Monday, September 29, 2008

This Week's Project: Squidoo

For those who have not yet encountered Squidoo, it is a site that allows you to create your own web page (known as a "lens") about any topic that you are passionate about. Squidoo allows you to include a combination of pictures, text, voting modules and various other modules to make your lens stand out from the crowd. Most importantly, Squidoo is FREE.

For those of us trying to make some extra money, Squidoo offers some oportunities. Firstly, within each Squidoo lens there are Google Adsense ads. But the model of revenue here is slightly different than for your own website - you don't earn per click within your own lens, you receive a proportion of Squidoo's overall Adsense income depending on traffic to your lens. Another way of making money from your lenses is through direct affiliate income, primarily through the specific Ebay, Amazon and CafePress modules that are available. There is also nothing to stop you putting your own affiliate links into your lenses.

Finally, what your lenses can also provide are valuable backlinks to your own website or blog. Squidoo lenses even allow to add an RSS feed to them, so you could, if you so wish, add a feed from your blog to one (or more) of your lenses.

So far, I have really only dabbled and put together a total of just 6 lenses and made a grand total of just $0.44! I have put down my lack of earnings to a number of factors:

1. Not enough lenses
2. Not enough traffic
3. Not enough thought given to how I have incorporated the affiliate modules.

This week then, I have decided to make a start on rectifying this. Firstly, by updating and improving my existing lenses, both in respect of content and in respect of the placement and incorporation of the affiliate modules. After that I need to construct more lenses. I aim to put together at least 3 more lenses this week - this doesn't sound much, but I want them to be good and so will require a bit of research.

Also, if I am to improve on my so far mediocre traffic I need to participate in the community aspect of Squidoo, including rating other lenses and participating in the forum. One other thing I want to try is to promote one of my lenses through Link Referral to see if that improves traffic.
If you want to check out my progress then click here.
Or perhaps try making your own lenses by clicking here. This is a referral link - if you join via this then when your balance reaches $10 then you get an extra $5 into your account..........and so do I!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Being More Focused: Part 2

This weekend brings to an end two weeks of focusing on Ebay. The benefit of this is that I have managed to bring in a reasonable sum of money, although I did not manage to list as many things as I would have liked to have done. I still have a number of auctions due to finish over the next few days. I think that I will list just a few more things this weekend to keep things ticking over.

The downside of this approach is that traffic to my website and blogs has nosedived as I have not been able to put in the time to traffic exchanges (Entrecards and Link Referral) and forums.

I have decided that I will spend the coming week updating my website, Extra Cash Review. The main things I have decided to work on are try and improve on navigation of the site and to check all the referral/affiliate links. Also some of the information on the site is out of date, so I need to update this.

My income from Ad Sense has been pretty poor so far and it has been suggested to me that I need to look at the placement of these, so I will see what I can do with these as well.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Time to be More Focused: Ebay Week

I have come to the conclusion that one reason why my online earnings have been so poor recently is that I have been applying a somewhat "scattergun" approach to organizing my time. I tend to sit at my PC and just think "what can I do today to make some money?" instead of actually being more organized and focused. The net result is that I don't actually achieve very much. So I have decided that I should try and focus on one thing at a time on a week by week basis and that way I might actually achieve something.

I have started by going back to basics and concentrated this week on Ebay. So I have been scouring the house for stuff that we no longer use and is in good condition. I have decided that extend this to next week as well as I quite a lot of stuff to go. Also I have quite a few things that I bought in a little while ago that I need to try and sell. I will try and get as many listings as I can into Turbo Lister then if need be I can upload to Ebay over the coming weeks so that I am not having try and dispatch an unmanageable number of items all at once.

So that's next week taken care of - more listing and scouring the house for more stuff!!

Earnings for August

August could be best be described a mixed month. Whilst I did manage to make quite a bit of extra money this month, most of it was from overtime at work (which is only very rarely available). My online earnings were very poor - that is if I apply my own rules of only counting the money that hits my bank account or Paypal account.

So my earnings were:

£431 - overtime
£5 - surveys (Juicy Brains)
£28 - sale of free range eggs
£14.39 - Ebay

Total = £478.39

I am getting a little frustrated with my online earnings as this side of things seems to be taking a little while to get going. On the positive side my affiliate earnings are at least getting of the ground with my earnings so far standing at £25.38 - although I have a number of minimum payouts to reach so it will be a while before I see any of this.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

My Long Lost Relative

I returned from my holiday this weekend hoping that while I was away my various online ventures had brought in much needed cash - unfortunately not!! My e-mail in-box was overflowing with survey invites - most of which had expired. But there were still some that were still running which made me a little cash anyway.

Amongst the survey invites, reward e-mails and spam there was an e-mail from a solicitor in Thailand by the name of Jim. Now, Jim tells me that he had a client who died recently. Apparently the poor man died of a heart attack following the sad death of his family members in the Tsunami. Anyway, this man had $10 million to leave to distant family members, and guess what - this man shares the same surname as me. All I have to do is respond and I might receive a share of this money.......

For a couple of microseconds I actually considered responding. I read and re-read the e-mail for some evidence that it might actually be true, but strangely my new found friend Jim did not mention either my name or that of my long lost distant relative in the e-mail. Strange that!! Time to hit the delete button!