Thursday, January 31, 2008

Affiliate Links: to Disclose or Not to Disclose?

There is a lot of debate as whether or not to disclose your affiliate links when you are writing reviews about a product you would like to earn commission from.

Some may argue that it is unethical not to disclose the fact that you will get a commission if someone buys a product you are reviewing, as a product review written by an affiliate has a higher chance of being biased.

On the other hand, affiliate links don't look very appealing to prospective buyers and only very inexperienced online buyers wouldn't know the difference between an original website link and an affiliate link. Some people, when interested in buying a product you are promoting, will click on a link and when they notice your affiliate link, will delete it from their browser and buy directly from the website; there is nothing to gain from this, as the product's price is the same, whether accessed directly or from an affiliate. This is called bypassing. Some, who are affiliates of the same product, will even replace your affiliate ID with their own in order to get the commission for themselves; this is called hijacking; I think it is very dishonest but unfortunately very common among clickbank affiliates, as you can spot a clickbank hoplink a mile away.

There are ways you can try and hide your affiliate links. I have not tried any so I cannot vouch for their efficiency. There is a lot of information on the Internet on how to do this but it is often a little too complicated for me; however, I just came accross Mouseover Link Hider/Status Bar Message Generator, which is very easy to use, doesn't require any sign up and best of all, it is free! Be aware, if you decide to use some of the hiding or cloaking methods, that search engines might react differently to these and also make sure that your affiliate program allows you to do this; I don't think I can ever say this enough: READ ALL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS!

As I outlined in Write Clickbank Product Reviews that Will Sell, I think that once you do the hard work promoting a product, it is fair to expect some kind of commission if your review prompts people to go and buy it. When you visit a car dealer and the salesman convinces you that a certain model is the right one for you, do you say (supposing the price stays exactly the same): "Thank you very much, now I will go to the manufacturer and buy this car from him because I don't want you to earn commission on this sale"?

I haven't been hiding my affiliate links simply because I didn't have the technical knowledge so far and it seems like too much of a hassle (you can call me lazy if you like) so I am not sure whether I will or not.

I would just like to end this post saying that just because you can't see an affiliate link doesn't mean it's not there. The information found on the Internet is not 100% reliable so before buying anything, trust your own judgement.


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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Do You Think Clickbank Is a Scam?

After visiting a few online discussion forums, I came across a few posts claiming that Clickbank may be a scam. It is true that it can be a bit tricky to get your first cheque from them, but if you go through Clickbank's accounting policy, you should know what to expect from this affiliate programme.

If you are a new affiliate, when you reach your payment threshold, which can be set anywhere between $10 and $10000, you will not automatically receive a cheque, as there are conditions that must be fulfilled first.

You must have payments coming from at least 5 different credit cards in order to be paid by Clickbank, with at least one being a Visa and one a Mastercard, and this minimum excludes payments made with Paypal balances and eChecks.

If your Clickbank account is in credit but you are not eligible yet to receive your first cheque, after 90 days of inactivity, Clickbank will deduct $1 per pay period (2 weeks) from your balance. After 180 days, this goes up to $5 per pay period and $15 after one year of inactivity.

Unfortunately, even though Clickbank usually accepts payments made via Paypal, they do not use this facility to pay their affiliates or publishers; you will have to wait for a cheque to be mailed to you and for every cheque that is made out to you, $2.50 will be deducted from your account.

Being a Clickbank affiliate means that you will get typically between 50% and 75% of a product's net sale amount (calculated as follows: retail price - (7.5% of retail price + $1)). This is one of the biggest commission rates that can be found online so if you expect to earn almost 75% of each product you promote without any drawbacks, you are out of luck!

Even though it can be a bit of a hassle getting your first check from Clickbank, I don't think it is a scam; if it was, not only the accounting policy would not be so easy to access, but you would probably also be asked to pay a subscription fee before being able to promote their marketplace's products.

As with every other money-making opportunity you wish to participate in, you must read the information that is available on Clickbank's website if you want to make the most of your experience with them. Clickbank's accounting policy may not please everyone so if you don't like it, you don't have to join them!


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Monday, January 28, 2008

My Evil Money-Making Plan: the Outcome

Last December, I wrote This Is How I Will Make Money In 2008, mentioning that I was going to write some clickbank product reviews containing my affiliate link on Associated Content.

For those of you not too familiar with Clickbank, or if you are just curious to read it, you can read Write Clickbank Product Reviews that Will Sell, my latest Associated Content article.

As I already mentioned, the inclusion of affiliate links in articles is against Associated Content's rules, and, as expected, they caught up with me: last Saturday, one of the administrators sent me an email to inform me that they had removed the articles containing my clickbank hoplinks from their website.

I did not write this post to whine about Associated Content, as I admit I knowingly wrote the articles in question. I should count myself lucky that I have not been banned from submitting articles on their website and I will write articles that comply to their rules from now on.

I just thought I would mention that for the time my first article was on the Associated Content website (about 4 weeks), it received 248 page views and 4 of these converted into sales, allowing me to earn $58.48 in commission from Clickbank.

There are some article submission websites that allow affiliate links in the body of your articles, but submitting those will reduce the chances of having your articles downloaded by webmasters and republished on someone else's blog or website. Nobody wants an article that contains someone else's affiliate links on their website!

I think that the best option is to write your review of a clickbank product containing your affiliate link in your own website or blog, and then submit an article about the same product without the affiliate links. If you include your blog or website's address in your author box, your article will get more chances of being chosen by webmasters and viewed by their readers as well as by those who happen to read it on the article directory's website. As publishers are obliged to include your author box when uploading an article, the original review containing the affiliate links that you wrote on your own website will get exposed to more people, and as you already know, the more people that will read your review, the more chances you will have to earn some clickbank commission!


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Saturday, January 26, 2008

Get Paid to Blog with Smorty

After reading a lot of good reviews on Smorty, I decided to join them. I did not want to write this post until I knew a little bit more about this other get paid to blog website, so now that my lovely little blog has been accepted, here we go!

There are people out there that want to advertise on blogs and people wanting to get paid for blogging: Smorty is one of the websites that allow these people to do business together.

Getting paid to blog is so far the most lucrative opportunity I have experienced so far on the Internet. Sure, you won't earn enough with one blog to give up the day job (if you have one), but Smorty will pay your sponsored post a minimum of $6; the higher your blog's page rank, the higher paying posts you will be able to write and Smorty's website claims that a sponsored post can be paid up to $100, so if you are willing to advertise on your blog while staying in control of the ads' content, then you can blog for money.

What I love the most about Smorty is that it is a very easy website to use and they pay on a weekly basis, so as long as you have some approved posts every week, you will be able to fatten up your Paypal account each Friday, just on time for the week-end!

I think that blog advertising is a great way for advertisers to get more exposure on the Internet, as well as for bloggers to earn a little money. It seems that this new type of advertising is getting more and more popular, so if you have a blog that meets the minimum criteria, and you are looking for a way to monetize it, I recommend joining Smorty.


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Friday, January 25, 2008

Got a Digital Camera? Make Money Online

The Internet is so great; everything seems to be an opportunity to make money.

Digital photography is another money-maker. Anyone who owns a digital camera can make money by submitting photographs to some websites. I did a quick search on the Internet and found Shuttershock, which pays $0.25 anytime one of your submitted photos is downloaded.

There are a few other websites that will allow you to sell your photos online, you can easily find them by doing a little Google search so I am not going to list them all.

I am going to pass up on this one since all the pictures I take are from my children and I don't want to have them plastered all over the Internet; I am waiting for someone to create a "get paid to eat chocolate" website (keep dreaming, girl!).


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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Conscience Money

You may think I am completely off-topic but this relates to money and I thought it was an interesting subject, so here it comes:

On December 24, 2007, some crazy anonymous person (only in Ireland!) left a parcel in the Galway Tax Office, containing €25000 in cash. There was a note asking the said office to have an ad published in the newspapers to confirm that the money had been received.

Speculations are now open in our city: who and why? The tax office, having no way of knowing who paid this amount, could actually find this person liable for tax in the future; if put in this situation, it would be very difficult for the person in question to prove that he or she is the anonymous donor.

When I pay my taxes, I always make sure I keep my receipts, and I would go to great lengths to make sure I don't overpay them! If I had extra money to give away, I would certainly not give it to the Irish Revenue; I would rather give it to a deserving charity.

I wish I had known this person and persuaded him or her to give the money to me instead!


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My Advice on Payday Loans

Don’t you find it difficult sometimes to pay all your bills on time? January is one of the toughest times for consumers: after most of your money has been spent over Christmas, it is now time to face the music.

If you are lucky, you may have managed to pay your credit card balance in full each month; if not, maybe you have thought about getting a bank loan with fixed interest rate so you don’t have to worry about high interest charges on your credit card.

If your financial situation is so that you are not eligible for a classic bank loan, there are such things as payday loans you can avail of, in order to tie you over until your next pay day.

Before applying for a payday loan or any other type of unsecured loan, you must do your homework: make sure you read all the terms and conditions before agreeing to any contract; if you cannot repay your loan by the agreed date, your interest can double and you may end up even more deeply in debt that when you started out. Work out a budget in advance, to make sure that you can afford the repayments on time. If necessary, visit your own financial institution (even if they have just refused you a loan) and ask for advice.


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Maximize Your Earnings Potential

It is all very well to join lots of online money-making programmes, but remember that just joining them will not make you rich!

Most programmes require you to work hard and can be very time-consuming for the opportunity-seeker who is serious about making money online; joining every money-making opportunity that comes your way is a bad idea as reaching pay-out point will take you longer and you will lose your motivation to make money.

Everybody is different and for each type of person, a different kind of money-making scheme can work differently. Whether you are a Facebook freak or an introvert writer, you can find the right opportunity for you.

Having a blog can be rewarding in the long term but only if you are prepared to write regularly and put yourself out in order to promote it. It takes commitment to keep a blog running.

Writing articles is great for someone who can write well structured and long enough pieces. The artistically gifted can even write short stories or poetry.

If you enjoy photography, submit your photos to a website that will pay for them.

If you don't want to tie yourself to a blog or write long articles, but love trying out new products or just check out new websites and share your opinions with others, choose the get paid to write reviews website that works best for you.

If you are the chatty type but not the committing type, join a forum.

If you are a player, gamble (as long as you can do it responsibly), or join a few get paid to play programmes.

Of course you can combine several methods, depending on the amount of free time you have. Choosing the money-making opportunities that best suit your own personality will allow you to maximize your earnings potential.


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Thumbs up for Clickbank

Last night I checked my Clickbank account and my eyes almost popped out of my face when I saw that my earnings for the first two weeks of January amount to $58.48! I was very excited as this is the biggest amount ever earned by yours truly since starting this blog.

It looks like my evil money-making scheme is working after all. My pay-out level is set at $100 so I have a bit of work to do until I get a real cheque in my bank account (I am secretly hoping that the value of the dollar will increase again before I cash all my cheques).

So far I wrote 2 articles on Associated Content containing my clickbank hoplink but my earnings are only for one product. For 248 page views, 4 of products were sold; frankly, I don’t think this was my best ever written article but I guess the topic was a popular one since it is one of my most viewed articles.

My second article is not really a review, I am more or less making fun of 2 products so I don’t know it will sell very well but I just could not praise "The Woman Men Adore...and Never Want To Leave" and "How to Become an Alpha Male" and live with myself afterwards! You never know, advertising works in strange ways sometimes. Well, even if it doesn’t sell, I will have had great fun writing it so it was worthwhile doing!

When you start selling products with Clickbank, make sure you keep selling until you reach payout level because I know that an account in credit that stays inactive for 90 days will start incurring fees; some people call that a scam, I call it "read all the terms and conditions".

Updated on 25/01/08
My 2 articles on Associated Content containing Clickbank affiliate links have been removed today, so I advise you against using any affiliate links in your Associated Content articles.


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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Online Casinos Want to Give You Free Money

I know gambling may not be the best way to earn a steady income online, due to its risky nature, but do you know that you can get free money when joining an online casino?

Online casinos use free bonuses in the hope of gaining new customers; some of them don't even require you to make a deposit in order to get a free bonus. These bonuses often look very attractive but before you start playing at an online casino, read all of the casino's terms and conditions: sometimes you must stake up to forty times the amount of your free bonus plus initial deposit in order to be able to withdraw your winnings.

Pro360.com is a website featuring detailed reviews of hundreds of online casinos and games; they even have a page dedicated to sports betting.

Unlike many online casino portals, Pro360.com doesn't just thrust banners at you; this is a very well built website that gives you a lot of useful information, from their beginner's guide to gambling tips, and they also tell you which casinos are available to U.S. players.

Of course my favourite page on the website is the list of casinos with best bonuses, but remember that whether you gamble online or offline, you need a good winning system and discipline, or else you're toast!


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How to Save Money on Your Grocery Shopping

Do you ever wonder why some households with a double income seem to be always out of pocket while some families on welfare are able to save money? While prices are always on the increase, you might find it difficult to save money without affecting your lifestyle. Here are a few tips that should help you reduce the amount of money you spend in your grocery shopping...read the rest.

I know this is a very cheap way to get you to read my article but those tips on how to save money really work; I use them all the time!


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Tuesday, January 22, 2008

My Blog Is Not a Tourism Office

I received a request for a sponsored post from Blogvertise. They were asking me to write a blog entry on tips for flying to Iceland and hotels from Denmark and Iceland. As far as I can remember, I never submitted my blog under the Travel section; since I am based in Ireland, Blogvertise, being a U.S. website, might have confused Ireland with Iceland but I very much doubt that this was the case.

I know I could have tweaked the entry and given tips on shopping around and looking for the cheapest deal online when planning a trip abroad but the entry required me to include an image; I just did not want to spend an hour looking for a free picture of a beautiful Icelandic landscape so I decided to decline the offer.

I know a refusal could affect the number of future offers I get but I’d rather that than hurting my little blog’s rankings and I really think the advertiser would benefit more if the entry was written on a traveling blog.

If you decide to decline an offer for a sponsored post from Blogvertise or any other get paid to blog website, do it quickly and give them a good reason why you are declining the offer, but above all, be civilized and leave on a friendly note. Here is more or less what I wrote:

Reason for declining the offer: blog entry requiring an image; while I would consider future offers requiring pictures, a blog entry about traveling is not very relevant to my blog’s topics, which are mostly about making and saving money, along with some blogging advice.

I don't know very much about marketing (even though I have been reminded of a few basics from my college years lately) but for the sake of the advertisers, I wish that get paid to blog websites would try a little bit harder to direct their offers to suitable bloggers; what could be worse than spending money on advertising campaigns completely off-target?


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I Am Getting Paid To Blog With PayPerPost

Since Internet Junkie was 3 months-old on Sunday, I resubmitted it to PayPerPost and it has been approved! For those of you who are not familiar with this website, PayPerPost is a get paid to blog website. PayPerPost, along with a few other get paid to blog websites, is in fact a virtual meeting point between Advertisers and bloggers.

Being a member of such a website means that, if your have a blog that is 3 months-old or more, you will be given opportunities to write about websites, services or products and you will get paid for it. What you will be doing is actually write a review about a product, service or website. What is great about get paid to blog websites is that you don’t have to lie about a product; you are not writing an advertisement but a review, which means that if you there is something you don’t like about the product you are reviewing, you can mention it. Of course, if you keep writing negative reviews about everything, you will find that less opportunities will be open to you in the future, which is why if you don’t find anything positive to write about a product, it might be best not to take the opportunity and wait for something else to come along. If there is a bad, bad product related to your blog that you really want to write about, you are always free to write about it in a non-sponsored post!

One of the reasons why this website is so popular is that, unlike other get paid to blog websites, where you have to wait for an email informing you that there is an opportunity available to you, PayPerPost has a page you can visit and see the open opportunities open to you, and from what I have seen so far, they have a wide range of products and services to write about: yes, PayPerPost will be one of the websites I visit daily from now on!



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Monday, January 21, 2008

Save Money On Your Electric Bill

My bi-monthly electric bill just came in. I was dreading this one as my January electric bill is usually the highest of the year. As prices are always on the increase, I was expecting a figure well over €200.

I had a pleasant surprise when I opened the enveloppe as this January bill amounts to only €183!

Since last year I made a few minor changes in my home to try and cut on electric costs:

I have one of those TVs that you have to unplug so that they don't stay on stand-by even when switched off; even though our television is usually on all day, I have been unplugging it every night since last spring.

I have been also using my computer pretty much all day long since last autumn; whereas I used to turn it on about twice a week a year ago, just to check emails and do some online banking, but for the last 6 months or so I started to switch off the screen each night as well as turning off the computer.

My mobile phone charger used to be plugged in all the time even though I only charged my phone once or twice a week; I did not realize at the time that this consumed a lot of energy; now I keep it unplugged except when my phone needs recharging.

Lights in the house: I am progressively replacing classic light-bulbs with energy-saving CFL bulbs. Also, even though my 3 year-old recently discovered how to switch on all the lights in the house using her toilet step, I have a very conscientious 5 year-old who turns off the light when she leaves a room (O.K, I do have to remind her sometimes, but give her a break, she's only 5!); my policy at home is that if there are 3 people in, no need to have more than 3 lights on.

There is not much point in joining online money-making programmes that pay you peanuts if you are spending money blindly at the same time. Small changes in your lifestyle (nothing drastic) can save you a bit of money while at the same time help the environment and reduce the risks of fire in your house. All it takes is a little bit of thinking.


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Sunday, January 20, 2008

Google Favours American and Japanese Webmasters...So What?

Everybody's talking about it: Google is closing its Adsense referal programme to everyone except those residing in North America, Latin America and Japan.

All the "Great" American bloggers, including Shoemoney, are or have been talking about this. So what, we are well used to the fact that most money-making programmes on the Internet favour Americans. Let me just wonder why, all of a sudden, do they all seem to feel so concerned about us; do they really think that we cannot fight our own battles or is this just an opportunity to write a cheap little post?

So thank you for your newly-found sympathy but let me tell you: the fact that Google will not pay us anymore for refering new webmasters to Adsense is far from being a tragedy; the few dollars we would get from it are worth nothing to us nowadays anyway!

We could have a problem, however, if Adsense stopped paying us for displaying ads on our websites and blogs, but we know it won't come to that, because too many American advertisers would lose a lot of money over this!


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Friday, January 18, 2008

Do Not Break Any Copyright Laws

My last post about making money from blogs made out from articles taken from free article directories received a comment saying that this system is against the law. I wanted to respond to this quickly because I don't want anyone to think that I am encouraging people to break any copyright laws.

To illustrate my point of view I would like to quote Article Marketer's publication guidelines:

Xxxx Xxxx offers the following royalty-free article for you to publish online or in print.
Feel free to use this article in your newsletter, website, ezine, blog, or forum.
-----------
PUBLICATION GUIDELINES
- You have permission to publish this article for free providing the "About the Author" box is included in its entirety.
- Do not post/reprint this article in any site or publication that contains hate, violence, porn, warez, or supports illegal activity.
- Do not use this article in violation of the US CAN-SPAM Act. If sent by email, this article must be delivered to opt-in subscribers only.
- If you publish this article in a format that supports linking, please ensure that all URLs and email addresses are active links.
- Please send a copy of the publication, or an email indicating the URL to dfcinvestments1@ yahoo.com
- Article Marketer (www.ArticleMarketer.com) has distributed this article on behalf of the author. Article Marketer does not own this article, please respect the author's copyright and publication guidelines. If you do not agree to these terms, please do not use this article.
-----------

Of course, when you choose an article to republish on another website, you must comply with the article directory's terms and conditions. Not all article directories allow you to do this, but Article Marketer and Ezine Articles are among those that do.

I was pretty flattered that someone found my article good enough to copy it and republish it on his blog; I knew it was a possibility when I submitted my article to Ezine Articles and honestly this was what I was hoping for; as long as the links from my "author box" work and no changes were made to the article, I am getting links to another blog and free publicity, so what is there to complain about?


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Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Magic Formula to Make Money Online from Blogs

Well, I did not create it but I found a blogger using an ingenious system to make money online, having no less than 39 blogs, all linking to one another. If you are interested in making money online, I will reveal to you the magic formula for making money from blogs.

I don't actually know if this is a man or a woman, for all I know it could even be one of these smart baby bloggers (teenagers that seem to have a knack for blogging and earning from it), so to be practical I will assume that Chalacuna is a "he".

How does he find the time to write on 39 blogs all at the same time? He doesn't; he visits websites that let him copy free articles and updates his blogs once in a while with good quality articles that relate to his various niche sites, and then he makes money for displaying ads on all of his blogs.

I came across one of Chalacuna's blogs, Earn Money Blogging, while I was checking on Technorati who was linking to my own blog: I found out that an article written by me and published on Ezine Articles had been copied (with live links from my Author's resource box) and published as a post on Earn Money Blogging.

When I looked at the rest of the blog, I noticed that nearly all of the blog's posts were articles taken from free article websites. I then checked Chalacuna's blogger profile and found the list of his 39 blogs; each of them relates to a particular topic, and most posts on the other blogs are also free articles taken from article submission websites.

Each of these blogs link to all of Chalacuna's other blogs; they also contain the links to the article websites and any links contained in each article's author resource box. I don't know if this blogger does any kind of promotion to get traffic to his blogs: he seems to be a member of 3 or 4 blog directories and I don't see many comments on his blogs but most of them have a Google PageRank of 3, one of them has only 5 posts in total and still manages to get such a PageRank!

Adsense is on every single one of Chalacuna's blogs; I guess this is how he makes money and surprisingly enough, there are a few Amazon ads here and there but other than that, the blogs are almost free of advertising.

I guess this is not for everyone and the quality of the blogs on the Internet would surely deteriorate if everybody did this, but I reckon keeping one original blog and a network of article blogs would not be such a bad idea for someone desperate to make money from Adsense or any other advertising programme.


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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Google Gave my Blog a PR2

I must be doing something right!

I still find it hard to believe but yesterday this blog had no PageRank (not even 0) and today when I logged in I noticed that I had a PageRank of 2!

So what does this mean for me?
Well, to tell the truth I don't know what this means exactly apart from the fact that Internet Junkie should be easier to find by the Search Engines, hopefully more bloggers will want to link to my blog and leave comments, and when I re-submit my URL to PayPerPost and other "Get Paid to Post" websites, it is more likely to get accepted straight away.

What does this mean, in plain English?
In plain English, it means that I am going to make some $$$$$$$s!
(Sorry, I just couldn't help that last one!).


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Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Friendship and Social Bookmarking

The number of articles praising social bookmarking websites and presenting them as good ways of promoting anything online is endless. I am a member of a few of those and I am still trying to work out how to use these social bookmarking websites effectively to promote my blog and my articles.

One aspect of social bookmarking is the actual bookmarking. This is easy enough; you find a great article or blog online or you write something intelligent or funny that you think will interest the public and you bookmark it; you usually also have to write a tiny review, just a few lines to let people what your submissions are about.

You will not get much benefit from social bookmarking websites if you are not an active member; relying on websites like Digg or StumbleUpon solely for bookmarking your articles or blog posts is a huge mistake; not participating otherwise in the websites you are a member of is the same as writing on a blog without promoting it. This is fine if you just write for your own pleasure and you don't really mind having no readers, but it could become a problem if you want to attract a lot of visitors (and make lots of money;-).

There is a reason why virtual contacts you make on social bookmarking websites are called "Friends"; as for friendship, social bookmarking works both ways. The virtual friends you make are actually real people, and whether you like it or not, if you want to be popular on these websites and have a lot of people reading the content you are submitting, you must be friendly and participate;show your opinions, not only about the articles submitted by you but also about articles or posts submitted by others.

In real life, if you are the only one talking and if you never do any listening, your friends will get bored and slowly disappear from your life; you must help your friends whenever you can without expecting anything in exchange.

Being a popular member of a social bookmarking website means that you have to send a few friendly messages sometimes and reply to your own received messages, you mustn't just throw your articles and blog posts at your virtual friends in the hope that they will also bookmark them, thus making them more popular.

If you are not willing to spend some time on those social bookmarking websites, and give as well as receive, just do a TV or Radio ad or invest in an expensive Google Adwords campaign.

I have never been the popular cheerleader type and (hopefully;-) never will be, and I cannot afford expensive advertising so I am afraid I will just have to work a little bit harder on my (virtual) social skills.

If you want to help me be a better friend, here is the list of my profiles on several social bookmarking websites I am a member of; feel free to add me if you like, the only thing I am worried about is how am I ever going to be able to keep track of all my friends and keep writing at the same time?

StumbleUpon
Digg
Facebook
Technorati
Reddit
Propeller
Associated Content


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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Get Paid to Participate in Forums: Digital Point

There are a few forums that pay you for your participation in them; Digital Point is one of them, but it is a different kind of "Get Paid to Post" forum.

This forum uses Adsense to remunerate its participants. This particular revenue sharing system means that you must have an Adsense account in order to get paid to post. I did not find the exact amount you get when starting a thread or replying to a post but here are a few relevant extracts of their FAQs:

If a user has an AdSense account, they have the ability to credit their account with the ads served on threads they start or participate in.

You must have an AdSense account through Google.

You must have at least 50 total posts within the forum to participate (once you reach that level, the ads displayed from that point forward are retroactively applied to all the threads you started or participated in).

For threads you start, your AdSense client ID will be used 50% of the time when the thread is viewed as a thread.

Your AdSense client ID will be used 50% of the time when the thread is viewed by post (and you made the post).


I haven't signed up for three reasons:
1- I am a bit reluctant to give my Adsense client ID to Digital Point;
2- The forum topics seem to concentrate more on Internet businesses than anything else, it feels too much like work;
3- I already find it hard to get time to participate in Morachat, another "Get Paid to Post" forum I only signed up to 2 weeks ago.

There is a lot of useful advice in there for people interested in making money online, so I might just use the Digital Point website to look for information since there is no need to register in order to read the posts.



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Friday, January 11, 2008

Good News So Far This Month

I am having a good start with my money-making blog and articles so far this month. I am far from earning a significant amount of money but I had some good news recently:

Last November I won a €5 prize from Irish Media Survey; I received my €5 BonusBond voucher yesterday in the post and I also won another €5 in the December draw!

Yesterday I received an email from Associated Content: they are sending my earnings from October, November and December 2007 in my PayPal account. $2.21 is not much for 3 months, but I take this as good news because I thought that I had to earn a minimum of $100 before they would even consider paying me.

Ezine articles informed me I had earned the status of Expert Author, which came as a surprise, since I only submitted 2 articles on their website. I am not really clear on what being an Expert Author means or how to earn this status, but I know that my last article was featured for one day (yesterday) on their home page and sent to the EzineArticles RSS Feed, and that can only mean good news, since I had my blog's URL as well as my Associated Content profile page in the author's resource box.

And last but not least, after writing a comment on a high PR rank blog (well I consider a PR4 as high since it is much higher than mine!) that was found useful by the author, this little blog got a link in a post! Thank you Caroline, yesterday I received almost 20 visitors instead of the usual 7 or 8, which I am suspecting come mostly from my sister being bored at work!

Now that my ego is boosted a little bit, I can go on and write more articles. Maybe after all that clairvoyant was right, or maybe it is just down to all my hard work!


As Featured On Ezine Articles


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Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Good Cause

Today, I am not writing about making money. Instead, I am writing this post to invite all of you to a good cause.

This came about while I was on Facebook, looking for some groups to join; I was checking to see if there were any new groups I had something in common with and I found the following Facebook group, called Feed a Child With Just a Click.

The group has a list of links that bring you to a charity website; each website has a specific place (Google ad, banner, and one even has a fun vocabulary test) that needs one click a day from its visitors in order to raise money.

I never knew that Clicks could be used to donate money to charities. I think this is a very good way to give for people who cannot afford to donate money but still want to make a difference. I like this idea so much that I put a banner from The Hunger Site on this blog.

If you also want to make the world a better place, click on the banner every time you visit this blog. If you have a Facebook account, you can add me as a friend and I will invite you to join the group so you can get clicking on all those links!

I could also ask you to visit this blog everyday or even to subscribe and click on my Hunger Site banner once a day, it is a win-win situation, but it feels a bit devious to use charity as an excuse for me to get more visitors (there, I've said it!)


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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Image Change

I am starting to get a bit sick of all the pink on this blog. I realize that it probably does not appeal to many people; it might even make a lot of straight guys exit before the page has even got the chance to load, and I certainly don't want that.

I want this blog to appeal to men and women alike, regardless of their culture and sexual orientation, so I will choose a more neutral template.

I added a few lines of HTML and Javascript to this template, so I hope I won't mess up anything, but it should be fine as long as I save my original template on my computer.

So you can expect a few changes around here in the next few days which should be for the best, well at least I hope you won't feel like throwing up the next time you come and visit!


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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Stalked by a Clairvoyant

Well, not really, but that title got you wondering, didn't it?

A few months ago, while I was surfing the Internet, I saw an advertisement for a free horoscope from Sara Freder; I don't really believe in horoscopes, but I like to read them, especially when they are free! I received my horoscope by email, which was all good, promises of Love, Money and Happiness, until I got to the end, where I was told I had to act fast in order to benefit from all those good prediction, and by "acting fast", the clairvoyant (or more likely the autoresponder) really meant sending a payment.

I now regularly receive more or less the same email every month: here is a sample of what I got today (I just wanted to show you the interesting progression of the email, which is quite long):

It starts this way:

2008 will be for you an exceptional year of luck in everything,
a year of happiness, love and money,
a year where all your most crazy dreams
could now really happen!

I even see for you next month a very important gain of money of several thousand dollars, and I also see coming the happiness that you thought was lost!
She then goes on and on about how so far my life has been devoid of Love, Money and Happiness and without giving much detail, tells me that everything is about to change (sounds familiar?). One interesting thing which makes me feel like going further in the email, is that in this particular email, she gives me an accurate date for my change of luck: I will have to watch this date, it is the 29th of January, 2008, at 8.00 PM. I don't know if she means her time (the website's business address is in France, which explains the numerous spelling mistakes in the horoscope, or maybe it's just one of the drawbacks of using computers to do your own work), or my time, but there is only one hour between France and Ireland anyway.

If you have the time, you can read some of the "information" she gives me; if she has a gift, and I believe she does, it's the gift of saying things without actually saying anything:

THREE POSITIVE AND TOTALLY UNEXPECTED FACTS

Indeed, and as I told you at the beginning of this clairvoyance, 2008 wouldn't have brought you anything special if these three especially positive and unexpected events were not happening in your life disrupting absolutely everything we thought established…

· Your first positive event, is the coming of an exceptional influence of luck which is probably going to allow you nearly to win immediately an important sum of money (I feel seeing the number 6 followed by a few zero !). This sum should be there very soon, even sooner that you could imagine,

· Your second positive event happened, or didn't happen, the day of your birth. Indeed, you probably don't know that but the day of your birth an especially happy event should have happened. This event should have made you a lucky and happy person for the rest of your life. However, and for a reason I still don't know, this crucial event and so important of your life has never happened. Result: luck and money have never really been present in your life!

Read here, it's important

But ! ...and here is the important news, that's this missed event of your childhood should happen again to you at the very beginning of the year 2008!

Yes, this new and totally unexpected fact should considerably increase your luck, already important, which is going to come during the year 2008... so without any doubt in a few weeks...

· Your third positive event, is here again a new and absolutely unexpected element, is the fact that the destiny has joined us, you and me. Yes, I think that the fact that we are actually in contact is not the fruit of chance. I think it's VOLONTARILY that the destiny has made us meet.

Towards the end of the email at last, she starts getting to the point:

And, because I really want your full happiness, I'll reveal you in exclusivity and absolutely for free your personal numbers in gold and of luck! These are your secret numbers, those which are particularly propitious and which may make you win billions at games!

But above all hurry up asking me to see your important clairvoyance of your chances for the year 2008 because don't forget that

IT'S NEXT MONTH THAT YOU SHOULD BEGIN TO BE BORN AGAIN AT THIS HAPPINESS AND AT THIS LIFE THAT SHOULD HAVE EVER BEEN YOURS

You can believe me…

So don't take useless risks and ask to see at once your important clairvoyance of your chances for the year 2008

Do it at once !

All you have to do is to complete as quickly as possible, today if possible, the CONFIDENTIEL FORM FOR A REAL LIFE OF HAPPINESS for 2008

Yes, that's all you have to do, but you really have to do it...

From today you are for me the most important person in the world. So, have confidence in me, you can.

Without any risk…

I'm waiting impatiently for your news and send you all my tenderness.

Your devoted,
Sara Freder

Conclusion:
I think Sara Freder is a successful business woman who makes her living by sending meaningless information for a fee to gullible people. She raises their hopes telling them good things are coming and, making them believe that only she has the key to their happiness, makes her money on the belief that she will deliver the key to their happiness.

P.S. I could unsubscribe from that email list at any time, but I enjoy reading that great things are going to happen to me, even though I know she probably sends the same email to all of her subscribers!


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Sunday, January 6, 2008

Adapt Your Articles to Your Chosen Article Submission Website

Last night, I spent over 2 hours submitting 1 single article to my list of 12 article directories; it seemed to me like a long time, but now that I think of it, it only took on average 10 minutes per directory.

When you submit an article, make sure before you start that you understand and follow the website's submission guidelines; reading them will save you time as you will avoid unnecessary editing; also, some article submission websites might not let you know if your article doesn't fit their criteria: they will simply not publish it and you will miss out on much needed exposure for your article.

Some article directories allow you to have HTML in the body of your articles as well as the author's resource box, such as Article Alley and Go Articles ; all directories allow you to just copy and paste your article from your wordprocessor but for some, your must include the HTML codes for paragraphs and line breaks. Most directories will not allow HTML in the body of your articles but some of these will let you include a few URLs in the body of your article: having the "http://www.yourwebsite.com" does not look as funky as including a HTML code but it will do the trick.

One article directory I will leave out in the future is ArticleWorld: there is no way to preview the articles before submitting them; they allow HTML links in he body of the articles and the author's resource box but you need a degree to find out how to do this; once published, you cannot edit your articles and there is no help section; I emailed the support department with a question but my email came back undelivered. Now I have 2 funny-looking articles on this website (I was not happy with the first and re-submitted it after cracking the HTML code, after copying it from Word, I had one word per line!) that will be forever waiting for approval! Oh, and I noticed my (only) other article that is still in my author section, waiting for approval (I submitted it on October 16, 2007).

In order to save time when submitting an article to an article submission website, it is a good idea to copy your own article in the same wordprocessor document under the different forms you will need, as well as a short description, a list of tags and a few sentences that will fit the author box and the resource box.


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Friday, January 4, 2008

What Do Associated Content and Blogging Have in Common

I think that writing articles on Associated Content has a lot in common with blogging; here are a few similarities between Associated Content and a blog, which I have developped in my last article: Use Blogging Tools to Get Traffic to Your Articles.

The most important thing you need to do, whether you are a blogger or you want to earn some money from your articles, is getting as much traffic as you can, otherwise, it doesn’t matter if you are the best writer in the world (although it can help a little bit), you will not earn any money online.

Social Bookmarking:
You can submit each of your articles to social bookmarking websites such as Digg or StumbleUpon, just as you can submit your blog posts, provided you do not spam those websites.

Forums:
Associated Content has its own forum; bloggers can find different forums all over the internet. Using forums in order to increase traffic is a bit tricky, as most forums’ administrators hate spam and will not allow you to put links in your posts; however, if you participate often in forums and have interesting things to say, other forum members will get to recognize you and may want to contact you: most forums allow you to display your blog’s address or your Associated Content’s member page in your profile, there is usually also a facility that allows members to send each other personal messages without exchanging email addresses, for privacy and security reasons.

Commenting:
Leaving comments on other members of Associated Content’s articles will help you get a few visitors to your own articles, just as commenting on other people's blogs should get some traffic to your blog.

The main similarity between writing articles online and blogging is that you must get traffic if you want to earn money from them. Of course, there are also differences: if you have a passion and can come up with something different to say about it every day, blogging is the way to go but if you’d rather write about a lot of various topics, then writing articles on a website like Associated Content is an excellent way to earn money online.


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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Finding Blogs and Commenting to Increase Your Blog's Traffic

I never really had a method for finding and commenting on other blogs, although I know that commenting on blogs is one of the tools used for increasing traffic to a blog or website.

A few days ago, I wrote a post on Morachat and last night, since I did not have much time to work on my blog, I just typed "Morachat" in my Google toolbar and I found a few blog posts about Morachat; I read 4 of them and left some comments about Morachat. Hopefully, the authors of these blogs will visit my blog and maybe also some of their readers (I am less sure about this last one because the blog posts in question are not necessarily recent ones).

This gave me an idea for a blog commenting strategy: after writing a post, you can do a search on your last post's topic and leave comments on related blogs. This will also allow you to find more blogs you like; you can keep a list of the blogs you found this way so you can visit and comment often on them.

This method will make it easier to select the blogs you really like and link to them, after linking to them don't forget to write a comment on the blog to let the author know you are linking to them and if they like your blog, they might link to you too.

I have also started to apply this method to my articles on Associated Content, since you can leave comments on other writers' articles too. There are a lot of similarities between blogging and writing articles on Associated Content, but that is an idea for another day!


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Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Hitting the Sales While Waiting to Win at Euromillions

Tomorrow is shopping day; yes, I am going head on in the January sales.

I don't know if this only happens in Ireland, but here the sales actually started on December 27th in some shops; I only want to do one shopping trip so tomorrow is the day, when the sales will be on in all the shops. I hope I will still be able to grab some good bargains.

Today, I had a bit of a laugh writing my last article, How to Win at Euromillions; I realised that I will probably make more money writing about it than actually playing it (that is a lie, I actually won €10 last September!) so if I get enough inspiration, I might start a little series about the Euromillions.

Why choose Euromillions over Lotto? I just think there is a little less competition on the "Euromillions" keyword.

If, one day, you notice that this blog has been abandonned, it may be that I moved to the Bahamas with my Euromillions winnings!


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