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13 Year Old Boy Blogging About Making Money???

May 10, 2007

Wow, I just came across this blog (via pinoyblogosphere) by a thirteen year old boy named Carl Ocab. Carl is blogging about making money online!

It will be interesting to see how his blog does…

What do you think of his blog?

Top 5 Reasons You Should Participate In Problogger Group Writing Projects

May 9, 2007

Here are the top 5 reasons that you should participate in Problogger Group Writing Projects:

1. You Can Win Prizes!
Darren Rowse offers great prizes in his group projects. For instance, this post is an entry into his latest group writing project, which makes me eligible to win 1001 dollars in cash.

2. You Can Meet New People
I have met quite a few bloggers by participating in Darren’s group writing projects. It is nice to meet new bloggers. Who knows, some of them may become close friends one day.

3. You Will Get Some Good Link Love
When you participate in a group writing project, Darren gives you two links from his blog. Additionally, other people tend to copy the list or write a post with their favorite entries, which can give you more link love.

4. It Gives You Extra Traffic
The link love goes hand in hand with the extra traffic. When you enter Darren’s project, you are bound to get a spike in traffic. While some of this traffic won’t ever return, some of it will. One of the first times I entered a group writing project of Darren’s, my regular readership went from 50 a day to 100 a day. Rather than being a one time spike it just continued to grow from there.

5. The FUN
It’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Interview With Blogging Expert Yaro Starak

May 8, 2007

Last week I had the privilege of interviewing Yaro Starak of Entrepreneur’s Journey, Blog Traffic King, and Small Business Marketing and Branding. Yaro is a very successful online businessman and well-respected in the blogging community.

Q. Based on the fact that Entrepreneur’s Journey archives go back to 2004, I would guess that you are probably one of the first bloggers to chart your journey of making money online. What is the most significant change you have noticed in blogging since you started?

A: The amount of new blogs talking about similar things to what I blog about. The whole making money online, blogging advice and Internet marketing topic areas are quite crowded and it is very difficult for new entrants to get a strong foothold unless they have a unique set of skills, experiences and background from which to draw on to create content.

If I didn’t have the experience I have from running Internet businesses since 1998 I doubt I could build a popular blog in this niche. It’s smarter to go for other areas where there isn’t as much competition unless of course you truly are great at making money online already and are prepared to share your secrets.

Q. What prompted you to start your first online business?

A: A strong desire for freedom. I’ve never had a full time job and I’ve always known that a business was the best way to make a living if I wanted to be master of my own life.

The Internet just happened to come along at the right time when I was entering university so I sort of grew up with online business as an opportunity.

Q . You now have quite a few online businesses. Out of those, do you have a favorite? Which is the most lucrative?

A: Things are constantly changing. In terms of raw profits my editing and proofreading business, BetterEdit.com is definitely the best. It makes the most money and since someone else manages the day-to-day activities I do only a couple of hours a week work on it.

However, I much prefer blogging and recording audio as a passion and while I certainly work a lot harder at it, it pays almost as well as BetterEdit does at the moment. Since I’m moving more into blog training this is the area I suspect to draw the most income from in the near future and the area I will spend the majority of my time on as well.

I also have a few forum sites which are basically passive income earners. They keep running without me and bring in money from AdSense and other advertising and affiliate programs. I make the least money from these (about $1000 a month) but they require nearly zero ongoing work since I have people in place who look after them.

Q. On your blog in March you mentioned that you made $6549.52 from blogging. What monetization methods have you found to be the most profitable for blogging?

A: My experience is probably a bit unusual in that affiliate programs work the best for my blogs. That’s partly because I focus on affiliate marketing and partly because of the industries I blog about. Affiliate product commissions are a lot higher than advertising payouts, so one product sale might make me $150, which for a lot of bloggers might be their entire month’s AdSense income.

I also focus on selling advertising directly from my blogs, selling banners and text links, which works really well. I like to put sponsors on a subscription so I do not have to spend too much time chasing up payments.

My goal with blog income is to focus on less labor intensive methods, hence I prefer recurring subscriptions and affiliate marketing.

Programs like AdSense and paid reviews require you work harder and putting out more content if you want to earn more. In my case I can focus on working less but keeping article quality high at the same time to provide value to my readers.

Q. On Entrepreneur’s Journey, you offer a lot of great advice to people who are just starting out. In your post titled “Small Business Realities“, you wrote:

The important skill to learn is that the business owner should work on the business, not in it, but that’s easier said than done and especially early on when funds are tight it’s very like you will be working in the business.

Could you elaborate on what you mean by that?

A: Looking at the growth of my business BetterEdit is a great example. When I started the business I built the website, hired the editors, coordinated editing jobs, provided customer service and marketed the business with posters on university campuses. Over the years I slowly moved away from each of these tasks and outsourced as my cashflow grew enough to do so.

First I hired someone to put up posters for me, then I brought on a web marketing firm to improve the website. More recently I hired an admin person who handles the daily job processing and customer service roles. Now I essentially just confirm payments are made and once a year hire new editors. If this was my only business I could spend the rest of my time working “on” it, formulating new strategies and testing new marketing methods knowing that other people where keeping the business running without me – the “in” the business part.

Of course I choose to spend most of my time in the blogging world now and not growing BetterEdit, but you can see it was because I moved away from being the center cog that kept the business going and allowed me to focus on blogging instead. You must aim to create systems that handle the critical roles if you ever want to have freedom.

Q. You recently started a blog mentoring program for beginners. What is the biggest mistake you see people make when they first start blogging?

A: Focusing too much on making money and reading other blogs. New bloggers need to focus on content production and marketing, not reading other blogs and feeling bad about how little money they are currently making.

99% of bloggers make peanuts for the first six months on a new blog – it was the same for me – and if you can create a mindset of giving great content especially during the early days you will be rewarded in the long run. It takes a little belief and definitely some hard work, but if you pick a topic you love, the blogging journey will be 100% enjoyable, even during the early days when you make no money.

Once you get to around 500 visitors a day, pat yourself on the back for a job well done, keep pumping out the great content to build more traffic AND then start testing some methods to monetize your blog. You can try and make money earlier than this, but seriously if you make $5 from your current 100 visitors that you are working four hours a day to generate are you going to be motivated or discouraged?

If you make $50 after doing just one affiliate promotion to your 500 visitors built up from a few months of steady blogging and not thinking about the money, don’t you think you will feel more motivated and excited about the future potential? It’s all about strategy and mindset with the right tactics at the right time.

Q. In addition to your mentoring program, you also offer a free blog traffic newsletter. If you could only use ONE method of getting traffic to your blog, what would it be and why?

A: Other people’s blogs. In the Internet business world entrepreneurs usually say if they had one tool to market with they would always say joint ventures. It’s through partnerships and relationships with people who already have access to an audience that you can successfully build your own audience.

Q. You have a great section on your website where you give a rundown of what a typical day in your life looks like. You mention “when you are mentally spent it’s a great time to work on free online marketing techniques that don’t require you to be firing on all cylinders”. Can you give us some specific free techniques that you use?

A: Okay, to be honest nowadays when I am mentally spent I go and leave the computer altogether, however what I was referring to in that article was when you can no longer construct clever things – like full sized articles, or website code, or graphic design or all the other somewhat creative or intellectual activities you might have to do. At these times you can head out and do marketing activities that only require you to use minimal brain power – leave comments on other blogs, submit your site to directories, take part in forum discussions, etc – all activities that take only a few coherent sentences or routine steps to get results from.

Q. In that same post, you mention that your upcoming goals include training someone else to take over more of your administrative duties. What tasks lend themselves to outsourcing? Are there any jobs that should never be outsourced?

A: When I wrote that article I had not hired the admin person for BetterEdit yet, so that was in particular what I was referring to. I have since hired a stay-at-home mum who manages the email customer service and job processing duties.

Other areas I am currently outsourcing are web development and server management, graphic design and very soon help desk management for my blogging business.

You can outsource nearly everything, but what you need to do is outsource what you are not good at and focus on what you are good at. If your income is not sufficient to outsource everything, then focus on the task that is your immediate constraint as the first outsourced
activity.

In my case I am best at content creation and relationship building. I still do a lot more than just those activities, but my goal is to get the point where all I do is write and record audio and training videos. Everything else will be handled by more talented people than myself and
I will essentially be a project manager.

Q. One last question before we go—and this is, of course, is the most important one. Since you’re a big tennis fan, who is the best tennis player of all time?

A: Ha! Tough to answer. I have this horrible feeling that Federer may not win the French. If he doesn’t then he’ll always have the same problem that Pete did with people saying he was not a complete enough player to be considered the best.

Without owning each slam you can’t be considered the best even if your total number of slams is highest, in my opinion. As soon as Fed has at least one French and equals or surpasses Pete’s total slam count then I’ll hand him the crown of best ever with no reservations.

Do You Want To Be The Next Internet Millionaire?

May 7, 2007

Joel Comm is launching an online reality tv show that is kind of like Donald Trump’s Apprentice tv show. Joel is calling it The Next Internet Millionaire.

If you don’t know much about Joel, he is the guy who has several popular Adsense products (The Adsense Code, Instant Adsense Templates, etc). Before making money with Adsense Joel co-created Yahoo! Games, which he sold to Yahoo! for over $1,000,000.

Anyway, he is launching the site on Wednesday. After I check out the rules, I might enter the contest. I don’t really want to be away from my family for two weeks, but it could be a great opportunity. The winner gets a $25,000 cash prize and an opportunity to become Joel’s next joint venture partner.

You can learn more by clicking here.

I Have Been Tagged Again – Why on earth do I blog?

May 7, 2007

I have been tagged by Marco to tell you the reasons I blog. This is another blog meme. If you are tagged then you can write a post with a link back to the person who has tagged you, write a list of 5 reasons why you are blogging and finally, add a list of 5 other bloggers you want to tag with this question.

Here are the five reasons that I blog:

1. For Fun
This is the primary reason I started blogging. I blog for the fun of it. I enjoy blogging. The day I stop enjoying it is the day I stop blogging.

2. For Profit
I blog for money. I started some of my blogs primarily to make money, but I started all of my blogs on topics I enjoy.

3. For learning
I like to learn new things. This blog, in particular, gives me a chance to learn new things.

4. For Humor
The first blog I started as a creative outlet for my sense of humor. I have gotten away from that, but if I ever start a new blog there is a good chance it will be funny.

5. For Making New Friends
I have made some new friends by blogging. Even if I gave up blogging tomorrow, I would stay in touch with many of my blogging friends and keep up with their blogs.

I tag Chris, Amanda, Wendy, Garry, and Gayla.

The only thing I don’t like about these memes is choosing which bloggers to tag. I would really like to tag more of you…

like Rob, John, Daniel, Maki, etc…

Oh, what the heck… I tag all of you! If you want to be tagged, just let me know and I will add you to this list.

If you can’t tell, I have a hard time following rules:)

Internet Marketing Tips From The Web 5/4/2007 Take 2

May 4, 2007

I mentioned earlier that I read a lot of good articles this week. Well, I read so many good articles this week, that I decided to post a second group of articles for your reading enjoyment…

How to Make Money with a Video Blog: An Introduction and Guide
I haven’t read the guide that Maki talks about yet, but I can tell you from experience that this is an excellent way to make money with blogs. Like I said in the comments, “...I have been considering turning some of the blogs that I don’t have time for, into mostly video posts. I also tend to get more links to the posts with videos. I highly recommend testing this out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.”

Copy Is Not About Selling, It’s About Serving
Excellent post by Michel Fortin on the future of copywriting.

Should You Build a Blog or an EMail Newsletter List?
I totally agree with Chris’ conclusion in this post.


Interview with Search Engine Guide’s Jennifer Laycock

Excellent interview with some solid SEO advice.

Stay Away from In-Text Advertising
I removed Kontera ads from this blog, but I am continuing them on my other blogs for now. I might discuss this more later. Come join in on the argument (errr… discussion).

Clicking Adsense Ads
Interesting discussion on clicking Adsense ads. Do you click on them or ignore them?

Unique Content – Where to Find Topics and Ideas
Good post by Gayla on places to find topics to write about. I currently use all of them.

There were other good articles that I read this week, but between part 1 and 2 you should have plenty to read…

Internet Marketing Tips From Around The Web 5/4/2007

May 4, 2007

I did a lot of reading this week. Here are some articles I read this week that I think will help you make money online.

Ego Blogging and the Money Idol – Beware Who You Worship In The Blogosphere
Great article from Yaro. I strongly suggest you read this and answer his questions. Next week, I plan on posting an excellent interview that I did with Yaro through email. So keep your eye out for it.

What Google does not tell you about adsense
An excellent post on a new Internet Marketing blog called Fit For Freedom. I have been very impressed with all the really good money making blogs I have come across the last few months. Anyway, this post reveals a really good way to help choose the keywords you use in your articles for maximum Adsense revenue.


Overcoming a Loss of Motivation

Great tips on staying motivated.

BlogBackupOnline
Is a new free service to backup your blog(s). I am going to have to test it out when I get a little spare time. Found via Problogger.

Five Habits of Millionaires
A list of some good habits to develop if you want to become a millionare.

What I Learned From Drinking Starbucks Coffee

May 3, 2007

Robert started a group writing project asking people to write about something they have learned from a non-traditional source. Well, one day I was drinking some Starbucks coffee and I thought to myself,
“How in the world can they charge so much for a cup of coffee?”

I can remember when you could buy a cup of coffee for practically nothing. Starbucks has changed the rules of the game. You want coffee, that will be 3 dollars, please…

Starbucks has made the perceived value of their product to be MUCH more than the actual cost of creating it. Creating a high perceived value for your products and services is a great way to make tons of money.

Is Starbucks coffee THAT MUCH better than regular coffee? No way!

Do they make a ton of money because they sell coffee at a premium price? Yes!

What is the secret to their success? Why can they charge so much for their coffee?

While there are quite a few factors that enable Starbucks to charge so much for their coffee, I believe the biggest secret to their success is quite simple:

Starbucks is EVERYWHERE!

It’s easy to find Starbucks. It seems like there is one on every corner. Starbucks are in supermarkets, libraries, malls, just about everywhere (I think they are opening a new one in my living room next week)! Starbucks has made it easier for people to buy their product than seek out alternatives. I think this is so important it bears repeating:

Starbucks has made it easier for people to buy their product than seek out alternatives.

That is why they can charge 3 dollars for a cup of coffee…

If you want to offer products and services online at a premium, then you need to make it easier for people to find your products and services than for them to seek out alternatives.

How do you think you can do this with your online businesses?

The Rebirth Of Internet Marketing By John Reese Is Awesome!

May 2, 2007

John Reese just released a FREE ebook called, The Rebirth Of Internet Marketing. It is an AWESOME read! I highly recommend you go over to his new blog and dowload the free ebook right now!

As you know, I joined the Reese Report a few months ago, and I now realize what a mistake I made not joining it when I first heard about it over a year ago. I am loving the Reese Report and recommend it to anyone who wants to make money online.

Later this year, John will be launching a new site called income.com (he paid a pretty penny for that domain name). Most of the site will be free, but he will be offering a paid level of membership to income.com that Reese Report subscribers will get in addition to the Reese Report.

Anyway, I recommend you go check out his blog and download his free ebook by clicking here. Some of the things he says in the ebook I need to remind myself of daily. So I am going to take some quotes from the ebook and tape them to my computer screen to remind me how to succeed online. After reading the ebook, I think you will understand why I have chosen to learn everything I can from him.

After you read it, come back here and let me know what you thought of it.

Interview with Mama Duck

May 1, 2007

A few weeks ago I asked Mama Duck (aka Lisa) if she would do an interview with me. I was really glad she accepted because I have always wondered how she managed to have her blog noticed so quickly.

Q. Mama Duck, can you tell my readers a little about your blog http://lilduckduck.com/ and how you got started blogging?

This blog is a repository for all the things that the toddler has done, destroyed & discovered. It’s also a resource for parents of toddlers that will continue to expand and eventually become an entire parenting resource portal, laid out less like a blog and more like an informational site. It actually began as I was looking for legitimate money making opportunities online, where I came across Steve Pavlina’s blog and Problogger. After doing quite a bit of research, I decided to start my own blog with WordPress on my own domain.

Q. In 2006 your blog was nominated for “Best Parenting Blog” in the 2006 weblog awards. If I recall correctly your blog had only been around about 3 months when you were nominated. Not only that, but after being in existence for less than a year, your blog has a Technorati ranking of 1,166 . What do you think are the main keys to your quick success?

Blog carnivals, community events, participating in relevant daily memes such as Works for Me Wednesday which can be adapted to include toddler and household tips that are both relevant to my blog topic and great for search engine traffic. Just getting to know people via e-mail (responding to their comments) & through different blog events (Wendy’s casting call allowed me to meet blogging friends right away that I still keep in touch with all the time). I also link my blog in my signature on all the parenting forums, on our signature making board (http://pixelperfectsignatures.com) and in all my e-mails. When I post stories/photos about the little one, I send the link to all my friends and family, rather than just copying it into an e-mail, then they can share with their friends and so on.

Q. What was the first blog you ever read?

Steve Pavlina, who led me to Problogger.

Q. What blogs do you read on a regular basis?

I just tried to clean out my feed reader, but I still have 130 blogs in there! Some of the ones I try to check every day that haven’t already been mentioned are eMoms at HomeParent HacksDaddy ForeverTrizle & West of Mars. How is that for an eclectic sampling? ūüôā


Q. How much time per day do you spend on blog related activities (blogging, promotion, design)?

It took a lot of initial time investment – learning WordPress, researching how best to do things, optimizing, tweaking, setting up ads, designing the templates, etc. However, now if I can manage to leave the template alone, it’s just a chunk of time each week to write posts for the next week, then a bit of time each day to check comments, write quick posts, visit others, etc.. During the week I am usually doing well to keep up with orders and the little one, so I don’t have a lot of time to devote to the blog every day. Once the framework is there, it isn’t a ton of work just to write posts & answer e-mails.

Q. If you could only give one piece of advice to someone just starting to blog what would it be?

Research ahead of time. I’ve seen a lot of people who say “I wish I’d known when I started blogging that I need to use search engine friendly permalinks, or that it’s best to be on my own domain rather than Blogger/Typepad, etc” – mostly things that can be learned through just a bit of research, really. It seems overwhelming at first, but it becomes much easier when you just jump into it and try things. I have a local installation of WordPress on my Mac, where I can mess around with templates and coding to my hearts content without breaking the blog (PHP coding was new to me when I started the blog, although I’d done a fair amount of web design in xHtml and CSS), which is a huge help if you want to make your own templates or mess around a lot with pre-made templates.

Q. You use quite a few different methods to monetize your blog. What have you found to be the most successful ways to bring in money to your blog?

Well, the number one money maker for me is obviously my products, which are heavily promoted on my blog. Google AdSense does fairly well, but I’m having more and more trouble filtering out all the competing ads as I branch out into graduation cards, engagement and wedding cards, etc. so I’m looking for another option where I can have more control over the ads that are displayed. Text Link Ads & BlogHer Ads continue to perform well on this blog, Amazon referrals do well around Christmas time or any time I’m writing about toys or other products such as that when I put them in as text links, but not as ad blocks.

Q. What is the best way you have found to bring traffic to your blog?

Good search engine optimization, including creating a sitemap, using custom meta tags & search engine friendly permalinks, using keywords in post titles. Above all, writing good, relevant content to which others link and enjoy reading, which then ranks higher in the search engines. Carnivals & relevant memes are a great way to get started and to meet other people in your blogging niche as well.

Q. Is there any other advice you would like to tell people looking to start a blog?

It’s a commitment, I see a lot of people who slack off and don’t keep up with posting or anything. I try to always have posts written ahead as I do get busy, I don’t have time to write every day. If I can set aside a block of time once a week to write the posts for the next week, it really helps a lot.

Q. One last question, If you weren’t blogging, what would you be doing?

Well, I tend to get a little stir-crazy if I’m not doing ten things at once, so I’d probably be running another type of website, managing a forum, or doing more contract work (which I already do a bit when I’m feeling bored…). It’s very important for me to keep the little one here with me, so I’d definitely be doing something where I can stay at home or bring him along.

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