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Netscape vs. Digg which do yo like better?

June 16, 2006

It’s all over the Net now, so which one do you like better? Netscape or Digg?

The new Netscape (much like Digg) could become a good place to get some link love for your blog. If you have enough friends who will vote for your submission, then you too can get traffic from Netscape.

I think that turning Netscape into a social bookmarking site like Digg is a pretty good idea. Netscape/AOL can probably reach a bigger user base than Digg has. Albeit, Digg’s user base is pretty big already.

In some ways I would have rather seen AOL buy Digg, since they came up with idea. However, there is always going to be competition and in the ever growing web market there is plenty of room for both sites to thrive.

We will see how this goes.

So which one do you prefer? Digg or Nestcape? Does it matter that Digg came first? What do you think?

Learn how to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

June 14, 2006

The first method that I ever learned how to make money online with was affiliate marketing.

The first really good book I ever read on affiliate marketing was SiteSell’s Affiliate Master’s course. It is hands down the best FREE affiliate marketing guide you will find.

I suggest that every beginner start by reading this free guide. After reading it you can learn more about affiliate marketing from various sources (including this blog).

Here is a short list of my favorite affiliate marketing resources ranked by my personal order of importance:

  1. SiteSell’s Free Affiliate Master’s course

  2. Free Affiliate Classroom Magazine

  3. Allan Gardyne’s AssociatePrograms.com

If you know of other good affiliate resources let me know and I will check them out.

Both my wife and I use the techniques that we learned from SiteSell’s affiliate marketing guide to make most of the money we make today from affiliate programs.

In my next post in the “Ways to Make Money Online Series“, I will describe the first method of affiliate marketing that I ever made decent money from.

Adsense Templates – What a Great Idea

June 13, 2006

Remember back a few months ago, when I said that I wish I had come up with an idea like the affiliate classroom?

Well, I have come across another one of those great ideas.

Joel Comm the creator of the book Adsense Secrets, has announced that he is launching a new product called Instant AdSense Templates.

What a great idea!

Coming up with a niche like that is a great way to make money. He is creating a new resource that has no competition, and presumably has a good demand. It’s a perfect niche!

Anyway, I thought I would pass it along as an excellent example of finding a perfect niche business. There are probably many people who can do web design, and who know how to make money with Adsense. What a great idea to put the two together and create Adsense Templates. I imagine Joel will make a killing from these.

The Most Common Blogging Goal

June 12, 2006

I have read a lot (not all) of the submissions to Darren Rowse’s group writing project from last week and there were several goals that came up often (making money for one). However, it seemed to me that the following goal came up the most (or at least it stood out to me the most):

“Post more frequently”

I could be wrong, but it seemed like a lot of bloggers want to post more frequently. I can understand why. When you post more frequently:

  1. You tend to have more visitors.

  2. Your blog seems more alive.

  3. Your blog is more interesting.

  4. You make more money.

One of my goals over the past month has been to post more frequently and I have been getting better at it. I know it helps you build up your readership and I know that I personally prefer to follow blogs with a frequent and fairly consistent posting schedule.

Anyway, I am probably not going to go do the math and add up all the times that people chose this as one of their goals. If you want you can prove me wrong. But of the posts that I read, I think the most common blogging goal for the group was to post more frequently. If not the most common, definitely in the top 10.

For me, having fun is still going to be the most important goal for my blogs. If I am not having fun blogging, then something has to change.

Also, there are many bloggers who post infrequently and yet still have a lot of traffic to their blogs. This is usally due to the fact that they have long, high quality posts that people want to read and send others people to time and time again. These posts are often authoritative in nature – Posts that everyone sends people to (like Robin Good’s list of Blog directories and feeds). Longer more authoritative posts are great link magnets. Even if you post mostly short posts, you may want to sprinkle in a long authoritative post every now and again to help increase your blog traffic and get some good links coming into your blog.

My Blog Traffic from ProBlogger

June 9, 2006

Last Wednesday my blog was listed on ProBlogger’s group writing project for blogging goals.

So how much extra traffic did that give me?

Looking at my log files yesterday morning it appears that I got about 67 direct hits from the link on ProBlogger. My overall pageviews was about 150 more than I would normally get for a Wednesday. So I would guess that I had about 67 more visitors and about 150 more page views that can be directly attributed to being listed in the ProBlogger group writing project. While that isn’t nearly as much as the most traffic I have recieved from one link (over 3000 visitors in a day), it’s certainly not bad.

My link was way towards the bottom of the list. If it had been closer to the top of the list, the link probably would have increased my blog traffic even more. I think that the headline of my post was interesting enough to probably grab a little more attention than some. Creating a good headline will definitely bring in more traffic to your blog.

Lastly, I wanted to say that having a link from ProBlogger is important for other reasons besides the traffic that I recieved yesterday. Quality links from related sites really help your blog rank higher in the Search Engines.

If you want to learn more about getting traffic to your site, I highly recommend checking out my seo tips blog and Aaron Wall’s SEO blog. Aaron really does a good job of keeping you up to date with the latest and greatest news in the Search Engine Optimization world.

Hope you enjoy your weekend!

Evil Web Portals

June 8, 2006

About once every couple of weeks someone sends me a new “get rich” ebook that they want me to review. So far, I have turned most of these opportunities down for various reasons.

Anyway, last week someone gave me an ebook to review that looked very promising. So, I told them I would go ahead and review it. The first few chapters were REALLY good. Then I got to the meat of the system – setting up useless web portals (monetized with Adsense and affiliate programs) that trick the Search Engines using black hat SEO techniques to get traffic.

Ummm… No thanks!

When I read the part about keeping the portal website up until the Search Engines ban the site, I thought to myself,

“I can’t believe they are teaching people this. Especially unsuspecting beginners.”

I am not going to reveal the book’s name or author, because I think they might believe it is a legitimate way to make money on the web. Yes, some perfectly nice people make money this way. But I don’t believe that constantly trying to trick the Search Engines with the latest technique is the way to build up a legitimate business. I for one, just couldn’t live with myself knowing I was contributing to cluttering the Search Engines with garbage results.

Anyway, if you ever purchase a book about creating multiple web portals to trick the Search Engines, promptly return it to get your money back. If someone ever tells you that creating these junk portals is the way to get rich quick, run far, far away.

Homeschooling and Web 2.0

June 7, 2006

Last week I mentioned how Jill and I brainstormed some really COOL ideas for web businesses. Even though I am working on getting her and Paul’s website up and running, both of us were so excited by one of the ideas that we knew we just had to start working on it.

What we did was create a Homeschooling wiki called Know Home Schooling.

The new website fits the list of online business goals that I wrote in April. This new site also fits most (not all) of the criteria set up by Markus Frind (the guy who makes 10,000 dollars a day from Adsense).

Jill and I are both really excited by this new homeschooling site. Jill has been wanting to do something like this for years, but we were always looking at it as a site that we would write all the content for. Last week, when we came up with the idea of creating a wiki, it made the website seem much less overwhelming.

Some of the things that I expect will help the website succeed are:

  1. It is about a topic that both Jill and I are passionate about.

  2. We are very involved in the community that the website targets.
  3. Other people will create a lot of the content for the website.
  4. It really fills a need in the homeschooling community.

Because our new site is a wiki it fits under the web 2.0 umbrella (community based site). We used MediaWiki a wiki system to create it. I made quite a few modifications to the standard template to make it look the way we wanted it to look. I also changed some of the default settings (like turning off the nofollow tag for links).

Anyway, I will keep you updated on how it does traffic wise and if it makes money for us or not. Go check out our new homeschooling wiki by clicking here. If you are in the homeschooling community and want to help build the most comprehensive resource on homeschooling, then please feel to contribute to it.

Oh, and one last comment on the new site. The name kind of sounds like “no homeschooling”, which we thought was funny. Just in case people hear it that way by word of mouth we went ahead and bought “nohomeschooling.com”, and made it redirect to http://knowhomeschooling.com. This way we won’t lose any word mouth of traffic.

Is 1000 dollars a day in my future?

June 6, 2006

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger has another group blogging project going on. He would like people to write about their blogging goals and he will feature the posts on his blog.

My blogging goals have changed quite a bit from when I started blogging. When I started blogging it was for fun and to see if I enjoyed it. With my first blog “If I were President” I learned that I like blogging a lot.

This realization prompted me to change my goals. I knew blogging could be used to make money, so I started my next blog with the goal of:

1. Making Money
2. Making Money
3. Making Money
....

Well, that’s not exactly true…

Making Money was the first goal of my blogs. However, I did have other goals and at this point in time my goals are much more balanced. So here is the real list of my current goals for this blog and blogging in general. I have tried to prioritize them so you can see where my priorities are:

1. Having Fun
It is fun to write about things I enjoy. If Jill or I is no longer having fun with one or all of our blogs it will be time to change the direction of the blog or stop writing on it. I don’t want to make money doing things I hate doing.
2. Making Money
Yes making money is still very high on my list of goals. Most of you are probably reading this blog or came across it because you want to make more money online. Which leads me to goal number 3…
3. Helping Others
In the case of this blog, I hope to help others by learning about what has worked for and what hasn’t worked for me. In the case of other blogs, I want to help others get information they want to see and discuss. My wife and I have discussed this lately and both of us want to help others and if we ever feel like one of our blog is not helping others or not contributing to society we will start thinking about how to change the blog or will look into ending it.
4. Making Big Money
I actually expect to make big money (defined by me as $1000/day) through other online ventures. However, I could envision one of our blogs taking off and making that kind of money. The Winter Olympics blog was 1/5 of the way there at about $200/day.
5. Promote my other sites and online business ventures
With this blog especially, I would like to use it to promote my other businesses.
6. Start Showing My Sense of Humor More
One of my newest goals is to start showing my sense of humor more in my blogs. My first blog was fairly humorous and that’s part of what it made so much fun for me. I need to start injecting more humor into my blogs since it will help me achieve my first goal (Having Fun).
7. Writing the Ways to Make Money Online Series
I want to work every week on creating at least one new post for Ways to Make Money Online series. This goal is only for this blog, but it is something that I have found hard to find time for and thus has become a goal of mine.

At the moment, I can’t think of any other major blogging goals that I have. With my first blog, the goal was to have fun and get my view out about certain topics that affect the world. That has changed over time to more of a focus on making money. Now my primary goal is to make sure my wife and I are having fun with our blogs and helping people at the same time.

Oh yes, and my goal is still to make 1000 dollars a day from blogging, or through other online businesses. I would like to see my wife Jill’s goals as well, because I think that her goals may be slightly different than mine.

Ways to get traffic

June 5, 2006

I just finished reading this post by Seth Godin and I have to say that it is a good read for those looking for more blog traffic. Probably the biggest key to getting consistent blog traffic is to write good content. The better content, the more other people are going to want to read your blog.

I gave some traffic tips a while back in my wife Jill’s Story post on ProBlogger. Looking back, the three things that I believe gave Jill so many repeat visitors was:

1. Regular and Frequent posting (3-5 times a day)
2. Quality content
3. Unique perspective of her blog (she emphasized the human interest stories in the olympics)

Which brings me back to Seth Godin. Last Thursday my wife Jill went to the airport to pick up our son Matthew who was getting back from visiting his Dad in Washington state. While waiting in the airport Jill picked up a copy of Seth Godin’s book “The Purple Cow” and read most of it. I haven’t finished reading the book yet, but the emphasis of the book is on how you need to make your business remarkable. I think point 3 above is what made Jill’s Winter Olympics blog remarkable. Now sure, we could have done other things to set it apart from the crowd, but the focus of her posts were very unique and helped her retain readers throughout the olympics (and beyond).

So my advice to anyone who wants more traffic to their blog is to “be remarkable”.

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