Happy Belated 10th B-day to Google!

Happy Belated 10th to Google!

That nifty piece of web searching technology we'e all come to know and love, Google.com, turned 10 just the other day! Hard to believe the huge engine which has dominated its competition and revolutionized the way we make money online has been around a decade!

There's a lot more to Google than just Adsense and the search component. Here's several more key components:

Adsense - The advertising payment program we all know and love
Adwords - the advertising program you pay for to drive traffic to your sites
Analytics - a great free traffic and stat tracker for your blog or website.
Blogger - the very host of this blog, a great free blogging platform which makes it easy for millions of bloggers around the world to capture their thoughts, images, videos and much more in blog form!
Gmail - a nifty free email account for Google users
Google Product Search - a way to compare shopping prices on any item you want to buy
Google Maps - a cool satellite view of any spot you want, a way to get directions
Google Labs - an internet tech playground where you can design websites, applications, study your site stats and more!
Google Chrome - the recently released web browser that many are raving about! It's said to allow for private browsing and a feature which remembers your most visited sites to "get to know" your search habits better.

There's many more features to Google, and if you're reading this and haven't signed up for a free Google/Gmail account, The Monetizer strongly recommends it!

Google began way back in 1998 with less than 10 employees, a 7'x8' room and a $100,000 investment from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim! It was the vision of Larry Page and Sergey Brin, two Stanford U grad students, and at one point it was named "Backrub". The creative duo behind the search engine decided to change the name to "Google" - a play on the word "googol", a mathematical term for the number represented by the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros. That represents Google's mission to organize an infinite amount of information on the web. Today Google has grown into a corporate giant worth billions, or millions, depending on how the stock market's doing any given day. 10 years and still growing, Google is definitely the biggest, baddest internet company around, and it has changed the face of searching and surfing for us all in many ways.

Google's B-day bash is not without "aging" concerns about the search giant as it continues to move forward. CNN.com recently discussed Google's stronghold on the search market and how this may hurt the company in its future expansion attempts.

Google's expanding control over the flow of Internet traffic and advertising already is raising monopoly concerns.

The intensifying regulatory and political scrutiny on Google's expansion could present more roadblocks in the future. Even now, there's a chance U.S. antitrust regulators will challenge Google's plans to sell ads for Yahoo Inc., a fading Internet star whose recent struggles have been magnified by Google's success.

Privacy watchdogs also have sharpened their attacks on Google's retention of potentially sensitive information about the 650 million people who use its search engine and other Internet services like YouTube, Maps and Gmail. If the harping eventually inspires rules that restrict Google's data collection, it could make its search engine less relevant and its ad network less profitable.

Despite the concerns, Google has great reason for celebration. Not many internet companies make it past 2 these years, so a decade is definitely something to cheer about!

Google Turns 10 B-day articles of interest:

Google's Info About its 10 Years in the Making

Google turns 10, raises monopoly concerns

Google Turns 10 - A Look Back @ CNN Money

As Google Turns 10 Advice for its next decade - LATimes Blog

Meet Chrome, Google's Shiny New Browser - CNET.com

As Google Turns 10, Enterprise Success in Question - PC World


Auctiva.com - eBay Seller's Best Friend!

With the start of my part time eBay business, The Monetizer did plenty of research, and continues to do so. Preparation and focus is definitely the best way to get any business idea off the ground. During my research, I found that smart sellers rely upon a free and effective website which I had never known of. The site called Auctiva.com, offers many great features for anyone looking to do part-time to more serious selling on eBay. The Monetizer fully supports this website as it can increase your eBay sales potential overall!

Let's take a look at what Auctiva offers you as an eBay seller...

auctiva.com templates
(A look at just a few of the free eBay templates Auctiva offers!)

Auctiva makes the listing process so much easier for Sellers. If you've discovered that auctions ending on a certain day and time do best, you can set your listing up, save it, and just log in to "Post" the listing at your convenience. Auctiva automatically uploads your listing to eBay (provided you have signed up with Auctiva and provided your eBay info). Auctiva also allows you to prepare eBay listings for future post to eBay, similar to Blogger's function of posting future blog entries. So if you were going away for a weekend you could set up auctions in advance and have them post on Sunday. Auctiva also provides a large selection of free graphic templates to jazz up your auctions. There's hundreds of templates, with everything from Holiday themes to electronics to Adult themes and clothing themes. Additionally, Auctiva allows you to store shipping and payment information (such as your accepted payment type, shipping zip code and policies). Perhaps the best feature is the ability to upload and host 24 images per auction for free. It makes for a great savings, rather than paying eBay fees to host images.

auctiva scrolling widget
(A stylish widget can be displayed on all of your eBay auctions!)

In addition, Auctiva offers a clever "Scrolling auction" widget you may have seen on some eBay auctions (see picture above). The widget shows all of the items a seller currently has up for auction, which can greatly increase sales. For example, if for Halloween you're selling 3 different kids' costumes, having them all display on each other's auction pages is a nice feature. A buyer may decide they don't want the Dark Knight Joker costume but prefer to buy a Jack Sparrow costume from Pirates. They'll see the other option on the auction pages, and click to the costume they like more, helping your sales.

I highly recommend anyone who does serious or part-time selling on eBay to sign up for a free Auctiva account. I don't receive commissions or referral fees, but believe in this website as a great way to boost your eBay sales. Auctiva offers payed options as well, which I have yet to investigate, but suspect they work just as well. Head over to Auctiva, give it a try and see for yourself how easily it can automate your eBay workload!


The Boomertowne Shutdown

As a member of Gather.com, The Monetizer sees all sorts of information passed on regarding various pay sites, Paypal, eBay and more. The recent buzz has been about Boomertowne.com. (See post: Boomertowne = Ghost Town?)

Well it now appears Boomertowne is shutdown. Becky Ford of CompareRewards.com contacted Boomertowne founder Herschel "Buzz" Peddicord, asking about the website's status and future plans. The following was his response to Becky:

RE: Saddened by the news about BT -- a response if you could, please?
Sunday, September 21, 2008 4:37 PM
From: "buzz peddicord"
To: comparerewards@yahoo.com

Unfortunately illness, economic downturn, and mass cheating drove the company bankrupt. Several millions were lost by investors and even though we tried to sell and raise capitol, the lousy economy made that impossible. The investors including me lost millions of dollars trying to build a real community. When the economy went south companies quit advertising and income dropped to 10 percent of what it had reached. That combined with mass point cheating made it impossible to go on. No site that offers rewards will succeed as long as people devote so much time trying to beat the system. It tells you something about our society.

(Violin music plays)

So it appears Boomertowne may have gone under like many other businesses
struggling to survive in these rough economic times. However, I can definitely
make a case that most website-based businesses should have a leg up on
brick-and-mortart types. Boomertowne worked as an incentive-based social
media site geared towards the Boomer baby generation. It relied on the users to
generate ad revenue through thousands of page impressions and ad clicks. I
haven't looked into it fully, but they may have had a subscription-based dating
service as well. BT claims they lost advertiser sponsorship due to the economy,
but if this were true how do entrepreneurs like John Chow, Shoemoney and Darren Rowse continue to prosper? All 3 have indicated dips in income at times, but they continue to provide what people want, and continue to implement new moneymaking strategies.

As for people cheating Boomer's system, that's still a problem many social media and incentive-based sites must combat. Myspace and Facebook are the two biggest social media sites on the web and must constantly battle this. The difference may be that neither site really offers its members gift card rewards. It might have made sense for Boomertowne to safeguard its self against these problems before a single reward was even offered, but hindsight is everything. Perhaps there also lies an opportunity for some clever entrepreneurs. Create a reliable database tracking system or website software to prevent such cheating on websites. Offer it for free to the first few upstart social media sites you find, and then begin sales (and make sure The Monetizer receives royalties ;)

When all is said and done, Boomertowne clearly put all its eggs in one basket, and that basket broke.

Goodbye Boomertowne, it's been nice knowing ya!


Kingside Media's CashCrate Makes Changes

Kingside Media is the company behind CashCrate.com, a popular and easy-to-use survey and "get-paid-to" site. The Monetizer has praised the site before for its ease of use. You can fill out up to 2 simple surveys per day, sign up for free or other offers, shop with money back deals at various sites, and refer friends to earn money. It's a great site to earn extra cash, and can work to your advantage as passive income based on referrals.

Recently, CashCrate has announced a few noteworthy changes, which may be good or bad for some. First off, there is a new minimum threshhold of $20 before you can receive payment. Previously you had to earn just $10, so this is double. CashCrate states that the average check they send is $20, and says the change will encourage referrals to complete more offers. It's most likely also to help CashCrate cut down on all the checks they had to send out. Some may view this as a more difficult goal, but if you build up referrals, you can achieve that $20 in no time.

The second change which is a good one is that CashCrate offers an option to receive Paypal payments now. In the past you had to wait for your check to be mailed (Monetizer is waiting for one from 9/15). Now you can supply your Paypal address and receive a much faster payment than before, but it must be a minimum of $20.

From the CashCrate blog:

To receive your payment via PayPal, you must have a Verified account. Then just login, go to “My Account”, select “PayPal” under “Payment Options” and enter your PayPal email address. Your monthly earnings will then be sent to your PayPal account instead of by check. Earnings from September and onward will be available through PayPal; payments from August and before can only be paid by check.

I encourage readers to sign up for CashCrate here. If nothing else, sign up and place your referral link on your blog or website, invite friends via email, and build a simple referral campaign. Then you can begin to earn a passive income off other people who fill out surveys and earn money with the site!


Boomertowne.com = Ghost Town?

ghost town
A while back the Monetizer gave a review of the fun-filled website known as Boomertowne.com. It was a website aimed at the Boomer generations where games could be played, chats could be had, recipes and jokes could be shared and prizes could be scored. The site rewarded members as they racked up point totals, by sending out gift cards and other prizes like iPods, video game systems and more. It now appears that Boomertowne has become a virtual Ghost town...

In recent times, members of the site began to complain about the fact that gift cards were not arriving within 2 months as Boomertowne had promised. The Monetizer received 2 gift cards during the time of membership; a $75 Visa gift card and a $25 Target gift card. Both worked fine online and elsewhere for their total amounts. However, the fact remains that Boomertowne was not addressing the concerns of members asking "Where the heck are our gift cards??!" Complaint after complain had been logged, with some members going as far as writing to the Better Business Bureau. No responses, and now a visit to the site produces the mysterious "error, site not found message". Boomertowne has seemingly vanished.

**UPDATE: The following info about Boomertowne was obtained from comparerewards.com:

Update, 9/20: The BoomerTowne.com website is now down. The Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions shows Concierge Web LLC is still a valid corporation, so they haven't filed for bankruptcy (or if they have, WI hasn't updated their records to reflect it). The timing of this, just two days after their PR firm disavowed any knowledge of the company's owner's whereabouts, certainly sounds final. Feel free to submit your claims to the Better Business Bureau here - Concierge Web LLC is incorporated in Wisconsin but is listed with the BBB as www.Boomertowne.com, with this address: 100 North Corporate Dr Suite 170, Brookfield, WI 53045

I won't be too quick to judge as CashCrate.com was down for several days as well. But BT may be just another example of how not to conduct your online business. Customer service is key whether you own a sales site, social media, or even a blog. Boomertowne needs to start issuing statements, to prove themselves a worthy company. After all, the people who make the biggest "impressions" for your site are the ones you need to keep satisfied most.

On that note, the Monetizer previously mentioned Ximmy not paying up as well. About 2-3 weeks ago, The Monetizer sent a personally typed letter to Ximmy headquarters in California, but have yet to receive a response. The next step will most likely be informing Better Business Bureau in CA. It's unfortunate, but now we see two shining examples of poor online customer service. If your company runs a website with a large number of members or subscribers, you simply can't ignore those people. Shame on both sites for not delivering as promised.


Does Modeling Equal Blogging Success?

The book "Unlimited Power" by Anthony Robbins discusses the topic of how to achieve the same success as others. In his book, Robbins suggests that if you model your actions, techniques and/or thought process as close as possible to the successful person's, you too should achieve a similar success. It's not always true, but it can produce great results.

For example, Michael Jordan is one of the greatest, if not greatest all-time NBA player. Future stars such as Kobe Bryant and Lebron James credit their success to studying Jordan while growing up, mimicking his style and basically putting in the hard work he did to succeed. Many NBA players even go as far as hiring Tim Grover, who is MJ's personal trainer. Grover gets them in top physical shape with grueling workouts just like he did for MJ. You see in this example, how players study the legends and in effect become the next legends.

I feel the same can be said of John Chow, Shoemoney and Problogger among other "A-List" bloggers. Here's some things I take away from their success, simple and broadly stated concepts:

- They all are dedicated to their niche, and blog at least daily.
- They all have their blogs self-hosted.
- They've all had their blog sites designed by pros.
- They all offer something different with their blogs, whether it be John Chow's dining photos, or Shoe's UFC predictions. Each blog is unique and speaks to audiences on many levels.
- They continuously test and implement new monetization strategies to see what works best.
- They realize their blog readers are extremely important for their bottom-line results, and they do everything they can to reward them.
- They benefit at times from the use of guest-post bloggers.
- They don't stop with what they have. You see John Chow has hit a $30,000 a month level and claims he won't stop there. Is this greed or purely incentive to always improve, always do better?

These are just 3 A-List bloggers, and there's many more out there in various niches. There's also many up and coming bloggers who will set the blogosphere ablaze with great new blogs and material. I feel we can all take away from the concept of modeling. This isn't to say copy their exact blog designs and steal their material, but it is to say following most of the above concepts will help you on your way to blogging success.

Find a blog in your niche that is doing very well and study it. It may even be your biggest competitor who is outdoing your site. See what it is that has them doing so well, and model to improve your blog in those areas. Are they higher up in search results? Do they have more content posted? Do they get more reader feedback and if so why? There's plenty of things you can look at then attempt to model those techniques for your blog.

I hope this provides some quick food for thought on how to make your blog even more successful than before.


50 Suggested Success Classics

A great way to pave your way towards success is one of the easiest things to do, and it's far from a secret. It's the good ol' fashioned concept of reading. Reading books on subjects such as success, biographies about perserverance and money making, as well as business and entrepreneurial titles can really charge you up. As many say, if you find at least 1 new nugget of wisdom in a book it can very easily pay for itself many times over.

The following is a list of "50 Success Classics" from butler-bowdon.com. Right now Monetizer is on a mission to read all 50. I'm about 1/5th of the way through the list. The titles with links are those that I've read, and recommend all of these. Maybe give yourself an assignment to read a book a month, or a week, or if you're a fast reader 2 a week. In no time you'll be giving yourself a great foundation for success!

50 Success Classics

1. Horatio Alger Ragged Dick (1867)
2. Warren Bennis On Becoming A Leader (1989)
3. Frank Bettger How I Raised Myself From Failure To Success in Selling (1947)
4.Kenneth Blanchard & Spencer Johnson The One Minute Manager (1981)
5.Edward Bok The Americanization of Edward Bok (1921)
6. Claude M Bristol The Magic of Believing (1948)
7.Andrew Carnegie Autobiography (1920)
8.Chin-ning Chu Thick Face Black Heart (1992)
9.George S Clason The Richest Man in Babylon (1926)
10. Robert Collier Secrets of the Ages (1926)
11.Jim Collins Good To Great (2001)
12.Russel H Conwell Acres of Diamonds (1921)
13. Stephen R Covey The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People (1989)
14. Michael Dell Direct From Dell (1999)
15.Henry Ford My Life and Work (1922)
16. Benjamin Franklin The Way To Wealth (1758)
17.Timothy Gallwey The Inner Game of Tennis (1974)
18.Robin Gerber Leadership The Eleanor Roosevelt Way (2003)
19. John Paul Getty How To Be Rich (1961)
20.Les Giblin How to Have Power and Confidence In Dealing With People (1956)
21.Baltasar Gracian The Art of Worldly Wisdom (1647)
22. Earl G Graves How To Succeed in Business Without Being White (1997)
23. Napoleon Hill - Think and Grow Rich (1937)
24. Napoleon Hill & W Clement Stone Success With a Positive Mental Attitude (1960)
25. Tom Hopkins The Official Guide to Success (1982)
26.Muriel James & Dorothy Jongeward Born To Win (1971)
27. Spencer Johnson Who Moved My Cheese? (1998)
28. Robert Kiyosaki Rich Dad, Poor Dad (1997)
29.David Landes The Wealth and Poverty of Nations (1998)
30.Jim Loehr & Tony Schwartz The Power of Full Engagement (2003)
31.Roger Lowenstein Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist (1995)
32.Nelson Mandela Long Walk To Freedom (1994 )
33. Orison Swett Marden Pushing To The Front (1894)
34. JW Marriott Jnr The Spirit To Serve (1997)
35. Margot Morrell & Stephanie Capparell Shackleton's Way (2001)
36. Donald T Phillips Lincoln On Leadership (1992)
37.Catherine Ponder The Dynamic Laws of Prosperity (1962)
38.Cheryl Richardson Take Time For Your Life (1998)
39. Anthony Robbins Unlimited Power (1986)
40. David Schwartz The Magic of Thinking Big (1959)
41.Florence Scovell Shinn Secret Door to Success (1940)
42. Thomas J Stanley The Millionaire Mind (2000)
43. Brian Tracy Maximum Achievement (1993)
44.Sun Tzu The Art of War (4 th century BCE)
45. Sam Walton Made in America (1992)
46. Wallace Wattles The Science of Getting Rich (1910)
47.Jack Welch Jack: Straight From the Gut (2001)
48.John Whitmore Coaching For Performance (1992)
49.Richard Wiseman The Luck Factor (2003)
50. Zig Ziglar See You At The Top (1975)

If you've read any of the above and particularly enjoyed them, drop a comment here to let others know your thoughts on the title. Here's to your success!


The Battle of the Browsers!

Let's face it folks, Internet Explorer is yesterday's news. What used to dominate our web surfing is now being taken out by the new kids..Since the Monetizer likes to test out new tech toys and web stuff, I've been testing several of the other browsers. Some I've used longer than others, but others I recently downloaded I'm enjoying quite a bit. Today we'll take a look at IE replacements: Firefox, Safari, Opera & Google's Chrome. Most of the browsers listed below are available for PC and Mac users, meaning things are becoming even more compatible online. I'll reveal my favorite browser below, but each of these browsers offers fun, fast and fancy ways to surf the web.

Firefox (by Mozilla) - The baddest of the bunch, it's been taking over IE for some time. In fact I urge you if you're reading this post on IE, consider a switch to Mozilla Firefox. The current version is Firefox 3, a free download. It runs much smoother, spell checks your typing on sites, and has some great add-ons. I personally like the color finder (finds a HTML code for a specific color on any site), and Screen Grab (grab a whole web page or part of it, save it or copy it to an art program). Trust me folks, if you're using IE and not Firefox, you're limiting your surfing :)

mozilla firefox browser screenshot

Features offered:
- One-click boomarking
- Improved performance
- Smart Location Bar
- Password Manager
- Instant Web Site ID
- Full Zoom
- Platform Native Look & Feel

Check out Firefox here!

Safari (by Apple) - The Monetizer fell in love with Safari as a Mac/Apple user. It was a great day when I discovered Apple had launched the browser for PC users as a free download. What I like most is the speed of this browser, as well as its futuristic Chrome look. Sometimes speed is all in the mind, but Safari does seem to move quick when browsing or using a site. You can also download Safari for the iPhone, perfect for Apple's tech toy. Safari's ultra-futuristic and makes you feel like your browsing in the year 2010..in a few years you will be!

Apple Safari screenshot

Features offered:
- Fast performance
- Easy bookmarking
- Tabbed Browsing
- Built-in RSS
- Forms AutoFill
- Private Browsing

Check out Safari here!

Opera - What used to be your grandmother's favorite event to attend is now a uniquely named Web browser. The Opera browser would rank 3rd behind Firefox and Safari, but it may be a tie with Safari in the minds of some. I haven't used it quite as much as the other two, but I am using it to create this very blog post you're reading. What I like most Opera's "Speed Dial" (see screenshot below). It has thumbnails of your 9 favorite (or most visited) websites for when you first launch Opera. You simply click the square which shows the site you want and BAM! you're there. You could set up Blogger, Myspace, Google, eBay, Amazon, or whatever sites you frequent for even easier access. And there's also the standard bookmarks, tabs and much more. The browser also seems faster just like Safari for browsing use. It also offers a Download Manager with BitTorrent, a link synchronizer between your PC and mobile device, widgets, customizations and much more!

opera screenshot 1

Features offered:
- Quick Find
- Opera Link
- Speed Dial
- Download manager with BitTorrent
- Tabs and sessions
- Content Blocking
- Zoom & Fit to width
- Built in e-mail & newsfeeds

Check out Opera here!

Chrome (by Google) - Google loves to be involved in everything we do nowadays, and they also want to out-do everyone else. It's the biggest search engine known to mankind, and also our beloved Adsense resides there. In fact it seems they will one day have micrchips installed into our own human flesh, so we can be Google mapped, run ads and do telepathic emails. All kidding aside, this is the newest of the browsers, but as of right now I'm not using it quite so much because it's a BETA. Since it's still being developed, the features on Safari, Opera and Firefox appeal to me more.

Chrome does look like it has potential though, in a freaky way. The browser will actually adapt to your surfing patterns and at some point when you launch the browser, it will show your "most visited" sites, for easier access. It's similar to Opera's "Speed Dial" mentioned above" as it offers thumbnails of the sites for you to click on and access. There's a quick app launch feature, to allow you to launche your favorite web apps straight from desktop.Also Chrome offers the "crash control" feature. I've already noticed on just a few uses of Chrome, it tends to crash on certain sites. Since it's new, I expect it to be upgraded with bug fixes, but for now I'll stick to Firefox, Opera and Safari. Gary Conn has even written an interesting "conspiracy theory" blog post about Chrome, discussing its information collecting powers and why it runs slow. Google Chrome Scares The CHROME out of me… by Garry Conn

google chrome screenshot

Features offered:
-New Tab page
-Application shortcuts
-Dynamic tabs
-Crash control
-Incognito mode
-Safe browsing
-Instant bookmarks
-Importing settings
-Simpler downloads

Check out Google Chrome here!

As mentioned above, with the exception of Chrome, the other 3 will work on a PC or Mac. Also, all of the above browsers are FREE!

You'll find overlapping features in many of the browsers above, such as tabs and recovery of your last session. The web browser you use for your internet activities is really a matter of personal preferences. Each of the above offer similar features and functions for web browsing capabilities, and may offer you great features for blogging and money making. I highly recommend Firefox to all those not using it, but would advise bloggers to consider downloading a few of the above. This way you can make sure your blog is being viewed accurately across all browsers. The last thing you want is your blog to look great on Firefox and IE, but look like trash on the other browsers! So collect em' all, and trade them with your friends! Whatever you do, kick IE to the curb!

(Note: Don't ignore IE competely, keep it around for viewing your blog to make sure it looks ok to those who haven't made the "switch" just yet).


Take the Mascot Quiz and Get Rich with Mr. Buffett!

roanald mcdonald teaser
(Above: Will the real Ronald please step forward?)

It's Sunday, so time to let loose and have a little fun here at the Monetizer blog. It's going to be another busy day for the Monetizer between blogging and setting up ebay auctions, among other endeavors. Here's some random fun and thoughts for your day.

AOL Money Presents the Company Mascot Quiz

This is a fun one, it's a 20 question quiz to identify the correct mascot for each company. Some of the all-time greats are represented like Mr. Peanut and The Pillsbury Doughboy. Try your luck and see if you can guess which of the 2 similar-looking images is the correct mascot! (Note: Monetizer scored 17 correct of 20...Toucan Sam got me! ;O )

Take the AOL Money Company Mascot Quiz!

Warren Buffet's 10 Ways to Get Rich

In today's Parade there's a very interesting article on billionaire Warren Buffett which presents his "10 Ways to Get Rich". Part of the article discusses how Buffet had hundreds of thousands of dollars by his mid-20's! In the Parade article, Buffett lists out his secrets to moneymaking. Some may be common knowledge to you, other ideas might be eye-opening. There's a new Buffett book coming out as well called "The Snowball - Warren Buffett and the Business of Life" written by Alice Schroeder, set to hit stores in October. Parade offers a chance to win one of 50 copies of the book here.

Here's Buffett's 10 Ways to Get Rich:

1) Re-invest your profits
2) Be willing to be different
3) Never suck your thumb
4) Spell out the deal before you act
5) Watch small expenses
6) Limit what you borrow
7) Be persistent
8) Know when to quit
9) Assess the risks
10)Know what success really means

There's more detail given for each tip on the Parade site. Perhaps the biggest of these to apply to blogging are "Re-investing profits", "be willing to be different" and "assessing risks". If you're making money on a blog, consider taking some of it and putting it back into the blog in the form of advertising, new logos, design, branding, or anything that may relate to your blog topic (example: better camera if you run a photo-themed blog, etc).

Being different is something many of the A-list bloggers recommend, as well as The Monetizer. Why blog what everyone else is already blogging? A common issue addressed with all the "Make Money" blogs there are is that it's just a recycling of the same material over and over. I've yet to read Chow, Problogger or Shoemoney, but I doubt they have the "Mascot quiz" up today! :)

Also, the risks are something we all should assess with our Blogs. Are you putting enough time in to make your blog a profitable one? Are you putting too much into it? Are your profits measurable with the effort you're giving? Is the competition ahead of you? Does your blog topic have enough of an audience? Should you tweak that Adsense ad, or try another advertiser? These are just some of the risks you might weigh when you have a blog or website for profit. Get some more ideas on Buffett's money-making strategy by reading the ten tips explained.

Read the full Buffett article here at Parade.com!

Stay tuned this week for more on how to set up your own Ebay seller's business!


Get Smart Results with Clicksmart!

Clicksmart is a helpful internet directory service I'd like to inform you of. The main purpose of Clicksmart, is to connect consumers with small businesses. The site provides "Clicksmart Certified Experts" in important fields such as real estate agents, insurance brokers and wedding planners. There's plenty of small business certified experts on the site to choose from, and you enter your zip code and location to get local business listings for your choice. For example, here's a myrtle beach realtor listing that Clicksmart provides to provide customers the best realtor services in Myrtle Beach. Need a Demolition and Excavation Contractor? Clicksmart has those too, as well as certified Florists, Flooring, Plumbing and Catering. There's also Wedding DJ's and Party Planners, among the many, many listings of small businesses. Or if you find yourself tense from blogging, peruse the listing for Massage therapists in your area to see which Clicksmart recommends!

Clicksmart also gives "qualified" small businesses an online venue to market themselves to customers. To be considered "qualified" as a Clicksmart Certified Expert, the professionals must be licensed and in good standing with Better Business Bureau, among other qualifications. Refer to clicksmart.com for more info about how to get your business listed!

If you'd like to get more of an idea about the web directory site head over to Clicksmart.com and start searching for the best small businesses Clicksmart has to offer!


Deal or No Deal vs. Millionaire

Jessica Robinson, 27-year-old housewife from Utah, your life has officially changed. You may have heard the news, Jessica became the first ever contestant in 3 years to win the big jackpot on the hit NBC show "Deal or No Deal". It came down to 3 briefcases with hers containing the million dollar prize. Sweet deal for Jessica, who's also expecting her second child later this month. It just might be the "Million Dollar Baby" she's carrying..

It's great to finally see a winner, but it's taken a very long time for the show to produce results. Mainly the problem with "Deal or No Deal", is that it's a game of chance and not skill. It's a guessing game, with not much logic involved other than occasional announcement of stats like "Joe still has a 45.7% chance at $250,000". They even spiced it up by making the Banker play the role of tempting devil and offer people Escalades, Resort vacations, donuts and more. Contestants get to bring family, friends, their 2nd grade science teacher, Larry from their office and neighbors who can channel their psychic powers and say "Go For It" or "That's a Lot of Money, I'd take it". Deal is a basically a play on the American obsession with gambling, and it's carried over to other countries. While the contestants aren't betting their own money, technically they are when they pass up $100,000 in search of more. American greed sets in and eventually causes them to have to cash out with less than that million they were hoping for. I don't want to say "What are We Teaching our Kids About Money", because that is Robert Kiyosaki's job, and technically Deal is still family-friendly and fun.

Now a gameshow like "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" definitely trumps "Deal or No Deal" with its format. Not that The Monetizer enjoys seeing Regis Philbin instead of the gorgeous briefcase girls, but Millionaire involves knowledge and strategy. You can phone a friend, eliminate 2 wrong answers, or ask the audience. It gives you more of a chance, and if you're smart, because you're usually earning prize money. Sure you can guess too, but that's a calculate risk, or gut instinct knowledge which drives many people to greatness. Often times it's surprising to see someone know so much about life, then stumble on an $8,000 about Southpark. Everyone gets their fair chance on Regis' show, whereas Howie plays the role of your best friend encouraging you to roll with the punches...

The Monetizer is far from raining on the parade here, because winning is great. Becoming an easy millionaire is even better. I used to be a fan of Deal, but stopped watching once nobody was coming up with the big win. Now interest may be renewed....Congratulations to Jessica and NBC's Deal show. After 246 episodes with nobody taking the 1 mill, things were looking fishy. We all know if someone didn't win soon, the Banker would surely be suspect... :)

Read more about Jessica Robinson's win here.

Understanding eBay Seller Fees

ebay seller fees with the monetizer

Before we get into the discussion of selling old vintage antiques on ebay or all your spare electronics items, let's look at how eBay makes its money. When you sell on eBay, it's imperative to understand the various seller fees you'll incur from them, as well as Paypal's fees for receiving money online. Listing your item too fast may result in really piling up the charges, and taking away from your final profit on a sale. Here's a quick rundown of what fees you should expect and plan for as an eBay seller.

Insertion Fee:
This is the basic fee you're charged just for listing an item auction on eBay. They can range anywhere from 5 cents to $4.00. They depend on the starting price for auction. For examples:

$0.01 to $0.99 has an Insertion fee of $.15 for most items*
$1.00 to $9.99 has an Insertion fee of $0.35 for most items*
$10.00 to $24.99 has an Insertion fee of $0.55 for most items*
$25.00 to $49.99 has an Insertion fee of $1.00 for ALL items
$50.00 to $199.99 has an Insertion fee of $2.00 for ALL items
$200.00 to $499.99 has an Insertion fee of $3.00 for ALL items
$499.99 and up has an Insertion fee of $4.00 for ALL items

* The insertion fee for Books, Music, Movies, Video Games and DVD's is slightly less for items in the first 3 ranges listed above.

* Business and Industrial Capital Equipment has an Insertion fee of $20.00 (includes Tractors, farm machinery, heavy equipment, trailers, fork lifts, concession trailers, etc.)

So with the eBay insertion fee you really need to set your starting price wisely. Obviously in a lot of situations, a 10 cent difference isn't a huge deal, but it all cuts into the final profit. Many people believe in starting hot items at 99 cents, but be careful with this method. If you misspell a word on your auction title, or your item doesn't get the attention you expected, you may end up selling something great, really cheap!

Buy it Now Fee:
Buy it Now allows you to set a price at which anyone can come along and purchase your item at that moment. To set a Buy it Now, you incur a fee, usually $0.05 to $0.25 cents depending on the price you set.

Reserve Price Fee:
A reserve price is a minimum price you want your item to sell for. Example, you have an old baseball card worth $200 and decide you need at least $100 for it. Setting your auction with this "Reserve price" will cost you. If you set a reserve price for your auction between $0.01 and $199.99 it will run you $2.00. Imagine paying $2.00 and setting your reserve price incorrectly at $1? If your reserve price is $200 or more, the fee is 1% of the reserve price, up to $50 charged. You can see how these fees can cost you...

Extra Auction Fees:

eBay allows you to add all sorts of nice bells and whistles to your auction listings..for a fee of course. These are the eBay image upload fees and the Auction upgrade fees. Examples are o the "Auction upgrade" are selecting borders, layout graphics to spice up the listing, bold headings, sub-headings, listing in 2 categories, etc. Use these all sparingly and wisely, because they do add up and take away from your profits on a sale. A great way to save on eBay's Picture upload fees, just join a free photo site such as Photobucket.com, and host your extra item images there. Photobucket provides you with direct HTML code you can stick into the HTML editor for your listings on eBay. You can even stick a slideshow into your auction to really jazz it up! (Note: consider the page load on eBay auctions, in the minor case of dialup users)

Final Value Fee:
This is the fee eBay takes from you based on the final sale of your item. Final Value fees use a calculated amount to determine eBay's commission on your sale. These depend on the final selling price. If your item sells for $25 or under, you incur a fee of 8.75% of the fianl price. If your item sells for $25.01 to $1000.00, it's of the initial $25.00 ($2.19), plus 3.50% of the remaining closing value balance ($25.01 to $1,000.00). And if the item sells for over $1,000 it's another interesting calculation of percentages which gives eBay a nice tidy commission of your sale.

Keep in mind, if a Buyer DOES NOT pay you after a set period of time, you can dispute them as a non-paying Buyer on eBay. The dispute will allow you to inform eBay that the Buyer was a non-payer, and it allows you to refund your Final Value Fee on the sale. Read more about that here.

Paypal Fee:
When you sell your item, if you use Paypal to receive the Buyer's money, Paypal takes a cut. It ranges based on how much money you've made plus $0.30 cents. An example is a recent Bose radio that sold for close to $300, and Paypal took about $10 for their "share" of the action. It's how they stay in business, so don't forget this fee will be taken out once you're payed for an item. Unlike eBay, Paypal automatically detects this fee, so don't worry about having to go in and pay it. But consider the fact that if you sell a free coupon for just $0.99 cents with no shipping, you're not making much profit on that "Freebie".

Read more about Paypal fees at Paypal.com

That covers the fees you should expect from eBay for listing auctions, improving the auctions, setting Buy it Now or Reserve price, finalizing a sale of an item, and receiving the money through Paypal. The eBay fees will acrrue in your Sellers Account at eBay. If you leave the fees unpaid, often eBay can threaten to, and will, suspend your account until they are resolved.

All of the above fees can add up, so you'll really need to price your items appropriately and do your homework on them. In Part 1 of the Monetizer's "Selling on eBay" series, I'll discuss the aspects of successful selling campaigns!

Stay tuned for more posts on how to make money selling on eBay!

Read more about eBay fees from the online auction site itself! - The Monetizer recommends printing out a copy to keep as a handy reference!

Also check out this eBay auction for a Jay Leno cornflake..people sell anything don't they??

Also you may want to check out this cool image The Monetizer uncovered on Flickr, called Blogopoly. It's a great take on the board game Monopoly, only for Bloggers!

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