Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bukisa Switches Payment to Adsense

The user generated content site Bukisa where you can earn from writing articles is in the process of changing its revenue model. Previously you would earn according to how many visits your article attracted, regardless of whether anyone actually clicked on ads on your article. However, they are now switching to a model where that for you to earn you need to associate your Adsense account with your Bukisa account. You then earn from 60% of ad impressions.

This has, not surprisingly, sparked a far amount of debate amongst the Bukisa community, many of the comments are negative as many of the most active members do not use Adsense. Also, people fear that as revenue is dependent upon visitors actually clicking on ads there will be a loss of income. The reason that Bukisa have given for this change is that they have been suffering from "bad/fake traffic". By this I assume that they mean it is artificially created traffic purely for the sake of inflating earnings of certain members. In order to placate some of the more disgruntled members, Bukisa have been looking into other alternative ad networks and have just announced that you can choose to use Chitika instead.

As I am not a particularly active member of Bukisa I am perhaps not best placed to say whether this is a good or bad thing, but for me it makes it easier when I also use a number of other sites that use Adsense. This way it provides further opportunities to reaching the payment threshold for Adsense rather than having another pot of money in my Bukisa account to try and increase. 

To join Bukisa, click here

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Total Earnings for November 2010

Firstly, I should recognize the fact that I have been really bad at posting to this blog recently. One post between monthly earnings posts is not good. I vow to do better next month.

Whilst there have been some encouraging signs this month I still don't feel that I have reached a real breakthrough. Some things have been working - one niche site focused on one key phrase is ranking well and earning a steady trickle of Adsense income. I have employed a similar strategy for a Squidoo lens finding a low competition phrase with a high search volume with Micro Niche Finder. It is already on page one of Google for my keywords and is pulling some decent traffic and I have made a few Amazon sales from it.

At the moment though I am somewhat undecided about where to go next. I have plenty of ideas, but I not convinced that they will make me the kind of income that I need. I think I need to take one idea and really focus on that.

Here are the totals for this month (counting what I have actually received):

Clickbank sales: $41.46
Surveys: $74.68 (One Poll: $62.24, Another panel I can't mention: $12.44)
Private advertising: $15
Swagbucks: $5
Squidoo: $1.27
Mutual Points: $31.12

Total Earnings = $168.53

Not bad really. Although I would like to earning more from my internet marketing efforts as I am spending less time on surveys these days. The few days then I am going to spend coming up with a clear plan so I am not as directionless as I currently feel.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Top 6 Ways to Make Money From Your Blog

Whilst for some people it is rather objectionable to make money from your blog, for the rest of us though monetization is one of the main motivations to maintain a blog. There are some people that make it sound easy to make money from blogs. However, it isn't. Traffic is always an important factor in making money, but another important consideration is that not all monetization techniques work for all blogs. For example, if your blog has regular readers then to cover it with ads, sponsored posts and blatant promotion risks losing those people who regularly visit. To monetize effectively you need to subtly introduce a little here and there rather than going overboard.

Here then is a quick run down of the top ways of making money from your blog.

Adsense - An obvious place to start perhaps. Adsense is easy to implement, just sign up and copy your paste code into your blog. You receive a few pennies every time someone clicks on an ad, so success depends upon traffic and where you place your ads. Make sure you do not overdo placing your ads in the best spots though otherwise you risk scaring off your readers.

In-text ads - With space at a premium in a blog, in text advertising is a great solution making use of the content on your blog and providing ads that are relevant to your content. There are a number of providers, but the one I use the most is Kontera as I tend to find that the relevance of the ads is better than others and therefore provides the highest number of clicks. I have also used Linkworth, which does not seem to deliver as many clicks, but the price per click seems to be higher.

Sponsored posts - One of the most popular ways of making money from blogs is sponsored posts. How this works is that you sign up with a sponsored post site and, provided you are approved, you will be matched with companies who would like you to write a post for them. Some of these jobs expect you to write directly about a product or company, but with most of them you can write pretty much anything provided that you include the required anchor text and link.

Some bloggers feel decidedly uneasy about this and they feel it compromises their integrity and their blog. I tend to see it as a bit of challenge to see how I can weave in the anchor text and links and still keep the post relevant to my blog. Nevertheless, it is better to limit the number of sponsored posts that you do otherwise you will find yourself losing regular readers fast. The general view seems to be that writing sponsored posts can detrimentally affect your ranking in search engines, but this has not been my experience.

I use a number of services, but the one I have had most success with is Blogsvertise - I get a reasonable number of tasks and they payout quickly and without fail.

Private advertising sales - This can be quite tricky to achieve, but can be quite lucrative. The best place to start is to make sure that any potential advertisers have some means of contacting you and to offer them a range of options - i.e. image ads, simple text link, etc. Selling links in the sidebar is the most popular and easiest to implement, but be aware that search engines tend to frown on this practice, so it is better not to mention on your site that you do this.

Affiliate links - This is simple in theory. You mention a product and slip in an affiliate link and hopefully people buy via your link and you receive a commission. However, it is not as simple as that. For someone to buy via your link you need plenty of traffic and visitors that trust what you say if they are likely to buy via your link. Another option is banners, although in reality you should not expect to make much from these.

Selling your own product - Another option is to use your blog as a platform to sell your own product, whether this should be an e-book, software, Wordpress templates or a physical product.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Total Earnings for October 2010

After last month's relatively decent earnings, this month has been rather disappointing. Let's start with the positives - my Adsense earnings have been growing steadily and I think this has actually been a record month. I am still a long way from reaching the $100 threshold every month, but things are certainly heading in the right direction. However, this is pretty much the only glimmer in a fairly bleak month.

I have made two Clickbank sales, but I have not yet received the payment for these, so not counted in this month's total. I have not made any Amazon sales, despite a growing number of people clicking on my affiliate links. I have made hardly any money on Ebay this month due to the fact that I have not been very good at listing stuff - although I am running out of decent stuff to sell.

My current focus is primarily to consolidate my existing projects, improving content and increasing the number of inbound links to increase traffic. It is tempting to keep creating more and more sites and Squidoo lenses, but actually I think I need to spend some time improving what I have already created.

Here is this month's total:

Surveys: $32.10 (My Voice)
Squidoo: $3.54
Swagbucks: $5.00
Ebay: $5.12

Total = $45.76

Pretty poor all in all. I hoping that the lead up to Christmas will bring some better results as I am hoping to benefit from all those people looking for gifts for the festive season. Let's see what next month brings!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Is a Payday Loan Right For You?

Payday loans are designed for people who are experiencing a short term lack of funds. They work by the lender lending the money to the borrower until their next payday when it should be repaid. Because of the immediate nature of the loan, they are generally agreed and paid out very quickly.

Due to the short-term nature of these loans the rates of interest tend to be somewhat higher than standard lending rates and there may be charges as well. The way in which these loans are operated and regulated vary from one country to another (and indeed in the US, from one state to another), but in some areas it is possible to roll over your loan to the next month. The danger here is that you can end up having to repay considerably more than you originally borrowed.

If you are in a position where you are continually running short of money before you get paid then a payday loan is probably not for you as you will find that in effect you are borrowing from your next month’s pay so with interest and charges you will find that you have less money each month.

However, if you are confident that your lack of funds is a short term problem (if you have an unexpectedly large bill to pay, for example) and you are certain you are not going to put yourself into a longer term debt, then a payday loan could be for you. It is important to shop around for the best rates however, and you should always make sure that you borrow from a reputable lender.

Payday loans have attracted a certain amount of controversy due to the danger of falling into unmanageable debt, but for certain people they can provide a much needed lifeline.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Squidoo List Plan Part Two - Creating a Free Product

Time to look at the next stage in my Squidoo List Plan. To recap, the plan involves using Squidoo to generate a list to sell products. So far I have chosen a niche. The next stage is to create something of value to entice people to sign up to my subscriber list. I have no experience of this as such, but I do have experience of subscribing to other people's list. What I know is that the lists I subscribe to are those that offer an enticing free product, and those that I stay subscribed to are those that live up to the hype.

So, what I need to do is create an e-book to give away. This needs to be of a good standard so that my subscribers will consider me to be an expert in my chosen niche. However, should I make it extensive enough for it to be good enough to be a paid for product? Actually, I'm not sure about that. I suppose what I don't want to do is use up everything I know about the niche so as to rule out the possibility of creating a product to sell in the future.

To the technicalities - the e-book I am creating should be in a PDF format, but how can this be done without purchasing some software to create such files? Well, quite easily actually. All you need is Open Office which can be downloaded for free. This offers a range of applications including a word processor, a spreadsheet application, an application for presentations and one for drawing. All of these are compatible with Microsoft Office. Why would you want this? Well, all the applications have this handy little button:

This simply saves a copy of your work as a PDF document. Easy!

I am quite slow at writing and I am working on some other projects, so it may be a little while before my next instalment.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Make Bookmarking Your Sites (Blogs, Squidoo Lenses, Hubs, etc) Easy with IMAutomator

I have to admit, I have been slow at making use of social bookmarking for building links and traffic to my various projects. It can be a rather laborious process, having to create numerous accounts with the various bookmarking sites and then inputting your various links. Then, of course, there is the fact that some sites are not keen on you just submitting your own stuff, so you have find some other sites to submit as well.

With this particular mindset, you can imagine how pleased I was to discover IMAutomator. This site allows you to quickly submit your link to up to 15 bookmarking sites at a click of a button. You do not have to create lots of accounts either, this is all done for you. You have the option of your link being submitted to all sites at once, or gradually a day at a time, or even over a 45 day period. Having your links submitted gradually is good for search engines seeing your link count increase at a natural rate rather than all at once.

The best thing about this is that it is FREE! There is a pro version for which there is a monthly subscription, but access to this is strictly limited and at the time of writing there are no places available. It is intended that there will be more places released at some point in the future, but it is not clear when.

IMAutomator was created by Caroline Middlebrook who did have a well respected internet marketing blog. However, her blog has now disappeared and all traffic is redirected to IMAutomator. She has even gone rather quiet on Twitter - nothing heard from her since April 2010.

The key question though, does IMAutomator actually bring any traffic to your sites? Well, for me it is too early to say as I have only been using it for a couple of weeks. However, I will keep you posted!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Total Earnings for September 2010

Well, another month passed and time again to look how my online earnings have been going. This month has felt a little better all in all with some encouraging things happening.

The big news of this month is that I have (at long last) received my first payment from Adsense. Yay! This has taken me nearly two years to get this - although it has to be said that it was very slow going for the first, things have certainly picked up in the last few months.

Another encouraging factor is one of my niche sites. I put it together a couple of months ago after finding a high search volume, low competition keyword with Micro Niche Finder. I spent some time putting in links, writing articles etc attempting to get my site onto page one of the Google search results for my key phrase. Frustratingly, it seemed permanently welded to the bottom of page four for a couple of weeks, before suddenly disappearing into oblivion. Naturally I was not getting any traffic at all. I decided to leave it alone for a while.

Within the last couple of weeks I noticed that I have suddenly been getting a steady trickle of traffic. I searched again and have found that my site is at the top of page two. As I have used a Wordpress template that is optimized for Adsense it has been making me a small amount of money every day. The aim is for it to make at least $1 per day, then I need to replicate the same strategy several times over in order to receive a decent income. At the moment I am just concentrating on this one though so I can figure out what works for me, so my current aim is to get it up a few more places and onto page one and hopefully traffic should increase.

There is an interesting contrast with my other blog here which has decent traffic, but makes me next to nothing in Adsense. I am not using an Adsense optimized template for that blog, but I am not sure I would want to as I think there is a danger of losing my regular readers. I think I need to re-think my monetization strategy for that blog. Having said that though I have managed to make a couple of private advertising sales.

On the down side, Clickbank sales have remained slow (just one this month) and only one Amazon sale. Also, as predicted, Squidoo income has dropped off this month.

Here is the total for this month (counting what I have actually received):

Adsense: $101.42
Ebay: $50.08
Private advertising sales: $45
Surveys: $6.29
Squidoo: $3.07
Clickbank: $38.84

Total: $244.70

Not too bad actually! Although my target currently remains at $500 per month, it does feel like I am actually getting somewhere.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Squidoo List Plan (Part One) - Choosing a Niche

This is the first part of my plan for building a subscriber list primarily using Squidoo. The first stage here is choose which niche I intend to concentrate on. My theory is that I should choose a broad niche that allows for me to write a large amount of varied content. Within this broad niche there should be scope to be able to able to focus on a series of sub-niches. By sub-niche I mean a smaller area within my main niche. For example, if my niche was dog training (it isn't by the way), then a sub niche could be training Jack Russells.

The main criteria though, is that it must be something that I am passionate about and have some degree of knowledge. From experience, I find it difficult, and actually quite tedious, to write stuff about things I have no interest in and no knowledge about. The plan here is to concentrate on just the one niche where I can relatively easily come up with new content on a regular basis without having to struggle with researching the niche and being held back by boredom.

More importantly though, you need to ask yourself whether anybody else is interested in your niche. There are number of different ways of testing this. Perhaps the first place to start is to look at search volumes by using Google Trends.  Don't just test out your main niche though - try out some sub niches. For the niche that I am considering the I can see that for the main niche and related sub-niches there was a negligible search volume prior to 2007, and then it has steadily increased from there. The fact that the volume has continued to grow suggests to me that it is not a passing fad, but here to stay.

Other places to look are your local magazine stockist (either online or offline) and look at whether they stock publications that are related to your niche. If there are one or more magazines either directly or indirectly related to your chosen niche then this is clearly a good sign.

Another place to consider is Amazon. A number of issues to consider here. Firstly are there books on sale relating to your chosen niche - specifically recent publications. In my chosen niche there have been several books published this year that are directly related, and hundreds more that are indirectly related. A final point to consider is are there products on sale (and more to the point are they selling) that relate directly or indirectly to your niche. The number of reviews on a particular product gives some indication of how well a product is selling.

So, now I have chosen my niche and I am ready to progress to the next stage.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Total Earnings for August 2010

Well, it has to be said that earnings this month have not been great. I have made a couple of Clickbank sales, although I have not included them here as I haven't received the payment yet. I have made no Amazon sales at all. So pretty dismal in all. I am looking at changing direction somewhat over the next couple of months with a view to start building a list, so we will see what that brings. In this month's total I have included a payment for recycling ink cartridges - perhaps not strictly online earnings, but I have included it anyway.

Here are the totals:

Cash for Cartridges: $39.61
Surveys: $6.19
Ebay: $15.46
Swagbucks: $5.00
Squidoo: $5.21

Total = $71.47

Monday, August 23, 2010

Making Money from Twitter with Sponsored Tweets

SponsoredTweets referral badge Do you use Twitter? If you do then if you could be making money from your tweets. Sponsored Tweets allows you to tweet ads and get paid for doing so. You can choose which ads you want to tweet and say whatever you want (although this has to be approved by the advertiser). When you sign up you can set your own price, although if you set your price too high then you should not expect to receive too many ad opportunities. With each tweet you have to declare the fact that it is sponsored in order to comply with Twitter's rules.

In order for your Twitter account to qualify it needs to be at least two months old and you have to have at least 500 followers. You cash out at any time, but for balances under $50 they take $2 from your total to cover costs. For balances of $50 or over there is no such penalty. You can sign up with as many accounts as you like provided that they satisfy the minimum conditions.

It really is an easy way to make money, so why not give it a try!

Sign up with Sponsored Tweets now

Monday, August 16, 2010

Time for a Change in Direction: Building a List

Anyone who has been reading this blog recently, in particular my monthly income reports, will have noticed a drop in my earnings. You may well have noticed an increasingly frustrated tone to these posts as my monthly total has steadily decreased. My plan was to build a small empire of niche sites and Squidoo lenses that would bring in a steady trickle of income, before then moving on to an altogether bigger project of an authority blog. Part of the authority blog plan was to build up a subscriber list. However, I have become frustrated with the whole micro niche marketing aspect of things - principally that I find myself writing about things I neither know nor care about.

What I like about the idea of the authority blog is that I set myself up as an expert on a particular niche and then build up a trusting relationship with my audience who are therefore more likely to buy from me. The big problem I have is that to do this effectively I would have to commit to writing at least three good posts per week (probably more) as well as promoting the blog. Currently, I just do not have the time to do this. I was intending to gradually build up a bank of pre-written posts that I can use when I am short of inspiration or time. What gets in the way of this is thinking that while I am writing this bank of posts I am not making any money.

Then I had a thought. What if I started building up a list now? Also what if I used Squidoo as a means of building my list. In turn, I can use the list to boost traffic to my lenses. So, here's the plan:
  1. Choose a broad niche suitable for an authority blog
  2. Write an ebook to give away to entice people to sign up to my subscriber list
  3. Create a Squidoo account dedicated entirely to my chosen niche
  4. Use Squidoo (and other free resources) to offer my free ebook
  5. Send out emails to my list that provide useful information and engender trust. However, some of these emails will also include affiliate links
  6. For each lens I write I will create an alternative version which I can use as a blog post at a later date.
The long term aim remains to create an authority blog in my chosen niche, but in advance of this I will use this plan to build up a bank of posts to use and also I will hopefully have a reasonable number of subscribers and I can use my list to boost traffic to the blog.

I am intending to document my progress and fully describe each step that I am taking here on this blog, so I invite you to follow me on this journey and see if I succeed or fail.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Total Earnings for July 2010

Well, this month has been fairly disappointing really. Again, no Clickbank sales at all (Clickbank earnings showing this month are just an adjustment) so my total is rather low. On the positive side, I have made a record number of Amazon sales - 6 in all - which will bring me a little closer to the $100 needed as a non US resident to receive a payout (although one of those sales was on the co.uk site). Also another record for Squidoo earnings, but still pretty small.

Here are the figures anyway (remember that I only count what I have actually received):

Surveys: $53.32 (Opinion Health: $39.20, Another panel I can't name: $12.55)
Clickbank: $8.64
Ebay: $20.32
Squidoo: $8.42

Total = $90.70

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Say No to Comment Spam!

I think it is true to say that all bloggers like to receive comments. It helps to remind that there are people out there reading what we have to say and would like to add to the conversation. Likewise, leaving comments on other people's blogs is a good way of getting backlinks and forming relationships with other bloggers. However, within recent times there has been a rise in comment spam - by this I mean comments that are clearly automated or bear no relation to the post. As far as I am concerned this is pretty pointless - the comments on this blog (in common with most others) are moderated. So any comments that are clearly spam will be rejected.

My personal rule for leaving comments on other blogs is that I should contribute in some way to the discussion and say something meaningful about the post. Perhaps ask a question, or perhaps take issue with what the blogger has to say. At all cost avoid an unimaginative "nice post!" type comment. In turn, I expect commenters on my blogs to do the same. However, this blog (far more than my other blogs) seems to be particularly prone to comment spam - maybe it's something to do with being in a make money online niche.

Anyway, I have decided to bring in my own rules as to what I will publish and what I will reject. Therefore the following type of comments will be rejected:
  1. Any comment that bears no relation to the content of the post.
  2. Any comment that has hyperlinked text within the body of the comment - unless this actually contributes to the discussion. 
That about covers it I think. This is a dofollow blog, but only comments that are not blatantly self-promotional will be published.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Total Earnings for June

Another month past and time to review my internet earnings. Well let's start with the positives. Overall income is not too bad - not great, but not too bad. As well, income has been from a variety of sources. Income from Squidoo has continued its upward path with another record month - I don't tend to use the Amazon modules, instead preferring to use my own affiliate links, so I don't expect my direct Squidoo earnings to reach great heights.

On the negative side, I have not made a single affiliate sale this month (affiliate income this month has been from sales that I made last month). This is the first month since October 2009 that I have not made any sales.

Here are my totals for this month:

Ebay: $42.78
Affiliate earnings: $65.63 (Clickbank = $28.56, Think Action = $37.07)
Swagbucks: $5
Squidoo: $7.33
Blogsvertise: $5

Total = $125.74

The lack of sales this month has led me to change my strategy a little focusing more on finding specific niches and then finding ways to exploit these. What I am doing primarily is using Micro Niche Finder to find low competition keywords. Some of these will relate to specific products with brand names in them - where this is the case I am building a Squidoo lens focused on these keywords. In the instances where there is no brand name in the keyword I am buying a related domain name and building a niche site around it. However, I need to not get too carried away with buying domain names otherwise I will be spending more money than I am making. Anyway, let's see how this works.

Friday, June 25, 2010

New Template Design Feature on Blogger

One of the problems with Blogger has been that the default templates were looking rather tired and to customize them to your needs required a knowledge of HTML and CSS. However, those people at Google's Blogger team seem to have been listening to their users and have now brought out their new Template Designer.

I have decided to give it a go with my experimental blog. So clicking on to the design feature this is what you find.

To start with you find that you have six themes, each with a number of variations giving a total of 26 templates to start with. This does not feel like that many, but actually the big new feature is that the templates are now highly customizable without the need for any knowledge of HTML or CSS.

For the purposes of this little experiment I have decided to start with one of the "Simple" templates, which starts off looking like this:

Moving on, you can then choose a background and this is where the fun begins! You have the option here of simply changing your colours or changing background images. There are loads to choose from, although you need to bear in mind that how these are applied varies according to which template you have chosen, i.e. most will be applied as a background image, but for others they will be applied as a header.

For this exercise I have chosen a green bamboo background - probably not what I would choose if I was doing this for real, but let's give it a go and see how it turns out. At this point you also have the opportunity to change the colour theme to your blog as well. This is how it looks after applying the background.

Now onto the layout stage. This is where the new Blogger Designer really gets going. Previously, unless you were happy to start editing the template HTML or you downloaded a template you were stuck with a standard width blog with one sidebar. Now you have no fewer than eight options ranging from zero to THREE sidebars. Here are the options available:

Not only that, you have the opportunity to adjust the width of your blog and of the sidebars.

Finally you then have the "Advanced" tab, most of which is actually not that advanced at all. In fact most of it is simply a replacement of the previous "Font and Colors" feature, but just a little more user friendly. However, what you do have here is an opportunity to add your own custom CSS.

And here is the finished template:

I have gone for quite a simple look here, but you can use one of the other templates and backgrounds to give a different look. In fact here is another variation on the template that I made:

You can still upload your own header as before so you personalize it still further.

Overall, this is a really easy to use tool and gives you a huge range of options. Hopefully the days of many Blogger blogs looking rather similar are coming to an end.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The Benefits and Uses of DVD Duplication

Most people are aware of the process of DVD duplication, i.e. the copying of data from a disk to a DVDR (a recordable DVD). Usually we think of this in terms of copying movies or video, but there is also the scope for businesses to use this process for copying promotional material. Just think how much easier (and cheaper) it is to distribute DVDs rather than bulky catalogues and brochures. Of course, if you are serious about such promotional methods you should ensure that you use a reliable DVD duplication service, otherwise you run the risk of distributing poor quality discs which will only harm your promotional efforts.

To me, the benefits of such promotional methods are clear; less cost, less waste and lower distribution costs.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Earnings for May

Time to review how I have done for the previous month again. Again, rather slower going than I would like and I am feeling quite frustrated with this making money online stuff. As far as affiliate sales go I seem to be stuck on 3 to 4 Clickbank sales and a couple of small Amazon sales per month and I can't seem to get it above that. Even Adsense has been slow going this month.

On the vaguely positive side, this month has seen a record payout from Squidoo.

Here are the totals anyway:

Clickbank: $87.67
Surveys: $5.86
Squidoo: $6.47
Ebay: $8.78

Total = $108.78

Friday, May 7, 2010

Get FREE SEO Guide and Get More Traffic to Your Site

I don't know about you, but there are elements of SEO or Search Engine Optimization that I still struggle with. I know many people find it difficult and find themselves at a bit of loss as to how to increase traffic to their website or blog. But with the right SEO strategy you can rank well with Google and get your site found. Fortunately, help is at hand. I have a FREE SEO guide to give away. It is completely free, there is no catch and no need to opt in to a list. All you need to do is click on the link below:


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Kontera Halve Payout Rate

Kontera offer in text advertising, particularly specialising in blogs and work well with both Blogger and Wordpress. It is very simple - all you do is install the code which generates in-text advertising links for which you receive a small payment. I actually currently use Linkworth on this blog, but Kontera on other blogs and niche sites. The main downside with Kontera is that they have had a very high payment threshold of $100 which means for small bloggers like me the prospect of ever receiving a payment felt rather remote. However, I signed up with Kontera mainly because it is an option for earning money on Hubpages, so I figured I had nothing to lose.

Today, however, Kontera have announced that they have cut the payment threshold to $50 which is clearly much more achievable. Having said that, you should not get too carried away - the payments per click is pretty low, much lower than Adsense. I have been with them for about three months and not yet reached $1.00 so the chances of seeing my money still feel pretty remote - just slightly less remote than before!

EDIT: Please note - I have now switched to Kontera for this blog as well.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monthly Total for April

Another month passed and time to review how I have been doing. Well let's start with the good news. The main story for this month is that four months into the year and I have already earned more as a Clickbank affiliate this year than I did over the whole of last year! This month I have had a relatively big payout from New Vista surveys which has really helped my total. Also a record month for Squidoo payout - not that much, but my main income from my lenses is my Clickbank affiliate links.

As for the not so good stuff - well overall my earnings are still not really increasing so that is quite frustrating. I also been really bad at listing stuff on Ebay this month, so I need to do better there.

This month I have invested some of my hard earned cash into buying Micro Niche Finder. I have always struggled with keyword research and identifying potentially lucrative niches so I am hoping this will help. At the moment I am trying out a few ideas on Squidoo first before I go and spend more money on domain names.

Anyway, to this month's total:

Surveys: $82.52 (New Vista - $76.40, Another survey panel I can't name - $6.11)
Clickbank: $37.85
Swagbucks: $10.00
Squidoo: $6.42
Amazon Marketplace: $10.99
Ebay: $3.02

Total: $150.80

Distinctly average I think!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bukisa Tighten Up on Submission Rules

Signup to Bukisa, Get Paid For Publishing your Knowledge!

I have dabbled a little with Bukisa over recent months - just a bit of sideline really, not something that I have put significant time into. One of the things I have done in the past is to simply copy and paste a couple of my articles that I have submitted to Ezine. To submit content to Bukisa that you have submitted elsewhere is within the rules, provided of course that it is your own content and not someone else's. The links are nofollow, so there is no value from a SEO point of view, but it is an easy way of getting more revenue earning content up and provides another way for people to find my stuff, so worth doing I thought.

I had a plan to copy all my Ezine articles into Bukisa for this reason and submitted my first two last week. But, these were both rejected on the basis that there were self-promoting links in the article. I have tried moving the links so that they are a bit more subtle and taking out the "call to action" a the end of the article, but to no avail. I have also noticed that one of my other articles is now "under review". I guess it is only a matter of time before the rest of my articles suffer a similar fate.

It seems that any link to your own content now means your article will now be rejected. This is very disappointing and must mean that at least half of the content currently on Bukisa will now be removed. I guess it is OK if you are someone who is happy to write simply to earn from Bukisa, but I had hoped to combine this activity with promoting with my other content. I guess that is not going to possible any more.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Niche Sites or Authority Blog - Which is the Best Make Money Online Model?

Is it just me or is there a bit of a debate going on at the moment amongst the Internet Marketing community about whether multiple niche sites or having a single authority blog is the best model for making money online? I have been following the niche sites route recently, but I have been starting to wonder if this is something that I want to pursue over the longer term and whether it is actually the best way to make money. So I thought I would set out my thoughts here. It seems that both models have strengths and deficits, so let's look at these shall we:

Niche Sites

The principle behind making niche sites (usually with Wordpress) is simple; put a small number of articles around a small tightly defined niche (preferably one that does not have much competition) and include some affiliate links. I doesn't matter if this niche only has a small search volume, as long as it has some. Promote your site with articles, social bookmarking, etc. Then leave it alone and move onto the next one. The idea is for each site to make just a couple of dollars a day, but obviously if you make enough of them then you can make a good income. A slight variation of this is rather than use a single website for your niche you can use a series of linked Squidoo lenses.

  • Technically easy to do
  • Does not require a specialist knowledge around a particular subject.
  • Only a small amount of content required per site

  • Tends to mean that you constantly looking for new niches to exploit and having to research these.
  • Over time your traffic to your site will decrease meaning that you will need to add fresh content in order for search engines to find you again.
  • There is no opportunity for you to build a relationship with your visitors meaning that people will visit once and probably never return.
If this is a route you wish to follow and don't know where to start then why not try The Niche Site Blueprint

If you want to use Squidoo to make money (like I am currently doing) then I recommend One Week Marketing. If you are not sure if this is for you, then you can download the first chapter free to give you an idea of what it is all about.

    Authority Blog

    The principle behind an authority blog is that you sell yourself as being an authority on a particular niche. Unlike the niche site model, you aim to form a relationship with your readers, providing regular, consistently good quality content around your chosen niche. The theory here is that you build up the type of relationship with your readers that they trust you and your judgement, and as a result they are more likely to buy products via affiliate links on your blog.

    • That you build up a relationship with your readers meaning that sales are more likely.
    • That you are not dividing your time between multiple projects, instead devoting it to one.
    • With constant new content being added the search engines will rank your site more highly

    • That you "put all your eggs in one basket"
    • That you constantly have to come up with new and interesting content
    If you are looking to start an authority blog that brings in a real income like the probloggers do then the best coaching course out there is Yaro Starak's Blog Mastermind

    At the moment I am mostly pursuing the niche sites/Squidoo route, but I am wondering whether in the future I should be looking at devoting my time to an authority blog. My main issue is what niche would be authority blog cover? More to the point, what am I really an authority on?

    Wednesday, March 31, 2010

    Total Earnings for March

    March has not been a great month in terms of making money online. I have made another Wordpress niche site as an extension of one of my One Week Marketing campaigns. Otherwise, my efforts have been concentrated primarily on increasing traffic to my various projects. My Clickbank sales have been down this month (just two sales) and I have had my first zero payday since November last year. I haven't been very good at keeping up with Ebay listing and I haven't many surveys either, so even these sources of income have been down.

    Here are the totals:

    Affiliate income: $54.30 (Clickbank)
    Ebay: $29.59
    Squidoo: $2.27

    Total = $86.16

    Quite disappointing really! This coming month I intend to work on creating more One Week Marketing campaigns and working getting more traffic to my existing projects. My current aim to create 30 campaigns/niche sites before thinking about trying something else.

    Wednesday, March 17, 2010

    5 Golden Rules of Forum Marketing

     Forums are one of the oldest forms of social networking on the internet and are a great way for like minded people to share thoughts and ideas on particular topics. There are forums on pretty much everything you can think of - simply try typing a random topic and the word "forum" into your search engine and you will probably find several. Some are obviously more established and active than others, but however diverse social networking has become it would appear that forums are here to stay and continue to contain a wealth of useful information about a range of subjects.

    Forums are also a great way for people to market a product or promote a website to a targetted group of individuals specifically looking for information. Most forums allow you to put a link into your "signature" at the bottom of each post you make, thereby exposing your link to a large group of people. However, to do this effectively requires treading a fine line between making yourself and your offer visible, or being considered a spammer, upsetting the forum community and possibly being banned. In order to help you along the way of treading this fine line, here are my golden rules which should be followed at all times:

    1. Read the rules of the forum very carefully. These vary hugely with some allowing linking directly to affiliate links, some only allowing linking to your own sites and some do not allow linking at all. Read and digest the rules and make sure you stick to them.
    2. Make your signature obvious, but not too obvious. If the forum allows, use a message that catches people's attention, use bold and color to make your link stand out. However, you will need to guage from the forum that you are using how obvious to make it. Have a good look around the forum and at other people's signatures and get an idea what appears to be considered acceptable.
    3. Participate in the forum in a useful way. The object here is not put out lots of buying messages out there, this is counter productive and will probably get you banned. What you need to do is demonstrate your expertise in the given subject - start new threads, reply to existing threads. Demonstrate that you can be helpful to other members. As you gain respect and visibility in the forum they are more likely to click on your link and, if it points to a product, buy from you.
    4. Post often, but don't try to dominate the forum. Overdoing it will irritate existing members and will just suggest you are trying to take over.
    5. Don't spam other members. Don't PM other members with messages of "come visit my site" or "buy my product", because they probably won't and you only end up irritating people.
    Follow these rules to the letter and become a regular participant in the forum and you should see regular clicks through to your link.

    Wednesday, March 10, 2010

    How to Increase Adsense Income

    For bloggers and webmasters, Google Adsense always feels like an easy way to montize your site. It seems easy - simply insert your code and watch the cash roll in! Or not........ The truth is, often the returns can be rather low, and with a payout threshold of $100 many people never see their money. However, there are steps you can take to increase your Adsense clicks and get you closer to the elusive payout.

    Location, Location, Location
    Many people will be familiar with the Google Heat Map which gives an indication of the best places to put your ads. Typically they should be towards the top of the screen to catch the reader's attention, and the left of the page tends to work better. The most lucrative spot tends to be under the title - a strategy that works particularly well with blogs.

    However, this does need to be balanced with ensuring that your ads do not interfere with the reader's experience. If the location of the ads make your site look cluttered or detract significantly from your content then you should re-consider the position you are using otherwise you risk losing readers fast.

    Background Color
    Your readers are more likely to click on your ads if they do not stand out and merge with your content. The easiest way of achieving this is to make sure that the ad background matches the color of your page. However, it is important that you do not do anything to disguise the fact that they are ads (for example putting a heading of "Recommended sites" over your ads). Doing so risks getting you banned.

    More Traffic = More Clicks
    OK, so this may be obvious, but the more people you attract to your site the more likely you are to get people who click on your ads. How do you get more traffic? Well that's a post for another day!

    Low Value Clicks vs High Value Clicks
    The amount of money that you receive is not simply a product of how many clicks your ads receive, but which ads are clicked on. For example, ads about tropical fish supplies are low value, whereas ads about mortgages, loans and credit cards are high value. Being as they are contextual ads, Adsense will display ads that are relevant to your site. Therefore, you indirectly control the ads through your content. If you are intending Adsense to be a primary source of income then you should focus your efforts on writing about those topics that attract high value ads. However, you should bear in mind that these are high value for a reason - i.e. high competition. Therefore, attracting traffic to your site may be more challenging than for lower value subjects.

    Use Revenue Sharing
    An additional strategy is not to limit yourself to your site, but to make use of revenue sharing sites. For blogs, the easiest way to do this is simply to syndicate your content to YouSayToo. That way you increase the chances of your content being seen and 50% of the impressions there are yours. The advantage of this is that once it is set up there is no effort whatsoever involved.

    Another option is to use user generated content sites that use Adsense as their revenue sharing model. Examples of these include HubPages, Info Barrel and Xomba. One option is to re-write some of your existing content and submit to these sites making sure that you include a link back to your site. Therefore, this can be both part of a link building strategy and increasing your Adsense impressions.

    Look out for other options for Adsense revenue sharing - preferably options that serve some other useful purpose. For example, some forums (such as Digital Point [Edit: Adsense on Digital Point is currently suspended]) use Adsense revenue sharing. Don't expect these to radically increase your income though, but anything that increases your ad impressions has got to be good.

    The important thing is to be realistic about the income you will receive from Adsense. Most people will receive a relatively small amount of money and will take a very long time to reach the payout threshold. However, if you manage to construct sites with high value ads and attract a high volume of traffic then you could make a decent amount of money from Adsense.

    If you are interested in making serious money then you should try Making Sense with Google Adsense which could set you on the path to generating a true income from Adsense.

    Tuesday, March 2, 2010

    Total Earnings for February

    Well another month past and time to reflect on my earnings and what I have achieved. This month one of the things that I have been focusing on is promoting one of my other blogs, A Smallholder's Diary, and this is starting to pay off in terms of increased traffic. I have plenty more to do in this respect though.

    I have also got a further niche site up and running, although I could do with doing more to it to improve it. This one is a bit of an experiment for me being as it is focused on physical products sold through Amazon. As the commission is rather smaller than with Clickbank I have focused on higher value products. Not surprisingly as I have not done too much to promote it as yet, traffic is minimal. But it has already made me a sale! Not only that, the person also bought some accessories to go with the item they bought, so that brought me in $20.21! Yay!! I don't expect to make too much more on this yet though, as I really need to do more to promote it.

    Also this last month I have started two new blogs. I am really not sure if this was a good idea, but I will give them another couple of months and see how they do before I decide whether to persist with them.

    Anyway, to this month's totals. One change for this month is that I have decided to give the figures entirely in USD rather than GBP. Therefore, my monthly target is no longer £300, it is now $500. So here are the figures (bearing in mind I only count what I have actually received):

    Surveys: $52.38 (Harris $37.42, Ipoints $14.97)
    Affiliate sales: $46.84 (Clickbank $38.68, Other $8.16)
    Squidoo: $2.68
    Swagbucks: $5.00
    Ebay: $31.67

    Total = $138.57

    Not bad I guess, but still frustratingly short of my target. My affiliate sales are not picking up as much as I would like, although do remain at a steady trickle. This has not been helped this month by my best performing product disappearing for some reason, so I have had to hastily replace all my links with a similar product.

    This next month I intend to put more into increasing traffic to my main two blogs (this being one of them), put more into increasing traffic to my existing niche sites, and to build a further niche site using a domain name that I already have and is not doing much for me.

    Progress still feels frustratingly slow........

    Thursday, February 18, 2010

    Places to Sell Your Craft Stuff

    Whilst EBay has established itself as the leader in online auctions, it does not lend itself particularly well to sell handcrafted objects that creative people have made themselves to sell. So in recent years a number of sites have sprung up specialising in selling just such handcrafted objects. This post compares some of these sites.


    Etsy the best known of these sites, primarily because it has been operating the longest. To become a seller you simply sign up and create your own shop. They also provide you with buttons and banners for you to promote your shop. Each item costs $0.20 to list and if after four months it hasn't sold it will be unlisted. Whenever you make a sale you will you be charged a sales fee of 3.5% of the selling price. Etsy is US based, but has buyers and sellers all over the world.

    Visit Etsy


    For sellers Artfire offers two levels of membership. With the basic level you can sell your stuff for free - no listing or final sales fee whatsoever! For this you have your own shop (or studio as they prefer to call it) with promotion tools, including the ability to sell directly from your blog. The premium account costs you $12 per month and naturally includes a number of additional features including preferred placement in searches and the ability to use the community functions of the site.

    Visit ArtFire

    Da Wanda

    Da Wanda is aimed at the European market - specifically the UK, Germany and France. It follows a similar format to Etsy in that you have your own shop, although I am not sure if they provide you with any promotional tools. Currently there are only listing fees on the German version of the site, although there are plans to introduce these on the UK and French versions soon. Selling fees are 5% of the final selling price.

    Visit Da Wanda


    FolksyFolksy is a UK based site, again following a similar principle to Etsy, so you have your own shop and they provide badges you can put on your blog. Currently it is only open to sellers in the UK, (although you can buy from anywhere in the world that accepts Paypal), but it is planned to expand to other parts of the world in the near future. Fees are £0.20 listing fee and 5% selling fee. Items are listed for 6 months.

    Visit Folksy 

    Saturday, February 6, 2010

    First Stage in Website Promotion - Web Directories

    I have recently put together a website for my wife's new business venture. The next step of course is try and make sure that it actually gets found. I have drawn myself up a fifteen point plan to work through, the main criteria at this stage is that they have to be free.

    The first step has to be submission to web directories and some business directories. The purpose of this is to gain links back to the site to increase the chances of search engines finding it, and generally increasing exposure. The question is do I invest my time in mass directory submission, or do I limit my activities to the odd SEO friendly web directory? I have submitted to DMOZ as this is clearly the most established directory on the net, but I am looking around for some others that will help in my quest to get the site easily found. One of the best directories has to be Yahoo Directory, but unfortunately they charge for submission, so I have ruled that one out for now. Many of the free directories require a reciprocal link, so there is a trade off here between site exposure and having to find places on your site for to place links.

    Another key factor for me is that the directory has relevant categories in which to place the website. In this case it is concerned with patchwork and quilting workshops, so I will only be considering directories that have categories that are relevant. Placing a listing in a non-relevant category severely reduces chances of it being found through the directory.

    I have also been looking at some business directories, but the problem with some of these is that a) several of them charge a fee for submission, and b) many of them want you to provide an address for the business - but in this instance that is our home address, so I don't know how I feel about that.

    This is only the first step along the way of promoting the site and I have my whole list to work through. At the point of writing it is a fifteen point plan, but I keep thinking of new things to do so it grows almost daily! Once I have worked my way through the list then hopefully the site should get a reasonable amount of traffic and that a far amount of this should be organic traffic from search engines.

    Monday, February 1, 2010

    Total Earnings for January

    Well it's that time again to look at how I have done for the month that has past. My focus for this month was twofold; firstly, setting up a website for my wife's new business venture, and secondly, to start moving onto some Wordpress niche sites. The website was very much a learning process and although it will not contribute at all to my online earnings efforts (she wouldn't let me monetize the site) I have leaned much about building websites from scratch, not to mention all the stuff that goes with hosting, domain names, etc. In case you are interested, I used Kompozer which is a free website builder.

    I have also built two Wordpress niche sites and made a start on a third. The two that I have completed are basically extensions of One Week Marketing campaigns so I have several assets I can call on to provide links in, so hopefully they will become established quicker than if I was starting a new campaign from scratch. The third is completely new and will be based around Amazon products.

    I had intended to start a new One Week Marketing campaign as well, but unfortunately both time and inspiration eluded me.

    Anyway, to the totals:

    Surveys: £2/$3.19 (GfK)
    Squidoo: £0.82/$1.31
    Swagbucks: £3.13/$5
    Affiliate earnings: £27.02/$43.11
    Ebay: £10.18/$6.38

    Total = £43.15 (or $68.86)

    Distinctly average I would say. It is good that now I am getting a steady trickle of affiliate sales now (I am currently averaging around 3 or 4 Clickbank sales per month) but would like much more.

    I had originally intended to build more niche sites in the month ahead, but I am a bit concerned that if I carry on buying up domain names I could land myself with a hefty renewal bill for this time next year. So I have decided to finish off the one that I have started and not start any more just yet. I am feeling a bit stuck with what niche to look at for next month for further One Week Marketing campaigns. My usual strategy is to look at the new Clickbank products, do some keyword research and then try and get it set up before everyone starts promoting it. However, recently although there have been loads and loads of new Clickbank products launched, none have particularly caught my interest. I have decided that what I shall do is rather than spend loads of time setting up a full blown campaign around a particular niche, I will choose several niches that I am interested in and then set up a series of test Squidoo lenses to see how they do. If any of these get a reasonable level of traffic, or maybe even a sale or two, then I will expand these further.

    Aside from this I think I need to put more effort into consolidating my existing assets, so trying to attract traffic to my blogs, niche sites, Squidoo lenses, etc.

    What are your plans for the month ahead?

    Saturday, January 30, 2010

    New Pages Feature for Blogger - More Options for Niche Sites?

    Wordpress users have long had a "pages" feature available to them which allows them to create a static page on blogs, typically used for About Me pages, disclosure policies, etc. This feature has been a frustrating omission from Blogger meaning that we have had to improvise by creating a post dated some time in the past and then putting a link to this post in a prominent place. This has always felt a little unsatisfactory, however, as the date of the post is visible which means that it never really feels like a true static page.

    Finally, those clever people at Google having been trying out a new pages feature at Blogger in Draft. It is not known at this stage when it will be available in Blogger proper. It is very easy to use. Simply click on "Posting" and then on "Edit Pages".


    Simply click "New Page" and then type away in the same way as you would a standard post. Once you have finished your first page, the Configure Page List Widget opens which gives you options as to where you want to put your links to your pages.


    The main options are to put tabs across the top or links in the sidebar. However, you also have the option to put the links in manually if you want to do something else yourself.

    The other common use for static pages in Wordpress is for constructing niche sites with a view to making money from affiliate links or from Adsense (or indeed both). For those of us new to internet marketing the chief concern here is that there is a cost (albeit a small one) involved here, both with hosting and domain names. However, this new Pages feature in Blogger raises the possibility of putting together niche sites cost free (and risk free)!! You are limited to 10 pages at this point, but this is sufficient for most simple niche sites. Wordpress fans will say that a Blogger niche will never match the capabilities of the Wordpress platform. Perhaps that is true, but it does provide a good opportunity for those of us new to niche sites to try out some ideas without having to spend any money!

    Sunday, January 24, 2010

    How to Set Up An E-mail on Hostgator When You Are Using a Go Daddy Domain

    Much of my efforts recently having been taken up with tentatively moving into niche websites and also setting up a website for my wife's new business venture. In case you are interested the site I have put together for my wife is here - it is still work in progress, but I pleased with what I have achieved so far. Anyway, a particular criteria was that the e-mail she wanted to use should be associated with the domain name (e.g. mark@domainname.com). When I set up the hosting with Hostgator this seemed straightforward enough, but unfortunately I found that it did not actually work. When I checked with their support I found that this was because I had used a domain name bought at Go Daddy. I bought the domain name from Go Daddy rather than Hostgator because (1) they are cheaper, and (2) Go Daddy offer co.uk domain names and Hostgator do not.

    Eventually with the help of support at both Hostgator and Go Daddy, a solution was reached. As it caused me a degree of stress and frustration, I thought I would share this solution with you. So this is what you do:

    1. Log into Go Daddy and navigate to the Total DNS Control Panel
    2. Look down the C Name table and delete the "mail" entry.
    3. Add a new A Record - use "mail.domainname.com" (where "domainname.com" is the domain name you are using - so with my website it was "mail.fenlandtextilestudio.co.uk"). Point this to the IP address that Hostgator gave you when you first signed up.
    4. Now go to the MX (mail exchange records) and delete the existing records.
    5. Finally, set the MX record to "mail.domainname.com" (where domainname.com is your domain name).

    I hope this is useful and works for you if you need it. Feel free to leave a comment if you have any problems and I will do my best to assist. Don't worry about changing the settings for your domain name - if it all goes horribly wrong you can reset to the default values!

    Friday, January 15, 2010

    Promote Your Blog at You Say Too

    In my constant quest to find ways to promote my blogs to increase readership and to make money online, I was pleased to come across YouSayToo which does both. What this site does is allows you to syndicate your blog content and potentially gain more readers this way. Not only that, there is a revenue sharing element through Adsense and Amazon Associates - basically 50% of the ad impresssions are yours.YouSayToo are an established site with a decent PR and high traffic so by syndicating your content you greatly increase the chances of it actually being read. They also say that the SEO and monetization is done by professionals.

    You can also, if you wish, start a blog on YouSayToo as well, although you will only receive 50% of ad impressions whereas if you started one on Blogger you would receive 100%. I guess the trade off is the fact that you do not need to put the same amount of effort into promoting your blog than if you were starting your own from scratch on Blogger or other platform.

    There is also a community element to the site and you can follow other bloggers and of course they can follow you. Also on the site is a feature called Buzzer, which is microblogging type service, which can help to get yourself and your blogs noticed, and make links with other bloggers. There are also some games on the site - although I haven't actually tried these out yet.

    So, what effect will YouSayToo have on getting your content read and getting more traffic to your blog? Well for me it is early days so time will tell......

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    Goodbye 2009........ Hello 2010!!

    Well it's that time again. Now that Christmas is over we move on to a New Year and time to reflect on how the past year has gone and think about the one to come. This has been a year where I have seen my priorities change away from surveys, paid to click sites, etc towards internet marketing which is where I figure the real money lies.

    So let's look at the goals that I set myself last year and how I have done:
    • To be more focused and to organize my time more effectively - I will actively seek out methods to achieve this. Regular readers of this blog will know that finding that finding enough time to do everything that I want to do is a constant challenge for me!
    Well, this is still an on-going struggle, but at least I have a bit more of a plan now, which is more than I could have said a year ago. Still progress to be made here I think.
    • To increase my online earnings to an average of £300 per month by July 2009.
    Nope, not achieving this one. In fact I think I am averaging around £80 per month. Very frustrating!
    • To promote my blogs with a view to increase the Google Page Rank to PR2 at least by the end of 2009 and the Alexa Rank to above (or below, depending on your point of view) 100,000. 
    This blog has made it up to PR2, then back down to PR0, and back again. As I write it stands at PR1. My other blog has made it to the dizzy heights of PR3! I don't know what I was thinking that my Alexa rank would break 100,000. This was clearly wildly over optimistic!
    • Once Google finally get around to migrating my site to Google Sites, then I will update it, expand some sections, reduce the size of others (that are of limited interest outside the UK) and radically change the advertising banners/links so that they fit better with the site. I will then embark on a campaign of shameless self-promotion to increase traffic.
    Still waiting for my site to be migrated to Google Sites........ I haven't touched the site in months and large chunks of it are out of date. I think I will still wait for it to be migrated and then decide what to do with it then.
    • I am now up to 3 Zlio shops, although 2 are still very much work in progress. I have not made any money from these as yet, so intend to promote these to increase traffic substantially and hopefully get some sales. I am hopeful that these will provide some sort of on-going income.
    My Zlio shops have been quite disappointing. Having said that I have not really put much into promoting them. 
    • Put more time into writing articles on Helium, including writing for the marketplace and competitions to see if I can actually make some money out of it.
    Not achieved this one and I don't think that this is something that I feel is worth putting my valuable time into at this time.
    • I intend to start a third blog, this time on a paid blog network - more about this on a future post.
    I did start a blog on Today.com, but I found that I did not have sufficient time to put into this, so decided to abandon it.
    • Although I have very little money as an affiliate as yet, I intend to pursue this further - I will put more effort into researching products to sell before I do any more.
    I purchased One Week Marketing and have been using this as a model to make money as an affiliate. It took a while, but is now paying off and I have received my first payments from Clickbank. This is definitely something I intend to pursue further.

    As you can see my goals changed somewhat over the course of the year. So what are my goals for 2010?

    • To be more organized. Yes that one again. Basically to come up with a plan for each month, each week and each day.
    • To start setting up niche sites, aiming for at least two a month, but more if I can. Some of these will be extensions of my existing One Week Marketing campaigns, but others will be new ones. I intend that these will focused on a mixture of Clickbank products and actual physical products (mostly through Amazon).
    • I will also continue to put up at least one One Week Marketing campaign per month, many of which will also serve as testing grounds for the niche sites.
    • To put more effort into getting traffic to my blogs - getting more backlinks, social traffic, commenting on other blogs, etc, etc.
    • To list a couple of items per day on Ebay, Ebid or Amazon. I need to keep this stream of income ticking over as it does really bring in cash. I have some major decluttering in the house, so I expect this to turn up plenty of stuff for listing. So no great need to buy in stuff to sell at the moment.
    • To earn £300 per month (that's $480 in case you were wondering). I nearly left this one off, but it is actually what I am aiming for. The figure of £300 is not random - it is what would really help getting us to a point where we don't have to worry too much about our finances.

    Well, there you have it. Maybe I will even stick to them this year, you never know!

    What are your goals for this year?