Category: What I have Learnt

All Things Happen For A Reason….

cog gear and splash colors background

Wow, it has been a Looooooong time since I’ve been on my website.

Does it mean I have been sat on my arse?…..no it hasn’t !!

I have learnt SO much in the past 9 months it is quite scary when I look back.

All the changes started when I stepped outside of my comfort zone & took a trip to Manchester to an Internet marketing ‘get together’/conference that was attended by some of the P2S lot….

I booked a hotel & took a train to Manchester knowing nobody whatsoever. Two nights.

I took myself off to the conference; looking back, I cringe a bit; I was trying to work out what I was going to wear for a start…..smart? smart casual? etc etc….you know what it’s like going into a totally new environment, you try and guess/judge what is respectable; you want to fit it & definitely don’t want to stick out !!

Well, as always, learning curves have to experienced in order to be learned – but in a nutshell – just wear what you want !!!!! – nobody gives a toss. There was some proper odd balls there & short of wearing a full blown Elvis costume & assigned myself to only talking in an ‘Elvis’ accent, nobody would have taken a blind bit of notice !!

As an industry, I shouldn’t have been surprised really…..let’s face, very few people start off a carer in IM, so most people will have had various years of working for others, wearing suits & being told what to do – isn’t this why so many mid life crisis end up into a little jaunt into the ‘World Of The Internet’ !?!?! – So why, if you go down that route, would give a sh*t what you wear !?!?!?

The few days were a real eye opener……some people that you wanted to have faith in gave you no faith at all. Some people were great & made the effort. Some people were just full of it. Some people thought they were selling rather than teaching. They was a real mix of people.

Out of what wasn’t a great experience to be honest, came a ‘chance’ meeting with another attendee from the same course (like I say, all things happen for a reason)…..we ‘bunked’ off the afternoon lecture on the 2nd day & went wandering into Manchester sharing ideas & stories of what we did, have tried, bought & invested in – lol, no we weren’t hand in hand skipping through leaves!!

Anyway, this meeting was 9 months ago & were have moved onward’s & upwards…..we have a company now & speak most days on Skype  what is next, what else we are going to test etc…..it is a far from the World that I took a sneak peak into & one I am happy with & morally comfortable in….

…..but back to the moral of the story – all things happen for a reason – you may not think it at the time but it does……it’s funny how things work out….

Thanks for reading & I will now endeavor to update my blog with things I find of interest that others will hopefully find useful….

Nigel Griffiths.

WordPress Backup – Automatic & Awesome!

Hi there & welcome…

I have been playing around with a LOT of plugins in the last few weeks! – for all sorts of things – trying to make my website faster etc.

The one thing I did notice was that there are a great deal of plugins available & the large majority are pretty poor & don’t really do what they say.

BUT…..

Every now & again you stumble across one that ‘Does what it says on the Tin’ & more besides & this post is about one of them!

UpdraftPlus – Link to the Plugin Website

The good news is that it is FREE ! – There is Premium version but you don’t need it for just the general backup’s (Premium is about £40). This would be good if you have a lot of similar websites so you can clone them & change accordingly.

Like I said in the video – I have the back up files going to my Dropbox account – which is also FREE – Bonus !! The free account is just over 5GB which is more than ample to store all the backups.

The great thing about this plugin, apart from the fact that it does it all automatically, is that it backs up all your plugins from that site.

Anyway, I’ll stop waffling & let you watch the video! – Please feel free to leave comments below – Cheers!!

 

 

Banners – How I Add Them….

Hi there…

Today I wanted to show you how I add Banners (& other graphics) to my website.

This method I picked up a few months ago & find it simple, very flexible & makes everything easier in the long run.

Rather than trying to describe it, I have made 2 video’s for your ‘Viewing Pleasure’ !!! Wehay !!

As outlined in the video’s, this method gives the following advantages:

1. You always have the banners on your website.
2. You can make sure they all open in a new window/tab (if required).
3. You have control over the size of them.
4. It makes it straightforward to disguise the affiliate links
5. You have total control as to how the links show up on your website.

 

Video 1 – Adding Banners (more control & flexibility)

 
 

Video 2 – Disguising Ugly Links

 

So that is the basics which should get you on your way……there are other tips & tricks using this method that are very useful which I will do another video about in the coming weeks….but for now, see how you get on with this & let me know if it helps!

As you will have noticed, the banner I set up in the above video’s  isn’t on my website anymore…it is just because I did no research on it & have no idea if I would want to promote it, it was just used ‘for show’.

Just drop me a line below & lets get discussing !

Thanks for watching!

Cheers…Nigel

 

How To Make It In Affiliate Marketing: 12 Lessons I Wish I Was Taught – Part 4

Finally, the last instalment in this series. So let get cracking.

 

How To Make It In Affiliate Marketing – Part 3

 

Lesson 10 – Where is your money going?

A common scenario in the IM World seems to be someone finally getting a profitable campaign & the next thing you know, their lifestyle has increased 10 fold!

But what happens…a new car is leased, a new house, vacations & designer clothes.

Before they know it, their main campaign dies & they can’t get it back on track. So with all the bills that come from an ‘inflated lifestyle’ they find themselves back in a 9-5 job.

This is where a principle of ‘money momentum’ affects people psychologically. If you have money coming in & you are testing, you can ‘afford’ to lose money if overall you are profitable.

When money is coming in, you can take more risks & some of those risks will pay off.

But some people will live off the successful campaign until it dies…then they will start testing, this means that the losses they are making whilst testing are far more emotional.

Get the money right, invest in your business, get the best you can, strive for something sustainable…..then, & only then, look at the luxury lifestyle.

I totally agree with the above point. Invest in your business, then save for a ‘rainy day’ & then treat yourself! In that order.

You never know what is around the corner. Especially in this business, things fundamentally change on a month by month basis rather than annually & you never know when the plug will be pulled on what has been working for you.

 

Lesson 11 – Imitate, then Innovate

A great learning technique is modelling, which is basically imitating success.

This doesn’t mean straight up copy someone’s Ad’s, Landing Page etc…just look for inspiration & improve from there.

Once you understand the basics, then it’s time to get creative. Innovation pays.

If you hit on an interesting angle, you have ‘first movers’ advantage & can reap huge profits.

Like a lot of people reading this, I have heard over & over again….”You don’t have to re-invent the wheel”. Just find something that is working/selling & make it better.

‘Better’ can be seen from many different ‘angles’, it doesn’t just mean content:

e.g.

Presentation
Style
Format
Implementation
Niche
Examples

The list goes on….do it your way & with your ‘twist’ to it.

 

Lesson 12 – Adapt or Die

The IM industry is always changing. A year in this industry is like 3 in another. Some landing pages that did work a few years ago, won’t work today. Offers that were huge 6 months ago, are now gone. It is the nature of the beast.

The most important thing to do is focus on the fundamentals! IM is just combining an angle with a traffic source with an offer & split testing it until it’s profitable.

New media and offers will come & go….but the fundamentals will always remain the same!!

Well there you go folks, the last of the instalments from these IM lessons. I enjoyed it when I first read it & it hit home and made me realise that this is a real business with many many challenges….but that is why I love it.

I think it also hit home that IM is still just a ‘normal’ business & is no different in principle to any ‘bricks & mortar’ business…..they have to be run in the right way to make money. The internet can make it easier in theory but just as much time, effort & dedication is required to make something online work as it does to make a shop successful.

So what did you think of the series? Did you enjoy it? Please feel free to let me know & drop me a line, it would be great to hear from you!!

Thanks for reading.

OptimizePress 2 – Featured Image

I have always found that I engage more on websites & especially blogs, when there are picture in the mix.

I personally am immediately put off from an article if there is just a massive big block of text!…..ironically at the end of it, it could have the meaning of life & the key to always looking 20….I would miss it !!

I just think this is the way things are going. We are so pressured with time & getting things done that some of us have become skimmers.

Lightning1

Your Visual ‘Breather’

So now, more than ever, I think pictures are important to people, especially when reading blogs….either just to give a visual clue as to what an article is about….or a visual ‘breather’ whilst we go through a longer article.

To this end I have been looking into & investigating adding ‘Featured Images’ in Optimize Press 2.

The reason being, is that this not only displays an image at the beginning of your post to welcome your reader…..but, somewhat more importantly, this image is shown next to your blog post on the Home Page when it becomes an older post.

This helps make your blog more colourful & inviting. It also helps those who will skim down looking for pictures & headlines that they are interested in or catch their eye.

Now given all I have said above, I doubt the majority of you have read my ramblings & instead just looked at the pictures above & then clicked ‘Play’ on the YouTube clip!! Shame on you!! (but obviously I wouldn’t be surprised!).

Anyway, below is a short video tutorial about adding ‘Featured Images’ in OptimizePress 2 & also how to easily scale them.

 

Pretty straightforward I think you will agree?

In my humble opinion, I just think that this makes blogs look so more inviting & professional.

What are your thoughts? Have you discovered anything that I’ve missed? Let me know below.

Thanks for reading/watching.

 

The basic ‘How’ of HootSuite – Social Media made Easier?

A while ago I signed up for a HootSuite account.

The scary thing is that I had never heard of it before & used it for some backlinking ‘Sparkly Tool’ that I had bought. I have only just realised what it is for.

If you follow the above link it will take you to the FREE account where you get to play with 5 social media accounts. Most links you find on Google try to get you into a free 30 day trial of the Pro Version.

The 1st thing to realise is that it is 5 individual accounts i.e. 1 of your pages on Facebook counts as one rather than your entire Facebook portfolio.

The free one is what I have got at present, just to play around with & see if it is something that is worthy of the investment of £7.99 per month for the PRO version. This gives you up to 50 ‘accounts’.

Rather than ramble on, I thought I would take this opportunity to record a video showing you what I have discovered about it & the few things I have learnt in this very short time of ‘playing’.

Bare with me!, this will be no polished performance! I am new to this bit of software but thought this would be good practice on a whole host of levels!

Brace yourself!!

 HootSuite – Free Account

HootSuite – Adding Accounts

HootSuite – Adding Streams

HootSuite – Composing Messages

HootSuite Free – Link for basic package of 5 Social Media ‘Accounts’

….for users requiring more than 5 social media accounts, click the banner below for the 30 Day Free trial of HootSuite Pro

HootSuite: Manage and Measure your Social Media

So did this help? Does anybody else use this bit of software? if so, are there any hints & tips you would like to share.

Thanks for reading/watching!

Cheers. Nigel

Categories in WordPress – Bulk Changes (& more)

Until about an hour ago I was under the impression that each post could be assigned 1 category. But this is incorrect! & in fact in the past I have often had the dilemma as to which category to put a post in when it could quite easily go in 2 (or more).

So why did I never try ticking more than 1 box!!!

This lead me to a conclusion (1.) & a discovery (2.):

1. Don’t Assume Anything! – This is probably the most important realisation. As human’s I think we tend to assume way too much & would rather muddle along instead of asking the question. Why would have I assumed this?

2. How to add various posts to another category (& more)

Basically, if you go to your ‘All Posts’ page, under each post there is an option of ‘Quick Edit’. This then allows you to do the following:

a) Change the post name
b) Change the post date
c) Add/Remove the post to various categories
d) Slug the post (whatever that means!? – I can see some more investigation ahead)
e) Tag’s
f) Change the posts status – published/draft/pending review
g) Allow/Deny Comments [tickbox]
h) Allow/Deny Pings [tickbox}
i) Make the post ‘Sticky’

I have been using WordPress for years & never knew this….I had seen ‘Quick Edit’ from day 1, but never investigated it & can only assume I became blind to it.

Aaaaaahhhh the good old human brain!!

It would have saved me hours over the years not having to go into each individual post. Doh !!

Oh well. On the bright side, I have saved hours going forward & hopefully, if you are reading this & didn’t know either I will have save you time also!.

So come on! Confession time….what have you sussed recently that you really should have known ages ago? Drop me a line.

Thanks for reading!

Andrew Hansen – Forever Affiliate: The Official Start

Well this weekend took on a significant meaning for me.

Not only was it my Birthday (aaahhh Thanks !)

It was the years anniversary that I decided to make the internet my new career!

Well, a year on & where am I?, what have I tried? What have I learnt? I thought I would chronicle what I have done in the past 12 months to recap for myself (& any of you that are interested).

 

February 2013 – Andrew Hansen – Forever Affiliate.

This is what started it all off.

I honestly have no idea where I ‘discovered’ Andrew  & his course; but in fairness, does anyone remember after a few months where they discovered the courses they have taken part in. I have a feeling that it may have been ‘Martin Avis’ but I can’t be certain.

The basic course was about £46 & offered a video based education of how to set up mini-sites that were aimed at a certain affiliate product. As with most courses nowadays, the price was low to get you in…then came the big Upsell! – Personal Coaching across the course with various added bonus material etc etc – This came in at £335 !!…..quite a jump from what the starting point was!

But I went for it!

The course was pretty good to be fair. There was a lot in it & I did feel that I was getting additional info by being part of the ‘Platinum’ Coaching (pretty sure that wasn’t it’s name but you know what I mean!).

Writing this I realise how much this course taught me about all the basics.

The course foundation was to find affiliate products that have specific brand/product names e.g. Idol Lash, Venapro etc & then look at the number of searches on Google. If it fit certain criteria/searches it was then a potential.

More research was required which involved looking at the number of backlinks that websites on page 1 on Google had for this product, to see if it was possible to ‘outrank’ them.

The mini-sites were set up using ‘Thesis Theme’, which is a very clear WordPress Theme & how to construct your website (incl banners etc), to set it up as a review site. The domain name was encouraged to have the product name in the title.

Like a lot of courses, I would assume that it was aimed at the disgruntled people who want to quit their jobs but are still working. I was doing it full time! So I tried to make a real effort to forge ahead!

The overriding principle was to try & rank one website so it would get up in Google, start making money…..then, if the profit/traffic was there, rank another with the same product. The theory behind this being that you would get more of the Page 1 traffic share…..PLUS, if Google did decide to penalise you & reduce your ranking, that the overall effect to your portfolio would be reduced.

Looking back, it would seem that this was the start of people realising that Google rankings aren’t really reliable/predictable enough to base a business around.
Other method’s I have since encountered went in one direction trying to find traffic that doesn’t rely on Google at all……this method however, turned back in on itself & did the same as preached before, but did more of the same, trying to create it’s own safety net.

Well I went through the entire course & set up various websites. I couldn’t complete the course as such, as the last parts of it were all about the actions you should take when your mini-site is on Page 1 of Google.

This neatly ties in to one of the biggest discoveries I have made in my Online Journey!

Nothing Happens Overnight !!!

That is also one of the main reasons ‘Newbies’ flit between one programme & the next. They start, they do & then they constantly look…..& we are talking hourly….as to what has happened to their websites ranking & possible sales!!

Looking back in hindsight, this is hilarious!

If I did this now, manually, I would check every couple of weeks, maximum! because…..Nothing Happens Overnight !!!

The reason this rings so true is because I have gone full circle in this process. Back in Feb/Mar 2013 I set up various of these mini-sites, I added reviews, pictures, links, banners etc. I added new articles, I spent ages ‘Blog commenting’ on relevant blogs…..this I also checked daily to see if the backlinks had been picked up!! again, hilarious.

TOP TIP:
Serpfox
stops all this ‘Ranking Refreshing’ when starting new sites.

It is a free service that keeps track of where your websites are ranked in the SERPS based on your Keywords.
When you look at the Pricing Page is seems that it is just a paid service…..BUT, look just above all the options & you will see the link to the Free Account. Here you can track 10 keywords across as many or as little websites.
When you get an account you can set up alerts. I have done this for all my websites. Try & set up ‘Major’ change alerts! DON’T set up ones for a movement of 5 places etc!! You will get emails all the time!
Set up useful alerts such as notifying you if you ‘Go Into Top 10’…..’Drop Out the Top 10’……’Top 3’ etc.
When you start out, use ‘jumps’ of 25 or more.
Be warned, the way it has worked for me is don’t get disheartened by the negative movements, as in most cases, within a day or 2 the sites have usually gone back to where they were & usually higher!

Anyway, like so many people, the results weren’t quick enough, the course had finished & I continued my journey elsewhere.

Six months later, I looked back at those websites I set up & guess what!….they were all on Page 1 of Google !! They aren’t products with huge monthly global searches….but they are now usually bringing in over $100 per month.

I am still ‘tweaking’ them on probably a monthly basis, usually when I discover something new & think it may help the conversions on the site (more so than the ranking’s now).

This still males me chuckle to myself.

Why?

Because – Nothing Happens Overnight!!! & this is one lesson I have learnt & is relevant on all levels on the Internet Marketing scene, but I’ afraid that as much as using the internet to get answers is pretty much instant…..this is not how it works when using it to run a business!

It is especially true in my current new journey. If I keep on going, doing my best & taking action, then I shall get there….but it won’t happen overnight!

All Good Things Happens To Those Who Wait (& Do!)

Did any of this hit home? Have you done the same as me? Have you taken part in the same course? What are the lessons you have learnt along the way?

I would love to know, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

Google Content Experiments – UPDATE

Yeah….

I spoke too soon !

The Experiment seems to have been set up perfectly & seemed to be working….BUT.

The traffic figures just didn’t add up! Clicky showed just 17 visitors to the SleepingDen website for Friday 14th Feb, with the same set up in terms of advertising I had been seeing well over 100 visitors a day!

The weirdest thing was that none of the traffic I was getting from Facebook was showing up in Clicky & also the traffic from YouTube.

I don’t really have any explanation for this & despite trying to figure it out I just dumped the ‘Content Experiment’ & went back to using Clicky……this seems to have sorted the issue & now all the traffic is being logged again.

The other issue with the Google Analytics set up is that when it splits the traffic between the 2 pages, the ‘tracking’ code is just imppossible to decipher:

?utm_expid=82199535-1.FGyR7_QsQmS…

So you have no idea which page people are directed to & the same goes with the /GO set up, so there was no tracking of the clicks to the order page.

Pointless. So was dumped.

I may revisit in the future.

Setting up emails on iPhone (IMAP/POP)

I have done this before & all was fine…..this time I seemed to have a few difficulties.

So, due to this blog, I thought I would write it down so I will know next time.

Basically:

Host Name: This is the name of the server you use – fleetwood.hyliahub.com

Username: This is the email address you are using – nigel@nigelgriffithsonline.com

Password: This is the password that you set up in C-Panel when setting up the email address.

Outgoing Server – Same as above

Go with IMAP over POP

Use SSL….this is apparently more secure.

The Server Ports should be set up automatically.

NOW THE CLINCHER – This is what I had problems with…..on the iPhone, for the outgoing server, in theory you don’t have to enter the details of Username & Password as it says ‘Not Essential’ or ‘Not Required’

……that is rubbish!! Once I entered them in again, it all worked well.

To get all the relevant details from C-Panel, do the following:

1. C-Panel
2. Go To ‘Email Accounts’
3. Scroll Down –
4. On the right of the email account is a drop down that say’s ‘MORE’
5. Click Configure Email Account
6. Scroll down & you will see ‘Manual Settings’  – That is where all the information you need is.