Time for a New Experiment… 20 Ways to Make $100 a Day Online

ExperimentHi all!

Yes, it’s time for a new experiment. I’m letting my affiliate sites + Adsense percolate a bit to see how it goes. I’m getting roughly 2 sales a month from one site and just started another one a week ago, so we’ll see how things progress.

So I saw this post on “20 Ways to Make $100 Per Day Online” from  The Internet Marketing Inner Circle (sounds ominous).

If you want to check it out yourself, click here.

The idea is that an average person can build sustainable incomes working part time from home. It’s a collection of articles written by people who made this work in the real world, so hopefully the BS quotient will be low and the ability to actually apply these techniques will be high.

So I’m going to start working through this book a little at a time and I’ll share my results. For only $27, you get a nearly 250 page book documenting 20 different techniques to try, so I’m going to mine it for all its worth.

Keep your fingers crossed! Anybody out there already gone through this particular book?

–FItz

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Ad-sense Publisher Experiment, Day 36

Hi all…

Well, I have a few things to report on my Ad-sense Publisher Experiment…

First, as I reached the magic $50 limit for cost, I put my ad-sense campaign on “pause”.

Ad-sense Publisher Experiment, Day 36

As you can see from the above picture, I had 287 clicks in 30 days, with 566,614 impressions, an average CPC of $0.25 and a total cost of $52.19 for that campaign.

Ad-sense Publisher Experiment, Day 36 - Performance

And as you can see (as the “well, duh!” moment), my campaign went downhill after I put it on pause.

Ad-sense Publisher Experiment, Day 36 traffic

My traffic has dropped off considerably.

In addition, I have had no new sales since August 9th. I wasn’t making much money before that anyway – maybe one sale every couple of weeks, but at least I was getting sales. 🙂

So I’m torn… The AdSense stuff obviously helped with traffic to my affiliate site. And it’s not really AdSense’s fault that the clicks weren’t converting to sales. So I think I may go ahead and let it run another month to see what shakes loose.

Anybody else having luck or have any good tricks for AdSense? I’m all ears!

Until next time…

–Fitz

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How do you feel about “sponsors” for your blog?

:en:NASCAR drivers :en:Mike Skinner (NASCAR) (...Image via WikipediaHey all…

I recently had an interesting experience. I had someone out of the blue send me an e-mail asking if they could “sponsor” my blog. What it boiled down to was a paid link back to their website and the best income I’ve seen from any blog I’ve created so far.

(Every time I think of sponsorships… I think of NASCAR or the movie Cars from Pixar… Is that odd?)

My only qualm about the whole thing is that its topic (beauty product reviews) isn’t really something I thought of as a target ad for my blog (which is mainly entertainment reviews). That said, I reconciled it with the fact that probably 1/2 of my readers are women (just playing the odds here) and at least a portion of those probably use beauty products.

So I happily took the money, added the link, and was off to the races. The $$ from there will allow me to advertise via Project Wonderful and Google Analytics to further see what kind of revenue I can generate.

What do you guys think of sponsors? Are they a good thing? Let me know!

–Fitz

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Do you Hubsess about things?

Hi all…

I recently found a new news aggregation site called Hubsess… It works similar to Bloglines or Google Reader or other online RSS feed readers, but has a more low-tech feel with the concept of “newspapers”. Though I’m not sure it will take off, it’s an interesting approach.

Hubsess Screenshot Tiny

Basically you create a “hub” for a person, place, or thing, and then relate your hub to other hubs, creating a network of hubs about particular topics.

According to their FAQ, what makes Hubsess different than other sites is:

Hubsess allows you to get the news you want, while skipping the news you don’t want. Hubsess gets news from two sources. Users can submit news stories, and tag them to hubs. Users can also submit an RSS feed and get Hubsess will automatically add stories from that RSS feed to a Hub’s news.

Hubsess allows ordinary people to write news stories on their blog, and submit them to Hubsess. This means that you no longer have to rely on traditional media sources for your your news.

Hubsess also allows you to vote on stories. Each story will have a score. That score will go up and down, depening on user’s votes. This score will help other users decide whether a story is a good read, or something they should pass on. Users also can discuss a story.

As far as I can tell, it’s not the most exciting site on the web, but another option when trying to make relationships with readers/viewers. I’m hoping that their interface gets much cleaner. It has a very old-fashioned web page kind of vibe to it, as opposed to Bloglines and Google Reader, which are both very Web 2.0.

Will this help or hinder your marketing efforts? Probably neither — it’s just one more site to be aware of on the edge of your radar.

Until next time! Keep blogging!

–Fitz

Where do you find art for your website?

Hi all!

If you, like me, are bereft of art skills, (Pictionary is about as far as I go these days…) I have to recommend a subscription-based service that has served me well over the last couple of years when I needed art for my t-shirt or bumper sticker designs, or for inside a book.

Clipart.com is a spinoff of Jupiter Images, which is one of the largest image banks available online.

Clipart Banner

If you haven’t taken some time to check them out, I highly recommend them, especially for holiday clipart with Thanksgiving, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Hanukkah coming up. (As an aside, I can hardly believe the holidays are coming.) In addition to the standard clipart, there’s tons of useful content for books as well. I found myriad pictures I could use in conjunction with the fantasy roleplaying game I wrote.

So check them out! I will be using them for blog article art from now on since I’ve seen the jump in readers when there are pictures present. 🙂

Have a great day!

–Fitz

Upcoming articles about publishing and marketing…

Hi all…

I thought I’d share my plan going forward for a series of articles about my experiences publishing and marketing a roleplaying game. Though the market may not be what folks in the industry are used to, there will be many lessons that can be generalized and tips that can be shared and used across other areas of product development, publishing, and marketing.

I’ve briefly touched on a few topics already, such as using Lulu and CafePress to produce your products and merchandise to help get your products or website or blog noticed.

But now I hope to go a little deeper into the process and my experiences along the way as I learn new techniques and meet other folks trying to do similar things…

My article on Monday will be about using Lulu to create a book and the process you must go through for that. From there we’ll look at producing eBooks (content, layout, graphics) and marketing.

So stay tuned!

Until next time…

–Fitz

Pep Boys and Making People Wait…

Hi all…

You may think from the title that this is a little off-topic, but it really isn’t. I recently had to go to Pep Boys to have them replace the battery in my wife’s car. The cold finally killed the old one and we were about to head out on a trip, so we needed it fixed immediately.

According to Google, the closest place to have that done (after AAA came and gave me a jump start) was Pep Boys. So, I trundled over to Pep Boys to have them take care of it. I was even happy enough to see that there was just one other gentleman in line in front of me, so I assumed it would only be a couple of minutes before we could get the process started…

Not so easy, it turns out. The Pep Boys I went to was one trying out some new software (written by an IBM development group in China) up front to run their store. Everything from entering customers, checking old records, getting parts ordered, and so on. Well, it turns out that the software was just bad enough to make them learn ways to get around quirks it had instead of actually doing their job and helping customers.

What was even more amusing to me was that while I was sitting there waiting to be helped, the guy at the counter got a call from one of the developers asking how they liked the software. The man at the counter was very polite and told him that he’d have to call back when he didn’t have a line of customers forming because his software wasn’t allowing him to help people quickly enough.

I’m a software engineer, so I found all this very entertaining. Nice to not be the guy being yelled at (occasionally) by folks because your software doesn’t work.

But I digress… This illustrates an important problem that everyone providing a service — bloggers, website developers, software engineers, writers, advertising widget makers, and so on — needs to be aware of. Never make your customer wait, or you’ll lose the customer. I had no way of getting anywhere, or I would have left Pep Boys and taken my car elsewhere — but I couldn’t because my car wouldn’t start.

It came up that my site was slow to load in IE7 this past week. I’m not an IE user any more. I have been pretty faithful to Firefox for a while now. But I will have to go through and see which widgets work fine on Firefox but not on IE7 and see what’s going on.

Performance is a huge factor in software development also. People don’t want to have to deal with your stuff — they want to use your stuff to get their stuff done. If they can’t use your stuff — they’ll find someone else’s stuff to use, and so on…

So it’s just one more way of making sure that you don’t lose your customers!

Until next time…

–Fitz

StumbleUpon

Hey all…

If you haven’t “stumbled” upon StumbleUpon.com and need another way to fill your days with interesting websites, this is the place to go… Check out http://www.stumbleupon.com or StumbleUpon My StumbleUpon Page

When you install their Firefox toolbar, you immediately can bounce, or “stumble,” into a series of websites in categories you choose for your profile. There’s more categories than you can shake a stick at and you always end up somewhere interesting. I did see a few duplicates, but that’s to be expected when everyone on the web is finding cool resources. There’s bound to be a few dupes.

I think I got sucked into the internet for a good couple of hours today and found a variety of topics — some funny, some thought provoking, some cool — and there were also some where I was left scratching my head or just moving on to the next one without much of a look.

So check it out and let me know what you think!

–Fitz