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