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  • 01 September, 2010

    New Digg Updates Announced

    On August 31, Digg announced the appointment of new CEO Matt Williams (ex Amazon).  Along with this change, Digg has implemented a number of updates that will be rolling out this week.    According to Kevin Rose at Digg Blog, the new changes will include a number of fixes:
    • An update to the algorhythm stops single user domination on the home page - upgraded to the new v4 platform.
    • Uppercase/lowercase issues are fixed
    • Thumbs icon will be reinstated
    • "My news" will include timestamps
    Upcoming changes will include a return of "upcoming stories" and a ranking of Digg users by interests and digging behaviour.

    The Digg user ranking will be a useful addition as it will make it easier to choose Diggers to follow.  For example, if I am interested in Baseball news, the content and Diggers will be neatly organized for me to view, follow and Digg.

    Suggestions for possible improvements:

    Broader category list - The Digg categories are a little broad and a little vague.  Business/Entertainment/Gaming/Lifestyle/Offbeat/Politics/Science/Sports/Technology/World News

    Many Diggers have reported the experience of constantly submitting to "Offbeat" for lack of a more definitive category.  Offbeat connotes "wacky" and this may not always be appropriate when submitting a serious article with no known category.

    Possible additions to categories:

    marketing
    blogging

    lifestyle
    hobbies
    home/family
    travel
    shopping

    Digg button codes are a different story.  You can add a category embedded in your "digg this!" button choosing from this wider range of categories:
    arts_culture
    autos
    baseball
    basketball
    business_finance
    celebrity
    comedy
    comics_animation
    design
    educational
    environment
    extreme_sports
    food_drink
    football
    gadgets
    gaming_news
    general_sciences
    golf
    hardware
    health
    hockey
    linux_unix
    microsoft
    mods
    motorsport
    movies
    music
    nintendo
    odd_stuff
    olympics
    other_sports
    pc_games
    people
    pets_animals
    playable_web_games
    playstation
    political_opinion
    politics
    programming
    security
    soccer
    software
    space
    tech_news
    television
    tennis
    travel_places
    world_news
    xbox
    The site has integrated a Twitter like "follow" feature and as of right now, the site is working nicely.  Your Diggs are now automatically sent to your followers.  There were a few teething problems during the last hour but the amusing error pages made up for any inconveniences:


    
    

    According to the error messages, it is only around 28% likely this is Matt's fault.  Presumably when Matt takes a larger role, his likelihood of involvement will increase!



    15 August, 2010

    What Is The Best Ping Service?

    What is Pinging?
    When you ping your blog, it sends out a notification to various servers and search engines. 

    Why Ping?
    You Ping to let these services know that you have updated your blog with a new post.

    When Not To Ping?
    Do not repeatedly ping the same services.  You can get banned and pinging the same content doesn't help anybody.  Only ping sparingly and only when there is new content on your blog.

    What is the Best Ping Service?
    For Blogger:  Ping services for you to test with your blogs:


    A good strategy is to use a particular ping service for a week or two, then switch to another to test a new service.  Check your stats to see which is bringing you the most useful traffic.  Find the ping service that is right for you, write good content and ping regularly.


    10 August, 2010

    Buying "Make Money" Training Programs - 5 Reasons Not To Buy

    Note these red flags when you are next purchasing any of the myriad of "Make Money Online" programs.

    Before you buy ANYTHING, do the cool off thing. Print out the sales page that got you so excited and take it with you to read when you have a spare minute. This will stop you pressing the "BUY NOW" button without finding out how the program will actually benefit you in your current situation.

    5 Reasons Not To Buy

    1. Relevance

    If you are an ebay seller and don't have any use for getting yourself 50 squeeze page templates, don't buy "Super Exclusive Squeeze Page Template Secrets" (I made the title up, so don't go looking for this one, unless you want to use it - go ahead, be my guest). Make sure you purchase within your field, unless you have the time and energy to branch out into another area.


    2. Knowledge level

    If you are a newbie and you buy a $1500 program designed for super-affiliates, it may be difficult to catch up to the level of other course participants. This being said, I do not want to discourage anyone from studying and learning a topic of interest but if you are not willing to do some serious work, you may not get as much out of this kind of course as say, a course especially designed for newbies.


    3. Lazy "Push-Button" Seekers

    I'm sure we have all been guilty of this at some point - we want the "easy, get rich quick, make money while you sleep and don't do anything but press a button" program. I hate to disappoint but such a program does not exist. All money making methods take time. If you are wanting an easy way of making money without doing anything, you might be searching for a long time.


    4. Mistakes In Graphics

    This may sound pedantic but seriously, could you trust this?  (found on an actual "make money online site")
    I suppose they are being honest, at least.



    5.  Spelling Errors and Blank Name Fields

    Sample email similar to those I have received in my own inbox:

    Hey [First Name],

    Are you still interested in this make money online product?  I'm telling you [First Name]...

    Have I lost you yet?  I thought so.  This is a note to affiliate marketers as much as the receivers of these emails.  Please check your fields before sending.

    As for the receivers of these cut-paste emails, it just screams "unprofessional".  If you can't check a name field, who is to say your program is any good?  You may lose hundreds of potential buyers immediately.



    No matter the program, don't automatically believe the hype.  A banner may show in larger than life lettering:

    $1,400 PER DAY GUARANTEED!!
    How I went from making $1.50 to $1,400 PER DAY!  You can do it just as easily using my proven, easy to use system!

    But the small print may read:  Results may vary.  You may make no money at all with this system. All results depend on the knowledge, effort and experience of the individual.

    A banner may display increasing urgency:

    Only 25 Copies Left!
    When these copies are gone, there will be no more releases!  You will miss out if you wait!

    Perhaps there are 25 copies left.  There is a fair chance that there is an unlimited number of copies left but the product just happens to sell better using the words "only 25 copies left".  Regardless, if you have not researched the product, do not buy out of desperation because you think you will miss out.

    This being said, if your money-making program of interest still stands up after these trials, do the right thing and visit the Warrior Forum. You can talk to other people who have bought the program, share ideas and find out which programs to buy and which to avoid.  This will save you time, money and effort in the long run.







    28 June, 2010

    Blog Profts And Your Tax

    Every time tax time comes around I have to get a huge stack of documentation in order. "But blogging income doesn't really count, does it?"

    Well, yes it does and you need to speak to your local tax agent or accountant to get it sorted out. When I first started blogging, I made a few thousand dollars a year. That may not sound like a lot but it is hard to explain the origin of this mythical money come tax time.

    I wasn't entirely confident in my accountant even knowing what the internet is, let alone a blog but he surprised me. Not only did he know about blogging, it also turned out I could claim a certain number of deductions for blog related expenses.

    For example, during 2009 say I bought a number of websites, hired a designer, bought some domains from Go Daddy, domain hosting from Host Gator, Philip Mansour's Confidential Conversions and various other blogging-type expenses (these are excerpts from actual expenses this financial year).

    After speaking with my accountant, I found that I could claim for these purchases against my blogging income.

    Now for the income:

    Say I sold $5,800 in blog advertising, $10,100 in sponsored posts and affiliate sales.  From that $15,900 your accountant can deduct all the blog related expenses to minimize your tax (and help you to keep your earnings!).  You have spent all this time promoting your blog and making money, it's important to keep your profits in the bank, rather than paying it all to the tax man.

    I now use Dynacom Accounting Software (which I have claimed as a deduction under "software") so I can keep all my records in one place and print out a report for my accountant at the press of a button.

    So, at a glance for your blogging tax checklist:

    Keep records of all income and expenses

    Use accounting software unless you like pulling your hair out


    Think of what you can claim based on your blog's topic.


    If you are a shopping blogger, your reviewed purchases are claimable.  If you run a food critic blog, restaurant meals that you review will be claimable.  If you are a golf blogger, your rounds, tournaments visits etc. are claimable.  If you run a gardening blog, fertilizer, trees and shrubs are claimable.  You get the idea.

    The most important point to remember is that your earnings can be offset by deductions.  The first step is to make money, the next is to make sure you keep it!   






    18 May, 2010

    When To Say No To Clients

    A common dilemma amongst bloggers and solo business operators is saying "no" to clients.  For some, "no" is a dirty word, guaranteed to alienate potential customers and future prospects.

    So when is it appropriate to say "no" to a potential client?

    My first example comes from a recent experience with one of my blogs.  I was approached with an enquiry about advertising.  I sent my rates as usual, the next step generally being the PayPal transfer and setup of the ad on site.

    This time, the reaction from the potential client was unusual.  Call it a sixth sense, but you will probably know when someone isn't being 100% kosher with you.  He immediately asked for a discount.  Not a small discount, but a whopping 75% off my standard yearly rate.  I refused his offer and after stating my maximum discount, I did not correspond further with this advertiser.

    Did I make a mistake?  Well, not in my opinion and I'll tell you why.

    1.  When somebody devalues your service enough to ask for 75% off your price, they are unlikely to value it even if your service is great.  You will be thought of as the "cheap" option. 

    2.  When somebody asks for a discount for their first project or service, they are likely to ask for a discount for their next project.  Your future business is therefore compromised by laying down to pushy discount seekers.

    3.  It is not fair to other clients who have paid your standard rates to give discounts to people just because they ask for them.  I have noticed the number of potential clients asking for discounts has risen recently.  I don't believe that this is solely related to the financial crisis.  This is a well-known and widely shared technique used by large and small companies to save money.

    4.  When you agree to devalue your prices, you also devalue the service you provide.  Believe in what you are worth and stand firm.  Clients will respect you if your service is good and your rates are reasonable.

    5.  Once you discount one client, word will get out and new and repeat customers will begin to expect a discount.  It is a quick and easy way to damage your bottom line.

    But, back to this potential customer of mine.  He no doubt would have paid the amount that he offered.  He was willing to make the transfer.  So why did I turn away "free money"?

    It's not just about getting the cash in the bank.  There is a principle involved and it is important as a small business operator to stick to some firm guidelines.  If you go about it in the right way, you will build a better business.  Use your intuition to sense whether you are being "played".  If you feel someone is taking advantage of you during negotiations, politely refuse their offer.  Remember, it's your business.






    13 April, 2010

    Easy Hits 4 U Review and Bonus

    EasyHits4U is a 1:1 ratio traffic site.  What this means is that for every site you surf, somebody surfs your site and you receive another visitor or potential customer.  

    You can add up to 15 sites, blogs or links, including your own referral links for affiliate programs.
















    Easy Hits 4 U are offering a Signup Bonus for new members to win credits and prizes. With 210,000 members, you get traffic targeted to your region, and special prizes for signing up and surfing for traffic. You can even get paid for your referrals making it one of the most effective 1:1 traffic exchanges around.  You can move credits between sites, pause and resume traffic to sites and choose which days of the week to promote your site.  















    Your stats page will clearly show you how many hits you receive on each day.  Quite simply, the more you surf, the more visits you receive.  EasyHits4U is a well kept secret that will continue to earn traffic for your blog or site for a minimum amount of effort. 



    03 March, 2010

    Finally - Adsense Profit Breakthrough!!























    I'm still in shock. Amazing isn't it?

    I could hardly believe it myself.

    Did you believe it for a second? Even the fake headline? No, because you probably didn't know it was fake until I told you just now.

    Guess what? That's what the internet scam artists are using to get you to hand over your hard-earned cash for expensive make money online "systems".

    It's really quite simple, this is how I did it.

    Go to: GoogleAdsenseGenerator

    Enter your desired amount and BINGO! Instant internet millionaire.

    Why am I telling you this? Not so you can go out and fake your earnings to others - if you do this you will go to fake internet millionaire hell where you will burn in the flames of a thousand fake Google cheques.

    Seriously though, I'm telling you this so you can spot a phony when you next encounter one. These guys are everywhere and they are more than happy to take your money on the basis of one dodgy screenshot. The trouble is, it is so easy to do and so many people don't do enough research about who they are dealing with and exactly what they are buying.

    Don't believe the hype.




    02 March, 2010

    Mogul Review - Jeremy Schoemaker

    I learned a valuable lesson today.

    I was watching the ShoeMoney Tools videos and expected Jeremy Schoemaker to give over some useful information. He very lightly touched on some areas that may be of some use but never revealed much at all.

    I saw the price for this system - $197 per month ongoing. Every month. Who has that kind of money to throw after some kind of "program"? It would have to be the most amazing information in the internet marketing world to command such a fee as this.

    So I decided to check out some ShoeMoney reviews. Here's a tip - don't check out the reviews on the first page of Google. Keep going back and back until you find the real reviews. You will know the difference.

    Fake reviews - usually littered with affiliate links, robotically positive and no depth of analysis.

    The real reviews - for example, Save Your ShoeMoney are far more enlightening. It contains comments from people who have spent their hard earned $197 per month to find out that ShoeMoney is more than a little disappointing.

    And what do you get for your money? Apparently one of the videos centers around how to... wait for it... set up a ClickBank account. This is something I worked out in about 5 minutes. By the way, if you haven't got a ClickBank account and you are interested in affiliate marketing, it's a good place to start, but most people already know this.

    To think I was actually considering buying this for a second. For someone like myself who has been in the internet marketing game for a few years now, learning how to set up a ClickBank account or a Google account is.. well it's just basic.

    If you don't know how to set up a ClickBank account or a Google account, the sites will usually guide you through the process. You don't really need a video to tell you these things.

    Another realisation that came to me as I was reading these reviews was something so obvious that it's a bit silly, really.

    If Jeremy Schoemaker really is at the pinnacle of internet marketing success, that's fantastic for him. I have no doubt that he is making huge profits and doing very nicely, thank you.

    Ok, hypothetical here. If you are the world's most sucessful internet marketer and you know EXACTLY how to do it, and you realise that pretty much every other newbie wants to find out the secret, what would you do?

    Option #1:
    Freely give away this secret to everyone who asks, generously donating your time, effort and eventually diluting your incredibly exclusive corner of the market.

    Option #2:
    Charge a moderate fee (say $65 flat rate) and tell everyone EXACTLY how you made your money. Make a tidy profit but then see your own internet marketing profits go down as more and more people use YOUR methods to outsell YOU.

    Option #3:
    Realise that each of these newbies is willing to pay around $197 per month (after months of surveys and market research) and charge this fee. Then tell them stuff they already know, do a couple of pretty videos and rake in a big fat load of cash.





    15 February, 2010

    How To Buy A Custom Domain Through Blogger

    Buying a custom domain through Blogger is perhaps the quickest and easiest way to purchase a domain name while taking care of the hosting as part of the deal. Sometimes it can be cumbersome to type "blogname.blogspot.com" when you really want "blogname.com".

    Log into blogger, go to the blog's tabbed menu.

    Choose "settings" - "publishing"

















    Switch to "custom domain"

    Enter your desired domain name to check domain availability.

    If the domain is available, click on Google checkout.





















    The price for 1 year's registration is $10 and the domains are purchased through eNom or GoDaddy.com and includes spam protection, DNS control and domain management and a free Google Apps account.

    The advantage is that blogspot will automatically redirect all traffic from your blogspot address to your custom domain. It will also redirect your custom domain without the "www".

    The process of redirecting should take between 1-3 days. In the meantime, you should be able to access both your blogspot and custom domain.

    Important Note: If you have a high PR blogspot blog, consider your options before buying and redirecting to a domain. The official story is that your PR will move with you but some bloggers have complained about suddenly going from a PR 4 to PR 0. One would expect that this will be sorted out soon but be careful in this regard.





    03 February, 2010

    How To Make Money Online With Blogsvertise



    There are a number of sites that profess to make you good money in exchange for your quality blog reviews. The only way to test the validity of these claims is to sign up to a number of blog review sites and see which ones work for you.

    As soon as I joined up with Blogsvertise I started making money right away. It's a pleasant surprise when you can find a great site that sends you offers worth considering. Too often I see blog review ads with as little as $3 for a review. When I write a review on one of my blogs, I generally write 200-300 words, with at least 2 pictures and 1-3 links, depending on the preference of the reviewee. As you can see, it would not be worth my time or effort to write a review for this kind of payout.

    Depending on your status as a blogger - beginner, intermediate, advanced, and depending on your Alexa stats and page rank, you might want to set yourself a minimum amount that you would accept for a paid review. Right now my minimum for my highest ranked blog is $30USD per post but offers frequently come in quite a bit higher than this. The minimum amount should be revised at a later date when your blog takes a step up in page rank or traffic. A new blog such as the one you are reading right now may opt for a $10-$15 payout for a detailed review.

    Sites such as Blogsvertise tend to offer good money for interesting product and site reviews - some of these are the kind of thing I would like to blog about regardless of the payment.

    So far I have made $81 since joining in late 2009, and I am confident that there are many offers to suit many blogging styles. This is a good way to supplement your overall blog income and if your content is of a good standard, you will build a reputation for writing quality reviews.

    If you are looking for reviews for your blog or site, you can sign up as an advertiser and get people blogging about you right away. This will help your search engine rankings, incoming links and most importantly, your sales.

    To sign up as a Blogger on Blogsvertise
    To sign up as an Advertiser on Blogsvertise





    20 January, 2010

    How to Get Free Traffic To Your Blog With Traffic Swarm







    The effort we put into creating a blog and creating content suggests that we will naturally get high traffic and make affiliate sales and advertising revenue. This is however, not always the case. Your blog may need a little help in reaching a larger audience. One of the most successful tools I have used so far is Traffic Swarm.

    The format is easy to use as soon as you are signed up and your site approved, you can start receiving traffic right away to your blog. This kind of traffic will help you expand your readership, build your list and create an audience for products you wish to sell.

    Traffic networks such as Traffic Swarm are perfect for newer websites that need a traffic boost to get them going. I recently created a number of new blogs and I will be employing this method to get some initial traffic to these sites.

    If you have a new website with little or no traffic or if your current website is lacking in traffic, you can sign up here to get started.


    How To Make Money Online With Link Worth








    LinkWorth can be an extremely profitable resource for a blogger. Depending on your blog's traffic stats, you can make substantial amounts of money just by selling text and banner links. The advertiser chooses you, so you don't need to rely on automatic contextual matching of ads on your blog. One of my blogs currently makes $50USD per text link and $70 per banner ad. At present I am running three text ads and one banner ad. After commissions, I make a total of $136USD per month from just my LinkWorth ads.

    Sign up here: LinkWorth



    17 January, 2010

    Dot Com Mini Mogul Launch

    Hi and welcome to Dot Com Mini Mogul. I chose the name mini mogul because John Chow, Darren Rowse, Jason Katzenback and friends are dot com moguls. I, on the other hand am a mini mogul. I make money online, that's for sure. I just make a little less than these guys. Join me on my dot com mogul journey and use my strategies and learn from my successes and mistakes. If I find a good way to make money online, I won't be keeping it to myself like some internet marketers. I will post everything that works and anything that you should avoid in the 'make money online' world. If it makes money, you will learn about it here on Dot Com Mini Mogul.

    Here's to your dot com success!!



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