12/30/07

5 Resolutions for Bloggers in 2008

Happy New Year 2008 What a year it's been! As 2007 closes out and the big ball drops in Times Square, people are ready to make their New Year's resolutions. You know the tried and true resolutions that people make but never stick to. It's usually the typical resolutions: lose weight, make more money, pay off debt, be more religious, be nicer, put aside grudges, etc. etc...In the blogosphere, we should also have resolutions. Here's 5 the Monetizer is going to try to adhere to, and that you should also consider in your blogging for 2008.

1) Keep blogging - This should be at the top of every blogger's list. Keep at it with what you started. Don't let your blog fade away and fall into obscurity like so many others do. It takes work and devotion to create a successful online product, such as a blog. If it's a topic you're passionate about, it should be no problem to at least post 3 entries a week. One a day is ideal as it gives your blog site a ton of content for consumption by readers and search engines. Keep at it in 2008 and avoid falling into a serious lapse of blogger's block.

See: How to prevent blogger's block




2) Increase RSS subscribers - This usually comes as you generate more traffic, and of course having content that others will want to return back to. It is probably the best measure of your blog's success, beyond Google Page Rank and Alexa traffic rank. Having subscribers is positive feedback that your blog is providing valuable material. Here's a few ideas on how to get more RSS subscribers:

- Hold contests which require people to subscribe by email
- Use your RSS feed URL in your comment URL on other blogs
- Submit your RSS to directories, and use pingoat.com to ping.
- Provide sign up for RSS on your blog in convenient and visible spots.
- Publicize ways to sign up for your RSS feed on other sites (forums, social media, etc).




3) Increase traffic - This is listed after RSS only because I'd rather have 500 subscribers and a not so great Alexa score versus 10 subscribers and a great Alexa score. Subscribers means your content is attracting readers. Traffic doesn't always mean that. But nonetheless traffic is the best way to make money and gain subscribers. The more visitors, the more likely they will: subscribe to your blog, check out your moneymakers, or promote what you wrote somewhere else (Digg, Stumbleupon, etc). To increase traffic, try some of these free and easy methods:

Entrecard
BloggingZoom
SocialMarker.com
BlogCatalog
MyBlogLog




4) Clean up the Mess - John Cow has a recent post about cleaning up the clutter on your blog for the New Year. He also suggests things like adjusting the background color or image on your blog, and tidying up the sidebar and other areas. Making the blog more organized and less cluttered will go a long way in achieving the other goals as you will attract more readers. If you aren't a do-it-yourself type and can afford it, buy design services. A new Web 2.0 banner or even full blog design services can give a polished look for a New Year. If you're on a budget look around at free alternatives, such as new blog themes. You don't necessarily have to change the entire blog, but cleaning up clutter and distraction should be a goal.

See: It's the Best Time of the Year - To Clean Up Your Blog by John Cow




5) Make More Money - It should always be on your mind after you're able to create valuable content and get readers. I'm not saying be super greedy, but always be looking for the best ways to Monetize your blog. You can always refer back to the Recommended moneymakers here. For example, if you're just running Adsense right now, consider adding Kontera, Auction Ads, Widget Bucks and/or an affiliate type program. The more money you make blogging, the happier your 2008 might be!

See: The Monetizer's Recommended Money Makers




Make sure you stick to these goals for the coming year and you should start to see more blogging success. These things will help to create further results for you such as networking opportunities, more exposure and links back to your blog. it will take work and effort, but the end results can be rewarding. The Monetizer wishes a Happy New Year's and much success to everyone in 2008!

If you haven't already, Subscribe to the Monetizer RSS feed and enjoy the adventures in 2008!

12/29/07

Advertise on the Monetizer Blog

If you're looking to get your blog or site noticed, The Monetizer blog offers two very easy and cost-effective ways to advertise here:

1) Get a link on the Top Spots Widget - This Widget is placed high up on the left sidebar, right above the previous posts spot. For a $5 tip you will get prime exposure on a well-traveled blog (300,000 Alexa). The blog also enjoys a Page Rank of 3 from Google and is #178 and climbing the 45n5.com Top 100 Make Money Blogs. This isn't so much bragging, but more to let you know what you will get if you go with an ad here. To advertise just use the widget and click on the "get on my top spots" link. Your link and text will display for 30 days. Payment is made via PayPal.

2)Use the Free Entrecard 125x125 spot - This method is free and provides you a graphic 125x125 ad here. This widget is lower down on the blog, but still visible to visitors in the left hand column. All you need to do is head over to Entrecard and sign up, then upload your free 125x125 image. An ad here has ranged from about 40 - 69 credits, which is a very affordable "free" option. I've rejected just a few ads that I can recall, because they were political in nature. Feel free to advertise with the Monetizer this way if you already are using Entrecard or are new to sign up. You can find Monetizer on the Make Money category at Entrecard.

If you're in the make money online, internet, SEO, HTML, marketing or business realms those 2 methods are a good way to get some exposure for your blog or site. I'm also open to networking opportunities and guest posts as well. Feel free to contact me at Monetizer@myway.com with any questions or ideas.

12/28/07

The Monetizer is on Problogger!

Problogger Runs Monetizer Ad

Today is a great day in the history of The Monetizer. Yes, today my free Entrecard 125x125 ad is running over on Darren Rowse's Problogger.net. Don't want to toot my horn too much, but it's kinda a big deal...As many know Darren's blog is the epitome of all blogs, and what many of us blogers aspire to become in the blogosphere. Darren is at the top of the "Big 3" and ranks #1 on the 45n5.com Make Money Online list. He has thousands of subscribers to his blog as well. He's a true pro as the name of his blog says, and offers a load of great info for anyone blogging. I've referred to his blog many a time not only for tips and techniques, but also for inspiration in making money online. So thank you to Darren for running The Monetizer card on Problogger! Best of all it's free, whereas many others have had to pay to be there...Folks, make sure you use Entrecard!

I want to welcome anyone who may stop over here to The Monetizer blog from Problogger. It's great to have you here. Feel free to sign up for the Monetizer RSS feed, and enjoy your stay as you browse the various Moneymaking ideas and other fun stuff!

12/27/07

The Failures & Successes of 2007

2007 was a pretty cool year in terms of blogging and moneymaking for The Monetizer. I discovered a plethora of great new blogs this past year which have helped me along the way. There were also several very useful innovations introduced to bloggers, and they seem to get bigger and better than ever. Not only that, several of these innovations were free of charge.

2 Successes in 2007



First up we had BloggingZoom, an amazing Digg-like service for Bloggers. Rather than trying to get "Dugg", bloggers could now get Zoomed to top rankings. Not only that, but the Zooms were coming from fellow bloggers and not spiteful Digg artists. Many a blogger has noted how tough it is to reach the front page of Digg, while stating its traffic benefits are great. However, getting Zoomed is even better because b It also provided new feedback for articles and networking opportunities, as bloggers worked to help each other out. BloggingZoom should stay strong and continue to be a great service into the next year.

Second up, we had Graham Langdon's Entrecard system. The online business card for bloggers allows a blog owner to get new exposure, traffic and free advertising. The catch phrase "Drop Yours" is now something many bloggers are aware of. According to Graham they recently reached 1000 blogs owning business cards at Entrecard. An amazing feat and the number will continue to grow in 2008. The make money category started around 30 when I first joined, and is now reaching 200 or so. It shows the saturation of this topic, but also how fast the service is growing. Nonetheless, newer and smaller blogs have a way to get discovered and advertise their blogs on bigger sites. Kudos to the developers of this 125x125 means of free advertising for all bloggers. Entrecard will continue unrolling new developments and features next year, so it will only get better for bloggers.




2 Failures in 2007



While there were those 2 successes, Monetizer saw what he also considers 2 failures in 2007. The first we all would agree is Agloco. Agloco can be equated to a make money con artists site, and many of us took the bait early on. It gave false hope and promises. For months many a blogger and site owner were pitching Agloco to others, in the hopes they could amass a huge network of referrals. The more people they had, the greater the chance for "riches" from the site. There was a quirky viewbar involved, or several versions of one. However, now that Agloco can't deliver on these promises, there's no way to get a refund for time and effort spent trying to promote their concept to others.

The second failure in my opinion is BlogRush. Some may disagree as many site owners believe it's great to run that widget on their site. In the beginning there was nothing but stalling as the site kept promising "soon we will have stats", "soon you will see how great this product is". But soon after a few months of trying it out, the Monetizer realizes that BlogRush works best on blogs already receiving steady traffic. Or it requires you to get a lot of people to sign up and hope they are getting traffic. Entrecard is much easier to employ and brings traffic and new subscribers. BlogRush requires luck, traffic, a catchy headline and referrals. I think I'll stick to Entrecard in 08'.




Wikis, Cows & What's to Come

Wiki Wiki Wiki Wiki... 2007 also saw an abundance of Wiki sites popping up. The jury is still out on whether they are a success or failure. Wikipedia is the current champ, but it spawned MillionDollarWiki, MillionEuroWiki, Ten and Five dollar wikis and even the new QuarterWiki. How will these do in 2008? Time will tell on these, but they still can offer benefits in terms of a new place to advertise and set up shop.

My favorite new blog I discovered in 2007 was easily John Cow. I discovered it because of John Chow, and Monetizer finds it very creative and entertaining to read. Even though Cow seemed to reject my Entrecard there's no hard feelings. He ran a Monetizer ad in his RSS feed for quite a while, which helped out here. So I wish the Cow the best of luck as he continues in 2008!

So what will be the next big blogging or money making development of 2008? There's a ton of blogs being born on the web daily. Some will fade away, and some will survive. There's also plenty of creativity and brainpower floating around the blogosphere, so it won't be long before we see "the next big thing".

12/25/07

Using Socialmarker & Niche Sites

Socialmarker.com

Here's a few late Christmas presents. These items will help you in creating niche sites for profit, getting your blog noticed by Google and others, as well as giving you valuable link backs to your blog.

First things first, you should definitely get set up with Socialmarker.com. This site includes 30 social bookmarking sites and allows you to easily submit your items to them all. It's better than having to go and log in to each site every time. The Socialmarker site includes the well known choices of Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit, and Delicious and then 26 more, some you may have never heard of.

Make sure to register with all the bookmarking sites first (yes it's tedious, but worth it). It's been suggested that you create a newly created email for all of these, maybe use myway.com or inbox.com where you can create free email accounts. Once you are registered, Socialmarker allows you to easily submit a site or blog entry to all of those 30 bookmarking sites. You simply supply the title, the URL, description, and tags. Social marker will go through site by site and auto-populate the fields. You will be able to alter them of course, as not every site is the same in what it asks for. But this definitely will make your life easier and give you backlinks to your blog itself, posts or other site. Socialmarker.com also has a special icon you can drag to your bookmarks/links area on Firefox. Then next time you want to bookmark a site or blog entry, just click the button for Socialmarker!

The above tool will help you promote any blog entries or sites you have, including specialized sites. Also known as niche sites, these can provide you additional passive income. The Monetizer has enjoyed building these on Squidoo, which is one free place to do so. An entry by Monika at Writer's Manifesto Blog presents the several ways to build niche sites, including Squidoo, Hub Pages and blogs. Read Monika's article here

There's a great article which discusses how to use your blog with Squidoo, related articles you wrote and RSS to create a sort of Squidoo goggle dance. Following the 9 steps will help to get Google to take notice as well as create links back to your sites. It can even get you multiple listings on the first page of Google search results, if done properly. See the article here.

Hope that all moneymakers and bloggers had a fun, happy and prosperous holiday!

12/22/07

3 Last Minute Online Gift Ideas

Holiday Shopping CrowdsAccording to Amazon.com today is the last full day to order gifts for people and get them delivered by December 24th, 2007 using the extra 1 Day Shipping. A clever ploy by Amazon as they know people are willing to spend a little extra money to ship when they're in a bind. Many people might be considering rushing out to the chaotic malls these last few days, because they waited to shop. However, The Monetizer says why not make life easier and give a gift online?

Now these ideas are not only thoughtful, but they also don't require rushing out to the mall or worrying if they will be delivered before Christmas! In fact these gifts require no real life shipping other than your own!

1) The Amazon Gift Card gives a huge variety of great items for people to choose from. Amazon offers everything from kitchen items to sporting goods to books, cds and DVD's. So an Amazon gift certificate makes great sense. It saves you from having to pay for extra shipping, and it allows the gift receiver to get exactly what they want! These can be delivered via email, so your loved one will receive it before or right on Christmas day. You may want to print the order confirmation page or a personalized card of your own, just so you have something to present to them and aren't empty handed.

2) Ticketmaster printable tickets for your friend who is into music or sporting events. They may even take you along if you hint at it enough and give them just two tickets! With Ticketmaster you have the option to have your tickets mailed, but it's a lot better to simply choose the printable PDF version here. They offer tons of great tickets for events from sports to concerts to WWE. Find ideal seats for a great event your friend may have mentioned, buy and print out your tickets. Doesn't get much easier than that!

3) GoDaddy.com Hosting Plans
make a great gift choice. A website is a gift that keeps on giving and growing. It gives your loved one a piece of internet real estate which they can build upon for years and be proud of. All they need to do is add a domain name, some HTML and tender care! They can grow the site into something beautiful, maybe even a moneymaker! This is also great for newborns... why not get them and their proud parents a website to showcase their baby pictures and great stories?! GoDaddy offers many reasonably priced plans from $3.99 or so on up.

There you have 3 quick and easy gift ideas if you've procrastinated until these last few days. Granted these aren't the Nintendo Wii but they are items you can click, buy, and print! Please use some creativity though, such as an attractive envelope or ribbon for presentation purposes. Your loved one is sure to get satisfaction from these ideas. And you're sure to survive that last minute stress of having a gift in hand when you go to celebrate the big holiday!

Affiliate Programs Among Us

Affiliate Programs Among Us Most of us have seen the popular Men in Black films. In those flicks, Agent J played by Will Smith learns the shocking truth that many people amongst the population are really aliens in hiding. Examples in the movies are Michael Jackson and Dennis Rodman, which are obvious choices. Affiliate programs are similar, as they've been amongst many of us all along, without us even noticing. These moneymakers are something I've yet to fully delve into, but recently The Monetizer has discovered that this can be a fun and possibly rewarding revenue stream. There's already plenty of affiliate marketers making a killing online, and there's always more money to be made. If you choose the most attractive deals and offers that will work best with your visitors you can definitely profit.

This all got me to the realization that many companies want your help in promoting their products. As Shoemoney himself says in this presentation video, if you're going to talk about a company's product or service, then why not get paid for sending people to buy from the sites? After blogging a lot, I realized how many times I've mentioned a product or service yet didn't even link to it. Getting into that habit is a great idea, as evidenced by the Amazon Associates program. Someone just bought a $200 KitchenAid Mixer, and it's not even something I promoted (Note: if you bought this item, thank you!). Funny how it works, but the more links you have to Amazon products, the greater your chances are for sales of any sort from the site.

Alien Cartoon When you're visiting your favorite company or shopping sites, take a look at the very bottom of the site. Down near the Footer with Contact, Site Map, FAQ, etc. Something you may have overlooked is the word "Affiliate" sitting down there. If you're looking to make money online this is very valuable. Two great examples I just looked into are Nike and Apple iTunes. They each offer Affiliate programs to sign up for. If you have a site which can profit from these programs check them out. In fact, so many people are buying from iTunes and music relates to so many topics, it makes sense to join it.

The Apple affiliate program goes through a company called LinkShare which offers a TON of other companies you can apply for (everything from Gap to WalMart to FootLocker and Omaha Steaks). Many of them will have to review your site and approve you but its definitely worth the time. Nike has a separate affiliate program, and it actually looks like Nike is a part of iTunes affiliate program (to sell their Nike iPod special mixes and gear). If you have a sports or fitness blog this makes perfect sense. But it doesn't necessarily have to be that.

Something else to consider are other top websites and how they run ads. Based on your blog topic or niche, look at other sites that are well known for your topic(s). For example, many magazines these days have their own websites (some run on Wordpress). Most magazine sites are notorious for running many ads. Take a look at what companies they are using as advertisers. Rolling Stone, Complex and Vibe are three examples in music. Forbes, Fortune and CNN Money for financial topics and so forth. Those would be great examples for a blog to do some brainstorming with, and to see what sorts of companies or products they are promoting. Those magazine sites are most likely pulling a lot of traffic in and are running ads that apply to their audience most.

I'd recommend Amazon Associates, Commission Junction and Link Share to all those who discuss products or services regularly on their blog. It's yet another way you can add to your online revenue and success. Also check out the site AssociatePrograms.com, as it provides a lot of great info on affiliate programs you can apply for, and how to get started. And remember to keep an eye out on the sites you currently visit, for there just might be some great affiliate opportunities among them too.

(A final idea: consider movie affiliate programs such as Netflix, Blockbuster and any online ticket services for theaters. It seems many sites no matter what their topic are running these as movie watching rarely goes out of style).

12/20/07

Master Your Money with FinanceGenius.com

Finances tend to be one of the biggest problems for many individuals and families these days. Everything from insurance worries to credit card problems which impact your ability to get loans. The recent housing foreclosures situation is further evidence of the financial woes many people face. Rather than struggle with figuring out what to do yourself, why not let a genius handle things? The site FinanceGenius.com offers comprehensive resources for everything from an Auto Warranty to a Mortgage to dealing with debts and credit. It has a very easy interface and many great tips on saving money, getting spending under control and identity protection.

The Monetizer took a look at one of the site's tools, a Credit Card Minimum Payment calculator. You enter your credit card's total balance, the annual interest rate and a few other stats. The calculator tells you the estimated time it will take you to pay off the balance, should you just pay the minimum each month. Not only that, it provides the shock value of how much valuable money you're losing that could be invested instead!

In conjunction with the above tool there's also several great articles and advice about credit. These include credit score basics, credit score influences, and how to establish or improve your credit. In addition to the credit section, there are also sections dealing with auto loans, insurance, student loans and mortgages. The student loan and mortgage sections provide options for handling these difficult financial situations. The site also offers a brief article with tips on what to do in the event of identity theft, a problem which is rapidly increasing these days!

If you're in need of some financial advice or tips, The Monetizer recommends checking out Finance Genius. They also offer products such as loan services and credit card deals in addition to all the tips, advice and suggestions on the site. Rather than suffer the financial worry and confusion, gain some knowledge and become a master of your financial health. According to the site's tagline, "You don't have to be a "Genius" to manage your finances like one!"

12/19/07

Win a Wii from Contest Beat!

Nintedo Wii system
The Monetizer has heard great things about the Nintendo Wii. First and foremost, it's the cheapest priced video gaming system amongst the big 3 (PS3 and Xbox 360 are steep). Second off, they offer family-friendly games and hours of fun. There's even been news of some senior centers using these items to have bowling tournaments, which is a great use of the technology. There's no actual bowling balls involved, just the Wii Remote Controller. There's also no stats on how many controllers have been thrown at flat screen TV's, but the Wii is definitely a video gaming novelty with its special motion controller. It also seems stores can't keep these hot items in stock. Targets and Wal Marts have lines of hungry customers looking to snatch up the video game system for themselves, or as gifts for their loved ones. Luckily, the blogosphere has made it easier, and free to get your hands on one!

A great site called Contest Beat is giving a Wii away to anyone who participates in their latest contest. Cellforcash.com is sponsoring the giveaway and their site can help you sell your cell phone. To enter this contest, you will need to write up a blog entry to let others know about this great Wii prize giveaway. There's several other ways to get entries such as subscribing to their feed. Check out the full details about the Wii contest at Contest Beat.

(Note: this prize will replace my recently sold original X-Box as The Monetizer's official video game system).

12/18/07

Goodbye BlogRush, Hello TopSpots!

Scratchback.com
It was time for the Monetizer to kick that BlogRush widget to the curb. BlogRush seemed like a helpful widget at first, but Entrecard is a better idea. I've seen better traffic, an increase in subscription rate and networking opportunities all thanks to the Entrecard widget. On the other hand, BlogRush is only good if you had a good wave of traffic coming through. That's just my belief, because it gives you more credits. More credits gives you more times your headline shows elsewhere. So a John Chow, ShoeMoney or ProBlogger would have headlines showing everywhere, and that's just fine. Some people are swearing by BlogRush. Others claim Entrecard isn't so great to use. It's all a matter of personal opinion. I've seen good things from Entrecard and nothing much from BlogRush. So 1 widget survives the cut and the other must go.

In the absence of BlogRush, I have now added the "TopSpots" widget, available from Scratchback.com. You've seen this popular item on several other blogs, where it allows you to pay to add your site's link onto the blog's top spots. It's a good idea for those who want to get their blog or site noticed more. I've set the starting price at a very reasonable $5 on a Monetizer blog that has steadily improved in terms of Alexa traffic, PageRank and subscriber count. It's up to you to make that investment and your link will display for a full 30 days. So if you're interested head to the sidebar and grab your top spot, while it's still priced low!

If you'd like to add your own Top Spots widget to your blog, head over to Scratchback.com and sign up! You can choose from several colors and styles of widgets including seasonal holiday themes. There's also an option to download a Photoshop template of the widget so that you can customize it for your blog. Several other blogs have taken advantage of this such as 45n5.com, ZacJohnson.com and now The Monetizer. They also offer a blog directory, yet another way to get listed and get noticed!

Special thanks to Jim Kukral for helping me get the widget customized and up and running!

Find Your Web Hosting Choice!

The following is a sponsored post. Web hosting is something The Monetizer is very aware of, and definitely will be in need of in the future. As this blog continues to grow, I'd like to be able to better modify it and add new elements to the design. When it's time to make that move, finding adequate and reasonably priced web hosting will definitely be key to this.

A site I just learned about is webhostingchoice.com. They offer a search engine and directory listing full of Web hosting plans, based on the criteria you specify. You enter your monthly price you'd like to pay, disk space and bandwith allotment you'd like and your set up fee (usually this should be $0). From there webhostingchoice.com will return several results based on your criteria, and hopefully one will suit your needs. I did a search on $5 a month hosting with no set up fee, and HostGator was amongst the listings as well as several others. The site also offers a FAQ section, a guide to scams online, info about domains, servers, bandwith and more. The site has a very easy to use interface and is a great source of information on web hosting considerations.

So maybe you're in a similar situation as The Monetizer with a blog hosted on Wordpress or Blogspot right now. It might be moving time. If you'd like to check out some of the top options for web hosting, head over to http://www.webhostingchoice.com and start your search today.

12/17/07

Win an iPhone from a Facebook MoneyMaker!


Lara Saad can be described as the "Facebook MoneyMaker". She currently authors a blog called "I Make Money on Facebook" which gives you a step by step plan to join facebook, make friends and make money! Since she's done well for herself via various online money making ventures, she's decided to give a little something away to her blog readers. Lara is giving away one of the coolest items on the planet, the iPhone. This is the most popular phone on the planet which plays MP3s and movies, takes pictures, gives you Wi-Fi internet, stores information and even makes phone calls! It will do everything for you except fold your laundry and cook you dinner (these may come in future versions of the phone).

I decided to throw my Monetizer hat into the mix for this contest. I've now entered several blog contests, from $100 prize give aways to those give away the iPod Touch, and now the iPhone. Even though I don't currently use AT&T service, I can switch within a few months, so this prize will be welcome. Or maybe this prize becomes a Monetizer giveaway in 2008!

Full details for Lara's contest:

Deadline: January 1st, 2008 (the winner will be drawn at 11:59 AM CST on January 1st, 2008 and the prize will be sent out on January 2nd)

How to enter: You can enter the "Win an iPhone" contest by doing one of the following (or all of the following):

1- Leave a comment on the post "25 Steps to Make Money on Facebook" (You will get one entry ticket)

2- Subscribe to the RSS feed via email (You will get one entry ticket) at her blog.

3- Write a blog post about this contest and once you finished your post let Lara know by sending an e-mail at lara.saad@yahoo.com (You will get three entry tickets)

So there's a total of 5 entry tickets you can accumulate by doing Steps 1, 2 and 3. And start your new year off with a new tech gadget to woo your friends, organize your life and play the latest MP3s!

The Richest Real & Fictional Celebs

Oprah Winfrey
A friend and I had an interesting conversation the other day. She was discussing the concept that Ty Pennington of "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" might be included on the Forbe's richest celebrity list, due to all his advertising deals and his show. That prompted The Monetizer to try to guess at who was #1 without seeing the list. My guess was the big O, Oprah Winfrey, pretty easy choice. Oprah tops the list and makes a payroll of $260 million!

Here's your Top 20 Richest Celebs:

1. Oprah Winfrey
2. Tiger Woods
3. Madonna
4. Rolling Stones
5. Brad Pitt
6. Johnny Depp
7. Elton John
8. Tom Cruise
9. Jay-Z
10. Steven Spielberg
11. Tom Hanks
12. Grey's Anatomy Cast
13. Howard Stern
14. Angelina Jolie
15. David Beckham
16. Phil Mickelson
17. David Letterman
18. Bon Jovi
19. Donald Trump
20. Celine Dion

What's most interesting is to consider: what makes someone a celebrity? Because if it's just by being famous and known all over, Warren Buffet would easily be at the top of this list, and probably deserves to be! Buffet's famous, owns a company and is very well known for being rich! You see Trump on the list, and it makes you wonder... Also interesting to consider is that athletes such as Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal, make paltry salaries of 30 million compared to bigger names on the list! Maybe athletes really are underpayed? Ok, maybe not..






Forbes has another interesting list, The Forbes Fictional 15:

1. Scrooge McDuck
2. Ming The Merciless
3. Richie Rich
4. Mom
5. Jed Clampett
6. C. Montgomery Burns
7. Carter Pewterschmidt
8. Bruce Wayne
9. Thurston Howell III
10. Tony Stark
11. Fake Steve Jobs
12. Gomez Addams
13. Willy Wonka
14. Lucius Malfoy
15. Princess Peach

To make this list the characters needed to be a fictional creation, starring in a specific work or series, and must be known fictionally for being wealthy. As you can see the Walt Disney character Scrooge takes the top spot here. In case you aren't in the know, "Mom" refers to the mom from Futurama, Carter Pewterschmidt is a poker partner of Michael Eisner and Bill Gates (on Family Guy) and Lucius Malfoy is a patriarch of an ancient wizard family from the Harry Potter stories. Princess Peach is from the popular Super Mario world, and she is heiress to the Mushroom Kingdom (the legal sort).

What can we learn from this? It pays to be a fictional character, or at least the creator of one! Don't expect a "Forbes Top 100 Who Wish they Were Rich" list anytime, because I think there'd be a huge 1 way tie!

12/15/07

Make Money with Commission Junction!

Commission Junction The Monetizer already belongs to Clickbank, an affiliate program which features e-books, downloadable software and various registration based programs. You earn large commissions based on people going through the link you supply and buying or signing up for the product/service. I saw the drawbacks were that people could request refunds (meaning you lose the money you make), and also that they had some strange rules on when and how to receive a payment.

Well I have to admit I held off on really investigating another affiliate program, Commission Junction. With all the programs Monetizer already participates in, it was just an afterthought. Boy was I wrong in not looking into this one sooner! Commission Junction offers 100's of legitimate companies and advertisers who are looking to pay you for promoting them or their products. You can be payed for two things via the extensive list of advertisers and companies:


(Above: Just a few of the MANY companies CJ lets you promote for $!)


1)Leads - In many instances you can earn from a company just for someone signing up for a free service. For example there's the Screensavers.com:
Free Screensavers and Wallpaper!
promotion. Just for someone downloading either of these, you would earn 80 cents. But that's just a small example. RealNetworks offers $15 per each person you refer to download their free 14 week trial music player. Some companies such as lenders, and banking institutions offer even more for signups! Not a bad deal at all! And there's plenty of these opportunities, so you're bound to find something that fits your blog or site.

2)Sales Commissions - There's all sorts of advertisers, from Citibank to NBC to Apple to WWE. They each offer various commission rates (from about 1 or 2% on up), based on you referring people to their sites and those people buying merchandise. There's plenty of companies too as mentioned before, so you will find something appropriate to your topic or niche.

Bonus Incentives: There's also bonus incentives which vary by company or program. For example if you generate over $1000 in sales for a program you're promoting, they will raise your percent commission rate (say from 5% to 10%) and so forth. So each program varies in how you can profit from them, but there's plenty of opportunity!


(Above: A view of some CJ product selections for the GameFly promotion)


Commission Junction is free to join and provides great monetization ideas. To get started, you will need to sign up with Commission Junction and provide the usual details (name, address, SS#, checking info for auto deposit of payments, etc). Once you're accepted into CJ you can add your websites or blog URL's along with their descriptions. This will allow you to pick and choose where you advertise which products (depending on how many sites you own). After this, it's time to search for the products and services you'd like to promote! Type in a keyword related to your blog or site niche and let CJ provide you with all the resulting offers and programs you can apply for. Remember, you'll need to apply for any program you choose individually, and some may not accept you instantly.

Once you're approved for an advertiser you can Create Links. These come in the forms of all types such as 125x125 buttons, 468x60 banners, the 728 length banners and text links. CJ also allows you to generate code in HTML or Java for your site, encrpyt your links and more. It's a nice interface and seems like yet another great Money Maker!

The reason I'm kicking myself about now is that they have so many products available that are related to other blogs the Monetizer authors. Knowing this months ago would have given a nice additional revenue stream. So learn from my hindsight, and sign up with them ASAP to help monetize your own site. Trust the Monetizer, if you type a keyword term there, you will most likely find a compay that fits that topic which you can promote on your site.

I feel anyone looking to Monetize a blog or website in almost any niche can truly benefit from using Commission Junction. The minimum payout is $25 to receive a check or auto-deposit. So head over, sign up, and start selecting products and companies to make money from!

12/14/07

Comment Headache Ends for Bloggers!

Rejoice Blogger and Blogspot users and commentors everywhere! Blogger officially announced on its own Blog yesterday that comments can now be left by just about anyone using OpenID.

I've seen many people ranting and raving about the complexity of commenting on Blogspot blogs, and the Monetizer agrees. It seemed to differ from Blogger blog to blog, most likely due to which version they were on (the Classic or New). Well, Livejournal, AOL Journal, Wordpress and other users can now express their opinions on Blogger blogs, which means there is harmony in the blogosphere!

To use this feature with your Blogger blog, you'll need to have the "Who Can Comment" field set to "Anyone". It's probably a good idea to do so, because comments are great for your blog in terms of feedback and additional discussion. You can read more about this exciting new development here at Blogger.

The Monetizer now welcomes bloggers from all over to leave comments as you please..

12/13/07

The Death of Agloco

Let's all have a moment of silence for Agloco as a legit moneymaker or company.

I joined Agloco about a year ago, I believe thanks to the advice of Adsense legend, Joel Comm. I don't blame him for this and luckily I didn't work my butt off to promote sign-ups or have the viewbar running. John Chow reported the Agloco death on his site via an email he received from them. Agloco was probably dead for a while, but that email confirmed things for us. Here's the final stats for Monetizer's Agloco campaign (sigh of relief):

Agloco death

Lesson here is don't give false hope or promises if you're trying to be a successful business venture online. Yes failures happen, but anything this Agloco company or group pushes in the future will be a tough sell.

12/12/07

Get Wiki at Low Prices - QuarterWiki!



If I had a million dollars..think of all the Wiki pages I could buy. These days the internet has become a breeding ground for the Wiki page, most likely piggybacking off the success of Graham Langdon's "Million Dollar Wiki". That site allowed the internet entrepreneur to drop out of college and start up his other business ventures, including the recent Entrecard.

Well just when you thought there couldn't be another Wiki site, there is. And this time's its offering you internet real estate at rock bottom prices. Monetizer learned about the QuarterWiki site from blogger/money maker extraordinaire John Chow, and the deal seemed too good to pass up. The way it works is you can buy a Wiki page for your search term or terms. For example: "Make Money Online" (yes that phrase was taken). You then receive the rights to that specific page for just a quarter. You're obligated to buy 4 pages though, so in reality you will pay a whole dollar (via PayPal). Monetizer had to jump in and buy 4 pages. With a little creativity, the Monetizer decided on "How to Make Money Online" as one of the four.

I started to poke around a bit to check out the editing of wiki pages. Although the coding is different at times (the site explains it in How-To's), it seems to allow for quite a bit, including the ability to add Technorati tags, internal and external links, videos, images, and even the ability to embed another web page into your Wiki page. So why not buy a page and insert your RSS feed? At least until you can do more editing. For a quarter, you'll be able to really do some great advertising with this. Not only that, but you can add Google Adsense code and other advertising money makers!

So just a dollar later, The Monetizer is the proud owner of 4 Quarter Wiki pages. How successful will it be? It's hard to say. I believe in keeping advertising costs low right now, and this site will certainly do that. It offers the same benefits of every other Wiki you've seen, long-term SEO, traffic benefits, a place to advertise your sites or products and even re-sell your page(s). You're paying just a quarter to own your Wiki page for a minimum lifetime of 15 years, which according to the site is just 2 cents per year. It's very similar to that Big Choice game you see at Pizza Hut or Chuck E Cheese. You're spending a few quarters to play and maybe win with the pages you buy. And if nothing else, you gain very cheap internet advertising space for your site or product.

At last check, 426 pages ($106.50) have been sold, most likely thanks to Mr. Chow's paid review on his blog. If you're interested head over and Buy a Page! (Remember there is a minimum purchase of 4 pages = $1)

12/11/07

How Much Do Rankings Matter?



Ever since we were kids, the nature of most schools has been to encourage strong competition amongst the students. Everyone achieves grades, marks, scores, progress reports and rankings. Rankings determine where we stand in the competition, and possibly even considered a measure of our self-worth or importance. Even though group projects and collaborative efforts were encouraged in high school and college, you still get assigned that individual rank at some point. Whether it be your position in the graduating class or the way a professor curved an exam, you found yourself compared to the rest of the pack. Quite possibly you were the Leader Of The Pack. If you graduated first in your high school class, you just might be a current MIT, Harvard or Yale student or graduate. So in some cases that number is your life and beyond. Is the same true for blogging and website rankings though? A very provocative question.


First off, here's the ranks you might be interested in as a blogger/site owner:


Alexa Rank 1) Alexa Rank -
This number which some say is less significant than other ranks shows your traffic levels for your blog or site. The lower the number, the more visits your blog or site is getting. It measures you against the millions of other blogs and sites in the world wide web universe. Download Alexa toolbar here and you can check and monitor your rank in the lower corner of your web browser. Alexa Rank usually updates on a month to month basis.

The Monetizer's current Alexa rank is: 421,137
(meaning there's 421,136 blogs or sites which receive more traffic online).




2) Google PageRank - Assigns a number, 1-10 which is the importance of your web page in Google's world. It's based on things such as backlinks from other quality ranking sites and helps your search engine position. It's Google's way of telling you how your site matters to them or not. Many have started to disregard this rank as well, because Google has started to drop the ranks of those selling text links, or doing paid reviews. Google basically has rules for your rank, in order to keep their business going strong.

The Monetizer's current Google PageRank is 3.




Technorati Rank 3) Technorati Rank - Technorati defines this as "the number of sources that point to a weblog, relative to another weblog". The more sources that reference a weblog, the higher the Technorati ranking. So it's an authority rank for your particular blog genre or niche. Sign up for Technorati and add your blog if you haven't yet. For comparison sake, one of the top make money bloggers, John Chow has a rank of 41 and Authority of 5,807. The way these ranks work, you want a lower Technorati rank number and a higher authority number.

The Monetizer's current Technorati Rank is 170,597 with an authority of 46.



Top 45n5.com 100 MoneyMaking Blogs 4) 45n5 Top 100 Money Making Blogs list - This list would only matter to those of us in the "Make Money Online" niche of blog sites. It's a rank nonetheless and a fun one to watch. 45n5.com keeps a Top 100 list of the Make Money Online blogs (make sure to submit yours). The ranking here is based on the 3 ranks mentioned above (PageRank, Technorati and Alexa). It allows bloggers in the Make Money blog realm to measure their blog against the others in the highly saturated and competitive field. If you're in this niche, I recommend you head over there and add yourself, just for kicks, and the extra traffic value of being displayed on the list. It's not going to give you hundreds of visits (unless you're top 20 maybe), but its a nice place to be listed. The Top 3 right now are: Problogger, Shoemoney and JohnChow.

The Monetizer's current 45n5 Top Make Money Blogs rank is 190.




5)IZEA Real Rank - This is a newcomer to the list and some say the least relevant rank right now. IZEA developed this in response to the whole PageRank penality phase by Google. IZEA is the recently new owner of PayPerPost, and they created the RealRank to allow members of PPP to still obtain paid blogging opportunities. Many bloggers have said Real Rank doesn't solve anything in combating the effects of the Google penalization though. RealRank is a flat rank, with a calculated score for each blog they track. The resulting scores are sorted to assign each blog a rank from 1 to n. It's based on code installed into your blog or site which measures visits your blog gets. You can read more about RealRank here.

The Monetizer's current IZEA RealRank is 861.




Those tend to be 5 ranks that bloggers will look at (four ranks - if you're not in the Make Money niche). Each has it's own importance and the Monetizer says that these ranks can be quite good for you, but don't obsess over them. I agree with those who say don't sweat them, or don't worry if you lose a rank, but overall the ranks can give you a good gauge of how well your doing. It's most important if you're relatively new to blogging, SEO and marketing, because you're able to measure and see your blog's progress. There's a positive effect in seeing a rank climb and striving to make it higher. It's probably a carryover effect from how we were taught to compete in school. And in the competition online, many bloggers and site owners use the ranks as advertising points when joining payed review sites, or selling ads, links or reviews independently. To say ranks are meaningless and to ignore them would be a bad idea, as they can only give you a positive and hopefully realistic measure of how well your doing in your blogging ventures.

So don't look at rankings as a popularity contest. Don't be too upset if you're not ranked high right away. You should also be concerned with the number of RSS Subscribers you have. This gives you an idea of possibly loyal readers and followers of your blog. While it's not really a rank, it's probably the best indication of whether or not people want to come back to see what you have to say.

12/10/07

Holiday MoneyMaking Ideas for your Blog

The Monetizer previously mentioned how to make money with Amazon Associates, the program where you can earn commission on Amazon products purchased by viewers of your site. Basically you provide a link or picture or widget involving Amazon products on your site and a reader or visitor may click over to it. If the reader buys that product or any other product on Amazon (after arriving there through your link), you receive a percentage referal fee. I've noticed some increases in sales through other blogs I author thanks to the holiday season. It's a pretty sweet deal (sign up for Amazon Associates here).

So now that the holidays are much upon us, you should consider adding more of these Amazon links into current posts. Don't do it too forcefully as many readers don't want that much "in your face" selling. But there is one idea you may consider using, and that is a blog entry listing off your Holiday gift ideas. You could even make this a series of posts, such as "Top 10 Christmas Albums" or "My 10 Favorite Gift Ideas". From there you add in the appropriate Amazon links for each of your items in list-like fashion and include your own personal commentary or review of each. It can work quite effectively, and even if a reader does not purchase one of your suggested items they just might stick around Amazon and do some other holiday shopping. These posts also work well as you may be able to use them next holiday season and so forth. People may even stumble upon the posts from internet searches done all year long as well. You may even consider calling the post "Gift Ideas for the Pet Lover" - if you author a pet blog, or "10 Great Presents for a NFL Fan". That way it becomes more useful year round.

You can also tweak other current monetizers you may be running on your site. For example, AuctionAds allows you to insert keywords that are comma-seperated when you set up the ad codes. Depending on your blog theme, consider items or types of items that may find their ways onto holiday wishlists (that relate to your content). Sometimes a little extra effort can bring in that extra revenue, especially this time of year when pocketbooks tend to open a bit more.

These are just a few very simple ideas on how to increase possible holiday revenue from your blog. With just 2 weeks until Christmas, here's 3 other articles from the blogosphere which discuss how to monetize or update your blog for the holidays.

Make Money With Christmas and Holiday Offers by Zac Johnson

Getting Your Blog Ready for Christmas by Problogger

What Your Website Wants for Christmas by Darin.CC

12/8/07

2 Risky Online MoneyMakers

The Monetizer has given you his recommended moneymakers and reviews of new moneymakers that have come along. Well now it's time for some other (risky) moneymakers you may want to consider. Proceed with caution, because these may be fun, they may be addictive, and they just may destroy your bank account. But it's quite possible you could profit big time as well...

(Disclaimer: Monetizer is not being paid to write about these sites or moneymaking ideas, does not advocate them and advises you to proceed with extreme caution).

Online Sports Betting


Bodog Sports Betting

Online Sports Betting - The Monetizer will be the last one to advocate betting, but if you're a risk taker and consider it fun, why not? I learned a while back that it can be quite a thrill, but when you have to pay rent or mortgage, last thing you want to do is be betting :) Usually those who are very well off find the most fun in this, but we all know it can be problematic. However, this is an example of another way to possibly make money online, albeit risky in nature.

With Bodog you can bet on sports outcomes from just about any sport you can imagine (even Cricket). The Monetizer enjoys sports, especially basketball, and found it interesting that on Bodog you can bet on things like "Will Steve Nash lead the Phoenix Suns in points and assists in his next game?". And not only can you make sports bets there, you can play poker online, bet on horses and even bet on things like "Who will win Amazing Race or America's Next Top Model" (interesting because these aren't really live outcomes on TV like pro sports). I haven't fully investigated the rules on US Sports Betting, but if Shoemoney is betting on UFC, it can't be illegal (Note: Wikpedia claims online sports betting is ambiguous, and states: online bookmakers generally operate outside of the U.S. Some online bookmakers do not accept wagers from the U.S. due to these unresolved legal questions). Sports betting is yet another online moneymaker, but due to its ambiguity as well as the potential to destroy finances and lives, proceed with caution.


Online Poker Rooms


Poker

Online Poker Rooms - Monetizer's been to the casinos plenty of times, in various states, but never picked up the popular game of poker. I was more of a roulette guy, which involves no skill, just pure luck. I also was good with Blackjack slots and made a bit of extra money, and Bingo because I was more awake than the other players. But these days we see poker has become what some say is a legitimate sport, and you can make big bucks playing it. There's many variations of the game from five card draw to five card stud to the very popular Texas Hold Em'. If you have the guts and want some glory (and know the rules and strategies) this can quite possibly be a lucrative way to make money online. Additionally, it seems various sites, such as Full Tilt's site, offer a referral program where you earn up to $100 for a friend joining.

Just like sports betting, be careful here. Online poker has been controversial in terms of making money online. See the article here debating its legality. Gambling can become a serious problem, as you begin betting more and more, eventually finding yourself in a deep hole. But if you know what you're doing it's a possible moneymaking option. You can learn more on the Poker Wikipedia page.

So you may want to throw caution into the wind and start making sports bets online. Or put on your best poker face and head to the online rooms to win some cash. While both of these are risky due to gambling addictions or legal debates, it's usually the big risks that offer the big rewards. Again, I don't advocate betting online, because I prefer stable and established moneymakers, such as The Monetizer's Recommended MoneyMakers.

And if you have experience, good or bad with either of the above moneymakers, drop a comment...

12/7/07

Ranking Changes & Get Reviewed!

I'm happy to report the Monetizer's Alexa Rank has jumped another 100k into the 400,000 range. I'm aiming for under 100,000. It's funny because another blog I've maintained for over a year with over 250 subscribers and plenty of steady traffic took months to hit the 500k range. It may go to show which niche readers have the Alexa toolbar installed and which do not. If you don't have it feel free to download the toolbar here, or scroll down to the bottom of my blog where you see The Monetizer's rank displayed and go through that widget.

On the flipside, the 45n5 Top Money Maker blog rank went down 2 spots. It may be due to when they update or just shows how competitive the make money niche is. Most likely a few people experienced slightly bigger Alexa rank jumps this time around. No worries there, it's 2 spots and the Monetizer can easily rebound from that one.

I also wanted to toss out this offer, while it's still free. If anyone reading this would like a blog site, e-book, or product they have reviewed, feel free to contact The Monetizer so we can discuss it. I'm not entirely about getting paid for reviews right now. I do belong to ReviewMe and have considered setting a price for them, but will wait to get the blog rank up and self-hosted.

You may be asking, "So why would I want to be reviewed here?"

1 - You will get feedback from someone who's been in an IT position. While it doesn't mean it's expert advice, it may provide you with tips here and there to help you improve design or get more subscribers.

2- I've read a ton about the Make Money Online, marketing, SEO and blogging fields, and feel I can impart some of the tips and tricks to others.

3- It's another website user's opinion you can use to possibly shape what you're doing for more readers, exposure and money making!

4 - It's free advertising on a blog with the aforementioned 421,127 Alexa Rank and Google Page Rank of 3. I'm also advertised in several other spots so you will gain exposure.

So feel free to drop me a line, because it will not only give you an honest opinion and a free review but its also some free advertising for your site or product! And take advantage of it before it starts being monetized!

12/6/07

The Entrecard High School of Thought

Entrecard advertisers

Hello friends, it's the Monetizer here with a Public Service Announcement about EntreCard. I previously discussed what Entrecard is all about, and ways to advertise with Entrecard. I have seen recent discussions about people being rejected at EntreCard when trying to advertise on certain blogs. It might be just like being in high school, where you have the new kid at school (new money making blog) and then the popular crowd, like John Chow, Problogger et al. And you have the various "cliques" and those who will like your blog or not.

You have to take it with a grain of salt when you're trying to make your way in the blogosphere. Realize that some of these guys got big through hard work and they can't accept every ad coming their way. A lot of them are extremely busy and the ads most likely pile up. Many of them have learned the ways of the net and charge real $ to advertise with them. You also have to realize some blogs are very picky and specific as to the types of ads and even styles of logos they want on their site. Does it mean they hate you? Not necessarily. Does it mean they are trying to screw you out of money or business? I doubt that highly.

When Monetizer first signed up at EntreCard, it was still early. There were maybe 20-30 Make Money Online blogs in the mix. I had an immediate 10 requests for ads, mainly because they realized the rock bottom purchase price of 2 credits. I accepted all of them because I know some people realize a good opportunity and pounce on it. Today there are over 80 blogs in the Make Money category and it's still growing. Competitive? Most definitely. It's hard to guess at the reasons for rejection but....

Here's 5 Reasons You Might Get Rejected on EntreCard ad:

1) The site publisher/owner doesn't like how your card looks with their design. For example they have a pink and black design. I can understand why Monetizer as cute a character as he is doesn't mesh with that.

2) The site publisher/owner wanted to wait til their blog was worth more credits to advertise on (capitalism at its finest).

3) They accidentally clicked "Reject". Hey it happens.

4) They seriously didn't like the tone of your blog, what you had to say or it's design.

5) They don't like bloggers who try to monetize their blogs. That's always been a point of contention in the blogosphere. So if you're in that niche, consider that as well.

Quite honestly a few of those reasons are high-schoolish, but hey it's the real world right? We get rejected all the time for things, but sometimes you have to overcome that and be great in spite of it.

I've been rejected by 4 or 5 blogs and I don't even remember who they are. I'm fine with it and believe that either they didn't like the colors of my logo for their blog site, or they wanted to drive up credits to advertise on their blog, rather than just allowing the early birds to get the proverbial worm ;) My previous advice on advertising mainly suggested trying to find good bargain blogs to advertise on, and I'd like to toss in an additional suggestion. Advertise on the smaller, newer blogs at 2-10 credits, even if they don't have impressive ranks. With this you might gain a new reader and a new networking opportunity, and you want all of them you can find in blogging.

Feel free to advertise on Monetizer 's EntreCard widget as well. All members of the blogosphere are welcome here..

12/4/07

iPod Touch & $250 at Amazon Up For Grabs!

With Christmas approaching us at warp speed, a few contests are going around that are sure to make it a happy holiday season for the lucky winners.

First up, Filelime.com is giving away the 8 gigabyte iPod Touch, one of the coolest gadgets out today. Filelime is a file hosting site which offers you a total of 150MB free hosting space, 5 multiple uploads, a progress bar uploader, and even a direct link to your upload! It has a very simple, clean interface and is a great option should you need to host pictures or other files for your blog or website. And now they are giving away one of the nicest tech goodies around. To enter see the official contest post at their site. The winner will be randomly drawn on December 18, 2007 at 8PM EST. The prize has a retail value of $299 and includes the brand new iPod Touch with all it has to offer!

Secondly, is another way you could possibly buy an iPod or just about any other item you might want. There's a $250 Amazon voucher being given away by Mr. John Cow, courtesy of AdToll.com. You can do plenty of last minute Christmas shopping with that voucher or just pick up some nice items for yourself. As many know, Amazon has everything you can imagine, such as computers, TV's, DVD's, books, cd's and more. It would be quite the shopping spree just in time for the holidays!

Just so you know a bit more about AdToll.com, it's a great looking service where you can find the perfect websites to advertise your website or products. You can also join as a publisher to make money by allowing others to advertise on yours! You must have a self-hosted blog on your own domain to be eligible for their publisher program, but it's a pretty sweet deal. John Cow and several other sites are already using AdToll to monetize their sites and make money!

All you need to do is write up a 250 word blurb on your blog detailing the contest. You'll also need to do a StumbleUpon review for the contest sponsor and 1 for your contest post on your own blog. Then you'll need a screenshot to prove it, and all of this submitted to Mr. Cow. Hey, so you have to do a little work to win a sweet prize.. Check out the full contest details at John Cow. The deadline is December 20th to enter.

12/3/07

Overstock.com's Christmas Giveaway!

The following is a sponsored post from PayPerPost on popular online outlet, Overstock.com The site also know as "the O", is now running a 5 day giveaway starting today called the "All I want for Christmas Giveaway". The online outlet's daily contest allows you to win prizes each day until December 8th from Overstock valued at up to $1,000. The cool part is you can invite up to 5 friends per day as well and if you win, then they also win your selected prize. Overstock's inventory currently features everything from flat screen TV's and laptop computers to MP3 players, video game systems and jewelry. You could get a leather couch, frappachino maker or even a guitar. Sky's the limit with this contest and what you can win, as long as you stay within the $1000 limit.

But wait there's more. There's also a Grand Prize at the end of 5 days where a lucky winner will win one gift from Overstock.com valued at up to $5000. The possibilities for that big gift are endless. Upon scanning the TV section, The Monetizer would definitely take the Sharp Aquos 52-inch LCD HDTV with Wall Mount. It would be very MTV Cribs and it's only $3,279.99. There's a slightly higher priced Mitsubishi 52-inch LCD HDTV as well. Or I might go with a new timepiece for my wrist such as a $3599 Aqua Master Men's Oval Diamond Chronograph Watch. Bloggers might even choose a King Size bed or leather couch so they can kick back at the end of a rough moneymaking day Basically, if you've got $5000 to blow on just 1 item, better make it a big time purchase and not just an iPod Touch or Wii.

If you're interested, head over to the site, sign up, and start referring friends for your chances to win each of the next 5 days. You can check out the contest over at OverstockContest.com and check out the cool clay-mation style YouTube video below all about it!





12/1/07

Case Study: Whateverlife.com

Whateverlife.com screenshot

I've seen several write ups on this story and you may have too. It's the tale of a teenage girl who describes herself as nerdy and likes to design Myspace layouts and websites. So logically, she begins designing layouts for friends. She creates Whateverlife.com, a website which starts out as Myspace layouts. Her site becomes viral, because of the power of "word of mouth" and she notices more and more teen visitors are stopping by to check out what is there. And the site is Monetized using the Granddadddy of all money makers online, Google Adsense.

Many people know that the "Pimp Yo Myspace" style sites have made some people big money. I recall reading that a college student made around 250 grand in 6 months from a site he created with that purpose. So the Whateverlife site works pretty well for this young girl who has a creative and artsy personality. And the site generated thousands a month, making her an early millionaire. She even bought her family a nice big home, and has her mother working for her as an employee. How many of us had that as kids? (beyond the typical maid services and meals cooked by mom)

So what exactly makes such a simple site generate that kind of cash? Here's 4 important lessons I think we can take away from what a teen did to become an online millionaire.


1) She knows her audience - They are teens, just like her. She realizes the popular topics and fads amongst her crowd such as Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Betty Boop, Ninja Turtles or Super Mario. She has a variety of choices to satisfy many popular tastes for pimping the profile whether its being used by a male or female teenager.

2) She offers a product or service her audience wants -
Teens want Myspace profiles that impress their friends. So this youngster created them for herself, then her friends. Naturally more and more people wanted the product or service and were driven to her site for it. The site now offers all sorts of add-ons for a Myspace profile as well as generators to make your own items.



3) Her site has a unique look/style - The site has a very different and stylish look when compared to many other "pimp Myspace" style sites. That makes this site stand out from the crowd. It's always important to do this, and if you're in the "better blogging" or "make money online" niches you better do something extra to stand out, eventually. The niche can get flooded, just as the pimp Myspace layouts niche is. This goes back to knowing her crowd too, as she designed it from the perspective of a teen, for teens to have that stylish look to it.

4) Don't stop there - Yes many say Myspace has peaked and may have started to fall off in popularity (thanks to Facebook). But this girl is no dummy. She's branched the site out to have a blog type magazine on the site where users add their unique content and stories. It's about "whatever" they want to add from life, generally teen topics like music and dating. She also has a "build a site" section which is in beta and I believe she plans to start creating wireless phone backgrounds/wallpapers. So entrepreneurs don't stop with the first idea that blows up, or that first million they make. They keep adding to it, or branching out. Look at the success of Apple. They surely didn't stop with just a simple mp3 player. They now have pictures, video and of course, the iPhone.

whateverlifemagazine

This youngster apparently made her fortune from the Google Adsense ads running on her site as the website began to receive a ton of traffic to it. It has an impressive Alexa rank in the 5,000's as proof. It appears she may be running some other advertising banners or videos on the site since, and this would lead us to the concept of not relying on just one monetization strategy on your site. If she had suffered the dreaded Adsense click fraud of some sort early on, she may never have made that fortune. Amazingly with all the traffic, she survived and banked tons. She's also mentioned that she has been given sizable offers to purchase her site. However she says she's keeping it because she loves to design and create. After all, it's her creation. That might be the best lesson you can take away here: It's the passion you have and put into something that ultimately translates into the money maker.

You can check out a video about the creator of Whateverlife.com at Moms Cash Blog. Or head to her site itself at Whateverlife.com for a look around.

11/30/07

Another Day, Another $100 Contest!

Here we go with another way to win $100 to your PayPal account. The Benjamin seems to be something people like to toss around these days in the blogosphere and the more chances to win it, the better!

If you like winning prizes, I highly recommend you head over to Contest Blogger. It's a blog all about contests and gives you great chances at all sorts of prizes. You can subscribe to their RSS feed here.

Contest Blogger will be delivering $100 PayPal to one lucky winner on this coming Monday. Today's the last chance to enter. In order to qualify you need to give a link back to the Making Sales Making Money homepage using the anchor text: home based business opportunities and the Contest Blogger homepage using the anchor text sweepstakes. Very easy way to qualify for a chance at $100, but do so today!

Refer back to 3 other ways to win $100 online here. Who said moneymaking online is tough?

Win $100 from Writer's Manifesto!

How to Win $100 Part 2

How to Win $100 Part 3

Save on Tech with TechBargains.com

The Monetizer is always searching for good deals on tech gadgets and computer gear. A website called techbargain.com seems to make that search much easier. Techbargain.com provides you with ways to find "the best deals in tech" including bargain news and exclusive deals . The site is easy to navigate and provides a nice search box which lets you query either eBay or the TechBargains site or just search "for lowest price". Scanning through the main site listings today revealed a nice list of current deals including memory cards, cell phones, hard drives, ipods, Nintendo Wii's and other assorted computer goodies. There were even deals displaying for Reebok shoes and plane tickets, so it's not limited to tech deals alone. You can check out their cheap ipods listings or search for a cheap digital camera for an example of the deals they offer.

Techbargain.com also offers you coupons/rebates, a comprehensive database of products, and product reviews. There's also RSS feeds, so you can keep a close watch in your reader on the latest tech deals. You can even set up customized alerts and access their deals from your wireless device. According to the site they update their content 24/7, even on the weekends and holidays, making it an invaluable resource for tech shopping.

With the holidays approaching you may be looking to get a deal on a gift for someone on your list, or a little something for yourself. If you're looking to score a great deal on any computers, accessories or other tech gadgets, give Techbargain.com a visit today.

11/28/07

My 1st Contest Win & Lady Bloggers

Even though the Cow spelt my name wrong, I'm still a winner of John Cow's RSS Ad contest. 10 winners were selected, including THE MONETIZER, and they will each receive an ad placed in the Cow's RSS feed. Pretty sweet deal.
Check out the official announcement over at Cow's blog.

Monetizer also spent a lot of credits over at EntreCard today to advertise on the Cow blog as soon as it opened up. As mentioned in the previous entry, you really have to keep an eye out on that site for good opportunities. I read on another post that John Chow (not Cow) has been rejecting people. But then again Mr. Chow has stated many a time that he is evil in his practices. EntreCard does seem a bit like high school at times where people reject or approve blogs. Can't we all get along in the blogosphere? It's all good though. I may also try for Joel Comm (Mr. Adsense)'s blog site as he seems to get a steady amount of traffic over there.

I wanted to also give a shout to a few female bloggers I have discovered who are hard at work online. I would like to direct you to check out the following cool blogs by female blog-entrepreneurs:

Mom's Cash Blog by Krysti

My Debt Free Goal by Amy

Building My Empire by Empress

These ladies have site style for sure and each are trying to find more ways to monetize! Stop by their sites, subscribe to them and show some love!

5 Tips for Advertising with Entrecard

EntreCard advertising

Back to the moneymaking and marketing/advertising! Several posts ago, before all the contest announcements and write-ups, The Monetizer discussed the new online business card, EntreCard. If you're a blogger and haven't signed up yet for this free widget service, you really should. It can bring a newer blog with low traffic and readers more visits. It won't quite be like getting Dugg, but if you play your EntreCard right, it can bring some advantages. The best advantage is you are getting free ad space on blogs that normally charge hundreds of dollars for it. So why would you not want that deal?

Here's 5 tips for how to best advertise using EntreCard.


1 - Build and save your credits - To get the credits, drop your card off on other blogs. You can do this 1x per day on a blog, and earn 1 credit every time you drop your card off. Other bloggers will start to drop their card off for you, giving you 1 credit each time they do. If you do this enough, your ad price (in credits) goes up as you receive more cards. Get in the habit of doing so, and saving up over 30-40 credits can get you into prime position for good advertising.

2 - Refer to Alexa Rank -
If you don't have the Alexa toolbar installed, you really should. It will display a site's Alexa traffic rank in the lower right-hand corner of your web browser. The lower that number, the better that blog or site is for traffic (Note: if you see 12, you're seeing Blogger's rank, meaning the site isn't even in the 10's of millions yet). Using the Alexa rank as your gauge, you can decide the best deal for where to advertise. I try to look for blogs with a rank at least 100,000 higher than mine. Some blogs tend to advertise on every blog that comes into Entrecard, which might be a decent strategy, but credits are more wisely spent on high traffic sites.

3 - Refer to PageRank & RSS count - PageRank has been the recent discussion in the blogosphere the past few weeks. It's Google's importance of a web site (0-10). The higher that number, the better. While it's not a huge deal, you may want to aim for blogs with 3 and higher. You can install SEO for Firefox if you use that browser and it will tell you a site's PageRank up on your browser tabs area. Also, if a blog displays their RSS count up top or somewhere on the site, that may be another good gauge. If they have 100 plus readers showing, it's probably a decent place to advertise, although not as good an indicator as Alexa, because RSS doesn't really tell you if the subscriber visits the site or just uses a feed reader.

4 - Lurk on the EntreCard site - Ok, not in a creepy way, but you want to snatch up a good deal to advertise as soon as a good opportunity opens up or a new blog joins. For example, when a blog first joins EntreCard, they start out at an ad price of just 2 credits. Imagine if you had noticed the moment John Chow joined up? You'd have gotten yourself a steal. There's a rumor ProBlogger will be joining, so keep your eyes open. When you go to the "Campaign" tab on your dashboard, you will see a choice for "most recent". That spot could hold some good deals, and you might see a big blog as it joins.

5 - Refer to your Stats -
On your Entrecard tab menu, you also have "Statistics". Once you've run ads on several blogs you can see which performed well and gave you clicks to your site. If a particular blog did good for you, it might be a good idea to try advertising there again. Keep in mind their price may have gone up and their ad spots may have filled up since then.

EntreCard can really teach you the ways of advertising strategy. Once again, I encourage all bloggers to join EntreCard. It's a good way to network, and advertise your blog for free in relevant and less-relevant places. You could be missing out on new readers if you don't!

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