Friday, February 29, 2008

My New Money-Making Projects

I haven't been very active on this blog this week but this doesn't mean I haven't been working hard and coming up with new smart ways to earn money online!

I signed up with Numenmail 4 days ago: this is not really my usual style but yes, I have been taken in by their seemingly very attractive program! Numenmail is one of those Paid to Read Emails websites but this one looks like it really pays well. Payout level is at $8888: yes, I know this is huge but I got a free $800 bonus on sign up and most of their emails pay $80 plus I get on average 20 links to click per day (so far) which pay $5 each. So far I have a balance of $1670 and I am still expecting something to pop out of their site telling me that for some reason they cannot pay me when I get to $8888!

I don't want to turn this blog into one of these sites listing all sorts of Get Paid to websites and full of banners trying to get referrals, with (in my opinion) very little good content. I am not saying these are bad, I just think there are enough already out there and I don't want to join the masses. If you are interested in finding out whether Numenmail is a scam or the real thing, you can follow my progress on Can I Really Make Money Reading Emails?, which I update every day with my new earnings and anything else related to this that I might find of interest. I will also write a post here when I reach payout level (I should be rich by then!), and if (as I suspect) I find out this is a scam, I will make sure to update you on that too!

I also created a new Squidoo lens, How to Increase your Clickbank Commissions, containing affiliate marketing tips so that I can promote my affiliate marketing articles and links and (especially) my Clickbank portal.

Talking about affiliate marketing, I wrote 3 articles about affiliate marketing during the week. I will publish them all on Associated Content and also on my favourite article directories (this is so I can try and get more links to this blog and and promote my Clickbank portal), but not all at the same time. I think I should wait at least for a week between each batch of submission so that I do not get slapped by Google for submitting duplicate content to different websites.

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Thursday, February 28, 2008

Do You Moderate Your Blog's Comments?

As you may have noticed, my blog hasn't been exactly swarmed with readers' comments; I do have the odd visitor, just not a lot of contributions!

All the comments I received over the last 5 months have been from bloggers who had interesting things to say about my posts and I really appreciate these; however, about a week ago while I was playing around with the layout and settings of Smart Ways to Earn Money with Internet Junkie, I decided to start moderating my blog's comments.

Something funny happened then: the day after I had my comments moderated I received my first spammer's comment! I won't do him the honour of mentionning his name or website but I just want to say to him and other people leaving a useless comment with a link to their websites or blogs: "too late, mate!"

I did get another person trying to promote his blog on here today. I published his comment but I added my own reply, which I am quoting here:

Hi, I appreciate receiving comments on my blog but in future I'd rather if you didn't include links to your blog; if my readers want to access your blog through your name, they are free to do so. I am moderating all comments to this blog and will let this one slide but I will reject all future comments that include links to their websites or blogs; this is not personal, I am sure you can understand that I don't want my blog to become a playground for spammers.

It is very easy to moderate comments on your Blogger blog: go to "Settings" and click on the "Comments" tab; scroll down the page and when you see "Enable comment moderation?" check "Yes", enter your email address and all comments left by visitors on your blog will be sent to your email address so you can either publish or reject them.

This should summarize my position on spam comments pretty well. I suppose I shouldn't be complaining about getting more comments, I love comments! I guess that spam comments are just a small price to pay for being rich and famous (getting there slowly)!

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Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Blogger v. Advertiser: I Switched Sides (Just for a While)

I have been on PayperPost and Smorty as a blogger for over a month now, but since my blog's PR dropped from 2 to 0, I haven't been able to take any more opportunities to blog for money (this sounds almost dirty!) since the end of last month.

I am just telling you this as you may be wondering why someone (me) who owns a Blogspot blog and didn't even bother to pay for web hosting and buy a domain name would go and spend all that money on advertising: well I didn't!

Last week, a BlogCatalog user was giving away free $100 coupon codes to advertise with PayPerPost, so I quickly grabbed one and now I am an Advertiser as well as a Blogger with PayPerPost. I guess it was a lucky break which explains the sudden surge in traffic to this blog today, as some bloggers are visiting Smart Ways to Earn Money Online to find out what the hell it is they are supposed to blog about!

Being a registered blogger with PayPerPost, they did not accept my existing email address, user name and password so I had to create a separate account for advertising; I didn't have to get a new email adress, as I already have one on the side, but if I hadn't, all I had to do was create a free yahoo, gmail or hotmail account.

For those of you who own a website or blog and are interested in advertising with PayPerPost or any other Get Paid to Blog website (I don't think there would be much difference in prices), I will let you know what $100 can afford, given my own circumstances:

- this blog only has a PR0 and since a PR0 entitles you to write only a small amount of sponsored reviews, I decided to be generous and did not request the bloggers reviewing me to have a PR either (enough now with politics).

- Since I did not request the reviewing bloggers to have a PR, I decided to make them work for their money, requesting a positive review (why would I ask for a negative review when I can get a positive one for the same price?) with a minimum of 300 words (I could have chosen a minimum of 50, but I think this little blog is worth more!).

- Let's talk about money now: once again, my blog has a (very) low PR and I did not request the bloggers writing about the smart ways to earn money online to have a High PR either so I think the minimum of $5 per review I gave them was fair.

- Prices vary a lot according to the blogs' Page Ranks and Real Ranks (I should talk about the difference between these in another post); I chose to opt for the real rank option and requested a minimum of 1-2; this could afford me 14 reviews at $5 each.

Yes, I know, 14x5=70, but how do you think PayPerPost make their money? Fees! 14 reviews at $5 costed me (and earned PPP) $29.50 in fees, so to round the figure, I got myself a fancy bold title on the opportunities list which set me back another 50cent and emptied my available balance!

I am not in a position to say whether advertising on PayPerPost has done much to increase my blog's traffic, as I assume the traffic surge I had today has been mainly caused by 14 bloggers studying my blog so they could write about it, I think it would be wiser to wait until Internet Junkie has been removed from PayPerPost's opportunities board before I can judge the full benefits; however, I am happy enough with the fact that I have gained 14 more links from other blogs, all including the main keyword I am targeting (What, you didn't notice the change in my blog's name?), all are "do-follow" and coming from blogs related to making money online, so even though these do not have a high PR, this can only benefit me in the long term (who knows, some of these blogs could grow to a PR4 or 5 in the future!).

I think I would have benefited more if I had requested the bloggers reviewing Smart Ways to Earn Money Online with Internet Junkie to have a higher PR or Real Rank, but I don't know enough yet about SEO to determine for sure which is the best: quality or quantity? What I know for sure is that I am grateful to Izea for giving me an opportunity to advertise for free with PayPerPost!

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

I Just Got Myself a Brand New Money-Making Website!

Internet Junkie is all about the smart ways to earn money online, so imagine being able to promote 10000 clickbank products all at the same time, all from a website you can get for free (yes, even the hosting is free!); do you think this is too good to be true?

I must say I had difficulty believing that I could really own a website containing thousands of products allowing me to earn lots of clickbank dollars, but I found it and it really looks the business; everything is there, even the free Internet Marketing Ebooks!

Owning a free website is very well and good, but now that I have this great asset, what do I do with it?

I don't expect to sit here doing nothing and having thousands of dollars mailed to me each month: there are a few steps I can think of now if I want to earn a few dollars a month (I would be happy with just that to start with!), and the first is to edit this blog's layout so that my portal can not be missed by any visitor (I will have to get rid of my own clickbank ads that didn't bring me any sales by the way!), I will have to include my brand new link in some of my forum's signatures and my Facebook profile, write an article or 3 praising the benefits of a free clickbank portal, and of course, create a new Squidoo lens about it too.

I think I have a busy week ahead of me and I really want to make this work so if you don't mind I'll get to work right now!

Oh, and before I forget, If you are interested in getting your own free money-making website, you can sign up for free through my own clickbank portal!

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Get a Free SEO Report and Make Money Promoting It!

How could I say no to a free SEO report, especially when I can earn money promoting it?

This isn't just out-of-date info that is free because it doesn't sell anymore: I found Josh Spaulding's money blog earlier this week when doing a Google search for "Make Money Online", and guess what? His blog is on page 1, and it is full of good, easy to understand advice on SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).

The Easy SEO Report is only 15 pages long but it has all the information you need to increase your blog's or website's traffic without all the fluff, it is free and on top of all this, you can earn 20c on each download made through your affiliate link.

I think this ebook is going to spread very rapidly over the next few weeks, because once you've read it, you will want to promote it too, so let's help Josh annoy the pants of all the Internet "Gurus"!

P.S. In case you're still wondering if you should download the Easy SEO Report, I just want to repeat that IT IS FREE and YOU GET PAID 20c PER REFERAL so what are you waiting for? Download it here:

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Thursday, February 21, 2008

My Power Mall: a New Kind of MLM?

I have recently been introduced to a new online money-making opportunity: attention all people addicted to online shopping, MPM (short for My Power Mall) gives all its members a free online shopping mall!

Although MPM sounds a lot like MLM (Multi-Level Marketing, considered by many including me as a scam), I want to believe in this opportunity because it is almost free. By "almost free" I mean that MPM members don't have to pay anything to join or stay with MPM, but they have to do at least one purchase a month in order to be kept in the system (even a $1 purchase a month sounds good to me, especially when you can buy bath or beauty products, clothes, shoes, groceries...that you would need to buy anyway!).

MPM works like MLM: the larger and deeper your downline is, the more you can earn. MPM gives you rebates on your purchases and you also earn rebates on your downline's purchases so the money you make is actually made up of discounts.

The real catch for me, and also the reason why this system will not work for me, is that I live in ireland and the shops in MPM are all in the U.S. I visited one of MPM's online malls and although I did find items that could be delivered to Ireland, I did not fancy paying $30 in delivery fees for an item that cost me $1!

If you are anywhere outside the U.S., you can buy software, web hosting and I believe also domain names (if you can grab good ones, you could try reselling them at a slighty higher price, try auctionnig them on Ebay...), so you can join MPM if you usually buy that kind of stuff; if you live in the U.S., I think this is a very exciting opportunity and you should give it a try; even if you can't build a downline and want out, it won't cost you antything.

If I lived in the U.S., I would have loaded this post with my own MPM affiliate links because I would have have jumped at this opportunity but since I don't, I am including a link where you can find more information (and an affiliate link, if you'd like to sign-up): My Power Mall Review - Scam or The Real Deal?.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Boosting Traffic: How to Make and Save Money Squidoo Lens

Here is the update on how my Squidoo lens, How to Make and Save Money, is doing: today its lensrank is 2599 (when I first published it about 2 weeks ago, it was something like 183000), it is number 74 for the "SEO and Affiliate Marketing" category, so I am pretty pleased so far, even though I have only had 21 visits.

As you may already know if you are familiar with Squidoo, your lens gets a better chance of ranking high (and making you more money) if you update it often. The ideal updating frequency would be once a day but it is not always very easy to come up with new content every day, especially if you are busy doing other things like blogging.

Unfortunately I have noticed that the mere inclusion of RSS feeds (even if they get updated every day) doesn't count as an update, so I have decided to create a Favourite lens of the day module: every day I will write a short review about a different Squidoo lens (it has to be related to making or saving money).

I am encouraging lensmasters to comment on my guestbook by leaving the url of their Squidoo lens, so I need to spend a bit of time commenting on lenses that I like, this way lensmasters and their visitors will be aware of my traffic boosting opportunity and if they are interested, they will have to visit my lens.

Et voila! Updating and traffic, I have just killed 2 cows (or it birds?) with one stone!

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Monday, February 18, 2008

Who Likes Getting Abused on Facebook?

First of all, you should know that Facebook is far from being my favourite Social Networking website, so if I get banned from Facebook, who cares?

In my attempt to participate a little bit in the "life" of the Facebook Irish Network, which I "belong to" at the moment, I replied to a few discussion topics: one was about chocolate, so I posted a link to my article on chocolate, I also posted one topic about How to Win the Euromillions, nothing sounding too much like advertising, I just thought some people might be interested.

I am not a prude and I have heard some insults before (even though not usually targeted at me) but one user answered my post with such vulgar language (I hope this guy never fathers a child!) I got a bit shocked but I didn't want him to get the last word so I replied (with proper language, without insulting him, he just made it so easy for me to make him feel stupid!). For anyone wanting to learn some bad words that up till now I didn't know were used in Ireland (where else?), here is the discussion in question: Harry is a bad, bad man.

Another Facebook user saw the "discussion" and wrote a post defending him! Apparently that Harry guy, who is an adept user of foul language roams the Facebook Irish network being nasty to other people and gets their respect?!

So I have been called a spammer; I don't mind, I respect the fact that people don't like their discussion boards loaded with ads but I don't understand the fact that being able to simultaneously send 100 people or more an invitation to add a new Facefook application is not considered spam by some Facebook users (one of my friends sends me about 5 a day!) whereas posting a link on a discussion board not targeted at anyone in particular, entitles you to being virtually abused. I just don't get the logic in that!

This morning I saw a post from another user on the same discussion board which was really what Facebook calls a "blatant ad"; there was no answer yet but I wouldn't like to be in that poor girl's shoes when (Dirty) Harry sees that; I hope she can take criticism!

I am going to keep posting (although not links) in Facebook discussion boards and add new friends (although not Harry), not because I like getting abused (I don't), but because I see Facebook as a way to help me making money online, but I guess from now on I will keep all my links in my profile and I will join the Official Facebook Petition: To ban the inviting of friends on Applications.

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Saturday, February 16, 2008

BlogCatalog Can Boost your Blog's Traffic

BlogCatalog is a blog directory I have joined when I started blogging but up until recently I did not know all the benefits I could get from being an active member; if you want to boost your blog's traffic, you should really learn how to use BlogCatalog's features.

This is more than just a blog directory: on top of letting you add friends, join groups and neighborhoods, it allows you to post broadcasts, which if used sensibly, should help you increase your blog's traffic: I haven't used this feature yet as I want to add as many friends as possible before I start sending them broadcasts, but I think it is great being able to send a mass message to all your BlogCatalog friends: the way it works is that when you have an important message to convey or have just written the greatest blog post of all time (yes, I know I am getting carried away!), post a broadcast with the link to the post or whatever it is you want to show all your friends, they get an email that informs them of the broadcast so even if they don't check their BlogCatalog account often, they will still get the message and if the title of the broadcast interests them, they will click the link that will bring them to your post: if it's a good one, you may have gained a few more regular visitors, as they will check the rest of your blog.

Of course, I won't advise you to add all of your blog posts as brodacasts, this would only make you very unpopular (unless all of your blog posts are newsbreaking stories): imagine having 1000 friends and receiving a broadcast every day from each one of them: would you open all of the emails? I would just go and remove them from my friends' list quicker than I can type "STOP!"

With BlogCatalog, you can also post messages on shoutboxes, post a review of a blog, send private messages...I think it is also a great Social Networking site and I will try to make the most out of it in the future.

If you are a blogger and not yet a member of BlogCatalog, I think you are missing out; joining this blog directory makes it very easy also to find excellent blogs: if you have an account at BlogCatalog, add me as a friend and join my neighborhood!

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Type at Home Scams

I just came across Type at Home Scams while I was updating my Squidoo lens. There are very good lenses out there, and this is one of them.

Before you join any of the Type at Home, Data-entry or Paid Surveys online programmes, you should visit this lens: this could save you a lot of time and money. Type at Home Scams lists about 200 websites that will gladly take your money and leave you high and dry. The author of the lens claims he has made money out of 2 Data-entry programmes, which are listed in the lens as well (not as scams). I am not including the links here as I don't want to take away his leads in case he gets paid for referrals, and I don't want to publish referral links other than my own here, but you can easily find them when you visit his Squidoo lens.

I haven't checked any of these websites, as my own take on Data-entry programmes is not to send money to anyone unless you know exactly what you are getting in exchange, but I appreciate the fact that some people go to the trouble of sharing information about known scams in order to help others.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Link Love: Happy Valentine's!

You may find this title a bit pathetic but since I don't have anybody to share little red teddy bears with, and especially because I don't have to spend an hour in the bathroom getting ready for a date (Yippee, the joys of being single!), I have decided to look for love on the Internet (no, not dating sites!).

So, here are some of the blogs I love to read at the moment:

Wayne Liew Dot Com, which I have discovered through StumbleUpon, wrote a post I can relate to: in his Action Plan For A Successful Blogging Style Change, he explains how he went from a simple blog featuring his own daily rants to a Blogging Tips blog: I guess this happens to a lot of us, as we read blogging tips to try and improve our blogs and sometimes what we learn becomes the subject of our own posts, especially when we can improve these tips with our own original ideas.

Yesterday, also published a post about organization, in 50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily. Today, he was writing about information overload and how he is trying to cut down the number of times he checks his emails: hey, Lifehacker, why don't you just try and use your own advice?

And, since I do spend increasing amounts of time on Squidoo, here is how you can learn how to use your tags more effectively: there is also some advice in there you can use for your blogs on Squidoo Tagging Tricks; right after reading this, I updated my own Squidoo lens, How to Make and Save Money, with no less than 34 new tags! I hope it will soon show in the Top 100 of Squidoo lenses; it should also help with my lens' ranking in Google.

Happy reading if you decide to follow some of these links, and also Happy Valentine's Day!

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Trying to Get More Organized

Getting organized and doing all the things you wanted to do in one day can be pretty tough, especially if, like me, you love reading blogs (I didn't call this blog Internet Junkie for nothing!). Working on the Internet makes you vulnerable to many temptations and it is not easy to keep focused on what you have to do.

I am also a single mum, so although I don't have a real job, I must clean, cook, bring the kids to school and pick them up (at different times of day to make matters more complicated), shop, spend some time with my children and sleep.

The fact that I don't have so much time to myself is actually a blessing in disguise: I don't have much time for shopping so I don't window-shop and save a lot of money this way. I also use my own grocery shopping money saving tips, some of which save me time as well as money.

When I come home from bringing the kids to school, I do between half an hour and an hour of cleaning up in the house (I try to have the breakfast dishes done and beds made before we leave the house) and then I switch on my computer. One morning a week, I do my grocery shopping (so no work done that morning).

After picking up my youngest daughter from pre-school (I don't exercise other than walking to and from school, my closest shop, and the playground during holidays and week-ends), it is time for lunch (my other daughter has hers at school), and checking my emails if I have time before we need to do the second school pick-up: if not I do this after my older daughter's homework. After my mid-afternoon coffee and a snack for the children, it is usually around 3.30pm when I can get back and get more work done: I have about 2.5 hours (minus time needed to attend to the kids' needs and separating them from occasional fights!) to do what needs to be done: commenting on blogs, writing articles, social networking and bookmarking, coming up with new ideas for this blog...

I have decided to try the following routine from now on: on Mondays, I will try to write drafts for most of my blog posts for the week: of course I do have to read and fine-tune my posts before publishing them but it won't take me as long as writing and publishing a whole new post every day (for some reason, once I am started on one task, I find it quicker to keep it up).

Each afternoon, I will spend a maximum of an hour updating my Squidoo lens and joining Squidoo groups and commenting on lenses.

I also need to spend another 30 minutes on Yahoo Groups: copying and pasting the same message on different groups should save me a lot of time.

I need to put another day aside for writing and publishing articles (I have been very slow in that department), which leaves me 3 days less the above 2 hours a day spent on emails, Squidoo and Yahoo Groups, for Social networking, surfing the net to comment on blogs and finding new ideas for my posts and articles. If I can spare an hour between cleaning up after dinner and putting the kids to bed, I will try to earn a few cents on Morachat. I need the rest of the evenings to relax.

Looking at it this way, getting organized doesn't seem too difficult but I will need to be very disciplined once the children are on holidays. I haven't included the week-ends in my timetable but I do spend time online during the week-ends too, so I guess that anything I didn't have time to do during the week will be done on Saturdays and Sundays. Now all I need to keep up with my routine is another rotten summer!

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

My Alphabet Blog Flop: I Am Still Looking for Internet Gold

Looking for ways to make money on the Internet is like the Gold Rush: innovators will make the most money, while the followers must struggle to find the right advice and earn the odd cent. At the moment I am afraid I am one of the followers but I have learned a lot and I am trying to find new strategies to make money online.

Last month I shared with you my Magic Formula to Make Money Online From Blogs. Following this, I created 2 new blogs and decided to update my first blog (a blog I had created to try and increase traffic to my website).

I had to delete my Alphabet blog, as I found it the most difficult to update it regularly: I had decided to find a new word, not very common, every day and try to link to an article using the word but it just took too long to search for an intelligent word, and then finding an article that I liked, using this word. On top of this, Adsense decided to display public service ads on the blog, which didn't bring me any income; my Alphabet blog being in no way related to making money online (or saving money), I decided to drop it. There is no point in keeping something that drags you down (funny, this is also exactly what I did with my ex!).

Internet Junkie is now the centre of my attention, and I update my 2 other blogs about once a week. I am not going to push them very much here, at least not until they have a bit more content. I also plan to create more, that is if I find the time; I do have a few more money-making projects, but I don't want to reveal anything until I know for sure that they work, so if you want to learn from me, I would advise you to follow up on my search for making money online, maybe even subscribe to Internet Junkie!

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Blogging Heaven: Make Money Blogging About Blogs

Another blogging strategy that came to my attention recently is the reviewing strategy. I am not talking about sponsored posts here, I am talking about bloggers who choose to review a different blog in each of their posts.

The advantages of this blogging strategy are obvious: there are thousands (millions?) of blogs out there, so you will never get stuck for lack of inspiration. If you want to start a blog but don't know what to blog about, just blog about blogs! Leave a comment linking to your post (if possible) on each blog you review, monetize with Adsense (just an example) and why not, if your blog gets a big readership, take a big leap and start asking for a fee per review?

It can be difficult to keep the attention of your readers when you just write blog reviews: you are not teaching people anything new (except the opportunity to discover new blogs), so how exactly are you going to going to get people to subscribe to your blog?

Bloggin-Ads is a review blog, and while what I have described above may seem very easy, Mike and Michelle look like they are working very hard on this blog. The reviews featured are very detailed, which prove that they do spend some time reading and analysing the blogs they are reviewing.

Another thing I have noticed about Mike and Michelle is that they are not shy and really push readers to subscribe to the blog's feed; I left a few comments on some of the posts yesterday (when I find a new blog I like, I usually read more than one post and if I feel like commenting, I just do it) and today I received an email thanking me for my support and asking me to subscribe to Blogging-Ads.

There is also a page on the blog where you can submit a review of a blog (no necessarily your own) or just request a review of your own blog; of course you have to subscribe to the feed before being accepted; with currently 765 feed readers, I guess what they are doing must be working!

Getting reviewed on Bloggin-ads is free, and I think this is another blog that is going to make money (if it is not already: 765 subscribers in 4 months is not bad!), and I think I will ask for a review of Internet Junkie on this blog before the competition makes it too difficult!

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Saturday, February 9, 2008

Nigerian 419 Scam: Impersonating Kofi Annan

I can't believe I just got this email! I have already received an email from the perpetrators of the Nigerian Scam pretending to be the FBI, which made me laugh more than anything else, but this is really over the top!

The subject line of the last email I got is : "(UNITED NATIONS)" and they have even included a photograph of Kofi Annan in their message! I am completely speechless so I will just quote what they wrote:


How are you today? Hope all is well with you and family?,You may not understand why this mail came to you.

We have been having a meeting for the passed 7 months which ended 2 days ago with the former secretary to the UNITED NATIONS.

This email is to all the people that have been scammed in any part of the world, the UNITED NATIONS have agreed to compensate them with the sum of US$ 500,000,00 This includes every foriegn contractors that may have not received their contract sum, and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc.

We found your name in our list and that is why we are contacting you, this have been agreed upon and have been signed.

Therefore, we are happy to inform you that an arrangement has perfectly been concluded to effect your payment as soon as possible in our bid to be transparent.

However, it is our pleasure to inform you that your ATM Card Number; 5490 9957 6302 4525 has been approved and upgraded in your favor.

Meanwhile, your Secret Pin Number will be available as soon as you confirm to us the receipt of your ATM CARD.

The ATM Card Value is $500,000 USD Only. You are advised that a maximum withdrawal value of US$10,000.00 is permitted daily.

And we are duly inter-switched and you can make withdrawal in any location of the ATM Center of your choice/nearest to you any where in the world.
We have also concluded delivery arrangement with our accredited courier service Company to oversee the delivery of the ATM Card to you without any further delay.

So you are hereby advice to forward to this office Director ATM SWIFT CARD Department Therefore, you should send him your full Name and telephone number/your correct mailing address where you want him to send the ATM to you.

Conatct Mr. Jim Ovia immediately for your ATM SWIFT CARD:

Person to Contact Mr. Jim Ovia

Thanks and God bless you and your family. Hoping to hear from you as soon as you receive your ATM.

Making the world a better place

Mr. Kofi Anan
Former Secretary (UNITED NATIONS).

Spotting the clues that confirm that this is indeed a scam has become a game by now: have you spotted the spelling mistakes? I found 4, including "Annan" spelled with only one "n" in the signature! Can you find more?

What about the contact email address ending with gmail? Don't you think the United Nations would use a more professional one (perhaps something ending with @unitednations, @unations, @un...) instead of a cheap looking one like this?

Impersonating respected authorities (or any one else for that matter) in the attempt of defrauding people is a crime punished by law and I believe that just sending those emails will get the scammers behind bar, if they ever get caught. In order to help the authorities fight against crimes like these, when you get an email that you know is a scam, forward it to (for more information, look up the APWG website, don't just take my word for it). If you have been the victim of a scam, go to IC3 and follow their instructions for filing a complaint.

If you are still not convinced that you are the target of scammers when you get an email like this and are tempted to follow the given instructions, be aware that this can be very dangerous. If you don't believe me, here is a link to a forum entirely dedicated to the Nigerian 419 scam, where you can find examples of what happened to some of the victims: The Dangers of Nigerian 419 Fraud. Pretty scary, don't you think?

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Friday, February 8, 2008

How to Develop Money-Making Niche Sites with Wordpress: E-book Review

As you may already know if you are familiar with Caroline Middlebrook's blog, she has just released her first e-book: How to Develop Money-Making Niche Sites with Wordpress. This is a free e-book, so even though it is about Wordpress and not Blogger, I downloaded it and here is what I think about it:

This is a tutorial that takes you through all the steps from getting and installing Wordpress to turning your Wordpress blog into a website using static pages, getting the right content for your pages and monetizing it using Adsense and anything else you see fit.

The bulk of this ebook concentrates on the technicalities of setting up Wordpress and getting your site live; simple and detailed explanations make it easy to understand, so even if you don't know the first thing about web hosting, scripts or tranferring files (I don't!), you should have no problems setting up your niche sites if you follow the instructions carefully.

All the links that are needed in order to succeed in the implementation of How to Develop Money-Making Niche Sites with Wordpress are included; the only thing I thought was missing was a list of links to free private label rights articles, as this is what Caroline suggests you can use for the content of your site (of course, if you decide to use these, you must edit them or better still, write your own articles from scratch to avoid duplicate content), but even without this (anyone with half a brain can look up "free private label rights articles" on the Internet), it is a great read and if I had more time, I would probably give this a go.

Even though this is about Wordpress and Caroline stresses the fact that this is not an e-book about making money, the information it contains should enable anybody to make money, not necessarily using Wordpress or Adsense.

How to Develop Money-Making Niche Sites with Wordpress is free, get it here!

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Simple Way to Make Money with a Squidoo Lens

When I first started to use the Internet to make money, I suffered from Information Overload: so many money-making ideas being thrown at me but no real plan on how use most of these in my advantage. I started too many projects without really knowing where I was going; I read a lot of articles saying that Squidoo was a good way to make money online so I created a Squidoo lens.

This was about 3 months ago; my Squidoo lens has a link to this blog, probably another one to my website and I really can't remember what else: I actually can't even remember its url address!

A few weeks ago, another Associated Content producer sent me a message asking me if she could use the RSS of my articles to put on her Squidoo lens. Naturally I was very curious so I went and took a good look at it: it is called Know It All Moms and contains a lot of advice on children, parenting, homeschooling, women's health and money (that's where I come in).

The interesting thing about this Squidoo lens is that it doesn't require much maintenance; there is an introduction followed by the RSS of Lisa Carey's own Associated Content articles, plus a few other RSSs, so the updating of her lens is being done automatically.

Since most Associated Content producers write on a lot of different topics, I wouldn't really recommend using RSSs, as this means you could get an article on the American election thrown in the middle of parenting articles, so selecting individual articles would be a safer bet. Another option would be to add the RSSs of different blogs, always with prior owner's consent of course. Using RSSs is different from copying whole articles, so there is no risk of being penalised by Google for using duplicate content.

One very positive thing about Lisa's lens is that it helps not only her own articles, but also other people's articles to get more page views, which means more money. She also uses Adsense and Amazon in order to earn money from her Squidoo lens.

This gave me a totally new outlook on Squidoo and how to make money from it and I think I might try another shot at it.

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Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Participate and Host Blog Carnivals to Increase your Blog's Exposure

I have heard a lot about Blog Carnivals but until recently I didn't really know what they were and how eactly they could increase a blog's exposure, so I visited Blog Carnival, a website were you can find all kinds of Blog Carnivals on any topic.

Participating in a Blog Carnival is much easier than I thought: all I had to do after accessing the website, was find a carnival with a topic related to my blog, submit one of my blog posts accompanied from a short description and I was finished!

Being a Blog Carnival host requires a bit more work, as the host must input all the information submitted to the carnival in one blog post at a specified date, but a carnival host benefits from more traffic as well, as the carnival participants will want to check that their posts are featured, and if advertised well enough, the carnival should attract new visitors that are eager to discover new blogs.

When participating in a blog carnival, bloggers should make sure that they submit one of their best blog posts; the post must have a title that makes people want to read. A blog carnival can feature a lot of articles written by different bloggers and not many will go trough the process of reading them all so your titlemust really make you stand out from the crowd if you want to get the exposure, and not just benefit from one more link in a blog.

My first blog carnival submission is The Magic Formula to Make Money Online from Blogs and it features today on Web Dosh. I have submitted the same blog post to another carnival that will be published on March 1st, 2008 on Lead Inspectors.

Check out the new widget on the sidebar for the next Blog Carnivals, or if you would like more information on Blog Carnivals, visit Blog Carnival.

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Monday, February 4, 2008

The Importance of Writing a Good Blog Post Title

There are huge mistakes a blogger can make and I have just made one of them! Any guesses yet? Well, last Saturday I wrote a post and as I could not think of a catchy title to put on it at first so I just went and wrote the post, hit the preview button to check how it looked, and since it looked fine to me, I just went and published it but I forgot to put a title on it!

While this is not a tragedy in itself, not putting a title on a blog's post means that:
1- It looks like you are forcing your visitors to read your entire post before they know what you are talking about and unless they are regular visitors of your blog, most will not bother (expecially if the post is very long);
2- This unnamed blog post will be harder to find by search engines, which means that surfers looking for a particular topic might key in a word or set of words in their toolbar, and if these are words that should have been in your title, chances are these surfers will not reach your post;
3- If you are familiar with the CommentLuv plugin, you will know that when you comment on a blog using this, your last blog post will not appear (as I have recently discovered);

This brings me to the importance of choosing the right titles for your blog posts or articles; in my view, the main idea is that you should write catchy titles (but not too cheesy: I could never really trust a Make $1000 a Day title), specific enough to come out high enough in an Internet search, but not too specific: just enough to attract a broad enough audience that will not hit the back button as soon as they realise that they have no interest in your topic. If you would like to learn more about writing good titles for your blog posts or articles, you should read 8 Ways of Creating Compelling Blog Post Titles. This article was written a little while ago, but it does what it says on the tin, and that is the point of a good blog post title

I know I could have edited my post and added a title but when I realised my omission, my post had been live for at least 24 hours so I didn't bother; if I did, I would probably have called it something like: Increase Your Chances of Visitors Clicking Your Affiliate Links (which is a bit too long anyway;-).

Well, at least, my mistake gave me an idea for a brand new post so I can't complain about this!

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Saturday, February 2, 2008

I read a very inspiring post yesterday called Persuasion Tactics: Two Ways to Improve Conversions for Your Website. In this post, Dosh Dosh wrote about some techniques that can be used to make your visitors click on links.

I am not going to rehash his post, but one idea sprang to my mind as I was reading: supposing you are an affiliate, if you write an article (using the methods highlighted in Persuasion Tactics... or not), talking about two products, praising one and putting the other one down, what do you think will happen?

I may not have studied marketing extensively, but my gut feeling says that the readers may feel that the first product could be a good buy and click on that link, as the fact that you are not pushing people to buy the second product tells them that you are an honest person and this may entrust them that little bit more to your opinions.

Of course, some may click on the other link (Little Miss Contrary rings a bell here), maybe by curiosity and decide to buy that second product instead, which doesn't matter since you are also an affiliate of this one. Of course, whether they will buy or not is the readers' own decisions but prompting them to click is part of the battle!

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Friday, February 1, 2008

Don't Be Fooled by Promises of Love, Money and Happiness

A few weeks ago, I shared on this blog an email I had received from a clairvoyant, which predicted me a positive change of luck at 8.00 PM on January 29th of 2008.

I suppose she meant to say that if I sent her a payment, she would make sure that my life would be filled with more Love, Money and Happiness; of course I did not send any payment, as I don't believe in such so-called "predictions".

What happened in my life on 29th January 2008, is that I had to rush my youngest daughter to the hospital as she developped a rash that turned out to be benign but was really worrying at the time, since it looked similar to a meningitis symptom. Needless to say I didn't have anytime for thoughts of Money or finding Love.

Both my children are now perfectly healthy, which they were already before the "prediction" and my situation is exactly the same as it was immediately before January 29th.

Would anything have been different if I had paid the requested amount of money? I think I can safely answer no. I have my children, a roof over our heads and enough money to get by without having to struggle too much. I am not a millionaire, but I would rather be "poor" with my healthy children than a millionaire alone.

Don't be fooled by promises of Love, Money and Happiness: some clairvoyants may be genuinely gifted but I don't believe you will find any of these sending weekly or monthly email newsletters to thousands of people they have never even met.

However desperate you are, don't ever pay someone to make your dreams come true. Everyone has the power to make things happen and it would be very foolish to rely on strangers and expect them to better your life. These are just shameless individuals trying to make money from people's unhappiness and whenever I come accross them, I can visualise a word in my mind: that word is "SCAM". (Hey, maybe I have a claivoyance gift too!).

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