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Showing posts from June, 2006

Hated Things (Not "Things I Hate")

Being a Ticking Timebomb of Rage (as you do) while surfing around today, hated things started coming to mind. About blog posts.

It's easy to find fault in others (and fun, too); but I started wondering, do I do the same things?

Since it's nearly impossible to impartially judge your own writing, why not judge other people's writing, find what sucks, and then look for the same problems in your own? Next best thing.

So, a list of Hated Things was formed (enjoyable in itself), and then compared to my own posting habits. The results were illuminating.

What this article isn't:

This isn't really about the "rules" of writing, or even advice on how to write well. It's about writing for yourself.

You've seen it; the advice articles encouraging you to "write for yourself first". I can't personally vouch for the money-making power of "writing for yourself first" - I'm sure others can - but who cares? Finding The Money is about doing so …

Posts of Note - Because You Should Read It

6/30/06

How-to guides good, remember?

Step-by-step guide to adding Google Sitemaps to your blogger page. Thanks to Randy for pointing it out.


BDSM: Baptist Doing Some Muckraking

Okay, it's not muckraking; but it worked for the acronym. :/

Darren of Problogger interviews an adult-content publisher. Darren's a Baptist Minister, which makes it fun. Great interview, at any rate.


"Content Feed" sounds pretty good (because "RSS" is hard to sell)

You like good content; I like good content. If you, like me, enjoy good content that also happens to involve one blogger trashing another blogger's post, read How to Sell RSS (Or Where the Feed Fanboys Drop the Ball). (And while you're at, build your fan club. I'll join.)



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Adsense Optimization: $10 to $1700 Per Day

Ivan the Optimiser explains how he did it.

"Ivan". Heh.

Problogger also has some stuff on the subject, as I recall.

UMass Studies The Secrets of Blogging Success

Behind the Scenes in the Blogosphere

Great reading. A fair amount of it is focused on blogs as corporate/business extensions, but there's plenty on successful independent blogs.

Google's Gbuy Going After Paypal

Google is all over the place these days. Looks like Gbuy may be going beta within the week.

According to CNN: "To attract customers, Google plans to offer an unspecified rebate to people who make online purchases using the service, known as Gbuy, the Journal said.

The service, which would challenge payment options by eBay's PayPal and others, has been expected for several months, the newspaper said."

I also heard that Adwords advertisers would be getting discounted rates as well.

Sweet Post at Problogger

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Get over there and absorb the goodness.

Darren writes: "Following is my A to Z of Professional blogging including blogging tools, platforms, services and ways of making money from blogging (in fact whether you blog for money or not much of what follows should help you improve your blogging)."

Finding the Traffic (Think Days, Not Months)

Hey newbies, welcome to my club.

Have a new(ish) blog?

Unhappy with the traffic it's getting?

The Voices of Wisdom are going to tell you that you can't expect any good traffic with a new blog. Unless you're a genius, or lucky. Or you bought it.

Far be it from me to question the Voices of Wisdom, but blah blah blah... whatever. Sure you can. Of course, our idea of "good traffic" might not resemble theirs. After all, they haven't been newbies for a long time.

At any rate, I had good traffic within about 30 hours. I say "good" because:

1. It was traffic, and
2. I made Adsense revenue by day 2.

I don't consider it "luck" (this isn't the first time I've had results like this), and if you look around my blog, I'll agree with you this ONE time - for argument's sake - that I'm not a "genius".

And God knows I didn't buy it.

So, ruling out luck, genius, or paid-for advertising, how do newbs like us get our idea of "…

Pam Made It Better

This post has nothing to do with cooking.

Blogspot's Minima template is great and all, but I was really needing an extra column. Pam of Random Bytes saved the day. If you want to change your Blogspot template, go there.

That is all.

Posts Of Note 6/25/06

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Google Tutor has a Sitemaps intro you'll want to check out if you aren't using it. (If you're using Blogger, Sitemaps now lets you verify your site just by putting some code in your template; so you're cool.)SilentBits has a post on top 20 blog designs.
Successful Blog gives info on two standalone trackback tools. Thanks, Liz.
Top blog designs. Huh.

Does a slick design really matter for blogs?

Ebay and Craigslist can apparently get away with being ugly, but those aren't blogs. However, I have seen some evidently popular blogs that won't be winning any beauty pageants (in this dimension, anyway).

Thoughts?

5 Bald Bloggers

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So, I mentioned the trend of popular blogs run by white bald guys. I was so not kidding.

The Five

Darren of Problogger
Blog: General blog money-making stuff.
Random info: What he says about The Bald.

Jeremy of Shoemoney
Blog: Internet money-making.
Random info:Randy of Besting Adwords is mad at him.


Stowe of Get Real
Blog: Tech news
Random info: He changed his picture at some point and somebody cared.


Seth of SGB.
Blog: Marketing-type info
Random info: He thinks all marketers are liars.

Craig of Craigblog
Blog: Whatever interests the Craigslist guy.
Random info: I hate their forum system.


And an Honorable Mention:

Steve of Micro Persuasion
Blog: Marketing and what-not
Random info: You don't get a random blurb for being a runner-up. Not necessarily a bad thing.

Back

Internet access was down for me since yesterday morning. How dare they? It's back now, and so am I. And bad, I might add.

While I was away my "Shoemoney Dirty?" post got a lot of attention; maybe I'm committing blogger suicide? One can only hope.

What's up with popular blogs being run by white bald guys, anyway?

Shoemoney Dirty?

YPN Showcases spammer: "I found YPN's showcasing with Jeremy Shoemaker pretty disturbing. Jeremy runs a Website called ShoeMoney.com which I recently found was spamming me. I sent Jeremy a reply indicating that spamming was against the AdSense terms. He replied 'I guess its a good thing I dont use adsense anymore ;)'. I noticed he had converted entirely to YPN. Anybody know the reason? Was he banned from AdSense for spamming? I replied back that Yahoo! doesn't permit spamming either, but haven't heard further. This last email was sent only yesterday and today he's highlighted by YPN. It's pretty disturbing to me that Yahoo! is showcasing a spammer, but it's entirely possible that they don't know he's a spammer, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt. Please spread this blog entry, if only to educate Yahoo! about who they are dealing with.

http://ypnblog.com/blog/2006/06/21/publisher-spotlight-6/"

Fellow Web-Crazies

Speaking of web-ADD, if you suffer from Adsense-OCD, get Adsense Notifier.

And use Firefox.

That is all.

Adsense Secretly Doing Secret Things

Yes, Adsense is testing a CPA (cost-per-action) model; e.g., an ad where you get paid when a click-through generates a lead/sale as opposed to just getting paid for a click.

No, this doesn't mean that CPC (cost-per-click) is going away. I'm sure they just want to compete with the big affiliate networks like Commission Junction, Linkshare, etc.

Enhance the calm.

Google: THE FATAL FLAW

Vroom’s Net Blog - Google’s Days are Numbered:

"Yes, I’m really going to make this statement. You might think I’m crazy, but Google has a nearly fatal flaw. It’s possible that they are aware of this flaw and are madly slaving away to solve the problem, but if not, their days are certainly and definitely numbered."


Vroom's post doesn't really have anything to do with Finding The Money, but it actually got my web-ADD'd mind focused for a whole article. Gotta' give it a mention for that.

"Who you have to lay to get ahead in this town"

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There is, in a fact, an A-list of bloggers out there (B and C too). Not official, but a good source for checking out who has, no doubt, Found The Money in blogging.

Retard Roundup 6/22/2006

HOUSTON, THE RETARDS HAVE LANDED.

My Automatic Money
Tagline: "How to Magically Force The Internet to Make YOU rich."
Comments: The wide-eyed cheshire grin of the girl on their banner made me wonder if this "opportunity" involved psychotropic substances.

Prosperity Automated System
Tagline: The Only 100% Automated Multi-Income Marketing Portal that Showers You With Hand-Free Cash!"
Comments: This site "showers" you with something, and it ain't cash.

Computermillions.com
Tagline:"Imagine being in total control of your finances, being debt free, and being able to buy just about anything you want. Now, STOP imaging it and discover EXACTLY how to do it."
Comments: This guy is such a used-car salesmen that he actually tries to sell you a car in his video.

Ultimate Wealth Package
Tagline: ""Are You Ready To Make Thousands Of Dollars Every Week. Working Less Than One Hour Per Day."
Comments: No, and your punctuation sucks.

Type at Home
Taglin…

Commission Junction's Sleazy Little Brother

... is named Clickbank. It's a seedy little scamp, but a lot of people use it.

Here are some of the highly reputable merchants you can become an affiliate for:

UghAckGuhBlehLooking at those pages reminds me: is there any way we could petition the government to make the phrase "multiple streams of income" illegal?

Posts of Note 6/20/06

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Problogger posted on Adsense TOS-breakers today. They don't usually do it so amusingly.
Randy at Besting Adwords talks about Adsense Arbitrage (using low-bid keywords to bring users to a site with high-bid Adsense ads).Yaro's posts on "How to make $250,000 a year selling E-books" Part 1 and Part 2. Not my bag, but interesting reading/listening there.

Microsoft adCenter: Worth Using?

Update: Ads approved within an hour. Not bad.

Is Microsoft adCenter worth using? That is the question. I'm trying it out, and We Shall See. Shan't We.

AdCenter is Microsoft's online advertising system set up to compete with Google Adwords and Yahoo! The differentiation they're advertising is being able to get detailed consumer demographics as well as being able to set your ads to run at certain times of the day or week. Nifty.

One thing I will report is that it currently only works properly with IE6. I'm going to have to go ahead and say LAME. Integration with other browsers wasn't even much of a priority for MS until a bunch of users threw a fit about it; but they did, and now it is. Good.

Other Observations:
There is a $5 account setup fee. Huh.
The adCenter interface can be a little slow. Nothing surprising there, hopefully that'll improve.When entering ads, you type all the ad copy on one line and then have to mess around to get it to look right on the two-li…

How to Make 100 Dollars (Without Spending A Dime)

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Do a Google search on "How to make 100 dollars" - the results will be crap. Get-rich-quick schemes, scams, and fun advice like "rob a bank". What if you're really just looking to make 100 bucks or so, and not a million? What if you don't want to build a "passive automated money-making machine", or (supposedly) make $100 dollars a day; but just, plain and simply, want to legitimately make $100 dollars without spending a dime? Although most of the sites you'll find on this topic - as you surely know - suck in various ways, the real problem is that their claims just don't work. I'm going to show you one that does. How to Make $100 Dollars Online - Without Spending A Dime You Will Need:A website or blog7 friends or family that like music$0.00 dollars. Step 1: Have a website or blog If you don't have one, get one. Either can be had for free. I recommend a blog. It's easy, fast, and you can write about whatever interests y…

All You Need to Know About the Commission Junction Link Change Issue

If you don't use Commission Junction and are just wondering what some people are freaking out about:

Commission junction makes people a lot of money. CJ is, at some point, going to change how affiliate links work(javascript instead of plain links). Therefore, they are messing with people's money. Hense, freaking-out ensues.

If you want to know how people people use Commission Junction - i.e.,where your piece of the pie is - see postage here.

If you're only using Commission Junction with PPC engines or email campaigns:

You don't care. Nothing's going to change for you.

If you have a website that is all silly with Commission Junction links, integration, database support, or otherwise have smoothly running CJ link convolution all over your site:
You're in for a bunch of work. The way you've incorporated links into your site might not work anymore.Eventually, all your links are going to have to change.All the clever stuff you did to incorporate your own tracking mec…

Make Far Less Than Minimum Wage Online

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So there's this site, called Helium Knowledge. You sign up there and start answering questions, because you're a big know-it-all. And then at some point you make $25 or so.

As far as I've seen, you can expect to make about $5 for answering, say, 20 questions. Your answers can't suck, so we're looking at a damn sight less than minimum wage here.

Exciting stuff. Don't quit your Mickey-D's gig just yet, though.

Sassy My Assy

What a sad, sad piece of work The Sassy Blog is.

"Sassy" is a good word.

Feedburner is sassy.

Tenacious D is Sassy.

Famke Janssen is sassy.

Splogs, on the other hand, are not sassy. They're Assy. Not only is your splog a big bucket of ass, the website you're promoting with your splog is a whole bushel of further ass.

Considering your promotional methods, I guess that isn't surprising. A spam blog to promote a website full of get rich quick schemes and tired, rehashed, deader-than-dead content masquerading as a justification for existence.

So what do you have to say for yourself, "Sassy Enterprises"? Do the proceeds of your Assy web business soothe your battered conscience? I must presume you realize your sites amount to a pile of discarded junk mail.

More Adsense'r Hijinks

Yaro writes:
"I watched the movie Titanic with Leo and Kate on Friday night. It’s a good movie and afterwards I was interested to learn more about the tragedy so I Googled up some answers. As I progressed through page after page something started to bother me. I had trouble finding the real content because there was Google AdSense in all the most prominent places on EVERY site I visited. It wasn’t until I hit the “clean” Wikipedia entry on the Titanic that I finally got some valuable information." more

"Cha-ching!” indeed. Yaro needs to check out the lovely IncomeMAX website for some more Adsense, uh... ingenuity.Later, he talks about how Adsense revenue "corrupts" otherwise pure internet hobbyists; which I'm sure does happen. Content becomes secondary to profit, and down goes the value of their contribution. Flush.
At the same time, I think it positively motivates others, even making them strive for better and more valuable content. We've all seen "…

Making Money With Google Adwords and Affiliate Programs

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This is a basic article on getting quickly set up to make money using Google Adwords and Affiliate programs. When I say quickly, I mean within about an hour; with possible profits within 24. Don't fall in love with that 24-hour number, though; results vary.

If you're already the Adwords Master, you won't learn much here. In that case, just relax and enjoy my pleasant - yet elegant - writing style.

Let's start with a few definitions:

Google Adwords: This is Google's main paycheck and you'll be helping to pay it -- but not until they give you some results. It's a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising service. If you're unfamiliar with PPC services, basically you create an ad in Adwords, choose some keywords, and then "bid" a certain amount (the maximum you will pay) for each ad a user clicks when doing a Google search that includes those keywords.

Bids start at $0.01 and can go up quite high. The order in which your ad is listed depends on your bid. For …

MoneyMaking Mommy

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The site is pretty well-designed, I'll give it that. The tagline is "Make Money Online, Work at Home Jobs and Home Employment Ideas." Huh. Maybe I'm just cynical, but that sounds more like three keywords than a good mission statement.

Anyway, this isn't your typical sleazy money-making site. No get-rich-quick stuff (for the most part) and no sales pitches. I believe the site is designed for "mommies" in that much of the opportunities listed appear to be alternatives to Amway, Tupperware, etc., ie., "I'm stuck at home, marginally skilled and any money is good money." I don't mean that as an insult, that's just how it is for many in our particular society.

It's got your basic mystery shopper, "home assembly", MLM-type stuff; nothing really exciting. Unfortunately, not only is this stuff not exciting, it's often difficult to actually get the job unless it's direct sales-type stuff; and in the case of direct sales/M…

IncomeMax

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The main page of this site has about as many Adsense ads as there is content. Further, menu links are made to look similar to the Adsense ads and are lined up with the google banners, so you might just accidentally click an ad (cha-ching) instead of a menu item.

And people wonder why some of their ads don't convert well. Classy.

Looking through their categories while trying to avoid accidentally clicking an ad (as an advertiser's loss is evidently their gain), you basically get spam and scams of all sorts: Get-rich-quick schemes, "get paid for surveys" fluff, "make money while you sleep" banner exchange schemes (yeah, right), etc.

In a nutshell, this site is designed to MAX the webmaster's INCOME by screwing Adsense advertisers and linking to every scam, spam, useless money-making program and fleece-the-suckers scheme they can find, great and small.

If you're Looking For The Money, run screaming from this one.

how-to-make-money-online.info

Here's the link. This is a money-making website... for the authors. I'm sure. It starts off with the ol' "I understand your pain" tactic:

"Chances are you're surfing the web looking for the easy money holy grail. And you've arrived here after a quick search in Google, Yahoo or MSN for 'make money online', 'making money online', 'how to make money online' etc.

You've probably found yourself going round and round only to find that most of the sites offering you the info you might want are charging for it. The other problem is the more you look the more options there are and the more there seems to be that you need to do just to get started. You're getting confused."

La la la. Here's something I like. They go on to "dispel some myths" about making money online, and say:

"1: There is no holy grail, but there is a simple secret, more of that in a minute."

Once again, I highlighted in red the Evil Wor…

RSS to Blog

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This product is the devil, but I'm sure people are making money with it. I hesitate to link to this site, because even looking at it makes me feel dirty; but any search for "make money online" is bound to bring it up anyway. So there it is.

First of all, the site is another junk mail-looking affair, complete with (my personal favorite) that yellow highlighter pen effect. Seriously, when you see one of these sites, hide your credit card.

Here's a tagline:

"Let me Show You How to Build An Empire
Of Affiliate Cash Machines On Auto Pilot
With Blogs!"

The red text was added by me to highlight an Evil Phrase. Evil phrases indicate a scam, something sleazy, something useless in a general sense, or just general BS. Let's see what category "RSS to Blog" falls into.

"Never Search For New Content For Your Blogs Again, Let Other People Write the Content. You Just Post it to Your Blog!"

Getting a strong sleazy vibe here.

"Eliminate footprints that th…

Make Money Online (Without Spending a Dime)

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This is the title of an article at entrepreneurs.about.com. It's a pretty decent, basic article listing ideas and links for making money online. They're not all about making a "living" online, some are just for making a few bucks here and there.

For instance, it links to one company that gives you a kick-back for doing headhunting for them. Another link is for a company that pays people to do short freelance-style reporting. Novel ideas. Affiliate marketing and blogging is in there, too.

All in all, some decent reading for those of our mindset.

Problogger

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This is a blog about making money with blogs, and it's a good one. Blogging is a damn fine way to make some painless cash. If you like writing, or just think that blogging would be easy for you to do, go for it. Problogger covers the basics of blogging, how people make money from blogs, how to use Adsense, and pretty much anything that would be interesting to the blogging community.

Yes, I do make money from blogging. If you're looking for the money, you've Found the Money. Not the only money, but blogging is a bona fide, enjoyable, non soul-sucking way to make money online. You don't have to pay anyone anything, or do anything that doesn't feel natural to you. Sites like Problogger make it even easier. A+

TeamSchuman.com

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Here's a link.They don't have a cute little logo for me to post, just some huge banner which I'm not going to... use. This is one of those junk mail-looking sites with lots of bolded, underlined text, and that annoying highlighter pen effect. Bleh.

Anyway, feel free to check them out. Me, I'm going to go through their "top money online" recommendation. Why bother with the rest; I want numero uno.

So I followed the link for their (yellow-highlighted) "top pick" and am met with:

This guy. Oh God. Okay well, spanky here tells me that he's going to show me the arcane "secrets" of "Creating Wealth Online". They want $2 - which they say will be donated to some charity or other - for a 14 day trial of something called "Success University", where apparently I will learn how to become rich, or something.

Really, I just start zoning out after so many bolds, underlines, large-type red fonts, customer "testimonials", and …

BidVertiser

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This one ranks #1 for a Google search on "make money online". For some reason. It's similar to Google Adwords/Adsense in that you can either bid on keywords for targeted advertising or display their ad box on your website and make a cut of whatever the ad cost the advertiser. Apparently, advertisers choose which websites will display their ads. Sorta cool.

Word around the campfire is, however, that there aren't many advertisers and the ads look too much like Google ads. Not many appear to be making much. So as a way to Make Money Online, I'm thinking Google's ranking algorithm kinda short-circuited on this one.