Nathan Anderson, SEO and Internet Marketing

Nathan Anderson’s personal blog

Internet Marketing articles

Nathan

March 27 th , 2009

Categories:
Internet Marketing, Search Engine Optimization

1 comment »

Outsourcing Made Simple

One of the questions I get most when it comes to my SEO projects is, “Do you have a staff that does all the less technical, time-consuming parts of Search Engine Optimization?”

I, of course, answer “Yes!”

Especially when talking to an SEO client. I tell them I have a staff of 14, from programmers to designers to link building personnel.

What they DON’T know is that I have NO employees.

After all, who wants to do all the payroll, the taxes, the insurance, the paperwork.

I have people that work for me, but they’re all overseas. And they’re in several different countries, depending on my needs.

When it comes to having full-time people doing the more mundane tasks that require excellent English skills, I choose the Phillipines. These are the workers that I have performing article marketing, web 2.0 management, and link building. They use all sorts of different techniques for building link reputation to my and my clients’ sites.

Keeping on top of this many people doing this many different things would appear to be a full time job in itself, but it is not.

It’s all about the tools.

I use a service that not only has a project management system in place to manage the many tasks and workers, it has worker training as well. Training in all the areas I use – article marketing, web 2.0 management, video promotions… everything. So the workers literally train themselves and get to work.

I tell ya… it’s working smart rather than hard. In fact, if I wanted to, I could probably limit my workday to 2 hours if I cared to.

How much do these employees cost?

Depending on the level of expertise, from $200 to $600 per month per worker. Yes, that’s full-time.

If you’d like to check out the service I use, click here.

-Nathan Anderson

Nathan

March 11 th , 2009

Categories:
Internet Marketing

Comments »

Some Twitter Tips

There’s plenty of information out there on how to use Twitter, but I still see some points missing. So I thought I’d “chime in”.

I have the uncommon experience of being around at the advent of email. This lends some really great insight into our current situation with Twitter.

Back in the old days, any sort of commercial message delivered via email garnered an immediate negative reaction. After all, the Internet was a place of intellectual pursuit, blissfully separate from the commercial world. Every once in a while, someone would get the bright idea that they would sell their stuff or services via this new communications medium. They would be immediately greeted with mountains of hate-ridden email in return (flaming). That deterred many people.

But soon, many creative marketers learned they could send email without giving a genuine return address, and thus the era of spam was born. You’ve probably heard most of the rest of the story with email.

So now we have this new communications medium: Twitter.com.

Unlike email, each user chooses who can send them messages. It’s more like an RSS reader than email. It’s pull rather than push. In fact, when you look at it stripped of all the extra nifty softwares that have come out to make twitter easier to use, it’s really just a blog. A blog that allows you to post only 140 character posts.

So any cries of “spam” are completely ridiculous. If someone posts a commercial message on a blog, can it in any way be considered spam? No.

It just feels like spam when you’re using a nifty reader like twhirl or tweetdeck.

Keep that in mind. How it feels is actually kind of important.

When someone is new to Twitter and asks me to give them advice on how to use it, I almost always say “Use it to entertain or educate. Everything else is questionable.” After all, if you merely entertain and educate for a good long while, you should develop a nice following that actually reads your tweets.

Once you’ve developed a following, and really understand the ‘culture’ of twitter, you can decide whether you’d like to use it for other purposes or not.

That leads us to the Commercial use of twitter. Using twitter to build a business is quite possible. Just read Twitter Power by Joel Comm. You can tactfully talk about your business, even link to your products and promote them, without too much of a problem. Make sure to slowly transition your tweets from purely entertaining and educational to more talking about what you’re doing in your business. Don’t just suddenly change.

In that light, we can talk about some specific tools and tactics.

TweetLater is a service that allows you to automatically publish tweets at a given time. It also allows you to “Auto DM”. That’s an automatic direct message. Lots of ‘twitter gurus’ have made their opinions known about these types of services, and I thought I’d give my 2¢.

An auto-DM when a new follower follows you, in my opinion, is totally fine. Don’t make it too hypey or grandiose. If you have some free products you give away, go ahead and put them in your auto-DM message. It’s like a gift for following you. I think it’s also just fine if you require them to give their email to do so. Some twitter gurus would disagree with that.

As for the auto-tweet at a given time, I really think that’s tacky; unless you personally research and write them. A tweet is by its very nature a personal message. Automating it and making it thus impersonal seems wrong. I only follow a very few people who use such things, and I generally ignore their messages unless directed to them by someone else.

That’s the other danger in your abuse or over-commercialization of twitter: People can start to ignore you. They might as well unfollow you. This is the same issue as with email marketing. But generally, in twitter, people take the moment or two it takes to ‘unfollow’ you rather than just ignore you.

I think this danger, the ignore danger, will increase dramatically if twitter decides to add advertisements to the mix. Users will get used to ignoring them, and thus will find it easier to ignore the users they don’t value, rather than unfollowing them.

A note on ‘educate’:

When I say to educate, it can come from pearls of positive wisdom, or links to sites with great information. If you think you’re educating anyone with pearls of negative wisdom, think again.

140 characters really isn’t much. It’s enough to make a comment, display a link, or quote someone. It certainly isn’t enough to display ‘evidence’ of any kind, support an argument, or fully explain yourself. That’s why you should never use it to try and change someone’s mind. That’s what I mean by pearls of negative wisdom.

Do you like to be periodically hit with negativity? I sure don’t.

This leads to a more overarching rule that I hope you’ll follow:

Never, and I mean NEVER tweet about politics from a stance.

The only possible result is pissing off half your followers. 140 characters can only insult, not inform. Leave that for your blog.

If you want to comment “Wow, Candidate X had over a million attendees at their Chicago rally”, that’s just fine. No stance there. But a tweet of “Candidate X is a baby killer and should end the war now!” will do nothing but make supporters of Candidate X dislike you. There is no other result. You cannot sway even a single vote in 140 characters. It is NOT possible. If that’s your goal, make your arguments on your blog and direct your followers to the blog post with a URL in your tweet; but make the tweet polite.

So with those warnings in place, I’ll direct you to some positives.

You have the power to enrich people’s lives with this little tool.

You know things. You have unique insight. You are like a parent to everyone else in the world that hasn’t seen what you have.

That’s one of the great things about parenting, you know. You get to introduce someone new to the wonders of the world. ;)

Think of yourself in such a way, and direct people to things that are enthralling, amazing, entertaining, and profitable. Pointing out the latest funny video on YouTube is the easiest form of this suggestion. Sure, it’s nice, and it’s fun. But it’s only an appetizer. Direct people to the banquet of information you’ve found on the Internet that has enriched your life.

I love seeing the latest tech gadgets, the latest scientific discoveries, the latest archaeological finds. It’s great to have someone ‘in the know’ in these areas point them out.

What areas are near and dear to you? Think anyone would be interested?

Believe me; however obscure, there’s a BUNCH of people that are interested.

Bring your uniqueness to the ‘twitterverse’, and people will follow you. They might even spend money on something as a result of your suggestions. ;)

Nathan Anderson

Nathan

March 2 nd , 2009

Categories:
Internet Marketing

2 comments »

Tips on Shopping for a Dedicated Server

I’m yet again shopping for a dedicated server. This one will house the membership area of DragNdropWebsites.com.

I’ve gone through this process so many times… it’s almost an art.

I thought perhaps I might share my experiences, as going through this for the first time can be quite a pain. Perhaps I can help you get one yourself with less pain than normally accompanys this process.

There are many, many options when it comes to getting your own dedicated server on the Web. The pricing structure is all over the map. You can find offers of dedicated servers for as little as $20 a month in some places. My first advice is to NOT shop solely on price.

I’ve gotten some really bad dedicated servers before. Not only that, but gotten servers in a hosting location that had traffic bottlenecks so bad that my sites appeared to be down for hours at a time, as anyone trying to load a page would exceed the timeout before getting served. These situations can be so bad that it’s more expensive to HAVE these servers than to not!

So avoid servers hosted with companies you’ve never heard of before, at crazy-low prices. You really do get what you pay for to a certain extent.

There are two ways to host a server on the Internet. You can either rent one, or buy one and have a company host it for you for a fee. Both types of dedicated servers have benefits and detriments.

If you rent a server, you are really “marrying” the host for an extended time. Moving from one host to another is one ginormous pain in the rear, so most people just stay with their host forever. It’s a long-term relationship, and you should consider that before buying.

The detriment is that you have to pay a pretty substantial rental fee every month from here on out. A relatively modern, feature-rich server is going to start at about $150 a month. Most of the servers I get are more in the range of $300 a month. Really beefy servers with lots of support services included start in the $500 per month range.

The benefits of renting a server are numerous. You have instant help if you ever have hardware problems. If the NIC card is starting to go out, the host will whip a new one into the machine immediately and at no charge to you. Most hosts guarantee either 99.9% or even 100% uptime. This means they guarantee your server to be up and running and online to the Internet at all times, or they start refunding fees. Also, if you ever decide to add more features, like another hard drive or more memory, it’s just a phonecall (and an addition to your monthly rental fee) away.

Buying your own dedicated server has real financial advantages. Right now, you can buy a pretty nice rackmount server for about $2,000. If you consider that you’ll be using this machine for years, the comparison to the monthly payment is pretty nice. This is particularly advantageous when you start to need a beefier machine.

For example, if you want to upgrade a rented server from 1GB RAM to 4GB RAM, you could easily tack another $50 per month on to your rental. Buying that much RAM for your owned server will cost you about $100 total. That’s a big difference.

The only ongoing fee you have to consider for your owned dedicated server is the cost of colocation. That’s what a hosting company is going to charge you monthly to house your server in their datacenter. This fee can be as little as $20 a month, but usually ends up more in the $50 to $100 per month range. They also guage this fee according to how much “bandwidth” your server uses for its connection to the Internet. If you’re running huge amounts of traffic to the server, plan on paying more.

The detriments of owning your own dedicated server are more numerous than with renting. You have to ship your server to the hosting company and make sure it is compatible with their racks. If you have a hardware problem, you have the issues of warranty servicing and gaining access to the server by a technician. The same problems occur with wanting to make upgrades. Also, you may have to pay some pretty hefty fees for operating systems, database software and licenses, and other software to be housed on your server. You don’t have access to the discounts that these big hosting companies have.

Here’s a few tips:

If you’re just to the point where you need a dedicated server, go ahead and rent. But rent from a good company with 24/7 telephone technical support. If you have problems, you need to talk to a human, and not one in some foreign country that isn’t 100% fluent in your language. You need to talk to someone that is in the same building as your server. My recommendation is the company where I host 3 of my servers: LiquidWeb. LiquidWeb can also colocate your owned server.

When shopping for dedicated servers to rent, try to find a pre-configured package that meets your needs rather than selecting a base model and customizing it by adding all sorts of things. Each time you add a feature, you add to the monthly price, and they can add up quickly. The pre-configured packages are usually a better value.

If you need more than just a basic, pre-configured package, contact a sales person. Most hosting companies have a “live chat” feature where you can talk to a representative. Ask them to quote you a specific price on a set of features, and tell them that you’re shopping around so give the best price they can.

When buying a server, consider buying used or refurbished IF the company you get it from includes a warranty. I found a great server on ebay today that was perfect for what I needed for $1,200, and it came with a 3 year warranty. A new one of the same configuration was $2,600.

When buying colocation, make sure you specify the speed of connection to the internet. A 10Mbit connection is fine for low-traffic situations, but if you run a service that demands big traffic at times, get at least 100Mbit.

If you have other questions about this process, feel free to comment and I’ll do my best to answer.

admin1

December 12 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

1 comment »

About Mass Control Monthly

I generally don’t pay for Internet Marketing products.

It’s no secret that in the IM world, if you are “known” and have a list of subscribers, you get most products in the space for free. Other marketers want you to promote their stuff, so they send you an eval copy in hopes that you do so.

But I do pay for one. It’s that good. It’s Frank Kern’s Mass Control Monthly.

Most IM products don’t have a lot to offer me, as I’ve been in the biz for quite some time. I find most products to be rehashed information with perhaps a new twist. Once in a while I pick up a really great new gem from someone, but it’s usually in person; not from their products.

So when I say something is worth paying $296.99 per month for, I mean it!

Frank has something that I just can’t quantify properly… I couldn’t decide if his success is just pure charisma or if he has a replicable system that inspires to such a level of rabid following that he commands.

He’s done a good job of showing his subscribers just how he does it. (PLUS he has a lot of genuine charisma)

But this month he scored a ‘miss’ with me.

He sent out another marketer’s product along with the normal monthly DVD and newsletter.

At this point, some readers will claim I’m just being a whiner or unappreciative of such a fine gift… but hear me out on this.

My most precious asset is time.

When someone like Frank sends out an email promoting someone else’s IM product, I have the opportunity to evaluate his comments, read the sales letter, and decide if the product is right for me. 99 times out of 100, the product is not worth the time it would take for me to go through it all to glean the one or two little nuggets that would constitute something new to me.

But this was different. Here the big package of DVD’s and CD’s sits. Frank is a mentor to me. I really feel like I can learn from him. Is he saying that I should go through this whole program? Is my teacher telling me to use my precious time on this?

Somehow… I don’t think so. I get the feeling that the other marketer saw an opportunity to get their stuff out in front of Frank’s people, and thus offered to give it away to them for free. Frank thought “Kewl. I can give my members more value without having to pay for it myself.” Win-Win, right?

But when I opened the package my immediate response was “Please Frank, don’t waste my time.”

And I say all this without viewing or evaluating either the Mass Control DVD or the other IM product. I know the other marketers pretty well, and I’m sure their stuff is really great. But did Frank go through it and evaluate it… and come to the conclusion that his subscribers should spend their valuable time on it?

Subscribers paying nearly $300 a month, by definition, should be of an unusual level of experience, knowledge, and success. Should they be consuming this product at this point?

The takeaway for my readers is: Pay close attention to exactly who your audience is. If they’re paying customers, treat them like absolute gold. Be very, very considerate of their time, attention, and money. Trust is an asset that takes fortunes to earn, but can disappear in a flash.

admin1

December 11 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

1 comment »

Finally, Affiliate University Opening

As I stated in a previous post, I’m involved with a new company called The Elevision Network.

The Affiliate arm of this company is called the Affiliate University.

It’s a complete internet marketing training program, focused on affiliate marketing. I’ve contributed a small part of the training in the U… the part involving search engines.

What is there is truly some of the best training for a remarkably small price – $97 for lifetime membership.

I’d love to explain in further detail here on my blog, but really, the best place to read about it is on the sales page at AffiliateU.com.

Check it out, and give me a shout out in the forum there. It’s a place where I’ll be hanging out on a daily basis.

Nathan Anderson

admin1

November 21 st , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

Comments »

The Elevision Network

A few people have commented that my posts have been rather sparse lately…

I’ve been pretty busy, to say the least!

I’ve been brought on to a new company to head up their Search Marketing department as Senior Vice President. It’s not 100% of my time… I still run my other web businesses… but it certainly has been occupying!

The company is called The Elevision Network.

Suffice is to say, it’s a whole new step forward in online content delivery. For a monthly membership, users will be able to access thousands of hours of premium content from hundreds of the top speakers in the world.

Their tagline is “TV That Takes You To A Higher Level”. That mission dictates that they will be providing only uplifting, positive content that will help you achieve new levels of knowledge and success. It’s not just success and motivation, it’s topics ranging from Marketing to Women’s Issues to Health and Wellness.

I predict it will have a very positive effect on the world.

If you’d like to know more about it, click through to the About Us page on the Elevision Network.

Nathan Anderson

Nathan

August 6 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

Comments »

Social Media Marketing

Are you using Twitter?

If you are, you can ‘follow’ me at http://twitter.com/rockynate

If you like Facebook, you can find me there at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=502953940

Even though these social media are primarily for just ‘hanging out’ and talking about your favorite topics, they can be VERY powerful marketing tools as well.

Now, I must caution you, you can’t just sign up and start sending people marketing messages. No one will tolerate it. And before long, you’ll just be talking to yourself in a virtual corner. But there are some really creative ways to use these media to get to know people, have them get to know you, and in the end do some business together.

So my suggestion for you today is to sign up for these services and give them a whirl. Get to know people and give them an opportunity to know and trust you.

And if you’d like to use these tools to maximize your marketing in the process, use the training my pal Rick Butts put together over at TwitterSqueeze. It’s worth 10 times the price he’s charging!

Nathan Anderson

Nathan

July 16 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

3 comments »

What have you finished today? – IMADD Revealed

Like many entrepreneurs, I suffer from IMADD. That’s Internet Marketing Attention Deficit Disorder. This leads to a lot of projects being juggled all the time.

Want to know what makes me successful, in spite of this disorder?

I use a couple of simple organizational tools.

All of my projects are on a whiteboard on the wall above my desk. If it’s not on the whiteboard, it’s not a real project. Next to each project is a little bit of text that describes what’s next for that project. For example, “Waiting for articles from writers”. This shows what needs to be done next for that project to move forward.

Trust me, this is really easy to stay on top of, unlike a lot of other organizational systems. When you take action on a project to move it forward, you get to change that status text to what’s next for the project. It’s like a small reward for taking action.

But what’s REALLY satisfying is when you can change that status text to “complete”, or “ready to promote”. That’s a great place for you to be. The more complete projects you have, the more opportunities for earning.

What have you finished lately?

I’ve found that it can do wonders for your business to take a day once in a while to complete things. Pick a project on your list and dedicate the day to driving it forward to completion. Singlemindedness has a way of getting things done like nothing else.

So my tip for today – Finish something!

Nathan Anderson

Nathan

June 25 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

7 comments »

Open Forums and Social Media Can Be Very, Very Dangerous

Several years ago, my good friend Kirt Christensen sent out an email to his list describing the problems with open forums. I believe it was titled “Why Free Forums Suck” or some similar. It was a shocking email in a lot of circles.

The internet has changed a lot since then, but the principles he outlined haven’t. There are more ways to interact for free online now, but they’re just as dangerous.

Be completely honest with yourself… How much time per day do you spend reading and posting in free forums? How much time do you spend on Social Media? How much time do you spend reading emails and newsletters from ‘experts’? More importantly, WHO do you listen to in these places?

These media have varying dangers depending on where you are on the success curve. If you are just starting out, and really aren’t making much online yet, treat social media and free forums with a gigantic ‘red flag’. You are dealing with the unfiltered noise of the Internet. Some of the noise is truly useful information from people that have great success in their online ventures; but 98% of it is unmitigated crap. If you’re using open forums and other free media to just learn the ‘lingo’ of this marketplace, then fine. But that’s very hard to do without picking up, and believing, some really damaging advice.

If you are going to base any part of your business on advice from someone, you’d better make sure the source is credible, and the advice is well-tested. There’s nothing worse for your business than spending time and/or money on actions that lead nowhere.

For those of you that have some experience and income started in online marketing, the pitfalls are just as great. But even though you have some knowledge and experience with which to filter out some of the junk in the open media, you have more at risk as well.

For seasoned marketers, there are far more benefits available in the open media. You can use these communication avenues to get your message distributed, and acquire new prospects. Just make sure to weigh the ROI with 100% value applied to YOUR TIME. For example, I probably spend 10 minutes a day on FaceBook and Twitter. I only follow people I know or have interest in, and I only read communications that are fairly non-promotional in nature. And I don’t spend more than an hour a month in all the open forums combined.

Pick the people you listen to VERY carefully. If they haven’t made 7 figures online (either for themselves or the businesses they run), you really shouldn’t give much credence to their advice.

Not only that, but you should be careful on WHAT advice to listen to from WHOM. Taking myself again as an example, I have great experience and success in SEO. My clients and I hold numerous top-10 positions on very lucrative keyphrases. I also have great experience in running online membership sites. I’ve run several highly successful sites. Should you be following my example in the area of List Building? Probably not.

Also, you should seek out mentors that have seen both ups AND downs in their businesses. Mentors that have “failed their way to success” have far more insight into pitfalls in their areas of expertise.  (and I give that advice from unfortunately VAST experience!)

My advice is to pay.

In running several really great private membership sites, I can definitively say that the quality of information “behind closed doors” is leaps and bounds ahead in quality and usefulness. The quality of members rises in direct proportion to the cost of entry, as well. For example, the quality of people in a $7 a month forum compared with those in a $500 a month forum is extremely different. But the GREATEST difference is to be found in the people in a free forum compared with those in one that is paid, even at only $7 a month.

So find a mentor that runs a membership site or forum that is paid. Your business deserves it.

Time spent with the “unwashed masses” is largely wasted, if not downright damaging. An example Kirt gave in that email years ago was posters in open forums that had thousands of posts, yet hadn’t put up one successful website. They still exist.

For myself, I can say that the members of SEO Club, paying $97 a month, are some of the best quality folks I know of in Internet Marketing.

SEO Club

Nathan Anderson

Nathan

June 9 th , 2008

Categories:
Internet Marketing

2 comments »

Vote 10 for Big Jason in the Top Affiliate Challenge

Just a quick update…

My friend Jason Henderson is going all-out in the Top Affiliate Challenge.

Do me a favor and click that link, and vote him a “10″.

Thanks!

(plus, the video is pretty kewl!)

-Nathan