Google PageRank - From Hero to Zero?

Say it ain't so, but Google has made a recent Page Rank update which helps some, hurts others. Much has been blogged about the latest updates, with John Chow recently discussing those who benefited. Several high profile bloggers have gone up to 5's and 6's. Several bloggers penalized for doing PayPerPost and other sponsored reviews went from 0's to 3's. It appears as of today, the Monetizer who once enjoyed a PR of 3 has been "Google-slapped" as they call it, right down to the 0 mark.

I take all rankings in stride, even this PR one which is quite important. Page Rank is Google's view of the importance of your website, blog or individual pages within them. While I respect Google for its search engine traffic, Adsense, Analytics, G-Mail, and other great features, this drop in rank won't defeat The Monetizer. Most likely this is due to taking on more paid reviews, but let's face it, we all want to get paid right? Recent logins to PPP have revealed more "gray opportunities" which mean they would be available but were taken. There haven't been any recent green or white opportunities, but this could simply be other bloggers quickly snatching up the work. The page rank drop could also be due to not having enough link love out in the web to satisfy Google. Either way, this just proves I will have to work harder to re-establish the rank here. Google, the Monetizer has no hard feelings. I will still make my money... Fans of the Monetizer, don't take down the posters off your walls just yet.

The Alexa traffic rank is still doing well here, as it has seemingly increased steadily for months after this blog was started (Entrecard helps a tad). As of today it's at 355,000 mark. As for the 0 rank, I realize that success doesn't come without some failures and hard work. I also refer to the old fashioned cliche, "things can only go up from here!"

(Note: If anyone shows a PageRank besides 0 for this blog, please let me know..)


Make Money with Entrecard & eBay!

entrecard and ebay equals money online
Oh no, it's another Entrecard article! Well this has an interesting spin to it, in that you can actually profit from your "hard-earned" Entrecard credits. Basically there's been plenty of sales of the EC's done via the leading auction site online, eBay. Smart bloggers now realize that purchasing these otherwise free credits can help them establish their blog through cheaper advertising. Time is money as they say, and who really has the time to go around dropping their card off on 1,000's of blogs?

Check out some of these recently ended eBay auctions:

entrecard ebay auctions
View the latest Entrecard auctions on eBay.

Apologies if the image makes the prices hard to read...But, as you can see you can make money off those "free" Entrecard credits you can accumulate by allowing others to advertise on you, or by dropping your card, or having others drop it on you! There's no word on how long these will be in demand on eBay, but advertising costs people, so why not buy it in the form of EC's? This way if someone buys a few thousand credits they can advertise on a blog like John Chow or Problogger for a fraction of the cost. While it's only for a day, that exposure can be pretty big for a new blog. One of the most successful days for me with Entrecard was the day I was on Problogger, as it brought many visitors, EC droppers and hopefully a few new readers!

The other interesting thing here is how prices vary. You see someone received $7.50 on a Buy it Now for 1,000 credits, while another sale of 2,000 credits went for just $6.50? Yet another auction for 2,000 credits reached $12.50? The average cost for 1,000 credits looks to be about $4.50 to $5 based on the higher auctions, but I think most people would take what they can get for a free online credit! Supply and demand is clearly still there for the EC's on eBay if you price them just right and promote the auctions well. Flipping them for extra money could help you purchase that domain name for your blog or other services....Or on the other hand if you're looking to advertise, you could find a low-cost EC auction on eBay. There doesn't appear to be any restriction on selling the credits, although EC itself appears to be forming its own online market to sell them amongst members too.

If you've sold EC's, or have bought them on eBay, or are considering either, or just want to weigh in on this moneymaking move, feel free to share your thoughts here.


Browsing the Coupon Code Mall

Today The Monetizer would like to take a look at a niche blog site I feel has great potential for success. CouponCodesMall.com is a site that has just what the URL says, it provides its visitors with great shopping deals online via Coupons. It's a blog set up as a website to provide anyone who drops by with the latest in online coupons and discount deals. The site includes several categories including Amazon, GoDaddy.com, BestBuy.com, Sony, MacMall Computer coupons, Jewelry and cameras. There's even a search engine on the side for Amazon Deals as well. The site is updated regularly which is helpful for attracting traffic and keeping visitors around. A recent example is "Canon Digital Camera: EXPRESS, SHOOT AND SHARE" which reviews one of the best new camera offerings from Canon.

coupon codes mall

While the site does offer some great coupon deals, I felt it was lacking a bit in its site appearance and layout. Some may disagree with me here, but there are many web users who are visual rather than textual. You have to keep those visitors in mind with a site that offers these product deals, and consider picturing more items to attract attention to them. Get people into a buying mood. A more stylish graphic banner might also aid in conveying the site as respectable and professional online resource, but this isn't a huge deal always. I think with a banner showing happy customers or a variety of products you get potential customers more interested in what you have to offer.

The navigational bar menu is also up to the right hand side of the banner, and could use some work. It lists "HOME" "GODADDY" "CONTACT" TOP COUPONS" and "RESOURCES". I would consider listing CONTACT last rather than in the middle. I'd also consider moving TOP COUPONS to the second position and replacing the GODADDY tab. That particular tab makes very little sense as the general feel from the site I got was for products such as cameras, video games, Amazon and PC deals. Another consideration is to rename it as "WEB HOSTING", or create a "TECH DEALS" section which includes GoDaddy offers.

I also noted some grammatical errors which could shy customers away. While the Monetizer is far from perfect when it comes to blog spelling or grammar, I do my best to doublecheck all work. If CouponCodesMall wants to succeed it needs to edit entries so that a customer will feel it is a professional resource they can rely on.

With some revamping, the CouponCodesMall definitely has the potential to craft itself into a nice niche type blog site. It has the overall positive benefit of offering visitors some great deals on products around the web. Visitors and customers could be gained as subscribers or simply from the search engine traffic, and lead to profitability for the site for some time to come.


As the Twitter Tweets Twhirl...

About a week ago The Monetizer realized he had gained about 35 followers on the fun website called Twitter. Twitter is the site that poses the question "What are you doing?" then gives you a little box to type about 140 characters or less about what you're doing. These little updates you send are called "Tweets" and friends on the site interested in what you have to say become your "followers". You can post your updates by the Twitter site, IM apps, or even your cell phone. Twitter has been proposed by many internet marketers and bloggers as a great tool for promotion and getting new ideas for your blog. John Cow even proposed in a recent blog entry that it could be more up to date than RSS feeds for notifying people of your new blog posts.

While 35 followers isn't a ton (some users have 10's of thousands of followers), it's a decent enough number to make the Monetizer want to use Twitter even more. So I decided to create Twitter accounts for a few other blogs I run, just to test the waters. I also downloaded a great little app called Twhirl. This is sorta like an AIM for Twitter with many helpful extra features. It's a program you download to your PC or MAC, and then login to your Twitter account(s) through it. This way you can quickly send out a Tweet from your desktop, rather than logging into Twitter. (Note: you'll need to download a copy of Adobe AIR prior to installing Twhirl).

Another site to consider using with this is Twitterfeed.com. On this site you can register yourself, then put in your blog's RSS feed to be fed to your Twitter account. As you post a new blog entry, Twitterfeed will send that to Twitter, in essence broadcasting your new post to anybody who may see it (followers or people who see it on the timeline).

Consider getting with Twitter as these days just about everybody's doing it. It can be a powerful little promotional tool for your blog when used properly. Depending on your blog's theme, you should search on Twitter for people who may be interested in your blog. For example if you blog about baseball, try looking up "Red Sox" or "Yankees" or "MLB" on Twitter. Browse through your results for members and follow those who have updated within at least the past week. They may soon be following you, subscribing to your blog and creating a great new connection or referral source for your blog site.

Follow the Monetizer on Twitter here.

Some other useful Twitter resources to look at:

50 Ways to Use Twitter - Squidoo Lens

17 Ways You Can Use Twitter by Dosh Dosh

The Gaming of Twitter by Zac Johson

The Power of Twitter by interwebers

Twitter vs. RSS by John Cow

Why I Love Twitter by Problogger


John Chow's 10,000 Entrecard Credit Contest

In a previous post I noted that John Cow is giving away a Xbox 360 Elite and GTA 4 to one lucky raffle winner. Now I find out of yet another contest, with John Chow giving one lucky winner 10,000 of his saved up Entrecard credits.

With 10,000 EC's you could do a lot of advertising, or go shopping in the EC store for things like banners, EC card logos, gift certificates, e-Books and other cool stuff. Right now, Chow's blog is priced at 1,000 credits to advertise on, so you could get yourself onto his blog, or some of the other more expensive blogs to advertise at. According to Chow, Darren Rowse's Problogger is up to 4,096 credits to advertise (wow I got in early on that one!)

I know a lot of people who come through to the Monetizer's blog like using Entrecard, so be sure to check out John Chow's 10,000 EC credit contest here if you haven't already.

Win Xbox 360 Elite + GTA4 from John Cow!

win xbox360 elite from john cow The Monetizer just had to get in on this cool contest run by John Cow and sponsored by Top Hosting Center. Up for grabs in this one is the much-coveted video gaming system, the Xbox 360 Elite. And to make it even sweeter you'll also win one of the coolest new games dropping at the end of April, Grand Theft Auto IV. If you're familiar with the series, the game involves stealing cars, running pedestrians over, eluding the police and doing bad things to win strategic missions. You know, all the stuff you would only do in a video game! :)

In case you're wondering what's different about an Xbox 360 Elite, one major difference is the black color (as seen in the picture), just like the original Xbox. Technically speaking, it includes HDMI Port, HDMI cable, black wireless controller and a black Xbox life headset. In terms of technical features, it has 16:9 cinematic aspect ratio for DVD's and games, anti-aliasing for smooth textures, full surround sound. and 3 powerful core processors!

To win this contest you need to earn raffle tickets, which can be done several ways. The first way is write up a post about the contest (like this one) of at least 100 words. Make sure that post links back to both John Cow's Xbox 360 Elite contest post, and the contest sponsor Top Hosting Center. This gets you 250 tickets entered into the drawing.

Another way to earn 250 raffle tickets is to become an affiliate with Top Hosting Center. It's free to be part of their program, and they offer you a whopping 50% commission for any sales you refer. As Cow says referring several people to THC could easily pay for the prize in the contest, if you don't win.

There's several ways you can earn 25 raffle tickets as well such as subscribing to Cow and/or THC's feeds, or by telling all your Myspace/Facebook/Twitter friends about the coolest contest around!

Get more details on the contest to win a Xbox 360 Elite and GTA 4 at John Cow's blog today. Remember you have until the end of this month to enter, giving you just a few more days.

Going Beyond Bedding

This may seem off topic for the Monetizer, but I wanted to take some time out to review this website Beyond Bedding which offers comfortable prices for your Kids Bedding. After all, saving money is a big deal these days with the way our economy is in the US. This also may give others some food for thought for how they proceed with their own web projects.

First off, Beyond Bedding is an exclusive manufacturer of JoJo Designs Bedding products. For your children, Beyond Bedding offers a great variety of products. They have items such as Bed Skirts, Changing Pad Covers, Children's Lampshades, Children's Hampers, Musical Crib Mobiles, Wall Decor, Window Valances/Coverings and even Children's Clothing. Although I'm no interior decorator, the bedding styles appeared innovative and stylish enough to match most decors in homes. They offer popular colors like pinks, blues, stripes and various other patterns.

If you browse through the site you'll definitely get the feeling of sleep comfort with Beyond's color scheme and laid back layout. Light grays and purples on white backdrop convey a very cozy feeling. I have no contention with the site layout or color scheme and feel it has a professional edge to it, similar to the websites by Kohl's or Macys. The last thing you want for a site about bedding products is to be in your face and too flashy.

The Beyond website does appear to be hosted through Yahoo web hosting. This is fine, but The Monetizer would suggest that Beyond Bedding add a favicon of some sort. The favicon is the small little logo/picture you see up next to many web addresses in your browser (Monetizer's is a fat green dollar sign). For Beyond, it would need to be something related to sleep or bedding such as a pillow, bed, cloud, etc. While some debate whether favicons are even necessary, this would give their site that extra professional touch that most online companies have these days. Having the well known Y! for Yahoo up next to their URL could make people wonder about who's really running the company. Having a clever favicon would make the site memorable should people add it to their web bookmarks. As many marketing experts note, branding is very important. On the positive side, Beyond Bedding offers their own blog, RSS feeds, a newsletter which visitors can opt in for, and a gift registry. These features make smart additions for their site to get lists of potential customers.

If you have children, happen to be expecting now, or just want to buy a gift for family or friends, you may want to consider Beyond's Children's Bedding section. Beyond Bedding offers an 800 number, live online help, they accept major credit cards and PayPal, and they offer a 14 day return policy. On a final note, while the site is far from boring, make sure you are fully awake for the browsing. Otherwise the cozy look and products from the bedding site may lull you to sleep.


Can You Become a Millionaire by Age 30?


If you're over 30, don't despair because this just might apply to you as well. There's a new book out by Alan Corey which was profiled in the latest US News magazine. It has the lengthy title of A Million Bucks by 30: How to Overcome a Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and a Useless Degree to Become a Millionaire Before (or After) Turning Thirty. I like it.

Alan's claim to fame is that he gave himself a goal of being a millionaire by the young age 30. After finishing college he put the plan in motion, but not by creating a fancy business or viral dotcom idea. He didn't go around networking with bigwigs to secure startup funds, or finding lots of iPods to sell on eBay. He simply started to cut costs by being the ultimate cheapskate. That's right, Alan would reuse old popcorn bags for refills at the movies (ethical?), find thrown out or used umbrellas, never bought new bottled water and went on "cheap dates". He and his friends even made up a fake story to get themselves on the Jerry Springer show and win a free spring break trip. Now of course all those things won't make you a million alone, and Alan also realized he needed to produce some assets to get himself rich.

Basically, Alan worked a 9-5 job for 6 years, but was fed up with "working for the man" for peanuts, just like many of us are. He used to live in his mom's basement in Atlanta, but then decided to move to NYC to work on his goal of becoming rich. New York is far from a cheap place to live and Alan was making just 40 grand at his job. He realized his college degree was useless in terms of him making money, which may or may not be true. So he started cutting costs, saving, and then ultimately investing in real estate and other financial vehicles. There was luck involved, as he got into the right real estate deals at the right time (not to say there's no deals now). But now at age 28, Alan's happy to say he's retired (and still being a cheapskate)! (and by the way he claims that one of his cheap dates is now moving in with him)

The moral of the story here is that if you scrimp and save and make some wise investments with the money you do have, you have a good chance at using that extra money to build wealth. It's more of a mindset than anything to become rich. Alan even states in the magazine's interview excerpt that he just believed his goal was going to happen, and it has, 2 years early. Hmmm...so maybe that book The Secret really works?

Not that he needs the extra money, but Alan's now in search of his next million, and this sounds like one interesting moneymaking journey to read about...Alan's Book A Million Bucks by 30: How to Overcome a Crap Job, Stingy Parents, and a Useless Degree to Become a Millionaire Before (or After) Turning Thirty is currently available at Amazon.com.

The Building of Your Dreams at Apex

Yesterday was the great holiday known as Earth Day, and hopefully everyone celebrated by conserving energy, planting trees or being generally kinder to the planet. Today, The Monetizer would like to let you in on a website which could help you build your business and do so in an "eco-friendly" way. This website won't necessarily build your business itself, but it could build the place where your business and moneymaking will reside.

A company known as Apex Buildings provides a good resource for constructing Metal Buildings including those for Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Residential and Mini-Storage buildings. No matter what sort or size of business you want to build, it appears that Apex would have the ideal product for you. They offer over 20 years of metal building construction experience and will be able to help you match your needs. While I wasn't completely thrilled by the styling or color choices used on their site, the company has put together a helpful, informative site. Their website has a professional feel and provides enough information to get customers started. It contains sections with photo examples of their buildings, products available and their latest specials.

In terms of the environment, Apex is also proudly known as a "GREEN" corporation, because they incorporate the eco-friendly practice of using recycled metal in the production of their buildings. According to the company, their buildings will save you money due to low maintenance costs over the long term. A definite advantage for anyone trying to build a business and keep their costs lowered. On the Apex Buildings website you can also download a free report entitled "How to Save with "Green" Buildings". While I'm not sure of the specifics, this type of building may qualify for a tax deduction as well.

Based out of Arkansas the Apex site provides a button for a Free Quote or a toll free number: (877) 275-APEX (2739) for anyone looking to get started in building the business or other building of their dreams!


Celebrate Earth Day Today!

Thankfully Google has their logo tricked out on almost every important day in the calendar year. Today's Google logo image looks like this:

That's right, April 22nd is Earth Day! The best way to celebrate is to be good to the Earth by conserving resources better, planting trees and trying to recycle appropriately. The Monetizer participated in the Earth's Dark hour last month, where lights were shut off for just 1 hour in an energy conservation effort. That's yet another way to celebrate, you could try reducing your electricity consumption today for an hour, or two, or as much as the entire day...It will go a long way to helping the place we all love to reside on and Make Money off of!

Here's some suggestions for how to celebrate Earth Day:

    Plant some trees or flowers outside (on your own property).

    Wash your clothes in cold water.

    Hang your clothes out to dry on a line instead of using the dryer.

    Turn off lights or unnecessary appliances. Or try to go without them today!

    Adjust your thermostat up or down 1 degree based on the temp outside.

    Considering a new car? Go for an eco friendly model!

    Walk, bike, or commute somewhere instead of driving the car.

    Return recyclable soda or beer bottles. - This may make you some money, depending where you live at!

No matter where you live or how you celebrate, keep it real green today and appreciate the home planet!


New Problogger & Adsense Books

Apologies to anyone who's already read this news, but two interesting new books have recently been released to help moneymakers online. Joel Comm, Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett have lent their ideas and expertise to those looking for insight into blogging and making money online.

In terms of blogging, Darren Rowse is a household name amongst most bloggers. He and Chris Garrett recently released their book "ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income", which can be ordered at Amazon. You can also download a sample teaser chapter from the book. The Monetizer fully endorses Darren as he's always got great advice and inspiration on his blog. The PDF download chapter is well worth checking out as it talks about Darren having to work 3 jobs as he gradually worked his way into blogging, eventually earning 6 figures. The book should be a great read describing Darren and Chris' paths towards blogging success. It will also provide you a roadmap to success, along with some great new ideas and inspiration!

The other book which just recently arrived online is an e-book, Joel Comm's "Google Adsense Secrets 4th Edition". I purchased Joel's Adsense Code when I had first started in my online adventures. It definitely gave valuable advice and insight into how to integrate the most popular moneymaker online into my websites and blogs. I recommend Joel's new e-book at just $9.95 available here at his site. He's updated the advice and tips he gives to discuss working with today's version of Google Adsense. (Note: be careful as I have read you will be locked into a monthly or yearly subscription deal at Joel's site, so you need to cancel to avoid extra charges).

The Monetizer wanted to spread the news around because I believe in the products of these guys. I wouldn't be too surprised if John Chow and Shoemoney have their own books come out as well.. And who knows, but maybe one day you'll see a Monetizer e-book or real book selling at Amazon.com!


Blogging Your Thoughts for Free

These days there's millions of blogs around with more people starting their own blogs daily. I'm not sure of the exact statistics, but I'm sure there's one of those "there's a new blog started every 25 seconds" type stats going around the internet and news sources.

With blogging, many people who want to get started expressing their thoughts to friends, family and the world will quickly choose a free alternative, rather than using paid hosting with a domain. There's plenty of available options for free blog platforms such as Blogger, Wordpress, Myspace, and a newer site called "Thoughts.com". By Blogging at Thoughts.com you get the ability to have your own blog which will reside at http://www.thoughts.com/your_username. You also will have the ability to upload pictures, videos, do podcasting, chat in forums, and add friends to your public or private profile. It's almost like blogging meets a Myspace style community, except there's no Tom.

Thoughts.com 10 Most Popular Posts of All-Time:

    1 A Great Head of Hair--women's haircuts by brainstormer
    2 waiting... zypvashna
    3 THE BEST BLOG IN THE WORLD by mazaredo
    4 Heel pain: Stanley Zawada WHITESTONEPODIATRY.COM drffc
    5 Why did you made me feel this way by hate
    6 bipolar,mania by cybaclick
    7 Another Celebrity Sex Scandal With A Twist! by hairyLGS
    8 What's Hot--Hot Pics by brainstormer
    9 (Japanese characters) by dspc
    10 Practice Preemie Fair Isle Hat by steviesknitncrochet

For those of us who are concerned with monetizing our blogs, Thoughts.com isn't like Blogger, as it doesn't appear to offer any revenue sharing or ability to use affiliate links or Adsense ads. But there is the added ability of social networking by adding friends and participating in community forums. As stated in the Thoughts.com "Create a Blog" area, you instantly gain an audience when you sign up for your free blog there. It would serve as a great cross-promotional or marketing strategy to maybe keep a separate "daily journal" style blog there. You could add a bit of info about your other monetized blog somewhere on an entry or maybe on your Thoughts.com profile. As you can see in the 10 popular posts above someone has smartly listed out a website name in their user name field in order to promote their website more.

So Thoughts.com will provide you with yet another viable option for free blogging and promotion. While you don't make money, there is one prize offered monthly at Thoughts.com. Each month a random member wins 6 months of free Netflix which is a great way to spend time after blogging, catching up on all the latest DVD releases.


Make Money Online Doing the ChaCha

chacha logo
Special thanks to friend CyberGwen for informing me of the following way to make money online...

This isn't quite Dancing with the Stars online, instead it's a website called "ChaCha", a place where people go to get answers. You might ask, "Isn't that handled by Google already?" Well, yes and no. Google is a very powerful search engine, but many people search and search for what they want and can't quite get the answer they are looking for. Sometimes you find yourself with a ton of listings that mention the terms you searched, but you don't have the precise info you wanted. ChaCha makes sure they do.

ChaCha is geared mostly to the mobile phone/computer user looking for info on the go. An example the site gives is: "What hotel in downtown Cleveland has a business center?" Some people may find themselves sifting through search results to get the answer they really need, and if you're simply using a mobile phone, you want an answer faster. With ChaCha, a live guide will help the person get the info quickly and accurately, or at least send them along the proper path for it. ChaCha is free to use. If you'd like to try it from your own cell phone, text your question to 242-242 (spells ‘ChaCha’) or call 1-800-2ChaCha (800-224-2242) from your mobile phone to ask any question and you will receive the answer as a text message. Standard text message rates or voice minutes may apply. The ChaCha site also offers a search engine box as well which serves the same purpose as texting or calling in your query.

Now to make money with ChaCha, you'll first need to register as a guide, be accepted, and then pass their tests to get in. Almost seems like an elite spy academy or Mission Impossible. The application to become a guide asks for your particulars such as name, email, zip code, level of education, interests, internet connection, times available and other pertinent info. I'm currently in the app review process, and then I'll get the series of tests afterwards, to make sure I'm a good fit for ChaCha's community. Once I'm in, the ChaCha begins!

According to my friend, and the source for writing this entry about ChaCha, she earns 20 cents per query she handles, but it can add up quickly. You could see it as fun, and a new type of instant message game, where you're getting payed to do an online scavenger hunt. It may become a nuisance to some to be interrupted online if they do a lot of other work. However, the great part about making money at ChaCha is that you're on your own schedule. You can log in for 15 minutes or 15 hours and field search queries that come your way. According to the site's Fast Facts there's about 30,000 people working as guides already, in each of the 50 states. One of the notable names on their team of investors is Jeff Bezos who we all know as the man behind online retailer, Amazon.com.

I'll provide more of an update about my experiences with ChaCha once my application status changes. But it looks like yet another worthwhile and legitimate way to earn yourself some extra income, especially if you enjoy finding info online. Or you can also go the more traditional route and launch into one of the careers offered at ChaCha, which has its homebase in Indiana. But, if you'd rather just look stylish than work for ChaCha, they also offer "ChaCha gear", a special section of the site which sells Specialty Tees, Active Wear and Accessories.


The Tax Man Cometh

I enjoy most of the monthly holidays like Christmas, Easter, my birthday, V-day, the 4th of July and Thanksgiving. However, there's one holiday in particular most of us dread and don't really celebrate often: April 15th or "Tax Due Date".

This year I did something I've never done before with regards to filing my taxes, I filed an extension. The reasons are due to my recent move, some tax documents I needed were misplaced. So now with the due date 2 days away, I am extending so I can get those documents in and do my taxes soon after. The drawbacks are there could be a late fee, and month to month interest is charged until you file your Federal return.

To file an extension, you'll need to know your Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) from 2006, your estimated tax owed this year, and your federal tax payments made. You may also need to file an extension for your state taxes. Make sure to refer to your state's gov site for more info, as each state differs in its rules. For my state, there was no need to file the state extension if you don't expect to owe state taxes AND you filed the federal extension.

Once you've filled out the e-file extension form you'll most likely be asked to pay some money towards your federal tax owed (payment must be over $1). You also may be charged a fee, which in my case was $3.95, payable by bank account or CC. And now I wait to make sure the extension goes through!

If you need to file an extension of your own, check out www.irs.gov where they list out several free e-file sites which include Form 4868, the form for a federal extension. I'll keep you updated on any progress or issues that arise with this...

Hopefully you all are done filing b now and getting some moolah back...Good luck with the process!


The Cow is Selling Out!

Ok not really, but the Monetizer learned of some unfortunate news via a blog email update Friday; John Cow has decided to sell his blog. Apologies in advance for a bit of a rant and several puns, but the Cow is easily one of my favorite blogs due to its high creativity factor.

There's two blogs I always check on a daily basis by the email updates. Lately, it's been all I've had time for with all my blogging and other projects, bill paying, research, checking emails, catching up with friends and all that good stuff. The two blogs I make sure to stay with are Courtney Tuttle and John Chow. Court's got extremely valuable and helpful info on SEO, in fact he's the best around for great tips and info to get your traffic rolling in. I also look to John Cow as one of the benchmarks in terms of the internet marketing & MMO niche due to his highly regarded blogging creativity. He snatched up a great idea and URL with Johnchow.com, which ranks 1st for "John Chow". His clever move payed off in terms of typo traffic and the spoof factor of "Making Mooney Online". He really milked the idea and has one of the more stylishly layed out blogs around.

So anyhow, the news came from the Cow blog on Friday that JohnCow.com is officially up for sale. Unfortunately April Fool's day was over a week ago so this is no joke. The Cow is getting tired and needs a break, possibly to stray from his current territory to "greener pastures". He's making a move to Australia and needs several months away from the internet to get situated. So some lucky buyer can snatch up a great opportunity now. The blog has impressive stats as Cow points out in his post about the sale:

    The stats:

    * PageRank 3
    * Alexa 22,100
    * Compete 41,020
    * Technorati 1696, Authority 1457
    * 382 Posts
    * 47,412 Backlinks (Yahoo!)
    * 2,830 indexed pages (Google)
    * Average of 40K uniques per month (without social media)

Whoever buys the Cow has some big hoofs to fill. While milk may do a blogger good, will the new blogger be able to deliver the milk like John Cow has? This remains to be seen and it could be quite a tough task. It also makes me curious what the Cow will do after leaving the blog. Start a new blog? Get a 9-5? Or simply retire from online ventures? That could be tough to do as well. I know that blogging can be addictive and if you've started a project and then sell it off, if may be sorely missed. You'll eventually want to return to the field because you have that constant hunger.

Now here's the real "beef" of this Cow story with regards to making money online... there's a nice little referral/commission reward if you help bring the buyer to the Cow. You could net anywhere from $1,200 to $2,500 for yourself which definitely is nice pocket change, so consider writing up your own post, emailing your contacts or using your social media connections.

So with this Monetizer post I raise my glass of milk in toast to the great work of John Cow which I've enjoyed day in and day out.. I also hope that whoever buys Johncow.com knows what they're doing and gives more of the make mooney posts many of us have come to love...


The Big Give: Making Money & Giving Back

oprah winfrey abc the big give

"I can't help the poor if I'm one of them, so I got rich and gave back to em, that's the win-win" - Moment of Clarity, Jay-Z

Big Give or Go home. That's the motto of Oprah Winfrey's interesting new reality game show that airs Sunday nights at 9PM on ABC. It's been running several weeks now, but covers an important aspect of moneymaking that many overlook; the concept of giving back.

Many of the books which discuss wealth acquisition also delve into the topic of giving in order to receive. Roberty Kiyosaki, author of "Rich Dad, Poor Dad", says that most often you'll find that once you've given a donation to your church or other charity, you'll find the gift somehow returns to you with interest. That doesn't mean if you donate $1 to a church, expect to find a bag full of 100 dollar bills, but that you may have some act of gratitude come back to you for your charitable expression.

On Oprah's "The Big Give" contestants are given a unique challenge each week. They are usually given the names of specific people or locations with a set amount of funds, and told to give as big as they can. The goal is to see who can give the biggest by improving life for the community, family or individual. On this past week's episode the four remaining contestants helped give big to two individuals suffering with cancer. One woman got her wish to play piano on stage in the famous Carnegie Hall theater in NYC. The audience included her family and friends, and Natalie King Cole surprised her on stage.

There was a second man who the team also gave big to, also suffering with cancer. He was worried about his piling up medical bills and his mortgage with a wife and kids. The contestants used the help of Jada Pinkett-Smith and Donald Trump. The man and his family were treated to a fun-filled day in New York which included shopping sprees and a ride in Mr. Trump's very own helicopter around NYC. The day ended with the man's entire extended family arriving to see him via horse-drawn buggies. The team then let him know that his mortgage was payed off (thanks to celebrity donations), and that he would have money for his kids' college funds. In addition, he was given a brand new Ford truck.

It's now down to 3 contestants on the show, one of whom is Cameron Johnson, a dot com millionaire and entrepreneur. After reading his book months ago, I was familiar with Cameron and realize that entrepreneurs do have the powers to give big. That's not to say everyone doesn't have this charitable power, but the entrepreneur can usually network with many connections and is good at project management. They also tend to be good at raising up capital to start up ventures, and most companies have trouble saying no when asked to contribute to a charitable function. I'm expecting to see Cameron as the winner, however he really doesn't need the 1 million dollars that Oprah will surprise the final contestant with. So maybe he'll turn around and give big.

The Big Give is down to just 3 contestants and resumes Sunday at 9PM EST on ABC. The Monetizer also encourages you to take a look at the extra earnings they make online and consider earmarking $5 to send to a charity you truly believe in. Or if you'd prefer donating time and help, Oprah's Big Give site also offers printable Good Deed Coupons" here. Remember it's not just about making money, but what you do with that money you make.


Cash Crate - the Site that Keeps on Paying!

cash crate logo

I've written a few entries about the Survey & Get-Paid-to site called Cash Crate here. Since joining, I've received 5 checks from Kingside Media, but that was way back when I was actually filling out their surveys. Recently, I've seen money come in from the site without even logging into it (other than to check stats). That's what makes it a great site to belong to, because it keeps on paying, whether you're active on it or not. All you need is referrals.

The beauty of Cash Crate is their referral system. You start out by earning % commission on any of your referrals' earnings. Once you've referred 50 members to the site, you begin to receive a 25% commission for anything any of those active referrals does (surveys, offers, etc). So let's say 1 member earns their $10 to get paid. That means you've earned $2.50 and are 1/4 of the way towards another easy check for the month. The more active members you have referred the better...If at least 4 people are earning $10 a month, you've earned a check, and without ever touching a survey or offer. (4 people x $2.50 commission for you)

In addition, for every member you refer after your 50th sign-up to Cash Crate (referred members 51, 52, 54 etc.), you'll earn 10% of their earnings. This is the second tier for commissions.

Even better, when any of the members you refer hit their first $10 at Cash Crate, you'll receive a $3 bonus. So if a first timer gets $10, you're making $5.50 off them. And now you're over halfway to your payout.

Cash Crate is a very simple to use site, and the checks come anywhere from the middle towards the end of the following month. I still haven't heard of anyone becoming a millionaire with Yuwie, and know that people are constantly trying to promote that social site. It may even work out for some people, but as of right now Cash Crate is working for the Monetizer. With Cash Crate you can refer enough participating members and sit back to let the money roll right in. Eventually it could become like an extra dividend check every month coming to you from the folks at Kingside Media.

Join CashCrate here and get started on your earning spree! You'll also be able to participate in their April contest where they are giving away a Nintendo Wii and cash prizes.

If any part of this seems confusing, or if you have tips, advice, or concerns about Cash Crate feel free to comment below...


Making a Million through Social Networks

social millionaire logo

So what's the true way to make a lot of money online? Some may say it comes through networking and being extra friendly. A 19 year old internet entrepreneur from Canada has created a new website/blog called The Social Millionaire. Pat Harkinson is the lad and he is attempting to do the ordinary online feat of generating 1 million dollars. He will then take that money to invest into other new internet projects. So how does he plan to raise the money?

Pat's Social Millionaire site sells keyword links to the highest bidder. The bid starts at $5 for any keyword. If another bidder bids higher than you, they will appear on Pat's site for the keyword. These keywords are seen by any visitor at the Social Millionaire homepage.

Pat also has set up several social media networks, where you can be social with him. Included on the list are:

    Blog Catalog

Definitely some of the biggest names in online social media & blogging networks. According to Pat's site stats as of this entry he has raised $2,759.48 via keyword sales, and has befriended 384 people amongst his social networks.

It's an interesting concept and experiment. Pat's not the first to go for a million using a website, keywords, links and/or advertising. Another example was the Million Dollar Wiki or the site way back when that simply sold screen pixels as advertising space. Each of those generated enough buzz to put a nice profit in their creator's pockets. The best part of Pat's plan is the "being friendly" part. When I first started blogging, it was a creative Myspace profile which now has over 15,000 friends that was bringing me traffic for interesting blog posts I did. The power of Myspace bulletins posted for friends interested in your subject matter shouldn't be underestimated! With Pat harnessing the power of Myspace, Facebook, Youtube, et al, he's most likely going to reach his goal at some point, using clever strategies. He's already had interviews and site reviews on John Chow, John Cow, and MomsCashBlog.

Pat keeps a regularly updated Social Millionaire blog where he talks about everything from making donations to charity, generating free traffic and Rhinoseptoplasty. The Social Millionaire is also a member of Entrecard.

The Monetizer extends best wishes to Pat on his goal! Even if he misses the mark, he will still have the benefit of many friends and valuable connections...


How to Profit from Pranks

There seems to be a way to profit online from just about every holiday and April Fool's day is not excluded. Taking advantage of people in the holiday buying, or joking mood is a perfect way to make some money online. In fact, you could be running an affiliate program featuring ads for practical joke and prank items on an appropriate blog or website. The Prankplace.com Affiliate program is a good example of a website that lets you profit from people who like to play pranks.

Here's some quick details on their program:

- Prankplace affiliates can automatically join the Kolimbo Open Network, which will give you even more affiliate merchants to take a look at, and consider implementing on your site.

- Prankplace offers a very generous commission of 20% on any sales you refer.

- The minimum payout for Prankplace affiliate is $25, via check or to your Paypal.

- They carry over 1,700 fun, wacky and zany products to pitch. You can link to just the Prankplace homepage or a specific product page.

Here's some of the customer favorites:

    Fanny Bank
    "Can"-ouflage Beer Can Wraps
    Toilet Monster - Ultimate Prank
    Embarrassing Bumper Magnets
    Fake Tattoo Sleeves
    Political Humor
    Hillary Nutcracker
    Electric Shocking Pen
    TV Zapper - Control Any TV
    Fun & Sexy Cover-Ups
    Fake Tongue Piercing

While I won't launch into an all-out review of their affiliate program, one drawback I found was that they don't offer too many banners or product ads to use on a blog or website. The choices are limited, but with some creativity you could do some great gag-selling. As stated above, you can link to any specific item page, and probably rotate items on a sidebar or elsewhere on your blog to keep it fresh.

I'd say there's definitely some blogs more suited for this program than others, and it may take some experimenting. Prankplace would fit in nicely on humor, entertainment, and celebrity type blogs. You'd really have to know your audience and whether or not the pranks fit with your topics, otherwise you'd using up valuable space with the wrong moneymaker.

Check out Prankplace.com Affiliate program for more info!

And The Monetizer personally recommends the "Toilet Monster" to scare your friends and family.

Widgetbucks Announces Changes

I received the following email from Widgetbucks on April Fool's Day (no joke here). If you're a publisher with the site, it's worth taking a look at this because it involves a drop in CPC rates as of March 29th, meaning less money in your account.

Dear WidgetBucks Publisher,

This email touches on a couple revenue updates, largely around recent shifts in CPC (cost-per-click) rates and the baseline CPM rate publishers are seeing for U.S. and Canadian traffic.

CPC rates have have dropped significantly since this past weekend (March 29-30). We are working through those issues with partners right now and anticipate these rates will rise again within the next seven days. Incidentally, this drop we are seeing is not unique to the WidgetBucks network when it comes to shopping CPC rates right now; nonetheless, we're working to get those CPC rates back to their week-ago levels.

CPMs within "Hybrids"
After launching our combination CPM/CPC "hybrid" ads nearly a month ago, we are seeing a baseline .$25 CPM across the board and anticipate this to hold steady or even rise over time. We are working with a number of large ad networks to provide top brands within the CPM rotation, and currently we're seeing ads that are contextual, and targeted by geography and category, and as a result, these are remaining competitive.

A number of our publishers have updated their code to take advantage of this extra and/or off-setting revenue. If you haven't done so, we encourage you to check out this post for instructions on how to update your site code.

We appreciate the continued growth on our network and how much each of you, our publishers, do in helping it grow. Thank you for the feedback we receive on a daily basis on the blog and in emails.

Have a great day!

Check out the Widgetbucks blog post so you can update your code, if you haven't done so yet!


I'm Buying Eva Longoria on eBay!

ebay eva longoria The Monetizer figures that giving back is a great thing to do when you have the money for it. Some deals are also too good to pass up. So that's why I made it my diehard goal to win eBay's Meet Eva Longoria Auction today. It's for a great cause and she's one foxy housewife from Wisteria Lane, so the money's not an issue. I'd rather meet her than Duran Duran, which eBay is also offering...

If anything, it means I'll be spending my $10,000 or so wisely for a date with Mrs. Longoria-Parker, wife of the NBA Superstar, Tony Parker. I'll probably take her for a spin in my brand new Porsche to my beachfront home, then we can sip John Chow Cola under the stars....After I wine and dine Eva and tell her how I make money online, she'll leave her hubby in a heartbeat, and he'll be green with envy.

.....And if you believe this deal's really going down, I have a bridge and some magic beans to sell you!!...In all seriousness folks, it's April Fools day, so that was all in good fun..but the auction is real and for a serious cause. 100% of Proceeds Benefit EB Medical Research Foundation on behalf of Ken Paves Salon & BIG GIVE (Oprah's new show about giving).

So if you want to drop some dough on a visit with Eva, she's ebay Item number: 170206529197. The best news is the shipping on Eva is absolutely free, at an expedited flat rate! You must be a pre-approved bidder to win her though.

(Note: This auction is not a joke, but the Monetizer's plan to win it are!)

Happy April Fools Day!

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