Friday, April 30, 2010

Associated Content Changes For Non-U.S. Residents

Associated Content is changing its payment scheme for contributors not living in the U.S. and this is bad news for a lot of us.

From tomorrow, May 1st, 2010, all non-U.S. members of Associated Content who are not featured contributors will not be receiving performance payments anymore. This comes just as my rate had been increased from $1.55 to $1.60 per thousand page views so I am a bit disappointed by this, not being a featured contributor.

I have 2 options to choose from:

  1. Apply to become a featured contributor, where I have no guarantees to be accepted as the standard of writing is high and I would need to specialize in a topic, which I don't really want to. Also, the minimum threshold to receive a payment from Associated Content will move from $1.50 to $100. For the last 2 years or so, I have had payments of between $3 and $4 every month, so unless I do nothing else than writing for Associated Content and get more page views by really working hard on keyword-rich content, I will get paid once every 2 years and that's if I'm lucky!
  2. Take the money and run: I will still get the money owed to me up to May 1st and can have my content removed. I can always keep a copy of it and rewrite a few articles to publish elsewhere if I ever decide to do more article writing.
Right now, I am trying to earn affiliate commission so all the articles I am writing are going on article directories that let me post a link in my resource box, meaning they are the ones that do not pay me. Since I don't have a lot of time available (I am thinking of switching from once-a-day housework to once-a-month). I should probably focus on blogging more and writing those articles for my affiliate marketing campaign, without speaking of the novel I started and then lost when my PC died (maybe someone's trying to tell me something on this one, like my novel was crap, for example).

So this is is the end of me and Associated Content, I guess I should get on Facebook and Twitter and unfriend everyone from AC (apart maybe from the Barefoot, whom everyone should listen to because if there is one person on the Internet who is worth listening to, Barefoot is).

Well, maybe unfriending everyone is a bit rash so for now I will just go and save my Associated Content articles before they disappear.

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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 4: Not Making Any Sales Yet

I haven't done much in terms of my affiliate marketing campaign during the week but I have decided to write an update anyway, just so that you don't think I have forgotten all about it.

I have not written any new articles but now have my 10 main articles live on Ezine Articles which so far have attracted 271 views and 27 clicks on my author resource box. One thing I like about Ezine Articles is that it gives you detailed statistics about your articles; you can even check the most popular traffic search terms for your articles.

I have submitted 10 rewrites of my original articles to GoArticles and Isnare. Isnare hasn't approved my articles yet and the total page views for my content on GoArticles totals 145.

I haven't bookmarked a lot of my articles, apart from the automatic submission that Ezine does to my Twitter which also appears on my Facebook profile; I have used another 6 bookmarking websites but I find them too time-consuming because I need to bookmark other stuff than my own content to be able to keep submitting (I have been banned from Propeller before). Also, some of them don't accept links from GoArticles I will keep trying even though I should spend more time writing than submitting. I have started a spreadsheet to keep track of what I am submitting and need to organize my time better in order to keep doing this.

I regularly check my clickbank account and so far I haven't made any sales; If I did I would probably be more motivated but I will try to continue. There are still a lot of articles to write and a lot of article directories and bookmarking websites to submit to.

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Irish Taxpayers, You're Being Scammed!

"As if we didn't already know this!", you are going to say. Well I am not talking about NAMA or any other schemes that are being covered so much in the media and designed to protect the fat cats at the expense of Irish individuals.

I am talking about the free travel pass that some people living in Ireland are entitled to. I have nothing against the idea of this scheme and I do understand how society can benefit from this, making travel easier for people who might otherwise stay at home, meaning that these people can visit friends and relatives as well as participating in the economy by being able to do more shopping.

I don't know if this is true for the bus services but I know of a particular scam that Iarnod Eireann, the Irish national (and only) train company, is running: when someone with a free travel pass want to go somewhere, they have to get a ticket even though travel is free for them; the ticket shows a charge of €0.00. I guess they do this so that they have a record of the journeys they need to charge the government (or the taxpayers). So far, this is perfectly fine, except that if a person wants to travel for only a portion of the Galway-Dublin route on the train (say Galway to Athenry, which is the closest station to Galway), their ticket shows that the route they are travelling on is Galway-Dublin.

If you were travelling on the train from Galway to Athenry (a 10 minute journey) and Iarnod Eireann charged you for a ticket from Galway to Dublin (a 2 and a half hour journey), I don't think you would be very happy (I know I wouldn't!). As taxpayers, we are being asked to pay for this unnecessary surcharge everyday, several times a day, and keeping in mind that this is just one example of how easy it seems to be to scam the taxpayers' money out of their pockets, don't you think there should be a better system that could be put in place in order to stop inflating some companies' profits at our expense?

In these times when people are being squeezed out of the homes they cannot afford anymore because of some bankers' greed and gambling and the Irish government taking their side, when whole housing estates (which in my understanding should now belong to the government) are being threatened to be bulldozed even though there are thousands of Irish families in need of stable housing, when the government who is supposed to represent the Irish people burdens them with taxes that they cannot afford anymore to bail out the big banks that have defrauded us and everyone (except the fat cats) is already tightening their belts so much that they are choking at the thought of yet another bail-out, do we really need to pay more than we have to?

We need change in this country, and by change I don't mean to replace Brian by Enda, by change I mean to take this whole system apart and rebuilt it bit by bit, ensuring that there is no way anyone can ever defraud us again. I guess that is never going to happen and I'm just being naive, but at least I got this out of the way, now I can go back and bury my little head into the sand again.

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 3: All 20 Articles Submitted

All my 10 original articles and 10 rewrites have now been submitted to 2 article directories.

Ezine Articles still have to publish 7 of my articles and I have just finished submitting my 10 rewrites to Go Articles where publication is immediate.

My next step is to submit all the published articles (and my blog, why not?) to social bookmarking websites but first, in order not to be called a spammer, I have set up a Google alert about my niche so I can bookmark not only my own articles but also content related to it that is not mine whithout having to look too far (I get email updates regularly and I will bookmark the sites and blogs that I like, but not the ones promoting an affiliate product).

On another matter, I have just realised that I missed out on $59 from Clickbank last September! How? Well it seems that some people have bought some of the affiliate products I promoted in 2 different Squidoo lenses (that are not live anymore, I will have to edit some links). So far so good, but the problem is that I moved out last August and forgot to edit my address on the Clickbank website so the check must have been received at my old address but there is no way I can get it back, and if I did get it now, I would have to send it to Clickbank before they send me a new one (probably with some administration charges deducted). After a bit of headbanging, I edited my details, at least I know that I can make a little money even a long time after starting to promote something.

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Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Affiliate Marketing Update 2: All Articles Written

Phew! Writing articles based on certain keywords is not that difficult but keeping focused when you also have kids and a house to run is!

Anyway, my 10 main articles are written and I have rewritten another 10 articles so now I have a total of 20. I still have to read them and correct any mistakes, write summaries and find popular tags as well as publishing them on several article directories.

If you are wondering what the heck rewriting means, it is something that I like to compare to plagiariazing: but since I am not taking content from anywhere else but the articles I wrote myself, it doesn't really matter (I am hardly going to sue myself, am I?).

I keep coming across other websites belonging to my niche that make me realise that I really need to improve my own site so I will add another page this evening, something that can be helpful to people looking for information on the topic I am writing about.

I am also going to use Google Analytics on my site, so I have an idea of where visitors are coming from and what it is they really want.

This is it for now, the bulk of the heavy work is done and still plenty more to do: this is not a case of sitting on my own arse and letting the dosh roll in, as so many Internet marketers will have you believe (usually when they are trying to sell you some miracle product)!

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