Archive for the 'Earn Money' Category

The Learn to Blog and Earn Money Series continues.  I left you with what to do on the first Tuesday of starting a blog.  Today, I will cover what you should do on the Wednesday of your first week: Robot Walk-Through.

The best analogy I can think of is being all dressed up and dinner is served waiting for you on the table.  There is just one hang up, there is a big Do Not Enter sign on the front door.  Similarly, the way Search Engines index your blog is to send little robot crawlers to your site to track what you’ve written and follow the links.  You don’t want to block these little guys out of your site with a Do Not Enter sign. 

Here are some reasons a robot might not be reaching your landing page and possible ways to fix the problem:

Robots can’t follow your links. A major reason this can happen is having no links from your home page to all of your landing pages (About, Contact, other posts, etc.).

Often, this is an easy fix:

Most, if not all, WordPress templates offer homepages with links to your other landing pages.  I recommend for bloggers to make sure that your “category” pages are in your sidebars.  This helps with the robot walk-through or the “crawl.”

No stand-alone landing pages. Maybe your site was developed in Flash, in which case it really isn’t a group of individual pages but is one big file that’s hard for the Search Engines to index as separate pages.

Your site asks too much from the visitor. If the President came to visit, you wouldn’t turn him away if he wasn’t wearing the right hat (well, maybe this is a bad example). The idea is you want to treat your spiders in a welcoming way! Some web sites won’t display to a viewer who doesn’t have JavaScript. Guess who doesn’t have JavaScript? The robots!  You’ll need to eliminate this from your landing pages.

A server outage interrupted indexing. I’ve talked about the importance of having the proper hosting.  I use infinfx, but that’s because I’m having thousands of viewers to my sites.  Another cost effective hosting company that handles sites very well with less than 3,000 visitors a day is HostMonster.  If you don’t have the right server, then you might have your pages linked and structured properly but the robot might come crawling just at the moment your systems administrator spills his Dr. Pepper soda on the server. What happens here, well the robot finds no site to index. There’s nothing you can do in a situation like this but wait until the next indexing cycle.

Your site is too big. Maybe your landing pages exist alongside thousands of other pages in your site. Robots don’t index every page from every site, so they may simply have moved on before they got to the ones you think are most important.

Quick fix:

Just be sure to add links that place your landing pages no more than two clicks away from the home page.

You told the robots to stay away. That wasn’t very nice of you!  Double-check that none of your landing pages has a tag on it that says meta name=”robots” content=”noindex”.

Your site is being penalized. It’s possible, but unlikely, that you are violating a search engine’s guidelines without knowing it. If none of the other problems are striking a chord and you are absolutely sure that your pages are not present in the index, this might be your situation. It’s a tough one. Probably your best bet is to post a note in an SEO forum and see if the community has any suggestions.

Now that you all know what keeps that Do Not Enter sign visible to all the Search Engine robots, let them in and have a feast on your site!  The next post of this series will look at Site Text.  Stay tuned!!!

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Today, I continue my series of what webmasters should do on their first week of having their web site, you can see the summary here: Learn to Blog and Earn Money: Week 1.  Two weeks ago, I left you with what you should do on the first Monday having your blog.  You can review that post here with Learn to Blog and Earn Money: Monday.

Today’s post will cover Meta tags.  There has been much discrepancy as to the importance of using Meta tags.  The reason this is my number two thing to do when starting a web site or blog is because Meta tags are one of those things that are a lot easier to do when creating something from scratch.  They don’t hurt right? They do help and help in a monetizing way.  I have implemented them on a site or two.  I did so only when creating a new site or blog.  

There are so many other things you can do to better optimize your site that take a lot less time.  Things such as including title and heading tags and great content can be a better use of time if you already have a site created.  Having to go through an already existing site to include these tags would be tedious.  If you have an existing blog, I wouldn’t go through the trouble of inserting these tags, focus on the headings. 

A major reason I like to use these tags is because they tend to have an impact on my adsense and the ads that are being shown.  Anytime I can focus those ads translates to more adsense revenues.  This can be a major factor in turning daily totals from $100 into $300 with adsense.

Meta Description Tag

Meta description tags are not visible for the world to see.  Well, at least they are not supposed to be.  Sometimes web sites leave the tag out of their code.  Why can this be a bad thing? Well, search engines usually display snippets from your site in their listings.

Here are some possible scenarios in which your Meta description tag might be displayed instead:

  1. If you have a Flash or graphics only site, or maybe even if you have the only content on your site being a redirect to another page.
  2. When off-page factors make your site a relevant match for a search but no exact match is found in your site’s text
  3. In less-sophisticated search engines that use the description tag as a workaround for their inability to display snippets

Search engines often display 150 characters or more for the listing description.  That’s kind of a lot of space.  Well, a lot of space relative to the page title that is.  That space is prime real estate to convey your message. So, if good writing comes naturally to you, you have a lot of opportunity to make this tag stand out. But if writing isn’t your strong suit, this tag gives you a little more room to make mistakes. Bring in a proofreader if you need to; this is a bad spot for an embarrassing typo. 

I’ve recently taken a tour around my community on MyBlogLog and there are a good 50% of blogs in my community that have some sort of grammatical errors in key places.  I usually cut and paste my content into a word document to catch any minor grammar errors I might have missed.

Here are some pointers for writing a great Meta description tag:

Keep it simple and informative. Think of the Meta description tag as an “About Us” blurb, not a “Buy Now!” advertisement. Do you have a 30 second elevator speech you have prepared for those key moments when you are next to a high profile executive and you want to network?  Well, this is similar, think of it as your keyword-rich elevator speech.  It’s not worth the upkeep to write this tag to promote special events or deals.

Pair it with the page title. While you can’t be sure exactly when or how people will see your Meta description tag, it’s a sure bet that when it is shown, it will be right under your optimized page title. So, don’t repeat your title text in your description tag.

Include your keywords. While the Meta description tag may not be a huge factor in influencing rank, include your target keywords because they’ll be bolded in the search results. Notice how the bolding catches your eye in these pointers.

Make it Unique. Like your page title, your Meta description tag should be custom-written for each landing page to match its specific content.

Here’s some good news if you’re interested in saving time: The combination of page title and Meta description tag can be used as is, or with a little trimming or spinning, for any directories that you submit your site to later. And, if you’re looking for a keyword-rich tagline to add to the bottom of your page, your Meta description tag can be a great starting point. 

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Yesterday’s How To Find A Profitable Niche got me thinking again about how I can demonstrate to you in a real world example of what will make you money today! I don’t want to give you theory about how to make money from your web site, I want to tell you how it can actually be done right now. So here’s a method I’ve used recently with a lot of success, just not with this particular topic. I am sure this can make money if done right now.

A search on Technorati shows that Paris Hilton is still in the top 10 searches today:

Now that we know people love searching for Paris, lets think of some ways to monetize a niche site based on this. Adsense with some affiliates sprinkled in is an easy way to go.

Find Long-Tail Keywords

It’s time to find some keywords. A great free tool is the Overture Keyword Tool.  When I type in “Paris Hilton”, a ton of results come up (over 1.6 million searches for paris hilton last month alone). We prefer long tail keywords (3+ words), so find the top 5 long tail keywords and write them down. They are: “paris hilton and britney spears”, “paris hilton photo”, “paris hilton video”, etc. (Note: I left out the sexual keywords but you can use those too if you so choose ;) ).  Now create the content for your page and be sure to include the top 5 long tail keywords you found.

Why Should People Go To Your Site?

This is going to be the key to attracting people to your site - you need to give them something for free! Ready?

There are thousands of free programs available for download on the web. is one of my favorites. Type in Paris Hilton and see what comes up:

Tons of stuff comes up - great! Find the most appealing free download product and offer it for free on your web site! This is what will appeal to the thousands of people who are interested in Paris and come to your site.

Lastly, blend and insert your adsense ads very well and this is a money maker. You can take an extra step and sprinkle in ringtone and dating affiliate offers through banners on the site. The research for such a site took me 20 minutes and if I use an existing template I own it would take another 2 hours to create the site. Then 30 minutes to insert and blend the ads. Within 3 hours you can have the site up and running and making money! :)

I have not seen this money making method exposed on other blogs and you’d probably have to buy one of those $197 get rich quick scam ebooks to get an idea like this, so take advantage of it and find a creative way to implement it. I’m not saying you have to do this with the Paris Hilton example I gave (I’d actually prefer you not use Paris because there are better money makers out there), but there are thousands of other ways to take this idea and make money with it. Good luck and if you do use it to make money, come back and let us know how it’s doing :)

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How To Find A Profitable Niche

Profitable and popular niches are easy to find as long as you know where to look. If you want to develop a site that you can enjoy writing for and make good money at the same time, then you should look at the sites mentioned below. I use many of these free resources when doing research. Keep in mind that making money from your web site takes research but these tools help save you a lot of time.

Ebay Pulse

Ebay is the worlds largest marketplace so why wouldn’t you go there to find what people are searching for? Here is a link that you must bookmark:

I checked ebay pulse a couple of months ago and saw a new children’s toy called Webkinz in the top 10 searches. I had no idea what Webkinz were so I did a little more research. I still have no idea why they are so popular right now, but they really are. Some things just catch on and others don’t :) Anyways, I checked ebay pulse again today and Webkinz is the #1 searched for item on all of ebay. This could be a ground floor opportunity for someone to start a kids toy site or a toy review site and feature Webkinz. Find an affiliate to sell Webkinz so you can profit from your writing, and if you SEO your site properly you might even start popping up in search engines over time. You can also go the pay per click route and use adwords to drive traffic.

Google News - Fresh Off The Press

The day a big news story hits, there are hundreds of thousands of Google searches for that story. If your blog is geared toward bringing current events to people, be sure to write about the event right away. You can get a lot of targeted traffic from searchers this way. To get news as soon as it hits - you can sign up for Google Alerts and they’ll email you the top stories as soon as they hit.


Every blogger should be aware of Technorati so I’ll keep it short. On Technorati’s home page (top, left sidebar) you can see the top 10 most popular searches at any given time. Paris Hilton and Myspace always tend to be on this list. Alexa has a similar what’s hot feature.

Top 100s

This is a great area for affiliate sales. Find the most popular or top 100 items in different categories. - Top 100 / most popular current songs. Great for ringtone offers, surveys, online dating.

IMDB - Top 100 movies of all time. Great for movie review sites, Amazon affiliate sales, eBay affiliates, DVD rental sites.

Alexa - Top 100 web sites. 

Amazon - Top selling books.

IGN - Top 100 video games of all time.

With some creativity, you can easily incorporate top 100 lists into your web site or the keywords you target.

Monetizing Popular Items

There is usually only a certain amount of time you have to monetize what is popular today; nothing stays popular forever. The good news is once you build a template for your site (or learn to use wordpress), you can reproduce your prior successes over and over by using the same template. You’ll need a host company that will allow you to host multiple domains on the same host account for one monthly fee. Host Monster is a great option for unlimited domain hosting and a low monthly fee ($5.95/month).

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Benefits or Features

Whether you are selling a service to your readers, selling products or just marketing your blog you have to decide between leading with benefits or features. This is a key distinction that most people do not think about and end up using the wrong choice. Most people display the features of what they are promoting. In most cases, this is not the best way to get sales or grab readers’ attention.

Use Benefits

It is natural for us as humans to care about the immediate benefits we can get from making a purchase or reading someone’s blog. We like catchy headlines or bold words like: “Land a job today” or “Lose 30 lbs in 30 days” These are examples of benefits. Examples of features are: “We list 500 job ads for you to search” or “We provide a diet plan”.

Why Do People Use Features?

When we think about how to market our service, product or web site we think in terms of what value are WE providing to our customer. Naturally, this causes us to write about the features WE are giving YOU. Instead you should grab peoples’ attention by putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and think “Why would they buy my product?” The answer always comes back to - They want to benefit from buying your product or reading your blog. This makes your job simple - show your customers the benefits.

This simple distinction between showing customers benefits over features can be the difference between thousands of dollars in sales and thousands of more readers.

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Millionaire Bloggers Hall of Fame

I got a kick out of two interesting posts that came out last week. The first one was Paula’s list of blogger salaries where she listed me at #14 in the company of John Chow, Darren Rowse and Jeremy Shoemoney which I am flattered about and will hopefully be at their levels soon :)

Following Paula’s article, came Worldwide Success’ Millionaire Bloggers Hall of Fame. This post focuses on some of the top earning blogs and puts a monetary value on them based on the same valuation that the S&P 500 stocks trade at.  Career Ramblings is the 4th highest valued blog at $1.8MM, behind Steve Pavlina, and John Chow. If anyone would like to buy Career Ramblings at a discount of 36% for $1.2MM, contact me. I’ll gladly sell :)

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I have done an experiment this whole week to test the theory that having less adsense ads on your site gets you more money and I have found it to be true. I used to run the adsense maximum of 3 blocks on my main site: (1) leaderboard; (2) 250 x 250 ad block; and (3) 468 x 60 banner ad. If you add all those up, it’s a lot of ads. The theory is that sites bid for their ads to be placed on contextually relevant web sites with the highest bidders getting the best adsense spots (the higher the better). If you only show 4 ads in 1 block, then adsense will place the highest 4 bidding advertisers in those spaces netting you the highest profit. The more ads you show, the more lower-bidding advertisers show up on your page that when those get clicked, your cpc becomes lower than it could be if they weren’t on your page to begin with.

My Test

A few weeks ago, I removed the 468 x 60 banner ads I ran at the bottom of every post. This increased overall cpc by a small margin. My biggest money makers were always the leaderboard and 250 x 250 block so getting rid of the banner was a no brainer. This week I removed the 250 x 250 block, leaving only my leaderboard and boy was I surprised at the results. My cpc nearly doubled and I had a close to record day in earnings. Everyone thinks that the more ads you have the more your site will make but my experiment has proved otherwise.

I am aware that these results may have been caused by the content I posted this week because earnings do increase and decrease based on content, but so far I am satisfied with the income from only having 1 ad block. I will continue to play with the ad placement and style because you can never test too much.

What are some of your experiences with adsense ads? Do you notice increases or decreases based on number of ads and content? Please leave your comments below and let me know :)

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

Exactly 1 week ago I wrote about making $100 per day. Thanks to all your inspirational comments and a small partnership project I am working on with 2 other people whom I will introduce to you soon, yesterday was another big first for me. All my projects combined for over $300.

How Can You Make Over $300?

The simple answer is by diversifying your income streams. As I review yesterday’s stats, I had income from Adsense, Affiliate Sales, ReviewMe and a small PPC site.

In order, here are broad steps to developing web sites/blogs to make you money.

  1. Excellent content. No doubt about it, this is the most important step. Your web site must have unique, quality content that people want to read.
  2. Regular updates. If you update your web site every day, people will continue coming back daily. If you update once per week or less, you are losing valuable readers. People forget about sites if they are not updated daily. Sure there are some sites that can get away with less frequently updated content, but their content must be the most invaluable source of knowledge in your subject matter. If you update daily, you can get away with very good content, but not necessarily the best in the subject.
  3. Marketing. Market your site, network with other bloggers, etc etc. There are so many different ways to market that this subject will need its own detailed post to explain fully.
  4. Perfect 1 method of monetization. Before you can make money with 5+ income streams like the best bloggers do (John Chow, Shoemoney, Steve Pavlina), get good at making money every day in ONE stream of income. Some may view this as putting all your eggs in one basket, but you are only starting with this one basket. If you cannot make money in one method, how are you going to make money with multiple methods?
  5. Expand to multiple monetization methods. After you’re consistently making money with adsense or another method, then start developing and focusing on another method. Introduce the new methods slowly so you don’t get in over your head. Really RESEARCH the method you are using for hours and hours. It is not an over night thing and not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time and knowledge but is more rewarding than most 40 hour per week desk jobs because it becomes your baby. You are solely responsible for developing and growing your projects and income streams, and can measure your success.

I hope this answers some of the email questions I have received about steps on building income streams. Use your prior successful days to build new, more successful days. Your first $25 day will lead to your first $75 day which will lead to your first $500 day. Get creative. I will provide many more posts in the coming weeks with plenty more details. I’d like to take each of the above 5 steps and expand on them in their own posts. Now that you’ve read this, let’s start making money! :) Be sure to share your experiences in the comments section. It helps push everyone to do more and I find your words very encouraging.

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  • If you don’t have hosting for your web site yet, message me for advice. I’ve used 4 different hosts in the last 6 months and have experience in which company might be best for your specific needs.

** Update: An easy way to start making money everyday is PayPerPost which currently has 44 opportunities ranging from $5 - $175 per review. You write the reviews on your blog and as long as you meet the minimum requirements you get paid. You can view the opportunities here.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

I’ve had a number of emails and comments from people asking about starting a web site and a blog.  Questions ranging from “is my domain name too long” to “do you really email each individual commentator when they leave their first comment.”  All of these questions will be answered in an ebook I am creating for people wanting to learn how to blog and earn money.  But before I introduce that ebook, I want to give you a sense of what you should do in the first week of starting a blog.

I will give an overview of week one here and break each day (Monday through Friday) into individual posts throughout this week and maybe next week.  So if you are new to the blogging world, be sure to pay special attention to this series as it will help you have a successful blog or web site.

For the sake of time and since I’ve touched on these topics previously, I will assume you have a domain name and hosting.

Week 1: Basic Site Optimization

In week 2 you’re going to work hard at finding blog owners and convincing them to link to you. But before you call this kind of attention to your blog, you’ll need to spend a full week detailing, polishing, and checking for the proverbial spinach in your site’s teeth.

One of the major goals for this week is to optimize your blog, with the hope of positively influencing how search engines view and rank your web site. You’ll also tackle basic site structure issues making sure that search engine robots have easy access to your landing pages. With these improvements in place, your site will have a basic level of optimization: nothing tricky or fancy, and no time wasted on tiny technicalities, just common-sense, best-practices solutions.

I recommend that you keep track of all your changes in one document as you go.  This document will help you when starting a second or third site.  You see what works and what doesn’t work and you can recreate what you do based on this one document.  Who knows, you may be able to use it as a foundation for an ebook.  

Here are your daily task assignments for the following week:

Monday: Page Titles

Tuesday: Meta Tags

Wednesday: Robot Walk-Through

Thursday: Site Text

Friday: Implementation

This week and next week I will walk you through each day and the specific things you should consider as you begin to optimize your blog and/or web site as you earn money online.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

How To Make $100 Per Day

I have received a lot of emails in the past week from beginning bloggers and web site owners saying that they are having a hard time making any money with Adsense so I’d like to write about how you can all make money, and show that there are more ways to make money than just Adsense.  Since starting my personal blog I have gotten a renewed energy to go all out to see how much money I can make online and I saw that pay off yesterday. With very little effort “yesterday”, here is what one of my sites did:

I am not showing this from an egotistical point of view, but instead to try to help you make money too and to have you learn from my mistakes so you can make even more money. Looking back, these Adsense earnings came with very little work “yesterday”. YESTERDAY is the key word here… because it took a ton of work in the months leading up to yesterday.

What Type Of Work Did I Do?

The work I have been doing includes hours and hours of:

  • Research - This includes reading and researching everything I can get my hands on.
  • Testing - This includes taking hours to test and play with every idea (no matter how stupid sounding) I have.
  • Networking - This includes building a close network of online friends with whom I can share ideas and get and give feedback on projects.
  • Designing - This includes designing web sites.  I am seriously the least web design and tech savvy person you know so creating a site and tweaking it takes me hours on end but I keep at it. If I can’t figure something out after hours of trying, I am very lucky to have friends who are willing to help out. Nate Whitehill is one friend who has offered a lot of excellent advice on site functionality.

Yesterday was not my biggest earning day but I still consider it a break through day because things seemed to click on a couple of my sites and the adsense numbers added up with little work. That stems from all the hours of hard work and late nights in the past 6 months.  Is $100 worth all the hours of work? No! But $116 from adsense, $100 from affiliate sales, $100 from product sales, and $25 from PPC everyday sure are worth it! That’s over $126k per year.

Let’s All Make Money!

I’d love for nothing more than for all my readers to make money and tell me about it. If you have questions, ask me in the comment section. I’ll try to answer all of them and other readers can also offer answers. Starting right now set a goal for how much you’d like to earn per day and go after it. Start with $10 or $20 in a single day. I’d guess that within a week of building up to that day, we can all do it! I’m here to help so if you’re motivated and have a site don’t hesitate to ask.  Also, be sure to sign up for my newsletter on the sidebar for more tips.

** Update: If you like this post, be sure to read about how to turn $100 per day into $300 per day.

If you liked this post, be a nice person and buy Jane a beer.

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