Check Out My Guest Post About SEM Agencies

Jan. 31

PPC Associates Blog PostToday, I wrote a guest blog post on the PPC Associates Blog titled How To Choose The Right SEM Agency. Please check it out and let me know what you think!

It’s always exciting to do guest posts because it’s a great opportunity to get in front of new audiences. You may recall that I did a Guest Post on Acquisio’s Blog back in December. Today marks my first guest post of 2012, the first of many. I highly recommend heading on over to the PPC Associates Blog and checking out both my guest post and their other amazing posts. Thanks PPC Associates for the great opportunity!

Image in this post © PPCAssociates.com

Is The Print Industry Going Under?

Jan. 31

I’m a huge fan of dividend-paying stocks. In fact, it’s part of my 2012 Goals to save as much money as possible and invest it wisely (in dividend-paying stocks and other income-yielding vehicles).

I’m always searching Yahoo! Finance looking for new opportunities. Recently, I found a stock called R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company. R.R. Donnelley (Ticker: RRD) provides printing and corporate communications services for businesses. They’ve been in business since 1864 and employ 58,700 employees. When it comes to print (newspapers, magazines, direct mail, and even investment materials), R.R. Donnelley does it all.

Over the last few weeks, RRD stock has taken quite a hit. There are a number of reasons the stock is going down, but one is certainly the belief that the printing industry is going under. It’s all about digital media these days. This is certainly good news for those of us in the pay per click search engine marketing career path. That said, it’s also sad to see an old company under such pressure.

When a dividend-paying stock goes down, dividend yield goes up (that is, assuming the dividend does not get cut). Right now, RRD is yielding an impressive 9%. It’s quite difficult to find any large cap companies yielding this amount. As such, RRD looks to many like quite the promising investment. That said, the dividend is only secure if the print industry is around for the long haul.

What do you think? Do you think that the print industry is going under? Do you think RRD could follow a similar fate to Eastman Kodak (recently filed for bankruptcy)? Or, do you feel that the print industry will always have a presence, despite the growing popularity of digital media? While the 9% dividend yield is enticing, I’m staying away for now. There’s enough uncertainty that this risk averse investor is going to wait and see. In any event, it’s quite interesting to see the trends we all know (more online media consumption) playing out in the stock market (both via the popularity of Internet stocks and the unpopularity of print stocks such as RRD).

Disclosure: I don’t own stock in R.R. Donnelley and do not anticipate opening a position in the next 72 hours.
Image of stock market © iStockPhoto – ahlobystov

My Weekend Musings (2nd Edition)

Jan. 29

I had a lot of fun writing my last weekend musings post so I’m thrilled to write another one today. I actually skipped my weekend musings last weekend since I had a fun post about Google Instant Tricks. I really enjoy weekends because they allow me to take a break, take a step back, and ponder on the past week and future too. Here’s what I’m thinking about right now…

Break

  • I hit the 200 post milestone here on PPC Ian. This post is actually number 202. My post about Epik, The Most Comprehensive Registrar Around was number 200. Now that I’m blogging more frequently than ever, I’m going to hit 300 and then 400 posts before I know it!
  • Lending Club (affiliate link) is awesome. As you may know from my 2012 Goals, this is my year to save money, invest wisely, and also give back to others. Part of my savings and investing strategy involves Lending Club and I can’t wait to write an entire post about my strategy next week. Quick preview: I’m now invested in 140 notes with a net annualized return of 13.08%. Also, this is a great way to help and give back. I’m lending money to people who need it, and I’m offering a much better interest rate than they can get at the bank.
  • VaultPress is a really great WordPress plugin. I was reading about the best WordPress Plugins For 2012 over on my friend Morgan Linton’s blog, and noticed VaultPress on the list. I had been thinking about getting this plugin for a while, and finally went ahead and did it after reading Morgan’s post. My HostGator VPS Hosting already has me covered, they do regular backups of my site. However, I like the extra peace of mind VaultPress offers. For $15/month, it’s great to know that my blog is being backed up continuously.
  • When you think your pay per click accounts are fully optimized, think again! Even the oldest and most refined AdWords and adCenter accounts have more room for optimization. Sometimes I feel like I’ve looked at an account for so long that it’s perfect. However, when I take a step back I always end up finding more opportunity.
  • I got a lot done in the last week. My strategy: Focus on completing one major task each day. I have an overwhelming number of projects on my plate. By staying focused, I’m thankfully making some serious progress on my list.
  • I’m super excited about my Twitter Advertising Challenge. I’m basically challenging myself to take my Twitter account to the next level. I’ve already made great progress and can’t wait to finish this project. So far, I’ve reduced the number of people I’m following by 3,000+ and have been working with my designer on a new background (it looks amazing so far). After my Twitter Challenge, I’m going to do the same thing on Facebook. I already have some really great ideas to take my Facebook Fan Page to the next level.
  • It’s taking a lot of time to update the copyright notices on my 120+ websites to reflect the new year (2012). I haven’t gotten through all of them yet, but have updated my most important sites to include 2012 in the copyright notice.

Image of Break © shirhan

My Twitter Advertising Challenge

Jan. 25

I got started with Twitter early on and leveraged smart strategies from day one. These strategies have propelled my following to over 17,000 on Twitter and have driven a significant amount of traffic to PPC Ian. That said, I’m always looking to improve and have set a challenge for myself. Twitter is hot right now so it’s the perfect time to revamp my Twitter account. Today, I’m going to outline the challenge I’m setting for myself and one month from now I’ll report back on the results!

Initiative One: Follow No More Than 200 People

PPC Ian Twitter

Right now, I have 17,060 followers but am following 16,826. My Twitter stream is basically unusable. I want to be able to log in to my Twitter account and make sense of things, only seeing tweets that are relevant and interesting to me. If I am following no more than 200 people, I’ll be able to use Twitter once again.

Why am I following so many people right now? It was actually part of my initial strategy. I went out there and followed a ton of people knowing that a certain portion would reciprocate and follow me back. I would then unfollow those who did not follow me back. I did this many times and was able to drive a significant number of followers with this strategy. It’s a great strategy I still recommend for building out your initial base of followers. More followers equals more social proof and brand equity.

How am I going to remove 16,500+ followers? I’m going to go through all my @ messages and find out who I’ve interacted with. Then, I’m going to put them on my Tweet Adder white list. (Tweet Adder is a really helpful Twitter utility that I recommend purchasing if you’re serious about advertising on Twitter.) After my white list is loaded with my favorite people, I’m going to remove 1,000 people each day (who are not on my white list) until I’m done. Sure, I’m going to remove some good people by accident, but I can always add them back later.

Will I lose followers with this strategy? Absolutely. That said, I don’t think I’m going to lose more than 5,000 followers. I’m ok with this, and believe that I’ll retain most followers.

Initiative Two: Redesign My Twitter Background

My Twitter background has not been updated in years. It still looks ok, but could be a lot better. I’ve decided to engage the same designer who designed and built IJL.net for me. I’m sure the results will be great. Also, I’m sure my new background will help drive even more followers in the future.

Initiative Three: Advertise and Gain More Followers

After I reduce the list of people I’m following, I’m sure to lose a few followers. I’m going to partially make up for this by running a paid advertising campaign on Twitter. I’ve had phenomenal results running Paid Like Campaigns on Facebook. I have not tried this yet on Twitter, but am quite excited. At the very least, I’ll get that cool “Verified Account” badge by signing up as an advertiser. Also, I hope to gain some serious experience that I can then leverage at my job. In my opinion, it’s critical for all PPC professionals to master Facebook and Twitter in addition to AdWords and adCenter.

Stay tuned, I’m hoping to have some interesting findings in my journey to optimize my Twitter account. Want to connect on Twitter? Please don’t hesitate to reach out, my Twitter handle is ianlopuch.

Image of PPC Ian’s Twitter Count © PPCIan.com and Twitter

Epik, The Most Comprehensive Registrar Around

Jan. 23

Over the years, I have written a multitude of posts here on PPC Ian about Epik. The most popular ones have been my introduction to my Personal Epik Product Portal Websites, my Epik Product Portal Development Tips, and of course my special Epik Product Portal Tips and Coupon Code. I’m a big fan of Epik, a big developer on the Epik Product Portal Platform (I now own 60 Product Portals), and am now officially on Epik’s Board of Advisors (check out my bio on the Epik Team page). I couldn’t be more thrilled when it comes to everything Epik and today I’m excited to give an overview of some new stuff going on at Epik that you’re sure to love.

Epik Is Now A Full Service Registrar

In July, 2011 Epik acquired its very own registrar, IntrustDomains. You can read all about Epik’s acquisition in this post on the Epik blog. Long story short, the acquisition on Intrust completed Epik’s dream of becoming the most comprehensive domain asset management platform on the Internet. We’re talking about the whole domain name lifecycle here: Acquire, build, manage, and divest. Epik is my registrar of choice and next I will show you how I’m leveraging Epik every single day to manage my domain/website portfolio.

All Domains From All Accounts In One Place

Check out the screenshot below, this is what it looks like when I log into my registrar account at Epik. You’ll quickly notice that there’s a world of functionality at your fingertips (I’ll get into that a bit later). First, however, I wanted to underscore an amazing feature that is really helping me out: Epik displays all of my domain names from all of my registrars. I’m able to manage all of my GoDaddy, Moniker, and Epik domains in one convenient location. Recently, I did a quick sort by expiration date and noticed that I had a good 30 domains at Moniker expiring in February. Last night, I leveraged this intelligence and logged into my Moniker account to renew all of the domains. Also, I noticed that I have a few GoDaddy domains expiring on the horizon and will take care of those shortly.

Epik My Domains

A World of Functionality At Your Fingertips

Epik makes my life easy. The screenshot below illustrates the menu that appears when I hover over a domain click the “manage” button on the main control panel (previous screenshot). Whether I’m looking to update whois info (such as toggling between public/private registration), forward a domain name, transfer domains in/out of my Epik account, renew domains, organize my portfolio, or virtually anything else I want to do, it’s all in one convenient location. Even better: I can select multiple domains at once and manage them in one bulk update. In short, Epik is one of the most user friendly registrars around. Even better, domain registration fees at Epik are cheap ($10/year) and you get all of this amazing functionality (including domain privacy and domain forwarding, if you want it) for free.

Epik Domain Services

An Amazing Selection of Development Options

In the screenshot below, you can see Epik’s suite of domain development packages. I personally developed 60 of my own domains on Epik’s Product Portal Platform. However, you can quickly see that Epik offers much more than Product Portals. I’m talking about lightening fast web hosting (several different hosting packages), SiteBuilder, LeadGen Portals, Recipe Portals, and Video Portals. When it comes to making money online, Epik has you covered!

Epik Platforms

Offer Your Domains and Websites For Sale

Looking back at the first screenshot in this account, you can see that all of my domains have an “on sale” price tag next to them. I have listed many of my domains and websites for sale on the Epik Marketplace. I’m in the domain game to make money. Most of my money comes via passive income from developed websites and I’m holding onto most sites for the long term. That said, I’m definitely exploring the idea of selling domains and websites in 2012. If I’m able to earn cash by selling virtual assets, I can funnel those earnings into other passive income instruments (dividend-paying stocks or even the development of more websites). Epik owns over 20,000 domains in their own portfolio so they know all about selling domains. Leverage their expertise and platform to sell your domains/websites today.

Sell Your Domain

So, there you have it, the most comprehensive registrar around! The crazy thing: I barely scratched the surface of the Epik platform with this post. If you’re looking to acquire, build, manage, and divest domain names, Epik has the entire lifecycle covered. Open your account at Epik today!

Images in this post © Epik and PPCIan.com

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