Buy Hosting From Host Gator

Friday, February 26, 2010

Maddie (and Ladybird) Lay Down the Gauntlet

Little did I know when I wrote my last blog post about motivating myself to write more Hubs for HubPages that they were actually planning a contest for the month of March. How convenient! It was brought to my attention by Maddie Ruud, one of the team members at HubPages. Furthermore, Ladybird (a fellow Hubber) has egged me along as well.

The contest involves writing Hubs related to health topics. Each day another topic is presented and the requirement is to write a related article within a 24 hour time frame. It is possible to write up to 3 articles each day, but there is no way I would even begin to have the time for that.

So, what I plan on doing is looking over the available topics for the month and doing my keyword research within that topic. If I can find a decent keyword that would meet my criteria, I will make that keyword a high priority and really focus to get that article done.

Hopefully, I will be able to find some good keywords in some of the topics in which I am interested. I have always had some difficulty just writing on any topic and usually have to have some personal interest or motivation for writing.

All in all, I would like to get about 14 or 15 articles completed for the month. There were some topics that didn't seem all that interesting to me. Plus, I will be busy with another deadline until March 1st so I won't be able to get a headstart like I might if I weren't so busy.

We will just have to see how it goes. I will be sure to comment here and keep you updated. Is anyone here joining in on the March challenge? I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Considering Another HubPages "Challenge"

I have been incredibly impressed with the results from HubPages this month. So much so that I am considering the possibility of putting together another challenge for myself and trying to write several Hubs during the month of March.

As soon as I get past this work deadline on February 28th, I should have a little more time to write some articles. I have been doing some research and figuring out what topics I might be able to cover. I have a few good ideas for about 4 or 5 articles in my head already.

Improving CTR

I have noticed that the click through rate for HubPages has improved significantly over the past five or six months. My guess is that it has to do with the increasing percentage of search traffic that I am getting. During the fall of last year, my main source of traffic was HubPages itself. Now, my main source is Google. It won't be long and Google will represent my single largest source of traffic for that site.

Now that I have an idea what I am doing with keyword research, SEO, SERPs, et cetera, it might be worth it to target a few keywords and see what I can accomplish on the site. The nice thing is that I have done essentially nothing on HubPages this year and am seeing my traffic and earnings slowly increase. Now is the time to put in another slug of hard work to plant the seeds for the fall. It would be smart to do now before the weather gets nice anyway.

So do you have any plans for March? Any major projects or focus? Need to get motivated? Join me in really focusing on developing the seeds for passive income in March.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My Computer is Dead!

Ouch! I can't believe it. My laptop died so I am having to use the kid's computer to write this. I don't know exactly what is wrong, but it just won't finish booting up. On Saturday, I unhooked my iTouch iPod from charging, saw some strange blue screen that said something was wrong.

Well, I didn't think anything off it and shut off the computer with the intention of re-booting. But, it just simply won't come on. It seems to get stuck during the boot up process. It seems to me like it is a software issue, something with Microsoft's Windows. But I don't know enough to figure it out.

Saved All My Files

At least I was able to get it to come on in "safe mode" and move all my important files onto a flash drive. Thank God for small miracles. I will probably have to wait until next week to get it to a professional to check out since I don't have a lot of time this week.

At least I know that I have all of the pictures, spreadsheets, and articles that represent lots of work over the years. I am sure that some of it will have to be sorted through and cleaned out but at least I have the important things also.

I know that this doesn't have much to do with online income, but really it does. One of my biggest concerns has been losing a lot of articles and work because a website goes out of business or changes ownership. But I have never had a computer go bad and not be able to get to my own data. That wasn't true this time, either but was very close. Too close for comfort!

I even read Ruth's post about backing up your work. But I didn't do anything about it. Well, from now on, I will be keeping a disc somewhere with the majority of my files on it and update once per quarter or so.

Now, what do you do to back up your work? Ever have a computer die on you? Tell me your horror stories or how lucky you were.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Blog Surfing

Have you ever just surfed blogs on Blogger just by clicking the "Next Blog" button at the top of the page? I was a little bored last night and didn't really feel like writing or doing anything productive but wasn't quite ready to go to sleep.

So I just started hitting the button and looking through some random blogs. It is interesting to see all of the topics and styles of blogs that are just part of Blogger. There are some really nice and well designed sites that made me feel like mine was just pitiful ugly. Of course there were others that made me feel pretty good also.

I also ran across blogs that were full of wonderful personal type pictures. On one of the sites, the author was a photographer by profession but had placed pictures of her family on the site. They were very, very good. The blog was alive with color and pleasant to look at but there wasn't any useful content for me.

Soliciting Opinions

This experience got me to thinking. I am not a professional blogger, a professional writer, a professional designer, or a professional anything as far as the internet is concerned. But I do take my efforts here fairly seriously despite having limited time. I believe that I have done a decent job of providing useful and helpful information about earning passive online income from the perspective of an individual working part-time.

I would, however, like to improve this blog to the best of my ability. I think I have several readers whom I consider professionals in the internet or writing fields and who do this for a living. Therefore, I am soliciting comments on how I might improve this blog while not being forced to spend hundreds or thousands of hours or dollars on the project.

Please feel free to leave your comments and tips in the comment section in plain view. I have always wanted this blog to be instructive so that others might learn as I do. Should I change the font? Add pictures along a certain theme? Are the colors easy on the eyes? Are my paragraphs too short or too long? Is there anything you especially like or dislike about the blog?

I want to thank everyone in advance for their advice, tips, compliments, or criticisms.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Passive Online Income: A HubPages Earnings Surprise

I really haven't been able to write as much last month or this month as I had originally planned and hoped. In fact, for the year 2010 I have written exactly 1 Hub article, 4 articles at Xomba, and 14 blog posts.

So, I am really shocked that with another 10 days to go in the month, I have earned almost as much in AdSense this month as I did in all of January which has 31 days. Even more surprising is that the majority of it is coming from HubPages.

In reality, I had written HubPages off when compared to Xomba thinking that my time would be more profitably spend working for passive income online at that site. But maybe I was wrong?! Maybe I am starting to see the fruits of my labors that occurred in the fall of last year when I started figuring out a little about what I was doing when it comes to SEO, keywords, and writing content. It just might be that by the time I started on Xomba, I had a better understanding about what to do so that results were seen pretty quickly.

Or it could simply be random chance. To be honest, I really can't say. All I know is that life is pretty busy right now and time for writing is at a premium. This means that the majority of my online income is passive right now. That is encouraging to me. Even though I don't have a lot of time, the time that I do spend writing will be paying off in the future. The important thing is to just keep at it and be persistent.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Carpet Bombing Your Niche Keywords

If you have any knowledge of military history, you will understand that carpet bombing refers to the practice of just dropping tons and tons of bombs onto an area without any real concern for aiming at a specific target. Instead, complete destruction of the area is the desired result.

This should be the goal of any successful internet writer when it comes to his/her target niche--namely, complete and utter coverage. I can provide a small personal example of this as it relates to my SEO Experiment.

For those who have followed this blog for a while now, you may remember that in October 2009, I sought to target the keyword phrase, "SEO Experiment." I had been reading about search engine optimization and was just learning what backlinks were and finally gaining an understanding of the process of ranking in the search engine results.

I decided to write a blog post with the title, "SEO Experiment" and see if I could rank for that phrase by creating various links using related articles on various self-publishing sites like HubPages, InfoBarrel, Xomba, etc. By using these techniques, I was even able to get to Google page 1!

But the best part is that even though I haven't done any work on the post since November, I am still showing up at position number 16. Furthermore, there are lots of related articles that show up in the top 100 search results in Google. For example,
  1. Why Am I Doing An SEO Experiment? on HubPages at position 21
  2. 5 Things I Learned From My SEO Experiment on Xomba at position 35
  3. Update on the SEO Experiment from this blog at position 51 as well as a link to this update on BlogEngage at position number 95.
Granted that may not sound all that great, but I am sure that a little bit of effort could improve those rankings.

To me, that is encouraging and suggests that if you have a decent paying niche without a lot of competition, it would be relatively easy to carpet bomb the internet with articles and dominate the search results for that particular topic over time.

The trick comes in identifying a relatively uncompetitive niche that will still pay well. Of course, I guess that is what separates the professionals from the rest of us. My goal over the next several months will be to identify a few niches in which I can compete and see what happens. If nothing else, I will have developed additional content along the way.

Thanks for reading! I hope that this example has been helpful. I know that I learned a lot by undergoing the process.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Make Residual Income Online with HubPages

I received an email update yesterday from Court at the Keyword Academy who stated that from April 7, 2009 and February 11, 2010 his Hubs had earned just over $4000 with $413 earned in January 2010. That is a nice little bit of residual income if you ask me. He has 105 Hubs so that works out to just over $38 per article.

Now, Court is a professional and does this for a living. He obviously knows a lot about keywords and keyword research if he is running an academy. In a way, that might be a little discouraging. But I find it inspirational and here is the reason why.

My best earning article on eHow was published on August 4, 2009 and has earned $26.77. It is entitled:

"How to Make Monthly Income with Stocks that Pay Dividends"

Give it 3 more months and it could possibly match or surpass the $38 mark. The biggest issue is that it is only one article. It shows that I have the potential and simply need to increase my rate of successful articles through better keyword research and traffic generation.

My Personal Residual Income Online with HubPages

On a personal note, I too have been earning some residual income online with HubPages. Granted it wasn't over $400 last month, but it was $14.42 in January and is already past that figure at $14.96 so far this month.

I am seeing slightly increasing levels of traffic overall with twice as many Google searches as internal HubPages traffic. It won't be too long and Google will represent my highest source of traffic. That at least means that my articles are showing up on searches. This is encouraging.

I am not sure which of my Hubs are my biggest earners since I didn't bother to place them into individual channels in the AdSense reports. I figured that was too much information. I do, however, know my most viewed Hubs and figure that there is probably a close correlation since no traffic means no earnings.

Here are my five most popular Hubs:
  1. 7 Money Making Ideas Using Your Body
  2. Irish Tradition of Corned Beef and Cabbage on New Year's Day and St Patrick's Day
  3. Finding High CPC Keywords Using Google Adwords
  4. Generate Monthly Income with Dividend Stocks
  5. Generate Monthly Income by Selling Puts

Looking at the above selection of articles, I can deduce a few things. Making money topics are popular. Seasonal articles can do well (but I will tell you that only near New Year's Day did I get most of my views--though almost no earnings are associated with corned beef).

So if you are writing part-time like I am, then the potential to do well exists, but it will take a lot of hard and smart work to become a consistent performer. I wish all of you part-timers the best of luck and hang in there.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Blogging Part-Time

Blogging part-time can be a very difficult gig especially when your schedule is like mine was yesterday. Out of the house by 5:45 am to get to work by 6:30 in the snow; leave work at 6:45 pm; stop by McDonald's to pick up dinner for my teenager at home; spend 25 minutes eating, then off to soccer practice from 8:30 until 10; home at 10:30; watch last week's CSI on DVR with my wife and then to bed at 11:30. Given a day like that, it is no wonder that Wednesday's blog post ended up on Thursday.

Blogging part-time can be psychologically taxing as well. I am envious of all the well-designed and visually appealing blogs. I barely have any time to post let alone make my blog look good. Mix in the task of driving traffic and, at times, it can seem such a slow and overwhelming process.

But for those who are part-time bloggers, I would like to offer encouragement. I have written a few articles on finding additional time to write and maximizing the productivity of your keyword research. And even though I did not write while at soccer practice, I did compose the idea in my head and write this while eating breakfast this morning.

There will be days when you can't write since blogging must take a back seat to putting food on the table and family. But slowly, over time, you will start to accumulate posts and content; the search engines will start to find you; and people will start arriving at your site and articles. So, don't focus on those who blog and write online for a living. Spending 8 hours per day writing, developing sites, researching, and driving traffic is a lot different than spending 3 to 5 hours per week. You have to have a much longer time horizon.

For those of you who blog part-time, how much time are you able to spend each day or week? What do you do to find time to write? Where do you focus your limited time? Writing? Researching? Traffic? Feel free to share tips and advice for all the part-timers out there. As always, thanks for reading.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Writing for Google AdSense

One of the reasons I am writing this blog is to share with others what I am learning and what experience I am gaining when it comes to making money online. Many of you will already know much more than I do; others may have come across this blog and are just starting out. For those just starting, allow me to take this post and share how easy it can be to write about your experiences with an eye toward Google's AdSense and earning passive income.

I just got back yesterday from Las Vegas and wanted to write a little bit about the trip. One of the great experiences was seeing the Fountains in front of the Bellagio Hotel. I thought this might make a decent little article that I would post on HubPages. I also thought it might be useful to write this post about the process. So let me show you step-by-step what went into these two pieces of content:
  1. Brainstorm writing about the Fountains at the Bellagio and make a blog post about the process (10 min while driving)
  2. Go to Google Adwords Keyword Tool and research the Bellagio (1 min). In doing this, I realized that I want to include keywords related to the Bellagio Hotel more than the Fountains themselves given the number of searches (135,000) and CPC (over $4).
  3. Open my Firefox browser enhanced with SEO for Firefox and check the Page Rank of all the first page Google search results for Bellagio Las Vegas and Fountains at the Bellagio. When I did this, I discovered that most were PR 4 or 5, but one was a PR 3. I might be able to displace that one given enough time and effort. Realistically, this would not be the best keyword to go after; but if this blog ends up with enough authority eventually, who knows? Right now, I am doing this for illustration purposes (2 min).
  4. Write Hub and making sure that I included my keywords several times but not obnoxiously so (15 min). You can view my Hub entitled "The Fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas". I write my articles in Word and then copy and paste. I do this in case there is a problem with the network connection or if the site ever goes offline.
  5. I included a video and a capsule for news which might help to keep some of the content of the page fresh and published the Hub (5 min). I have also included a link in the above point using good anchor text. I double checked the article to see if ads for the Bellagio Hotel appear next to my content. They do, although not 100% of the time.
  6. Wrote this blog post with all the important steps that I mention above (15 min).

So for 48 minutes of my time, I have an article posted on HubPages, a blog post about the process, and a link to the original article which could ultimately help with SEO. When I published the Hub, I also took the opportunity to Tweet it. For an additional 10 minutes of my time, I can post links to both this post and my Hub on Xomba as well as post a link to this post using Blog Engage.

Now with all of these opportunities to display ads next to my content and links, who knows what potential these may all hold especially after several months as the sites mature and gain in authority? It may very well be that this process is worth several hundred dollars in ad revenue. I think that is what makes this whole process scary and exciting. Writing for Google AdSense is just mysterious. You never know what can happen.

Please feel free to comment or ask any questions you might have. Thanks for reading and I hope that this post has been helpful to someone.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Advertising My Blog

I wanted to report on my singular attempt at advertising this blog. I signed up for a month long button at a website that was related in topic to online income and blogging. It turns out that the price was right, and I had a button readily available.

I don't think that my experience will be applicable to everyone. I think it is important to try things and see how they work for you. The internet can be a very individualized experience based upon the style and temperament of a site. I am just sharing my results and will be suggesting several points that may help you be somewhat smart in your experiments.

For the month of January, I received a total of 6 visits to this blog from my advertising source. I am thinking that I did not get an exceptional increase in traffic. There could be several reasons. The blog may not have have gotten enough traffic to impact my own significantly. My button may not have been all that attractive either. No matter the reason, it wasn't that effective at this point in time. I may try again later. In the meantime, here are a few things to remember when you try an "experiment" on the internet:
  1. Make sure you don't spend too much time or effort. If nothing you are doing is working, then by all means try something different. But if you are getting some traffic and making some income, don't totally abandon what is working.
  2. Give the experiment enough time to work. You don't want to spend too much time but also don't want to spend too little. Sometimes things on the internet will take time to mature. For my purposes, one month of advertising was enough to see what it might do.
  3. Be sure that you can monitor your results and attribute them to the experiment. I was easily able to use Google Analytics to track from where visitors to this blog are coming.

I am sure that many of you have other experiments that you have tried or other criteria for judging and monitoring the results. Please share them so that we can all learn together.

PS--I am currently blogging from Las Vegas, NV. I am not blowing my kids' college funds as President Obama might have you believe but am attending a gymnastics meet with my son. We watched some Olympic hopefuls last night, and he will be competing today.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mixed Emotions from Life123's Closing of Writer's Community

It happened this past weekend seemingly without warning. Since I checked my stats on views at Life123 daily, I noticed something was wrong when on Saturday, I received a 403 error on my Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. It persisted into Sunday. Finally on Monday, there was a notice that Life123 was shutting down its writer's compensation program. You can read the notice at DeAnna's blog.

First of all, I was perplexed. I didn't realize that the program was a beta program and never suspected that it would be shut down. I was upset that I didn't receive some sort of email notice letting me know of the change in advance. On Friday, everything was fine; then nothing. I am saddened and disappointed since I really enjoyed writing for the site and even included it in a strategy for WAHM to build up internet income quickly.

But, I am somewhat happy since Life123 is doing something that I feel is incredibly honorable and professional. They are paying out the maximum potential earnings of $20 per article written and accepted regardless of the current level of views and keeping them published. With the exception of failing to send me an email in advance of the shut-down, Life123 has been very well run and professional. They have responded promptly to my inquiries and communicated well. The site was easy for which to write.

It sounded from the response to my email sent on Monday that the shut-down was sudden and may have even taken the editorial staff by surprise. I guess that is what happens when dealing with a large company. It certainly makes me rethink the need to develop and publish my own site. This sort of thing could happen without warning with any content site.

Looking Forward to the Windfall

Initially, I didn't fully comprehend the payment for articles already published. I thought I would have to wait until hitting the appropriate level of views for the $20 payment on each article so I wondered how I could track the results. I was surprised to find out, however, that the full $20 payment would be made regardless of the number of views. Wow! That is awesome!

I have written and published 21 articles for the site. That is a total income of $420 minus the $20 I have already received in December and January. According to the email I received, the payment should show up in my Paypal account by the end of February. I am excited to be receiving that $400 payment this month and will be sure to use it to pay off some credit card debt saving myself over $80 this next year creating additional residual income in the process.

So, I guess that means that I will have to get to work writing for other sites. I will keep doing what I have been so far minus Life123 and be sure to update everyone when I get paid ending this chapter in the story that has been Life123. Did anyone else write articles for Life123? Will you be receiving a payment this month?

Monday, February 1, 2010

Residual Income that Keeps on Giving

When I originally started writing in earnest, I started at HubPages. The format was easy for me to use and understand, and I could write about any topic. Since that time, I have found that there are many other content sites for which there are a variety of payment methods. Some will pay upfront, some use AdSense and pay residual income, while others use a combination of methods.

At first, I thought that I might use my online income for investing in silver. I have since had a change of heart. I decided that it made little sense to spend the money on something that may or may not fluctuate. Although silver is a great store of value and can protect you from inflation, I felt that I should use my residual income for a different purpose.

Compound Interest

I decided that I would take this next Google AdSense payout that I will be getting, combine it with the other payment that I received, and add it to the money in my Paypal account from eHow and Life123. Then I will make an extra payment to a credit card that is charging me interest.

That extra payment will reduce the balance on the card and effectively earn interest over the next year adding to the residual income that I have been able to make on the internet. I think it would be wonderful to be able to apply several extra payments to the card and have it paid off within the next 12-18 months.

I know several of you who read this blog use your internet income for living expenses and to make ends meet. For many, it is a full-time effort. For others, it may just be some extra income to pay off debt or supplement an existing income. Do you have any special plans for your passive income? If so, I would love to hear them. Thanks for reading.
Related Posts with Thumbnails