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Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Personal Goals For 2016

These are not my New Year's Resolutions. I don't do resolutions. I hate them. I'd rather set some goals for the year. That way, even if I'm behind in February or March, I don't feel like a loser or feel like I have to quit. So, here are my goals for 2016, in no particular order.

1. Lose 50 lbs. I could stand to lose more, but let's be real. Hey, I know 50 lbs in a year is do-able, even with a few setbacks. The end result will be a significant improvement to my health.

2. Sign up 10 new long-term clients for SEO, SEM, SMM, etc. with Arcand Media. Again, I think this is a very realistic goal. Achieving this goal will help provide more financial stability for my family. That's something that is very important to me.

3. Find a hobby I can really get into. I know everyone is supposed to have something like a hobby that they really enjoy. I just don't have anything like that at this point in my life. A good friend is involved in flying remote control quad helicopters. I might get into that.

4. Spend more time doing things with the family that everyone will enjoy. I know, this one sounds kind of vague, but it's a real goal. Maybe a real vacation is in order for next year.

5. I'm reserving this spot in case I come up with another goal before the first. ;)

So, what are YOUR personal goals for 2016? Feel free to share them in the comments!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

How To Rank on Google

Okay, so I guess it's time to spill the beans. But let me warn you, if you've been around SEO for a while, this information won't be new to you. In fact, it will probably be more along the lines of getting back to the basics. For those who are new to SEO and still learning how to rank on Google, then this can be a short primer on the subject.

Jaxxy can help with keyword research and how to rank on Google

It all starts with keywords, or rather, keyword phrases. There are two basic types of keyword phrases, short-tail and long-tail. No, we don't have any pets online. Basically, a short-tail keyword is a one or two word phrase that people might search for in order to find a product or service. Brand names are usually short-tail keywords. Very generic or broad niches are short-tail keywords. Examples would be Nike, Amazon, Netflix, Diabetes, Internet Marketing, and Star Wars. These are all very short and very generic. While the company names are specific, what the user is looking for beyond just the company website is anyone's guess. Depending on the keyword and the amount of search traffic it gets, the competition for these, both organically and with PPC, can be very high.

Long-tail keywords is where we're going to focus our efforts. Sometimes these are referred to as "low hanging fruit," because they are generally easier to rank for in Google. The drawback, however, is that long-tail keywords do not usually have anywhere near the amount of traffic that a short-tail keyword would have in the search results. Search traffic equates to real website traffic, especially for those sites "lucky" enough to get placed on the first page of Google's search results. The top three search results are the most highly coveted positions for any search term, as these will receive the vast majority of the traffic from a given search engine.


The other issue at play is the competition. How many websites are actually competing for the search term you are targeting? As I mentioned earlier, with short-term keywords there is usually a lot more competition vs long-tail keywords. You used to be able to find out exactly how many websites are competing for your *exact* keyword phrase by including your phrase in quotation marks in the search bar when you enter it. However, the number the search engines give you now is inflated with similar sites, etc., and no longer accurately represents the numbers of sites matching any given phrase exactly. This is where some outside help comes in, but more about that in a minute.

How to rank on Google involves on-page seo best practices.
On-Page SEO

The next step of getting ranked on Google is to create a page targeting your selected keyword phrase to the T  ... from page title, h1 tag within the page itself, and including the keyword phrase in the fist paragraph and probably once or twice more throughout the page, depending on length. It should be used naturally, though, not forced. Remember, if you're looking to do something with the page you're creating, you'll want people to be able to read it, not just search engine robots, right? Also, images should be used. Use an image with the keyword phrase in the name of the image, if possible. Be sure and assign alt tag description to the image as well, and once again ensure your keyword in is there, exactly as it appears everywhere else.

Last, but certainly not least, is ensuring that you get your site's new page indexed quickly by Google. You can do this through the new Search Console. Once you sign in, look down the menu for fetch. You'll want to fetch your new page's URL. Once Google confirms that it is there, you'll have the option to submit the page for indexing. There's no guarantees on how long it will take, etc., but I can tell you that it can happen real quick. I created a brand spanking new page from scratch, and was able to lock in the number one spot on Google for my selected keyword phrase in just under 15 minutes. No, that's not an exaggeration. That's a fact, Jack.

How to Rank on Google

Now I hear the experts out there saying there's no way that is possible or questioning my non-use of backlinks, etc. First, get your panties out of a wad. No one said backlinks were not useful. In fact, I suspect that in order to keep my number one spot, I will need some backlinks, pronto. But, the point is that backlinks are not required in order to rank on Google. Now you're probably saying that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. I'm with you on that. However, I'm not ready to reveal my page and targeted keywords just yet. I need them produce some traffic/sales results first before I throw the niche to the wolves (not that YOU are a wolf, but the internet is full of them, you know). However, if all goes well, this page will serve as an example as well. If you havaen't notices, there is a theme on this page, and one that I hope will rank high on Google in short order.


I mentioned earlier that there were some outside tools needed for the keyword research. This is true. You can use Google's keyword tool within Adwords to get search volumes and ideas for related search terms  (starting with short-tail and generating long-tail ideas). However, you won't be able to get competition numbers, nor a good idea of how difficult it to rank on Google. For this, I recommend an online tool called Jaaxy. It's a great keyword tool that will provide invaluable insight, help you find new long-tail keywords to target, and grade the competition for you (red, yellow, green light). It's a simple, yet powerful tool that I think every internet marketer should have in their arsenal. Sign up doesn't require a credit card. You get 30 free searches to see how it works and start kicking butt on your keyword research. Check it out by clicking on the image below.

Jaxxy is a great keyword tool that can help you target long-tail keywords to rank on Google

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Holy Crap! You Won't Believe What I just Did on Google!

I just created a landing page on my own domain for a very specific (local) keyword and submitted it to Google using the search console (formerly webmaster tools). It's now ranking on the first page of Google (verified through incognito search) after about 15 minutes. How cool is that???

I've still got to do some independent verification on other computers to confirm. Then I'll share the page and the key points that you can follow to duplicate these results.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook: Love Him or Hate Him, But You've Got to Give Him Credit

Mark Zuckerberg photo by Eirik Solheim via Flickr, CC license 2.0

Ok, look. I've got no love lost for this guy, alright? I'm not really in the "hate him" camp, but definitely not in the "love him" camp either. I guess I'm sort of in the middle. But one thing that I've realized over the past few years is that Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook has a knack for business. Say what you will about the Winklevoss twins and the whole ownership controversy, but looking at what he's done with the website over the past couple of years, his business skills are pretty impressive.

Now, to be fair, I'm sure he's had plenty of advisers over the years and learned a lot as he's grown into his role as the leader of one of the free world's largest websites and communications tools. I can't even imagine what it must be like - the day to day decisions and working on projects that you realize will literally impact not just your local community, but BILLIONS of people around the planet. 

Of course, you can't totally ignore the scandals, and there have been more than one. The most famous, of course, revolves around the Winklevoss twins and their claim that Mark Zuckerberg basically cheated them out of some part of the ownership of "The Facebook" as it was called back in the early days. The most recent controversy is over his declaration that he has committed to giving away almost all of his income to charity. People have lauded this and heralded him as a new leader in philanthropy among the rich and famous. Others have blasted the move, talking about how it's a tax break and that it's going to a charity he owns (is that even true? I honestly don't know, don't care.).

The bottom line, however, when we look at Mark Zuckerberg, is that he has built an online business that has gone from a college dorm room to 1.5 BILLION monthly users in Q3 of this year (source: I don't care how you slice it, that is impressive. I doubt there are very many companies out there that say they have that much of an impact worldwide. Certainly Google is the only one online who comes close in terms of web traffic. Their gross income in 2014 was $10.28 billion, with an EBITDA (for those who aren't business-minded or just don't know, this is an accounting term that stands for "earnings before income tax, depreciation, and amortization") of $6.2 billion (source: I don't care who you are, that's impressive.

So what can we take away from this examination of Mark Zuckerberg today? First, I refuse to judge anyone before hearing both sides of the story. Even then, if it's not something that impacts me personally and the courts have already ruled on it, then I really don't care about it. Second, it doesn't matter if you start out small, any idea can grow to become a game changer if it's good enough. Some things, though (IMHO) are partially about being in the right place at the right time. Some folks call that luck. I don't know what to call it. But I'll give him credit ... he's build one hell of an empire online. If my online ventures can be 1,000th as successful as his, I would be ecstatic.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Viral Tsunami

Viruses that attack the human body are amazing creatures.

No, this isn't some post about creating viral content online (although I may revisit that title later!). This is about another type of viral tsunami - a real one. It's amazing to me how such a simple organism as a virus can wreak absolute havoc on the human body. It's also equally as impressive how such a tiny, microscopic organism can reproduce and manage to travel from host to host so quickly. It was Sunday morning when the first member of our family, our oldest daughter, came down with the first symptoms - the dreaded diarrhea. (Note: if this post is TMI, feel free to skip it and read the next one, but be forewarned - real men keep it real. ;))

By Sunday afternoon, there was vomiting involved. By that evening, our other daughter and myself came down with the stomach / gastrointestinal bug. By morning, the wife had it, too. By the end of the day on Monday, our littlest one had the diarrhea, but no nausea or vomiting (*knock on wood). Needless to say, it's been a rough 48-72 hours in our house. Lots of water. Lots of pedialyte and Powerade Zero. Lot's of Lysol.

I don't have a reference for it off the top of my head, but I've read or heard before that the human body has more bacteria and other organisms living in and on it than it has in number of it's own cells. We are literally outnumbered in our own skin. After the events of this week, I have a a new-found appreciation for all of these organisms - both the good and the bad.

Thankfully, everyone is either better or well on the mend.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Grateful Today

There are days that I forget just how good I have it. Working as an independent contractor has a lot of pros and cons, like it's always feast or famine. For some reason I always seem to focus on the downside of things. 

But today, I'm grateful for the way things have turned out. It may not be ideal, but it allows me to have a flexible schedule, and that schedule today allowed me to drive a personal friend to Dallas for a medical treatment. In any normal J.O.B. I would have to ask for the day off, use personal or vacation days in order to help my friend out. So today, at least for today, I'm focusing on something positive abouty situation. Today I am grateful.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Daily Grind ... At Home?

Working from home isn't always what it's cracked up to be.

I've got friends and family who think that because I work at home, all of my time is free time and that I really don't do anything. Add on top of that my industry is totally based online on the the internet, and they just glaze over when I talk about my work.

In reality, working from home can be a challenge on some days. Like today. When the kids come home from school, all bets are off. If there's a sick kid in the house, all bets are off. So anyway, I just wanted to share this meme that I found online that seemed pretty fitting. What I actually do doesn't really fit in with what most people envision that I do ... not even what I think I do, lol.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

How Can I Make Money From Home Online?

Want to make money from home online? Here's how.
A lot of people ask me how I do what I do, how have I managed to work from home for over eight years and made money off the internet. Well, today I'm going to answer that question and the one that is really behind that question - how can you make money from home online too?

Let me just say up front, in reality, it's not for everyone. As much as some internet marketing con artists would like for you to believe that anyone can make money online, I simply don't believe that to be the case. Why? Because not everyone has the computer skills needed to make it happen. Not everyone has the language skills to make it happen. Not everyone can follow directions.

However, if you've got basic computer skills, a decent grasp on the English language (more on why English in another post), and can follow directions, then sure, you can make money from home online. But how, exactly, do you do it? How does someone get started?

Well, let me tell you how I got started. There are surely different ways to get started making money online, and I'm always exploring new ways myself. In fact, the way I got started is no longer the way I make money online. But, it was instrumental in me getting my feet wet, learning the ropes, and most importantly (don't miss this) meeting new people and learning to network. If there is one single thing that has been responsible for my success and a majority of the work I've done online, it's networking. But more on that another time. First, we have to get you started.

In my opinion and based on my experience, one of the easiest and quickest ways to make some money online is writing articles. Yes, that's right. Writing online articles for other people can make you some decent, quick cash. Many things you will read about require time to build up your Google ranking, build up traffic, etc., but writing articles can get you into the black in less than a week.

Where do you find people willing to pay for these articles? Well, quite frankly, they're everywhere. If you're good, you can even parlay an article writing gig or two into a full time career with only one or two clients. There are some sites that you'll need to steer clear of though, at least until you get your feet under you. Sites like and Elance can be great, if you have a portfolio and know what you're looking for. Otherwise, you'll likely get frustrated and your bids will be undercut seemingly at every turn by foreign writers who don't write (or likely speak) English as well as a native English speaker does.

Remember what I mentioned about networking. Always stay in touch with those who are associated with the same company you are writing for - other writers, especially. To this day, I am still connected and actually interact with some of the writers I got my start with back in 2007. It can literally pay to keep in touch. You never know where your next job lead will come from!

But, let's say this is still all Greek to you. You want to get started right away. You want to earn some extra cash this month. I do have a friend who has an almost turn-key solution for you. Her name is Yuwanda Black, and she's the real deal. I have followed her blog for years and the information she presents is exactly the type of information I would share if I had the time. But she's gone even one step further. She has put together a program that will help you go from where you are today to earning an online income writing articles from the comfort of your own home. This isn't hype. You're not going to be rich. What this is, however, is real. The exact same principles and things that Yowanda will share with you are the exact same things I used to get my start online over eight years ago. Honestly, I think she's right. It really doesn't get much easier than this.

If you've ever, and I do mean ever, wanted to make money from home online and just didn't know where to begin, you owe it to yourself to check out this program. From now on, when someone asks my how they can get started doing what I do, this is where I'm going to send them. It's the real deal, folks.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Wealthy Affiliate - Ever heard of it?

Wealthy Affiliate is a program that provides education and tools to build affiliate websites.
The name sounds cheesy, at least to me. Wealthy? Really? Can all affiliate marketers really be wealthy? Of course not. I say that because there are some limitations for some people that just simply cannot be overcome. Well, that's my opinion anyway.

However, a few weeks ago I stumbled upon a review or page somewhere that mentioned a program called Wealthy Affiliate. The only reason I even gave it a second glance was because it had a really dynamic sales pitch and it appeared that you could do some pretty significant stuff for free. If you've read anything here or know me personally, you know I'm all about being frugal and saving money. Free is like gold to me.

So, I'm almost a week into my enhanced free trial period. After the week is up, I can still access the websites and free training sections, but will lose some other privileges on the site. I'm sure you're wondering at this point what I think of the site, right?

Well, I'll say this ... if you are a complete beginner to internet marketing or trying to make money online, you will find this free offer of exceptional value. You will get some real training that is literally step-by-step and visually demonstrated in video form so there's really no guesswork. Just like KC Tan's class ClickBank Affiliate Marketing Make Money Without A Website I mentioned in a previous post. You'll even get to create two free websites using WordPress on a domain that they will host for you at no cost. Now granted, this isn't as valuable as having your own domain, but if you do opt for the pro version of the service, you'll be able to move your freebie site to a domain that you purchase and provide. Hosting included in your monthly or annual subscription cost.

But can anyone really make money doing this? I'll be honest, I've always had my doubts, even with the limited success that we experienced back in the day with Google Adsense (more on that another time). Just today, however, I ran across this blog post from someone who is already in my WA "network" (kind of like the whole friends thing on Facebook), and this guy is making some serious cash, in my opinion. I guess it depends on where you are in life, but I don't know anyone personally who would turn their nose up at an "extra" $5,000 per month, do you? Granted, he's been doing this with WA for just over a year, but still, I don't think that's bad. Looking back on some of his older blog posts (you get a place to blog within the WA site, too, even free folks), it looks like his income from his sites has bee continuously growing. He does admit that Black Friday played a role in November's profits, but still. Anyway ... check it out:

November Results $5,000 in a Month?

Are you impressed with this? I was. There are quite a few recent posts from others in a similar vein as well. His was the highest number I've seen posted thus far. Anyway, I'm still exploring Wealthy Affiliate, but I wanted to pass this on. Sign up for free, if nothing else. Take advantage of the website / WordPress training, if nothing else. I'll report back on my personal experiences soon.

Clickbank Money: Is it Real? A Case Study

(Click on the image to visit the Udemy course, "Clickbank Affiliate Marketing Make Money Without a Website")

Okay, so first off, let me say that I haven't done anything worth a crap with Clickbank in years, despite knowing "all about it" and having set up several landing pages and attempting to promote a few products several years back. I *did* make a sale, but left it on the books so long that the Clickbank maintenance fee ate away at it until it was all gone. So much for that, right? 

Well, maybe not. I knew that there MUST be a way to make Clickbank marketing work, otherwise it would have went out of business years ago. But like anything else, the average person either a) doesn't have the knowledge necessary to make it happen or b) they don't have the patience to figure it out. Either way, I'm sure the churn is huge. However, there are people who are making a killing promoting Clickbank products. The real question is, can someone like you or me do the same thing?

I've recently discovered Udemy to be a great source for learning online. They have a ton of free courses, lots of courses that you have to pay for, and they regularly run sales on most courses. For this reason, I've started using Udemy for my own learning and plan in the future to share my knowledge through their platform. So what does all of this have to do with Clickbank sales and marketing? Well, let me tell you.

I stumbled across a course called ClickBank Affiliate Marketing Make Money Without A Website. I was intrigued, because all of my efforts with Clickbank in the past had required a website either dedicated to that vertical, that particular product, or at least a place for your landing pages. This course apparently was going to show me how to make Clickbank sales without a website. Other than Google arbitrage (PPC ads linking directly to sales pages - which is no longer allowed), I knew of no other way to do this. So, what would this course entail?

Well, I don't want to ruin the entire experience for you, but let me say that this course did not disappoint. In fact, it was stellar. The author, KC Tan, is from Singapore, so his English is sometimes a bit difficult to understand, but not overly so. He's recently added subtitles to all of his videos, so even if your ear has a hard time with the dialect, the written text is there to keep you on track. There's another think about KC's classes that I really like. He walks you through the process, live on the screen, step-by-step. He will literally show you everything that you need to do. If you can watch, listen, and do the exact same thing he does, then you can do what he does. It really is that simple.

Following Tan's lead, I picked out a product in the health vertical. I followed his directions, step by step. Now, while his methods in this course don't require a website, they do require some minimal investment. Over the course of my two week case study, I ended up spending $45.28. I made three sales (easily surpassing my previous record of one, lol) for a total of $83.74 for a profit of $38.46, or an ROI of 85%. I didn't ramp up this project - yet. But I plan on it. Oh, and I grew a brand new email list in this vertical from zero to 32 subscribers in the same two weeks.

Now, this might not seem like much, but let's be honest, where else can you get an 85% return on your investment - anywhere? So let's just say this is maxed out and that maybe I can double my profits and make around $150 a month. How many other programs/products would I need to meet my financial goals? 5 successful campaigns would be $750/mo. 10 campaigns would be $1500/mo. Keep in mind that some of these might perform worse, but some will likely perform better.

I don't know where this will end, but I'll keep you all posted. My second case study is on another one of Tan's courses and is currently underway. I'll report on that one as well once it is finished. In the meantime, you should check out  ClickBank Affiliate Marketing Make Money Without A Website. I can promise you'll be impressed with Tan's teaching methods and the overall course in general. And if you put it to work and follow his examples, hopefully you can get some similar results like I have.

Are you ready to give Clickbank a chance? Just do it! And then share your results here with us. :)

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Holidays and Working From Home

When you work from home and have kids, holidays are not exactly the "most wonderful time of the year" as the old song goes. In fact, if you have more than one child and they play together, loudly, it can become downright frustrating. This is one of the biggest challenges for me in working from home.

During the holidays, normal people take paid time off from work. They don't worry about earning money on the days they are spending with relatives, because they are being paid by their employer. For those of us who work as independent contractors, we have no such allowance. Each day is another day to earn income or another day to lose it. Well, not necessarily lose it. But each day represents a loss of potential income if we don't get to work.

So, while it's great to spend time with the family and go visit people and eat wonderful meals, it can really take a toll. Not only are we spending extra money this week, but we're not earning as much as we should be, so it's sort of like a double whammy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I'm Back!!!

I have no idea what we're going to do in this space just yet, but I'm back after a hiatus here on the Real Men Stay Home blog of over six years. Wow! We have a lot of catching up to do, don't we? Where to begin ...

  • We had another child in 2011, a boy. So that makes four in all, two boys and two girls. The good news is that we finally figured out what causes this, and have taken steps to ensure no more kids at this point, while not sacrificing any of the fun practicing. ;)
  • Since 2009 I've worked as a blogger and editor for the Tsavo/Ovast network (now defunct), Tecca (Best Buy's attempted tech blog, now also defunct), content producer for MySpace Entertainment (again, long gone), and am currently a content producer and SEO specialist (independent contractor) with a company out of Seattle. 
  • I / we have launched several blogs and websites over the years without any stellar standout successes, but that's okay. We offer our online and offline media services locally, and have a few clients here and there. I'm still pushing the online marketing ideas and trying to learn how to build my online empire, lol.
I'll have to look back over the blog and see what else was the "status quo" at the time I left, so more updates will be coming. Meanwhile, where have you been? How are things going for you and what have you been up to?

If you're still subscribed here or happen to wander in, leave a comment and let us know!