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Gutenberg: Friend or Foe?

How Will WordPress Gutenberg Affect the Way we Write?

There’s been a fair bit of hype lately about the WordPress Gutenberg update. Is this really going to be a great leap forward as promised – or just another level of confusion?

One thing’s for certain, we won’t be able to avoid it, so we’d better learn how to use it – and quickly!

I’ve been experimenting with Elementor Builder for a bit. (you can read my review here) I’d hopefully be excused then, for thinking I’d have a bit of a head start at understanding Gutenberg. There are some similarities, and I’ve already found a couple of pros and cons. As I did with the Elementor review, I’m using Gutenberg plugin to write this post and learning as I go.

So What Exactly is Gutenberg?

With the old WordPress Editor, we wrote and edited content by typing directly into the editor. If we wanted a heading, for example, we’d highlight the text and select “Heading” then adjust to suit our needs. All content appeared as a single vertical stream of text, images, etc.

What we didn’t see, (and for many of us, didn’t know) was that these different sections were isolated within the HTML as invisible “blocks”.

WordPress Gutenberg simply allows us to see these individual blocks and move or edit them as separate items within our content. This is intended to make for a superior user experience and a real “hands-on” feel.

So How Do We Use Gutenberg??

Adding a new block in a document is dead simple. Just select the icon (plus sign within a circle) and select what type of block you want to add. These cover almost any element you can imagine inserting into your posts. Videos, images, embeds etc etc. Plugin authors can easily create their own custom block types also.

With the old system, in order to rearrange the positions of images, paragraphs, etc I’d usually end up using cut and paste or simply deleting the item and redoing it. The one thing I noticed right away is that to move a block to another part of the document I can simply hover the cursor over the block and use the up and down arrows that appear to the left. Strike one for Gutenberg over Elementor, by the way. Their drag and drop option I found a bit clumsy and unreliable.

To delete a block, I simply use the menu just to the right of the block. Here you’ll find several editing options to use on the fly.

Also, with Elementor, if I needed to add a heading within an existing block of text, I was forced to do a cut and paste to break the text block into two parts and insert my title between them. Now, with Gutenberg, I type my heading in place, then highlight it and convert it into a heading block ready for editing. The existing text block is just split in two. Strike two.

One type of block can easily be converted into another type, or blocks can be grouped together to create a list, for example.

Content within a paragraph block can be edited individually, as we’re used to. (Bold, italic etc) Additionally, font color, background color, drop cap (as I did with this paragraph) and more are all accessible from the sidebar. This does apply only to paragraph blocks, however.

One thing I would definitely have liked to see is the background color and font color option for headings. If you’ve visited my-buzz before you’ll know I like to give my headings a bit of color to make them stand out. This seems like a basic requirement to me, if I’m going to be using Gutenberg to write my content without using a builder program.

Another issue that I’m hoping will be addressed is that I no longer have the option of adding “no-follow” or “open in new tab” whenever I add a link. Maybe this is a compatibility thing with my plugin.

What About Developers?

Gutenberg will make it much easier for developers. Previously, developers worked mainly with meta boxes. Gutenberg offers more options for integrating with the WordPress UI. While still retaining the meta box option, the three main ways to integrate with Gutenberg will be; a pop-over that opens when you click a menu item – a sidebar (to the right) where you can add your plugin – or a screen takeover feature that allows you to add your plugin UI to all of the interface. I might add here that I’m NOT a developer, so this information is of little consequence to me personally. I can see the definite benefits though.

When Will We See Gutenberg?

Gutenberg is available right now as a plugin, and can be installed from within your WP dashboard. This is the version I’m now using to write this post. I’m not sure whether the fully integrated version will work exactly the same, but I’d assume that there may still be a few improvements and tweaks in the pipeline.

Gutenberg will be included within WordPress from version 5.0 onwards.

For developers who may be reading this, there is a site www.frontenberg.tomjn.com where you can test Gutenberg by adding your plugin to the sidebar to see if it all fits together.

Is Gutenberg Going to Make Life Easier for Content Writers?

WordPress hasn’t had a major rebuild for ages. Meanwhile, page builders like Elementor, Thrive Architect, Beaver Builder et al have become very popular. We all want to have beautiful websites. Page builders allow us to fill in the gaps between what we envisage and what we can actually create.

My first thought when I heard of WordPress Gutenberg was that it would sound the death knell for page builders entirely. It still may, but not by making them redundant. Not in the short term, anyway.

Most, if not all, page builders will initially struggle to properly integrate with Gutenberg. Of course, all the major builders have armies of programmers who will be burning the midnight oil working out any compatibility issues so we can only hope for some positive outcomes.

Having said all that – WordPress Gutenberg is not (initially, at least) designed as a page builder. It’s still an editor. Personally, I like that they’ve finally brought WordPress into the 21st century. I’m hoping that before integration they can sort out all the teething problems and assuage the nay-sayers out there.

There’s been a lot of buzz within forums where beta users have raised a number of issues. The main concerns arise from;

  1. Compatibility: The WordPress editor we’re used to relies heavily on TinyMCE, an HTML editor, within its core. All current WP plugins are written to be compatible with TinyMCE. There’s some concern as to whether Gutenberg will retain this and therefore whether plugins in current use will retain their compatibility.
  2. Gutenberg in its present state lacks a lot of the functionality we’ve become accustomed to. (Such as my concern about font color in headings as mentioned earlier) When Gutenberg becomes a part of the WordPress core (Version 5.0) it’s unclear as to whether we’ll be able to make minor tweaks like this without resorting to writing code (above my pay grade) or using a builder (which may not work)

My Take on Gutenberg by WordPress

As far as I can tell, the majority of users (myself included) would prefer WordPress to release Gutenberg as an optional plugin only. At least at first. From version 5.0, however, we will no longer have access to the WP editor and will be forced to use this new version. This from a company that has always championed open source and the free exchange of information on the web.

For that reason, I’ll be delaying any update to V 5.0 as long as possible. I want to be certain there’s no chance of my websites being compromised.

There is a plugin however, available here. https://it.wordpress.org/plugins/manager-for-gutenberg/ This plugin will allow you to disable Gutenberg either globally or on an ad hoc basis. This means that you can retain Gutenberg’s installation but exclude individual block types, API/hooks for custom themes etc. or limit it to pages (or posts) only. You still won’t have the old WP Editor, but you could then use a page builder or other editor.

The very fact that someone has gone to the extent of creating this plugin is testimony of how much global concern Gutenberg is causing.

Have you looked at WordPress Gutenberg? What’s your take on this new WP editor? Feel free to join the discussion via the comments box below. I’d like to hear your thoughts or ideas.

Cheers for now.

Thomas. AKA BusyBee

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Affiliate Marketing or Dropshipping, Which is Right for You?

Are You Looking for a Way to Make Money Online?

Maybe Drop Shipping is the Answer

Earning money online is a dream of many people these days. However, unless you have a plan, it’s likely to remain just that – a dream.

Now that might seem obvious, but have you really thought about it? There are loads of folk earning what can be a very good living with internet marketing. What all these successful people have in common though, is a plan. (And the willingness to work at it)

I’ve talked quite a bit elsewhere on this site about Affiliate Marketing. Another avenue that lots of internet marketers choose to invest their time into is Drop Shipping.

So What Exactly is Drop Shipping?

 

Drop shipping was the first way that I ever heard of someone making money online. My older brother had a website way back in the early 2000’s selling fishing gear. He had a supplier in China and used to promote their products (mostly lures, reels etc) and customers would purchase through his site with the order being fulfilled direct from the factory.

In those days it was relatively easy to get a website ranked in the SERPS. He didn’t make a whole lot of money, but it gave him a decent retirement income up to his untimely passing in the mid 2000’s.

 

Basically, Drop Shipping works like this...

 

You, the website owner, or retailer, promote items of your choosing on your website. You never have to actually buy any of these products up front. Your ads will mostly consist of photos and descriptions provided by your supplier.

Customers view the items, and hopefully place orders. You accept payment at the retail price.

You then place an order with your supplier for the item. The supplier will then ship the item direct to the buyer and bill you at your agreed wholesale price.

Easy-Peasy, right?

Well, maybe not so much… There’s always a catch. Read on and I’ll try to explain the Pros and Cons as briefly as possible.

What's the Best Part of Drop Shipping?

1.  Drop shipping is a great way for a beginner to venture into internet marketing. There’s very little expense involved, and if you’re a good learner you can teach yourself the business by doing online research.

Not that I’d recommend that though. There’s a lot of misleading info out there and it’s hard to tell the good guys from the baddies. (In any case, you’ll need a platform to work with and training is supplied when you sign up. More on this later)

 

2.  You can sell virtually anything you want to, and you never need to carry any stock or inventory.This is probably the best feature, as anyone who’s ever owned a brick and mortar retail store will tell you.

Even if you make some bad choices and fail to pull in much business, you don’t run the risk of getting landed with unwanted stock that you have to get rid of at bargain prices. You simply change your tactics or find other products to promote.

3.  As I stated above, setup costs are minimal. You’ll need a website, and you’ll need hosting. Don’t be put off by this though, as these days it’s fairly simple and inexpensive to build a site with WordPress. There are places like this one, where you can even get a website for free to learn the ropes.

4.  This type of business can be run from anywhere. You don’t need an office, a fixed phone, staff, in fact all you need is a laptop and an internet connection. Some even run online businesses relying almost entirely on free WiFi. You could be lolling in a hammock in the Bahamas or trekking the Himalayas. If the digital nomad lifestyle is what you’re seeking, drop shipping may well be the means to achieve it.

5.  It’s easy to keep up with new trends. Whenever a new product or style comes out you can quickly add it to your inventory.

6.  There’s no need to get yourself involved with shipping. All the goods are shipped directly to the customer by your supplier. All you need to do is process the order and the rest takes care of itself. (There is a downside to this though, which I’ll cover in the next section)

What are the Cons of Drop Shipping?

1.  Profit margins with drop shipping are traditionally lower than other business models. Wholesalers or manufacturers know you are only selling to order, and will probably be ordering in small quantities. Their  selling prices to you will reflect this. Weigh this against the benefits of not having to carry stock though, and you’ll see you’re still in front.

2.  Competition is usually very high in most areas. Because drop shipping is so easy to set up, it’s attracted lots of punters. Many of these will be offering products at greatly reduced prices in order to get themselves established. Some suppliers will specify a minimum advertised price for their products to curtail this, but it’s not easy to enforce.

3. Since the customer is dealing with your website, any delivery or warranty issues will be your problem. At least initially. It’s no good trying to sheet the blame back to the supplier (even if it is their fault) as this only makes you look shonky in the eyes of your customer. This is why you need to carefully vet any suppliers before ordering from them.

4.  As the products will be shipped direct from your supplier, you’ll have no opportunity to add your own brand, logo etc to the items. This makes it difficult to establish your brand and build trust. Some suppliers have been known to include their own advertising material in order to grab any repeat business for themselves. It goes without saying then, to avoid dealing with suppliers who also have their own online retail division.

5.  If you deal with more than one supplier, your delivery costs may be higher as each will have their own minimum fee. Your customer, however, will expect you to bundle all delivery fees together. It’s also highly unlikely that all items will arrive at the same time.

6. Keeping track of your suppliers’ inventories can be tricky. Until you place an order you’ll never know for sure whether a specific item is in stock. Placing items on back order can sometimes lead to cancellations. There is software available to manage these issues but these will come at a price, affecting your bottom line.

 

So is Drop Shipping a Viable Business?

The short answer is Yes. Drop shipping markups can range from around 15% up to as much as 80-100% for select items. The key is to do the research and compare. Obviously, you’ll usually get much better margins dealing with a manufacturer than a wholesaler.

Much like with affiliate marketing, keyword research is an integral part of any successful ecommerce business. Knowing what potential customers are looking for and then marrying that with reliable suppliers is what it’s all about.

There are three basic levels of suppliers you may deal with.

Manufacturers: Not all manufacturers will be interested in dealing directly with a drop shipper. If you’re lucky enough to find one who is, the process will be so much easier and profit margins should be higher.

 Wholesalers: A wholesaler buys in bulk from the manufacturer, then onsells to the retailer (you), via the dropship platform. They will retain a percentage. As their buying price will be better than any that you could negotiate, the price to you may not be much more than a manufacturer direct price.

 Aggregators: An aggregator will deal with multiple manufacturers, and can supply many products in the one order. The advantage being that you don’t have to worry about multiple shipping arrangements, multiple orders etc. Remember though, they will also add their own profit markup to the price.

 

How to Become a Successful Drop Shipper

The real trick to building a successful drop shipping business is to work with an established dropshipping specialist supplier.

The future success of your business relies on a good rapport with a company that has your back in any situation. You will be relying on them to process your orders promptly and efficiently. If they fail to deliver on your order, your brand is the one that suffers. A good drop ship specialist supplier knows that, and will do all they can to help you succeed. After all, it’s in their own interests to do so.

Avoid a supplier who deals in cheap copies, or knock-offs. Not only will you be laying yourself open to warranty issues and the resulting bad customer experience, but you could find yourself in a whole heap of legal trouble!

Look for someone who has good customer reviews and testimonials. This includes their delivery service. Remember, the customer will expect you to do any follow-ups and won’t always be as patient as you might think they should.

 

Where to start looking? Well Google is your best bet when looking for drop ship suppliers. Many websites dedicated to ecommerce, that come up in the search results, will have directories of drop shippers and their contact information. You can simply send them a short, polite email asking some relevant questions. That way you can gauge how quickly they respond and how helpful their sales reps are.

 

It’s not easy trying to decide whether a particular company will be a good fit for your business, but two or three pertinent questions will usually help sort the wheat from the chaff.

You’ll need to impress on them that you know your stuff (even if you really don’t) so they won’t try to take advantage of your naiveté. In particular, ask for the all-important details like profit margins, additional costs, returns policy, are their prices negotiable etc etc. Also make sure to ask if they are a retailer themselves. You don’t need a price war with your own supplier.

You need to get all this right, as you’ll be hoping for a long-term arrangement.

Remember too, that there will be some scam operators out there who will try to take advantage of you so be sure to perform your due diligence. Scam forums are a good place to check out someone you’re not sure about. Things to watch for are the lack of a physical address on their website, “membership” fees, wanting to deal only in bank transfers etc.

 

 

Establishing Your Online Store

There are a few ways to set up a drop shipping website. You could try building your own site using WordPress or a similar CMS and optimizing it yourself. You could add drop shipping to an existing affiliate or blog site.

If you really want to be successful though, and in as short a time as possible (and who doesn’t) your best bet is to go with a system such as Shopify.

With Shopify, you can get started for free, and run your online store for as little as $29 per month. This includes your website, hosting, and heaps of extras, and also includes training on all aspects of ecommerce, including drop shipping. Don’t just take my word for it though, the link above will take you to their site where you can check out all the finer details.

Shopify also integrates with Oberlo, an app designed to scout out products for you to promote within your site. Oberlo is a paid drop shipping app, but you can get it for free when you use Shopify.

The Wrap-up.

So there you have my take on drop shipping. This post is fairly general, but I think I’ve explained the basics. I’ve been thinking of expanding into this field, so I thought heck, if I’m going to research it I may as well write about it.

Drop shipping and affiliate marketing are different animals. Can you do both? I don’t see why not. Can you integrate the two into one online presence? Maybe, but I think separate entities would be the way to go.

Curious about affiliate marketing? Check out this review on the best affiliate training system in the world. I know, that’s a bold claim, but you can test it for yourself FOR FREE.

Have you tried drop shipping as a business model? Do you have anything you’d like to add to the conversation?

Please feel free to comment in the box below.

For now, I wish you peace and prosperity.

 

 

Your Friend, Thomas. (aka BusyBee)

Is This the Best Ever Page Builder, or What?

When I first started learning how to build a website, there wasn't a whole lot of choice when it came to page building.

My first sites, and all the content, were assembled using the basic WordPress Editor. For its time, WordPress Editor was the be-all and end-all so far as content editing was concerned. Let’s face it – WordPress is the one platform that’s enabled more mere mortals like myself to build our own websites than any other. WordPress truly is simplicity itself!

Then along came the Wealthy Affiliate Site Content editor. To those of us associated with the WA group, Site Content Editor was a boon indeed. It was a huge jump from what I’d become used to and made page building and content management a breeze by comparison. (Thanks, Kyle and Carson)

Not heard of Wealthy Affiliate? There’s a review you can check out here.

Wealthy Affiliate: The best way to Learn Affiliate Marketing.

Now, enter the New Kid on the Block:
Elementor Page Builder.

There have been a few page builders released recently, but none that really stands out like Elementor does.

There’s a paid Pro version of Elementor, which costs just $49.00. Seriously though, unless you really feel that you need all the bells and whistles the free version is probably going to suit many of you just fine. Certainly, I wouldn’t be advising anyone to shell out and buy Elementor Pro without first doing some testing with the free version.

The options and features are likely to dazzle a newcomer, especially if you’ve been using WP Editor.

To prove the point, I’m writing this entire post using the free version. I’m also learning as I go, so I may not actually be making the best use of all features. (I’ll try not to go overboard with the aforementioned Bells and Whistles, though)

So let's see what we get with
Elementor Page Builder

Elementor is a true drag-and-drop interface with heaps of preloaded templates and several ready-made color palettes. You don’t have to use the templates though. I’m just designing this post on the fly, so to speak. With the Pro version, we can save our custom made layouts as templates and use them to standardize the look and feel of our site.

The only negative I’ve encountered so far is that with Elementor Free we have to use one of the supplied color palettes. That’s why the font color showing here is dark gray and not black. I usually prefer black type, though I have to admit I’m warming to the subtlety of this dark gray. With Pro, of course, I’ll be able to change any element I choose with just a click or two.

The first feature I noticed is the blinding speed of Elementor. Some other page builders I’ve tried can take a few seconds before any changes take effect. (Drag, drop, and wait) A second or two doesn’t sound like much but when you’re creating a post and trying to get just that special effect you want it can be incredibly frustrating.

You can use Elementor with ANY theme. In fact, with this little beauty in your corner there’s really no need to fork out for a premium theme at all. You can choose a free, very basic theme, and let Elementor take care of all the advanced features.

Two themes that come to mind are Base by SitePoint, and GeneratePress. Both of these are extremely lightweight and boast blinding fast load speeds. Site loading speed is one of the most critical aspects of good SEO. There’s nothing the search engines hate more than sites that take forever to load. (In this context, four or five seconds is considered forever)

A new concept.

Using Elementor is a whole new experience and takes a little getting used to. With WordPress Editor I became used to adding images, graphs, etc straight into the text area. This works OK but is restrictive. Text tends to either wrap around images in a way that doesn’t suit our concept, or worse still, doesn’t wrap at all. It’s also a bit of a guessing game as to exactly how the completed page will look online. This meant frequently using the preview feature to check the layout and usually tweaking a bit to get the desired look and feel.

Using Elementor we simply drag whatever element we want onto the work area and start creating. What we see in our workspace is exactly what will be seen online. Any updates or additions are there in real time. Again, speed is one of Elementor’s biggest assets.

Made a mistake? Simply use Ctrl or Cmd + Z to instantly undo your last action. There’s also a full list of all earlier saved versions of your project, that you can browse and restore at your will.

Designer Features:

Elementor has loads of special designer features that will add that professional look to every article you create. Features like Animations, Hover Effects, Background Overlays, Sliders, Box Shadows, Special Gradient Backgrounds, Adjustable Text and Image Widgets, and heaps more.

Templates:

As I said above, there are heaps of professionally designed templates provided within Elementor. Over 100 in fact, with more being added over time. Not all are available in the free version but there’s still a great selection.These make building a beautiful and responsive website about as easy as it could possibly be. You can easily adapt these templates to suit your own ideas and preferences, so your site can be totally unique.

Fully Mobile Responsive.

Mobile responsiveness is an absolute necessity for good SEO. With Elementor you can not only rely on your posts or pages being properly optimized for mobile devices, but you can easily set specific fonts or styles to apply to the individual versions. The Elementor toolset allows you to also set custom padding, margins etc so that the mobile versions look just the way you want them.

Introducing Canvas:
A Blank Page Template for Landing Pages.

This may sound counter-intuitive, but using Canvas blank page template you can design your complete page within your page builder. No header, no footer, just whatever you choose to have appear. This way you can eliminate your theme’s existing header and start completely from scratch.
The prefect solution to your “Coming Soon” page, or custom landing pages.

Maintenance Mode:

Should the occasion ever arise where you need to take your site offline for maintenance, Elementor has you covered.

With the built-in Maintenance Mode feature you can display a Coming Soon or Under Construction page while you work your back-stage magic.

Widgets:

At the time of writing, Elementor has 28 included widgets. These are available directly from the Control Panel.

  • Text Editor. A WYSIWYG text editor, much like the WordPress editor.
  • Heading. Add and edit eye-catching headlines.
  • Image Box. A box that includes image, headline and text.
  • Image. Control the size, opacity and other settings of images.
  • Video. Add YouTube / Vimeo to your page.
  • SoundCloud. Add audio bits from SoundCloud.
  • Icon. Place one or more of 600+ icons available.
  • Icon Box. Works the same as the image box, only with icons.
  • Button. Controls every aspect of button design.
  • Image Gallery. Displays your images in an aligned grid.
  • Image Carousel. A rotating carousel or slider of chosen images.
  • Icon List. A bullet list with any chosen icon and text. (like this one)
  • Google Maps. Embed maps into your page.
  • Social Icons. Icons to your social pages like Facebook / Twitter.
  • Accordion. A collapsible display of content.
  • Toggle. Like Accordion, for FAQ pages.
  • Alert. A colored alert box to draw the attention of your visitor.
  • Counter. Show stats and numbers in an escalating manner.
  • Progress Bar. Include an escalating progress bar.
  • Tabs. Vertical or horizontal tabs that display different pieces of content.
  • Menu Anchor. Link any menu to this anchor.
  • Testimonials. Customer testimonials that show social proof.
  • HTML. Used to insert code into the page.
  • Shortcode. Easily insert shortcodes from any plugin into the page.
  • Sidebar. Add any sidebar into the page.
  • Divider. A line that divides different elements in the page.
  • Spacer. A space that divides the various elements.
  • Columns. Create inner columns within an existing column.

It’s these widgets that are at the heart of Elementor’s creative power, and yours, when you are at the controls. This new generation page builder has really taken website creation to a whole new dimension.

Being multi-lingual and RTI supported, this is THE page builder for 2018 and beyond.

Free and open source, Elementor is designed with the developer in mind. Already, there have been some amazing add-ons created.

 

Stop Press! Elementor Theme Builder
now Available!

May, 2018.

Elementor have released their latest version, which they’ve chosen to call Theme Builder.

In addition to several minor improvements, Elementor now gives us the ability to completely replace our theme’s existing Header and/or Footer.

How many times have we hoped for this sort of flexibility? It could always be done, of course, if you knew how to write code and weren’t terrified of totally wrecking your website. (like myself)

Now, with just a few clicks and some editing we can override our existing theme’s Header or Footer to achieve exactly the look we always wanted. We can even make either one “sticky”, so it stays in place as the visitor scrolls.

I’m assured this is just one of many, many more improvements in the pipeline.

 

Ready to give Elementor a go? Trust me, you’ll be amazed at what you can create with this remarkable tool. Click the button below and you’ll be taken to the secure Free Download Page.

Have you already tried this page builder? Do you have any comments to add about Elementor or any other Page Builder?

Don’t be shy, leave a comment below. I’d especially like to hear from you if who’ve had the chance to compare Elementor with another builder.

So that’s it for now. Thanks for dropping by.

Thomas (AKA BusyBee)

8 of the Best Keyword Research Tools for 2018

Looking for a Good Keyword Research Tool?

Look no further. I’ve compiled a list of eight tried and tested keyword tools for you right here.

 

find the best keywords for your campaign
.     Keyword Research is Absolutely Essential     .

Keyword research has to be possibly the single most important aspect of successful internet marketing. Unless we get the keyword research sorted before we even begin to write, we’re going to be behind the eight-ball from the start.

 

If you’re new to internet marketing, I suggest you read this post first. In it I discuss and explain just what a keyword tool is, and why you should be using one.

I can’t stress strongly enough how much emphasis we need to place on good Keyword Research. It’s no use spending hours researching and writing a new article if it’s never going to see the light of day. Most niches these days are already populated by well-established and authority sites. This makes it all so much harder for a new website to be found. Unless, that is, we find a few good low competition Long-Tail Keywords to base our articles around.

This is where a good keyword tool can help. There are free tools and there are paid tools. (And some that fall somewhere in between)

 

This post deals with Paid, or Subscription, Keyword Tools.

 

I’ve also written this post on free keyword tools. If you haven’t already done so, feel free to check it out.  It’s OK, I’ll wait here for you.


The reviews here are fairly brief. There’s simply no way I could do in-depth reviews and demos of every tool on this list in the one post. I’ve tried to include all relevant details though, and provided links for each in case you want more information.

 

So let’s look at some of the better Keyword Tools available.

 

1. KW Finder

You can test drive KW Finder here.

The first thing that struck me with KW Finder was the easy to follow layout and easy-on-the-eyes color scheme. But it’s the sheer simplicity of use combined with its speed and accuracy that made the biggest impression.

You simply enter a seed keyword, select your language and location (yes, location, right down to your target city) and the program spits out a range of K/Ws along with metrics like search volumes, competition analysis, PPC and CPC details and a color coded guide to competitiveness.

Not all keyword research tools give you this option of selecting a specific location. In fact, many tools don’t even allow you to search a particular zone or country.

It also shows you, in graph form, a breakdown of the search volumes month by month.

You can use this tool for free, and as far as I can see there’s no time limit. The only restriction is that you only get 5 searches every 24 hours and 50 results per search.

What does KW Finder cost?

KW Finder is part of a suite of SEO research tools. Also included in the bundle are 3 other tools; SERP checker, SERP watch, and Link Miner to complete your package.

The cheapest paid option gives you 100 keyword searches per day and 200 suggestions per search. Prices start from $49 on a monthly basis or $29.90 pm if you pay annually.

Check out the finer details here.

My Rating?        9 out of 10

 

2. Moz Keyword Explorer                    https://moz.com/explorer

This well-respected keyword tool has been around since May 2016 (that I know of)

So far it’s apparently become quite popular with many SEOs out there. Moz themselves are a force to be reckoned with in SEO circles. But what about this tool?

If you visit the location given above you will be presented with a search box where you simply enter your seed keyword and Moz Keyword Explorer will quickly show you search metrics for the keyword, keyword suggestions (for long-tail research), and SERP analysis for the leading competitive pages/posts.

The first thing that struck me was that we can only search in one geographical region at a time. I couldn’t even find a generic English-Anywhere option.

The other negative point was that search volumes are displayed as a range only. And a fairly broad range at that.

It also shows Difficulty as a scale of 1 – 100, an expected CTR which I personally feel is very much guesswork, and a Priority Score based on all the metrics taken together. In this case, the higher the better.

Nowhere do they show the actual competition for a particular keyword. You have to simply trust their metrics. Of course, many feel that’s no big ask, given Moz’s reputation.

What will Moz Keyword Explorer cost you?

You can use the tool straight from the website for free, though with limited options. As has become standard practice, you can get a 30 day free trial with all features.

Should you wish to buy, you’ll need to subscribe to Moz Pro. Moz Pro is a suite of SEO tools and prices start at $99.00 USD up to $599.00 USD per month.

Looking at the packages, if you’re serious about your website you’ll need to spend at least $149.00 per month. The basic level just doesn’t offer much value at all. (for example, 150 searches pm on Standard Vs 5,000 pm on Medium)

My Rating?          7 out of 10.

 

3. Keyword Magic by SEMrush       

SEMrushSEMrush is considered by many to be the “Big Gun” of keyword and SEO tools.

Keyword Magic is the keyword research tool in their suite of SEM (search engine marketing) tools.

Learning to properly make use of all the data this comprehensive suite of tools can deliver will take a little time. Time well spent, however.

As a keyword tool, it works initially much the same as most tools. You enter your seed keyword and Keyword Magic delivers all the metrics you need to properly evaluate your chosen keyword. It also provides 100 results per k/w.

If you then scroll down to “Phrase Match Keywords” and then “View Full Report”, you get a list of keyword phrases containing your seed keyword. Perfect fodder for your long-tail research.

This will show you Search Volume, Keyword Difficulty, Cost per Click, Competition etc.

There are filters that will show K/Ws within a certain range of search volumes, (you choose) or even specific exact volumes.

You can select K/Ws with or without certain words in them, K/Ws with a specific word count, in fact Keyword Magic gives so much info you’ll be dazzled at first. If you learn to master this “Mother of All” keyword tools however, you may wonder how you managed without it.

If all this sounds impressive, then be ready to be blown away with what else SEMrush has to offer.

The real value in this suite of tools comes when you start exploring and analysing Searching for scams and Legit Schemesyour competitiors’ websites. Sounds like cheating, right? Well, you can be sure most of your competitors are using tools like SEMrush or Jaaxy to do exactly the same thing! Using them to not only find good competitive long-tail keywords, but to work out which ones are ranking best on your website!

The list of features of SEMrush is actually so impressive that I’ll be devoting an entire blog to this in the near future.


What does SEMrush cost?

 

SEMrush entry level prices are fairly comparable with Moz, except that you get much more bang for your buck!

SEMrush’s basic offering will give you more searches, and in my opinion, better options.

On a monthly subscription, SEMrush Pro will set you back $99.95pm, Guru $199.95, and Business $399.95.

As usual, you’ll get big discounts by paying annually.

The only cons with SEMrush are the fairly high price and the fact that there’s a pretty steep learning curve involved.

This link will show you all the features and prices in detail.

My Rating?                             9 out of 10

 

4. KeySearch Pro   

 

 

Keysearch’s features fall mainly into five categories.

• Keyword research:

Here you simply enter your seed keyword and you are presented with up to 1,000 niche relevant keywords with monthly search volume, CPC, and PPC info. In addition, you can use YouTube Suggest to get keyword ideas for YouTube as well.

If you insert the URL of your competitor you can see what keywords they are ranking for. You can then analyse both their site and your own to decide which long-tail keywords to base your content around.

• Competition analysis and difficulty checking:

KeySearch ranks keywords on a difficulty rating from 1 to 100. This will easily tell you whether you have a decent chance to rank for that keyword. To do this, KeySearch takes into account a combination of on-page and off-page factors of the top 10 ranking URLs for the said keyword. These are going to be your main competition, so you need to be aware just who or what you’re up against.

• LSI keywords suggestion:

KeySearch gives you the ability to perform deep analysis on your choice of keywords. It will generate LSI keywords which you can include within your content to give you that extra edge you need to rank faster and higher in the SERPs.

• Rank tracking:

In addition to being a valuable keyword research tool, KeySearch also functions as a rankings tracking tool. You simply enter your URL and a set of keywords for it, and KeySearch will check the URL’s rankings for each of those keywords.

This Rank Tracking feature also can include the tracking of your domain’s Moz and social statistics alongside a secondary URL (which could be your main competitor) so you can keep an eye on them as well.

• Reporting:

All the data generated within KeySearch can be easily compiled into detailed reports as either CSV files or white label PDFs. These can be not only for your own use, but if you are doing SEO for a client these reports can be passed on to them.

As a combination of keyword research and competition tool, it’s hard to fault KeySearch. Especially for the price.


How much will KeySearch Pro cost?

You can get the usual free trial, of course, but that’s very limited. It’s really only so you can get a feel for the way it looks and behaves.

The basic level will set you back just $17 per month. (Or around $14 pm if you pay annually)

KeySearch Pro is just $34 monthly, or $279 annually. (That’s about $23 pm)

As a special bonus, you can use this code – KSDISC – to grab yourself a 20% discount, making this an even better offer!

I’m not sure how long they’re going to continue this introductory offer, but make sure you enter it in the box if you decide to buy.

This pricing makes KeySearch possibly the best value-for-money keyword tool on the market. The more I use this tool the more I’m impressed by it.

You can Check out more details here.

My Rating?                     9 out of 10

 

5. Keyword Supremacy                   keywordsupremacy.com

Now here’s a tool that really has something new to offer.

Not only does Keyword Supremacy do everything that most other keyword tools will do, but it takes it a step or two further.

Most K/W tools get their metrics from Google, Moz, or similar sources. With this tool you can select to search with Google, Yahoo, YouTube, or to do a Local Search. (These local searches can be filtered by region, population, and other metrics) There’s an optional add-on that allows you to access the data bases of Amazon, Alibaba and Ebay.

You can then mix and match these results to find the best keywords for your preferred market.

In search mode, K/W Supremacy allows the use of a wildcard feature (% sign anywhere within the search phrase) to dig up great long-tail keywords you might never have thought of.

This tool is ideal if you wish to set up an Adsense website targeting non-buying keywords (yes, I know, we’re always told to stay away from them) In fact, Herc Magnus, one of the creators of Keyword Supremacy, gives a great video lesson here on using the tool, and also shows just how he used it to build a profitable Adsense site.

 

The other really major difference with Keyword Supremacy is the pricing structure.

With most keyword tools you’re charged a monthly fee to access the program at whatever level you choose to buy into. You have a maximum number of searches, but if you don’t use your quota, you lose it!

With Keyword Supremacy, you buy a number of non-expiring credits and these are simply deducted from your balance as you use them. When you look like running out you can simply top up.

For those of us who don’t spend many hours per month (each and every month) on keyword research this has to be a better system.

Unless you run an agency or manage a large number of sites I can’t see this tool costing anywhere near as much as you’d spend on some of the competitors’ products.

What does Keyword Supremacy cost?

The cheapest package will set you back just $47 for 50 credits. Other levels are $197 (750 credits) and $297 (1500 credits)

Obviously the value increases the more you buy. If unsure, I’d just buy 50 to start. Once you’ve used it for a while you’ll soon know if it suits you. Then you can buy in bigger packages.

My guess right now is that you’re thinking “what do I get for one credit?”

Well, let’s assume K/S gave you 300 suggestions from one seed keyword.

It will only cost you one credit to get all the metrics for all those suggested keywords.

That’s monthly search volumes, Adwords CPC, competition volume, top 10 data analysis, and domain name availability for almost every domain type. (in case you wanted an exact match url)

And all this comes with a 30 day, no questions, money-back guarantee! (Makes the bigger packages look more appealing)

You can check it all out here.

My Rating?       9 out of 10

 6. Long Tail Pro

Long Tail Pro is a long time favorite with many internet marketers out there. (Myself included)

They did have a few hiccups back in 2016 when they were making the transition from a desktop format to a cloud-based system. Quite a few users went looking elsewhere, but they seem to have resolved these issues now.

One big improvement with the new format is a much faster interface. Around 10X faster than the old system. It’s also more intuitive and much easier to navigate. Word is that many former users are starting to return to LTP.

Long Tail Pro does all the things you’d expect from a good keyword research tool. It will give you up to 800 results per seed keyword, analyse competition for you, find suitable domains, etc etc.

The folks behind this well respected tool recently swapped their metrics source from Moz to Majestic. The reason? A MUCH bigger database.

Moz has a database of around 162 billion URLs where Majestic has 875 billion. (At the time of writing)

Majestic also has a much more comprehensive backlink index.

What does Long Tail Pro cost?

You can buy Long Tail Pro for just $97.00. This is a one-off payment. For extra features, you can get access to Platinum for an extra $27 pm.

Long tail pro pricing

 

For further details, or to check out their free trial offer click here.

My Rating?          9 out of 10

 

 7. Power Suggest Pro

Power Suggest Pro uses the combined search databases of Google, Yahoo, Bing, YouTube, Ebay, and Amazon.

With this tool you can choose to use any, all, or any combination of these databases in your search.

Results are generated live, from millions of searches worldwide. The resulting keyword suggestions are gleaned from actual searches that people are typing into search engines now.

These suggested keywords will contain some of the most relevant buyer keywords you’ll find.


With Power Suggest, you only have to pay a one-off lifetime access fee. No ongoings, no memberships.

The only downside with this keyword suggestion tool is that it is a desktop application, and so far only available for Windows PCs. If you have a Mac, however, you can use it in conjunction with VMware Fusion or Parallels. These programs allow us Mac owners to use any Microsoft programs from within our Apple Mac.

What will Power Suggest cost?

The normal advertised price is $97.00.

If you visit the website now though, there is a special limited-time offer of just $57.00. I can’t say how long this price will be available for, but you can visit their site here for details on this and further in-depth info on the program itself.

My Rating?               8 out of 10

8. Jaaxy.                                      

I’ve saved this one ’til last for a good reason. Jaaxy was the first keyword research tool I ever used. In fact, prior to seeing Jaaxy I didn’t know such a tool existed!

So therefore you’ll forgive me if I have a soft spot for Jaaxy. (I still don’t know where they came up with that name though – to someone in the UK or here in Aussie Land it has a completely different connotation)

I joined Wealthy Affiliate University some time ago to learn all I could about internet marketing. In particular, affiliate marketing.

Jaaxy was created by the founders of WA, firstly for their own use, and later as a part of the membership package.

When I test other keyword research tools I use Jaaxy as my yardstick.

So what will Jaaxy do for you?

Jaaxy is a web-based program. It is super fast, easy to learn and use, and super accurate.

It’ll give you all the metrics and information that the “big guns” do, but at a much lower cost. This includes the ability to spy on your competitors and effectively “steal” their ranking keywords.

With one click you can access data such as monthly search results, expected hits on first page, QSR, which is the number of sites competing for that keyword, a difficulty score (1 – 100), and more.

It’s brilliant for seeking out those long-tail keywords we’re all after, and showing in a flash whether they are worth tackling.

Jaaxy is another one that will be getting a post dedicated to it in the near future.

For now, if you want to see more detailed info you can follow this link to a post written by Carson Lim. Carson is one of the co-founders of Wealthy Affiliate and a co-creator of Jaaxy. Straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.

What does Jaaxy cost?

 Jaaxy Starter is free. You get 30 free searches and access to most of Jaaxy’s features.

Jaaxy Lite is a level especially created for WA Premium members. We get it included in our membership at no cost. (We also get reduced prices on upgrades to higher levels)

Jaaxy Pro is $49 per month. (Big savings on annual memberships)

Jaaxy Enterprise is $99 (Annual discounts also apply here)

My Rating?            9 out of 10

The only negative thing about Jaaxy is that at the moment we can’t search by location. I’m told this feature is to be included in an update soon. Maybe then they’ll get a 10/10

 

Should you decide at any time to consider joining the merry band here at WA, you can get Jaaxy Pro or Enterprise at around half price!

If you buy Enterprise, that discount equals more than our membership fee. So in effect you get all the membership benefits for free!

Want to know more about Wealthy Affiliate University? Click Here.

 


 

So there you have my series of “mini reviews” of eight of the best keyword tools you’ll find. If you can’t find something to suit your needs here, you’re just playing hard to get.

The Wrap-up

 

So what is my recommended keyword research tool?

It all depends on exactly what your personal situation is, but I’ve summarised the list below.

 

KW Finder: Part of a suite of tools. At $49 pm, it falls into the mid-price range, and will do pretty much all that is required. Details here.

Moz: Fairly good, but very pricey. Not my best recommendation.

SEMrush: Top of the tree where keyword tools are concerned, with a price to match. Best suited to high volume users like agencies or those with multiple websites producing large volumes of content.  SEMrush prices again, via this link.

KeySearch Pro: At $34 pm, probably the best value tool in the list. Even better if you use the code KSDISC with this link.

Keyword Supremacy: Best tool for light usage, due to the credit-based pricing structure. If you perform regular, moderate to heavy keysearches, you may be better off with a monthly subscription tool. Details here.

Long Tail Pro: A well-established keyword tool with a good reputation. High upfront price, but medium ongoing cost. Well worth considering on reputation alone. Their website here.

Power Suggest Pro: This is a keyword suggestion tool, not an in-depth competition analysis program. It does just what it says, and does it well. The best part is that you get all features for a one-off fee, which is backed by a 60 day no questions money back guarantee. Details here.

Jaaxy: I love this one, but I admit I’m biased. It’s a mid-priced keyword tool with top-end features. It compares favorably with SEMrush, but Jaaxy really comes into its own when bundled with Wealthy Affiliate membership.

eg. Jaaxy Enterprise cost $990 annually. WA Premium membership is $359 annually. Members’ discount on Jaaxy Enterprise = $495. (Similar discount on Jaaxy Pro)

Total cost for WA membership plus Jaaxy Enterprise (top level) = $854.00. (A bit over $71 pm)

For that you get possibly the best keyword tool on the market, website hosting for up to 25 of your own domains, plus the absolute best training and support, affiliate resources etc etc…

 Jaaxy Website  here, and details on the WA University here Wealthy Affiliate Review


 

So that’s it. I hope you found this post valuable. Any feedback will be most welcome.

What’s your favorite keyword tool? Is there another you think I should include?

Please leave a comment or message below.

Cheers for now.

Your friend.

Thomas. (AKA Busy Bee)

Free Keyword Research Tools. Which is Best for You?

How can we know what is the best free keyword research tool?

 

We all know, or we should, just how important Keyword Research is to any online business. Without it we won’t be able to write the sort of content people are looking for, and we’ll stand little chance of appearing prominently in the Search Engine Results Pages, or SERPs.

Unless we do our homework on this, our valuable and well-researched content runs the risk of being buried forever beneath all those well-aged and authority sites that control most of the top rankings.

find the right keywords for your campaign
Find the Right Keywords and half the job is done

If we seek, find, and qualify good low competition keywords, however, we can rise above the tide. To do this we need at least one good Keyword Finder.

For the purpose of this article I’ll assume you understand the basics of what a keyword research tool does. If not, please read this post for a detailed explanation.

 

Keyword Research Tools Explained

 

So let’s look at some Keyword Research Tools.

 

Keyword tools fall into three basic groups:

  1. Free. The program is offered totally free of charge, usually by a company that wants to establish a good relationship with you. They’ll happily give you full access to one basic program to build loyalty with an eye to future sales. There’s nothing wrong with this. These types of tools, however, are usually pretty basic, and may not be able to fulfill all your needs.
  2. Freemium. This portmanteau word refers to tools that give you basic access for free, and charge a fee (Premium) for advanced features. Most paid tools offer a free trial that may or may not have all paid features.
  3. Paid, or Premium. Generally speaking, you do get what you pay for. While a free or freemium keyword research tool is going to prove helpful, the best ones you will have to pay for. If you’re like me, however, and like to hold on to every dollar you can, you’ll need to know which ones are worth the money and which aren’t.

This post deals with Free Keyword Tools

choose the right keywordsI’ve assembled a short list of nine free keyword tools that can help you with your article research.

 

1. Google AdWords: Keyword Planner 

https://adwords.google.com/um/Welcome/Home?a=1&sf=ma&__u=1849939683&authuser=0&dst=/ko/KeywordPlanner/Home#cc

Because this tool is created by Google, you’d be excused for thinking it’d be the “Bee’s Knees”. And to an extent, you’d be right.

Google Keyword Planner has been one of the most popular keyword tools for years. It has fallen out of favor in recent times, though. This is due to a major revamp which now restricts the amount of data available to all but the biggest spenders in terms of Adwords outlay.

When I first started out with affiliate marketing I used this tool almost exclusively. Though I now have a paid subscription to Jaaxy, (It comes included within my Wealthy Affiliate membership) I still sometimes back it up with some of the free tools covered in this review.

An obvious advantage of Google Keyword Planner is that the data is pulled directly from Google, the world’s leading search engine. (Reportedly around 70% of all online searches)

GKP is designed for use with Google Adwords, and you will be asked to set up an account before you can use the tool.

The information supplied covers

  • Average monthly searches
  • Competition rating, and
  • Suggested bid for Adwords

If using it for Adwords, bear in mind that you don’t have to bid what they suggest. They are in it to make a profit for themselves after all.

To sum up, Google Keywords Planner is nothing special but it does do what it says. (Mostly)

My Rating?       6 out of 10

 

2. Google Correlate.                  https://www.google.com/trends/correlate

Again, created by Google, and gleaning all its data direct from the Google search engine.

The purpose of this tool is to find keywords that are searched for together. Just enter your primary keyword and Correlate finds related terms. This tool can be extremely useful for finding Long-Tail keywords you might not otherwise think of.

Definitely an invaluable tool, but as an adjunct to a main keyword finder.

My Rating?        8 out of 10

 

3. AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator   

http://seo.danzambonini.com/#

This tool takes a slightly different approach.

You get to enter one or more keywords into each of three boxes. You then hit “generate permutations” and the program will mix up the various keywords and show you the results.

Many of these won’t make sense, and can’t be used. However, if you’re willing to persevere and spend enough time experimenting you just may come up with something really good, that you wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.

You can then run the new keyword(s) through a standard research tool to check for suitability.

 

My Rating?        8 out of 10

 

4. IMforSMB Bulk Keyword Generator                 

http://www.imforsmb.com/tools/bulk-keyword-generator/

Now I have to admit that prior to researching this post I’d never heard of this one.

IMforSMB is designed for finding keywords for local service businesses.

You select a category, choose service type and as much detail as you can, and click “Generate Keywords”.

The results generated aren’t likely to be anything you wouldn’t come up with yourself, given enough time, but this tool will save you heaps of time, effort, and possible frustration.

If your particular business isn’t listed, simply select the closest alternative and replace the business in the listed keywords with you own.

My Rating?      6 out of 10

 

5. Keyword In    http://keywordin.com/keyword-generator.php

When you visit this site you’ll be presented with columns, into which you place a selection of your choice of keywords and modifiers.

The program “mashes” the terms together and generates a list of potential long-tail keywords based on your input.

As with AdWord & SEO Keyword Permutation Generator above, the results won’t all make sense. (In fact, probably most won’t) Spend some time however, and experiment with the settings, and you just might find that gem you’re looking for.

In terms of straight out simplicity and ease of use, this tool wins hands down. Is it something we need to be using? Try it and see what you think. Everybody’s experience will vary.

My Rating?       6 out of 10

 

6. Soovle                     https://soovle.com/

This is another one that I wasn’t aware of prior to researching this article.

It’s also one that I’ll be adding to my arsenal of keyword tools.

We’ve all (hopefully) heard of Google’s autocomplete feature. When you enter any search term into the search box Google tries to guess what you may be looking for, based on its data base of previous searches worldwide. It then “autocompletes” suggestions for you in the search box.

Soovle does basically the same thing, but it uses the data bases of Wikipedia, Yahoo, Answers.com, YouTube, Bing, and even Amazon as well as Google. The results from each source are shown in individual groups and you can select and/or search straight from the listings.

You can choose which source you want highlighted by selecting the icon just below the search box.

Top marks for simplicity, and again, you just need to play around with your entered keywords and settings to find a gem or two which you can then run through your main keyword tool for traffic and competitiveness.

My Rating?        8 out of 10

 

7. SEO Chat Suggestion Keyword Finder                   

http://tools.seochat.com/tools/related-keywords-tool/#sthash.OELUpoc4.dpbs

Note that this is a keyword finder, as are most free keyword tools. That is to say it won’t give you any metrics on search results, competition, etc. Having said that, it can be a useful addition to your arsenal.

A good feature of this is that it provides three levels of results. You simply enter the basic keyword you’re researching, select from level 1, 2, or 3, click “Submit Query” and see a list of generated keywords.

Level 1 is fairly narrow, whilst the other levels will give more diverse results.

A great tool for finding Long-Tail keywords which can then be checked with your primary research tool for suitability.

My Rating?      7 out of 10

 

8. WordStream Free Keyword Tool              https://www.wordstream.com/keywords/

I was unsure as to whether to include this one here, or to save it for the Freemium list.

It’s true, you can use it for free direct from their website, though with limitations.

In the end I decided to include Wordstream’s offering as even the free version does offer some good features.

You get 30 free searches. The site displays 10 results, but if you don’t object to letting them add your email to their list they’ll send you the full results direct to your inbox.

The Wordstream tool works much like Google Keyword Planner. It’s user friendly with not much of a learning curve.

There’s also a Free Keyword Niche Finder, designed to assist you in finding a profitable niche. Very handy if you’re still undecided or just on the lookout for a new direction.

The free version offered here is intended to introduce you to the range of software tools Wordsearch produce. All their tools are powerful, informative, and accurate. All, as far as I know, have free versions.

My Rating?         8 out of 10

9. Bing Keyword Research Tool        https://www.bing.com/toolbox/keywords

We’ve all heard of Bing. The “other” search engine.

Now let’s face it, if we ignore Bing we are virtually turning our back on up to 30% of internet users.

Microsoft Internet Explorer, which comes pre-installed with Windows, uses the Bing database, and many Windows users are quite happy to simply use Microsoft Explorer as their browser. After all, it does the job for most. (My preference is for Firefox, but we all have our own reasons for deciding which web browser we use)

Bing’s offering works in pretty much the same way as Google Keyword Planner. The difference is that the data comes from Bing’s own data base. This tool uses only organic search metrics, completely disregarding any paid search results, so some say that it’s possibly more accurate than the Google tool.

And besides that, I really doubt there’d be much difference between Google’s search metrics and Bing’s.

Aside from the Google Adwords tool this is the only truly free program to give a good breakdown of the search results. Other tools in the genuinely free category are only keyword finders.

My Rating?        8 out of 10

(It gets an extra point over Google because you don’t have to open an ad account to use it)

10. KW Finder                       

This is actually a sample of the paid version of KW Finder Pro. You can use it for free, and as far as I can see there’s no time limit. The only restriction is that you only get 5 searches every 24 hours but you do get 50 results per search.

When you follow this link, you’ll be taken to their home page, where you’ll find a search box for you to enter the keyword/s of your choice and retrieve the search metrics.

Unlike most free access K/W tools, this KW Finder trial gives you full access to all features.

My most recommended free tool by far. Here’s the link again.


 

This list represents a cross-section of the types of free keyword tools available. I’m sure there are possibly a dozen or more others that I’ve not included.

Free Keyword Tools are mostly just trail versions of Paid Tools. They usually only work as suggestion tools initially, requiring you to sign up to the trial period to access the metrics. I’ve avoided including any in this category here. With the exception of Wordstream, that is.

 


 

Do you use a free keyword tool? If so, which one?

What’s your opinion on free Vs paid keyword research tools?

Feel free to chip in below with your views or comments.

Thanks for visiting, and I hope you found this post useful. Stay tuned for the third installment; Paid Keyword Research Tools review.

 

Earn money online without getting scammedCheers for now.

Thomas. (AKA The BusyBee)

 

Could you write an article like this? Would you like to learn how you can make money through affiliate marketing? Click on this link to see an in-depth review of an ethical and profitable way to earn money online.

Keyword Research Tools Explained.

What is a keyword research tool, and why do we need one?

 

Keyword research is the cornerstone of successful internet marketing.

 

Imagine this: You’ve spent hours building your website. You’ve written informative, engaging copy. You’ve added images and diagrams, internal and external links. In fact, you’ve built a web presence you can really be proud of.

You publish the site, promote it on social media, get indexed by the search engines, and you wait for visitors. And you wait… Nothing!  Six months later you’re still waiting.

So what went wrong?

In all probability, you failed to perform proper keyword research.


It’s one thing to know what items you wish to promote, and what sort of things internet users may be searching for. It’s another thing altogether to know precisely what they are entering into the search box and how to utilise that knowledge.

It’s also another thing to know just how many websites there are out there competing for the same search terms, or keywords.

 

So What is a Keyword, Anyway?

 

A keyword is rarely a single word. In fact, there’s really no limit to how long a keyword can be. How long is the proverbial piece of string?

We probably should actually be using the term Key Phrase. Accepted internet language though, dictates that we refer to search entries as Keywords.

When was the last time you did an internet search? I’m betting it was just before you found this post.

What did you type in the search box? At the very least it was probably “Keyword Research”. It may have been a full sentence. You may have done a voice search from your phone, in which case you might have used two or more sentences.

Based on your search query, Google, Bing, or whoever, would have made an algorithmic decision based on several variables and eventually shown you a sample of websites it thought would best match your search.


Among the things that search engines take into consideration when deciding which sites to display are; the age of the site, the “authority” of the site, (something they decide for themselves, based on complex algorithms) and the relevancy of the site content to the search query.

The first two, we have little control over if we have a newish site. This makes it harder to rank in the SERPs. (Search Engine Results Pages) Even if we have written the most awesome content imaginable, chances are hardly anyone will see it if there are several High Authority or well aged sites to compete with.

 

So how can we improve our chances of being shown in the search results?

 

This is where a good, well-designed Keyword Tool comes in.

 

The trick is to find low competition keywords. These will probably be what is referred to as Long Tail keywords. What’s a long tail keyword? You ask.

 

A long tail keyword is simply a search term that is much more specific than it’s root keyword.

Let’s say we searched for “boots”.

Because it’s so general we’d find there were millions of searches every month, and thousands of websites that contained that keyword somewhere in their copy.

If we then narrowed it down to “men’s boots” we’d still have a huge number of results.

Now suppose we narrowed it down even more to “men’s blue rubber boots with Toyota emblem”. Now we’re getting somewhere! (I wonder if there is such a thing?)

Long Tail Keywords Graph
Long Tail Keywords Account for up to 70-80% of searches

 

The graph I’ve sketched here is intended to give an idea of the concept.

On the left is the Head of the keyword. This would be where “Boots” and even “Men’s boots” would fall. The tapering Tail represents all searches that contained the word ‘Boots”. As we get further away from the Head the keywords become more specific and will have fewer searches. (But they will also have a lot less competition)

Many people erroneously refer to these as Long-Tailed keywords. The thinking is that they are just longer phrases. Actually, a Long Tail keyword could be quite short. So long as it has fewer searches it’d fall within the Long Tail on the graph.

Every time someone enters “boots” along with a modifying phrase that hasn’t been seen before, they’re adding to the Tail. So you can see then that the Tail is virtually endless.


When the internet was in its infancy, it would have been easy to rank for just about any keyword, as there was little competition. Many sites that were established then have gone on to become Authority Sites.

Nowadays, these Authority Sites have such a stranglehold on the SERPs that trying to compete with them directly is futile.

 

Enter the Keyword Research Tool.

 

A good keyword finder will show us a breakdown of any keyword we enter in the search box. This shows us how many searches per month the Keyword receives, how many views we can expect if we manage to get onto first page, and how many other websites are competing for the same phrase.

This information is GOLD!

A good keyword finder will also be able to suggest alternative keywords that we may be able to rank for.

Keyword research is essential before we even start work on an article. It’s no good spending hours researching and writing a great post if it’s going to be buried beneath a ton of other, well-established, website articles.

Another, less appreciated fact about Long Tail keywords is that people who search using more specific terms are more likely to be ready to buy!

Using the earlier example, if you wanted to buy boots, you’d most likely search for exactly what you wanted. If you were just surfing the ‘net, you might search “boots” for a laugh or just to browse.

Can you imagine anyone searching for “men’s blue rubber boots with Toyota emblem” unless that was what they really wanted?

Long Tail keywords then, will find us qualified potential customers.

Also, if you’re planning on using AdWords or a similar paid search marketing campaign, the cost per click will be much lower due to the reduced competition. Add that to the precise targeted nature of the Long Tails and we have a winning combination indeed.

I’ve included a link HERE, to a blog post that elaborates on CPC. It was written by one of the members on the Wealthy Affiliate University site. Even if you’re not a member this link will work for you.

If we target longer, more specific Long Tail keywords in our AdWords campaigns, we get higher ad rankings on relevant searches without having to pay a premium for each and every click.

The trick then, is to find a reliable, renewable source of Long Tail keywords that are suitable for you and for your niche. Surprisingly, many keyword suggestion tools fail to deliver in this department.

To help in you search for success as an internet marketer, I’ve written a post here where I discuss Free Keyword Tools.

Later, I’ll be adding one on Paid Tools.

 


 

Did you find this post helpful or informative?

Do you use keyword research to target your articles? Do you have a story you’d like to share?

Please leave a message below, and yes, please share this post if you found it useful.

 

Cheers for now.

Earn money online without getting scammedThomas  (AKA BusyBee)

 

Could you write an article like this? Would you like to learn how you can make money through affiliate marketing? Click on this link to see an in-depth review of an ethical and profitable way to earn money online.

Digital Altitude – The Newest Scam?

Have you heard about Digital Altitude?

This post was written on Dec 14, 2016

 

Digital Aspire Promo

 

Now, I have to be honest and say from the start, that the fact that this is a Multi-Level-Marketing scheme acts like a red flag for me, but nevertheless I agreed to review the scheme with an open mind.

I signed up for the $1.00 “free trial” so I could access the program and be able to make some informed comments.

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What disturbed me almost immediately was the fact that the only products DA sells are memberships and associated perks like conference trips, more training, etc etc. Is this an MLM scheme, or a Pyramid Scheme? I thought Pyramid Selling was illegal; apparently not so.

 

I was also struck by the length of the introductory videos and instructions. I’m of the mind that if you have something good to offer you should be able to pitch your product briefly and get to the point. Long, drawn-out sales pitches are a turn-off for me, as I always get the feeling that the promoter is afraid to allow me the breathing space to make a considered decision. You know, how some salespeople never want to shut up and sometimes actually talk themselves out of the sale?

 

The next thing I quickly became aware of, is the fact that the Trial Offer was virtually useless as a means of evaluating the program, as no real training is available until you sign up to at least basic Affiliate Level for $17.00 per month. I say “real training” with tongue firmly in cheek, as the “training” really consists of upsells to the higher levels.

 

The way the remuneration system works is that you can only earn commissions on sales of levels you yourself have actually purchased. If you choose to stay with the basic level to get the feel of things you not only earn lower commissions (if you can get any sales) but if you introduce a customer who buys in to a higher level you get no commission at all!

 

You also have the option of calling in the “big guns” in their sales team to help you secure a difficult sale, but will lose 20% of your commission if you do so.

Here is a breakdown of the three levels of DA Aspire, which is the first stage.

 

Aspire Walker: Cost = $37.00 per month.

Commission: 40%

Access to Members’ Area

Payout on one tier only

Start-up Training Videos

 

Aspire Hiker: Cost = $67.00 per month

Commission: Up to 50%

Access to Members’ Area

Payout on two tiers

Start-up Training Videos

Weekly Training, and More . . .

 

Aspire Climber: Cost = $127.00 per month

Commission: Up to 60%

Access to Members’ Area

Payout on three tiers

Start-up Videos

Weekly Training, and Much More!

 

 

The reasoning behind the three levels is pretty obvious to me. It’s like the old story about the frog in a bucket of water. If you start with warm water and gradually increase the temperature the frog will simply stay where he is until be boils to death. Chuck him into very hot water and he’ll jump out straight away. Anyway, you can see that to make decent commissions you’d need to be in Climber.

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Next, lets look at the “products” you’ll be required to sell.

 

Remember, you must purchase these products yourself before you can be entitled to any commissions from selling them.

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These “products” are referred to as Memberships.

Digital Altitude Base or Walker
Digital Altitude Base

Base Membership: Cost = $595.00 (One-time)

The training is Video-Based, consisting of 12 modules in 3 sections. It’s mostly motivational stuff. How to prepare, launch, and grow your business and market to potential customers.

 

Rise Membership: Cost = $1,997.00 (again, one-time payment, thankfully)

Digital Altitude Rise Membership
Digital Altitude Rise

Nineteen modules, in five sections, and basically

more advanced stuff similar to Base Membership.

Car salesmen or insurance agents could really pick up some tips here.

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Ascend Membership: Cost = $9,997.00

Digital Altitude Ascend Membership
Digital Altitude Ascend


For this you and your significant other get to spend 3 days at a seminar in Las Vegas or somewhere similar, rub shoulders with other would-be millionaires and perhaps meet some of the top echelon of Digital Altitude where the real money is being made. Oh, and receive more of their wisdom and training via lectures and more videos.

 

Peak Membership: Cost = $16,997.00

 

Digital Altitude Peak Membership
Digital Altitude Peak

It was hard to get full details of what you get for your money here, but it seems to be just more of the same, though more advanced and detailed. By this stage, you should be looking at setting your business on autopilot anyway, and this seems to be the main theme from what I can learn from those who know.

 

Apex Membership: Cost = $27,997.00

 

Digital Altitude Apex Membership
Digital Altitude Apex

For your outlay of just under $28,000 you get to spend seven days at an LA retreat, hob-nobbing with the rich and shameless while patting yourselves on your collective backs at having earned enough to be able to afford the outlay. (Tax deductible, I guess)

All this, of course, is assuming the whole scheme hasn’t imploded by this stage. Schemes like these have a pretty short lifespan, after all.

 

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I did some research on the founder of Digital Altitude, one Michael Force. According to the website and his videos he is a retired US Marine. What he fails to mention is his connection with Empower Network. For those who don’t know (which included myself, prior to researching this article) Empower Network was the world’s largest Pyramid Scheme. Empower Network launched in 2011 before folding just three years later leaving some 97% of its investors foundering in its wake. No doubt Mr Force is looking at replicating his success with Digital Altitude.

 

You can verify this here.

 

Sorry, but I can’t find anything to recommend in this scheme. It’s not really a scam, as it is designed to do exactly what they say it will do. The hard truth though is that very few people have what it takes to spruik this type of scheme successfully. Also, the more successful it is, the faster it will burn out. And burn out it will!

 

MLM schemes in general arouse my suspicions! I do admit, there are some legitimate MLM companies who do offer real, tangible products but as an income alternative I’d be recommending anyone to stay well clear. Or at least, do lots of research before committing yourself.

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I may be a little biased, but I still say I’ve yet to find any online business to compare with Affiliate Marketing. This is the model I myself have chosen to follow and the one I’d recommend to anyone serious about earning a living from home. (or from anywhere you choose, really)

 

You can check out the system I use here.

 

Anyway, that’s about it for this post. I hope you found it helpful.
Please feel free to leave a message below, or drop me a line at busybee@my-buzz.com

 

Bye for now

Keep Buzzing

Thomas (AKA BusyBee)

 

Chris Farrell Membership Review

Have you heard about the Chris Farrell Membership?

 

www.chrisfarrellmembership.com

 

This post was first published in January 2017

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I’m assuming that you are reading this as the result of an internet search. Perhaps you’ve found CFM online and are wondering if it’s a legitimate program. Maybe it’s another scam?

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Chris Farrell Membership
Chris Farrell Membership

Well I’ve done some research on CFM and here’s what I turned up.

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Actually, I did the research a little while back, when I was first thinking about dipping my toes in the Affiliate Marketing pond. I’d read here and there about people supposedly earning vast amounts of money online with little effort, mostly from Affiliate Marketing.

Needless to say, many of the schemes I looked into were simply scams that really did make lots of moolah – but only for those at the top of the tree. For a “modest” monthly subscription, they promised training, resources, support etc while virtually guaranteeing success if you followed their guidance, yet delivered little in the way of true training and support.

Being a suspicious type, I’d Google the scheme, read through various online scam forums, and search for anyone who had tried it and was not still associated with said group. Usually, I’d soon find enough negative feedback to convince me to stay well clear of them.

The big give-away with most was the promise of big returns for little effort. Anyone who promises this is almost certainly a crook who is just after your money. I’d chat with onliners who had failed, some who had succeeded, and some who were still trying.

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The problem was, and still is, that a newbie wanting to break into Affiliate Marketing will need a heap of training and support from somebody. Yeah, you could go it alone but it’ll be a long, slow process and chances are you’ll throw in the towel long before you start to earn any money. The internet can be a lonely place, especially when you’re trying to establish an online business.

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I eventually made the decision to join another group, which I’ll get to later.

It was a fairly close contest, and I’ll explain my reasons for not joining CFM at the end of this review.

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Firstly, let’s talk price.

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The Chris Farrell Membership costs just $4.95 for a starter membership, to give you a feel for the group.

This membership, however, is limited to one week. After the first week you’ll revert to a monthly membership at $37.00 pm. You can also opt to take up a “4-week fast track” program for $295.00 or $99.00 per month over three months. You can expect to be upsold on this as soon as you join.

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So what do you actually get for your money?

The training covers many aspects, like;

  • How to set up an email marketing campaign
  • Building your website from scratch
  • Creating videos and uploading to YouTube
  • Setting up an FTP account
  • Webhosting (Included is free hosting for a limited number of sites)
  • SEO (Search Engine Optimized) copywriting (very basic though)
  • Article writing and marketing
  • Social Media marketing.

This information will bring a new affiliate marketer up to speed with the basics of the industry. The training is easy to follow, and Chris is a very good teacher. However, the whole program is aimed at the beginner only, and after a short while you will find you need to know much, much more about establishing yourself as an affiliate marketer and securing a reliable income. If you are already into internet marketing in any way I would NOT recommend this program. Instead, you should read my review here on my Number 1 recommendation for Affiliate Marketing.

As a beginner, you’ll learn the basics with Chris Farrell Membership, and that may be just what you want, without the risk of Information Overload. Sometimes, simple is better. For a while, at least.

So What About The Downside?

As I stated earlier, the Chris Farrell Membership is only suitable for a beginner to Internet Marketing. As you progress and learn, you will reach the point where the training is not sufficient for you. (This may happen pretty quickly if you happen to be a fast learner). You will then either be on your own or will need to look for a more intensive program.

Much of the training, especially the SEO training, is out of date. (Or was when I last visited) In all fairness, it’s very difficult to keep abreast of the way the search engines rank a specific site for their content. Google, for example, (and lets face it, they do hold the majority share of internet traffic searches) are continuously updating their algorithms. This means that us affiliate marketers and other online business operators are always tweaking our content and page headings to stay in their good books. The search engines control who sees your website, and if you break their guidelines you’ll be out in the cold as far as traffic is concerned. Without traffic to your site you may as well go fishing!

Chris Farrell himself is, as I said earlier, a good teacher. This fact which can be verified if you communicate with anyone in the group, and I am in no way suggesting otherwise. The training is easy to follow, and basically he is teaching in a “do as I did” manner. Only problem with that is that we don’t all have the same approach, nor should we.

Support within the organization relies almost exclusively on peer support via group forums. This is OK if your problem is a fairly simple one, but there’s always something that crops up where you need expert advice. It’s frustrating having to submit a query and wait days for a reply when you are in the middle of writing a post, for example.

To sum up, the Chris Farrell Membership is not a scam. It is a genuine attempt to provide a platform for beginners to learn internet marketing. It’s not my main recommendation, but it’s way ahead of many similar groups. If you’d like to check it out for yourself you can do so here.

 

 

Chris Farrell Membership

 

 

On a scale of 1 to 100, I’d give it a 70.

 

If you are serious about getting into Affiliate Marketing I suggest you read my Wealthy Affiliate review here.

For about the same cost, you can join a group that provides not just the basics, but ongoing training that will keep you abreast of what is happening in the industry and how to stay on target.

 

Wealthy Affiliate is the platform that I, and many others, use to run our online businesses.

 

Do you have any comments regarding CFM or internet marketing in general?

Please feel free to share via the comments box below.

 

Anyway, thanks for visiting my site and reading my review. Feel free to browse other pages here on My-Buzz.com I hope you find something of interest here.

 

Cheers for now.

 

Thomas (AKA Busy Bee)

 

Wealthy Affiliate. The Real Deal?

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Wealthy Affiliate; Scam, or Legit?

And just who or what is Wealthy Affiliate anyway?

 

Well, read on, and be enlightened!

Wealthy Affiliate Marketing University

Wealthy Affiliate is a program that was created over 11 years ago to facilitate, encourage, and assist people just like you and me to become online Affiliate Marketers.

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 Wealthy Affiliate can Change Your LifeFor the uninitiated, affiliate marketing is a term used to describe the common practice of posting ads or links into a website in return for payment. This payment could be on a pay-per-click (PPC) or a commission basis or some other arrangement. The job of the affiliate marketer is to create and publish content that people will want to read. It’s as simple as that!  Well….. maybe not quite that simple. Creating engaging copy is something that most people can learn to do with practice, but a little help goes a long way. That’s where Wealthy Affiliate comes in.

The founders of WA, (let’s call it that from here on) Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim, have put together an incredibly informative and helpful program designed to lead you step by step through the labyrinth of internet marketing.

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Now let’s look at some of the Pros and Cons of Wealthy Affiliate.


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The Cost: Let’s get this out of the way first.

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You can become a WA member for free. You don’t have to provide credit card details or commit to anything except being prepared to give it your best shot. This is exactly what I recommend to anyone considering giving affiliate marketing a try. “Why”, I can hear you ask, “if their program is so good, would they give it away for free?”

Well, the answer simply is that Kyle and Carson believe passionately in the try before you buy philosophy. In my opinion any company offering a program like this should have no problem with making such an offer. If you aren’t happy after giving it a good ol’ College Try, as they say in the US, then we can all part on good terms.

The free membership gives you full access to all the resources for a trial period so you can then make an informed decision as to whether the program is a good fit for you. You have the opportunity to create two free websites of your own and you’ll be given full training and full access to the WA community support base. You also have access to ongoing training modules.

After the trial period you can stay on as a free member if you wish, and yes, you still get to keep the two free websites. (Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?) Another bonus here is that once learned, the information you’ve received can’t be taken away.

Should you opt to upgrade to Premium Membership the cost is $49 per month, (USD) but that’ll be reduced to $19 for the first month if you upgrade within 10 days. This actually represents great value, which you’ll see for yourself after you’ve dipped your toes into the waters. The $49 monthly membership includes web hosting for up to 25 of your own domains plus 25 shared-domain sites.

Website hosting alone can easily cost over $200.00 USD a year for just one site as an individual!

Plus, the Wealthy Affiliate website hosting server is one of the fastest servers (if not the fastest) in the world. Fast load speeds mean that WA members have a real edge over the competition when it comes to search engine rankings.

They also include secure https:// hosting and heaps of extra features that others will only supply as upsells. With WA there’s no such thing as upsells. All features are available to all Premium members. You even get free access to Jaaxy, one of the absolute best keyword research tools on the market.

There’s no compulsion to upgrade, though, so you’ve really got nothing to lose, have you?

One thing I’d stress here though, is that there’s no point in upgrading if you aren’t prepared to put in some effort. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme or a hands-off, autopilot, money-making machine.

Affiliate marketing will not make you a millionaire overnight. In fact, I’ll let you in on a secret. At the time of writing this (Dec 2016) I’ve been a WA Premium member for just under two months. Want to know how much I’ve earned so far from my WA websites? Zip. Zero, Nada. (See update below)

But you know what? I spend a minimum of two to three hours most days creating content and working through the training modules because I know this is what I’ve been looking for. I know that by putting in the effort now I’m building my future.

In time, and probably sooner rather than later, my pages will start to show up in Google searches and I’ll be able to incorporate ads and links that will begin to produce income. You work and learn at your own pace. There are no time limits on completing the modules or submitting assignments.

(UPDATE: After 12 months as a WA member, I now have six websites in total. I’m earning a small income from my efforts so far and look forward to increasing this as time goes by. As the song goes – The Only Way is Up!)

Aside from the moderate cost, the only possible downside (if you could call it that) of WA is the huge volume of training modules available. It can be almost overwhelming at first. The easy way however, is to start at the introductory phase and work your way through the courses step by step.

You can check out Wealthy Affiliate here.

(Just to be transparent; yes, if you sign up via this link, I will receive a small commission. There’s no extra cost to you however, and who knows, it may be the start of a whole new career for you!)

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You don’t have to just take my word for it though, here are some testimonials from others who have tried Wealthy Affiliate for themselves.

“This platform provides everything you could possibly need in starting an online business — especially if you’re a newbie. But there’s so much more, because seasoned marketing veterans can benefit just as well. For sure, Wealthy Affiliate is a thumbs-up proposition. Glad to be here. Looking forward to earning and learning.”  Craig, WA member.

“Honestly speaking, I’m crazy about this community ever since I was exposed to unsuccessful online business and lost a lot money before. Wealthy Affiliate is the number 1 contender for me. I’ve got a successful website and domain through WA and I’m now only 2 months with the community but its like years now. I love simplicity, love and caring within the platform, more than help as requested and opportunity to explore online adventure.
Thanks to Kyle and Carson” Alfred, WA member

“I am so grateful for finding W A, I’ve struggled for 2 + years trying to figure out certain things and within days of being on here I’ve made my own website, understand about simple things like niches that didn’t seem at all simple before WA.
I Love the simplicity and how easy things are to understand and how everything is done in steps.
There really is NO way this wont work for you unless you don’t do something right yourself.
All the answers and help that I need are here and I will be around for a very long time. I love it.
Thank you Kyle and Carson for such a great site.”  Nicky, WA member.

“There is no doubt in my mind. Had I found WA 5 years ago when I started looking into online marketing, I would definitely have a very well established online business by now.
Words can’t really explain how highly I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. It’s perfect to get you going with your online business journey.” Daymo, WA member.

A further update: If you follow this link you’ll see a post from within the Wealthy Affiliate site written by a fellow member, Eddy. He’s been with WA for quite a while now, and in this post he shares some details of his latest earnings. (As of March 2018)

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So who can benefit from joining Wealthy Affiliate?

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Well, the answer here is just about anyone who;

a) is currently involved in internet marketing,

b) has an established online presence. (Bloggers, reviewers, celebrities etc) or

c) is looking to set up some form of online business.

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No previous experience is required. I knew almost nothing about websites or blogs before I started. I’m still a long way from being an expert, but I am being taught by experts.

Because of the way affiliate marketing works, it can be easily married with any sort of online presence, without detracting from whatever the main theme of the post/site is.

Let’s face it, if you visit a fashion blog or a travel site, are you really going to be put off by a few discrete ads or links? Especially if they relate to the online subject matter? Of course not!

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Online support is yours whenever you may need it. Because WA is a global community, there is pretty much always someone online who will be only too happy to help you out if you happen to get stuck with something. I personally was blown away by just how supportive everyone in WA is. Members even have direct access to Kyle via his personal profile. (Let’s not forget though, that he’s a busy man and can’t always reply immediately) Rest assured, you will get a reply, which is more than can be said for most online organizations.

The Site Support crew are also incredibly helpful. Most queries are answered within minutes (24/7) and issues quickly resolved. Believe me, I’ve had occasion to call on them a few times. I knew almost nothing about websites before I started but the training and help make it all just soooo easy.

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So, to answer the question posed in my heading: No, Wealthy Affiliate is definitely NOT a scam. What it also isn’t though, is a get-rich-quick scheme. Should you decide that WA is for you, you’ll need to be prepared to put in some time and effort. This is your future we’re talking about here, after all.

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That’s not to say that you’ll need to work full time to be successful.

If you can, so much the better, though I’d be inclined to think that you might become a bit overwhelmed by all the training if you try to do too much at once. As I said earlier, I put in 2 to 3 hours most days. Actually, about 5 days per week. That’s less than 15 hours/week.

Another update: After seeing moderate success I’ve increased my workrate to about 20 hours per week. There’s nothing like results to give you motivation)

For an example of the training provided, Click Here and you’ll be taken to a page where you can look at the first of many course modules. In all, there are 60 modules in the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, and lots more training being added all the time!

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If I had to give the Wealthy Affiliate program a score out of 100, I’d be giving around 98. No organization is perfect, after all, but as one with experience from “inside” so to speak, this is as close as any such scheme I’ve encountered. And yes, I’ve tried a few over the years. My biggest regret is that I didn’t find out about WA years ago!

And so now it’s over to you. Do you keep doing the same old things you’ve been doing, or do you grab the chance now to create a whole new career for yourself?

The choice is yours. Remember, Today in the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Let’s make it a good one.

My recommendation for anyone wanting to earn money from home, or thinking about starting a business from scratch with minimal outlay, is to follow this link and check out WA today. Your future self will thank you!

See you on the inside.

Keep Buzzing,

Thomas. AKA BusyBee.

HREFLANG tags: Can They Help Your Rankings?

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Should you be using hreflang tags?

What are they, and can they boost your SERP results?

.Hreflang

Hreflang tags (pronounced aitch-ref-lang) are a Google initiative. They were developed in 2011, and intended to advise Google when websites have identical or similar articles aimed at visitors in alternate languages.

It makes sense then, that Google would want us to implement them whenever and wherever appropriate.

hreflang tags to improve SEO
Hreflang tags will help show your website to the right audience. (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

If you write posts or page articles that are directed exclusively towards one audience, eg. en-us for English speakers living in the USA, then you needn’t bother with hreflang at all. This would also apply if your site wasn’t directed at any specific zone, and only written in one language. Search engines are perfectly capable of working out what language your website is written in.

(There’s a bit more information further on in this article dealing with Geographic Targeting using Google Search Console)

However, if your site has articles with similar content written in various languages or  dialects, you should be using these indicators.

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So how can hreflang tags help with rankings?

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Consider this: A resident of the UK does a Google search for Best Website Hosting Service. Google finds 25 pages it considers to be appropriate and useful. Three of these, however, have hreflang tags showing they are written in UK English. Assuming all sites are equally well-written and optimised, which ones do you think are more likely to be shown to the UK visitor?

Good SEO is essential.
SEO Processes.         (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

Hreflang tags aren’t going to guarantee good rankings. All things being equal though, they can’t hurt, and will almost certainly help.

 

In my case, I live and work in Australia, and use .com websites for all my affiliate sites. My hosting service is Wealthy Affiliate‘s SiteRubix, located in the US, and my sites are not targeted at any specific location. My target markets are Australia and the US.

If I write a post that relates mostly to US residents I could also modify the post a little to make it apply to Aussie visitors. If I simply published this post as it was I’d probably be hit (quite rightly) with a duplicate content infringement. I’d also be competing with websites worldwide for a position in the rankings.

The solution, then, is to flag these two similar posts so that Google knows that one is for US visitors and the other for AU visitors. (Some may say this is a bit lazy on my part – creating two posts out of one – but I prefer to think of it as maximising resources, or recycling).

Of course, the posts aren’t identical. They’ll probably be similar enough, though, to infringe the duplicate content guidelines without these tags.

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How to implement and apply hreflang tags.

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There’s a brief video here, that explains where the tags need to go, should you choose to insert them manually.

In the example mentioned earlier, where I write en-us and en-au versions of the same or simlar posts, both posts should have tags.

For example, on my en-au post:
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-au/" hreflang="en-au"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-us/" hreflang="en-us"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-au/" hreflang="en"/> (assuming that the AU is the main post)

Then on the en-us post:
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-au/" hreflang="en-au"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-us/" hreflang="en-us"/>
<link rel="alternate" href="/post-en-au/" hreflang="en"/>

The post title or slug doesn’t have to contain “en-au” or “en-us”, they just need to be slightly different, so that Google can tell them apart.

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For a more detailed explanation, you could visit this page, where Google themselves explain hreflang tags. Be aware though, it’s pretty in-depth, and I personally found it both informative and confusing at the same time.
.

The simplest way to implement hreflang tags is with a plugin.

.

Using a plugin takes the worry out of applying these tags. Lets face it, we have enough on our hands with writing content and optimising our articles for SEO. The less we have to worry about the better. Also, if you happen to mistype some of the code when entering, your tags won’t work and you could even crash your website!

.

So what’s the Best Plugin for hreflang tags?

.

The one I prefer to use is simply called HREFLANG Tags. (Now there’s a happy coincidence) There’s a lite version that you can download for free. Assuming you’re using WordPress, just search “add new plugin” for HREFLANG Tags Lite.

After installing, all you need to do is enter a couple of options, fill out the new box that you’ll find inserted at the bottom of your page or post, and you’re set to go. There’s an instructional video included if you need it, but it’s all pretty basic.

They also have a Pro version, with a few extra features, that costs just $9.99 with access for unlimited websites.

HREFLANG Tags Lite was created by DCGWS Internet Solutions. (Click the link for more info)

 


.

Geographic Targeting using Google Search Console.

.

Geographic Targeting
The World in Your Hands (Image courtesy of Pixabay)

 

If your website is written in one language only, and you therefore don’t need hreflang, you can direct your site towards almost any location or geographic zone using the Geographic Targeting feature of Google Search Console.

 

 

  1. Go to Google Search Console.
  2. Click on the website (property) you want to set geographic target for.
  3. Select Search Traffic (on the left) > International Targeting.
  4. Click on the “Country” tab.
  5. Select the region you want to target, or select “unlisted” if you don’t want to direct your site to any specific zone.
  6. Click “Save.”

Often, you’ll find your site’s geographic target is preset by your url’s hosting service. It pays to check for yourself, as it’s not much use writing content aimed at a European audience, for example, if your site is targeting North America.

Geographic Targeting and hreflang tags are NOT the same thing. Nor are they mutually exclusive. You can have Geo Targeting with or without hreflang tags and vice-versa.

.


.

So there you have my take on hreflang tags and their implementation. I hope you found it informative.

Have you tried setting up hreflang tags on your site?

Have you got something you’d like to add?

Please feel free to join the discussion by leaving a comment in the box below.

.

Cheers for now,

.

Thomas (AKA The BusyBee)

.

Could you write an article like this? Would you like to learn how you can make money through affiliate marketing? Click on this link to see an in-depth review of an ethical and profitable way to earn money online.

 

Amazon Affiliate Opportunity.

.

Amazon Continues to Dominate the Online Retail World.

Their latest addition, Amazon.com.au, is now fully operational as of Dec 2017.

.

Amazon.com, Inc., was founded by Jeff Bezos on July 5, 1994.

After a slow start, during which they made no profit at all, Amazon showed its first return on investment ($5 million, on revenue of more than $1 billion) in late 2001. This amounted to just 5c per share. It was Bezos’ plan to start slowly, but I can’t help wondering if he knew it would be that slow.
.
Fast forward fifteen years, however, and the company’s 2016 revenue was almost $136 billion in the US alone!
Today, Amazon has separate retail websites for the US, the UK and Ireland, France, Canada, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Brazil, Japan, China, India, Mexico, and now Australia.
There are also Dutch, Polish, and Turkish language versions of the German website and they also offer international shipping to certain other countries for many products.
 (More info here, if you need it, from Wikipedia)

What does this mean to you?

.

Well, it depends on whether you’re likely to be buying from Amazon, selling through Amazon, or acting as an Amazon Associate. (Affiliate Marketer)

.

For me, personally, this is Great News!

.

I’ve been an Amazon Associate for some time, even though I live and work in Australia. I market various products via Amazon’s US, Canada, and UK outlets through several niche affiliate sites. Now I’ll be able to add the AU site to my list.

Amazon is a great vehicle for affiliate marketers and is the primary income generator for many online businesses.

 

Want to know how to earn money with the Amazon Affiliate Program?

 

(For those who aren’t familiar with the process I’ll give you a brief outline of the way affiliate marketing works.)

 

You can make money online

Basically, it involves folks like myself writing and publishing articles on our websites, and earning commissions from ads or links on these sites. These articles are intended to be informative (and hopefully entertaining), and often assist readers in researching an intended purchase.

We have to research trends, evaluate products, and most of all try to stay impartial. It’s not a good long-term strategy to just promote whoever offers the best commissions or other benefits. We need to prove ourselves to be reliable and trustworthy if we hope to build a long-term investment business. And be aware – this is a long-term business model.

So Why Amazon?

 

This is where Amazon comes in as one of the best marketplaces for us. Commissions are standard across the range of a particular product category, and it’s easy for visitors we refer to them to double-check the information we provide if they wish.

As a brand, Amazon has a good reputation for reliability and trust. They have a great refund policy and buyers feel comfortable dealing with them. An added benefit is that if you refer a customer for, say, an electric kettle and they end up buying a lawnmower (it happens) you’ll get the commission on the mower sale as well as anything else they buy within 24 hours! (There is a way you can extend that to 90 days – but that’s another issue)

Amazon are also very good at converting visitors into buyers. All we need to do is pique our readers’ interest and direct them to the appropriate product page and let Amazon do what they do best.

.

Could you become an Amazon Associate?

.

Absolutely! You don’t need to be a great writer or a paid-up member of the Grammar Police. You just need to be able to research the products and apply the results in a way your readers can relate to. Or, you could write information articles on a subject that you’re well versed in.

Think your profession or trade, your hobby, or any other area you have special knowledge in. Maybe, if you’re a bit of a globe-trotter, you can become a travel blogger.

If you’re not too confident about your writing skills, you can hire a copywriter to write the articles for you. Many affiliate marketers do just that. You can even buy ready-made affiliate websites with all the initial research and copywriting done for you.

(If you have the funds for this, I can supply built-for-you affiliate sites, with all the research and SEO metrics already in place. Prices for such sites would start at around $500.00. This for a site that could potentially be earning that much per month within a year.)

The best, most economical (and ultimately most satisfying) way however, is to learn the business from the ground up and construct your own sites.

Thankfully, this isn’t as hard to do as you might think. The only real drawback is that it takes time. Time and Dedication. I capitalized and highlighted that because it’s definitely the most important thing that’ll get you from where you are now to earning what could be a very good living as an internet marketer.

(Another very good avenue for affiliate earnings is ClickBank. I’ll cover this in another post however.)

.

How much can an affiliate marketer earn?

.

I’m not going to tell you you’re going to become a millionaire. I’m not even going to tell you that you’ll be earning a full-time living in six months.

What I will tell you is that you could become a millionaire in time. Many affiliates have. (No, I’m nowhere near that milestone myself – as I said this is a long term business proposition and if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick plan you’ll be disappointed.) Try not to think of it in terms of how much can I make, as against can I be successful?

It’s best to approach affiliate marketing initially as a part-time proposition. It’s also very much a case of what you put in equals what you’ll get out. With the right attitude and proper training that part-time business could easily replace your current job within a year or more.

Also, a successful affiliate site is a tangible asset that can be onsold if you choose to. Well-made established affiliate sites are very much in demand.

 

One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is that you can be anywhere in the world and run your business from your laptop in just a few hours a week. Suddenly even a small income by western standards can have you living like a rock star in some tropical paradise. Where? The choice is yours.

The big difference between those who are very successful and those who aren’t, really boils down to just a few things:

 

  1. You must be determined to put in the effort and Stick With It! The biggest reason people fail at this is that they give up way too soon. Often just when they were on the verge of success.
  2. You must have the right sort of training. Trying to teach yourself this business is almost a guarantee of failure. It’s so easy to be swamped with information overload. Some of it will be good and some will be simply crap! And how are you, a complete novice, supposed to know the difference? (More on this further on)
  3. You will need to spend a bit of money. Not a lot mind you, but nothing worth doing is likely to be free. You’ll need a website (or maybe several when you learn the ropes) and hosting, at the very least. Website hosting can be one of the biggest single expenses. You could easily spend $200.00 or more per year on hosting just one website as an individual. (Again, more on this further on)
  4. You’ll need a support network. The internet can be a lonely place, and there’s no shortage of people out there looking to separate you from your hard-earned money. They’ll promise all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes that usually turn out to be scams of the highest order. Add to that an endless stream of virtual “shiny objects” to distract you and it just gets harder. (I’m definitely speaking from experience here!)  Hey, look! A unicorn!!

 

Now for some Good News!

 

When I first heard about affiliate marketing, back in late 2016, I’d recently retired from my day job in the transport industry and was at a bit of a loose end.

I wasn’t ready for being put out to pasture, and thought this could be the thing to keep those grey cells working while at the same time giving me an extra income.

A couple of weeks of online research, followed by wasting a helluva lot of time and money on the wrong schemes, and I discovered an organisation called Wealthy Affiliate.

This group, founded around twelve years ago by two Canadian guys, Kyle Louden and Carson Lim, was like a breath of fresh air!

What attracted and impressed me most at first was that I could try the whole program for free. They didn’t even want my credit card!  WA (as they call it) works on the principle that if it’s not a good fit for you, you can simply walk away. No hard feelings.

I signed up to their free trial and within the first week had upgraded to Premium Membership.

 

What’s on offer with Wealthy Affiliate?

 

The training is excellent, the camaraderie between members is great, and the website support is exceptional. Believe me, I called on site support several times in the early stages. I knew almost nothing about websites, marketing, or anything but the WA training made it all just soooo easy.

Because WA is an international organisation, with literally thousands of members world-wide, there’s always someone on Live Chat  ready and willing to help if you get stuck. Technical issues? The Website Support is a 24/7 service and will usually get back to you within minutes.

Aside from the regular training there are weekly webinars and other advanced sessions on offer. All included. Techniques and tactics are always changing so it’s important to keep up to date with what the search engines are doing.

 

What does this cost, and is it worth it?

 

Prices quoted below are in US dollars. The exchange rate tends to fluctuate, so it’d be best to check the price in your own currency for yourself to be sure. Of course – free is free in any lingo.

The Premium Membership costs just $49 a month (much less if you pay annually) and includes website hosting for up to 25 of your own domain websites. Remember, one website can easily cost around $200.00 annually if you go it alone. The hosting also includes secure https:// setup and other bonuses that usually cost you extra with most host services.

One thing I do need to mention, is that the WA hosting platform is definitely one of the fastest website servers in the world – if not the fastest! If you know anything about Search Engine rankings, you’ll know that loading speed is crucial to getting a good rating from Google et al. Search engine rankings are probably the most critical part of the whole online business. If they don’t like your site then they won’t show it in the search results. It’s as simple as that.

WA members have an edge over the competition. Not only by having the best training, but also by having the best hosting platform. Without proper help and support, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and might as well just go fishing!

If you take up their trial offer you get access to this training for 10 days, completely free of charge. The knowledge you gather in this time alone will be priceless and can’t ever be taken from you. You can also create two shared-hosting websites for hands-on training (you get to keep these, even if you don’t continue). After that you’ll receive an offer to try Premium for a month for just $19.

If you still don’t think it’s for you after the first month you can simply cancel your membership with no questions. (By the way, you’re also free to come back later and pick up where you left off)

 

FYI, there’s a link here, where members have asked about leaving for a while and then returning. https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/marionblack/blog/what-if-i-leave-wa-and-come-back-later

 

Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone. Kyle and Carson know that, and you won’t be pressured into staying or upsold to so-called “advanced levels”. (Upsells are a common theme in most online training schemes) With Wealthy Affiliate, there’s no such thing as upsells, as we all have access to every level of training and support.

 

Other Affiliate Opportunities

 

Once you’ve learnt the basics, you’ll soon learn that as well as Amazon, there are affiliate programs for just about every type of product you can think of. Many of us have direct arrangements with wholesalers or manufacturers.

Affiliate networks include ClickBank, Rakuten Marketing, Udemy, Commission Factory, etc etc. You can sign on to these once you’ve learnt the ropes. It’s always a good idea though, to ask the question in Live Chat if you find a network you’ve not heard of. Some are legit and trustworthy, some not so much.

Where to now?

 

If you’re wondering whether becoming an affiliate marketer is going to be a good move for you, why not give the WA Free Trial offer a go?

You’ve really got nothing at all to lose, except maybe a bit of time. Who knows? This could be the start of a whole new career. Or at the very least a lucrative part-time job.

Just to be transparent; Yes I will receive a small commission if you end up joining.  There’s  no extra cost to you though. Come on in, the water’s fine!

 

Check out the Free Trial here.

 

Once you log in, you can contact me on my WA profile, and I’ll be only too happy to be your guide within the community. As I said earlier, peer support and camaraderie are just a small part of the WA experience.

Personally, I reckon this is one of the best moves I could have made. I’m learning heaps, earning a bit, and making new friends within the WA community. My sites are gaining momentum and things will only get better from here on in. If I ever decide to retire completely I’ll be able to sell my sites and buy our dream home.

So that’s it for now. I hope you got something from this article.

 


 

What’s your take on affiliate marketing? Have you, or anyone you know, tried the Digital Nomad lifestyle?

Let me know your thoughts via the comments box below, and yes, please, share this post with your friends.

 

Cheers for now.

Ways to earn money online
The Busy Bee

 

Thomas  (AKA The BusyBee)

Amazon Australia – Open For Business!

The Amazon Australia Store is Now Open.

.

The Amazon juggernaut continues to dominate the online retail world.

Their latest addition, Amazon.com.au, is now fully operational.

.

Dec 2017. Up to now, Amazon Australia has only marketed books and digital products. The full service Amazon.com.au store was originally expected to open in time for the Black Friday sales on Nov 24. Some behind the scenes issues delayed the launch, and no doubt the back room boys were frantically burning the midnight oil ironing out any glitches. (Much better now, rather than later, I guess) As of December 5th we now have an (almost) fully stocked and functional Amazon Australia store.

There’s an informative article here from Wikipedia on Amazon’s history.

.AsAAss

What does this mean to you?

.

Well, it depends on whether you’re likely to be buying from Amazon, selling through Amazon, or acting as an Amazon Associate. (Affiliate Marketer)

.

For me, personally, this is Great News!

.

I’ve been an Amazon Associate for some time, even though I live and work in Australia. I market various products via Amazon’s US, Canada, and UK outlets through several niche affiliate sites. Now I’ll be able to add the AU site to my list.

Amazon is a great vehicle for affiliate marketers and is the primary income generator for many online businesses.

 

Want to know how to earn money with the Amazon Affiliate Program?

 

(For those who aren’t familiar with the process I’ll give you a brief outline of the way affiliate marketing works.)

 

You can make money online
Earn Money as an Amazon Australia Affiliate

Basically, it involves folks like myself writing and publishing articles on our websites, and earning commissions from ads or links on these sites. These articles are intended to be informative (and hopefully entertaining), and often assist readers in researching an intended purchase.

We have to research trends, evaluate products, and most of all try to stay impartial. It’s not a good long-term strategy to just promote whoever offers the best commissions or other benefits. We need to prove ourselves to be reliable and trustworthy if we hope to build a long-term investment business. And be aware – this is a long-term business model.

So Why Amazon?

 

This is where Amazon comes in as one of the best marketplaces for us. Commissions are standard across the range of a particular product category, and it’s easy for visitors we refer to them to double-check the information we provide if they wish.

As a brand, Amazon has a good reputation for reliability and trust. They have a great refund policy and buyers feel comfortable dealing with them. An added benefit is that if you refer a customer for, say, an electric kettle and they end up buying a lawnmower (it happens) you’ll get the commission on the mower sale as well as anything else they buy within 24 hours! (There is a way you can extend that to 90 days – but that’s another issue)

Amazon are also very good at converting visitors into buyers. All we need to do is pique our readers’ interest and direct them to the appropriate product page and let Amazon do what they do best.

.

Could you become an Amazon Associate?

.

Absolutely! You don’t need to be a great writer or a paid-up member of the Grammar Police. You just need to be able to research the products and apply the results in a way your readers can relate to. Or, you could write information articles on a subject that you’re well versed in.

Think your profession or trade, your hobby, or any other area you have special knowledge in. Maybe, if you’re a bit of a globe-trotter, you can become a travel blogger.

If you’re not too confident about your writing skills, you can just hire a copywriter to write the articles for you. Many affiliate marketers do just that. You can even buy ready-made affiliate websites with all the initial research and copywriting done for you.

(If you have the funds for this, I can supply built-for-you affiliate sites, with all the research and SEO metrics already in place. Prices for such sites would start at around $500.00. This for a site that could potentially be earning that much per month within a year.)

The best, most economical (and ultimately most satisfying) way however, is to learn the business from the ground up and construct your own sites.

Thankfully, this isn’t as hard to do as you might think. The only real drawback is that it takes time. Time and Dedication. I capitalized and highlighted that because it’s definitely the most important thing that’ll get you from where you are now to earning what could be a very good living as an internet marketer.

(Another very good avenue for affiliate earnings is ClickBank. I’ll cover this in another post however.)

.

How much can an affiliate marketer earn?

.

I’m not going to tell you you’re going to become a millionaire. I’m not even going to tell you that you’ll be earning a full-time living in six months.

What I will tell you is that you could become a millionaire in time. Many affiliates have. (No, I’m nowhere near that milestone myself – as I said this is a long term business proposition and if you’re looking for a get-rich-quick plan you’ll be disappointed.) Try not to think of it in terms of how much can I make, as against can I be successful?

It’s best to approach affiliate marketing initially as a part-time proposition. It’s also very much a case of what you put in equals what you’ll get out. With the right attitude and proper training that part-time business could easily replace your current job within a year or more.

Also, a successful affiliate site is a tangible asset that can be onsold if you choose to. Well-made established affiliate sites are very much in demand.

 

One of the biggest benefits of online marketing is that you can be anywhere in the world and run your business from your laptop in just a few hours a week. Suddenly even a small income by western standards can have you living like a rock star in some tropical paradise. Where? The choice is yours.

The big difference between those who are very successful and those who aren’t, really boils down to just a few things:

 

  1. You must be determined to put in the effort and Stick With It! The biggest reason people fail at this is that they give up way too soon. Often just when they were on the verge of success.
  2. You must have the right sort of training. Trying to teach yourself this business is almost a guarantee of failure. It’s so easy to be swamped with information overload. Some of it will be good and some will be simply crap! And how are you, a complete novice, supposed to know the difference? (More on this further on)
  3. You will need to spend a bit of money. Not a lot mind you, but nothing worth doing is likely to be free. You’ll need a website (or maybe several when you learn the ropes) and hosting, at the very least. Website hosting can be one of the biggest single expenses. You could easily spend $200.00 or more per year on hosting just one website as an individual. (Again, more on this further on)
  4. You’ll need a support network. The internet can be a lonely place, and there’s no shortage of people out there looking to separate you from your hard-earned money. They’ll promise all sorts of get-rich-quick schemes that usually turn out to be scams of the highest order. Add to that an endless stream of virtual “shiny objects” to distract you and it just gets harder. (I’m definitely speaking from experience here!)  Hey, look! A unicorn!!

 

Now for some Good News!

 

When I first heard about affiliate marketing, back in late 2016, I’d recently retired from my day job in the transport industry and was at a bit of a loose end.

I wasn’t ready for being put out to pasture, and thought this could be the thing to keep those grey cells working while at the same time giving me an extra income.

A couple of weeks of online research, followed by wasting a helluva lot of time and money on the wrong schemes, and I discovered an organisation called Wealthy Affiliate.

This group, founded around twelve years ago by two Canadian guys, Kyle Louden and Carson Lim, was like a breath of fresh air!

What attracted and impressed me most at first was that I could try the whole program for free. They didn’t even want my credit card!  WA (as they call it) works on the principle that if it’s not a good fit for you, you can simply walk away. No hard feelings.

I signed up to their free trial and within the first week had upgraded to Premium Membership.

What’s on offer with Wealthy Affiliate?

 

The training is excellent, the camaraderie between members is great, and the website support is exceptional. Believe me, I called on site support several times in the early stages. I knew almost nothing about websites, marketing, or anything but the WA training made it all just soooo easy.

Because WA is an international organisation, with literally thousands of members world-wide, there’s always someone on Live Chat  ready and willing to help if you get stuck. Technical issues? The Website Support is a 24/7 service and will usually get back to you within minutes.

Aside from the regular training there are weekly webinars and other advanced sessions on offer. All included. Techniques and tactics are always changing so it’s important to keep up to date with what the search engines are doing.

 

What does this cost, and is it worth it?

 

Prices quoted below are in US dollars. The exchange rate tends to fluctuate, so it’d be best to check the price for yourself to be sure. Of course – free is free in any lingo.

The Premium Membership costs just $49 a month (much less if you pay annually) and includes website hosting for up to 25 of your own domain websites. Remember, one website can easily cost around $200.00 pa if you go it alone. The hosting also includes secure https:// setup and other bonuses that usually cost you extra with most host services.

One thing I do need to mention, is that the WA hosting platform is definitely one of the fastest website servers in the world – if not the fastest! If you know anything about Search Engine rankings, you’ll know that loading speed is crucial to getting a good rating from Google et al. Search engine rankings are probably the most critical part of the whole online business. If they don’t like your site then they won’t show it in the search results. It’s as simple as that.

WA members have an edge over the competition. Not only by having the best training, but also by having the best hosting platform. Without proper help and support, you may find yourself spinning your wheels and might as well just go fishing!

 

 

If you take up their trial offer you get access to this training for 10 days, completely free of charge. The knowledge you gather in this time alone will be priceless and can’t ever be taken from you. You can also create two shared-hosting websites for hands-on training (you get to keep these, even if you don’t continue). After that you’ll receive an offer to try Premium for a month for just $19.

If you still don’t think it’s for you after the first month you can simply cancel your membership with no questions. (You’re also free to come back later and pick up where you left off)

 

FYI, there’s a link here, where members have asked about leaving for a while and then returning. https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/marionblack/blog/what-if-i-leave-wa-and-come-back-later

 

Affiliate marketing isn’t for everyone. Kyle and Carson know that, and you won’t be pressured into staying or upsold to so-called “advanced levels”. (Upsells are a common theme in most online training schemes) With Wealthy Affiliate, there’s no such thing as upsells, as we all have access to every level of training and support.

 

Other Affiliate Opportunities

 

Once you’ve learnt the basics, you’ll soon learn that as well as Amazon, there are affiliate programs for just about every type of product you can think of. Many of us have direct arrangements with wholesalers or manufacturers.

Affiliate networks include ClickBank, Rakuten Marketing, Udemy, Commission Factory, etc etc. You can sign on to these once you’ve learnt the ropes. It’s always a good idea though, to ask the question in Live Chat if you find a network you’ve not heard of. Some are legit and trustworthy, some not so much.

Where to now?

 

If you’re wondering whether becoming an affiliate marketer is going to be a good move for you, why not give the WA Free Trial offer a go?

You’ve really got nothing at all to lose, except maybe a bit of time. Who knows? This could be the start of a whole new career. Or at the very least a lucrative part-time job.

Just to be transparent; Yes I will receive a small commission if you end up joining.  There’s  no extra cost to you though. Come on in, the water’s fine!

 

Check out the Free Trial here.

 

Once you log in, you can contact me on my WA profile, and I’ll be only too happy to be your guide within the community. As I said earlier, peer support and camaraderie are just a small part of the WA experience.

Personally, I reckon this is one of the best moves I could have made. I’m learning heaps, earning a bit, and making new friends within the WA community. My sites are gaining momentum and things will only get better from here on in. If I ever decide to retire completely I’ll be able to sell my sites and buy our dream home.

So that’s it for now. I hope you got something from this article.

 


 

What’s your take on affiliate marketing? Have you, or anyone you know, tried the Digital Nomad lifestyle?

Let me know your thoughts via the comments box below, and yes, please, share this post with your friends.

 

 

Cheers for now.

 

Let me guide you and help you avoid online scams.
   The Busy Bee

Thomas  (AKA The BusyBee)

The Best Affiliate Training

Elsewhere on my-buzz.com, you’ll find a review page on the Wealthy Affiliate Group.

 

(There’s a link to that review here.)

.

Back in December 2016, I’d recently retired from my business in the transport industry, and was at a bit of a loose end. Not being the type of bloke to spend my days playing bowls or going fishing every day, (not that there’s anything wrong with that, if it’s what suits you) I decided to look into online marketing. I’ve been a writer of sorts for many years, although I’d never really taken it seriously. It was, along with music, my main creative outlet. Stories, articles, poems – I’ve been published once or twice, but never really set the world on fire. Let’s face it – I’m no Hemingway.

.

Anyway, I researched ways to make money online, signed up for a few schemes, and got ripped off more than once! It seemed that everywhere I looked, someone was trying to separate me from my hard-earned money. Mostly promising huge returns for little effort (but at a cost, of course) while delivering very little genuine advice or guidance. Eventually, I decided to try Affiliate Marketing, also sometimes referred to as Blog Marketing.

.

What’s affiliate marketing? Well basically it involves creating a website (like this one) and adding links to products related to the site that the readers will find interesting enough to follow and purchase from. If they end up buying, then a small commission comes back to the website author. You can also add pay-per-click ads or other links but I prefer not to as I think it makes a site look spammy. My aim is to subsidize my web presence, not bombard my readers with ads and banners spruiking various get-rich-quick schemes in order to fatten my own bank account.

There’s a video here, made by one of the trainers and top affiliates of this group outlining his first ten years as an affiliate marketer.

Jay’s Video Here

.

In addition to Wealthy Affiliate, I also considered joining another group, The Chris Farrell Membership. If you’d like some info on that, I’ve written a review on The Chris Farrell Membership HERE. You can read both reviews and make your own comparisons.

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I put those articles together a little while back, not long after joining WA, and while I was spinning my wheels trying to decide exactly what direction I wanted my online business to take. (You can’t rush these things)

I’m also working on a couple more niche websites. A niche site is aimed at a specific audience or product and is where we actually earn an income from referrals etc. These are taking most of my time , along with my Wealthy Affiliate training modules, of course.

The training at WA is comprehensive and detailed, and if you should decide to give it a try you’ll need to be prepared to put in a fair amount of effort and study. Nothing worthwhile in life comes without a cost. In this case the biggest cost is time and commitment.

You’ll also need to appreciate that success will not happen overnight. Any new website will have to be up and running for some time before the search engines begin sending visitors your way. How long? It depends on lots of things, but it can be months before you see significant traffic to your site.

Having said that, I know of some that have been indexed by Google within days and received their first organic traffic within two or three weeks. (That’s traffic from search engines and not from posts you may place on social media or from friends visiting.)

This is the exception though, not the norm. Generally, it’ll take up to six months before Google takes your site out of the “Sand Box” and starts showing it to potential visitors.

Another alternative though, is to use Paid Traffic. This is where you select a keyword you’d like to target and actually pay Google to show your site to folks who search for that term. If you do a search you’ll often see listings at the top of the search results marked “Ad”. These are paid search results. There’s a blog post here by a fellow WA member and successful affiliate marketer where he discusses the pros and cons of going down that route.

Paid traffic does work, and can work well. You’ll need to be prepared to spend quite a bit though, and do some split testing, before you get results. Otherwise, just follow the training and you’ll be able to build your own free traffic after a while.

.The bottom line then, I guess, is that if you think you’d like to earn some money online I’d definitely recommend Affiliate Marketing. You don’t have to be a gifted writer or a member of the Grammar Police. You just need to get the right training and work your way through it.

With Wealthy Affiliate you can start for free. They’ll even give you two free websites of your own to get started with. Go and check out my review HERE if you haven’t already, and I’ll look forward to chatting with you within the community.

Just to be absolutely transparent; Yes, I will receive a small commission if you go ahead and join. There’ll be no extra cost tyou however, and you’ll be able to bask in the knowledge that you’re subsidizing this website and helping keep me motivated.

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Anyway, thanks for visiting my site. I hope you found something of interest here. Please bookmark it for future reference, and share with your friends.

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Should you feel inclined, feel free to email me at busybee@my-buzz.com or you can leave a comment below.

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Let me guide you and help you avoid online scams.
The Busy Bee

Bye for now,

 

Thomas (AKA Busy Bee)

How to Earn Money From Blogging.

Blogging ImageBlogging Image

So you’d like to become a Blogger!

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        Maybe you already have a blog, or perhaps you have, like I did not long ago, made the decision to investigate blogging as an alternative income stream.

        Perhaps you’re just wondering if the Blogger’s Life is for you. Let’s face it, we all love to share our knowledge and experience with others. Why shouldn’t we jump at the chance to earn a little money from our life knowledge and interests? Or better still, turn our interests and/or hobbies into a thriving online business?

 

Seem too good to be true? Can you really make money by Blogging?


 

       .Would Shakespeare have blogged?Well, the actual truth is that yes, it can become reality. You can make money from your blog. You’ll need to start small, work hard, research lots, and write heaps of content aimed at informing and entertaining your (hopefully) growing readership. You’ll also need some good advice and guidance.

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Are you ready for some Good News?

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Here is a link to the Best Blogging Resource available today.

It’s something I use myself, and I’m confident that it will help you achieve success.

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        The world of online marketing can be confusing at best, and at times downright risky. There’s certainly no shortage of so-called experts out there who tout their courses and products claiming to have all the answers. Most, though, promise much but deliver little.

       This handy, informative guide, which you can check out via the above link, has been written by one of the most successful bloggers online today. A lady who makes a very good living from blogging, both in niche (affiliate) sites and by other means, and has decided to share her secrets with you and me.

How to Make Money From Blogging

        “How to Make Money From Blogging” will become your go-to resource for ways to make money from your blog. It covers all aspects of blogging, guest posting, link building, advertising income, and my favorite, Affiliate Marketing.

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You can read a couple of reviews of Affiliate Marketing Programs HERE, and also HERE.

That’s OK, you can go and check them out. I’ll wait for you.

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Affiliate Marketing.

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       Affiliate marketing is the means whereby many bloggers make a large part of their money. Your job, as a blogger, is to create engaging copy, or content, that people will want to read. Your Blog Site can then contain discrete ads or links to products related to your niche subjects which will earn you money when readers visit their sites or buy products. It really is that simple. In theory, anyway.

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       Of course, nothing is as easy as it looks. Which is why you will need a good amount of Training and Guidance. I’m assuming you have an interest in making money online, or else you wouldn’t be reading this page. Well do yourself a favor and click THIS LINK to How to Make Money From Blogging for more detailed information. As I’m sure I’ve said elsewhere on this site, your future self will thank you for it.

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If you’d like to read my report on other ways to make money online you can follow this link.

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Well, thanks for dropping by. I hope you’ve found this article interesting, informative, or both.

 

Please feel free to drop me line at busybee@my-buzz.com or to leave a message below.

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Please share this page if you found it helpful.

Thomas, (AKA BusyBee)

New(ish) Scam Targeting Website Owners

A new (to me, at least) scam just caught my attention.

       A colleague of mine recently encountered this one. Luckily he was alert enough to perform the necessary due diligence before following any instructions.

This is how it works.

       Supposedly from someone called “Domain Abuse Admin”, and possibly from a domain using the name DomainCop.com (or .org, .net, etc etc), an email arrives informing the website owner that their site has been blacklisted for spamming and spreading malware.

       Then follows (of course) links to examine the listing on the register and receive instructions for removing your site from the list.

DO NOT CLICK THESE LINKS!!

       I’ve included a link here where you can see the email in question. Or one of it’s incarnations, anyway.

       I’m not really sure just what they are after, but I’d guess that it’s just a phishing attempt to gather as much of your personal info as they can coax out of you.

       Maybe they are after infecting your system with ransomware or other malicious software. No way to know for sure without clicking the links, and I’d certainly not recommend that!

       Hoping this saves someone from falling for this.

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Have you encountered something similar? Leave a comment below and I’ll follow it up.

Want to check out other scams or frauds? Use this link to view my Scams to Avoid page.

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.Could you write a review like this? (Or maybe even better?)

 

       If you feel you have what it takes to write review articles, blogs, information pages etc, you should check out my review on Wealthy Affiliate Network here.

       The WA Network can show you how you can establish yourself as an Affiliate Marketer, perhaps turning a small part-time business into a full-time career!

       Join me, and scores of other online entrepreneurs who are steadily building our web presence and working towards financial independence with Affiliate Marketing.

       You’ll need no special skills or coding knowledge, no previous experience with Internet Marketing. The friendly group at Wealthy Affiliate Network can teach you all you need to know, and you can even Start For Free, no strings attached! That’s just how I started, and I recommend this opportunity to everyone. With the free “try before you buy” offer you really have nothing to lose.

       Anyway, do your future self a favor and at least read my article. I pride myself on honesty and objectivity, so the review is as unbiased as I could make it. On that subject, you may also wish to check out another review here, to the Chris Farrell Membership.  CFM is another Affiliate Network aimed at teaching you the basics of affiliate marketing. I include links in the reviews so you can visit their sites and make up your own mind.

That’s it for now,

                                       Cheers,

Thomas, (AKA BusyBee)

Wealthy Affiliate University – Scam or Legit?

Wealthy Affiliate; Is This the Real Deal?

And just who or what is Wealthy Affiliate anyway?

 

Well, read on, and be enlightened!

Wealthy Affiliate Marketing University

Wealthy Affiliate is a program that was created over 11 years ago to facilitate, encourage, and assist people just like you and me to become online Affiliate Marketers.

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 Wealthy Affiliate can Change Your LifeFor the uninitiated, affiliate marketing is a term used to describe the common practice of posting ads or links into a website in return for payment. This payment could be on a pay-per-click (PPC) or a commission basis or some other arrangement. The job of the affiliate marketer is to create and publish content that people will want to read. It’s as simple as that!  Well….. maybe not quite that simple. Creating engaging copy is something that most people can learn to do with practice, but a little help goes a long way. That’s where Wealthy Affiliate comes in.

The founders of WA, (let’s call it that from here on) Kyle Loudoun and Carson Lim, have put together an incredibly informative and helpful program designed to lead you step by step through the labyrinth of internet marketing.

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Now let’s look at some of the Pros and Cons of Wealthy Affiliate.


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The Cost: Let’s get this out of the way first.

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You can become a WA member for free. You don’t have to provide credit card details or commit to anything except being prepared to give it your best shot. This is exactly what I recommend to anyone considering giving affiliate marketing a try. “Why”, I can hear you ask, “if their program is so good, would they give it away for free?”

Well, the answer simply is that Kyle and Carson believe passionately in the try before you buy philosophy. In my opinion any company offering a program like this should have no problem with making such an offer. If you aren’t happy after giving it a good ol’ College Try, then we can all part on good terms.

The free membership gives you full access to all the resources for a trial period so you can then make an informed decision as to whether the program is a good fit for you. You have the opportunity to create two free websites of your own and you’ll be given full training and full access to the WA community support base. You also have access to ongoing training modules.

After the trial period you can stay on as a free member if you wish, and yes, you still get to keep the two free websites. (Who said there’s no such thing as a free lunch?) Another bonus here is that once learned, the information you’ve received can’t be taken away.

Should you opt to upgrade to Premium Membership the cost is $49 per month, but will be reduced to $19 for the first month if you upgrade within 10 days. This actually represents great value, which you’ll see for yourself after you’ve dipped your toes into the waters. The $49 monthly membership includes web hosting for up to 25 of your own domains plus 25 shared-domain sites.

 

Website hosting alone can easily cost over $200.00 a year for just one site as an individual!

 

Plus, the Wealthy Affiliate website hosting server is one of the fastest servers (if not the fastest) in the world. Fast load speeds mean that WA members have a real edge over the competition when it comes to search engine rankings. This edge is increased when you factor in the fact that we also get free access to Jaaxy, one of the absolute best keyword research tools on the market.

They also include secure https:// hosting and heaps of extra features that others will only supply as upsells. With WA there’s no such thing as upsells. All features are available to all Premium members.

There’s no compulsion to upgrade, however, so you really have nothing to lose, do you?

One thing I’d stress here though, is that there’s no point in upgrading if you aren’t prepared to put in some effort. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme or a hands-off, autopilot, money-making machine.

Affiliate marketing will not make you a millionaire overnight. In fact, I’ll let you in on a secret. At the time of writing this (Dec 2016) I’ve been a WA Premium member for just under two months. Want to know how much I’ve earned so far from my WA websites? Zip. Zero, Nada. (See Update Below)

But you know what? I spend a minimum of two to three hours most days creating content and working through the training modules because I know this is what I’ve been looking for. I know that by putting in the effort now I’m building my future.

In time, and probably sooner rather than later, my pages will start to show up in Google searches and I’ll be able to incorporate ads and links that will begin to produce income. You work and learn at your own pace. There are no time limits on completing the modules or submitting assignments.

(UPDATE: Nov 2017. After 12 months as a WA member, I now have six websites in total. I’m earning a small income from my efforts so far and look forward to increasing this as time goes by. As the song goes – The Only Way is Up!)

Aside from the moderate cost, the only possible downside (if you could call it that) of WA is the huge volume of training modules available. It can be almost overwhelming at first. The easy way however, is to start at the introductory phase and work your way through the courses step by step.

 

You can check out Wealthy Affiliate here.

(Just to be transparent; yes, if you sign up via this link, I will receive a small commission. There’s no extra cost to you however, and who knows, it may be the start of a whole new career for you!)

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You don’t have to just take my word for it though, here are some testimonials from others who have tried Wealthy Affiliate for themselves.

“This platform provides everything you could possibly need in starting an online business — especially if you’re a newbie. But there’s so much more, because seasoned marketing veterans can benefit just as well. For sure, Wealthy Affiliate is a thumbs-up proposition. Glad to be here. Looking forward to earning and learning.”  Craig, WA member.

“Honestly speaking, I’m crazy about this community ever since I was exposed to unsuccessful online business and lost a lot money before. Wealthy Affiliate is the number 1 contender for me. I’ve got a successful website and domain through WA and I’m now only 2 months with the community but its like years now. I love simplicity, love and caring within the platform, more than help as requested and opportunity to explore online adventure.
Thanks to Kyle and Carson” Alfred, WA member

“I am so grateful for finding W A, I’ve struggled for 2 + years trying to figure out certain things and within days of being on here I’ve made my own website, understand about simple things like niches that didn’t seem at all simple before WA.
I Love the simplicity and how easy things are to understand and how everything is done in steps.
There really is NO way this wont work for you unless you don’t do something right yourself.
All the answers and help that I need are here and I will be around for a very long time. I love it.
Thank you Kyle and Carson for such a great site.”  Nicky, WA member.

 “There is no doubt in my mind. Had I found WA 5 years ago when I started looking into online marketing, I would definitely have a very well established online business by now.
Words can’t really explain how highly I recommend Wealthy Affiliate. It’s perfect to get you going with your online business journey.” Daymo, WA member.

A further update: If you follow this link you’ll see a post from within the Wealthy Affiliate site written by a fellow member, Eddy. He’s been with WA for quite a while now, and in this post he shares some details of his latest earnings. (As of March 2018)

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So who can benefit from joining Wealthy Affiliate?

 

 

      Well, the answer here is just about anyone who;

        a) is currently involved in internet marketing,

        b) has an established online presence. (Bloggers, reviewers, celebrities etc) or

        c) is looking to set up some form of online business.

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 No previous experience is required. I knew almost nothing about websites or blogs before I started. I’m still a long way from being an expert, but I am being taught by experts.

Because of the way affiliate marketing works, it can be easily married with any sort of online presence, without detracting from whatever the main theme of the post/site is.

Let’s face it, if you visit a fashion blog or a travel site, are you really going to be put off by a few discrete ads or links? Especially if they relate to the online subject matter? Of course not!

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Online support is yours whenever you may need it. Because WA is a global community, there is pretty much always someone online who will be only too happy to help you out if you happen to get stuck with something. I personally was blown away by just how supportive everyone in WA is. Members even have direct access to Kyle via his personal profile. (Let’s not forget though, that he’s a busy man and can’t always reply immediately) Rest assured, you will get a reply, which is more than can be said for most online organizations.

The Site Support crew are also incredibly helpful. Most queries are answered within minutes (24/7) and issues quickly resolved. Believe me, I’ve had occasion to call on them a few times. I knew almost nothing about websites before I started but the training and help make it all just soooo easy.

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So, to answer the question posed in my heading: No, Wealthy Affiliate is definitely NOT a scam. What it also isn’t though, is a get-rich-quick scheme. Should you decide that WA is for you, you’ll need to be prepared to put in some time and effort. This is your future we’re talking about here, after all.

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That’s not to say that you’ll need to work full time to be successful.

 

If you can, so much the better, though I’d be inclined to think that you might become a bit overwhelmed by all the training if you try to do too much at once. As I said earlier, I put in 2 to 3 hours most days. Actually, about 5 days per week. That’s less than 15 hours/week.

Another update: After seeing some moderate income results, I’ve increased my workrate to 20 hours per week. Nothing like seeing results to boost your motivation!)

For an example of the training provided, Click Here and you’ll be taken to a page where you can look at the first of many course modules. In all, there are 60 modules in the Online Entrepreneur Certification Course, and lots more training being added all the time!

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If I had to give the Wealthy Affiliate program a score out of 100, I’d be giving around 98. No organization is perfect, after all, but as one with experience from “inside” so to speak, this is as close as any such scheme I’ve encountered. And yes, I’ve tried a few over the years. My biggest regret is that I didn’t find out about WA years ago!


And so now it’s over to you. Do you keep doing the same old things you’ve been doing, or do you grab the chance now to create a whole new career for yourself? The choice is yours.

Remember, Today in the First Day of the Rest of Your Life. Let’s make it a good one.

 

My recommendation for anyone wanting to earn money from home, or thinking about starting a business from scratch with minimal outlay, is to follow this link and check out WA today. Your future self will thank you! I’ll see you on the inside.

 

Bye for now,
                            

Let me guide you and help you avoid online scams.
The Busy Bee

                                      Keep Buzzing,

Thomas. AKA BusyBee.

Working From Home

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Are you looking for a way to make money online?


Maybe you’ve heard of a system that seems to fit the bill, and you’re unsure of where or how to start.

 

       These days, it seems everybody is either doing business online or knows someone who is. Many of us would love to make the move to a Work from Home situation but with all the scams and frauds out there it’s hard to know just where to begin. (If you haven’t yet done so, read my Scams to Avoid page here)

https://my-buzz.com/scams-to-avoid/

The truth is, you can make money online.

There, I’ve said it!You can make money online

       The downside is that there is no such thing as a Free Lunch, so if you aspire to joining the ranks of those of us making a living (and sometimes a very good one) online you’ll need to have a plan and be prepared to WORK at it!

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Ambition without Action is just a dream, after all. 

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       Yes, there are a million and one web pages out there that will promise you anything from Hundreds to Thousands of Dollars a week with little effort (and just a small outlay, of course) but the only ones making a living from them would be the ones trying to get between you and your money.

       As I say elsewhere on this site, if it seems too good to be true, it almost certainly is.

OK. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, lets look at some of the ethical options.

 

You could Sell your photos online.

       You don’t have to be an expert or a professional photographer to be able to earn money with your camera.

       Even phone camera snapshots can sometimes be just what someone is looking for. The trick Sell your photos onlineis to take lots of snaps and sort them through later. Some of the best shots I have taken have been what could only be described as flukes. A close inspection will sometimes reveal a hidden gem amongst your collection of selfies and family snaps. If you happen to have a good DSLR and/or are a keen shutterbug, so much the better.

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Where can I sell them – I hear you ask?

       Well, there’s always Instagram, but a very good avenue for saleable photos is Dreamstime!

       Just register via the above link, submit your best or most unusual pics and your latest snapshot could appear on the front page of Time!  Well yeah, okay, that’s unlikely – but who knows who just might see exactly what they are looking for in your humble portfolio?

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        Should you be looking at setting up a web site by the way, and need some free photos or artwork, check out this link: Free Images From Dreamstime.

       On the subject of website building, here is a link to a video lesson on how you can build a website of your own in minutes, FOR FREE!

Create a Website for free (Video)

 

 You could Start your own Academy.


Sound a bit strange? Well, it’s not as odd as it may seem.Start your own academy

       It’s possible you have some unique knowledge or insight into an industry, that others will pay you to share with them. Search back through your past work or recreation history and you just might find a gem you’ve overlooked.

       All you need is a website, (which you can set up for free, by the way. See link below) and some basic writing skills and you could be on a winner.

       Again, though, I stress that it’s not going to happen overnight and you will have to work at it.

Regarding the free website, follow this link: https://my-buzz.com/freewebsitecreation

      This link will take you to a Wealthy Affiliate lesson on website creation, using WordPress. Feel free to check it out. You’ll see that building a website of your own can be a very simple process, and you won’t need to know any coding or involved procedures. You can sign up to the Wealthy Affiliate program for the free trial offer, and set up two websites at absolutely no cost. This is a genuine offer, and there’s no expiry on the sites you create. Obviously, WA would like you to upgrade to Premium membership (which is great value, by the way) but there’s no obligation to do so. Anyway, have a look and see what you think.

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        Udemy.com is a site that specializes in online training. It may be possible to put together a course which can be hosted on their site.

     

      Upwork.com is a site connecting freelancers in any field with potential clients. Mostly dedicated to writing and editorial work, but you could apply to act as a Virtual Assistant. These jobs do exist, you just have to look. Check out their Administrative Support Section.

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      If you have a particular skill at a handcraft of some sort, you could sell your creations on etsy.com (or com.au) Many people make money this way, but don’t quit your day job just yet.

      If you think you have a little designer flair, you could design T Shirts and market them online.

      Check out teespring.com or cafepress.com (or.au) for ideas and links.

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Do you have a large following on Social Media?

       You may be able to leverage this by including ads on your sites. I’m reliably informed that sites like amobee.com can place ads within your online content containing hyperlinks that will pay you when people follow the links. You will need to have a fairly large following, but it’s another avenue to try.

      If you’re lucky (and quick) enough, you may be able to grab a .com domain name which you can on-sell via sites like godaddy.com. This would apply if, for example, ford.com happened to be available. (Don’t bother checking, it isn’t)

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You could Start a Blog.

        You don’t have to be a literary genius or an English Major to maintain a blog of your own. You may need to pay a bit of attention to grammar, punctuation etc, but most readers are pretty forgiving on that subject if your stuff is interesting and/or informative. You can blog on virtually any subject you like. Let’s face it, if it interests you there are bound to be thousands of other people worldwide who will also find it interesting.How to Make Money From Blogging

       Here is a link to a review of a great guide to making money from blogging. It has all you need to know to earn a good income from a blog of your own.

 


 

       So you can see that there are many ways to make money online. Not all will make you rich, in fact most won’t.

       In my opinion, the best, most successful type of online business is Affiliate Marketing. This is the model I myself use, along with some of the most successful entrepreneurs online.

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       You too could become an Affiliate Marketer. It doesn’t require a lot of computer savvy or advertising expertise. In fact, some of the most successful AM people started out with little or no idea of the business at all. (myself included)

       I will share with you, as a thanks for reading my pages. After all, there’s plenty of business to be made via this platform.

      This link will take you to my Wealthy Affiliate review, where I explain in detail just what it is and how it works.

      The Wealthy Affiliate team will help you to establish your business, and the best thing is that you can start FOR FREE! You can upgrade to Premium membership (which I did) but if you wish to you can stay with the free membership and have Two Free Websites of your own so you can test the waters, so to speak.


      You really have nothing to lose! My advice is to head over there now and have a look. If you sign up for the free service you can access the chat line to see what others in the community are doing. If you’re unsure of any part of the system, there’s always somebody online (WA is a truly world-wide platform) and they will be only too happy to help. I’ll be looking forward to connecting with you on the inside.

       Anyway, that’s it from me for this page. Please check out the other pages on my-buzz.com and feel free to leave a comment below.

 

How to earn money online without getting scammed
The Busy Bee

Wishing you every success with your online endeavors.

Thomas (AKA BusyBee)

Scams to Avoid

Internet Scams come in Many Forms.

How to earn money online without getting scammed
The Busy Bee


The first, and arguably most important, thing to stress here is the old adage: “If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” I’d elaborate on that and say almost certainly is.

 

Some internet scams will offer you unbelievable financial success for minimal effort. Some will attempt to trick you into downloading malicious software. Some will simply appear to be legitimate online transactions where the goods you ordered never arrive, and possibly never existed in the first place.

Don't fall for a Money Trap
Money Traps are Everywhere

 

Believe me when I say you would not be the first, nor will you be the last, to fall for a clever trick. I’ve fallen victim to a few myself over the years and I’m always on my guard whenever dealing with someone I don’t know.

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Below is a list of some common scams.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive, but hopefully it will at least make you aware of how devious (and believable) scammers can be.

 

  • The Inheritance Scam.

Your dreams have come true! You have been contacted by a very professional-sounding lawyer representing the estate of a distant relative who has died, usually in some faraway country, with no apparent heirs. He is convinced you have the best chance of benefiting from the estate (which, of course, is worth several million $) and wants to help you claim said estate.

Sounds too obviously scammy? You’d be surprised just how many will fall for this.

fake lawyer scam
You Never Know Who You Speak With Online

Especially if you do happen to have distant relatives in the country he refers to.

I’m sure you know where this is heading. You’ll be asked (not right away, mind you, but as soon as he/she considers they have your trust) to start forking out for legal fees, stamp duties, or even bribes to officials. This will continue as long as you, the victim, are prepared to keep paying.

When you eventually refuse to pay more, communication will cease and the “lawyer” will be untraceable.

A similar scenario could involve an international lottery win, or similar windfall.

 

Nigerian Scam
Nigerian Scam

A friend of mine recently tried to convince me (true story) to join him in a scheme involving the heir to the throne of a small Asian country who was trying to smuggle gold out. The plan was for us to buy the gold at a large discount, then sell it back to him at a profit later. I tried to convince him he was being scammed but he was already committed and trusted the person who had referred him to the scheme. Yes, he lost big time, and as the whole scheme would have been illegal anyway, had no option but to cut his losses and walk away.

 

  • Fake Work-From-Home Schemes

You know the scenario. Guaranteed income, probably in the realm of Hundreds or Thousands of Dollars per month. (But, of course, you have to shell out first!) You could be offered a membership of some sort, or the instructions to a simple money-making method.

Revitalizing dead batteries is one that comes to mind here. I’m no scientific expert, but to me that one falls into the “too good to be true” category.

Whatever it is, if you are told you can become rich almost overnight with little or no effort, it’s probably a scam, and my advice is to run a mile!

      (If you are seeking a genuine, legitimate way to make money online, one which I myself use, check out the offer below.)

My Number One Recommendation!


This link will take you to a review of the Wealthy Affiliate Group. WA provides training and guidance on starting your own business as an affiliate marketer. With their trial membership, you can create two websites of your own, for free, that you can then use to try out the methods they teach. After the trial you can upgrade if you wish, or stay on as a casual user, again, for free. (And yes, you can keep these websites even if you decide not to upgrade)

 

Another group for training in Affiliate Marketing is The Chris Farrell Membership.

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You can read a review of CFM here.

 

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  • Getting Paid for Completing Surveys

Whilst not actually a scam, these schemes, in my experience (yes, I have tried a few) tend to pay very little for the amount of time involved. After all, do you really think anyone would be prepared to pay $50 or more per hour for completing surveys? It’s funny how the well-paid ones seem to disappear from the list as soon as you’ve subscribed.

It’s my opinion that many of these sites are all about gleaning your email address, so it can be onsold to scammers who will then bombard you with “offers”.

 

  • Online Share Trading
Don't Fall For This Scam.
Don’t Take The Bait!

I’m sure there are some ethical stock brokers with an online presence. Actually, make that lots. 

Ethical, real stock brokers though, do not try to scam people by promising unbelievable returns for just a few hours work per week, in the attempt to sell “failsafe” software at inflated prices. Software which is supposedly designed to do all the research for you and make you a successful trader overnight.

I’ve seen more than a few of these scams over the years and I can only assume they are very successful (for them), as they are still spreading.

I refer you back to my opening paragraph.

Another scam that has recently caught my attention is Digital Altitude.

Details can be viewed via this link

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  • Multi-Level Marketing (MLM) Schemes.

Now I know I’m probably going to ruffle a few feathers by including MLMs in this list. I accept that not all MLM schemes are scams per se, but I will stress, however, that the majority engage in some very dodgy practices that are either borderline illegal or at best unethical. The problem lies in the fact that recruitment becomes more important that product sales.

As a result, the selling prices for their products have to be grossly inflated to cover the commissions paid out to “sponsors” for recruiting new “distributors”, who in turn are expected to recruit more, and so on…

Yes, I myself have been involved in MLM schemes in the past. Not because I’m an unethical person, but because I was unaware of the true ramifications of MLM. The average participant in such businesses is not a schemer or a shyster, we just swallow the hype, believing we are building our own business. Nothing could be further from the truth. We do not own our distributorship, but merely function as a cog in the wheel making millions for someone at the top of the food chain.


Eventually, most of us run out of friends to spruik to, and pull out, being left with stacks of unsold product we were obligated to buy to keep our “distributor” status. In my case, I ended up giving most away just to be rid of it!


Essentially, there is very little difference between most MLMs and the infamous Pyramid Schemes outlawed years ago.


Some confuse MLM with Affiliate Marketing. Wrong! In Affiliate Marketing you are in business for yourself. You are free to market any product or service you choose, and there is no requirement to purchase any of the products you promote. MLM ties you to one product range, through one distributor, who retains complete control over how your “business” operates.

 

If the idea of Affiliate Marketing appeals to you, check out the offer available via the link below. This is the exact system I myself use (along with many other very successful affiliates). You’ll not make a fortune overnight, but if you are prepared to invest the time and effort and follow the training provided, you will be successful. You can sign up for FREE, and receive full access to the program so you can assess for yourself whether it’s right for you.


         Wealthy Affiliate Free Starter Offer.

 

Obviously, I could go on and on itemizing one shady deal after another but I’m sure you’re getting the idea. Basically, yes, you can make money through the internet if you have a definite and workable plan. However, the internet is full of shysters who make a fortune (for themselves) by promising big returns with little effort, and don’t want to know you after you have paid your money. Unless, that is, you happen to have a friend or two who you can refer to them for a bit of a kickback. Personally, I’d prefer to keep my friends!

 

Have you fallen victim to an internet scam of fraud? Perhaps you sent money to someone purporting to be collecting funds for “Disaster Relief” only to have your donation disappear into someone’s offshore account.

Send me an email, busybee@my-buzz.com or join the discussion below.

How to earn money online without getting scammed
The Busy Bee

    Cheers for now,

 

Thomas (AKA BusyBee)

Getting Your Business Online

Starting an Online Business

Thinking about starting an online business?

 

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        Making money online is much the same as making money anywhere. It matters little whether you have a dress shop in a mall, an online clothing store, or a fashion blog. You have to be prepared to put in the effort, and establish your business gradually.

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       If you open a coffee shop, for example, you will get some passing trade right away, and your business (assuming you are doing things correctly) will grow over time.

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Earn Money Online       The difference with internet marketing is that you will have ZERO passing trade to start with, and probably very little for quite a while. Not understanding this fact is one of the main reasons many internet-based business fail. Actually, fail is probably incorrect. The truth is, many people go into online trading with unrealistic expectations and simply give up when these expectations are not met.

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Don’t despair, however, as there are things you can do.

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More Traffic means More Money
Traffic is Essential

You Need a Traffic Strategy

You can tip the scales in your favor in a number of ways. The most important aspect of online trading however, is getting TRAFFIC to your site. Without traffic, you could have the best, most appealing website in the world, offering the absolute best deals anywhere, and you would just be spinning your wheels.

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They say “Content is King”, and whilst this may be true to an extent, the most well-written content will be wasted if nobody gets to read it!

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SEO Copy is the Key to Site Traffic
Good SEO Copywriting is Essential

       There is a term you will see everywhere these days in relation to online content: SEO Copy.
It stands for Search Engine Optimized Copy. That is, copy written with special regard to attracting rankings in search engines, predominantly Google.

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        You could simply employ a Copywriter to take care of this for you. Many online entrepreneurs do just that, preferring to put their efforts into other aspects of their business. If you feel you may like to go that way, please send me an inquiry at scribe@write-for-u.com and I’ll be happy to discuss your needs. If you’re just dipping your toes in the online pond however, your budget may not stretch that far. It’s not that I charge high rates, I’m very reasonable in fact. It’s just that I’m assuming you’ll want to remain as DIY as possible. Never fear, you can write your own copy. Just take it slowly, make it relevant, and keep your grammar and spelling precise. I do offer an editing service, at very reasonable rates, if you feel you need it.

       I also offer a Website Creation Service at very reasonable rates.

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Of course, all this is irrelevant until you have a web presence of some sort.

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        Now, you can spend several hundred dollars or more (sometimes much, much more) building a website or having one professionally created for you.
        Again, depending on your type of business this cost may be justified. The best way to start, however, is with a dedicated website creator such as Wix, Shopify, WordPress etc.

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       This site, my-buzz.com, was created with WordPress. I can definitely recommend WordPress to anyone unfamiliar with website design. (which, until recently, included myself) It was originally designed for blog pages, but with thousands of templates available you can create great looking sites for just about any type of business in just a few minutes. There is absolutely no need to know anything at all about coding, links, etc.

Around 25 – 30% of web pages are currently created using WordPress.

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Now for some Extra Good News!

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       If you follow this link and sign up for the free trial offer, you’ll be able to create two websites of your own FOR FREE, and have them hosted on the Wealthy Affiliate platform. Again, For Free.

       Wealthy Affiliate is all about getting you started as an affiliate marketer. They offer free access to all of the support and training for a trial period, and if you prefer you can stay indefinitely as a free subscriber and retain the free websites you created. This has to be the best offer going for someone wanting to get established online.

       If you want to really make your mark as an online business person, you can upgrade to Premium Membership (which is great value, by the way) for loads of extra benefits. There’s no compulsion to do so however, and you can set up your websites for any type of business you choose. My writer’s site https://write-for-u.com was my first attempt at building such a website. Should you visit, you’ll see the site is still under construction as I diverted my attention to my-buzz.com. and also my other affiliate niche sites. Rest assured, when time permits I’ll be getting back to work there too.

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You can see a detailed review of Wealthy Affiliate here.

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Research your preferred domain name.

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       You will need a domain name of your own. That goes without saying, but there, I’ve said it anyway.

       These days, it’s getting harder and harder to find a “good” domain name. One that shows at a glance just what your website is all about, and has that little catch, or hook, that will make potential clients want to visit. In my case, with both this site and my other, write-for-u.com site, I had to search for some time before I found what I thought was a good fit for myself personally and also conveyed what I wanted to offer.

        All my first choices were taken. I wanted a .com domain as I didn’t want to be seen to be tied to any particular geographical area. You may prefer to use a domain that shows the country your business is based in. It’s all personal choice, but it’s something you will need to give a lot of serious thought to. Read my e-booklet on SEO copywriting before you make the final decision on a domain name. I say this, because it’s always a good thing to have a keyword or two within the domain name. You’ll understand what I mean when you read the book.

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       Keep in mind that your website is a business tool. It shouldn’t become an extension of yourself, except on a business level. Sure, if you write copy your personality will come through, to an extent, but don’t fall for what I call the vanity trap. That’s what your FaceBook page is for. It’s unlikely that your friends will be inclined to visit your website regularly. (Unless you can turn them into clients, of course)
Hosting is something you will need to take into account. While not super expensive, it is, however, an ongoing cost to be considered. (unless, of course, you’re taking up the Wealthy Affiliate deal above)

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Legal Issues

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Mind the legal aspects of online trading
Don’t Fall Foul of The Law!

       You should research this a little. Remember that all online content belongs to somebody, and if you post media (photos, videos etc) without approval you could find yourself in legal hot water.

       Never cut-and-paste from another site. It’s called plagiarism. It’s illegal, and in any case Google will penalize you for having duplicate content so it’s simply not worth the risk. And anyway, it’s just not cool.

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       Anyway, that’s it for now. I will be updating as time goes by. If you have a query or comment, don’t hesitate to email me busybee@my-buzz.com 


Bye for now.

                                              Keep Buzzing

                                                                                                            Thomas (AKA BusyBee)