Time to start blogging again…

Where have you been? It’s been a little over 8 months since my last blog post and I’ve really been having the itch to start it up again. To be honest, the main reason I stopped blogging for awhile is that I was dealing with a lot of unpleasant things that just wouldn’t have been very fun to write about. If you were a follower of my blog you know that I moved to Texas back in mid 2011 only to realize what a mistake that was a few months later. I certainly don’t want to air all the dirty laundry of that experience here, but the biggest fallout was some bonehead SEO practices by my former partner. While I was off practicing total white hat SEO, even writing about it, my partner was off doing all the black hat no-nos known to man. Things such as article spinning, buying links, comment spamming, low quality directories, etc, etc. When I first discovered what he had been doing I was pretty outraged. When I confronted him about it his exact words were “But it works”. Just thinking about it right now makes my head almost explode. I equated it to poker during tournament play when you bluff all in. There is that old saying of “It works every time, but once”. Even after we had a long conversation about shutting the black hat crap down, he still persisted behind my back. While we ultimately decided to part ways because of this (and several other reasons), Panda and Penguin finally caught up to his “it works” approach and left me with...

Bye Bye Dallas

If you would have asked me on May 1, 2011 if there was a even a sliver of a chance that I would take on a new business partner, move to Dallas, sell our home in California, have a whole bunch of stuff happen that I’m not going to get into here, and realize it was by far and away the biggest mistake of my life less than a year later – I would have told you that you were certifiably insane. Well, that’s exactly what happend and less than one year after moving to Dallas, we’re leaving Dallas. Discussing the particulars of anything that transpired in a public forum like my blog would be highly unprofessional and not make me feel any better in the end. Regardless, with the exception of learning from my mistakes, this is something I’d rather erase from my memory and move on with the rest of my life. There was one thing, and one thing only, that lead my wife and I to Dallas in the first place – that was to become business partners with someone. Since that no longer exists – there really isn’t a reason to be there. I only know one other person in the entire Dallas / Forth Worth Metroplex and we have zero family there. So, as soon as we got back from our trip in Costa Rica on April 14th we began preparations to leave Dallas. The thought of packing everything back up that we just took out of boxes 9 months ago was daunting, but it had to be done. Our last day in Dallas...

Update from 30,000 feet

This is the first flight I’ve ever been on that has wifi access, which is pretty cool. In years past I’ve been traveling exclusively on Continental and they are still in the dark ages when it comes to having Internet on the plane. It’s been over a year since I’ve flown with them, but as far as I know they still don’t have it. It seems like most of the other major carriers have installed wifi, which makes traveling so much more enjoyable. For people like me who have a hard time staying “unplugged” it helps even more. Anyway, today I’m heading back to Dallas from Philly and this American Airlines flight has wifi. If it feels like it’s been ages since I posted to my blog, that’s because it has! My last post was in early December and since then a lot has been going on in my life. I’ve obviously been really busy with work, which never seems to change, but there has been a string of people visiting us and then some traveling too. The reality is setting in now that this is going to be a really long post to catch up on everything‚Ķ. Google News Update Since the last post I made was about getting accepted into Google News I think it’s fitting to lead off with that… Since getting accepted into Google News in early December we’ve been posting about 3-5 news articles per day Monday – Friday and then a couple over the weekend too. The traffic results are simply stunning. I predicted a traffic increase of 2x-3x once we got accepted,...

Welcome to Google News

I’ve written several posts about the importance of good content and the power of getting your site accepted into Google News. In fact, I wrote a detailed post about how to get your site submitted here. Not every site is a good fit for this strategy, but if your site has a theme that naturally posts a lot of content, especially news content, then Google News might be right for you. We were in the process of getting websitehosting.com submitted to Google News before we sold it, but none of our other sites really had the breadth of content needed; that is until we purchased ira.com. We’ve been writing an average of 2-3 posts per day on IRA.com since we purchased it; about 2.5 weeks ago I decided it was time to submit it to Google News. Then, yesterday, I got the most wonderful email: “Thank you for your note. We’ve reviewed your site and will be adding it to our index for Google News. In order for your content to be included in Google News, please follow at least one of the two options below:” To say the least, I was really happy and excited to get approved. We put a lot of work into this project over the past couple of months and getting accepted to Google News is going to bring a welcome increase in traffic. I estimate that we can get at least an additional 1,000 unique visitors to the site each day. Not only will this traffic undoubtedly translate into more sales, it will also attract more natural links. We’ve had sites in Google...

IRA.com Version 2.0 and Shout Out To BlueLayerMedia

First off, I want to start by giving a major shout out to the guys over at BlueLayerMedia. They are the ones who helped us get this site coded and they did just a fantastic job. I’ve worked with a lot of developers though the years and these guys are simply some of the best. Their code is super tight and they have the uncanny ability to push WordPress to its upper limits. I told them that I would be making this post, so they offered 10% off to anyone who mentions this post on their first project. Their rates are fairly reasonable to begin with, so this will make it even cheaper. If you end up using BlueLayerMedia feel free to comment on your experience via this post to let me know how it went. ***DISCLAIMER: I’m not affiliated with BlueLayerMedia in anyway. In regards to IRA.com version 2.0, well I’m pretty excited about it. The new site features a full-featured accountant and financial planner directory. We’ve pre-sold almost 200 entries for this directory and we’ll be busy populating that data over the next few days. It also has some pretty slick videos (2nd one is in production now), an IRA basics section, and an Ask An Expert function. Via the Ask An Expert page users can post any questions they might have and then only the experts in the system can reply. This ensures that users are getting good sound advice and it’s a value-add for those in the directory. Finally, I’m really excited about the design of the new site. It’s just got an amazing look...

Terran Marketing Purchases IRA.com

Today I’m really excited to be able to announce that Terran Marketing has purchased ira.com in what I hope will become our flagship website. For those of you who read my blog from outside the United States, an IRA is an Individual Retirement Account. These accounts provide a tax shelter while your money is in them, allowing your money to grow tax free. About 70% of people in the United States have an IRA, or some form of retirement account. That’s a lot of people searching for information related to this subject, but I’ll get more into that later. In addition to the search volume the financial industry is one of the strongest on the Internet – in terms of Cost Per Click advertising and Cost Per Acquisition commission payments. Having an exact match domain like this should be a category killer and we’re looking forward to building this project out. History with IRA.com We actually closed on this site on September 1st, but haven’t been able to talk about it publicly because of some legal mumbo-jumbo. This deal was accompanied with a fairly lengthy legal agreement which requires us to stay tightlipped about the terms of our deal. However, now that everything is official we are allowed to come forward as the new owners of the site. This is also a good time to give a special shout-out to Derek Giordano for helping us broker the deal. When we purchased the site on September 1st, it was more of a placeholder for the domain than anything. It wasn’t exactly a parked domain, but it wasn’t much more than...