Thursday, October 1, 2009

WE HAVE MOVED!

Thank you for your visit.

Blog Along with Me has moved! If you arrived at this page please click on

http://www.blogincomelife.com

for the latest postings.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bloggers are Born at the Crossroads of Crisis and Opportunity

At the crossroads of Crisis and Opportunity entrepreneurs are born. It’s true. Tough times bring out the latent entrepreneurial spirit in all of us. Whether that spirit moves us to successful entrepreneurship is up to you. It’s akin to leading a horse to water.

I believe there are two types of entrepreneurs. There is the A type of entrepreneur, the individual who may have tried the nine to five but couldn’t stomach the stifling atmosphere. Typically this type of person has an innate restlessness, an impatience for something bigger and better and quite honestly, does not make for a good employee. Such a person has a different agenda. You see such a person in the faces of Richard Branson, Warren Buffet and Phillip Knight.

Lesser known and flying under the radar of visibility is the entrepreneur who becomes one out of necessity, or, for want of a better term, the B type of entrepreneur. These are legion and account for a significant portion of multi-millionaires – not a bad place to be financially. Faced with economic uncertainty they actively cast about for opportunities and finding them take action. Today that opportunity is writ large on the internet and the entrepreneur born is often a blogger.

Blogging for money is the easiest introduction to making money online. Everyone can write, the cost is negligible and it is a user friendly introduction to cutting your teeth in the field of Internet Marketing. In fact knowing what I now know, after having taken several internet marketing courses, were I starting in Internet Marketing today, I would definitely start with blogging.

A word of caution though, you need to do more than just publish posts on your blog. If you want to make money blogging you need to treat it as a business. There are some basics that need considering:

1. Select a niche
2. Select the blogging platform
3. Monetize your site
4. Market, market, market.

Each of these basic to the bones steps form the foundation upon which you will build your business. That is why I wrote the e.book ABC’s of Blogging for Money which you can download in PDF format for free.

Once you get the basics down pat you can expand, bit by bit and eventually become a super blogger pulling in at the very least a mid-six figure annual income.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina Bellicova
Blogger for Money

Blogging is all about getting your own cheese.

Quick Lins:
ABC’s of Blogging for Money

Monday, September 7, 2009

Start of new year, blogging for money results, and random thoughts

Happy Labor Day everyone! Last days of summer barbeques and the wearing of white. Hmmm...I will continue to wear white.

Here in Vancouver the weather has decided cooled from just a few weeks ago when we were melting from the heat ... yes, they were scraping us off the sidewalks then! I love working from my home office which looks out on a grove of oak trees. The leaves haven't even got a hint of rust anywhere, they are green as green can be. It won't be long though before the squirrels start coming to gather the acorns of which there will be plenty.

I always look at Labor day which usually is a bit earlier in September (I guess September 7th is as late as it can be)as the beginning of a new year. To me this is more of a new year than January. I guess it goes back to school. We always started a new grade or "year" in September and finished in June, with the summer off for fun. I still do that now with my business. I have noticed that this is also a time when people start new things - not make resolutions like they do on New Year's Day, but things like signing up for a course on something they've always wanted to learn, or sign up for a new activity like fencing or tennis. Corporations typically ramp up their efforts in sales and marketing to finish the year strong ... statistically October and November are the most productive months of the year, both in business and personal lives.

Ok... enough of the musing already.

Found a site today that publishes blog incomes of bloggers who, well, publish their incomes publicly. I wrote last week that I was going to try and compile such a list well Jeremia Froyland has done it. I noticed that the big earners were absent, Jeremia and I had a little bit of online conversation about that and agreed that when you start pulling in the really big bucks, a la John Chow, Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak to name just a few (easily in the half mil a year league)then you stop publishing. Privacy and other things come into play. So the big guns are missing but it will be interesting to see the incomes of the current list members rise over time. Hmmmm..... gee, I'd like to be on that list soon ... and then earn to the point where I will stop publishing.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

I guess acorns are like cheese for the squirrels

Quick Links:
Jeremia Froyland

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Top Bloggers for Money

As I was doing some research on the top bloggers for money, I came across a posting by one of my "do follow" bloggers, the author of The Digerati Life which is a whole year old but the thread of comments keeps lengthening. Here is the link to her post titled
Make Money Blogging: Top Bloggers And How Much They Earn


Of course the stats need updating, notably her own. Two years into blogging she was making 50% of her corporate income as an IT engineer in Silicon Valley. That can't be too shabby. It is now three years. Is she at 75%?

This is the time of month that bloggers who publish their monthly results ... well, err..publish. So I am putting together a list of my own, which will not be a complete list, but its one to start with.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... today, blogging for cheese!

Quick Links
The Digerati Life
Make Money Blogging: Top Bloggers And How Much They Earn

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

August Report - No Zero Days!


August was a busy month. I have three distinct income streams and they all needed chunks of time. My internet marketing time chunks were devoted mostly to 30 Day Challenge. I thought that this blog would suffer. Looking at the graphs I’m actually quite pleased - 38% increase in visitors from July! The graph above is one that is a comparative between August and July. The green line being July and the blue August.

Considering that August is the slowest month for business whether it is on the internet or in the “real” world I am quite pleased that the numbers are up. This is the first month that not a single day passed by without a visitor – NO ZERO DAYS! That is a milestone for me. That spike up there for August 10 reflects the day that Google picked up one my postings and included it in its Google Alerts for the keyword phrase "Blogging for money."

Search engine traffic is way down. Another encouraging factor. When the search engines begin to deliver the 8% - 12% traffic I have been receiving in the past few months then the visitor stats should increase.

Top three blog postings to date:
1. Yes Virginia, there is money in blogging
2. 30 Day Challenge More Like 30 Days of Christmas
3. Rock Stars at Frank Kern’s Mass Control

I am also encouraged by the increasing number of downloads for my ABC’s of Blogging for Money e.book.

Earnings were paltry. No affiliate sales. Adsense not even at $3! I came across a blog that posted the top 10 blog earners and I was going to put a link to that post here as I wanted you to see that there's money in them thar blogs, but then I noticed that some of the top earners were not mentioned. It’s hard to come by hard data but maybe what I’ll do for next first of the month report is come up with my own top ten blog earners. This info is based on those bloggers who publish their monthly results.

Its time to move on. I have started the process of moving this blog to Wordpress. The shenanigans behind the scenes will take a while since I am doing this myself, so the new look won’t be up for a week or two, but I am both excited and looking at the exercise with trepidation: excited as I will be able to make immediate comparisons between the two platforms, trepidation: because it means more learning or at least perfecting the Wordpress Direct system which is quite different from that of Blogger.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... What cheese?

Quick Links
ABC’s of Blogging for Money
There’s Money in Them Thar blogs
1. Yes Virginia, there is money in blogging
2. 30 Day Challenge More Like 30 Days of Christmas
3. Rock Stars at Frank Kern’s Mass Control

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Secret Affiliate Weapon

Ewen Chia is one of my favorite Internet Marketing Gurus ... I have been receiving his newsletters for some time now, bought the book How I Made My First Million on the Internet and How You Can Too!: The Complete Insider's Guide to Making Millions with Your Internet Business and his course.

What I really like about Ewen is the easy to follow, step by step instructions on how to do something. I mean it's like learning ABC's. As mentioned many times here, anything techie and my spine stiffens (I am getting better). When I first started looking at Wordpress, I found it a bit of challenge. I downloaded several e.books/instructions on how to install, upload, download, FTP and all that stuff. Frustration set in. Then I remembered it was part of Ewen’s course that I had (at the time this part of the course was beyond my capability, so I left it alone). I quickly went to my files, opened the videos, and voila! Easy as a cake walk! I now refer to them all the time.

Why am I telling you all this (and isn’t today the “statistics” day for August?

Yes ... it is.

But the reason I am telling you this is because Ewen has just launched his Secret Affiliate Weapon 2.0. I knew it was being launched today so was watching my Inbox like a hawk as I wanted to grab a copy of it quickly.

Affiliate marketing is my next step in developing my internet marketing muscles and it should be yours too. It's the natural progression to making money. I like Ewen’s easy to follow style. As I write this, I am busy downloading. All I can say is that if this is only half as easy/good as Ewen’s other stuff, it will take my internet marketing up a notch or two ... or ten!

What hooked me on this is that this is an automated system. After doing the 30 Day Challenge I am on the lookout for anything that will save me time and help me generate a PASSIVE INCOME ... Ewen says this is the same system that he uses to generate $18,291.75 per month from ONE affiliate product!

OK. I’m game. But I was SHOCKED at the price ... you will be too! I think the boy has lost his marbles or his brain has turned to mush. I am certain it will not last at this price for too long. I recommend, without reservation that you go and get your own copy of the Secret Affiliate Weapon 2.0

Happy Blogging ... and Affiliate Marketing!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS. This is cheese is rare.

Quick Links

Secret Affiliate Weapon 2.0


How I Made My First Million

Sunday, August 30, 2009

From Below Broke to Self Made Multi-millionaire

“I quit every day, but I also got up every day and started all over again ...” July Ono

On a cloudless Sunday morning, July and I sat outside of Petra’s, a popular local cafĂ©. We drank tea, shared a decadently lethal sticky bun and spent the better part of the morning getting to know each other.

I had the advantage. July is a celebrity, not just locally but in the world of real estate investment. She is also the author of Your Million Dollar Network: How to Start and Build Your Million Dollar Network She is known internationally, so of course I know a lot about her already, notably, that she went from below broke to being a self made multi-millionaire. July has 440 “doors” - that’s real estate investor speak for units- and counting. Conservatively that translates into an impressive $30 million property portfolio. Not bad for someone who was $40 thousand below broke a scant seven years ago.

Success leaves clues. I love meeting with successful people. There is something special about them not in the sense that they are different from other people, in fact they are ordinary people just like you and me, but what I find is that they exude an energy that sets them apart from others. I think that the more time we spend with people like that the more we learn and the more that energy rubs off on us. Oh yes, they are willing to do what is required to get their first whiff of success.

What’s that got to do with blogging for money and internet marketing? ... you want to know.

Nothing, yet EVERYTHING!.

July was telling me about the first 6 months in her real estate investment career. It was poorly focused and filled with frustration. Nothing was coming together. It took her 6 months to get the first deal put together and even that almost unraveled literally hours before closing. I remarked on her tenacity and that’s when she told me that every night she quit, every morning she got up and started again.

I thought about how that holds such a parallel to what we do in internet marketing. So many people sign up for courses, spend lots of dollars on learning, but never do anything with what they learn. Or they go through the first three maybe four lessons of the course, find it overwhelming, and put it aside for a later time. A time that never comes. In the world of blogging exact statistics are hard to come by but it is estimated that there are some 150 million blogs created, but get this: 60% - 80% are abandoned after three or four postings, usually within a month!

While the sheer numbers are nowhere near as staggering in the real estate investment community, July concurs that the statistics are similar: most people who get started don’t continue. I venture this holds true for most entrepreneurial endeavors. What sets the true entrepreneur apart from the wannabe is the pit bull mentality and tenacity that these people bring to the game – a willingness to learn, to take action, to adjust, to sharpen and execute. They are willing to do what is required to get the job done. Eventually they get a taste of success – now they’re hooked!

It’s just a game. Master it. Have fun. You will live a life others only dream of.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money.

PS... make a point of being in the company of big cheese.

Quick Links:
Blogging Statistics
July Ono
Your Million Dollar Network: How to Start and Build Your Million Dollar Network
ABC's of Blogging for Money

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Blogging for Money? You Need a System

The best run companies in the world have effective systems in place. There is a progression of tasks, efficiencies, output, and sales. Everything is tracked and continuously fine tuned.

Blogging for money is a business, not as complex as a huge corporation’s, but the basic principles need to be implemented if you want to be successful. The importance of a system is that when in place and executed properly, the business can run without you and isn’t that what we are looking for - otherwise we are just building a job for ourselves. That is why I am so excited about the 30 Day Challenge.

As I chunk away, day by day, I am amazed at the tools that are made available to us, the clear and explicit instructions on how to use them, the efficiencies that are now going to save me days and days of time. The output is visible. Tracking is key. Areas that need attention are quickly identifiable. Fine tuning is continuous. Back links are adding up and the domain URL and relevant pages has been bookmarked by a total of 240! In less than a month! Heck! Actually in less than a week as I am somewhat behind in the day to day and only began serious marketing this past weekend. As an example I have no idea how many have bookmarked this blog. Is it important? Numbers are a concrete measure of your progress and are a clue to where you need to do some fine tuning.

What makes this possible are the efficiencies that I have been able to implement. Some of the tasks have been either fully or semi-automated. Market Samurai keeps unveiling new features and now I have been introduced to Traffic Bug, a program that submits your articles to directories. As an example, according to the stats the one article that I wrote has been submitted to 33 Directories (and counting). Between Market Samurai's and Traffic Bug's automated systems an estimated 558 minutes have been saved! That is mind boggling. It’s not so much that the time has been saved but that with the efficiencies in place, so much more can be done in the same amount of time that I normally spend on internet marketing. Suddenly the money making potential has taken on a telescopic view and I have to tell you, it looks good. Gotta like that.

When you have a system in place you can outsource the tasks – yes, even the writing if you want. This frees up your time. Dan Lok who started his online business some seven years ago worked long hours to get his business off the ground, he now works four hours a day, four days a week and if he wants to, he can go on a holiday for several weeks at a time and his business will just keep on chugging and spitting out a seven figure annual income. He has a fine tuned system in place. That should be our aim – to have a business with a fine tuned system that keeps on chug-a-lugging and putting dollars into our bank while we are out doing what we like. Now that’s what I would call an enviable online income life.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

A ball or a brick of cheese?

Quick Links:

30 Day Challenge

Market Samurai
Traffic Bug

Monday, August 24, 2009

New Cheese

For several months now I have been adding a PS at the end of each posting here. I wondered how long it would be before anyone noticed, or made any comment. The PS always has something about cheese. Today I received this from a reader:

Cheryll wrote:

I thought you would like this little quote:

"Today is the best time to venture into the Maze -
even if it just means taking the smallest of steps
that leads to the next step that leads you to New
Cheese" - from "Who Moved My Cheese?"




What are your thoughts on cheese? Do you think Blogging for Money is all about getting your own cheese? Post your comments below.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

Quick Links:
Cheryll's Basket Talk
Who Moved My Cheese?: An Amazing Way to Deal with Change in Your Work and in Your Life

Sunday, August 23, 2009

30 Day Challenge - more like 30 Days of Christmas!

Somewhat behind and today is 30 Day Challenge catch up day - again! I love this course and think it ought to be renamed to the 30 Days of Christmas! Every day a new box is opened and it is filled with gifts, gifts of new toys to use in our internet marketing, toys that will help us get the traffic, the conversions, the money.

Definitely not a beginner in internet marketing I classify myself as one who is quickly moving out of the newbie ranks – what comes after newbie I wonder? That progression has been escalated since I started the 30 Day Challenge on August 01 ... and I am only on day 13!

Having taken a good number of courses, the “basics” are now well entrenched in my internet marketing foundation. I find reviews are good as invariably I find a nugget of gold that I somehow managed to leave on the ground before. Result: stronger foundation, more confidence and improved sales.

But that is not what has taken my experience on to a steep trajectory of knowledge with 30 Day Challenge – it is all the new toys that I have been introduced to or become better at using. After I finish this 30 Day Challenge I will take all my existing sites, even those that are performing and take each one through the 30 Day Challenge system. It will be interesting to see what sort of up tick in traffic and revenue I will have from those sites.

One of the products that has totally got me gob smacked is Market Samurai. This is not a new toy as it was introduced last year but omigosh! The upgrades are phenomenal. This is a complete niche marketing research suite that literally saves you days of research. If for no other reason, joining the 30 Day Challenge just to experience this software for free is worth the effort --- and typically, it is offered at a more favorable price during the 30 Day Challenge for those who want to own a copy.

Here is the thing. I find it interesting that in the last month or so my inbox has been deluged with offers of various “keyword” research tools, software programs that are taking a direct hit against Market Samurai. I cannot comment on their claims. I am not buying I have an excellent program, which by the way is still in beta and therefore much more good to come. I met the Market Samurai team when I was in Los Angeles at Frank Kern’s Mass Control in April - they’re brilliant.

Me with Ben Stickland. Top "Gun" of the Market Samurai Shogunat

I know that a lot of time has gone into the development of this product (years) and money. I feel confident that the final copy of the product will be outstanding ... I mean what else could it be, its already got everyone, including seasoned internet marketing professionals giddy like kids set free in a candy store! I love it that the purchase gives you all the updates. I would not be at all surprised if, when the beta is completed, the product would be offered on a monthly subscription basis.

Back to more catch up (yes, I am waaay behind) on 30 Day Challenge.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... Market Samurai is Big Cheese.

Quick Links
30 Day Challenge
Market Samurai
Frank Kern’s Mass Control

Monday, August 17, 2009

F.U.Money

No 30 Day Challenge this weekend – I’m falling a tad behind so this will be short.

This weekend I attended the Cashflow Marketing seminar in Abbotsford. Think Cashflow, think real estate and Robert Kiyosaki and Darren Weeks, right? Think again.

This seminar was attended by entrepreneurs, mostly brick and mortar business owners. They came to learn how to market in these tough economic times, how to strategize, deploy tactical maneuvers and come out big time winners. The seminar spanned two days and by its end everyone had a workable system they took home with them. I am certain that their businesses will take a significant uptick on the sales chart.

One of the speakers was Dan Lok – I’ve written about Dan before. He’s a self made multi-millionaire in internet marketing. When I met him the first time several years ago, we chatted a bit about my interest in internet marketing. His advice: "Blog, blog, blog."


With Dan Lok

Dan is nothing if not to the point- blunt, some might even say. Dan has written several books and there is a new one in the offing ... we got copies of it. Did I say that Dan pulls no punches? Aptly, its title is F.U. Money. its listed on Amazon but not available for sale yet!

The book dovetails very nicely with a program that he launched a few months back as a beta and in which I have been participating. It's a system that puts much of your internet marketing on auto pilot ... so easy even grandma could do it.

Maybe I'm letting the cat out of the bag as Dan has been awfully quiet about it ... but here is the thing, I mentioned several times here that I will be moving this blog from Blogger to a Wordpress based platform. I am still thinking as to where exactly I want to move it. I am thinking that putting it on the beta program system would be good, as I already have hard data and stats, and then it will be easy to compare historical data with new results once it has been moved. From my experience with the system so far, I think blogging for money will take on a completely different trajectory ... UP! Stay tuned - new look coming up in a few weeks.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... wouldn't you know it, one of the attendees owns a gourmet cheese shop!

Friday, August 14, 2009

30 Day Challenge - progress

Thought I would weigh in quickly with just an update on my 30 Day Challenge.

As those of you who follow this blog know, whenever I am met with techie type stuff my back stiffens and an innate resistance takes control. Such has been the case this week with 30 Day Challenge. Worked my way through it. Feel awesome.

Now, I want to assure you that the "techie" type stuff is not very complex and had I not already had some active programs/software, the progress would have been smooth as silk and I would have been much further along in the challenge. As it was there was a "merge" process that I had to go throug.

But here is what I found. I worked through the glitches. The support at 30 Day are phenomenal. Its about being in your zone of discomfort and working through it. By doing so I learned things that will be valuable for me in the future. I learned how to

1. export (import) an existing WordPress Blog
2. upload plugins and activate them
3. ensure that the plugins are properly configured

and other things too numerous (and mundane) to mention here. What I can testify to is that this has been a particularly useful exercise for me, one I will be able to apply in the near future. You may recall that several months ago I had mentioned that I aim to export this blog from Blogger to WordPress ... well, now I will probably export it to WordPress Direct.

So even though I am days behind schedule, the detour will serve me well in the future.

This is my first year of 30 Day Challenge - I joined last year but save for Market Samurai did not even crack open a single training module. This year I am asking myself why didn't I? I can guarantee you that had I done the challenge last year my internet marketing IQ would be much further along than it is. It is so simple, so easy to follow and the introduction to programs and plugins that I did not know about is outstanding.

Yes, I am excited! You have to peel me off the ceiling!

If you have not registered for the 30 Day Challenge yet, what are you waiting for? Yes it started on the 1st of August, but you can register and work each module as your time allows - take a few weeks more, months, even a year. JUST DO IT. Guaranteed, you'll be glad you did.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money
The variety of cheeses grows!

Quick Links
30 Day Challenge

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Yes Virginia - there is money in blogging

I just read a post by a blogger colleague and I am super disappointed ... in essence this blogger is saying that you should first and foremost blog because you have a passion for blogging and to forget about blogging for the purpose of money. That most bloggers blog from the crack of dawn and deep into the night. This person obviously subscribes to that group that believes in living your passion and the money will follow!!! Or another way they put it “do what you love and the money will come.”

Bull Dung!

I am getting tired of hearing this refrain. It gets me angry. It does a disservice to those who are serious about making money online. Blogging for money is a business and should be treated as such. If you are going to spend your waking hours blogging then why not make money? I have yet to meet anyone who was able to walk into a bank and deposit a whole bunch passion. Try paying your rent or buying groceries with love. Lets get serious.

First, if you want to make money at blogging you have to treat it like a business. That is why I wrote my ABC’s of Blogging for Money so that people can follow a system to lay down a foundation for success.

Yes, you also have to work at it. Nothing for nothing. But from crack of dawn into the dead of night??? I know several bloggers that are making money that CEOs of companies would eye with envy. You do need to put in consistent effort but I can guarantee you that these successful bloggers are not not up at the crack of dawn and working into the dead of night blogging.

You also need to be an ongoing student. Even my ABC’s of Blogging for Money is just the start. You need to be continuously learning about how to be a better internet marketer – that’s how you become a successful blogger. That's how you start making a bit of money which with effort becomes some money and then one day you wake up to lots of money.

It helps if you blog about something that you are knowledgeable on, and if it happens to be a passion, great! If you want to make money blogging about it, you need to make sure that there is a market out there that actually wants to know more about your subject (covered in my ABC’s of Blogging for Money). No market, no money honey.

As I mentioned earlier, blogging for money is a business. Apply business principles and through diligent effort the money will indeed come. There is an excellent online course right now, the 30 Day Challenge that I encourage everyone to register for and apply. It is free. You learn how to select a profitable niche, install a blog with Wordpress, and most importantly you learn how to market. If you have not signed up for it yet it is not too late. What is great about this is that you can work on it at your own pace.

Happy Blogging

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... oooh! It gets me angry when someone tries to tell me there is no cheese!

Quick Links:
Fee PDF Download of ABC’s of Blogging for Money
Register for 30 Day Challenge

Monday, August 3, 2009

"Tweak" along with me

For my 30 Day Challenge I am researching a new niche and as I do so I am learning things that I can apply immediately to this blog and I made such a change today.

When you first open this blog, the first thing you read is a blurb about the blog. As mentioned several times in my postings, I am fight for the keyword phrase "blogging for income" yet this phrase

1. is not in my URL
2. is not part of my domain name
3. is not part of the title
4. is not in the header
5. was not used in the description or "blurb" of the blog.

The first four items I cannot do much about right now - or at least I choose to leave till later, but I tackled item no. 5 right away and "tweaked" the description. I changed the wording and used several keywords that are good in this niche, but which I had omitted and I made sure that "blogging for money" was front and center.

Why is this important?

These are all factors that are taken into account by Google and other search engines. When compared to other blogs in the "blogging for money" keyword phrase this blog did very well in a number of areas, those that are known as "on page", in fact it outperformed some that were in the top 10 list, but I failed miserably in the "off page" criteria which are the 5 mentioned above.

Its a small "tweak" but it will be interesting to see what, if any, difference it will make in traffic.

So here is what you need to keep top of mind when finding a domain name and setting up your blog site:

1. keyword in the domain name
2. keyword in the URL (usually one follows the other)
3. keyword in the header
4. keyword in the Title
5. keyword in the description.

If you incorporate these five strategies you'll be way ahead over those who don't and have a leg up on the blogging for money game.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

can you say cheese?

Quick Links
30 Day Challenge

And the winner is .....

This year’s 30 Day Challenge, a free course on how to make money online, opened with a bang on August 1. Right from the get go there was fun - a contest!

The prize? A $100 certificate to iTunes
The contest: Submit your favorite source of searching for new topics

For a $100 cert to iTunes and just a few clicks on the keyboard it’s a gimme. I submitted as did many other “Thirty Dayers” ... I read the submissions and can tell you that there were plenty of good ones. I have added them to my arsenal of “idea generating sources” and plan to use them in the future.

Did I win? NO.

The winner was someone who suggested searching Google using site search operator looking for things people want, i.e.,

“I want ....”
“I like ....
"I want to buy...”

The variations on this theme are endless and the brilliant part about it all is that the results are based on actual searches.

What did I submit?

I subscribe to an online trend watching newsletter. I like this because trends are typically within broad markets but by the very nature of the “trend”, the market is niched and more often than not, micro-niched. If I like the micro-niche then I go and do additional due diligence using Market Samurai.

Market Samurai is a software program which saves you countless hours of searching for niche topics and identifying whether they have money making potential. For the duration of the 30 Day Challenge it is offered free to participants – it’s a great way to test out a software program without paying for it. Last year it was offered at a special “at challenge” price and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this was repeated this year. If for no other reason, this is a good one to register for the 30 Day Challenge.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS. Niche? Cheese? There are some similarities.

Quick Links:
30 Day Challenge
Market Samurai

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Avoid brand names in your domain URL

From postings in the 30DC forum I learned something very valuable today and thought I should pass it on to you ... just in case to save potential heartache in the future: avoid using brand names in your URL domain name.

One of the members started a blog/site early this year promoting a brand name, put a lot of time and effort into promoting it and its products and lo and behold, he was served with a cease and desist from the company's lawyer with a demand to turn over the "goods" i.e., the domain name. Months and months of time and effort down the drain.

Other members jumped in with similar experiences.

Not to belabor the story, but I have a blog/site with a brand name as part of the URL which will remain nameless as it appears that the "brand name" police have their own "spiders" searching the net for "illegal" use of their brand names.

Apparently it all boils down to trademark laws and when a major brand has trademarked their name but allow it to be used without permission, they stand the chance of losing their exclusivity to that name, think Kleenex as one member pointed out.

So if you are thinking of starting a blog on Harley Davidson Riders ... or something along those lines, choose your domain name carefully and do not use HARLEY DAVIDSON in the domain name,

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... That is some stinky cheese!

Register for 30 Day Challenge

Saturday, August 1, 2009

30 Day Challenge buzzing with excitement!

30DC - Day 1 ...

Today is easy peasy - three videos to get you in the groove and the first task is to come up with 7 niche topics. Although I have already decided what my topic is going to be, I came up with 7 niches. It will be interesting to go through the exercise and see what the research will bear out.

Fun part: $100 iPod cert for the best answer a to where is your favorite place to get ideas for topics. I put in ... up against some stiff competition as there are some really good ones being posted. The winner will be announced Sunday night. Will let you know what my fave place is and whether it got a mention.

I belong to a team of three and we are literally circling the globe as we have the UK, Vancouver Canada and Sydney Australia represented. We discussed live chats via SKYPE but the time differences were difficult without someone's time zone being in the dead of night.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money.

PS ... if you haven't signed up for the 30 Day Challenge yet ... GO, GO, GO!
Register at the Thirty Day Challenge . It's best deal on the internet and you will learn a lot.

July Statistics - Melting in the heat!

Whew! I feel like one of those melting subjects in Dali’s paintings! We are setting record temperatures here in Vancouver and the humidity is right up there. It’s enough to fry a brain or should that be melt it? Not the best environment to be blogging for money in.

Everything I read by the gurus is in sync with business in the summer ... down, so I am somewhat pleased that July had an uptick on this blog.



Posted is the chart that shows the comparison between the two months, June and July(July is the blue line). The differences are not huge and July is still below May, but seeing as these are the dog days of summer, I am OK with that.

Comments and observations:

I like that there was an increase in visits in July over June and that page views also had a decent increase. Page visits and average time per page are down however. I am still frustrated that the overall visitor stats are not significantly better than when I first started this blog in January of this year! Yes, I know that I am in a very competitive niche and I am doing this for the long term, but still I would have thought the results would have been better by now.

What I find really puzzling is how did I happen to drop my page ranking? At the beginning of July I was super pleased to have finally been awarded a Google page rank of 1 (10 being the highest, but you have to start somewhere) and Alexa was down to the 2.5M level (the lower the number the better, ideally get below 100K)– today, no page rank and Alexa up to 4M. What gives? What did I do wrong? Did I offend mother Google somehow? But Alexa has nothing to do with Google.



Another puzzling statistic. Throughout most of the month my search engine traffic was running at the 18% mark, yet, today’s stat shows a mere 8%. Clearly, there is something I did (or did not do) that dropped that statistic as well. I am confident that had the trend continued to month end, the stats would have been better. Hmmmmm.... it is a puzzlement.

I have no affiliate sales to report for the month of July and Adsense is a mere $2.92!!! That makes it the lowest ever!

OK... maybe this is what the gurus refer to as being in the trenches. What can I do to achieve better results?

1. Increase frequency of posts
2. Review keywords (I am still fighting for “blogging for money”
3. Use selected keywords in postings
4. Repurpose posts and publish in article directories

These are steps I can take right now. I know how to. There is a fifth thing I can do, but I am not sure how to use appropriately yet and that is social media.

Having said that, today is the kickoff for the 30 Day Challenge and I will be spending most of my internet marketing blocks on this endeavor ... most of my posts will have to do with my 30 Day Challenge experience and how it translates here.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS...I think somebody stole my cheese!

Quick Links:
30 Day Challenge

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Did Google just get Slapped?

Internet marketers live in terror at the possibility of offending Google and getting banished from its graces - better known as the Google Slap. Did Google get a taste of its own medicine today when Microsoft and Yahoo joined forces to take the world's largest search engine, Google, head on.

In the virtual wars of the internet today’s announcement of a sweet deal between Microsoft and Yahoo has certainly chalked up a win for the Redmond based software giant. The new alliance between the two rivals gives added punch to Microsoft’s search engine BING and much needed relief in R & D expenses to the beleaguered Yahoo.
The combined muscle power will go head to toe against the world’s largest search engine Google in an effort to woo away advertisers and attract publishers.

Full article here

No shrinking violet, Google has invaded the sacrosanct waters of Microsoft’s sizable grip in the operating system world with its introduction of Chrome OS, a free open source project which is still in beta mode. While years away from becoming a viable threat to Microsoft, you can bet your bottom dollar that the current OS world leader is not taking the introduction of Chrome OS lightly.

What does all this mean to you and me – the independent internet marketers mere specs of cyber dust on the radar screens of the giants? But important specs nonetheless for it is you and I that drive the profits of the likes of Google et al.

What I am thinking is that the newly formed behemoth is going to have to really get aggressive. The current combined statistics of the freshly minted partnership is a mere 11% worldwide share compared to Google’s 67%. The recent introduction of Microsoft’s Bing may hold clues. Buoyed by a hefty 100 million, Bing opened with a slick, jazzy and sexy campaign. Reviews have been positive to date and Microsoft has already picked up some traffic. Watch for continued innovative marketing techniques to steer you and me towards using Bing as our search engine.

But what about the bottom line? Will we switch?

Granted added traffic will form a case for switching your ads from one billboard to another and moving online real estate ad space on websites and blogs to the not so new but impressively aggressive kid on the block. But I think that won’t be enough. Bing and Yahoo will have to dangle another carrot ... money. How that will look is left to conjecture but an obvious first step is higher commissions to the publishers (that would be you and I) and lower advertising costs.

Don’t hold your breath for this to happen overnight though. The “deal” still has to pass the antitrust regulators and it is anticipated that it will be at least the early part of the coming year before the giants move forward, plus a two year “merging” of the minds, wills and cultures of the two former oponents – no easy feat to accomplish.

Add to all this online intrigue the thorny presence of Twitter which is the latest and hottest entry in the social media corner of the virtual world. Google it seems is an ardent suitor. Rebuffed but not rejected I wager that the big G will continue its efforts to win over this latest phenomena. Should it be successful Google will once again go under the microscopic scrutiny of the antitrust laws ... the very same set that deep sixed its courtship and proposed alliance with Yahoo in the first place.

Star Wars? This is far more exciting. Stay tuned for further developments in the virtual wars of the internet as the big guys duke it out for your business and mine.

Happy Blogging

Valentina
Blogger for money

PS... Any Grande Fromage I may have alluded to previously is instantly eclipsed by this big cheese!

Quick Links:
Microsoft, Yahoo announce search deal

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Networking with other bloggers

Why Network with other bloggers?

Blogging for money is a business and just like in the offline world it is important to throw out your tentacles and network. Too many mistakenly think that to make money online all that is needed is to sit at the computer and just blog away. Your results will be immeasurably higher if you partake of some good old fashioned networking.

Think about it.

If your business was offline, you would attend Chamber of Commerce luncheons, join an association in your industry, attend conferences and conventions. Why? To promote your business of course, but also to network, to learn about what others in your industry are doing to move their businesses forward and to form strategic alliances. Why should blogging be any different?

Good news.

You can network in your pajamas if you want. Actually I like to network both online and off for my blogging businesses. I think that a mix of the two is important. Let me explain.

Lets start with the obvious one: networking online. There is a saying that no one reaches the pinnacles of success alone. Ask any guru out there. Cheering peers and colleagues were an integral part of their success. Did these colleagues and peers materialize out of thin air? NO. They were cultivated. This is an important strategy and there is nothing subversive about it. Here are some ways you can network online:

#1. Source out other blogs in the same niche as yours. Follow these blogs and post comments on their articles. Make sure they are quality comments.

#2. Select your favorite blogs and ask if the owner is willing to consider a guest article by you. If the offer is accepted, submit an original article. There is no guarantee that the owner of the blog will post it but chances are that if the article is well written it will eventually appear. This is the beginning of a relationship with that blogger. Treat it well.

#3. In your own blog give some link love to the blog and blogger that you are now cultivating. The blogger will be aware of your support – trust me on this.

#4. Join forums in your niche, follow for a while before posting, then post quality comments – comments that are helpful. Others will begin to take notice of you as will the owner of the forum.

#5. Review the blog that you are following. Tell your readership what you like about that blog, maybe a little bit of advice/critique as to what you think might make it an even better blog and summarize the highlights.

I can bet you dollars to donuts that over time you will have developed a good relationship with the owner of this blog. Rinse and repeat. This is the online version of networking.

I think that offline networking is equally important. Meet other bloggers or internet marketers in your area. Attend “meet ups” and other scheduled internet marketing functions. Some of these functions are free, others have a nominal fee. You will meet people in different disciplines of internet marketing and you will be surprised at how generous they are in sharing their knowledge.

Surprise, surprise. You might even be one of those who is able to share your expertise with a newbie. I recently attended a function that was not internet based. Everyone present was a small business owner. They were intrigued about my online marketing business and wanted to know more. We talked about blogging as a good way to begin their online marketing efforts. Of course I pointed them to my free e.book ABC’s of Blogging for Money.

A word of caution; when networking seek what you can do for the other person before asking them to do something for you. This will differentiate you from 90% of the attendees and will do you more good in the long run. When you meet someone for the first time, ask them what you can do for them that would help their business. Be sincere. Maybe all you can do is introduce them to someone who can be of help. Maybe at the moment there is not much you can do, but you never know when you will run into someone or a situation that is just right for your newly acquired contact.

One other thing when networking offline – its not about how many cards you give out or collect. Make two to five meaningful connections and begin to cultivate a relationship. Be open but be selective as to whom you decide to invest your time with.

Networking is an important component of any business – whether you are selling flowers to the corporate market or blogging for money cultivating relationships is what will take your business to the highest pinnacles of success.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for money

PS.... There’s plenty of cheese at the pinnacles of success.

Quick Links:
Blogging for Money
ABC’s of Blogging For Money

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Is Tweeting for Bucks the New Blogging for Money?

Is anyone out there tweeting for bucks? Is anyone making money in social media?

That was the subject of a newsletter I recently received.

Is blogging for money being edged out by its sexier cousin tweeting for bucks?

I don’t know.

It seems that social media marketing is the hottest subject on the internet today and everyone is suddenly an expert and weighing in with their opinion – in my opinion it is highly misunderstood, misused and definitely abused.

I confess to not “getting it” when the hullabaloo first started – I mean, who cares if I just had sausages and toast for breakfast or if I’m packing to go and visit aunt Millie? It's a lot of noise about nothing, I thought, and ignored the phenomena for as long as I could.

Interestingly I began to receive emails from people in the internet marketing industry whom I respect. Successful internet marketers. Without exception they were extolling the power of social media marketing and how when applied properly, it can put dollars in your jeans.

HUH?

Adding dollars in my jeans always gets me attention. I began to read more.

Then I attended Frank Kern’s Mass Control in San Diego where Ed Dale made a compelling presentation on the power of Social Media and Perry Belcher followed up with conclusive evidence that yes, there is money in social media marketing, but, and here is the big “but” you really need to know how to apply it properly or you’ll be ignored; worse yet, you could be banned.

Social media sites are popping everywhere – they number in the thousands. Each has a purpose for its existence and the application or participation format vary from site to site. The most popular ones are Facebook, LinkedIn for the business crowd and the one that has all the internet atwitter is ... well Twitter!

First things first. As mentioned, each social site has a purpose. Delicious for example is an excellent venue for generating backlinks to your site. Search engines such as Google look at backlinks as a vote for your site so the more backlinks you have pointing back to your site, the better the likelihood of getting both a higher ranking on your site and generating increased traffic. Traffic is the holy grail of internet marketing – we all want it, lots of it.

Twitter on the other hand is the online equivalent of a blog sound bite and most importantly, the information is live. Why is that so important? When managed properly the internet marketer has up to the minute information on a subject of her choice and use it intelligently to leverage her marketing on the subject. Say your topic is celebrity dogs and you just learned that the Taco Bell chihuahua has gone on to its taco in the sky. Immediately you could post on your blog this breaking news content giving you front of line placement with the search engines. Rinse and repeat ... and soon you are the number one celebrity dog blog.

To go into details on social media marketing here is not within the scope of a single post. What is important to understand though is that it is not social media marketing that puts dollars in your jeans – it is a tool that used properly will definitely impact positively on the bottom line of your bank balance. Lets take the Taco Bell chihuahua as an example. With frequent "breaking news" postings traffic to your blog will increase and with increased traffic you are likely to have more clicks for ads, affiliates and if you don't have any paid advertisers on your site yet, this gives you leverage to attract them.

In this year’s Thirty Day Challenge, Ed Dale is going to be giving extensive coverage to social media marketing. It officially kicks off August 1 but the pre-season tools are being uncovered almost daily. To be better armed for a more successful blogging for money career, register today – hey, its free. See you there!

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS ... get your own cheese with the Thirty Day Challenge.

Quick Links:
Frank Kern’s Mass Control
Ed Dale
Perry Belcher
Follow Me on Twitter
Register for Thirty Day Challenge

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Blogging - a valuable marketing tool

Blogs are sprouting up faster than a new growth of bamboo shoots. Suddenly everyone is jumping on the expressway to wealth and its called Blogging for Money – or so they think. It is definitely a growth industry. But as an industry is it really making money?

In this fast paced world of the internet, blogging is not a new phenomena. It’s been around for some ten years now – I know, because some of the bloggers that are pulling in the big bucks have been blogging in one form or another for that length of time. It is exactly the financial success of notable bloggers like Darren Rowse, Yaro Starak, Nathan Hangan, and Alvin Phang to name just a few that has captured the attention of the young and old alike and suddenly it seems that blogging for money has become the online version of the Klondike Gold Rush.

So, yes there is money in the industry but statistically that money falls to a very small percentage. There are millions of blogs. Most are not monetized nor were they ever put up with the intention of making money. Many more have been abandoned either because the initial flush of creativity died an early death or the promise of money failed to materialize.

Therein lies the challenge. Making money blogging. Manuals on blogging focus on finding a niche and then blogging about it. Plenty of attention is given to the fact that unlike traditional brick and mortar businesses it does not cost much to start a blog.

In my view many newbie bloggers are missing an opportunity that is right under their own noses. I am often asked by eager would be bloggers what it is that they should blog about. The first question I ask is whether they already have a business of their own. Often they do. I have spoken with dry cleaners, bakers, bike shop owners, florists and many other small business owners. When asked if they had given any thought about blogging about their businesses I get a blank stare. They've bought into the notion of unique and niche and their business, in their mind, is neither unique nor niche.

You see, blogging is just another marketing tool and a valuable one at that. It can be an effective way to promote your bricks and mortar business. I had a long conversation with the baker. His bread is to die for – all whole food type of ingredients and so delish. The quality is definitely high end and customers gladly pay the premium price. He wants to expand as a supplier to high end restaurants and local specialty grocers of natural and organic foods.

We chatted. How could a blog help him? Tricky. Go for the business to customer or business to business market?

“Could you handle more walk in traffic?” I asked.

“Absolutely” he said.

"In fact walk in traffic is the most profitable part of my business as the bread is sold at full price."

I happen to know that there are customers who drive an hour each way just to stock up on his bread. What if he blogged as part of his marketing mix? He could start with his story. He can write about what makes his breads different. Talk about some of the ingredients. The origin of some of the breads he bakes and much, much more. Do you think that he could create a continuously increasing stream of traffic to his store? Do you think that maybe those high end grocers just might begin to notice him. If he rolled up his baker's sleeves and employed even just a few online marketing strategies, could the effort pay off with more money in the bank?

I think so.

Now here’s a thought for you. You write. You want a blog. Topics elude you. Are you already a small business owner? Are there stores in your neighborhood that would pay you to market their businesses online? Is there a successful baker who's too busy to blog but has bigger ambitions for his business who would be willing to pay you to do so?

You could approach one store – preferably a friend – and offer to help market their business online for free as something to cut your teeth on while learning how to blog. Could you monetize that blog so that not only does the business get added traffic but makes money off of the blog? Do you think your friend would give you referrals to his small business buds? For pay? Could you become a professional blogger writing for established bricks and mortar businesses – and they don’t even have to be where you live, not if you learn how to market your blogging service properly.

Now there’s something to think about. Is that a possibility that can be a probability?

Happy Blogging ......

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... Now there’s a completely different spin on “a brick of cheese”

Monday, July 13, 2009

Time Managment

Time management is the bete noire of productivity – or should that be, lack of time management?

I run three businesses.

None of them on their own provide a livable income. One is a mature business in network marketing which provides me with the biggest chunk of change for my livelihood. Another is one that I fell into less than a year ago: marketing a pet product to the retail pet industry. It is growing. The third is internet marketing. It is at once the most time consuming and the least profitable, yet, it is the one I am pursuing with unfettered enthusiasm.

None earn enough so that I could outsource some of the more tedious tasks

Conventional wisdom dictates that I work only one business, build it up to extraordinary success and only then turn my attention to a second one. And as they say: rinse and repeat. Indeed, I give that very same advice to others.

Why do I not follow my own advice?

Frankly, I enjoy the diversity. It keeps my brain active.

The question I am often asked is how do I manage to run three businesses. The answer is with great difficulty. But I have adopted a system that seems to work: time blocking.

Time blocking is a management system where you take blocks of time – in my case I use a one hour block - and you allot so many blocks for a certain activity. Each day I allot several blocks to each business. Neither the number of blocks nor the sequence is uniform for each day. For each business I have a monthly and a weekly goal. The daily blocks are then focused on making the weekly goal. An example might be:

July:
Internet Marketing: Increase traffic by 10% to each blog/site
How?
- Publish 10 articles in Article Directories
- Blog daily (I have several blogs – so not each one gets a post every day)
- Each week take the best blog posts and repurpose into an article to be published in Article Directories
- Visit “Do Follow” blogs and comment as appropriate

Those are not the only internet marketing activities I engage in, but they are the bones which are then fleshed out.

As I am still very much a student of Internet Marketing and spend a good deal of time reading, listening to or watching videos of a course or a subscription I block time for that as well. This keeps me growing, increases my knowledge and improves my skill sets. I do not implement everything I learn – indeed, sometimes I feel that something is beyond my current grasp, and I leave it, to be returned to later.

I decided on this model because the previous one, which was based on task oriented results as a measurement of time for each business, was not working. An example might be to write up 4 new retail orders for the pet product that I market for the day. Sometimes even after hours and hours of following up by email and calls to my key contacts, it just did not happen. It was frustrating. Now, I have flexibility as to how many blocks I assign to this project on any given day – and there are days when one of the businesses may not be assigned any block at all. At the end of the month I have measurable results which include new customers, repeat customers and added prospects in the pipeline. Adjust as necessary

You may have a regular day job. A family to raise. A fitness routine to fit in ....and, you have decided to enter the world of internet marketing by blogging for money. How do you do it?

Ewen Chia, author of How I made my First Million on the Internet had all that to juggle – well not sure about the fitness regime. He blocked 4 hours each night to work on his internet marketing, but get this he did that between 11.00 PM and 3.00 AM. It’s a wonder he did not keel over from sleep deprivation. Now that is what I call driven and many would term that as being extreme, but what it has done is delivered extreme success to him.

You may not want to follow in Ewen’s footsteps (heck, I would drop from sheer exhaustion myself), but do take a page out of his book ... block some time for your success, daily. Turn off the TV and use the weekends to chunk in some real quality effort, say four or six hours straight, you’d be surprised how that escalates your results.

I use this system for my businesses, but really, it can be used for anything. Managed well, with systemic time blocking you will see incremental progress. I love comparing where I end the month with where I began that month. There is always progress. Progress built on progress eventually takes on a rocket ship trajectory.

Believe it. It's true.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS... How do you cut your cheese?

Quick Links:
How I Made My First Million on the Internet

My network marketing business

All Natural Pet Balm

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Google Alert - a useful tool for bloggers

The 30 Day Challenge pre-season is in full swing. New “tools” are introduced on a regular basis. Some of these tools are not new to me yet I decided to invest the five minutes or so to view the videos. Amazing. Even though I thought I knew how to use these tools, I found something that I was not fully utilizing from each video! It's always good to review!

One tool however was new to me – Google Alert. This is different from Google Reader. It made sense to check it out so I registered for my Google Alert account.

What Google Alert does is send you freshly minted content on the keyword phrase you want to be kept up to date on. You can put as many such phrases as you want and Google will send you the aggregate list of articles on the topic within the time intervals you choose. What I like about this service is that I don’t have to go searching for fresh material on my topic. I also become better informed on my subject and therefore more of an authority on it. One of the phrases I submitted was blogging for money.

In this morning’s serving there was an article that I thought was very interesting ... talk about “niche” marketing. A blogger in the UK has decided to blog about his very unique house as a way to market it to buyers. The blog has been up for two months or so and already he has had 10,000 visitors and a few who expressed further interest in possible purchasing it. The article’s title is Sold to the Highest Bidder and you can read it on Times Online

The real point of this little soupcon on Google Alert is that if you want to get returns that are exactly what you are looking for then you need to put quotation marks around the phrase, like so: “blogging for money”. Clearly the article in question about the house for sale by blog, while it met the criteria of blogging for money, was of a different stripe than what I am looking for.

Now the dilemma. Do I go and manage my Google Alert and change the instruction by encasing my phrase with quotation marks or, do I leave it? Reads such as above are interesting.

To make my decision I asked these critical questions.

Am I looking to expand my general interest knowledge or am I looking for targeted information? Which choice takes me towards my objective of making money online?

The answer is targeted information. I am an easy pushover for good reads. It is one of my biggest “distractions.” I could easily lose myself in this type of activity and spend precious little time on the real activities that make a difference to my business.

What about you? Is the time you spend on internet marketing put to productive use or are you just visiting in your own business?

Happy Blogging!

Valentina Bellicova
Blogger for Money
Free download ABC’s of Blogging for Money

PS. The cheese is not in the wheel.

Quick Links:
30 Day Challenge
Blogging for money
Google Alert
Sold to the highest bidder

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

June Statistics - into the summer

Holding steady, well almost. Bloggers I am following and who also frequently post their results for the previous month ... haven’t, yet! And I must say, that I am blogging away towards the close of day. Today is Canada Day – Canada’s birthday and today we celebrated Canada’s 142nd! Yup. As countries go, we are still just a babe in the woods - which is how I often feel about my own internet marketing career. Many years ago I came to this country and officially became a Canadian as soon as I qualified. Took my test. Was so proud to be sworn in. Am so proud to be a Canadian.

So, how did June pan out? A small downturn from May which is a bit disappointing ... I am looking for growth after all. But I have been told that the summer doldrums hit even the internet and my postings are not frequent enough to counteract.



As usual there are some peaks in the month. The two posts that drew the most traffic were

The Dot Com King
Ed Dale Kicks of 30 Day Challenge Pre-Season



The bright light is that it seems that the search engines are beginning to find this blog – at 15.93% it’s the highest to date.

The only earnings to report are Adsense at $6.83 ... no affiliates this month.

There were 46 downloads of my ebook ABC’s of Blogging for Money

Overall growth seems to be eluding me. I’ve looked at how I could improve the stats, get more traffic and have more people subscribing to my RSS feed (not sure I have that set up right), the newsletter or the “follow me” group. I checked to see what my more successful compatriots are doing:

John Chow who reportedly makes $40K per month really works hard at his blog. I just went over the past month and not only does he blog daily, but several times a day! And it’s all good stuff too ... some of it on his daily life, some of it on internet marketing, some of it on our buds in the biz. He’s got several products as well. He enjoys over 200K in traffic per month. Much of his revenue is from the paid sponsors. Not bad for someone who started to blog in 2006 “just because”

Yaro Starak who is known to have taken $100K to the bank at least one month – but more importantly, consistently pulls down over $35m monthly. Yaro has been blogging on one blog or another for nigh on ten years now and brings a lot of experience to the table. Not only does he post kick ass info but is now successfully joint venturing with other successful internet marketers -that's striking the gold vein in the mine!

Caroline Middlebrook – a software professional who started her blog some two years ago. Modest - compared to the two above - monthly income that hovers at the $2000 mark, but she’s been a rare presence on her own blog due to the time she is spending in developing a new software program.

How did I spend my Internet Marketing time blocks this past month?

- published 9 posts on this blog
- submitted 2 articles to one article directory
- kept up to date in the 30 Day Challenge pre-season
- researched niche topic for the 30 Day Challenge (I think I have one nailed)
- working on the beta project that Dan Lok put out
- Read my RSS feeds
- Read my favorite blogs and posted comments (got backlinks)
- Visited some forums
- Working on my postings for July which will be on linking.

Thoughts to Ponder: Now that I am much more familiar with WordPress I am seriously considering migrating this whole blog to that system. I am also seriously scared – scared that I’ll mess the whole thing up in the process techie type stuff not being my strong suite. But I now understand why the top dogs in the internet marketing scene choose Wordpress.

Soon I will unveil my project in the beta program which I think will work in good stead with the niche I am considering for the 30 Day Challenge. These will be covered in this blog in the future as each will have something to contribute to my progress and hopefully yours.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina Bellicova
Blogging for Money

PS. Another top notch blogger, Alvin Phang baked a cheesecake for his first anniversary. Pictures and recipe on his blog.

Quick Links:
The Dot Com King
Ed Dale Kicks of 30 Day Challenge Pre-Season
John Chow
Yaro Starak
Caroline Middlebrook
30 Day Challenge
Alvin Phang

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Google Page One - How Important is It?

Is Page One on Google The Ultimate Goal?

In an earlier post this week I published that this blog was on Page One of Google. But is being on Page One of Google the end all and the be all in internet marketing?

NO!

There is a perception out there that unless your business/site is on Google’s page one, then you’ll be whistling Dixie. Yes. In terms of online real estate that is an enviable position to be in and certainly not to be discarded, but there are plenty of other ways to promote online and make good money without having reached the dizzying heights of PAGE ONE!

Before going into some of the other options I want to make it clear, that getting on page one is not all that difficult … or so it seems as witness my 6 month blog doing fairly decently for the keywords “blog along with me”. It really does depend on the keyword that you get ranked for and not all keywords are created equal. The collective wisdom of the gurus is that we should go for keywords that have a decent daily search, over 80, but which are in a small market of ideally not much more than 50,000 returns for that keyword - much more than that and the competition gets stiff. That is what is called a NICHE market or as they like to say “inch wide, mile deep”

But there are huge markets out there which if tackled right can bring in the moolah as well. Anything on money, wealth and wellness, and personal development is a huge market and not only are these markets huge, but they have a lot of activity, that is people are searching, clicking and buying. It may take longer to make money in these seemingly saturated markets, but there are ways to shorten that time:

Adwords: This takes money and you do need to know how to manage this option. You pay Google every time someone clicks on your ad, be that ad is placed in pages of the search result for a keyword or on someone’s content relative site. It is the other side of Adsense, which if you recall, is when Google pays you for hosting relative content sites by Google and when those ads are clicked. With Adwords you need to develop a plan and set a budget and really get to know which of your keywords brings in the business.

A friend of mine is in the travel business. She does almost all her advertising online with adwords. The result is a multi-million dollar business – enough to keep 7 agents busy and a thriving inbound tour business at the primary destination that she markets.

List. This is one of those chicken and egg things … build a list and now you have a target market that is interested in your product. It takes time to build such a list and you need to have something to offer for free that catches your market’s attention. But what if you have a mature offline business and want to branch out to online? You have an income and part of that income should be budgeted for online marketing. You “rent” a list of your market. There are lots of list brokers who will rent you a list of qualified buyers for your type of product … you email this list two or three times for that one time “rental”. The conversion rate will determine whether it is worth a repeat. Good copywriting plays a huge part in conversion rates. If you are not a copywriting professional, it is worth the expense to hire one. The difference can be between no business and a conversion of up to 20% and sometimes even more!

Article Marketing. Another good way to get traffic to your site is article marketing. Write articles on the product you are selling online and publish those articles. They will be published in the category that you select. There are plenty of article directories, my favorite free ones are

Idea Marketers
Ezine Articles
Article Dashboard

You can also submit to for fee article directories. These articles directories market in paid subscription publications and so the interest of the reader on your topic is of a higher quality.

Joint Ventures: Works best with complimentary products … yes, that may mean working with your competition. What if you have a site that specializes in handbags and you joint venture with someone who specializes in shoes. These are really complimentary markets. You are not really competitors but it would be safe to say that you share a common market. Each of you has a list that already buys from you. Cross market to each other's list. Again, this is one of those things that takes time to develop but you might want to identify some of the key players in your broad market and start developing a relationship.

Blogging. Lest I forget …blogging is yet another way to drive online business. While this blog is on blogging, there are plenty of blogs that are specifically set up to promote the main product which may be a natural pet balm or a site on handbags.

PAGE ONE? Important but increasingly less so as other forms of online marketing become available.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS........... its all about sniffing out the cheese.

Quick Links:
PAGE ONE post
Idea Marketers
Ezine Articles
Article Dashboard

Friday, June 26, 2009

30 Day Challenge Forum on Internet Marketing Courses

Earlier this month I posted an article on Internet Marketing Courses and the importance of being ready to take one.

I have always felt that often people do not complete the courses they buy because somewhere along the way the upward curve becomes overwhelming. It usually happens early on in the course. Mistakenly, they then go in search of another course that will take them to the heights of success of the gurus they read about. They start looking for the "secret", the magic bullet that will bring the money truck driving up to their driveway. The vicious cycle begins.

On the 30 Day Challenge forum a somewhat similar question was poised; “…should I first take Course A or do the 30 Day Challenge?”

The replies that came in from both the seasoned moderators and experienced internet marketers were unanimous: take the 30 Day Challenge first.

Why!

The 30 Day Challenge lays the foundation for an internet marketing business and prepares you for more challenging courses.

My point exactly.

Without a strong foundation the business you build will be like a house of cards lacking structural support and therefore susceptible to crashing with the slightest setback. It's a business. There will be setbacks. You need to be able to weather those setbacks.

Lay a strong internet marketing foundation. If you haven’t already done so, I encourage you to go an register for the 30 Day Challenge
.
The price is right - FREE! It doesn't get better than that.

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS… go get your cheese!

Quicklinks:
Choosing the right Internet Marketing Course
Register for Thirty Day Challenge

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

ABC's of Blogging #1 on Page One of Google!

WOW! ABC’s of Blogging for Money is #1 on Google and Blog Along With Me holds a respectable #2 position on Google’s page one! I am soooooo happy … I don’t think I have ever been #1 before! But before I sink into the euphoria of this most honored position I have some explaining to do …………..

The next round of topics on this blog is going to be on linking. While I have a fairly good working knowledge of this marketing technique I thought it would be a good idea to bone up on what other top dog bloggers have to say.

The more I read, the lower my spirits sank. I thought once again I did not do enough homework before starting this blog. The glaring error?

Keywords! Or the lack of them in my links. The most powerful link that you have is your domain name. For this blog I had decided to fight for Blogging for Money … while I frequently pepper this phrase in my postings, the domain name rules and it is glaringly bereft of the keyword phrase that I want this blog to become known for.

In an earlier post I had mentioned that this is a long term blog. I am blogging on how to blog – that is a crowded market with professional sites such as Blogger and Wordpress sitting comfortably in the top ranks on page one. Then there is Darren Rowse with his long standing and very popular Problogger coming up strongly in the middle of page one. When I was researching my keyword phrases, I decided that I could live with going for the phrase “blogging for money” which generates a daily search of 145.

While I did not expect to be sharing page space with Blogger, Wordpress or Darren, I did think that at least I would have got Google’s blessing with a page rank … oh, even page rank 1(with Google the higher the number of the page rank, the better it is) would have been great. Nada. Not even a nod.

Linking. Aha. The more I read on linking the deeper the realization sank in … It’s the link, stupid! The domain link does not have the keyword phrase in it! What does it have? It has the far more competitive word “blog” in it. Over 2 million searches daily. Other established and more savvy marketers are cornering that market! Dumb!!!

Now there are other strategies that I can employ to overcome this error but it would take time and aggressive marketing techniques. I could also go for another domain name and have it redirected to this site – I already did that once. I read that as prominent a blogger as Yaro Starak changed his first blog’s domain name three times. But this linking thing kept niggling at me. Then I had an idea. I Googled “blog along with me” and voila, there is my blog on page 1 holding positions 2, 3, 4 and 5.

My first reaction was big deal! Who goes searching for “blog along with me” but then I looked at the numbers – there it was in the 1 -10 of a possible 111,000,000! Be still my heart. How did my little blog of just 6 months beat out over a 100 million other entries?

I looked at each position to see what it was that helped me get to page one and as best as I can figure it out:

Content: The title “Blog Along With Me” is in the header. The phrase “blog along with me” appears in the description of the blog beneath the title in the header. This is a static part of the blog so that everytime a new post is added and the spiders or bots crawl this site, Blog Along With Me keeps showing up. Fresh content, consistent keyword.

Adbrite: I recently added Adbrite as an alternate to Adsense to monetize the blog. It is an interesting advertising system which works in tandem with Adsense, but replacing it when it can do better. Adbrite advertises to prospective advertisers and its ad for Blog Along With Me got picked up by Google. That is a link pickup. It occupies position No. 3.

Blog Catalog: I had submitted Blog Along to Blog Catalog and that too got crawled by Google and once again it is a link pickup

Twitter: One of my readers (bless you Michael) tweeted one of the posts on Twitter. And even though it was a Twitter URL it was a backlink to this site again!

I keep thinking of Mike Litman who was my first mentor. His favorite saying is “You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.”

I had an idea! What about my A B C’s of Blogging for Money? That has been up a scant month. To my surprise, there it was on page one holding top spot in the 1 – 10 out of a possible 27,500,000! This time the keyword phrase was in the domain title, and my press release got picked up.

This is really encouraging. It means that if you do enough of the right stuff it will eventually over ride the wrong stuff and your efforts will begin to pay off. More on that in the next post.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogging for Money

PS… That’s a big smiley on the cheese.

Quick Links:
ABC's Of Blogging for Money
Blogger
Wordpress
Adbrite
Blog Catalog
Twitter

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Dot Com King

Who is Kevin Ham & why have we never heard of him?

Kevin Ham is the Dot Com King. He reigns in the kingdom of Domain. Until recently I have never heard of him, bet you haven’t either. He rules his kingdom from the seat of Reinvent Media Group, a Vancouver based company that owns over half a million domain names and who is arguably the most powerful and successful member of a small, albeit growing elite group of Domainers; landlords of valuable real estate on the internet. Kevin appears to be a very private man.

I recently sat with royalty and didn’t even know it. No, it wasn’t with Kevin Ham, but with Conor Shankey, the CTO of Reinvent Media. Conor is no mean dude himself when it comes to internet savvy and his role in it. We were both guests at a birthday party at the Cellar Jazz Club in Vancouver. Over dinner he sat across from me. I reached over my dish of lamb shanks – no, there was no asparagus; I did not ask him for a date and besides his lovely wife was seated by his side - and engaged him in polite dinner conversation.

Turned out that Conor was in internet marketing and that’s when all semblance of politeness dropped as at the mere mention of anything internet my ears perk up and my “inquisition mode” – as my husband likes to term my natural curiosity - kicks into overdrive. I was floored when I learned that his company owned over half a million domain names, the largest domain owner in the world. My eyes must been the size of saucers as the sheer enormity of that number sank in. He then told me about Kevin Ham.

Conor Shankey is the founder of the very successful Visual Knowledge which was acquired by Reinvent Media in 2008.

OK … enough with the name dropping. What am I getting at? For several years now I have been following the development of virtual real estate. Ed Dale
and Kevin Wilke to name just two big guns in the internet marketing world are big players in this niche, but I first heard of virtual real estate at a seminar I attended almost two years ago in Los Angeles. I honestly don’t remember who it was that spoke about it. What I do remember is that the concept immediately began to churn cogs and turn wheels into motion as the very idea galvanized me completely.

I wrote about virtual real estate on this blog:

- There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs - April 13



That was Danielle Friedland I was referring to.

And again in:

- Owning Google Real Estate: - April 04

Dealing in virtual real estate is a growing business. From domains being auctioned off at seemingly ridiculous prices – Kevin Ham is known to have paid as much as $350,000 for a single domain name – to buyers wheeling and dealing with existing performing sites such as Danielle’s celebrity babies blog and pulling in a mil or two and oftentimes more.

No matter how you look at it, it’s a big business. I began to assemble a portfolio of domains shortly after my return from that Los Angeles seminar. I thought I was doing ok with 27! ...lol... These are all domains that actually have a web presence as sites and require my attention. They are monetized and bring in money, but not enough yet to outsource any of the functions.

It never occurred to me to buy domain names and hold them for future resale whilst systemically monetizing them in the meantime. My previous understanding of virtual real estate has expanded exponentially. Henceforth I’ll view my modest domain portfolio with a little bit more respect and continue to buy, hmmm, that would be "invest." It’s a lot more affordable than the stock market; the downside is negligible and the upside at best stratospheric. It is after all still a game, a domain name game, and its not just kings who can play at it.

It’s a thought … have I expanded your horizons? Just a wee teenzy bit? I hope so.

Happy Blogging!

Valentina
Blogger for Money

PS. Now that’s cheese worth biting into!

Quick Links:
Reinvent Media Group
Cellar Jazz Club
I reached over the asparagus and asked her for a date” John F. Kennedy
Kevin Ham
Conor Shankey
There’s Money in Them Thar Blogs
Danielle Friedland
Owning Google Real Estate: