Category Archives: Blogging

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?
 

Anonymity Of Blogging

There was a news story that someone on Twitter pointed out coming out of the U.K. The story is titled Ruling on NightJack author Richard Horton kills blogger anonymity, and it talks about this police officer who’d actually won an award for his blog, but wanted to keep his anonymity because he was a police officer, and, it turns out, many of the things he was writing about he had inside knowledge on.

The judge decided that people who write blogs don’t have the right for any expectation of anonymity, The Times outed him, and now not only is he in trouble, but his blog is gone, and that’s that from the NightJack.

I’m of mixed thoughts on this topic, as I’m betting many of you are. On every one of my blogs, I’m Mitch. On my business websites I’m Mitch. I do have a couple of websites where I don’t mention my name, but it wouldn’t take a heck of a lot for anyone to figure out who I was, especially if they read the disclaimers.

But there are a lot of you out there who are hiding your identities for whatever reason. Though this ruling was in the U.K., you can be pretty safe in figuring that the same rule would apply here. The basic premise is that blogging gives you a public platform, and thus, even being hosted on your own site, the expectation of privacy isn’t valid and won’t be honored. At some point, if you irritated someone else, or someone decided to dig a little bit, you will be found out.

The question is whether you’re exhibiting behavior that makes you need to worry about it or not. For instance, many commenters here don’t use their real names. Y’all know I kind of like to have a real name of some kind to respond to, even if it’s only a nickname. Some of the rest of you believe that you’re protecting yourselves by using the fake name, whereas others of you believe you’re helping to enhance your SEO by using those names; both are false premises. I probably know who most of you are because you’ve forgotten some basics of how to hide yourself, or at least how to try to hide yourself. So, I do know some of y’alls names, but I’m not going to out you because, well, you haven’t irritated me. 🙂

Still, this issue of anonymity needs to be explored further. If you had someone on the inside of a corrupt company who was telling the rest of us what was going on, and we wanted to keep getting that information, wouldn’t we be happy with that person having anonymity? Sure, the company wouldn’t be, and they could get an injunction of some sort to get that information, but how secure would we be with that?

We could go to what I’ll call a vanity or community blog site, create an account there of some type, and start writing, making it somewhat harder to track us down if we used some kind of account from a place like Yahoo or Excite as our email address. But those types of sites don’t usually get a lot of attention, so your complaints would be lost in the crowd noise.

And, for most of us, if someone was saying a lot of negative things about us, we might want to know who was saying it, and would be frustrated by someone hiding behind a wall of anonymity, making accusations that we’re not sure how to respond to because sometimes fighting makes you look as guilty as not doing anything.

There is another side, though, which goes with what I’ve always said; sometimes, there are consequences for your actions, and if you feel you’re in the right and can put up with it all, then by all means do what you do, whether you’re the outer or the outee (I know it’s not a word, but it fits here anyway).

I think it prompts an interesting discussion and something to think about. Basically I have nothing much to hide, but I know some of you do. So, what are your thoughts on some of this?


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Things To Remember After You Change Your Theme

A couple of weeks ago, I decided the theme for my finance blog, Top Finance Blog, was kind of dark. That, plus the background for it was actually a template and not just a color, and I couldn’t come close to matching the template color when trying to set up my Adsense on it. So, I decided it had to be changed, and went with the one that’s there now.

I liked the theme because it was pretty clean, but things were off for some reason. I finally figured out that all the stuff I’d had on my previous theme, which had two right sidebars, was missing. I went into the Appearance areas, into the widgets, and saw that instead of just right and left, this new theme had an area that just said Sidebar, but it didn’t go anywhere. The theme I chose allows for different kinds of customization.

What I’d forgotten early on was that every time you change a theme, you need to go back to your old theme and copy any customization you made to it, and move it to the new theme. I did that, and everything looked good once more.

Then a few days ago I decided to check the stats on some of my websites, went to that one, and I didn’t have a single visitor. I knew that was wrong because I’d been getting comments. Then I remembered that I hadn’t transferred the Google Analytics code to the new theme either. That’s one of a couple of codes I have in my themes that I can’t just see by looking at my blog, which is why I’d totally missed it. Went back, copied that code, and all is right with the world once more.

It’s an important thing to remember to check all of your coding when you change your theme. You never know what important thing you might be missing until much later.

9 Posts You Should See – My Version Of Link Love

This isn’t usually my type of post, but I figured it’s time to change up some. Usually when I have a post with lots of links, they’re my own links. This time, I’m going to put up 9 links to other people’s content, as I finally had some time to get through the posts for people I follow in my Feedreader program. These links might feel like they’re all over the place, but hey, it’s me; you wouldn’t expect anything less.

First, if you use Firefox, you’re going to love this one. It’s called 10 Firefox Hacks In about:config, and it’s on a blog called Tech Republic. I used the ones to increase the speed of my blog and a couple others; good stuff.

Second, our friend Lynn Terry of Clicknewz wrote a great piece called The Squeeze Page Method, which fully explains what a squeeze page is, and why she doesn’t usually like going that route, which I fully agree with.

Third, a wonderful post from our friend Marelisa of Abundance blog titled 54 Tips For Writers, From Writers, where she posts tips given by famous writers. You’ll be able to tell that she really put a lot of work into this one.

Fourth, we all probably ask if Darren Rowse of Problogger really needs more publicity from anyone, but heck, you can’t stop progress. In this case, he wrote a post titled Warning: Do You Recognize These 21 Blogging Mistakes?, and I’m betting you’ll see many that you’re making on this list. I’ll own up to it, there’s many I’m doing that’s on this list.

Fifth, Ryan McLean, blog of the same name, wrote a post titled The Dark Side Of Starting An Internet Business, and though it’s pretty good, I’ll admit that its appeal to me has to do with its Star Wars references.

Sixth, I think Willie Crawford has probably written his best blog post here, titled A Beginner’s Guide To Making Money With Google AdSense. I’ve seen similar stuff, but this one, I believe, will help many of you who still don’t quite get the power of making money through Adsense.

Seventh, this is definitely something a little bit different. It’s on a blog called Leader Business, and the titled of the post is No Whiners!. However, the beauty of the post is the form; click on it for a larger version, then print a couple out; funny stuff.

Eighth, from a blog oddly called Blogging Without A Blog, we have this post titled The Secret Is Out – Our Blog Posts Are Not Being Read, and it’s pretty much self explanatory, though she also talks about people who only skim a post before responding, so they never quite get what the post is really about.

Ninth, once again something different, as it’s two short yet funny videos. The blog is called Power Maxx Blog, and the post is titled The Dark Knight Meets Superman, which begs the question “What if Superman was a jerk?” You’ll laugh at these,… I hope.

And there you are; I hope you enjoy them, and please, read them!
 

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Grabbing For More Twitter Followers?

As y’all know, I’m on Twitter, and if you didn’t know then you’ve probably wondered what that big blue bird on the right over there is all about.

I’ve written about Twitter more than I’d care to admit, yet there’s always something more to talk about. In this case, I’m going to talk about people who try to get as many Twitter people following them as they can.

I’ve never been one who’s thought about how many people are following me. Some folks get really obsessed about it, then turn around and say they want to start unsubscribing from people who aren’t following them back, who aren’t saying anything, and many other reasons. I know there were certain people I wanted to follow specifically, mostly friends, and a couple of relatively famous people, but otherwise, I’ve just kind of let it grow as it grows. I’ve never really even thought about trying to get it to grow, and couldn’t think of a reason why I might want to.

Then I read this post by Scott Allen titled 5 Reasons Why You Need Lots Of Twitter Followers Now And How To Get Them, and I started thinking about it some more. In general, Scott’s main premise is that having lots of people following you helps you get your message across and helps you gain in popularity, which could be a big deal if you’re hoping to get known by lots of people for the ultimate success of your business or career. He makes some really good arguments, and I hope you go over and read the article, just to see how someone else thinks about it if nothing else.

So, I started thinking about this premise from a different direction. One of my long term goals is to be a professional speaker and presenter, and to get that done one has to be somewhat known. Well, if you’re better known, you’ll make more money per presentation. But is Twitter really the way I want to get there?

Scott shared this site called Twitterholic, which tracks the top 100 Twitter people as it pertains to followers, and I have to admit that I was stunned by some of the numbers. I can understand CNN news alerts being at the top of the list, but Ashton Kutcher being number two with over 730,000 followers, which is a phenomenal number. How many people is Ashton following; 60, that’s it. The person with the lowest number of followers on the list has almost 164,000 of them; that person is only following 34 people back.

In the end, that’s one reason why I think I’m going to stick with doing it my way. I’m not following as many people that are following me, but I’m right on the verge of 1,000 people. I actually talk to some of the people I follow, and they talk to me. I’ve always thought about the internet as an interactive agent, a chance for me to learn things by research, but also a chance for me to learn about people, and about myself, by having the opportunity to meet some of them.

Numbers for numbers sake, other than money, means nothing to me. If I get 200,000 people following me by means that aren’t necessarily natural, then did any of those people take the time to figure out who I am, decide that they actually like some of what I have to say, enjoyed talking to me, and, ultimately, retweets and shares some of what I have to say to them? And if they’re not sharing anything I offer on Twitter, then is it really helping me to have more numbers just because, as is said in every other venture, the more numbers one has, the more opportunities there are that someone will discover you and share information about you?

Possibly, but it’s not for me. I had my own little bit of notoriety a few days ago when someone wrote a Twitter post about how restaurants in the NYC area don’t always treat minorities properly, and I shared my own experience with a restaurant in Westchester County that irritated me to no end. Within the next two hours, my post was retweeted 9 times; I found that phenomenal, but also illuminating.

When people are touched in some way with what you have to say, they’ll share it with others. I get many requests from followers every day, so I figure I’m doing well doing things my way. Of course, though I still don’t know why so many people are following me, I still have my list of people who I don’t want to follow on Twitter, and it still seems to be appropriate.

But, for those of you who Twitter, you may have your own thoughts on all of this. Feel free to share.


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