Why It’s Important for Affiliate Marketers to Self-Host WordPress Sites

Do You Want to Blog for Money?

It’s very tempting for affiliate marketers to take advantage of “free” blogging platforms such as BlogJob or revenue sharing sites using a WordPress interface. These platforms have their advantages and many of us have used them with varying results. BlogJob is great if you want to be in a community situation and be able to earn with social activity as well as your blogs. If you are a serious affiliate marketing blogger, who wants control over the monetizing options and how your blog looks, it’s important to self-host your WordPress site. 

Affiliate Marketing Rocks! Giant Coffee Mug
Affiliate Marketing Rocks! Giant Coffee Mug
View more Affiliate marketing Mugs at zazzle.com

Advertising Options

I have six blogs on BlogJob. I wanted to try some different themes that were new to me. I chose the Arcade Basic theme for my blog Trees in My World because I wanted to feature a lot of photos and I liked the large photo header. What I could not predict when writing my posts was what would happen when BlogJob’s placed their Adsense ads on my blog. Here’s what did happen.

Why It's Important to Self-Host Your WordPress Site
BlogJob Placed Ad Covering my Text

As you can see, the ad is covering my text — not something readers will appreciate. It makes me look bad and most readers will just click away, increasing my bounce rate..

I only discovered this was happening again when I was about to promote the page. These ads are pesky because when you are writing your post, you have no idea where they will appear and what form they will take. They don’t show up until someone is actually reading the post. This only has happened when I’ve been using this theme. In all fairness, the administration fixed this for me once, but the site just had a major update and it’s broken again.

When you self-host, you place all the ads. You don’t have to put one in the middle of your post if you don’t want the flow interrupted. You don’t have to worry about ads that will compete for clicks on the products you are linking to yourself. I remember times on revenue sharing sites when I was promoting certain Zazzle products and the same products would also appear in the ads to the right, competing for clicks and commission.

When you self-host, you  don’t have to worry about nasty or questionable ads being placed by your host that you would never approve or want your readers to see. (In all fairness, BlogJob has never placed ads I was ashamed of. ) You have full control in Google’s interface over what ads you do and don’t want to see when you host a site yourself.

Third Party Display Aids

Affiliate marketers want to make their products look attractive on their pages. Some like to use Amazon’s Native Ads. I like to use Easy Product Displays. It’s a very reasonable paid service that lets you easily build attractive displays of affiliate products. I’m still on the basic plan that lets me search Amazon and Zazzle, my two main affiliate programs. It costs a bit more to include Share-a-Sale. You can choose between several layouts to find the best fit for your page, preview it, and switch products around in the display until you get it just right. Then you copy the code and put it in the text view of your page where you want it.  Here’s an example of a display I just built. (Disclaimer: I chose these books at random because they looked interesting to me.)

 Blogging For Dummies How To Make Money Blogging: How I Replaced My Day Job With My Blog Affiliate Marketing: How to make money and create an income How To Blog For Profit: Without Selling Your Soul Content Rules: How to Create Killer Blogs, Podcasts, Videos, Ebooks, Webinars (and More) That Engage Customers and Ignite Your Business

&

There are ways I could adjust this display in the code to make the Amazon buttons line up more evenly, but that isn’t the primary focus of this post. You can display only one product or more than fifteen, if you please, in different sizes or in rows of two, three, and four products. It’s fun to play with it before you get your code.

I cannot use this display in BlogJob because of code conflicts. Amazon Native ads also have to replace one of your Adsense ads at BlogJob. I discovered today I can’t even display the normal text/image ad from Amazon there. I have no control over how the code is written. BlogJob pays the bills and they get to call the shots. They have to make money, too, but if you want control you need to self-host.

Full Control of Affiliate Products Promoted

So far, BlogJob has not limited how many products I may promote per post, only how they are displayed. Revenue sharing sites like HubPages are the most controlling when it comes to this. I hate having robots decide where affiliate links can be placed and how many. Anyone using HubPages will understand what I mean. That is one reason why affiliate marketers are leaving HubPages to self-host. Many who have done that are making much more money after moving their posts to self-hosted sites than they ever did on HubPages.

If You Are Serious about Monetizing, Self-Host

If you are starting from scratch with self-hosted WordPress, I recommend you spend the small amount of money it takes to purchase the course that will show you how to set it up correctly to make money and get traffic. It’s called Set Up a WordPress Site in One Day, and I have purchased it myself.  I thought I knew plenty already, since I had been using self-hosted WordPress for years. After getting this course, I was surprised to learn how much I didn’t know yet.

 

If you want to blog mainly for personal satisfaction or you don’t care if you make money with your blog, go ahead and join BlogJob.  You can still make a bit of money there — probably faster than on HubPages — while enjoying the community aspects of the site and participating in forums. Just keep in mind that if you want to start seriously monetizing a blog to make a business of blogging, you will get much better results if you self-host. 

If you found this post helpful, please share it. The image below was designed for pinning on Pinterest.

Why It's Important for Affiliate Marketers to Self-Host WordPress Sites

 

It’s Time to Join or Return to Tsu

The New Face of Tsu

It's Time to Join or Return to TsuHow long has it been since you’ve checked into your Tsu account? I followed a Twitter link there last night and the site is so transformed I thought I was on the wrong site. It’s time to join or return to Tsu. You can learn more about Tsu in my post, Should You Join Tsu?

 

Here are some of the changes:

  1. Tsu is now open to the public. If you link to a Tsu post, people don’t need to sign in to see your post and you will get paid for the traffic you generate. If they followed your referral link to your post you will still see them in your family tree if they do want to join so they can post and comment.
  2. You now need to post to one of the topics or communities instead of from your profile. This makes it easier to see only what you want to. Click a topic at the top (like Animals) and follow it. Then you might want to find a channel (channels are the converted old groups) under your topic (like Cats). Once you decide you like that topic or channel and want to post to it, click the large purple “Create Post” button on the top right. Post and attach photos as usual.
  3. When you post a photo, it will load in a thumbnail so you can click the edit button to edit before posting. Resize, add special effects or text, etc.
  4. The homepage appearance has changed to appeal more to attract and keep visitors to explore the posted content. That’s a good thing.
  5. Tsu is also cracking down on cheaters, spammers, and copyright violators.
  6. People do not have to use a short code to join anymore if they go  directly to the site. You will want to encourage friends to use your shortcode to join.
It's Time to Join or Return to Tsu
Have you seen what’s happened to Tsu?

 

What Remains the Same?

Your friends network and family tree remain intact. You still get paid for your content unless you have your ad blocker on. You still get notified when someone follows or interacts with you.

Are These Tsu Changes Worth Coming Back For?

I think so. I used to feel lost after the groups were introduced at Tsu. It seemed there was no way to keep up with everything. Now you can join one or two channels that really interest you and spend most  time in Tsu just interacting in those  groups, posting and seeing what you like to see and commenting on it and sharing it.

You can also  share your posts outside of  Tsu to   get more outside views and people  won’t be put off by having to join to see it. I did not used to like to share on Twitter because I didn’t want people to have to jump through the joining hoop to see my content.

If you return to Tsu  after a long absence or even after a few weeks, be sure to read the FAQ. You will find the link at the top of each page.

If you would like to join Tsu, I would really appreciate it if you use this shortcode when you join: tsu.co/BarbRad

I try to  help and support those who join with my shortcode  and it gets my attention so I will know to follow you.

If you found this information helpful, why not share this image on Pinterest?

It's Time to Join or Return to Tsu

 

Now’s the Time to Buy the Best Blogging Course Ever

Don’t Miss this Sale!

For a limited time, The Pajama Affiliates have put the Business Bundle on sale for only $129.  This course tells you all you need to know in order to start your own self-hosted WordPress blogging business

Now's the Time to Buy the Best Blogging Course Ever

 

Here’s What’s in the Business Bundle

Here’s what you get in the Business Bundle: 

  1. Beginners Blogging and Affiliate Marketing Course
  2. Blogging and Affiliate Marketing Masterclass
  3. Find Your Profitable Niche
  4. Build a WordPress Site in a Day
  5. Buyer Keywords Bonus
  6. How to Write a Blog Post that Converts Sales

I bought all these courses separately, unless they were included in one of the first two courses. These courses have completely turned my blogging life around. Here’s why I think I got the value I paid for from the Pajama Affiliate Courses.

These courses are about much more than blogging. They teach you how to find your blogging niche, how to organize your blogs, how to write blogs  that reach and motivate people who are ready to buy your products without being spammy . You learn how to offer your readers what they are looking for,  and if you do that correctly, your posts will start getting sales. If you don’t take any other course, take “How to Write a Blog Post that Converts Sales” . It has completely transformed my approach to blogging.

Are you still undecided? Then sample some of the best of the course videos for only one dollar with no strings attached. If you pay that dollar, you will not only get to see some of the videos that are part of the actual classes, but you will also get to join the private Facebook support group for Pajama Affiliates and see some very useful videos Robin posts regularly as needed. Those in the group also get the news immediately if any class goes on sale or  if new classes become available.

Success Depends Upon Applying What You Learn

 

Now's the Time to Buy the Best Blogging Course Ever

Of course, all the courses in the world won’t improve your  sales unless you watch the videos,  read the notes,  and apply  what you  learn. But after six years of blogging without this course, I never got a payment from Amazon. I bought the course at the end of December and got my first check  from the Amazon affiliate program at the end of the next January. I’m about ready for another one.  My Zazzle  sales are also improving, since I also promote my Zazzle products in my blogs.

I’m not yet making the kind of money Robin and Lesley are making. It takes time to start making hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. I need to redo most of my already published blogs and also write new ones applying what Robin and Lesley have taught me. I expect, though, that by the end of this year I will have earned back all I’ve paid for the course, pro versions of apps that help me, and website expenses for new blogs and renewals of old ones and still have more to buy services I need for my home.

It does take money to make money sometimes. One just needs to spend it wisely. If you buy a Pajama Affiliates blogging course, you will be spending it wisely. Just hurry so you don’t miss this sale price on the Business Bundle. Tomorrow may be too late. My income increases more every day as I apply what I’ve learned and am still learning.

 

 

 

I Thought I’d Never Write Another Word

I Didn’t Want to Use My Computer

I Thought I Could Not Write Another Word
I Thought I Could Not Write Another Word

I know you’ve heard of writer’s’ block. For the past two days I have been dealing with what seemed even worse — brain block. It’s not  just that I couldn’t write. I couldn’t even seem to think. I didn’t want to make decisions. I couldn’t seem to make myself do even simple household tasks. I thought maybe I was coming down with something, so I spent a lot of time in bed or just reading simple escape stories and watching a bit of TV.  I did not feel like I could deal with life. I thought I’d never write another word. 

I Thought I'd Never Write Another Word
B. Radisavljevic

This surprised me because for the two days preceding this period of depression, I had been very  productive. I had sorted through all the paper on my desk and other places to get ready to enter data for my taxes. I had listed and packed ten boxes of books to donate to Goodwill to help get some of my book inventory I’m no longer selling out of my house. I had taken a short photo walk to get pictures for future blog posts.

Maybe I just wore myself out on Wednesday and Thursday, and when Friday came, I seemed to have crashed physically and emotionally. I could not write a word, not even for my daily blog, on Friday or Saturday. I didn’t feel anything. I didn’t care about anything. I wondered if I’d ever  write another blog post.

By this morning I was wondering if I was on the verge of clinical depression. I could not face the thought of another day in the house or the idea of cooking.  It’s as though my sense of responsibility  had ceased to exist. I told my husband I needed to get out but did not want to have to think about  where. So he decided to take me to lunch, and then we drove to the coast.

I Thought I'd Never Write Another Word
Leffingwell Landing, Cambria, California, © B. Radisavljevic

 

What a difference a bit of sunshine and nature can make when you feel depressed. It has worked for me before, and I was hoping it would work  today. It did.  Something inside me told me I needed a break from the routine or I just might crack up. Have you ever felt that way?

I Thought I'd Never Write Another WordI was overwhelmed by learning about approaching changes that affect bloggers and website owners that I’m not sure I can  handle technically myself. Then there are changes in social media that make me feel I’m obsolete because I don’t like publishing or getting my information on mobile devices. I don’t “get” Periscope, yet I’m hearing that’s the direction marketing is going. It makes me wonder if blogging itself will become obsolete as video and audio take over and desktop computers become obsolete.

I still don’t know how I will face the changes in the online world. Sometimes I’m tempted to just leave the virtual  world. But at least I got over my brain freeze after an hour on the coast seeing God’s beautiful creation again. Somehow seeing the waves swell as they approach the shore and crash and splash against the rocks has a healing effect on my spirit. I know they’ve been coming to  shore  since the dawn of civilization and they will continue their endless journey long after I am gone. Somehow knowing that steadies me, since God looks after me as he does his creation.

I Thought I Would Never Write Another Word
Leffingwell Landing, Wave Crashing Against Rock, © B. Radisavljevic

 

Are you stuck inside and can’t get to the ocean? Maybe this DVD of ocean scenery and sounds will help.

Four Things You Need to Do After a Writing Site Closes

Writing Sites Sometimes Close With No Warning

 

Four Things You Need to Do After a Writing Site ClosesYesterday we just learned that another site I was writing on, Persona Paper, is closing. In the past two years Squidoo, Bubblews, Zujava, Wikinut, Seekyt, and sites I never even joined have closed or stopped paying. The site administrators, who have always been upfront with us, gave us  fair warning so that we would have time to save our work. It’s not too late yet for members of the site to do the four things  you need to do after a writing site closes. 

Checklist for Exiting a Writing Site

  1. Make copies of your work
  2. Delete links to your work
  3. Edit your social media automated feeds
  4. Invest more in your self-hosted sites

Make Copies of Your Work

If you’ve been through a sudden site closure with no warning before, you probably already know you should be making backups for every single post or article you write. When Bubblews closed, many were caught off-guard and lost their work.

There’s another lesson I learned at Bubblews, though. A site can also make a site-wide change that will butcher what you have written. This happened during an update where Bubblews stripped most of the content from many posts that had used multiple images. I lost many photo essays, even though I had drafts of the text.

Four Things You Need to Do After a Writing Site ClosesFrom now on, I plan to save every post with multiple images as a complete web page through my browser. In Chrome this is really easy. Just go to the lines in the top right corner. Click. Choose “More Tools” from the drop-down menu that appears. When you mouse over it, you can click “Save page as.” A window will appear to allow you to choose a file to save to. Choose and save. Wait for the download and you’re finished.  What a simple way to have a model of your page exactly as it appeared when published so you can reconstruct it later.

Delete Links to Your Work

This is the part that is not fun. If you’ve been writing very long, you have probably been crosslinking articles you’ve written on different sites. When Squidoo closed I had lots of links going to my lenses from my blogs and from my Hubs on HubPages and from articles on other sites. Fortunately, many of those links forwarded to HubPages for pages that had been transferred, but I didn’t allow all my articles to transfer.

I have 350 articles on Persona Paper, and a good portion of those are articles I tweeted as recently as last week. I have linked to them  from blogs. I have pinned them on Pinterest and shared them on Google + and Facebook. I  have linked to them from content web sites I own. Now those are all dead links. They need to be removed. Maybe you also have some link cleaning to do if you have backlinks to work on closed or closing sites.

Edit Your Social Media Feeds

Many people have automated collections of tweets and Facebook posts which they set up ahead of time for a couple of hundred evergreen posts in a service like Hootsuite. They just keep being posted over time until you change them. If links to  posts or sites no longer functioning are being tweeted, you will lose credibility.

Invest in More in Your Self-Hosted Sites

Sometimes I feel like I’m on a merry-go-round. Gather closes so I post an old Gather post to Bubblews. Bubblews closes so I republish that same post to Persona Paper. Persona Paper closes… Then what?

Four Things You Need to Do After a Writing Site Closes
Are You on the Content Writing Merry-Go-Round? Courtesy of Pixabay

People are still trying to find new homes for their old Squidoo lenses and hubs that aren’t doing well. Many are starting their own blogs or spending more time creating or republishing content to blogs or sites they already own. I wrote recently about how to move writing from content sites to your own site.

Aside: As I was looking over those recently written posts I just linked to, I still saw links back to Persona Paper that I now need to remove.

If you’ve been stuck on the content writing site merry-go-round, maybe it’s time to get off and invest in your own self-hosted sites. If your sites are already set up, invest more time in updating them and adding new content. Many who have moved posts from HubPages to their own sites are seeing increased earnings from them now.

If you don’t yet have your own blog, join Pajama Affiliates so you can learn to set up a self-hosted WordPress site correctly from the beginning.  It’s a small investment up front, but most get it back in earnings if they apply what they learn there.  I have found it valuable for myself.

My Pajama Affiliate Courses are Worth Every Penny I Paid for Them. The teachers are making thousands a year in affiliate income without being spammy.  They can teach you to monetize your own blogs in a reputable way. The courses go on sale often. While you’re waiting for a sale, you can clean out your dead links in cyberspace. There may be an important one on right now that ends soon.

Hope this post helps you set goals that don’t depend on a third party site to help you earn. Be adventurous. Step out on your own. Take control of your own destiny in cyberspace. I think you will enjoy creating and looking back on your accomplishments.

Moving Writing from Content Sites to Your Own

I’m  Republishing More of my Content Here

In my article Life After Squidoo or Zujava or Bubblews, Etc., I suggested that one way to deal with the loss of these sites was to move one’s work onto self-hosted pages. I am now taking my own advice. Although this site started as a blog, I will be adding articles to it that you can access from the top tabs. As you mouse over each tab, it will show you the articles which have been revised, rewritten, or written specifically for this site. So far only  the Soul and Spirit tabs are active. Eventually the Body tab will join them.

How I Save Copies of Work to Republish

I’m sure I’m not the only one trying to find homes for previously posted work on now defunct sites. When an article was originally written for Squidoo, HubPages, Bubblews, Persona Paper, Wikinut, Zujava, Seekyt, or another content site, moving that article to a self-hosted  site can be like working a puzzle. First you need to have copies of what you have posted on those  sites.

Most people have now learned how important it is to keep the text of their articles in a separate file on a computer or in the cloud. I personally use Carbonite to back up all my computer files so that I will still have my work even if my computer crashes.

Many of the former host sites, though, encouraged writers to use special modules that WordPress and Blogger don’t have — such things as Google Maps, polls, and quizzes it is hard to reproduce. We can reinsert videos and photos, but not exactly where they were in the original article. We need to redo our affiliate links which were often encased in special modules or capsules.

I am now saving every post hosted on a site not my own as a complete webpage so that I can have a guide that makes it easier to get my photos and videos where they belong. Besides that, if you worked as hard on some those Squidoo articles as I did, it’s nice to have a copy of the original to admire. I tried to build masterpieces with the provided tools, and I think I often succeeded. Then they got transferred to HubPages and were never the same again. For now I’m leaving any featured hubs written on my original HubPages account where they are, but I will be moving as many on my transfer account as possible. Many of them will land here.

If you haven’t got your blog or website set up yet, you might go back to read Should You Start a Blog

Moving content takes time, so the articles I’m republishing here will build up gradually. If you click a tab  at the top, it will explain the sort of articles that will be found under that tab. When Body appears, it will hold articles on recipes, fitness, health, and other writing related to bodily needs. I hope to have this up soon. Meanwhile, I hope you will  check in every month or so and see what’s new, or follow me on Twitter where I   will post links to new content.

 

 

 

How to Monetize Your Blog or Web Pages

Are You Still Waiting to Make Money from Your Blog?

Do you want to learn how to monetize your blog or website?  Adsense may be putting ads on your sites, but you may only make a penny every two weeks or so from those ads. You don’t make much from Google unless you have thousands of people visiting your site every day. I’m not there yet. Are you?

I Finally Got Serious about my Blogging Business

I  just started my serious blogging journey in December. Until last year I relied on content sites like Squidoo (now defunct), HubPages, and Bubblews (also now defunct) to make my writing pay off. I never made much from affiliate sales and I like to think it’s because I didn’t try very hard. I’d like to  turn my blogs into cash cows.

I'd Like to Make My Blogs Cash Cows.
I’d Like to Make My Blogs Cash Cows.

 

I currently belong to two direct affiliate programsAmazon and Zazzle. So far Zazzle has done better for me. If you aren’t a member of their affiliate program, you should join. It’s free and Zazzle products are easy to promote on a blog, since they have products to relate to anything you can think of to write about. Here’s how to get started with ZazzleI also have a Zazzle support group, Zazzlers Unite, on the BlogJob site.

 

Spend a Bit of Money to Make a Lot of Money

I have now connected with a group of other former Squidoo writers who used to make a lot of money with affiliate marketing on Squidoo. They now are making it with affiliate sales on their own blogs.  Some make thousands of dollars a month.

Two of them have put together a course that teaches anyone how to do what they have done, as long as they can communicate well in writing and are willing to work hard.  I thought I couldn’t afford it.

Finally I decided I would take the plunge anyway as an investment in my future, and at the end of December, 2015, I bought my first course. Participating showed me how much I could learn from Leslie (who just bought her first home with her affiliate earnings) and Robin.  I signed up for even more courses.

Design custom tshirts online at zazzle.com

Here’s the Scoop on Pajama Affiliate Marketing Courses

For a complete description of the  courses, you can save time by going directly to the  Pajama Affiliate Home Page. The complete Pajama Affiliate Marketing course includes more than the Amazon Associates Master Class I describe below. I have known the people who put these courses together for a long time on Squidoo.  I know that Taking courses is not a magic pill that will transform your blog overnight,  but if you put the work in, you will begin to make more money with your blog if you work smart. I decided it was time for me to learn to work smart.

The price for the courses fluctuate as they go on sale for limited times and then  go up  again. I’m excited about the new all-in-one blogging bundle that was just introduced February 18, 2016 . It has everything you need to know about blogging. Check it out. All Pajama Affiliate courses are reasonably priced for what they offer, but they often go on sale. The best way to find out immediately about any sales is to take advantage of the dollar fastpass described at the end of this post. It gives you access to the private Facebook group where sale announcements are first made.

How to Monetize Your Blog or Webpages I first signed up for the Pajama Affiliates Amazon Associates Master Class.   When you click the link you will land on a page that describes all you will learn along with the current price. This course is part of the all new blogging bundle described above.

The courses include videos with written summaries of what the videos cover. That makes it easy for me to recap what I’ve heard without listening again. I’ve only had time to watch a few videos since I signed up, but already I’m learning a lot I never knew about how to do the things I knew I should be doing — finding keywords, knowing where to place them, putting content and images together for the best selling results, adding products and affiliate links to my pages effectively, SEO, using the different social media most effectively to bring in traffic, and much, much more.

Learn to Make Your Blog Profitable

Learn to Make Your Blog Profitable

 

Support in Your Blogging Journey Helps

One reason I signed up is because many of my friends from Squidoo days are also taking the course and they say it has really helped them increase their affiliate income. Keep in mind that these ladies have been doing serious affiliate selling for much longer than I, and they say  they are learning way more than they ever knew before about how to make their writing time pay off.

If you purchase this course, you also have lifelong access to Leslie’s coaching. Getting the information about the course costs nothing. I had saved the little bit left in my PayPal account after Bubblews closed, and I decided I would spend what it took to learn how to make real money — not just a few dollars a month — from my websites.

The Pajama Affiliates have two Facebook groups for help and support where members can work together to make each other more successful. The groups have challenges. Members help promote each other. Those who have purchased any course have access to the groups.

HOW TO MONETIZE YOUR BLOG OR WEB PAGES
Support Groups Give Helpful Tips and Honest Feedback

Other Affiliate Programs You Can Join

Zazzle and Amazon  aren’t the only affiliate programs you can join. There are also those that are under the umbrella of a network such as Skimlinks, ShareASale, or CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction.)  I am currently enrolled in the first two, and I’m  beginning to see some earnings accumulating in my Skimlinks account. I’m not ready  to give up on ShareASale yet, because I’ve not worked hard enough at it. I don’t like CJ Affiliates because they deactivate your account if you don’t make a sale in a ninety-day period. Mine is currently deactivated. Skimlinks and ShareASale are more reasonable and I do know people who are making money with them. I will concentrate on Zazzle and Amazon until I’m happy with my results and then I will probably  tackle ShareaSale with more enthusiasm.

Skimlinks is a good alternative for those who cannot become Amazon affiliates directly because of tax laws in their states. If you use Skimlinks you don’t have to be approved by the individual merchants in their programs because you are sending your referral links with their referral codes through the Skimlinks account and Skimlinks pays you directly when your commissions add up to $10. They take a cut, but they also have a much lower payment threshold than the individual sites.

Zazzle and ShareASale pay when you have $50, and Amazon requires $10 for payout unless you want a check, or which you need $100. If you use ShareASale, you need to be accepted into each of their individual merchant programs. Since merchant programs and deals can come and go, it can be hard to keep track of them.

What Results Can a New Pajama Affiliate Expect?

 

I will persist until I succeed. Tee Shirt
I will persist until I succeed. Tee Shirt
Find more Motivate T-Shirts at Zazzle

 

I’m convinced if my friends,  people I know are telling the truth, are making some real money with their blogs,  I can do the same thing. I will have to change my blogging habits from working by instinct and just writing what’s easy for me.  I will have to work smart and put the time in to plan my blogs as money makers and then execute those plans. It will take discipline, but I’m going to do it.

I bought my first course at the end of December, 2015, and have not yet had time to complete it. I apply what I learn as I learn it in every new post I write. In all of 2015 I had earned only 52.08 in affiliate income and all of it was from Zazzle.

This year, from January 1 to May 1, I have earned 61.24 from Zazzle (more than I earned all last year) and $29.89 from Amazon, when I’d never gotten a payment from them before. I can see my earnings increasing. As I have time to complete the courses and apply more of what I am learning, I know these earnings will increase. The income from my remaining third party site, HubPages, brought in only $25.10 during this same period, as the total earnings for both my accounts there.  Amazon earnings alone beat those totals this year. And I know they will grow.

What Will You Do to Improve Your Earnings?

How about you? Will you invest a bit of cash into making your blogging more profitable and then make 2016 the year you will reap your reward? Just click this link for information about the  new all-in-one Affiliate Marketing Classes Business Bundle. If you’re not ready to make the investment for a full course yet, sample the best videos for only a dollar and get access to the private Facebook group. That alone is worth the dollar. Trust me. Start learning to make more today. 

 

If this post helped you, please pass it on. The image below was designed especially for Pinterest sharing.

How to Monetize Your Blog or Web Pages

 

 

 

 

The Bubblews Bubble Has Finally Burst

Soap Bubbles, CCO, public domain.
Soap Bubbles, CCO, public domain.

After three years, Bubblews has shut down. A visit to the site shows  only a brief announcement that Bubblews  can no longer stay in business with  what they earn from the ads they  show.  I’m not surprised. I expected it. That’s  why I haven’t wasted any more time there since the beginning of the year.

If you  wrote on Bubblews and don’t know how to find your Bubblews friends, I suggest you go to myLot. Many people found their way to Bubblews when  the old version of myLot stopped  paying. Most of them have returned since it came  back under the original ownership and started paying again. I noticed many new people there  from Bubblews today. Connect with me at myLot and you’ll find most of the old timers among my friends. Just click on their profiles to  follow them and get acquainted fast.

MyLot pays a few pennies a day  just for interacting with  other myLotters in the discussions that interest you. You can also  start your own discussions. It’s an easy site to visit and relax with friends while  watching your pennies add up. For more information on using myLot, be sure to read the blog post by @owlwings,  one of the most knowledgeable members. You will   also want to  follow him.

How do you feel about the demise of Bubblews? I think I’m relieved that I no longer have to worry about deleting my posts one my  one. I lost almost  $20 in unpaid earnings, but many lost more than I did. Now I’m wondering which will be the next site to close.

I just revised my Hub that Reviews Bubblews to reflect on what we can learn from what happened there: What Can We Learn from the Fall of Bubblews?

What Happened to BlogJob?

What is BlogJob?

BlogJob is a social networking community. One can make friends, socialize, and discuss important topics with no minimum number of characters required. These discussions can take place in groups and in forums, as well as on  one’s wall.

Pro and Cons of BlogJob

BlogJob is more user-friendly than Facebook and tsu, though loyal fans of either of those sites will probably stay put even if they also join BlogJob. Facebook still offers groups I would not want to leave because they are important in my writing promotion. And, of course, family members and old friends aren’t likely to leave Facebook either. BlogJob is more of a blog host and networking community for Bloggers.

When I joined Blogjob last year, I thought it was a great place for new bloggers to start. One can write multiple blogs there with a WordPress interface. Bloggers can choose between hundreds of themes and customize them. One can use affiliate links with no problem, as well. There is an interface for putting ads on your blogs to monetize them.

There are some limitations on using third-party interfaces such as Easy Product Display and Amazon Native Ads. They just don’t work because of underlying coding problems. You don’t find out about the missing functions a WordPress user is used to until your site is built and you try to use them.

New bloggers used to be able to earn reward points  that could later be redeemed for gift cards or money in one’s PayPal account for each blog post. Those points combined with those one earned for the networking and commenting one does in the site’s walls, groups, and forums. *

Review of BlogJob.com

One knew that if one went to the trouble to make a 300-word minimum blog post, it wouldn’t be wasted effort because one could get at least a small financial reward. Not only that, because Blogjob is a community, your new blog, even now,  is likely to get visitors, comments, and even some help with promotion on social media if you did a good job.

Unfortunately many decided to put a lot of their writing eggs into the Blogjob basket and cut out some productive work on other sites.

Review of BlgoJob.com
Don’t put all your eggs in one writing basket. © B. Radisavljevic

 

I would not advise putting all your eggs into the Blogjob basket. If you want to be a successful affiliate marketer, this is probably not the host you should use for your main source of livelihood. If blogging for a living is your goal, see Why It’s Important for Affiliate Marketers  to Self-Host WordPress Sites.

I no longer recommend joining BlogJob, even if they open membership again. The site is now in flux and reward points have been “temporarily suspended.” Any money you make will have to come from monetizing your own blogs. As I write this today, I get error messages when I try to read posts my friends have shared — blogs hosted on BlogJob.  Many technical issues will have to be sorted out before the site is reliable again for blogging and promotion.

It appears many people are being patient, hoping the site will once again be what it was or better. I’m not holding my breath. Yes, I hope the site will solve its problems and recover, since it was important source of income for many who were close to  a payment threshold.

The administration said it will be paying those who have earned the required number of points. Some report they received their payments. Most are convinced the administration is honest and appreciate his telling them upfront what is happening. I tend to agree that he’s doing what he can to solve the problems . The question is still whether that will be enough and whether the site will generate enough  to bring advertisers back. 

Important Updates

*Update May 5, 2016As of May 4, 2016, the rewards system has been “temporarily suspended.” Members can continue to blog and interact, but will not be earning any more points until the site owner manages to fix some problems on the site. Members should still be able to redeem points earned if they have enough to qualify for redemption. Many voices in the forums say they will leave their work there and carry on as usual. Some are taking a wait and see attitude. Some are leaving. Membership is closed again.

The administration says the site migration to a new server killed traffic and he is trying to test various plugins to see if they are having an adverse effect on traffic and resources. He is hoping to get things, fixed, restore traffic to produce income, and start giving points again some time when all this is settled.

Update May 3, 2016: There is an application process in place now, and there is no guarantee of acceptance. Be aware that some people who have been accepted have received emails within 24 hours that their memberships have been declined.

An unwritten policy seems to be that you need to fill out a complete profile, including the bio part at the bottom of the edit profile page, right away and start a site or post to forums to let the administration know you are serious about adding content. If you have written for other sites with a good reputation, be sure to include that in your profile and link to any blog you might currently have elsewhere as your website. They want to know you are a writer, not just someone who wants to earn points by collecting friends and joining groups without adding valuable content to the site.

 

How Important is Grammar to a Writer?

I have been reading The 28 Biggest Writing Blunders (And How to Avoid Them)by William Noble, to see what I can learn about improving my writing. He advises writers not to write for their eighth-grade English teachers or be slaves to the grammar gurus. He advises writers not to overuse the thesaurus or get tied up in a “sentence straightjacket.” He is against using adverbs and adjectives unless they are absolutely necessary and cautions against creating a style that does nothing more for your writing than to make it different from other writers. He also warns against trying to imitate writers like Hemingway, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and others  with a distinctive style, because you will never master their styles as well as they did.

As writers, we are urged to develop our own unique writing voices. I found mine at Squidoo, now part of HubPages.  It’s not a perfect style, but it is in my voice. I’m not trying to imitate anyone, and I normally use the first person when I write about my personal experiences.

It was a relief to read this book, because, as do many writers, I have mental yellow lights go off in my head whenever I’m about to commit a grammatical “sin.” Noble gives me permission to ignore all my mental grammar police if I have a good reason. I can dare to use the passive voice, use a fragment, or end a sentence with a proposition.

I suspect most competent writers already  follow Noble’s suggestions and they probably don’t need this book.  The people who need it most are wannabe writers who haven’t found a unique voice yet. They are the ones most likely to use unnecessary figurative language inappropriately to make their prose more poetic. They are the ones who will deliberately create their own punctuation rules with the hope of being seen as another e.e. cummings.

If you are teaching English and some of your students have somehow gotten hold of this book, or another similar to it, be sure to let your students know that the cardinal rule when it comes to breaking the rules is to know why they are there and why you are breaking them. To do that, you first have to know the rules. They are there to help readers understand what you write. Anything that impedes that does not communicate anything except that you don’t care whether your reader can follow you.

If you are a reader, you will understand this. You know what makes you want to put a book down. Maybe it’s unnecessary descriptions that are long and don’t really help you visualize the scene or person being described. Maybe it’s a dangling participle or a comma where there ought to be a period. Anything that confuses a reader for no good reason should be avoided. Any grammar and usage rules which help a reader understand you better should be followed.

If you are still a student, don’t let a book like this convince you that knowing all those rules isn’t necessary. Noble would not agree. He never advocates not learning the rules. You have to know them before you can know why  breaking one will enhance your writing rather than reduce the effectiveness of your writing. If I were your English teacher and you broke a rule, I’d probably ask you why you did it and expect a good answer.

I am often asked to proofread or evaluate the writing of others. My rule of thumb now is this: If  your mistake screams at me as I read, you probably did not have a good reason to break the rules. The grammar police do reside in my brain and they shout at me when I see sentence errors that don’t serve any good purpose.

The average reader is not looking for mistakes and may not instinctively notice them the way an ex-English teacher does. If that reader is aware of your mistake. It is probably because… you have upset the rhythm. of his reading for no good reason. Did you notice my mistakes in that last sentence? That’s what I mean. Your writing should flow smoothly without disturbing your reader unless it is your intention to disturb your reader for a reason.

So, be diligent in learning all you can about grammar and usage. Practice following the rules in your writing. Don’t depend upon your spell checker or your grammar checker when you write, because they make mistakes. Learn how to spell, especially the homophones — words that sound alike and are usually spelled differently. Know when to use each word. Know when you need a period instead of a comma and vice versa. Your readers will appreciate it as much as your English teacher does. Once you have mastered the traditional way to use the English language, you will be in a position to know when you can effectively disregard it.

I write what I am; I am what I write