Archive for 2010

Pro Blog

Every Little Bit Helps
It's been about two years now since I began the experiment of making money through blogging (primarily through my fitness blog).  I believe I started this "pro blog" in January of 2009 or so (can't remember the exact start date because I imported some old posts here).  

I still don't consider myself a pro blogger--it isn't yet a significant source of income for me.  But it has become a solid part-time "job."   It has, in fact, been an ideal way to earn some extra income. 

I'll explain a little further (pardon the repetition for my regular readers):

I believe "passive income" is a bit of a misnomer when it comes to pro blogging or making money online.  I've found it takes a lot of work to create/find quality content, build backlinks, and do all the other things involved with a successful blog.

But you won't find many ways to make money that are as flexible as blogging.  That's been the key for me--a way to earn extra income that doesn't interfere with what I am really called to do.

We'll see what profits and lessons 2011 brings . . . 


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Boxbe Rant

I've had more than one of my contacts' email account get hijacked by Boxbe.  I don't know much about this system, but the message goes like this:

Please add yourself to my Guest List so your messages will be delivered to my Inbox. Use the link below. 



I've never added myself to anyone's guest list, and I never will. I'm afraid adding myself to a guest list will result in my email address being taken over by Boxbe and my contacts getting these annoying messages.


I could be wrong--maybe it doesn't work like this.  But all of my friends have been surprised when I tell them my email got blocked.  Seems they didn't intend to put this virtual roadblock on their email address.

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500,000 Hits!



My fitness blog has officially crossed the 500,000 hit mark!  I checked statcounter a little earlier today and saw it. 

Some of this traffic, of course, would not be considered quality (traffic from image searches, etc).  Regardless, it isn't bad for a blog that's under two years old.

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Facebook Font


A couple of days ago I noticed a significantly smaller Facebook font.  I've also noticed several complaints about it.  I understand this--it really makes for a less pleasant user experience.  I wonder if the powers that be are listening.  I wonder if they will make some much-needed adjustments.

Or maybe we are just too addicted and will keep using it no matter how small the font is.

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Facebook Backup Scam

Earlier today I received a message in Facebook that went something like this:


Upon receiving this message you must reply by clicking the small Reply button next to the date and time to write that you have completely read and also completely understood this message. Click the small Reply button found right next to the date and time and then write "read and understood". You should also make a copy of this message or print it so that you can re-read it later.


Facebook may encounter some database problems soon. If a system crash occurs this might cause you to lose ALL your friends. In order to prevent this from happening we ask you to make a back-up. So you can restore your friends afterwards when you need it. If you have less then 50 friends this is isn't necessary because facebook can automatically restore your friends. But if you have over 50 friends you should make a back-up. If you have more then 250 friends (or even more) you should make a backup immediately. Please do it now otherwise it may be too late.


To make a back-up follow these instructions:
 This looks to me like some kind of phishing scam--I just erased the messages as soon as I saw them.  Call me crazy, but I sincerely doubt every profile on facebook is about to crash.

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October Blogging Updates



September was a pretty good month for my fitness blog (Strongandfit.net).  Surprisingly, I had about as many sales as I did back during January.  So far October is looking pretty good, too.  This has been a nice change of pace after a major slump in July. 

I'm a missionary in the Philippines, so my salary comes from donations.  The tough economic times have affected giving, so it's nice to have another source of income (even if it isn't consistent). 

I decided to take Entrecard (EC) off of the fitness blog, though.  It is still pretty much a non-factor in terms of bringing any traffic.  I just don't think it is worth the "real estate" I'm giving it.

Adgitize, on the other hand, continues to work out pretty well.  I bought three or four year-long campaigns and they bring pretty consistent traffic.  I'll leave EC here on Beginner Blogger Tips for now. 

My Alexa rank has gone down a little since I hit the 88,000 mark, but it has stayed above the 100,000 mark. 

Here's some news:  I have a guest post coming up on Halloween at Blogussion.  That's bound to bring some traffic as well as page rank juice.  

So how have things been on your blog the past couple of months?

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Crushing the 90,000 Rank!

Awesome news!  My fitness blog has broken the 90,000 rank in Alexa!

The traffic rank, of course, may go back down one day--there are many factors you can't completely control when you blog (search engine ranking, etc).   But I'll enjoy this little victory in the meantime. 

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Wordpres.us Spam

Lately my inbox has been overrun with spam.  It is always a message from someone I know with "no subeject" in the subject line.  The the email is a link to some wordpres.us website that actually redirects to a spammy site (advertising the usual spammy stuff like viagra, etc).  The url of the bogus blog often has the person's name in it.

It seems someone out there has created a system that hacks email accounts and creates spammy blogs automatically.  Probably some kind of malware or worm.

I'm not sure what precautions you should be taking other than keeping your anti-virus software updated.  

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Before you Blog about Blogging

It seems one of the most crowded niches in blogging is about . . . blogging.   There are thousands of blogs about making money online, having a profitable blog, making money from home, etc. 

What makes Beginner Blogger Tips so special?  What makes this blog stand out from the "how to blog" crowd?  Absolutely nothing!  I'm serious:  I just started this blog because I've given advice to my friends and I decided to share these tips with a larger audience.  I also wanted a place to post articles that would help me remember how to do stuff with blogspot, etc.  Beginner Blogger Tips hasn't made any real money for me or elevated me to super-blogger-guru status. 

But blogging about blogging has helped me tremendously.  How?  Primarily through guest posting and bringing traffic (and page rank juice) to my fitness blog

I've had the opportunity to guest post at Problogger, Daily Blog Tips, and (more recently) MaxBlogger Stories.  These are all "a-list" blogs with great rankings, thousands of subscribers, and big-time traffic.  I usually submit my best stories or articles to one of these a-listers and see if it will get accepted (see also:  Guest Posting for A-List Bloggers).

My point:  I'm not trying to discourage you from starting your own blog about making money online (or a similar niche).  All good niches are crowded, and you might just be the next Darren Rowse or Shoemoney.  But you may want to consider using your blogging articles/stories to promote a completely unrelated niche.  So far it has worked fairly well for me. 

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Google Gravity I'm Feeling Lucky

Here's a neat trick you may want to try: type "google gravity" in google and click the I'm Feeling Lucky button.  Google will look as though it is overcome by gravity.


I'm not sure of the story behind this little trick, but I'll try to find out.






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Blogspot Comment Upgrade

Blogspot has made another great improvement with the way comments are handled.

One thing I always hated was not knowing which post someone was commenting on.  That has changed now--the comment section in the dashboard has this information.  It also shows you recently approved comments and it has a spam comment filter.

I'm glad to see these developments.  

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Blogspot Offers Label Cloud

Blogger/blogspot is offering a "cloud" format for labels.  I've switched to it for a couple of my blogs and I really like it. 

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Alexa Update

Something pretty cool is happening at my strength and fitness blog:  I'm coming close to breaking into the top 100,000 in Alexa ranking.   

I'm not sure exactly what this will mean in terms of advertising offers, etc.  This is uncharted territory for me.  

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Slumping Summer Sales (Part 2)

I made a sale within a few days of writing  that post about not making any money for two weeks.  Things have improved a little ever since then. 

Like I've said before, you have to be prepared for "down times" if you are going to to affiliate marketing.  I could have panicked and gone back to doing adsense--yuck (nothing against adsense, but I just don't really want to use it on my fitness blog).  But I hung in there and didn't make any major strategic changes. 

I'll just keep blogging about losing fat and gaining muscle and let the chips fall where they may. 

Blog with passion and you'll easily endure times of lower profits. 

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Slumping Summer Sales

This is supposed to be a blog about making money.  But there's one small problem: I'm not making money as of late.

No one is buying the programs I promote on my strength and fitness blog. 

Other stats are in pretty good shape:  I'm getting decent traffic and I think I'm even improving in terms of search engine rankings (even though my page rank is stuck at 2).  But people just don't seem to be investing in training programs right now. 

I think it's just a seasonal thing.  It's the time of year when most folks have left the gym to hit the beach, the lake, or the picnic table. 

I've thought about changing my monetizing strategy (like going back to using adsense), but I really like having tight control over what I promote.  I have nothing against adsense per se, but there are just too many fitness scam ads on it.

I'm not too concerned about it.  Blogging is just a hobby for me: I don't really depend on it for my livelihood.  And I still have an awesome car that I bought with blog money.

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Blogger/Blogspot Comment Fail

Seems Blogspot is having some major malfunction in publishing comments. I've experienced this problem a couple of times today. Hope they fix it soon.

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Free SEO Course

Sean Si (aka SEO Hacker) is offering a free course in Search Engine Optimization (SEO).  Just click here to check it out: SEO Hacker School.

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LinkWithin Review

I mentioned trying linkwithin a few posts ago and I've neglected to write a follow-up post.   Here goes: 




LinkWithin gets a definite "thumbs up" from me.  I've been following my stats, and LinkWithin has definitely breathed new life into my blogs.  Sometimes it even causes me to go back and look at some of my old posts I've long since forgotten.

It has been great from a technical standpoint, too--the widget has worked flawlessly on all of my blogs.  I'd recommend it for anyone who has been blogging long enough to build a collection of articles.

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2leep.com: Go Viral

Here's a service you may be interested in: 2leep.com

Here's the way it works: 

1. You can click here and sign up. 

2. Put their code on your website.  The best place is under the content of the blog posts.  This is the least intrusive but also encourages people to click on the banners.

3. You can add your own posts into the system.  You'll have to provide them with an image related to the post (you'll have to be able to give them a separate url for the image).

4.  If your post is accepted by the moderator it will be added to the system.  Some of the post I've added have received thousands of hits. 

I've used this with some success over at my fitness blog.  The key is to give them posts/images that are attention-getting:  something people will click.

2leep is not for every blog.  It wouldn't work on my personal blog because I don't have anything there that is viral in nature (and I couldn't add anything like that without completely changing the focus).  But some of my post over at my fitness blog are a good fit (like pictures showing extreme weight loss). 

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Crush It Gary Vaynerchuk (Review)

Here's a first for Beginner Blogger Tips--a book review and recommendation. I just read Crush It: Why Now is the Time to Cash in on Your Passion.

Gary Vaynerchuk explains how he used the internet and social media to expand his business in this fast-paced, easy-to-read book (I read it all in one afternoon).

I'll point out just a couple of things I liked about it:

First and foremost, I liked the motivational component.  Vaynerchuk explained how is family moved to the USA with very little and learned to succeed through hard work.  He also argues that now, as never before, there are ways for us regular, non-celebrity types to make a living based on our passions.

I also liked the practical information.  This author talks a lot about using the Internet and social media to network and get our message to the masses (there were a lot of really practical ideas here).  He doesn't present this as some "get rich quick" scheme.  He argues, in fact, that you'll have to put a lot of work into being your own boss.  It won't necessarily cost much money, but it will cost time and energy.

Vaynerchuk also explains "personal branding, " a concept I didn't quite get until I read this book.  He basically argues that your "brand" is your reputation, your passions, etc--the overall persona you project through whatever outlets you choose.   In other words, it is the overall "package" you present to potential employers, advertisers, business partners, etc. 

This is a very helpful read--especially for bloggers.  It encouraged me to keep going with my fitness blog, where I teach people the best way to build muscle and and get in shape.  This is one of my main passions in life. 


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Rapid Site Check

Here's a pretty cool website I found:

http://www.rapidsitecheck.com/

It allows you to check page rank, backlinks, and other information--without and annoying captcha.

Enjoy!

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Adgitize--12 Bucks a Month



I just noticed a new deal over at Adgitize.

The cost is only 12 bucks a month if you buy a year at a time.  Considering the number of impressions you get, this is a really good deal. 

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iPad Review

 It’s time for me to write my humble iPad review.



Before I get going, let me tell you a little bit about myself (and explain why I decided to try the iPad).

I’m not really a hardcore tech geek, so you’ll be disappointed if you are looking for that kind of review. I’m just a blogger who happened to switch to Mac a couple of years ago. I don’t have an iPhone or an iPod touch—this is my first time to use this kind of device (I do have a couple of iPods, but that’s about it).

I was intrigued by the idea of something I could use to watch videos, read digital books, check email, and surf the internet—something a little less cumbersome than my MacBook.  

The Apple store was sold out, but I found a brand new 16g Wi-Fi model on craigslist and bought it.

I loaded it up with videos before a long flight. Having my own personal video player made the trip (and layovers) much more palatable. The screen does tend to show your reflection, especially in well-light rooms. But I found this wasn’t hard to deal with—I just adjusted my viewing angle a big. The viewing was even better in the dark interior of the airplane.

The kindle application was one of the main selling points for me. I’ve thought about buying a kindle, but it seemed like a lot of money to shell out for something that just allows you to read books. I wasn’t even sure I’d like this way of reading in the first place. But reading this new-fashioned way was easy to get used to. I’m about halfway through one book I bought on Amazon.com. I haven’t really used iBooks very much, but I did find an ESV Bible for free.

The iPad is pretty easy to use for reading emails and websites. The touchpad keyboard works pretty well for typing out a few lines (enough for twitter, etc). I would need to buy the external keypad if I really wanted to use it for blogging, etc.

Like other users, I found the iPad’s battery can go for about 10-11 hours (just a guestimate). This is another plus for the before-mentioned long airplane rides.

I found this device to be easy to use, even though I’m a newbie to touch screens.

Conclusion: The iPad gets a “thumbs-up” from me. It will not replace my laptop, but I didn’t expect it to.


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iPad Fever (Part 2)



I finally made the decision to buy an iPad.  I live on a modest budget, but I haven't bought any major gadgets since my MacBook (December of 2007).

So I visited the Apple store here in Birmingham.  The guy in the store was able to answer my questions, and it seems the iPad could do everything I wanted it to do: surf the internet, read ebooks, watch videos, check email, and sync with the calendar on my MacBook.  I also thought it would be cool to read the Bible on it.

There was just one small problem: the Apple store was completely out of stock.  There is a waiting period of about a week or two.  No good for me, since I'm about to leave the States and return to the Philippines.

I could buy one in Manila, but it seems they cost over 100 dollars more than the American price.

Looks like I won't be getting an iPad any time soon--unless I can find one nearby on craiglist.

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Warning: Facebook "Candid Camera Prank"

My wall keeps getting these "sexiest video Candid Camera Prank" posts.  I just wanted to warn everyone not to open this.  I haven't really investigated it, but I'm sure it's some kind of facebook worm.

As with other worms, it will probably take you to a website, ask you to download some software (which is really a worm), and then re-post itself on everyone in your friends list.

You've been warned.

Feel free to re-post this on your facebook wall and stop this worm from infecting other computers.

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Entrecard and Adgitize: Their Real Value

Adgitize your web site.

As you guys know, I've kind of gone back and forth on the value of Entrecard, and to a lesser extent, Adgitize. 

The biggest complaint is that folks drop by long enough to get their clicks/drops in and don't read your content or buy anything (I call this "drive-by clicks").

I wrote an article called Traffic is Traffic, in which I argued any traffic is helpful for an obscure blogger just starting out.   I stand by that.

But here's my latest theory:  the greatest value of Entrecard and Adgitize is the fact that these programs get other bloggers to read your blog.   A network of bloggers is one of the best resources I can think of to get the word out about your blog.

What do you think?  Agree or disagree?

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Entrecard Revisited

I re-added Entrecard to this blog a while back.  Seems things are more stable under the new management.

I'm thinking about adding it back to strongandfit.net, but I still just can't decide.

By the way:  is EC still giving you 50% of the credits when someone buys your ad?

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SE0 Tips


Sean Si, A friend of mine has started a new blog on search engine optimization (SEO): http://Seo-Hacker.com

I've already picked up some valuable tips from him.  SEO is one of those things I don't know much about so I'm looking forward to learning more from Sean.

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LinkWithin

I've decided to try something new on my blogs: LinkWithin.


I've installed the widget on some of my other blogs.  It is incredibly easy and works very well with the blogger/blospot platform.  I really like the way it looks--you get attractive thumbnails of related posts below every individual post on your blog.

I can definitely see how this could make your blog "stickier"--encourage people hang around and read a few more posts. 

I'll give an update in a few days and let everyone know if using LinkWithin has changed my statistics.

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Discovering New Blogger/Blogspot Features

This morning I decided to upgrade my personal blog (http://kuyakevin.blogspot.com).   I noticed another upgraded feature to blogspot: you don't lose your widgets when you change/update your template.  

This is a really nice feature, because that used to be the most difficult aspect of changing the template.  I used to have to copy and paste all the html code from my widgets, save them as a text file, then re-post them on the new blog template. 

Now, here's one thing I have noticed about trying out a new blogger template: some of them have the top section set up for pages, not links.  Some of these templates don't have a way for you to go with links instead of pages in the top section/header.  This is a problem for me, since I prefer to have some of my major labels/categories on the top section (you can see what I mean by checking out my personal blog, kuyakevin.blogspot.com).


This is why I always recommend having a dummy blog to test out new templates and see if they work well for what you want to do.

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Warning: Facebook Obama Hillary Video

My Facebook wall keeps getting spammed with this "Barack Obama Hillary Clinton Sex Scandal" video.  This is apparently propagated by koobface or a similar type of worm.



You need to be really careful with any kind of "watch this video" message that gets posted on your wall.  Usually this type of link will redirect you to another site which asks you to download an update of the Adobe Flash player.  The "update" is actually the worm, which infects your computer. 

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Facebook Hack Attempt

I got a weird message today when I tried to log into Facebook.  Apparently someone from the Ukraine tried to hack my account so Facebook temporarily disabled it:


I'm glad Facebook has some security measures to catch this kind of thing.  It would have been a bit embarrassing to have a bunch of malware or unsavory messages distributed through my profile.

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More Page Rank Stuff

I read that google did a page rank update last weekend.  Let's see how I did.

Beginner Blogger Tips did not do so well:

Now, to be honest I don't remember if this blog was ever ranked, but I thought I got a page rank of 1 or 2.  Why zero?  I have no earthly idea.

My personal blog (kuyakevin.blogspot.com) was dropped from a 4 to a 3.

My Strength and Fitness blog has remained at 2 (it was at 3 a few months ago). 

So apparently I really stink at building my page rank and you should take all my PR advice with a grain of salt.  But the longer I blog, the less I care about it--all three of these before-mentioned blogs are doing pretty well (this blog doesn't get much traffic, but it never has). 

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iPad Fever



I have to admit it, I'm getting a little case of iPad fever.

I have a MacBook and a few iPods but that's about it in terms of Apple stuff.

I don't have an iPhone and I don't plan to have one any time soon--I only use dirt-cheap cell phones.

But the idea of having something ultra-portable for e-books, light internet use, and videos is kind of cool.

Here are my main issues:

I'm just not yet sure exactly what will be available through iBooks. Most of what I read is Christian nonfiction. I'm also not sure how iBooks are priced.

I know if I'll just wait a year the price will probably go down considerably.

Decisions, decisions.

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Create Pages in Blogger/Blogspot

I realize some of you have already figured this out, but there's a new feature in blogger/blogspot.

One of the biggest complaints I've heard about blogger is the inability to create pages, such as an "about me" page.  Well, that has changed.  You can now create up to ten pages by clicking a tab in the posting options:


Cool, huh?

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That Was Fast . . .

OK, I just wrote my review for Triple Threat Muscle, posted it, and digged it.  I checked, and within minutes I'm #4 on google:

Now, I have to admit: SEO, and search engine stuff is just not my forte. 

I don't know if google is just getting faster at indexing or if I'm doing something right (maybe both).  I'm thankful, regardless of how this is happening.

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Gmail: "This Connection is Untrusted"

I got a weird This Connection is Untrusted message when I tried to open Gmail.  Not sure what's up but I guess they'll fix it soon enough:

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Guest Posting for A-List Bloggers

A while back I started a thread about guest posting over at the problogger forum. The questions kind of inspired me to write a post about it.

Why is this important? Well, in case you are new to blogging, guest posting is one of the most important (not to mention free) blog promotion strategies I know of. Writing a guest post for an “a-list” blogger can do wonders for both your traffic and your page rank.

I see this issue from both sides: I have had the privilege of writing a guest post for some a-list bloggers. I also receive requests for guest posts on my blogs (though I’m not anywhere near the “a-list” level).

Here are some tips I think you’ll find particularly helpful for landing a guest post on a highly ranked, high traffic blog.

Believe in Yourself:

Here’s the wonderful think about the blog world: you have the same access to the a-list bloggers as everyone else. Don’t underestimate your God-given talents. The successful bloggers, after all, had humble beginnings just like you. The worst thing that can happen is your post doesn’t get accepted—you’ll never know until you try.

Do Research:

Most a-list bloggers will have a post explaining whether or not they accept guest posts and what their requirements are. Read it carefully and follow the guidelines when making your post.

But your research shouldn’t stop there. Hopefully you’ve been reading your “target blog” for a while and know what kind of articles the blogger prefers.

Here’s another important tip: search the blog and see how your post idea compares to what is already there. This is especially important with the high-ranking blogs—you’ll want to be sure you are sending something unique. Bonus points if you can find a topic that hasn’t been mentioned on the blog in a while.

Bring Your A-Game:

“Give your best content away” –I’ve seen this advice several times from blogging gurus. This is especially true when trying to guest post for an a-list blogger. Most of these guys have several posts to choose from every week (if not daily). Make sure you have chosen your most helpful, informative, entertaining, unique, and ingenious content for your a-list guest post.

Note: I prefer to go ahead and write/send a whole post (instead of asking permission first). I think this is much more efficient, but there are different schools of thought here.

Be Patient

This one is a must for dealing with a-list bloggers. A successful blogger manages a flood of email daily and it may take a while for you to get an answer. Be prepared to wait at least a week (probably longer).

Here’s an example: I recently submitted a guest post (re: fitness) to a self-help blog. I waited about a week before contacting them to make sure they had received my submission. The editor responded, saying he receives about 50 posts a week and it usually takes him two weeks to respond to a guest post proposal.

IF YOUR POST IS NOT ACCEPTED:

There’s always a chance you post will be rejected. As I’ve already said, successful bloggers have plenty content to choose from. Here are two tips for responding to a rejected guest post:
Humbly Accept Feedback

Most bloggers will try to help, even if they reject your guest post. The blogger may ask you to expand on a few points and re-send it. He/she may explain that you’ve missed the mark completely. Just be thankful that a really busy person took time to respond to you.

Try Again

Don’t give up just because your first guest post was not accepted. Take what you’ve learned from the process and try again.

Here’s another hint: you may want to submit the same article to a different blog (I’ve had success in doing this). After all—there’s more than one a-list blogger out there. Just be sure you’ve heard a definite answer from one before submitting it to the next—you don’t want to destroy your reputation by withdrawing the guest post or creating duplicate content.

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Adgitize Offers Niche Targeting

Adgitize is now offering subject matter targeting in addition to niche targeting. In other words, you can opt to have your ads show only in blogs of a specific niche/topic.

You can also target both niche and geography.

Interesting.

Adgitize your web site.

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Adgitize Offers Geographical Targeting

I just noticed something new over at Adgitize.

They are now offering geographical targeting options for an additional 3 dollars a month.  I really like this:

My strength and fitness blog is more for an American audience (at least, that's where the sales come from.

My personal blog (kuyakevin.com) is more for the Philippines (you can target Southeast Asia). 

I'm going to give geographical targeting a try and see what happens.

Adgitize your web site.

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10 Billion Tweets



I just watched the number of overall tweets reach 10 billion over at GigaTweet. 

Congratulations?

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Affiliate Marketing: Up's and Down's


Here's something I've learned about doing affiliate marketing with your blog:  you have to be patient. 

You may go days with low sales (or in my case, no sales), then suddenly have a big day that makes up for all the slow ones.  Sometimes I get a little restless after a few slow days and start thinking about starting a new advertising campaign, etc. 

But I've learned to let the process work.  I'll keep getting traffic if I keep writing good content.  As long as I'm consistent, the money will eventually come. 

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Using Forums: Bypassing Search Engines

Here's another benefit to using forums:

People often look to forums to find information on products.  Most forums have some type of feature that allows users to search threads.  You can use these factors to your advantage.

It's pretty simple--you just post a link to one of your posts in a related thread in the forum (assuming the forum allows links). 

Your best bet is probably going to be posting in an existing thread (even lenient moderators tend to frown on a new thread with nothing more than a link to your blog).  Users search the forum for specific terms and find your link.  You are sort of bypassing the search engines, giving people another way to find your blog.

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Blogging Blogs: Blah, Blah, Blah


A few posts ago I mentioned the importance of learning from the blog gurus.  I still stand by that . . . but I have to admit something--sometimes they all start to sound the same.  Anyone else notice this?

I know part of the reason: there are basic principles that work, and there's only so many different ways you can explain these before-mentioned principles.

And before you accuse me of being too critical, I'm not--some of these sites have given me some incredibly good tips.

Here's my approach:  I follow about 12 different "blogging blogs" via feed on my google page.  If a title grabs my attention I'll check it out.  Maybe I learn something I can apply, maybe not.  Then every once in a while I'll come across a really good post that makes up for all the "blah, blah, blah" stuff I've read.

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Earning Money at Home

2010 has started off well for me--January was my most profitable month ever in terms of blogging.  We're not talking huge money here, but every little bit helps.  

It takes a lot of work to make a profitable blog, and I'm far from an expert on this.  I'll probably never be an expert because other aspects of my life are far more important to me.

But I will say this--the whole idea of making money through a blog is just super-cool to me.  Maybe I'm just easily amused.   

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The Two Types of Blogs You Should Follow

The best way to improve as a blogger is to learn from other bloggers.  I'd suggest you follow several blogs in two categories:

Blogs about Blogging

I follow problogger.netdailyblogtips.com, blogussion.com, and a few other blogging gurus.  I don't agree with every single thing they say.  In fact, I don't even read every single post--I just keep up with the feed and read posts that catch my attention.  Anyway, I've learned a lot of helpful tips from these blogs.

Blogs in Your Niche

I have a strength and fitness blog, so I also follow a few other blogs in this niche.  I like to know what my peers (or competitors, if you prefer the term) are saying.  Here are a few reasons to do this:

*You may get an idea for a new post of your own.
*You might disagree with what another blogger says and respond with your own post.
*Your fellow blogger may have run across a product that you also want to promote. 

 Hope this little tip helps.

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Adgitize is Back

Seems Adgitize is back online.  I'm still having some trouble editing/updating my ad information.  Anyone else having this problem or is it just me?

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Adgitize Fail

A few hours ago I wrote a post about Adgitize prices rolling back to 14 dollars a month.  Ironically, their website and service went down soon after.  Not sure what is going on, but it has been down for about half a day now.  Hopefully they'll get things up and running again.  This is the first time I can remember this happening.

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Farmville Secrets

Are you a Farmville Addict?  Here's something to fuel your addiction: Farmville Secrets.


In Farmville Secrets you'll learn from the ultimate guru how to grow your farm quickly and legally.  Just click HERE to check it out.

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Adgitize Prices Rolls Back Prices

Adgitize your web site.

A few days ago I realized the Adgitize prices were lower when I renewed my ads. Today I finally took tome to look over the Adgitize blog and realized prices have dropped back to 14 bucks a month. You just can't beat 50 cents a day for the number of impressions Adgitize gives you.
 
Just click here if you want to try it out: Adgitize - Get World Class Advertising on a Bloggers Budget

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Should You Use Adsense?


Should you use adsense on your blog?  I'd say it really depends on your blog.   As you can see, I use it here at Beginner Blogger Tips (as well as a few of my other sites).

But I don't use adsense on my two most popular blogs.

I decided to completely give up on monetizing my personal blog (kuyakevin.com).  I had two problems with adsense there:

1.  It wasn't earning much money.

2.  Since my personal blog is more spiritual in nature, ads for religious wacko groups kept appearing.

I also removed adsense from my fitness blog (strongandfit.net) once I switched to affiliate marketing.  I was running into two problems:

1. The ads that show often advertise the same products I'm selling through affiliate marketing, which means someone else could "steal" my commission.  

2. The other ads are what seemed to be bogus products ("lose 20 lb in 20 days," etc).

Here are a few more random thoughts:

*I think most blog readers understand that you, the blogger, are personally endorsing whatever product shows up in adsense.  You'll just have to decide what you are comfortable with.

*It's always good to experiment with more than one way of making money.  Adsense may or may not be the best for you.

*Maybe geographical issues come into play here.  One nice thing about adsense is regional ads automatically show up on your blog--this could be a huge advantage if your visitors are not concentrated in one country (or region).

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Page Rank Issue, Part Three

For those of you who are unfamiliar with my story, my page rank at Strongandfit.net was dropped from 3 to 2 a while back, and I was successful in having it reinstated.

Then the same thing happened again a couple of weeks ago--a drop from 3-2.  This time the google gods have frowned on my reconsideration request, so my fitness blog is stuck at PR2 for the time being.

I'm really not 100% sure why my page rank was reduced.  I have a few theories, but I'm not going to worry about it.  My standings in the search engines are really good and I'm still getting plenty of traffic through google. 

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General Larry Platt - Pants On The Ground!

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Affiliate Marketing: Affiliate Programs

This is the fifth post of my Affiliate Marketing: a Beginner's Guide series.

Like many other posts here, I'm writing about the stuff I wish I knew when I first started blogging.  With so many affiliate programs to choose from it is hard to know where to start.  I had a hard time figuring out which affiliate program I should try. 

The "best" affiliate program depends largely on your niche.  If, for example, you write about dating and relationships, your best bet is to sign up with a dating website's affiliate program.

Having said this, let me tell you what has worked best for me and share my comments:

Clickbank has out-performed every other affiliate program I've tried.  Most of the products on clickbank were specifically designed for online affiliate marketing, which is a big advantage.  Many of the clients offer 75% commission to you, the blogger, for sales.  Clickbank also gives you a ton of valuable information in terms of analytics:  hops per order, etc. 

Shopzilla has been a consistent earner for me as well.  It is sort of a modified pay-per-click program.  This means you get paid for clicks (vs sales), but the earning potential isn't as high as with commission affiliates.  I have a couple of pages/posts that regularly earn 3-5 dollars a day with Shopzilla.  This services is more of a slow, steady earner for me: the daily profits ad up. 

Amazon.com has one of the most well-known affiliate programs on the internet, and some bloggers do quite well with them.  I personally have not made much money with their program, but it is a good one to use for book and video reviews, etc.

Commission Junction is the program used by Dell.com and several other well-known companies. 

This is not meant to be an exhaustive list.  I'm just sharing some of the programs that have worked for me. 

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Nigerian Scam, Filipino Style

Here's a message I found in one of my email addresses. Seems the Nigerian scam has a Filipino/Philippines version:

Hello Dearest One,

I am Mrs Laarni E Enriquez, a Philipino by nationality, And once President, Joseph Estrada courier mistress. Honestly I would like to have confidentiality investment with you,
I want you to know that I am broken heated and needed someone to trust in respect of this transaction without remembering my past and forsaken experiences from close confident and relative/family.

All i want from you is to represent me as my foriegn partner and assist me to claims $18.5M US Dollars. I concealed in a metallic trunk box deposited in a trusted company in abroad, as this was the money that was supposed to be used by the ex-President to acquire some properties in Abroad.

For more details I will forward the deposite documents to you in my next mail for your view. I want you to be honesty and sincere with me in this transaction.

Thanks in advance
Mrs. Laarni Enriquez,

So I'm the lucky one chosen to get $18.5 million dollars? Wow--sign me up!

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Problem with Custom Domain Blogspot

Seems there's some problem with all my custom domain blogs (including this one).  I can post here, but I can't see the blog.

I'm assuming (and hoping) it is something temporary.  Anyone else having problems with this?

Update:  that only lasted a few minutes . . . it's fixed now . . . never mind.

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Facebook Down (Site Maintenance)

Apparently my Facebook account is down for site maintenance:


Interesting--first time I've ever seen this on Facebook (though I've seen this several times on Friendster).  Well, no need to panic--there's life outside of facebook (so I hear).

Are you a Farmville Addict?  Here's something to fuel your addiction: Farmville Secrets.

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The Page Rank Drama Continues . . .


So I happened to check the page rank of Strongandfit.net again yesterday.  Once again they have dropped it from 3 to 2.  I've submitted another reconsideration request.

This is really weird--I just had the page rank re-instated a couple of weeks ago

I don't spend too much time worrying about page rank, but we'll see what happens. 

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