Finding Expired Domains with Screaming Frog

Thinking about building a niche website or building your own private blog network? Well, you’re probably considering whether to pick yourself up an expired domain with authoritative backlinks to build your website on.

Whilst a lot of expired domains are eaten up by bots, there’s still the opportunity to get yourself a good expired domain the old fashioned way. In all honesty, if you’re looking to set up a small PBN or you just want an expired domain with relevant backlinks to build a niche site on, it might be better off just forking out a little bit of cash than taking the time to learn this method. Though if you’re looking to build a bigger network, this way could save you some cash in the long run. Plus, it helps you understand the way Screaming Frog works.

The main reason that I like this method personally is that I can set it up in the morning with a thousand or so URLs to spider and let it do it’s job. When I get back to my laptop, I’ll usually have at least a hundred or so domains to investigate. Whilst it is a hit and miss method, I have used this technique to pick up some pretty solid domains for my network. I’m talking DA 25-30+ and backlinks from Forbes, Huff Post and others like it. You need to check that it’s crawled – currently not indexed when you’re using SF.

Though I do look at metrics like Trust Flow and Citation Flow as a loose guideline, I definitely don’t use them as my main deciding factor as to whether a domain is worth the investment or not. I’ll usually look first at the referring domains and their quality, and decide from there.

Anyway, here’s the process;

1) Set your Screaming Frog Configuration.

2) Head to Google and type your target word (or a variation), followed by links or resources. We’re trying to find a links or resources page that’s full of outbound links here. For this example, I’ll use Nordic Walking.

3) Set the time to a past date.

4) Download SEOQuake and export the results to an excel/numbers spreadsheet.

5. Open the Excel/Numbers file. Set a filter for text contains and add “links” and “resources”.

6. Do this again and again with different dates (2011-12, 13-14 etc) and keywords (resources, links) until you have 100+ results to choose from. Upload the list into Screaming Frog (I’ve only done this with a few keywords for this example).

7. Go to the external tab, and click to sort the results by Status. Highlight anything that comes up as “DNS lookup failed” ready to copy (this basically means that Screaming Frog couldn’t get through to the url, meaning it is likely to be expired).

8. Head over to SEOWeather to trim these urls to their root domain.

9. Head over to Namebright and bulk check the availability of these domains

10. Download Data and copy these domains into Ahrefs Batch Analysis, or a DA and PA checker to check their backlinks.

11. Have a closer look at the websites with minimum 10+ referring domains. Check the anchor text and the current backlinks still pointing to the site.

12. Check archive.org and find out what used to be on the site (make sure there’s no Asian spam!).

13. Repeat until you find some gold!

Is the Apple Watch actually worth it?

Recently I decided to purchase myself a new Apple watch to see if it could become part of my daily routine. I’ve used a digital watch before, but ultimately I did not use it enough so it sort of got left by the side of the road as I never had the time to put it on in the mornings. But with the new series 4 apple watch I thought that it looked pretty good, so it was definitely in my interest to purchase one.

Usually I don’t like to spend to much on a watch. I try to find the best aviation watches uk and go with something fashionable that I can wear to work and other places – I’m often in business meetings so it’s very important that I keep up appearances with people that I’m socialising with. But for this new watch, I decided to go for something digital.

On a daily basis, I need to set up meetings and go and meet various different people. For this, I thought it would be a good idea to get an apple watch. I must say that it has made things much easier in terms of organising my day as I can easily dictate what I am doing into my watch. This makes a massive difference and helps me to save a lot of time throughout the day.

Another thing that I really enjoy about the Apple Watch is that I don’t have to take my phone with me to the gym. Because it has cellular data built in, this makes it much easier for me to use it on the go. You can easily dictate to Whatsapp whilst you’re on the run if you don’t want to use their typing, which makes it super easy to use. You can obviously take calls and messages on your iWatch too, which makes it a really good option for me.

Probably the best thing about the iWatch is the fitness settings that it has. It allows me to know how many steps I’m doing every day, as well as easily enter the amount of calories I’m consuming too. I’m finding it to be a pretty awesome purchase and yeah, I’m very happy with it.

Overall, I’d advise anyone to consider using the Apple Watch if they need something that works well for their needs.

Sticky Widget Plugin

Using a sticky widget plugin can be great for your product conversions and a good way to keep people on your site. But how do you use it optimally? This guide will help you out.

Basically, a sticky widget is just a widget that will follow your visitors down the page as they scroll. This is perfect if you write a lot of long content, but don’t have reams of stuff to put in your side widget. First, I’ll show you how to install the widget, then I’ll explain my two favorite ways to use a sticky widget to get the most out of this plugin (some themes will offer an in built sticky widget plugin, but most do not).

 

1. Search your plugins or click here to download the plugin.

2. After installing the plugin, you should be able to see the ‘Fixed Widget’ option when you go to Customize and look through your widgets.

Now, you have the ability to add a sticky widget to your website. Sticky widgets are used best for two things, in my opinion;

Help Navigation

Using a stick widget for related posts or with anchor links throughout your page can help your visitors to navigate your page easily. We want people to stay on our site, and psychologically people have very short attention spans. This means that if they don’t see what they want within a few minutes of clicking, they’re just gonna click off our site and leave (and that’s the last thing we want!). Using related posts is a good way to keep someone on site and reduce the bounce rate of our website.

Advertising something/Conversions

Whether you’re trying to get people to click on an affiliate link, you have your own product to sell or you’re  trying to get email subscribers, a sticky widget can be a great place to put something like this. If you’re writing long content, which you should be, then a sticky widget is a necessity for your website.

Should I change my permalink settings?

If you’re curious about whether you need to change your permalink settings, then you’re in the right place. First, lets cover what a permalink is.

People always get confused between what a URL is, and what a permalink is – it’s pretty easy to understand;

Anyway, whilst your domain name will always stay the same, your url will change depending on what your post or page is about. That’s why it’s important to have the correct permalink settings for your website. Whilst there’s no definitive ‘best settings’, here’s my opinion;

The default permalink settings are the worst thing in the entire world, so you’ll definitely want to change them (well whaddya know, there is a definitive best settings lol!). In my opinion, it’s best to set your permalinks to feature only your post name, unless you specifically want the date or category visible to your readers – this could be the case if you have a blog specifically updating the visitors about one thing, but it’s unlikely.

The main reasons that you’ll want to use post name as your permalink settings are;

  • It’s easy to read
  • You can keep it short and sweet
  • Matt Cutts done it (if you don’t know who Matt Cutts is, he’s the former head of web spam at Google)
  • You can include keywords
  • It enables you to change the date of your post

By ‘enables you to change the date of your post’, I mean this. You can change your post date and update it later on, but if your permalink contains the date of your post, you can’t change that. Well you can, but any links to your old url won’t be effective without 301 redirecting any links you’ve already got to the new url. If you don’t really know anything about backlinks and why they are important, click here. Essentially though, backlinks give you power, authority, juice – whatever you want to call it. If you get backlinks to your post from other websites (other good websites, I should add) then Google will look at your website more favourably. Now, if you change your permalink settings after creating 50 posts, and someone pointed a link at your old permalink, that won’t automatically carry over; hence why you need to 301 redirect. Here’s a small spaceship to help you understand;

That link to your post carries power which you want to retain. Anyway, back to the topic of permalinks. By choosing post name, you can keep your url short and sweet. Another option is to go for /category/post-name, which is great if you use categories to define different subsections of your site and it will help the viewers understand better what they’re looking at.

Remember though, if you use only the post name, then you can only use that post name once. This is good for SEO, but bad if you have a regularly updated news blog. For example, if I talked about football news every day on this website, I probably wouldn’t want my URL to be post name only. This is because after using the URL nichewebsites.net/football-news/, I couldn’t use that URL again. If I were to use the URL with dates in, it would read nichewebsites.net/01/01/2018/football-news/, and you could update it daily only changing the dates.

Anyway, the reason that I put this as one of my top WordPress tips is that you don’t want to change your permalinks after the post is indexed in Google, as you’ll have to set up a 301 redirect from the old URL to the new URL to carry any authority from backlinks that you’ve already received to the original permalink structure. Plus, the SEO benefits that you’ll get from using post name as your permalink structure make it the obvious choice if you’re starting a new niche website.

How Websites Make Money by Traffic – Top 4 Ways

There are many different methods of making money online using the visitors your website. Even if you have a small blog that gets a little bit of traffic, you can still make a bit of extra cash to help pay the bills. Here are 4 of the best ways that websites make money by using their traffic to their advantage.

Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate Marketing is one of the more popular ways to utilize any traffic that is visiting your website. The definition of affiliate means to attach yourself to an organisation, and that’s exactly what affiliate marketing is.

To put it simply, affiliate marketing is being paid commissions to generate sales for another organisation. For example;

  • I add a link for Nike Shoes on this website.
  • People click through the link to the Nike website
  • People buy the shoes that were linked to from this site
  • Nike pay a percentage of the sale (commission) to me, the affiliate.

The percentage that an affiliate is paid can range anywhere from 1-80%, though usually commissions for larger companies like Nike will be between 4-10%. Making affiliate marketing work is entirely dependant on the subject matter of your website. For example, you’re unlikely to sell any Nike Shoes on a website about garden hoses. Relevant affiliate links however, can be extremely effective and a great way to make money through traffic to your website.

Ads

Ads are another method of making money from the traffic that is visiting your website. There are many different forms of ads that you can use for your website such as banner ads. See an example of a banner ad below;

Adding these types of banner ads can be a useful way to make the most of your traffic, but you will have to have a substantial amount of visitors to make it worth your while. Google Adsense and content.ad are some of the most popular platforms of advertising online.

Dropshipping

There’s no doubt that dropshipping is becoming harder to execute, but it is still a good way to make money online if you are interested in running an e-commerce store. The basics of dropshipping are;

  • I source a supplier/wholesaler who manufacturers a product.
  • I agree with the wholesaler ‘dropshipping’ terms (e.g. price, minimum order).
  • I advertise this product for sale on my site at a higher price than what I’m paying the supplier.
  • I sell the product, then send the wholesaler the address of the person who bought the product off my site.

By dropshipping, you completely remove the need to have anything physical to do with your product – which is an online entrepreneurs dream.

Sell your own products

The idea of dropshipping is fantastic, but it doesn’t all the same control as branding your own products and selling them yourself. Dropshipping eliminates the necessity to handle the physical product itself, but it can also come with complications like shipping times and quality control. If you sell the products yourself, you can afford yourself much more influence over how your product is developed.

8 WordPress Tips for Building Your First Website

Building a website for the first time can be overwhelming. If you have no experience building websites previously, you’re going to make mistakes. It’s inevitable. But with these few tips, you can avoid making common mistakes that most people make when building their first website.

 

8 WordPress Tips for Building Your First Website

  1. Set Your Permalinks – If you don’t know what permalinks are, check here. Permalinks are a great way to make your URL clear to your reader and make your post SEO friendly. By changing your permalinks before you start your blog, you can save complications further down the line.
  2. Pick Your Theme First – If you can, decide on the theme (or framework) you’d like to use before you start your blog. This is because
  3. Use Heading One Once – Whilst this isn’t set in stone, using one H1 makes sense for most websites. The headings are used in order of their hierarchy e.g. Heading 1 = the title, Heading 2 = the headings, Heading 3 = the subheadings.
  4. Change Default Post Category – This is just something that makes sense to do if you’re starting a new blog. In your first posts, WordPress will automatically label it under the category ‘Uncategorized’. If you change this to something like “Blog”, then automatically any new post you create will be categorized into the “Blog” category. This is handy incase you ever wanted to add “Blog” to your menu.
  5. Install Good Plugins – Too many plugins will make your website bloated and slow. However, the right plugins can improve your website tenfold. Check out the best plugins here.
  6. Use Page Anchors – Using page anchors (or Anchor Links) are easy and can make your site a lot easier to navigate. If you want to learn more about page anchors, click here.
  7. Optimize Your Images – Optimizing your images is essential for making your website faster and reducing the loading times of your web pages. This guy made a pretty good comparison between the best image optimization plugins.
  8. Do Some Keyword Research First – You could write an amazing 10,000 word blog article that would blow the world away – but, if you don’t share it in the correct manner, no one may ever come across it. With social media, you can share whatever posts. With Google and other search engines, keyword research is a must if you want to appear in their results pages and get visitors to your website.

Hopefully with these few tips, you can reduce the learning curve that comes with building your first website.

Top websites that sell second hand things

After Backpage was seized on April 6th 2018 for promoting sex ads and money laundering, it seems only to write an article comparing some of the other top websites that sell secondhand things. Whilst Backpage was known for some of it’s more adult advertisements, it was still very popular for secondhand goods too, especially cars and other automotives. But with Backpage gone, what are they other main competitors in the market?

Global – eBay

A list of the top websites known for selling secondhand things wouldn’t be complete without eBay. Founded by Pierre Omidyar in 1995, it was an instant success and grew quickly into a multi billion dollar empire.
If you’re wondering what kind of things that you can sell on eBay, then it’s pretty much everything that isn’t illegal. From your old used shirts to a grilled cheese sandwich with the face of Virgin Mary, there’s almost nothing that you can’t find on the site.

Most Popular US – Craigslist

For Americans, Craigslist has been one of the go to places for selling secondhand things for many years now (over 20, in fact). Whilst it has decreased in popularity in recent years due to an influx of competition, there’s no doubt that it’s still one of the best places to sell second hand things.

This is only true if you’re an American, however. Throughout Europe and the rest of the world, there are many options that are more popular than Craigslist if you’re looking to sell your used stuff.

Most Popular UK, AU & NZ – Gumtree

In Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, Gumtree is the site of choice for second hand goods. Whether it’s a used car or a used piano, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for on Gumtree. It’s also a subsidiary of eBay, after being acquired back in 2005.

Gumtree is also currently the most popular platform for second hand purchases in Singapore and South Africa.

US Alternative – Oodle

Oodle is very similar to Craigslist and Gumtree, but it has a lot more partnership listings with other companies like eBay and BoatTrader. By collaborating with these other companies, it gives users a wider variety of choice before making their decision on their purchase.

Oodle also advises users sign up with a Facebook account to help protect themselves from fraudulent purchases.

UK Alternative – Preloved

The second biggest used stuff website in the UK is Preloved, which actually launched “National Secondhand Day” back in 2013 in celebration of secondhand stuff. Whilst we don’t love secondhand stuff that much, we can definitely appreciate the enthusiasm.

A super smooth interface and minimal ads is one of the reasons that Gumtree has had to update their own site recently, as Preloved is hot on their collar for being the number one secondhand site in the UK.

Conclusion

Whilst many say that secondhand websites have risen to prominence over the past twenty years at the expense of charity shops, this isn’t necessarily the case. eBay in particular now makes up a substantial income for many charities in the UK and the United States, so it’s not all bad.

3 things to consider before you start an online business

Starting an online business can be extremely hard. Doing this isn’t easy, so there are a few things that you should consider beforehand. Here are three of what we think are the most important things to consider before you start an online business;

What type of online business should you start?

This is probably the most important thing that you should consider when you are in the first processes of building your online business. You should take a lot of time to think about it, as you are going to be investing a lot of time into whichever type you decide, so you should make sure that it’s something that will hold your interest.

There are an abundance of different online business’s you can start. Your online business should be something that you are an expert in; remember, an expert doesn’t have to mean you’ve spent years researching it or have lots of experience in it. As long as you know more than 99% of people about a subject, you should consider yourself an expert in that field.

The best thing to do to decide what the general type of business should be is to get a pen and paper out and start writing down things that interest you. If you can find a common ground, you should be able to find a good idea for the type of online business you want to start.

What structure should you online business take?

Some of the more popular business types in recent years are affiliate marketing and PPL (Pay Per Lead). This is because these business require a minimal amount of investment and still have sizeable profit margins that can be made from your investment.

Do some research and find out what peaks your interest. There are many different business models to pick from, so it is worth getting the right one for you.

The best place to get started

The internet has resources in abundance if you are looking to start up your own business; the knowledge you can acquire is infinite. With the internet, you can find anything you need to help you with your online business.

 

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Beginners

If you’re new to blogging and you’re looking for the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners, then don’t worry; I’ve got you covered. It can be quite confusing knowing what to do with your website if you’ve started to garner some traffic. You could install Adsense and get paid obscenely low returns for the amount of visitors you’re getting. But in my opinion, a better option would be to look elsewhere and try and convert some of those visitors into a bigger profit through affiliate marketing. Here are some of the best programs for affiliate marketing if you’re completely new to it.

Amazon Associates

I’ll always recommend Amazon Affiliate as the best affiliate marketing program for beginners. Why? Well, there are a few reasons.

Firstly, the range of products obviously far larger than any other program you’ll find. With Amazon becoming one of the biggest companies in the world and Bezos becoming the richest man, it’s no surprise that the variety of products is vast. Amazon is putting many companies out of business as their variety of products is so vast, which is perfect for an affiliate marketer.

Secondly, it’s simple to use. Once you’ve been approved for their affiliate program, it’s really simple to add links to your website and track the products you’ve sold.

Finally, probably the best thing about the Amazon program is that if you link someone through, you’ll get a percentage of anything that they buy within 24 hours. That means that if someone clicks your link for a toaster, and they end up buying a pair of socks instead, you’ll get a percentage of those socks.

Whilst it doesn’t sound attractive from that perspective – who wants the affiliate commissions from a pair of socks, right? – think of it the other way around. You could refer someone to Amazon through a link for a pair of socks, and they might end up buying a PlayStation. Pretty neat, right?

Awin

Awin, formerly Affiliate Network, is another one of the largest affiliate marketing programs in the world. One of the main reasons that they’re great for beginners is that they don’t have as many restrictions as other big affiliate programs like Rakuten and Avangate.

Some of the more popular brands that are partnered with Awin are Jack Wills, Stubhub and Etsy.

ShareASale

ShareASale has been around for a while (since 2000) and lists thousands of different affiliate programs that you can join. They were actually acquired by Awin in 2017 – Awin is an international affiliate program more focussed on Europe, whilst ShareASale is best for US residents.

ShareASale is a good option if you’re looking to be an affiliate for clothing, as they are an affiliate for Reebok. Another good option could be Brooklinen, who specialise in bedsheets.

Clickbank

Another older affiliate program that has been popular for a while is Clickbank – it’s actually one of the most famous affiliate programs around.

Clickbank is a great option because they offer high commissions if you can manage to refer someone to a product – many of their partners offer 50-80% commission. The main issue with Clickbank is the products themselves – I’d say that the majority of them are absolutely awful. If you can scour your way through the dodgy ones though, you can find yourself a good one.

Conclusion

These are just a few of the best affiliate marketing programs for beginners around. Another good method is to find individual retailers who you can be an affiliate for. For example, if you wanted to be an affiliate for yachts, you could go to boatbookings.com and work with them directly. Doing this is a great way to take advantage of gaps in the market, though beware it can make you tied to one specific company.