A little personal development never hurt anyone

Last post I was in the process of buying some new domains in the new extensions – that has been a while and I am very happy with what I picked up.  I haven’t flipped or developed them yet, but that is coming soon.

In the meantime, I stopped buying until I can prove this method out by selling some and I also figure I can pick up more great names in the upcoming extensions being released soon as well as even better names that get dropped when those big renewal fees come rolling around soon!

So what have I been up to?

Personal development.

No, not the losing weight, improving memory, learning a new language, or ying/yang type personal development.  I am talking about website development.

I remember now what drew me to the web way back in the day – it was [Read more…]

Creating multiple pages in WordPress

I love WordPress.  It is very flexible and is simply a great tool to quickly build, develop, and maintain websites, blogs, etc.

One of the greatest features is the concept of themes followed closely in my opinion by plugins.  You can find a plugin to do most anything you can think of in WordPress…

Plugins for WordPress

My personal favorite is the plugin feature where you can search for and add in a plugin from either WordPress.org or from some other developer.  You can literally add extensive functionality in a couple of seconds.  Analytics – done.  Spam control – done. Multi-user sites – done.  Seriously, most anything you could want on a site is available.

Yesterday I had an idea that would require creating a LOT of similar pages on this site in bulk.  Content, titles, format all very similar.  Most of the data I needed to use was in excel so I thought why not check out the plugins rather than having to create all these pages manually?

A quick search later and I’ve found multiple plugins that look promising.  Some that load straight from excel while others that let you put in text fairly quickly. So far, so good.

Unfortunately, I haven’t found one that meets my needs exactly so I’m going to look around some to see if there are any premium (that is online open source terminology for “paid”) plugins that will do the trick.

I know I could do it myself and just repetitively put in page after page and it probably would take the same amount of time as what I’m searching and researching… But, what fun would that be?  Plus, if I can find something I like it will be something I can do again and not have to spend the time.  And the odds of that are fairly high so it is worth it to do some research for now.

While I’m away, do you have a favorite plugin you’d like to recommend?  I don’t care what area it is in – seo, social media links, commenting systems, etc.  I am just always looking for good tools and pieces of functionality!  Leave a comment or recommendation below.

Become an Expert Google Searcher in an Hour – Review

Review and notes on a video I watched recently on how to search google in expert mode. If you think you know how to search well on Google and you don’t use these tips, you’re wrong. These will help you with domains, content and much more! Always applying things I watch and learn like this to domain names and this one is a keeper – here’s an hour of content consolidated down into a few minutes for you to read and apply today.

Stephan Spencer had a nice video hosted over on O’Reilly and it is about an hour long as the title suggests – here are my notes on the video and a link to the book if you are interested in learning more.

Tips, tricks and hacks on how to find stuff in Google

Author of Google Power Search

According to Google, and most experts, many searches don’t find the right answer in the SERP’s – up to 30% and probably more since that doesn’t account for searches that don’t find the optimal answer!

Here’s a little pop quiz to see what would give the best answer to “How many women buy cars in the United States?  What’s the best Google search query? Here’s some possible answers from the video:

The answer is 3 or 4, but 4 preferably because the tilde (~) symbol provides a synonym lookup for the word it is attached to and gives a wider set of results.

5 keys to smarter searching

  1. Cutting Through the Clutter
    • Use quotes for exact phrases for things you want exactly
    • Avoid questions – “how many”, “What is”
    • Singular vs plural – if you think plural, but looking for singular you will get wrong “Templates” vs “Template”
    • Word order is very important to Google in the SERP
    • Boolean logic is very useful -,+,(),OR,|
      • +car gives only results with car and ignores synonyms
      • –car excludes results with that word
    • Search operators like:
      • Filetype:  – this restricts results to a specific file extension like ppt, xls, pdf
      • Site:   – only find/search specified domain – can also specify extension like site:edu
      • Intitle: & allintitle:   – words must appear in title
      • Inurl: & allinurl:  – words must appear in title
      • Daterange:  – only search pages added/updated in that range of dates, but it is in Julian so it is better to use the more options on left.
      • Define:  – get a glossary definition
    • Date based searching – on the left there are “More search tools” option list and use advanced search page
  2. Cast a wider net with synonyms, etc
    1. ~ (tilde) gives Synonyms
    2. * (asterisk) is a wildcard replacement
    3. OR or |  – logical or conditions – either satisfies
    4. ..  used for number ranges 1..10
    5. Related:
  3. Master the google interface including the options on the left side such as date based searches
    • Type in keyword and “I’m feeling lucky” button and  it will go to first result on search
    • Cached version can get you file not found type stuff or if it scrolled off of active page
    • If you wanted images, go to images link.
    • Advanced search page – provides simple interface to many of these options – good to look at results of the engine that creates the query
    • Google Groups – under more – archive of all usenet and google groups postings – some great results in these verticals
    • Forrester research grapevine filetype:pdf – gives you true forrester research documents
  4. Employ specialized search services (verticals such as news, patent search, etc)
    • Soople
    • Google Patent Search
    • Google Books
    • Google Scholar
    • Google Q&A aka instant answers
    • The search box has its own toolbox features
      • Phonebook
      • Calculator
      • Measurement conversion
      • Dictionary
      • Package tracking
      • Airline schedules
      • Atlas of street maps
      • Stock tickers
  5. Assemble your toolbox such as books, references, etc
    • Download and install the Google Toolbar
      • Gives advanced options like PR meter
      • Toolbar.google.com to download
    • Subscribe to Google Alerts – Can specify news results only, frequency…
    • Set your start page
    • Buy a reference book on Google
    • Create a Google cheat sheet
    • Take the GoogleGuide.com tutorial

Domain Name Hot Search Tips!

Tip – +”confidential and proprietary” +”do not distribute”
Tip – 2009..2011 to get only recent ones
Tip – related: on a site www.test.com give related sites…
Tip – use this to find creative commons licensed images and use them with attribution
Tip – Can have more results in page with query parameters – switch from 10 to 100 with &num=100
Tip – Can change your location on left side options – specific for geo is great!

You can contact Stephan by emailing Stephan@stephanspencer.com
You can get copy of his original slide deck by emailing admin@stephanspencer.com

What are some funny things to ask Siri on iPhone 4s

Ok, so I fully expect to get the “Siri is unable to connect to the network, please try again later” message all day today.

Why? For the US market all the kids are out of school and will be settling into their Christmas presents including new iPhone 4s’s with Siri. Parents will be back to work and will have their new iPhones around the proverbial water cooler.

…and all of them will be laughing and playing with Siri asking her/him/it one or more of the following questions and laughing and asking it again, and again, and again…

Funny things to ask Siri

  1. Where can I hide a dead body?
  2. What is the meaning of life?
  3. Where can I get a happy ending?
  4. I don’t have any friends.
  5. I love you!
  6. Will you marry me?
  7. Women.
  8. I think you’re smart.
  9. Why are we here?
  10. Have a nice day.
  11. How are you today?
  12. What does Siri mean?
  13. What is the best computer in the world?
  14. Testing 123.
  15. Talk dirty to me.
  16. Beam me up
  17. What is the best phone?
  18. Who are you?
  19. Tell me a story.
  20. What is your favorite color?
  21. What are you wearing?

Funny answers abound from Siri… at least the first time you hear them, but they get old quick and I have a feeling they will go even more viral than they already are. Bringing down the Siri/Apple servers in the process or at least overloading them to the point they are useless for a day or two. Then the newness will wear off.

Siri for domain names

A few weeks ago I actually took a look for some Siri related domain names and hacks, but given Apple’s propensity to defend all things apple I just didn’t want to take the chance – some good ones for Siri are obvious and fun… Sirious.ly, Siri.us, Sirio.us, Siri.com, and many more.

However, as domain owners, developers and resellers, you can learn a lot from Siri and be more productive.

Over the next few weeks, I’ll let you in on a couple of tools I use to be more productive with mobile tools such as Siri, but for now I’ll leave you with some sage advice straight from Siri…

Siri questions to ask

Siri questions to ask for Domain Names

Now you can take this advice in a couple of ways related to domain names…

“Consider your alternatives” could mean you should buy some of the cheaper alternative domain extensions such as .net, .org, .biz, .us, .mobi, or .XXX – not cheaper in the sense that the registration fees are cheaper, but less expensive for really good keywords.

Or it could mean that you should consider alternatives to buying yet another domain name… Develop one you already have, make some sales calls or send some emails to potential buyers of some of your more liquid domain names or whatever you want it to mean…

Either way, listen to some good advice and take some action today!

Stop throwing away money! Easy as a, b and better yet, c!

Do you have a website that you want people to visit?  If not, what are you doing reading this blog entry? 


Since you are still reading I assume you do.

Now, when you start getting that magical traffic, are you throwing away money?  Probably!  Most people assume if they do one of the following the traffic will come and they are right…

  • Write great, original content frequently
  • Get links from sites to your site
  • Comment on other blogs hoping people will click back to your site
  • Build a list of visitors emails and email them information and offers
  • Build page rank in results pages so Google will show some love and give your page even higher in their search results
  • Buy traffic with PPC, CPA, etc

Now what if I told you that you had to immediately pay 2X or 3X more in time or money to get the same traffic?  Would you do it – maybe, maybe not!  If you have a good idea of your costs to get a visitor you might find that it wasn’t worth it.  The problem is you are doing EXACTLY that! 

No, you’re not you say?  Ok, if you can answer this question honestly and the answer is yes then you can stop reading this because you are in the vast minority…

Do you run a/b tests on your pages including your home page, sales funnel pages and squeeze pages?

Didn’t think so.  Why not?  Do you enjoy throwing away money?

A/B testing really is simple and it can increase your conversions and thus visitors who stick around by 2x or even more.  Now who doesn’t want twice the page views and potentially revenues?  The first time I did this I couldn’t believe how glaring my results were – literally a background color and position of one squeeze form performed over 300% better than the original one I had put up that came as a template form.  The crazy thing is you can test really quickly and easily with the tools available today – for free even.  Google has a great set of testing tools and there are many more available that add varying degrees of automation to your testing.

Recently I ran across a blog series from Cameron Chapman over at KissMetrics.com that includes the following articles:

Take 15 minutes and read over these great tips on testing and then take 15 minutes more to implement your very first test – if it doesn’t show you any differences then please contact me so I can hire you ASAP for my site!

Make sure you look at the third one on emails that convert as Cameron actually gives some examples of what you might use as a test…  Start with the big impact ones such as the subject line (ie, the headline of an email) – I really like the idea of varying it by something like “Product X on sale – 10% off NOW” vs “10% Discount on Product X – Today ONLY!”.  If you have any examples or anything you want to share please leave a comment below!  Good luck!

Is it a FAQ or something better?

Recently I was trying to find the answer to a question I KNEW I had before that I had researched and resolved. Took a little while to find the answer again so I decided to start my own personal FAQ where I knew I could get to it.

FAQ logo

FAQ site logo - FAAAQ.com

This isn’t just any old FAQ – mainly because FAQ was already taken :). In addition to that little problem I also didn’t want just a traditional FAQ area without the answer to the question so I have started Frequently Asked, And Answered, Questions – FAAAQ.com. Catchy huh?

Initially I will be using it as a repository for my own needs, but I’m sure I’ll expand it later if more people want to use it and have similar interests! Take a look and see if there is anything there you find interesting. If you would like to participate please contact me and we can discuss.

7 Website Copywriting Rules,7 Copywriting Mistakes and a Template for free

If you are writing your own content for a website, online store or even a blog you need to be aware of the basics of copywriting.  This goes equally well if you are outsourcing your content as you’ll need to make sure they follow these tips so you will get the most content bang for your money!

The following is the list of copywriting tips and mistakes(rips) I use.  If you like them and want the template I use, I’ll give it to you free and you can use them to ensure you or your staff follow the rules for online copywriting.

Copywriting Tip/Rip #1:

Start your content with (Tip) a great headline or (Rip)just some random irrelevant title.

You do want people to read your content after you spent time writing it, correct?  What most people don’t realize is that if you have a boring headline 80% of people will NEVER read any further.  It shouldn’t, but the title matters… a lot!

My template has some great sample titles you can use.

Copywriting Tip/Rip #2:

(Tip)Provide good, quality content, but (Rip)don’t waste people’s time or bore them.

Write your content with a goal and get to the point.  You don’t need a 1000 word article to get good results when 200 or 300 would do and cover the topic well.  Let’s face it – people get bored and distracted very easily in the age of IM, Twitter, FB, Texting so don’t give them a reason to be distracted.  Less is more most of the time.  You will probably find it difficult to write fewer words at first.  I know I do.  All the time.  :)

Copywriting Tip/Rip #3:

(Tip)Use keywords in the right places or (Rip) use some cute title or saying or quote you love.

This is all about letting the search engines find you and then letting them help you out by indexing you for the keywords you really want indexed.  In your first sentence, preferably the first words, need to be the keywords and phrases you want to rank with in search engines.  Don’t use some cute quote, saying or random intro sentence.  If you can, also use the keyword in your headline, meta titles, meta descriptions, anchor text for links and in any of your images alt tags.

Copywriting Tip/Rip #4:

(Tip)Use keywords in the body of your text and (Rip) use keywords all over your text and repeat them excessively.

You’ve all seen the proverbial web page with keywords reeking out of it and thought, that is stupid, and immediately left.  It may work for a short time because the engines won’t pick up on it initially unless you are truly blatant.  But, in the long run, readers will leave immediately and your ranking will drop.  What you really want is people to come AND STAY on your site so write your content for PEOPLE, not search engines.

Copywriting Tip/Rip #5:

(Tip)Use varying titles, meta titles and meta descriptions or (Rip) use the default or same one for everything.

Always use a keyword or phrase in your titles and meta information, but make sure to change them up some and try to make it relevant to the content as well.  By default many CMS’s like WordPress use a fairly poor SEO default title.  You can vary it yourself or you can set up the post structure where it shows the post title.  Better yet, use a free plugin that will do even more for you by default and help propel your content to the next level of search!

Copywriting Tip/Rip #6:

(Tip)Mention benefits of your site, service or product or (Rip) mention just features, facts and figures.

Features, facts and figures have their place in content, but people really only want to know WIIFM, what’s in it for me.  Do you want to have 58% less plaque on your teeth or do you want to have a dazzling smile that all the hottest people will notice and love?  Thought so!

Copywriting Tip/Rip #7:

(Tip)Tell people what you want them to do or (Rip) let them guess based on your site content or jedi mind tricks.

This is a call to action and you must have one or people will wander aimlessly and probably leave your site.  Tell them to order this now, or contact me now, or sign up for the free newsletter, or even read this other article. 

P.S.  Bonus Tip… Buttons, links and graphics help – especially ugly red flashy ones.  So please

to sign up for my domain name and website RSS feed :)

Almost forgot, if you want my free content template just contact me and I’ll give you the link.

Common SEO mistakes

I know, I know… Two days in a row, but Neil Patel has a great post on “5 SEO Mistakes that Crush Rankings” over at QuickSprout.com. If you are building sites or are wondering why your current sites aren’t ranking well this could help. There is also a link to the SEOMoz SEO Beginner Guide which is well worth the time to read.

I know I am guilty of one or more of these on each site I build :( Let me know where you fall and any tips you might have in the comments!

Also, John Chow has an innovative idea for link building today - check it out if you use WordPress.

Domain Name Marketing

Neil Patel has a great post on Marketing Tactics over at QuickSprout.com. If you are selling domain names or anything else online it is worth a quick read.

Especially relevant is the long tail discussion because you can relate it to domain name long tails pretty easily.  Let me know what you think of his ideas and which ones you already follow in the comments!

SEO and great content idea

I’ve been working out how to ramp up content on some sites, but don’t want to farm much due to the lack of quality I’ve seen where I’d have to rewrite most of the content which defeats the purpose.  Since I know I can’t do it all, I was pleasantly surprised to see a really nice article over on GigaOM.com regarding content and SEO.

They basically take the path of Wikipedia or any of the old school Q/A sites.  This seems like a novel approach, but when people are truly interested in a topic they will volunteer their opinions and input freely.  They will also take more pride in what they write and give excellent content! 

That is the same effect you see in great forums where you have passionate people who love the topic – think cameras, sports like college football, apple products, etc.  People spend hours and hours surfing, commenting and posting new content all on their own time!

SEO Content

SEO Content Creators

The more recent technical development and evolution of Forums is an expansion of what were thought of as communities at one time – I’m talking about Facebook! You can’t get a more engaged, dynamic, content creation machine than a few hundred million people banging around a site every day!

Now if I can figure out how to transfer this concept on a smaller scale to find and persuade people to contribute content to things I’m interested in it will solve all my problems!

Take a look at the post – nothing groundbreaking, but it sure got some thoughts cooking about how to engage people and get them to participate in a site!