These days we’re dog paddling in a sea of advertising. There are no public places and places offline or online where we are free from being targeted by advertisers. Different demographic groups have differing responses to advertising saturation. For the youngest among us it’s the norm. For the eldest, it’s a rude and unwelcome intrusion. Continue reading
By Guest Author, Cynthia of Wine, Woman and Travel.
More and more print writers are publishing their content online, but when they start touting themselves as bloggers… I cringe and cannot help feeling a bit resentful. A brilliant writer does not necessarily a brilliant blogger make. Continue reading
A content curator identifies a theme, selects content, chooses how to add value to it and how to display it on a web page for public viewing and interaction.
A freelance writer is a writer who works for an individual or company under contract. You can become either a full-time freelance writer making a living from your writing or a part-time freelancer supplementing other income. There are a wide variety of freelance writing jobs available such as business writing, copywriting, magazine writing, newsletter and brochure writing, press release writing, technical writing, travel writing, writing marketing copy, and writing for the Web. Continue reading
During one of the BlogWorld sessions, Chris Crum sat in on Marcus Sheridan’s presentation, and in it, he discussed some techniques and strategies to keep in mind when creating content. First and foremost, make sure your company has a blog and is using it to create content that addresses concerns and questions customers may have when researching the field your business targets. In his session, Sheridan used his own personal experience to make his point about how successful blogs are important to web businesses.
There are many elements that make a good business plan. It often takes time, patience and many revisions before you get it right. Unfortunately when rushing to get your funding in place and launch your business, your plan can get neglected. Below we have highlighted a few of the very common mistakes made when writing a business plan. Continue reading
Last week, the folks at Social Media Examiner put together some of the best minds in social media to speak at Facebook Social Summit 2011. In no particular order, here are the 41 most useful things I heard from experts
At the Web 2.0 Summit today, Federated Media Publishing and Automattic, parent company of WordPress, announced an agreement to provide advertising rights for U.S. WordPress.com bloggers. Over 24 million sites are hosted on WordPress.com, and users will now be able to opt into a topically targeted advertising program. via Federated Media Offers Ad Rights for WordPress Bloggers.
I disabled my AdBlocker 3 weeks ago so I can witness ads. Here’s an example of what I see on the posts on the front page of a single blog > Ecopressed, Shaking Ads & Other Animated Ads
Will we experience an influx of opportunistic make money bloggers with low and no quality blog content polluting the blogging platform and community? Blogger has long been their home and the following article by another WordPress.com forum Volunteer I link to below contains a link to an excellent reference in that regard. Moreover, there’s indication of interest in this adverts scheme being posted into forum threads by people with usernames like click4us.
So, it looks like “high-end bloggers” based in the US will be the target for this program and, of course, this is an incentive for those same high traffic sites to stay on WordPress.com … Are advertising changes really coming to WordPress.com?
Perhaps we will find we prefer the old Google Adsense ads to these new animated, video and/or shaking ads. Only time will tell and in order to have our blogs shed of them we have to purchase No-Ads upgrades. WordPress.com benefits no matter whether or not we purchase the upgrade to get rid of the ads or we choose to put up with the ads.
WordPress.com has been running advertising on our free hosted blogs since 2006. Many bloggers do not know this because despite the fact they ticked the box required to get a free blog, they did not read the ToS. Many also do not read features page, or advertising entry in the support documents after registering their username and blog(s). Also note that as the ads do not display to us when we are logged in, and as many use browsers with ad blockers when logged out, they may not realize they are there at all. The only way to get rid of all advertising on our free hosted WordPress.com blogs is to purchase an annually renewable No-Ads upgrade.
Read also: WordPress.com Blogs Get More Advertising
Federated Media Publishing Partners with Automattic to Provide Exclusive Representation for WordPress.com Community of Independent Publishers – Federated Media Publishing, Lijit Networks and WordPress.com Trifecta Gives Brands Access to the Largest, Scalable Audience on the Independent Web
links to related forum threads
How to get rid of “poppressed”
strange things poping up
Unacceptable Spamming BY WordPress
The Other “Poppressed Ads” Problem – The Shock of Seeing Actual Ads
Does anyone care to comment?
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Next to the feet our hands are among the most hard used parts of the body, so it’s not surprising that many bloggers take mobile hands and wrists for granted — until they hurt. Many of us rely heavily on computers to help us perform our work – for some, dedicated computer work is necessary, while others multi-task throughout the day. Taking preventative measures against developing problems with your wrists and hands due to computer use makes a lot of sense and takes little time or effort. Continue reading
It won’t surprise any long time WordPress.com bloggers to see what’s not allowed on the WordPress.com platform is likewise not allowed on Blogger, but I thought new WordPress.com bloggers would benefit from gaining some insight into Terms of Service Violations. Continue reading
Google Unveils Wallet And Offers: An Open Platform For Mobile Payments. Google Wallet will work with Mastercard Paypass. This means right now 300,000 merchants around the world and 120,000 in the U.S. are technically ready (though it’s not rolling out everywhere yet). It will initially work with “Gcard” a Google pre-paid card set up by Mastercard. The initial trials will be in San Francisco and New York and will expand nationally in the coming months.
Shortly after Google announced its new mobile wallet for Android phones today, Paypal [and parent eBay] filed a lawsuit against Google and two former PayPal executives who now are in charge of mobile payments at Google (Osama Bedier and Stephanie Tilenius). The complaint alleges “misappropriation of trade secrets, and “breach of fiduciary duty.”
Spending time in courtrooms is generally not our thing. We prefer to compete and innovate, serving our customers by offering the best way to pay and be paid. That’s how you really win. But sometimes the behaviors of people and competitors make legal action the only meaningful way for a company to protect one of its most valuable assets – its trade secrets. … You can read the entire lawsuit via PayPal files lawsuit to protect trade secrets: A reason worth fighting for
- Google’s Bedier: Google Wallet Is the Only Way to Exponentially Grow NFC (gigaom.com)
- Google announces mobile payment system: Google Wallet (business.financialpost.com)
The experts advise us to have a custom promotional strategy for every blog and to be prepared to pay for promotion. If you have a business blog or professional blog then you may not hesitate to invest some money to make more. But if you are a hobby blogger you may not be so inclined.
I’m a blogcatalog member and have two blogs registered in the Directory there. However, I have not registered for this program for two reasons. I’m a hobby blogger and as I’m not in the income group that can afford to pay to have my blog promoted but maybe you are. If so, then the deadline for signing up for blogcatalog’s promotional program is just a couple of hours away. If you want to register then don’t waste any time signing up. As blogger initiated advertising is not allowed on blogs hosted by WordPress.com I have not linked to the site, but it can be easily found online.
By Guest Author, Cynthia of Wine, Woman and Travel
Like most of you reading this, I have been a huge fan of One Cool Site from the day I found it, it has been an essential resource for taking my blogging to a more professional level. But oddly, I didn’t find this article about dream blogging jobs until just recently, six months after the dream had come true. It made me think my story and strategies might be worth sharing, as it’s a bit of a modern virtual job hunt fairy tale come true. Continue reading
As I’m getting more and more questions from those who are new to blogging, and especially from business bloggers who are just getting started, in this post I’m sharing links to free ebook resources for bloggers in all niches. There are many free ebooks available that contain and great deal of useful information on the topics I list briefly below and more.
- Getting Started
- Choosing a Niche
- Domain Names
- Blogging Platforms
- Themes and Organization
- Pages, Posts and Widgets
- Images and Media
- Comments and Discussion
- Headlines and Content Creation
- SEO (search engine optimization)
- Post Length and Posting Frequency
- Blog promotion, Social Media, Social Networking
- Guest Blogging
Free ebooks on blogging for bloggers
I began researching and reading ebooks in preparation for creating and publishing this post two weeks ago. I was aiming to have it ready for publication by Wednesday or Thursday of this week but Mother Nature interfered on Tuesday night. A snow storm knocked out our power for 2 days. I’m pleased to say that I finally completed the project and am publishing it as the week comes to an end.
- Personal Branding for the Business Professional (PDF format). Chris Brogan compiled 15 pages (including the cover) and contains everything from strategy advice to some considerations to over 100 tactics and ideas on what to do next.
- (a) Killer Flagship Content is a guide to arranging enjoyable and profitable joint ventures, how we all need the help of other people, and everyone has something to offer.- Chris Garrett’s free ebook introduces the concept of Flagship Content and provides all the information you need to create, package and promote compelling resources that attract more attention to your blog. (b) Authority Alliances is a guide to arranging enjoyable and profitable joint ventures, how we all need the help of other people, and everyone has something to offer. You can download both free of charge just by subscribing.
- Beginner’s Guide to SEO – Freshly updated by seomoz for 2010, the Beginner’s Guide is the most popular SEO learning resource on the web. More than 1 million users have read or downloaded this beautifully illustrated, value-packed, free resource.
- WordPress SEO guide for beginners (PDF format) – The Blog Oh! Blog way. It can be considered as a crash course for all the people who are struggling to get better search engine results with their WordPress blogs. In this e-book, I will guide you how to rapidly configure your WordPress blog with maximum SEO benefits.
- How to Start a Business Blog (Scribd format) is a step by step workbook with exercises to help you plan, set up and create content for a business blog. Michael Martine.com wrote a huge 12-part series of posts on how to start a business blog and expanded on them in the form of an ebook.
- Who’s There (PDF format) is not an ebook about how to write better or how to follow the traditional conventions about formatting and building a blog. It’s not designed to sell you one service instead of another, either. Instead, Seth Godin divides the blog world into three groups and turn my attention to one. And in particular, I try to sell you hard on how building a blog asset can have a spectacular impact on you, your career, your organization and your ideas.
- Content by Cory Doctrow is among the most important books in social media. Read this ebook and get the straight goods on copyright.
- The Art of Community (PDF format) by Jono Bacon. A solid guide to building, energizing and enabling pro-active, productive and enjoyable communities, covering community leadership, and best practices.
- Geeks Guide To Promoting Yourself With Twitter An ebook containing tips, tools and resources for using Twitter for promotion purposes.
- The Zen of Blogging (PDF format) This is the story of an aspiring blogger who sets out on a journey to discover the secrets of blogging. What will he find at the top of Mount Blogmore? Will he learn how to become a great blogger, or will he get his head cut off? You’ll have to read to find out!
- Focus – A simplicity manifesto in the Age of Distraction (PDF format) is Leo Babauta’s free ebook. Leo Babauta is a very popular blogger whose blog Zen Habits educates people on leading a simple, stress free life. Tip of the hat to Sandra Lee of Always Well Within.
For those bloggers who are exploring free and/or low cost methods of printing their blog posts, or creating ebooks, or publishing a book please see Bloggers: Publish your book, ebook, or your blog. See also Promoting Your Writing or Poetry Blog.
Have you read any free ebooks on blogging topics that don’t appear here? If so, how many have you read? And, which ones would you recommend?
Are you participating in the State of the Blogosphere Study? I completed the survey in response to this notice:
Since 2004, Technorati has been tracking the Blogosphere through our State of the Blogosphere study. The goal of the study is to create a complete snapshot of the activities and interactions that make up the Blogosphere by asking you, the bloggers, to share some information about your habits. The survey includes questions like how, when and why you blog. Is this a side business, full time job or something you do for fun? Please feel free to send this link to other bloggers you know. And be sure to check back on Technorati.com in November for a summary of the results. The 2010 State of the Blogosphere Survey
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I’ve been tentatively exploring various affiliate marketing options for my personal development blog. My thinking was that I might be able to make enough income as an affiliate marketer to be able to attend conferences and workshops that would help me improve my blogging and social networking skills and my blog content.
What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is another term for CPA (Cost per Action) Advertising. This is a form of advertising where the advertiser pays based on specified actions taken by the end user. Some examples would be filling out a form after clicking on the ad or purchasing a product after clicking on the ad.
Affiliate programs are revenue sharing arrangements set up by companies selling products and services. As a web site owner, one is paid a commission for sending customers to the company. Provided your blog has high enough traffic and the targeted audience for the products and services being offered , one can make income from affiliate programs based on a percentage for each sale.
Affiliate marketing programs
My starting point was reading Karen Cotton’s brief ehow article titled How to choose the best affiliate programs. I then read 32 other articles and along the way discovered that products that relieve joint pain, back pain, or migraine pain, self help books and programs, and those aimed at improving relationships are among the favorites in the personal development blogs niche.
First and foremost to achieve success in affiliate marketing you need to be knowlwedgeable about your product/service and be able to promote in the right way, at the right time, to the right audience. There are two approaches an affiliate marketer can take when it comes to choosing an affiliate product/service to market. The first approach is to choose to promote a product/service that’s currently in great demand and may sell quickly. The second approach is to choose a product/service that you use yourself and can vouch for. I decided that the second approach was the way to go as I believe it would be far easier to market a product/service that one is already familiar with and sold on.
I read all the common sense advice regarding selecting an affiliate program that has
- a website;
- a contract;
- detailed instructions;
- FAQs and support;
- and a good reputation with web site owners and product/service providers.
I learned about affiliate software – software that, at a minimum, provides tracking and reporting of commission-triggering actions (sales, registrations, or clicks) from affiliate links. And I also learned about two tier affiliate programs – affiliate program structure whereby affiliates earn commissions on their conversions as well as conversions of webmasters they refer to the program.
Affiliate marketing fraud and scams
There is a distinction between fraud and unethical activity and I wanted to be sure that I wouldn’t get burned by either type of activity. So while researching I typed “affiliate fraud” into Google and the SERPs produced an infographic. I’m not posting it here as it’s oversized for my blog. The infographic was produced by Ace Affiliates and they provide reviews in the categories of credit cards, health, insurance, dating, retail, and web hosting.
Ace Affiliates is in the business of reviewing affiliate marketing programs so that publishers can make an informed decision about which affiliate program to join. We are a resource for all webmasters, from the relatively inexperienced individual who simply wants to know how to make money online to the experienced affiliate marketer who wants relevant reviews all in one place.
These are the risks identified by by Ace Affiliates:
1. Duplicating – creating a clone of a legitimate site.
2. Spamming – sending mass emails under the guise of a legtimate brand.
3. Squatting – creating a site under a common misspelling of a legitimate site.
4. Diverting – creating deceptive links that do not pay the intended affiliate.
5. Faking – creating the illusion of many clicks on an affiliate link to drive up earning on a CPC program.
6. Stealing – making purchases on a stolen credit card to earn bogus commissions or drain a merchant’s coffers.
These are the solutions identified by by Ace Affiliates:
1. Forums – Join a forum that shares information on fraudsters.
2. Communicate – Talk with affiliates about their business and tactics.
3. Blacklist – Maintain your own list of fraudsters.
5. Checking – Thoroughly check affiliate’s sites.
6. Approve – Avoid automated approvals when addining addiliates.
Source: Affiliate Fraud: The Risks and The Solutions
See also: 5 Examples of Affiliate Program Scams
Notes for WordPress.com bloggers
The information found at these links below will express the limitations with regard to advertising and affiliate progams re: WordPress.com blogs. WordPress.com blogs cannot be used to drive traffic to third party sites (TOS section 2, 5th bullet down) http://en.wordpress.com/tos/
- Types of blogs allowed and not allowed at WordPress.COM. Take particular note of this section.
Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (“Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category. http://wordpress.com/types-of-blogs/
- No blogger initiated advertising on free hosted WordPress.com blogs
- Purchasing a domain and domain mapping for it changes nothing if your blog remains free hosted by WordPress.COM
The Domain Mapping Upgrade does not enable the permission to use advertising, any kind of prohibited code, or upload additional themes and plugins. With the upgrade, your blog will still be hosted here at WordPress.com, which means that you will not have FTP access to your files and must still abide by our Terms of Service accordingly. http://en.support.wordpress.com/domain-mapping/
- WordPress.COM versus WordPress.ORG
I’m undecided about whether or not I want to pursue affiliate marketing. I was turned off by the number of pop-up advertisments I experienced and by the appearance of the sites I visited. The only affiliate marketing program I have any interest in at this point is Amazon books.
As an Amazon affiliate you earn up to 10 % in commission for each sale you generate (normal commission is 8.5 %). Members of the Amazon book affiliate program get access to Associates Central – Amazon’s extranet for associates. Here you can build your links and see your traffic and earning reports. You will also get the latest news and find out about new opportunities available through the program.
1. Are you currently involved in an affiliate marketing program? If so, would you recommend it to others?
2. Have you ever been burned in an affiliate marketing program? If so, what happened to you?
3. Are you interested in affiliate marketing and if so, what kind of products/services would you be interested in marketing?
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The changing nature of Facebook from a college friends connecting site to reflect Fastest Growing Demographic on Facebook: Women Over 55 is accompanied by other shifts as well. Facebook is teaming with business men and women focused on entering relationships with future partners, investors, clients, employees and customers. More than 1.5 million local businesses have active Pages on Facebook. Continue reading
Every week I meet more bloggers online who are looking for paid blogging jobs. Sometimes we talk about the kind of blogging job we would love to have. Well, perhaps beginning here Where Can I Find Paid Blogging Jobs? and here Top 10 Places to Find Paid Blogging Jobs will provide what you are looking for.
The free features available for free hosted blogs at wordpress.com are great. There’s a such a wide variety available that no matter what kind of a blog you have in mind, or what premium features you need, wordpress.com is not only a great place to start blogging, but may even be your last stop.
There are dozens of important consumer trends worth noting at any given time of the year. The global recession hasn’t ended and will affect the trends in buying patterns for years to come. Tracking consumer trends is a way to gain inspiration for profitable new goods and services to develop, and showcase in your business blog, when you are ready to offer them to your clients and customers in 2010. Continue reading
It’s been nearly 30 years since the Federal Trade Commission updated its guidelines for marketers and advertisers, and the agency is looking at revising the guidelines so that those who promote or review products follow the laws governing truth in advertising. The new rules are designed to bring greater truth and disclosure to blogs, TV ads relying on testimonials and social media.
Blogcritics.org has won numerous awards, including a Bloggie for best music site, Forbes.com’s Best Media Blogs, and was featured in the prestigious AlwaysOn/Technorati “Open Media 100″ list. The Blogcritics.org team includes founder/publisher and media veteran Eric Olsen, Technical Director Phillip Winn, Executive Editor Lisa McKay, and a team of more than 3000 writers and 25 editors.
Click fraud is the act of clicking on ads for the purpose of falsely acquiring income from advertisers. It’s equivalent to paying in cash for false leads. Click fraud is a breach of the Google Adsense Terms of Service and policies. Reporting publishers for click fraud will result in their accounts being banned and blacklisted.
If you are a blogger who is looking for paid writing opportunities then I suggest you subscribe to Technorati newsletters. I just received my newsletter and wanted to pass the news of these opportunities on. If you’re interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with your blog name, content overview, URL, Technorati authority, and contact information.
What are PLR products?
Private label rights articles (PLR) and also products (videos, podcasts and scripts) are an inexpensive way to add content to your website, without taking the time to create your own unique content. They provide an way to create a new blog easily and quickly or to supplement the content in an existing blog.
The make money online hype
Despite the fact that we are in a deep recession, we still hear this kind of Pollyanna message from some bloggers:
I am a firm believer that if you have a computer, an internet connection, a paypal account and a brain, there is no reason why you can not make money at home.
The most common ways touted for accomplishing this are Google Adwords, Affiliate Marketing, Google Adsense, Forex Trading Robots, Surveys and Product Reviews, Article Marketing and selling on ebay.
I don’t recommend using a hosted service like Blogger if you want to seriously monetize your blog. You don’t get enough control. If you don’t have your own URL, you’re tying yourself to a service you don’t own and building up someone else’s asset. You want to build page rank and links for your own URL, not someone else’s. Plus you want sufficient control over the layout and design of your site, so you can jump on any opportunities that require low-level changes. If you use a hosted blog, you’re at the mercy of the hosting service, and that puts the future of any income streams you create with them at risk. It’s a bit more work up front to self-host, but it’s less risky in the long run. Web hosting is cheap, and there are plenty of good hosts to choose from. — Steve Pavlina
The largest niche in blogging is the “make money blogging” niche and competition is fierce. In these days of economic distress it’s even more important to absorb that fact and the fact that easy credit is no more. We can expect that some businesses will cut back on their advertising budgets and campaigns, and we can expect that click on ads may decrease.
Traffic is the primary fuel of online income generation. More visitors means more ad clicks, more product sales, more affiliate sales, more donations, more consulting leads, and more of whatever else that generates income for you. — Steve Pavlina
In blogging content is king and if you write unique high quality content and promote it then the result may be an increase in organic traffic, or not. Unless or until you acquire the knowledge and skill sets to create and maintain a blog worth monetizing, and you know how to make money online by blogging it makes no sense to dive into the deep end without consulting an expert.
In these days of economic distress it’s more important to absorb the fact that easy credit is no more. We can expect that some businesses will cut back on their advertising budgets and we can expect that the number of readers who click on ads to decrease, rather than increasing.
I wanted to learn how you can easily start to make money online with a simple blog, like this time this space personal development, growth and relationships so I set out to ask a successful make money online blogger for his advice.
Garry Conn is a full time online publisher and Internet marketer, who publishes articles that teach bloggers how to make money online with a blog. Garry just launched BloggingQuestions.com where bloggers, can register for a free account and post any and all questions related to blogging. Your questions will immediately be published live on the blog where other bloggers can help answer them too.
“I give advice to new bloggers on a daily basis. However, to summarize things here, I can tell you that it is very important to be creative and unique. Never try to cheat any system and always have your heart and intelligence into your work.
Finding success with blogging can be a difficult challenge. My goal is to help you learn, reduce the number of common mistakes most bloggers make, and to help accelerate the process of becoming a successful blogger.” An interview with Garry Conn