Free Ad Posting Craigslist Alternative

Are you tired of Craigslist blocking your ads, ghosting, spammers getting away with murder, or not having your Vonage phone numbers validate your account? I sure am.

A real alternative is needed. That’s why I created BCSList.com and it’s ready for your ad posting. You do not need an account to post your ad, and it’s much more user friendly than Craigslist. For instance, people can contact you right from the service rather than needing their own email client, and it blocks spam with CAPTCHA.

Head on over to bcslist.com and post a free ad in your area today!

I Am Bartering Again, for Guns This Time

Ok, so you know I barter services here and there. I am currently in the market for some guns. I am in Illinois and have a FOID card. I am getting ready for a possible zombie apocalypse and want to stock up while I can.

If you need website design, graphics, seo services, social media marketing, or coaching and consulting, contact me and let’s make a deal. I prefer handguns, and my wife prefers shotguns. I would also like some rifles.

Popular Blogging Topics for 2013

I have been posting popular blogging topics for the past couple years. This would be my 3rd I believe. Maybe the 4th. Use these ideas to start a blog that gets the maximum amount of traffic.

  1. Politics – This made my number one spot for 2013 because of how heated the presidential election is this November (2012). Obama vs Romney. Normally I wouldn’t comment on political issues, but I feel the need to here. Not only because it is in fact the hottest topic to blog about now, but also because I have paid more attention this year to what’s going on. Ron Paul was my favorite because everyone else lacked the common sense that he has. I admit I made the mistake of voting for Obama last time, but now it’s about making a change and protecting important rights such as gun ownership. I was also mad that he made promises on marijuana, then broke them by going after growers. If you were to write about these kinds of things, imagine how much traffic you can conjure up. I mean, if you are an Obama supporter, you probably are angry with me right now. See? It works!
  2. Jobs – Unfortunately, not everyone is smart enough to understand that careers are no longer an option for stability. Even so, people are trying hard to get and keep jobs rather than start their own business. If you can create a blog about these issues, people will flock to them. You can monetize in many ways, including affiliate programs for digital products on finding jobs or resume services.
  3. Facts – I found an app which is really more like an ebook. It’s focus is facts. Strange and weird facts. People love to read them, and when you think of sites like lifehacker.com where they post small items, you know that a site that published small facts would likely be successful. People share them. People come back to learn more. People forget what they learned and come back to relearn it. It’s just common sense!
  4. Self-Help – The information business is very profitable. I know because a lot of my ebooks are on how to make money, marketing, etc. I teach people how to do things, and I sell lots of books. I also get good traffic on this blog providing information like this, and I get some good affiliate sales for various things. Come up with a subject in the self help arena and you can make it successful.
  5. Technical – I own a web design company, and when I used to post code examples and other technical data, I would get some excellent targeted traffic. It’s one industry that will never go flat for a blog. If you know something about computers, programming, or something else technical, write about it and I promise the traffic will come. A lot of it from Google!

That’s my top 5 on the popular blogging topics for 2013 to write about. It’s not a huge list, but seriously it shouldn’t be. You want to know what works and this is it. Going to write about one of these topics? Let me know about it with a comment below!

5 Ways You Annoy Me in Social Networks

Today I log into Facebook and I am instantly hit with a stack of notifications. I scroll down and find the usual.

  • My sister’s birthday is today. I comment with a happy birthday and an elderly joke.
  • I see new comments on items I commented on, or items I liked.
  • I see people have shared some of my photos from my timeline.
  • Then I notice that TWO people tagged me in their photos.

Photo tagging has to be one of the worst Facebook features ever. I mean…it’s nice when you get tagged in a photo after you went to a party or some other event, but to get tagged in some stupid inspiration photo or an obvious advertisement just makes my blood boil. I instantly head towards the “remove tag” feature and I make sure to select the “REPORT SPAM” item at the same time. I do this in the hopes that the persons account will get restricted. It’s my way of revenge. People are always trying to take advantage of my name…my celebrity if you will. They want to get their crap on my wall in the hopes that they will get some traffic from it.

Social media is a great way to get traffic and a loyal following. You know where I stand if you have read this blog at all. It’s got a good function, but it also has an appropriate way to be used. There is a right way in social media marketing, and there is a wrong way. Unfortunately, most people use the wrong way. Let me break it down for you…

  • Tagging – This is problem in Facebook, but it’s also a problem in other social networks as well. People get annoyed by being tagged in some stupid photos that have nothing to do with them. The only reason you tagged me was to get me to comment on your stupid photo or post. Guess what kind of comment I will be leaving… Save yourself the headache.
  • Suggestions – This is a problem I have with StumbleUpon. I log in and instantly get slapped in the face with article suggestions by other members that I can care less about. Sure I took an interest in marijuana legalization, but it doesn’t mean that I want to see every single article you write about it.
  • Private Spam – Thanks for sending me a private message with your spam. It’s nice of you to make sure other people didn’t see your blatant advertisement. Now do me a favor…kiss my ass. Probably the worst thing Facebook can do to throw salt in the wound is to leave out a bulk delete feature. You can check everything and “archive” but not delete. Are they stupid? To be fair, Twitter does the same thing. I do not see how it makes sense to leave out a bulk message delete feature. Do you have ANY IDEA how many messages I receive? No wonder why I just leave most of the direct messages in my Twitter account. How’s that helping your server space clutter by the way?
  • Email Spam – This is more about how a company runs things than how users use the service. One such problem is Change.org. It’s the social media equivalent of a petition website. I signed a petition one time against SOPA when it was a big thing. A few months later, I get an email from another Change campaign talking about gun control. She claimed that if guns were made illegal, the Colorado shooting wouldn’t have happened. It pissed me off immediately. I tried hard to understand how someone can be so stupid. Yeah sure…a criminal is going to give a shit about the laws that are in place. IF everyone had a gun in that theater, I guarantee that the gunman would have been killed before the  innocent bystanders. I was also annoyed because I got SPAMMED with a cause I would never believe in. I don’t believe in getting raped by my government. I like my rights, thank you. Keep your spam and shame on the woman that abused the service to spread her stupidity.
  • Games – Fine. One of the things that made social media popular were the games that people can play for free and get hooked on. The reason why they grew so much is because of the forced feature that you can be invited to them. You can block specific apps when you get invited, but you can’t block ALL OF THEM at once. There should be a feature to block all games, or all apps in general, or specific types of apps. You shouldn’t have to manually block every single game that you get invited to. It’s annoying. I don’t want to play with you, so stop it. If you weren’t wasting your time playing those stupid games, you might have started a successful business by now.

Ok, so I packed that list with a bit of a rant, but that’s ok. Got issues with social media? Share them below so I can agree with you!

Christmas Time for Authors!

Hey everyone, just wanted to give a quick heads up that Christmas is coming up soon, and this is a great time for authors. If you have ever published an ebook on Amazon then you know how sales fluctuate. Well, last year I sold a buttload of books during December/January because people are buying Kindles. Where a book may only sell 100 copies a month, it can easily sell 1,000 copies per month in the holiday season.

Most of my books are part of the KDP Select program and I get paid for borrows too. Lots of authors don’t do that because you can’t sell it anywhere else such as the Nook or something, and that means I get more money per download because there are less authors doing it.

Well that’s all. Nothing mind blowing here. Just a reminder.

Who Wants a Free Membership Website?

I have been playing around with member sites lately, and I love the leverage aspect of them. Because of this, I am making the following offer.

I will partner 50/50 with a select few people to create some membership websites. I will provide the website and the marketing for the website and will work to get affiliates signed up to promote it, and you provide the content for the site.

My ideal partners will be able to create articles and how-to/tutorials, videos with Camtasia or some other screen capture software, and podcasts. The partner will have patience to allow us to create a great value packed membership website. This can take months.

Any interested parties will only be considered if they comment below and tell me what kind of member site they want and how they are a good fit for a partner. I will contact you through the email address you post with if I am interested in partnering with you.

An Alternative to Ping.fm and HelloTXT After They Cancelled Their Service

Were you burned by Ping.fm when they closed up shop on the free service and offered a much more limited service at a monthly cost using Seesmic? If you are like me, then you probably went and found HelloTXT which was a great free alternative. Then what happened? A few weeks later HelloTXT sent out an email to member saying they would soon be closing their service as well! What a waste of time!

I am NOT happy with the limited options out there that have crazy monthly costs. What is a social media marketer to do?

Introducing Pingalingaling! No that wasn’t a typo. It’s the name of a new APP and service in development by Often Apps.

pingalingaling600x400 An alternative to Ping.fm and HelloTXT after they cancelled their service

The new app and service are being funded through indiegogo and you can find the project at http://igg.me/p/196767?a=550561 and you can get your own license to the app a week before it’s released to the masses. Once you have the app, the service only costs $5 per year. Did you get that? The services out there now cost monthly fees, and Pingalingaling only costs $5 per year to use. If you grab a $100 perk instead of the $25 one, you also get beta access to test the app as well as the first year of service free. If you are feeling ambitious, you can grab the $1,000 perk and not only get 2 licenses and beta access, but also a development credit. This means that your name will be recorded in history right inside of the app where millions of people can see your name!

pingalingaling220x194 An alternative to Ping.fm and HelloTXT after they cancelled their serviceIf you are like me, you don’t want to be ripped off with monthly fees for substandard and limited services. Pingalingaling is sure to be the best social media updater service out there, and you have a chance to make it happen by contributing on indiegogo, and sharing the project before the 90 day deadline.

Head on over to http://igg.me/p/196767?a=550561 and get your copy of this great app that fills a serious need!

PRESALE: Zippy Link Wheel Software

Link wheels using web 2.0 properties are the norm in today’s marketing. The problem is that it’s very time consuming to build them. What if you had the perfect software that semi-automates the process. What if you only had to insert a captcha, and the software did EVERYTHING else?

Introducing Zippy Link Wheel…

Zippy is designed to sign you up with multiple web 2.0 properties or login to existing accounts, setup your link wheels, and ping them for instant indexing!

For a LIMITED TIME, I am offering a PRESALE and a LIFETIME license to this amazing software for just $79.00! I can only sell 50 copies ahead of time and on a LIFETIME license. If you are one of the lucky ones to get a limited copy, you will get lifetime updates and upgrades. Everyone else will have to pay for major upgrades.

Click the PayPal button below before it disappears!


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pixel PRESALE: Zippy Link Wheel Software

Once I sell 50 presale copies, this amazing deal will go away forever! Zippy is expected to release on September 5th, 2012.

I Lost Pinterest

When Pinterest was created, it happened to be the perfect social network for women. I can’t say for certain that it was designed originally for women in mind, but that’s just who it’s target market is for. Of course, after Pinterest went viral, everyone joined in and now the service has blown up.

My wife first joined Pinterest, and I joined suit immediately after. I was curious, but that’s all. I had no desire to actually use the social network because Facebook has been my thing ever since I stopped using MySpace. Just recently though, I decided to use it as a traffic tool. As with any social network, you must use it within it’s terms of service limits. If you go into marketing via a social network with spamming on your mind, you will only get yourself banned and probably hold a grudge.

What’s with Pinterest anyway?

Pinterest is a website where you can “pin” an image to your categorized board. That image links to a source where you found the image, and you can describe the image and/or link on your board. You and those in your network can also comment on pinned items.

Because this is still a young and fast growing social network, you can really benefit by joining in as soon as possible. As the social network grows, there are more people pinning things which makes it a much more saturated place like Facebook and Twitter.

How can I market my business with Pinterest?

It’s a social netwPinterestLogo I Lost Pinterestork. As with any social network, you need to be social for it to be beneficial for you. Don’t go in it with traffic and conversions on your mind. If you do, you will likely spam on accident which will be counter-productive. Instead, you need to actually take interest in what others are pinning. It shouldn’t be too hard. There are lots of things on there that may very well look interesting. Because it’s picture based, it’s easy to spot things you may want to check out and comment on.

You can also share your actual business links. For example, you can setup a board that says “my businesses” and place all of your links in there. Another board for your favorite places to vacation, or another for your favorite foods. That’s what I mean about “taking part” and not spamming. It’s ok to promote your own links, but just categorize them as such and don’t just promote your business. You wouldn’t just go onto Facebook and join a bunch of groups that you can post your link on would you?

Use comments like you would blog-hopping

Pinterest allows you to post comments on other people’s pins. As with blog marketing, if you go to other people’s content and comment, they will return the favor on yours. This results in other people finding your content and commenting as well as sharing if they find your pins interesting.

Commenting is one of the easiest and fastest ways to bring traffic to your boards. Use this technique immediately so you can start benefiting.

TAG – You’re it!

Tagging is something you are probably very familiar with if you use Facebook. When you want to notify someone that you are talking about them, such as in a post or a picture, you post their name. Pinterest ran with this feature and it works the same.

When you tag others (only if it’s relevant though), then you are likely to get their interest and “network” with them in a positive way. Just don’t abuse the tagging feature by naming people that have absolutely nothing to do with your pin. If you see someone really loves trains and you post a pin about trains, then you can tag them and get their interest. If you are selling luxury shoes and tag a bunch of men, then you are likely to be reported and even yelled at virtually by a bunch of dudes.

Titles make or break articles

If you are going to write a blog post, then you want to create a title that catches peoples’ attention. The same goes with pinning. Use a creative title that can possibly go viral.

Be descriptive in your title by mentioning what’s actually in it, but do it in a unique way. For example, the title of this article is “I Lost Pinterest“. That’s an eye catcher right there. You know automatically that it’s about Pinterest. The browser title also shows that it’s about Pinterest Marketing, and this is a marketing blog, so it all fits together.

As always, be creative and follow the rules. Pinterest can be a really big traffic source for you, and possibly get you some new business. You just have to join and take part.

Are you using Pinterest in your marketing campaigns?

Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

As I sit here with coffee doing it’s thing at 9PM and “Where is my mind?” by the Pixies playing (I LOVE Fight Club!) I thought a tutorial was a good thing to share with you. My inspiration for doing clear and detailed posts like this is the fact that there are many great paid membership sites for learning things. I thought Lynda was the best, but they have been knocked off their platform by LearnVisualStudio.net which I fell in love with. I have been attempting to learn C# and other programming languages for years, but I always got busy with projects that were more important and felt that materials out there weren’t clear enough. That all changed recently, and now I know a LOT about C# and have a great program I am developing for keyword research which I will be putting out initially for free when I’m done.

With that said, I will provide you with a clear (and hopefully inspiring) tutorial on building a niche empire. It really is easy to do, but very time consuming at first. It doesn’t have to take years for it to start netting you some cash…not pocket change but actual cash that can pay your bills.

The first thing you need to do is…

Decide on a Niche!

This may or may not be obvious depending on your experience level, but choosing a niche is the very first step. We don’t normally just roll the dice and say “ok, let’s just go with this”, but that’s how I tend to do things. It saves me time. Many other niche marketers will do lots of heavy handed keyword research. The way that my brain works though is I rely heavily on common sense. I have been told that it’s more like uncommon sense by some people because they claim not everyone is that smart. Who knows if that’s true. If you prefer keyword research, then by all means jump on it. I will even help you right now.

Most blogs like mine will walk you through this process by promoting a software such as Market Samurai or some other keyword research software that ends up costing more than you are willing to put into this business at this point in time. The reason they do this is because they are earning an affiliate commission off of it if you decide to buy that software using their link or coupon code. There’s nothing wrong with that because that’s what we do as affiliate marketers, but I am assuming you are broke and barely connected to the internet right now. Because of my assumption, I will walk you through a process that costs you nothing other than your time (and maybe some of your hair). You can pinch your pennies though.

Google has a handy (and free) tool you can use called the Google Keyword Tool which can be found by clicking here. Notice the following screenshot, I typed in “making a million dollars” and hit search. Once I did that, Google gave me a list of keywords related to what I searched, and a number showing how many people search for that on a monthly basis. The volume is low, so you can call this an easy niche.

GKYresearch Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

I am going with this niche because it is appealing to me. Even if it had a lot more competition, I would go with it because competition is irrelevant. Some people prefer to find something with low competition because it’s easier to get ranked a lot of the time. Just in case, we will check Google listings and find out what some of these keywords bring up.

A search for one of the recommended keywords “make a million dollars” shows 14.9 million results. That’s actually pretty small of a number for me.

MillGResults Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

If you don’t believe me that this is low competition for me, have a look at the results for a search phrase my blog comes up on. If you search “popular blogging topics” without the quotes, my site shows up on the very top with 56.7 results!

popbt Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

Let’s start promoting!

Head on over to ClickBank at http://www.clickbank.com and login (or register if you haven’t already). Once you are logged in, you can go to the marketplace and start your search for products to promote. For this example, I am in the E-Business and E-Marketing category because I am in that industry as an internet marketer and entrepreneur.

bcnicheCB Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

There is a dropdown menu that is defaulted to “Popularity”, but I actually check the “Gravity” which means it tends to stick better. People not only buy the product but they don’t return it for a refund as often. This way, you get to keep more of your commissions. If you relied on popularity, you may end up getting a bunch of sales, but also a bunch of refunds so you will never see the commission.

I chose Millionaire Society as the product to promote. When choosing a product, I like to go to the actual product’s page and see if they have affiliate marketing materials. If they don’t have much to work with such as banners, emails, and other codes to use already, then they aren’t that serious. I would rather work with a company that put in some of their actual time into it rather than rush to put out a product and get sales. See the screenshot below of their affiliate center.

MilSociCB Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

As you can see, they seem serious about their product by offering affiliates like me with codes I can easily copy and paste into whatever promotion I am using. I like to use banners for my sites, as well as some articles.

Notice the following screenshot that shows a banner kit this company provides. It has lots of variety and size differences to fit whatever kind of site you have.

MSbanners Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

I can place some of these bad-boys right here on my blog with confidence because they fall in line with what I recommend to my readers. I can open up my OIOPublisher plugin and create a banner slot for it. First, I will add a Ninja Link using ninja affiliate (you don’t have to do this if you don’t have this premium plugin). I like to create short-links which is why I use this plugin.

MilNinja Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

Now my long ugly affiliate ClickBank url is shortened to http://www.brandonconnell.com/goto/millionairesociety and it’s much more likely to get clicked on.

Now I will add the banner to my blog using a cool (but premium) plugin called OIOPublisher. I like this plugin despite the fact that it costs because I can use it not only as a WordPress plugin, but also a standalone script which can be used on a plain old static html website. You can basically reuse this script for every site you create and build up your empire with an automated system of advertising. I can also automate the direct ad sales process with OIOPublisher so I can focus on building great content.

BannerPurchase Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

After I add it, you can see it on my blog (see below).

BannerInserted Setting Up a Niche Empire PART 1

See how sexy that looks?

Setting up niche sites

Not everyone is a website designer like me, however you will quickly become a code junkie if you are affiliate marketing. That’s because you will always want to create some new niche sites, add features, or some other task that will come up and force you to learn some basic html and css coding. With that in mind, what better time to start learning than right now!

You can actually do this without any coding by signing up for a cheap $15 a month unlimited Hostgator account. You can use coupon code bconnell994 for $9.94 off of your first month! Hostgator allows you to install a script such as WordPress with the click of a button, and you can set that WordPress blog up as an affiliate site, thus not coding anything yourself. You can also easily login and start putting in content using an administration. Very easy stuff. If you would rather do things the harder way, you can use free html templates that you can find easily with a quick Google search.

Whether you are using WordPress or the html templates, you need to add content to the site along with the banners and other promotional materials. It’s not smart or wise to copy someone else’ content. You should actually spend your own valuable time on creating content, or hiring a writer on Fiverr to create original content for you. Run it through Copyscape and make sure it truly is unique content. By providing free content along with your ads, you are making an actual contribution to the world wide web.

If you took my advice and decided on WordPress, there are some basic setup items that need to be taken care of. The first one is permalinks which are the URLs that are used when you post an article, page, or other content on the blog. When I setup permalinks, I set them up for /%postname%/ which tells WordPress that you want the URL after your .com/ to be the title of the article. This eliminates the dynamic aspect of your website and allows for easier indexing by search engine spiders.

Another important setup item is a good spam catcher. I use Akismet on most of my sites, but there are alternatives that others prefer more. You can find some free plugins for this on the WordPress Codex. I also use a simple captcha plugin for my forms. Anything that prevents automated spam bots from taking up your valuable time will be beneficial.

Stay tuned for part two, where I give you more details on setting up niche sites and marketing them.

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