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5 Essential Year End Tasks for Your Website

Year end is a great time for making sure all your i’s are dotted and your t’s are crossed when it comes to your website business. The list below outlines 5 important tasks that will help keep your website and your website business on track next year.

1. Change the Copyright Year on Your Site’s Footer

When I see a copyright date on a website that says something like “Copyright 2003. All Rights Reserved”, two thoughts go through my mind.

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The Five Websites I Learn the Most From

I love learning, and that’s why I love the sites below.  These are the websites where I always find great value — the sites that have helped me to develop a sharper business mind and learn stuff that actually helped me make more money online.  I love them and I know you will too.

IncomeDiary.com (Michael Dunlop)

I’ve learned an insane amount by being an Income Diary reader and subscribing to Michael’s email list.  In fact, I’ve tried to model my own email practices after his (and another guy on this list) — providing LOTS of value in the messages that get sent out.  Michael’s site provides tons of value too, as he shares his own experiences as a six-figure online marketer and also interviews a bunch of other successful people.

I love seeing the stories of other people who are achieving success in their specific niche, learning what strategies and tactics they are employing to grow their businesses.

Here are a few of the posts I’ve really enjoyed from Income Diary:

Flip Filter’s Blog

To say that Justin from Flip Filter is a smart guy would be a crazy understatement.  He sees the story behind statistics and turns data into actionable advice that helps people make money with their website flips.  His product (Flip Filter) is an amazing resource, but so is his free blog, which should be considered mandatory reading for anyone interested in buying and selling websites.

Get a taste of his brilliance by reading these great posts (honestly, I could have linked to anything he’s written):

Smart Passive Income with Pat Flynn

If the income’s passive, Pat’s probably got his hand in it (or is figuring out how to)… and he’s not shy about sharing.  Pat’s blog has a real strong “learn with me” vibe, as he endeavors to make money online.  He’s already won big with his own product, iPhone app development, and a niche site monetized with AdSense.

Pat releases monthly income reports that detail exactly where his earnings come from, and it’s definitely eye opening to see the explosive growth he’s experienced.  If you’re new to Smart Passive Income, I highly recommend starting out with Pat’s niche site duel series.

Pat also publishes an excellent podcast — my preferred form of entertainment while driving to and from Philadelphia for my monthly SEO meetups.

Halo18.com

This one’s a newcomer that I’m sure you haven’t heard of, and I’ve learned more from the guy behind this blog in person than online, but his newly-launched site already has some great articles for people looking to start making money online.  Keyword research, affiliate marketing, SEO — this dude’s a pro at them all and I know the content he provides in the future is all going to be first rate.

There’s no fluff here, either.  If a new post gets added, you know it will be worth reading. Here are a few excellent posts to start with:

Experienced-People.net

There’s no better-run forum on the planet.  E-P has some of the smartest people you’ll run into with an interest in online business and they are VERY generous with their knowledge and expertise.  Other forums are more active, but none have a better signal to noise ratio.  Every time I go there, I get smarter.  You will too.  Check it out.

Bonus: Flippa

No, not their blog — the actual website sales marketplace.  There’s so much insight you can gain about monetization methods, traffic building techniques, niche selection, copywriting, and more just by looking at the information provided in their listings.  People open up the records to their online businesses in an effort to sell them, and all that information just sits there, waiting for us to learn from it.

If you’re serious about doing business online and you’re not poking around in Flippa’s archive, you’re missing out.

Google Tells Authority Domains, “You Can’t Vote for Yourself Anymore”

Google algorithm changes are always a big deal to people who make money online — a change in the criteria Google uses to rank sites could result in a huge financial loss for website owners.

At the end of February, Google rolled out what’s being referred to as the “Farmer Update” where they set out to limit the impact content farms have in the search rankings.  As most of you know, I use sites that could be labeled as “content farms” as part of my backlinking strategy, and I’ve been pretty successful with that approach.

Since I’ve been pretty transparent about how I rank niche sites, I’ve gotten a lot of emails asking about the impact of this algorithm change on my sites.  There’s a TON of misinformation out right now about what this change means for people building niche sites, so I’ll try to clear the air a bit here.

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Are these really the best ways to validate Google Places listings?

@EliFromBrooklyn made an astute observation about the comical disparity between the two Google Places validation methods (phone call vs. postcard).  Thankfully, I’m part of the Google beta test group for adding additional methods to the Google Places validation process.  Here’s a sneak peak at what they’re rolling out in 2011:

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Link Building

This is the fifth article in a series highlighting a 5-figure website flip. We’ve already reviewed buying aged domains, outsourcing web design and writing, getting repeat visitors, and conducting keyword research.  This article covers link building (for SEO and traffic generation).

It’s often said that on the internet, content is king.  I call BS.  Links are king, and content is queen.  A site with enough link equity can rank for competitive terms, even with pretty awful content — just look at Yahoo Answers.  A site with well-placed links on heavily trafficked sites doesn’t even NEED search traffic — it gets flooded with referrals.  He who has the most (and best quality) links wins.

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Getting Search Traffic

This is the fourth article in a series highlighting the steps I took to turn a $300 initial investment into a $10,000 website sale in under 3 months, spending just a few minutes per day. In the first 3 articles, we covered buying aged domains, outsourcing web design and writing, and making the site sticky. In this article, I’ll share how I pursued organic search traffic – particularly identifying high volume, low competition search terms.

Organic search traffic (not paid) is the lifeblood of most successful websites.  It provides the best kind of traffic (highly targeted visitors) at the most ideal price (free).  When you flip a website, organic traffic is highly valued because it is sustainable and predictable.  I knew that in order for Better Parenting to succeed as a flip, it would have to show the promise of serious search traffic.

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Anatomy of a 5-Figure Flip: Traffic Strategies

We’ve already tackled buying old domains with PageRank and outsourcing web design and writing in the first two articles in this series.  The steps taken in those articles set the foundation for the success of Better Parenting, but people don’t pay top dollar for attractive sites with fresh content that have no visitors.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the strategies for how to get traffic to your website that I implemented in this launch.  Now, before I get into bringing the visitors to the site, there was one major thing I absolutely needed to take care of first:

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4 Article Marketing Tips: Article Marketing Strategies for Beginners

The following article marketing tips probably aren’t considered any kind of new article marketing strategy for advanced marketers, but they might be a good reminder nonetheless. One of the quickest and easiest ways to drive traffic to the websites you’re building or buying as a site flipper, is to write and distribute articles. It has been the secret to my success since I started with this online stuff back in 2005.

There are entire ebooks written on this subject so by no means do the following article marketing tips cover everything. As the title of this article suggests, I’m only covering the absolute basics here. If you are new to article marketing, then these are the bare minimum steps you’ll want to take. I’ll be covering more advanced techniques and article marketing strategies in future articles. So let’s get on with it, shall we?

Here is a mind map of this article marketing strategy:

article marketing strategy

Tip #1: Write a High Quality, Original Article for Your Website

Write an original 400-500 word article for your website – making sure to optimize it for your primary keyword – or have someone else write it. If you outsource it, expect to pay at least $5 and possibly as much as $10. Since this article will be the foundation of more articles to follow and since this is your website and your reputation is on the line, make sure it is a well-written, quality article. Don’t take the easy way out here or go cheap. There is no excuse for junk!

After you have published the article on your website, you’ll then want to ping your websites’ RSS feed. But before you ping the feed, make sure you have submitted the feed to all the major RSS directories. If you have WordPress, this will be done for you automatically – another reason (of MANY) why you should be using WordPress! Hint. Hint.

Tip #2: Rewrite the Original Article & Submit to EzineArticles.com

Once you have the original article for our website completed, you’ll want to rewrite it again or hire someone else to do it for you. You’ll pay around $5 for a rewrite. It has to be a totally unique article from the original. This should also be a high quality, well-written article that is optimized for your primary keyword! You’ll also want to write a compelling author’s resource box with two backlinks to your site. One of the backlinks should point to your main domain and one should point to the original article.

You’ll then submit the rewrite to EzineArticles.com. Once you have at least one article published on EzineArticles, you’ll have your own author’s RSS feed. Like your website’s RSS feed, you’ll want to submit this feed to all the major RSS directories. Then each time your articles are approved on EzineArticles, you’ll ping your author’s feed.

Tip #3: Submit Your EzineArticles Article to Other Major Article Directories

AFTER EzineArticles has approved your article, then you can submit that same article to the other major article directories. I’ve listed the major article directories I recommend below. Please note that some of these directories are using the no follow tag which means you won’t get any backlink love. You should still submit to them, however, because my experience has shown that you can get decent direct traffic from these directories because articles from these directories tend to rank well.

No Follow Article Directories:
Buzzle.com
ArticleBase.com
ArticleAlley.com
ArticlesFactory.com

Do Follow Article Directories:
GoArticles.com
ArticleDashboard.com
Helium.com
ArticleCity.com
CarolinaArticles.com
A1Articles.com
ArticleBiz.com
Site-Reference.com (for Internet Marketing topics only)

One More Article Marketing Tip – Going Beyond the Basics

Tip #4: Rewrite Your Ezine Articles Article and Submit it to the Other Article Directories

I’ll be covering more advanced article marketing tips in future articles, but suffice to say, there is one thing you can do beyond the basics outlined above to give you an edge over your competitors. One simple article marketing strategy that has worked well for me is to rewrite the original article one more time. I know it’s a lot of work, but it’s worth it in the end.

This rewrite doesn’t have to be a Pulitzer like the ones on your website and EzineArticles should be, but it should still be readable. You’ll then submit this rewrite to the other article directories mentioned above instead of just submitting your EzineArticles version. This will give you more unique content on the Net and will give you a better chance of having your articles indexed in the search engines.

Do You Have Any Article Marketing Tips To Share?
Please Share Them In The Comments Below!