10 Best FREE SEO Tips & Strategies 2019

SEO is changing fast and what worked really well a few years ago might have an adverse effect today.

I listen to a lot of SEO podcast episodes and read some blogs trying to stay on top of things continually. In this post, I will describe in short what I believe are the best SEO tips and strategies now. I will also link to the blog posts and podcast episodes where you can learn more about how to implement this yourself on your websites.

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Top FREE & paid isometric icon packs online

Website Builder Isometric Icon

I just published another free icon set over at WHCompare. This one is an isometric icon pack with 35 pretty detailed web hosting related icons.

After doing SEO outreach to blogs posting top lists with free icons and specifically isometric icons I found that the web was pretty lacking of just these kinds of content.

That’s why I write this post.

These are not the colorful isometric type of icons with really low details looking like something out of Minecraft.

Anyways here’s my list of top free and paid isometric icon packs. Take a look and let me know what you think in the comments?

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Best webmaster affiliate programs – Web hosting, SEO, web design

Affiliate marketing

After a few months of publishing affiliate programs and networks to Programorama.com I’ve found lots of programs that would be suitable to advertise for webmasters. I will post a selection of the best programs for webmasters, in my opinion, below.

Top web hosting affiliate programs

Web hosting is maybe the most obvious type of affiliate programs suitable for webmasters. Almost every webmaster use a web hosting company and pay monthly or yearly for renting their web server and getting technical support for it. Mostly every top web hosting company out there has got an affiliate program and most of them are really high paying as well!

WP Engine

Top WordPress web hosting company. Also check out Pressable which is another great WP host part of the same affiliate network.

Join here | $200 CPA or higher

Cloudways

A great web host packed with all of the best features. Scale your cloud web server resources up and down as per your requirement. Cloudways offers a managed hosting solution with data hosted in top data centers globally, including with AWS and Google.

Join here | $50 – $125 CPA

Compare more top web hosting programs here.

Top SEO affiliate programs

Optimizing websites for search engines is an important task for most websites online. There’s several free tools out there that you can use like the Screaming Frog SEO crawler. Some tools do also cost money to use and most of those that I know of have got affiliate programs.

SEMRush

This is a great SEO software tool and I’ve been using it for a long time now. I am really pleased with the features that tracks how my websites are ranking in Google search, the technical SEO audit and also their keyword research features. SEMRush has a simple but high paying affiliate program with a couple of links and banners you can use. Entice your traffic by offering free trials.

Join here | 40% recurring revenue share

Ahrefs

Similar software to SEMRush. I hear a lot of great things about it but I have not tried it yet. They have announced their affiliate program to be available soon, and I am really curious to see if they can offer as high commission rates as SEMRush. By the time you read this the affiliate program might be live.

Join here | Commission to be disclosed

You can find more SEO affiliate programs here.

Top web design affiliate programs

I am not sure if there’s and custom web design affiliate programs active online at the moment. There’s lots of affiliate programs for web templates and WordPress themes though and I’ll list my top picks below. Also listing a top sofware suite for web designers.

Envato Market

Over 44.500 WordPress themes. Not the highest paying affiliate program but they do offer a wide selection of products you can do marketing for.

Join here | 30% revenue share for the first purchase.

Elegant Themes

WordPress theme subscription site that costs $89/year for access to 87 themes. Or $249 one time. The theme selection includes the famous Divi theme that reportedly is the most popular premium WP theme in the world.

Join here | 50% recurring revenue share

Adobe

Adobe is the industry standard when it comes to digital design, photography and also web design in some respects. They also have a stock photo site with photos, illustrations and templates for Photoshop, Illustrator and more.

Join here | 85% revenue share for the first month of a sofware subscription, $72 CPA for the stock photo site.

Check out more web design affiliate program here.

Top useful podcasts for webmasters in 2019 – SEO, marketing and business

I love walking and I love podcasts. So pretty much every day I go for a walk and I listen to my favorite podcasts. Of which topics are usually digital marketing, SEO, and business stories related to tech and the internet.

I will post the the most useful podcasts and single episodes related to being a webmaster below. Thes folowing are the most important podcasts in my opinion, that I listen to. They are great in terms of providing value and being educational totally for free. If you have tips for other podcasts or great single episodes please share them in the comment section below!

Top webmaster podcasts (in my opinion)

  • Marketing School – By Eric Siu and Neil Patel – Short episodes around 5 minutes each. Daily updates with digital marketing tips regarding SEO, Facebook Ads, Google Ads, and more.
  • Experts on the Wire – By Dan Shure – The host is a top SEO expert interviewing and discussing SEO with other experts in a pretty thorough podcast.
  • Entrepreneurs on Fire – By JLD – Long 60 minute episodes with interviews of entrepreneurs usually with digital businesses and topics related to growth hacking and digital marketing.
  • Growth Everywhere – By Eric Siu – Long 60 minute episodes with interviews of entrepreneurs usually with digital businesses and topics related to growth hacking and digital marketing.
  • Marketing Scoop – Weekly podcast by SEMRush with two hosts, David Bain and Judith Lewis interviewing a few experts regarding the latest news related to digital marketing and SEO in particular.
  • SEO Podcast Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing – a pure SEO podcast by eWebResults, a SEO company. I skip about 5 minute into each episode to not listen to all the off topic talk at the start.

Top useful episodes for webmasters in 2018 & 2019

  • Episode 2072 of Entrepreneurs on Fire: How to build an email list, then turn it into a 7 figure business with Anik Singal. Live date: Dec, 2018.
  • I will add more as I discover or remeber them here…

Using free resources like icons, logos and infographics as linkbait

Linkbait

It’s pretty much exactly one year since I started working on my WHCompare.com website. It is a site with details about web hosting plans for easy comparison of plan vs plan by different web hosting companies based on set filters – So far I’ve been failing!

However, now I am at least satisfied with the web design and the site has enough content to be a bit useuful I belive, so I won’t give up on it yet. At the moment it only gets about 1 organic search visitor a day though. If any of the following tactics to get links will succeed it should get a boost in traffic over time!

Infographic as linkbait

One of the stategies I had for getting links and a little boost for the website initially and over time also was to create an infographic that I thought I could use to get backlinks to with cold e-mail outreach.

I am not sure exactly where I went wrong. I thought the infographic was pretty useful and good looking. I only got one backlink for it so far and now it’s been a year and it would need to be updated. At least I got one link so it was not a total failure!

Free icon graphics as linkbait

Another way I was hoping to get backlinks and some referral traffic was to release free web hosting icons. I got help from an amazing designer that created 29 smooth style web hosting icons. I have been sharing these on various free resources sites that gives backlinks. Including on IconFinder, IconStore, and on All Free Download.

I was hoping to get a backlink from each of these sites, and also some from other sites that wanted to share the link to the original resources used when using the icons or wanting to share them with their own visitors.

The icon pack is pretty much buried on All Free Download and at least SEMRush has not found it and listed it yet, neither are links from the 2 other sites. I got a link from another logo website though: Icon-Icons.com. That looks like an IconFinder clone.

The biggest reason that the icon set is hard to find on All Free Downloads is my own and that I did not enter enough descriptive tags for the icon set. And I can’t find a way to edit the upload now unfortunately.

The guys over at IconFinder has told me though that they will implement backlinks from the pages with the icons sometime, but that they’re a little busy right now so it could take some time. I just hope those will be dofollow and also that they will count for something and not be regarded as spammy once all or most of their ~3 million icons get external links.

Logo templates as linkbait

The same designer that made me the icons has agreed to make 5 web hosting logo templates that should be ready soon. I will use the same strategy when sharing those as with the icons.

Will double down

I have not given up though and I guess it could take some time for people to start finding, using and linking to these resources. I have decided that I will double down and hire 2 more freelance designers to create 2 or 3 more icon packs that I hope will get more traction.

I will create another post regarding this as I learn and experince more regarding building links for this website.

Where to get stock photos, graphics, images and icons for websites online

Photo Camera

If you write your own blog or have other kind of websites where you publish of refurbish content you will most likely often be looking to for images online. There’s lots of websites offering different kind of image files, including photos, illustrations, icons and other image files that you can use for free or by paying a small fee for the standard license.

I myself have long been mostly using free websites for the graphics that I need. However I recently decided to use payed stock photo sites to get a better selection of resources to use for my web publishing.

Stock photo sites

I started out using Dreamstime and that is a really nice site because of the huge selection that they offer at a really cheap price. I used it for about a year on and off, as I neded images. I was dissapointed to find that when I cancelled the recurring membership that the unused credits I had left dissapeared.

Currently I’ve got a yearly memebership for Adobe Stock, I really like how it integrates with Photoshop CC 2019 and lets me search for images right within the software. Also, the fact that they’ve got lots of templates for easy editing with Photoshop was another reason I changed from Dreamstime to Adobe Stock.

Free icons and small graphics

Another resource that I use a lot is IconFinder. It is packed with free icons. many of which are available in 512x512px PNG and vector formats, which can make them useable for illustrations in blog posts as well. However, each of the icons available for download on IconFinder has different licenses. You can filter the search results to only include free icons, but some will require you to link back to the authors website. You can also select to only include icons that do not require you to link back. I use those two filters all the time and usually find good icons for most of my needs.

When using the icons you should check what the license says. Many of the icons says: “Free for commercial use”, some says “Free for commercial use with a link back to the authors website” and some use other licenses like MIT and CC.

Earn long term recurring revenue from webmaster traffic

Money

Do you or the business you work for own or operate a website that gets webmaster traffic? It could be traffic from bloggers, small niche site webmasters, affiliate marketers with their own websites, influencers on social media, or webmasters managing other kinds of websites.

Ads for ads

If you’ve got this kind of traffic you could could monetize it for the long run by setting up content and ads featuring recurring 2-tier affiliate marketing programs. That would basically be advertisements for other advertisers that your traffic could use to earn money with their own websites. In return for sending new publishers that advertiseses products part of the 2-tier affiliate programs you would earn revenue a share of their earnings. Typically about 5% of the earnings your referrals make for a year or sometimes 5% – 10% of what they make forever (for as long as you and they are part of, and make money with the affiliate program.

This could be a great way to set up a passive recurring revenue stream. Also, writing about affiliate marketing programs both 2-tier and also other programs that does not have 2-tier programs might be useful to your readers and give you some nice topics for new content.

Revenue on autopilot

I myself earn about $300 – $400/mo from this kind of affiliate marketing. I really like how it seems to be continuing pretty much on autopilot and also growing over time as I continue to send more traffic to these programs.

Recurring earnings with the SEMRush affiliate program

Another way you can earn recurring affiliate marketing commissions is to promote the SEMRush affiliate program. This is a great software as a services product for SEO. SEMRush can be really useful to many webmasters and professional SEOs that optimize websites for the search engines.

You can earn really generous commissions at 40% recurring revenue share. Their plans start at $99/mo so each new customer you bring them can earn you a lot over time.

FREE tools to minimize the size of your images without loosing quality

Sqeezing a lemon

I first heard about TinyPNG on a podcast. I think it was on a Growth Everywhere podcast where Eric Siu (the host) asks the guests for their best new tools that they’ve started using recently.

I have been working a lot over the last year with trying to optimize the loading times of the different websites of mine for SEO benefits as well as for user experience.

Smaller file size – same image quality

I was really amazed to see that the TinyPNG tool quickly, for free, and easily minimized some of the image files on my websites by up to 75%. After reducing the quality of images only to gain a few percentage points of savings with the save for web feature in Photoshop I was really pleasantly surprised at how much some of the images could be optimized without even noticeably loosing any quality.

Little to save for some images

I’ve found that JPG files that has been saved for web with Photoshop CC 2018 and reduced in quality has only 1% – 2% room for savings with TinyPNG. High resolution JPG (60 quality) files can save more though, about ~15%. PNG images and especially those with only a few colors seems to be the image files with the most room for improvement using TinyPNG. The lemon squeezing photo above was saved with PS CC 2019 in PNG-8 format and was reduced from 14.8 KB to 12.3 KB using TinyPNG.

Free vs Pro version

You can use the tool for free for as many images as you need to optimize. However, you can only add up to 20 images at once, after that you need to refresh the site and to reset the counter. There’s also a max filesize of 5 MB.

If you need to optimize more images at once and also increase the maz filesize limit to 25 MB you would need to pay for the pro version. It is currently available for $25/year.

Squoosh app by Google

Google recently also developed and published their own free tool called Squuosh.app. This web application is a little bit different than TinyPNG in that it only lets you minimize one image at a time.

At doing that though it is even better than TinyPNG and it lets you compare the original image with the new minimized one. You can select between 6 different image file formats, as well as setting your desired quality vs file size. Also, there’s lots of advanced options.

Advertising for your site with affiliate programs

I have been working as an affiliate for about 10 years now and I really like the affiliate marketing business because it is great in so many ways. First of all you get to choose what to advertise, second it often pays very well, and third, because it gives inspiration for new pieces of content to create.

I have decided to focus a lot more of my time to continue to add programs, networks and write articles with tips for webmasters interested in affiliate marketing on Programorama.com.

Please give the site a visit if you are looking to monetize your websites or blogs.

How to always display the sidebar on TwentyEleven theme

AI am a little late to the party on modifications on this theme i guess. But as I didn’t find a good fix for this when searching Google I tried to come up with my own solution and it was only two simple changes required to do this.

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