Maintenance

Maintenance

Purpose:

The purpose of this training lesson is to review the steps needed to effectively maintain and grow your autoblog business. There is no magic formula for this; it comes down to:
  • Content + Links = Traffic
  • Traffic + Testing = Profits
What this means is you set up your blog to get content and links, then you will test different monetizing strategies to find the most profitable :)
We recommend you don't start maintenance on your autoblogs until after 4 weeks of being indexed in Google. You also want to wait at least 1 full week since you completed the previous lesson on promotion. This is to ensure the promotion has had time to take effect.

Maintenance - The Ugly Step Child of Auto Blogging

This is also one of the most forgotten about steps as well, hence the "Ugly Step Child" reference :)
The steps you are about to read are simply a guideline to follow and a minimum one at that. The amount of time and effort you put into this should depend on the ROI (return on investment). What that means is if your blog is ranking for keywords that should get traffic and you just can't get traffic or you just can't generate revenue, then it is better to move on and spend your time on creating new blogs and maintaining the profitable ones.
People often love the initial creation and building but when it comes to the maintaining… well that gets swept aside. It's recommended you follow a simple process before you give up completely on a blog. This process will also let you know within 3 months whether you need to focus more time on it as well.
The idea is that each month you check your statistics, find the keywords you need to focus on, set up your content and promotion plan, implement your plan and then repeat the process the next month. Each month you will also want to compare the previous month’s stats to ensure you are not spinning your wheels. For example, if you are focusing on a keyword that is showing up on page 4 of Google and is sending you some traffic and you do a full campaign on it 2 months in a row and your rankings for that term have not dramatically changed… then chances are you will want to focus on a different term.

Initial "Month 1" Maintenance Checklist:

This is a short checklist that you should use one week after you finish promoting your blog as outlined in lesson 21. Then 4 weeks after this intial checklist, you will use the primary "Site Maintenance Checklist" that is below this one.
  1. Check to ensure blog is ranking for terms on the first 5 pages of Google. You are not focused on just a page 1 ranking right now, as it may take a couple months for your blog to mature before Google starts to really rank it well. I find that once a blog hits about 3 months in age, its ranking power is much better. You do however want to ensure that after your initial promotion that your blog's main term is ranking in the top 5 pages of Google. This will show that Google likes your blog and with some more linking and content being added, it should make its way to page one over the next couple weeks or months. Many of you however, will find that you are ranking on page 1 or 2 VERY quickly... it all depends on the competition :)
  2. If ranking in top 5 pages, let the blog run on auto pilot for the next 4 weeks and then follow the instructions in the below "Site Maintenance Checklist".
  3. If not ranking in the first 5 pages, it is recommended that you do another round of promotion on your blog and then let it sit on auto pilot for the next 4 weeks and then follow the instructions in the below "Site Maintenance Checklist".
  4. If you blog is not indexed in Google, then there is a more serious issue that needs to be looked at. The following steps are recomended to be followed:
    1. Enter in Google "site:yourdomain.com" (without the quotes) and verify that your blog is not indexed in Google. If no results appear, then Google has not added your blog to thier database.
    2. In your blogs "wp-admin", go to "Settings >> Privacy" and ensure the box is checked for "I would like my site to be visible to everyone, including search engines (like Google, Bing, Technorati) and archivers" and click "Save Changes"
    3. If using the Catalyst theme, In "Catalyst >> Core Options", check in the "Homepage SEO Options" section that you do NOT have checked the "Noindex homepage"
    4. Submit your blog to http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ and submit your blogs sitemap. Then wait 24 hours and then checkback to see what issues Google has identified with your blog. The main focus would be to look at yoru robots.txt file and make sure you do not have an error and are blocking "Google" from indexing your site.
NOTE: I do not recommend that you submit all your auto blogs to the google webmaster tools, since this would show Google all your blogs. Instead, only use it if you are having issues with your blog being indexed.

Site Maintenance Checklist:

This checklist is designed to be used once per month on your autoblogs, once you have gone through the entire BBP process, have completed the "Initial Month 1 Maintenance Checklist" and are needing to maintain and grow your blogs.

Part 1 - Keeping it Clean

The first thing that you need to do when doing maintenance on your blog is some general maintenance that keeps it running smoothly. The items you will check here are:
  1. Plugins: Ensure all plugins are up to date:
    1. Log into your wp-admin and go to "Plugins" >> "Plugin Central" and ensure all of your plugins are up to date.
    2. Go to "Auto Blog Buddy" and at the top of the page check to see if there is an update available.
  2. Links: Ensure there are no broken links:
    1. Log into your wp-admin and go to "Tools" >> "Broken Links".
    2. In the upper right hand corner of the page, you wil see two square icons. Click the one furthest to the right, this will show more details on the page.
    3. If the link has been broken for more than 2 days and was checked in the past 24 hours, then you will want to remove it. If less than that, it is recommended you click the checkbox beside the link and in the drop down menu select "Recheck". The purpose of this is to ensure the broken link is not just a temporary thing caused by something like a server issue. It may take a couple minutes for the system to recheck. After about a minute, click refresh on the page, if it is still broken then we recommend you remove it.
    4. To remove the broken link, simply hover your cursor over the URL then click on the "UNLINK" link that appears. This will automatically remove the link from the page.
  3. Images: Ensure there are no broken images: We recommend that you take a quick tour of your blog and ensure that any images or banners that you have added are showing up properly.
  4. Affiliate Products: Ensure your main products are still active (on your primary content pages): Click on the various affiliate links you have on your blog and ensure that they are redirecting properly and the page you expect to show up is actually showing up. Sometimes products are removed or links change and suddenly you find that you are sending your traffic to an error page. If you find that the links are not working, check to see if there is a similar product you can link to.
  5. Content: Ensure content is still being added and if using PLR or Datafeeds, you want to ensure there is enough lined up for the next 4 to 5 weeks. If you have access to AutoBlogBuddy PRO, then you will want to go to the main plugin window and under posts, you will be able to see the number of remaining posts.
  6. Social Sharer: Ensure that all accounts are posting properly.
    1. In your wp-admin, go to "Auto Blog Buddy" >> "Social Sharer" and check that you accounts are posting properly.
    2. For accounts that are not, try to manually log into your account. If the login does not work, create a new account and add the info. If you can log in, then double check that your username and password are entered in the Social Sharer properly. If it is then submit a ticket to support explaining the issue.

Part 2 - Easy Traffic Increase with Low Hanging Fruit

The intent of Part 2 is to help you identify the keywords that have the best chance of helping improve traffic to your autoblogs.
Step 1 of this checklist will review two similar strategies for checking analytics. The first is for Gold and Platinum members that have access to "AutoBlogBuddy PRO" and the "Internal Link Booster", the second will be for those of you that do not have access to these tools.
Step 1 for Gold & Platinum Members: Identify Low Hanging Fruit
  1. Login to your blog's wp-admin area and go to "AutoBlogBuddy >> Internal Link Booster".
  2. In the top navigation, click on "Have Positions". This will ensure that the keywords that show are only keywords that are currently ranking in Google.
  3. Now click on the "Hits" column header to sort in descending order of the amount of hits a keyword has provided. The data is now sorted in a way that will prove extremely powerful in helping you determine where to focus your promotion efforts. What you will look for here are keywords that are providing "some" traffic and are below position 5. In personal experience, the amount of traffic you get from position 6 to 4 is quite substantial and the higher the better. You want to find the keywords that have the best combination of "traffic + lowest position". The reason is if a keyword has given you 15 hits and is in position 6 but another has given you 9 hits and is in position 19, the chances are that the keyword in position 19 will give you WAY more traffic when moved to position 1 than the postion 6 keyword would when moved to position 1(hope that makes sense).
  4. You want to create a list of 5 keywords and also the URLs on your blog that they link to. If you do not have 10 keywords, then just use as many as you have available. Make sure to sort the keywords in order of priority (the top word being the one that will get you the most return on investment).

  • (For Gold and Platinum Members Only) Using the "Internal Link Booster" component of "Auto Blog Buddy PRO", create a list of 5 terms and URLs.
Step 1 for Non Gold & Platinum Members: Identify Low Hanging Fruit
  1. Login to your blog's wp-admin section and go to "StatPress" >> "Export".
  2. Enter in the data for the past 4 weeks and export the results to your desktop. You will need to rename the file and save it as a ".csv", then you can open it in a program such as Excel.
  3. Sort your CSV file by "searchengine" and you will be able to identify a list of keywords from Google and the other search engines and the pages similar to...
  4. You are now going to want to use the free tool provided by SeoBook.com called "SEO Rank Checker". This is a 100% free-to-use FireFox browser addon that helps save a lot of time. You can download the tool from http://www.ramthoughts.com/rankchecker. You will want to enter the keywords you exported and add them to the RankChecker tool, then identify about 10 keywords and URLs that you will want to focus on. You want to identify keywords that are ranking low in Google but are sending you some traffic.
  5. You want to create a list of 5 keywords and also the URLs on your blog that they link to. If you do not have 10 keywords, then just use as many as you have available. Make sure to sort the keywords in order of priority (the top word being the one that will get you the most return on investment).

  • (For non Gold and Platinum Members) Using the "StatsPress" plugin and the free SEO Rank Checker tool, create a list of 5 terms and URLs.
Step 2 - Grabbing That Low Hanging Fruit and Enjoying It :)
  1. In your wp-admin area, go to "Settings" >> "SEO Smart Links" and add the list of keywords and URLs to the "Custom Keywords" section. This will help increase the internal linking to those posts and will also improve their rankings.
  2. Now you are going to want to do a promotion push that promotes the "BEST" keyword from your list. You will find that, since this keyword is already ranking in Google, it will only take a little promotion to dramatically improve its rankings. If this is the first round of maintenance for your autoblog, then you do not want to invest too much into promoting it until you see if it will be profitable or not. Once a blog is identified as profitable, you can invest more into the promotion but initially we recommend that you...
    1. Submit an article to at least 10 article directories with a link to both your blog's index page with the index page's primary keyword and the keyword and url you identified from Part 1.
    2. Submit a video to at least 3 video directories with a link back in the description to the url you identified from Part 1.
    3. For Platinum members, submit a blast to the SK network with a link to both your blog's index page with the index page's primary keyword and the keyword and url you identified from Part 1.

  • Add your list of keywords and URLs to the "SEO Smart Links" plugin.
  • Do a promotion campaign with the best looking keyword and URL.

Part 3 - Tracking Profits

Now that you have taken care of the general maintenance items, it is time to start looking at what really counts.
In this part, we are going to be using the "Blog Manager" spreadsheet from http://www.ramthoughts.com/blogmanager.
If this is a brand new blog that you are checking, then the chances are you have not started making much in the way of revenue with it. Your first month is really more about getting them established in the search engines and getting traffic. You still want to check on revenue but do not get discouraged if at first only a few of your blogs are starting to make money... by the second month they should start to get on track :)
Using the spreadsheet...
  1. Make sure to fill out all the data fields.
  2. Make sure there is at least a one month difference in the "Built Date" compared to the "Today's Date". If there isn't, then adjust the "Built Date" further back. This is not a critical factor (the exact built date), as long as it is within a week or two. This is needed so the formulas on the spreadsheet work properly.
  3. Enter values in the "Leads" and "Revenue" fields. You want to enter in the total amount. The speadsheet will then give you a monthly average.
The purpose of this tracking sheet is to help you identify the blogs that are making you the most amount of money. This does not mean we are going to trash the ones that are not, but it will help us understand which ones we should invest more resources in. For example, if by the third month I have one blog making $10 a month and another making $200, I would not want to invest the same amount of time and energy into both blogs. Instead, I would just do my regular maintenance items but would do the minimum needed. With the $200 blog, however, I would do more, such as getting a couple of unique posts written and doing some heavier link building and promotion.
There really in no complicated formula here. If a blog is making money and the traffic is increasing, then invest in expanding the blog by adding more content and backlinks. You will also want to look at building other related blogs to that niche, since you know it is a good one.
The beautiful thing about autoblogging is these blogs pay for themselves very quickly and then it is all profit. In fact, I keep all of my blogs and have only sold a few for the purpose of testing the process. The reason is, you will get much more revenue from an autoblog over time then you would for simply selling it. The process of "flipping" blogs is about creating an actual blog-creating business and will be covered in a bonus lesson.
Instead of "Flipping" your blog, what we recommend instead is...
  1. Check your traffic:
    1. If your blog is not ranking well, do a bit more promotion on it to try and boost its ranking.
    2. If your blog is ranking well but the traffic is poor, then you may want to try a new primary post or two on some other "potentially profitable" keywords. The fact is not all keywords will get the traffic that the different tools predict, so as a result sometimes you need to try a couple of different terms.
    3. If your blog is three months old and is still getting low traffic, then we recommend you leave it alone. Sometimes it takes time for a blog to get established and ranked. It's been seen many times where a blog suddenly starts earning revenue 6 months after it was considered hopeless. The more aged a blog is the better... just make sure it is getting updated with new content and links.
  2. Check your conversions:
    1. This will be talked about in the next section but basically if you have good traffic but no revenue, you will want to test different monetization strategies.
    2. If you are not getting traffic, do not bother testing different monetization strategies until you do.
In summary, we personally reocmmend that you really do nothing except the "Part 1 and 2" of the maintenance plan for the first two months. This will allow your blogs to really get established and start tracking data. Then by the third month you will start to be able to make educated decisions about what needs to be focused on with each blog.

  • Record and track your autoblogs revenue using the "Blog Manager" spreadsheet. Click here to download.
  • Identify profitable blogs that you will want to invest more time and money into.

Part 4 - Testing Monetization

This is probably one of the most "not used" strategies when it comes to making money online. Loads of people (customers) have cried the blues about a website that is not doing well and EVERY one of them, when asked what different things they have tested, have answered the same way, "Uhmmm... nothing, i just gave up on that site".
Testing monetization is not just starting with some affiliate offers and then adding AdSense. That is NOT testing... all you did was change something WITHOUT actually testing anything.
Testing monetization is primarily made up of two parts.
  1. Location: This is where the monetization is located on your page and how you are getting your readers to see it.
  2. Offer: What type of offer are you using. You may find that even though two offers look virtually identical, when it comes to conversions there may be a HUGE difference. For example, one product might have a better follow up process and as a result after 30 days convert two to three times better than the other offer. The point is you want to test different offers.
Here are some basic steps you can follow to help improve the profitablility of your blogs:
  1. Before you make any change, make sure you record the date of the change. This way you can change things back if they do not work. Also, DO NOT make too many changes at once. Change ONE or TWO things and let it be for a couple weeks. This will then give your "test" time to actually be tested.
  2. Ensure that your main "call to action"s are viewable as soon as your blog opens. You do not want to have it so the user has to scroll to see a call to action.
  3. Make sure that you are using a blue text with an underline for your main affiliate links. People are used to seeing links as blue text that is underlined, so do not make them try to figure out something new.
  4. Check that all your "call to action"s (text links and banners) have a "Good" call to action. That means that they tell the reader to "Click Here" and that you use arrows and images to draw the readers attention to the links.
  5. Test different ad block sizes. For example, 468X60 banner sizes seem to have lost a lot of their effectiveness due to banner blindness. What that means is since this size is so common, our eyes immediately recognize those size images as advertisements and cause us to be "blind" to them. The challenge, however, is this is not always true... which is why you MUST test. What works on one blog does not always work on another one.
  6. Test completely different offers. This may mean you will have to update your content a little but you definitely want to test different related offers.
The above list is not an exhaustive list of ideas but is a solid enough list to get you started. Like many things, you need to ensure you balance your time and resources so that you are getting the best return on investment. A personal recommendation is that after the three month period, if the traffic is good, test different monetization strategies. Understand, though, that some markets are just not buyer markets. Also, do NOT bother testing different monetization strategies on blogs that are getting little to no traffic. You are simply wasting your time and money.

  • Test different monetization strategies on your blogs.

Congratulations... you have reached the end of the Blog Blueprint Training System!

Yes, there are other lessons, but they are bonus training material that go above and beyond the scope of the intial training. With the training and tools you have recieved up to this point, you have everything you need to create your profitable business.
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Getting Registered

Getting Registered

Purpose:

The purpose of this lesson is to provide you with a general overview of services required in building your Auto-blog empire.  It will cover:
  • What services are necessary
  • When you should register for the services
  • Why you should register for these services
As you go along, action items will be presented and opportunity will be given to complete those action items.

Register Now and Stay Organized

When building your auto-blog empire, you will discover that there are a number of services you will want to take advantage of and you will need to create accounts at these services you choose to use.  That means a lot of URLs, usernames, passwords and other required pieces of information will need to be managed.
You will also discover that these various services can have different target audiences in mind.  Some will be focused on both “New & Experienced” users while other services only want “Experienced” ones.
With this in mind, the following will cover the services you need to know about and take advantage of, when to take advantage of them and why registering with them is of value to you in your auto-blog empire-building.

Account Management Tools

A critical aspect of running your auto-blog empire is the ability to manage the many services you will register with and here are a couple of tools that can help with that management.
Account Management Spreadsheet: This spreadsheet is designed to help you keep organized and provide a means for quick access to your important registered account information.  An Excel version of this spreadsheet can be downloaded at:
Download the spreadsheet and store it in the Blog Blueprint folder you created in the previous lesson.
When you open the spreadsheet, you can see it contains five different worksheets:
  • Email Accounts
  • Affiliate Networks
  • Hosting
  • Domains
  • Mailing Lists
Each worksheet is designed to help you record and organize account information specific to the service the worksheet is named after.  We’ll get into a little more detail on this later on in this lesson.

Roboform Browser Add-on: This recommended tool is a browser add-on that will securely keep all your account access information on your computer and makes it extremely easy to access that information.  When you return to a site, Roboform recognizes the site and will bring up the corresponding access information (e.g. username and password).  It is all secured behind a password that, once entered, enables Roboform to automatically fill in the access information for you.
Roboform can be accessed from http://www.ramthoughts.com/roboform.  It is a paid product but a free trial version is available for you to experiment with.

  • Download the Account Management spreadsheet to your Blog Blueprint folder
    (http://www.ramthoughts.com/accounttracking)
  • Optionally, download and install the free trial version of Roboform
    (http://www.ramthoughts.com/roboform)

Services

There are five initial categories of services that are important to building your auto-blog empire.  In this section we will give an individual overview of each service.  This is intended to give you a basic understanding of each service in order to get you up and running with building your auto-blog empire.  You will gain greater understanding of all of these services as you continue in the auto-blog training.
Email Accounts
Many of the services desired to help with building your auto-blog network have been victims of spammers who create junk blogs then use throw-away email addresses from free email providers like Hotmail and Gmail to spam those services.  How the services protect themselves is to use a filtering system that filters out email addresses from such email providers.
As a result, each auto-blog you create will have its own personalized email address such as accounts@yourdomain.com.  This will help distinguish you from spammers, enabling you to successfully register and use those desired services rather than being filtered out.
While using this technique gets you around the spamming problem, another problem is created.  Following our auto-blogging steps, after a year of using individual domains for email addresses, you will end up with 120 email accounts and as you can well imagine, this will be a major pain to manage.
Our recommendation is to create a central email management account that all other email accounts will forward to.  This is an account that is not seen by anyone but you. For example, you can use one of the free providers and our recommendation is to use Gmail (which is what we use).  The advantages of using Gmail are:
  • It can be accessed from anywhere you can access the internet
  • It has a built-in, powerful spam filter
  • You can easily auto-filter and sort
  • It is FREE!
Now remember, this central email management account will NOT be seen by anyone else but you, so when you sign up for a service, you are not using that email account (which will probably result in rejection) instead you would use a domain specific email (such as accounts@domain.com) that is forwarded to your central email management account.
How you employ the use of email accounts in building your auto-blogging network is that each time you create a new blog, you will create two email addresses.  One will be used for “account creation” (registering with the service) and the other will be used as a “contact forms” email.  The “account creation” email will not forward to Gmail but the “contact forms” email will.
As you continue on in the Auto-blogging course, the meaning and use of these things will become clearer.
  • Create a new email account (recommend Gmail) that will be used as your central email account for managing your auto-blogging empire emails.
  • Record your new email account information in the Account Management spreadsheet by going to the ‘Email Accounts’ worksheet and entering the corresponding information in the “Primary Email Address” fields.
Affiliate Networks
Affiliate programs are going to play a major role in your revenue generating and as a result you are going to need to register with a few affiliate networks to get started.  By doing so, you will discover how easy it is to find lots of different products and services you can offer on your blog. 
This differs from finding products and then determining whether or not they have an affiliate program through which you can promote that product.  Affiliate networks have thousands and thousands of products to choose from and every niche is covered.
Though affiliate networks offer such ease in finding products and services to promote, it is important to understand that not all affiliate networks are the same.  In general terms, these networks can fall under one of two categories:
  • Newbie Friendly
  • Not Newbie Friendly
By “newbie” we simply mean an individual who is new to affiliate marketing.
The issue of “newbie friendliness” is important to be aware of.  Many networks only want experienced marketers and as a result will require …
  • A personal reference
  • An application process
  • Proof you are experienced
As you can see, this makes breaking into the affiliate marketing world a very challenging one.
Another issue facing individuals new to affiliate marketing is the misunderstanding that you must register with all these networks now.  Until you have established yourself and have a reason to expand into other networks, you do not need to register with all of them.  With our auto-blogging system, this will not be required.
In fact, the focus of this training is to get you started ASAP and that means our training will only focus on those affiliate networks that are “Newbie Friendly”.  If you are not a “newbie”, feel free to use other networks but for the purpose of this course we will be focusing only on the following affiliate networks:
  • Amazon
  • Clickbank
  • Commission Junction
  • Register for accounts at the recommended affiliate networks. You can use your central management email address when registering for these services but it is best to use an email with the domain of an already well established site if you own one.
  • IMPORTANT - Amazon and Commission Junction will need you to enter a website when registering with them. Do not worry if you do not currently have a website, the approval process is generally very fast (24 to 48 hours) and you can come back to this step after you have your first blog created.
  • It is also important to note that these services do allow the use of free email services because they are not victims of spam like social websites are:
  • Record your affiliate networks information in the Account Management spreadsheet by going to the ‘Affiliate Networks’ worksheet and entering the corresponding information in each of the fields.
UPDATE: We no longer recommend that you register with eBay as they are very critical of new affiliates and will not approve you until you have an established presense online. With this in mind, we do not recommend that you apply to eBay until you have a few established blogs that you can show them in your application. If you already have established websites online and would still like to try and apply at eBay, you can register at http://www.ramthoughts.com/ebay.
Note: It is highly recommended that you do not use Google AdSense on any of your auto-blogs until at least 4 weeks after they are created. As a result, we do not recommend you apply for Googe AdSense until later and this will be covered in a different lesson.
Hosting:
With auto-blogging, you will need to invest in hosting accounts to “host” the many blogs you are going to create.  In this section will talk about the hosting options that you will specifically need to successfully build your auto-blogging empire.  As you build your empire, the reasons for the requirements will be very clear to you.
Now remember, our goal is to get you up and running ASAP.  Therefore, as long as you follow our steps, those details that at first may seem quite confusing will become clearer to you.
For starting your auto-blogging empire, you will want a host that …
  • Is Linux-based with cPanel management software installed
  • Allows for WordPress installations
  • Allows for XMLRPC communications with your blogs
  • Has lots of hosting space and bandwidth
  • Allows for multiple domains
  • Allows for multiple email addresses
  • Provides good, fast customer support
There are several other considerations as well.  For example, the different kind of hosting plans you can get are …
  • Shared
  • Reseller
  • VPS (Cloud)
  • Dedicated
Each option has its own pros and cons, so explore these to see which best fits your specific requirements.  For example:
  • Shared hosting  is great for those just starting out in Auto-blog Networks … and even for those that have been around for awhile
  • Shared hosting uses a main, dedicated server shared with others, thus reducing the price
  • Shared hosting can cause a problem.  For example, if someone on that server gets into trouble with Google, you could be at risk because the IP address used comes from the same server as the problem user.  This does not happen very often and is not likely to be an issue but you do want to be aware of it.  Of course, this is why you want to select a hosting service with excellent, quick customer support.  That way if a problem does occur, you can resolve it quickly.
You will host 10 to 20 auto-blogs per shared account so you want to make certain your hosting service allows for this. 
The reasons for having only 10 to 20 auto-blogs per shared account are …
  • To protect your network and your work:  It is possible for both search engines and people to reverse engineer every part of your network by using your website’s IP address.  By hosting on different hosts and IPs (e.g. using a single host that enables multiple IP addresses), you are able to separate and protect your network.
  • Shared servers are limited:  Since our auto-blogging system can be resource intensive, it’s possible to exceed your account limits by amount of storage space, bandwidth usage, etc.  Restricting your hosting approach to 10 to 20 blogs over multiple hosts and IPs, you prevent this from happening.
As you can see, the preferred method of hosting for a “newbie” is shared hosting.  Why not use the others when starting out? 
  • Reason #1 – Money.  VPS, Reseller and Dedicated hosting can be very expensive.  For example, a dedicated server can cost from $300 to $500 a month.
  • Reason #2 – Complicated.  These types of accounts require much more management and are considered overkill for someone that is just starting out.
The bottom line in all of this is to Upgrade As You Go
Shared accounts cost only about $7 to $10 a month and are the easiest option for getting started.  Returns on your auto-blogging will easily pay for that.  After a couple of months of growth you can than consider investing in other options, such as multi-IP shared hosting, VPS (sometimes called ‘Cloud’) hosting and dedicated hosting.
What you need to remember is …
  • Do not try to penny pinch on hosting
  • Do not get more than what you need when starting out … you want to spend as little as necessary but do not skip quality
  • It is good to know how each specific hosting option works but that is not what this course is all about.  The fact is that the best experience is hands-on … so follow our advice, start small with a basic shared account, do NOT over-analyze this and then work your way up as needed.
Domains:
Domains play a major role in how well your auto-blogs rank in the search engines.  In this course we will focus on purchasing new domains for your auto-blogs that focus very tight on specific keyword phrases.
In the coming lessons you will be researching to get keywords for domains and content.  At that time we will dive deeper into specific domain strategies such as …
  • How to pick the best domains
  • Why we are focusing on new domains
  • What are aged domains
  • Other important factors to be mentioned later (e.g. why do we only use specific domain extensions)
For this lesson, all that is needed is for you to understand that you will be purchasing lots of domains to create your network and as a result will need an account at a solid domain registrar.
  • Register with at least one of the recommended domain registrar networks.
  • Record your domain information in the Account Management spreadsheet by going to the ‘Domains’ worksheet and entering the corresponding information in each of the fields.
Mailing Lists:
Note: It is recommended that if you are unsure of whether or not you will use a mailing list, that you hold off until you go through "Lesson 23 - Email Marketing"
Part of the overall strategy of the Blog Blueprint will be to teach you how to make as much money as possible.  Part of how that is accomplished is by implementing some sort of email list building strategy into your network.
In order to properly manage your email list, you are going to need to invest in a third party email list management system.
There are two options for email management software: free and paid.  Right away we will tell you … DO NOT BOTHER WITH FREE!
If you are going to take email marketing seriously, you are not going to want to waste your time having to manage your own system.  If you use a free system, that is exactly what is going to happen.  Things like email delivery rates, etc. are going to take up a lot of your time being managed.
So, best option – LEAVE IT TO THE PROS!!
They will make sure your emails get through.  As well, they will protect you from any possible legal issues that may arise.
When deciding on a paid service, some of the things you look for are …
  • An established service
  • Multiple pricing options based on list size.  When starting out new, you will have a very small list and so you don’t want to be paying more than a few dollars.  This can range from about $12 to $20 a month when starting out.  As the list grows, it will go up a little bit, e.g. some accounts with up to 3000 leads will cost about $25 a month. NOTE: If you have 3000 leads, you’ll be making much more than $25 a month … JUST FROM THE EMAIL LIST … so it proves to be very profitable.
  • Multiple lists per account, e.g. when you create your account, you can have an unlimited amount of mailing lists within that one account.
  • Inclusion of auto-responders so you can send automated responses to everyone on your list.
  • Fast customer support.  This is very important because if your mailing list should malfunction for whatever reason, you want to be able to quickly get the problem resolved.

  • If you will be using a mailing list, you will want to register at one of the recommended mailing list management networks.
  • Reminder: It is recommended that if you are unsure of whether or not you will use a mailing list, that you hold off until you go through "Lesson 23 - Email Marketing"
  • Record your mailing list information in the Account Management spreadsheet by going to the ‘Mailing Lists’ worksheet and entering the corresponding information in each of the fields

Summary

In this lesson we reviewed the services you should register for and had you register for each of them so you can be ready to go once you start building your auto-blog empire.
The information in this lesson about the services was just an overview – all that has been presented here will become clearer and clearer as you continue further into the auto-blogging course.

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