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Microworkers, You Have A Lot Of Issues

This is a boring rant due to a terrible experience with a pioneer in the internet marketing industry.

There’s nothing more disappointing than being stuck with a company that doesn’t care because there is not enough other options on the market. Microworkers is a perfect example of this. There is MTurk, but they don’t accept very many types of campaigns and Clickworker costs a $400 setup fee which is an easy way to scare away anyone who is interested in just testing a platform.

Microworkers’ email support is generally quick to response and can be helpful in many situations. However, that’s about the extent of what I can say about them.

  • They set a minimum pay for certain types of jobs. Even if it’s a 30 second task, some jobs require high pay just because of the category it falls it. You’re stuck overpaying for tasks. Why not lower the minimum wage and let the market decide what a micro task is worth? If no one wants to do it, the employers will naturally increase their pay.
  • They make you purchase at least 30 tasks per campaign. Oh, you only need 10 workers? Too bad. You have to buy 30.
  • They don’t accept PayPal, and really don’t care. Even if you’re like myself and tell them you want to make a $1000 deposit to their system for your account, nope, too bad. Credit card or Skrill only. Being a big player has no pull with these guys. They don’t care if you spend $5 or $1000 a month, get in line.
  • There’s no real setting to control the speed of completion. Well, they have a speed setting, but get this… The setting ranges from 1 to 1000, and that setting means how many people, out of 1000 Microworkers workers, will see your campaign. This is confusing and entirely useless because you don’t know how many workers will be online that day. So you set 50 as the speed setting. How many thousands of workers will be on, and then, how many will actually opt to complete the task and not just scroll past? This is one of the biggest frustrations I have with them. Why can’t we just set a maximum number of completions per day, because at the end of the day, that’s what we all case about. Not how many people view a campaign. Their programmers were very lazy when it came to this part, and went with the easiest implementation.
  • They have 2 types of campaigns and they both have completely different options and features. They will add a new feature to their system, but only add it to 1 of the campaign types, so you’re stuck deciding between the 2, trying to figure out what features you can do without.
  • Their API has lots of issues. I implemented their API in a Python project and it took weeks to implement. It honestly felt like I was the first person to use their API. I would code something, and it wouldn’t work right, so I’d email them and they’d email me back a day later after their developers got to fixing the issue. This went on for weeks.
  • Their Twitter account is abandoned. It’s always a red flag when a company doesn’t monitor their Twitter. It’s a sign of, “I don’t really care.”
  • Their UI is complicated. If you look at the completed campaign below, it says there are 90 completed tasks awaiting a rating. Which hyperlink do you think you click to do the rating? You are probably thinking you click the link beside the “90” and under where it says “not rated” but instead, that doesn’t do anything but show you the number IDs for all the completed tasks. Rather, you have to click the title of the campaign to download the CSV and rate the tasks. Rating tasks is the worst part of the whole platform because of how slow (~3 seconds) each page loads on the platform.

microworkers campaigns

Why Internet Marketing Software Is Rarely Recurring

Generally, for a software company to survive and to provide endless updates, the customers have to be charged a recurring fee. Otherwise, the software company will be solely surviving on new sales every month, to afford to push out updates.

The reason why software is rarely recurring in this industry is because of how fast paced our industry is. Marketers get a lead on a new method for a certain social site and then in just months, or even weeks later, the method is either patched by the website or the users become more intelligent and the method no longer works as good as it once did. Therefore, users stop paying their recurring fee for the software and move on. Instead, software vendors charge a higher one-time fee, to milk the absolute most out of these marketers before the software becomes obsolete.

As a software developer, I am continuously involved in this. It’s not easy to establish a long term recurring income, so generally I make my money on one-off hits every few months and continuously study things like this.

For a software vendor to make a stable recurring income, they’d have to counter the fact that buyers are going to stop paying your recurring fees when the software becomes obsolete. The primary way to do this would be to push out a new software every 2 or 3 weeks, and hold all of the software under an umbrella website that sells a recurring membership to access all of it.

This is a concept that intrigues me, and after reading the book Rocket Fuel, I’ve decided I’m not going to pursue this until I find myself an integrator. However, it will be done eventually, and it will be my next 6 figure project.

How I Get Free Relevant Guest Posts in Exchange for Sweat Equity

There’s nothing like starting your week off with a fresh DA57 guest post now, is there? While guest posts are great for SEO, branding and traffic-generation purposes, they are not easy to obtain and because of that, I have had customers pay me up to $2000 to get into a single magazine!

First, you need to identify your target, and by that, I mean you need to find sites that are both worthwhile for the amount of time you’re going to allocate to it, and also a reasonable and achievable goal. If you’re a brand new entrepreneur and you’re trying to get into Forbes, there are unfortunately no free options available to you. However, you could pay your way in, assuming you have the high quality content that Forbes links to.

Secondly, you need to find out what the best method of approach is, well before reaching out. Some sites have a spot where you can submit guest posts, but those inboxes are not always monitored. If it’s a tougher site, usually a very carefully crafted 2-sentence email can start things off. If it’s a big site, talk to other contributors and ask how they got in. Build a reputation with other contributors on Twitter. If you check my Twitter account, it has thousands of followers and has generated a number of healthy connections with other contributors. For example, Huffington Post usually only brings in new contributors by invite. You don’t have to be famous, but rather you just have to write good content. If you write one article on your quiet blog about parenting, and it gets a bunch of shares, you have a fair shot at receiving an invitation email from Huffington Post.

Building a connection on Twitter can be automated. A number of entrepreneurs follow and unfollow people regularly using software. If you tweet about business, you’ll occasionally get followed by someone with 200k followers and follows another 150k. The Twitter API has excellent abilities to building something like, and for a developer like myself, it wouldn’t be difficult to automate outreach with spun tweets, for example.

Thirdly, you need to work out a fair topic and title. Sometimes if I’m sending a 2-sentence email, I briefly state why I’m better than the next guest contributor and then I say how my experience and knowledge can benefit the blog owner’s readers. I’ve sold a ton of software in the past, so that would be a topic that blogs would love to have me contribute on. This however doesn’t mean you need to be an expert on your topic. I have clients in the health industry for example that I’ve helped get into health blogs and magazines. Generally with industries I’m new to, I start with small, achievable blogs and work my way up to bigger sites.

Fourthly, it’s time to start making your initial contact with the target. Now that you’ve identified a perfect target, simply start executing the plan you’ve crafted. Keep all communications short. If you plan to reach out by Twitter, go ahead and retweet a few tweets and reply to a couple too, before sending your initial request.

If you’re trying to get someone’s attention, do them a favour. For example, I decided that this year, I want to write a book. So I wrote a blog post about “20 business books you need to read in 2016” and that did a number of things for me. First, it helped my reputation with that blog to explode because that article got over 1000 shares and they loved it. The book publishers loved me because I mentioned their book, and then after that, I earned an introduction to one of their publishers, which helped me get to my end goal. I now have 20 contacts of people who are willing to give me advice on writing books, and the blog platform I wrote it on, is welcoming me to submit more. It’s just a win-win situation. Help people first, and they’ll return the favour!

Fifth, if you haven’t heard back within a few days, follow up. I get over 100 emails a day. That doesn’t include the private messages on forums or the Skype messages. People are constantly trying to get ahold of me to hire me with their SEO work, and so I miss a ton of emails. Blogs and other publications are no different. They get busy and if they don’t read your email in the first 24 hours, there’s a very large chance that they’ll never read it.

Sixth, once you get a spot, hire a ghost writer. Depending on the quality of your targeted blog, you can expect to pay anywhere from $3 to $10 per 100 words. When applying to a site like VentureBeat, you’ll be looking at a rate of $7 per 100 words. Most niche sites, you can get by with $5 per 100 words. Anything DA30 or under, assuming it’s not hyper-targeted like a local SEO agency’s blog, you can try $3 per 100 words.

Lastly, maintain a relationship with the blogs. You get credit for every post you do, so take advantage of that. Show the readers how much you know about that topic. It’s not always about the backlink. Sometimes it’s just good branding to have yourself appear on many popular sites. There are a number of sites I write for that are not for SEO purposes and having profiles there really separates me from the competition, regardless if I’m closing a deal with a new SEO client or if I’m applying to a special computer science program at school.

If you need any help with guest posting, feel free to reach out. There’s an email contact form at the top and I answer every tweet that comes to me on Twitter!

How to Make Your Website Look Legit

So many people wonder why their website can’t get links from big sites and why no one want to guest post on their site. The thing is, people are only interested in websites with real authority. Deciding whether or not a website is authoritative, is entirely based on based. This checklist will help you design your website in such a way that you’ll attract high quality inbound links from top websites, and it will also make your website a desirable target for guest posts, which are an excellent way to bring in more visitors and traffic. The first step would be to contact a reputed web developer like AKEA.

  1. Have a custom designed image as a logo.

    Search Engine Land logo

  2. Have unique content, high quality and useful content. Content that you or your friends would enjoy reading. Boring articles are easy to spot, and easily signify that the site could be a private blog network or a low quality churn and burn website.

  3. Use related facts and link to government or educational sources for each fact you use. Use Google queries like site:.edu filetype:pdf combined with the topic you’re writing on to find related studies.
  4. Have a Facebook like button to like your official Facebook page. Facebook pages show commitment by the website owner. Most private blog network sites do not have Facebook pages, and thus it’s an easy signal to detect if a website is high quality or not.
  5. Have attractive images for each article, everywhere, like this site.
  6. Have a bio, or at least the name of the article author, like this:

  7. Have long articles, that combine lists and other styling, among paragraphs. Don’t just post a long meaningless blurb of text. This article embeds lists within lists to add value.

 

 

 

Lets look at some websites that are considered low quality, and figure out why they don’t deserve quality links.

This website is about “The Best Non Stick Cookware Set.”

  • The website uses the default WordPress theme, just replacing the images.
  • The domain name and the site name is about “chicken coop plans” but the article is about cookware.
  • The article clearly is trying to rank for a long tail commercial keyword, like “best non stick cookware.”

Over 20+ SEO Terms and Definitions

Here marks the start of my glossary of SEO terms and definitions.

Blog network: A collection of blogs, owned by one identity, used to place backlinks.
Search engine: A website that displays relevant websites to a search phrase such as Google, Yahoo or Bing.
Private blog network (PBN): A blog network that doesn’t allow outsiders to post links.
Public blog network: A blog network that sells links to the public.
Backlink: A hyperlink on a website used to push link juice.
Link pyramid: A backlink strategy that pushes link juice through layers, leading to the money site. Each layer of webpages link to the webpages in the layer above, which eventually leads to the money site.
Link wheel: A backlink strategy that involves a circular link where each website received a link from one website in the pyramid and links to another in the pyramid, and also links to the money site.
SERP: The search engine results page is what is shown after a search on a search engine.
Link juice: A measurement of the flow of authority and ranking-potential that is pushed from a website, through a backlink, to another website.
Click-through rate (CTR): The percentage of viewers the click a link or an ad.

Stop Caring So Much About Keyword Density

There’s nothing more irritating than a content writer or even an employer who talks endlessly about and prioritizes keyword density. This is not 2010 anymore, keyword density no longer has any positive effects on the ranking of your content.

When it comes to optimizing your content for the search engines in 2016, there are better ways to do so than optimizing keyword density. The 2 main points are user experience and synonyms.

User experience drives social shares, a low bounce rate and a higher CTR in the Google SERPs. All 3 of these signals are proven to have an effect on SERPs. By providing valuable content, from a high quality and passionate writer, users will be tempted to share your article or blog post on social media. Readers will also be less likely to bounce and go back to another search result, hoping for better content, which is a big negative ranking signal.

Secondly, articles should use synonyms of the target keyword. If your keyword is about “backlink removal” then you should expand on the word “backlink” and the word “removal,” to add synonyms and also related keywords to the text. After looking up “removal” in a thesaurus, you’ll see “delete” and “elimination” are related synonyms and should be mentioned in your article. The word “backlink” is associate with terms like “SEO” and “link building” which should also be mentioned. This is the basis of the latent semantic analysis that Google does to detect relevant content to show in the SERPs.

The Difference Between a $15 Guest Post and a $250 Guest Post

I don’t know about you, but I like to make as much money as possible for the work I do. I learned a while back, to do this, I need to target the right audience. I don’t want to target the freelancer who makes a living off $5 Fiverr gigs, but I want to target the NYC agency who has no clients under $1000 per month. To do this, you need to first have a brand, and secondly, you need to offer the utmost quality.

Lets picture a big client, lets say they sell mattresses. They sell $10 million in mattresses a year. They are coming out with a new matress technology and they want to get into niche blogs. So they reach out to blog owners by anyway possible. First by manual email outreach, then by going to webmaster forums like Warrior Forum and then finally by going directly to Upwork or People Per Hour to find freelancers who offer this.

The email outreach method returns very minimal results. Few people ever get back to you, unless you really have your guest post outreach down-pat. If it’s overly promotional, it won’t be very easy. Getting a guest post to win a backlink is one thing, but a guest post on your entire company, is another.

The method of going to webmaster forums and talking to people on People Per Hour return very similar results. People return a pile of garbage blogs for <$50 and no one comes through with anything of your caliber or expectations. Lets take a look at some of these blogs.

www.luxury-resort-guide.com
www.100placestotravel.net
www.familyvacationshq.com
www.10minutetravel.com
www.airlinetravelinsurance.net
www.travellersbay.net
www.travel-and-vacations.net

They have:

  • Terrible design. Most of them have a terrible layout. Sometimes the menu doesn’t show up right or the CSS styling is messed up and buggy.
  • No content niche. Some of these sites, they’ll be about “travel” in the domain name, but they’ll put any content on it. Basically, anyone who throw the $10 or $20 in the pot, is going to get their post up.
  • No Facebook or Twitter audience. This is 2016 and social signals have been a factor for years now. Any blog that doesn’t have social profiles setup is obviously fake and won’t have much of an effect on your Google rankings and is a waste of money and time.
  • No quality control. There is no moderation on what gets approved and doesn’t. This doesn’t come down to just the niche, but the content quality and also the nature of the content.

Then on the other hand, you’ll find a blog that fits these requirements.

  • They have a great design. The site loads very fast, the logo is nice, the navigation menu is fantastic.
  • The content is very technical and about a specific niche.
  • They have a small following on Facebook and Twitter.
  • They make you pay $25 or $50 for the article to be written by their own expert writers, to keep the quality of the blog fair. No one wants to get a guest post on a blog that has no moderation. I don’t need the guy after me posting about something horrendous.
  • They charge a lot to keep the barrier to entry high. If a low quality site gets a guest post and they get de-indexed, all of it’s backlinks may be up for manual inspection, which would include the guest post site, and therefore may cause your site to suffer a penalty.

So make your guest posts super high quality, change your fixing, build a brand and solid connections. Sell your $200 blog posts to the same agencies every time and deliver quality so they buy 3 more posts from you. Business is more fun when you make more money, so charge $xxx per post like I do.

Freelancers: Stop Asking for Our Budget

Nothing is more irritating than a freelancer asking what your budget is, after you explain that he’s not worth what he quoted you.

When you’re talking to employers, especially successful ones in the online world, we don’t have a tight budget that we want to stay within. We just want to get our money’s worth for what we are paying. Whether we hand you $50 or $1000 for a task, just provide us what it’s worth. If you quote $250 and I say that it’s too much. It doesn’t mean that I can’t afford that, or double that for the task, it means for the little you’re offering, it’s not worth $250. Either offer more or charge less, and which route you go, doesn’t matter to us.

What a 7% CTR Looked Like on a Micro-Niche Site in 2010

With so many new people joining the internet marketing space, I think a number of new marketers would find these screenshots interesting. I started my career with micro niche sites. I built them and sold them, and did quite well for my 15 year old self. These are what they looked like. They were made in raw HTML, had about 5 articles on them and the click through rate was unbelievable. I remember sometimes the CTR would hop up to 11% for my Adsense ads.

micro niche site

micro niche site

 

Verified Blue Checkmark Twitter Accounts With Under 100 Followers

I’ve been studying what it takes to get that little blue checkmark beside your Twitter name for about 2 years now. I mostly compare data and do all sorts of research and studies. So many people think it’s to do with the number of followers that you have, but I just found this old data set of mine that I researched back in December 2014, showing all verified Twitter users with under 100 followers. Some may no longer be verified, or have more than 100 followers now, but this was true back in December 2014. Followers are not a metric. Here is the list:

AbsolutVodka_EA
bioreus
manseekingwoman
MTNlonestar
CapitalOneFR
DesertDancer
TheGetDown
LynUhlmann
ShimadaKoujiMie
intecocert
GroundwaterAct
KamahlCogdon
minami_u_bousai
whilewereyoung
tpaul118
Charles_Lussier
GWMorris

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