Which Type of Online Entrepreneur Are You?

January 14, 2015 Gene Eugenio 0 Comments

Judging from all these slick make money online (MMO) blogs and ebooks, making money online simply means following a blueprint. I’m sorry to say but it takes more than following an ‘online business success’ checklist to achieve a fat bank account. It doesn’t matter how well-known the ‘guru’ or huckster behind the blueprint you’re trying to follow is. Using a ‘fill in the blanks’ approach won’t lead to financial freedom. In fact, the number one factor that determines the amount of success you’ll enjoy is your attitude toward your online business. In fact, this is what separates the different types of online entrepreneurs.

Different attitudes reveal different business practices which lead to different levels of success. If you want to achieve real success in the world of online business, you need to recognize whatever faulty attitude you have and change it. Here are the different types of online entrepreneurs. Recognize which one you are and see if you need to make some changes… before it’s too late.

Type #1: The Churn and Burn Hustler

You want to make a ton of money quickly. You’ll do whatever it takes to get to your goal. Even if it means bending the truth, pretending to be something you’re not, or making promises you can’t keep, it doesn’t matter to you-you just need to stack that cash and you need it to happen NOW! Churn and burn operators are not shy about using blackhat SEO techniques to rank websites that have the lifespan of your typical fruitfly. They typically push the latest dubious product, service, or food supplement that is long on promise and short on results.

These hustlers don’t care about building an online brand or building trust. They only want to pump as much traffic onto an affiliate page, landing page, or squeeze page as possible. They would stop at nothing in harvesting traffic-clean or dirty, it doesn’t matter. If they get banned, they simply make a new account.

Type #2: Mr. or Ms. ‘Build it and They Will Come’

One of the most common mindsets in the affiliate marketing world is ‘build it and they will come.’ I swear this mindset is harder to kill than the typical zombie in a zombie apocalypse movie. Whether you try to make money by blogging, building lists, or building an ecommerce site, it doesn’t matter-you follow the same ‘formula’ for success.

You simply build a website and post content. That’s all you do-create content. You don’t lift a finger about promoting so people actually become aware of your content. You focus all your effort at creating ‘the best content.’ I’m sorry to burst your bubble but even if you manage to come up with the best content in the world, if people are unaware of it, you will never make money online. End of story. Period.

Type #3: The Starter

You really get excited about all the hot opportunities that come your way. You buy lots of WSOs and Clickbank products. You read lots of online marketing blogs and online promotion resources. You are quite knowledgeable about making money online. It seems you can advise almost anyone about almost anything having to do with making money off the Internet.

The problem is you can’t seem to apply any of that advice to your own online business. All your stuff is partly built. You would build a site to pursue one way of making money then you hear about another opportunity and you drop everything you’re doing to pursue that. Rinse and repeat. Your ‘business portfolio’ is littered with half-baked, half-finished online ‘businesses’ that make little if any money. Worst of all, you hold yourself out to be a ‘guru’!

Type #4: The Cheap Dreamer

Does it make sense for a person to expect to pay $100 for a brand new Porsche Carrera? Sounds ridiculously unrealistic, right? Well, this is how a Cheap Dreamer thinks. This person would trawl through Fiverr, Elance, Odesk, Freelancer, and all other freelance platforms on the planet in the sadly mistaken hope that he or she will find amazing copywriters and content producers that will produce top notch engaging content for peanuts.

In fact, the Cheap Dreamer hopes to build his or her business based on such magical content. Obviously, this person is only setting himself or herself up for disappointment because quality writers and content producers eventually get paid what they are worth. They may work for peanuts to establish a name for themselves at first but they will eventually raise their prices to match their skill and talent level. Sadly, the Cheap Dreamer is the last person to grab a clue regarding this reality. It is no surprise that their businesses rarely become successful.

Type #5: The Copycat

You truly believe that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. You won’t hesitate copying the websites or business models of more successful entrepreneurs. Sadly, all that copying hasn’t really gotten you anywhere. You are so busy copying businesses that you fail to recognize or care about the core philosophies and business practices that account for an online business’ success.

You think that making money online simply involves following the right ‘blueprint’ or template. Not surprisingly, you have a lot of websites to your name with very little profits to show for all your time and effort. Your business model is to build tons of websites that each make very little money. The hope that all those tiny income streams will add up to a nice river of income. This still hasn’t happened but that hasn’t kept you from hoping-and building even more low-quality sites.

Type #6: The Worker

You obsess about making sure your website is up to date. In fact, it consumes most of your waking hours. You hustle and network with other blogs in your niche. You really put in the work as far as making sure your site has content and that content is shared on social media sites and linked to from other blogs in your niche. This is all well and good but your idea of meeting your blog visitors’ needs is to give them the information they came for. Quick and simple, right?

Well, by simply giving away buffet to diners that rush into your digital doors, you are not building much of a business. They simply come, consume content, and leave. Your site is just a generic source of information. No branding. No personality. Totally replaceable. Sure, you make money because you put in the work but don’t expect your income to last. Since your site lacks a solid and distinct brand, your website is in danger of being displaced by the ‘next big thing’ that comes along in your niche.

Type #7: The Brand Builder

You build your business around your target customers’ needs. You make it a point to engage your visitors so you can grow your website based on their needs and recommendation. Not surprisingly, your site visitors keep coming back because they feel they ‘belong’ at your site. They feel listened to and appreciated.

You make it a point to publish only content that engages your site visitors on a personal level. In fact, they feel so emotionally invested in your site that they readily tell their friends and everyone else they come into contact with online about your site. Best of all, they continuously give you ideas about content you should post. Your site is no longer just a website-it has become a solid online brand. Since your brand is so well-known in your niche, your site is worth a lot of money to potential buyers and advertisers.

Your attitude dictates your online success altitude

Can you tell which type of online entrepreneur you are? If you want to achieve a higher level of success or want to take your business to the next level, you only need to change your attitude. It’s easier than you think. How? Model yourself successful online entrepreneurs. Adopt their attitude and your actions will change. Change your actions and you change your results. Are you ready to make the change today?

The Money Isn’t Automatically In The List

May 1, 2014 Gene Eugenio 0 Comments

Making money online is not a myth. Making money off the Internet is not a pipe dream. As much as skeptical people or just clueless people like to dismiss the idea of people making a huge amount of dollars by working only a few hours every week, the reality is more and more Americans are making a full time living advertising and marketing online. As more and more people figure out how to sell on the Internet, there is a new conventional wisdom that has risen among online promotions communities. This conventional wisdom can be summed up in a tidy little saying “the money is in the list”. In fact, this saying has become some sort of mantra among email marketers. They think that its truth is self evident. They think that just by saying it, people will automatically get what they’re talking about.

The sad reality is that by repeatedly saying “the money is in the list”, doesn’t necessarily mean that people will automatically make money. Just as if you repeat a lie a million times, it doesn’t make the statement any less of a lie. Just because people repeat this mantra a lot, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s true for all people under all circumstances. The sad reality with this saying is that it simplifies all of email marketing system to a slogan. Unfortunately, slogans don’t put money in your bank account. Slogans don’t feed your children. Slogans don’t put food on the table. Still, hordes of newbies come online trying to make easy money by believing ‘the money is in the list.’ They keep repeating that to themselves. They spend hundreds of dollars in coaching. They spend all sorts of money on software. At the end of the day, they have very little money to show for all their efforts, time and lost energy. If you truly want to make money off mailing list, you have to get rid of that slogan. Sure, it is real. However, it’s real, not because of the reasons that you think that it’s real. Here is a complete breakdown of why conventional wisdom is wrong when it comes to email list marketing.

Conventional Wisdom

Conventional wisdom regarding email list marketing is actually a neat set of steps that you can follow. In fact, many promoters have this memorized because they try to sell it to other people. The series can be reduced into the following: You buy yourself a new landing page or you design a new one. Next, you buy a PLR auto responder series. Next, you sign up for aweber or Getresponse or some other auto responder email service. You then sign up for an affiliate program where you get paid money for every sale your affiliate links make. The next step is you get traffic for your landing page-either you buy that traffic or generate that traffic yourself. The whole point of that traffic is that they would sign up to the landing page mailing list and they will then give you permission to send them email. Once everything is set up and you followed all the previous steps, the auto responder will work its magic and you wake up in your pajamas with several thousand dollars in your bank account. Sounds awesome right? Well, that is a pipe dream. That is only a reality for a very small minority of online marketers. The sad truth is that it is only a reality if they go through certain other steps. The conventional wisdom of these nice simple steps you follow to generate money online is the stuff that is being sold day-after-day to newbies. This ‘churn and burn’ marketing hype regarding the power of email marketing has basically bankrupted many people and worst of all, robbed them of their motivation to make money online.

Source: nerdgraph.com

Make no mistake about it, it is possible to make money online. It is possible to work while hanging out at Starbucks and have your auto responder generate money while you just enjoying coffee or hanging out with your family or you’re taking a long vacation. It is possible. It is doable. The problem is you have to do it the right way. Following conventional wisdom is only going to lead you to one place and that is desperation and possible depression.

Why do people fall for the conventional wisdom regarding online email marketing again and again? Well, first of all, they prey on lazy people. I’m not talking about people that are just physically lazy that they don’t want to do anything, they just want to be spoofed at. I’m talking about people who are mentally lazy. This is the worst form of laziness. These are people with who have lost their sense of curiosity. They have lost their sense of possibility. It’s one thing to be told that you can make money online. It’s another to actually be mentally and intellectually curious enough to start researching the wide treasury of knowledge available online to come with your own solution. The other group of people conventional wisdom preys on are people who lack technical skills. There are certain websites on the Internet that are frequented by senior citizens or people with little to know technical skills, these are people who don’t know HTML or PHP. As a result, they are looking for online money making package that they can just buy and turn on. They are looking basically for a ‘set it and forget it’ money making device. Well, guess what, just like with a free lunch, such device hasn’t been invented yet.

You have to actually work to make money online. You actually have to think and customize for you to make money online. This applies to email marketing, content marketing, SEO, social media marketing. Regardless of the specific marketing channel, you still have to put in the work. You still have to customize. Unfortunately, these people did not get the memo. They fell for those spammy and hyped up ads and come ons that say that you only need to buy this piece of software or you need to buy this ebook or you enroll in that program and you will make money. If you find yourself in that position, stop what you’re doing because you are not going to make money. Instead you have to follow my advice below. Or else, you’re just going to walk away from online marketing depressed, discouraged and worst of all, desperate. Finally, the conventional wisdom on email marketing preys on people who are looking for shortcuts. Maybe I have said this earlier in the discussion regarding people with no technical skill, but in fact, the market of people who are looking for shortcuts extend beyond people or just clueless technically. I’m talking about young kids, sixteen to twenty-four years old who are technically savvy, but they are just looking for shortcuts. They are lazy, but they have technical proficiency. They look at email marketing as this silver bullet that will solve all their problems. The problem is email marketing reduce to “the money is in the list”. It’s a pipe dream. It’s never going to work. Why? There are serious gaps in that conventional wisdom that you yourself must plug in. If you are able to plug in these missing processes, you can make money.

There Is No Magic In A Mailing List

This should take the place of the saying “the money is in the list.” The saying should be “there is no magic in mailing list.” Maybe if more people use this saying, less people will be ripped off. It will increase the likelihood that people are actually making money. Once you wrap your mind around this concept that there is no magic in mailing list, you will be making progress to actually making money with mailing list. The reality is that simply building a mailing list and buying traffic won’t mean you will make money. It takes work. It takes building trust. You have to build trust with your mailing list for you to make money. After all, people won’t buy from you if they don’t trust you. Similarly, people won’t sign up to your mailing list if they don’t trust you. They have to trust for them to take the action that you want them to take. If you understand this, then you would put in the work to build an effective list sequence. An effective list sequence builds up trust. Many marketers call this the sales funnel. Others call it the email sales sequence. Regardless of the label you choose, it all works out the same. Effective selling through an email auto responder series is sending your recipient a series of emails that gradually builds up their trust in you. At the end of the day, it is you that you are selling. It’s not the actual affiliate products that you are pushing, it is you. If you get them to trust you, then they will act on your recommendations. This is the secret to email marketing. You have to build trust. You have to become credible. The sequence of email you send really is a form of seduction. It’s all about seductive persuasion. You start out very simple and then you gradually build up each time you take trust a notch higher. If you send the right content and you communicate clearly, you build trust.

Trust is the Key

How do you build trust with your email series? Very simple. You send solid content. How do you know a content is solid? It adds value to the lives of the people that received that content! For example: You are trying to sell garden tools. To be able to sell garden tools effectively with your mailing list, it’s a good idea to send gardening tips, garden information, gardening guides and other information that this people who are interested in gardening would want to know. They will grow to trust you because you have given them this helpful information, by the time you send that email that recommends certain garden tools, you already have them feeding from the palm of your hand. That’s how solid trust building works with an email series. Compare that situation with a guy who recruits mailing list members by offering some sort of free ebook related to gardening. Once the list is full of people, he then sends out email after email telling those people how they can get their ex back. Do you think those people will sign up? Sure, maybe a handful would, but that person who took the time and effort to build that list is basically wasting the power of that list by sending irrelevant garbage. That person is basically sending spam. That person is basically burning up whatever trust he generated from his list members and throwing it away in exchange for some chump change. Don’t be that person.

You have to build trust with solid content. The content is not just in your email responder series, but also in the content that you present to your potential list members. That’s right. You build trust before the sign up and after the sign up. The key to trust building really is about building relationships. You build a relationship through the know-like-trust-buy process. You get people to know you by offering a helpful information. If this information is consistent and adds value to their lives, they begin to like you. Once you keep sending helpful information time-after-time, they begin to trust you. Once they trust you, they buying process pretty much a done deal. You still have to go through a certain process, but the game is really for you to lose. You’ve already won. It’s for you to lose at that stage.

Some Key Trust Building Considerations

Everything that you do with your mailing list really can do one thing or another. It can build trust or it can destroy trust. There is no middle ground. There is no neutral actions. The stuff that you send out can either make you look good or make you look like a spammer. This is why you have to pick your affiliate programs carefully. It’s a good idea to actually review the products and make sure that the product will actually help your list members. Pick products that you will be pushing. Make sure that if you are sharing other people’s content, that content is high quality and really adds value. If you do these things together and you take good care of your list members, you build a solid brand. It lets your list members become emotionally invested in what you’re doing. If you do things the right way and you send solid content, you reach a point where you build a community around your content. Once community members become emotionally invested in what you’re doing, they become your promoters.

Remember there is no “set it and forget it” solution

I’ve already outlined the conventional wisdom of email marketing caters to. These are people that are lazy, lack technical skills or are simply looking for shortcuts. These people are looking for set it and forget it solutions when it comes to email marketing. The bad news is there’s no such animal exists. There is no such thing as set it and forget it solution. You have to have some sort of input. You have to put your personality in the mix. You have to become personally involve. Making money online with list marketing is not simply a matter of flicking on a switch. It doesn’t work that way. Regardless of how many “gurus” and scammers trying to convince you otherwise. The set it and forget it solution for email marketing at least doesn’t exist yet. You have to pay attention to your list’s patterns. You have to pay attention to the text you’re sending out. You have to pay attention to how you approach your audience. In other words, you have to customize your list around the needs of your audience. You have to customize your list and your content based on your traffic. These activities are the furthest things from a set it and forget it solution. The best you can do is to forget all about set it and forget it solutions.

Making money through online mailing list is not just possible, but doable. Every single day, there are people all over the world that make a decent living from mailing list marketing. The problem is there is so much hype and outright lies regarding email marketing that more and more people are falling for the misleading slogan of “the money is in the list.” If you think this way, chances are high that you’re going to fail. If you don’t want to waste your time, effort, money and most important of all, emotional energy, pay attention to the tips outlined above.

Photo credits: Pixabay

Content Marketing Is All About Manipulation

May 1, 2014 Gene Eugenio 0 Comments

Yeah, that’s right, I said it. Content marketing is all about manipulation. In fact, if you think about it hard enough, online content manipulation, just like online content selling, is all about seduction. What does manipulation, seduction, propaganda, what do they have in common? Something very basic. You basically get somebody to do what they won’t normally do. At the very least, you’re trying to get them to take action on something that they might not have even thought about or maybe they are on the fence about. That is the essence of online manipulation. You see this happening all the time. When you load a webpage, there’s a lot of ads. When you read content, there’s a lot of manipulation there if you’re reading good content. Bad content basically makes you scratch your head and wonder what the hell you just read. Good content tries to push you in one direction or the other. Regardless, all online communication is all about manipulation. It can take many forms from the ads that you see to the content that you see, even the links can be manipulative. Sounds shocking right? Well, I’ve got some bad news for you, if this shocks you: the reality is that all communication that seeks to persuade is manipulative.

Think about it, lawyers write legal briefs because they want to persuade a judge. Ads are created because their users want people to buy stuff that they normally wouldn’t buy or they are unsure of. Guys write love letters because they want women reading their love letters to feel a certain way. Pastors and priests write sermons that are supposed to change your mind or make you think of things a certain way. The truth is everything spoken or written or shown graphically that seeks to change your mind is, at its root, manipulative.

The good news is that there is nothing bad about manipulation in of itself. Manipulation is actually all about persuasion. We’re not all experts. We don’t have all the facts. We don’t have all the data that we need to make truly informed decisions. As a result, there is always space for persuasive content in our lives. This can be as something basic as trying to buy laundry detergent. I may have a need for the whitest shirts, the cleanest pants, but I’m on the fence as to which brand to buy. When somebody tries to manipulate me regarding this topic, instead of running away, I actually pay attention. Why? It might be the answer that I’ve been looking for because it speaks to my needs. In the vast majority of the decisions that we make as human beings from the stuff that we eat, the stuff that we put in our bodies, the stuff that we bathe ourselves and the stuff that we spend money on, we need information. The people who have products and services that they want to sell to us so they can make money, they have an incentive to give us information we can use to make a choice. In a very real sense, there is a happy medium where manipulation and facts can coexist and won’t harm people.

Source: Socialmediamamma.com

Manipulation in of itself isn’t necessarily bad. It is a technique. It is a skill set. With that said, there is such a distinction as bad manipulation and good manipulation. I’ve already outlined situations where manipulative situations can be good. Bad manipulation is what any serious content marketer should be aware of. If you are providing SEO services or you are conducting marketing for your own website or for your clients, you have to be very clear when your actions start entering the gray area or cross the line completely into unethical and improperly manipulative practices. So what is the difference between “good” manipulation or “acceptable” manipulation and “bad” manipulation?

Bad Manipulation Boils Down To Truth and Transparency

Bad manipulation can really be boiled down into two key components: you are not telling the truth or you’re hiding your agenda. If either exists, you are engaged in bad manipulation. If you conduct your content marketing or SEO content creation activities online and play fast and loose with the truth or you hide your agenda, you’re engaging in bad manipulation. This is a serious problem because the more you do this, the more you eventually will burn yourself and, just as bad, burn everybody else that is trying to manipulate opinion online. Your bad actions have a halo effect on the rest of the content marketing community. However, if you are like most other spammers, you wouldn’t care. At the end of the day, it’s whether your actions result in cold hard dollars in your pocket or not. Be that as it may, you have to understand that the more you play fast and loose with the ethical boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable types of manipulation, the more you make it harder for yourself to persuade people down the road.

To see the practical effect of bad manipulation, think of email marketing in 1996. When the Internet first started to gain commercial acceptability in 1996, almost everybody that got email quickly clicked links because they didn’t know any better. Sure enough, spammers got a hold of the action and they started abusing email. Now, people are very careful regarding the staff they click on email. The same goes with banner ads. It used to be so easy to make money online because everybody would basically just click any banner that they see. Now, hardy anyone clicks banners anymore. By engaging in bad manipulation, you basically poison the well for everybody else. And ultimately, it harms you because your activities have degraded end users’ trust so much, they would no longer clikc on your promotional links.

The Fifty Shades of Gray Truth

One of the biggest existential and philosophical problems of the post modern age is that people is unclear as to what is truth. In fact, if you are philosophically honest, there’s a lot to recommend this philosophical posture. One person’s truth might be different from another person’s truth. There are many different sides to something that we define as “true.” Still, truth does have certain objective criteria. First of all, you can back it up with facts. You can point to real things, real events, real people as evidence that your position is sound. You base your conclusion based on stuff that is real. This is where a lot of the subjective definitions of truth fall apart. Why? Most lies are not based on facts. Most lies are based on opinions that are all about wishful thinking and wishful reality, but not based on actual facts.

The more facts back you up, the more likelihood that you are championing something ethical. At the end of the day, ethics really is all about conclusions that don’t harm other people. Coming up with conclusions that aren’t based on facts can somewhere down the line harms other people. Another aspect of truth in the post modern age is hiding your agenda. When you hide your agenda and you hide your motivation, that is a form of lying. As the old saying goes, half the truth is the same as a full lie. It’s not enough to tell and show part of the truth and part of the situation, but hide your hand. Hidden agendas are inherently bad because you manipulate people to conclusions that serve your agenda and they don’t know your agenda is.

Transparency is Crucial

While our subjective definitions of truth may vary from place to place, situation to situation, culture to culture and person to person, transparency is pretty much across the board. If you want to preserve ethics in your content marketing and SEO activities, you have to be transparent. Transparency is crucial because it tells the people that you are trying to manipulate all the data that you have. With a clear mind, voluntarily come to the same conclusion as you. You can still manipulate them using facts, using great argumentation, but everything is on the table. Unfair manipulation is when you try to convince people and hide certain facts from them. This is the big difference between lying and persuasion.

Persuasion rejoices in the truth. Persuasion is all about having all your cards on the table. Persuasion is when the person being persuaded has all the options available to him or her and still decides to go with you. In that case, your skill in persuasion wins the day. That is real salesmanship. That is real argumentation. Lying is for lazy people. Lying is for people who like to cut corners. Unfortunately, lying burns relationships and burns key trust building processes on the Internet. Just look at the sorry history of email spam and banner conversion rates to see what I’m talking about.

Content marketing is all about manipulation. Let’s get that out in the open. The good news is that if you are very clear regarding the facts that you are using to persuade people and you are transparent regarding the information that you’re presenting, you can manipulate in an ethical way. Selling online is all about building trust and using that trust to achieve an outcome that you desire. While that may seem harsh and impersonal, at the end of the day, you are truth and transparent about the whole process, no one is being harmed. However, if you lie and you hide your agenda, you can be harming a lot of people, least of which is yourself.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Three Key Lessons To Learn From The MyBlogGuest Penalty

April 29, 2014 Gene Eugenio 0 Comments
google guest post penalties

Google brings the hammer down on SEO guest posts

If you’ve been hiding under a rock, you probably don’t already know that Google took a very big step against one of the most popular ways to build backlinks on the Internet. I am, of course, talking about guest posts. Guest post blogging is a fairly easy way to get a backlink. All you need to do is contact blogs in your target niche and offer to write a high quality original blog post in exchange for the placement one or more links in the body of the blog post. Oftentimes, the blog host would allow you one or two links in your author or guest blogger bio section or “about” section. For the longest time, this produced a win-win situation.

guest blogging explained
Source: opportunitiesplanet.com

Guest blogging’s win-win situation

Not all bloggers in the world have a lot of time to blog. However, to engage their audience, they have to post frequent updates. For a variety of reasons, they don’t want to pay other people to produce content for them. Even if they did, high quality content can cost quite a bit of money. On the other end of the equation are SEO companies and individual blogger or webmasters that need backlinks to rank higher on search engines. They are willing to do almost anything to get backlinks. Put these two needs together and you have the birth of the guest blog post. Ideally, it’s a win-win situation. Ideally, the blog owner gets high quality blog content that isn’t published anywhere else, then that adds value to the lives of the blogger’s audience members. The content contributor on the other hand, gets targeted backlinks from an authoritative and relevant blog in his or her niche. Sounds good so far?

The problem is, as with many other communication platforms and content platforms on the Internet, spammers got into the mix. Spammers began to abuse the guest blog system. Guest blogging has became synonymous as cheap and easy form of getting backlinks. It’s not uncommon for links promoting shoes to show up on a blog that is about pet kittens, for example. It got ridiculous really quickly. It got out of hand. Sure enough, just like with any other formerly excellent link building practice, Google got into the picture.

Early Warning

To its credit before Google crackdown on guest blog posting, it did sound an alarm. No other than the head honcho of Google’s web spam team, Matt Cutts, posted more than once that guest post spam is on its way out. In fact, Matt Cutts made it very clear that guest posting for SEO purposes is pretty much done for. He used a phrase ‘stick a fork in it.’ This official pronouncement, of course, sparked a wave of outrage throughout the SEO community. As always, people were in denial, people were in shocked, and a lot of SEOs just didn’t really want to do anything about it because guest posting was so easy to do.

Well, guess what, the other shoe fell in the case of Google penalty on myblogguest. How bad was the penalty? If you do a search for myblogguest, it won’t show up in Google results. That’s how bad the penalty was. To make matters worse, registered publishers in the myblogguest system also got penalized. This is seriously bad news folks. This is a shot across the bow to anyone who looks at guest blogging as a way to get cheap and easy backlinks. So does this necessarily mean that you should stop guest blogging? Should we be afraid to link out from our own guest posts? Should we second guess ourselves based on what Google’s editorial decisions may be? Thankfully, the answers to all these questions is a resounding NO. Here are the three key lessons learn from the myblogguest penalty.

Asking For Payment To Broker Guest Posts Is A No-no

You have to remember that myblogguest is not the only guest post platform that got penalized. In fact, another platform called postjoint got penalized as well. They got the same exact penalty as myblogguest. If you try to do a search for postjoint on Google, you can’t find them. What do these platforms have in common? Obviously, they both broker guest posts. But digging deeper and comparing them with other guest post platforms, one critical difference comes to mind: They both charge money. That’s right. Postjoint made a big deal of the fact that they don’t have any footprints. That the guest posts that they broke are invisible to Google. Matt Cutts made it a point to make a big deal about this claim by postjoint and tweeted that when anybody says that there are no footprints, that’s a big red flag. This again is a public show of force on Google’s end. They are making it clear to guest post platforms and also SEO is trying to use guest posts that Google is on the case.

Postjoint charged money for their services. Interestingly enough, myblogguest also charges money. They don’t charge money upfront. Actually, when you join myblogguest as a publisher, it would be a free membership. However, if you want to offer your articles for posting on publisher’s websites and blogs, you have to pay a premium or PRO membership. So both sites asked for money. This is a key red flag that you should watch out for when trying to build backlinks using guest post. At the very least, do not use platforms that ask for payment. Another compelling piece of evidence backing up this observation is the fact that completely free guest post platforms are still alive. These are actual platforms. They use software to pair up publishers with content creators. Also, social network based guest post groups and lists are still alive. You only need to go to Facebook and search for guest blog post groups and you will find a nice list. Those systems are still alive and kicking. The key takeaway here is pay attention to whether the platform that you are using for guest post is completely free or asks for money in one form or other.

Guest Posting For SEO Is A Bad Idea

It cannot be emphasized enough that guest posting purely for SEO purposes is a bad idea. Google is adamant against link manipulation. This is precisely what you’re doing if you are soliciting other blogs to publish your content so you can get a backlink. This is blatant link manipulation. The key takeaway from this is that guest post platforms are quite obvious regarding this intent. Your intent can be read in one or two ways. Your intent can be read in terms of what you say or what your motivations are or it can be read based on the effects of your action. While myblogguest has been very clear that they are more focused on branding, Google’s takeaway from the effect of the myblogguest platform is that it had bad intent. The results inferred bad intent.

What are some takeaways we can walk away from this key point? You should avoid places on the Internet that publicly solicit guest posts. You should avoid websites that publicly solicit guest posts and there is a link involve. Also, you should focus more on branding. In other words, you should still accept the guest post opportunity even if the backlink is a no-follow. In other words, there is no obvious SEO advantage to getting your guest post published. Matt Cutts released a video highlighting what “good” guest posts practices are all about and one of this is about sharing expertise. To make a long story short, the focus should be on branding. If you are an expert in a particular body of knowledge, focus your guest post experience on that. Don’t focus on the backlink that you get. The backlink should be a distant second consideration. Focus instead on branding yourself with expert content posted on a site that has an audience which is looking for your expertise.

Google Can Tell Niche Mismatches In Guest Posts

Google is becoming extremely sophisticated in a very short period of time. If your need proof regarding this assertion, just pay attention to the updates Google went through since 2012. The way Google filters links and processes content currently is light years away from its 2010 self. In fact, you can barely recognize Google now from its former self. Why? It’s so much more intelligent. Case in point: Google recently penalized a blog run by a very respected SEO, Doc Sheldon. What was DocSheldon’s crime against humanity? He published a guest post promoting his panic community marketing. Matt Cutts was on the record on Twitter explaining the penalty. He said that there was a mismatch between DocSheldon’s blog, which was all about SEO and his panic community marketing.

While we can nitpick regarding the accuracy of Google’s interpretation or we can quibble about Google in effect killing ants with a flamethrower, one thing is indisputable: Google has evolved the technology to determine the content of one page and relate it to the links that are found on that page. Ten years ago, this was unheard of Ten years ago, this would have been scary and stuff of Terminator movies. Well, guess what, Skynet, at least when applies to search engine technology, is here. Need proof? Take a look at the Doc Sheldon drama. Google was able to tell that the website was linking to something unrelated niche. This is scary stuff folks. They key takeaway here is that whenever you build backlinks through guest posting, make sure you solicit blogs that are directly or closely related to the niche of the website that you are building backlinks for. Also, the keywords that you are using should be directly related to the content or specialty of the blog that is publishing your guest posts. You can’t push the edges with backlink building nowadays. If you are trying to cut corners or you’re getting a bit too lazy when it comes to niche research, you might be headed for a Google penalty.

The MyBlogGuest penalty has really woken up the global SEO community on many fronts. At the very least, it showed us that Google is serious regarding the transfer of payment or some sort of value when it comes to building links. Also, Google is very serious about link manipulation. Doing stuff purely for SEO purposes is fast becoming a thing of the past. Finally, Google has evolved technology that should really scare most SEO straight. You can’t really play it fast and loose anymore when it comes to publishing backlinks on unrelated sites. You have to be very discriminating regarding where you draw your links or where you build your links. Considering how things are progressing, it is increasingly a bad idea to actively build links. Instead you should focus more on drawing natural links based on the quality of your content.

Photo credit: flickr.com/photos/86639298@N02/8559722063