Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Surefire Tips to Successfully Promote Your Blog

For those of us who own social networking websites (blogs, social bookmarking, etc.) it is important to figure out how to properly market yourself. Most of the people who get into the business think that visitors will just appear out of no where, sort of like the "if you build it, they will come" idea.

Unfortunately, nothing in this business works that way. You either have to have a great product (content, stock or otherwise), or you have to be really good at spreading the word through advertising channels. Sometimes the first isn't even enough, so it's important to be strong in both practices.

Tools for Promotional Marketing

There are several available methods for getting the word out about your genius creation. You could go with traditional advertising avenues, such as Google Adwords, which will strategically place your ads based on context for not a lot of money.

You could also use a traffic exchange program, such as Blog Mad or Blog Explosion, which will give you a good ratio (typically 1:1) of visits to someone else's blog in exchange for visits to your own. The idea is basically that you will use their auto-surf engine to visit other blogs, and other people will do the same and visit your blog. It's a great way of boosting actual hits to your blog but ad programs such as Google Adsense hate that sort of thing, so be careful.

Another great method is merely exchanging links with another blogger in your niche. This is one of the best methods for getting great back links as well as good traffic flow to your website. Just trade links with your fellow blogger, and you'll be helping each other out! Make sure to trade with bloggers who not only have similar content but also appropriate content.

What I never hear mentioned as a tool for marketing is actually going out into the real world and actually talking with people face to face about your blog. This is arguably the best way to market yourself. People gain trust much quicker with a face-to-face meeting than one over the internet. A fantastic way of meeting people with similar interests is to go to the Social Networking Conference! As you'll read on their website, their entire focus is "on the business management and marketing of a Social Networking and Online Personals website." If you're really serious about promoting yourself and your blog, I urge you to get out there and talk about it with people one-on-one, which brings me to my next topic.

Promotion by Foot

Yeah, get out there! Go walk down the street and talk to people about your business. If you can't go to the Social Networking Conference, do the next best thing and go to your local mall to talk about your product. I guarantee you if you hand out 100 business cards, 50 of them will get thrown in the trash as soon as you walk away and 25 will get thrown out later but the 25 left over are most likely going to be going to your website. And this time it's different; this time they've seen your face and it has created a personal curiosity that just browsing to your blog could never create. In a sense, they become your fan. Cool, huh?

Be creative! Get your friends together and walk down the street holding a big picket sign with your website on it, big as life! Hire someone to stand on a street corner for a week with that sign. Pay them more to dance while doing so.


Most people fail to realize that owning a social networking site is very similar to owning a brick and mortar business. It's all about pleasing your customers. So write excellent content and then give them a chance to see it! Make sure you pay attention to first impressions though! Go to the Social Networking Conference, but if you can't do that, get out there and talk to people (hey, why not? it's free!).

Monday, November 20, 2006

Getting Free Traffic to Your Blog

Getting free traffic to your blog is what stands in the way of you getting real money for your work. One huge thing that the 'Get Rich Blogging' guides don't really go into is the actual promotion. They seem to go into a brief summary but it's a very crucial part of making your blog a success. I'll jump right into my own methods for getting traffic to any website.

Digg-ing For Traffic

If you haven't used bookmarking sites such as Digg,, Reddit, Netscape and Spurl, etc., you should definitely start. Not only are they great for creating back links (incoming URLs) but they could potentially bring you a ton of traffic. Some websites are lucky enough to experience what is called "The Digg Effect," which basically renders them unusable due to such a high volume of traffic. When something new and cool pops up on a social bookmarking site, users swarm it and in doing so, put a huge load on the web server. In some cases, the web server will even crash. Some people believe the very wording of your posts to these sites will determine how many people ultimately view the link. Typically, the way these sites work is to give a vote either up or down for a particular link and this will determine the popularity of the story. So you want to appeal to people as much as possible!


Another great way of generating traffic is to place your link in your forum signatures. Not only does this automatically generate back links, but it will also give your blog URL a much bigger chance of being seen and clicked on by other people.

The trick here is to blog in forums that relate to the topic that you're blogging about. This will increase the likelihood of someone clicking on the link by a bunch.

NOTE: The more back links (links from other websites to your own) that you have, the higher your rank will go on search engines for keywords they find in your blog when they index it. So for me, the more links I get from similar websites, the higher my rank will go for keywords like "Getting Rich."

Link Exchange Sites

Before I go into link exchanges, I'd like to make special mention of websites like because I didn't want to dedicate a whole section to it. This is one site where you can go to generate a little cash while posting your link into relevant articles. You can even make posts regarding your blog and how well it's doing and this will generate not only traffic but also revenue from the website, as they pay you to discuss things. It's a really fantastic idea.

Link exchange websites like BlogMad, BlogFlare and BlogExplosion are a wonderful resource. They operate on a 1:1 ratio system. You look at someone else's blog, and you get a credit for someone else to look at your blog. They have their own special ways of providing the service, but they're neat because you can look at 100 other blogs and get a guaranteed 100 people to your own.

The side benefit is that people will find your blog easier because they'll most likely be browsing by category. Speaking of which, there's also a little thing called StumbleUpon which is a browser plugin that a LOT of people use to just find random websites. I get a good amount of traffic this way as well.

Exchanging Links

If you find a website that has a topic similar to your own, it's probably a really good idea to ask the owner if they'd like to put their link on your blog in exchange for your link on theirs.

This increases your ranking on websites like Technorati (blog search engine) and Blogshares (fantasy blog share market), which will thus churn out more traffic for you. It's a beautiful thing.

Search Engine Submission

This is a no brainer, but some people still overlook it. Submitting your blog to as many search engines as possible all at once is a fantastic idea. SubmitExpress is a great tool for doing just that. You don't even get spammed; they just ask for a back link in return.

After submitting your blog to a search engine, your blog will probably get index within a couple of weeks by each service and you will be getting new hits to your blog all over the place from people just using your website's keywords.

Word of Mouth

Finally, word of mouth is most likely the best way to spread the word about anything. This term isn't limited to just audible sound though. It also refers to chatting about it, emailing about it and commenting about it. Any way possible you can spread the word, do so! If you employ these techniques diligently for three weeks, then the rest will be a piece of cake. Just do your best to get your website chuck full of back links and into the search engines!


It's a shame to see that so many blogs are still just floating out there in cyberspace, not shining any real flares for the rest of the world to see. The above methods are those that I have employed to make this blog successful as well as the rest of my blogs, collectively. If you use them all diligently, you should have no problem getting free traffic to your blog!

Creating a Home Based Business Online

Creating a home based business online might just be the encapsulation of the American Dream, at least through my eyes. A huge reason for this is the amount of flexibility you could have in your schedule, which translates to more personal/family time. There's also the added benefit of cutting work travel down to virtually nil (depending on your business, of course). Not to mention, you aren't limited to working a number of hours-- hell, you don't even have to work full time to make what you can make in the job world. You might even decide to have more than one business and that would be fine, if you have the dedication.

The Business Idea

Having the dedication and discipline to actually build a business in the online world is only part of the struggle. You also have to have a good idea with your own little twist. Sure, you could potentially just steal someone else's idea, slap a new logo on it and let the ship sail and you would get a small part of the pie. If that's fine for you, go for it! For people like me, we want to create something new and fresh or at least put a spin on an already-existing product that will draw people in.

If you have an idea but don't know all there is to know about the business side of it (or any side of it), then do some research! Call people who are already in the business and ask them a few questions. Look over their websites and scour for hints at functionality and how they perform the business. Register an account and look at the usability. One thing that I find personally glorious is when a website has too many functions or options. Things like this give people choice overload and they go into a brief coma. Doing more with less is what will draw people in, in the end so focus on that. That could even be the spin on your product. Your product might be better because it has less features and is, therefore, easier to use. It's really up to you what you choose to market, but make sure you research what you're doing and it will be easier to bring people aboard. Speaking of bringing people aboard...


That's what advertising is all about. It's what clearly states in your face and in your ears what makes my product different and therefore better than the next guy's. Keep in mind, advertising comes in many forms: word-of-mouth, billboards, magazines, tv, radio, Google maps, bus benches, internet banners, etc. What the internet does for us is make this not only cost effective but simple.

You can do a simple press release online for under $50 and in some cases, for free. Online advertising systems like Google Adwords, MSN adCenter and now Yahoo! Search Marketing are very cheap to use. From experience, I know you can have a limit of $1.00/day on Google Adwords and your banner/text ad will get shown a decent number of times. It's the cost-per-click you specify that makes the difference in placement.

The Website

Face it, you've got to have a website for any business these days whether it's online or not. Not all of us are programmers, designers or graphic artists. This is why it is a smart idea to hire someone else to build a website. Just make sure that there is an actual team working on it. From my experience, when you hire one person to get a project done, it takes much longer and not because they're working more; it's because they have no one to hold them responsible except the customer and that shouldn't be the customer's job. It's also an intelligent idea to hire someone who is close to you geographically so that you can have an in-person meeting to express what you want out of your product.

Being a designer/programmer, I am well aware that customers love the "just build something and I'll tell you if I like it" approach. Not only is this just a bad idea, but it's also horribly frustrating when you take the end result to the customer and they say "that's nothing like what I had pictured." No matter who you're dealing with, just be honest and forthright. I absolutely love customers who tell me when they don't like something-- it makes my job 1000% easier. It means I can get rid of what they don't like quickly and continue processing what they do like.

The Business Plan

This is why it's also an incredibly excellent idea to have an actual business plan. Yes, this word even makes me cringe because pictures of lengthy formal documents flash into my brain. When you actually think about how much of a headache it will save you in the future to actually have a defined business that you can hold in your hands and describe to other people, one day of coming up with a business plan is not actually a bad idea. So go to your local bookstore and pick up a book on business plans. Here are a couple I recommend:
Trust me, having a business plan will pay off for you tenfold in the end.

Self Discipline

When it comes to working on anything, we become our own worst enemy. If you haven't gone through at least basic training camp for the military, chances are you haven't figured out how to get yourself to finish tasks efficiently. Neither have I! I do find, however, two things that work out great when I need to get something done:
  1. Organizing the work into tasks ranked from most important to least
  2. Finding some way to reward myself when I finish them
Once you've organized your work into tasks, you've already worked through a huge part of the problem which is thinking your way through it. At that point, you can focus on the end and work will fly by.

Now when I say "reward," I don't automatically mean food. The obesity epidemic is no laughing matter, especially in America where it's something like 1/3rd of the population. Find something simple, like a game and give yourself a set amount of time. I like to give myself a straight hour of playtime for every three hours of work (a nice 1:3 ratio).

Obviously you have your own ideas about how these things should be accomplished, but keep in mind that these are just suggestions from my own experience that have helped me to build a successful business.

Knowing What You Don't Know

You're probably thinking "how can I know what I don't know?" Well, you can't know it specifically but you can know it in general. For example, I know I don't know anything about accounting or sales. I'm fully aware of that fact! So what does this gain me? Now that I've been honest with myself, I can do one of two things:
  1. Take the time to thoroughly learn the subjects I'm not good at
  2. Hire someone who knows the subject
Now for me to actually go out and learn accounting and sales would take months, if not years. So for my money, I'm going to hire these tasks out to other people. It's why I have an accountant and it's also why I have a friend at an advertising agency. They both have all the knowledge I need to make my business work and I can hire them for cheap! And the best part is, there are probably a hundred things I don't know about business that can all be hired out. It's beautiful. Another great example is payroll. I can hire this function and all that it entails out to a company that will do it all for me, for a fee. It's a great way of removing headaches.


So I think that the picture we all have in our heads of just starting a business and letting it run itself is almost out of the question for the first, say .. 5 years. By then, you just might have a decent system worked out where you can take long vacations but you will always have to run your business in some way. This article is about starting your business. After that, it's up to you to figure out how to run it efficiently, but efficiency is still the point nonetheless. That, and profitability but those things will come in later entries.

If you have anything to add, please leave it in comment form and let the people know!

Until next time...


P.S. I wish you great luck in creating a home based business online!

Friday, November 17, 2006

How I Make Money Online

How I make money online is not very complicated at all. In fact, I'd like to tell you how you can make a killing by just working a couple of hours every day.

One of the methods is, of course, blogging. You might think that just because there are millions of blogs, you can't jump in and still profit. I'm here to tell you that the water is still warm, my friends.

Blogging For Money

Most people think blogging is all about what you write, but I would have to disagree. A very important part is how you blog. What I mean by this is that you can't just start writing and expect people to come to your blog automatically. There are ways to advertise and ways to organize your posts that will not only draw in more of your intended audience but also get more search engines to index your blog and faster. Just think, the faster and easier people can find what you're writing, the faster your blog will become popular and people will link to it.

First and foremost, a surefire way of getting search engines to pick your blog up in their spidering is to make your posts keyword friendly. Notice how I titled this section 'Blogging For Money' and I put it in bold. Search engines target key phrases like these and use them as matches to search queries. So if a random bloke goes to Google, MSN or Yahoo! and types in "Blogging For Money," my chances of getting a click have just increased because I used that specific keyword in my post. It's also not a bad idea to use specific keywords throughout your entries in general, either.

Now here's a rarely discussed little secret. If you want search engines to pick your blogs up quickly, you might want to try a little thing called "my." Haha. No, I'm serious. I'm talking specifically about things like Google's "personal page", MSN's "" and Yahoo's "" Each of these areas have something valuable in common-- you can add syndicated content (a.k.a RSS) to each one of them. All of them have a place where you can "Add Content" to your personal page, and typically you want to point them to your RSS feed. In fact, for each of my blogs I've done so on all three of them. If you have a Blogger blog, you would just type in and it should fetch your feed automatically for you. Leave it there for a couple of days and you should be in business. MSN is typically the fastest to spider web pages, so check for changes there the soonest.

Oh and don't forget pinging services. Where would we be without them? Make sure your blog is set up to ping at least In fact, if you go into your Blogger settings in the "Publishing" section, you should see the option to Notify when you post. DO THIS! Every time you update your blog, it will get posted to several other similar services and whammo- you've just created backlinks to your blog. This is is probably the easiest way to get your blog into the search engines.

Before I forget to mention it, a great way to ping a bunch of services all at once is to use the Feedburner service. Not only are they great at making your RSS feeds easy to manage but they're also great at pinging (I think) up to ten services all at once. They also have a bunch of other great features and promotional tools, so I recommend that you check them out.

One more thing I can't stress enough for you to do to be successful is to make blogging friends. In other words, put their link on your blog and have them do the same in return. You will be helping each other out. Just make sure their content is similar and not questionable. Always make sure your content is not .. adult in nature. In fact, if your website has too many four letter words and such on it, Google may flag it as an actual adult site and you do not want that.

Speaking of Google, you gotta love Adsense.

Making Money With Google Adsense

Once you do get a lot of traffic to your website, you're going to want ads placed tastefully so that people can click on them as they please. Then you'll notice that since you've made keyword friendly posts (as mentioned earlier), Google will pay you more per click. If you don't have one already, you should go sign up for an Adsense account. You can do so by clicking on the Google Adsense button on the sidebar.

Probably the best thing about Adsense is that they pay well and then give you detailed statistics, divided by "channels." An Adsense channel is simply a category name you give to a specific group of ads you create. If you want a "Blogging" channel, you can create that and use it on all your blogs OR you can create a channel for each blog if you want to track them individually. It's really up to you how you use it, but it is powerful.

CAUTION: Under no circumstances should you ever click on your own Google Adsense ads as they will remove you in no time flat.

Making Money Using Affiliates

If you're not using Affiliates to grow your money, you should start. Websites like Clickbank (click for link) will pay you a lot of profit for selling their eBooks for them. Does that sound difficult? It's not. All you do is sign up (which is free) and then from the main page, click on the "Promote Products" tab at the top and then click on the "Marketplace" link on the subtab. All you have to do then is type in a keyword like "fish"and up come a bunch of eBooks! When you find one to your liking, just click on the "create hoplink" hyperlink next to it and type in your username. It will generate the link you need to use to sell the book and all you do is use the link in your posts to promote the material. If you're honest and give a good review, people will most likely purchase the guide. You don't have to but I like to verify that these eBooks actually work and aren't full of crap before I tell people to go buy them. Besides, it keeps people coming back when you help them out.

Speaking of reviews, it's a great idea to use whole posts to do reviews on relevant eBooks. Not only does this push you up in the search engines, but it's a great way or promoting the material. In general, you want to write like a 400-500 word post and include links to the product throughout.

Another thing you can do using Clickbank is create eBooks and have other people promote them in their blogs and websites just like you would. If you're good at writing and can export a word document to PDF, you're in business. Just make sure you read their requirements before you jump on it. I do know there is a $50 activation charge to become a publisher with them, but once you do there is big money in it if you speak the truth. Again, it's all about really helping people.

Blogging To The Bank

Now, I know I was just telling you to push products but here is one I honestly recommend. If you're serious about making money on the internet and you liked what I had to tell you here, then you will love Blogging to the Bank by Rob Benwell. I actually did a review on it a few posts ago. It tells you what I've described to you here in more detail and a bunch more. Too much to mention here, in fact. It's really a great guide. In fact, it helped me to get started here and it will help you as well.

Make Money With Good Content

And finally- I can't stress this enough. Don't write entries just to write them! Put some character into them and make them enjoyable to read. Read them out loud if you must. In fact, if you do read them out loud, you'll find it makes the reading flow much more nicely even if someone is reading silently to themselves. Make sure to help people and give them good, honest information but do keep in mind that blogs are like columns. You get paid to write your opinion and that's exactly what you should give the public.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the comment box.

Thank you,

P.S. If you like the article, don't hesitate to tell people about how I make money online!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rental Properties In Hard Times

Rental properties in hard times are a fantastic solution to a growing problem. As a market becomes a Buyer's Market, home prices begin to drop and even so, some people just aren't able to sell their houses.

I know a couple who is trying to sell their house in southern California and move to northern California, but their house has been on the market for two solid months and still nothing. Don't get me wrong, people come in and check it out. They must have had at least five open houses by now, but the owner keeps telling me that he will probably have to start renting it out. The same thing was happening to his next door neighbor and his neighbor decided to rent out the property and is now in a new house, while someone pays him good money to live in his own. I think my friend will wait another two months and if nothing happens, he'll put his property up for rent.

The Trouble With Renters

Trust me, renting out your property is not worry free. There are any number of things that can go wrong: plumbing leaks, stove malfunction, garbage disposal malfunction, property damage, etc. Yes, there are a lot more possible problems but this comes with anyone living in your house and using the house normally.

Sometimes it is impossible to find a renter. There will be a month, maybe even two where you won't have anyone to fill a vacancy and you will have to foot the bill yourself. It is important that you have enough money where this isn't a problem. The same goes for replacing appliances and having the plumber show up. You should be able to pay for these things.

Rest assured, you will get that call in the middle of the night that the toilet is backing up and you need a plumber, stat. Now I'm not necessarily saying that will be the topic; you may have very nice pipes and an uncloggable toilet. What I'm saying is that things happen and never on your schedule, so just be prepared.

Rental Management Companies

So because there are the pitfalls of an unfilled vacancy, payments that don't come in on time, having a fair rental payment for the home's value, unscreened residents and all the time it takes to actually manage a property, a place for Rental Management companies was born.

For a percentage of the annual lease amount (typically around 5-10%), you too can have the peace of mind that comes with having a management company.

These companies will do essentially everything there is to do, they will do:
  • Advertising
  • Rent collections
  • Tenant Screening
  • Eviction
  • Preparation of Vacancies
  • Maintenance
  • Accounting
  • 24-hour Paging
  • Lots more, depending on the agency.
Basically, after you hire these people, you can relax about the overall situation of renting but you can also kiss 10% of your money goodbye. In my mind, it's a small price to pay for the peace of mind they bring.

Renting For Profit

If you've decided to buy a rental property for profit, kudos to you. You may not be making much profit, but the point is that you're taking some crucial steps to financial independence.

Let's say you find a house for sale for $75,000.00 in a nice little neighborhood and decide to put a $10,000.00 down payment on it. On a 30 year loan at 6%, the monthly payment for the house would be around $400. Let's say property taxes come out to $100/mo. So your monthly payment would be somewhere around $500/mo, so just to be fair, let's hike that up to about $650/mo after all the fees are paid.

Now let's say you find a renter for around $700/mo (not a bad price for a whole house), and you take a nice deposit of $1400.00 (not to be spent, of course, but used as interest). So you're profiting $50/mo and your mortgage is getting paid off. Not bad.

Two years pass and you start getting offers for the house to sell at $85,000.00. Do you sell? Well, feel it out. If you honestly feel that the house is worth more, tough it out. Wait for the property value to go up some more. Even though your initial investment has doubled its value in only two years, it might be smarter to instead take out an equity loan.

What is an equity loan? Basically, you are borrowing money from the bank using your equity. So now that he house appraises at around $85,000.00 and you've paid your house down to roughly $49,400.00 using the renter's money, you would be able to take out a nice ~$30,000.00 loan. Now, you can pocket $15,000.00 of that (your initial down payment plus profit) and use the other $15,000.00 as a down payment on another property. Now you've made your money back and you still own the asset. Plus, you'll be gaining another asset with another renter with around the same monthly profit of around $50/house or $100/mo total profit.

You can repeat this process a number of times and make a killing. Your net worth will grow, plus you'll be re-investing the money you earn in a high yield savings account like INGDirect or HSBC where you get around 5% APY, so you'll be profiting in that way as well.

Before I close up, I'd like to take a second to recommend this eBook to you fine people. It's called How To Get A Home, Rent To Own and despite its webpage, it really is a good guide. So check it out and let me know what you think!

Please leave any questions or comments you have in the comments section, and tune in tomorrow for more on finance! Until then, hopefully you have no more problems with rental properties in hard times!

Monday, November 13, 2006

Using ClickBank To Make Money

Using ClickBank To Make Money is not as difficult as it might sound.

If you are getting into the business of blogging for profit or even if you just really want to recommend a great book you found, you should definitely check this out. First and foremost, ClickBank sells eBooks and informational guides. Secondly, they pay you by referring other people.

eBooks and Informational Guides

When you want expert advice it's usually pretty hard to find, especially when it comes to making money online. If you can find an expert, great! But for those of us who aren't so lucky, we like dummy guides or eBooks that can give us step-by-step instructions on how to get money flowing into our accounts.

So if you wanted to become a profit blogger, you would probably want to go out and buy "Blogging To The Bank" by Rob Benwell. If you found that book interesting, you'd probably want to tell other people about it in your blog. So if you're going to do that, you might as well make a bit of profit from it, right? Of course!

The hardest part is getting people to believe you, but just make sure you recommend things that don't suck and people will naturally trust in you to be the middle man.

ClickBank is the middle man's best friend in this case. All you have to do is sign up and find the particular guide(s) you want people to purchase and put the correct link in your blog and voila! You are generating income by helping people. What better way to spend your life?

You can earn anywhere from 1% to 75% commission on a single sale at a maximum of $100 commission per sale. Typically, people will offer 75% so you're okay here.


As I stated earlier, ClickBank is also a referral service. If you want other people to have similar success with their blogs and you help them out, why not profit from that, too?

According to ClickBank's FAQ, you will get 20% of the activation charge (20% of 49.95 or $9.99) and you will get 5% of the markup on any sale they generate in the future. You get enough of these babies going and you won't have to worry about much.


ClickBank is very simple to use and best of all, it's no risk to you or anyone else so people will trust it just like I do. So give it a shot, and start using ClickBank to make money!

Using myLot To Generate Income

Using myLot To Generate Income

Now, there aren't many sites out there where you can just fart around and make money but if you're a fan of MySpace then you'll love myLot.

If you were to combine MySpace, Digg and Kazook, you would get myLot. This site combines the social networking of MySpace with the fierce competition of Digg and the payouts of Kazook. In fact, you can make more money on this website than with Kazook.

In the first few hours I used it, I made between 10 and 20 responses and started about 3 discussions. The next day, I had $0.20 .. which I admit is terrible. Today, I upped my responses to about 100 and started about 30 discussions to which some were heavily replied and I'd imagine I will get closer to $1.00 or perhaps $2.00.

That's great and all for someone who likes to comment a lot and get a lot of feedback from people, but this is a serious blog it has a specific purpose- to show you how to make money.

The real secret here is in referrals. If you can refer 50 people like me to the site who generate about $1.00 a day and you get 25% of the earnings (which you do), you're going to get around $25/day for doing nothing. ~$750/month is nothing to sneeze at and would be a great addition to your passive income and your asset column. See, the best thing here is that there is no limit to how much people can generate on this site ... sky's the limit. So potentially, you could refer 100 people and get twice that. It's all about the math.

Aside from all that, give the site a try and see what you think for yourself:

myLot - Money For Social Networking

When you do, let me know what you think and what kind of vibe you get. Success stories are welcome as well!


Using myLot To Generate Income