22
Dec

Blog Blazers Book Review

Blog BlazersIt’s always great to read interviews of bloggers who have gained fame, fortune, notoriety or notice to find out exactly what they’re doing and their influences, but it’s an even better thing to be able to read the interviews of 40 personalities in the field of blogging all at once. Stephane Grenier has put together such a read in his book Blog Blazers that covers the gamut in the world of online discussion.

Blogging goes far and wide on the internet and Blog Blazers touches on everything from SEO, to small business, to parenting, to business opportunities, to Google Maps, to coding and beyond, way beyond. Stephane secured interviews from such personalities as Aaron Wall, Dane Carlson, Erik Sink, Anita Campbell, Neil Patel, Seth Godin (nice one Stephane) and many more, picking their brains to find out just what has made them successful and keeps them going in their work.

The book is packed full of resources because Stephane asked all the bloggers he interviewed 3 important questions about their influences. The questions were:

Which 5 blogs do you read regularly?
Which websites would you recommend for new bloggers? and…
What is your most successful blog post ever?

Lots of great info here, but by far you can get a wealth of information by just scanning through Blog Blazers and looking up the most successful posts ever by these writers. After all, these posts have already been chosen by the readers of these blogs as noteworthy and the best of what each blogger does, so you know they’re worth checking out. It’s also interesting to note the number of bloggers that mention Darren Rowse at Problogger.net as one of the biggest influences and inspirations in their work. It would have been nice to see an interview from Darren himself to see what his biggest influences are and who he reads on a daily basis.

If you want to power up your blogging regardless of what niche you’re writing for, then Blog Blazers is definitely worth the time to read. The only thing I’d change about the book would be not to ask the exact same questions of every blogger interviewed. It would have been nice to mix up he questions a bit, but don’t let that stop you from a great read.

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2
Apr

Big Prize Scored In The Latest Blog Contest

Aaron Wall's SEO TrainingThe Craziest Internet Marketing Contest Ever ended yesterday and the winners were picked in a marathon Excel spreadsheet session by Gyutae Park early this morning. I can’t imagine having to figure out all the points everyone accumulated. The good news however, is that I won a very substantial prize in the contest, a 3 month membership, valued at $300, to Aaron Wall’s SEO Training Program which includes a copy Aaron’s SEO Book, the authority on SEO. I though I would have had a good chance to win an H2 Hummer, but that turned out to be an April Fool’s joke, which I hate to admit that I fell for.

I’ve checked out Aaron’s site before and had it in the back of my mind to spend more time there, but since there’s only so much space in my brain I can rent out at one time, I’ve never really gone beyond a superficial look. Now I have a good excuse to spend some serious time looking into SEO and learning it. This has definitely been a weakness of mine since most of what I’ve learned has been the basic, write good content, meta keywords, meta description, keyword in the title and keyword on the page stuff. Honestly, I think if I read another article that tells you to use these 4 or 5 things and then your site will be SEO’d, I’m going to scream. There’s more to it than that.

I have a couple of vacation related sites that do very well with affiliate programs and Google Adsense with the little traffic they get. If I could get 1,000 to 2,000 people per day to each of these sites, I could probably retire and do nothing but write this blog. I’m sure there’s something I’m missing with these sites and I’d like to find out what it is beside that meta tag thingy. Hopefully, I’ll learn some info through Aaron’s training program. I’ll be blogging about what I learn and the results I get through the training, but only to the extent that I won’t be giving away any proprietary info.

I am so looking forward to getting into this.

Getting into contests on the web has proven to be quite successful lately. I’ve probably won more by entering blog contests in the last 3 or 4 months than I have in the previous years of my life. I’ve always held out for the $10 million prize from Publisher’s Clearinghouse, but I’ll take what I can get. A $300 prize suits me just fine, especially when it has the potential to earn me a lot more than that.

On another note I want to say congratulations to Michael Zebold of Real Estate Loop who won the prize I sponsored in Gyutae’s Winning The Web contest. Michael will be getting two months of free advertising on my sidebar with a 125 x 125 banner. I’ve sent Michael an email and he can contact me here as well to set things up.

Congratulations to all the other winners including those who won some sweet cash prizes of $50 to $650. It might be a good thing to let the contest mania subside in the blogosphere for a while before the next one, since this latest contest will be hard to top, unless you really do have an H2 Hummer to give away or maybe a MacBook Air, Shoemoney?

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17
Feb

Build A Niche Store v3.0 Update

Get Build A Niche StoreI was due to start my Build A Niche Store series last week awaiting the arrival of BANS v3.0, but because of a few minor quirks and feature issues discovered in beta testing, the latest upgrade has been slightly delayed. I’m thankful that beta testing revealed what needed to be fix rather than letting it be discovered by the end user.

An email was sent out at the end 0f January to all BANS users letting us know that the release of version had been delayed and that they we considering adding a few features not previously mentioned in upgrade announcements. And as I was putting together this post, another email went out to BANS users letting us know that version 3.0 should be out either the very end of this week or the last week in February.

The biggest changes for this new version of the eBay affiliate niche store script is that all urls will be redirected through your site rather than go directly to eBay, thus improving your site’s seo and additional countries will be added to BANS so you can now build a store for any of the 14 or 15 countries represented by the eBay affiliate program. A couple of other significant changes I don’t think I’ve mentioned before are that the admin panel will get a work-over and some advanced templates will be added to the existing 9 that already come with the script.

Since I promised a 5 part tutorial on setting up a BANS store and getting traffic and incoming links and haven’t been able to deliver on that yet, I’ve found a couple of very comprehensive tutorial sites for you to peruse and get a good feel for setting up your own Build A Niche Store. Check them out below:

Watch Me Build A Bans Niche Site From Scratch - The title says it all. John Pratt gives very detailed info in this series on how he’s putting together his BANS site.

Build A Niche Store Empire In 12 Weeks- This is an amazing series and site for BANS users. Mark Hansen makes approximately $2,000 per month just from his BANS sites and he covers the gamut on putting together your site from researching your niche to advanced php mods. Some of these tricks are for more advanced users, so make sure you know what you’re doing before you start tweaking your php code.

Many BANS users are excited about this new version coming out and I am as well. One of my goals for this year was to put up an additional 10 stores and I’ve already put up 2 and the next 8 are just around the corner. It’s time to build an eBay affiliate empire.

Stay tuned for the BANS update.

Alan

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