Dec 25, 2007

Blog commenting



Merry Christmas everyone. Since it is Christmas day, I thought I post something special for everyone today and I'll be talking about Blog commenting today. If you're a blogger, you may have already realized that there has been an increase in the number of spam in your blogs. Mostly it's really just other people trying to post links of their website into yours. Why is that? And what for?

This whole buzz recently on the internet is really all due to the buzz that some of the webmasters started passing the words to others that "blog commenting" really helps optimize your search engine listings. Well, whoever started this saying really is not very knowledgeable about how SEO works. Most blogs, like blogger that I'm using and Wordpress uses a tag called the "no follow" tag embedded within its source code by default. What this does is no matter how many links that you have posted in your comment toward another blogger's comment box, the search engine will not pick it up! In another words, link it all you want it will not help your site in optimization a single bit.

Unless the blog that you comment do have that particular code & line changed or modified to make it where it is now a "do follow" tag, search engines will never pick up those comments ever! The next question that follows is, "how do I know if the blog has a no comment or a do comment tag to their blog?" The answer to that is, you simply don't know! Unless you dig through the blog where they actually have a post that states it or others that passes you the word that it has a "do follow" tag, it really is a hassle to just dig through a single blog just for the purpose of one link. Mean while, let's say that people have compiled a list of "do follow" blogs what do you think about it? Yes, everyone will comment on those blogs thus making it a link farm site. Google hates those type of sites and once they blacklist it not only will it not help your site but hurt your site because it is linked there.

Trust me guys, it's a lot more risk involved then positive impact toward your site or blog. Do your link building with other proven methods, it's probably the best way to achieve success for your sites!


Dec 1, 2007

Choosing the right company for affiliate marketing



For those of you that have been following my blog, you will notice that I've talked quite a bit about affiliate marketing recently. I do however want to provide a disclaimer beforehand and apologize about the video quality today due to the mic problems that I have been having. Without further due, let's jump right into the topic.

Now affiliate marketing has been the hot topic that I hear a lot of people talking about recently. Some have really made a real fortune out of it and some may get skeptical but I have personally witnessed a trusted guy I know making $12000 from it. Before you get too excited about it I want to say that it is a very lucrative field! Meaning that it will take some initial investment in it and I'm not talking about $50 or even $100. You'll probably be testing out with at least $200 or more to really see some results. I have to first say that it's not for everyone, after all there are only a few that's willing to invest $200 upfront without a guarantee return. However if you are willing to invest your time to test different campaigns out, the reward is handsome.

Let me just briefly explain how this process works. The chart below is something I've made really quickly to sum everything up in a nutshell.

Guy or company wanting to sell their product or service -> Affiliate companies -> Affiliate marketers

Each of the guys will get a split of the profit. So let's say that I'm a guy who wants to sell remote controls over the internet for $30 and however I don't have time to promote my product, I can go to a promotional companies such as an affiliate company. These companies are pretty much guys who claim that they can sell products for people for a living, in term they take a cut in the profit in every sale. So for example if I want $30 per remote control and the fee per sale was $15, then it's likely that I would like the sales price for these guys to sell them at $45.

So, in theory I will get $30 per sale on remote control and these affiliate companies will make $15 per sale at a sales price of $45 per remote control. How do these affiliate companies really make that $15 per sale? Obviously they in term hunt for potential affiliate marketers or current affiliate marketers like you and I to sale these products for them and in term split their $15 in profit with us. Now, how this split really varies between various affiliate companies. Some may split their profit with you more while others less, and there are some that just doesn't pay.

If you think you have the knowledge or is capable of selling on the internet for a product that you know really well about or the fact that you're just a good salesman, being an affiliate marketer is not a bad place to be. Having pushed sales as an affiliate marketer, below are a couple sites that I would recommend joining if you're thinking of jumping into this industry.

1. Azoogleads - These guys are probably one of the best affiliate marketing companies around in my opinion. Beside that they are one of the bigger affiliate companies around, they always pay on time! Now that may sound silly to some of you but some of these affiliate companies will actually delay payments to their affiliates. From my experience not only do Azoogle pay on time they are usually the ones offering one of the industries highest pay rate per product sales. The account rep they assign to you is usually very helpful and that's always a plus in this industry. Because if you have questions you can always call them personally or e-mail them for help. If you would like to try, here's the link to go to them

2. Clickbank - Similar to Azoogleads, Clickbank is a decent sized affiliate companies around. A lot of their products which they provide affiliate marketers to sale are usually niched toward web content based products such as Ebooks. Personally I'm not a big fan of Ebooks so I haven't given these guys a try for too long but I've heard great things about this company and their support so if you are interested in joining them, CLICK HERE!

3. Neverblueads - The guys from Neverblueads provide decent payouts similar to the top two that I've mentioned but one of the things that they specializes on is in incentivized offers. What it means is that the affiliate marketers can actually pay people to sign up for certain products. In another words affiliate marketers are able to pay users to sign up certain products to make money. Neverblueads has actually quite a bit of these products and if you are interested on incentivized offers, they're not a bad choice to go into. You can join them here!

4. Commission Junction - They are the biggest affiliate marketing companies around that I know of as to date. They promote for a lot of well known companies including Yahoo and Best Buy. They are one of the most stable companies around with a large selection of database in products that you can promote. The problem with them is that they often delay their payments due to product verification purposes. Although by nature, there's nothing wrong with this process I have talked to some folks who have had problems with them in the past on payments. I wouldn't personally recommend them because of my lack of experiences with their products. However if you prefer joining this industry with one of the biggest guys around, they will be your go to guy. You can join them here!

We'll talk about simple promotional ideas some other time, but why don't you guys check these affiliate companies out? By joining a good affiliate company makes it a good start in your journey onto affiliate marketing. With smart promotion, that's how you make money smart. -Swapw


Nov 10, 2007

Widgetbucks, a scam to avoid!





I don't understand why, I have noticed that a lot of reputable bloggers are all jumping into promoting Widgetbucks before actually reviewing the product in its entirety including Problogger Darren Rowse. I am a bit sick and tired of these reputable bloggers that are just trying to suck money out of their visitors by giving false or untested reviews of products so visitors are signing up under their affiliate link for them to earn a few bucks.

Bad take on their end to sacrifice reputation for a quick buck or two. What I personally like to do is actually use the product first before promoting them, so here's my honest review of Widgetbucks.

In short, I don't feel that they are a legitimate company and they do seem to fall under the categories of what I called a scam. At its first looks, I have noticed that there are claims by Widgetbucks that they are actually comparable to Google Adsense. Now, if anyone were to tell you that they are at par with Google Adsense this is definitely a red flag!! It's like a small fish saying that I eat sharks along with us humans.

With my pre-judgments aside, I have went ahead and test them out by implementing their widget onto my website. After a few days later I have realized that not one, not two, "ALL" of their ads are the same. Technical knowledge aside, are you interested in the same advertisements over and over? Even if you were interested at it the first time, are you interested in it at a second time? Chances are the answer is no. It is clearly reflective on the click rates of my experiment as well. The original advertisement that I was getting a 1-2% click rate now drops down to less then 1%.

Now waiting for a few additional weeks, I have noticed that Widgetbucks practice what is known as backdating. Something that is prohibited by Wallstreet which has gotten a lot of stock brokers locked up in jail and Widgetbucks is doing the exact same thing. Not only did they reduce my rate per click to 30% of the original pay rate, they have backdated all of my earnings from the first day that I have signed up with them. This is fraud!!!

To test out their customer service, I have went ahead and called the customer service line which promises to return all requests within 24 hours. Not only did I not get a response, after 48 hours there's no call no e-mail from them. What this has demonstrated to me is that this is another program which will turn out to be something scam oriented with red flags signaled everywhere. So if you are hyped to join Widgetbucks because of bloggers or webmasters wanting to join their affiliate links, be careful out there. Making money smart sometimes doesn't mean jumping on the bandwagon first but to jump in at the right timing! -Swapw


Nov 3, 2007

Surveying your visitors



A lot of times I see SEO or Online Money Making Bloggers keep telling people to focus in advertisement of some sort as an effective way to increase traffic, this is great and all but a lot of times they fail to point out way to retain your traffic which is really the heart of the problem.

Advertisements get you the traffic but to keep the traffic that has came to your site is how well you retain and understand your visitors. For example, when you purchase a computer such as Dell obviously the functionality and how well Dell present its computers to you is very important in making your final decision. However, it is how Dell service you afterwards that retain you as a customer of a lifetime not more advertisements. Let's just say that their customer service is horrible, do you think anyone would go back to Dell although new and fancier advertisements are being presented? Most likely not.

If you consistently get new traffic from different venues of promoting your site, imagine the magnitude of loyal visitors if you keep them all happy? I can tell you as an experienced webmaster that the growth is exponential. Now the next question that you may have in your mind is how do you keep your current visitors happy? The answer to that is simply survey or ask your visitors! You might think, why should I ask my visitors or why would your visitors help you right? Surprisingly enough, from my personal experience visitors are quite informative in telling you exactly what they want and how they want it if you just take the time to ask. An example of a simple survey would be, "what would you prefer to see on my website?" then you offer them different choices that you have in mind and leave the last option up to them to provide a feedback to. Put the survey out for let's say a month, it's probably a good amount of time and most of your loyal readers have probably seen or given you inputs then. Just by looking at the result you can see exactly what's needed to be done in terms of your focus or the needs your visitors coming to your website.

Believe me guys, this advise is golden. A survey takes you only 5 minutes to make, but the impact can fair well steer your site's future as well as improvements based on suggestions directly from your visitors. Making money online a lot of times it is similar to your real life businesses, if you understand your visitors better then your competitors you would then leap out as the leader of the pack instead of a follower or a copy cat. -Swapw


Oct 11, 2007

How to deal with online bullies?



Imagine walking into a forum that others have spoke about as being popular in the topic of your interest as a newbie, after your first question or post on the forum a guy usually with 100000 posts flames (demeaning words) you on the forum right away after your first post. How do you feel?

All of us are newbies at one point, whether it is in a certain field, work, or life. Even in the world of money making which is something I blog about, the same idea applies. Somehow, somewhere, there are always ones that bullies people around. What is the reason behind it? Usually it is caused by a lack of self confidence, a bad day, or to proof that they are better.

What do you do when you are faced in such circumstances? Simple, ignore and acknowledge authorities when applicable. These bullies thrive when others are giving them a reaction they want, why should you fall victim of it? If it is in a forum, heck jump to a new thread and ignore their accusations. Acknowledge a moderator of such circumstance and if repeatedly done in such fashion the moderator will ban them without you needing to do a thing. Some may say, let's just go head on! Well, the results are often times mixed. If the guy speaking it in the forum has 100000 posts like I said earlier, they probably have others that they are familiar with that will stick around by their side within the forum so as a newbie it's probably best not to argue with them. Plus, what result does it bring? Nothing! Let's say that you win the argument, so what? They can start another thread and do the same thing. Don't ever loose your cool, because once you do you loose all respects from others.

Let's change the environment a little bit. What if it is done on your blog? What I like to do personally is that I like to screen my comments and delete anything that is malicious or spam. If you are using Wordpress, then use spam plugins (there are many of them) to fend off spams. Whenever a blog gets popular, there are always spammers or others that is jealous of your success or just want to link bait. Don't fall for it and keep things clean and professional! Remember, your blog or forum's authority is built based on how you handle or deal with certain type of events. If we are so stuck with what others think about us there will never be an end! -Swapw


Onlinecasinobluebook Reviewed



Thanks to Reviewme, this will be a sponsored review to a site called Onlinecasinobluebook.com.
Gambling has always been looked at as the thing to do in Vegas and it is not until recently that gambling is introduced onto the internet. Thanks to the heavy broadcasting over media, gambling has really gotten really popularized is now called as a "sport".

As a result, more and more gambling sites are surfacing onto the internet starting from the big sites such as Fulltiltpoker.com all the way down to small poker sites which you have never heard about. Now, whether you are interested in gambling how do you know which site to start looking into? Onlinecasinobluebook offer exactly that. From reviews of various casino sites all the way down to how to play a certain type of game they have it all. Although from the first look at the website, it does seem like it needs a lot of work at its site designs in competition with its competitors the content is pretty well written. Let's look at the game "black jack" for example:

"Its important to re mine your self that blackjack is between the player and the casino. The other players at the table can not affect the outcome of your play.

Also, there are no plays that are left to the dealer, all regulations of play are already predetermined by the online casino."
Which gambling sites tells you that type of information? All of the casino's incite is to get a hold of your money and take as much money away from you as possible. I really think the information that Onlinecasinobluebook has to offer is actually something genuine and that's not to say that they actually offer support at the bottom of their page? Honestly, which gambling site offers support for gamblers? I can honestly say only a hand full of them does because it is simply not to their interest to do so.

Whether you are a veteran gambler or just somebody that's interested to check out online gambling in this field why not play a few hands with their promo? Most of these casinos offer $50 to up to $200 just to join and it doesn't hurt to try out your luck once or twice right? Worst comes to worse, you lose them and you call it quits but if you win the upside is obviously towards your favor. I would say look at it as a few free lotto tickets, don't hurt right? -Swapw


Oct 7, 2007

Be weary of the idea behind incentivized links



You may have hear it here and there, get links, get lots of links to your website. By getting links, it is the solution to your website problem. Well, what people are saying is not a myth according to my experience and I believe that they are true.

By getting links that are related to your blog it will help boost your blog or site authority for search engines. By having relevant and related content with each other, each link provides a small representation of the legitimacy of your website to search engines that it is not a spam. On top it, the site traffic can also be exchanged with one another in a natural fashion therefore the both of your site will benefit as a result. Whether the links is in relations to directory or sites, that doesn't really matter and the idea behind it is as long as it is done in a natural fashion then it is all good and dandy.

The problem hits when people start to incentivize others to provide them with a link in hopes to jump start their blog. Now, we all know as a rule of thumb that natural links are the best and anything that's unnatural is not. Google has been keeping quiet about the way their algoirthem works for sometime and the actions they will take against others who are incentivizing others to gain traffic. I don't blame them, afterall they are the biggest search engine on the web today. However, through Google's actions by removing one of my favorite blogger John Chow of its' own website name under its search, it has definitely shaken the idea of incentivizing your traffic.

Now, if John Chow's site was an isolated incident we can say okay he's pushing the link back a little bit too much therefore he got the Google judge to rule against him. However, I have been keeping an eye on Google and it seems like a lot of "paid" directories have been heavily penalized as well. Starting from a decrease in SERPS all the way to some actually getting de-listed from Google. What does this all mean? In simple terms, the search terms for these high page ranking sites are disappearing and where do I think this is heading? Yes, incentivized and paid links on individual sites!!

Here's a quick video directly from Google which affirms my points. Matt Cutts, the spokesman from Google tells webmasters that "Buying links is outside of our (Google) guidelines".



Ok, so is it the end of the world if you have a few paid links? Well, no but keep it real low and concentrate building up your site through natural links. And for those of us that did not incentivize links or pay any links, great! Afterall, cutting corners gets you nowhere even on the web. Nothing is better then doing everything the natural way right? -Swapw


Sep 16, 2007

Fighting back against cyber crime



So you've fallen victim to an internet crime, what should you do? Surprisingly, most people from the internet shy away from actually taking any action and most of the time it's due to laziness or you just don't know where to go for help. Others just feel it's none personal connection to the internet itself and therefore forget the scam or just call it off.

If you were mugged by someone from the street for $200 or got your favorite watch stolen, I bet you are really mad and you will most likely chase the guy or the situation down until it is rightfully resolved. Some of us will even chase after the crook although he or she has a weapon on their hand, why? Because these are all actions that is very visible. Yet, over the internet I find it very often that people will just ignore or just take it as a loss if they were ever scammed online. Because most of the time or I dare to say almost all the time, this is the very reason that scams on the internet thrive today and yet very little or no one has really stood up to it.

The good news is that there are actually quite a bit of resources for you out there on the net to fight against infringement of content or intellectual property. One of the biggest search engine out there Google actually has taken some strong steps toward it. So fellas, if you find yourself in trouble report them to Google! Especially if you are a Blogger user like myself, Google will terminate any account that it finds guilty of infringes documents or content that is copyrighted. Google has had stated with specific clauses to fight against Blogger infringement which helps us fellow Bloggers. That's not to mention that if you're not a Blogger that you are out of luck. If you find yourself in trouble with infringement of your product you can still report them to Google! Now what I like about this link I will provide you is that Google will ban infringing parties after it is being done repeatedly. Now the ban is not something to temper with, unlike just an Adsense account ban which the user can still use their gmail and other functions with Google. This ban is permanent with all functions with Google. Here's the link to Digital Millennium Copyright Act provided by Google. Here's the link!

Some of you may think it's a lot of hassle, but it's really not that hard at all! The steps are simple. What you need to do is type up a brief letter to Google explaining the permanent link you have placed for your content as well as the content being infringed upon. Write it like you would to the court and identify your name, address, etc. and send it to:

Google, Inc.
Attn: Google Legal Support
DMCA Counter Notification
1600 Amphitheatre Parkway
Mountain View, CA 94043

Now what happens here is Google will note the account in their database & forward the info to a third party called Chilling Effect and they will let the owner be aware of the situation and the complaint will go in public circulation anonymously through publication. Now you might think what does a publication do right? I'm with you there completely! Now, the deal is this. If a guy is infringing just like a post that you have written, chances are they are probably infringing others as well. Report it to Google enough, their account will be banned from Google and that is the idea behind it. Now worse comes to worse, sue the guy in small claims court. As Americans, we get into lawsuits at least once in our lifetime so why would we hold back with issues on the internet? Do what you would in a real life situation.

An alternative that you can also look into is simply report them to the FBI. Click here for the link. Give cops a call and let the FBI handle the jerk. Remember, most of these criminals hide behind their computer tempering with different IPs to cloak themselves so be sure to do your research before you get too blown away. Catching these criminals takes one at a time, if you stop infringement it takes someone to step up against them one at a time. Good luck! -Swapw


Sep 14, 2007

Dangers of international site purchase



Since my previous post about owning a website over the internet, I have been seeing a shift in the growing number of people eyeballing the endless possibilities of the internet in recent months. With the internet still having plenty of unexplored possibilities, it is also a growing haven for the amount of scams. Since everything about owning a piece of web is still relatively new, it is also a place very vulnerable to scams as well.

I myself will step up and say that I had almost became one of the victims and I am glad that the whole crazy merry go round is finally coming to a close with minimal loss. It was a very clear lesson to me and I felt it was important to share with all of my readers as well. Yes, I have been gone for sometime from the blog world but throughout the past month I have really learned a lot about owning a piece of web. Personally I haven't found much information about it throughout the web and I learned it the hard way. For you guys, you are more fortunate because here's a post for all the people looking for some advice on this topic from my personal experience.

Without further due, let's jump into the lesson. Remember my previous post about how to purchase a website? If you haven't, here's the post. So you have done all the preventive measures before buying a site, now does the geographic region of the site has anything to do with the results?

Sure it does! Not only does it have to do with the result of the website itself, it is the very heart for any possible expansion as well. Let's say you live in the US and you are looking into buying a website that is related to shoes located in Asia which claims to make a lot of money per month through different avenues of advertising and let's say in all the best case scenarios that they are all true, what will happen after you purchase the site? With all the right tools, of course you can promote to the same audience. But what if there are changes in habit on the visitors demographically that are coming to your site? You and I are most likely not be familiar with the changes and even if we hear about it here in the US of things happening in Asia it is also hard to comprehend with a mind of an American. This is just one of the many realistic scenarios that you have to think about prior, in consideration to value a site of its or worth. On sites that are purchased internationally, you are also heavily reliant on the original owner of the site in terms of providing accurate maintenance and promotional strategy.

Personally I have found international communications to be fairly difficult even though most of the time we are speaking in English. The phrases and understanding is usually different and this can cause many unnecessary miscommunication or misunderstanding in many cases. It is also important also consider the problem in the aspect of support as well. What if the support from the seller drops or the fact that he or she decides to terminate any communications with you, "the buyer" what type of laws are there governing that? Like international crime and scams with lotto, cases like these are very difficult for the police to track down because most instances people provide fake names or addresses.

Lastly, within its transition in payment and domain. Again, all it takes is one party to not have merit than the other party is in deep trouble. Not only is the wire none refundable, if legal disputes arise the police is most likely not going to have power to do much. After all, it's not just a local case but an international case and any cases revolve internationally requires both police force to cooperate with each other.

Unless you have a good understanding of the backgrounds of countries which the site originate as well as how to grow it with the local audience, I would not recommend buying sites internationally. Any site purchased whether it's locally or internationally requires a lot of thought placed before making a final decision. Sure there are sites that are definitely attractive and well maintained from different countries, be sure to consider its potential consequences before making the right decision for yourself. Owning a site requires a lot of care and attention, without them it is like any business without traffic people and it will eventually die out. Making money smart comes with first making the right decision, remember that! -Swapw



Aug 22, 2007

Auctionads



Many of you may heard about Auctionads, but do you know what Auctionads is and what it does? Auctionads is basically an affiliate marketing site for Ebay. What they do is they utilize the API from Ebay and turn it into very nice and pleasant looking ads for you to display on your site.
After you copy and paste the codes which Auctionads give you, you're live with their ads! So, let's say that you have chose to display ads about kids in your website which happens to also talk about kid related topics, the ad will display listings from Ebay based on products that are categorized with the word "kids" and display them onto your website. The looks of the ad itself is a combination of the pictures from the acutal auctioned item which the owner is selling and the name of the item which is displayed beneath the picture.

What happens is when a visitor visits these ads coming from your site and they bid and wins the product, you will then get a cut of the profit from Auctionads. Now, this part is actually not easy. Just think about how many times have you actually bid on a product but just to gave up later due to the amount of bids involved for the item? What I have found to be a more effective way to promote Ebay goods is to target your products that are cheap and is in high popularity with the general public. Personally, I have found goods that range between $0-$20 performs the best from my own experience. I think the reason behind it is that most of us don't mind spending a buck or two on a few items and most of the time, the item isn't expensive enough to really bother us at all. However, once the price is hiked up we tend to shy away or the interest level becomes target oriented. It is like buying an ice cream in the street for $3.50, sure it's more expensive but most of people would not feel uncomfortable with the price knowing that it's more expensive because they expected it. If the scenario switches to a LCD TV that cost $500, you would think twice about buying it and most of the time compare prices with other places or even brands of TV that's available for that price range.

I have heard success stories about people utilizing Auctionads on an investment property or related site. Although the visitors in this case is being advertised properties that are available to be purchased in a much higher price, but most of the time these visitors are injected with the idea that it's a smart investment therefore they are more prone to do so. I have not personally tested this concept but I can definitely see it having potentials of becoming successful if it is properly marketed.

Now, the most important part of today's post. The payout! How much do you get paid by Auctionads? Well, you get paid 75% of the revenue that Ebay makes and not the ended auction price! So really, it isn't that much per listing. The good news is that their minimum payout is $10 so it's one tenth of Google Adsense. Personally I make about $150 with Auctionads per month in one of my most traffic site, so I think it's not too bad. So check them out and see how it performs for you. -Swapw


Aug 17, 2007

Google Referral Ads



Google has newly introduced an ad system called Referral Ads under Adsense. From its first view, it's quite clear that it's an attempt by Google to poke into the affiliate marketing niche which has already been congested with many other competing companies. Why? Because affiliate marketing is actually one of the hottest segment over the web today.

How Referral Ads work is pretty simple. Basically like the regular Google Adsense ads, referral ads display items which you the owner of site select to display. For example if your website is about bike and you prefer displaying ads about bikes they will display exactly ads for that and nothing else. It also provides you the option to display various other ads and you the owner of the site can let referral ads autopick as to which ads "convert" the best. When I say the word convert, I mean a customer either signing up for a product or buying it. This term is defined differently with various types of advertisers, it just depends. The payout is based on the amount of visitors that actually buys the product that your site is advertising through referral ads, whenever a customer buys something you get paid a certain percentage as the result.

Now imagine if a visitor that goes to the ad displayed on your site and buys a tv and let's just hypothetically say that the payout is 3% and the TV is $300 you have just earned $9 right on the spot. Instead of you getting paid on pennies on the dollar per click with regular Adsense this program seems to be paying a lot more and in many ways better in comparison right? WRONG! Dead wrong and the here's the reason why. With your regular Adsense you get paid per click from your visitors going to the advertiser, however with referral ads you don't get paid for that and that is a very big deal!

Now, let's do some math together. How much are you currently getting your clicks with Google Adsense? If you blend in your ads and optimize it, you are probably sitting at 1-2% tops. The percentage is awfully low. From these percentage of people, how many of them do you think would actually buy something or sign up with someone? Extremely low and you're looking at something close to 1% but less than that. In another words, every 1000 visitors that come to your site 10 visitors will visit your ad and close to none will sign up. To get any sign up with our math, we are looking at at least 10000 visitors.

I have tested referral ads in one of the site that own that is filled with visitors. You are probably curious as to the results right? Out of 9000 unique visitors in the day that I've tested it, only 9 people have actually "clicked" on the ads and obviously no conversions. If you are considering using referral ads, I would suggest looking elsewhere to make your money online! -Swapw


Aug 15, 2007

Stumbleupon



StumbleUpon

What's Stumbleupon? Stumbleupon is a popular social web site that has a combined idea of Digg and Myspace. Not only will users be able to customize their own spot in Stumbleupon their most fascinating feature to "stumble" really has caused a lot of buzz.

Seems like a lot of web gurus have already been talking about them for sometime but I thought I take sometime to dig into them today for you in my personal experience and why I really think they're a great way to drive your traffic. Let's first look at one of their most unique features which they offer is called "stumble". What is stumble? It's kinda like a voting system where users vote for each other on sites or pages and even images which they like throughout the net. Like many other sites that provides users to vote each other Stumbleupon pushes the most voted or popular page in the front page of their website. Obviously as you know, any content that sits on the front page gets viewed by everyone that visits simply because they are the first thing that you see when you come into a site.

How do you "stumble?" Stumbleupon requires users to first download a "stumble" tool which is just another tab on the already cluttered navigation bar which you'll have to install. This is actually the most annoying part for any internet users but if you want to get involved Stumbling others I guess you don't have much choice. The good news is that you can customize the icons being displayed so you can minimize the buttons that you'll have to place in your navigation bar with only the necessities so it won't clog up more spaces then it actually needs. To Stumble on someone's page you have to click on the hands up hand which says "I like it!". By doing so, you have just stumbled on a page or gave the page a vote. Obviously if you don't like a page you can just give that page a hands down which will push the page further back. With this technique you can do it on both the pages you enjoy and the images you enjoy as well. Stumbleupon also offers a regular widget similar to Digg and that just simply enable you to have that function within a post for others to Stumble you as well.

Stumbleupon is currently testing their video aspects of the feature and just imagine if it's available on how amazing it would be for video sites like myself to have it being Stumbledupon? Now just get your buddies to start stumbling one another and like I said previously the more buzz you create the more opportunities it will be for you to appear on the front page of Stumbleupon. Before you run out and start going crazy to have others Stumble be sure to first survey the audiences of your niche. Currently, most users of Stumbleupon are quite young so if you are aiming at marketing products for an older group of audience, this is probably not the best idea.

Any site like I've said it many times are as good as the visitors that do come, so if your site is well made without visitors go and start stumbling!! The more visitors, the more money you make. That's the game of the internet and that's how you make money smart with advertisements, etc. The best part of having a blog is that it's all free from our end! -Swapw


Aug 6, 2007

A glimpse in the life of Swapw



Part 1 of 2



Part 2 of 2

These videos were filmed at a farewell party for one of my best friends. These video you will see the real me in action in a rare glimpse. Of course, Swapw whoops ass not only in his blog to making money smart he also wins in wii. -Swapw


Online payment services



As more and more people shop and engage with one another over the internet, the options and availability of online payment services are becoming more prevalent. Besides just the regular payment services in your local currency, there are also several "online currencies" available as well. Which one of the service should you be using?

For those of you that have been reading my blog, you would know that I am not a very big fan of online currencies in general. A short explanation to those of you who has not read my post in the past, I'm simply not a big fan of anything that's not established or recognized globally. Because online currencies have yet to be recognized by countries globally, therefore any unethical actions taken by the online currency company itself is hard to be seriously examined or regulated. I'm not saying they are not legitimized companies, however the risks are there and I will not take it nor recommend my readers to take it. Look at it as monopoly money, would you seriously use it as real money? Probably not.

Moving forth to general online payment services, including big names like Paypal are great ways for buyers to purchase goods in a secure manner. Especially with Ebay products, Paypal has inplaced with a program of buyer's protection which is great for buyers like you and I. For general payment services where you deal directly with a company, they are definitely a great company to use.

Now, here comes the tricky part. How do you pay someone within the internet? There has been a growing number of forums out there today. Many of them provide users a platform to exchange, buy, or sell services and goods within one another. Which payment services should you use? Many of the online payment companies out there do not provide protection to these types of transactions. Why you ask? The reason is because that it's really difficult to discern who's right and wrong. Not online is there a lack of evidence, most of these transactions are verbal. Not only is it only difficult for these online payment companies to discern, it also takes a lot of time involvement as well. There can be numerous exchanges without much results and to read them in a thorough manner, it can take hours at times depending on the amount of exchange and the dispute.

So, what service should you use in these types of exchanges when you deal with someone over the internet in any number of exchanges? I would personally recommend checking out Escrow.com. Escrow.com helps both buyers and sellers deal with that exact problem that I've just mentioned. They provide a platform acting as the third party bank which both parties are involved. After a certain agreements have been set and completed, Escrow.com then releases the correct funds to the right party. The service fee is not cheap, however when the amount of money gets involved are higher I definitely believe its significance and role becomes huge. I have actually used Escrow.com a few times and I would highly recommend it to everyone out there. -Swapw



Jul 31, 2007

The importance of ghost bloggers



Ghost bloggers are very crucial and important to the survival of blogs believe it or not. Many times we have actually overlook their importance and blogging becomes a burden over a period of time. Before I speak further about ghost bloggers, let me just first explain to you what they are first.

Ghost bloggers are also known as guest bloggers, what they simply do is basically blog for you! After many months of blogging, many bloggers get tired, bored or just burned out. Better yet, what if you have to go on a vocation with the family or with friends? What happens to your blog? Most of the time, the blog will get neglected and as we all know anything that's neglected will die out in traffic eventually.

So what you do is talk to some of the bloggers that you know, enjoy, or trust and provide them the opportunity to blog for you. Obviously, you should find someone who blogs about the same subject as you so you can keep your blog content consistent. For example in my case, I blog about money so I would find someone who also blogs about money. You ask, why would anyone do that right? To be honest with you, there are actually quite a few bloggers out there that are willing to do so. First, if they are an experienced blogger that's looking to expand their readership by blogging for someone else they can advertise about themselves within the post as well. That way, it will provide them with a free backlink or in another words free advertisement to their blog. Vice versa, if you are a beginner blogger and a more advanced blogger is willing to blog for you it's also a good way to see the difference in their writing style. It is most likely that their writing styles are in high demand and thus the success of their blogs. Take it as a free lesson for you from them indirectly.

Another way to grab a ghost blogger besides asking bloggers to do it for you is to simply pay the blogger to do the job! If you simply don't have time, get someone to do so by paying them. Nothing gets a guy to motivate more then money, so this is quite self explanatory. However, I've seen instances where blogs are actually completely done by ghost bloggers which doesn't seem to make sense because why would you pay someone to blog for you everyday? Seems to be kind of foolish if you put the amounts of money that the blog is making per day versus hiring someone to blog for you. Obviously if your blog has a ton of readers, then that's a different story. It's pretty gray in the world of blogging to have someone else blog for you everyday and I would shy away from it as much as possible. Interesting enough, there are actually several people who have decided to make this into a little business which I've seen.

The bottom line is this, it's crucial not to neglect your blog! I was busy dealing with several ventures that I am involved with recently thus the neglect in my blog and I can definitely see the difference in performance has drastically declined. Try a ghost blogger next time if you are busy so you don't get burned out from blogging. After all, it should be something that's fun and enjoyable right? -Swapw


Jul 26, 2007

Automated Adsense blogs, does it work?



There has been a growing number of people selling the idea of so called "automated Adsense" blogs. The basic concept behind these is quite simple. What is being sold is pretty much a blog used purely for Adsense purposes. The contents itself is aggregated from various sites depending on topic so indirectly it fools Google, Yahoo and other major search engines into thinking that it is just a blog like the rest of us who writes diligently. The biggest difference is obviously that the content itself is not unique and is usually taken from news resources and displayed into the blog site itself. So what these sellers sell is that the more you buy, the chances of visitors stumbling upon your blog or network of blogs is higher thus providing you a greater return of what we know as Adsense. Through today's video I will provide you some of my opinions about this concept in whether it works or not.

Let's hypothetically say that you have stumbled onto a site like this, what would you do? Chances are that you will hit the "X" button a lot faster then anyone else. Like a junk site, the visitor knows that he or she has stumbled into something that's useful or junk. To get a grasp of consistency in any type of ad agency, the golden rule to remember always is the retain your traffic. Instead of showering them with junk which shuns all of them away, think more like how you can provide something that they are looking for exactly?! With these type of blogs, they provide only irrelevant information which almost all visitors will never come back again. So let's say even if you market well on these websites and that you get a lot of traffic, the money would come at most the first day or two and spiral down to the tubes. It's good to have multiple number of blogs, but if you can't maintain them it is probably best to just do what you can like myself of just maintaining one blog. No one wants to visit a blog with no updates, so yes there are no shortcuts around it.

If you want some serious residual income, do it the safe and long way. Yes it can be a pain sometimes and at times very time consuming but it's all worth it once you get to the top of the hill. Best of luck with all of your blog endeavors! -Swapw


Jul 21, 2007

America's Got Talent - Kashif



I have been watching America's Got Talent for sometime and I am not too familiar with dances from Pakistan, but does this seem familiar for those of you from that region? This is got to be the funniest dance ever. From the outset it looks horrible, but in some ways I think it's very unique in comparison to our dances here in the States. -Swapw

Jul 20, 2007

Yahoo Publisher versus Google Adsense



It's been a while since I've blogged, just to give you guys some clue about what's been going on in my life is pretty much projects after projects. I've personally acquired a few sites recently and I thought it be a good idea to kind of test and play around with it. Therefore I have been spending quite a bit of time on them as well as implementing some of the things that I've learned over time.

I thought I share with you guys something that I hear a lot of debates and buzz about and that is the whole ordeal with Yahoo Publisher versus Google Adsense. It's really not that complicated actually, basically Yahoo Publisher is Yahoo's version of Adsense to really sum it up. You can check out my video today to see some of what I think and feel about both Google Adsense and Yahoo Publisher but if you don't feel like watching me talk through Youtube, read on.

Google Adsense is undoubtedly the number one advertiser over the internet. No one will dispute its' presence and influence throughout the whole advertising industry. In terms of pay, they fluctuates upon the topic that you blog or write about and obviously the more popular topic will get you less click per advertisement versus a topic hardly spoken a higher share of click per advertisement or CPA. The real advantage of Google Adsense is their variety of ads that are available for the public to use including text ads which have yet to be seen from their competitors surprisingly. The idea is not unique that it's been around for some time, but it's success is undoubtedly indisputable. Most people still uses Adsense as their primary source of advertising and if you're looking for something that's proven for many as well as its availability of help out there, then Adsense is the way to go.

Yahoo Publisher is a little bit different to the extent that they're one of the newest advertisers on the block. The general format is actually very similar to Google Adsense in what they have to offer. The commonly used leader boards, box, etc are just some of things that's available with Yahoo Publisher. Yahoo Publisher does in many cases pay a lot higher then Google Adsense when it comes down to advertising similar topics. Yahoo publisher does however offer targeted ads. What this means is that you can set it where only a certain type of ads show up in your site. From my personal experience however I don't find this functionality to be quite useful for the topic which I place it with. This could be due to the age of Yahoo Publisher's existence as well as its awareness around the web.

In conclusion, I would say if you know what optimal ad placements to maintain the high CPA which involves ads that Yahoo Publisher has to offer then go with Yahoo Publisher by all means to maximize your earnings. However, if you are looking for something solid which many others do blog and talk about at a regular basis then stick with Google Adsense. It'll take time but take some time and test them out to see which one out of the two makes you the most money is how you make money smart. Last but not least, you can use only one of the two advertisers between Yahoo Publisher or Google Adsense. It's against their TOS and the reason and logic behind them is simple, they are competitors against one another! -Swapw


Jul 14, 2007

An alternative besides DiGG, Netscape



Social bookmarking is something that most of us get involved with nowadays if you are a blogger. Backtracking myself a little bit, let me first explain to you what a social bookmarking is. A social bookmarking is basically where all the bloggers chunk up in groups to unify themselves therefore visitors of their websites may spread to other bloggers and in the end it increases exposures to everyone that is involved in the social network. You can look at it in similarity to electronics section of Wal-mart, instead of selling just one brand of electronic, there are varieties of electronics for the customers to select thus brings in more audience and exposure.

Out of all the social bookmarking websites, one of the most well known website out there is named DiGG. Why DiGG? Well, beyond just being a place where it gathers bloggers it provides an additional "voting system" for its visitors. In another words, not only will the visitors get to view the blogs in that website it also gets to vote who's got a better blog or story as well. With more votes on the story the better chance it has to get into the front page of DiGG, thus it creates a unforeseen incentive for bloggers to blog better so they can get into the front page of their website. Partially because of pride, partially because it provides maximum exposure for the blogger since that's the reason why they've joined such community in the first place.

Well, you can kinda see where this is going. With more community members come with people that will abuse the idea. Before I get into it, can you think of any ideas to abuse it? The idea is not too complicated and that is to abuse Digg's system of voting for a story. What people end up doing is they've started paying people to vote for their article and thus creating a lot of artificial votes and corrupting the sites' original intent. The front page articles at Digg becomes less quality and basically destroys the system. So, instead of camping with DiGG there's another site which I would like to introduce and that's Netscape. Surprising enough, I don't hear many people talking about it and it is definitely a hidden gem.

Netscape as a site has been around for ages from being an internet browser almost 15 years ago to now a site very similar to Digg. The biggest difference between the two is that with Netscape, you'll have to submit your stories to them instead of installing a widget in your website which others vote on instead. It is very different then Digg in its limiting method for article submissions. Through this limitation however, it allows Netscape to monitor articles that are being submitted and voted thus provide a stronger policing system to prevent abuse. Netscape also provides another type of policing system which allows users to report abuse on the articles or potential abusive activities posted by the user. This is great because no one wants to see others get ahead of them with methods of cheating when they've spent all day writing one thus it provides benefit to those who report abuse. At the end of the day when it comes down to abuse, anyone can always go around it if they really really try in any type of system in place. However, in comparison with other social bookmarking websites I definitely think Netscape has one of the best systems out by far to monitor articles. It has a lot of potentials and it is definitely not a place where you should miss to get your blog exposed. -Swapw


Jul 12, 2007

Importance of a website design



For some of us, we did all the right things that others have told us; having our own unique content, placing ads, and done all the things that others have told us but we still don't see any results from our hard work through the number of visitors or our monetary income that is generated from our web site. What's wrong here?

You would be surprised at how basic these problems can be, but many times it's really easy for you and I to overlook into the nature of our website and how it is being designed. I will be explaining about it through my video today. Design is very important to the life of a website. Take my own website for example. For those of you that has been following my posts since the beginning you would know that I have made a lot of changes throughout the past few months in my own website. From settling in the beginning with just a very standardized template offered by Blogger to something more personally designed today. The contents remain the same, but the results and difference are clearly astounding based on templates alone.

Is the look of your website dull? Is your website a bit overcrowded? Are you placing too many ads or banners in your website? Or are the spacings just a little bit off? As little of an issue as it sounds, it can really portray your personality through your page. Let's face it, if you use a blogger given template, how many additional people will choose the same type of template as yourself? The chances are, probably tons and your content may be a lot better then the next person writing however since the templates are similar a lot of time people would just assume it's similar to each other.

It's always better to design your own template if you have some knowledge in programming to make your own template one of a kind. However, if you don't know any coding there are actually many websites which offer free templates. The ones that I've seen which I would recommend would be from the following links. Obviously you can always customize with different pictures or colors instead as well, enjoy! -Swapw

http://blogger-templates.blogspot.com/

http://www.isnaini.com/blogger-templates/

http://freetemplates.blogspot.com/

http://www.geckoandfly.com/blogspot-templates/


Jul 9, 2007

What should you do when your content is being infringed?



For those of you that's wondering what's happening with Swapw lately, well I've been kinda busy with various projects that I have been trying very hard to push and many of them seem to blossom slowly but they are blossoming! Okay so back into our lessons today and let's get right into it.

Many of us including myself have gotten our contents infringed upon or stolen by others, although it is by all means annoying and wrong it happens everyday. So what should you do when your content is bring copied by others? Through the video today I provide you with my take on it and why.

When someone steals your content, there are a few things you can do. Keep in mind these are techniques that I use myself as well and believe me, to implement them is easy however to see success out of it really varies.

1. Contact the perspective copy cat - The reason that I use the word "perspective" is because sometimes the topic that you blog about is a popular topic and the sources or news that you read could be identical with the other person. However, you should always leave a comment or write the person an e-mail letting them know that you acknowledge what they're doing is similar to your blog or sources.

People are usually pretty defensive when they are not copying another's content, and therefore if they are fast to respond with strong points chances are they you got the wrong guy. However, if they keep quiet not always but this is usually signs of a red flag or simply out of guilt.

2. Ask them to give you credit - Most of the time, people are less hesitant to delete their post. However giving others credit seems to be an easier route and many times I find this avenue the easiest way to resolute the problem.

3. Contact their advertisers - If you still see a lack of response from the other individual and you decide to pursue it, you can contact their advertisers and fill them in about this situation. The advertisers are usually on the first page of anybody's blog or web site. Look for banners, text links, and Adsense and take sometime to find out about them and then write them an e-mail. Always think outside the box and think what's in it for them on your e-mail. Don't go on a frenzy to complain because no one will look at a stranger's e-mail in depth when the first thing you talk about is how horrible one of their client is. You should probably write something in the nature of your experiences and problems you have encountered with their client; how it can potentially lead to further problems with the advertisers, etc. Most companies if properly managed do appreciate such responses and most I would say havetaken proper actions.

4. Contact authority - There is actually a law called Digital Millennium Copyright Act. I have not personally pursued anyone this far, however Google will take proper action against the individual if their investigation find the copy cat guilty from your accusations. What I mean when I said proper actions would include banning their account permanently, disabling their Google Adsense, etc. Here's link to Google, for your reference.

Although I have personally used most of these techniques that I am recommending, I find it a lot easier just to let it go. Don't get me wrong, they are all valid points which can be implied however in the end they are simply a slap in the wrist.
These copy cats can always find other advertisers to advertise with as well as to use other means to monetize their web site. That's the nature of the internet, I think what should be focused on is not policing but rather develop yourself in terms of branding. There are always fake Versace bags out there, but there will always authentic Versace buyers for that same reason. -Swapw


Jul 7, 2007

How to sell your text links spots?



Aiight guys, you know how I've talked about making money through Text Link Ads right? Well, the guys from Text Link Ads actually take about 50% of your profit believe it or not. Although it's pretty safe to say that you will get the money when you sign up with them, but there are actually alternative ways to do sell your links believe it or not!

It's quite simple and frankly most people are scared about it, what is it you ask? It is to simply sell links youself! I explain it in depth through my video today which you can check it out but if you are somebody with a quality PR in your blog why not sell your links openly? A great place to sell you links beside your blog that I like doing is in forums! In increase PR, people bend over their knees to do it all the time so it's not a hard sell. The tough part is getting paid and consistency. Since you're the seller obviously you gotta deal with the crap that comes from your customers, however if you're just dealing with one or two...that's actually not too bad right? Don't be afraid if you have a blog with some PR, you can do it! -Swapw