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1 Tip That Stops Most Teenage Entrepreneurs From Scaling Their Online Business

Making money online is by no ways easy. Everyone wants to do it. Nobody wants to get up at 7 am, and go work for someone else in a cubicle for 5 days a week. Kids realize this early in their teenage years and because of this, most internet markers are under the age of 25, but most of them hardly make any money.

These kids put in tons of hours every week, but have almost nothing to show for it. Meanwhile, a 3o or 40 year internet marketer with a full time job will sit down after dinner every night, build a large enough income online to quit his full time job. What is it that separates these 2 types of people? Is it their maturity, their experience or their work ethic? Neither.

When working just 3 hours a day, your time sitting at the computer becoming so concentratedly productive, that you get in the same amount of work as a jobless 18 year old who sites at the computer 8-14 hours a day. You begin to value your time and know that you need to get your work done now, because you won’t have time later.

These older people then build a small income working just weeknights and weekends and realize that if they scaled exactly what they are doing to 8 hours a day, they could make a better living than they do at their day job. They stabilize a small, working system and scale it by spending more time on it.

Teenagers will spend the entire day on the computer from day one, and bounce from method to method, trying to find a way to make money. Older people have no time to ditch what they are working on and the progress they’ve made to go start something new while teenagers don’t even think twice because they know they have a full day worth of time to work on this new idea tomorrow. They don’t realize that their schedule-less teenage days will soon come to an end.

Also teenagers have no planning, as they never step back from the computer and look at the big picture. This is why so many entrepreneurs start their day so early, but still don’t start work until 8 am or 9 like most people. They start their day thinking about their plans, the big picture and close it the same way, reflecting on how far along their plans and schedule they made it. Did they make enough progress today?

At some point, you have to sit back and reflect on your work and plan for the next work session. Some entrepreneur use a pen and paper beside their bed to plan and reflect. By working a little less, and planning a little more, teenage entrepreneurs could achieve more in a shorter amount of time.

5 Tools You Can Use Today to Audit Your SEO Approach

The W3C Markup Validation Service

Checking that your website uses proper W3C markup is something that is often missed by rookie SEOs. I find it a simple stepping stone that everyone can do to ensure that Google’s crawler can read and understand all of your HTML clearly. Professionals like Neil Patel ensure that their markup follows W3C international standards.

WooRank

WooRank Dashboard

Every so often, Google adds more on site factors that influence your rankings. Using a tool like WooRank, you’ll be sure that you’re always on top of the latest advances. WooRank checks basic factors like title, headings and description but also advanced factors like SSL, mobile friendliness and social signals.

WooRank Checklist

Google Webmaster Tools

GWT was probably the first SEO audit tool you’ve ever used and if you’re like me, you check it once for each new site and never check it again. I recently checked my GWT panel and to my surprise, I found that there were a couple of errors including no dates or authors on blog posts, along with a large pile of 404s from old blog posts and pages that I deleted. I quickly resolved all the errors to put my site back in perfect standing.

Pingdom Speed Test

This is probably one of my favorite tools. Nothing checks your website speed like Pingdom’s tool. It specifically shows you each element, how fast it loads and then it goes over what you can do to make it load faster, such as caching. Below you can see the scores I get for each aspect of speed improvements.

Pingdom Speed Test

You can see the performance grade, load time, page size and how long each element takes to load.

Pingdom Speed Waterfall

Pingdom also shows each type of media/content and how it affects your load performance. Pingdom breaks down the load time into different categories so you can pinpoint the issue that’s causing your website to load slower.

SEO Expositor

Like WooRank, SEO Expositor is an SEO auditing software. It checks over your SEO approach for both on-site and off-site factors. The tool builds a multi-paged report that can be printed out for future reference. The main difference between this and WooRank is the amount of factors that SEO Expositor checks for and the bonus features it offers in your reports. It checks your SERP rankings, so that if you built a report for a client, you wouldn’t have to use another software to check the current rankings. Best of all, I own it!

Best Domain Registrars to Backorder Domains With

SnapNames.com – Charged $69 but you only pay if they win the domain for you. You must order by 1:45 PM EST. If there are multiple bids, there will be a 3 day private auction held amongst those who backordered the domain with SnapNames.
GoDaddy.com – Only powerful if the domain expiring is with Godaddy (which can be checked using a whois lookup like www.who.is). They only charge $20, but refunds can only be used to place more backorders (credit).
NameJet.com – $59 with similar rules to SnapNames. There is a 12:00 PM EST cut off and there will be a 3 day private auction if multiple people backorder the domain through NameJet.
Dynadot.com – $15 with cut off 12:45 PM EST. 3 day private auction too.
Name.com – $49 but they refund you if they don’t get it. One backorder per domain, so there will be no auction.
DomainMonster.com – $65 after they get the domain.
Pool.com – $60 once they get it.

SnapNames, NameJet and Pool are the top 3 best domain drop catching services.

2015 On Page SEO Study

The following data is 100% fresh and gathered entirely by my crawlers. Cite my website before use.

1 word search terms:

74% of first page Google results have the keyword in the URL.

83% of first page Google results have the keyword in the title.

49% of first page Google results have the keyword as the first word in the title.

82% of first page Google results have the keyword in the description.

23% of first page Google results are the index/root of the website.

Average length of URLs in first page SEO results: 50 characters

2 word search terms:

54% of first page Google results have the keyword in the title.

49% of first page Google results have the keyword in the description.

31% of first page Google results have the keyword as the first words in the title.

19% of first page Google results are the index/root of the website.

Average length of URLs in first page SEO results: 55 characters

3 word search terms:

35% of first page Google results have the keyword in the title.

28% of first page Google results have the keyword in the description.

21% of first page Google results have the keyword as the first words in the title.

15% of first page Google results are the index/root of the website.

Average length of URLs in first page SEO results: 58 characters

All search terms:

46% of all first page Google results mention the keyword once in the title.

34% of all first page Google results mention the keyword once in the description.

3% of all first page Google results mention the keyword more than once in the title.

10% of all first page Google results mention the keyword more than once in the description.

95% of first page Google results have 4 or more words in the title.

82% of first page Google results have 6 or more words in the title.

60% of first page Google results have 8 or more words in the title.

34% of first page Google results have 10 or more words in the title.

19% of first page Google results have beyond the maximum title character count.

60% of first page Google results have beyond the maximum description character count.

55% of first page Google index page results appear within the top 5.

35% of first page Google index page results appear within the top 3.

14% of first page Google index page results appear in the #1 position.

23% of #1 position Google results are index/root page of the website.

78% of #1 position Google results are .com domains. Read more.

56% of #1 position Google results use at least one hyphen (-) in the title.

25% of #1 position Google results use at least one vertical bar (|) in the title.

Average number of words in title on the google result:
1 word queries: 7.06 words
2 word queries: 8.03 words
3 word queries: 8.60 words

The Best Websites to Hire Freelancers

According to oDesk (now called Upwork) I currently have made 154 hires on their platform. Double that number to count for the hires outside of oDesk, on other platforms like Elance, Freelancer and forums. While I don’t claim to be an expert at hiring freelancer, I’m going to share some of my thoughts about the websites I’ve used to hire freelancers and why I like each one.

The biggest website is oDesk, which was founded in 2003. I’ve used this platform the most. It is very straight forward. This platform has a lot of spam applications. Basically, you will post a job and a bunch of freelancers will apply, without reading your posting, and they’ll just paste a cover letter. There are ways of dealing with this, like using Google Forms to qualify their interest. oDesk also has their own survey system built in but I like the capabilities of the Google Forms. Many of your applicants will not even respond because by the time they’ve finished spamming, they’ve lost track of all the jobs and what they’ve applied to. oDesk is planning to limit the number of applications that can be submitted per day, after Elance found success in doing that. oDesk recently renamed themselves as Upwork, likely to rebrand and remove all of the negativity surrounding their brand.

Elance is the sister company of oDesk and was founded in 1999. I tried their platform in the past but never stuck with it. Recently I tried it again after getting sick of the spam on oDesk and I’m starting to like it. Freelancers are limited the number of applications they can submit per day. This causes freelancers to take a quality over quantity approach to job application. Many will read and understand the job before applying. This is a big winner for me because I usually post complex jobs and I’m very particular the way something is made, especially when it comes to coding. With Elance you generally get a smaller amount of applications but they are higher quality. However, that doesn’t mean some coding jobs don’t get 15 or 20 applicants.

While I have not used Freelancer in a while and I did use it consistently for a few months, I think much of their platform is based on gamification. Your account starts at level 1 and as you have more activity, you gain experience which levels your account up. You can win rewards at higher levels which is kind of cool. I think the highest reward was a call with the CEO. That is kind of cool but I don’t really have any reason to talk to the CEO.

While I am really enjoying Elance, I still post to oDesk. The amount of responses that a data entry post on oDesk gets is overwhelming. You can find qualified data entry workers for $2/hour, and lots of them. I’ve had some jobs gets over 50 applications. However when it comes to a project that I am allocating a larger amount of time, effort and money into, I like to post on Elance because they give so many metrics about the freelancers. My favorite metric is likely the percentage of clients that rehire the freelancer. If a freelancer has done 20 jobs in the past 12 months and most of them were rehires from previous clients, I have a strong feeling that that freelancer is hard working, honest and knowledgable.

Why Using Metrics to Gauge Domains Is Not Helpful

I’ve sold hundreds of expired domains to all sorts of private blog network builders in all industries. I notice many newbies fall in the trap of metrics, thinking that they should be trusted for all aspects. While Moz’s Domain Authority and Majestic’s Trust Flow are very helpful metrics, there are a number of other factors to consider.

Reason 1: Metrics depreciate on expired domains

I talked to Moz about their metrics to determine their accuracy on expired domains. They told me, once a domain is expired, the page authority will be set to 1 and the domain authority will depreciate a few points here and there until it’s at zero. This means a domain with good backlinks, will eventually end up with a domain authority of 1.

Reason 2: Most data sources won’t factor in all the domains

While Ahrefs has the biggest and most accurate database, their metric is rarely used and people usually use the metrics from Moz or Majestic which almost always have found less of your backlinks. If you could incorporate all of your backlinks to get a score, their metrics could be considered more dependable. Majestic’s TrustFlow accounts for spam the best of all metrics, while Moz’s Domain Authority can simply be manipulated by blasting high amounts of spam as tier 2 do follow links.

When should you use metrics?

Metrics should be used when comparing a massive amount of domains and you want to do a quick and dirty search through a heap of domains. Metrics can help you trim many domains that are believed to be weak from your list, but the accuracy will never beat a manual inspection of the backlinks a site has. I’ve seen domains with a do-follow contextual link from a Forbes article have a domain authority and trust flow of 1.

While automation is great, in SEO over the past few years, we have begun to notice that automated methods such as automated blog commenting is not as valuable as manually inspecting each blog and writing a unique, engaging blog comment. We should also use manual methods to sort through domains.

How Much Specialty Coffee Actually Costs You

specialty coffee

It doesn’t matter how you look at it, specialty coffee is a waste of money. Which is why I wonder, why does arguably one of the brokest first world demographics, the student, waste so much money on it? Kevin O’Leary has said it before, and I’m going to break it down by the numbers. Suppose 5 days a week, you buy Starbucks, averaging $5 a day, or $25 a week. You do this throughout the school year, which is about 34 weeks a year. This ends up being about $850. $850 might not sound like a whole lot initially, but once you calculate this for 4-5 years of schooling, and then add the interest you could have made if you decided to put it into a retirement fund.

Suppose you invested this $3400 into a S&P 500 index fund which averages a return year-over-year of about 10.5%.  If you let your $3400 in Starbucks money ride in that fund for a few decade, the rewards could be quite worthwhile.

Year 1: You would have $3757, which is an annual earning of $357
Year 2: You would have $4151, which is an annual earning of $394
Year 3: You would have $4587, which is an annual earning of $435
Year 4: You would have $5069, which is an annual earning of $481
Year 5: You would have $5601, which is an annual earning of $532
Year 6: You would have $6189, which is an annual earning of $588
Year 7: You would have $6839, which is an annual earning of $649
Year 8: You would have $7557, which is an annual earning of $718
Year 9: You would have $8351, which is an annual earning of $793
Year 10: You would have $9227, which is an annual earning of $876

The 3 Best SEO Books

A good SEO book is hard to come by. There are a lot of people in the industry who like to pretend to know what they’re talking about, and because of that I felt I needed to make a short blog post explaining where SEO beginners should look to learn. All 3 of these books talk about the basic essentials of keyword research, social media and link building but they each go into detail on some different aspects. In no order, these are the top 3 books I recommend for learning SEO in 2015:

Search engine optimization 2015: Learn SEO with smart internet marketing strategies Paperback  by Adam Clarke

Adam’s book talks in detail about Google Analytics and local SEO, including how to get a Google Places listing which is important if you’re a small business. This book is shorter than the other 2 and is probably best for beginners who want a light introduction. This book would serve best for a business owner looking to educate himself and tweak his website and digital approach.

SEO 2015 & Beyond: Search engine optimization will never be the same again! (Webmaster Series) (Volume 1) by Dr. Andy Williams

Dr William’s book discusses a number of types of backlink types, instead of bushing all of the types of link types under the carpet which is very common. He breaks SEO into 4 parts: quality content, site organization, authority, and the visitor. This book is best for an IT professional who does web design for a living and wants to get a deep understanding of how SEO is and has been understood for years.

SEO Success: Dominate Google With Unstoppable Strategies Paperback by Silvia O’Dwyer

Silvia’s book goes into some of the my favourite tips and tactics for link building including using infographics to generate attention and using HARO to get the attention of reporters. This book is more for the aggressive entrepreneur looking to do whatever it takes to see massive results and experiment with new things.

As always, books are not the only source of knowledge, remember to check the Google Webmasters YouTube channel for latest answers by head of webspam at Google, Matt Cutts.

The Basics of B2B marketing

Business-to-business (B2B) marketing is a form of behaviour where a business sells a product or service to another business. Unlike business-to-consumer (B2C) marketing, B2B marketing doesn’t require many customers to generate a substantial income as the price point is generally much higher. The process of selling to a business rather than a consumer is not commonly discussed as it is much smaller compared to B2C marketing. Here are a few known methods of B2B marketing:

Email outreach

Like every other form of outreach, email outreach has a low success rate and generally followed up by another form of outreach. This simply involves sending an email directly to your target. Most businesses have an email address or contact form on their website, so this is also the easiest method. Since it doesn’t cost any money and their is no barrier to do it, it’s often overused and misused. Businesses have gotten used to receiving email outreach from offshore companies and this attempt is very difficult to pull off unless you have a unique approach and an awesome title and opening sentence.

Telemarketing

This method involves a bit more skill and budget. You need to have a calling plan, which most marketers get through Skype for an affordable rate. For optimal performance, you also need to have an accent matching the country of the business you are reaching out to. So if you’re calling US companies, you generally have to hire someone from the US or Canada, or someone with an American accent which can be costly compared to email outreach.

Direct mail

Direct mail is the process of sending physical mail to your target. Currently, it costs $0.49 USD in the US and $0.85 CAD in Canada to send an envelope. If you decide to send a larger package, which will get more attention from the receiver, the price is only going to rise. Direct mail can receive the highest response rate but since it costs the most, it can be hard to make profitable.

Search engine optimization

This is one of the hardest to perform, but it can lead in a lot of interested buyers and inquiries. B2B search terms on Google generally have a very low monthly search count because the market by customer count is lower, but since the value per buyer is so high, it’s often overlooked by new B2B companies. These terms do have very large competition in most cases, and most established companies can afford to stay at the top and hold any newcomers out.

Industry media appearances

This is probably the most difficult method to pull off, because there’s not much info on it. By appearing in industry magazines, blogs and other publications, you can easily get in front of who you need to. For example, if you have a software that helps car dealers manage their inventory you might appear in a magazine geared towards car salesman and car dealerships. An article you might appear in would be something like “Top 5 inventory management software in 2016,” for example.

3 Websites to Get a Logo Made

Recently I’ve been hiring a lot of graphic designers. Normally, I hire Fiverr when I’m bootstrapping to create a minimum viable product but this time I had a bigger budget and was not really sure where to look. After asking around, a number of people held firm and continued to recommend Fiverr. I told them if I can’t find a good logo designer soon, I will probably drop $100 on Fiverr and see if I like another of the 20 $5 logo concepts. However, this logo was needed for a large company with a reputation, and I wanted to get it professionally done to ensure I had rights to all the graphics used, as you never know on Fiverr if the seller illegally copied someone else’s work and when he’s based in India or another foreign country, he quite frankly doesn’t care. I needed a logo that could be shown on a 10′ by 10′ sign, embroidered on thousands of hats and jackets, and hung on many sponsor banners. After contacting a few freelancer designers that were recommended, they all had an excuse as to why they would not take on another logo order. I also knew 99Designs.com from back when I was just getting into the industry and was also recommended to find people on Dribbble. Let me explain my thoughts on Fiverr, 99Designs and Dribbble and why and when you should use each of them.

Fiverr

For budgets under $300, I’d recommend Fiverr. Fiverr is a marketplace where freelancers offer services for $5 each. I’ve used Fiverr to design almost a dozen logos, and a few apps. I generally only work with the most rated sellers. For logos, at least 100 ratings and 4.9 stars or higher. Sometimes, I’m in a hurry, and I’ll choose 24 hour turn around times, but those logos are never that great. Also, if they say “unlimited revisions” that doesn’t mean the logo will be good. It just means that they are aware that they lack that much creativity that the logo will probably be bad and you’ll have to walk them through how to make it better. You will need to include samples to reference and the colours you want. Always check the samples that they provided and their last 10 most recent reviews. Look for reviews that discuss repeat orders. Logos that take about 3 days are generally higher quality than otherwise. Although every project might not be a score, if you order a couple logos and follow my advice, generally one should fit your needs.

99Designs

If your budget is in the $300-$1000 range, this is where you should be looking. 99Designers is a contest platform where designers compete to build you the best graphic. I’ve only done 1 contest on 99Designs and it was a fantastic success. It was for an established business, so the contest looked like a good opportunity to designers. Whereas a startup looks like a risky contest since you never know if the startup will change their mind and cancel the contest. If you guarantee a reward, you’ll remove that freight that the designer has and have a much higher chance at receiving many designs. You’ll also want to include samples of logos that you like. There are a number of pricing options. I chose the $299 plan, and it brought 200 concepts, more than most receive. You should comment and rate every design you receive to show the designers that you are a good, responsive, rational employer. You can contact support to extend your deadline, which will bring more submissions. Once you get 100+ submissions, you’ll be ready to move to the next phase of choosing the finalists. You should choose 6 designers. If you have trouble choosing, they also have a poll system where you can create a poll, and then share the link with your customers. I shared mine on Facebook and received 29 votes and comments. Upon completion, you’ll receive the the final work and the designer will sign the Design Transfer Agreement.

Dribbble

Lastly, our most expensive option, Dribbble is for those with a budget over $1000 for their logo. Dribbble is a social network for designers to show off their work and receive opinions from other designers. On here, you’ll find some of the top designers around the world such as Mackey Saturday, who designed the Instagram logo. To access these designers, you’ll have to pay a fee of $20 to search and email an unlimited amount of designers for the next 12 months. Being as naive as I am, I contacted a number of designers. Most of them took a few days to respond and the lowest quote I received was about $750. Another said $1150 per 2 Concepts with 2 Revisions on the concept of choice, then another $100 for an additional concept. Another for $3000-$5000, while another said his typical project is $6,500 for 5-7 concepts and two rounds of revisions. Mackey Saturday humbly declined and a number of others quoted in the $4000 range. Dribbble definitely puts you in contact with the best in the business and you can see how qualified they all are by looking at their work and what other talented designers have thought of it. If your budget is over $1000 and want a high end designer, this is the way to go.

Out of these 3 options, we’ve looked at a marketplace, a contest platform and a social network as a method of sourcing logos. They each conveniently divide themselves up into budget categories for us to choose from.

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