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Blogging to the Bank V.3

It's been about two years since I last reviewed "Blogging to the Bank" by Rob Benwell. That was v.1, which Rob released in 2006. I missed out on v.2, but decided that I ought to get up-to-date and buy v.3 (November 2008).

A lot has changed in the blogging world since v.1, so an update was essential.

What Is It About?

"Blogging to the Bank" is one man's account of how he discovered powerful ways to use "blogs" ("Web Logs") to drive traffic to his niche product websites.

A "blog", by the way, is a type of website that's very easy to build and update without using any of the normal web building software. Have a look at my Marketing Sparks blog as an example.

Now Rob Benwell didn't follow any of the well-trodden paths reccommended by marketing "gurus". He just started experimenting and, according to his evidence (yeh, more of those boring screenshots of ClickBank account statements!), he achieved some very nice profits.

Now he's not talking mega-bucks, but a few hundred dollars a day is worth having! And his eBook takes the reader through all the steps that he took to get to this pleasant position.

He assumes that the reader knows nothing about blogs or blogging, so he starts by describing in detail (with some good screen shots) exactly how to set up a blog - and where. He also explains how you can easily get fresh content for your blog; a blog without good, fresh content is dead in the water.

He assumes that you, dear Reader, like he, is going to use blogs to earn affiliate income, so he shows us how to identify good, profitable niche products.

He also shows us how to optimise our blog for the search engines. And then (and this is where it gets contentious), he describes five methods to "Flood your blog with targeted traffic" (i.e. attract visitors to your affiliate-promoting blog who arrive in a good 'buy' frame of mind). Methods 1 - 3? Great. Sound ideas! Methods 4 & 5? Stay away from them, in my opinion. They're scary. Maybe they work, but I'm not going to try them!

In the final sections of his eBook, Rob talks about how he set up a network of interlinking blogs, each boosting the search engine ranking of the others. And he gives us evidence (screen shots of search engine results pages) showing how he got some of his niche product pages to positions 7 & 9 out of 5.5 million and 1.2 million web pages respectively. (Suspicious, me? Yes. I checked it. He was right and he's still got the same high ranking. Very impressive!).

So, that's what Rob covers in his eBook. So what's my take on it?

What I Like About "Blogging To The Bank"

  • It's short. Just 39 pages long. I like that. I'd sooner pay more for fewer pages of good quality info than less for hundreds of pages of fluff. For one thing, it takes me less time to read. For another, it doesn't cost me as much in paper and toner (I like to print out eBooks).
      
  • It's very readable. Rob has a concise style which comes over as very genuine. Maybe that's because he's a fellow Yorkshire man (we tell it like it is). And no, the fact that he lives, coincidentally, only 30 miles away from me hasn't influenced this review :-)
      
  • It's got some ingenious info. See "What I learned" below. I'm not a complete novice blogger, but there was some advice that Rob gave me that made me think: "Well yes, that seems obvious. But why didn't I think of that before". And I hadn't fully appreciated how you can use blogs not only to attract potential customers to affiliate links in your blog, but also how you can use them to drive traffic to your other websites.
     
  • Rob is a good teacher. The way that he explains how to do things, complete with his annotated screen shots, makes the eBook equally suitable for novices as well as for more experienced internet marketers. In fact, I've copied part of his style when giving advice to owners of my Newbies Starter Kit.
     
  • The lack of blatent advertising. It really annoys me when I pay money for an info product and have to plough through pages of ads for other products. It's worse than having to watch trailers at the movies! But, apart from a few justifiable affiliate links, Rob avoids this annoying trait.
      
  • The bonuses. Especially the video bonuses about shoving a new website into the "Big Three" search engines in record time. Great stuff!

What I Didn't Like About It

  • The Title. Yes, I know I'm always going on about naff titles! But I really hate product titles which pander to the "bling" culture. I would much sooner have seen the eBook called something like "Power Blogging For Success". But maybe I'm not a good copywriter!
     
  • The "Black Hat" techniques. These appalled me and I will never use them. OK, Rob does have a clear warning about these two methods of getting targetted traffic to your blog. And maybe they worked for him. But will they work in the future? And will people who follow his advice on these two techniques suddenly find their sites banned from the search engines? I hope that Rob monitors search engine developments carefully and removes these two ingenious techniques from his eBook when (yes, "when" not "if") they get banned by the search engines.
     
  • The construction of the PDF eBook: It annoyed me that the Contents page didn't have the section titles clickable so that you could go directly to a section. Also, there were no bookmarks set up. Finally, in my version of Acrobat Reader, at least (6.0.1), none of Rob's links to other resources (including his affiliate links!) were clickable. Not a very professional use of PDF technology.

What I Learned From The eBook

  • The 2 best Blogger.com templates. I'm taking Rob's experience on trust here, but I'm following his advice. Here's one blog I've set up in the past few days using one of his suggested templates (one of the two he's found to produce the best results).
     
  • Tips on optimising your blog for the search engines. To be honest, I've never given this a great deal of thought. But Rob's detailed advice has really got me thinking. The ways in which he recommends using keywords in actually setting up your blog were really insightful to me.
     
  • The concept of networking blogs. OK, I'm not going to go as far as the automation of blog creation (Rob's scary "Method 5" - creating several hundred new blogs a day). But I can now see how easy it is to manually create and maintain a few new blogs a day, whilst still staying clear of the 'blog and search engine police'! I think that his techniques of cross-linking blogs is not only ingenious, but it also seems to be very powerful. I'm going to spend about 30 minutes a day over the next week or so doing just this.

There's probably a lot more that I'm going to learn from "Blogging to the Bank" over the next few weeks. But I prefer to try and test just one or two new ideas at a time. That way I get full value from the information resources that I buy.

Conclusions

If you are completely new to the concepts of "blogs" and "blogging" you are going to get far more out of "Blogging to the Bank" than I did.

But even if you are a fairly experienced blogger, I think that you are going to get your money's worth from this concise and readable eBook. Just stay clear of Methods 4 and 5!

OK - make up your own mind. You've read my impartial comments. I think you should invest this modest sum in "Blogging to the Bank" (ugh!)

Find Out More About "Blogging to the Bank" From Here

  

 
   

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