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





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

Jul 4, 2007

Monetize your site with Text Link Ads

* Intro to Text Link Ads or TLA(0:00 - 0:19)

* Text Link Ads explained (0:20 - 2:00)

* How much does TLA pay? (2:01 - 2:20)

* The convenience of TLA (2:21 - 3:30)

* Wrap up (3:31 - 3:55)

Now, I've introduced many ways of making money over the web and yet today's post is going to be not just another way to make money on the web but "the" easiest way to make money on the web. What is it? Well, it is through placing "text link ads" in your web site and you can see some of its' details in its' process through my video today.

The basic requirement is simple; your blog must obtain some page rank with Google. Obviously like most advertising service they require your blog to not contain any pornography, sexual, or advertising content. The higher your PR is, the better the amount that is being offered to your blog. How Text Link Ads work is in some ways similar to Google Adsense. Google Adsense places ads in your blog according to your contents. As the content changes so does the ad in effort to match your content. Text Link Ads are different that they place ads in your site according to how much the merchant is willing to pay for advertisement for "x" period of time.

For example: let's say that your blog is about money and that's all you ever talk about in your blog. What Google Adsense does is decide what type of advertisements that are most suitable to your blog and in most cases the ads keep changing although they are all money related. If you decide to talk about your dinner one day then the ads turn into something in relations to the topic instead. So in ways, merchants don't really have any sort of control over where their ads are being placed nor is it stabilized. It is simply rotated around various different spots in Google's network according to Google's algorithm.

What Text Link Ads does differently essentially is that your ads are placed in a blog or web site at a fixed period of 30 days. This means that your ads are not rotated around during this period nor does the blogger's topic effect the nature or positioning of your ad in any way. This makes the ads a lot more stable and obviously more effective. Most experienced bloggers who blog, regardless of their niche sometimes ramble on other areas that's not related to their topic. That's only normal, afterall who can really talk about the same topic all day long forever? Including myself, sometimes I just run out of things to say! The majority do go back to their main subject in their blog and unlike Google Adsense which may switch ads around in these cases, Text Link Ads doesn't and in many ways provide stability to the advertiser in their 30 day turn around time.

Now moving toward monetization. Monetizing with Text Link Ads is the same as adding links to your web site. Just by placing text links into your blog you will be paid in a monthly basis! Yes, it's that easy! Google Adsense needs your visitors to click on your ads for you to receive any sort of compensation but Text Link Ads doesn't. What the advertisers does is essentially renting a spot in your blog and just placing their link in your blog you get paid for it! So if you were to open up 10 spots in Text Link Ads and each ad were to pay you $4 a month, you have just received over $40 a month right on the spot! It comes similar to a form of rent, so every month you can expect $40 from the advertisers automatically! If your page rank is really high, you may charge up to $15 or more a month per spot!

Obviously to achieve a blog or site with a decent page rank is not easy and it takes time. However, once you have reached it why not monetize it and let it generate you some nice income? Do take advantage of it and that's really how you can make money smart through your blog. -Swapw

Jul 2, 2007

Affiliate Marketing explained II

* Intro to a continuation study on affiliate marketing (0:00 - 0:15)

* My experiences (0:16 - 1:43)

* The importance of picking an industry of knowledge (1:44 - 2:28)

* The first impression (2:29 - 3:01)

* Click through rate (CTR) (3:02 - 3:40)

* The difference you bring (3:41 - 4:25)

* Update of my experience and wrap up (4:26 - 4:56)

Okay, after some tweaking I have finally gotten somewhere with my affiliate marketing. I have to say, the first month of affiliate marketing was not a success story. As a matter of fact, I was down in the red zone which at one point I have almost given up on the idea. However, thank God that I sticked it through and now I'm turning it around and I have to say that I'm pretty satisfied with the current results. Through my video today, I will show you in depth of what I'm doing and my own personal experience of doing it as well. Since this is a second video that I'm doing on affiliate marketing, in case you want to see my first post about it you can click it here.

Affiliate marketing is a big industry and it will only grow over time. Just think about it, how many folks do you know personally that's working hard online and making a living out of it? The chances are, very little if at all. It is still an untapped industry and there's definitely a lot of opportunity within it if you jump in early into the game itself. You can do it aggressively or passively. Like my first video which shows how you can do it passively, this video I will provide you how to do it in a more proactive manner by creating a specific web site just for it.

There are a few keys to affiliate marketing:
1. Select an industry you know - Don't jump into an industry just because you hear a lot of buzz on it, do you know the industry? What will be the advantage you have over others? What makes your campaign better?

2. First impressions are extremely crucial - Just like a real store, if the first impression is bad people run out a lot faster then you would have ever imagined. For example, if the department store is badly organized do you think you would believe it to be a good store to go shopping versus one that is well organized? The answer is clear, the better organized one will gain more customers. Be sure your online affiliate marketing site whether your blog or elsewhere look professional.

3. Click through rate - Do some experimenting, is your audience coming to your site and not converting? Be creative and place them in different spots of your page and optimize the click through rate. The bottom idea is to capture your audience the first time they're there at your site.

4. The difference you bring - Do you have something different versus your competitors? Research, research, research. Before jumping into anything, be sure to find out what your competitors are doing and what they're not doing. Crop out your spot in the field and hammer out your advantages over others.

There's a learning curve and it won't be an overnight success. So don't expect to succeed the very first time, but just like anything over the internet; if you look deep enough you'll find your own gem to make money smart! Good luck. -Swapw