Archive for Blogging

A New Blog is Born

I have been away for while, for one reason or another. Anyway, I decided to take some of my own advice and set a blog from scratch to see how easy it really is to create another blog income stream.

In fact I resurrected an old domain that I had about my person. (In a previous life I had a radio show on a community radio station which allowed me to play all the music I love, blues, real rock. Stuff like Zappa, Beefheart, Wreckless Eric, you get the idea. The old site supported the show with play lists and discussions. When the station died so did the site).

Setting up the blog was easy, WordPress, of course, by far the best platform for a blog, and a free theme which looks pretty neat. Total set up costs, including the domain name that I bought a couple of years ago less that £20. Some, not much, research into key words. I did look at blogs in the area of classic rock to see what seems to work.

So far I have added a couple of Adsense ads (I hate sites overloaded with Adsense) and an Amazon shop containing only good music (well, my definition of good anyway).

Add to that regular posts about a subject I love and thats it. The results after 2 weeks? An average of 12 unique visits a day, with no promotion or back links. Some sales from Amazon, some click throughs and I have earned £30. Not bad but I have yet to add a mailing list and a good, it has to be good, Clickbank guitar tuition affiliate programme.

You will notice that I have committed one of the cardinal sins of blogging for cash. I did not do a lot of research and look for a hot niche. This was deliberate, for some reason I can not get exited writing about weight loss, acne cures or any of those, even though they would be far more profitable.

One thing that this proves is that an income stream is easily possible for no, or little outlay. If you want to see the result for yourself you can visit realrockandblues.com here. Hey that is probably my first backlink! I love blogging.

I have started a Sqidoo Lens about this experiment. To catch up on how its going vist my lens

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The Value of a Good Host

If you visited this blog over the last week you will have found nothing here!

I am massively stupid sometimes and last Friday I managed to ‘kill’ this blog………….. :-(

Luckily, I am with Blue Host.  They were supportive, sympathetic and efficient.  After I had exhausted all my options (which really consisted of turning the PC off and swearing – well, a bit more than that, but not much) they stepped in and got the blog back in 24 hours.

I can not recommend Blue Host highly enough.

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Time to Take Stock

I have been working some very long hours over the last 4 weeks or so. That is why I have not been able to update the blog for a while.

Working a string of 10 and 12 hour days has lead me to a couple of conclusions;

First, my desire to get out of the sheer mind numbing drudgery of working in a warehouse has increased, dramatically.

Second, this blog has been running for 6 months, so where is it now and what has it achieved?

In April it had over 2,000 unique visits! My newsletter now has a smidgen under 500 readers, and a number of people contact me to discuss the posts and are often complimentary, sometimes not but hey, stuff happens.

I think that this is quite a good start.

What have been the most important things that I have done to get here so far?

1. I bought and used a couple of great ebooks, foremost amongst those is Blogging to the Bank, which I think is a must have for everyone starting a blog.

2. I invested in The Internet Kickstart Course from Sara Brown & Tony Shepherd. This is a course that takes anyone from having no IM knowledge and leads them by the hand through the jungle.

3. I found a great service that helps to increase a site’s ranking by identifying sites that can be used to build back links.

4. Lastly, I have discovered that building a business takes time and a steady approach doing a little evreyday.

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Hoisted On My Own Petard

A couple of weeks ago I received a nice email from Tony. He called into question my grammar in the free ebook that appears on this page. In particular he questioned the sentence ‘Powersellers think like shops’.  He was entirely right, of course, what I meant was that powersellers think like shop owners.

You may be surprised that I was happy to receive his email, however, my view is that firstly he actually read the ebook and secondly I can now correct the mistake.  He also attached an ebook concerning grammar and there is a link to it here. grammarbible

I was a bit put out to be honest because I wrote a post a little while ago complaining about someone else’s sales page.  It also has to be said that I am a bit of a pedant and enjoyed Lynne Truss’ book ‘Eats Shoots and Leaves’ (you decide where the comma should go).

If like me you are interested in words, their derivation and usage then I would recommend that you visit World Wide Words an excellent site full of interesting and arcane words.

(memo to self, I must run this through the spell checker before posting it…..)

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Somedays (2)

One of the most difficult things about trying to make a living and sell successfully online is motivation.  I have had some difficult days recently.  However, sometimes something happens to make life online a whole lot better.

My Amazon sales have followed the general trend of the world economy, down and then a bit further down.  In the last week 2 items sold through eBay to Italy have gone missing in the post and required free replacements (and yes, John, free replacements can be expensive to the seller).  I may have to rethink whether I sell to people in Italy, the post is notoriously unreliable.  All in all, not a good couple of weeks.

Then, out of the blue I find that the subscription opt-in rate for the newsletter associated with this blog has increased amazingly over the last 2 days!  It is not much, and I do not make money from the blog or newsletter but the increased number and the support I receive from readers has really cheered me up.  My thanks to you all.

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Traffic Exchanges – Are They Worth The Effort?

The idea behind traffic exchanges is very appealing to many site owners. Your site is viewed by 1000s of people, what more could you want?

This is the basic deal, although details will vary from exchange to exchange. You submit your site to the exchange. Going through the exchange you visit other sites. For every 2 sites you visit you receive 1 ‘credit’. A credit gives you one visit from another exchange member. The result if you vivist 100 sites a day is that your site gets 50 hits a day. Wonderful!

The trouble is, why were you visiting the other sites? To get people to visit your site. Did you really care about those sites? Did you revisit any of those sites? Did you bookmark any of them? Did you buy from any of them? Did you read the whole site or just tick it off your ‘to do’ list?

Why do you think anyone from the exchange should pay any more attention to your site than you did to theirs?

Just how valuable do you think traffic from traffic exchanges is, really?

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The Great Blogging Myth

The great blogging myth is that to make money online all you need to do is to set up a blog and the money just starts rolling in (I wish!). That simply is not the case.

There are upwards of 70 million blogs but there are few, very few, that make money. Rob Benwell has been blogging for 4 years and in is now making $34,000 a month  through blogging.

He has updated his hugely succesful Blogging To The Bank, but is it worth the money?

I bought a copy the day it was released earlier this week and here is my honest review.

At 58 pages it is not the biggest e-book that you will ever buy, but it is the content that matters.

That Rob is very successful is not in doubt.  He obviously wanted to get his knowledge down on paper without waffle.  There is a lack of ego in his book that is refreshing.  He does not see himself as a ‘guru’ but as an ordinary guy.  His ideas are presented succinctly but clearly.

In my view the the section about setting up a blog is better covered in other manuals.  If you want a step by step guide to setting up a WordPress blog then I will suggest a few manuals in the newsletter, when I get time.  Where this book scores is when Rob explains about the value of auto-responders and the holistic approach to blogging.  He never takes his eye off the main aim of the book which is to help a blog owner make serious money.

Rob has a very practical approach to running a blog.  He wants everything he does to either increase traffic or to increase the stickyness of his blogs.  He says again and again that blogs must serve the readers and not be stale or boring.  He does not want to spend hours on SEO (search engine optimisation) or chasing page ranking.  He is pragmatic in his approach to SEO, he will do what is necessary and what will increase traffic but not spend hours ‘fine tuning’.  That is because after a point SEO is not time efficient and the traffic gain does not justify the time cost.  (I like that bit!). 

It may take a few reads until you get it but when you do it’s just shear genius. Some of the topics in my opinion could have been covered a little more, then others went into great detail. You also get his 5 Blogging Commandments For 2009 that you must follow to give your blogs the greatest success in 2009 and keep them future proofed. This should be printed out and put on the wall of every blogger without a doubt! 

If you want to improve your blog, if you want to know how to make money with your new blog then you really should look at Blogging To The bank.

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