Smart Money Notes – Farm Team Site

Why I Needed a Blog Farm Team I was sitting on the couch last night with my laptop trying to wade through the endless number of emails that I have in my various inboxes. Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong idea; I don’t have that many friends, most of these emails are [...]

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Then I headed over to Blogger and opened an account. Now when I’m surfing around and find something that I think I should write a story about or just triggers an idea I click on the little orange B and I can instantly post a story fragment with links to my Blogger blog.
Of course I’ve added AdSense to that Blog too (with its own tracking channel so I can see if there is anyone clicking on those links) and a link back to this site. Also when I complete a story on the Blogger site, I will post a link to the finished article back on this site, so interested readers can get the full version. Over the next few days I will migrate all the emails that I have out to that site, and then I will have access to them from anywhere.
I know what some people must be saying, “What if someone steals all your ideas?”. So be it, is my answer. It’s not really that I write anything earth shattering anyways and I’m not much of a news blogger (as you’ll see if you click the ‘News’ category to the left).
Actually I’ve very excited about this because the biggest problem I’m having since I started this site is to keep up with the huge number of topics that I’d like to write about. At least this way they will be out there in some form because it is probable that a lot of them I will just never get to. Just like in baseball, if the farm team makes a few bucks it’s a bonus. I’m sure it will be a place for stories to develop.

Writing Headlines – “What’s In it for Me?”

Writing Headlines for Web Content & AdWords This is a continuation of the web writing series. See part 1 here: Keyword Placement. In this segment, I am sharing some of my research and ideas about writing headlines. As I went through this process I realized that the same ideas hold true for writing an AdWords [...]

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Keyword Placement and the Web Writing Process

by SMD · 1 Comment 

Keyword Placement and the web writing process. I’ve decided that it is time for a “back to basics” series. In the next couple months I’m going to tackle the basics of having a content rich website and hopefully in the process refine my skills. My ultimate goal with this series is to produce a how-to [...]

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RSS Revisited – Promotion and Distribution

RSS Feed Promotion and Distribution Using FeedBurner I mentioned earlier that I created a page that spits out my articles in RSS style xml. So that is the first requirement and most blogging websites have this functionality (sometimes you’ll need to enable it manually – look in the options or control panel). Once you have [...]

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They also offer all kinds of stats so you can see how many people are reading your feed and how (what with).
A side note about RSS feeds. It has happened to me that I have searched for my site on Google and have seen my feed being used in other websites (this is easy to do and provide automated content to a site). But to use an entire post is a violation of copyright. Also if someone can read the entire post in their reader, there is no incentive to visit your site (and click your ads!). It is because of these issues that I now provide only summaries of my stories in my RSS feed.
Feedburner also has a beta test going which offers context specific Amazon banner ads in your feeds. You must have an Amazon affiliate account and you can control the frequency of ads and where they appear in the feed. (Note: one of every 5 ads is a Feedburner ad). I chose not to use this since the spirit of RSS, so far at least, has been to be a way to read the internet without the noise.

Search Engine Friendly URLs

Search Engine Optimization – Get rid of those horrible URLs If you visited this site a couple days ago, when you clicked on a topic like “Personal Finance” from the left menu, you would have been served a list of all the stories about Personal Finance. In the address bar at the top of your [...]

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Here’s an example. Go to and type in Search Engine Friendly URLs. Notice that the top results have the words Search Engine Friendly URLs in bold in. Notice that this is true in the actual address in green at the bottom. It is proof that Google takes the file name (and domain name too for that matter – so better to choose a domain that include the main keywords for your site) into consideration and emphasizes it back to the searcher.
There are quite a lot of ways to implement this. Most professional blogging tools have an option to turn on Search Engine Friendly URLs. If you have that option make sure it is turned on. Also now it is important to name the article (use the same phrase for the title and the file name) in a manner that emphasizes the keywords that the article targets. Also worth noting is that the search engines consider words that are at the beginning of the title and file name to be more important than those farther to the right.
One mistake that I made is that I used “_” to replace the spaces in the path. Apparently the “-” character is better. I will have to fix this. Google does not see the underscore as a word separator. If you search on Search_Engine_Friendly_URLs you get 569 results, Search-Engine-Friendly-URLs returns 31,300 results and Search Engine Friendly URLs returns 1,220,000 results. So the one with the underscore is being treated as an exact phrase which limits the effectiveness since your page will only come up as an exact match. The dash (hyphen) is being more broadly searched than the underscore and therefore is a better symbol to replace the space.
Now you will notice that if you go to the same story as the one in the old address above the address looks like this: This is clearly better. Another benefit is that it has the main category built into the address. You know that it is filed under Business as it’s main heading and even better, if you cut the story name off the address and just enter you will get a listing of all the articles in the Business file of the site.
At the time of writing this article Google had only indexed 3 pages of this site ( Google ). MSN was better but from what I’ve heard using this form of file naming system can make a big difference. Let’s hope. I’ll post an update when available.

Adwords – Relevance, Relevance, Relevance

AdWords – the Other Side of the AdSense Coin This article is about website advertising from the point of view of the site owner who is trying to bring traffic to their site. These ads are called AdWords. In reality they are the same as AdSense, only from the side of the payee rather than [...]

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There is a hard and fast way that Google measures relevance: the click through rate of your ad! If your ad does not receive 5 clicks out of every 1000 viewings (impressions) Google disables your ad. They are not in the business of putting irrelevant ads on a page.
Now let’s step back again, this time in the direction of the searcher. What is that person thinking when they type a term into Google or they are reading a page with your ad on it? Knowing this is the key to success with AdWords (and probably with business in general).
For my site, it is obvious that they are thinking something about money or starting a business. However, the more detailed that your analysis of the searcher the more relevant your AdWords can be.
Another way to look at it is: What problem are they trying to solve? Now put the solution into the AdWords ad and target your keywords to that problem. Take some time to climb into the skin of the person that you are trying to sell to and you will be on the path to AdWords success.


Book Value – Follow up & A New Stock Pick

First off thanks to Darren at ProBlogger for the idea of the “follow up post” [and a ton of other tips]. Now, I want to revisit my post of a couple days ago about buying signals based on a company’s book value. When I posted that one on May 2, [the stock that inspired the [...]

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A Company’s Book Value – Buy Signal?

One of the stocks I follow regularly [] has been on a real downward run lately [luckily I don't currently own any]. When you don’t own a stock, watching is float downward is quite enjoyable, especially if you believe the company does have some intrinsic value. The question becomes when to buy? One of the [...]

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The Beauty of AdSense

AdSense Theory Explained The most popular way to make money from a content-rich website (a blog or similar) is to use Google’s AdSense. As you can see they are sprinkled liberally around my pages (the maximum you are allowed is four blocks per page). These ads are available in two styles and many formats (shapes). [...]

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Each time someone clicks an ad on my site I receive a payment that can range from a few cents to a couple dollars. (By the way, yes, it is against the rules to ask all your friends to click ads on your site…you can bet Google has scanners watching for this type of activity.)
But the real beauty of AdSense is that the amazing Google search engine automatically scans each page that it sends an ad to and determines that page’s theme and sends ads that are content specific to that page.
So if I write an article about eBay I’ll get eBay ads and if I write about AdSense that page will get AdSense related ads. This is all done automatically and all I have to do is put the same little piece of script on the location where I want the ad to show up.
There are a lot of theories about how to create an effective AdSense strategy. I found this site has a very good series of articles that detail the process of setting up an AdSense account and how to get the most out of it: Google AdSense

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