Paid Posting

Paid posting sites enjoyed a HUGE SPLASH a few years ago. The way it works is you join a pay to post site and sign up for offers that your blog qualifies for. You can get paid anywhere from a dollar or two to over $300 for one post! This is a good way to kick start your blog’s earnings, though newer blogs tend to get lower paying assignments. While they aren’t as “in” as they used to be, you can still earn some money online with this method.

The most recognizable name in the paid posting world is PayPerPost. I did hundreds of PayPerPosts on my Hot Dog Truck site a few years ago and earned a little over $3600 in my first year. Here’s an example of my favorite PayPerPost on that site. The posts usually require the writer to put some links to the advertiser’s website in the body of the post. Articles can be anywhere from 50 to 300 words.

The reason this type of posting gained popularity was it allowed advertisers to get a lot of targeted, inbound links to their site for relatively short money. In theory this would improve their search engine results for keywords they wanted to be known for. In practice, it worked for a time but Google got wise to the whole thing and penalized bloggers who were writing paid posts by devaluing their page rank. A lower page rank meant less money for paid posts, amongst other things. Google also slapped the sites that were hiring paid posters by devaluing their search results. This kind of defeated the purpose of paid posting in my eyes, but the practice lives on.

At the time, I thought paid posting was a good idea. It certainly was a good way to earn some extra dough. It did make the site look a little spammy- I even confessed to being a “link-ho.” Once Google whacked my page rank from a PR 4 down to ZERO, I rethought this strategy as a long term, viable income producer and I ceased doing paid posts en masse. I still occasionally do a paid review, but I don’t like to call attention to them they way I did in the past.

Is paid posting for you? Maybe. As I stated earlier, it’s a good way to jump start your earnings. The problem is when a blog is new, you don’t have any (or many) readers, so you won’t get higher paying assignments. The good thing is SOME MONEY is better than none!

The bad thing about paid posting is it can take away from the main focus of your site. If you have a blog about vegetarian cooking and you do a paid review about auto insurance, it really doesn’t match up well. When I do paid posts now, it’s only for something that fits into the overall context of the site.

For a newbie blogger, I’d say give it a whirl, just don’t overdo it.

For a list of sites that pay you to post, click here.

Adsense

Adsense. On the net, it’s ubiquitous. I have Adsense on many of my sites. Some webmasters and bloggers scorn it, others swear by it. Some have gotten rich from it, others make just pennies a day. What should you do about Adsense?

There are so many bloggers out there who think they can slap together a blog, throw Adsense on it, kick back and watch the money roll in. This is a huge myth. Adsense works and it is the simplest, quickest way to monetize a site. You can make money online with Adsense, but just having Adsense does NOT guarantee earnings.

When I first started out, I made just over $29 my first month with Adsense. It took 4 months for me to reach the $100 payout threshold (Google sends you a check only when your earnings exceed $100). After that it took 2 months to reach the threshold. I finally made $100 per month after one whole year of running the site. I now regularly earn over $300 per month for that site alone. That’s not going to buy me a new Porsche, but it sure does come in handy! I also earn Adsense income from other sites.

In order to make money online with Adsense you have to
have ads that are relevant to your content. If you just have some ridiculous site that offers no value to a reader, they’ll simply click away from your site without clicking an Adsense ad. Content is king on a blog or any other website. People go to the web to get answers-not to make you rich with Adsense. With my Hot Dog Truck site, people are primarily landing there to get information on how to start a hot dog business  or to find hot dog trucks and carts for sale. I know this because my Google analytics tells me which search terms and pages are the most popular on that site (more on Google Analytics later).

The reason people found those pages out of the millions (billions?) on the web is they provided value and answers for the questions those folks had. Without the good content, nobody would land there and if they did, they wouldn’t stay there!

So if you want to make money with Adsense, the first thing you should be concerned with is providing value to your reader. INFORM OR ENTERTAIN your reader in a way that will make them want to know more about whatever it is you are writing about. That will make them stay on the page and look around your site. Adsense will automatically post ads that are relevant to your content, so readers will be more likely to click those ads.

As I said in my Why This Blog? post, I am not reinventing the wheel here. A large part of what I want to do is streamline the information gathering process for people who want to make money online. Much of what I am saying is either common sense or information I have gotten elsewhere and applied.

A very inspiring post I read which I took to heart when I started making money online was this gem from Steve Pavlina . com. He lays out the importance of content in a very poignant way.

For a frank discussion on the pros and cons of Adsense on a blog, go to Pro Blogger.

These guys have been at it longer than myself and provide the insight of seasoned web veterans. Read these posts and come back for more fun tomorrow!

Sign up for Adsense here.

Coming soon….

This site is under construction and will relaunch soon. I am moving hosts to WP Engine and migrating all content. Please check back soon!

Getting my Shark Tank On

Shark tank logoI have been neglecting this blog because I have been very busy with my Shark Tank Blog. The show just finished up a 6 week run of new episodes, which kept me busy keeping the site updated with quality content. There are a lot of Shark Tank related websites out there – certainly more than there were at this time last year – which makes the competition for readers and search engine rankings more intense.

Shark Tank Blog a Content Leader

While there are a lot of related sites, I am proud to say very few go into the depth and detail as the Shark Tank Blog. I strive to get all the news and updates on the various entrepreneurs. I have dozens of interviews with Entrepreneurs that not only give great insight into the inner workings of the show, but into the entrepreneurial approaches different businesses have in general. I sometimes talk to people before they appear on the show, sometimes after. Either way, I get the story about what it’s like to be “in the Tank.”

I also get the Sharks, too! I’ve interviewed Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, and Daymond John for the Shark Tank Blog and I will be getting more!

While I may not be the “official” Shark Tank Blogger, I am the one who supports the entrepreneurs. I made the conscious decision to do that early on in the site’s life, and it’s been a good strategy. The access I have earned made my blog a source for many other news outlets. Barely a week goes by where the site isn’t linked from a news source reporting on a local entrepreneur set to appear on the show.

Show Time

I live tweet on the hashtag #SharkTank each Friday, along with entrepreneurs, fans, and the Sharks themselves. Friday nights have become a combination of work and pleasure as I frantically try to keep up with the pace of the Twitter feed and the broadcast. I make many new connections on Twitter each week and the blog gets a huge traffic spike each Friday. The site averages around 8,500 visitors on show nights; the most ever was just north of 40,000 visitors – and all that traffic happens in a few hours!

While I enjoy being “the Shark Tank Blogger,” I am grateful for a few weeks of re-runs. It’s allowed me to square away some details for the upcoming 2013 National Hot Dog Month Tour and build out a few new sites. I am even building a new Shark Tank related site called As Seen on SharkTank. This site is more of a resource for the products that appear on the show and a place to curate Shark Tank Product reviews.

All in all, I am kept busy with all these endeavors, but this Friday, March 15, I will be “getting my Shark Tank on!”

You can get your Shark Tank on too by liking Shark Tank Blog on Facebook.

Free Traffic Wiz

Free Traffic Wiz is a video course authored by one of my internet buddies, Vinay Patankar. Vinay is a 25 year old computer genius who is currently traveling the world while he earns money from his various e-commerce sites. He was a Cisco Certified Software Engineer at age 16 and after working on SEO for Fortune 500 companies for a few years, he decided to use his knowledge to build his own businesses.

He’s able to do this because he knows how to drive FREE TRAFFIC to his sites.

We all know eyeballs=traffic=$$$. The problem most people have is driving that traffic to their websites. Vinay can show you how to do it with Free Traffic Wiz.

Lots of people will want to know if Free Traffic Wiz is a scam. I will tell you this: I have been using the strategies I learned in Free Traffic Wiz for a little over four months and I can honestly say, Free Traffic Wiz WORKS!

This isn’t one of those hokey “make eight gazillion dollars with two clicks of a mouse in 5 minutes a day” type of deals. Free Traffic Wiz is like a college course on driving traffic to your website(s). I saw traffic to the sites I used the strategies for TRIPLE in less than a month.

I have put together a video review of Free Traffic Wiz. Check it out.

Seasonal Niche Sites

If you are into creating niche sites, you should consider what I call “seasonal niches.” A seasonal niche is just what it sounds like- it is only a niche during a certain season. Christmas sites, Halloween sites etc all have short windows of high level search activity in relation to their “season.” After all, you couldn’t expect many searches for “Christmas tree lights” in the middle of July. With a seasonal niche, there are short bursts of large amounts of traffic to coincide with the corresponding season.You can also have sites associated with the actual seasons, the “school season,” holiday related seasons, sports seasons or even TV seasons.
For example, I have a youth baseball coaching niche site that has lots of traffic from mid February through mid June; after mid June the traffic trickles down through August and nearly disappears until the following February. The site’s traffic coincides with Spring and Summer youth baseball league seasons and caters to coaches, particularly new coaches of young players, who are looking for ideas for their practices.
I have another site that coincides with the NFL Football season. It sees a spike in traffic when the pre-season starts and another, bigger spike when the real season starts. The traffic nearly disappears after the Super Bowl.

I recently began co-authoring a site about the television show The Shark Tank. While it is new and I can’t discern traffic trends yet, I imagine traffic will drop when the season ends.

My Hot Dog Stories site slows down a bit in the winter too. That’s partly due to the fact that I don’t visit as many hot dog places in the winter (many are closed) and partly due to hot dogs being somewhat seasonal too.

I don’t have a problem with the downturns in traffic during the seasonal lulls as I have plenty to keep me busy with other seasonal niches. The ebb and flow of the workload throughout the year develops its own rhythm.

Adding a seasonal niche site can help your bottom line too if it is properly monetized. I am going to develop some other seasonal niche sites around the Christmas season- I am already planning them in February. If you are into building niche sites, consider a seasonal niche to add to your portfolio.