It seems like just yesterday I announced my Online Marketing Internships, but it’s been nearly 3 weeks now?! Wow. It’s been so busy I hadn’t been able to post this all week, but for those of you reading along to watch the progress of my interns on their quest to learn online marketing, and what it takes to turn an idea into a money making web site – here’s a first hand account from my second inter Prince Singh:
It was about 2 weeks ago when I started with John here at JTPratt forums as an intern. I was assigned the site http://bestgiftfor.com, and the goal was to build it from scratch to Google first page ranking site, and learn as many new things as possible during the course of the site development. John is a great guy, and a great instructor. Even though I have spent an entire year already trying to learn the WordPress and everything else that goes with it, on my own, I knew that I would learn a whole entire another years worth of learning in a few months if I end up as an intern. And I was right about it. BTW, the last year that I spent learning on my own, was not quite really “on my own” as I had been a regular reader of JTPratt Forums and have learnt so many things from it already.
Well, anyways, I will get down to the point here and share some of the things that I have learnt in the last 2 weeks being an intern:
John taught us (step-by-step) how to properly setup a WordPress blog so it is done right from the beginning. This is something so important that if not done right, all the effort of setting a site up can be a complete waste of time and energy, and money!
Site analysis was the step number one. Site analysis consists of setting up the robots.txt file, sitemap setup and proper way to submit to the search engines, RSS feeds setup, and the site security and search engine engine access control. Learning the robots.txt file basics and it’s use for site security and search engine access control was something that I was not very familiar with. Similarly the .htaccess file and the Robots Meta plug-in. John showed us in a few easy, but very useful steps on how to properly configure both these files, install them on the server, and then use the plug-in for fine-tuning. I know there is a lot more to learn, but I also know that whatever I have learnt so far is already way more than most professionals even incorporate in their blog setups, and the rest don’t even realize what they are missing out on.
What good would be a perfect site, especially if it is making money for you, and you do not even realize that someone else is using your hard work and making money for himself, for free! Just the thoughts about this gives me creeps now, and now I realize why it is so important that you secure your site at the initial setup time, before you put all the hard work into it. Just like a bank account. It has to be secure before you invest anything into it. And this is something that I would not have learnt on my own, until after getting robbed.
Also, using the above tools and scripts, we can enhance the SEO rankings by easily controlling the search engines’ ability to index and crawl – the way we want it! This is absolutely amazing. I always knew that there is a way to do this, but never imagined how easy and doable it really is. I was under the impression that you need to hire expensive super coders to hand-write the entire code for this for your site.
Competitive analysis was the second step of setting up a WordPress site – so it is profitable and can compete even with the big guys. There was so much learning and teaching involved in this step that if I have to sit here and write everything about it here in this post, it will take hours. In a nutshell, John taught us both the manual and the automatic way to do the following:
- Keyword research – here we learnt how to properly research the keywords that can make us money! That simple. And no, we can not go with the instinct, :-). Instincts here would be a complete gamble.
- Identifying the competition – I never imagined that it is not the “gut feeling” but proper professional steps that will identify your site’s competition. How can you compete, and win, when you don’t even know who your competition is. And in this step we also learnt how to pick and chose the proper competition to go up against…obviously we can’t and we don’t want to compete with just about everyone out there.
- Competitive intelligence data gathering – using competition’s source code, meta-data, site description and so many other things, like alexa rankings, yahoo backlinks etc.
- It’s funny how John showed us that we can either use a bunch of paid tools to gather all this data, or the free resources already available on the internet, and still get the same results. I like this approach of John. A true professional is never dependent on any one tool of trade.
In these 2 weeks I think I have learnt enough to put a lot of paid professionals to shame. And I can say this because I have hired and paid these kinds of professionals in the past, and I have experienced their work and results on my dime.
Now we are moving towards applying all that we have learnt so far to the actual site. And I am looking forward to all the exciting new things that I will be learning this coming week. Once again, I am grateful and feel very lucky to have landed this opportunity to learn from a true professional and a generous teacher.