality Adsense or
Affiliate site, in my opinion.
Sophistication + me = Huge Waste of
It so happens I own a very expensive, sophisticated drawing
program. It looks like it can help me to do some
incredible graphics ... but I can’t tell you how many hours it
took me to understand the manual enough to get something
useable out of it. The book I bought to help was 1000 pages; to
me, this fact itself is a gentle warning that you’re getting
into stuff you might not want to get into. Heck, even the book
of Life shouldn’t need 1000 pages.
Anyway, even though I did work it out enough to do some
limited graphics, the next time I needed a graphic I'd
completely forgotten how the stupid software worked. Just as an
example, one simple thing drove me crazy; I wanted to include
my URL on the header, you know, something like
www.buzzardsbreath.com. But EVERY time, no matter what I did,
the software turned it into Www.buzzardsbreath.com. With a
capital dubbya. It took me HOURS to work out how I'd stopped
that same problem a few weeks earlier.
The solution? If you DO want the ability to
generate custom graphics without the investment in expensive
drawing software and the time investment in learning it … …
take a look at some incredible software called Easy Web Graphics.
You've read enough of my writing by now to know that I
choose carefully when I get enthusiastic about software;
well, this package is awesome.
My wife, who has almost no computer background and zero
background in graphics, designed her first, attractive header
graphic in minutes. My daughter did the same, she’s computer
literate but completely ignorant of graphics. It is still a
source of aggravation for me that this software runs on my
wife’s PC, not mine, because it’s actually fun to play around
with (if I had the time, which I don’t of course).
You can choose from a variety of template header graphics,
or banners or buttons, even entire web themes, but instead of
being limited to these you have the easy and instant ability to
change colors, add effects, add borders, add border effects, do
almost anything you want with text, slap other photos on top,
you name it. Or you can start from scratch, with a blank
Not only does Easy Web Graphics have tremendous
flexibility but the best part is that it speaks "human," not
"graphics." When I researched it, the only criticism I found
(from a review on a graphics specialty site) was that it
didn't use the proper langauage of the graphics world.
Well, thank heaven, is all I can say. For example, you can
select a full web page template theme, click on the
navigation button-bar that has for example 4 buttons, and
it's 2 clicks to add 4 more buttons to the bar. None of that
graphics crap about vectors or fountains or whatever.
There's a button on the toolbar that says "Color Fill."
Another says "Make transparent." Another "Fade to Transparent."
Others for "Shadow," "Emboss," "Change Color," and so on. It
speaks my graphics language. That said, there MIGHT be a time
when I'd want professional graphics for a special site ... but
I'd still use Easy Web Graphics to play around for a while and
get some sense of what I wanted, before I went along to Elance
to find a decent designer.
Well ... I think that about wraps this topic up. Man, this
page is almost an eBook in itself!
I mentioned a LOT of resources on this page; here they are,
Pixelfast to find Overture maximum
Adsense Dominator to identify the keywords
with the biggest Pay-Per-Click values.
Wordtracker , the keyword research tool
favored by the professionals for basic research.
Keyword Analyzer which combines keyword
research with Adwords bids and campaigns information.
Keyword Research Analyzer, which helps
structure your site for Traffic generation.
1&1 for domain registration and also
for web hosting.
GoDaddy to register domains but ONLY if
you dealing with mass domain registrations.
Dreamhost is my second choice for hosting,
but in some ways has better packages than even
Elance to find very inexpensive
ghostwriters who'll bid to write web content for you.
ArticleCity, Goarticles and EZinearticles, sources of free Articles
you can download and use.
Content Desk a membership site to help you
create Content Sites, quickly, and get Traffic.
ArticleMiner downloads articles, puts them
on web pages, uploads the pages to your site. Note! being
withdrawn from sales, if you're interested you have only
until May 1st!
Infogoround, where you get new Private
label aticles, reports and eBooks every month.
Super Affiliate Handbook by Rosalind
Gardner, comprehensive coverage of site building.
Affiliate Marketer's Handbook by James
Martell, comprehensive coverage of site building &
Insider Secrets to Marketing Your Business
on the Internet, by the late, great, Cory Rudl.
Site Build It a comprehensive site design,
site building, traffic-getting, monetizing, service.
XSitePro recommended Affiliate site
building and management software.
Easy Web Graphics superb quality graphics
tool that speaks "graphics dummy" language.