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
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!
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.
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!
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!
The iPod Touch pictured here is one sweet piece of technology, and it seems blogs are just giving them away these days. Monetizer managed to find us a contest over at this new mixed drink recipe site called "Mixed Drink World". These guys offer a cool site about you guessed it, mixed drinks and even how to make your own cocktail recipes. Not only that but they have decided to give away 1 iPod Touch to a lucky winner by November 30th, just for blogging about their contest. Doesn't get much easier than this..
Head over to the win a new IPOD Touch blog contest and check it out if you want a shot at one cool piece of technology. I'm thinking I made the right decision to sell my 30 gig today, because through positive karma and this contest, the iPod will come back to me.
Ok, the Monetizer promises no more $100 contests (for now). This is part 3 of my "in-depth" series with yet another way for your to win $100 to your PayPal. I think either myself or one of my readers deserves the prize. This contest is named the "$100 Linkback Contest!" and it's sponsored by KingNomar.com.
The contest is being run by King Nomar (not the baseball player), an online entrepreneur like many of us just looking for ways to make money online via an internet business venture. His blog deals with the topics of SEO, blogging and moneymaking among other random musings. The contest is to generate buzz for his webmaster forum which is a growing webmaster community Nomar has created. To enter you simply need to give him a backlink in a post about the contest and then contact Nomar to let him know you did so. Nomar runs a cool site all about . Monetizer already missed the early entry prize of $5, but the $100 is still available.
The $100 Linkback contest ends in a few days so you'll need to do it quickly to get into the running. This will once again give you a chance at $100 sent to your PayPal account.
So now you have 3 ways to win $100 online including the following:
How to Win $100 Part 2
Win $100 with Writer's Manifesto! (aka Part 1)
In part 1 of this series (the previous post) the Monetizer showed you one way to win a cool, crisp $100. Here's yet another way to score that hundred dollar bill (straight to PayPal) with a contest sponsored by 134u.com called the "My Lucky Number 13 first Contest".
The contest is being held to celebrate the 2 month anniversary/birthday of the "My Lucky Number 13" personal blog site. The blog is written by Diana Bajenaru who describes herself as a workaholic and has her own small company. She's also dabbled in internet work, has built websites and a B2B portal and is constantly learning about SEO, SEM and programming. Her blog provides some great tips on the aforementioned topics as well as blogging and moneymaking. And now her blog provides you a simple way to win $100.
Writing a 100 word blog post (with 2 backlinks) about the contest will get you 2 entries, while subscribing to the RSS gets you 1 entry and subscribing by email gets you 2 more. The contest runs until December 13th, so you have plenty of time to get your entries in. To enter stop by the contest page for all the details.
In blogging, there's no real rule for how or what you write. That's the beauty of it, you jot down your thoughts in the form you want and publish to the world. Better writing skills can never hurt though and can actually help you make money online through freelancing or paid article services. The Writers Manifesto is a blog written by Monika Mundell all about how you can be a much better writer. Monika has been working on going from employee to financial freedom through freelance writing, internet marketing and entrepreneurial endeavors.
Writers Manifesto blog offers you a wealth of creative and well presented info on improving your writing skills as well as making money and marketing yourself or your writing. Monika presents her content with a great positive attitude as she chronicles her journeys in writing and making a steady income online. There is a quick start guide to earning money online through article writing which offers some great tips as well as a good list of money makers. Not everyone enjoys writing, but if you do or want to improve then this blog is definitely one to subscribe to.
Right now Writers Manifesto is also holding a "Shake it Up Contest" for a prize of $100. The contest works by collecting brownie points for the November 30th drawing. You can increase entries by writing a review of the site, making a YouTube video. subscribing to the RSS feed and more. Check out the Shake it Up Contest here. There's just a few days left to enter, so stop by and comment the contest post to get 1 entry. Become a better writer and possibly win $100, can't beat that deal!
RSSHugger is yet another good free way to bring your blog site some much needed traffic. It's created by Collin LaHay an experienced entrepreneur, search engine optimizer, and internet marketer. Colin set this site up in the interest of getting many bloggers to submit their RSS Feeds to the site and in the interest of readers discovering new blogs that interest them. It's free to join and have your blog listed on, as long as you write up a blog entry discussing RSSHugger in order to spread the word.
There's also a paid version for $20 in which you don't have to do a post like this (but why not save yourself the money?). Once your post is approved and your blog has been reviewed by RSSHugger, it is accepted into the listings. There's a Top 100 Blogs list on the site and your blog should be included on that list within a month of submission to the site. Similar to StumbleUpon there's also a "Random Blog" choice on the menu, which gives a random blog that just might pique your interest. My first click came up with The Modern Lawyer which discusses clothing and technology for young attorneys and law students.
Here's what you get from the site as a blogger:
- Raise awareness of your blog
- Send tons of visitors to your blog
- Share traffic with the community
- Be part of a viral/buzz marketing campaign
- Build deep-links for your blog posts to help with search engine optimization
- Get new interested RSS subscribers who view your content on a regular basis.
Here's what RSSHugger offers you as a visitor:
- Find blogs that interest you
- Easily subscribe to many blogs
- Skim over hundreds of blogs to find what suits you
The more places you have your blog listed and linked, the better. For the above reasons and the fact you can be permanent on this site in exchange for giving them a free write up, why not sign up with RSSHugger and spread the love?
Previously The Monetizer gave you "10 Free Ways to Increase Blog Traffic". I decided to check out the Google Analytic's traffic sources to see which recent initiatives are working best for The Monetizer blog. I believe most bloggers and especially rookies in the blog field can start implementing the following things to start getting visitors.
Here's what I'd recommend to get easy blog traffic (in this order):
BloggingZoom - I gotta hand it to Courtney Tuttle and his group for building this for the blogging community. It's the Digg for Bloggers and if you put a catchy and good blog article on there for "zooming" by others it can bring you some decent traffic. It's free to join and submit your content to. Be active on the site and Zoom others while submitting your own blog posts. One thing to realize is that while you can submit articles from all blog niches, it seems certain niches perform better than others for moving up the rankings (especially SEO, blogging and make money online themes).
MyBlogLog or BlogCatalog - I'd recommend you join both and start networking. It's free to join and it can bring traffic of interested viewers to your blog. You can also join groups or create your own, as well as give broadcast shouts that will show up on your friends Comment section for everyone to see (Don't spam!)
EntreCard - I have a recent post about EntreCard, the online business card for bloggers. I've become a bit addicted to this one in terms of dropping the card off with other bloggers and choosing the best blogs to spend my credits on for advertising. I've only been a part of the program a few days and it's already brought me a good bit of traffic. It's free to get your card, just make sure you have a snazzy 125x125 logo created in JPG or PNG format. Once you're set up, I'd recommend going into your campaign section and finding blogs to drop your EntreCard off at. You'll build 1 credit each time you drop it off and can build up enough to advertise on a bigger blog where you can get noticed.
Squidoo - This may not work for everyone because I used other means to promote the Squidoo lens. The Lens includes my blog RSS feed and links to various articles on the blog. But nonetheless its a free piece of internet real estate where you can set up shop and promote your blog and other affiliate/referral programs. You can also add backlinks to your site which is helpful for SEO.
Those are 5 things above that you can do to start getting more visits and traffic for your blog. They've proven succesful for me early on in the life of this blog. BLoggigZoom, EntreCard, BlogCatalog and MyBlogLog are all very simple to join and start networking with or using. They are all free so there's no sense in debating them, give them a try if you want readers! On the other hand, Squidoo is like building a new site or webpage so that will take you some time, but it can also provide additional income.
I also want to give a shout to 45n5.com for allowing the Monetizer onto its Top 100 Make Money Online blogs list. This has brought me a bit of traffic as well. According to stats the Google PR is 3, Alexa rank is 573,491 and Technorati of 331,293. I'm ranked amongst the up and coming 150 or so at #206. Only way to go is up from here!
I'll discuss Analytics a bit more in a future post as it's something I'm constantly exploring. If you don't have it installed yet for your blog or site, head over to Google Analytics and get the code for your site. It's a very valuable tool to have from the inception of your blog as it will tell you just about everything except what your visitors ate for breakfast. I recently discovered you can check stats on what visitors use most for web browsing and what sorts of connection types your visitors have (Cable, DSL, etc). It's scary how much you can know these days, but every bit of info will help you in building your blog and expanding your audience.
On a side note I'm not seeing much at all coming from BlogRush. This is perplexing, seeing as I had a good number of referrals for it. I believe that the bigger blogs with more traffic are gaining the most from the widget so far. It's just a theory but it makes sense as they would get a lot of referrals which allows their headlines to show more often. So at this point, it may not favor newer blogs as much. I may give it a bit longer, but if I don't see much improvement, that space is much needed on the left sidebar.
Monetizer had built up a rather sizable Myspace profile for another blog he authors. In doing so the traffic benefits, networking and pimp-ability of a Myspace profile were really helpful in building a good deal of traffic, PageRank and RSS subscribers on a well-performing monetized blog. However, Myspace seems to get stricter and stricter as time goes by. That dude Tom who wears the same white T-Shirt repeatedly doesn't seem to realize one important thing:
"The members of your website are the ones providing you with all the pages and traffic."
Now granted Myspace is a free site where you can set up a profile as some internet real estate. Some people even sell their profiles which have thousands of friends. But for some reason Tom and the "powers that be" of Myspace don't like people using links on their pages or in bulletins these days. They instituted a "mslinks" that transforms your links into these, sending clickers to where else? Myspace. Links will work on your personal Myspace blog entries though. It makes sense they want to cut down spam, but disabling links so heavily seems a bit too much. Additionally, you'd think Myspace would be taking notes from other sites that reward their members. Give incentives beyond just "get into a free Myspace concert if we invite you". How about a cut of the dividends that Google and other ads are paying Myspace? After all as previously mentioned your members are making all those pages for the ads to sit on and your members are driving viewers to the pages/ads.
Ok enough bashing of Myspace, hopefully they will wise up in the coming months. The main theme here is the idea of utilizing many social media platforms or networks in marketing your blog(s). Myspace could delete your profile at any time, ruining all the networking you've done. You can also get hacked their rather easily it seems, especially if your building a huge network of friends. Facebook seems to offer a nice safe haven, so the Monetizer is slowly building up a network of friends there now. It appears you can request maybe 50 people a day, then you get a "Slow down" message. I read somewhere you can only have 5,000 total friends there, but I'm unsure if this is really a rule. On Myspace you can have thousands or friends, or billions of friends if you're Tom.
Facebook offers you the ability to leave a message for all of your friends and then their friends will see it as well. That makes it a very powerful tool for grabbing traffic. You can also create groups and build networks there, or even make money via the Facebook flyers or Apps. So logically, Myspace better be taking serious notes and re-vamping their concept, or Facebook is gonna steal their thunder..
I've also discovered this new blog, which claims it will teach you how to make money on Facebook, so I'm anxious to read the new ideas.
"Drop Yours" is the motto for EntreCard, the new blogging business card endeavor launched by Graham Langdom. Graham's also responsible for the Million Dollar Wiki, which has sold about 1,050 pages. Now he brings this new idea to the blogosphere, which allows you to exchange your business card with other bloggers, build credits, charge people to advertise on your site and more. You earn credits by dropping off your EntreCard on participating blogs, or receiving cards on your own. The more cards you receive per day, the higher the "credit cost" to advertise on your blog.
The EntreCard website offers a very well done tutorial/informational video right on the front page which tells you all about how to use the site. It has a very futuristic feel to its presentation which is even cooler. It reminded me a bit of the hit Schwarzenegger movie "Total Recall" to be honest with you. Once you sign up, you can upload your 125x125 logo for your blog/business card. You put in your blog URL, title, description and choose the category that is best for your blog. Then you install some simple java code on your blog (currently there are 3 widget sizes to choose from) and presto! you're in business...ready to drop your card on blogs or receive cards from other blogs! There's a bunch more you can do with it, but the site does well to explain it all.
It's a novel idea and it was time for The Monetizer to jump on the bandwagon. Every new idea's worth a bit of a try just to see how well it does. BlogRush and WidgetBucks are two other ideas that I've been testing, so EntreCard will be added to the mix. Feel free to drop your card here so we can see how this goes! My EntreCard widget is located on the left sidebar down on the blog. (Note to self: Left sidebar is getting busy)
To sign up for yours, head over to Entrecard.com today. EntreCard - don't leave the blogosphere without it :)
(Update: As of today Monetizer has received a good early response using EntreCard and has bloggers advertising on here through 12/3/07! Feel free to drop your card off on the left side and network!)
No, no I'm far from a John Chow hater. In fact I'm a fan of Chow who loves to show pictures of the food he eats on his blog. I think that gives it a nice deviation from the norm. However while he likes $70 hamburgers, sometimes you have to live below your means in the interest of building your wealth. So here's a picture of a Thanksgiving meal that can be had for just $1 on sale! Complete with Turkey, gravy, stuffing, peas and mashed potatoes. For a Google Adsense check you could give out 100 Turkey dinners at your place and turn it into a soup kitchen!
Now the point of this post is not to mock the less fortunate or John Chow. It's not a PayPerPost for Banquet microwave meals either :) Just to keep with the theme that you can always save money if needed. The Monetizer wishes a happy Thanksgiving to you and yours, and we'll all resume the moneymaking soon after we have recovered from the Triptofan nap attack!
(Note: These dinners weren't part of the recent recall. Con Agra is back to making the Banquet pot pies that were part of a Salmonella outbreak. The recall cost an estimated $30 million.)
Since joining PayPerPost I've done about 3 sponsored posts here on the Monetizer blog. On Tuesday, they sent a nice note to Monetizer that a particular post just needed two linked text items inserted and then to resubmit. I did this promptly. But today I received the following message from the site:
"Hello, Thanks for submitting your post to us for review. Unfortunately, we’re going to have to reject this one as it appears you have back to back PayPerPost posts, [How I Bought $76 of Gas with PayPaltitle] & [Use Clever Tactics but Keep Your Rep Up]. As mentioned in the Terms of Service, “PayPerPost posts may not appear consecutively on your blog. Because you do have back to back PPP posts, we apologize you will not be able to resubmit this one for review. Terms of Service, “each PayPerPost post must be immediately preceded and immediately followed by at least one non-sponsored, original content post”. Because you have back to back sponsored posts, we do apologize that you will not be able to resubmit this post. Victor"
I'm quite a bit puzzled over this as the two blog entries referenced above were original content and weren't sponsored by any means. I'm baffled over who would sponsor my discussion of having $76 put on hold on my PayPal card when buying gasoline. Either way, I have a ticket to customer support to inquire as to how the posts mentioned are sponsored by PayPerPost. If they are I'd love the money in my PayPal :) Has anyone else run into this problem?
I've also been hearing that Google is starting to penalize blogs that do PayPerPost entries or ReviewMe entries. Maybe this rejection notice is just a clever sign in disguise. Even though Monetizer previously mentioned knowing the rules when you make money online sometimes those rules can be quite confusing!
SEO is one thing the Monetizer is far from an expert in, but I know a thing or two about what it takes. It's a constant learning process with the various tools, tricks and techniques to get your site optimized so the search engines will pick your entries up and bring them to more people's attention. Well wouldn't it be great to get $400 worth of SEO for your blog free of charge? Well now you can, thanks to ContestBlogger.com and Freezing Hot, a pro SEO company. The Contest Blogger site brings you the chance to win the following, courtesty of Freezing Hot:
Freezing Hot, an Internet marketing company specializing in small business seo and ppc management, is running a contest and giving away a search engine optimization package worth $400 to the winner. Check out the contest on their internet marketing blog and subscribe to the RSS feed. And be sure to check out Contest Blogger, the number one source for prizes and free samples.
Included in the $400 prize are the following:
* A 5-hour SEO site audit with full report
* Keyword research
* 10 one-way text links ( a 1 month rental) with Page Rank 3 or higher
* 2 Squidoo lenses
You can read about the contest in more detail at Contest Blogger's SEO Package for your blog contest.
Many individuals including bloggers and online entrepreneurs, may decide that it's time to turn their trade into a full-time business venture. Starting a business can seem quite overwhelming and complex, but there are online resources to help. An online resource is IncParadise.com, a site which will help you with several of the essential items you need to maintain and operate a business.
One way incparadise will help is by providing you with free forms such as Pre-incorporation agreement, establishment of your company's bylaws, or minutes for shareholder meetings. Many novice business owners overlook the fact that regular shareholder meetings are essential to having a business, even if you are the only employee. The IRS can conduct an audit of your business and will require these documents. IncParadise.com will prepare company minutes for you at a charge of $20-$25. IncParadise will also provide you a TAX ID for your business at a charge of $25, and offers corporate kits at low prices. The kits allow for you to incorporate your business online through the appropriate state, for fees based on the state your business is in, plus their standard charge of $89.
Although its look is very simple, I found the site to be both helpful and informative about setting up a business and learned several new things I hadn't known before. The concept that a shareholder meeting is necessary for your business, was one essential thing I learned. The FAQ section at IncParadise also does a great job of explaining the differences between an LLC (Limited Liability Corporation) and an "INC" (standard Corporations). For the fees they offer to prepare your necessary documents or help you incorporate, they seem to be a valuable resource for the small business owner who is trying to dot their i's and cross all the t's for keeping their business running well.
A few things worth noting in the Make Money Online blogosphere. Some may be news to you, others you may have seen floating around already. First up, there is Entrecard, which is a new online initiative launched by Graham Langdon (creator of the Million Dollar Wiki).
In a nutshell, this is what Entrecard is:
"Entrecard is your business card 2.0. It's a 125x125 image which represents you and your blog. Its part advertisement, part business card. It comes with a widget you place on your blog, so that others can leave their Entrecard for you. You can also use Entrecard to promote your blog and launch free advertising campaigns."
The other big news this past week was that Google is changing how they pay for clicks. Google used to have it where a website viewer could click anywhere within the ad block and you the publisher would be paid. They now have switched it to website viewers must click on the ad title or URL link. This may not be the same for all size formats, but it could impact earnings for many publishers.
If you aren't aware of Contest Blogger, give it a look over and subscribe. The blog regularly presents all sorts of blog and website contests you can enter for great prizes. The most recent example is a $100 giveaway for a "Love Contest". All you need to do is link to the contest sponsor Romance Tracker with the text love. And it's for the love of money.
Also, congratulations are in order for BloggingZoom. It's a great new tool similar to Digg, but for those of us in the blogosphere. It recently zoomed into the 100,000 level for Alexa rank, which indicates the site is getting a heavy dose of traffic. Highly recommended for all bloggers, Zoom a blog article or two, it just might increase traffic and return visitors to your site!
Finally I'd like to make a bit of a plea to the owner/host of 45n5.com's "Top 100" Moneymaking blog list. The top 3 are Problogger, Shoemoney and John Chow, as expected. After the top 100, are the "up and comers" of the make money online blogging world. Monetizer has emailed a few times now asking politely to be included on the "up and coming list". Monetizer believes this blog qualifies for the top 234 listed there, so if you're reading 45n5 owner, hook me up!
A funny thing happened at the gas station the other night. Monetizer went to use the trusty PayPal debit/credit card after making a $120 sale on eBay. So there's over $120 in the PayPal account. Gas is not cheap and Monetizer decided to get just $4 worth to get around town for the next day until more money came in. Chose "debit" at the pump and got the whole gallon :) Afterwards, the plan was to go withdraw $120 and deposit it into the real checking account. Well lo and behold, the bank would not release that $120 from the PayPal debit card from the ATM!
Monetizer tried a second bank, since it was after 1 A.M. The second bank was also refusing the requests. Finally, the Monetizer headed back home and checked out what was going on online with the PayPal. Well it turns out, PayPal had put a hold on $76 for the gas station transaction of just $4! Frustrated, Monetizer searched the net and found an eBay forum where another guy had the same problem with a $30 transaction for gas, at an Exxon Mobile. He was charged $76 as well after his PayPal debit gas station purchase.
<---- a="" cash="" fuel="" how="" learn="" on="" save="" to="">!!---->
Turns out PayPal or the gas station does this to make sure you can cover the debit purchase. $76 does seem a bit steep though. Had Monetizer just done "Credit" rather than "Debit", this all would have been avoided. I emailed PayPal promptly about this and they emailed back the next day, then took the "hold" off my $76, releasing it back into the account. But it speaks largely to today's lesson on money. You need to be vigilant and know the rules for the moneymakers you use online, as well as other financial companies and sites you deal with or use (credit cards, your bank's fees, stock accounts, etc). Many of these places can be "sneaky" if you're not keeping a watchful eye.
A great example is of course Google Adsense. They frown upon invalid click impressions and for good reason. Studying the Google TOS is probably a great idea, because Monetizer has seen many newbies messing around and trying to get friends to "hook them up". That's a no no.
Some other programs have explicit and specific rules. For example, PayPerPost does not want you running Kontera contextual ads in the paid or sponsored posts you do. You'll need to use the special filter code seen here. On the flipside, ReviewMe.com allows you to run Kontera.
Most importantly, I wanted to bring the $76 charge from PayPal to everyone's attention. Gas is already expensive enough. If you're going to use your PayPal debit/credit card for filling up with gas, choose credit ;) Or, just withdraw all your money from every account you own and hide it under your mattress. It seems safer in today's internet-driven world.
According to the calendar today, there's approximately 40 shopping days until Christmas day hits us. Even less shopping days if you, your friends or family celebrate any other upcoming holiday. Many of us, the Monetizer included, like to wait until the last minute to buy our gifts for others. Probably the most popular way to get ahead and avoid mall crowds is by using online shopping to make your gift purchases. One way to save a good bit of money while doing your online holiday shopping is through the use of the CouponChief site.
CouponChief.com is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coupon Chief, Inc. Their main goal is to provide a one stop coupon deal and discount resource for visitors to their website. They also have a strong focus on customer support and providing up to date coupon codes and promotional deals and discounts to you.
CouponChief provides you with a great variety of online shopping coupons to help save some money at many top retailers online. Examples of retailers you can save with include online retailers such as eToys, Best Buy and Kohl's. With the Kohl's coupon you can save 10% off your entire online order. The Best Buy coupons currently offers 15% off on select accessories with select home audio and video products. There's also several Dell coupons available to help you save on that LCD TV you wanted (it's ok to shop for yourself too).
Give CouponChief a look if you're trying to save some money with your online holiday shopping, as we seem to be moving faster and faster to the holidays!
All it takes is a little creativity to boost your blog's popularity or traffic levels. Using a contest, a catchy blog entry or something that hasn't been seen before online can usually give your blog an increased interest level. It's something to consider implementing, but always use tactics very carefully.
For example, there was the "Great RSS Battle" between Shoemoney and John Chow. While it was a friendly battle between the two top bloggers, it also benefited them both quite a bit. They gained a LOT more subscribers overall no matter who the winner was. The Monetizer was already subscribed to both of them, so it was a no contest here. But the point is, they were able to use a contest amongst them to really stir things up with friendly competition. You can do that with your own blog, depending on the subject matter. For example, if you blog about the NFL or another sport, why not have a friendly 'Pick Em'" contest against a fellow blogger. Each of you would of course give credit to the other on your respective blogs with a link to their blog and discuss your predictions. You could do this on other topics as well, but things with predictions (sports, Entertainment awards, etc) are usually an easy and good natured contest.
John Cow, which is considered a spoof of the John Chow blog also had a neat tactic recently. One day he blogged about making sure you back up your blog entries, a very important thing for us all to remember. About a day later, the blog post read "H4acked", indicating Turkish Data Processing Military had taken the Cow blog over. The tactic was to show people just what might happen should you not have your blog backed up. Bloggers blogged about the "security breach" too, so it helped John Cow quite a bit. And John Cow was able to teach readers the valuable lesson he wanted to illustrate in a creative way on his blog (as well as make 1 easy blog post called "H4cked").
Tactics of course should not be unscrupulous. For example there was a recent controversy over someone impersonating John Chow to email John Cow about a new RSS promotion. The fakers were promising to "sell RSS subscribers" to blogs that wanted to up their feed counts. Gary Conn discusses how being a fake can hurt you over at his blog. Impersonating a bigtime blogger is no way to jumpstart your blog, your business or your reputation online. This sort of tactic will only hurt you because it will damage your reputation and possibly result in civil or criminal penalties.
Bottom line: Use creative tactics, but tread carefully because your blog's reputation is at stake.
Good news as the Monetizer has officially been approved for payperpost after signing up about a week ago. The main reason I recommend this site is because it's a great opportunity to add another income source to your blog. With PayPerPost you can choose payed blogging opportunities to review and write about various services, sites and products. Once you sign up and have your blog approved, you will be able to log-in and check their bulletin board for any open opportunities to you. These can range in payment from $5 up to $200 or so! Some of the top bloggers featured on the PayPerPost home page have made as much as $18,000 with the program. You may consider adding this to your income sources as well, as it will provide you with new things to write about, all while getting paid!
Please keep in mind some general guidelines if you plan to sign up for PayPerPost. First, you will want to have your blog up and running for a good three months. Also, it's a good idea to have two plus posts or entries per page of your blog. Finally, make sure that you have a very clear and easy-to-find "Archives" section on your blog. The side column is usually a good spot for this. Following these rules and continuing to add quality content to your blog on a regular basis should help you to get approved for the PayPerPost program.
I encourage others to sign up for PayPerPost as it can increase your online money making and provide you with even more topics to blog about. Once you sign up you can take your first easy opportunity, just like this. All you have to do is blog about PayPerPost, then get payed $20. Easy money made!
Time for some Motivation. The Monetizer was reviewing a favorite DVD recently, "Michael Jordan to the MAX". The DVD, which was meant to be watched on IMAX screens, chronicles the success of legendary NBA player, Michael Jordan. Most importantly it looks at his failures and struggles, such as not making the basketball team in High school, losing his father, and his later attempts to play baseball. It shows how these struggles defined him though and made him even better at what he was trying to accomplish in life. This DVD holds some serious messages that can really help you in your online success or life success in general.
1) Turn your weaknesses into strengths - Jordan was criticized early in his NBA career as a poor shooter and poor defender. He worked tirelessly and turned these into major strengths. MJ actually became one of the best defenders in the league, and as many of us know he's one great shooter, hitting a lot of game winning shots. Look at the things you don't feel you are doing well to make money online. Is it SEO? Is it your blog's design, or getting more readers? Perhaps its HTML and CSS code you want to learn. Strive to learn all you can in these areas because we can learn so much for free on the internet. There's no excuse not to become smarter when you have a free tool in front of you to learn from.
2) Don't be afraid to try - Jordan turned to baseball after he left basketball. He did this mostly to honor his father, James Jordan who had been tragically murdered. Jordan's father suggested MJ give it a try towards the end of his career. We all know MJ didn't have nearly the same success in this sport, but the message in the Spike Lee/Nike ads was "yeah but he's trying". So the message you can take away here: Don't be afraid to try new moneymaking ideas or ventures. You may fail, but you don't know if you don't try.
3) Use negative emotions to push you - Jordan makes a very good point early in the movie that not making the Varsity basketball team his Junior year of High School really hurt him. It hurt him to the point he lost control of emotions and actually said to himself "I don't ever want to feel this sort of hurt/pain again". And he made sure to put in the work and effort to become the type of player who would never be cut from a team. You can do the same. Use negative comments to drive you to work harder and make your blog better (although some negative comments are just people trying to bring others down). Use the fact you aren't making money like you want to drive you to do what you can to make more. It's a very valuable lesson when put into practice that can really help push you forth to do your best.
4) Make a comeback - You may have left a blog because you felt it was just time to go. It may have been a blog topic you were passionate about, but you left it because it didn't seem to be doing anything for you. However, just like MJ made his grand comeback to basketball, you too can make that comeback to your blog project. The difference is maybe that blog was never a star performer, but then refer to #1 and #3 above, and they make sense. The Monetizer runs several blogs and while they become tiring to maintain, they are still subjects the Monetizer feels passionate about. If you like to write, it's never a problem to make a return to a blog! Put your energy into it using the above 3 strategies and see if you can make it even better!
If you're an NBA or basketball fan, Monetizer highly recommends Michael Jordan to the MAX, mostly because Michael Jordan is a basketball God and this is one of the best retrospectives of his career. Also, it holds the above keys to motivate you in your life and sticking it into the DVD player just might inspire you!
Jordan also fits the similar mold of rap stars who are making mad money. He become a mega brand which is widely recognized and started to expand with more and more products.
Read more about "4 Lessons Rappers Teach Us About Moneymaking".
The following is a paid review for Terapeak.com, which provides free eBay research data. With the holidays approaching fast, everyone needs quick ways to get some extra cash. One of the best ways to build up some extra spending money is via the use of eBay to sell old items and collectibles you might not be using anymore. Or selling items you find at garage sales and yard sales.
Terapeak is a website offering free research data to help make the most of your Ebay sales. According to the company website, they are established as the leader for Ebay research and the only company to focus exclusively on it. The site even includes video and written testimonials from satisfied customers. The videos seemed to come from a busy convention of some sort, making some of them inaudible. However, the fact that this is a free tool to help you make money with eBay can't be overlooked.
Here's the free services you'll get with Terapeak:
- Find the best time of day, day of week, or month for your eBay item sales.
- Price your items for success.
- Choose the best keywords for your titles.
- Know when to list with Buy It Now or for Auction.
I decided to test Terapeak with a search for "ipod nano", and it generated quite a bit of helpful info. Of course this may not be the best term as iPod nano seemed to bring up some other listings including an Apple MacBook which included a Nano in the deal. Once you enter your search item term, you are taken to a very comprehensive screen full of data and graphs/charts. One thing you can check out is which Ebay "Listing Promotions" had the best percentage of sales for the iPod Nano. According to the data, using "Bold" and "Subtitles" actually gave a higher sell through rate for the iPod overall. Checking out the keyword section revealed that having "4gb" in your item listing or title gave it a higher sales price which is to be expected as it is a higher storage capacity. It was interesting to see the time of day receiving highest bid amounts for "ipod" was 6 to 7am or 1 to 2am. Auctions which ran for 10 days on eBay did the best for iPod and Sunday was the best day to end your auction, as it received the highest final sales price/bid.
Each of the 7 data sections are expandable and collapsible and provides you a bar chart display option. You can also click on various filters for your items. For example, with the iPod Nano you may want to limit your search data to only listings from the electronics section of eBay. Below your research data you are also shown 25 ended eBay auctions for the item. Clicking any of them will take you to the actual eBay auction page for that item. It was hard to tell how these particular auctions were chosen as some had end dates as far back as October 30th and none of them seemed close to the present day (Closest ended auction was 11/04). Terapeak offers a decent "Help" section as well, which includes FAQ's on using the site, and 7 video tutorials which show you how to perform research there.
Terapeak will profit from their paid memberships for the site which gives you even more features than the free version. You will be able to look at eBay data which goes 90 days back versus the 30 days you get for free. Also paying seems to allow you to export and save the research data you find, whereas you can only email it for free. The paid membership pricing is $24.95 a month per eBay site you want research for (the US, UK, Australia, Canada, France and Denmark eBay sites). Or you can pay $39.95 per month to be able to perform research on all 6. This may be helpful to those already making good money on eBay, but those looking for a low budget way to do eBay research it's probably best to take advantage of their free services.
As a website, Terapeak has an easy going site and calm blue design that is simple to navigate through. I found the data to be very comprehensive for a free service. They also offer a nice extra section showing the eBay 10 Best sellers in Movies, Albums, Video Games and Books. This section is also free and just might be helpful to those looking for items to sell on eBay, or even those looking to get more out of AuctionAds. You can also add these top 10 lists to your own site or blog as Terapeak offers java code for each.
Overall, Terapeak seems like a helpful and powerful free tool which pulls together a lot of useful eBay data. You can view the site for Terapeak at http://www.terapeak.com.
Crucialwebhost.com is really in the holiday gift giving mood. They are running a "$4,000 Crucial Contest" over on their website and have some pretty nice gifts to give away. There will be six winners in the contest and here's the cool prizes you can try for:
- Xbox 360 Elite + Assassin’s Creed game
- A new logo design, courtesy of David Airey
- 5 years of our Split-Shared hosting, a $600 value
- Custom Wordpress theme for your blog
- $100 Adwords Campaign
- Website Critique along with 12 months of hosting
An Xbox 360 would be a nice early Christmas gift! How to enter is explained on their site's "$4,000 Crucial Contest" post. Basically you can increase your chances by signing up for their RSS or Email subscriber form, blogging about the contest (like this), and signing up for various programs or hosting. The prizes are too cool to pass up!
According to Crucial, the deadline for entries is Wednesday, December 5, 2007, and the winners will be announced there on Monday, December 10, 2007. Winners will be drawn using a random generator.
Six winners will be picked and, going in order, will choose which prize they want. If you win a prize that doesn’t suit your needs, you could always run your own giveaway to create some buzz for your website and give extra thanks to the sponsors.
Head over to the "$4,000 Crucial Contest" and get your entries in!
Yes folks, there is money to be made online. Monetizer wanted to let you in on some of the extra "minor income" (non-Adsense) made during October 2007. This income report comes as the result of a previous post, "Sites that Haven't Payed Monetizer But Will".
The Monetizer signs into various accounts to check on things regularly and was pleasantly surprised to see the Payout threshold was surpassed on Squidoo! The following message was nicely displayed on the lensmaster dashboard:
Squidoo - $18.32 earned (over a few months)
"YOUR ROYALTIES (09/01/2007 to 09/30/2007)
Your previous balance + previous Refer-A-Friend bonuses = $5.04
Your new lens earnings this period = $13.28
Total earnings = $18.32!
So, here's how you're spending your $18.32...
$18.32 will be sent to you via PayPal within a day or two (you reached your Cash Payout Threshold, congrats!)."
Not even 15 minutes after seeing this, Monetizer received an email saying Squidoo had just payed out to PayPal:
"Note: Zippideedooda, zippideeay, my oh my, today is payday! Here are your Squidoo royalties earned during September 2007. "
So now I'm rich :) Not too shabby for a bit of promotion work last month. It goes to show if you set enough good Squidoo lenses and they were getting decent traffic, you might stand to generate some nice extra passive income. The Squidoo lenses are a nice promotional tool as well for anything you are selling or promoting.
Here's the rest of the Minor Income Report for October:
Cash Crate - $16 in October, just from surveys. The best way to benefit from this program is by referrals, and hoping your referrals are active participants. Many people are lazy, self included at times, so this one takes some motivated people! However you could basically earn money with Cash Crate to buy a domain name or start web hosting!
Clickbank - a sale of $23.50 or so was made. The only problem here as previously described, it was a credit card sale, and they have interesting rules regarding payout where you need 1 VISA and 1 Mastercard transaction, and 5 total credit card sales in order to get payed. If it had been a Paypal payment, Monetizer would be payed.
Associated Content - almost $60 total - Thanks again to DayJobNuker for this one. Monetizer earned closed to $60 in October for uploading older blog articles and taking on a few new opportunities. Usually your payout is from $3.20 to $6 based on the article, with $4 being the average payout. But to their credit this site pays out within 3 business days of accepting an article. Not a bad turnaround time at all!
Adding those up it's over $100 made from just these 4 programs. All of these did involve some work though, and the Monetizer can't always put in a ton of time on them, otherwise he'd be spreading himself too thin! This also doesn't account for Adsense earnings through other blogs the Monetizer does. This is mainly to illustrate the "other" moneymakers from last month.
But this post serves to show you that you can earn income online in more ways than just blogging or Google Adsense. While these numbers aren't exactly "ballin'" type numbers as my friend would say, they definitely indicate the possibilities given more work and effort!
So where to go from here? Monetizer is awaiting word on a recent PayPerPost application status as well as keeping an eye on ReviewMe.com for review opportunities. In addition, AuctionAds is coming close to a payout. But the important message here is that adding more income sources can only serve to boost your overall $$$$!
(Note: 73 cents has been earned for about 8,000 pts at GuessNow.com. It's not a terribly tough way to make money, as you can breeze through giving predictions on 40 or more questions a day. Also, about 71 cents has been earned at Associated Content for article page views. You get $1.50 per 1000 views there making it a bit of "passive income".)
Getting traffic to your blog is always a tough process, however with the right initiatives it's highly possible. It's also possible to do it for free, using the right strategies. Here are 10 ways The Monetizer has found that are great for bringing traffic to your website or blog. Try to put these into practice for your own blog promotional plan and see if you might increase your traffic and subscriber base.
1) Join BlogCatalog.com - As well as MyBlogLog and BlogTopList. However if you were to choose just 1 of these 3, go with BlogCatalog. Submit your blog info on the site and make sure it gets approved and displays on your profile before you start adding friends. You want your blog and RSS feed to be appearing on your profile before you start to get superbusy making friends. Once you're set up, you can add friend after friend on a daily basis, and it will bring people through (other bloggers mostly) to check out your blogs (using simple clicks on their Add Friend button). You can just go click crazy, add a friend then add a friend off their friends and so forth down the line. Aim for 25-100 per day and you will probably notice traffic and RSS subscriptions go up.
2)Add the BlogRush Widget - This really isn't a proven heavy traffic bringer, and you really have to set it up just right. On one hand you want a catchy title always displaying on other blogs, so that people will be curious enough to come over to your blog. But on the other hand, you're displaying a widget and it just might show a title sending people off your blog. It's a catch 22, but done properly it just may help your site. Sign up for BlogRush here.
3) Myspace or Facebook - With both of these you can build a nice looking profile and start finding friends on the sites who may be interested in your topic(s). Monetizer is just starting to tinker with Facebook, and it is really being talked up lately as having a lot of traffic and daily views. It may trump Myspace at some point. But if you can amass a large network of friends on either, you then have the ability to send bulletins to everyone (announce a great new blog post) as well as set up groups, distribute Facebook Flyers (not free) and more. Imagine having a Myspace profile with 1000's of friends, and being able to broadcast a catchy bulletin which many will see, linking to your blog post. Should bring a nice bit of traffic to your blog.
4) Submit to Search Engine Directories - In the previous post the Monetizer reviewed the Directory Submitter software. You can download a free demo copy and submit your site to about 200-300 directories. Some will have specific requirements and if you're doing the free submissions, they may take weeks or months to even list you. Starting now makes sense, as it's a great way to provide backlinks to your site, which is something Google loves.
5) Post on Forums - You want to join relevant forums for your blog topic and if they allow it a cool looking banner type signature for your site will usually attract people. Monetizer believes a lot of web users are visual, so seeing a cool, catchy banner will bring clicks. Become active and post responses on several forum threads and your site should get noticed. You may decide to look for the threads which have a high number of views and responses to post in as your banner will certainly catch more viewers' attention there.
6) Join and Submit Content to BLoggingZoom - Monetizer discussed the new site BloggingZoom here. This is a community built for us bloggers and they allow you to submit your own blog entries as much as you want. It's much like Digg as you get "Zooms" on your submitted items that people like. Popular items get displayed on the main page. The folks behind this site also claim they are going to work their butts off to help search engines find the content submitted. A pretty cool deal. There's an article by one blogger who went from relatively few hits on his blog, to over 200 in a day, so it definitely can help.
7) Submit an article to article directories - It's recommended you have 1 really clever or informative "pillar" type article on your blog. Maybe use it as one of your early entries too, such as a key definition list for your topic, or some serious research. You can download a free tool much like the Directory Submitter, yet it's for submitting to article directories. A great way to get your content out there and many of the article directories allow you to place your links for your sites along with the article. The other cool thing here is you can join associatedcontent.com, and submit the article and possibly make a small bit of money if they offer to pay for your material.
8) Comment on related Blogs - You see this a lot, but it's a great idea to leave comments on other blogs within the same topic category or niche as your blog. If the other blog gets a lot of visits, viewers may see your comment and head over to check out your blog. Also, the blog authors will tend to drop by to see who's commenting. This is assuming you are able to link to your blog when you leave a comment. (note: try to stay away from putting your link in the comment body, do it in the title area if possible)
9) Create an E-Book PDF or other item - This one takes the most time and work of the options here. The idea is to create a PDF full of valuable content related to what you blog about, and offer it as a free download on your site. Or create a cool banner graphic or widget such as a flash countdown timer to an event. Make sure you have your URL link to your blog listed in either the PDF or other item you make. If the item is good, word of mouth/buzz can spread like wildfire and get traffic to your blog. Friends will give the e-book PDF to other friends, which features your link. Monetizer recommends if you don't have MS Office, there is OpenOffice.org which is a free type of Office you can download and create PDF's with.
10) Use other social media - Beyond just Facebook and Myspace, sites like Digg.com and StumbleUpon are considered biggies. Also look into Squidoo, reddit, Sphinn, Furl and hi5. But there's a ton more and you shouldn't just stop at having your blog promoted and represented on a few social media sites. The more the merrier!
You may consider this list redundant as many other "How to Blog" blogs and "Moneymaker" blogs discuss several of these. However these above strategies are things the Monetizer has seen traffic come as a result of and believes you can as well. The two best ways so far have been via BlogCatalog and Myspace. Monetizer also realizes there's more than just those two ways and that Search Engine love is what can really help your site do well.
In the world of online moneymaking, the Monetizer has learned a very valuable lesson we all should heed: "if it doesn't seem worth the money being made, then forget it". Case in point would be paid survey sites and those paid blogging sites. Both are nice opportunities to get a "bit" of extra money, but let's be realistic, if a site asks you to blog about a dry topic you just can't get a feel for, is it worth $10 or $20? Also, if a survey is taking you over 30 minutes to do and paying under a dollar, is it worth it? Most likely not. In either case you might be better off working a half hour extra at a real job :)
The best sources of online income seem to be the one everyone loves, passive income. The type where you've set up a site, it gets search engine love and visits keep on coming. Affiliate marketing and sales would rank as numero uno for this, where you build sites designed just to promote a product and receive a percent commission of its sale. Other examples of some small passive income would be two sites the Monetizer has mentioned, Squidoo and Associated Ccontent. Both can earn you moeny while you're away from them. Squidoo will give you a share of their Adsense revenue, if your lens page happens to be doing well. Associated Content will give you $1.50 for every 1,000 page views one of your submitted articles gets. It's not a ton of money, but if you did a timeless article on AC, you may benefit from long term income sources there. Submitting a ton of articles and making a ton of Squidoo sites could add up though. These are also both ways to promote your site as well. On each you can place links back, and on Squidoo you can go as far as to include your RSS feeds.
Deciding whether you want to put more effort into aggressive income like blogging versus setting up sites for passive income such as affiliate sales should be a major moneymaking consideration.
You also have to weigh the following when starting a moneymaking blog:
1) Do you start off with a free blog site from the get go, gauge how well it is performing, and then move to a hosted domain?
2) Do you partner up and find people to help make your site even better? Do you pay for site design and how much should you spend?
3) Do you eventually sell your site once it's built up a big following and traffic levels? How much is realistic to even ask for?
Almost every major blogger will tell you with question #1 to make sure you get that self-hosted domain from the start. Trust me it's something I'm learning the hard way about with another blog that has built up a decent following. Sometimes you may want to start from the ground up though, and maybe going with Wordpress from the start before hosting makes most sense. With #2 above, you usually can do well just finding free templates for your blog and waiting until you're making the money to afford a better site design. And with #3 selling your blog, sure who wouldn't want to pull some cash off a blog or site? The problem with #3 though is you usually will become attached to a blog or site you've done. It's your brainchild and your creation, so it will be a tough decision to wrestle with. Blogging Fingers recently was sold for $6000 though and quite honestly most of us would take an extra $6000 for a site we created. However, figuring out what your blog is worth can be a bit complex too.
So when you first start up any blog, you may way to consider the 3 questions above. If you're looking to make money from the project, you'll want to weigh the risks and rewards and consider the best strategy for your particular blog topic.
This isn't a slam against any of the following moneymaker programs and it's not a "break their kneecaps" type threat by the Monetizer either. In fact it's more of a testimony to the fact that there's other programs and ways you can use to make money online besides big old Google Adsense. In a previous post Monetizer mentioned online programs that have payed out, including Adsense which is a steady earner. Even though Adsense is tried and true, there exists other programs that tend to bring in some extra loot, and probably work well if you set them up and tweak them right. Here's 4 more online moneymakers where Monetizer hasn't been payed, but will because there's a threshold to be met. Each item will include the Anticipated Time for Payment or "ATP".
1) AuctionAds - Monetizer actually likes this program and believes it could do well if used with the right niches. In fact, here's a few ideas. Video game blog/sites or technology sites will probably do very well with this. If you're a video game-aholic or techie you probably like to get cool new stuff and find good deals on it. The Monetizer does and confesses to buying video games used off Ebay. It makes sense to buy a game used for $20 or less rather than full price. That said, you'd best believe there are others out there who want video games off Ebay. Same goes for tech toys, like computer accessories. Building a blog or website around either topic makes a great deal of sense.
Monetizer is close to AuctionAd's threshold of $50, mostly due to their $25 signup bonus they start you with. However not many people will complain with another $50 coming their way. The main issue Monetizer is seeing is that AuctionAds does not show you much in the way of your stats for referral earnings. Referrals seem to help too with this one, and as mentioned above if you developed one of those type sites you probably will see good AuctionAds results.
ATP - Within the next month or so Monetizer should hit the threshold for the first payout of $50.
2) Kontera - It may take as many as 5-6 more months before the Monetizer achieves their $100 threshold, but again nobody complains when getting some extra income. This is a PPC contextual advertising program and it's allowed to run with Adsense. Now this advertising program would earn better from high traffic sites, as John Chow makes mention of earning $1000 with this program in October 2007. Mr. Chow also explains how you can sign up for Kontera through him, even if you're a smalltime blogger. There have been some people who have complained Kontera hurts their Adsense earnings, but if you're doing things right and well, having additional moneymakers can never hurt. Kontera is an easy way to add another steady moneymaker to your site.
ATP - Within the next 5 to 6 months unless a traffic explosion occurs.
3) Squidoo - This one allows you to set your threshold wherever you want it, even like a dollar payout. Monetizer's is set to $10, and I'm over halfway there. The earnings come via shared revenue from the site's Adsense ads they run, or if you place Ebay, Amazon and other products on your site that are purchased. You get more of the share of Squidoo's Adsense earnings the more successful your Lens pages are. The share amount is based on another one of those formulas where we all get to wonder about how they divvy it up. It's a fun site though and most likely you can earn well by placing referrals and affiliate links on your Squidoo lenses (such as Clickbank below). So merely looking at the Squidoo earnings you get a share in won't tell you the whole story of how much money you've made from the site. Monetizer had a successful campaign though and nearly hit the top 100 Squidoo lenses (maxed out at #122). This may mean the revenue share achieved for October pushes Monetizer to the payout threshold of $10.
ATP - Maybe this month or next? Overall it took a good 4-5 months with several lenses to generate just $5-10 (plus a Clickank sale shown below). Getting your lenses a lot of traffic and ranked in the top 100 lenses can definitely bring you a higher revenue share on the site though.
4) Clickbank - This is a moneymaker the Monetizer hasn't discussed much yet, but one that many people swear by. Clickbank allows you to pitch and promote affiliate programs of all types from downloadable e-books on making money to diet programs to memberships for MP3 and movie sites. You earn a commission sometimes as much as 75% of the product price. Referring back to Squidoo, Monetizer hadn't tinkered with Clickbank's affiliate program all that much beyond sticking some links on Squidoo lenses. Lo and Behold on a random log in, a sale had been made with a commission of $26 for a product.
The sale came from a link placed on a Squidoo lens nonetheless, and the product wasn't even heavily promoted there beyond a link and simple line description. Now the caveat with this is that Clickbank would pay that $26 out if it had been a PayPal purchase. However, they seem strict with paying out for Credit card transactions and have a rule indicating you need at least one Mastercard and one Visa transaction and a total of 5 credit card transactions to get a payment. If you get a PayPal buy though, you're good. Monetizer added several more links onto Squidoo lenses just to see what it may bring, as the Clickbank affiliate site has been touted by many all across the net as a great way to get income.
ATP - Could be next month, or could take a few months depending on how much more the Monetizer tests this one out. However with enough work and effort put into this one, the Monetizer can see and has seen others talk about its ability to provide a nice online income.
To sum things up, the four moneymakers above are ones that the Monetizer has not spent a lot of time testing and tweaking, with maybe the exception of AuctionAds. However they should be paying out in the future and Monetizer never turns down extra income. Squidoo and Clickbank definitely appear to be some interesting moneymakers, as they could bring you some great passive income when you're least expecting it. Kontera and AuctionAds are great secondary moneymakers to use along with the granddaddy of them all, Adsense. Depending on how much work and effort you put in, you could see even better results yourself with any of these four.
(Note: The Monetizer plays to audition again for PayPerPost as of November 6th, the official 90 day anniversary of this blog)
How many times have you seen those lemonade stands as you're driving down a backroad on a hot, sunny day? Perhaps you even stopped out of admiration for the kid's entrepreneurial spirit and spent a buck or two just to make them feel richer (or you really were thirsty). Maybe you even had your own stand when you were a kid and made a few bucks and felt like King of the World from it. Or maybe you had other business ventures as a kid such as snow shoveling or mowing your neighbors' lawns. The Monetizer recalls having his parents buy candy in bulk from those wholesale warehouse places and then selling it to sweet-tooth kids on the school bus. I was making money, based on the resale and the fact I never bought the candy in the first place :) It's that sort of young, entrepreneurial mindset that can really take your places though. Some have even found income-producing and easy ways for kids to make money for themselves.
How about the kid who earned $20 an hour from a lemonade stand? Yes it's true, Tyler Dikman was able to do that, and now he runs a few multi-million dollar companies, including CoolTronics a company that helps deliver and setup computers. He bought a Rolex and Infiniti J30 using cash, and hired a maid to clean his room while he was just a teenager in high school. What makes him so impressive is that he went above and beyond the typical lemonade stand, using techniques such as dressing up the stand itself to make it even more attractive, offering other items for sale such as Cracker Jacks and a Gumball machine, and offering diet/low cal varities of lemonade for sale. He had the mindset to go with new ideas and expand upon something simple. You can see just how smart kids are some times.
Monetizer mentioned a few good books to read by younger business minds back from the Monetizer's Recommended Reading List. One is Cameron Johnson and the other is Farrah Gray. Two more examples of young moneymaking prodigies. Cameron was setting up his own stationary business and selling Beanie Babies in bulk out of his parents' home. Farrah was selling painted rocks as doorstops door to door in his neighborhood, then developed a business group for kids, followed by speaking engagements. These kids knew the art of business and networking and had a creative passion that drove them to succeed. These stories always interest the Monetizer and you can definitely take valuable lessons away from them. Most importantly is the notion that kids tend to have a more carefree, creative energy than most adults do. To expand on that, a child will put creative ideas into practice that maybe us adults are too serious and wound up to come up with or even try. It speaks a lot to the idea of "being a kid at heart".
This post was written based on seeing the Donny Deutsch "Big Idea" video over on John Chow's post. There's more than just a few of these type stories though and we can all take a page from these kids' books to set our own moneymaking ideas into full gear. Don't abandon your own creative ideas, even if they seem preposterous, because we're all really kids at heart. It's that creative energy and passion that can really provide the basis for some fun-filled and great moneymaking ventures.
One thing the Monetizer is always looking for is free and effective ways to promote blogs which in turn will help to generate more traffic, readers and subscribers. Thanks to Courtney Tuttle and crew, a new site has been unveiled that will help you do that, known as Blogging Zoom.
So what is Blogging Zoom? It's a social media/bookmarking site like Digg.com, but its better because it's built just for us bloggers. In fact, the only members allowed to join and use Blogging Zoom are blog owners. It's primarily aimed at helping bloggers get noticed so they don't have to fight with the big social media products such as Digg.com to get that much needed attention. You can submit your blog entries much like you do to other social sites, and receive "Zooms" rather than "Diggs". However, Zooms are coming from fellow bloggers.
Some of the great advantages you get with Blogging Zoom:
- You won't be penalized for submitting your own content, meaning you can submit your best blog entries to the site. You won't need to worry about being buried or ostracized like Digg might do to you (as long as you're not spamming on Zoom).
- Blogging Zoom is built for blog owners and nobody else. So if you dont have a blog you won't be a member. Bloggers tend to have each others' backs.
- The creators/owners of Blogging Zoom are SEO experts who will use that knowledge to help increase traffic and search engine rankings which can help your blog a LOT.
- Blogging Zoom will work diligently to report and eliminate Spammers. Technorati and Google Blog Search tend to be flooded by spam, but Blogging Zoom will not be.
- It provides you with a community to network with other bloggers. Remember the ideas of finding blogs relevant to yours so you can network, leave comments, gain backlinks and secure guest posters? Blogging Zoom should present some great opportunities to do all of those things.
It always remains to be seen what sorts of results you will get from a new site like this one but so far it's had a good amount of buzz. Blogging Zoom is in its infancy, but seems to be having positive reports already. Cash Quests blog has reported already that since joining it's given a nice traffic boost to the site. Courtney reported in a recap of Day One that the signups and visits to Blogging Zoom have been spiking upwards. By the way, Courtney really knows about SEO, blogging and internet marketing with experience working at an internet marketing firm, and runs quite the blog site as well. So the Monetizer has full faith in this new concept Courtney has helped launch for our benefit.
It really makes sense to get in on a free blogger-driven community like Blogging Zoom if you want to take your blog to new levels and gain traffic and readers. The Monetizer recommends signing up and submitting a few of your best recent or past blog entries to the site and see how it goes...It could prove smart to get in early on something like this, because it looks like it will grow into a very nice and helpful community for us bloggers.
Since The Monetizer frequents quite a few blogs around the blogosphere, thought it would be nice to share various news, older and newer for those who may be interested.
So just in case you missed it...
Shoemoney defeated John Chow in the "Great RSS Battle of October 2007".
BlogRush has finally unveiled a dashboard full of stats to view about your blog widgets.
WidgetBucks has announced that its Widgets load quicker now so your sites wont suffer as much from load time issues.
CourtneyTuttle and friends have unveiled a cool new blogger's bookmarking/social media type site, Blogging Zoom. which is built for the bloggers who want to get their blogs noticed and benefit more from SEO.
PayPerPost is now under IZEA
Amazon Associates is giving you 20% commission on any MP3 digital downloads you refer people to buy from Amazon (through December).
DayJobNuker was kicked out of a casino for bringing in a Boost shake.
The Boston Red Sox won the World Series with a 4 games to 0 sweep over the Colorado Rockies.
The NBA season is now underway.
Spider-Man 3 (2-Disc Special Edition) hit DVD this past week.
There are still ways for you to make money online.
When you decide to start a blog to generate income, going for cheap (aka FREE) is usually what most will quickly go for. Many upon many newbie bloggers will immediately choose Blogspot, because it's free, easy to use and customizable. And making money with no real investment besides time and effort is always nice. However most of the pro's will tell you that Blogspot is the last place to be if you want to get SERIOUS about making money with a blog. They almost all have the commonality of using Wordpress self-hosted blogs which basically develop into nice looking websites.
The Monetizer has seen decent income from a Blogspot hosted blog, just based on building a good social network to bring traffic in, as well as some other strategies. However, once you build something decent and you see the RSS subscriber count going up, and the Alexa and Page ranks increase, you start to think maybe it wasn't such a good idea to start there. Many advertising programs won't accept you if you're on the free blogspot sites. You can't add a forum or other add-ons for your blogsite. Also you find you spent a lot of work to promote a blog and get indexed, as well as an audience, just to move out on your own. And the biggest problem, Blogspot owns your blog, not you. Since they are hosting it, they could really decide to charge people for their blog service and storage space, or even delete all your hard work, at their discretion. However, you never can really gauge where you'll be in terms of success with a blog. It's always a guessing game and alot of risk taking. If you're a risk taker and a gambler, go for Wordpress.
Wordpress on its free hosting platform, doesn't allow Adsense and even says they will delete you for promoting products, affiliate links, etc (Monetizer managed to stick a few Amazon affiliate links in here or there). However, if you can afford it, then self-hosting Wordpress is what Monetizer recommends. It allows you an enormous amount of flexibility as you continue to grow your blog into a site and start branding it. Also once you own the blog/site you can put whatever you want on it (as long as you're not violating the TOS of various ad programs). Be prepared it will involve research and planning to use Wordpress self hosted. You want to make sure you get the installation done properly, your theme looking how you'd like and your overall organizational structure set up.
The pro's for Blogspot:
- For free it's the easier of the two blogging platforms to learn, setup and customize. It offers classic layouts or Widget based layouts which are quite easy for the not so tech-savvy blogger.
- In keeping with the above point, editing HTML and CSS tends to be just a tad bit easier using a Classic Blogger/Blogspot blog.
- Blogger blog entries may be indexed better and faster by Google search engine since Blogspot is now owned by Google. This isn't proven but makes good sense.
- Blogger allows for integration of Adsense and other affiliate links/programs, whereas Wordpress frowns upon that for its free blogging.
The cons for Free Blogspot:
- Blogspot can start charging you or eliminate your blog at their discretion. This isn't to say they just erase blogs, but they do have that power if they choose. Wordpress has these options too, but self-hosted blogs don't need to worry about it.
- The template designs you can use for Wordpress tend to be much more enticing and usually look more like websites than Blogspot templates.
- The plug-ins you can use for Wordpress are very, very nice.
- Some people argue that in terms of overall flexibility, Wordpress will always trump Blogspot blogs (free or not free).
Here's a couple (2006) articles comparing to the two blogging platforms as well:
Blogger vs. Wordpress 10 Features for Beginners
Battle of the Blogs: Blogger vs Wordpress
Monetizer Cliff Notes on the above articles: Wordpress wins over Blogger!
It's not impossible to move Blogspot blogs to Wordpress, in fact it's all layed out right here at "Ten Steps to Wordpress Nirvana". It appears from the ten steps given, that Blogspot will redirect traffic to your blog, which is quite helpful. You can also make sure RSS subscribers stay on point and that your feed stays connected to your new blog, so your blog doesn't lose current readers. However, keep in mind that when you move, Wordpress offers you the ability to have Posts and Pages, and you may need to really put in work to re-design your current theme and organizational structure. Once you're there on your own though, you can let your self-hosted blog soar to new heights! You may even consider doing the above steps and transferring your Blogspot blog to a free Wordpress blog first, so you can tweak your design and site organization behind the scenes before really going live on self-hosted.
If you're still using the free Blogspot service like the Monetizer you may want to change up your design a bit. There's some cool free templates available at these sites below. The Monetizer personally liked the selections at Mashable, including a snazzy iPhone blog template. Check it out:
50 More Beautiful Blogger Templates
Also, if you come up with any other pros or cons for either Wordpress or Blogspot blogs based on personal experience, feel free to share...