".......and unfortunately nearly all make money online blogs are crap, so he, Dave, decided to write his own. It's pretty spankin."
Dalai Lama
Dec 082010
 

I was not going to post until the new year but unfortunately, for me, and a few others, that has had to change.

Man, I can see why the last thing you would ever want to do is to have a blog about making money on the Internet, and try to help people out.

Bottom line is this. I offer advice about how to lay out sites, how to get good conversions, and I have even offered a few ideas for themes to people. All good. But it seems that a number of readers have taken it a bit too far. Maybe in their naivety, or maybe out of laziness, I am in no position to say. But what has happened is that just recently I have had a number of emails from people where other readers have blatantly ripped off their sites.

Not only have they followed the site layouts I recommend but when they have seen a similar layout in their niche, which is obviously following my recommendations, they have basically written the exact same posts.

They have used the same keywords in the post titles, the exact same images in the posts, even in the same position, the same headers (word perfect), and simply re-written the same articles changing around the words.

This is lazy, cheap, and will not make you any friends.

I delved in to someone yesterday who I had a complaint about. They ripped off a site using the same layout I recommend but also what I have just described, and blamed it on me for recommending the layout. You probably are reading this. The problem is that you are not being creative, and making a cloned site is going to get you in to a lot of hot water.

Look, I found 86 of your sites with adsense on, all on the same account, I saw your BANS stores, I saw your doll sites, antiques and Mexican sites, weird Japanese stuff and I saw a lot else besides. If I can do you think others can’t?

The last thing you should do in this game is piss of other webmasters. They could click bomb you, they could send massive x-rumer blasts to your sites (which may or may not hold you back?), and frankly, if they really wanted to, they could take you out. It is not easy but I have seen a few examples of how to successfully get sites gone from the serps.

Be nice and be creative.

Don’t just clone other peoples sites, you are certainly not going to make any friends. Let’s all get on and do our own thing. But if readers are going to steal other readers sites just because they come across them and they have the layouts I recommend then I simply won’t give out any more such tips and will keep it to myself. This site is to help you out and have a laugh.

I don’t want, or need, the stress of emails from the readers moaning about each other. If I can’t talk about this stuff without everyone still putting their own spin on things then I simply won’t.

Sheesh, talk about influencing the Web.

Who would have thunk it?

But as a nice happy ending the person who I looked at yesterday has changed their site to look original and put their own spin on things, so that is cool, and it’s nice they responded and did what was asked.

So, let’s not get in to a slagging match in the comments, I am trying to feel all Christmas like. But just bear in mind that if a total tech idiot (me) can follow you around the Web then think what those with some know how can do. I am not really too concerned with others finding niches, as I know that trails can be followed. But nicking layouts and content style is simply not cricket old bean.

  115 Responses to “Stop Being Lazy”

  1. yeah. what Dave said. My images get stolen all the time and it pisses me off. Probably my content does too.

    It’s why I dont have my best niches under my own name. Everybody who is making money should have different persona’s once they start being semi-popular.

    Remember that the lazy copycats never win in the end though. It’s like the turtle and the hare story – the hare might look like they are getting ahead but the turtle always wins in the end.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tracey,

    Different ID’s are important. I now have a number of them and use different hosting accounts etc. At least it spreads the risk a little.

    You saying I look like a Turtle? 😉

    Vote -1 Vote +1Lando @ Docking Bay 94 Reply:

    @Tracey,

    You guys just don’t know your Aesop’s Fables…Dave isn’t a turtle. He’s a tortoise 😉

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,

    I thought he was British?

  2. Really gave me a chuckle here, Dave. I don’t know how many times I have seen this same thing happen to anyone who tries to help. Surely no good deed goes unpunished.

    As many who pass this way know, I’m an American who lives in the Philippines. This is a land ripe with promise, possessing wonderful people and resources, but with a horrible defect. Probably becuase of years of colonial rule, no one really thinks for themselves. Business mostly consists of seeing what the next guy is doing and copying it.

    Along the highways you’ll see little shops with an old tire (tyre) outside, painted white, with the word “Vulcanizing” painted on in red letters. (Vulcanizing is an old trade name for tire patches, for the younger ones out there).

    If some motorist should suffer a puncture near one of these shops, help will be istanly available, often 24 hours a day, and the repair will be done cheaply and quickly.

    But as soon as one shop makes a sale? In the next week or two half a dozen “Vulcanizing” shops will spring up within close proximity to the first one … as if that stretch of road had suddenly become hell on tires.

    Folks, aside from the moral and legal consequences of copying, it doesn’t pay becuase, frankly, it just doesn’t work. Don’t be like the dozen Vulcanizing shops in one city block, basking in the sun and watching like a hawk to see if one shop has any business, any business at all to pounce upon.

    Have an original thought … you _are_ allowed to have original thought … you are now empowered, I said so,

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Dave Starr,

    I really think this is why there are so few good blogs about this business out there. As soon as people try to help the others in this game it simply leads to complications.

    I was talking with the Wife earlier about whether to even continue here (yes, I know I have been through that before).

    Should I simply keep the good stuff to myself and throw out the usual garbage many other sites offer? Where the only comments they get are “Great Stuff” and crap like that in an attempt to get on the top commenters widget? It is not what I want at all.

    I enjoy talking about my passion.

    But you are right, people need to think for themselves too. By all means take advice about how to make better conversions etc and site layout. But annoying others in your niche is not a good idea if you can help it.

    There is always someone more knowledgeable who may just take too much of an interest in you if you annoy them.

    Listen to Dave Starr and get original, if you can make your sites different and stand out then you can come back and tell us how it is done.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shaun L Reply:

    @Dave, if you was going to write about the stuff all the other MMO bloggers do it’d be no point you doing this blog.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Shaun L,

    Keepin’ It REAL!

  3. Dave: I was hoping it wouldn’t happen here, but human nature being what it is, it was only a matter of time. The list of people who get burned for sharing useful information about this stuff is long.

    Thing is, I can see why you do it. This job is very isolating. I stop in here to get some relief from the tedium of writing the same backlink article 1,000 different ways and chat with people who are under the same pressures. I also love the useful information I get here.

    But if I were in your position, I’d take it behind some kind of firewall so as not to meet the same fate as Griz. I’d gladly pay $5 USD a year for the privilege of being a member of your lil’ community. Probably not $10 since it’s mostly just a place to chat, but a paywall would screen out the worst of the worst.

    Flame away.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Lorecee,

    Bloody cheapskates! A fiver???????????

    But never a tenner????????????

    I shake my head as I speak.

    Seriously I get your point Lorecee, it has made me think about some things. As usual, it just makes me feel a little disappointed really.

    I try to be good, I really do. It is more the fact that other readers are getting their stuff ‘alf inched that is a bit annoying really. But I do know that this is the game we are in. Part of it I guess.

    Sharing information is a dangerous thing. From now on I shall talk only about how to become a better blogger! Yikes.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Billy Reply:

    @Dave, don’t be blue Dave. Take a look at my stats (link: http://imm.io/2rbl since I started taking your blog seriously and putting the effort in (late summer); those are total earnings over time – pretty much driven by your work here.

    +1 for a (small) paywall.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Billy,

    SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEET.

    I am not blue really, it is just a shame. I know everyone wants to get on but you have to keep it original. Plus, although it seems like a big world online for IM’ers, it is actually surprising that in a lot of niches there are only a few big players. And annoying them is not the way to keep making money.

    I guess I am still naive about people, probably why I live up a bloody mountain.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Wong Reply:

    @Lorecee, I don’t agree with your “pay” idea as a way to keep people from not being so lazy, etc. I am on TKA just as the both of you are. I have seen my Postrunner articles used word for word by owners of PR sites to submit the article verbatim 100% to Ezine just to point it back at their PR site. I also saw one of my posts up on a domain that was Registered in Nov 2010, with a new domain targeting that niche.

    I love reading Dave’s stuff, but if I “were” him I would just keep my mouth shut. I know sad right? I am making a very modest amount off adsense (under $500/mo) and I want to LEARN more to speed stuff up but that doesn’t mean I’m going to intentionally go into other ppl’s niches steal their posts, etc.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Steve Wong,

    I would seriously complain about that, well out of order. The whole postrunner site thing is a minefield though. I know there are a lot of noobs on there but most have done some solid keyword research.

    Nothing to stop anyone going after the terms, especially if you don’t really do much keyword research, as I don’t. But most are for adsense which I don’t do anymore really. That part is now totally passive, which is cool. Personally I never find getting niches a problem, there are a lot of things people want to buy.

  4. Phew…I’ve only got 85 sites. So as Shaggy once said “It wasn’t me

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Suzanne Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,

    That’s why I love this site.

    (Although I know it’s not a joke to Dave)

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,

    I am still watching though 😉

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Tiffany Reply:

    @Lando @ Docking Bay 94,
    An now I am going to be singing that song all day long… great song to have stuck in your head when you are home with 2 toddlers! Thanks 🙂

  5. Sorry to hear about your hassle Dave. Your advice has helped so much, and just knowing that someone “real” is making it is inspiring. Hope you continue, I too would pay to be a member of your community, but would be a shame if it had to go that way.

    Same old small minority spoiling things for everybody else. Hope it works out OK for you.

    The best thing is to take what you read, see how it fits in with what you are doing, and then put your own spin on it to make it unique, for you.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Suzanne,

    Thanks. Bet you would pay more then Lorecee too 😉

    The way I see it is that taking recommendations on what converts is one thing but just changing words around and basically copying exactly what others do is not on.

    One of the people apparently was very apologetic and changed as soon as they were contacted but I know that a lot of it goes on where there is no conscience involved at all.

    Luckily we are just small fry here at this site, a few readers and a little band. I can’t imagine what large sites go through, especially when stuff is attacked at the actual site. As Lorecee referred to in the case of Grizz. Not that it would make any difference here, some of my best traffic has been for weird stuff James the Just says about things like man boobs and milk (you really don’t want to know).

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Lorecee Reply:

    @Dave, you say you’ve been holding out on the man boobs? Why didn’t you say so??? I officially raise my offer to $10.

    Just kidding. Actually you’re worth way more than $10 a month, but I already spend too much time jawing in forums, and I don’t have a Spouse to keep me on the straight and narrow like you do.

    And don’t assume you’re small fry. Even if you don’t rank for a million dollar keyword like Griz did, that social referral traffic can bring in some unsavory visitors. Even though a lot of the the info here is something anyone could do with a brain and a work ethic, there are too many people who want the Instant Formula and are willing to steal to get it.

    Too bad, because this is a great little community.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Lorecee,

    I am all Gangsta’d up and secretive now. Well, probably not, but the best I can do.

    I thought you were offering five bucks a year??? If I get a tenner a month from everyone I may even make a hundred bucks a month!

    I guess I do forget that some peeps really do want a short cut when the bottom line is that there isn’t one, not that I have found anyway.

    Thanks for the kind words though Lorecee, it is very much appreciated.

  6. I think in any type of business you are going to have the lazy ones looking to simply emulate what someone else is doing and copy their business model. It’s fine to take advice and try to model your business after something that you know works, but don’t be a total jerk and then completely copy their site thinking that they no one would ever know. You are right, that is just plain lazy and will not get you anywhere in your business or in life in general.

    What many people don’t uinderstand is that you have to give it your own spin and test it out. How else are you going to improve your earnings? They may be surpised to find that something they did with their articles makes their offers convert better than what someone else recommends. It’s a business that constantly needs testing and copying is not testing… You will never really reach your full money making potential if all you do is copy others.

    Anyways, it’s nice to see another post from you but not under these circumstances. Looking forward to what tidbits of info you bring in 2011!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tiffany,

    Exactly. Just because you copy someones site it doesn’t mean they have the best layout. Testing is very important, down to color and the size of your buy button and where you place it even.

    I guess I just wanted to say that I was annoyed, as much for the readers as anything. It seems there is definitely a bit of a Dave layout going on, which I am surprised at, but let’s not rip each others sites off.

    From now on I recommend a site with a small image well below the fold with a tiny text link that blends in to the background. Never nofollow it and only write ten words of text, and never put links to Amazon in the sidebar.

    Actually, after writing that, I realize that is exactly what a lot of people do.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Shaun L Reply:

    @Dave, great tip, I’ll implement it straight away 😀

  7. On the plus side, if they’re too lazy to come up with their own theme and articles, they’re probably too lazy to backlink it either, which is where the real work is. So they should drop to the wayside soon enough you’d think.

  8. Lets take it a step further: this is why you will never see an earning’s badge next to my name on TKA. Telling people how much you make is just stupid IMO even though the purpose of it is for motivation.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Seth,

    I think you may be right Seth. I know a lot of the high earner badge holders there do actually talk about their sites too. I guess it depends what kind of sites you have.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Steve Wong Reply:

    @Dave, Same here. I’m not a big earner, but I see zero point in displaying an earnings badge as you are just setting yourself up for headaches.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Steve Wong,

    I have no intention of having an earnings badge on TKA. Apart from anything else it would be totally misleading to other members.

  9. I think in this business people are going to copy your content but they will fail sooner than later and i completely agree with Seth here that giving numbers to people openly is just plain stupid.

    Secondly, what is the point of this blog. the copying was going to happen sooner or later. If you can find out 86 sites of someone, why people won’t find out your niches just because they can. And remember world is not full of people with abundance mindset. Hatred is something natural and some people just can not stand someone being successful and stating it openly.

    Sorry for using a bit harsher language, but i think the best thing you can do is not having a blog about making money online on the same hosting account as your sites.

    I had researched your sites and since you interlink, i was able to find a lot of your sites based on some tips in your blog. So there is nothing, which stops me from targeting the same things as you are targeting.

    You are doing a good job here but you also need to be more smart about it.
    OR
    let me just share a small story with you.
    A saint saw a scorpion dying in river.
    He picked up the scorpion with his bare hands and put it on the ground where it was safe.
    One of his disciples asked ” Why did you do this? You could have died with the scorpion’s bite. ”
    Saint replied ” It is in scorpion’s nature to bite but it is in my nature to save life. So i did what i felt was right.”

    Moral of the story : – Others are going to do what they want to do. You do not have control over others.

    If you write this blog because the comments here make your day with people sharing their success stories following you then keep doing it but do it in a safer way.

    Also, i love your posts and the discussion in the comments and will hate it if you take off this blog.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Wishal Reply:

    @starter, If I wasn’t familiar with what you’re talking about, I’d accuse you of being the Grinch!

    Dave, do you think a huge post on WP resources along with whatever thoughts we could brainstorm on with conversions help? I don’t mind giving out some of my PSDs if it’ll spark some ideas. How long does a guest post have to be then?

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Wishal,

    Guest posts need to be 3000 words. And you takes your chances about how they go down 😉

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @starter, It’s not the scorpion’s bite I’d be worried about, it’s his sting!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @starter,

    Okay, so you totally freaked me out and I have now spent the whole bloody morning getting more and more confused and putting the site on a different hosting account as the main domain and a new IP.

    This is exactly what I didn’t want to have to happen and do, being all secretive and stuff.

    I guess, and I am being honest, is that I simply didn’t think people would even go to the bother of looking through a 1000 domains to see which ones might be mine. What is the point?

    There are a million niches out there, mine are nothing special, I just build a load of sites and see which ones make money. I guess maybe this was the wake up call I needed though. I am always in two minds about my niches. On the one hand I don’t really care if people know, and on the other hand it just feels weird that people are looking for no other reason that because I have this site.

    Why did you try to find the sites? I am genuinely interested. I have said often enough that I have a ton of sites that don’t really work, not all on the old hosting account , or linked in any way.

    Anyway, I am now all secretive and shit, but my head really hurts, I am just glad that the folks on the bluehost live chat are so amazing.

    You do realize you have made me be out of pocket now (insert sad face)

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1starter Reply:

    @Dave, I am glad you took this step. At one point of time, i was thinking of emailing you with your site names and advising you of moving your site to a different address but the thought slipped my mind.

    The only reason for looking for your sites was curiosity and for design ideas and i did find some of your abandoned ( failed ) sites. Anyways i am targeting much different niches than yours and i make only static sites ( no word press for me ).

    Reasons why people will target to find out someone’s sites is people who have a bit of experience in the field can tell from the look of the site whether that site is making money for the owner. And there are many free tools which provide approximate traffic, keywords, backlinking strategy.

    So, if i am able to discover one niche which is getting more than 100 uniques a day and is making the owner money ( this can be gauged by design and author’s update frequency and back linking frequency ) after spending a few hours, i have just found a proven converting niche and i have the keywords for which this website ranks. Moreover, i also have the backlinking stratety of the owner and a rough idea of the number and quality of backlinks needed to make things happen for me, I am all for it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @starter,

    I guess it was a good wake up. Although I did nearly just give it all up this morning after I couldn’t figure out how the hell to transfer it.

    I definitely don’t disapprove of looking in to niches to see how they do, it can save time. But to be honest I find that even if a site looks viable it is not always the case.

    I have tried a few where after looking at stats and the work people are putting in should mean that they make good money is simply no the case.

    I guess it is all relative to what you think a good earner is. Some people will work like a slave for a year on a site so it makes them ten or twenty dollars a day while I would simply ditch it in a very short space of time.

    But I wouldn’t agree about update frequency or backlinking frequency. It is not always a gauge of how well a site does. At least with wordpress once you seem to hit a certain authority point then the sites don’t really need updating for months or longer and nothing happens to the rankings or the earnings, same goes for backlinks unless it is a super competitive niche.

    And you just make sure you stop looking at my sites Mister. Forget all that you may have seen………..

    You are feeling sleepy, very sleepy, you have never seen one of Dave’s sites, you want to shower him with money for all the stress you put him through……………

  10. I’ve had people rip off my Squidoo lenses – not just the keywords and images, but entire chunks of text. It used to upset me till I realised they weren’t passing me in the SERPs. The best revenge is out-ranking them, right?

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @teatree,

    Amen, to that. Most people simply won’t put in the work. Oh, the stories I could tell.

  11. Dave… i urge you not to stop… it’s nice seeing a fresh voice in the MMO scene full of crap… you have fresh ideas and a work ethic i wish i could muster up.

    People are going to steal stuff, period with you blogging or without you blogging. I have had whole layouts jacked, images, etc. I have successfully had someone’s host shut their site down because they jacked one of my images and didnt respond to 2 emails… usually e-mails get them to change (hell, even one person who jacked my stuff wanted to do a link exchange after i contacted him about removing the stolen stuff)…

    If you stop blogging, people will just browse through BMR sites or PostRunner sites, or their own SERPs to find the marketers sites (it’s quite obvious to see marketers sites in the SERPs)…

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Breakaway,

    It’s odd. I know that we all check out the competitors in our niches. I think I just find it odd that people will try to find my sites just because of this blog. But Starter was right and I suppose it was the naive wake-up call I needed.

    I just always assumed I would have this site to write about IM from my personal point of view and be basically talking to myself. It feels weird that people will look for my stuff just because of this site.

    Maybe the fact I am so bloody useless at most Internet stuff is refreshing change. I totally stressed myself out just changing the IP and hosting this morning, it all boggles my brain.

  12. It is difficult to make authority blog. Because i feel like leaving my blog. Still it make me dollar per day. 10k traffic. now i want 20k next month. it should make me $100 month for coming years. I still not backlined enough. I wanted to add more and more long tails. Cover 10k long tails from small post then i will go for biggies. My one post ranked for 20k traffic for competitive term. i hope luck will favor me.

    I have two full time writers.doing lot of research peoples who got nice adsense and other type of income.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @All is well,

    Some things just never bring in much money. I have a site that gets 30,000 visitors a month and only makes a couple of bucks a day if I am VERY lucky.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Ohwhy Reply:

    @Dave,

    Try a site with over 4K visitors a day and only making 5 dollars a day on a GOOD day. It’s enough to make me cry my eyes out and wonder why I chose to work so hard on that niche.. so depressing. I guess I didn’t do enough research.. my own fault, I know.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Ohwhy,

    Yikes!

    All a part of the experience though, just move on and don’t get hung up on it. We all have plenty of stinkers as far as earnings go.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Wishal Reply:

    @Ohwhy, Damn! That has to hurt. No luck with AdSense on that site either?

  13. Sigh, it’s sad that some people will always spoil things for others by being idiots.

    As others have pointed out, though, if somebody’s lazy enough to 100% copy your site then they’re probably far too lazy to ever do the work required to beat you in the SERPs.

    I really appreciate what you’ve posted so far, your blog is quite the inspiration, and I’d be sorry if you backed away from it. But at the same time I can understand you not wanting the hassle of being playground monitor.

    +1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Craig, Incidentally, did anyone win a lot of money in the “Pick the December date when Dave will break his ‘no posts until next year’ pledge sweepstakes? 😉

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    C’mon, give a guy a break. I tried I really did. And it isn’t really posting a post, is it?

    I don’t think it counts.

    So there.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Dave, Okay, fair enough, this doesn’t count. Which means I’m still in with a chance of winning! *clutches ticket hopefully*

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    No chance Dude, I have been on to the bookies and told them that there is no way I am posting here until Jan.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    My new year’s resolution will be to allow everyone to fight it out to the death.

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Dave, Excellent plan! You should try and get video footage, there’s money to be made in the deathmatch niche!

    -1 Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    Wanna be first up? Craig versus??????????? Any takers?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Dave, I should warn people, though, I know kung fu!

  14. Dave, I’m sorry for copying your man boob site. I was desperate.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Carrie,

    You keep your hands off my man boobs missie.

    Um, yeah, probably doesn’t sound quite right that.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Dave,

    So where do I send the $3 for the moob action?

  15. Hello Dave. I’ve been one of those lurkers that you keep mentioning :), ever since I stumbled upon your blog from Tracey’s (I’m lurking there as well :). I’ve been shy to comment as I haven’t had any real success in MMO, ever since I made my first site in april 2010. I was fortunate to stumble upon Grizz in my first days of finding out about MMO so I missed a lot of crap and worthless ebooks.

    Anyway, to cut it short, the first technique that I based my sites on (XF… anyone?) became invalid right on MayDay update…just when I dove into the MMO.Seems like I missed out on all the 2009 techniques…the next few months I was wandering between different techniques until I found your blog. So I decided to create an authority site about things that interest me, loosely based on the layout you described in your Amazon Affiliate guide post. The main reason it’s still far away from ranking is my sloppy and lazy link building…

    I hope someday I’ll listen to your advice and stop reading all these blogs searching for next best and shortest linking technique 🙂 Until then, please keep writing, as many of us have really been helped by your advice, so thank you!

    I think my rambling is going in many directions, so I’ll stop right here until I have something useful to say. Just didn’t want to lurk anymore. Good luck to all of you!

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @BrainDamaged,

    Welcome Lurker, always great to hear from everyone. Sounds like you are on the right track Dude.

    Just get busy with the backlinks. It takes a lot of work but is is worth it, no doubt about it.

    Best thing is to set a goal for every day. Minimum of 3000 words for backlink articles or something like that. Although that is not very much really. Make it 6000 😉

    And thanks for the kind words, feeling all fuzzy now.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @BrainDamaged,

    I dunno about the “XF not working” thing – although I’m no longer using his method, my AdSense sites still produce. For all that, though, I do have to say I’m more in line with Dave’s approach than not.

    Vote -1 Vote +1BrainDamaged Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    Well I didn’t mean to say that they’re not working, it just became much harder to rank them so I kinda lost interest in them, partially due to MFA scare from Grizz and Ben. My keywords are too focused and I couldn’t keep writing about the same stuff over and over, so I only have about 5 pages per site…and ranking around #30 for my chosen keyword. Traffic that I get converts at about 5%, still not enough for adsense check. Turning over to amazon and hoping it works! 🙂

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @BrainDamaged,

    Go through a few Amazon niches, write about the bestsellers in each niche, backlink them until they rank, and you can’t fail.

    Just try a few niches and see which ones perform the best and then spend all your time on just a few sites or even pages that make the money. Don’t spread yourself too thin once you have a winner or two. You can make a full time living from just a couple of pages if you really work them. Even test out on Hubs or Squidoo first. The Squidutils makes some kick ass looking graphics http://squidutils.com/amazon-poster.php and is worth the 1 in 10 share to test some niches out quickly. Although if you read Tracey’s site I guess you know that. e.g I took her up on her challenge a month or so ago and wrote 7 lenses. I am just under $500 in earnings from them since I did them. 20 BMR links each and a couple of postrunners, so it is certainly worth a shot.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Dave,

    Nice, Dave – I’ve put up…er…one. Lens, that is. I have one that’s made $1k so far, but in 4 months, not 1.

    Anyway, with the XFactor thing – I’m with you (BrainDamaged) on it…my sites (mostly) still rank with them as they have before – but it’s not my game anymore.

    Definitely affiliate mktg.

    Vote -1 Vote +1BrainDamaged Reply:

    @Dave,

    Dave you are a great man. Thanks again for the advice, I’m trying to follow your tips. I’ve written some hubs, but no lenses so far, trying to focus on one thing. I’ll have to do more backlinking of my content, but no BMR or postrunner for me, I can’t use paid services until i start seeing regular income.

    Nice income from those hubs, seems like you know how to pick your products 🙂

    Off to find earners of my own, backlink them like crazy (or become crazy from backlinking?) and see how they convert on the first page.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @BrainDamaged,

    Don’t forget about freetrafficsystem on my tools to succeed page. There are free spinners out there and then you get some extra links if you can’t afford tools. Just don’t send the links to Hubs but anywhere else is fine.

  16. I have not had a chance to go through the comments yet (I love reading comments) I am cooking dinner and I need to type this fast before I burn it-anyway, It really sucks I would love to be able to post url’s to my sites just for people to look at them and get a feel for them.

    You cannot do that-just as you explained above people are lazy and rude to steal someone else’s hard work. Almost all of the blogs no one ever will give their links out because of this!

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kelly,

    Hope you cooked something lovely. It is a shame we have to be secretive (well, I am now going to try). I guess it is just that so many people are looking for the magic niche or keywords to make them rich overnight.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Kelly Reply:

    @Dave,
    I am not that great of a cook, but I like to try new things-luckily though it did not burn.

    Honestly I would love to just build a site from scratch and get feedback from my readers. This might be something I would consider in the new year. It is easy to find other bloggers sites, especially when they are not careful!

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Kelly,

    Just stick it on new hosting and then you could let everyone see it. I was actually thinking of doing this myself in the new year too but decided to be all secretive instead 😉

  17. I had someone copy one of my bigger sites, right down to the theme, and the content. A carbon copy. The joke was on them though. This site gets lots of traffic but makes very little money so they wasted their time. It’s a site I do out of love for the niche, not for the money.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Cathy,

    Did you do anything about it? That is pretty low by anyone’s standards.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Cathy Reply:

    @Dave, Yeah, first I contacted them but got no response. So then I looked on whois and found their hosting provider and submitted a support ticket with them and told them what happened. Within a day, their site was gone.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Cathy,

    That’ll teach them to mess with you.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Cathy,

    Good for you, Cathy!

  18. Dave,
    I came here last night to see if you broke your vow about not posting again until the new year and got a scary message saying account suspended or words to that effect. It is 3.30am here and was fairly pumped to not only see the site back BUT a new post.

    Cheers mate

    Craig

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig McPherson,

    Normal business is now resumed 😉

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Dave,

    I am SO glad you lied, too. 🙂

  19. Dave,

    Sorry to hear about other’s sites getting copied. Like you said it is a shame.

    Just wanted to say that when I first started out with MMO that I was suckered by a few “guru’ IM marketers and was out a lot of money. I find your site refreshing and helpful with your tips and advice on what works for you. While I am not a frequent commenter, I admit that I lurk and follow all the treads and comments – really you have a great community. In fact, yours is one of the first blogs I check out to see if there is an update! I would be very sorry to see you shut down your site.

    Looking forward to your first January post…

    Tammy

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tammy,

    Thanks for the kind comments it is much appreciated. Hopefully the post in the new year will give a good few tips for 2011.

  20. Dave I came to your site yesterday and it was down! The HORROR! Please don’t let that happen again…. 🙁

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Ash,

    It stressed me out Man. I couldn’t get my head around moving a site to a different hosting account at all.

  21. Phew – glad to see everything is back too 🙂

    Really sorry to hear about the stress, thats the last thing you need right now especially when you are getting ready to wind down and enjoy the Christmas break for a change.

    This site has been a breath of fresh air and I come back and read and re-read stuff all the time; hardly bother with other blogs now plus following your recommendations keeps me very busy.

    I totally understand if you are going to go all secretive, shame but not surprised that this happened.
    But it was nice to hang out in Central Perk everynow and then cos this thing we do is so isolating….

    Tara

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Tara,

    Just one more week of work to go for us then it is easy street for the rest of the year, can’t wait Tara.

    I won’t be being secretive about ways to make money and tips to do it etc. I am just now more secretive about my ID. Only since it seems people are taking in interest in my sites. It’s odd though as I am not that bothered if people know my stuff on the one hand but it just makes me feel strange knowing that people are checking up on me.

    Starter’s comment was probably what I needed to actually clean up my act a little. You wouldn’t get that if I ran a knitting blog. Damn, there I go again giving away all my niches.

  22. @Dave,

    That stinks, Dave – unbelievable. I can’t believe it. YOU have moobs?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    No way Dude. Just finely chiseled pecs most would die for!

  23. I’ve had the same hesitation when going after the scammers. Sure I’d love to write some scathing reviews of all the crap products out there like Griz and Lissie, and get some good links back to my site… but then I think to myself do I really want these con-artists minions coming after my and searching out my sites. What a fun ‘game’ this IM world is.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Justin,

    I guess if you are sure that you have the site hosted apart from your others and watch the link profile then you would be OK. It is a bit of a cut-throat business though.

    I don’t pay any attention to any of it to be honest, I just don’t sign up to any newsletters etc.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Justin,

    Na. No fear.

    Look up “SEOLinkvine Sucks”. I used to be number one…but whatev. I personally don’t think that it’s a good service to allow the happy affiliates to keep promoting junk when you know in fact it’s junk…too much money wasted.

    With the abundance of solid alternatives, I don’t think it’s a good thing to remain quiet when a product doesn’t deliver.

    But Dave’s right…I think making sure you have some level of protection is wise…I’m just brash enough not to care. And I hate bullies / taking advantage of people.

  24. Sorry to hear that people are just so low down snakes in the grass (yes they are). The same thing happened to Mike Iser some months back and he had to move all his sites to a different hosting service. Seems like the more you give people is not enough. they don’t wont your ideas they want to actually take what you have and make it their own.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Dee@ Prayer Shawl,

    I am not worried about myself, most of my sites were not on the hosting account this one used to be on anyway. It is more other readers stealing others site layouts and content style just because they see it has been influenced by what they have read here.

    I doesn’t mean they are money making sites, although I hope they are.

    The problem with guys like Mike is that their sites can still be found if they are under one adsense ID. It is now super easy to find every website someone has if they use adsense, which is scary for a lot of big money makers indeed.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Craig Reply:

    @Dave, Another reason to avoid Adsense, I guess. I read $100k Adsense Blueprint (or something like that…) the other week, and the guy actually lists a couple of his sites in there. Which are linked to many of his other sites. And obviously has his Adsense ID. It’s crazy that some people put themselves out there with so little protection. If a few grateful readers decide to click on a bunch of his ads to help him out…

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Craig,

    Too true. I really can’t be doing with adsense, I find it too time consuming for the keyword research and I find it too dirty. By its very nature you make the bets money by being misleading. Not that I hate the 50 bucks a day we still make mind you 😉

    What a wicked web we weave.

  25. Dave – what sort of theme(s) do you use on your product sites? I’m not asking because I want to find your sites, but simply what do you recommend?

    I’ve been using Arras, and other popular themes of that sort (Flexibility, works well).

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    I like the theme I have here as there as so many options and basically any fluid width theme. There are a few that have color options which is also great for testing.

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @Dave,

    So do you primarily use free themes or what? Also – how much time do you even worry about the design aspect? I’m asking because some of my competition (in a particular niche) is chock-full of some seriously nice-looking themes/designs…getting cold feet out of the blue on that one.

    It’s for a niche I’ll break after the first of the year, but in the meantime I’m taking your advice and working on the one monolith site (with the fat paycheck review on it).

    And for the record…13 days left…(( cue Jimmy Stewart and It’s a Wonderful Life ))

    Vote -1 Vote +1JamestheJust Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    Darn it! I totally forgot my other main question…

    What are you using for your comments feed? That thing’s the sharpest comments feed I’ve ever seen, Dave, and I’m not saying that because I’m priming you for a month free of Build My Rank for Christmas or anything. Not me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    It’s just Feedburner. Stick your site in and then create the feed. Then you get to see all the stats about your readers if you get them to subscribe to it. (I have over 2!!!!!!!)

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @JamestheJust,

    I only use free themes, there are tons of great ones. I like them plain with the only distractions being what I put there. Just pick them depending on your market really. I can’t wait for Christmas, well the end of this week actually. Time for a break then until the new year.

    And that is great about you working on the one site James, gotta go where the money already is.

  26. Hey Dave,

    The laziness of others is our biggest asset in this game. You have told people exactly how they can make money. If they can’t implement it properly ad creatively, then they won’t make money in the long haul. I wouldn’t worry about people stealing each others content. As others have said, if they are too lazy to do it themselves, they will be too lazy to get proper backlinks for it.

    I am a constant lurker here and don’t say much. I’m still working through your archives, but it distresses me that you think of throwing in the towel on this blog.

    You got me into IM in the first place thanks to one of your other sites. I then headed to Griz, then TKA, then found you here from TKA. My income jumped from $200 to $1000 after finding you here, and I’ll certainly be doubling that this month, thanks to Christmas. What you say here is pure gold, and most of us really appreciate it, particularly me.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @L Brown,

    Thanks for that L, it is appreciated. I think I know which site you are referring to, that one monster article? Keep it to yourself though, I am being secretive now 😉

    Those earnings are very impressive, you must be very proud. Hard work will always pay off so keep at it. Another year and you may even get a day with those type of earnings, never mind a month.

    And then you will freak out!

    Shame it couldn’t happen every day, although for some people it does. I think I would have a meltdown.

  27. Hey Dave. You asked me to let you know the results of the links I bought.

    Its been a number of days, nothing has been done to get the links indexed, and I have already jumped from 17 to 10 for my main term(a very competitive keyword). After this, I’m never looking back.

    This was a squidoo lense that has been linked to with all kinds of methods off and on for the last 6 months so its not likely to get sandboxed. I think this kind of linking is most effective on pages like this.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Wishal Reply:

    @Josh, Hey Josh, Which comment are you talking about here mate?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Wishal Reply:

    @Wishal, More like which links? The BP ones?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Wishal,

    I said I was getting 25k profile links made by someone with Xrumer.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Josh,

    You can’t argue with results. Nice one Josh. That is a kick ass jump in the serps. You are braver than me though. But you are right, an aged post on a high authority site with plenty of links already is much more likely to respond well.

    I wouldn’t do it to my own sites though on that scale. But that is just a personal thing.

    Congrats, and may the money flow your way Josh.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Dave,

    The bravery comes from the fact that I have nothing to lose….

    I’ve been working on making money online for almost exactly a year now, and while I have barely made very much money(does anyone in their first year?), the next year is going to be very interesting.

    However, if you change you’re mind or get curious(use a property thats not earning, but has some space to move in the serps), send me an email.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Josh,

    The second year is where it is at. Although for quick money I would whack out a ton of Squidoo lenses and backlink the hell out of them. Wish I had done that 2 years ago for a ton of products on Amazon. They would be super aged now and earning big time.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Dave,

    Thats my plan. You don’t have to…try as hard(speaking of laziness) on squidoo lenses as you have to on a full website. You don’t need 50 pages to make a squidoo lense look legit. They also don’t seem to mind if you spam the fuck out of your lenses.

    Sorry if you have covered this before, but how to you make your squidoo lenses look? Or atleast, where do you place the link?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Josh,

    I have only done a few Lenses after taking Tracey up on her challenge. http://www.tracey-edwards.com/squidoo-lens-or-hubpage-for-quick-chrissy-cash/

    Which reminds me, I need to tip her as they have now made well over $500 since I wrote them. Basically I do a little bit of text intro, then a text Amazon link. Then maybe a little more blurb and the Squidutils image. Also see her post for tips in the comments to get a sales image in the author bio.

    Lenses seem to convert better than Hubs for me with the Squidutils box, they look a lot cleaner.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Dave, I’d like to try some quick cash with Lenses myself.

    I never did because I thought Squidoo/Hubpages/etc. got slapped and don’t work anymore.

    But I guess there’s still some top domain juice to get from those two?

    What sort of products do you select to make good money with Lenses?

    Do they have to be new products? Products without much competition? Or can you also rank (relatively) easily for older products with less hype?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    I chose products that are popular and already had quite a number of other lenses competing. But most people are lazy so I wasn’t too worried. 20 or so BMR’s should let you see how you will do traffic wise and then bump them up with some more work or some more automated links.

    If you can get in early for products with no competition then you could do very well very quickly. Lenses look a lot better than Hubs so while they are getting some google love i would go for it.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Blackthorne Reply:

    @Dave, I’ll do that.

    Can you really get traffic with just 20 BMRs to one Lens?

    Would that be 20 BMR’s all in one day or 20 BMR’s spread out over time?

    Vote -1 Vote +1Dave Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    I got to number 1 for a popular item. 10 in 1 day one week and the same again the next week. But then other keywords that were easier did not respond as well, you never can figure this stuff out. Sometimes you just pick a winner.

    Vote -1 Vote +1Josh Reply:

    @Blackthorne,

    I just think that squidoo lenses don’t do very well for about 6 months. I had the same problem with hubpages. They definitely don’t work like they did in 2008, but its not like they are useless.

    This comment tree is so big its beginning to get wonky, so i may have responded to the wrong comment…

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