Jared Dees

Jared Dees is an experienced blogger and online entrepreneur who leveraged his first website to become a trusted authority in his niche, obtain his dream job, and generate passive income.

Political Campaign Website Analysis

Political Campaign Websites 2012It is an election year in the United States and the web has never been more important to the success of political candidates. Social media has already been credited as a reliable source for predicting wins in presidential primaries. Some political candidates have struggled to implement effective online strategies with their campaign websites and some are exploring new services with relative ease.

Although there are many components that should go into a political candidate’s online strategy, I thought it would be fun to do a quick analysis of a couple of the presidential campaign websites at this point in the race.

Based on the success people have had implementing internet marketing strategies in various online niches, I have some suggestions that any political candidate should implement in their campaign website whether for a presidential race, governor’s race, congress, or even a local campaign.

What is the point of a political campaign website?

The way I see it, political campaign websites should serve have these primary objectives:

1. Lead Generation
Build an email list of supporters. Although social media followers, friends, likes, etc. look good, an email list remains the most effective way to connect with people who have visited any website. This should remain at the core of all political campaign online strategies.

2. Social Media Connections
Build a community of loyal fans and supporters on the social networks in which they are most active by offering website visitors the opportunity to connect via social media.

(Bonus: Political Campaign Social Media Strategy)
Focus first on the loyal fans and followers and provide information that would please them. Why? Because they’ll share your stuff. Let them do the work. Let them share your message and convince people who are on the fence. Focus on what they want for this country and talk about it. Don’t make the mistake of talking only about yourself.

3. Clarify Positions on Issues
Potential voters go searching to find out what candidates really say about the issues. They might watch a debate or two, but you can bet that they read up on you at your campaign website before they go to the booths. Hire a copywriter who can craft your message effectively for an online reader (note that this is different than any other medium).

4. Communicate News and Events
Where is the candidate and what events is he/she going to attend? Political candidates are on the road a lot. Use the web to share updates and thank yous to the places you are going and the places you have been. (This is a great opportunity for an app, by the way.)

5. Raise Money through Online Donations.
Barack Obama set a new standard for raising money online in the 2008 presidential election. Political candidates must leverage their campaign websites to raise money and solidify support. Make sure the donate button is prominently displayed and subtly points people to a landing page that converts website visitors to make donations. Build a relationship with website visitors via email (see #1) and social media (see #2) to subtly convince people that their money will make a difference (but don’t ask for the donation directly on either platform, just thank the people that are already supporters).

6. Give Supporters Action Items
Arm supporters with resources and volunteer opportunities. A campaign website can be used to provide volunteers with information on what they can do in their area and online to support the candidate. This might be information on a local campaign headquarters or information about upcoming events. (Bonus tip: Collect the zip codes of people signing up for the email list or pinpoint their IP addresses to determine their geographic location. Then segment your list to send geo-targeted emails to specific groups of people who are close enough to an event, rally, town hall meeting, etc.)

7. Convince People to Vote for the Candidate.
This may seem like a no brainer, but it ultimately THE goal. Many people have already made their decision, but some of them are on the fence. The core of your online strategy should focus on your most loyal supporters to spread your message, but you should also provide people who are on the fence with simple, easy-to-understand documents, videos, or interviews that most effectively provide and emotional reason to vote for you. If someone is having a hard time making a decision, it is probably not a lack of information, it is a lack of emotional connection or motivation to choose one person over another. Focus on the heart and you’ll find success.

Measuring the Success of Political Campaign Website

If was was managing a political campaign website, I would be measuring the following metrics (among others):

  • email list conversion rate (subscriptions per visit)
  • donations and donations conversion rate
  • click-throughs to social media sites (event tracking)
  • social shares (like/+1/tweet/etc. per visit)
  • browse rate (# of pages per visit)
  • new vs. returning visitors (% of new visitors)
  • visitor recency
  • geographic location of visitors (measured against the travel schedule of a candidate)

As an SEO, I would track ranking and traffic from the following types of keywords:

  • candidate’s name (and all variations of name)
  • most popular issues (issues + candidate name)
  • poplar news items or events that occur related to the candidate

And if I was an adviser to a political candidate, I would use the data in the web analytics of the campaign websites to suggest what campaign issues are most popular among website visitors and which ones need more clarity. One way to measure this is tracking the “time on page” of each issues page. Or if there is a video on the page, make watching the video an event that can be tracked via Google Analytics event tracking javascript. They could also look at the way in which these pages are being shared on social media sites. Look at the positions that are being shared with a negative sentiment and note the objections so that in forthcoming speeches these issues can be addressed.

A Look at the Presidential Campaign Websites Today

Barack Obama Campaign Website (barackobama.com

Not long ago I did a quick analysis of barackobama.com, the President’s political campaign website. The website has changed a little since then, but here are my thoughts on what the President is doing well and what he can do better:

Mitt Romney Campaign Website (mittromney.com

As the front runner after the first two primaries, Mitt Romney knows how important it will be to create an effective Presidential campaign website to compete against the web-savvy Obama team.

Here is my analysis of his website as it stands today:

Both of these websites are a work in progress and neither would be considered the best political campaign websites online, but they do have their strengths and a clear strategy in mind.

It is important to note that they both have a key goal in common: lead generation. This is something every online business should keep in mind as they develop their website strategy. No matter how annoying it might be ask for an email address, it is crucial for online success.

Regardless of your political views, it should be fun to watch these campaign websites change and adapt to the race in 2012!

Identifying Your Target Audience (Online City Guides)

People trump numbers every time.

When you begin to do niche research don’t make the mistake of obsessing over the numbers. Focus on a group of people who have a certain need that you can meet better than anyone else.

Like a lot of internet marketer, my first inclination is to immediately jump into keyword research when doing niche analysis. Keyword research, once you understand its power, can be addicting.

However, more important than knowing the keywords that people are searching for is identifying the people themselves.

The most important step in niche analysis is identifying your target audience.

Consider these questions:

  • Who are you serving?
  • What are their greatest needs?
  • What unique solution do you have for their needs?
  • Where do they hang out?
  • How can you reach them?
  • What kinds of things do they like to talk about?

These are all questions you will want to answer when you research a niche. I don’t advocate for research that just tries to exploit niche markets that could give you a competitive advantage.

One of the principles that I promote in digital marketing is never to forget the people you serve and the problems you solve. If you lose sight of the people and the problem/need, you won’t be able to find fulfillment in your work.

And if your work isn’t fulfilling, it isn’t worth doing.

Identifying the Target Audience for Online City Guides

So who are the visitors to the websites that offer online guides to cities around the world?

Let’s do a little brainstorming writing down all the groups of people that come to mind. Hold nothing back. Just write down all of your ideas.

Here is what I came up with in just a few minutes:

  • travelers
  • single travelers
  • single traveling entrepreneurs
  • single traveling business men and women
  • single travelers on vacation
  • married travelers on vacation
  • married travelers on a honeymoon
  • married travelers attending a wedding
  • married travelers looking to relocate
  • newly married couple looking for things to do in their local city
  • singles looking for things to do in their local city
  • families with kids looking for things to do in their local city
  • families traveling on vacation

The list above is just an open brainstorming session. At this stage we want to keep our options open before we pinpoint the audience with the greatest need or the best fit for the solutions we can offer.

In general, this stage is about identifying a broad audience (travelers or local residents) and continually targeting smaller groups (single travelers, married travelers, family travelers) in specific situations (married travelers on vacation). As you focus your audience, the market will get smaller (there will be less people to reach) but the more targeted you become the more likely you are to find a place in your niche.

Identifying your Target Audience

Even if you expand to target all of these groups later down the road, it is important to focus your content on one specific group with a specific need to find the greatest results.

Eventually, we’ll look at each of the groups to determine:

1) Is there an audience?
2) Is the market big enough to earn money for our time?
3) Can I gain a competitive advantage over the others in the market?

Cleveland Case Study: Who is the Audience?

As I mentioned in the last post of this series, we are going to focus on the city of Cleveland as a case study. I have not done any competitive research into this market yet. I don’t know what websites are out there meeting the needs of any of the people we will consider. Right now we’re just at the brainstorming stage.

Who would benefit the most from an online city guide for Cleveland?

Here is what I know about the city of Cleveland:

Cleveland is not exactly a vacation destination. I grew up about 45 minutes from Cleveland so I know that the city draws visitors from a large number of cities and small towns. People head into the city for Indians games, Cavs games (please, no LeBron jokes), and Browns games. They head to the Flats or the Warehouse District for a night out. The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame is a popular attraction in the city as well.

I don’t get the sense that any of the things above are family-friendly. This could mean there is an opportunity to serve the families searching for things to do in Cleveland. Maybe families have a hard time finding things to do and need some help. Or maybe there aren’t enough families looking to head to Cleveland for some fun. In this case, we might decide to shift our focus away from “Cleveland” to a geographic area like “Northeast Ohio” for families.

There does seem to be a lot to do for singles in Cleveland. There might be a large market for content that would help Cleveland residents explore the nightlife.

Here are some possible audiences that we might focus on:

  • twenty-something singles looking for nightlife scene
  • Cleveland sports fans
  • families looking for activities around Cleveland
  • young married couples looking for date night ideas
  • local business people looking for lunch and networking opportunities

How do we decide which group to help? We will use keyword research and competitive analysis to understand who the audience is and how we can enter the marketplace.

This post is part of a niche analysis series of Online City Guides.

Is the Online City Guide Niche Right for Me?

This post is a part of the Online City Guides Niche Analysis series. The goal of this series is to provide a step by step process for starting a website in this niche with analysis and strategies that can be applied to any niche market or online community.

Before entering into any niche, you have to ask yourself if you have what it takes to make it happen. In this case, is the online city guide niche right for you? This isn’t just a question of skills and strategies. Those things can be learned. The bigger question is: can you see yourself being excited about this project on a daily basis? Are you passionate about your area and the things to do there?

Before you focus on the competition, you need to look internally. The competition will be there, I guarantee it. If someone didn’t have this idea in your area already then you should be worried. You’ll find other websites and local magazines providing advice and tips on local things to do. Don’t be discouraged. I’ll show you how to do competitive analysis and clarify your “niche within the niche” (your unique selling proposition).

Questions to Consider Before Creating an Online City Guide

  • Are you engaged in your local community?
  • Are you plugged into networks that would be able to share their experiences with local events in your area?
  • Are you able to attend local events or go on local excursions?
  • Do you like where you live?
  • Do you know of fun things to do in your area that you would be excited to tell people about?
  • Are you passionate about your city or local community?

If the answer to some or most of these questions is “no” then think twice before entering the niche.

Choosing the Online City Guide Niche

I can promise you, however, that you’ll learn something from the forthcoming analysis we’ll be doing in the coming weeks.

Why You Should Chose to Enter the Online City Guide Niche?

Wherever you go or wherever you live, people are looking for things to do. The web is the perfect place to find a solution to this problem. People will be looking for things to do via search engines and through their online social networks. They’ll be talking with their friends about the best family event to attend, the best late night bar hangout, the best Thai food, the best museum, the best place to get their oil changed, etc.

There are a number of reasons I think this niche would be an exciting area to explore. First and foremost, there will always be a great need. Finding local things to do or tips for travel to a certain city is a need that won’t go away. The opportunities to develop creative content is nearly endless. And if you are interesting in making a little money online, the opportunities to build relationships with local businesses for advertisements or paid reviews should be nearly self-apparent.

The Cleveland City Guide Case Study

I’ve seen a number of websites in this niche in my own area, but I wanted to start fresh without any idea what is out there. In this niche analysis series, I’m going to use the city of Cleveland as a case study. I grew up near Cleveland in a small town with nothing to do so we went to Cleveland often on the weekends. The Cleveland area has a lot to do as long as you are willing to do a little traveling.

So keep checking back here for more updates or subscribe for updates. Soon we’ll be doing some initial keyword research, competitive analysis, content-creation tips, and monetization advice.

Go Browns!

Niche Analysis: Online City Guides

At Analyze Niche you will find in depth analyses of various online communities, markets, niches, etc. The goal is to show a step-by-step process that bloggers and businesses can use to research and strategically plan how they will successfully attract traffic, build a list, develop a community, and make money with a website.

Online City Guides This month we will analyze online city guides. These websites and blogs give readers ideas for things to do, places to be, places to visits, restaurants to try, fun activities for the kids, and community events.

This analysis will be organized as a blog series. What is a blog series? John Saddington at Tentblogger is the blog series guru. He provides a great explanation here: How to Create a Blog Series and Why You Need Them.

Online City Guides Analysis

This is the first in-depth niche analysis so I am excited to pilot this little experiment. Whether you are interested in entering this niche yourself or curious about the Analyze Niche process, follow along and subscribe to the blog.

  1. Is the Online City Guide Right for Me?
  2. City Guide Niche Brainstorming: Identify Your Target Audience
  3. Baseline Keyword Research: Things to do in Cleveland
  4. Niche Market Research: Defining the Target Audience
  5. Competitive Analysis: Local Events Blogs
  6. Developing a Unique Local City Guide Website
  7. Website Strategic Planning: Local Events (Outlining the Strategic Flowchart)
  8. City Guide Blog Networking
  9. City Guide SEO
  10. City Guide Content Creation
  11. City Guide List-building
  12. City Guide Community Building
  13. City Guide Monetization
  14. Go Mobile: A Unique App Experience for City Guide Publishers

If at any point you have any specific questions, just let me know!

The Hadouken Approach to Long Tail Content Marketing

Like most kids growing up in the 80s and 90s, I loved Nintendo. One of the most popular games we used to play was Street Fighter. Street Fighter was a fighting game between two players who punched, kicked, and did special moves to defeat their opponents in combat.

I had a consistent strategy that drove my friends and cousins crazy.

Two characters in the game had a special move called the Hadouken. This move created a blue fireball that shot out of the hands of the character.

Hadouken Content Marketing

My strategy: Hadouken, Hadouken, Hadouken, until it hit the other player.

People hated it. It was boring…but it worked.

The Hadouken Approach to Creating Content

When I finally began to grasp the power of SEO, I recognized the value in finding what works and repeating it again, and again, and again until I ranked highly for certain keywords.

Hadouken, Hadouken, Hadouken…ouch!

Once you find a keyword that brings in a lot of traffic through keyword research and web analytics, think of additional phrases with similar stems that will bring traffic as well.

My main website is in the religious education niche and attracts homeschooling families as well. I found that there were a few base keyword stems that could be used again and again with other combinations of words.

Example Keyword Stems:

  •  ________ activities
  • ________ lesson plan
  • ________ prayer
  • ________ resources
  • ________ ideas
  • ________ strategies

I did some keyword research and found the most popular combinations of keyword phrases with these words as the stem. Now I’m working from a list of these combinations to develop unique and valuable content that my audience will enjoy and that additional people will find through search queries.

Long Tail Content Marketing

Essentially I am talking about long tail content marketing. Long tail content marketing includes taking a keyword or phrase in the “fat head” of search volume and focusing on the “chunky middle” or the “long tail” keyword phrases that branch off of it.

The classic long tail keyword graph from SEOmoz:

SEOmoz Long Tail Keywords Chart

The vast majority of searches are in the long tail. In fact, Google estimates that around 20% of all search phrases done in a given 90 day period have never been searched before! This means that there are keyword stems that have various combinations but relate to the same topic.

The long tail should always be the focus of niche marketing especially when you are just starting out. You want to narrow your focus on the exact people who will be looking for your content, community, products, and services.

Find a popular keyword stem (resources, recipes, ideas, strategies, tactics, tools, deals, software, programs, etc.) and add additional words that related directly to your niche and unique approach. Use this strategy consistently to achieve results.

Long Tail Content Marketing Case Studies

Like the people below, I don’t really think of Street Fighter when I create content. But I have found a lot of success taking a stem keyword and expanding upon it to attract traffic and increase conversions from the long tail.

Probably the best example of this strategy is in the cooking niche. The word “recipe” has a nearly infinite number of variations that could be used in the hadouken approach by focusing on recipe types with a high number of searches (pasta recipes, chicken recipes, etc.)

Long Tail Content Marketing Example

Simply Recipes (simplyrecipes.com)

Elise Bauer over at Simply Recipes is crushing it. Capitalizing on the popular search phrase “simple recipes” (22,200 exact searches per month), Elise has done a great job of dominating the search rankings for many types of recipes.

You’ll notice the long list of recipe types in the left sidebar. Elise posts excellent recipes regularly and categorizes them by various recipe types. She has opened up these category pages to be crawled and index thus increasing their chances to rank highly in search.

She does a good job with the “Recipe Index” section, which links to the various recipes.

The simplicity of the blog is excellent and she has clearly gotten creative with the AdSense monetization of the site.

Gluten Free Cooking School

Mary Frances of Gluten Free Cooking School offers another example of long tail content marketing (the hadouken approach). A growing number of people are being diagnosed with a gluten allergy, thus opening up a great need for gluten free foods and recipes.

The keyword phrase “gluten free recipes” alone pulls in 60,500 exact global searches per month alone.

Her keyword stem may seem obvious (gluten free), but she uses many categories as variations:

  • gluten free flour mix
  • gluten free pizza crust
  • gluten free diet
  • gluten free menus
  • gluten free recipes

With nearly 30,000 subscribers at the time of this writing, Mary Frances is doing quite well for herself. She has set up a nice affiliate program for her eBook and they have developed some eCourses for their audience as well.

Long Tail Content Marketing Bonus Tip

Turn your category pages into resource pages focused on content and conversion.

Most people rely on their blog categories or topics to sort by these keyword stems. I like to use the keywords as categories when first starting out, then once content is built up enough, create a resource page with the various posts and pages manually linked and designed as link-worthy content. This allows you to control the content that is showcased on these pages rather than a list of the most recent posts under that category or tag. You’ll find your search engine traffic increase and your conversion rate jump.

Copyblogger does it.

Pay Flynn at Smart Passive Income does it.

Derek Halpern can’t stop telling people about it.

I did it and saw a jump in both traffic and conversions. One particular resource page is getting a 7.84% conversion rate to my eNewsletter compared to a 1.48% site average.

Passive Income and the Hedgehog Concept

One of my favorite business books of all time is Good to Great by Jim Collins. One of the most common themes in the great businesses Collins studied is summarized in what he termed the “Hedgehog Concept.”

The Hedgehog Concept

The Hedgehog Concept is the intersection between three essential questions that you must answer with your blog or business:
1. What can you be best in the world at?
2. What are you passionate about?
3. What drives your economic engine?

If you are able to clearly articulate an answer to these three questions and take action to follow them with all that you do, you will see long-term results.

The first two are written about often in passive income spheres.

What am I passionate about?

Jonathan and Bob (Christian Personal Finance) started a blog called Blogging Your Passion, which focuses on this very topic.

James Clear over at Passive Panda has a nice article titled, “How to find your passion (the secret you need to hear)“…you gotta love that headline.

And, of course, the king of passive income, Pat Flynn, writes about the concept often: “3 Questions You Should Ask Yourself to Find that Passionate and Profitable Idea.”

What can I be best in the world at?

In the blogosphere it is tough to think of other websites as “competitors.” The key question in my mind is “what is your unique selling proposition?” Seth Godin called this the Purple Cow.

Corbett Barr’s articles on USP from thinktraffic.net are the best around right now. Read and apply his “Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Unique Selling Proposition” to your website or idea. If you cannot see a significant characteristic that sets you apart from all the other websites in your niche, then think twice before moving forward. You may not have a Hedgehog Concept.

Finding your passion and recognizing your skills and potential compared to the competition are essential when you are trying to find a niche for your website. But how does the economic engine apply to blogs (and more importantly passive income)?

What drives my economic engine?

(and how do I make sure this driver reflects passive income?)

Fill in the blank: The key measurement of my monetary success is: profit per __________.

For businesses, here are some examples of economic engine drivers:

  • profit per customer
  • profit per product/service
  • profit per employee

For bloggers, economic drivers include:

  • profit per unique visitor
  • profit per subscriber
  • profit per customer
  • profit per post (or podcast episode, video, email, etc.)
  • profit per product/service

Passive Income and the Hedgehog Concept

Passive income is raging in popularity among bloggers in every niche. Why? Blogging takes time and people are looking for the best way to put in the smallest amount of work with the biggest amount of results.

The idea is that you can create content, products, and systems online that will generate income while you sleep.

How does this figure in to the Hedgehog Concept?

In general, this is my experience of time/action:

  •  1-5 minutes: respond to a tweet, G+ comment, comment on Facebook
  • 10-15 minutes: answer an email
  • 1-2 hours: blog post
  • 1-2 hours: newsletter email
  • 1-2 hours: create and optimize a landing page
  • 30-40 hours: create a free opt-in product (ebook, ecourse)
  • 30-40 hours: create a paid product

Mileage may vary, but the concept is key: do the work that takes the least amount of time for the biggest result.

In other words: profit per hour.

It sounds like a job doesn’t it? If I get paid a salary at work, why would I spend my time focusing what I am getting paid per hour?

With passive income, we increase our profit per hour through the work that we do. We can control the amount of time we spend and we can do amazing work that results in higher income. It is very different from a job.

The key, though, is that you control the amount of money you make per hour of work based on your ability to do work that produces the greatest amount of profit.

Passive Income Case Study

I love Benny Hsu’s story. He was recently featured on Smart Passive Income for his enormous success with the Photo 365 iPhone App (which I love).

Benny has a blog in the personal development niche–a niche that many bloggers struggle to monetize. Inspired by Pat Flynn, Benny stopped doing all of the typical “make money online” strategies like niche sites and PPC campaigns and focused on something unique.

I love his realization: “When I didn’t see money coming in, or lots of traffic, I thought to myself, ‘See I knew I couldn’t do it. This was a waste of my time.’”

You can read Benny’s full reflection here: My $4,739 Weekend and 11 Lessons To Help You

I’m not sure if Benny measures his economic success as profit per hour, but if he compared the number of hours he spent trying to make money online the typical way, it would pale in comparison to the creation of his app.

Go find what you love, identify how you can be the best in the world, and develop passive income by producing the highest amount of profit per hour of work.

Google Analytics Hides Keyword Data of Logged-In Users (and Every Niche is Affected)

Like most data junkies, I’m as angry as anyone for Google’s recent decision to hide keyword data in Google Analytics for users who are logged-in to their Google accounts. Basically, all searches by logged-in users will be in https://www.google.com rather than http://www.google.com as a secure way to search the web. Instead of reporting the keywords that these users typed to find your website, you will see (not provided).

So someone searching for “analyze niche” last week would appear as so:

Google Blocks Keyword Data

While a Google user searching for “analyze niche” this week would appear as so in Google Analytics:

Google Analytics Blocks Keyword Data

At first I thought this would only have a significant impact on websites in the tech niche or blogging niches, but I’m already seeing an impact on sites that typically have low-tech visitors.

Here is a screenshot of the (not provided) visits in the first week of the change:

Google Analytics Not Provided Keyword Results

To be completely honest I didn’t expect to see any impact yet, but even in a non-techie niche I’m seeing an impact. Granted it is less than 1% of all keyword traffic for the week, but if the number continues to grow I will get concerned.

If you are like me, you are signed-in to Google virtually all day long. And with Google+ and Gmail growing in popularity, this could really be a significant change for everyone. This is going to have a significant impact on blogs in every niche.

Find Out More Information 

Avinash Kaushik is the web analytics guru at Google and has already posted a tip on how to measure the impact of this decision. He promises to continue to guide users in the future on this topic.

Rand Fishkin posted an emergency Whiteboard Friday session over the weekend that should help as well.

Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land has some thoughts as well.

What Now?

Start tracking your (not provided) keyword results and see how much the data is impacting your ability to analyze the data. If you are seeing a significant impact, then look at the data from Bing and Yahoo search results. The keyword break-down of those search engines could really help put the Google data into perspective. If you see some keywords missing in Google, you might want to see how you are performing in the other engines and check your SERP rank.

Why Personal Finance Blogs Monetize with Google AdSense

I’ll admit that I am a wannabe personal finance blogger. The first domain name I ever bought was targeting the keyword phrase “personal finance.” It is a crowded niche and I couldn’t select a definitive unique selling proposition.

If you read a lot of personal finance blogs like me, you probably noticed the number of them that monetize with Google AdSense. There are ads on almost every one.

How can this be when so many “make money online” gurus tell us to avoid monetizing with ads?

Personal Finance Keywords Make Money

 

Where Does Google Make Its Money? [ infographic ]

As you can see the top three keywords are perfect for personal finance blogs. In fact, the majority of the top 20 keywords in this infograph are personal finance related keywords. Google must love personal finance blogs–they are making them some cash!

In most niches, the cost per click for keywords related to the content of the site is so low that it really does not make much sense to use Google AdSense. However, in the personal finance niche it makes perfect sense even with a small amount of traffic. Check out one of the popular personal finance blogs ( Get Rich Slowly, The Simple Dollar, The Consumerist) and notice the kind of advertisements that pop up in the sidebars. If the ads don’t represent the infograph above, then clear your browser’s cache and history and refresh the page (sometimes ads can be give to you based on your browsing history not the content of the page).

Personal Finance Bloggers Who Monetize with AdSense

ChristianPF Monetization with Bob Lotich

ChristianPF Google AdSense Monetization

 

 

ChristianPF is the leading personal finance blog in the Christian niche of the personal finance blogging community. He has been able to recruit additional bloggers as contributors to create content. These recruits gain credibility and visitors to their own sites, most of which have a Christian focus to personal finance as well.

One of the best ranked posts on ChristianPF is the epic article, “How to Make Money with a Blog.” It has nearly 2,000 links and 900 Facebook shares, 72 Tweets, and 52 +1s at the time of this posting. In it he shares some great tips for monetizing with Google AdSense.

Consumerism Commentary by Flexo

 

Consumerism Commentary Blog Monetization

Maybe best known for the Consumerism Commentary Podcast, Flexo and his crew focus their monetization on the AdSense revenue from their site. You can see the number of ads on their site. It may be a bit distracting as a reader, but you can’t deny the data in the infograph above. Personal finance keywords make money.

Who Else Uses Google AdSense?

Search around on the personal finance blogs and you’ll see how common it is. Start with the Yakezie Network, the top personal finance blog network, and do some exploring. You’ll notice that many of these blogs use AdSense, including:

Personal Finance Bloggers Who Avoid AdSense

 

Man vs. Debt with Adam Baker

Man vs. Debt Monetization Strategies

Maybe the best example of a personal finance blogger who avoids Google Ads is Adam Baker from Man vs. Debt. Baker has a large audience of online entrepreneurs and was able to dabble in various other niches in his young career as a blogger. He is loved by both the travel community and the minimalist bloggers. Recently he has had various successes with product launches and teamed up with Corbett Barr  to develop The Hustle Project.

His next big thing will be to open up again his membership site, You vs. Debt, which seems to be a great success.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

I Will Teach You To Be Rich Monetization Strategies

A the opposite end of the spectrum of personal finance strategies but in the same arena for blog monetization strategies is Ramit Sethi from I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Ramit is a popular author, but he doesn’t make his money off of the royalties from his book. His real money comes form his products: Scrooge Strategy, Earn 1k, Negotiate a Lower Rent, Find Your First Profitable Idea.

Making Money from Google AdSense

In so many ways using AdSense seems like the most effective form of passive income. You create content, get traffic, and make money on ad-clicks from your visitors. Of course, it is much more challenging than that. You need a lot of traffic to make a significant amount of money from ads on a blog. However, the advantage that personal finance bloggers is that one click might make ten or even one hundred times more per click when compared to the pennies you make in some niches.

Think strategically about whether Google AdSense is right for you and your niche. Sign up for Google AdSense yourself and get an idea of how much you would pay as an advertiser for your keywords. If you’re talking pennies, then focus your efforts on other monetization strategies.

 

8 Twitter Networking Tactics for Link-Building

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz presents a great collection of 8 tactics for link-building through Twitter. He provides some great advice for people who understand Twitter and are looking to strategically use their time on the popular social network.

His list of Twitter Networking Tactics:

1. The Serendipitous Connection
2. The Top X List
3. The Let Me Build/Develop
4. The Story Teller
5. The Link Suggestion
6. The Content to Answer
7. The Must-Have Testimonials
8. The Business Development Deal

Wistia

The Analyze Niche Twitter Strategy (In Brief)

My personal favorite is #2 simply because it summarizes my initial plan for this website: build relationships with bloggers in various niches and share the best of the best. I have diversified my Twitter presence by adding @analyzeniche as a portal for connection with bloggers from various niches. It is crazy to see the numbers at a double-zero. I love Twitter and I get it. Most people don’t get it. They broadcast rather than connect. They spam rather than help.

Besides Google+, Twitter is the best way to publicly reach out to others in your space.

All it takes is a follow and an @reply (or a DM).

Look at the success of  Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) and you’ll see how powerful Twitter can be. Or check out Brian (@coqui2008) from the travel blogging niche.

If you are a domainer or building niche sites only, consider adding a social media strategy to your repertoire. I think you’ll find it is well worth the time.