Make Money with Black Friday 2008

A few days ago I mentioned using Cyber Monday (12/1) to make money online with your blog or website via affiliate links to participating retailers. Well soon Black Friday will be hitting you just like Aunt Milfred's Green Bean Casserole and burnt yams the day after Thanksgiving. There's plenty of opportunity to make money using Black Friday deals, should you be brave enough to venture out into the "real world" the day after you've pigged out on Turkey, stuffing, potatoes & pie. Some great items can be had at rock-bottom bargain prices in all sorts of stores. The best thing to do with these is find great deals on hot items and re-sell them on eBay. In my experience, new sealed in the package items are always hot sellers on eBay. Keep in mind that items may be flying off the shelves in some areas, but readily available in yours. So if someone in another state was after a hot item and it ran out quick in their store, they may be turning online to eBay to find it!

One great example is those GPS units. It seems a lot of places are offering these at great deals. CVS in particular was advertising one at $79. If you've got any of those CVS Rewards bucks or gift cards, you can cash them in towards one, then sell on eBay at a nice profit. Other examples are video game bundles, individual games and accessories. Many of these items will be topping wishlists, so if you find deals on hot ones, grab em! Of course make sure to research eBay sold prices for the items, rather than blindly expecting to make money off whatever you buy!

Many stores have already started their Black Friday sales, with some going on on Thanksgiving. Wal Mart, Best Buy, Kmart, Sears, Toys R Us and Target are amongst those offering deals on Turkey day.

Here's a link to Amazon.com's Black Friday page
. The online retailer is also participating in the day after Turkey day sales too! Also be sure to check out the site SpooFriday.com which has links to the Thanksgiving day and after Thanksgiving day sales!


Happy TweetsGiving & Thanksgiving!

Hello to all twitters who love to tweet..It's not only the Thanksgiving holiday this week, but there's also Tweetsgiving going on..it's a mouthful just like the turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes we'll all be enjoying. So what exactly is this "Tweetsgiving"?

Tweetsgiving is a special project created by a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization called Epic Change. Their objective is to show just how powerful social media is, by raising funds in the amount of $10,000 to build a new classroom in Tanzania. They have just 48 hours to do it, and as of my last check, they were at $3,622.29 and climbing, 36% of the way towards their goal. TweetsGiving started Tuesday at noon and ends Thanksgiving day at noon.

One way to get involved in this is to spread the word. You can do that via your blog or social media profile, or even via a tweet on your Twitter profile. They ask that you share something you're thankful for and include the #TweetsGiving tag, plus a link to: http://tinyurl.com/4thanks

You can also participate by choosing to donate at least $10. You'll be able email a TweetsGiving tweet to tweetsgiving@gmail.com. Your special tweet will be painted on a brick used to build the classroom in Tanzania.

For $100 or more you'll be noted on their website as a "Top Turkey" along with your Twitter profile link. You can also choose to do some shopping at http://shop.epicchange.org/ where your purchases will help add 1 or more bricks to the school project.

So get tweeting before you start eating! Drop by the official Tweetsgiving.org page and follow @TweetsGiving for all the details on this wonderful and generous social media project!

To all Monetizer readers and moneymakers, may your Thanksgiving be full of happiness, lots of great food and prosperity!


Make Money with CyberMonday Shopping Deals!

cybermonday.com logo Yep, it's just about that time again folks. You might be familiar with those ads on TV with a male voice joyfully singing "it's the most wonderful time, of the year!". However, the current economy just might be casting a dark cloud and raining on many people's Christmases & Holiday shopping. The Monetizer is far from Mr. Grinch though, so to put a positive spin on things, you can still make money online with this. CyberMonday is considered the official "day after Thanksgiving for online shopping". According to CyberMonday.com, the online shopping day falls on December 1, 2008, which is the Monday after Thanksgiving. This day was set in anticipation of all those people back to work or home after the holiday who decide to shop online.

It's an understatement for me to say that people are cutting back this year, due to the economy, but we all know many people still want to give gifts and still save money. Some homes/offices may decide to do Secret Santas for their families or works in the interest of not having to buy everyone a gift. One area people are less likely to do away with completely is in giving gifts to their children, or possibly a significant other. This gives you a great way to capitalize on some online sales. Of course, this is the sort of niche site or blog to set up months ahead of time, but now you can begin to add in various merchants with affiliates to your blog mix. You can see just some of the CyberMonday participants in the image below to get an idea of how you might them into your blog content.

cybermonday shops online deals

Many online retailers are simply offering free shipping, and with good cause. People would rather not fight with crowds or wait in lines, or go through the hassle of finding a parking spot at the malls. Some retailers such as Home Depot, Sierra Trading Post & Office Depot are offering percent or cash off discounts to online shoppers. So there's bound to be some sort of affiliate related to your blog or website material that you can promote on your blog for CyberMonday. Start now, because being accepted by affiliates can take a few days (sometimes longer).

Also consider that Amazon Associates works well around the holidays. The great thing with their associate/affiliate program is you just need visitors to click on a link, and buy something from Amazon within so many days. No matter what item(s) they purchase, you'll receive commission. Consider setting up Gift Wishlist posts on your blog or creative gift ideas related to your niche, then use the Amazon links (using the code they give you) as the item titles. eBay Partner Networks and ShoppingAds are two other programs to tinker with on your site as people look for great deals online.

So while the economy looks bleak, turn it into a great opportunity, as consumer interest and deal shoppers just might help you make extra money this holiday season!

The Monetizer recommends CommissionJunction and/or Linkshare.com for affiliate programs in addition to Amazon Associates. Find out more about these and other programs at Monetizer's Recommended Moneymakers!

Find Hot Content & Make Money with Trendhunter

Ready to blog about the latest or up and coming new trends? It can be a great way to increase potential traffic and blog subscribers, by staying ahead of the crowd. There just happens to be a helpful, stylish new site which consists of members who hunt down the coolest stuff out there... Trendhunter.com is an online magazine, community site where members spot and hunt for the latest and hottest trends. (join community for free) Built in 2005, Trendhunter is the brainchild of Jeremy Gutsche, who wanted a creative business site to spot trends. The concept has the site able to identify all sorts of trends & even micro-trends in anticipation of "the next big thing"s. One of the testimonial quotes promoting the site from MTV says "At Trendhunter, find out what's cool, before its cool". See more testimonials and media here. The site presents visitors with the hottest trends over the past day, week, or month. You may already see the wheels spinning in your mind as to how this can help you with blogging about the latest and greatest info for your particular niche...

Google Trends is the popular program many bloggers have taken a liking to as it helps you spot search trends. From there you can craft blog posts to take advantage of these hot topics, and possibly gain a lot of search traffic to your blog. Trendhunter may present an even better way to do this, and allows you to embed the hot new trends right into your blog. They offer 99 flavors of RSS to add into your blog's sidebar columns, as well as widgets for Myspace, Twitter & Facebook, banners and many other cool tools to show off the hot or upcoming trends.

Just to give an example of last Thursday's hot trends in a 24 hour period:

Real Furbys, 40 Facebook Innovations, Top 20 Kickass Extreme and Gothic Greetings ranked amongst the top 5 hottest trends over a 24 hour time frame on Thursday, November 20, 2008.

In addition to their free trend reports, Trendhunter offers what many companies really want, the 2009 niche trend reports. Their perfect for strategizing and marketing to the current and up-and-coming "it" generations. These reports come at a price which may be hefty for the average blogger or small business owner. A year long subscription to reports runs about $1,500, with individual reports costing up to $500 or so.

Trendhunter offers a section of "Top Sites", where websites and blogs which are identified as top trend-finding sites are listed. The aforementioned Google Trends is there, as are well-knowns like Boing Boing & Techcrunch. If you author a blog of this nature which looks at the latest trends (mixed bag niche even), it may be a great promotional idea to submit your blog or site to Trendhunter. According to the site, you'd leverage their 8 million visitors worth of traffic!

And wouldn't you leave it to the Monetizer to find the "EARN $" section of Trendhunter.com! They have a small section which they say is ideal for students or bloggers, because in reality we're all trend hunters. From the looks of their revenue-sharing program, you're payed for submitting new trends. They also run Google adsense, so you may be sharing in those profits, similar to Squidoo. They claim to have 8 million visitors to the site, which could make for a lot of page views if you get a trend into the top trends. According to their site, their top trendhunters earn $1,000 a month! You can read more info about their moneymaking program here.

So bookmark Trendhunter and keep an eye on it. It just might give you something to blog about before the rest of your niche does, and give yet another way to make money online!


SEO Tips from Entrepreneur Magazine

entrepreneur magazine december 2008 cover The latest issue of Entrepreneur magazine offers plenty of great advice for starting your own business and promoting its growth, which includes marketing via a website. Amongst the articles is one which provides 5 Ways to Maximize Your SEO for your website (or blog). Below, The Monetizer provides you with each of their SEO tips, with my own commentary added in to each tip.

1) Get a Good Domain - You've heard this advice many times: If you're planning a profitable blog, make sure to purchase a domain early, and make it catchy and easy to remember. Avoid long names and dashes, & make it a dotcom if possible. According to Entrepreneur mag, you should also make sure your domain is built with keywords relative to your product or blog topic, if possible. For example "mypetproducts.com" if you're selling products for pets. Most small business owners know that these days with the economy hurting, using online marketing to create a presence is essential though.

There's open debates over whether your blog needs a domain though. The Monetizer prefers free Blogspot blogs for now, but definitely sees the advantage of having a domain. One thing I would have liked to have created is a forum section for one of my blogs. Having a domain with GoDaddy or HostGator would allow for this. If you are going to get a domain, make sure to purchase it early to allow for domain-aging, which will eventually help SEO.

2) Take Care with Titles - Make sure that each of your website's pages have unique, keyword-appropriate and search-engine friendly titles. According to the article, if you're building a website from scratch with an HTML editor, many times they won't point out you're missing title tags. Blogging platforms such as Blogger and Wordpress have the feature built in, which is why blogs continue to be so popular for SEO and money-making.

3) Use Keywords Wisely - In terms of your webpage or blog content, don't keyword spam them. For example, you've titled an article or site page "Helpful iPhone Apps". Don't continuously spam those keywords in your article or blog post. Instead, use that combination 2-5 times (sparingly) and also use keywords that relate to the ones you want to target.

4) Make Your Contact Info Obvious - This tip relates more to small businesses trying to start up a new venture, but it can relate to the idea of blog branding/networking as well. The article contends that you should hot link your email, even though there are email spammers running amuck. They contend that you want customers and network contacts to be able to find you. This is up to you my friends, and you may notice other bloggers use "myemail[at]hotmail[dot]com" to prevent being spammed. Personal preference here, but make sure you allow readers or site visitors a way to contact you. It could go a long way towards link building, networking and getting your site known by the masses.

5) Link Up - The biggest advice amongst SEO experts and from Entrepreneur mag, may be to get high quality backlinks to your site from similar sites. If you're blogging about travel, seek out blogs in your niche and try to work out friendly link exchanges. The more you get, the higher your PageRank can climb, and the better your search engine results can be! If you're using Entrecard, consider making up a friendly note to send to other bloggers there in your niche. It's an easy way to find a lot of related blogs in one place that you can easily contact and network with!

Keep the 5 above tips in mind when you're updating your blog next time. Recently, The Monetizer has started to work harder to title posts on other blogs I author, to make sure they have a shot at capitalizing off search traffic. When you think up a post, go to one of the SEO Tools like SEO Book or the Google Adwords Suggestion Tool, and type the keywords of your post. See if some other results come up you can work into your title.

You can find the above 5 tips and much more in the December 2008 issue of Entrepreneur magazine.


Make Money with a PayPerView Blog?

An interesting new development in blogging to make money has come about. As of last week, well-known make money online blogger, Garry Conn, is charging $1.00 to read certain articles on his blog. The reasoning behind Conn's charges was layed out on his Important Update post:

The level of quality in the articles I write on this blog, I strongly feel are of great value. With that said, I truly enjoy writing them and I truly enjoy helping you find success with making money online.

In light of that, I would like to start receiving a small compensation for the time I invest into writing and publishing my articles on my blog. Starting today, I will be making a change to my blog. Many of the future articles that I publish on my blog will provide a snippet. In order to read the full article, you are invited to process a $1.00 payment via Paypal.com. Once that payment is processed, you will be automatically redirected to the full article. From there you can view it, print it or even bookmark it for later use.

All's fair in love & making money online right? There will be some who object to PPV blogs, but it's their prerogative to choose not to pay for it. I consider this similar to the idea of Howard Stern. If you object to his material don't listen to him or buy satellite radio. All in all, I wish Garry Conn success with his latest venture, but I won't be charging people for my advice and ideas......yet :)

The Monetizer also wants to direct your attention to several blogs I check out regularly, and surprise, surprise, they don't include John Chow or Problogger...No disrespect to John or Darren, but these blogs are the ones to read if you really want to get more traffic to your blog and increase your passive income (through Adsense or affiliate programs, or whatever you please):

Blogging Zombie
SEO Zombie
Internet Marketing School - Courtney Tuttle
Make Money Online for Beginners - Grizzly
The Keyword Academy - also by Courtney Tuttle

Keep those five blogs bookmarked (with The Monetizer), read their posts backwards and forwards, and make sure you practice their suggested techniques until your head's ready to explode! These guys definitely know their stuff.


It Pays to Run Kontera Ads!

Hello make money online fans, just wanted to let you know that real checks are sent by Kontera (see image above)! They're the advertising company that provides those underlined in-text links to various products and services, and you earn per click. Out of the blue, I received a check from Kontera in the mail last week (I don't check Kontera stats as regularly as some other advertising programs). Now while they took longer to earn with than Google Adsense does, they did send a real check as promised once my account reached the $100 mark. I recommend them strongly as a passive, additional income supplement. You may even be surprised with another check in the mail as I was! (That book The Secret really works!)

I was able to apply for Kontera way back when I first started blogging thanks to John Chow, A-List blogger. Chow provides a post on his blog called How to Make Money Online with Kontera which gives you a great starting point for this advertiser. Your best shot if your blog(s) haven't taken off yet in terms of traffic and page views is to enter “John Chow Kontera partnership” into the Comments field. This will allow smaller, newer blogs to participate with Kontera. Also be advised as John Chow tells readers, the Kontera advertisements take about a week to learn the content of your blog, so don't be discouraged if the links aren't showing up immediately!

Here's to your success,
The Monetizer Making Money Online

Zenni Optical offers Stylish, Affordable Glasses!

Having trouble reading this blog post or are you finding yourself squinting at the computer screen often? It may be time to get your eyes checked or purchase new eyeglasses! Zenni Optical provides Stylish prescription eyeglasses at very affordable prices. Zenni's prices start at just $8.00 for their selection of eyeglasses and stylish frames! Among the types of lenses offered by Zenni Optical are the single vision lens, sunsensor (potochromic) lens, tinted sunglasses lens, bifocal lens and progressive lens. It's the stylish shades that really can make your glasses a truly functional fashion accessory and Zenni doesn't disappoint with their multitude of frame selections!

zenni optical stainless steel rims

Pictured above you can see just one of the stylish types of frames Zenni offers for Men. These are the 9116 Stainless Steel Half Rim Frames which start at $25.95. These particular frames are available in silver, grey, gold, blue or black depending on your preference. Zenni also offers goggles, Women's Fashion glasses, Children's Frames, Full & Half Rim frames, Rimless frames, Alluminum Alloy and Pure Titanium, plus many more offerings!

Zenni Optical also provides tints for your lenses in varying colors as well as clip on 80% polarized sunshades for $3.95 each. I know if you use the internet alot like the Monetizer does, you may need to get your eyes checked or increase your lens strength in your prescription. Zenni Optical provides you the ease and comfort of ordering stylish frames on your new glasses right from home!

For more info about ZenniOptical.com please see:


How to Make Money with Barack Obama

barack obama time magazine commemorative issue Hopefully our next president Barack Obama will bring us all the change we need... that is, large amounts of change deposited into our pockets! But seriously, one of the biggest dilemas facing Barack as president will be what to do about the poor United States economy. There's already been discussions of Mr. Obama signing a new economic stimulus package into effect once he steps into his new office. That could be great for our economy, and great for you and me!

Now there's some other ways you can make money with president-elect Barack Obama right now. Recently, I've given you tips and advice for how to effectively run an eBay business. Right now, Barack Obama is hotter than hot, and all sorts of his items are selling like hotcakes on eBay! People across the country and even across the world want to own a piece of history, so they're willing to pay for Barack Obama merchandise or memorabilia online.

A recent example which you may be able to get in on, is the special commemorative Barack Obama issue of Time Magazine, pictured above. The magazine (sans mailing label) is selling for around $17 or so on eBay. If you're lucky enough to have received a copy in the mail with no label (maybe yours is delivered in plastic bag), or even grabbed a copy or two at the newstand, then why not take advantage of selling it to gain some extra cash? Or perhaps you'd like to hold onto your copy and see if the value jumps, pending Barack's success in office!

Other items you can consider selling, Barack T-shirts, Barack buttons or any other novelty you may have received during the campaign and historic election! Just make sure you have the item in a condition people will want. Sky tends to be the limit for what you can sell on eBay, but people will always prefer mint items to ones you have stepped on, recovered from the trash or taken away from the dog...

Check out this search results page for Barack items at eBay to get some more great ideas!

There's other ways people are cashing in on Barack's success by creating their own T-shirts or novelty items at Cafepress and of course creating blogs and fan sites devoted to Obama. Use your imagination and you just might be able to cash in on the amazing amount of hype and hoopla riding the new President-elect's coattails!

Also see:

Monetizer's 5 Tips for an eBay Business

Ways to Make Money with Craigslist & eBay

Auctiva.com - eBay seller's Best Friend!


Monetizer's 5 Tips for an eBay Business

As mentioned before, The Monetizer recently started another part time internet income venture, the almighty eBay business. Many individuals have turned trash into treasures as they've scoured garage sales, yard sales and thrift stores. My experiences have been interesting so far, and I feel that if you truly commit to this sort of part time business it can be fun and rewarding. I'd like to share 10 things I've learned so far that may help you in your own eBay venture.

1) Best deals come from yard sales - I've had more success so far buying items from yard sales and garage sales to resell on eBay. I also read about a lady called the Queen of eBay sales who once bought a yard sale item for just $2 and sold it for over $2,000!! It's amazing that people are willing to part with items for the prices they are, but there are many people who just need money badly right now. For example, picking up a portable DVD player for $5 at a yard sale, and it turned into a $40 sale on eBay. Most of my best deals have been items I purchased for under $5 at garage/yard sales. Make sure you have specific items you target...

2) Know what to buy - The biggest personal investment you can make into this business is constantly being up-to-date and knowledgeable about what sells. After your rounds at the yard sales and thrift shops you'll remember items you considered buying. Look them up on eBay when you get back home. See if you missed a blockbuster deal and start to learn what's selling. For example, many yard sales list in their classified ads "childrens toys" or "DVD's". There's also some great blogs out there which suggest items to buy from thrift stores and places like Dollar stores or Wal Mart. Knowing what's hot on eBay or familiarizing yourself with these categories will go a long way.

3) Buy what you know - This is very similar to blogging in that if you focus on buying items that you know about, you will tend to enjoy your business more, and in turn enjoy greater success. At one yard sale, a woman was selling probably about 100 different DVD's. The Monetizer enjoys movies and was able to select 15 of the hotter titles she had (action, drama movies from the past few years) for just $5. That $5 purchase turned into another $40 sale on eBay. You can already see the potential profit if you do your homework and buy what you know.

4) Handle shipping from home - One way to greatly save yourself money and make sure you're not losing money on shipping charges, is to invest in a postage scale. The Monetizer bought one soon into this business venture from Amazon.com for just $25, and it's worked quite well. It's already allowed me to save on several shipping jobs. Knowing what your items weigh with packaging is key to pricing the auctions right. You can also order free priority mail boxes, print USPS (or UPS) postage online and have the mail carrier pick up your packages. All of these things save you time and money with your business. You can also set a flat rate shipping charge and should you get lucky, your winning buyer is from a close by state meaning you can either refund the extra shipping money, or you've made a little extra!

Another tip is to utilize the flat rate boxes from USPS, as they can save you money on shipping heavy items. The charges on these are about $9 and $12 to ship as much as you can fit in them. There's also been important recent changes made to eBay shipping. For items such as books, DVD's and other media eBay has a maximum shipping charge you can charge ($3 or $4). I was able to slyly change a category to "Toys" just by adding a toy to the auction, therefore allowing Priority shipping. Keep this in mind before you try to sell. Also, I strongly recommend using the shipping insurance option on your auctions for items that are breakable. It goes a long way to protect your customer's purchase and your eBay reputation!

5) Reinvest in the business - The biggest goal is always to grow the income and profits of the eBay business. Warren Buffett gave the advice that reinvesting profits into your business is one of the most important things you can do to help it grow. So that means if you've made $20 off your latest eBay sales, take that money back out the next weekend to more garage and yard sales. Set yourself an item budget in the beginning or else you might buy just 1 item you think is great for $20 and end up not selling it. That's a quick way to diminish your profits and your eBay business! Also, consider buying necessary items for shipping or your business. Examples are the postage scale, bubble wrap, packing tape and books to educate yourself on eBay selling.

Once again, I guarantee that an eBay business can be profitable for you, but you have to put in the effort and not give up quickly. If you start it on a part time weekend basis, take it slowly. Do your research, find ways to save on shipping costs and keep reinvesting in the business to make it thrive!

(Bonus tip: Find freebies to sell to offset your eBay and Paypal costs. These can be things like new gift items you received that you don't really want, coupons you get in the mail, or free sample products. These days people buy just about anything on eBay so look it up, you may be surprised!)


Vote in the 2008 Presidential Election!

(image source: Google.com)

This is a friendly Public Service Announcement from The Monetizer. Today is November 4, 2008 and we all know what that means...time to vote! Google's got the spirit as you can see, so make sure to get up, get out and vote today!

You may ask what this has to do with making money. One of the biggest issues many people are focused on is the poor economy. There's been rising prices at the gas pumps and grocery stores, less opportunities for work, companies needing bailouts and families in need of money. So if nothing else the economy is great motivation to go cast your vote! The next president faces a tough challenge with all that the nation faces. Let's hope the right man for the job wins this!

Just to give some voting day humor, check out the official page for the Rabbit Hash Mayor Election. You'll find the candidates quite humorous in their official election!

Have a great day, and may the best man win the presidential race in 2008!


Google Feeds the Monetizer Ad Treats

Happy belated Halloween! Hopefully you all received nice 20's, 50's and crisp 100 dollar bills in your trick or treat bags last night! The Monetizer didn't receive candy, but Google recently provided The Monetizer with a nice additional treat, another way to make money online! It took about a month or two before Google transferred over my various blog feeds from Feedburner's site. Feedburner is now integrated with the Google Adsense Feeds, where I have set up several of my feeds with Adsense and am implementing tests.

As seen in the picture above, the Adsense feed ads can be adjusted just like regular Adsense code. You're allowed to choose text/image, just text or just image ads for your blog. You can arrange color schemes of your choosing, and set how many ads are seen on your feeds (every feed, every 2nd item, every 3rd, etc). It's a nifty little setup. If you haven't transferred your feeds over yet, give it a shot, as I've already seen some profit from it. To get started you'll need to log into your Google Adsense, go up to "Manage Ads" and select the Feeds tab or link. There should be a link on the next page which you can click to "migrate feeds" from Feedburner. Google is now in control of Feedburner (as they are of most online stuff), and you simply supply your Feedburner login info to migrate all of your feeds into the new Google Adsense setup. It may take several weeks or month for the migration so get to it early!

Once you're migrated, any Feedburner feeds will have a new feed URL which will now have "googleproxy" in it's URL, rather than Feedburner. This new URL won't automatically be updated if you've manually added it to spots on your blog or blog entries. For example, if you've put a link on your blog sidebar to allow Feedburner RSS subscription, it will most likely need to be changed now to the new URL address. And you may need to update other widgets on your blog that use the feed link such as the buttons that allow people to choose their reader. (If someone has had a different experience with this, please comment below). The good news is that when you log into your Feedburner account, they will have your new RSS feed links correctly listed. So the Google + Feedburner connection seems to be paying off and going smoothly.

I referred to the great John Chow's feeds and have mimicked his Feed ad style. Currently Chow uses the basic blue URL links, a light gray border around his items, and allows both text and image ads to run above each of his feed items. Give it a try yourself, or if you have been using Adsense feeds, drop a comment to let me know of your experiences or findings.

I also want to give a nod to John Cow who presents a great way to find "golden nugget" search terms for your blog or website using Google Insights tool. Check out Cow's blog entry to find Search Keyword Gold! It's a great technique for creating blog entries that will bring in more traffic!

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