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Category Archives for "Computer & Internet"
22

A Beginner’s Guide to Making Money on the Internet

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.

13

5 Quick Tricks to Create Thousands of Memorable & Secure Passwords

Perhaps, the easiest way to ‘remember’ all your passwords is to use password manager software like RoboForm. Alternatively, the built-in password manager in most browsers should suffice most for most people.

However if you are after something more natural that involves the use of your memory, here are some tips to help you out.

Using your memory has its advantage in that you can still login to any website even from a computer that doesn’t have access to your password manager data.

The following are five quick tips to help you create a secure and easy to remember password. Most of the tricks involved coming up with a general rule and use it to generate a password that appears to be random.

 

Consonants & Vowels

Choose a base password and combine it with the first two consonants and the first two vowels of the domain name. If your base password it QWER, for mail.yahoo.com the first two consonants are ML and first two vowels are AI, so your password would be QWERMLAI

 

Words Shifting

This technique involves shifting a word up, down, left or right one row on the keyboard. Choose a base password then combine it with the shifted words of the service name.

In case of Blogger.com and with a base password say ASDF, just use the keys to the left of the keys in BLOGGER to produce VKIFFWE. So your password would be ASDFVKIFFWE

 

Use Your Date of Birth

Select a base password; say your nick name that not many people know of. Then combine it with the first three letters of the domain name and transform any other letter into your date of birth.

If your secret nick name is TUDOI, your password for Amazon.com in its initial form would be TUDOIAMA. Then transform every other letter into your date of birth. If you are born on 1 January 1980 (1180), your final password would be T1D1I8M0.

To make you password more secure, instead of using an easily identifiable numbers such as your date of birth, you could use the time of your birth.

 

Create Acronyms from Your Favourite Song

This method involves creating acronyms from words in a song or any other phrase that has meaning to you and combines it with the first and last letter of the domain name and the number of character in the domain name.

Say your favourite song is Home by Chris Daughtry, you can use the “Well I’m going home” WIGH, You password for Sabahan.com would be WIGHSN7

 

Use a Phrase That Has Numbers In The Middle

Come up with your own acronym from a phrase that has numbers in the middle. Then combine it with the first and last letter of the domain name.

For example the phrase “I have three sons and two daughters” would become IH3SA2D. In case of PayPal.com, your password would be PIH3SA2DL.

 

You should not use the example passwords above as your own as they have been published publicly.

Keep in mind that each service has its own password requirements in terms of characters allowed and length. You could combine these rules or create your own rules that suit your needs.

To create better and secure password, you should

  • Include both uppercase and lowercase letters
  • Include alphabetic characters (A-Z), numbers(0-9) and symbols (@#$%^&())
  • Do not use a dictionary word or common name
  • Create a password with at least 6-8 characters
  • Change your password frequently
15

My Kontera Experiment – The Results Are In…

Some of you may recall that I wrote about re-running Kontera ads (those text links with double underline) at Sabahan.com.

I was testing to see how much money I could make from it, and whether it’ll affect my AdSense income, traffic and readers experience. I was also watching the relevancy of the ads.

I setup the Kontera ads to run from 22 Jun 2007 until 26 July 2007 today. Up until 24 July, I’ve made $30.42 from 320 clicks which translates to around $0.095 per click. My effective CPM stands at $1.29, the revenue generated for every 1000 net impressions.

That amount doesn’t include those from my other blogs. Kontera is running on several of my other blogs.

kontera-stats.png

I changed the Kontera links colour to black and later to dark green to differentiate them from the normal links since I found it rather confusing and irritating when they were the same colour. As a result, my daily Kontera income took a dip.

Since setting up Kontera, I didn’t notice any significant impact on my AdSense CTR. The only complaints I received were from the slightly unfavourable reviews by those participating in my contest. The main complaint was I have too much ads, perhaps because they find Kontera ads a little obtrusive. Other than that, I only have two AdSense ads running (one on the main page), and a couple of text link ads on my sidebar.

The ads were quite relevant to the content and at times I was tempted to click on them. I am sure others were too. While this may be good to my bottom line, it destroys the usability of my pages and may irritate users who think the links lead to more information about the subject, while in fact, they are advertisements.

In addition, I don’t like to see my ‘good’ content littered with links that aren’t created by me especially when they don’t contribute to my blog income significantly. It’s not worth sacrificing the users experience just to make a few bucks at the end of the month.

That said, it doesn’t mean the door for Kontera ads to appear here is forever shut. If I can limit the number of links per page, that would be great. What I need next is traffic, it’s just not generating enough clicks with the amount of traffic that I have currently.

So, for now I have to remove Kontera for the second time.

21

8 Tricks You Can Use to Increase Alexa’s Traffic Ranking

Yesterday I wrote about 5 tricks some people use to increase their Alexa’s traffic ranks. The point of the post is not to say that Alexa is totally useless but the methods I described do not usually help in improving the rankings.

To the general web surfers, Alexa’s traffic ranking means almost nothing. But many advertisers and ad networks use Alexa to gauge whether it’s worth spending money and pay the site owner to advertise on the site.

If you are a blogger trying to make money from Text Link Ads or ReviewMe, having a good Alexa ranking put you in the position to charge more on your ad inventory.

I’ve been repeating this point several times in my previous posts. If you want to make money from your website, putting some effort in improving your Alexa ranking will be worth your while.

On the other hand, if you are not trying to make money from Text Link Ads, ReviewMe or you are using ad networks that disregard Alexa traffic, you can ignore Alexa because it won’t make any difference to your bottom-line. Similarly, if you are selling your own products via AdWords, having a good ranking won’t help you sell more products. So, this post is for those whose Alexa’s traffic rankings affect their bottom-line to a certain extend. Here are ten tricks to increase your Alexa ranking.

 

  1. Install Alexa Toolbar

    If this look likes a contradiction to the third point in my previous post, it doesn’t. There’s no need to install Alexa toolbar on several different computers if they all share the same IP address. Unless of course, each computer access your site alternately on different days.

    Once you set your site or blog as your homepage, you’ll start seeing some increase to you ranking albeit a very small one. This tips works if you have a brand new site. Download Alexa toolbar here.

     

  2. Recommend Alexa Toolbar to Your Users

    Write a review about Alexa, similar to what I am doing now and tell your users why Alexa can be important to them. Invite your friends to use Alexa toolbar and explain why it’s beneficial to do so. Make sure they are aware of the privacy issue associate with using Alexa toolbar.

    Again if you have a new blog or site, you’ll notice an increase in your ranking soon.

     

  3. Create Contents that Appeal to Webmasters

    Since we know Alexa stats is skewed towards webmaster traffic, put this to your advantage by creating contents that attract webmasters and tech savvy readers.

    I’ve demonstrated this when I compared the Alexa stats for Sabahan.com and a political blog in the 50 most influential blogs in Malaysia. In that article, I pointed out that while the political blog gets more traffic daily, Sabahan.com enjoys better Alexa ranking even with lower traffic level only because its content attracts webmasters, bloggers and tech savvy audience.

     

  4. Take Advantage of the Social Bookmarking Sites

    Submit your blog posts to the social bookmark sites like digg, and Stumble Upon or reddit.com. Even if you don’t get to the front page, some visitors will still end up on your site. Since this traffic is targeted to your content, someone might find them useful enough to link to your posts from their blogs.

    Obviously your ultimate aim should be to get into the front page and bring the traffic surge that could significantly impact your Alexa’s traffic ranking.

     

  5. Create Sub Domains or Run Multiple Blogs Under One Domain

    Alexa merges together sites which they think have the some content. The merged sites would have their traffic combined to form one ranking and listed under the main domain.

    To take advantage of this, you could create another site and run it under a sub domain of your main site e.g. http://seo.sabahan.com You could offer webmaster tools section to attract webmaster traffic.

    If you have extra bandwidth and web space to spare, offer free blog hosting to your users and host them under sub domains, e.g. blog1.sabahan.com, blog2.sabahan.com, blog3.sabahan.com etc.

    Your will enjoy a greater Alexa ranking as it’s a combination of all the blogs rankings under that domain.

     

  6. Get Involved In Chinese Sites

    That is, if you know Chinese. There are many Chinese websites ranked highly in the Global Alexa top 500. To some extent, this reflects the high adoption of Alexa toolbar among Chinese Internet users.

    If you could create a sub domain and run a Chinese blog that attracts Chinese users from China, you could potentially enjoy a greater Alexa ranking.

     

  7. Remove Unnecessary Secure Pages On Your Site

    Since Alexa toolbar turns itself of on secure pages (https:), sites with secure page views will be under-counted in the Alexa traffic data. So if you have many secure pages, consider disabling them if that doesn’t compromise on your users’ security.

     

  8. Create Great Content

    Great content attracts readership which translates into more traffic. On the Internet, content is king and some say traffic is the queen. Like everything else, focus on your effort in creating valuable and useful content. Give what your readers want.

    When you got traffic, your Alexa’s rank increase will follow. One good example I can give is the DoshDosh.com blog. Its Alexa ranking jumped from around 3 million in January 2007 to around 7,149 in just over six month all due to its great content that’s targeted towards webmasters.

    dosh-dosh.png

 

Due to the statistical limitations of the sample of Alexa toolbar users, Alexa is unable to accurately determine the ranking of sites with fewer than 1,000 total monthly visitors or about 30 visits per day. Therefore, in order to be taken seriously by advertisers, you need to get below 100,000 in your traffic ranking, any higher is regarded as not reliable. Obviously the closer you get to number 1 the better.

Have I missed anything? Please share your tips in increasing your Alexa’s traffic rankings in the comments.

39

5 Useless Tricks People Use to Increase Their Alexa’s Traffic Ranking

For some site owners, getting a high Alexa traffic rank is more of an ego boost than a true reflection of their sites popularity. Others are trying to game Alexa so that they can command higher prices for their ad inventory among other things.

The recently released official Alexa toolbar for Firefox seems to re-ignite the obsession some people have over their Alexa ranking. I’ve seen several bloggers recommending tools and methods to game Alexa ranking.

Trying to cheat their Alexa ranks may be fun to some people but it degrades the value of the entire system and affects Alexa’s reputation negatively as it becomes less reliable as a traffic measurement metric. While I am aware that Alexa has its limitations, it’s essentially offering valuable service to webmasters and advertisers alike. Besides Google PageRank, I don’t know of any other universally accessible metrics for anyone when evaluating a site’s worth.

However, like other popular services on the Internet, Alexa is getting smarter in preventing people from artificially manipulating their rankings. What used to work yesterday doesn’t always work today.

The following are tricks/cheats employed by some people who try to manipulate and increase their ranking.

 

  1. Install Firefox extension that Reloads Web Pages

    There’s an extension for Firefox named ReloadEvery that as the name implies, reloads web pages every so may seconds or minutes.

    The idea is to increase your page views and hopefully they will be counted towards your Alexa rankings. Fortunately (or unfortunately depending on which side you are on), this won’t work because multiple requests for the same URL on the same day by the same user counted as a single pageview by Alexa.

    In addition, if you are using AdSense on your site, using this tool could get you banned. So don’t waste your time with this one.

     

  2. Install Alexa Redirect Plugin for WordPress

    Installing this plugin will edit all your internal blog links except wp-admin related) to add the “Alexa redirect” prefix which is http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?

    So your normal URL will change to http://redirect.alexa.com/redirect?www.domainname.com.

    There’s no limit at where you can use this trick. You can use the redirected URL when leaving comments in other blogs or in your forum signatures. The idea is to send the visitor through Alexa and counts them as a visit, even if they don’t have the Alexa toolbar installed.

    The problem with this method is that, it will negatively affect your site’s PageRank and search engine rankings as it destroys any good internal linking structure you may have on your site.

    In addition, there’s no evidence that using redirects benefits your Alexa’s traffic rankings.. As far as I know Alexa’s traffic rankings are based on the usage patterns of Alexa Toolbar users over a rolling 3 month period. No toolbar, no tracking.

     

  3. Install Alexa Toolbar on Several Computers in Your Local Area Network and Set Your Site as Your Homepage

    It doesn’t matter how many computers you have the Alexa toolbar installed, if they all share the same IP address, all page views will be counted only once per day.

    Sure you may notice a tiny improvement in the traffic ranking if your site is ranked in the millions to begin with, but that’s probably all that you’ll get.

     

  4. Put up Alexa Rank Widget On Your Site

    Alexa Site Widgets are those little graphic or button that you can display on your site to show Alexa traffic rankings and Alexa Traffic History Graph as shown below.


    There’s no evidence that these Widget will improve your traffic ranking. If nothing else, it just informs Alexa about your site and add it to the list of sites to visit, thus ensuring your inclusion in the Alexa service.

    That said, I am not saying all those using these widgets on their sites are trying to game Alexa. It’s a fun tool to display but if your purpose is to increase your Alexa’s traffic ranking, I doubt it’ll work even when the viewer click on it.

     

  5. Using Alexa Auto-Surfs Program

    Using an Alexa auto surf may work for new sites with very low Alexa ranking. However, I’ve seen Alexa auto surf users who complained that they are experiencing a drop in Alexa ranking after the initial increase.

    My theory is that, since the number of IP addresses which take part in the auto-surf program is not unlimited, up to a point, the limit will be reached. There’s just so many IP address for Alexa to consider as a unique page view per day during which your website ranking will stop improving. I won’t be surprise if Alexa has started developing a way to defeat the autosurf programs.

    In addition, you may get in trouble with Google if you are showing AdSense ads on the sites involved in auto surfing.

In my coming post, I’ll share the tips how you could increase your Alexa’s traffic rankings.

7

Official Alexa Toolbar for Firefox Released – What You Should Know

In case you don’t know about this already, Alexa has released a toolbar for Firefox. What this means is that more Firefox users can now be counted towards a site’s overall Alexa ranking. This will effectively improves the accuracy of the Alexa ranking as more Firefox users decide to install the toolbar.

Previously, the official Alexa toolbar only exists for Internet Explorer.

Once installed, the toolbar sits quietly in your browser status bar at the bottom right showing a site traffic trend, reach meter and traffic rank. In addition, a new related links menu is added to your browser menu bar.

ff_screenshot.jpg

I feel the traffic trend information is too small to be useful. Unless I can see how a site traffic trend compares to others, I might as well visit Alexa to view and compare traffic trends.

While the official Alexa toolbar has just been released, the unofficial one has been around for quite sometime. A Firefox extension for Alexa called SearchStatus offers almost everything the official toolbar has and more.

The SearchStatus does affect Alexa ranking as stated in the download page. Its users form part of the panel of toolbar users that contribute towards Alexa statistics.

For every web page you visit while using SearchStatus (excluding secure domains and those you have configured as private), certain information, including your ip address, the url of the web page you visit, and general information about your browser and computer’s operating system will be transmitted from your computer to Alexa. Some of the url’s you visit, which are transmitted to Alexa, will contain information that is personally identifiable.

If you are concern about your privacy, Alexa claims that it doesn’t attempt to analyse web usage data to determine the identity of any user. Basically you just have to trust them not to misuse your browsing habit information.

 

Is Alexa Traffic Rank Important?

To the general Internet surfers, Alexa traffic rank means almost nothing really. But if you are trying to sell advertising on your website, it’s important to have a good Alexa ranking. This is because Alexa is used by many advertising companies when evaluating how much your blog’s worth. Having a good Alexa ranking puts you in a better position to demand (or enjoy) higher payouts.

In addition you could use Alexa information to confirm if someone is telling the truth about his site traffic level. For example if a site claims it gets 50,000 unique visitors a day, and it’s ranked about one million on Alexa, this guys is probably lying.

You can further verify this with the site’s Google PageRank and inbound links. Surely a site that gets that many visitors per day would have a higher PR and tons of inbound links.

Alexa traffic rank has its drawback in that it only counts visits from users who surf with their toolbar installed. Since those who install Alexa are usually the tech savvy type, a site caters towards webmasters typically enjoys a better Alexa ranking than a gardening website for example even though they both have the same number of daily visitors.

5

10 Handy Tricks to Search Google Like An Expert

If you are reading this, chances are, you are probably a fan of Google search. However, unless you are a tech geek, your typical search activity would probably involve entering a few words and changing them until you find what you are looking for.

While Google is getting better at finding the right information for you, there are a couple of tricks you could use to make your search more effective.

The following are 10 simple tricks that I’ve found useful in helping me find the right information quickly.

 

  1. Display Current Local Time Anywhere

    To find the local time of a major city anywhere in the world, enter “time in city name ”

    Example: “time in kuala lumpur”

    time.PNG

    This is particularly useful when your website is targeted towards users from a different time zone. Use this query to check the time in any city to ensure that the important information on your site is published at an appropriate hour.

     

  2. Currency Converter

    Use the built-in currency converter to find the current exchange rates.

    Examples:
    8.99 USD in GBP
    currency of china in russian money

     

  3. Find Documents of the Specified Type

    You can search up to 12 file formats including files in Microsoft Office, Lotus 1-2-3, PDF, PostSCript and others. To confine your search results to a specific file type, just enter filetype:[extension]

    Example: adsense secrets filetype:pdf

    Unwitting ebook publishers who have no idea how to use robots.txt to prevent indexing sometimes end up getting their paid ebooks listed under those query.

     

  4. Site Specific Search

    This query is useful when you want to search a site and it doesn’t have a built-in search engine. To search “adsense secrets” at Sabahan.com, enter

    Example: adsense secrets site:sabahan.com

    You can combine this with the previous trick to search pdf documents from a particular site.

    Eg: adsense secrets filetype:pdf site:sitesell.com

     

  5. 4 Days Weather Forecast

    Search for the weather forecast in any area

    Examples:
    weather 90210

    weather Tokyo

    weather.PNG

     

  6. Numeric Ranges

    Confine your search within a range of numbers

    Example: The Transformers 1984..1990

     

  7. Show a Definition For a Word or Phrase

    To see a list of definitions definition for a word or phrase, enter define: word

    Example: define: enchilada

     

  8. Use Google to Calculator and Units Conversion

    Google has a built-in calculator function to solve basic or more complicated math problems.

    Example: 5%*280^2

    In addition, you can use the built-in unit conversion function to convert a unit to another.

    Example: 3ft+12ft+6ft in meter

     

  9. Phrases Searches

    Often you only want to see results that include an exact phrase. To do so simply include quotation marks around your search terms.

    Example: transformer "The Machine Wars"

     

  10. Stock Search

    Enter a valid sticker symbol to view the stock and mutual fund quotes. Clicking on the chart or Google Finance link will take you to the relevant information from Google Finance. To search APPLE stock information

    Example: aapl

    apple.PNG

     

If you find these tricks useful, I suggest you bookmark this article. It’ll come handy next time you want to located specialized info quickly. If you have you own favorite search tips, please share them in the comments.

12

100Mbps Internet Access Is Coming to Malaysia

That’s according to an article published in The Star Online today. Telekom Malaysia (TM) is currently testing a 100Mbps broadband access using fibre-optic connection and the electrical wiring in our house.

The first phase of the project will be rolled out in the third quarter of next year with an initial speed of 10 Mbps. Those living in high-rise building in big cities will get to enjoy the service first. Newer housing developments would probably be able to take advantage of this service as laying fibre optic cables become part of the development plans.

I don’t expect this service to become available anytime soon in my area though since I’m living in the interior division of Sabah (I give it 5 years). Anyway, I hope this is a sign that a speedier and better connection than the 1Mbps I am currently using is coming to town soon. I’ll be content with a cheaper 4Mbps connection.

Now, just imagine what you can do with a 100Mbps Internet connection.

As TM CEO said, we are heading for the digital home era where IPTV (Internet Protocol Television), VoIP (Voice-over-Internet Protocol) and home surveillance via the Net.

But before let ourselves be carried away with such possibilities, I hope TM will continue to improve the quality of our existing broadband service.


Read the full story
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8

How to Make Money from Your Old Blog Posts With Helium.com

If you have old posts in your blogs collecting dust or perhaps you love to write, either way, you’ll be able to monetize your content and make money with Helium.com.

But before we go into that, let me explain what Helium.com is all about

Helium.com is one of the community based content generation sites cropping up recently to allow users write content in any topics they like . Some say it’s a combination of About.com, Q&A services such as Yahoo Answers, Wikipedia and Consumer Reports all rolled into one service. Currently the site gets around 8 million unique visitors a month and growing with 450,000+ articles published.

While you could write in any topics like pop culture or politics, I often find the articles incline towards advice, discussions and how-tos. Unlike Wikipedia though, your article will be published unedited by others.

 

How Do You Make Money From Helium.com?

In short, you get a portion of the advertising revenue for every article you submit to Helium.com. The amount you earn will depend on the value of the article which is determined by the following factors. Higher-ranked and popular articles will earn more than the lower ranked ones.

  • Your articles ratings
  • How many page view you have
  • How much the advertisers pay to advertise on the subject

Your articles are ranked by other members by comparing one article to another to decide which is best. Consequently, higher ranked articles are often viewed more than articles ranked lower. Writing good quality articles will help you achieve better ratings and more page view.

You can’t choose which articles to rate. This is good because a member won’t be able to artificially drive up his own or his friend’s ratings so it’s harder for members to abuse the system.

However, the articles presented for ratings might not fall within your own areas of interest so there’s a tendency for one to just give them any rating without actually reading the articles.

While you can rate articles, the ability to leave a comment which could make the site livelier is clearly missing.

 

Can You Submit Your Own Blog Posts to Helium?

Yes you can. So the opportunity for you to make more from your own blog content is there. You can even funnel some of the Helium readers to your blog by including your blog’s URL in the profile and increase traffic to your blog.

However, you keep in mind that Helium.com will own the right to your uploaded content.

  • You grant Helium, and its affiliates, a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, royalty-free, transferable, non-exclusive right and license to use, copy, modify, delete in its entirety, adapt, publish, translate, display, create derivative works from and/or sell and/or distribute content posted to Helium.
  • Helium’s rights to the content do also imply rights to use, in any way, the materials for our own internal business purposes, and reproduction and distribution for the purpose of marketing and publicity for Helium.
  • Helium disclaims any obligation to legally protect your works or your copyrights, and you acknowledge that we will have no liability, vicarious, contributory, or otherwise, for any infringement of any of your intellectual property rights.
  • You acknowledge that we do not control other users’ actions, including but not limited to their use of your content. We will have no liability to you for any user’s violation of these terms and no responsibility to you to enforce these terms for your benefit.
  • If your content includes one or more links to content hosted on servers other than ours, it will not be considered uploading or posting of content to the Helium site, and it is understood that we will have no right to use or distribute such content unless it is also uploaded or posted directly to the Helium site.

As stated in the last point, you are not allowed to upload articles which link out, perhaps for legal or spamming deterrent. Unfortunately this also prevents proper credit given to the authors whose work is used in the article.

If you are a prolific blogger who are struggling to make money from your blog, Helium.com is a good avenue to generate some extra money from your articles.

However if you are already making good money from your blog, there’s no much point ‘donating’ your posts to other sites. Your time would be better spent enriching your blog content with new posts.

Posting to Helium may be fun but it won’t make you rich overnight. That’s why I said earlier that it’s a good way to monetize your old posts that are collecting dust. Once you have uploaded your articles, they’ll continue to make you money passively. The more popular they become, the more you will make.

But from what I read, it could take your sometime to make a decent income unless you devote more time and efforts to it.

 

How Do You Get paid?

When you register as a Helium writer, you need an active PayPal account to receive payment. So non-US members can actually get paid if they reach the cash out level, currently $25, and payments are made after the 20th of each month.

As you can see below, I haven’t made any money from Helium yet. That’s not surprising considering that I’ve just posted one article and been with them for only a couple of days.

helium.jpg

If you are not submitting articles, Helium.com can be a great place to get ideas for new articles for your own blog. Browse around the topics that interest you and when you see a topic that you could have written better, write it

In addition, you can use the Firefox Smart Keywords trick that I’ve described in my previous article to quickly search Helium.com for new ideas for your blog.

Check out Helium.com.

9

How to Use Smart Keywords to Search Any Website Right From the Firefox Location Bar

Here’s another cool tip for Firefox I came across recently. If you have a favourite website where you search frequently, a feature called Smart Keywords will let you search that website right from the Location bar.

Let say you are always curious to know any blog’s Technorati ranking and you visit Technorati.com all the time to do the search. Normally, you go to Technorati.com and click in the search box and enter domain name and click Search .

Smart keyword will make these steps redundant. To create a Smart Keyword for Technorati.com, visit their page and right click on the search field.

smartkeyword.PNG

Choose Add a Keyword for this Search… The Add Bookmark dialog will appear. Enter a name for the Bookmark, e.g. “Technorati”, and give it a keyword, e.g. “tc” and save the bookmark.

addbookmark.jpg

Anytime you want to search a blog Technorati ranking, just enter tc blogname.com into the Location bar and press Enter. You’ll be taken to Technorati search result right away!

Of course you can create Smart Keyword for any of your favourite sites that you search frequently, alexa.com, bittorrent site, Amazon.com, Sabahan.com and so on.

 

7

Add Keyboard Shortcuts to Your Firefox Bookmarks for Quicker Access

If you’ve been spending time on the Internet for any amount of time, I am sure you have a handful websites or blogs that you visit daily for a dose of information or inspiration. For most people, typing the domain name in the address bar or lunging for the mouse to access the bookmarked site would be the routine.

Those who are a fan of keyboard shortcuts will be happy to know that you can actually access your bookmarks faster using a nifty feature in Firefox which allows you to give a bookmark a shortcut.

Even if you are not a fan of keyboard shortcuts, this feature will save you a lot of time daily. I’ve been using it for a couple a days, and I am completely hooked.

Here’s how it works. Let’s say you are an avid reader of Sabahan.com, ahem…, and it’s one of the first sites you visit when you launch your browser.

If you haven’t bookmarked it already, press CTRL+D or select Bookmark This Page … under the Bookmarks menu. Once that’s done, go to the Sabahan.com bookmark and right click on it and select Properties from the popup menu.

 

bookmark.PNG

 

In the Keyword field of the Properties dialog, enter a keyword, let’s enter “sb” (without the quotation mark). Then press OK to close the dialog box.

 

bookmark2.PNG

 

Next time when you want to access Sabahan.com, just enter sb into your address bar and press Enter. Lo and behold you’ll whisk away to Sabahan.com in no time.

This feature becomes even more useful when combined with other Firefox keyboard shortcuts.

For example, if I want to access my Site Meter account while browsing a website. I’ll press CTRL+T to open a new tab, then type sm and press Enter. It usually takes me about two seconds to do that.

13

10 Cool Firefox Keyboard Shortcuts

Like most software, you can access all of Mozilla Firefox features via the menu bar or the in context popup menu with your mouse.

However, sometimes using a mouse actually slows you down. The precious seconds it takes to move you hand away to move you mouse can add up over the course of a full day. You can save time and avoid reaching for the mouse if you are familiar with keyboard shortcuts.

The following keyboard shortcuts will make web browsing with Firefox even more fun and productive.

 

  1. Access Your Favorite Websites Quickly

    If you have been typing the http://www prefix and .com domain extension into your browser address all this while when trying to access a website, you can avoid this extra step by going to your address bar, then type the middle portion of the desired address, and press CTRL+Enter

    As an example, if you type “sabahan” and press CTRL+Enter, you will land on https://sabahan.com

    shortcut1.PNG

    shortcut1-2.PNG

    In addition, you can press SHIFT+Enter to go to a .net site and CTRL+SHIFT+Enter to a .org site.

     

  2. Jump to The Address Bar

    Press ALT+D to quickly jump to the address bar. Alternatively, you can use CTRL+L to do the same.

    This shortcut comes in handy when combined with the previous shortcuts.

     

  3. Jump to Google bar To Search

    If you have a Google search bar installed in your browser, you can use CTRL+K to quickly jump to the text box and perform a search immediately.

    shortcut-3.PNG

    I find this one a handy time saver.

     

  4. Go Back One Page in Your Browser History

    Instead of pointing your mouse to Firefox ‘back” button to go back to the previous page, just use your backspace key.

    backspace.jpg

     

  5. Open a Link in a New Window

    To launch a new window with a link, most users will click the link and select “Open Link in New Window”.

    shortcut4.gif

    A faster way of doing this is to hold SHIFT while you click on the link.

     

  6. Open/Close a Tab

    Opening several tabs simultaneously for browsing enables power users to be more productive. Now instead of using the popup menu or lunging for your “open new tab” button as shown below, use CTRL+T to launch a new tab.

    shortcut5.gif

    Alternatively, double clicking empty space on the Tab Bar will open a new tab. The middle click/mouse wheel click on a tab will close that tab without the need to point your mouse on the “close tab” icon.

     

  7. Open a Link in a New Tab

    You can use middle click / mouse wheel click to open a link in a new tab. While this is not a keyboard shortcut, it’s one of my favourite shortcuts.

    mwheel.jpg

    For those without middle mouse buttons or mouse wheels, you can press CTRL while clicking a link to open it in a new tab.

     

  8. Open Your Home Page In a New Tab

    Use the middle click / mouse wheel click on the Home button to open your homepage in a new tab.

    shortcut6.gif

    Those without middle mouse buttons or mouse wheels can press CTRL while click on the Home button to do the same.

     

  9. View Selection Source

    You can view the source code of a section of a page by holding down CTRL and left click on the part of a web page to highlight that section. Then right click on the selection and select “View Selection Source” to view the source code for that particular selection.

    shortcut7.gif

  10.  

  11. Reopen Previously Closed Tab

    Using the tab bar right click menu to undo a closed a tab is a tad slower when compare to using this shortcut.

    shortcut9.gif

    You can reopen recently closed tab by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+T.

 

With these shortcuts you can now enjoy faster and more productive browsing with Firefox!

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