Darrell Freeman’s Internet Marketing Blog

Thoughts on SEO, PPC, Affiliate Marketing & the rest

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

I’m Blogging Elsewhere Now…

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There won’t be any new blog posts here….

Check out Clicky Leap’s blog for my posts on SEO and other internet marketing related info…

Also follow me on Twitter if you wish…

Written by Darrell Freeman

May 23rd, 2013 at 10:57 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Wow MailChimp is amazing! Stats Galore!

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mailchimpAn e-commerce site I have been working on is Big Dude Clothing and slowly been building momentum and collecting opt in email addresses ready for when the time is right to try email marketing.  We added the Checkout Newsletter extension to the store and now collecting email addresses at the checkout. Since we added the extension, 100% of the users who have ordered have also signed up for the newsletter.

Decided that the time was right to dip our toes into email marketing, after a few Google searches we landed on Mail Chimp (aff link – I’m I bothered? No – because I would be writingt this post anyway even if no aff link available) and after seeing they offer a free account for upto 500 subscribers and many other features we signed up for the free account.  We had all our email addresses (little over 100 subs) in the Magento CMS and by using a Magento-Mail Chimp Extension we easily imported all our email addresses from Magento to Mail Chimp – not only this, but it keeps the Magento list synced with MailChimp in the future (love automation!).

To get started and send our first newsletter we choose one of the e-commerce templates and followed the wizard in Mail Chimp, which was very simple to do and within 15 minutes we had sent out our first email newsletter, not only that but just now we have had our first sale from an email newsletter.:)

If Carlsberg made email marketing systems….

Written by Darrell Freeman

May 19th, 2010 at 9:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Google has the best SEO Tools!

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googleGoogle Adwords is amazing! Not only does it drive relevant traffic to websites but without doubt Google Adwords is the best keyword tool there is. If you have your keywords on broad – then you can do a search query report and find all the keywords that users used to find your site. This is miles better than Wordtracker or any other tools out there! Obviously the only limitation is the initial keywords you have for your Adwords campaign.  Not only can get the search query show the keywords users are using to find your site but Adwords can also show the highest converting keywords aswell.

The content network also provides a great opportunity for SEO’s. The placement report can show the websites where your ad has been on.  These are websites that Google deems are closely related to your ad and therefore these websites are perfect for link building. Google Content Network can find you hundreds of relevant websites to approach for a backlink.

Written by Darrell Freeman

February 22nd, 2010 at 12:33 pm

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No Blogging for 2 months now!

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It is definitely time I updated my blog, considering it is now over 2 months since I last updated.  The only major event during that time was a holiday over New Year to Boston and New York.  Above are some snaps taken from the holiday and put together in a collage using the software at Shape Collage (nope, it is not an affiliate link).  Check it out, free trial edition and the interface is really easy to use, super quick at importing images and edit the overall image as you like (how close photos are, background image, shape of image, size, density of photos and loads more).

Written by Darrell Freeman

February 9th, 2010 at 11:42 pm

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Freelance Graphic Designer Required….

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graphic-designerNot been blogging for a while mainly due to spending most of October on holiday (Kenya/Thailand) and spending November catching up with the backlog of work.  Just a quick post, as the freelance graphic designer I used for projects has now decided to go back into full time work and part of his contract is that he can’t do any freelance work.

Anyway I’m on the lookout for a good freelance graphic designer.  Main requirements is that they have experience of producing PSD visuals of a web site (normally homepage and internal) from a design brief.  Also usual little jobs (e.g. business cards etc….).  The jobs are infrequent but I would like to have someone lined when and if the jobs come up.  I normally pay a set fee per job, paid by Paypal upon successful completion of the project.  The graphic designer doesn’t need any coding experience.  Recommendations welcome – just leave details in the comment.

If interested just leave a comment with a link to your site or protfolio……

Written by Darrell Freeman

November 20th, 2009 at 12:04 pm

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Few Affiliate tools I’ve been using…

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toolsRecently whilst building a new affiliate site I’ve been using a few tools to make life that bit easier and quicker on the design and programming side.  It always good finding easier and quicker ways to do things.  In the online world you are inundated with offers to use new tools (SEO, PPC, CMS etc….) and if you decided to trial them all, your bank account would soon be empty.

Anyway I recently decided to do a bit of a review site and really didn’t want to get a custom design from a graphic designer due to time therefore decided to go for a WordPress theme.  After looking through the free themes I couldn’t find one that I liked enough and eventually went to Brian Gardner’s Studiopress and choose the excellent Lifestyle theme.  There are also loads of tutorials to totally customise the theme and a very active forum.  The themes are just $59.95 and after a Google search I picked up a discount code of 25% (PERF25) which made the theme just $44.97 (about £28 – Bargain!).  The theme was easy to set up widgets on the homepage and the one or two design issues I encountered have been cleaered up very quickly on the forum.  Considering using the corporate theme now for a few non blog sites.  Great stuff!

Another tool that is new (kinda) to the affiliate marketing space in the UK is Easy Content Units.  Now I can put products on my sites in super quick time with products from a variety of merchants and networks.  I’ve only just started to use this tool, but the units were very quick to setup in the admin area of Easy Content Units and then it produces some javascript code which you just paste into your webpage (easy!).  To add/delete products just use the simple interface in Easy Content Units, you don’t need to change the code on the page.  I’m currently using the free version (80/20 revenue split) and see how it goes.  If it goes well I’ll upgrade to the paid version (£20 a month, no revenue split).  Give it a play today, it is so simple to use.

So you have Studiopress to create a site and ECU to populate with products.  Need some content and can’t be bothered yourself?  Try Content Now (I’ve not used them yet so can’t comment on the quality).  Now if Tracking 202 would add some UK networks you could have affiliate sites up and running with minimal fuss and best of all, minimal work! :)

Written by Darrell Freeman

September 16th, 2009 at 7:12 pm

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SEO Job Interviews. Easy or not?

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seointerviewI was asked for advice by somebody the other day, who was going for their first SEO job interview and it got me thinking about my previous experience of SEO job interviews. I’ll try and sum up my experiences of SEO interviews and hopefully provide some handy links to possible questions.

In my experiences of SEO interviews if your going for a starter role I would be surprised if you got asked anything more technical than 301 redirects, on-page factors and some basic link building questions.  Going into the mid level roles you may have to give examples of link building in a competitive market place that actually had a positive effect on the rankings and show good social skills (particularly if applying to an agency role).

I would also stick my neck out and say that somebody who is committed to learning SEO could be in a starter role within 3 months of starting to learn SEO and a lot of places would take you on anyway if you knew the basics and sounded keen to learn more.

The common questions that regularly come up do revolve around how you keep up to date in the industry (e.g. read SEOmoz, SEObook, various forums etc…), past work on different websites and a few technical questions along the lines of ‘What is a 301 redirect and give me an example where you would use it’?  I’ve always found the interviews to be pretty chilled out affairs and sometimes there may not even be an SEO person interviewing you.  It is not unknown in some companies to get interviewed by the head developer who wouldn’t know a title tag from a robots.txt file.

Below are a few links to different sites with some example questions.  I would advise if your attending an SEO interview (depending on the level) make sure you know the answers, have a good range of examples of past SEO work completed and be able to talk about the industry indepth at ease.  Last thing is that if you do know basic on-page optimisation you will probably be ahead of 75% of other applicants straight away – unless this has changed in the last few months since I was interviewing for an SEO.

Some of these below are quite extensive, remember for starter SEO roles, your interview will only be around 45 minutes so after the usual introductions you may only be asked a few questions.




Written by Darrell Freeman

August 27th, 2009 at 5:16 pm

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TrainLine – High checkout abandonment?

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Today I needed to buy a train ticket for next week so I went to the Trainline website and after picking the correct route, finding suitable times and fares I was ready to checkout.  I was at the last screen and got presented with the following screen:


You see the problem, I can either pick up the train tickets from the nearest station or pay for next day delivery (£7.50).  Ok, my journey starts from Capenhurst which is 1/2 mile from my house but nearest train station I can pick up the tickets is Chester, which is 16 miles roundtrip – not really suitable.  Also I’m not in a rush for my tickets (as I’m travelling next week) so therefore don’t require next day delivery at £7.50 (over 50% the costs of my actual train tickets).  So where is the 1st class post option for a £1??

Done a bit of digging around QJump is exactly the same.  Also Trainline charge a booking fee and credit card fees as well so they always make a few quid on every booking.  If like me you want 1st class post (free!) for your tickets, no credit card fees and no booking fee then use the service by First Great Western, they also don’t select travel insurance for you by default.

The marketing/usability guys at Trainline need shooting, for people in the same situation as me the cart abandonment will be really high and as they have deleted the option to have your tickets sent by 1st class post I can see their conversion on a big downturn – good work guys!

Written by Darrell Freeman

July 28th, 2009 at 3:59 pm

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Rejected by merchants in Affiliate Window (AWIN)

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Ok I’ve applied for a programme, the merchant or their agency who deal with Aff marketing for them as had a look at my profile in AWIN and rejected me.  No complaints as the primary site url listed in ‘Account details’ in the Awin interface has nothing to do with the programme I was applying for.  But why do Awin just allow you to enter 1 url, obviously they know many affiliates have various sites in different niches therefore you should be able to enter as many urls as possible.

So first suggestion is that Awin changes the ‘promotional tab’ in ‘Account Detail’ to allow affiliates to enter more than 1 site.


Secondly when you have been rejected by a merchant why isn’t there a way to ‘appeal’ in the interface, could send the merchant a simple explanation of why I am applying for their programme and also the url I am using to promote the site.  These changes are quite simple and would benefit the affiliate, the merchant and also the network.


Written by Darrell Freeman

July 13th, 2009 at 9:41 pm

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Uploading Adwords campaigns into Yahoo

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What a pain in the arse.  Firstly you have to download your Google Adwords campaign, I did it via the Adwords Interface.  Then I tried to upload it to Yahoo’s ‘Convert Third Party Campaigns’ and it didn’t upload properly.


After a bit of messing around I found it was because of the negative keywords so I deleted them and uploaded it again and it converted the file and I then had to download the converted file save it and upload it again for the import.  However when I tried to upload the converted file it had errors!!  How can a file Yahoo converts have errors??  Finally after a lot of tweaking got rid of the errors and finally uploaded the campaign.

I don’t understand why Yahoo and MSN don’t have a simple 1 step upload feature which will take an upload of your Adwords campaign and convert it with one click of the mouse.  It seems one of the most obvious features to make sure is 100% correct and is easy peasy for the customer otherwise they won’t bother and just stick with the king that is Google.  Rant  over – Yahoo’s customer service is much better than Google’s – they answer the phone! :)

Written by Darrell Freeman

June 23rd, 2009 at 10:44 pm

Posted in Uncategorized