Monday, November 24, 2008

The Big Mistakes to Avoid When Making Money Online from eBay

After you have successfully setup your eBay business and started to make some money from the eBay auctions, it is a wise idea to keep on reading and learning about eBay selling as much as you can.

There are a few big mistakes that you might be making when doing business on eBay. That can cause you a lost. But, these mistakes aren’t difficult to correct if you know what they are. Below are some samples:

Setting Wrong Timing for Your Auction
The time that most people have a few hours of free time to spend is Sunday evening. Researches show that this is the most popular time for going online and purchasing on the Internet. So, if the timing of your auction has been set to miss Sunday evening, then you could be losing a lot of good sales.

Ignoring the Importance of Photos
If you think the item photo has not much help in your eBay selling, you could be losing many buyers. The eBay buyers often want to see how the item looks like before bidding it. So, it is necessary that you take 2 to 3 photos in different angles for every item, letting the potential buyers see totally your item.

Poor quality of the photos is another mistake. eBay does give advice about the types of photos that work best. For example, the photos need to be in plain background so that the products can be appeared clearly and eliminate confusion on what actually you are selling. Clear photos that show up your products well will certainly attract more and higher bids.

Over Formatting Your Sale Text and Descriptions
Putting too much animation, eye-catching color text and other distractions in your sale description isn't a good idea. This attempt was actually to get the customers' attention and bids. But, it results the opposite way. It provides great distraction and causes the sale message and details difficult to read. If a potential eBay buyer has clicked on your auction, you already have got their attention. The details and description should be clear, easy and simple to read with the aim to get the viewers' bid.

Setting a Reserve Price may be a Bad Idea
Placing a reserve price on your item can scared off your potential eBay buyers. Many of the potential buyers will not place a bid on the listings that have a reserve price because they worry that they are going to pay a lot money if they win the auction. So, it is better not to set a reserve price on your listed item. Low starting bid price is encouraged to get the maximum bids.

Mistakes cause you lose money. But once you have learned and found out what you are doing wrong, you can deal with them easily.

Free Resources Helpful to Make Money Online - 14 November 2008

Here are the latest useful resources I came across:

Blogging Marketing E-course
You'll need advice and practical tips when you just started blogging for making money online. The Blogging Marketing eCourse of Simon Hodgkinson has the useful information you need. Simon realizes that blogging is a wide topic, it is not possible to learn all of them in short period of time. So he divided his blog marketing course into 35 parts and send them out in email every day. When you sign up for the course, you will adsorb new info about blogging every day which will help you success in blogging.
James Penn is just a 18 year old teenager, but he already made a living online. He has his own online business and know how to market it to generate profit. James is sharing with others now in his site on how he build a online business from scratch and the strategies he has applied to make the business generates full-time income for him. If you are interested to learn his strategies, you may go to.

The Social Media Manifesto Report
This report is all about social media marketing. If you believe that social media traffic can be converted well into leads or sales, then this report is for you. The author of this report will show you how to turn social medial traffic into leads or sales and how to take you online business to next level through using the power of social media. Download a copy of this report here.

Google AdSense Tips: Formatting Your Content Looks like AdSense Ads is Disallowed

Last Tuesday morning when I checked my email, I found there was an email from the Google AdSense team sent to me. I quickly opened the email to find out what it is about.

Well, it was a bad news to me. It was a warning from Google AdSense team. They said when they were reviewing my AdSense account they found violations of AdSense policies on my pages such as They then further explained that I cannot implement AdSense ads in a manner that disguises the ads such as formatting neighboring content to look similar to the ads, or by making ads look like games or forum threads. Additionally, images cannot be placed close to the ads. And I was given 3 days to make the necessary changes. If I choose not to make the changes I will no long allowed to display AdSense ads but my account will still remain active.

After finished reading the email, I really feeling worry and confuse. How come I can against so many policies since I have read their policies and add the Adsense ads carefully? This made me headache a while.

I browsed my own pages to find out what really went wrong. I thought back what types of content pages I have created. Fortunately, I managed to figure out and conclude that the violation of AdSense policies is due to some of my content pages formatted to be look similar to AdSense ads.

Once I found out this, I immediately started checking all my pages. I clicked on my own archive pages to review each post and make changes to the posts that disallowed by Google. There are total of 772 posts I have to review and it took about ten hours to review all the blog pages and modify the problem pages. My head is spinning doing all these works.

After three days, I saw my AdSense ads still appear on my pages. So, Google has probably satisfied with the changes I have made and let me continue to make money with AdSense.

Why I'm telling you this?

I hope that you didn't make the same mistake just like I did when implementing AdSense ads on your site and blog to make money online. It is painful to make changes especially if your site have hundreds of pages. It is a tedious work to check back each of your pages.

So, don't format your neighboring content look like AdSense. Google actually spend the time to check AdSense publisher accounts. I think they are checking each publisher account, just don't know whether they are doing the checking manually or automatically.

How to Generate Passive Online Income Using Articles - Part 2

The part 1 of this article has been shared with you two ideas of using articles to earn passive income. Below is another two ideas for you.

Contribute in HubPages
A huge content network that you probably have heard about is Hubpages. Hubpages has articles and information in a wide range of topics. All the content are contributed by HubPages Community of authors around the world. Hubpages is opened to anyone. If you have information or content to share, then you may join Hubpages. Each article page you create is called hub. You can add in your AdSense code to have your AdSense ads automatically displayed on your hubs. If you are also an affiliate of eBay and Amazon, you can choose any product of eBay and Amazon; and feature them in your hub.

The good thing about Hubpages is that it attracts search engine attention because there are loads of content published in Hubpages. So, with some informative and keyword-optimized hubs that you built, you can attract constant traffic from search engines like Google. Part of the traffic may convert into AdSense and if you are lucky, your hubs might generate a few eBay or Amazon sales that will further increase your income.

Hubpages makes no promise on how much the authors can make. The income you can earn is much depending on the volume of content you contribute. The hubs you created, the greater your passive income potential might be.

Build You Own Content Website
This is an ideal option for you if you don’t want to write content for other sites. You can use a website builder such as Xsitepro to build you own niche content website. The topic of your website should be popular or it is the one that you interested. Then write good articles for the chosen topic and publish them on your niche content website. Each of your content pages will be optimized with AdSense ad and link units to generate income.

You have full control when publishing articles on your own site, but you are going to need to market the site yourself. Targeted traffic will generate AdSense revenue. You have to keep on marketing your site to drive targeted traffic to your site in order to make thing works. That certainly will involve a learning curve and a lot of hard work on your part. So, be prepared for that.

How to Generate Passive Online Income Using Articles - Part 1

The webmasters and online marketers are seeking unique articles for their websites. You can write unique articles for them to get a one-time payment for each article you send them. It is nice to get paid for each article you write, but do you know that you can also use your articles to generate passive income.

If you weren’t already known about using articles to earn passive income, it is where you write and publish articles once and later they will earn money for you continuously. This means that you can make money from an article that you wrote 6 months ago.

There are a number of options of generating passive income using articles. Before looking at these options, it is important for you to know that the articles written for this purpose wouldn't earn you profit instantly. The earning will start coming in soon, but it may take some time (5 days, 10 days, 1 month, etc).

Publish Articles on Revenue Sharing Article Directories
One of the most common ways to earn passive income is by publishing your articles on the AdSense revenue sharing article directories. These are the article directories that let you place your Google AdSense ads on your article pages to earn Ad revenue. Usually the sharing term is your AdSense ads will appear on 50% of the page view of your article pages. So, once you published some interesting articles, these articles will attract traffic from time to time which will earn you AdSense revenue constantly. The article directories that share revenue are and and

Write for WorldVillage Bloggers Network
There is also a blog network called WorldVillage Bloggers Network that shares 50% of AdSense revenue. It is owned by the famous AdSense e-book author, Joel Comm. Joel has been building up his WorldVillage Bloggers Network for years and now it is generating thousands of visitors daily. If you become an author of WorldVillage and contribute informative and keyword optimized articles for some time, you might be enjoying nice passive income from those articles.

I was an author of WorldVillage Bloggers Network and published about ten articles on the network one and the half year ago. Those articles that I published really generate traffic and they earned me about $35 monthly AdSense for a consecutive of 6 months. If I have the time to write on a regular basis, then I may be able to earn tripple or more of that AdSense figure every month from this network.

To become an author of WorldVillage Bloggers Network , you may got to to send your application. You need to include a sample of your work in the application.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

10 WordPress Plugins for New Blogs

Over the weekend I set up and launched my new Twitter Tips Blog - TwiTip.

Since announcing the launch of TwiTip here on ProBlogger I’ve been asked quite a few times about what WordPress plugins I’ve installed to enhance and add features to the blog.

I still need to add a few more but so far I’ve added the following 10 WordPress plugins:

  1. Akismet - a great comment spam plugin. Interestingly I had comment spam on TwiTip that Akismet filtered within minutes of launching the blog on Twitter.
  2. All in One SEO Pack - a plugin that helps to optimize a blog for search engines. It gives easy ways to set up title tags, descriptions, keywords (both for home pages but also on individual posts) and a variety of other settings that have an impact upon SEO.
  3. cforms - a powerful contact form plugin. It’s a lot more complex than other comment form plugins out there but has a lot more features (some that I’m yet to fully test).
  4. Google XML Sitemaps - a plugin to help Google and other search engines to find every page and post on your blog - good for getting a new blog indexed quickly.
  5. Simple Tags - extends the built in tags features on WordPress.
  6. Subscribe To Comments - a WordPress plugin that allows those leaving comments to check a box and be notified when other people leave a comment on that thread.
  7. Tweet This - ads an invitation for readers to Tweet a link to the post they are reading. While I wouldn’t put this on every blog - it seemed a no brainer on a blog about Twitter.
  8. Stats - I’m using Google Analytics as my main metrics tool for TwiTip but it doesn’t update in real time so this plugin helps to get a quick update of what’s happening on the blog at any given point in time.
  9. WP-Polls - an AJAX polling plugin with some nice features. I’ve previously used the Democracy Plugin but this one seems to be working really nicely so far.
  10. WP Ajax Edit Comments - this plugin allows those leaving comments to edit their comments for a short period of time after they leave a comment.

These are just the first 10 that I’ve already installed (listed in alphabetical order and not in order of importance). There are more to come. For example I’ll install Related Posts (pointless at this point as there are only 5 posts on the blog), WP-Navi (again, no point to install it yet as I don’t have enough posts to need a navigation tool) and WP Super Cache (I’m not doing enough traffic to really need it yet).

They are the 10 WordPress Plugins I’ve installed on TwiTip. If you were starting a new WordPress blog today - which plugins would you be installing?

WidgetBucks Offer New Publishers a $50 Sign On Bonus - Baseball Card Promotion

I’m doing a little promotion with WidgetBucks while at BWE this year.

They’re giving me some 70’s style ‘baseball cards’ with my face on them to give out (why they chose that picture I’ll never know) and are offering ProBlogger readers (whether you get a card or not) a $50 signup bonus if you sign up as a WidgetBucks publisher.

To get the $50 you need to sign up as a publisher and when you’ve earned your first $100 you get the bonus.

WidgetBucks is an ad network that give bloggers the opportunity to make money using their ‘widget ads’.

As with all types of ad networks WidgetBucks convert better on some blogs than others - but they’re worth a try, particularly if you have blog with any kind of products featured on it. They’re also expanding into more geo-targeted ‘travel ads’ (should be announced soon) which will have opportunities for a more international group of publishers.

PS: the baseball card picture is of me eating a New York Pizza while I was there last year. It’s not sweat dripping down my face either - I think it’s a ‘crease’ photo shopped into the card to make it look old (it’s a 70’s style card after all). The back of the card has a few of my ’stats’ on it. You’ll have to find me at BWE to see it.

There is at least one other blogger with their own cards at BWE - collect the complete set and they could be worth something on ebay one day (or it could just be an embarrassing thing that my wife pulls out to show the grandkids in years to come)!


When I survey bloggers about the methods that they use to make money from their blogs Google’s AdSense is always the number one response. It is a quick and easy way for bloggers of all sizes to display ads that are relevant to their content.

AdSense is a ‘contextual’ advertising program where publishers simply add a piece of code to their blogs that helps Google analyze what your page is about so they can serve ads on that topic. This increases the chances of your readers clicking the ad which increases the chances that you’ll earn something from them.

AdSense also provide a variety of other income streams to bloggers including a site search tool (you make money by people searching your site) and referral tools (where you can make money by recommending Google products).

AdSense is how I earn around 35% of my income as a full time blogger and I would thoroughly recommend it as a way of monetizing a blog - especially for those just starting out.

If you’re not already an AdSense publisher sign up for it using the following button.

How to Get Media Coverage for Your Blog

One way to build awareness, brand, credibility and buzz about your blog is to appear in mainstream media (read more about the Benefits of being featured in Mainstream Media).

A lot has been written about how to get your blog featured on other blogs - but how do you get press coverage whether it be TV, Radio, newspapers or magazines?

Following are a few tips on how I’ve done it:

Develop a Unique Story

One of the best tips I can give is to really think about the story that you’re pitching to journalists before you approach them. If you simply contact the editorial staff of a mainstream media outlet and say that they should write about you without giving them a unique angle they’re unlikely to respond positively (if they respond at all).

Stories about a blog are not that exciting to write - so what angle can you give them? What have you done, experienced or achieved that is going to grab people’s attention? What relevance does your story have to the readers or viewers of the media outlet?

Note: you don’t just manufacture these stories out of nothing but if you’re on the look out for opportunities they do come up. They might emerge out of a post that you write that gets attention, causes some controversy (controversy is a great way to get media attention), gets picked up by other blogs etc - or it could even emerge out of something that someone else does that you could comment about or that you’re featured in.

For example I was featured in a ‘top Aussie bloggers’ list last year and shot a link to the list to a national newspaper - the story got picked up with me as one of the bloggers featured.

Think (inter)National AND Local

I know one blogger who complains every time that I bring up mainstream media that he’s never had any success. When I ask who he’s pitched his story to he tells me that he’s approached the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC and a few other top tier news outlets.

While I commend him for thinking big - a more successful approach is likely to be to approach not only the big guns but smaller outlets. For one you’ll increase your chances of success in approaching a more local outlet - but you might also see the story picked up by larger media outlets (or you can use it to pitch to them later).

Write the Story

I’m not suggesting that you fully write an article when pitching mainstream media - but I’ve found that when I pitch a story and when I do a little extra work in showing how the story might look that journalists sometimes take what you present them with and build upon it.

So do some work on your pitch. Provide the media outlet with any facts, figures, stats or quotes that might help the journalist do their job more quickly and efficiently.

Be Approachable

Sometimes it isn’t a matter of pitching your story to mainstream media as them approaching you. This grows as your blog and profile grows but you can enhance your chances of being approached by being contactable.

An essential item for blogs should always be a way to contact the blogger. Whether this be by providing an email address, phone number and/or having a contact form - if you’re able to be contacted (and make it easy to be) you’ll drastically increase your chances of being approached.

Also useful for this is developing an about page that contains the type of information that journalists are looking for. Include information like your biographical information, links to a FAQ page and even a specifically written Press Page that shows how other press outlets have covered your story.
Press Releases

I’ve had limited experience and success with writing press releases but know at b5media that we regularly use them and that they are very useful - particularly when launching new blogs/portals.

You can learn more about the power of Press Releases here.

Build Profile

Perhaps the most important thing to do is to work hard at building a fantastic blog and having a great profile in your niche.

I’ve found that as I’ve done this that mainstream media outlets have increasingly come to me and that on the occasions that I’ve approached them that they’ve been much more open to covering me.

This of course comes with time and you can’t manufacture it over night - but I say it to give bloggers having problems getting on the radar of media a little encouragement - stick at it and build a great blog and it’ll come in time.

Keep In Touch with Journalists

If you do strike it lucky and get featured in a story - keep the contact details of the journalist that writes the story. If they’ve written one article they might be willing to do another. Also let the journalist know that if they ever need a quote for another story that they are writing that you’d be willing to take their call.

11 Tips from my Friends on Getting Media Coverage For Your Blog

I asked my Twitter followers for their tips on getting press coverage for blogs. Here’s some of what they said:

1. “If your writing to try and get press coverage be emotive, timely and topical - demonstrate ’special’ or ‘insider’ expertise” - keithdon
2. “1- easy to find contact info; 2- photo of self & decent bio; 3- blog trends, hot topics” - alizasherman. She also tweeted - “My miscarriage blog was featured in More mag. I was blogging a “controversial” topic in a daring way. Got noticed & featured.”
3. “Break the news so the press use you as the source. Has worked multiple times for me.” - michaelmeloni
4. “Keep blogging your niche and the reporters will find you. And when they do contact, jump at the chance to help them.” - GrantGriffiths
5. “Treat traditional media like you would want 2 B treated; don’t spam them, read their stuff 1st, be concise, give links 4 more” - CathyWebSavvyPR
6. ” 1) write quality content 2) have clients that write quality content and reference you” - leahmac
7. “Be bit controversial, write press release for them (they lazy) be original.” - theworstofperth
8. “provide constructive criticism when everyone else is bitching about a problem and you’ll be noticed” - MadLid
9. “give your blog a spit shine before press release. Check spelling, grammar and theme errors. Be prepared for a big jump in hits.” - beanfair
10. “Start small. Offer something eg tips, advice, short column to local newspaper. See what works then go for the bigger papers.” - bussogardener
11. “Media coverage advice for bloggers- Be honest, be brief, and find a relevant hook. I’ve had success with the press doing this. ” - BJMendelson

To be included in future lists of ‘tips from my friends’ - follow me on Twitter.

Adsense Tips for Bloggers 1

How do you make money from the Google Adsense Program? What AdSense Tips can you share with us?

I have been asked this question so many times in the past few weeks that I thought I should write something on the topic. It seems increasingly bloggers want to try to cover their hosting and ISP costs with some revenue from their blog - and increasingly they’re doing it and are able to make a few (or quite a lot) dollars on the side. Many are turning to Google’s Adsense program.

Covering costs of my Digital Photography Blog is why I originally signed up with Google Adsense - blogging can get expensive when you have high levels of traffic and a lot of pages.

Whilst the agreement you sign with Google stresses that you are not allowed to give specific information about your earnings from the program I can say that I’m glad I’ve signed up because its well and truly covered my costs - and then some. In fact I think its quite feasible to expect that Adsense coupled with other strategies for making money from Blogging could quite easily generate a decent living. It takes time and hard work, but I think its very doable. (Update: Since writing this series I’ve revealed that I am now looking at making over a six figure income this year in 2005 from blogging).

So how do I make money from Google Adsense? Let me share some AdSense Tips that heve helped me.

This will be the first in a series of posts on this topic. Let me say up front I’m no expert - there are a lot of people out there making a lot more money than I am using Adsense - however most of them are not telling their secrets - well not for free anyway. I’ve got no secrets to hide and am willing to share what I’ve learnt since I signed up for the program 8 months ago. If you want a REAL expert’s opinion on Adsense I’d recommend buying Joel Comm’s What Google Never Told You About Making Money with Adsense E-Book. Joel earns $15,000 per month from Adsense and has some good things to share.

I know some bloggers are put off or offended by the idea of making money from blogging so I’ll try not to let these posts dominate my blog - however if you are not interested in the topic, simply skip over these posts.

I am going to assume a few things in this series to cut down the amount of introductory comments I have to make. Here is what I am assuming:

* You have a blog. Whilst most of the following tips will apply to other types of websites I run Adsense on blogs and will speak from that experience.
* You have (or will) read a basic overview of Adsense and have some understanding of what it is.
* You have(or will) read the program policies as outlined by Google. These give details of site eligibility, ad placements and other requirements for using the system.

Enough introductory comments - lets get stuck into the Adsense Tips for Bloggers!