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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Thanks to Felicia

Here is a great post from Felicia. I'm pretty sure I have heard this type of story before, but it was nice to hear it yesterday. I know that it will help me gear up going into November, and I think it will help motivate you as well.

Making money online can seem like a long and arduous task. OK, not seem like it, it IS, without a doubt, an arduous task. It requires a lot of effort and a lot more commitment. I suspect it is not uncommon to get discouraged and burned out. That is why I find it so refreshing to read other blogs from people trying to make money online. At times, they can offer a much needed word of encouragement.

Some writers and marketers depend upon it for their sole source of income. As I have mentioned before, that would drive me nuts. I have a hard enough time watching traffic fluctuate, let alone worry about being able to pay my bills. The one downside to reading all these other blogs is that they are the successful ones. They have stuck with it and show up in the internet searches. They are the professionals making $1000, $2000, $5000 per month in online income. You really don't get a complete sense of everything they had to go through to get where they are. You don't realize the time involved or the uncertainty or struggles with the emotions that inevitably occur.

That is why I want to write this blog and maintain it so regularly. I want to share that sense of starting out and record it for all the world to see. I want to learn and teach along the way. It is actually turning out to be fairly therapeutic as well. There is a lot of uncertainty. Can I really do this? Can I make money online? Can I meet my goal of $3000 per month in 8 years and 7 months? Will I be able to stick it out for that long? Will I just simply go nuts? Am I nuts now?

Again, thanks Felicia. I think I now have the drive to continue for one more month. Even though I still don't feel as if I have a complete plan or direction and seem to still be searching for what is right for me, I think I can go on. I think I can. I think I can! Alright, enough of this, I am going to write some more and do some more links to get started early on the November linking extravaganza. I will likely have some interesting news in the next post in a few days, so be sure to look out for it. Until then, keep your head up.

Friday, October 30, 2009

So Close, and Yet So Far

Here it is only 48 hours left in the month of October. I was hoping to earn $75 for the month. Based on the earlier part of the month, it looked like I might be able to do it. I had some very solid revenue days, two days over $6 and one over $7. By far, this has been my best month to date. But, I am still just over $8 short. Unless some miracle happens that hasn't in the last week, I doubt I will make it.

But, that's OK. I still think I could make $70 between eHow and AdSense. That would still be close (and yet far). Personally, I think the issue has been the traffic. Traffic at eHow has been less than last month. So has the traffic at HubPages. That is why in November (and for the past couple days), I have been working on creating links. I still have plenty of links to create over at Xomba for about half my Hubs. Doing 2 links each day during November should help not only traffic but earnings also.

A Few Random Thoughts

I was in a book store the other day and as I walked through the door, I was immediately struck with a thought: "Look at all this material! Why is it I get writer's block?" There is more material there than I could write in a lifetime on all sorts of topics. I guess I shouldn't worry about what to write and should just write.

Why is it that I still get so excited over traffic, comments, and earnings? Why am I spending so much time trying to build a portfolio of articles that will earn passive income? I think it is the challenge of building something that I can call my own. I can point and say, "Look what I can do." Why is it that you write?

My ultimate objective for the next two months is to add $15 each month to earnings so that at the end of December I have earned $100 for the month. That is a nice figure and makes you kind of sit up and take notice. I am going to be going at it pretty hard to see what I can get done. I want to thank everyone for stopping by and reading my blog. I appreciate it. Certainly, if you enjoy it, let me know and share with your friends. Also thanks to all the well wishers. That is it for today. Gotta get writing and linking.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

November is Internet Link Month

Welcome to my November goals post. In case you haven't guessed, I think I need to do a better job of getting links and linking my own articles. I have been bummed the last few days because my traffic at HubPages is down for the first time in my brief online career. I think that eHow traffic will be down as well. Thank goodness for Xomba and this blog, or I would be really depressed.

Overall, it looks like my total AdSense impressions will be up between 5-10%. Earnings are better than last month but look like they will fall short of my goal. I had a lot of great activity in the earlier part of October which has just trailed off. I hope to revive some of that activity through the use of better linking techniques and a little better organization and coordination of my articles. I also want to increase my AdSense impressions another 10% for November.

That being said, I would like to state my goals for the month of November:

HubPages: I have 106 Hubs. I would like to end the month of November with between 115 and 120 Hubs. I need to make them fairly high quality so I plan on doing fewer. I would like to have around 3000 total views for the month which would mean averaging 100 views for all articles per day. I have yet to be able to achieve that on a consistent basis.

eHow: I have 42 articles. I would like to get to 50 articles and make $25 for the month. I made $27 last month and am just over $20 this month so that would be in between the two. I would like to get 50 views per day total or 1500 for the month. I will need a little more traffic than I have had this month.

Xomba: I currently have 22 Xombytes and 111 Xomblurbs. I am a featured author there in the Money & Investing section. I plan on writing 1 article per week for that plus others. I see no reason why I shouldn't be around 30 or 35 articles on that site. I would also like to be to at least 150 Xomblurbs. Most of them should be as a result of my own links.

InfoBarrel: I have 6 articles there and will add as I find time and see fit. That site is not a priority. I am not getting much in the way of traffic or earnings. I have better ways to use my time.

My Online Income: I will keep posting as I have been. I am not making a ton off this site, but I am making something. I am also seeing my traffic improve and hope that I am being helpful to many of you readers. I continue to plan on letting it all out for everyone to see and report to you what I do and what I learn.

Speaking of learning, I finally figured out what anchor text means as it relates to backlinks. I figure I am the last one to know the definition, but maybe I could do my best to explain it in case my 9 year old reads this someday. The anchor text are those words that you use to create the link. For example, "click here." The thing is that you don't want to use those words but instead want to use your keyword phrase for which you are trying to rank. Turns out it is better with the SEO stuff.

Speaking of, my SEO Experiment has been a smashing success! I am still on page 1 of Google for the exact phrase and page 1 of Google without quotation marks also. Maybe that will eventually help people find this blog. Granted only 300 searches a month, but hey, I won't complain.

LINK GOALS: Back to Internet Link Month. I need to create more links. Plus, I need to be willing to give out some. I have done that somewhat, but I will be doing more of it. I think part of the initial success of this blog and the reason traffic is growing fairly well is due to the links of a few of my followers and the mention by Felicia at

You can thank Grizzly at How to Make Money Online for this insight. He is a genius, and you should spend some time at his blog. Just please come back to see this one to watch the process in action from the beginning (how an average person does it). You really need to read his stuff. I have spent much time on his blog going through the archives. I will be adding his blog to my roll on the right. Someday, when I grow up, maybe I can be half as smart.

Back to link goals. I want to add a link each day on Xomba, minimum. Plus one comment somewhere each day. I also want to go over many of my articles at HubPages and eHow to see if I can improve which ones link to which. I also think I have identified a few keyword phrases that I might be able to rank for if I create a few more articles and links using what I have learned from the SEO Experiment. The problem is that I am tempted to make those as part of my own internet site. It would just be for information so I am still thinking about it.

Any thoughts or suggestions from my readers would be helpful. I thank everyone who reads this and especially those who comment and have provided links. I wish everyone the best of luck as we all try to make money online.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Unpredictability is Killing Me

I am truly amazed by the emotions that can occur when trying to make money online. I have been cool as a cucumber the last few days. But today, I am extremely frustrated since I am getting essentially NO traffic over at HubPages. It is like all of my articles just fell off the internet. I am so surprised! Unless things pick up later this evening, it will turn out to be the worst day for me in months for that site.

And yet, eHow traffic is fairly stable with a respectable amount of revenue (my usual roughly $1.00) so I shouldn't be complaining or feeling the way I do. Furthermore, the traffic here at this blog has been great. According to the AdSense data, this has been probably the best day ever. Of course, there is no revenue associated with it, but oh well. That will eventually work itself out.

I thought I had the emotional roller coaster under control. But I must admit that I don't have it all together yet. I can't imagine what those who depend on this income for bills must feel. Arrgh! That would drive me nuts. I really don't have anything to complain about since I have already earned more than last month and will likely see a slightly increased number of AdSense impressions. I am just frustrated that the HubPages traffic hasn't held up or my numbers would have been lots better.

It makes me wonder whether or not I should be focusing my attention toward HubPages as much or not. There are so many options and so many sites, it becomes difficult to know what to do. I certainly admire anyone who can make a living doing this type of thing. In fact, anyone making over $500 per month has got to be simply amazing. I am still impressed with most people who have their own blog on their own domain and make it look good. I don't think this one looks all that great, but at least I think the content is decent. OK, at least it's honest and straight up. And it always will be.

I feel a little bit better now that I have had a chance to vent. I suspect that tomorrow is another day, and things will be better. I did get an article written for Xomba today and noticed that my Money & Investing feature article is on the front today. That is always an uplifting feeling. And I am especially excited that I get to play some golf tomorrow. I hope it doesn't rain, but I do have rain gear if needed. That is all I had for now. Thanks for listening and reading. I appreciate everyone who stops by. Next time I will discuss the goals for November. There's no rest, is there?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Weekend Traffic

What is it about my weekend traffic? It is not so bad on this blog, but on all my other writing sites, I notice a huge decrease in the amount of traffic I see on the weekends. Now I know that the weather today was fabulous. I was outside throwing the football with my son. I also know that Saturday is a big day for college football and Sunday is good for the NFL (I am watching the Bears get killed by the Bengals as I write).

But it is hard for me to figure out why the big drop. I suppose it could be the fact that people surf a lot at work. Maybe it is because my topics are more financial and business related rather than entertainment topics. Business occurs during the week, entertainment on weekends. Oh well, I suppose I will just keep doing what I am doing and trust that over time, the average amount of traffic will improve.

Rough Few Days

It has been a rough few days for writing. I have not been especially motivated to get much writing done. I am sure that is only temporary, however. I am starting to get used to the ups and downs in earnings, the writer's block and the varied emotional states that occur with getting started in making money online.

I appreciate all the support of others during those times, especially those that are so kind to follow me and those that I know regularly read what I have to say. I still think it is cool that I was able to make AdSense payout and the SEO experiment has worked so well. When I am feeling somewhat bummed about traffic, I just need to look at those things and say, "I can do this!"

Gearing Up for the Week Ahead

So, as I gear up for the week ahead, I want to try and finish the month of October with a bang and begin thinking about what I would like to accomplish during the month of November. I can take heart knowing that the traffic will increase as the week gets going, and I have already earned more this month that last. I think taking the past 36 hours off from writing has been a good thing for me. That is all I had for now.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Made First AdSense Payout

After such a dismal weekend just 5 days ago, when I had miserable levels of traffic and my first zero earnings day since August, this week has been just the opposite. Traffic levels are back up to what I would like to see as a baseline. Plus, I had a day when I earned $7.05, one at $6.25, and yesterday, the $3.55 I earned pushed me over the AdSense minimum of $100! Not to mention the fact that I ended up on first page of Google!

What a roller coaster ride. I think I am OK now and have had enough positive things happen that I can make it through another few weeks of writing online. Even though I don't need the money for supporting my family, it is nice to see some results from my efforts.

Now that I have earned the first AdSense check, it is time to begin thinking about the second. It took five months to get to $100 the first time. I would like to decrease that time to three months for the next one. I could possibly hit it in two months, but I don't want to feel any undo pressure. Although, given the amount that I have earned this month, I could be on pace if November and December perform as well. We will just have to see.

An Article a Day

For anyone just starting out, I would encourage you to keep going. It will take several months to get up and running. If you are devoting lots of time each day to pursuing your online income opportunities, then you can achieve reasonable income levels sooner. I would treat it as a job and take the weekend off. But, if you work full time, like I do, then try to write an article each day. It takes an hour or two, but if you ignore the television, it can be done fairly easily.

Here I am now, five months into it, and I should have 150 articles based upon the one per day rule. I have 103 Hubs, 41 eHows, 20 Xombytes, and 6 InfoBarrels. The total is 170 articles. Plus I have 40 posts on this blog and 9 posts on the Real Asset blog. That is another 49 income earning opportunities. Ultimately, I would suspect that I could earn $0.50 per article. Based upon that, I could quit now and expect to earn about $100 per month on a fairly consistent basis.

But why should I quit? At the end of my first year writing, I should be near $250 per month and getting an AdSense check each month. Now we're talking. At two hours each day for my time, $250 in a month breaks down to about $8 per day or $4 per hour if I even have to spend 2 hours writing. That may not sound like a lot, but you can extrapolate a few more years into the future and start getting into serious money.

My goal is to hit $1000 monthly within 3 years. Then by doing the same things for the next 6 years, I know that I can be making $3000 per month which will help pay for college expenses and be a nice supplemental income in retirement. So, I need to keep up with it and not get discouraged. That is why it was cool to have such a good week after a rotten weekend. That is also why I am sharing with everyone this online income journey (warts and all), to encourage anyone else who may be attempting this as well.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Google First Page in 16 Days!

Here it is--the SEO Experiment screen shot taken at 11:30 pm on October 21st!! I can't believe I made it to the first page of Google so quickly. I thought for sure that it would take a few months. I had been holding steady at position number 85 and stayed there for about 4 or 5 days straight.
Then suddenly it dropped to position 285, and I thought it would be stuck there for awhile. But tonight I just decided to check and WHAM! There it was! Position #5! Will it stay there long? I don't know. I still have two articles that I want to write and post with links to complete the link wheel. I wonder what those will do to the ranking. Of course when I find out, I will let you know.
In the meantime, I just want to look at the page and enjoy it, like a beautiful sunset. I can't wait until tomorrow. I will be writing a few articles and putting them on HubPages, Xomba, and InfoBarrel. This is great material and will enable me to get a little extra traffic if people begin searching for "SEO Experiment".
Sorry about posting again so soon, but I was too excited to keep this to myself. I am terrible at keeping secrets also. That is why I have to wait until almost Christmas Eve to go shopping. Oh well, gotta go work on that first article.

Getting "Discovered" on the Internet

In my opinion, one of the hardest things about starting to make money online is getting "discovered" or generating traffic. The internet is just so big that being found can be incredibly difficult. It is easy to get discouraged when you write great articles or have developed this wonderful website and nobody shows up.

My goal has always been to be able to have at least one visitor per article per day. Even after almost 5 months, I still haven't quite achieved that goal on a consistent basis even at HubPages(although on some days, I get close). That is why I think it has been so valuable for me to be writing at several different content sites and maintaining 2 blogs. Eventually all the material that is out there will work its way up the search engines, people will begin to discover my work and maybe even link to it on occasion.

Consistency and persistence is the name of the game, but it can be physically, mentally, and emotionally draining at times. I was going through a rough time this past weekend when my traffic was less than half what I had been seeing. I understand that there can be some fluctuation, and I accept that. I know that I shouldn't let it bother me, but I still take it somewhat personally at times. That is why I would like to thank Felicia over at She has such a wonderful blog and left me such an encouraging comment. It is nice to receive that sort of encouragement. Be sure to check out her blog sometime (but please still read mine, too).

I also want to make a special mention of bestmommy who has become a fan of mine at eHow and InfoBarrel and also follows this blog. It is nice to receive that kind of support as well. She has a new blog on her eHow activity found here

I would like to point out that I try to follow many of you and visit your blogs. I know how hard it is to get traffic. Even if I don't get many earnings, I do hope that I can be helpful and provide useful information to anyone and everyone who reads my articles and posts. I may not be very vocal and make comments on your blogs, but I try to visit now and then when I am not busy writing. If you ever have anything in particular you would like me to take a look at, be sure to shoot me an email.

Back to Getting "Discovered"

For those who might be new or those who may not know, I write on many different sites. In case anyone is interested in checking out some of my other writings and articles which might be useful, I thought I would put up links to all my profiles on the various writing sites. I plan on doing this periodically if you want to check those sites out.





Despite my disappointment at the growth in traffic, I am still quite pleased when I think about everything that I have been able to accomplish in such a short time. I never even thought I would be able to write as much as I have been able to nor earn as much. I am gradually starting to see the potential and imagine that it will only get better if I stick with it.

Well, that is all I had for today. I will try to write some more articles on all the different sites. It seems like the work is never done. Just wish that passive income was less active.

Monday, October 19, 2009

HubPages: The Good, Bad and Ugly

I thought I would post an update on HubPages since it has been awhile since I have done so. As you can see, not everything is coming up roses. I thought I would first start out with the good news, move on to the bad news, and end with the ugly.

Good News: I finally was able to finish my 100th Hub. Actually, I think the news is great. I feel a wonderful sense of accomplishment for having completed this. It also turns out that it is my longest Hub and will probably remain so until number 200. It is an article that goes into explaining the process of writing an online article for the purpose of making money online. I think it is a good article and is very helpful, especially for those just starting out. I try to put everything together in one place. Here is a link--What I Wish I Knew From Hub #1

Bad News: For me, this news is terrible. I struck out yesterday. No earnings at all from any site. This doesn't affect HubPages alone, but since I have 100 articles on the site and have spent the most effort on that site, I attribute the issue there. My last day to totally strike out was on August 9th. Over the last 2 months, I have either earned something through AdSense or on eHow. I thought those days of earning nothing were over. Woe is me! I plan on hitting it hard now. Oh well, I have had some great days this week and still hope to make my first AdSense payout by the end of the month (unless I have a string of days like yesterday). Which leads to--

Ugly: My traffic is simply ugly! I don't know what it is. I would think with 100 articles I could at least get 100 views in a day. I could barely muster 50 views yesterday on HubPages. What is up with that. I figured that as I increased my article count, traffic would slowly and steadily improve. That was the general assumption from the 30 Hubs in 30 days Challenges. Yes it worked early on when I went from 30 to 70 articles. But moving from 70 to 100 articles, my traffic has slowly been dissipating. This despite putting links on Xomba. I just don't understand it. I am seriously wondering if HubPages is being penalized for some reason. I am sure that part of it is my lack of traffic generating skills, but I can't be that bad, can I?

Oh well, I suppose it is part of the up and down emotions of earning money online. Thank goodness I don't yet depend on this for my major source of income or I would be in serious trouble after a day like yesterday. That is all I had for today. I hope to have better news the next time I write.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mid-Month Review

Alright, it is that time again. I want to look back to my October goals and see how I am progressing to know where I need to put additional effort if possible. By writing and recording my writing goals, I can determine where I am going and whether or not I am getting there. I think this is important to accomplish tasks without drifting along and not doing anything.

HubPages: My goal was to be at 100 Hubs by the end of the month. I am at 99. This should be easy to accomplish. I will probably write more. I had thought about being at 120 after finishing 30 for the month but that may not happen. I am still pleased. I don't know if I will get to 10,000 views since traffic has stalled somewhat.

eHow: I had hoped to be at 50 articles by the end of the month. I am at 40 now. I lost one in a sweep. I could still get it done, but it will take some effort. I think I want to try, though. Views are almost 3100 now. I don't think I will hit 4500. Traffic there has remained steady but is not growing like I thought.

Xomba: I didn't put down any numeric goals. I have written 2 feature pieces. I think that is helping my traffic and also resulting in people reading my stuff at HubPages. I am enjoying Xomba.

InfoBarrel: No particular goals were expressed, but I have added 2 articles.

My Online Income: I continue to post almost every 2 days. I am getting lots of growth on the site. I love all you followers. Yippee! I did post the SEO experiment post on the blog carnival that I have been using. I don't know whether that may bring added traffic or not. It can't hurt, however. That should come out early next week.

Real Assets: I continue to post there as well, about 2-3 times per week. It is slowly gaining traffic. I don't think it will catch up with this one, but I enjoy the topic.

AdSense: This is the exciting one! Despite not getting as much traffic as I would like, I am getting quality traffic. I almost have as much revenue as I did all last month through AdSense. At this pace, I will make my first AdSense payout. That will be awesome.

Quick SEO Experiment Update: I am beginning to feel like a yo-yo. I have been back in the Google search results at position number 85. The interesting thing is that one of my Hubs entitled Why Am I Doing an SEO Experiment? is showing up at position number 35. I guess we will just have to see where this all goes. I still have to complete a few more articles and post them over the next several weeks. So, there is some more backlinking to do.

That is all I had for today. I need to get writing, especially for eHow. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Few Words About Xomba

First of all, I would like to say a warm and heart-felt "Thank You" to all of my followers. I have noticed that there are 11 now. I never expected to have so many of you. I certainly appreciate that you have taken the time to come by and look over what I am writing. Thank you so much!

Now About Xomba

Xomba is rapidly becoming my second favorite site for making money online. It is only second to HubPages at this time and could even end up in the top spot. Why is this you ask? Well, Xomba is actually two sites in one. It is a social bookmarking site that can help drive traffic to your other sites and articles, and it is an article writing site. AdSense is displayed next to both your links (called Xomblurbs) and articles (called Xombytes).

You can put up links to interesting articles that you find on the web or link to your own articles. You have to include a minimum 50 word summary of the article. I can do this in 2-3 minutes while watching football on TV. The site definitely works for driving traffic since I have received 23 visits to the 20 Hubs I have linked. I previously went through and linked to all my eHow articles as well.

The best part is the earning potential. Xomba has been responsible for about 30% of my AdSense revenue so far this month. That is with a whole lot less effort than what I am spending at HubPages. I need to start spending more time at Xomba. If you want to read a little bit more about Xomba, I posted an article over at HubPages.

Also, if you would like to join please consider using this referral link since I will get 10% extra AdSense ads displayed from Xomba's cut. The typical split is 50:50.

Quick SEO Update

I posted an article on InfoBarrel. I took me three tries to get accepted and not be "overly promotional". But, it is done. That makes 3 spokes in my 6 spoke link wheel.

I must be in the sand again since I have been unable to find the blog post for the past 24 hours in the first 500 results. I envision some pimply faced computer nerd at Google reading all this and laughing while he moves my post back and forth in the results. Who knows what the answer to SEO really is? I suspect quality content is the best thing anyway.

PS--I might make AdSense payout this month. It is going to be close given the current pace. I need to hustle over at Xomba.

That's all I had for today. Again, thank you for reading.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SEO Experiment Update

So, I haven't had a lot of time to write over the past few days since I took a few family days to visit family and friends in Ohio and visit Cedar Point. I am writing this from a hotel in Van Wert, Ohio. We will be returning back to a regular schedule tomorrow. The awesome thing about passive income is that while I had no time to write and limited internet access, I was able to earn $8.10 from AdSense (HubPages, Xomba, blogs) and $3.08 with eHow. That's not a lot, but it was enough to pay for my chicken sandwich, fries, and drink at the Chik-Fil-A at Cedar Point (price gougers).

Out of the Sandbox?

Anyway, I have been checking the Google search results, and today I was at position number 70 for my blog post that I am trying to rank! I was impressed since I thought it might take forever to show back up in Google. I was actually in the same position yesterday morning also. Does this mean I am out of the sandbox and have graduated to the beach? Who knows?

It will be interesting to see what happens in the next 24 hours since I have the InfoBarrel article written and ready to go. I will be posting that either tonight when I get back home or tomorrow morning. It will link to the blog post as well as my eHow article which has already gotten 25 views on eHow.

My articles on HubPages have gotten a total of 64 views combined. Not only did I write one on SEO tips but also one on why I was doing this. I am finding this very interesting and educational since my next online income step will likely involve starting my own site and possibly doing some affiliate marketing. I will be paying for this with the proceeds from article writing so that no expenses will come from out of pocket. I think as soon as I reach Google payout and get that first check, I will pull the trigger. I will be sure to let everyone here know about my progress.

I think the next post will be an extensive Xomba update since I have a lot of good news on that front. Talk to everyone later. Time to get the free continental breakfast.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Playing in Google's Sandbox

Well, the SEO experiment continues. Yesterday the specific blog post that I trying to optimize showed up at the 392nd position on Google. Today, I gave up looking after 592 results since that was all that Google listed. I also looked on Yahoo and gave up after 400 results. I could spend all day looking through all 23,000 results. And I would rather be spending my time writing.

Getting Out of the Sandbox

While I have been here getting sand in my shorts, I decided to look up some info on the "sandbox". According to Wikipedia, Google denies its existence. I can understand the denial, but I believe it probably does exist. A computer algorithm will only do what it is told to do. Why would a site show up high early on in search results and then disappear entirely? Since Google controls the majority of the information that is seen, they control a big portion of the destiny of the internet. WOW! That is power.

Anyway, in my research, I have come to the conclusion that there is no "quick" way out of the sandbox. I will keep putting out my links on a periodic basis and let you know when I do. It will be interesting to see how long this takes. My guess is probably longer than most people are willing to devote which may be the purpose of the sandbox concept. If someone keeps at trying to earn income online or gain traffic to a certain site and keeps posting at the site for 4-6 months, Google must figure that they are serious about their site and are offering quality content. Crooks would try to move onto the next scam in that time frame.

So, while I am here in the sandbox, I will just keep posting quality content, work on building links, find other keywords that interest me and keep writing on HubPages, eHow, Xomba, and InfoBarrel. I will build up my traffic one article at a time and try to write something each day unless I am too busy. So far, that is what seems to be working the best. Writing each day and adding to my article total is the ultimate key. That is all I had for today. I will be sure to keep everyone posted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

SEO Experiment Thus Far

Yesterday, I wrote the second article for my link wheel and published it on eHow with a link back to the "SEO Experiment" post. I did not add any other links since that was my third article in the wheel. The second article in the wheel will go on InfoBarrel but since IB requires editing, I wanted to have the eHow article completed so that I could put the link in the IB article in the first draft and not have to change it.

It wouldn't have been that complicated had I written it out more intelligently when I set up my wheel. That is why I am practicing with this keyword that is not that important to me. I don't want to go through all the research to find a good niche and mess up on the SEO.

Yesterday, my post ranked as high as 29th position on Google. This morning it is at position #392. I hope that this is the lowest it goes and has nothing to do with building the link wheel. I have heard that once you are indexed, you end up going into the sandbox for a little while. I guess I am just making some sandcastles. It will be instructive to see how long this lasts. I will be sure to keep you up to date.

I have the InfoBarrel article complete. I am waiting to post it for a few days in case the loss of rank has to do with the rapidity of posts linking to my blog post. I will likely send it out on Sunday since I will be away for a few days and have limited internet access. In the meantime, I can work on my other 3 "spoke" articles. I have some rough ideas and can get some writing done finishing up the research when I get back.

That is all I had to report. I wanted to let everyone know that 2 spokes were done, and I am playing in sand. Talk to you later.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Building Backlinks

So, here it is--day #1 of the SEO experiment. I went through and noticed last night that my blog post had been indexed by Google and was showing up in the number 150 position at the bottom of page 15. It is in the same place this morning. Interestingly, I posted a thread on the HubPages forum which received a lot of activity. It started on page 4 and this morning is on page 2! How's that for interesting?

Building Our Link Wheel

I am going to begin the process of building a link wheel for the original post. What is a link wheel? Glad you asked. If you imagine a bicycle tire, at the center is the blog or site we want to "advertise" if you will. Extending out from the center are all the different spokes. What we want to do is create a bunch of different links that all point to the focus article and to each other through one way links.

I will be creating several different articles related to search engine optimization all pointing to my SEO experiment post. I already had written an article for HubPages entitled "Search Engine Optimization Tips for Newbies". This was before I came up with the experiment idea. I posted a link on that article back to my blog post.

Next, I will be creating another article and will post it on another writing site like InfoBarrel. I will then put a link from my HubPages article and point it to the InfoBarrel article. The IB article will point toward the main blog post. I will place a third article on eHow with a link from the IB article. The eHow article will also point to the main blog post. Get the idea?

Since most article writing sites will allow 2 self-serving links, one link points to the center main focus of your marketing efforts. The other link points to the next article in the circle forming the rim of the link wheel.

I have accounts at HubPages, eHow, InfoBarrel, Squidoo, Xomba, and ezinearticles. When all is said and done, I will have 6 links pointing at my main blog post. I will also have 6 more unique articles, 5 of which have the potential to earn revenue while they point to the main post and each other. The goal is to funnel traffic to the main post and rank higher and higher for the targeted keyword. In the process, I would like to increase the readership of this blog and help others learn about SEO techniques.

I will be writing and posting these articles over the next several days. Before I do, however, I am actually going to write down what article I would like to have at each site and the direction I would like them to point so that there can be a coherent flow to the process. I also think this is important since eHow has a specific article structure which will limit what I can do at that site.

I will probably write other stuff at those sites as well and will be making other blog posts. But I will keep everyone updated on the progress of the SEO experiment. Don't worry about that. I would love to hear your comments. And if you want to link to the SEO experiment post, feel free. That would certainly be a help and illustrate the power of one way links.

That is all I had for this morning. Gotta get building those supplemental articles.

Monday, October 5, 2009

SEO Experiment

I have been reading a lot about search engine optimization and have been learning a lot lately about the subject. I would, therefore, like to try an SEO experiment. The experiment will actually involve trying to get ranked for the keyword phrase "SEO experiment". When I search for that keyword phrase using the Google Adwords Keyword Tool, I find that there are only 320 monthly global searches for the phrase and the CPC is only $0.05. Also, when I type the phrase in quotations in Google itself, I find that I am competing against 23,800 other web pages.

The bottom line is that I don't have to worry that anyone will be reading this blog and try to outearn or outrank this particular keyword so I can use it for my SEO experiment to illustrate the principles of search engine optimization that I am learning.

Identify Keyword Phrase to Target

I have already done this as explained above. But if you are starting out, you want to go to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool and start typing in keywords that interest you. Make sure the synonym box is checked so that you can get several other ideas at the same time. You are looking for keywords that have a minimum of 3000 searches per month (or 100/day) so that if you get to the front page of Google, you can count on some traffic each day. Then search for your specific keyword phrase in quotation marks in the Google search engine to assess the number of webpages you are competing against. The fewer pages, the better.

For my keyword, I am looking at about 10 searches per day and competition of just under 24,000 other pages. I have also downloaded SEO for the firefox browser from which will tell me the Page Rank of each site on the Google search results. The top result for the keyword I am targeting has a PR of 1 with the next 3 having a PR of 0. That should be easy to compete against.

I intend to make this post the focus for my SEO efforts. In subsequent posts, I will go into how I will be doing my search optimization efforts in a step-by-step fashion. You may choose to do this for a particular article or your own blog or website. My purpose is to do this as a "dry run" to learn and make mistakes before developing my own niche site. Tomorrow I will post the next step in the process.

Until then.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Featured Writer at Xomba!

Hello, everybody. I am very excited and want to share with everyone here that I was accepted as a featured writer on Xomba in the Money & Investing section of the Business category. And now, my first article has appeared on the front page of Xomba. Go there and take a look before it disappears. Here is a link to the actual article in case it moves before you get there:

Money and the American Dream

I am hoping that the exposure will be one way to help boost traffic and eventually earnings. I am required to post at least one 300 word article every two weeks which should be very easy given the amount of writing I can do and my passion for the topic. Since Xomba has proven to have the potential for earnings, this will be a great way to start getting more articles onto the site.

Xomba also seems to show up well in the search engines. I was searching Google yesterday for one of my articles on HubPages, and the link that I had posted on Xomba actually showed up above the HubPages article by about one full page. I was impressed.

Traffic at HubPages Down

Speaking of HubPages, my traffic there the past two days has been down significantly. I don't understand it. I suppose it is just random chance, and I shouldn't be so hyper looking at the traffic results so often. I should just keep writing more quality stuff. Here is my latest article on HubPages:

Michael Vick, Pete Rose, and Ethics in Sports

The cool thing is that traffic at this blog is getting better and increased over 100% in the past 30 days. It won't take long at this rate, and I will be getting more traffic here than over at HubPages. I suppose that wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. I would like to see this blog do well especially since it has the potential to help and encourage people.

Well, that is all I had for now. I mainly wanted everyone to know about Xomba and encourage everyone to go for it. In case you didn't know, I am not a professional writer but was still accepted. Yippee!! Until next time.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

My Online Income Quarterly Earnings Report

Here is the moment that we have all been waiting for! The official numbers are in! Be ready to be amazed and shocked!

Ok, maybe it's not quite that dramatic. But I sure am excited considering the fact that 4 short months ago I was earning absolutely zero, zilch, nada online. It has been a lot of work but I can say that I did it all. I built it all from scratch. So without further delay, Kidgas's online income report for the 3rd quarter of 2009!

(and I know there are four months...since I started at the end of May, I didn't want to have just one month in the second quarter or start doing this monthly. This is the only time that my quarterly reports will have 4 months.)

Quarterly Earnings

Month Squidoo Adsense eHow YouData Total

June 2009 0 4.15 0 3.74 7.89

July 2009 0 6.94 0 .47 7.41

August 2009 0 20.85 13.76 .19 34.80

September 09 3.51 27.50 27.19 .60 58.80

Looking at the numbers, I would like to point out a few things:

  • The total for the whole quarter was $108.90.

  • I only have 5 Squidoo lenses. The majority of the earnings were due to someone ordering books off Amazon.

  • Adsense includes HubPages, this blog, and Xomba.

  • For the number of articles, eHow is by far the best earner.

  • The earnings from writing content have increased each month.

I anticipate being able to continue to increase my earnings each and every month for the next quarter as well. As mentioned in my last post, I need to be making $80 per month by the end of each quarter to get to $1000 monthly by the end of 3 years. Right now I have a $20 monthly deficit since I almost got to $60 monthly. That is certainly OK since I am just getting started.

If I can generate an additional $30 monthly earnings in each of the next three months, that would put me right on track and mean that I would be making about $150 in the month of December.

It will take quite a bit of work these next three months. I will probably have to continue posting articles at the rate of 1 per day. Doing that would mean another 90 articles in addition to the ones I already have putting the total over 200. I would then be expecting that I would earn 0.75 per article per month on average. That is happening for me at eHow, and I suspect that with increased traffic can happen across all sites.

All told, it looks like I could be on track to meet my longer term goals. I just need to maintain the persistent and consistent effort that got me through these first 4 months. I hope that this information has been helpful and encouraging to you.

I am not a writer or internet marketer by trade. I started with no knowledge regarding making money online but have read all I can on the internet. I have made some mistakes and will make some more. My goal has been to develop an income stream without any monetary investment. Classic bootstrapping. I have done that and will continue to grow that income stream through good old-fashioned effort. I hope you continue with me on the journey and learn something along the way. Please feel free to share your knowledge with me as well.

Until next time.

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