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Blogging Again After A Year Hiatus…

April 9, 2010 by · 101 Comments 

It’s funny that my last post was written exactly a year ago on 9 April 2009 and here I am again.

I am still alive and kicking, just doing things in the background while I took the time out from blogging. As some of you know, this is what I do for a living, i.e. work online (not so much of a full time blogger by the way) so I’ll always be around.

For sure there are lots of new developments in the blogosphere for me to catch up to but let’s do this one thing at a time shall we 😉

While I was away, people kept coming to this blog. Nothing changes much in term of number of visitors although it’s not as busy as when I was active writing obviously. 

One thing I would like to mention is the passive income generated by this blog. There have been several purchases made for the products I promoted in my posts and advertising income from direct ad order as well as AdSense. While the amount is nothing to shout about, neither I am complaining since I don’t even have to lift a finger to earn them.

If you would like to sell advertising directly from your blog, check out the script that I use to sell banner ads from Oio Publisher. It’s not free but I think it’s one of the best investments you could ever make for your blog if you want to take control of your ads inventory.

During the time the blog was dormant, AdSense has generated USD621 from Sabahan.com alone. Yes it’s not much I know but that’s roughly the amount I am making from AdSense monthly from all my websites combined including Sabahan.com. It’s a passive income and that’s what makes it interesting to me.

I am currently concentrating on my software development side of my online business and will be releasing two new versions of my software soon.

Anyway as you may now I am an affiliate marketer and always try to find a way to do affiliate marketing more effectively. Recently I was contacted by Richard Adams, the owner of WPSplitTester.com who came up with a product to help people like us to make more money from our websites… without getting any more visitors.

I am going to do my own review of his product soon but for now if you are interested to learn more just read on the following article by Richard.

 

Affiliate Marketers: Are You Leaving Money On The Table?

If you wanted to boil affiliate marketing down to it’s simplest, you are essentially trying to attract traffic to your website and then send them through to an affiliate program where if they buy anything, you make money.

It sounds simple enough. Set up a niche site or blog about mp3 players for example, plaster it with adverts from Commission Junction or Amazon and cross your fingers that you’ll make money.

Some sites work, others don’t but over time if you keep on building your profits slowly rise.

But the problem with this process is best described as "missed opportunity".

You see, you will often find that one affiliate program converts better than another, even for the same product. Send 100 visitors to each one and it’s very likely that you will make considerably more money from one than the other. Strange but true.

Taking it another step, if you do some testing you will also normally find that some of the adverts on your website get far more clicks than others. And that adverts in certain places on your website get more clicks than adverts in other areas of your website.

So if you could find which affiliate program converts best, which advert converts best and where to place that advert on your website for best results, then got rid of everything that *didn’t* work so well, as I’m sure you can imagine you’re likely to significantly increase your affiliate marketing profits.

And remember that you don’t have to write any more content, build loads more links or spend your life trying to build up visitor numbers.

All this extra money is simply as a result of some smart testing to reveal how best to monetize your affiliate sites. Surely this is leverage at it’s best.

By now I’m sure you can see the potential of this method and are wondering how best to actually go about the testing phase.

There are two ways to go about it. The first way is to simply make manual changes to your websites and see how the results change. However not only is this not exactly scientific, but it also takes quite a bit of time and effort to constantly move adverts around, keep an eye on clickthrough rates of adverts, affiliate profits and so on.

However there is also a tool which you can use which will do most of this for you. It will make all the necessary changes to your website and track the results. Let the script do all the "heavy lifting" and you can just pull out the top-performers from the statistics area of the tool and make the necessary changes to maximize your profits.

If you’d like to learn more about the tool that I mentioned that automates 95% of the process for you, saving you time and hassle, while helping you to increase your income, click here and get a free report.

How I Made Extra Money during the Current Economic Uncertainty

April 9, 2009 by · 138 Comments 

If you’ve been trying to learn how to make money online, I am sure you’ve came across claims like making money on the Internet is easy, you can become a millionaire overnight using a “fully-automated” or “turn-key” system. All you have to do is sit back and wait for the money to roll in.

But if it’s that easy why hasn’t everyone become an Internet millionaire by now?

Good for me that I started with no money at all so I couldn’t afford to buy every marketing product that claimed to have the answer to the secrets of Internet riches. I had to and still exercise good judgment and common sense when it comes to spending money on how to make money products.

At the same time, I knew there were many real people and those that running websites that became popular enough that their owners have quit their day job. I always wondered how they did it, how they got started and what they were doing differently that made them successful while others failed.

Once in a while, a product came along that really captured my attention. While money was still an issue, I strongly felt that using it as an excuse not to buy the product would mean that my curiosity on how some people become successful would remain unanswered.

Don’t get me wrong though as I doubt an ebook that has all the answers to the secrets of Internet riches exist. For me, an ebook is good if it doesn’t just dish out theories but proven ideas about specific ways of making money online.

I needed to treat what I do like a real business.  That means I needed to invest money in order to make more money. That seems obvious now but many newbies fail to see that including me when I first got started. And there’s nothing better than investing money in a good marketing education.

Spending money on improving your knowledge is one of the best investments you can do as you try to make money online. Your readiness  to invest in yourself shows whether you are really serious about becoming successful.

OK, let’s get straight to the point. If you want to learn how to make money from pay per click, the product that I am going to recommend is a must have. But…

  • If you are unwilling to risk losing some money in return for the opportunity to make even more than you can stop reading now.
  • If you want an easy way to make money, this product is not for you.
  • If you want to become a millionaire over night, this product is not for you.
  • If you want a fully automated or turnkey system, this product is not for you.

Anyway, this is what I’ve made from just ONE website in the first week of January (in USD) a few weeks after I implemented the methods. I made fantasy becomes reality because I took action, I didn’t just learn but I put what I’ve learned into practice.

income-black-ink1
Click image to enlarge

I used the extra money to indulge myself in my other newly found passion and got myself a Canon EOS 50D DLSR camera. Then I flew to Singapore for a couple of days for some shopping.

I am not telling you this to boast. I am just trying to show you the possibilities. Personally, I still need to work harder before I can say I’ve achieved my target, which is to make USD10,000 profit consistently monthly.

Can I guarantee that you’ll make money after reading this guide? I don’t know because I don’t know you. But what I can say for sure is that the methods really work for me.

The creator, Jeremy Palmer is using this exact technique (his personal way of making money online) that has made him millions of dollars in affiliate revenues annually.

Want to learn more? Check out The Black Ink Project

PS: Check out the bonuses. Jeremy is giving away PPC Classroom for free. I own this course too and paid USD500 for it when it was first released, serious…

How Two Underground Affiliates Generate $109,151 In 30 Days From Just One Clickbank Product

December 16, 2008 by · 47 Comments 

I was trying to come up with an attention grabbing headline and thought the headline for the sales copy for Commission Blueprint would do the trick.

Commission Blueprint is a training guide for anyone wanting to make real money from Clickbank or any kind of digital product using AdWords. It consists of a series of instructional videos and written guides in PDF format.

I purchased the guide recently and I have to say that it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made as far as making money online guide is concern. While I am aware that the topic has been the subject of discussion for countless guides and ebooks out there, this little guide is a bit different.

The main content is presented in a video format and for me, consuming the content is like attending a one on one training session with the author. I just have to sit back, watch and listen as the author unveiled the exact steps he did to make an insane amount of money with Clickbank.

If you are trying to make money online using pay per click, here are several things that you may have to consider if the products you are promoting do not bring the expected return.

  1. Instead of promoting physical product such as books, try promoting ebooks or audiobooks.
  2. Instead of trying to promote audio CDs, try to promote online music service.
  3. Similarly, downloadable software will convert better than boxed software

It has been showed that digital products such as ebooks, downloadable software, MP3s and so on convert better because they offer instant gratification to the customers. They are relatively cheaper compare to their physical counterparts and can be delivered directly via the Internet.

From the affiliate point of view, selling digital products offers higher profit margins and therefore you can afford to spend more with your pay per click (PPC) campaigns.

While Commission Blueprint focuses on Clickbank products, you could easily adapt the formula to any other affiliate networks and still make good money from it. 

This guide is not perfect for everyone. Beginners will likely face a rather steep learning curve ahead but it’s not impossible for them to master all the necessary skills as long as they put an effort to it.

The author goes through several crucial subjects rather briefly which I think is important for everyone to understand them fully. The discussion on Google Quality Score for example is rather brief and without the full understanding of this subject, it could cost you in the end.

Secondly, some keywords selected in the example are too general. The readers should be aware that selecting general keywords to start a campaign with may bring tons of traffic but this can put a hole in their pocket faster than they can top up their credit card.

That said, the guide touches almost everything you need to know about how to make money from Clickbank or any other digital products via pay per click search engines.  All you have to do next is continue to educate yourself by further reading all the relevant topics online.

One of the most useful pieces of information that I’ve picked up after I went through the videos is that it made me rethink how I research, launch and manage my PPC campaigns. All the other ebooks that I’ve read recommended me to work systematically but they stop short of sharing their exact system when it comes managing the business.

Commission Blueprint does not stop there, for instance, it recommends you to stop your campaign if

  • You’ve reached your budget and no sales were made
  • If overall conversion rate is less than 0.025 after getting over 500 clicks
  • If after getting over 500 clicks, you’ve spent more than 4 times what you made in sales.

 

You have a reason to hang in there before you ditch a campaign if it’s in the borderline. For example

  • You wait about a week (or at least 500 clicks) to “settle” the campaign down
  • Your overall conversion rate is over 0.025
  • If you’ve spent less than 4 times your sales
  • Keep optimizing and get at least another 250-500 clicks

 

After weeding out the bad campaigns and you find a winner, you should

  • Scale the campaign (something that people don’t do enough of)
  • Constant tweaking to increase profitability
  • First 30 days, tweak the campaign for every 2 to 3 days
  • Second 30 days, tweak the campaign once a week
  • After 60 days, you may tweak the campaign only monthly

 

If you are new to the game, these might not make much sense to you right now. But  I am telling you those points provided a crucial guidelines for anyone doing PPC marketing on how to arrive at a correct decision in order to move forward.

But of course you can adjust them according to your own needs.

Finally if you are a veteran pay per click marketer, you may discover some gems here and there, if not, the training provides a refresher on things that you may have forgot to do or stopped paying attention to.

How does the training affect me so far?

I started spending around US100 per day for one of my campaigns as an experiment. That doesn’t worry me much as long as I know I’ll not only breakeven but will make a tidy profit after adapting what I’ve learned from the training.

If you’ve been wondering what other successful PPC affiliates know that you don’t, well this training will help you understand the secret to their success. Read more about Comission Blueprint here.

How to Monetize Your Blog & Make Money

November 5, 2008 by · 55 Comments 

I planned to write a series of articles based on a formula that in my humble opinion sums up the “secret” of success for any blog. The formula is

Blog Success = Truckloads of Traffic + Good Monetization Technique + Good User Experience

Now when it comes to blogging, I must say that I am not a full time blogger and admittedly, there are other full timers who might have put the formula into practice, whether intentionally or not, and make tons of money out of it.

JohnChow.com comes to mind when we talk about this, the guy who made USD34,350.93 from his blog in October alone.
Well, it goes to show the sky is the limit when it comes to making money from your blog.

In general, this formula works regardless of whether you are trying to make money from blogging, affiliate programs, AdSense, eBay or whatever.

Some of you may recall that a couple of month back I wrote the first article of the series titled “Traffic to your Blog – A Recipe For Success.” A follow up to the first article is long overdue and I think it’s about time for the next one in the series. The second factor that I’d like to talk about is “Good Monetization Technique”.

If you have been blogging for sometime, you may already know that there are many ways to monetize your blog. From AdSense to promoting affiliate programs, and from writing paid reviews to selling direct advertising on your blog, the choices are endless.

Rather than listing all the monetization options available under the sun, I’ll try to discuss how to best monetize your blog in general.
The first question you need to ask yourself is that do you really want to make money from your blog? Perhaps you just want to share you opinion and making money is just a secondary goal.
Or perhaps commercializing your blog will compromise your integrity as an independent blog writer and if that’s the case, then this article is not for you.

The reason I ask is that there has to be a compromise between the quality of your content and how far you are willing to sacrifice user’s experience by having advertising in your blog.

The best way to make money from your own blog would depend on your blog’s niche and the type of visitors it attracts. If I can make money from AdSense, it doesn’t mean that you too will make lots of money from AdSense, although the chances are, you probably will because it’s the most popular way to make money from blogging.

Similarly, if you can make money from paid reviews, I don’t think I can make as much from this blog because I doubt I can churn out paid reviews as fast to generate as much income as you. Not to mention the Google penalty I’m trying to avoid for writing paid reviews in my blog.

 

So What Works Best For You?

The trick is to test to see what works best for you in your situation. If you run a finance blog, an ad that offers tax software might appeal to your readers.
Similarly, if you blog about making money on the Internet, your readers might response to ads related to how to make money online.

Now let’s look into several monetizing options in more detail.

 

Contextual Advertising

Content sites are best monetized with contextual advertising programs such as Google AdSense which is easily the most popular ways for bloggers to monetize they blog.
The ads are targeted and easily integrated with your content.

That said; do not assume right away that AdSense is the best monetization option for you. If your blogs belong in a popular niche such as entertainment or technology it would work great but if you blog about some obscure topics such as Qubit Field Theory, you would probably end up getting lots of Public Service Ads which doesn’t pay you anything when clicked.

In addition, you may want to try other ad network such as Chitika, Yahoo Publisher Network and others.

Like everything else, you need the traffic in order to make money from contextual advertising. It won’t make you rich overnight but it’s a good option to start with.

 

CPM Advertising

CPM advertising is ad programs which pay you for the each ad displayed on your blog. This option is best for blogs or sites that aren’t attracting enough targeted advertisers or the readers are less likely to click on your ads.

CPM (cost per thousands impressions) may pay you around $2 for 1000 impressions for instance but typically the pay out is rather low these days.

The downside of this is advertising option is that you really need a lot of traffic to generate a reasonable amount of income. Once you past the minimum traffic threshold, everything should be rather straight forward.

 

Direct Ad Sales

Direct ad sales is a great way to monetize your blog since there’s no middleman to take some of your profits. You can set you own ad rates and have more control over the advertising and payment options as it increases the amount and type of ads you can sell and let you specify when and how you get paid.

The main disadvantage is that since it’s up to you to find advertisers, you could end up with many unsold inventory especially when you are just starting out.

In addition, you’ll also open yourself to potential disputes as some buyers might ask for a refund. It’s therefore important to make your terms clear to potential advertisers before they sign up so that any future dispute can be resolved amicably.

If you are planning to offer direct ad sales from your blog, I suggest you check out the advertising script from OIOpublisher that help you manage and control your own ad sales easily. I am currently using this script to manage the direct ad sales in this blog.

 

Promoting Affiliate Programs

Once you get to know your readers closer, you might want to move into promoting affiliate programs. Unlike, AdSense, promoting an affiliate program require more than just plastering banner ads in your blog.

You can potentially make more money from affiliate program but since it requires some action from the readers in addition to a simple click, the conversion rate could be a lower.

I’ve written several articles regarding affiliate program in this blog which you may want to check out

 

Conclusion

It takes time and some effort to make money from your blog. The most important thing is to never give up and continue to focus on the areas of your strength.

Do not put all your eggs in one basket, diversify your income stream as much as possible.
When one method fails to work, at least you have five other sources that are making you money.

Gobala Krishnan – The New Millionaires – A Review

August 25, 2008 by · 55 Comments 

I imagine anyone who wants to learn about making money on the Internet and wonders if it’s possible to do it for a living would have their interest peaked to find a book addressing this subject.

If you don’t know this already, Gobala Krishnan – one of the most prolific Malaysian Internet marketers – has released his first paperback book with a fascinating title: The New Millionaires: Work From Home Make Money Online Live Like a Millionaire.

The book should be available in book stores near you as you are reading this.

I got a complimentary copy from Gobala a couple of days ago and I initially flipped through it to see if there are new nuggets to pick up. This book is written by someone who has been there and done it, so of course I did expect to find something interesting.

While reading the first few chapters, I found myself scribbling down on sticky notes marking interesting paragraphs and then continued scribbling in my notepad. By the time I was finished, I had several pages filled with points that I wanted to pay attention to.

Making money on the Internet is a vast subject and your imagination is the only limit as to how you want to make money online. The book explains not only the How part but the

  • Why (why should you do it)
  • When (part-time of full time)
  • What (what to do and what to avoid)
  • Who (success stories of Malaysian Internet marketers)

The Who part fills about half of the book. It’s a compilation of interviews with 12 Malaysian Internet marketers making money from various methods from eBay and dropshipping to the well known Google AdSense and affiliate programs.

What’s so valuable about this chapter is that, people are sharing their own experiences giving you some insights into things behind the scene. You’ll find valuable tips and tricks as well as pitfalls to avoid.

Be warned though, the variety of business ideas may overwhelm you especially if you are just testing the water. Most newbies make the mistake by thinking that they probably have to learn everything in this chapter in order to become successful.

As explained by Gobala in the book, the problem starts when someone starts researching into hundreds of different ways of making money online. First they read about eBay and they dream of becoming an eBay powerseller, then they came across this thing called blogging, and they want to become a successful blogger making tons of money from it. They spend all their time learning but still fail because they never really put what they’ve learned into practice.

There’s one element that must absolutely present if you want to make money on the Internet – that is to identify things that you are passionate about and these are things that should be the foundation of your online business. As they said, find your passion and the money will follow.

In any online endeavour, often times it begins with you making no money or little if any for a while and it would seem like throwing the towel is the only sensible option. Passion is what will keep you going during those trying times and this book talks about this early to help you start off on the right path.

That said, you’ll also have to be realistic in that your business idea has to be feasible. No matter how passionate you are about it, there’s little point selling ice to the Eskimos for instance!

I find the discussion about How to grow exponentially on page 186 really inspiring. While they are not entirely new to me, they’ve definitely reminded me to pay attention to those things that I’ve been tossing in the back seat.

This includes things like not to put off the creation of new products, realise that residual income won’t last forever without constant “nudging” from you to keep things rolling and focus on things that bring the most return.

The book touches on other subjects including how Gobala made RM31,500 selling a 12 page ebook (an insightful chapter I must add), how exactly he makes money online, an introduction to keyword research, email marketing, understanding resell rights and so on.

While most people can draw something useful from this book, I’d have to be realistic here, reading this book alone won’t change your life unless you are able to extract useful ideas and apply them in your own online business endeavours. In a nutshell – you have to take action!

If I were to start a new online venture here’s what I’d do:

  • Discover whatever I am passionate about at the moment
  • Create a website, a product or a service
  • Drive targeted traffic and continue to improve on the website, product or service
  • Only then I’ll try to make money from it.
  • I’ll focus on this particular venture before I move on to the next business idea.

You can read more about Gobala’s book here

 

How I Make Over USD500 Monthly from MaxBounty

August 20, 2008 by · 54 Comments 

This is a follow up to my previous post regarding the PayPal funds withdrawals with Public Bank Visa Card.

My intention for writing that post was of course to try to discuss if there’s a way to remove the daily withdrawal limit imposed to Malaysian PayPal users. A reply from PayPal clearly states that the limit cannot be lifted for the time being.

But there’s one question that was asked repeatedly in the comments as people are curious how I made that money. I don’t blame them for asking, in fact, I think it’s a good post to share with my readers.

Personally though, I don’t think making around USD500 monthly from one affiliate network is a big deal, that is, if you compare that to what other super affiliates are making in this case from MaxBounty. However, what so good about this income stream for me is that it’s generated almost passively.

I spent nothing on pay-per-click marketing or any other form of advertising to attract targeted traffic that convert those MaxBounty offers. Most of the traffic comes from the organic search engine results – Google in particular. Every commission generated is basically pure profit for me.

I am going to reveal the website where I made the money from and how I made it. The income is generated mostly from one of my oldest websites at AbsolutelyFreebies.com. That website was created in 1997 but the domain name was only purchased in 1999. It offers free stuff, trial offers, sweepstakes, free samples and other pay per lead offers.

I guess I should point out that in addition to MaxBounty, I am also making money from other affiliate networks at AbsolutelyFreebies.com such as from CJ.com, COPEAC, ModernClick.com, AzoogleAds, ValueClick.com, BulletAds, ClickBooth, among others and of course from Google AdSense too. By the way, MaxBounty is not my biggest money maker at AbsolutelyFreebies.com.

This is the amount I am making from MaxBounty for the past several months. Not much, things add up though.

I guess the next question in almost everyone’s mind reading this is that, exactly, how do I make money from AbsolutelyFreebies.com in an auto-pilot mode? There are several factors but none has anything to do with the idea of just build it and they will come.

It’s crucial to identify your goals when you build a website and everything you do must contribute towards achieving those goals. Here are several reasons why the website is profitable.

 

First Page Rankings In Google for Several Competitive Keywords

All pages in AbsolutelyFreebies.com are fully optimized for the organic search engine. Obviously I don’t claim I know everything there is when it comes to getting high rankings in Google given the fact that their ranking algorithm changes almost on the daily basis.

I don’t devote my waking time trying to reverse engineer the search engines. It’s a futile attempt to “uncover” their secret via such method because what you find out today could well be outdated tomorrow. Just leave this to those SEO experts who are doing this for a living. You job is to create good content for your visitors and offer them better experience while browsing your website.

That said, I know enough SEO techniques to help me create pages that are likely to rank high in Google or Yahoo. Let me give you some examples. At the time of this writing, several pages in AbsolutelyFreebies.com are ranked highly for the following keywords

"Freebies" (yes that one word keyword) – currently AbsolutelyFreebies.com is ranked in the top ten in Google US organic search result (it used to be in the top three). In case you don’t know about this, the Google search results are tailored to your geographical location – there’s no such thing as Google global search result at Google.com.

The top ten search result for a particular keywords produced in Malaysia is often different from that of other countries even though you are searching through Google.com.

To find out the results that you would see as if you were located in a certain country, just append the following code in your search string where “gl” stands for geographic location. It can be set to “UK”, “US”, “CA” and so on.

gl=US

For example to see the organic and paid search results in the US for the keyword “freebies” you would type

http://www.google.com/search?q=freebies&gl=US

Instead of typing this manually though, I am using the Google Global Firefox Extension to perform this task

Alternatively, searching through Google country specific domain such as Google.com.my may show you results that are more relevant to you locally because the results comes from servers hosted in the area.

AbsolutelyFreebies.com is not in the top ten for the keyword “freebies” in Malaysia though which is good because Google is clever enough to know that I am trying to target the US traffic and not the Malaysian traffic.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you enable personalization, the search engines will look at your search history and other preferences and tailor the results specifically for you.

Here are some more keywords:

Wedding sweepstakes – currently number five in the Google US organic search results.

Get free money – currently number two in Google US organic search result. I used to be number one for the phrase “free money”, sadly it had slipped to number 15

There are several other competitive keywords and phrases that the websites are ranked highly for. This ensures continuous arrival of highly targeted visitors to the websie. The only constant in Google is change so those high rankings won’t stay there forever. The good news is, if a keyword ranking drops, another might take its place.

If you are interested, here’s an article I wrote previously to give newbies an introduction to onpage SEO. Here’s another article about linking and off page factors that may affect your rankings.

 

Put Your Visitors First & Make Money Second

On the Internet, the saying “follow your passion and the money will follow” should be everyone’s mantra. When I first created the website, it made little money if any at all but that didn’t stop me from burning the midnight oil working till the wee hours.

Building the site was a joy and not a chore, and it was satisfying to find my visitors actually interacting with the content. Then the money followed, which was not much but it was fun to have when you were a poor student. That was in 1997, today I have someone to help me update the website.

I am aware that the website is far from perfect. While most of the content consists of affiliate links, I find that people do no really bother as long as you give them what they want. There are tons of non affiliate links sprinkled all over the site to ensure a balance content.

Visitors arriving from the organic search engines have a different mindset. Depending on the keywords,  they can be highly motivated and when “lured” with the word free, it could do wonders to your conversion rates.

 

Update Your Content Frequently

My assistant updates the website almost daily with new offers. This will not only encourage visitors to return to see what’s new, many SEO experts believe that Google favours sites with fresh content too.

I admit that, if you search further you may stumble upon some expired offers and links on the site but that’s how things are on the Internet. As long as you are aware of this and replace expire links as soon as you can, then it’s not a big deal. That said offering fresh content doesn’t necessarily mean better ranking in the SERP but it tells the Google crawler that your site is worth check out often.

Little has changed in term of site design and navigation since the site was created. It’s still text heavy instead of graphically intensive as it has always been. The navigation is simple enough to help visitors find their way around easily.

 

Diversify Your Revenue Streams

While AbsolutelyFreebies.com has been making me some money since its early days I don’t depend on it as my main source of income.

It’s important to diversify your online income and as they said do not put all your eggs in one basket. I chuckled when I read someone wrote in a blog post that said I am probably making money doing “phantom blogging” whatever that means 😉

My latest posts here at Sabahan.com often give little clue as to how I make money online besides blogging, I suppose only my regular readers know what I do.

Besides promoting pay per lead programs from websites such as AbsolutelyFreebies.com, as some of you know I am also a part time blogger, an Internet marketer doing Pay Per Click marketing selling my own products as well as other people products and service.

In addition, I’ve started experimenting with direct advertising, starting at Sabahan.com. And who can ignore making money from AdSense – one of the easiest ways to make money online if you do it right. That said, there are still tons of things I’d have to do before I consider myself really successful.

 

Should You Start A Freebie Site Now?

Now I am sure some of you may wonder if you should drop everything and start a freebie site to make money. If you ask me, my answer is no.

Unless you have a highly motivated team behind you and you have money to spend on advertising, I doubt any individual could create a freebie website today that can be profitable solely from the organic search traffic. The competition in this niche is getting tougher by the day and you have to be really creative if you want to stand out from the crowd.

I am actually lucky that I’ve started early because a website age is one of the most important factors used to rank it in the search engines. That’s one reason why my website enjoys good ranking almost naturally.

That’s said, it’s not just the age of the domain that matters, but how long the website “talks” about a specific niche. The logic is simple, if you have been active in a certain niche for a while, you are probably into this for the long term and not one of the fly by night websites and this tells Google that your website is trustworthy and it will award you with some good rankings accordingly.

So there you have it. I hope the question how I make money from MaxBounty has been answered.

ShoeMoney Reveals How He Made $132,994.97 From AdSense In a Month

November 8, 2007 by · 44 Comments 

I couldn’t help but felt totally in awe while reading a post over at ShoeMoney.com where he answers several frequently asked questions about the AdSense Check in his Gallery that showed him holding one worth over $100K. Keep in mind that the check was for August 2005.

Sure, it’s a link bait post but a good one at that, so it’s worth linking to. If you are looking for a real life example of publishers making insane amount of money from AdSense, check this one out. Posting the picture again will continue to “resurrect” readers’ interest and certainly create an opportunity for him to promote his sites.

adsensecheck-shoe.jpg

I quote the FAQ in full below:

  1. What site was it for? What does the site do?
    The site is nextpimp. The name was kind of a joke at first… next-pimp like pimp out your nextel phone. It started as a wallpaper site for nextel phones which grew into ringtones and other stuff. All content is 100% user generated.
  2. How much of the check was profit?
    At the time my expenses were 1 server @ 299$ per month for hosting. I would say atleast 130k was profit.

  3. How much of the traffic was pay per click?
    None of it was pay per click. Back then I did not know anything at all about pay per click.
  4. Where did all your traffic come from?
    About 70% of the traffic was direct 15% from search engines and 15% from referrals.
  5. How much traffic did the site get to get that much money?
    About 75k uniq per day.
  6. Why did you get a paper check and not wire?
    Back then Google did not do wire transfers for amounts of $10,000.00
  7. Do you think its possible to still earn that kind of revenue? (most often asked question)
    Yes.
  8. How long did it take to make revenue?
    I never tried to make any money the first 1.5 years it was running. I just concentrated on providing a good service. About 2 years after I started the site It started to do good revenue from AdSense
  9. Can you show the full month report from AdSense for that month?
    Sure.

 

He even includes a screenshot of his AdSense report for that particular month. With permission from Google, he discloses his CTR and CPM. Can you imagine making such insane amount of money while only spending $299 monthly on web hosting? Check out his daily income below. Now convert those to Malaysian ringgit, are you thinking what I’m thinking? 🙂

adsense-august-copy.gif

And that’s not even his main income, according to him, AdSense has accounted for less than 5% of the incoming revenue for his companies. In addition to that, his blog at ShoeMoney.com is pulling just under $30,000 in October from direct ad sales, 30% from affiliate programs and other sources. Obviously more than the amount John Chow made from his blog. It made my head spin just thinking about those seriously mad figures.

But it doesn’t stop there, in March 2007 he made USD709,626.81 in commission from Commission Junction. I hope that’s a typo because I started to feel a little depress right now LOL. Just joking, it’s great inspiration for everyone. I don’t know if he earned that amount as a vendor or affiliate, regardless, it’s just insane to make that much monthly.

commission-junction-shoemoney.jpg

So did you notice a running theme here? He doesn’t make money by serving AdSense or selling paid links on his blog. While creating a blog can make you rich if it’s done correctly, I believe you’ll have to explore other monetization options in order to go to the next level.

You’ll need to create sites that serve certain purposes like PlentyOfFish.com or NextPimp.com, then learn PPC and do affiliate marketing. Remember Ashley, the 17 year old teenage girl who pull in over $70K monthly from AdSense by offering free MySpace templates on her site?

That goes to show that offering a service or products that lots of people are interested in will help you make money online faster.

Now I‘m not suggesting you drop everything you are doing now and start brainstorming similar ideas and hopefully get rich next year. I am aware that there are tons of other ways to make money online and not everyone can be as successful as those above even when they create the next free dating site, or free ringtone download site or give away free Myspace templates.

Often people become successful because they are able to offer the right products/services at the right time. Some may call that luck, but I call it knowing when to act when opportunity presents itself. If we can do that, we’ll be the next ShoeMoney.

My Latest Blogging Projects and a Chance to Supplement Your AdSense and Affiliate Program Income

September 21, 2007 by · 14 Comments 

Some of you may recall that sometime in May 2007, I’ve made an announcement to invite interested bloggers to contribute related articles for some of my blogs.

In return, I’ve promised to pay the bloggers via an AdSense revenue sharing arrangement where they would keep 100% of the AdSense income generate by their own posts.

So far I have had several interested bloggers contacted me but only one decided to give it a try. Unfortunately, our discussion didn’t materialize and nobody took up the job offer in the end.

I’ve created two more new blogs and finding contributors becomes more of a priority now if I want to keep these blogs alive. In addition to the requirements I’ve stated in my earlier post. I’d also like to mention that

  1. I might add other contextual advertising programs into the blogs in the future. However, if I were to add Kontera for instant, it would be on a revenue sharing basis too.
  2. Some non-contextual advertising programs such as Text-Link-Ads.com and Chitika would not be on a revenue sharing basis.
  3. You are allowed to write product or service reviews which include your affiliate programs. However you may only do this once for every three non affiliate articles. Remember that you’ll earn money from AdSense regardless of whether you include affiliate links or not.
  4. No spamming is allowed. The reviews must be useful, not just toss in between posts to make a quick buck.
  5. No pay per post allowed.

Below are two of my latest blogging projects

Personal Finance Blog
As the title implies, this is a personal finance blog. The content is targeted towards the American audience, obviously because of the larger market share. In addition to a potentially good payout for AdSense ads, you can find some of best paying affiliate programs in the personal finance niche. This is your chance to get good payouts from AdSense and promote high paying affiliate programs.

Techno Mint
This is a tech blog with a touch of green. Once a week I’ll require a post related to green technology such as hybrid cars, renewal energy, green tips, eco friendly products, eco home and so on. Other categories that should be covered include latest gadget reviews, general tech industry news, Apple, gaming and consoles, Google news, Microsoft and tricks and tips.

 

You may recall that the other day I gave out tips to help bloggers make US500 or more per month from Text-Link-Ads.com (TLA). Instead of just giving out unproven theories in this blog, I think it’s important to walk the talk and this is exactly what I am doing now.

I only need some $170+ more to reach the $500 mark in Text-Link-Ads.com monthly income. Hopefully, my plan to revive my neglected blogs and find contributors will not only help me attains the goal but surpasses it all together.

I’ve laid out my plans, nobody preventing you from copying it. This is what this blog is for – to teach my readers how to make money based on my own experience.

Is this going to work work? Well, anything is possible – I could fail but I’m sure it won’t be a miserable one if it were to happen. What I know for sure is that in order to make your dreams a reality, you just have to start taking action NOW. Stay tuned if you are interested to know my progress.

Should Bloggers Reveal Their Income?

September 6, 2007 by · 36 Comments 

Revealing your income can be a good way to generate buzz to your blog if you are making good money from it.

After revealing my income the other day, the post was mentioned in several blogs, many of which were new to me. It’s a good way to attract other bloggers to link to you.

As I wrote earlier some bloggers may prefer to keep quiet about their income for fear of being copied by others, or they don’t want to be perceived as bragging.

On the other hand, sharing the details of your blog’s income (or Internet income) offers a powerful way to generate interest and it helps to keep the buzz going.

I see this method used effectively by John Chow Dot Com. By revealing his income, he had attracted the attention of many people including several TV stations that had invited him as a guess to talk about his money making blog.

The cumulative effect of all this allowed him to make a over US17,828.61 from his blog in August 2007. That’s how you make money from “how to make money” blog – keep the buzz going. Once you’ve created the buzz, take advantage of it by selling advertising in your blog.

There are other blogs that are more popular than John Chow Dot Com as far as traffic from the search engines is concern but they make less money because they don’t create as much buzz.

One way you can create the buzz is to fake it until you made it. People like ShoeMoney.com or Markus Frind of Plenty Of Fish are known to employ this method when they weren’t quite there yet. Nonetheless, it kept the ball rolling and helped them achieved their ultimate goal.

Now I am not suggesting that everyone should fake it before they made it, that’s practically lying. But hey some people are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve their goal as long as they see the ends justify the means.

I like to read other people’s experience. Knowing how much they are making motivates me to work harder. I wish more “ordinary” bloggers will reveal their income as it can be a powerful source of inspiration for others.

Probably like most people, jealousy may occasionally surface when we read other people success stories. However I usually responded to such feeling positively and use it as a source of motivation that reminded myself that I have to keep going.

If I don’t act now, other people will “overtake” me in my own game and become more successful. In the end I have nobody to blame but myself. It’s not that they prevented me to do whatever I wanted to do. My mantra is if they can do it, I can do it too, if not better. Please excuse me if this sounds a little self-centered 🙂 – well you are already half way there if you believe in your own ability.

Earning over RM15,000, RM20,000 or more monthly is quite an achievement by the Malaysian standard. If you are living in a small town like me, there’s some money to be saved. I work in my shorts and t-shirt from home, earning as much as some big shots in a multi national company but without all the stress and corporate politics to deal with. How cool is that?

Due to the diversity of my Internet business, the income is consistent month after month. It’s not like I suddenly make tons of money after a successful email campaign (although I should have started doing that) and then nothing the next day.

The downside of making that much is that you start giving excuses and become complacent with what you’ve achieved. My progress stagnated for a couple of years. I had always set to attain higher goals but I only started acting on it seriously this year.

Today, I am launching several projects simultaneously and hopefully they will help me attain my goal of earning USD10,000 by the end of this year.

August could had easily be my best month ever if not because of technical glitch which had resulted in the disappearance of my sites from Google index. Thankfully, things are back to normal now. I am glad that when that happened, I’ve started to ramp up my PPC campaigns which managed to balance things out at the end of the month as far as my income is concern.

I am not telling you this to brag; hey I am not even there yet. But I feel that by telling others, I have greater chance of sticking to my plan. You may even decide to set similar goals for yourselves.

One of my projects involves experimenting with a newly released pay per click software.

The software is called SpeedPPC and it cost an absolute fortune, US497 to be exact but I see the potential of this software so I went ahead and bought it. If it doesn’t work as expected within 30 days, I might ask for a refund.

If I have any success with it, you might hear me writing about this software again in this blog.

A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money on the Internet

August 22, 2007 by · 22 Comments 

When I first learned the ropes in Internet marketing, I was lucky to find several useful websites that had guided me in the right direction.

It was good that I wasn’t trying to get rich overnight since I understood that it takes hard work to be successful. That had helped me avoid pitfalls or getting involved in more seedy methods of making money online.

Today, a quick search on Google returns a plethora of information to help you make money online. Instead of explaining every money making methods conceivable, I am going to focus on methods that I’ve been using to help me make a living online.

 

  1. Setup a Website to Promote Affiliate Programs

    Instead of explaining what affiliate program all over again, you can check my earlier article where I explained almost everything to help you get started with affiliate program.

    Getting involved in affiliate marketing these days has the advantage in that you don’t have to have technical skills to create websites and promote affiliate programs. Content Management Software (CMS) such as WordPress, Drupal, Xoops allows everyone to create and maintain a website easily.

    When I first got started, I had to learn HTML and hand coded all my websites. But it didn’t bother at all because it was a fun learning experience.

    Creating a website dedicated to promoting affiliate programs gives you some flexibility in the products and service you want to promote. You are basically in the same playing field with other big companies, regardless of where you are located in the world. I’ve been doing affiliate marketing since the late 90s and it’s something that has been making me money consistently.

    These days successful affiliate marketing often involves the use of pay per click search engines as part of the promotion effort. Pay per click search engines allow you to buy instant traffic and drive them to your website. Some of the popular ones are Google AdWords, Yahoo! Search Marketing and MSN AdCenter.

    It’s not unheard of someone pulling $10,000 or more in pure profit or more per month using pay per click search engines to promote affiliate programs.

    Here’s a video from Amit Mehta, a PPC super affiliate where he shares his methods how he was able to grow his business from making $10,000/month profits in December 2005 to $90,000/month in April 2007. I was somewhat reluctant to include this video here because I don’t want my potential competitors to get their hands on this gem but here it is anyway.

    The video is over an hour long so grab a drink, sit back and enjoy :). Depending on your connection speed though, it can be real slow to download.

    To see the rest of the videos, you need to register with the Affiliate Summit website. Attendees paid hundreds of dollars to attend the seminar but you get to watch them for free!

    While most of what Amit talks about in the video are common sense, that is if you are not a beginner in PPC marketing, try to read between the lines where he spills the beans about the methods that work for him.

    To learn more about affiliate programs and affiliate marketing, check out the affiliate program category.

     

  2. Create of Blog and Start Blogging

    Blogging is way to share your thoughts and ideas with other people online. Blogs are online journals or diaries like Sabahan.com where I share information and ideas about Internet marketing, affiliate programs, blogging, search engines and so on.

    A blog is often frequently updated on an ongoing basis. It can be a personal website featuring diary-type commentary, links to articles or other Web sites or products reviews.

    You can make money from a blog by displaying advertising programs such as Google AdSense, Chitika, Text-Link-Ads.com, ReviewMe or other affiliate program.

    The best way to make money from a blog is to create one that focuses on a particular topic such as parenting, technology, sports, or politics and so on. These are popular topics which could capture the general Internet surfers’ interest.

    If you can help it, avoid creating another “how to make money” blog or a blog about blogging. I find that they often attract a low number of visitors from the search engines. These topics attract a specific audience type that’s used to seeing ads, therefore they don’t usually response to ads. You’ll be better off selling products or services by writing reviews if you have a loyal audience.

    In addition, I feel that the supply and demand for such information has nearly reached its saturation point on the Internet. Unless you can offer something unique that differentiates your blog from your competitors, you need to explore other high demand niches, ideally one that has less competition.

    While blogging offers one of the easiest ways to make money online, it takes time, often over a year before you see any meaningful results.

     

  3. Create and Market Your Own Products

    Owning your own products offers the stability and control in your business that no affiliate programs could offer. While there are more works involved in term of customer support, you can keep 100% of your profits for each sale.

    I think this should be everyone’s ultimate goal when trying to make money online. You can write an ebook, develop a software, or sell physical products that can be shipped from your home.

    I personally prefer intangible products such as ebooks and software because I don’t have to manage the inventory and shipping.

    If you are a skillful web designer, you can sell website templates or artworks. If you are adept in photography, you can sell your photos online. Once you have your own products, your can even start your own affiliate program and let others sell the products for you in exchange for a commission.

    Owning a product doesn’t mean you have to create it yourself. You can always hire someone to create it for you. Sites like elance.com or RentACoder.com should be handy in such case

    Alternatively, you can purchase products reprint or resale rights to someone else’s. Depending on the type of rights, you may keep a percentage of the sales or all of the proceeds.

    Ideally you should buy the rights for already established products so that you can capitalise on the brand name without spending any time developing your own.

    Most of the products that offer resale rights are information-based products such as ebook and software. So it’s a good way to get your feet wet in selling your own products.

There are other ways to make money online but if you are just getting started, these are the three that you could focus on.

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