Sunday, March 30, 2008

High-Yield Investment Programs: Have You Been Ponzied?

Since I have been a member of Numenmail, a Get Paid to Read Emails website which I am still trying to find out whether they are an honest site or a scam, I have come across a few High-Yield Investment Program websites promising huge interest rates for money invested with them.

When I saw a website offering me to invest as little as $1 to earn 100% daily interest (this is just an example, I saw one offering a 5000% daily interest rate for a longer term investment), I was very tempted to invest just $1 and see what happened, but I had a better idea: I did a bit of Google research instead.

These High-Yield Investment Program websites often state that their investments are ideal for people with no experience about stock trading or no investment knowledge: yeah, right, of course they pick on the "newbies" because these are the less likely to have Googled High-Yield Investment Programs (HYIPs) and therefore are much less likely to know that most of these are in fact illegal!

Although not all High-Yield Investment Programs are scams, the ones that promise you a much higher return than average are likely to be Ponzi Schemes, and might even land you in jail if you start promoting them. I guess this is the reason why I haven't seen any using Adwords!

Ponzi schemes rely on their investors to recruit new members (sounds a bit like MLM to me). Instead of using legitimate investment schemes to earn interest for their members as they lead them to believe, the scammers use their latest recruits' investments to add to their funds. When investors ask for payment, they usually get a proposal to invest their money in an even higher-return investment and when too many people ask for their money, the scammers just runaway with the money, never to be heard of again (until the authorities catch up with them).

I can't help myself thinking that if Tony Soprano tried to make money online, he would be very successful running a High-Yield Investment Program website. To end this on a more serious note, the fact that Numenmail allows HYIPs to advertise with them only helps reinforcing my belief that it may be a scam.

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Friday, March 28, 2008

How You Can Use Your Old Posts

I want to give a bit of advice to bloggers who want to use article marketing in order to increase traffic and get backlinks but don't know where to start, or perhaps are just looking for ideas on what to write in the articles they submit to article directories.

There is a very simple answer to this: go back to your older posts and rewrite them! You can submit the same article to several article directories and as long as your articles are not exactly the same as your posts, you won't be penalized for duplicate content.

Blog posts are usually shorter than articles and if you read a post that you wrote a few months ago, you might find new ideas to add; if you wrote several posts on the same topic and you are struggling to write a 500 word article (the average required article word count), why not combine 2 or more of your posts and turn them into 1 article?

I am not a recycling freak, but when I think I can reuse something instead of buying it all new, I don't throw it in the bin! After all, if you wrote your own posts you own your content, so why not reuse it instead of letting it sit there being unuseful?

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

I Have Reached Payout!

A few weeks ago I Joined Numenmail, a Get Paid to Read Emails website that promised me big bucks for very little work (if you call clicking a few links while I read a magazine or check my emails "work").

I have been updating my Squidoo Lens: Can I Really Make Money Reading Emails? regularly with my earnings and after only 30 days, I reached my $8888 payout!

I have requested my money to be paid on my Paypal account, which should take a maximum of 30 days if it turns out that Numenmail is an honest programme after all. I don't want to encourage people to join this website expecting big money, since a company that pays you $80 to stay on a website for 3 minutes sounds very dodgy to me and am I not the only suspicious person, if I believe the comments that have been left on my Squidoo lens so far.

If I do get paid, I will make sure I let everyone know by writing a big happy post here and on my lens (after doing some shopping!); if I don't get my $8888, it won't really matter as I never gave this company a cent, but you can be sure you will hear about it too!

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Monday, March 24, 2008

What Can Squeeze Pages Do For You

Some of you may not even know what a Squeeze page is but I am sure that you are all familiar with single web pages begging you to enter your name and email address so that you can get a free report or free newsletter. After you sign up and get your freebie, you are usually bombarded with (not free) offers by email. Well there you go, you have been acquainted to your first Squeeze page!

Sometimes Internet Marketers use a page from their website as email capture page to build their list, but if you don't have or don't want a website, you can still use one of these squeeze pages to promote an e-book, newsletter, affiliate links, etc. Squeeze pages don't have to be rich in content, as their main objective is not to inform you but to lure you into asking for information so that some clever Internet Marketer can have your details on his list.

Squeeze pages work best with an autoresponder and a good autoresponder service should enable you to copy a form that you can put on your website or squeeze page for people to sign up for whatever is being advertised.

Why a use a squeeze page and not just put a form on a website or blog? Typically a good squeeze page should offer something your visitors can't refuse; you can put your email capture form on your blog but your visitors may be distracted by the other content on the site and even though they may want to sign up, after clicking on a few links they may just forget everything about your great offer; a squeeze page just converts better, as once your visitors are on it, they have a whole page dedicated to your offer and you shouldn't give them any other choice than entering their details on your form. You should have your form on your blog but also put a link to your Squeeze page everywhere else (forums, email signature, traffic exchanges...).

If you are planning to do an email marketing campaign, you can sign up for free squeeze pages and offer your visitors a free e-book or newsletter on the same topic your email campaign is about; build a good relationship with your subscribers offering them something valuable for free first and you will get more conversions for what you are selling.

Enough talking about Squeeze pages, I'd better publish this post now and start designing my first one!

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Saturday, March 22, 2008

Free Mini-Sites Recipe for Adsense Success

I sometimes complain about how information overload can be a staller instead of a helper when you are trying to find new ways to earn money online. Well for once, I must say that my subscriptions paid off!

I already talked about Caroline Middlebrook and her Wordpress e-book on this blog. Although I am not a Wordpress blogger, her idea of creating mini-sites monetized with Adsense using static Wordpress pages seduced me and even though I did not put her e-book to practice (yet), it has been lurking at the back of my mind since I've read it.

Well, it's a good thing that I didn't jump in and started creating a few mini-sites yet, since Josh Spaulding (another blogger I am starting to learn a lot from) has just released a new report, called the $5 a Day Mini-Site Formula, which is free and full of no-nonsense information on how to create a mini-site that brings in at least $5 a day from Adsense in just 7 days.

While Caroline's e-book concentrates more on the Wordpress technicalities of creating a mini-site, Josh's report explains how to find a profitable niche and profitable keywords using free online tools and article marketing.

Combine these 2 e-books, rinse and repeat as many times as you like and you have got an explosive money-making recipe, using Wordpress static pages, PLR articles (tweaked to make sure they include the desired keywords) or your own written articles, free online tools to find profitable niches and keywords, Adsense, plus it can't hurt to throw in a bit of free SEO advice (from Josh the man himself) and a few affiliate links here and there!

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes

Affiliate Marketing Mistakes is an e-book that retails at the moment for $9.97 and even though it didn't make me go "WAOW" the first time I went through it, after the second read, I realized that I could really use some of these tips.

The reason why I chose to talk about this e-book is because of the links it contains: when I downloaded it I received full Giveaway rights to this ebook so if you want to check it out, go ahead and download it here for free.

Why should you download it? For one, it could help you avoid some common mistakes affiliates often make (I am guilty as charged of more than one!), but also for the following reasons:

1- It is free;
2- You can sell it, give it away or just read it;
3- You get 100 free PLR Articles in 4 niche topics with it as a special gift (you can use these to promote your own affiliate links anywhere you like!);
4- With each of these 4 niche topics, you get 2 high quality headers graphics (just what you need to start your own mini-sites to sell affiliate products from);
5- I just love the last bonus included in this e-book: it will take you through a very quick system that you can use to create your own viral e-books at no cost that you can sell or give away (guess how I got this e-book in the first place?);

For those of you who just want to get the free brandable e-books feature (I think there are about 20 e-books to choose from), here is the link to Viral Ebook Explosion: go ahead, treat yourselves to your own free brandable e-books!

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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kamikaze Affiliate Marketing

This is how it is: I am trying to make money on the Internet. In order to earn money online, I created this blog which is about earning money online, blogging, affiliate marketing and anything else I think would be of interest to other people like me trying to earn a bit of money online.

One of the best ways to earn money online is Clickbank, only I am not selling anything with this damn program! Why not? Well, I am just realizing that I am trying to sell stuff from my Clickbank account to people who probably already have a Clickbank account, and if they don't already have one, I am doing everything I can to encourage them to open their own, so if they are going to buy anything from Clickbank, they are going to get it from their own account and pocket the commission themselves!

Last January I wrote 2 articles that had nothing to do with making money online which included my Clickbank hoplink and published them on Associated Content: out of about 200 readers, 4 bought the diet e-book that I was reviewing. Unfortunately, what I did was against Associated Content's policy and my articles were quickly removed from their website.

I kept on blogging about how to make money online without actually making any (if I don't count the $1.50-$1.70 that Associated Content pays me each month for my articles, but I don't call that money, this feels much more like peanuts being thrown to a monkey!). All this time, I was trying to sell stuff to the WRONG people!

I haven't been using this blog much for promoting Clickbank products, in fact if I ignore the ads displayed on the blog, I have only ever tried to sell something once, everything else I promoted was free, and I know trying to sell you something here would be totally useless because if you are like me, you don't want to spend money on money-making software or e-books, you want it all for free and I don't blame you for this!

So even though I will keep promoting freebies whenever I come across good ones, anything else I want to earn money from "Clickbankwise" will have to be done elsewhere (hey, this blog is not the only place I can use to promote stuff) and on a different sort of products; I am actually thinking of digging up that diet article and publishing it on Go Articles, since they allow links in their articles; I don't know how I didn't think of doing this sooner!

I hope this post doesn't sound too much like a boring ramble; what I wanted to say in short is that selling affiliate marketing products to affiliate marketers is just plain suicide. I don't think this works very well and unless you are a publisher with an e-book or software that you have created yourself, if you want to make money with Clickbank, you should stick to selling their e-books to people who don't know that Clickbank even exists.

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Don't Ignore Adsense's New Terms: Update Your Privacy Policy Now

By now you are probably aware of Adsense's new terms and conditions requiring all sites displaying Adsense to include a privacy policy on each of their pages.

Like a lot of other Adsense users I am sure, I must admit that when I logged in to my Adsense account a few weeks ago and was required to accept the new terms it did not really hit me that I actually had to do some changes to my blog. It was only after coming across a few blog posts about this that I went through Adsense's website and blog, desperately looking for an example of a privacy policy I was allowed to copy and republish on this blog.

Unfortunately, I didn't find any help there (I found this slightly unthoughtful of Google Adsense, as many bloggers wouldn't have a notion of what a privacy policy should look like!) so I had to look for help from other sources. I came accross a few bloggers who made their own privacy policies available to republish and I chose JenSense's policy, to which I made a few tiny changes to suit Smart Ways to Earn Money Online with Internet Junkie.

If you haven't written or updated your own privacy policy on your Adsense blogs or websites, I urge you to do so as soon as possible, as your Adsense account could be closed if you don't meet this requirement. I also think it is a good idea for all publishers (not only Adsense displaying blogs) to have such a policy on their blogs and websites so that their visitors are aware of the information that is collected when they visit a site.

If you don't know how to write a privacy policy for your own blog or website, you can copy mine (make the necessary changes needed to suit your own site), which is being displayed at the bottom of this page.

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Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Make Money Online Blogging: Blogger or Wordpress?

I came across a few discussions on the Internet over whether it is best to have a Blogger or a Wordpress blog when blogging about making money online, so I wanted to share my thoughts on this subject.

Some people think that Blogger blogs don't look "the business": they look cheap (maybe because they are!) and you can't take someone teaching you how to make money online seriously when it looks like they don't have any. I don't want to start a war between Wordpress and Blogger users (Wordpress or Blogger, I came across some wonderful blogs, while I also had my fair share of crappy ones on both sides!) but I would like to say that if you want to show people how to make money online, you have to start somewhere and for many, the zero-investment option (like Blogger) is an attractive one!

If you want to blog on a self-hosted Wordpress blog you can get hosting and a domain name for less than $100 a year, which is quite affordable, and while I reckon that Wordpress blogs look more professional, I wonder why spend that money when you could do it for free on a blogger blog? If you are blogging about how to save money, how are you going to explain to your readers that you paid for something that you could have gotten for free?

If you are inexperienced and know nothing or very little about hosting, uploading files and you learned the basics of HTML on the go (like me!), setting up a Wordpress blog can seem a bit daunting: are you here to show off to your readers or inform them? Consider an easy to maintain Blogger blog.

When you are just starting out on the net, you don't really know exactly where you are going; a blogger blog means no investment and if you decide that you have enough of blogging, you can just stop, whithout having to recoup your initial investment.

On the other hand, if you are really determined to keep on and make money from your blog, a Wordpress blog might be a wise option, as even though you investment is minimal, the fact that you have spent money on it might just be what you need to keep you motivated in your money-making experience.

I chose a blogger blog when I started out because it was free and easy: I never studied HTML and the only computer skills I possessed until six months ago were basic Word and Excel. I don't really know what a server is and I found some free html tutorials on the web, but I sometimes cheat (using "view source") to find out how something is done; my blog is mostly about saving money and making money online starting from no investment so I feel perfectly comfortable in my cheap-looking Blogger blog; also, I'm a busy woman and I couldn't be bothered to set up a Wordpress blog!

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Saturday, March 8, 2008

Great Freebies for Grabs at Internet Marketing Giveaways

You may already have heard of Internet Marketing Giveaways; this is a concept I have discovered just earlier in the week. As a freebie hunter, I just had to check this out:

Internet Marketing Giveaways are a great opportunity to receive free Internet Marketing information products. The products given away are not just out-of-date Clickbank e-books that are not selling anymore, but high quality information e-books, reports, article packs with resale rights or even videos.

If you want to download the freebies offered in an Internet Marketing Giveaway, you must provide your email address to the Giveaway host, a small price to pay I think for all the benefits you can get.

I have just entered the JV Monthly Giveaway, and here is what I got (all for free):

- Easy PLR Profits (report on how to start your own PLR Business),
- Video Streaming in a Box (60 Camtasia Video Tutorials, Video Breakthrough 2008 Report, You Tube Video Site Generator, Video Web Wizard and Cam Studio)'
- Info Golmines Revealed (e-book with full PLR),
- Blogging Profits Secrets E-Course,
- Contentizer (Duplicated Content Checker),
- Wanna Earn Some Cash Without Needing to Spend Any? (e-book),
- Get Affiliate Website for $0 (they claim this website is as powerful as many indivudual ones),
- Stealth Marketing Techniques Online Course (guess I'll have to see what "stealth" means),
- 12 Weight Loss PLR Articles,
- The Expert Guide to Organizing Internet Marketing Information (let me guess: by the writer of all that confusing IM info?).

I guess I won't be downloading all of these, but this is just to give you an idea of all the goodies you can get from this particular Internet Marketing Giveway, which runs until March 17th, 2008.

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Thursday, March 6, 2008

Submit Your Content to GoogleBase

I was about to submit my Squidoo lenses' urls to Google when I found Google Base.

I know some people do submit their articles and Squidoo lenses to Google's search engine and I was about to start doing this when I read that Google only indexes the home page of the urls you submit; I did not go any further, since I am sure that submitting the home pages of Squidoo and Associated Content would be a waste of my time (I am pretty confident these must have already been submitted at least a million times)!

I did find another way to submit content that is not a website or blog: it is called GoogleBase and you can submit offline (a good place to start selling products, rather than paying Ebay fees!) as well as online content: people profiles (free online dating?), reviews, articles, classifieds, anything you can think of that will not fit in the website category. I actually remembered that I had submitted my blog and my affiliate casino website last November and they did get a few page views so it works for me!

As there is no category for Squidoo lenses, I submitted my 3 lenses in the Reference Articles category; I will also submit all my Associated Content articles there.

I could also submit my own profile, if I can get away without having to post a photo of my own mug (wouldn't be fair on the others, really!); it might be worth it if I can post my links on this profile and not give away any personal information, as I take my online security seriously.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Yahoo Groups for Free Advertising

I can't believe I didn't write this post sooner! You may have already noticed the little Yahoo Groups purple button in my navigation bar; I discovered Yahoo Groups a few month ago when bookmarking some of my articles.

Yahoo Groups is a website that allows you to participate in the topics you are interested in; a Yahoo Group is a bit like a forum, as members can post messages and help each other by posting relevant messages and links (when allowed).

What I really like about this is that when you post a message in one group, that message is automatically being forwarded by email to all group members who have chosen the option to receive messages either by individual email or by daily digest.

I created my own Group on Yahoo, that you can join here, where I post updates about my blog and anything related to making money online that I want other members and visitors to know about.

Being Internet Junkie's Group moderator allows me to accept or reject other members' messages. Anyone is welcome in the group, whether they have a link to a useful money-making website or blog (I will check the links before publishing them) or if they just want to chat about the ways to earn money online. I will not publish other members' posts containing affiliate links.

All groups don't allow advertising so before you join a Yahoo Group you must read the welcoming message to make sure your messages will not be rejected. Some Goups you might find useful, especially if you have some affiliate links to promote (or any other links) are listed below. Make sure that you subscribe to the daily digest and not the individual messages if you don't want your email to be bombarded with hundred of ads everyday!

These advertising groups are very active and I am not sure that all the ads posted on them will be read; if most members are like me they will just use them for advertising and delete the daily digests as they hit their inbox without even reading them, but I think there must be some people out there reading at least some of the messages so it might be worth a shot.

Here is a list of Yahoo Groups that allow advertising (you can also find some good opportunities):
Get More Traffic;
Cook_Recipes (allows ads other than cooking too);

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Monday, March 3, 2008

My Affiliate Marketing Articles

Just a quick note to let you know about my new articles about affiliate marketing that I have published yesterday on Associated Content. Here are the links:

How to Earn Money with Affiliate Marketing,
Be More Successful: Better Your Affiliate Marketing Skills,
Explode Your Clickbank Commissions.

I need to bookmark these on several social bookmarking network and from next week I will start submitting them to some article directories, along with Write Clickbank Product Reviews that Will Sell; my author's resource box will include a link to my blog and How to Increase your Clickbank Commissions and I hope this will bring me more visitors and maybe even some referrals for my Clickbank portal!

Lots of work to do, lots of money to earn!

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Sunday, March 2, 2008

What Will You Do with the Money Earned Online?

Well, it's Mother's day here in Ireland (a bit confusing since my mother lives in France and the French celebrate Mother's day in May!) so I have decided to take it easy and write a laid-back post (in fact I wrote this last night and am publishing it today!).

Have you thought of how you are going to spend all the Adsense, Clickbank and whatever other $$$$s you are going to earn online?

I have been saving up for a new car(my car is 10 years-old and starting to look and sound like an old tractor!), so that is where the bulk of my money will go; I am being optimistic but hoping is good for my mental state! If I have any left over money I will invest in a new laptop (I am working from a PC I bought 5 years ago and it is a bit slow, it has one of these big heavy screens and is starting to look ancient!) and try and get a faster Internet connection, I would also like to invest in a proper web hosting package and a few domain names and set up a few niche sites using plr content and monetize these heavily! Before doing all these things I will book a ferry ticket to France to visit my family, bring my kids to Eurodisney and invest in lots of new clothes for my kids and me!

If I happen to hit the Jackpot (I guess the lotto is a better bet than blogging in this case!) and become a multi-millionaire (this is being completely unrealistic but a mum needs to dream!), I will invest in luxury hotels in the places I intend to spend time: I will reserve a whole section (including private swimming-pool) for my family, live in one of them and holiday in the other ones! Of course I will need to hire good staff and managers as well as a good accountant for each so that my hotels make me even more money. Imagine never having to clean up or cook (Hello, maids, restaurants and room service!) and having all that free time to spend doing fun things with my kids and blogging!

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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Important: Note About Traffic Exchange Websites

If you have a blog or website displaying advertisements, such as Adsense, Adbrite or any other type that requires advertisers to pay for their ads to be displayed on other websites, DO NOT USE TRAFFIC EXCHANGE PROGRAMS to promote it!

I am talking about this here, not because I have been caught using these, I don't use them for any of my blogs or Squidoo lenses, but I do use them for promoting my referral links, such as Numenmail, Clickbank Portals and I might try adding one or two Clickbank hoplinks.

Even for the ones described above, I do not recommend using traffic exchange websites as a long term promotion tool: I am using TrafficSwarm to get a little boost with some of my affiliate links for a while, but I don't plan on using them for more than a month or two, as I have noticed a few links that have been disabled due to violations of Google Adsense's TOS.

Keep on promoting your websites, but make sure you do it safely!

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