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. 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 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 "" (where "" is the domain name you are using - so with my website it was ""). 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 "" (where 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, 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?