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Twitters LIST Feature – Is this the beginning of the end?

Today as I logged into Twitter I noticed an announcement at the very top of the screen introducing Twitters new LIST function. So I promptly clicked on the ‘Create New List’ option and proceeded to create my very first List. It wasn’t difficult and within about a minute or so I had a list of some of my favorite tweeters.

Twitter List FunctionAs I was doing this it suddenly occured to me that this could possibly change the face of Twitter forever…at least in terms of making money from it.

Let’s face it, the good majority of those on Twitter follow someone only to get them to follow them back. This is what Twitter has become. It is really just a big marketing network with each person trying to sell something. Even the big celebrities are there to sell themselves, their image, their next movie or whatever. There really are only a small handful on Twitter who use it to chat simply for the sake of chatting…and the reason there are only a few is that as a means of communicating it really is a clumsy system.

So if we want to make money on Twitter and we need followers to do that, then I can see the potential for the new LIST system to make it just that much more difficult.

This is how I see it…users are going to log in and head straight to their favorites list and hang out there. What this means is that they don’t get to see the full list of tweets coming from the regular list they are following…they only see the tweets from their favorites list.

Now I see this as a good thing because when you think about it, it can only increase the quality of the tweets on Twitter. I mean who is going to add a spammer or someone who is constantly promoting products to a favorites list? You are really going to have to start getting good with your tweets in order to be added to someones list AND ‘getting good’ means providing quality and not promoting products every second tweet.

If it happens to go this way, then a lot of people are going to leave Twitter as it will get harder and harder to make money with it. If enough people start to leave then Twitter’s popularity may just start to wane. After all, the only reason Twitter became as popular as it has is because of its money making potential. Or to put it another way, if Twitter suddenly made it mandatory that you could no longer promote products on the site, how many people do you think would actually be left on it? 

I believe that people really need to be able to continue to easily make money from Twitter if it is to maintain it’s popularity. If the money is no longer there then people will only leave looking for the next big thing to make them rich.

This could just be the beginning of the end for Twitter if this is how it all pans out. Hopefully my thinking is totally wrong and instead the new List system opens up a whole new world of opportunities. I guess we can only wait and see…


How to Automatically Add Your Blog Posts to Twitter Using Twitter Feed

Twitter has been something that I have had a hard time getting my head around. I dabbled with it in the past but never really got into it enough to see whether it had any real value. But lately I have been testing it out with one of my niche websites and have noticed quite a bit of traffic coming in from it.

I didn’t want to spend too much time on there however so what I did was just automate it so that the blog posts would automatically be posted to Twitter. This reduced the amount of time I needed to be on Twitter but also added regular content to it.

Now just adding blog posts is probably not going to be as successful as getting in there and being part of the Twitter community. But at the moment, for that particular niche blog, I don’t have much time to be socializing too much. I’d rather do that for the blog you are reading now.

I had created a Twitter account for Affiliate Blog Online some time ago but had not done much else. I thought that the time was right to get in there and so something with it. So today I logged into Twitter and updated the profile and also added the blog to Twitter Feed so that the posts would automatically be added.

So for those who want to do the same this is how it is done:

1. If you haven’t already done so, head over to Twitter and create an account.

2. The next step involves logging into Twitter Feed. If you already have an Open Id then you will be able to just log in but if not you will have to spend some time creating an id. This Open Id system is, my opinion, the worst system ever invented – they’ve taken a simple process of logging in and made it as long winded as possible. It takes three pages to actually login to Twitter Feed…but I digress!

3. Once logged in to Twitter Feed you’ll get a screen with a link to create a new Twitter feed. Just click on that to get to the Feeds page.

4. Click on the Create New Feed link. You should now be on the Create New Twitter Feed page.

5. Complete the fields on this page as per the following:

  • Username – Enter your Twitter username
  • Password – Enter your Twitter password
  • RSS Feed URL – Enter the RSS Feed URL for your blog. If you’re not sure what that is just head over to your blog and look for an RSS image. It will look something like this . Just click on that and you will be taken to your RSS feed. Just copy the URL for that page  and paste it into this field. (To test it just click on the ‘test rss feed’ link next to the field.)
  • Update Frequency – This depends on how often you update your blog. One of our blogs is updated every 7 hours so I just leave it at every hour. If you update your blog once a day then you might select every 24 hours.
  • Include Item Link – I leave this one checked.
  • Shorten Link Through – I leave this one as TinyURL.
  • Post New Items Based On – I have this one set at pubDate.
  • Prefix Each Tweet With – I haven’t tried this but assume it means you can add some text that will automatically be inserted at the beginning of each Tweet. This might be useful if you want to let your readers know that this is a blog post so you might add “Today’s Blog Post” to the beginning of each Tweet.
  • Filter by Keywords – This is handy if you only want specific posts to go up on Twitter. So you can add keywords that will ensure that only posts with those keywords will be displayed.
  • Active – Obviously you will want to leave this one checked.

6. Once you have completed each of the fields click the CREATE button and you are done. Your blog posts should automatically start posting to Twitter.


The Top 5 Link Gathering Techniques – ‘Quality not Quantity’

One of the main criteria Google uses to rank a website is by the amount of incoming links to that site. Or more specifically by the amount of ‘quality’ incoming links. This is why it should be the goal of anyone with a website or blog to try and get as many good quality links coming into their website as possible. This can be done naturally over time by offering good quality content that other webmasters will want to link to but if you want to speed things up a bit then you need to work on other methods.

#1 Article Distribution

There are two ways to do this:

1. Submit articles to article directories. This isn’t entirely effective as Google no longer ranks them highly except for a few notable exceptions like Ezine Articles for example. Even then, what we have found is that when our articles have been picked up by other webmasters to use on their own websites, in general they were of low value or Adsense-only sites with little value in the eyes of Google.

Plus there is the problem of duplicate content. Google doesn’t like it and will only disregard multiple pages with the exact same content. It is still worth submitting to a site like Ezinearticles.com however as you can often get some good traffic from them.

2. Submit articles to websites. Instead of article directories, we submit our articles to other websites. This can take some work but the value of the link is in our opinion a hundred times better than submitting to an article directory as you get to pick and choose which websites you want to submit your article to.

So this is what we do.

Firstly, we gather together a list of websites that meet the following criteria:

  • Must be on topic – in other words if the page on your website that you want to rank for is about dog beds then you would start looking for sites related to dogs and pets.
  • Must have a pagerank of at least 3 or 4 on their homepage and a pagerank of at least 2 or 3 on their article pages. In other words, if your article is going to go to this site, you want to get some pagerank from it and if their articles are already getting a pagerank of at least a 2 or 3 then you know that your article will most likely get a similar pagerank once Google finds it.
  • Avoid merchant websites and big companies. They most likely have their own writers and if they don’t then your request to add an article probably has to go through a committee first before anyone is likely to approve it
  • Look for a site that already has articles on their site – they obvious already see the value in articles and would most likely love another article written specifically for them.

Once you have a list of potential websites then email each of them to see if they would like an article for their website or blog. Ensure that you let them know that the article will be free and unique to their website. You will also need to let them know that you will be adding a couple of links in the article back to your website.

Don’t submit the same article twice. I have already discussed the problems of duplicate content in Google so once you have submitted an article to a website file the article away and don’t use it again.

#2 Blog Comments

Find blogs or blog posts that are on topic and add a comment. Adding comments to blogs works in three ways. Firstly, it is a way of making friends with those who have blogs in the same niche as you. It creates relationships and you may eventually be able to set up a business arrangment that benefits both sites.

Secondly, it can bring traffic into your site – albeit not very much but each person into your site is yet another potential customer. To get more traffic ensure that you are at the top of the comment list. You can use a free program called Comment Sniper to alert you when a new post has been posted on a particular blog.

Thirdly, you can get valuable inbound links to your site, but there is a trick to it. You need to find blogs that don’t have a nofollow tag. This can be hard work if you do it manually so you can use a dofollow search engine or you can use a piece of software called Fast Blog Finder.

#3 Social Networking/Bookmarking

Submitting to social bookmarking and networking sites is an easy way to get links to your site. There are social networking and bookmarking sites that don’t use the nofollow tag so you may be able to get some link juice from them. These include:

  • Blinklist.com
  • Mister-wong.com
  • Backflip.com
  • Bibsonomy.org
  • Linkagogo.com
  • Jumptags.com
  • Furl.net
  • Diigo.com
  • Rawsugar.com
  • Myjeeves.ask.com

#4 Directories

Google really doesn’t value directories much these days so don’t go crazy adding your site to them. Stick with the best of the best. Again it all comes down to quality not quantity. If you can, find directories that are specifically on topic. If you have a craft site for instance then add your site to a craft directory.

#5 Develop Good Quality Content

We’ve already mentioned that content is a good way of bringing in links but it is perhaps the most important. If you develop good quality content then other webmasters will naturally link to you.

What Not to Do

  • if you have multiple websites then don’t link between them. Google doesn’t like it and could ban your site completely from their search engine.
  • Don’t add your link to just anywhere. Stay focused and look for quality links. You are better off spending a day looking for one very focused pagerank 5 page to add your link to than adding your link to 20 pagerank 1 sites who are all off topic.

Tagfoot: Is it the next best social bookmarking site?

Just recently I was introduced to Tagfoot by someone within the Squidoo network. I had never heard of it before and was reluctant to even try it as there are already so many social bookmarking sites out there that it is getting difficult to keep up. Still I had to give it a go as it was relatively new – actually still in beta – and sometimes it is worth getting in early with these things in case they take off in a big way.

What is tagfoot?

Tagfoot is a social bookmarking site where people can not only bookmark their favorite websites, videos, news etc but also talk about and promote them.

How does it work?

It is simply a matter of registering and then adding any websites, news or videos that you like. I really like how easily it is to add Youtube videos and once added they are embedded automatically in Tagfoot so you don’t need to leave Tagfoot to watch them.

You don’t need to load yet another toolbar to your browser to make this work but I recommend it as it makes things a lot easier. Tagfoot also has a cool sidebar that you can download to your browser. It opens up on the left hand side of your browser with a click of a button and you can close it just as easily. It lists everything in the one handy place so you don’t need to have theTagfoot website open on your browser to do most things.

Making Friends

Making friends is a good idea in Tagfoot as you can easily share some of your best stuff with them and it is a way of helping to increase the rating on your blog posts, web pages, Squidoo lenses, Youtube videos or anything else you might have bookmarked in Tagfoot. The bigger your rating the more exposure that bookmark with receive.

Privacy Options

Tagfoot has an extensive array of privacy options which you can place on your bookmarks, your profile, your news – in fact, just about anything.

Make Money with Tagfoot

Tagfoot also allows you to make money by sharing in the profits made from Google Adsense ads. Of course you need to set yourself up with a Google Adsense account to begin with but once that is done Tagfoot will then display their ads 50% of the time and your ads 50% of the time.


The ranking system is a fun way of keeping people wanting more by setting a score based on your activity level, how many bookmarks you add, whether your are tagging items correctly and your whether you are posting comments and rating other members bookmarks. Even so,Tagfoot ensures that you don’t go too crazy here by adding lots of stuff and rating other bookmarks in a short space of time. This can actually reduce your ranking.

Our Final Word

This is one of those very addictive sites that you can’t help but spend more time in there than you really should. I can see it becoming extremely popular. We definitely recommended it so give it a try – just don’t blame me if you don’t get any work done.

Since it is still in beta (as of the date on this blog post) you cannot register unless you are invited but I can invite you. So if you want to join just leave a comment below I will email you with an invite.


Google to Build Next Manned Spacecraft: or How Not to Get Sidetracked

Space Shuttles Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavour 1/200 Scale SetOne of the biggest obstacles with my internet business is that I easily get sidetracked. Actually this applies to both of us as Wanda is an even bigger offender than I am.

I would be working on a blog post one minute and then the next minute I would be downloading yet another ebook which of course was going to make me millions.

I have no idea how I could go from writing a blog post, which of course was now half finished, to downloading and reading an ebook but I think it went something like this:

Hey, I’m typing my next blog post – this one is going to be great and get me on the front page of Digg for sure. This is going to be so good, just wait till everyone hears about Google developing their own manned spacecraft and sending Matt Cutts to the moon…

Hang on, is that the phone ringing?…no it’s the dog barking…now why would I think the phone ringing sounds like the dog barking?…wait, what was I doing? That’s right, I was writing a blog post about Matt Cutts going to the moon…Gee, I’m so lucky knowing Matt Cutts well enough that he would give me exclusive rights to this story.

Now I had better get that date right because we don’t want people turning up at Cape Canaverel on the wrong day…I had better head over to Google to do a bit of research…

I love Google, their search engine is great….so what was I researching again?…oh yeah, something to do with Google and the moon…

So I had better type in ‘when is matt cutts going to the moon alice’ and I’ll use quotes just to get a better result. Hang on, that’s not right, let’s take out ‘alice’ and try again…

Hmmm, not really what I was after…maybe I should try that without quotes….nope still nothing…but then I guess if I’m the first one to release the story then it won’t be on the internet yet…doh!…

But hang on what’s that? That Google ad looks interesing…”You too can make millions online with just one minute of work per day”…I might just click on that and see what it’s all about…

So know you can see why I would be reading an eBook instead of writing up the next biggest news story since Paris Hilton choked on her coffee.

Now this is obviously just a bit of fun but it’s not too far from the truth. It’s easy to get sidetracked when you work online. But it is not always the internet that can distract people from their online business. Outside distractions can also be a problem with family and friends taking advantage of your free time…or what they perceive to be free time…since according to them, since you are at home, you are not really working.

If you are serious about your online business then your family and friends need to realise this. If you think about it, if you were working full-time for someone else, then you wouldn’t be able to have a two hour lunch everyday, or take your kids out for the day or head off to the shops at a moments notice. You would most likely be focused on what you were told to do.

If you are home full-time and running a business then you should treat it the same way you would as if you were working for someone else. This means setting aside hours of the day to work and sticking to it regardless of what family and friends are wanting of you.

This isn’t to say that you should be a slave to your work. The whole point of working from home is that it allows you the freedom to come and go as you want without someone telling you what you should and shouldn’t do but if it becomes more about doing what you want and less about the business then there is something seriously wrong and you need to refocus.

I have been forced to stay focused for the mere fact that I literally have a short amount of time to get everything I need done. That’s not to say I am perfect by any means. I still get sidetracked but I have become more aware of it and can get back on track a lot quicker than I used to.

Here are some techniques you can use to stay focused:

1. Set up a daily task list.
This should really be done the night before or in the morning. Don’t prepare too far in advance as it becomes too easy to forget.

2. Allocate time periods to your work.
As you sit down to work allocate a period of time that you will have to perform the first task on your list. For instance, if I am going to write a blog post, I might allow myself two hours to complete it – that includes research and writing. Keep an eye on the time to ensure you are staying on track. Better yet download free alarm software to alert you when the first hour is up. This will get you back on track if you have veered off course.

3. Keep yourself away from family, friends and the phone.
Better yet get your family and friends together in the one spot and explain to them that from now on you will be running your business like a business which means while you are working, you can’t be disturbed unless it is an emergency. If you’ve got a spare room in your home then make this your personal office. If family are a constant distraction then assuming they are all old enough to look after themselves then keep your office door shut….locked if you have to.

4. Learn how to say ‘no’.
If you were working for someone else and a friend rang and asked you to go for coffee would you be able to jump up at a moments notice to go along? Most likely not, so why should it be any different for your business? Now this is okay every once in a while but if it becomes a daily occurrence or it interferes with your business then you are not staying focused. Learn to say no to family and friends.

5. Limit your time on Stumbleupon or Facebook or any of these social bookmarking/networking sites
Yes I know, I love them too but if you are going to use them, then allocate some specific time to them. This is best done at the end of the day when you are tired and just want to relax, not when you are wide awake and should be using that quality time for working on your business.

Don’t get too serious about all of this. Working from home is meant to be enjoyable, not a chore, but if you want to succeed you really need to work at it and stay focused.