Tag-Archive for » making money at home «

The latest news regarding bloggers happened in California. Affiliates of Amazon, Overstock.com (also O.co) and probably other smaller California based businesses were told, “you’re fired”.

In the article, Should the Internet Be Taxed, WebPro News shared:

On Friday [July 1, 2011], a new California state law goes into effect that will tax Internet sales through affiliate advertising. Rather than pay such taxes, online retailers like Amazon will instead shut down their affiliate programs in the state. For Amazon, that is said to come to 25,000 sites in California alone.

Amazon has told affiliates in the past that they’d have to move to another state to continue earning commissions on referrals. Overstock.com has reportedly done that before too.

Some groups representing brick and mortars feel the law should be extended on a national level, claiming the taxes take away competitive advantages from Internet retailers that don’t have a physical presence in a particular state. Consumers are able to avoid fees from purchasing from these retailers that they’d otherwise have to pay by buying in-state.

My heart goes out to these affiliates. Hopefully this issue can be resolved in an amicable way.

Today’s Lesson

I think it’s great how us bloggers can potentially make an income from our blogs. It not only covers our overhead, but can also lead to new opportunities and even self employment.

And with the economy remaining slow, every little bit helps. California law forces firing of bloggers

That said, anyone in business knows it’s not wise to put all of our eggs into one basket. Anytime we rely solely on one client for our livelihood , we set ourselves up for potential problems. If our star client dies, files bankrupty, goes out of business, hires our competitor, or ___(fill in the blank)___, our income stops. Sadly, the bills don’t.

I think there’s an important lesson to be learned here.

If we bloggers continually put our trust into one or two big named businesses, happily promoting the products/services of others, and wait with baited breath to receive our piddly commission checks, we could be setting ourselves up for disappointment and even financial ruin.

Just like when big banks and big government go down, the same can happen to us.

Trust in others is one thing, but when that trust could be broken on a moments notice, we soon realize our trust was misplaced.

Making money with a blog by using affiliate links or Google AdSense is one of the easiest routes to go, however our livelihood is in the hands of others.

Maybe it’s time we start thinking how we can do it on our own*.

What say you?

Today’s Assignment

Did you get caught up in the California tax law dilemma?

What do you think is the best way to protect ourselves from situations like this?

Care to share?

signature for blog post

*Watch for an upcoming article where I share how fellow bloggers are making money with their blogs as well as ideas on how to diversify.

If you blog, you’ve most likely heard stories of how A-list bloggers are pulling down a six figure income. Reading those stories is one reason many are attracted to blogging. They, too, would love to quit their day job, stay home, blog in their pajamas, and watch the dollars roll in.

Making money fast on the internet is often glamorized as an easy thing to do. But, if we do our homework, we realize there’s more to making money with a blog than just throwing up some ads and waiting for our readers to click and/or buy.

Part of doing research on making money on line is asking an expert their viewpoint. So, in part four of my A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series with Darren Rowse, author of Problogger and co-author of ProBlogger: Secrets Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income

I asked

My readers would be very disappointed is I didn’t ask you about making money with a blog. Realizing many things have changed in blogosphere since you started, if a new blogger approached you today, and asked how they too, could become a “six figure” professional blogger, what advice would you give them?

Darren answered

The first thing I’d say is to get a ‘real job’ to sustain yourself while you build your blog. It doesn’t happen over night. For me I had a number of part time jobs that I slowly gave up over a couple of years while my blogging income grew.

Secondly I’d say build a blog on a niche topic that you think advertisers would pay to align themselves with. You want to build a destination on the web with authority, influence and reach on a specific topic.

Lastly – build trust with readers. This means building relationships, being relatable and making personal connections. When you do this people are more likely to become loyal to your blog but also to respond when you promote affiliate products.

Reflecting On The Answer

Thank you Darren for sharing your answer with us. Contrary to what others write, it’s refreshing to hear making a quick buck on the internet is not as easy as it sounds. As in real life, it takes hard work, time, and a “stick to it” personality.

As I reread Darren’s answer, what stands out (for me) is the part where he says we need to “build a destination on the web ….”. How I understand his answer is our blog(s) must become the “to go” and possibly a “how to” place for answers. Just like in business, we are building our reputation; a feat that does not happen overnight.

Today’s Assignment

Having read Darren’s answer, what part resonated with you?

Will his answer change how you blog?

If so, how?

Let’s continue this discussion of making money with our blogs in the comment section. Having heard Darren’s answer, I’m anxious to hear your response.


Read other answers in the A.S.K. (Answers Sharing Knowledge) series.
A.S.K. Darren Rowse of Problogger – When Do We Know Our Blog Is A “Winner”
A.S.K. Darren Rowse – How Does A Problogger Deal With Comments

A.S.K. Darren Rowse of Problogger – How Do We Increase Our Readership
A.S.K. Andy Bailey – What Was The Inspiration Behind The CommentLuv Plugin
A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How Do You Inspire Readers To Join Your Community
A.S.K. Liz Strauss – How To Format Blog Comments To Maximize Comments

Photo Credit: Darren Rowse/Problogger

Photo Credit miguelb’s photos

Hello loyal readers,
This is a very exciting , but nerve racking day for me, as Catherine Lawson and I are guest posting on each other’s blogs. Although my post on her blog, can’t match the caliber of Catherine’s writings, I’m hoping I haven’t made a complete fool of myself.
I am honored share with you, the first guest post on BWAB, authored by a favorite blogger of mine, Catherine Lawson. So without further ado…

Increased search engine traffic means more people reading your content. But, if you’re lazy, like me, trying to get more traffic to your blog, without spoiling your content may seem too much like hard work.

Until recently I didn’t bother trying to drive search engine traffic to my blog at all. Then I discovered that it’s quite effortless, and you don’t need to ruin your content at all. And now I rank on the first page of Google for many keyphrases and you can too. Just follow these simple steps:

Concentrate On Keyphrases As Opposed To Keywords: Optimise for keyphrases, not keywords. Eg: Instead of cookery, business or money, choose “cookery for dummies”, “improve business growth”, or “making money at home”.

Remember, each time you write a post, you can choose a different phrase according to your content.

Titles Are Important: Aim to include your keyphrase in your blog post/article and somewhere in the first paragraph of your post. But, don’t worry about including it in the remainder of the post. If you choose your phrases carefully, you won’t need to do any more to compete.

Have The Title In Your URL: Does your title appear in your URL like this: http://cathlawson.com/blog/2008/02/28/5-business-writing-tips-you-can-profit-from/ If not, go into WordPress and change your settings. Click “options” then “permalinks” and change the settings from default to date and name based.

Keep It Real: Don’t optimise every single post for the search engines. Remember that you also need titles which will appeal to social networks and your regular readers, who will be viewing them through a feed reader. Also, write the post first then look for a suitable keyphrase. This way, your writing will appear more natural, as you won’t be trying to write a post around a particular phrase.

Who’s Looking For you? You need to know what keyphrases people are searching for, before you can optimise your titles. I use Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com) as it brings up hundreds of different options.

What’s the Competition Like: Wordtracker will tell you how much competition there is for each keyphrase, but you want to know how good that competition is. Since it’s your titles you’re optimising, you need to know how many competitors have that keyphrase in their title.

Here’s how to do that:

To discover how many websites have optimised the title, type the following into Google search:

allintitle: keyphrase

allintitle: florida weddings

The search results show that 34,100 websites have the search phrase “florida weddings” in the title.

But wordtracker also shows that a lot of people are also searching for “florida beach weddings”

And if I type:

allintitle: florida beach weddings

And I discover that only 2210 sites have that phrase in the title. And when I click on the first few results, none of them have the phrase in their first paragraph, which is even better. So, this is obviously a better title to choose.

Make The Title Appeal To Real People: Remember when you’re optimising titles for search engine traffic, you still need real people to click on that title. Now, having the keyphrase close to the beginning of the title will give you a better chance of ranking higher, but it won’t necessarily attract more clicks.

You could simply use Florida Beach Weddings as the title. But, you might attract more clicks if you use: Florida Beach Weddings: The Ultimate Guide; or Planning Florida Beach Weddings: 10 Must Do’s.

And that’s it – it’s not complicated and it works. Have a go yourself and keep checking your stats to see where your traffic comes from and how you’re ranking. Then you’ll begin to get a feel for how good your competition is for particular phrases and what works and what doesn’t.

If you have any questions – please feel free to ask in the comments section.

Useful Resources

All In One SEO Pack is a useful plugin if you have a WordPress blog. I’m too lazy to use it to its full potential though. So, if you want to take it a step further, check out this excellent guide by Ciaran. How To Herd Organic Search Traffic To Your Blog

If you want to learn even more about SEO – check out Aaron Wall’s SEO book.

And if you want to get all the SEO tools and gadgets you can lay your hands on – here’s 136 SEO tools

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