Thursday, December 31, 2009
Is Blog Engage Worth It?
So far, for me at least, I feel that it is. Blog Engage has delivered 22 visitors to my blog. More importantly, I have discovered many interesting blogs with valuable information that should only help me on my journey toward online income. Furthermore, I am also making new online friends.
Granted, it is unlikely that those fellow bloggers will do much for revenue since they are unlikely to click on any ads. But that's not the point. You never know who might see what you have written and link to it. I think the interaction with other bloggers and cross promotion within the blogosphere will only help.
I think Blog Engage has begun to play a huge role in generating additional traffic for this blog. I will continue to follow the progress that is made in this area. I would only expect to see improvements over time as the community begins to grow. I suspect many of you have not heard of Blog Engage. If you haven't, you should check it out. If you have a blog, you should really check it out and consider signing up there. Link to a few posts and see what happens. Then you can decide for yourself if Blog Engage is right for you.
PS--I was at Traffic Rank 794,002! I think Blog Engage is helping improve my Alexa ranking very quickly.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I awoke yesterday morning and logged on to my Life123 account. I noticed that I had made another $5. Cool! This made sense since I had 2 articles with view counts in the 40's and were close to the 50 view payout level. But as I looked, those two articles still had stayed below that level.
Then, I noticed that the article that paid out had 110 views! And it had been in the 30's the day before! How did this happen? Actually, I have no idea. When I looked at the source of views, 75 had come from Google. I must have somehow gotten on to the front page of Google for a brief time and had gotten tons of search engine traffic. It was like hitting the Google lottery!
The point of the story is that you just need to keep writing and publishing and linking. Eventually, you never know which article may get seen by the right individual and posted on a blog or make it to the top of a search query. Even if only briefly, the benefits could be huge. Plus, I made $4.52 on AdSense the same day. That makes yesterday my best earning day ever at $9.52! Eventually, I will make double digits in one day. Then twice in a month. Then triple digits. Patience, patience. That's all it takes.
PS--These are the 2 articles in the 40's:
Leveraged ETF's: Not for Long Term Investing
Inflation Hurts the Poor Most
Saturday, December 26, 2009
During 2010, I plan on making Life123 and Xomba my primary sites for writing online content. I also plan on working with HubPages and eHow (again, maybe) to add to the articles I have on those sites as well. Of course, I will continue to write my blog posts. By the end of 2010 I hope to have:
- 250 total articles on Life123. I plan on writing about 20 per month on average and maintaining a steady pace throughout the year.
- 150 Xombytes (articles) on Xomba. That would require about 10 per month. I also want to post links on Xomba almost every day of the year. I plan on posting links to all of my articles that I have written so far plus adding all of the new ones. I currently have a spreadsheet that tracks what links I have added to my writings on Xomba, Shetoldme, and Snipsly. I need to do a better job of linking when I don't feel like writing.
- 150 articles on HubPages. I have 115 so that means I will just sprinkle some here and there during the year. I would like to see my HubPages results improve.
- 50 articles on eHow. I have 38 right now. I would like to add some to see if that helps the earnings there. Despite not writing anything for a few months, eHow continues to earn some money. The site has great potential, and I hope that maybe the break will have allowed me to get back into it.
- I plan on continuing to write every 2 or 3 days for this blog. That would mean 10-20 posts per month. I will be linking to these posts as well and trying to bring traffic to this blog.
- I hope to get up the nerve to create a niche website. I have a few ideas but would like to make a little more writing content first. But now that I am putting it out there, I will be forced to attempt to deliver.
I also want to organize my time better and begin carrying a notebook with me to jot down ideas that I have.
Now, what do I hope to accomplish with all of this effort. I will again look at each site and how the efforts at each will add to my ultimate online income goal for 2010:
- With 250 articles on Life123, the potential for earning is $5000. I know that is not going to happen. I would hope that by the end of 2010, half of the articles I have written have achieved the $5 payout. I would expect that by the end of the year, I could expect almost 20 articles per month reaching that level for an income of $100 monthly.
- At Xomba, I would like to think that the efforts expended will add up. I would hope that by the end of the year, I could count on $50 monthly if I add articles plus a great number of links.
- I would expect HubPages to continue to maintain steady at least. I have lost traffic over the past several months but that has been internal traffic. The search engine traffic seems to be somewhat steady. Better linking may enhance this somewhat. I would hope to earn $25 monthly through HubPages.
- eHow has been a steady performer last month and this month despite my lack of effort. I think by the end of 2010, I could continue to see about $20 per month.
- My Online Income blog will not be a big money maker. I don't ever think that it will be so I will not even place any expectations on it. However, I want to be able to help people and teach them what I am learning and share my experiences. I would like to increase traffic to the blog and reach 50 total followers with a steady readership averaging about 50 per day. I think that would get me in the top 500,000 Traffic Rank by the end of the year.
I want to thank everyone who has stopped by to read this blog. I sincerely appreciate it. Please let me know if you have any ideas to make this blog better. I am always eager to learn and would appreciate your input. Also, what are your goals for 2010? How do you plan on achieving them? I would love to hear your comments.
On an unrelated note, I am pretty miffed about the pathetic display that was the Colts game yesterday. Maybe we should just forfeit and stay home.
Friday, December 25, 2009
- First, it forces me to sit down and figure out what I would like to accomplish within the given time frame.
- Second, it enables me to go back and look at my goals to see what I have been able to do and what I need to focus on. I usually review what I have written about half way through the month (for monthly goals).
- Finally, the fact that I have written and published these goals holds me accountable to my readers and offers motivation to complete the task.
My readers will also know that I prefer to set goals and then establish tasks that will ultimately lead to those results. While I have traffic and income goals, I can't make anyone visit or read my blog or articles. Nor can I force anyone to click on any ads.
Instead, I will focus my efforts on content and networking. Keep this in mind when I make my goals for 2010 and publish them in my next post.
How do you make goals? Do you write them down? Do you make them easy or try to stretch yourself?
Thursday, December 24, 2009
I want to thank each and every one of you who has come to read my blog. I especially want to thank those of you who stop by on a regular basis and comment. I really appreciate it and owe the impressive Traffic Rank to you all. Thanks so much.
I am in the process of looking back at where I have been this year and considering what I would like to accomplish in the upcoming year. I will be putting all of this information together in a post later this week.
In the meantime, I hope everyone has an enjoyable holiday season. This post is short since I don't want to take too much time away from my family. Needless to say, others feel the same since traffic has been pitiful the last several days. I am not too concerned, however, since I expected it to be this way. Earnings are suffering too. But, it doesn't bother me near as much now as it did in August and September. I have come to expect that traffic and AdSense will ebb and flow.
Anyway, enjoy the day and relaxation. I will be posting 2010 goals soon.
Monday, December 21, 2009
I did this as an experiment to see what would happen. I certainly didn't want to try something like that with a useful keyword phrase. SEO Experiment only gets a CPC of $0.05 so I figured it was no big deal if I did succeed and no big loss if I didn't. Well as it turns out, I was able to get on the front page of Google within 16 days. I then disappeared for awhile and am now back on the front page at position number 5.
I learned several things from my experience which I detail in an article that I wrote for Xomba (see link below). For me, the bottom line is that I want to keep writing original and helpful content for this blog. I also want to include as many interconnecting links as possible to market my writings on the different sites. Eventually I may run into someone who likes and will link to a particular article. I simply need to stay the course and keep writing. Over time, the effort should pay off.
Here are the links to all of my SEO articles:
SEO Experiment The original post
Why Am I Doing An SEO Experiment? This has consistently ranked as well
Making Money Online: Climbing the SEO Ladder Start with less competition and work your way up
How to Build a Link Wheel for SEO
Understanding SEO: The Link Wheel
SEO: Black Hat vs White Hat
Google First Page in 16 Days Celebration Time
5 Things I Learned From My SEO Experiment
As you can see, I got a lot of writing out of just one little idea. That was also a big bonus. I think in the new year, I will try to find another decent keyword, write an article as a focus article and then try to link repeatedly to it. I may use some articles I already have written or consider writing more articles to link into a Life123 article to see how that might enhance views. If nothing else, it gives me something to do.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Now I have the ability to contribute up to 40 articles per month. That is more than one per day for all you math wizards out there. Just imagine if I were able to publish one article per day on average and all of them eventually earned the $20 limit. That would be $600 per month. Even if the average was only $10, that would still be $300 per month and would provide a nice steady internet income as I explained in this strategy for working from home. Combining steady income while growing passive, residual income can be very powerful.
I am really excited about the promotion at Life123 since I essentially have no limit to what I can publish. I really don't see myself being able to publish more than 40 articles in one month anyway so getting to the 150 article per month "expert" level is not as important to me. But this level was important since I can easily write 5 articles in a free afternoon if I get on a roll.
Now I need to start brainstorming on some topics and publish some more since it was part of my December passive income goals to end the year with 25 articles. That means I have 8 more to go with 12 more days left in December. Maybe I can get one or two done this weekend. Guess I better get going. Feel free to stop by and read my Life123 articles. I am still working on getting to the 50 view level on all but 2 of them. I have a few that are getting close, but any help is always appreciated.
Thanks for taking the time out of your day to read my blog.
Friday, December 18, 2009
- HubPages: Rank 278 When I look at the graph, I notice a slight uptrend.
- eHow: Rank 158 There is a clear uptrend to eHow. Makes me think about writing for them again.
- Xomba: Rank 2370 The graph actually looks flat, meaning that Xomba is not gaining traffic. Hopefully that will change.
- Life123: Rank 9780 This site has another clear uptrend. Maybe I will gain an advantage by being an early user.
- InfoBarrel: Rank 14,160 I am surprised by this rank. I would have expected higher, but there is an uptrend.
- Triond: Rank 22,909 The graph seems kind of flat over the past 3 months.
And what about sites you may be considering. Several fellow bloggers write for Suite101. What is Suite101's Traffic Rank? 816 with a clear uptrend. So it makes sense that earnings and traffic will do well at that site.
How else can Alexa be used? I like to go to some of the blogs on which I comment and click on the sites linking in to see if I can find places that similar blogs have been getting or placing links. Sometimes this will lead me to other blogs which might be a good place to leave a comment to expand my horizons. So far, the best marketing has been interaction on other blogs.
I also like to go to the "search %" tab. When I go there for this blog, I find that the number of visitors to this site coming from search engines has been increasing. That is great and is consistent with the info that I am getting from Google Analytics. It says that I might be doing something right to land high enough in the SERPs (although I am not focusing on this so I am really just clueless).
Those are just a few of the ways that I use the site Alexa.com. How do you use it? Are there other sites besides Google Analytics that you use for information? Please comment and share. And as always, thanks for reading.
Photo credit: Jrcastillof at Wiki commons.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
For those who read DeAnna's blog, it is because of her review of Life123 that I started to write there. But, I find it interesting to note that our experiences are somewhat different based upon perspective. It reminds me of a story that I heard not long ago in church:
A young man came to speak with his rabbi and bemoan life for his family of 8 living in one small room. He and his family were constantly on each other's nerves living in such a small space. The rabbi told him to go home and bring his goat to live in the house with him and come back in one week. The young man did as the rabbi suggested.
One week later, he came back, and the rabbi asked how life was. The young man complained, "That goat is constantly in the way, chewing on everything, and smells absolutely terrible." The rabbi told the young man to move the goat back outside and report back in another week.
The next week, the young man exclaimed to the rabbi, "Life is wonderful. The goat is gone. The house smells wonderful, and we have so much room."
It all comes down to perspective. DeAnna is a professional writer and has lots of views from Suite101 and eHow. I am an amateur, and it is my goal to reach 1 view per article per day. I have yet to meet that objective consistently at HubPages. So when I look at Life123, I am thrilled with the progress and the fact that I can get close to my 1 view per article per day. DeAnna, on the other hand, is not so enamored.
Now there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You have to take your income goals and writing skills and decide what sites work best for you. As your writing improves and matures, as your traffic patterns and audience changes, it would be perfectly natural that you wouldn't be doing the same thing in a year or two that you are doing now. I certainly plan to grow and learn. I would like to manage my own site within a year or two. DeAnna is just farther along in the journey than I am. Life123 may or may not be a good fit. It may or may not be a good fit for you, either. Right now, it is working for me.
I am almost to 500 total views which would put me at the next level. I have less than 40 to go. I would think that would only take about 4 days to accomplish. Plus I have 3 articles that are within spitting distance of making their first $5. I will include the links below if you wish to visit. I would certainly appreciate it. In the meantime, thanks for reading. I enjoy all the comments that people have been making on this blog. I appreciate your time and hope that everyone is taking away something valuable each time.
Here are the Life123 articles that could earn $5 this month with just a little help:
Inflation Hurts the Poor Most
What is Tetralogy of Fallot?
Stock Investing Greats and the Lessons They Teach
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I think I will be able to achieve my goal of 200 Xomblurbs by the end of the year since I currently have 163. That is just a little over 2 each day. The goal of hitting 40 Xombytes (articles) may be a little more difficult unless I get writing more. I currently have 30 so it would still be possible to achieve. I will certainly do my best.
Earnings are Decent
The result of the extra effort and focus seems to be paying off. I am getting more traffic as represented by AdSense impressions, and I have earned almost as much as I did all of the month of November. That is good news so I am motivated to continue to put in the extra effort for the rest of the month and on into the new year.
I plan on making Xomba my main site for the next several months for residual income. The problem is that I really don't know yet whether or not it will truly end up being residual. I suspect that it will have some residual aspect to it since I see Xomba ending up fairly high on some Google searches.
Xomba got a new site engineer and will be making changes to the site. Included in these will be better data reporting which will likely improve my ability to detect what people are reading and looking for at the site. I think this will be incredibly useful.
Xomba is a great way of making some money online. If you would like to get paid for your social bookmarking efforts please join under my Xomba referral link. Also, if you have any questions, feel free to ask since I will be happy to let you know more about my Xomba experience and will be brutally honest in the process.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Make Money on Life123
For those of you who don't know, Life123 is a site to which you can publish articles and receive payment. It has a reasonably unique business model compared to some of the other sites for which I write. Because of this unique approach, there are several pros and cons to the site which I will point out a little later.
You start out by submitting an "apprentice" article on one of the designated topics on the site for publication. The article is reviewed and, if accepted, allows you to become a contributor. A contributor is allowed to submit up to 10 articles per month. These are still reviewed, but are usually published within 24 hours. I am currently a contributor. Once a contributor has submitted a minimum of 10 articles and has 500 total views across the articles, he/she can become a writer. Writers can submit up to 40 articles per month. Once the writer has submitted 25 articles with 2500 total views, the title of "expert" is reached. This is the highest level designated. Experts can submit 150 articles per month.
Earnings occur based upon an articles total views. The first 50 views entitles the author to a $5 payment. The next 500 views warrants another $5 payment, and the next 500 views allows the author to receive an additional $10. So, the most that can be made per article is $20, which brings me to the list of pros and cons.
Pros of Life123
- Relatively easy to earn $5
- No AdSense account needed
- Payment is through Paypal
- Payment occurs at $5 level
- Google seems to love Life123
Cons of Life123
- Cannot publish article elsewhere
- No longer retain article rights
- Must be 18 and United States citizen
- No residual income opportunity
My Experience at Life123
I started at Life123 the last few days of October. It was relatively easy to become accepted as a contributor. I have published 14 articles so far and have earned $10. I have not reached the payout threshold, so I have not been paid yet. I will be sure to let everyone know if there is an issue.
As of this morning, I have received 424 total views to my articles so I am on the verge (within the next week) of reaching the writer level at which point I will be able to contribute up to 40 articles per month. My plan is to be able to contribute 15 for the month of December which would put me at the minimum number of articles for the Expert level while I wait for the number of views to reach 2500.
At that point, I expect to contribute between 15 and 20 articles per month to develop some steady income while developing residual income at my other sites much like I outline in this post about making money working at home. Over time, the Life123 articles will be at different levels of views, and I could easily get some extra money from reaching the next 500 or 1000 views on some of them. As the articles mature, they may easily find themselves rising in the Google rankings. As a matter of fact, my article on Transient Global Amnesia has been getting a fair number of daily views (it has 92 total). It is on the second page of Google.
Overall, I view my Life123 experience as positive and would recommend it as an easy way to get started making money online. It is not good for residual income, but should be treated more like a part-time job with the potential for some reasonably consistent monthly income after the first few months provided you continue to publish to the site. Speaking of, I need to get 2 or 3 articles written for Life123 today...off to work.
Important Note: I received an email from a representative of Life123 in order to clarify the payment policy. The policy is to pay any author who makes $5 minimum by the end of a month. The payment is sent out by the end of the second week of the month so an author could expect to have money in a Paypal account by the 15th or 16th of the month at the latest.
It is cool to see how quickly information can be disseminated on the internet.
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
I had been thinking of advertising on another blog to try to promote this blog. I even had the button all ready to go and saved on my computer. I figured that as long as I didn't spend any more money than I made on this blog, it would be OK. Unfortunately, I thought I would have to wait until next year. But this was such a good deal, I couldn't pass it up. It is still too early to tell whether the advertising is working. The button will be there for a month so I will watch traffic and referral patterns to see what happens. I will be sure to report the results in a future post.
In the meantime, I would just like to say that this month has been pretty decent so far. I had a busy day today and haven't gotten much done online. Maybe I can get some more done this evening. Over the next few posts, I will update some of my current online income activities in much more detail. Hopefully, they will be inspiring and instructive. This post is somewhat short since I mainly wanted to share my lack of marketing skill. Nevertheless, enjoy my red flashing font. I think it's cool!
Monday, December 7, 2009
For the month of December, I am making Xomba my primary residual income site. I plan on putting up a link or two or three everyday for the entire month. Plus, I plan on writing several original articles for the site so that by the end of the month I have 40 articles and 200 links.
So far these first 7 days, I have been able to live up to the task and devote some time each day on the site and the early indications are that it will prove to be worthwhile. I already am on pace to have more AdSense impressions and earnings by the end of December than I had for November. The results seem to be tracking the amount of effort, and that is good in my mind. I still don't know what long-term residual potential might exist, but I think that information will come in time. When it does, I will be sure to share with you.
You may or may not know that I am a featured writer for Xomba in the Money & Investing section. I have an article pending and when that gets on the front page, I can only imagine that the impressions and earnings will benefit. I plan on writing 2 or 3 more for the month as well to include in my overall efforts.
Here are a few of the links to my Xomba featured articles since they don't have a widget:
Money and the American Dream
Investing in Gold at Record Prices...A Good Idea?
I Am Earning Real Passive Income Now
Selling the Same Shares Twice (Part 1)
Also, if you want to join Xomba, I will benefit if you use this referral link. It doesn't cost you anything since the additional percentage of AdSense impressions comes from Xomba and not you. So, give Xomba a try to provide backlinks to your own work and earn money at the same time. I think you will like the earning potential.
As always, thanks for reading and following this blog. I appreciate all the comments that you share.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
I am a stats junky and keep lots of data pertaining to my traffic and AdSense impressions. In September, HubPages comprised just about 75% of my total AdSense traffic. In October that number was 60% and in November just 55%. Now for the first 5 days of December, my HubPages traffic is just under 40% of my total traffic. Both this blog and my Xomba traffic have been increasing to make up the difference since total AdSense impressions in September and October were virtually identical.
I have heard that November and December are usually down months for internet traffic since people are focused on the holidays. I certainly saw that during the four day Thanksgiving weekend. As it stands now, traffic will be down about 10% during December compared to November but it is hard to make an accurate assessment only 5 days into the month.
Even though HubPages traffic is falling apart, I will say this much for it. For the last 30 days, my Google search engine traffic is nearly as much as my internal HubPages traffic. I view this as a good thing since search engine traffic is much more valuable than other Hubbers reading my articles. I am hoping that the traffic will find a base and that any growth represents organic search engine traffic growth. That would be a great consolation to the traffic decrease.
Thursday, December 3, 2009
- He realizes his limitations. He doesn't pretend he is fast. He knows his capabilities and really isn't thinking about racing the hare. He is just going about the business of getting to the finish line.
- He is quietly confident in his abilities. The turtle realizes that he has limitations but is, nevertheless, confident enough in the abilities he has to race the hare.
- He is up for a challenge. By all appearances, the turtle should lose this race. He is not swift and doesn't match up on paper to a hare. He still goes out and tries despite his apparent shortcomings.
- He never gives up. It sure would have been easy to just give up when he realized that the hare was so far down the course that he was out of sight. Yet the turtle just kept plodding along, one step at a time. He really wasn't racing the hare in his mind. He was just determined to finish.
I want to be the turtle of online income. I know that I am not a web professional and don't have a ton of web knowledge or experience. I know that I am not a professional writer. I work full time and have a limited amount of spare time to devote to the development of online income. But I do feel that I have useful ideas worth sharing and can write a decent sentence. I am always eager to learn and experiment. I am certainly up for the challenge and have managed to persist for over 6 full months. I certainly don't plan on giving up. I try not to focus on anybody else (although at times it can be difficult but is getting easier). Finally, I just want to make that finish line.
For me, the finish is $3000 monthly in 8 more years and 6 months. Provided I continue to work a little each day, I could potentially have over 3000 articles and maybe even a few websites developed in that time frame. It will be a long haul, but that's OK. I am convinced that like the tortoise, "slow and steady will win the race."
If you are getting started in your journey for online income, don't just take off like the hare. You will get burned out and never finish what you started. It may seem counter-intuitive, but just take one day at a time and publish a little something each day. Before you know it, one article becomes ten, which becomes 100, then 200, then your own site and a second site. That first dollar becomes $10, then $100 and before you know it, you could live off your online income.
Remember, to achieve your goals, think like a turtle.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
I am able to publish again also. I seemed to be having trouble so I sent an email to ask what it meant by 30 days since I had been through my 30 days and the site still wouldn't let me add to my content. The people at Life123 responded quickly and resolved the issue rather quickly as well. I was very impressed by their professionalism. I would recommend the site to anyone just starting out.
As mentioned, I hope to be able to get 3 more articles up to the 50 view level. The 3 that are currently closest all have view counts in the 20's. Here are the links in case you want to go read them:
Stock Investing Greats and the Lessons They Teach
If Gold is Too Expensive, Consider Silver (This is incredibly timely. If you only have time for one article, read this one.)
What is Tetralogy of Fallot?
Currently, I only need 220 more views to get to the next level at which point I will be able to contribute 40 articles per month. I figure that will happen sometime between now and Christmas. I hope to be able to publish 15 articles for the month. Thank you to everyone who has been able to stop by and read my Life123 articles. I really appreciate it. I plan on making Life123 a source of fairly steady and predictable income for 2010 so that I can start looking at getting my own site and paying for the related expenses such as hosting, etc.
Next time, I want to update everyone on the SEO Experiment. Very interesting stuff.