LoneWolf on February 3rd, 2010

Update: With what I have learned in the past months, using a system like this is likely to get you into trouble with the search engines. They may not punish you right away, but eventually they’ll catch on and these links will hurt you rather than help.

So my current recommendation is to skip this. I am leaving the links up in case you really want to check it out, but they are not affiliate links since I’m no longer an affiliate.

Back in December, I stumbled across textlinks.com, a backlink generation program that I thought I’d give a try.  Here’s what I’ve discovered.

The Premise

“Quality, relevant backlinks” is what textlinks.com is offering.  We all know how important backlinks are for our sites ranking in the search engines.  A link from a respected and popular site back to our site boosts the value of our site.  This is especially true if the link is one way.

What is offered here is the opportunity to add links back to your site(s) from over 10,000 different blogs.  Each of the blogs is independent and is run under its own domain.  There are over 100,000 articles in these different blogs that you can choose to add your links to and the claim that over 800 of the blogs have a Google page rank of 1.

There are 4 different kind of links that you can make: contextual, blog page, sidebar and footer.  Each link that you place will cost between 1 and 3 credits (you buy a minimum of 99 credits per month at $1/credit).

Note that the links themselves are permanent.  The last until you take them down (or the site disappears) even if you don’t keep up with the monthly membership.

The Deliverables

I signed up for the 21 day free trial offer which provides 25 credits and 21 days to use them.  I did some looking to see if I could find some sites that might be a good link for my Say Hi to Chainsaw (SHTC) site.  There are lots of sites that link to video and deal with children so there were several that I thought would be relevant.

Something to keep in mind, several of the sites seem to have adult content based on the descriptions.

Well, I selected 4 different sites and added sidebar links to the title video on SHTC.  I didn’t try out any of the other types of links.

The Impression

I began to have some reservations about the system at this point.  There were two things that bothered me about this whole thing.  They may not bother you so I’ll leave you to make your own conclusions about the site.

  • I’m not convinced that paying for backlinks is worth it.  There is an ethical consideration as well, although this is really a form of advertising when it boils right down to it.  However, I do believe that the search engines may begin to punish those sites that make use of paid links such as these (or at the very least, ignore the links).
  • While each site is independent and hosted on different domains among several different networks, the sites do seem to have a cookie cutter feel to them.  Many of the sites I looked at had the same theme and had a very impersonal feel to them.  The articles I looked at were pretty well written although there are some posts that were just robotic collections of tweets from Twitter and that kind of thing.

Because of these concerns I decided to pull the plug on my links and removed them.  They had been up for about a week and I didn’t see any direct traffic from those links (not that I expected much — the intent here is to increase page rank).  I don’t know if there was any affect on the page rank.  They links weren’t up long enough for much effect.

The Bottom Line

Over all, I liked the way the administration was set up.  Finding articles and placing your links was straight forward.  I just got a little skittish about the two areas I mentioned above.  Sometimes I’m overly cautious, but I had a gut feeling that this wasn’t right for what I’m trying to do with SHTC (or any of my sites for that matter).

I would be more comfortable with the idea of paid backlinks if the sites in question were a network of blogs produced by actual people (like us) rather than the robotic sites.

If the two things I’ve talked about are not a concern for you, then I would strongly recommend that you take the 21 day free trial for yourself.

Tags: , ,

LoneWolf on February 2nd, 2010

The doors are opening again!  That’s right, the doors to Become a Blogger Premium are once again opening for another round of learning.

Learn to Build Your Blog

Click Here to Watch the FREE Blogging Video Tutorials

Yaro Starak and Gideon Shalwick, two of the most well known blogging success coaches out there, are opening up the membership of Become a Blogger Premium for a limited time.  This opportunity arises only once or twice a year as Yaro and Gideon only takes on as many new members as they can handle at one time.  Over 2,000 people joined the last 2 times this course was offered and it fills up pretty quickly.

This time, the doors will open on February 4, 2010.  Yikes!  That’s 2 days from now.

If you want to take advantage of this opportunity, jump on over and sign up for the free Become a Blogger Roadmap.  This ebook is full of great information that will help guide you in your quest to start your blogging empire, no matter how big or small.

Free Videos (No Opt-in)

There is also a selection of free how-to videos to help you get set up with a WordPress blog.  These videos are available without having to opt-in  to an email list, so check them out.

Two other videos are also available with no opt-in:  Impact Marketing and X-Factor: 7 Killer YouTube Tips.

There’s More — Limited Time Trial

For the first 6 days that the course is open (Feb 4 to Feb 9 anyone who signs up will get a 1 month trial for $1.  So don’t wait — get your free roadmap now and you’ll receive an email on the 4th reminding you of the special trial offer.

Tags: , , ,

LoneWolf on February 1st, 2010

So you want to start a blog and get rich.  But you don’t know how to get started.  That’s where WordPress Goldmine comes in.

The Premise

WordPress Goldmine (affiliate link)

WordPress Goldmine is a membership site set up by Mark Thompson that helps beginners learn how to set up and build a WordPress blog as part of an affiliate program or other income generating scheme.  There are many detailed how to videos and bonus materials to help get you up and running.  The other members of the forum also help with questions and answers.

The Details

I found that the site made it a bit difficult to find the video and bonus products as they are all in forum posts rather than dedicated pages.  However, this isn’t a major headache and you’ll find everything without too much trouble.

The videos that I looked at so far are quite easy to follow.  They are screen shots of the actual techniques with a voice over explaining what is happening.  The videos for setting up assume that you will use a hosting site using cPanel and Fantastico which are quite common, but not available on every hosting service.  If your service doesn’t use these tools then you may need to work around that part (the installation of WordPress itself) based on the tools provided.  The rest of the videos are pretty easy to follow along as long as you’re comfortable with using whatever ftp tool you’ve got.

There are also several pdf files with good content and some free themes and plugins that you might find useful.  I’ve downloaded several of them, but so far I’ve not had a chance to look at them in any detail.

The forums and bonus products in the site don’t just focus on WordPress, but also get into the affiliate marketing arena (both generally and specifically) and traffic building techniques.

One issue that I did have (and maybe I’m just being too sensitive) was a series of videos about using scribd.  This was something new to me so I thought I’d check it out.  The content in the videos wasn’t quite as good a quality as the ones produced by Mark (they were purchased by Mark for the site) but the techniques for preparing an article and uploading it to the site were technically sound.

The issue that I had was the way the content for the article was generated.  The producer of the video (Mark Hess) took an existing article from another article site and pasted the content into a spinner!  Then he put his own name as the writer, copyrighted the article and uploaded it.  Once it was uploaded he made sure that the most restrictive copyright option was selected and that the ability to copy and paste the article was removed.

Needless to say, I was not impressed by that.  I understand the concept of spinning an article, but please don’t spin someone else’s work and claim it as your own!

The Bottom Line

There is a lot of good information in here.  The monthly price is affordable ($20) and for a beginner there is a lot of material to work through.

For more advanced users the tutorials on WordPress are not really useful.  You probably know all of this stuff already.  There is still some useful things to be gleaned regarding affiliate marketing and traffic generation.  You may also find that you can make some good contacts with other bloggers who are just starting out.  You can also help out and build your karma 8=)

Either way, there is a 60 day money back guarantee so you can spend a couple months exploring to see if this is something that you want to be a part of.  If you are planning to get involved in blogging as a way to provide some income it is definitely worth checking out.  Visit WordPress Goldmine today.

Tags: , , , ,

LoneWolf on December 15th, 2009

If you are like me, you’re looking to make some money with your blog(s).  While we all dream of making the big score and retiring with wads of cash, the reality is that we aren’t going to do that.

That doesn’t mean that there is no money at all in this.  The trick is to find techniques to make some.  I don’t need the millions (don’t get me wrong — I wouldn’t say no) but it would be nice to have a comfortable monthly income while I do something that I love doing.  The flexible hours and work-from-home aspects are also very important to me.

I’ve done some AdWords and haven’t seen much with that.  It turns out you need lots of traffic to make any type of ads pay and I’m still struggling with getting traffic.  I’m still working on my own e-book and studying as much as I can in the mean time.

WordPress Gold Mine [affiliate link]

WordPress Goldmine (affiliate link)

WordPress Goldmine

One product that I’ve stumbled upon that I intend to look deeper into is WordPress Goldmine.  This is a membership product that offers a forum, e-book, videos and a selection of e-courses that are added to monthly.

The cost is low which is a good thing for me.  I’m just starting out and I can’t afford the high end prices of some educational products.  There is also a 60 day money back guarantee and it is run through Clickbank which gives me a high feeling of security.

I’ll be posting more as I explore the forum and the downloads.  But in the meantime, if you’ve had any experience with this product, please leave some comments on what you’ve learned.

Update (February 1, 2010)

I have posted my review of WordPress Goldmine.  Check it out!

Tags: , , , ,

LoneWolf on December 11th, 2009
Who Will Stop the Snow?

Who Will Stop the Snow?

Those who forget history are doomed to repeat it — but those who remember it don’t get off easy either!

Last December I wrote a post entitled Who Will Stop the Snow? with apologies to John Fogerty.  Today, I was thinking about that post and the irony of it, since I’ve spent a good part of the morning removing over 2 ft of snow from my driveway.  When I went back and looked at the post I realized that it was written 5 days short of a year ago and I was bemoaning the huges amounts of snow on the ground.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

LoneWolf on December 9th, 2009

Backlinks, SEO Gold

Backlinks are gold.  If you are serious about search engine optimization for your blog or website, you will want to have as many of these nuggets out in the World Wild Web as possible.  But how do you go about getting them?

First of all, some of you may be wondering what a backlink is.  Simply put, it is a link from another site (preferably a high ranking site) to yours without you having to reciprocate.  These types of links occur when someone references a post from your blog or adds you to their blogroll. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

LoneWolf on December 8th, 2009
Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

As you may be aware, broadband internet is finally in use at the Wolf’s Den.  If you missed the news, check out Finally.  Some of you may be wondering how I settled on Rogers and the Rocket Hub (aka Ericsson W35 Broadband Router) vs. other cellular options available, so I’ll do a quick run down of what transpired.  I’ll also add in the factors that affected the decision to use cellular rather than the satellite or wireless technologies.

Update If you have questions about using an antenna with the Rocket Hub then check out my article on antennas.

The Need

There were several important factors that went into the decision.  There are currently three basic options in our area: Satellite, Wireless and Cellular, so let’s look at the decision points for each.  With the cellular, there are actually 4 different products (2 from each of 2 networks) that we considered. Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

LoneWolf on December 7th, 2009
Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

Image by Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"

If you’ve followed my adventures of Bandwidth Envy then you’ll know the struggles that I’ve had with accessing the Internet.  Well, my struggles are finally over.

Yesterday, I braved the winter conditions (really, it wasn’t that bad) to make a 1.5 hour trip to North Bay and picked up the last available Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: ,

LoneWolf on December 2nd, 2009

LoneWolf Says HiThe last month has been a busy one for the LoneWolf, although that hasn’t resulted in much content on the blogs that I run. It has been mostly behind the scenes work.

Read the rest of this entry »

Tags: , , ,

LoneWolf on October 27th, 2009

Chattin' with my homies!LoneWolf has been a busy wolf lately — and not much of it spent writing posts for the blogs.  What a bad boy!

So, what have I been up to you ask?  Or maybe you don’t — but you’re curious now. Read the rest of this entry »