Tag-Archive for » Making Money «

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?

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*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.

Although bloggers may not use advertisements on their sites, donate links or widgets are something you might see. free to use image for buy me a coffee plugin or widget

I include a donate page on some of my blogs and am always grateful for those who have used it (you know who you are. :)), but…I don’t expect my visitors to make a contribution.

Unless I’m hired to design a custom header or ADvatar, the information I offer is free.

Today’s Lesson

I don’t mind seeing donate buttons considering how blog, plugin and theme authors are providing valuable information, for free. I see it as a way for them to be compensated for their knowledge, talent or services.

But the question is, do they work?

Or, do they make the blog, plugin or theme author seem greedy or needy? Or, make it look like they’re panhandling?

Based on what I’ve seen, I believe donate badges or pages can work, however unless we put the donate link in front of our readers, chances are they won’t see it, nor will a reader realize donating is an option.

I used a plugin named “Buy Me A Beer” which also had an option for “Buy Me A Coffee”. A click on the button would take you to the blog author’s PayPal account where you could enter the amount you’d like to give. (The plugin appears to be retired.)

I liked the plugin, but when I cleaned up my blog, I removed it and opted for a “Donate” page.

If donating is something you’d like to add to your blog, setting up a donate widget would be easy. Just find an image of a glass of beer, cup of coffee, tip jar, or…, add your own copy, code it to link to your PayPal account and voilà, there it is.

Or, set up a “Donate” page and include the link and button PayPal provides.

Today’s Assignment

Do you use a donate page or widget on your blog? If so, are readers using it?

Do you, or would you donate to a blog, plugin or theme author?

Or do you view a donate button/badge as a form of panhandling and ignore them?

Care to share?

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P.S. The coffee cup image in this post is free for you to use. Just right-click on it and hit “save as”.

It’s that time again. Time to revisit the topic of blogging myths.

Buried in the archives you’ll find a previous post on blogging myths. Today we’ll expand on them and add a few more.

Today’s Lesson

  1. We can blog for free.
  2. It’s true. In some instances we can blog without spending any money, however, bloggers often forget to put a price on their time.

    If blogging is taking us away from an opportunity that can increase our income, or is jeopardizing our career or real life relationships, than the cost to blog just went up.

  3. Spend time visiting blogs in your niche.
  4. I think it’s important to see what other bloggers in our niche are doing, however to ONLY visit blogs in our niche can be detrimental in the event we’re attempting to sell a product or service. Trying to sell a product or service to someone who does exactly what we do is like trying to sell snowballs to an Eskimo.

    Branch out and introduce yourself to your potential audience, not just your competition.

  5. The blog with the most comments is the most popular.
  6. Most bloggers love to see large comment counts on their blog, however the success of a blog is not measured by the number of comments it receives. Success is often measured by the number of visitors, subscribers, page views, Alexa rating, Google page rank, incoming links, money earned, etc. A successful blog can have all of these yet have very few comments.

  7. You can make lots of money blogging.
  8. Truth be told, without a readership of thousands each day, our chance of making an income (from AdSense or affiliate links) large enough to quit our day job is slim.

    That said, a blog can be a fantastic stepping stone from which to launch a business.

  9. Online thieves and spammers are not interested in small or new blogs.
  10. It doesn’t matter if your blog has ten posts or ten thousand, if an online thief or spammer wants to steal from or spam your blog, they will.  They do because they can. No one is exempt.

  11. Freedom of speech allows a blogger to say whatever they want on their blog.
  12. Many bloggers believe because it’s their personal blog, they can publish whatever they want. If a blog post or comment contains false information about another person or a business, you could be sued. For more information on this topic, I recommend becoming familiar with the Electronic Frontier Foundation website, plus blogging responsibly.

  13. You must update your blog daily.
  14. It’s your blog. If you don’t feel like publishing a new post, don’t. According to the Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2010 report, the average amount of times a blogger updates their blog is 2-3 times per week. That said, some have reported they publish up to 14 posts per day. Whew!

    Find a blogging rhythm and publishing schedule that works for you.

  15. The best way to have a successful blog is to copy what the A-list bloggers are doing.
  16. Although we can learn from those who came before us, being authentic will get us further in the long run and will make it easier for us to remain genuine. Dare to be different.

  17. No one reads our “About Me” page.
  18. Truth be told, our “about me” page is often the first thing a visitor looks for and reads. This is especially true when fellow bloggers land on our site. Not only does the “about me” page tell a reader who we are, but it can set the tone for our entire blog.

    Take time to construct your “about me” page so it’s a true reflection of you and what a reader can expect if they subscribe to your blog.

Today’s Assignment

When you started blogging, what blogging myth(s) lead you down the wrong path?

Can you think of other blogging myths new bloggers should be aware of?

Care to share?

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