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Why Blogs aren’t Businesses

My favorite story in the Rich Dad book series is the story about the town that needed water brought in from a couple miles away. They awarded the contract to two entrepreneurs, just to ensure a fair market. The first began to haul the water in the largest pails he could carry and had an [...]

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It’s clear that the point of the story is to build systems rather than business that are tied to a particular person’s talents.

Lately I have been concerned about the quantity of work involved in blogging for money. My current hero is making some very good money from his blogs, but claims that it is his goal to publish 25 stories a day. I’ve seen him apologize to his readership for not posting for 24 hours. These businesses thrive from a constant stream of content, and the problem is that that content is tied to one person’s voice.

Rich Dad’s definition of a successful business is that you should be able to leave it for a year and it will be worth more when you come back than when you left. Martha Stewart recently became a billionaire (again!) while she was in prison. Personally i’d prefer to be on an island in the Mediterranean, but the principle is the same.

I love this website but it’s not a real business. A business is a system that can be done by anyone. The only way to have this site function as a real business would be to farm out the article writing. That is not going to happen for this site, but for others that I have in mind, it is a possibility.

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Being Rich is a Decision

Bizaz.com [Arizona's Source for Business News] has an article about Rich Dad Poor Dad author and Arizona native Robert Kiyosaki. “Being rich is a decision,” says Kiyosaki, 57. “It has nothing to do with profession. I could be a nun, and I’d be a rich one. I could be a schoolteacher, but I’d be rich.”… [...]

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Alternatives to AdSense

by SMD · 2 Comments 

Some alternatives to AdSense. These are summaries from the various websites. Lots of alternatives out there and as you see the compensation levels can vary pretty dramatically. One thing that they have in common is what they describe as the perfect setting for their ads: “If your blog does have a laser-sharp focus and more [...]

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  • BlogAds

    How: Want to give advertisers access to your unique audience? We make it easy to sell and display ads. Simply create your own kiosk through our one-page form, then cut and paste a javascript into your site. You’ll be done in five minutes or less.

  • BURST! Media

    The process is simple.

    • There are no costs to you as a member.

    • Everyone starts out on a non-exclusive, month-to-month rate, and may maintain that rate indefinitely.
    • You control which campaigns run and where they run on your website.

    * Represent specialty content. Portals, search engines, and sites of links to other people’s content generally do not fit our definition of specialty content.
    * Be live and have current traffic of at least 5,000 page views per month. Sites that are incomplete will not be accepted.
    * Be in English. BURST! will not allow any of its ads to appear on foreign language sites.
    * Have an active, publicly stated privacy policy. Click here for more information about creating a privacy policy.
    * Agree to post our Demographic Survey somewhere on the site. For more information review our complete Eligibility Requirements .
    * Reside on its own top-level domain. No sites hosted on free providers (such as Geocities, Tripod, etc) will be considered.

  • CrispAds
    sample ad:

    Place ads in your blog articles wherever your want
    Ads also appear in your RSS or ATOM feed!
    95% of advertiser click-thru revenues flow to you
    Get paid via Paypal at the end of every month (when your earnings are over $5.00)
    Just generate code and place into a blog article!
    Automated tracking system to track earnings

  • Pheedo
    Tools to grow your traffic and monetize your content.

    Because we focus on RSS and weblog publishers, we understand the unique facets of your business. We developed our tools and services with this in mind.

    Pheedo Feed Manager
    Efficiently manage, serve and report on content and ads in your RSS/Atom feeds.

    Pheedo Blog Network
    Provides the tools and control you need to create an instant revenue stream from your blog.

    Blogsnob Traffic Exchange
    Free service to promote your blog and discover new blog content.

  • Kanoodle’s BrightAds

    * Clearly Defined Revenue: BrightAds are text based, revenue-per-click (RPC) sponsored links. This means advertisers pay every time a visitor clicks on the links – and we’ll pay you a 50% share of the charge.
    * High Revenue-Per-Click (RPC): Kanoodle’s RPCs are highly competitive, with many topics monetizing at a rate significantly higher than our competitors.
    * PayPal: BrightAds offers easy payment via PayPal.

  • Affiliate Sensor

    Affiliate Sensor’s new context-relevant, text-link affiliate ad blocks let you choose from ClickBank’s over 10,000 products by copying and pasting a little JavaScript onto your web pages.
    You show only context-relevent, highly targetted text ads that you have control over.
    The ads you display are sorted to show the best performing affiliate links on top.
    You can make up to $75 per sale or more!
    Real-time reporting, including clicks by domain, page and referrer.
    An easy-to-use script building interface that lets you fully customize your ad blocks.
    You only have to modify your ad code one time to update that same ad on all pages using that ad block.
    The database is updated regularly so the best ranking programs always appear in your results.
    We give you 5% of the impressions of every account that signs up through your “Ads by..” link.
    We have all of the adformats supplied by Google AdSense, so you can use our ads to replace the Public Service Ads (PSA’s). We even have a special link format that you can add directly into the google_alternate_ad_url line of your AdSense code.
    There are no up-front costs to participate.
    Now, even if you don’t have a website, you can refer visitors to our ClickBank Mall using your login and receive the same commission structure!

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    GoogleCash – World’s Fastest Business

    What’s GoogleCash? It’s the world’s fastest instant business, really. It works like this: 1) You go to a website that pays commission when visitors you send there buy, and you sign up for their affiliate program 2) You go to Google and write AdWords ads and send people to that site 3) You get checks [...]

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    UltSearch and his 164 Million Dollar System

    by SMD · 1 Comment 

    The Expired Domain Name Business This story is about the closest thing to the perfect internet business model that I have seen. It is the essense of what is possible in the world of hyperlinked computers. It is the story of UltSearch and his expired domain name business and it was inspired by Jscott’s posts [...]

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    Adsense Anonymous – 12 Step Program for Webmasters

    Help! I’m Addicted To Website Statistics Ever since I started this site I’ve been fascinated with the big question: Is anyone using it? Luckily there is an easy answer. I can log on and look at the site stats. Since I have my own server the stats are real-time. It has become an obsession; I’m [...]

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    Next it’s Adsense. This is the one that I mainline. Same stats as above basically except you never know how much each click is going to be worth. AdSense is probably the highest traffic site on the internet, and what’s amazing is that Google doesn’t have ads on the pages. Amazing! I picture thousands of other rookie bloggers all signing in every five minutes to see if they’ve earned another ten cents. I guess that’s the measure of a professional versus an amateur – how often they check their Adsense account.
    Adsense really accommodates us addicts too. They allow you to have various “Channels” so you can put different channelled ads on different content and see which topics produce the highest click-rate or which channel’s ads pay the most per click.
    The latest one is the RSS feed’s stats. Feedburner gives pretty good stats about who is reading your feed and what they are using to do it. Feedburner informed me that my first completely anonymous reader came from an RSS search engine and use an RSS reader called Sage. Cool!
    Now I can go to the forums that I post in regularly and see how many page views my posts (website bait – since my signature contains a link to the site) have generated.
    At this point I many indulge in a little math. Something like “if 1000 times this many people came to my site each day I’d be making $??? a month…” And then, you guessed it, now it’s been five minutes so I can go back and check the server stats again.
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    SMD Site Recap and Goals

    by SMD · 2 Comments 

    Where SMD is at and Where We’re Going (I hope). – This post is to pause and reflect and take a look around. It’s easy to get swept up in the endless number of things to do on the site (I am creating the application and structure as I go), the endless number of stories [...]

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    - Since I’m getting almost zero traffic from search engines (more on that below) the only way people have found me is from my posts to various forums and comments on other finance and personal commentary sites.
    - It is my goal with this site to replace a good chunk of my current income by the time my contract expires in September 2006. Therefore if I add 10 visitors average a week for 75 weeks, I will have 820 visitors a day. Calculate ~2 page views per visitor average (I’m optimistic that when the site is more complete they will click around a little more), so that will be 1620 pages a day. Multiply by 30 and I’ll be at ~50,000 page views a month. At a 2% click-through (not my current rate but a reasonable target from what I have read) with .25 cents per click I will be earning $250 per month.
    - These numbers are well below my goals. One thing I haven’t factored in is the exponential nature of the web. It goes something like this: the more people that know about something the more people who are likely to hear about it. The more links there are to a site the higher it goes in the search engines, then searchers are more likely to find it. So the flaw (hopefully) in my prediction is that growth will not be in a straight line but more parabolic.
    - Other factors include my ability to synergize my efforts. This can be done by adding more related sites. Increasing the number of sites, including some that are much narrower in scope to better optimize for keywords and payouts. This should prove to be a good strategy. I call it webbing the web. I am hoping to have my sites set up so that I can post one article to multiple sites simultaneously if it’s content is appropriate.
    - Other possibilities: sponsorships and other financial spin-offs; online or offline consulting, selling the site that I am building as a template or releasing it as open source. Becoming a hosting reseller and business blog consultant.
    Stats and Considerations
    - No search engine traffic (3 hits so far in total). There are two reasons for this. One is that the keywords that I compete against are highly competitive so until my site is much more complete and has a lot more content it will not get any notice and rankings and two is that Google hasn’t indexed my pages yet.

    Pages Indexed Links
    MSN 31 15
    Yahoo 7 3
    Google 3 1

    - What it will take to replace my primary income of $4000/month by the time my job ends (Sept 2006). Assuming a 2% click through rate at $.25/click it will take 16,000 click throughs per month on 800,000 page views. Given that my current projects are for 50,000 page views by the target date I am going to have to grow at a much steeper rate than I am currently. I’ll get back to update when I figure out how this is going to happen…after all I’m still a rookie in this game.

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    Optimize Your Website for AdSense

      Google’s Golden Triangle should be My Golden Triangle – This article really got me thinking. It is about a study that was done to measure the movement of a searcher’s eyes over the page as they scan the search results on Google. Basically the red areas represent 100% of the time the eyes traveled [...]

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    - What can I do with this information? The first thing is to try and get myself into this area on Google. At the point where I am at right now, this will involve finding niche keywords that no one else is targeting. The other thing that came to mind is: on my own site how many of the ads fall within the “Golden Triangle”? At this moment, exactly 0% of my ads are showing up in these prime areas. Unlike on Google’s search page, this screen real estate is clearly within my control and I am not taking advantage of the highest rent districts on my site.
    - Have been planning a revamp of the header and right menu of my site so I think this information will have to be worked into the plan. It will be interesting to see if the click-through rate improves with the new ad placements.

    Some quotes from the original article:

    Enquiro’s Gord Hotchkiss added, “We see a marked difference in how people say they search and what they actually do. Previous research had indicated that people were considered searchers and spent some time before choosing a link. The past few studies we’ve done, this one included, shows that there’s huge importance placed on where the eyeballs end up on the page. Clicks happen pretty quickly. It just shows that search marketing is a real estate game. It’s all about location, location, location.”

    The key location on Google for visibility as determined by the eye activity in the study is a triangle that extends from the top of the results over to the top of the first result, then down to a point on the left side at the bottom of the “above the fold” visible results. This key area was looked at by 100 percent of the participants. In the study, this was referred to as the “Golden Triangle”. Generally, this area includes top sponsored, top organic results and Google’s alternative results, including shopping, news or local suggestions.

    Quotes and image from here.

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    How to Increase Your Conversion Rate with a Twist

    by SMD · 2 Comments 

    Business Success Through Lateral Thinking How to Increase Your Conversion Rate with a Twist If you’re a regular reader of this site you’ll know that I spend a good deal of my time trying to figure out how to create a website that effectively attracks and converts visitors; usually through clicking ads. Well yesterday I [...]

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    4 Functions of an Effective Headline

    The 4 Functions of an Effective Headline [or AdWord Heading] To grab the readers attention. To pre-screen or select your readers. Deliver a complete message. Draw a reader into the story. A headline should grab the readers attention. As mentioned in yesterday’s article [ What's in it for me? ] a headline’s best tools for [...]

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