Do We Hate Marketing So Much That,…

I recently watched an interesting video from John Chow called How I Make $40,000 a Month From a Blog. It was pretty neat, as he explained how he makes his money. One can’t be mad at him for making money, and though he states he makes it all from blogging, it seems there’s a lot more involved than him just blogging. It’s about an hour, and I encourage y’all to check it out.

Anyway, he talked about a few things he does that, I have to admit, irritate me when I visit his site. I’m not one of those people who hates ads, but I do hate popups, popunders, and now these things that end up on top or on the bottom or sometimes both on these pages, that you have to close to see more of the content.

One of the people there asked him about it, and he said that since he added all those things he’s converted more people and gotten them to give him their email addresses than he had before. When asked if he was worried about losing visitors, he not only said no, but he said “if they’re not really buyers, and I’m trying to make money, why would I worry about them?”

It’s an interesting point, and I’ll say now that I might have missed a word or two there, but that’s pretty much what he said. He’s not saying he doesn’t care about his readers; he’s saying he cares more about buyers.

It’s interesting because many of us are looking at finding different ways to make more money online in some fashion, and I’m not sure all of us have the stomach to do it in the way that will make us some serious money. Some of you may remember when I wrote a post asking if we can stomach sales, and I know for myself that I haven’t had the stomach for it across the board.

Sometimes, it does take that big decision as to what we’re here for, the fun, or the money making part. How bad do we want it, or need it? And, just because someone else wants it and needs it, is it fair to castigate them for it? I don’t hate on anyone who makes money; I want my own money. What I wonder is whether some folks go too far in making that money. We’ve discussed how some internet marketers seem to send us 2 or 3 sales letters a day, but that’s not the majority of them. We always have the right to unsubscribe, but do we have the right to hate the way they’re making their money, especially if it’s legal? Is there one of us who thinks these guys, who aren’t spammers because we did give them our information, are worse than the banks and credit card people, who put us into the financial mess we’re presently in?

Just something else to think about as we contemplate our money-making selves.

Baseball’s All-Star Game Reference Guide 1933-2007: 78 Games in 74 Years

Price – $26.36

Google Announces Its New Operating System

Of course the rumors were always out there, at least for the last year, so when Google announced to day that they were coming out with their own operating system, some people were surprised, but many people who dabble online were wondering just what they thought they were doing.

This might end up being a good OS, but who’s going to know? Unlike Microsoft, it’s hard to imagine that Google will be able to convince a lot of computer makers to switch to their new OS just because they’re Google. Some might be inclined to try if it’s free, which it just might be, but it’s not going to gain a lot of attention initially, if at all.

Still, they had to do it, just as Microsoft feels they have to try to get into the search market stronger with their latest effort (how many is this now?), Bing (does anyone else ever want to break out into a song when they see that?). But one has to wonder what the ulterior motives of it all is.

Yeah, I’m sounding like a conspiracy guy, but let’s look at this for a minute. First they come out with Google Apps, which mimic all the Microsoft Office products only it’s a free online service. However, you store all your records on Google’s servers; do we really know that they don’t have the capability to scan all those records and do something with all that information?

Then they do an end-round on Firefox by developing their own browser, which they say will be faster than any other and work better with Google since they developed it. Mozilla supposedly really didn’t know until late that Google was working on the project, and when they found out, along with the rest of us, we all questioned what the relationship would be with the Mozilla Foundation, whom Google used to fund; they still might.

To date, Microsoft is still leading on office products (by the way, who else asks themselves why Microsoft has both Office and Works, yet they’re not compatible with each other?), and Mozilla is still holding a strong second. Truthfully, I think Chrome is still down around 5th, but don’t quote me on that one. I don’t know all that much about Google Apps to be able to talk about why Microsoft is still killing them when it’s free, but I do know about Firefox enough to talk about it.

Firefox is the bomb because of all the add-ons you can attach to it, which can do so many things. Neither IE nor Chrome nor Opera or anyone else can make that claim. Sure, even with the new Firefox 3.5, which I like, we all know that Firefox isn’t the fastest browser out there; Opera has always made that claim in the past (turns out that lately it might not be true). But it’s the most customizable, therefore the most fun and the most productive.

So, what about the Chrome OS? It’s best feature might be that there won’t be any viruses for it for a long time. The worst features is that, from what I’m hearing, it might not work with any of the Microsoft products on the market right now, and it’s unsure how they’ll work with other products. Sure, there’s Google Apps, but it’s not universally used, so at some point you need more in an OS than being able to tell people to load it, then go online to do everything. And, just to mention this, but right now it’s only for notebooks.

All that, and then there was this article from PC World titled 5 Ways Microsoft Will Bring the Hurt to Google Chrome OS that’s an interesting read. Microsoft isn’t just sitting around waiting for Google to catch up.

I’m certainly not the biggest Microsoft fan out there, especially when it comes to Vista, but one has to acknowledge that Microsoft is firmly entrenched in our computer lives, and we’d really be in a lot of mess if we had to deal with another operating system that has limits to what it can allow us to use and do.

It should be an interesting battle over the next five years.

Sony VAIO TT Series Laptop Intel Centrino Core 2 Duo SU9300 1.2GHz Notebook

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If I Wanted To Make Money On A Blog, I Would,…

Well, that is the question, isn’t it? What would I, or you?

Most of the money I’ve made comes from one of my content websites, which is a great thing. The problem with it is that it’s limited in scope. In other words, the people who come there come because they absolutely need the information I give them, but that’s it; they’re not buyers. The reason I make so much money off that site is because, obviously, they must get information from me, then see something in one of those Adsense ads that they think will give them more, or different information, and off they go.

I’ve always said that this blog wasn’t necessarily meant to make money. That’s kind of a misnomer, or at least it’s incomplete. When I started this blog, I wanted a place where I could talk about anything I wanted to talk about, and put up some of my affiliate banners and products, just in case someone saw something they just had to have. As Mirjam said, the products don’t always match what I’m writing about. As I said back, it’s never been much of a concern of mine.

The truth is that, for this blog, there aren’t products that match up to most of what I’m talking about. For instance, I talk about blogging; what products are there that I’m going to advertise? I talk about websites I visit; what products are there that I’m going to advertise? I talk about writing; you see a pattern here? Every once in awhile, I touch upon a subject that fits something I can market, and I’ll pop that in there, but it’s rare.

So, it’s not that this blog doesn’t make any money; it’s that it doesn’t make much. But that’s okay; I put my stuff up there, talk about some of it from time to time, and who knows, right? By the way, just to clear this one up, over my almost 450 posts, I’ve probably had about 15 clicks total from this blog on any of my affiliate stuff, including those posts where the topic and the product/banner ad matched. So, saying that my products should match the content doesn’t hold water.

But let’s go here for a minute. We’ve all probably talked at one point or another about niche blogging. I’ve talked about someone I knew who found a niche in hydroponics and was doing well monthly in earnings because that’s all she wrote on. So, back in December, I decided to embark on something I knew okay, but that I’ve gotten to know much better, that being my finance blog. Though I move around from topic to topic, the general theme of the site is finance, and nothing else.

This is the definition of a niche blog. And just how much money have I made from this blog? As of today, for the entire run of the blog, I’ve made a whopping 72 cents; that’s it. And I made that on Adsense. I have some 300×250 ads on that site all geared towards financial things, and I have Adsense.

I even put on this video thing that Sire recommended that, if people decided to watch it, I think I’d make money off it. Nada, nothing, almost zip. One click on an affiliate ad in six months; not very popular, is it? If there’s any consolation, I made that money in June, so maybe it’s ready to start breaking out, being relatively recent.

What this points out is that it’s not only finding a niche, but the right niche. If you can’t write more than one article a month, and even then you’re running out of ideas to write about, you might want to consider writing about something else, then figuring out if there’s a way to make money doing it.

Anyway, throwing it out to y’all to share your thoughts. If you were to start a niche blog today, one that you hoped would really make money, what would you write on?

How Goes The Writing

Back at the beginning of April, I wrote a post titled I’ll Write Articles For You – For A Price. It was my introduction into the world of writing for others and getting paid for it; makes sense, eh? I thought I’d give an update on how things are going in what is kind of a career move.

It started out slowly, which also makes sense. Luckily, one of my article packages was kind of popular, so I did make some money off that. The other one still sits there without anyone even thinking about buying it, but that’s okay. That’s what experimentation is all about.

Meanwhile, I started getting some clients with my initial offer of how much I’d charge. I quickly learned that I deserved more than that, needed more than that, so I increased my rate. And I still got customers, which is telling. I haven’t written a single article that someone has come back and said it wasn’t written well. I did write a set of articles that the requester liked, but said they weren’t what he was looking for, which I then turned into a new anti-smoking website, but to date, that’s the only minor setback I’ve had.

I now have some weekly clients who request a certain number of articles a week. It’s not enough so that I can live only off that yet, but it’s a nice start, and luckily I make money in other ways so that what I’m making now isn’t all that bad. Sire has recommended that I go back and give Helium another try, and I just might do that when I have a little bit of free time. I actually enjoy writing, and if I can make more from it, all’s the better.

But I also have to admit that it’s not always so easy. What you find when people want you to write for them is one of two things. One, they’ll give you topics and let you write whatever you want to write about them; I just love that. Two, they look for certain keyword phrases and want you to work those phrases in as much as you can, even if it destroys the flow of the article. You sometimes feel silly doing it, but hey, it’s money.

However, even with the people who let you write on certain topics, some of the topics can be hard to think of week after week, especially if you’re writing multiples of them. One of my clients, for instance, wants 7 articles on this one topic each week, which means I have to be really creative in thinking about what to write. Luckily, as I’ve done a lot of research on the topic for him, and he was my first client, I’ve learned a lot about it, to the point where sometimes I don’t even have to do new research, I can just write something from memory. That’s an unexpected benefit of writing for one person all the time; too bad it’s not something I can use in my real life.

Finally, I did have one major caveat that I’ve stuck to, and will continue to stick to. I won’t write anything for someone else that’s a part of my core businesses. After all, if I do that, I’m just taking away from myself. This means I won’t write on SEO, or leadership or diversity or healthcare. I am writing on finance, though, which could be taking away from my finance blog, but that’s okay because it’s a wide field; always lots to write about there.

Writing is easy and hard at the same time. If I could only get someone to let me write about anything and everything, and get paid for it, I’d be a happy guy. Oh yeah, that’s what this blog is for; now to only get paid for it. 🙂

Cigarrest to Stop Smoking in 7 Days!

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June Statistics; The More Things Stay The Same

Once again, time for the monthly statistics for the previous month. This month, depressing and odd; here we go:

Adsense – $86.10
Commission Junction – $.07
Google Affiliate Network – $1.00
Paid Advertising – $35.63
Total – $122.70

Last month my dollar total was $123.97, so I’m going in the wrong direction, even though Adsense went up. Not sure what happened to the little bit I was getting from some of the others, but some odd stuff has happened.

One, I think Widget Bucks dropped me. I’m not sure, but I went to sign in to check my dollars and it says it can’t recognize my email address. Hey, based on what I wasn’t making from them, it’s not all that bad, but still,… I wonder if I have forgotten an email somewhere.

Two, I dropped Link XL as one of my affiliate programs, and I’m thinking about dropping another one. I had someone contact me who had been an advertiser from LinkXL way back when, and every once in awhile I was earning something from those folks. Turns out they’d dropped advertising but forgot about it, and were having problems with their site for some reason, but knew it was coming from my site. The only way I could get the sucker to go away for good was to end my association with LinkXL. Once again, not like it was really generating anything except off these folks who were trying to get away from them.

The one I’m thinking about dropping is someone called the Gold Affiliate Program. It’s one of Shawn Casey’s things, and I’ve only gotten maybe 7 or 8 clicks in almost 4 years at this juncture. Of course, I only have the links in one place, so maybe I need to pop them on here for a couple of months to see if anyone is interested in them. They’re products about internet marketing; I’ve only purchased one of them and it wasn’t bad; pretty much all I have to say about that.

I’m also thinking about just dropping Joel Comm’s products also. Since he took the Adsense book and turned it into a freebie, trying to sell a course instead, it’s lost its overall appeal for people, and it’s doing nothing much for me.

And I’m possibly thinking about dropping TTZ Media, which are those products you see there to the right under the top talkers. According to their stats, I’ve only had two people click on them in the last six months. If that’s true or not, that’s not good at all, and I can probably use that real estate for something else, maybe the Shawn Casey things. Something new to think about.

The reason I’m thinking about dropping them is so I won’t have to check them anymore. Sure, I could just keep them around and hope to make something out of them, but their track record is horrible, and the potential income is fairly low even if someone decided they just had to start buying that stuff.

Oh, one last thing. Visits went up from May, but only by 36, though that’s from one less day than May. However, the early part of the month had more visitors when I was writing more, so I still think it depends on how much I can write. I did gain more subscribers, though, as today’s number is at 90, my highest ever. Shooting for that elusive 100; I hope it’s this month.

Anyway, another month has come and gone, and it’ll be interesting to see how things progress as I work my way through July.

Michael Jackson – A Remarkable Life

Price – $13.98

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