It disappeared on October 2, 2017. I’m glad I made copies of my work the instant I suspected it was on the way out. My sign it was fading was when they stopped paying. I started checking my backups immediately and they were in place by the time the site closed.
I usually make a backup copy of any important post when I publish it. I used to do this only with a text document. Recently I also started making copies as complete web pages as explained below. I like being able to see which photos and videos I used and where I put them.
Here’s How I Copied My Data
This will work for any site. Go to the post you want to copy and copy as complete webpage in your browser. I use Chrome, and this is how I do it.
Click the three dots in the upper right-hand corner of your browser bar.
Mouse over “More Tools.”
Select “Save page as.”
A “Save” screen will appear.
Choose a name for your file and a folder to put it in.
Make sure the “Save as” type says “Webpage, Complete” as in the image below.
Here’s the image I snipped an image of that screen.
I have a folder for blog backups and a subfolder for each blog or writing site. I normally make text files as I write posts now and save them — just in case. You can see I saved this under niume backups, and I gave this a file name. (In this case, I saved this edit page as the file name, since I wasn’t going to save it, just snip the process.) Although I usually have the text file files for my posts saved, I also like to save them as they looked online so I can remember which images I used where.
Now you have to decide what to do with all your beautiful work. I will be trying to move it into my own blogs or websites. If you don’t have your own blog yet, I’d recommend hosting one yourself that no one can take out from under you. I use SiteGround for hosting my most important WordPress.org sites. Here’s why.
I no longer use free blogging sites because they are harder to monetize and because the owners can change the rules or even disappear. Self-hosted WordPress sites offer features free sites don’t. They also give you complete control over your site. Of course, it’s up to you to follow Google or other advertiser guidelines if you want to monetize with ads. And you will also need to follow any rules your affiliated sites or networks set for their affiliates.
If you have questions on what to do next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Or you may want to share what you plan to do with those niume posts. Godspeed on the next step of your blogging journey.
To stay in touch with your blogging buddies from every site, you may want to join myLot. It’s free and still pays a bit for participating in its discussions. Meet me there and connect.
I’m always looking for new people to follow on Twitter, but I’m fussy. I want to follow people with some interests in common from whom I might learn something new. And I want to follow people who might actually want to interact — not just post and run.
Since I wasn’t sure how to find the right people to follow, I finally broke down and bought a book to teach me more than I knew. I reviewed Tweep-e-licious in a post on Review This! If you are also looking for help on Twitter, you, too, might want to get Tweep_e_licious. I got many new tips from reading this book. More of the right people are following back now, and we are actually talking to each other.
3 Reasons Why I Won’t Follow Someone on Twitter
1 – The Twitter profile doesn’t provide enough information to make a good following decision
Let’s say you have followed me. Have you made it easy for me to look at your profile and follow you back? Not if you decide to protect your tweets when you set up your profile. Not if you use “True Twit” so that I have to take time to verify before I can follow you. If you do these things, it’s like telling people you really don’t want them to follow you or follow you back.
If it appears someone is stalking you or behaving in ways you don’t like, you can block them or report them. As for finding out if people are real, check their profiles. I never follow someone I don’t know until I’ve done that.
How I Tell if a Tweep is Real and Active
Real tweeps are serious about Twitter and post an avatar. They don’t leave the default egg avatar since most serious tweeps don’t follow eggs.
Serious tweeps fill out their profiles. Savvy ones make good use of all their 160 allowed characters. This helps other tweeps know what kind of tweets they can expect to see if they follow you. I look for a real geographic location, as well — not something vague like The Universe.
Serious tweeps have feeds that seem related to the interests in their profiles. If the profile indicates the tweep is a social media guru who likes dogs and music, for example, you would expect so see tweets on using social media, some dog photos, and maybe some favorite music videos or articles about bands. You would not expect to see a feed full of unrelated shocking or weird photos from exotic places and very little information about social media.
That doesn’t mean that there shouldn’t be some variety, but it becomes obvious when you’ve looked at enough profiles to recognize those that don’t post anything original. Instead, their feeds are full of retweets and bizarre photos to get attention. Serious tweeps fill their feeds with links to valuable or fun resources and photos that are related to their stated interests. Sometimes their tweets are original observations or questions to encourage interaction.
Active tweeps tweet. They don’t leave a week or a month between tweets. They appear daily most of the time. The tops of their profiles will show they’ve tweeted at least 300 times for each year they’ve been on Twitter.
My largest account at Twitter, @barbsbooks, shows I’ve tweeted on the average around 5 times a day. I probably tweeted less when I first started, and now I try to tweet at least ten times a day not counting interactions. Someone who has never tweeted but has lots of followers or is following lots of people is probably a fake, along with many of his followers.
2 – There’s too much obvious automation
Many Twitter gurus encourage tweeps to automate their interactions with a program called Crowdfire. When people use the free version, it advertises its presence with every tweet. It loves to report on follows and unfollows, as do some other automated programs. It can leave you with a feed like this one. This is just part of the feed. It went on like this throughout several scrolls. In fact, there was nothing else I could see.
Is that what you want to see every time a person tweets? Boring! Just a string of commercials.
Another thing Crowdfire will do is see who you interact with and send automated @______ shout out tweets to those who have interacted with you the most. Of course, the free version lets everyone who gets the tweet know that you didn’t personally send that message. When I see these automated tweets I often wonder if the person posting them ever really personally interacts with followers.
3 – I see no interaction with other tweeps
A person’s Twitter profile will give you a good idea if that person does more on Twitter than post and leave. Right above the feed on the profile is a header next to Tweets: Tweets and Replies. Click it and you will see any replies that person made to other Tweeps.
Also, check the tweets themselves to see if there are any you would be tempted to reply to. Any questions to answer? Any topic you have an opinion about? Can you find anything on their profile you want to share or retweet? If so, do it. If there is something to reply to, reply with your comment. See if the Tweep responds within a few days.
How to Make Others Want to Follow you on Twitter
You can start by showing you are an active serious tweep. Make a profile that explains what you’re about and then tweet accordingly. I have three accounts, each with a different avatar and profile description. Each is meant to attract a different target audience. See them below.
Before I tweet, I check my own profile to see if that tweet fits my stated interests for that account or the audience that follows me. Example: Although on @barbsbooks I mostly tweet about books, blogging, and education, I know I also have some artists and travel bloggers following that profile. For this reason, I sometimes tweet or retweet something relevant to them, usually something related to nature, which is a stated interest.
I no longer join promotion groups on Facebook that require everyone to retweet what everyone else in the group posts. That would require me to send tweets that have little to do with what my audience expects from me. Those tweets would dilute my brand.
Are You Doing Any of the Three Things Above That Might Keep People from Following You?
If you are, all those things are easy to correct. Spiff up your profile in a few minutes. Tweet more often and tweet more of what your followers expect from you. Keep your profile visible to all and stop using “True Twit” to make it harder for people to follow you. Start doing more live interacting, or even scheduled interacting, without depending so much on free automated programs that leave their footprints.
If you make a few or all of these changes, you should see more people start to follow you. If you tweet content that interests them, the followers you already have will probably stay with you. If you make these changes, I would see no reason not to follow you on Twitter.
Do you need more help? Try one of these highly reviewed books. Yes, I checked the authors’ Twitter profiles before recommending these. I eliminated two books because I had more followers than their authors. I’ve also read Tweep-e-licious and found it a valuable resource.
A Shocking Surprise: The New “Improved” Editor at WordPress.com
When I recently returned to the free version of WordPress after a long absence, I was shocked to see how much the editor had changed. I had started a business blog several years ago before I could self-host WordPress. I discovered that for some reason I was getting new subscribers, so I returned to write a new post for them. The new “improved” editor was very frustrating.
It’s apparently designed for those trying to blog from mobile devices, but it’s agony for those of us on desktops. What’s worse is that you can’t easily find a way to write new posts in the old Classic Editor. The new dashboard associated with the new editor is also confusing — especially if you also have self-hosted blogs tied into JetPack.
The New Dashboard at the Free Version WordPress
First, let’s see how your posts look in the new editor’s dashboard. As you can see in the image below, instead of the compact list you find in your dashboard on self-hosted blogs, you see previews, including images, of your posts. You need to do a lot of scrolling to find the one you want.
It’s harder to see your previously created tags so that you can put them on the new post. Instead of seeing a cloud of tags, you see a list you have to scroll and click on one at a time. What a pain! Previous tags may appear if you start writing a tag that starts with the same letters.
The New “Improved” Editor on the Free WordPress Version
The image below shows how the new “improved”editor itself looks.
As you can see, this offers no view of the handy interfaces for Zemanta, categories, tags, and the Save, Preview, and Publish buttons in the upper right corner where you are used to finding them on the right sidebar. They are on the upper left, except you only see the Save button if the post was not saved automatically.
The reason you don’t see those handy things is because most of them aren’t options in the free version of WordPress.com. The free version also limits you to 3GB of storage for your images.
Also, unless you turn it off, you have no choice in picking your related posts — even if you can see your Zemanta interface. If you check the box to show related posts, you will see a row of them. On my new post, the same linked image was repeated several times to fill the available space, since links were all picked by computer. If you want to show related posts you pick yourself, you will have to upgrade or get a self-hosted site. My related links looked so bad I turned them off.
When I started my blog at WordPress.com, it appeared I had a lot of freedom — as long as I didn’t try to monetize it. I could only link to non-affiliated pages. Unlike a self-hosted WordPress blog, you can’t place ads in your sidebar or anywhere else. If you upgrade to a paid version, they will take the ads they profit from off. To remove the ads and be able to profit from your own ads, you will pay WordPress.com $8.95 a month. It costs $2.95 a month just to remove the ads.
Upgrades offer you more space and added features, but for a price. By the time you pay the price for a premium plan, you might as well self-host and get a lot more features and control. This is especially true if you use the link below. Then you can place ads on your site and use affiliate links to help pay your hosting expenses.
Self-Host with SiteGround
I have been hosting several sites on SiteGround for over a year now. Their support people got me through a tough migration with no problems. They are reasonably priced and your web site is kept safely backed up. My sites hosted at SiteGround load more quickly than my sites hosted at GoDaddy. SiteGround also offers the best WordPress support and security.
If you want to monetize your blog, you should seriously consider investing in a course taught by experienced affiliate marketers who have proved they have made a good blogging income . I believe the best blogging course value for those interested in affiliate marketing is Pajama Affiliates. Click the photo above to check out their courses. Usually at least one of them is one sale. You may want to read these posts before you start your blog.
Niume is a relative newcomer to the social blogging world. Co-founders Francesco Facca and Daniel Gennaouli pitch it as a social network based on interests. They say its purpose is to bring people who share common interests together. Site owners want to provide a level playing field for people who want to share their content. They commit to sharing revenue with the users for the content they provide. Users will earn $1 for every thousand views their posts generate.
Update, May 28, 2017: Niume has announced that they will stop paying.
Niume currently has twenty spheres of interest. You need to sign up for at least three of them when you join. Each sphere has its own leaderboard to encourage people to be active in their spheres. Users also receive “hype” as readers view their posts and give them a thumbs up or favorite them. This adds to a user’s status. This status is earned separately in each sphere. Higher status leads to more visibility in a sphere. Commenting on the content of others also helps raise one’s status.
The Nitty Gritty of Niume
There is much to like about Niume. It is easy to find readers for your content. The guidelines don’t require more than five lines of text at this time. Most of the content I’ve seen so far is of higher quality than on many other similar sites. Competition within spheres for status motivate one to be active and participate.
There are also some things I think need improvement. The editor doesn’t work as it should, especially with regard to embedded links. Those getting started may find it hard to learn how to be successful on the site. Support is scattered between videos, a FAQ page, and a number of blog posts. It almost takes a treasure hunt and an email to find the answer to your particular question.
Niume may also help you find a wider audience for your content and help you promote your work on other sites. Affiliate links are against the guidelines, but you can link to your website or store as long as your links don’t appear to be clickbait and your post doesn’t come across as spam.
It is interesting that one of the reviews I read of Niume was in a post written in April, 2015. I can’t find the post again to link to it, but it reviewed six other revenue- sharing social sites in addition to Niumi. Two of them were Bubblews and Tsu, both of which are now gone. I believe Niume has something in common with them — the ability to distract one from creating on one’s own domains.
It Takes Time to Make Niume Pay Off
I remember when we first discovered Bubblews. Many of us who were fairly successful on Squidoo and HubPages began to neglect those sites because they could not pay as much as Bubblews. We wrote and interacted on Bubblews as much as possible until it finally stopped paying us. Then we tried to pick up the pieces of our writing lives. By that time Squidoo was gone, too, and we needed to decide where to go next.
Many of us decided it was time to forget about writing new material on sites we didn’t own. Even when sites that showed promise, such as Blogbourne wooed us, it was fairly easy to join, make a post or two, and come and go as we had time. It was easy to do the same on MyLot.
As on the Bubblews site, interaction is the key to gaining visibility. You need to raise your status to become more visible. You need to follow and find followers, write quality content, and read, give hype, and comment on the posts of others. You also need to promote your content. It takes time to gain the status you want, daily, and as time goes on.
Niume Can Tempt Bloggers to Neglect their Own Sites
Time you spend on Niume is fun. It’s competitive. It’s social. If you have your own blog, Niume may keep you from posting as often as you should. The amount of time we have is finite. Time spent on Niume will necessarily replace time spent somewhere else. Will you neglect another social media site like Facebook? Will you neglect one or more blogs? Will you give up another of the new third party content sites?
Today I was on Reddit and had to delete a post that I had moved from BlogJob to one of my own sites. I’m constantly having to delete pins and links from social media that lead to dead sites or sites I no longer use. I have to wonder if I will later have to remove links I made to newer third party sites like Niume. Time we invest into sites we own is an investment of time that should continue to collect dividends in ad income and affiliate sales. What we post on third party sites, no matter how promising, can disappear at any time.
What Will You Do about Niume?
If you don’t want to own your own blogging sites, you might want to put your time and best effort into Niume. It might mean less time to spend on other sites, but at least you will enjoy yourself. Just don’t count on Niume generating any income for you now.
On the other hand, if you have your own blogging sites to maintain, Niume, may keep you away from them. It’s probably more important to concentrate on your self-hosted sites. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t make an occasional visit to post and interact on Niume. Everyone needs a change of pace.
I Know My Sites Are in Good Hands With SiteGround Web Hosting
I decided to use SiteGround when a Set Up WordPress Site in One Day class I was taking recommended it. I was planning to start a new WordPress blog, and I wanted to follow the directions the teacher was giving us. That new blog is A California Life. I was so delighted with the customer support from SiteGround that I decided to move my oldest and most important site away from Hostgator to SiteGround. I still have a few sites at GoDaddy, but after the complaints I just read about them, I just may start moving those, too.
I’m very happy with SiteGround. I’ve never had any downtime during this few months I’ve been with them. I’m getting good value for my money. My sites are fast and safe, and customer and technical support have been superb.
My SiteGround Sites Load Quickly
My sites have lots of images and all have sidebars. My most important site built with WordPress has both pages and blog posts. Check out the speed at which Books to Remember loads for yourself. Since the home page is short, with few images, I’m going to send you to a page full of images: Marvin Terban and His Books.
When SiteGround learns about new WordPress vulnerabilities, it moves quickly to patch them at the server level. The SiteGround technical team quickly acted to protect customers from vulnerabilities in ImageMagick , for example. They also quickly patched a serious vulnerability in WPTouch, a popular WordPress plugin. SiteGround was also the first host to apply isolation to sites in a shared hosting environment.
I Left HostGator Because I No Longer Trusted Their Tech Support
After my satisfying experience starting my first WordPress blog at SiteGround, I decided to move my oldest site. I had started that site in 1996 as my bookselling site. It was long before WordPress existed, and I’d built it in FrontPage, which Microsoft stopped supporting years ago. The replacement for it frustrated me, and I wanted to concentrate on my business — not the software.
I finally decided to retire to affiliate selling instead of shipping out actual product to customers. I also made up my mind it was time to switch my site to WordPress. It was a 600+ page site. I had a copy of it in the software on my computer. I had good traffic at the time and I didn’t want to lose it, so I called the host, Hostgator.
We discussed the issues, and the support person assured me he would create a test site in WordPress for me to work on while the original site was still up. That gave me time to get some content on the new site before making the switch. He said when I was ready, I could call any tech person to make the switch from the test site to the real site. He didn’t mention any charge for this.
When I was ready to make the switch, I was informed it would cost $75 and take much longer than the first tech had told me it would. I was not a happy camper. It didn’t help that every time I called, I waited on hold for what seemed like forever. I no longer had confidence in HostGator.
I called SiteGround. I had seen a promotional offer which included free site migration from HostGator. The customer service rep answered the phone almost instantly and walked me through the process of setting up the new hosting plan. She then took over the job of transferring my site from HostGator — for free.
I now host four sites on SiteGround, but one is not live yet. I know if I ever have a problem, I can make a toll-free call to tech support and someone will pick up the phone fast. I won’t have to pay for a call like I have to for GoDaddy, which currently still hosts my older sites. I won’t have to listen to GoDaddy’s annoying music until they pick up, either.
Isn’t it about Time You Tried SiteGround?
Say goodbye to toll calls and long holding times for tech support. Rest knowing your website is secure. Celebrate fast page loading speeds when people visit your site.
Here are the plans you can choose from.
If you only need one web site, I suggest you choose the StartUp Plan. I chose the GrowBig plan because it lets me host many sites on one account. See plan details here. Which plan will you choose?
I can no longer reach TinyCent. To the best of my knowledge, it’s gone. My prediction about its chances proved pretty accurate. Blogbourne is also on the way out. It will be gone when its hosting expires in October. Current members can move their work to another site. Here’s how to move your work to your own sites.
Literacy Base still has 3803 “active” members, but at least some of those haven’t checked in for over two years. I don’t see a bright future for it, but
If you want an almost sure thing, stick with reliable (so far) MyLot. It does pay people, including me.
Is blogging at TinyCent worth your time and effort? My experience with TinyCent so far has not been encouraging. I tried to sign up for the purpose of reviewing the site, but I haven’t been able to complete registration after two weeks of trying. This post will explain why I don’t have high hopes for this site.
The Sign-up Process Seemed Off
I have never yet joined a writing site that asked for my phone number. TinyCent requires it at sign-up. They say it’s so they can contact you about payment information and payouts. Some members confirm getting these calls and having satisfying conversations with the owner. However other sites pay me through PayPal, and they never have asked for my phone number. Why does TinyCent need it? Do they suspect possible fraudulent activity from some of their members?
I presume the reason TinyCent asks for a birth date is to verify age. I never like to give that information to sites without a long track record, but it is required to sign up.
The last step in signing up is to wait for a verification email so they know the email address you gave them is correct. I never got that email. So I have never been able to log in to write anything. Even after emailing Naveen from that address and getting a reply and replying back, I have not been able to verify my registration.
TinyCent Support and TOS Seem Nonexistent
After not getting my verification email, I clicked the “contact us” link on the bottom of the login form. See form below. Black label at bottom was not part of screen shot. I added my comment to it. I cropped off site logos so as not to violate copyright.
TinyCentTerms of Service
5. INFORMATION DISCLOSURE TinyCent reserves the right at all times to disclose any information as necessary to satisfy any applicable law, regulation, legal process or governmental request, including personally identifiable information, or to edit, refuse to allow or to remove any information or materials, in whole or in part, in TinyCent sole discretion. In the course of using the Site, you may be required to enter certain information, including without limitation personal information. You represent and warrant that you will provide TinyCent with full, true and correct Information, and to update such Information on the Site promptly as reasonably necessary and as required by the Site.
Where is TinyCent Support?
In the screen shot above you will also notice a “Contact Us” link. If you click it, you will again land on the home page with no contact form in sight. It seems all links except the FAQ, site map, and Social Media links lead back to the home page. The site map link leads to a page of XML code. The social media pages don’t offer more than a better looking presentation of what’s on the site’s home page.
The fact remains that it is almost impossible to reach tech support if you aren’t a member. I have heard it’s just as hard if you are a member. I was going to delay writing this review until I could register and write something on the site, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to complete that registration. Maybe they aren’t letting anyone register anymore, but I don’t know that.
In any case, I’m no longer interested in joining. I’ve seen enough from the outside to convince me that joining would probably be a poor investment of my time and effort.
Will TinyCent Pay its Writers As Promised?
Remember Bubblews? For a long time most of the writers got paid, and then some didn’t, and finally no one got paid anymore. TinyCent has paid some people I know at least once. Others are still waiting for payments they have earned. Meanwhile, we can apply some of the lessons learned from the fall of Bubblews to other sites, such TinyCent.
If TinyCent plans to pay people from ad income, I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for payment. It can only pay from money that is has or borrows. Of course, it may have other income sources we can’t know about. The site will have to start making more income, though, to continue to pay the rates stated. Of course, the T&C state that TinyCent can reduce or eliminate compensation at any time — just as Bubblews did before it died and as BlogJob did in May, 2016.
My Advice Concerning TinyCent
If you are already writing on TinyCent, I wouldn’t invest too much more time into it. You will probably be disappointed, and I doubt if you will get paid too many times. I don’t expect the site to last very long. For the sake of Naveen and the active members, I hope I’m wrong. If I see evidence that my concerns have been addressed, I will update this post.
If anyone has a different opinion and some experience to back it up, I welcome your comments below. If you aren’t a registered member, do you think you want to become one? Why or why not?
The first social blogging site I joined was Bubblews. It lasted for almost three years. It was very popular and established writers from well-known sites like HubPages devoted less time to writing for them because they were making more on Bubblews. This left HubPages weaker, and many people, including me, found it hard to just jump back in at HubPages after Bubblews stopped paying.
Social blogging was easy, fun, and struck a chord for those of us who wanted to connect as people rather than just share information. Since the fall of Bubblews, people began looking for another social blogging site. Many went back to myLot, which had changed ownership and gone back to paying members. It is a simple forum, but its new format also makes it ideal for social blogging. This got friends connected again, but social bloggers wanted something a bit different.
Many of those looking discovered BlogJob. BlogJob seemed to combine the best features of Bubblews and myLot. I have reviewed the state of BlogJob in Transition here. Some people are still hanging on, but few are very active anymore. Once again the search is on for a new site. This week I’ve joined two new sites very similar to BlogJob.
UPDATE, July 15, 2017
Blogbourne will be closing when its hosting expires in October, 2017. Literacy Base has improved since I first posted this review. Keep that in mind when you read the rest of this post.
Literacy Base and BlogBourne — What They Have in Common
They are both a lot like BlogJob. They offer free hosting for social bloggers and they provide groups and forums for member interaction outside the blogs. Unlike BlogJob, though, one cannot have an independent WordPress Blog on either site such as BlogJob members have.
They are owned or administrated by people whose first language is not English. This means some of the site documentation has errors in standard English.
They both offer some form of compensation to those active on the sites
Both will pay members through PayPal. Literacy Base also pays through Payoneer.
Both provide members with referral links to share their articles and to recruit new members.
Both sites are currently experiencing growing pains and may go offline from time to time as they work out bugs. BlogBourne officially launched August 1, 2016.
How Literacy Base and BlogBourne Differ: Payment
BlogBourne splits site earnings with members, keeping 50% for site expenses and dividing the rest to to determine the value of a coin. This system is similar to the one Persona Paper was using. Literacy Base pays specific cash amounts for specific tasks like commenting or writing posts. The value of a BlogBourne coin fluctuates and is posted every month.
BlogBourne will be paying seven days after a person orders payment, but the payments won’t be issued the first time until two months after the site’s launch. BlogBourne payment amounts range from $5 to $100. Literacy Base pays on the tenth day of the month after a person has earned $10.
BlogBourne currently offers the same amount of coins for any post. Literacy Base at its own discretion pays more for higher quality interactions and longer posts.
Literacy Base currently has placed no limits on how much a member can earn in a day. BlogBourne has a limit of three posts per day and varying limits for other activities one can earn for.
How Literacy Base and BlogBourne Differ: Editors and Posting
On Literacy Base your blog post has to be approved before it will post. That can take up to 24 hours. If more people become active, that might increase the approval time. Moderators also look over what you post on BlogBourne until a member is white-listed for immediate posting. Moderators let members know if changes need to be made and offer help before a post is approved for posting.
On Literacy Base your post must be at least 300 words long. On BlogBourne, it has to be 400 words.
Evidently on Literacy Base you can’t save drafts(even though it looks like you should be able to). It’s best to write your post in a word processor and paste it in before submitting. You can save your drafts in BlogBourne. You can edit and delete posts there, too, but if you delete a post you will lose any coins associated with it. I always advise writing in a word processor first anyway. It gives you a backup copy and protects you if the site goes offline while you are typing. A screen shot of the BlogBourne editor is below.
Notice that you can edit the HTML in the BlogBourne editor (see arrow) and that there are additional fields you can’t see below where the screen shot ends. Now compare with the Literacy Base Editor (below).
You can see that the BlogBourne editor has more options than that of Literacy Base and more closely resembles a WordPress interface. Neither editor has a drop-down menu for header text, but the BlogBourne editor allows you to change the font and text size.
Other Differences between Literacy Base and BlogBourne
You may use an affiliate link in a BlogBourne post, but not in a Literacy Base post. Notice I said a link.
Literacy Base only allows links to site sources that support the information in your post.
It is easier for people to find your work on BlogBourne and your profile looks nicer.
Literacy Base has a more cluttered design that distracts from reading the posts. Check My Uninvited Guest on Literacy Base and compare it to the link in the first point in this heading from BlogBourne
BlogBourne has a very motivating Leaderboard for those of us who are competitive. It lists members by number of coins they’ve earned with highest earners at the top.
Literacy Base has been around since some time in 2014. They opened their Facebook Page in November 2014. BlogBourne launched on August 1, 2016.
Literacy Base has made improvements in their site. Blogbourne will be closing in October, 2017.
Will These Sites Survive? Should I Join?
I’m afraid only time will tell that. I don’t mind pioneering a bit. I was one of the first on Bubblews and although I didn’t expect it to last as long as it did, I made some good money there. I’m glad I decided to risk it.
I do like social blogging, but I believe BlogJob won’t last much longer. I haven’t left, but I am moving some posts to my own sites. BlogBourne and Literacy Base are the most similar sites to BlogJob that I’ve joined. I happen to prefer BlogBourne, but it doesn’t have as much history yet to evaluate how it will do. I believe BlogBourne has a more realistic business plan since it can adjust the value of its coins to fit the income the site produces. You will need to weigh the pros and cons for yourself. You may want to join both.
BlogBourne realized many of its members write English as a second language and that even some who write it as a first language sometimes need help. Administrators write many posts to help these members develop better writing skills so that their posts may be approved faster.
Recently Blogbourne started a buddy system where less proficient writers can work with accomplished writers to improve their work. As a result, the quality of posts on the site has improved and this should help the site survive.
If you enjoy social blogging and you have time for two more sites, join both and try them out. Join before you look around so that if you want to comment on a post, you will earn points or coins for it. If you don’t like the site, you don’t have to be very active. I joined Literacy Base because I had friends who posted there and I was going to comment anyway. I figured I might as well earn something for it. I joined BlogBourne for much the same reason, but when I got there, I really liked it.
I would suggest you join one or both sites, but don’t write any photo essays that would be hard to move later on. Read the terms of service for each site carefully before joining. They are called FAQ on Literacy Base.
I’ve been around the social blogging block a few times and gotten burned, just like many of you. My sixth sense tells me that I probably should invest more time into BlogBourne than Literacy Base. My common sense tells me I should really invest the most time into my own blogs.
Free Blog Hosting Can Be Yanked Away Without Notice
Here’s how I learned the dangers of free blog hosting. A few years ago I almost had a WordPress.com blog deleted. At that time I did not know affiliate links were forbidden. I had never used them during my first two years of posts, but I almost lost all my work by using that one link. Fortunately for me, they warned me and when I appealed and removed the link they gave me another chance. Recently someone with more to lose than I had his free blog hosting yanked. His blog is gone. And that’s what inspired this post.
Blogger’s Free Blog Hosting Has Risks
In my last post I warned readers about the need to host their own sites. Now I’ve just read that artist Dennis Cooper’s 14-year-old Blogger blog was pulled by Google with no warning. I will admit I am not familiar with Cooper’s work and I have no idea what about his blog violated Google’s terms of service. I do know, though, from my own WordPress.com experience, that we may sometimes miss some part of the TOS or misunderstand it. That failure might cause the destruction of all our posts.
It’s one thing for Google to penalize content it doesn’t like in search results. It’s quite another to remove your blog.
When you own your own site, you have a lot more control. It’s true that paid hosting sites also have their terms of service, but they generally only disallow illegal content or behavior that threatens the server or other sites that share it. I use SiteGround for hosting my newest sites, and their terms are pretty typical. They don’t host MLM sites, though.
Whichever host you choose, be sure to read the terms of service before you sign up. Make sure the type of site you have in mind is compatible. Also read the details of your hosting plan to be familiar with its space and bandwidth limitations. You could be in trouble if you use too many resources. That happened to me on Hostgator once.
I once hosted my most important site, Books to Remember, there, but I no longer felt good about it after some problems with tech support. One person I talked to made it sound like there would be no charge for a certain support task, and I should just call back when I was ready and any support person could help. I did that. After the task was complete they charged me $75 I had not counted on.
That’s one reason why SiteGround, now hosts that site. Click link above or one of the sidebar banners to check it out. I heard from many others how reliable SiteGround hosting is and how helpful the tech support is. I have also found that to be true since I moved my site there . I’ve always been happy with the results. My tech support call waiting time is also very short compared to that I spent when I was with Hostgator.
Even if you lose your hosting suddenly, you will have your content. It’s easy to export your blogs on a regular basis as XML files. In Blogger, click settings on your dashboard and select other. It will have an option to back up your blog. Click it and you will have your backup XML file. Save it wherever you want it to be.
If you have a WordPress.comsite, you choose settings again and at the top you choose export. Save to wherever you want to keep it. On a self-hosted WordPress site, choose tools on your dashboard. Then click export. I just exported one third-party hosted Wordpress.org blog to a new site by just importing that file.
My exported arrived blog with everything, even the photos, comments, and theme, intact. I decided to change the dates on all the posts and upload them one at at time to start the new site. That gave me a chance to edit the posts and improve them with what I learned from The Pajama Affiliates Blogging courses.
Set Up Your New Self-Hosted WordPress Blog the Right Way from the Beginning
I had already set up several self-hosted WordPress blogs before I discovered the Pajama Affiliates Courses. When I signed up for my new blog on SiteGround, I wanted to get off to a good start. I decided to do it while watching the 20 Pajama Affiliate videos in the WordPress in a Day Course.
I went step by step, with my blog open in one tab and a video open in another. I couldn’t believe how much I hadn’t known when I set up my other sites. I still need to make changes in those first sites I built, but at least I now have one that was set up properly at the beginning. This one isn’t it.
Check Content and Prices on All Pajama Affiliates Courses. They are often on Sale.
I highly recommend the WordPress in a Day Course if you are just starting a new self-hosted WordPress blog. You can look all these great courses over and get a free sample to try before you buy. I now own most of these courses.
It’s Time to Leave Free Hosting Sites Behind
Back up your sites and move them to sites you own. The Pajama Affiliates can help you. Even if all you have is the free sample course, you will have access to the Facebook support group where you can ask questions and find answers to your blogging problems.
You simply should not risk all the work you’ve put into your blog by keeping it on a site you don’t control. Buying hosting and a domain name is a small price to pay to maintain your independence. Check out SiteGround. They often give you your domain name free for the first year if you sign up for a new site. They did that for me. Get it before January 3 while it’s still 50% off.
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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.
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.
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.)
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.
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Get Your Pajama Affiliate Marketing Blogging Course Now!
Many of us struggle for years on blogs that don’t make any money from affiliate marketing. We put in our links, but they don’t convert to sales. We wonder why. That was me. I was working hard, but not smart.
Then I heard about the Pajama Affiliate blogging classes. I had read lots of blogs on blogging and affiliate marketing, but they didn’t help. My friends started raving about the Pajama Affiliates, so I first bought the Amazon Masterclass they were so excited about.
These video courses are very practical. You learn about finding the right niche, the right keywords, and the best way to make your blog friendly to search engines. You also learn how to use your affiliate links in ways that will convert to sales. You can find the details of what’s covered in each course here. There’s even the option of a free sample that lets you get a feel for the courses before you buy them.
The Affiliate Marketing and Amazon Masterclass is also on sale for a limited time. You might want to pick up this class now, since it was upgraded in mid-October and then the price may double any day. Those who already have the course get the updates grandfathered in. All sales prices are limited time offers. Meanwhile, if you click the links above, the current prices will be accurate for the time you are there. There usually is a sale on one or more classes going on.
Here’s What’s in the Business Bundle
This course tells you all you need to know in order to start your own self-hosted WordPress blogging business.
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. 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.
Success Depends Upon Applying What You Learn
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 current sale prices Tomorrow may be too late. My income increases more every day as I apply what I’ve learned and am still learning.