Sunday, November 2, 2014

Building Your Own Websites and Blogs

My dream was to start making money online so that I could leave work!

Two years ago I started writing online content and for months it seemed like I was wasting my time. Squidoo was my first try at making money online which ultimately led me to starting my own sites. So after months of nothing, I logged into my Squidoo account and saw that I had made some sales. Wow, sales! Somebody had actually clicked on my link and then bought something. A few months later and a few more sales I got my first payout of $12.37. I was just starting to get excited as things were picking up, but then the traffic on squidoo tanked and for the next few months I again saw next to no sales. My dream of earning an online income was disappearing. 

Then I heard whisperings of other online writers starting their own sites, nothing huge like squidoo, but personal niche websites that had no interference from anyone but yourself. So there I was thinking I would be stuck working at a mine for the rest of my life as internet marketing had failed me, when I decided to try my hand at my own site. Starting my own site turned out to be the best decision I had ever made. I had tried Squidoo (which now no longer exists), Zujava, Wizzley, Hubpages and Yahoo contributors network. I had some nice success with Zujava, but my hopes that it would continue fizzled recently. I had a strong feeling that these web 2.0 sites were a dying breed. Now, a year later, I am so glad I spent that time on creating my own sites. Squidoo is putting the last nails in its own coffin and Zujava was just dealt a massive blow. 

Writing platforms are starting to dwindle. The main drawback with creating your own site from scratch is the cost. The cost isn’t huge but it feels like a gamble.  Will your site take off and pay off? That is something that I can’t guarantee. 

Most make money quick scams will offer you false guarantees, stay away from those, they do not work.

First up I had to find out about hosting. which host is best, cheapest, and easiest to use, were among some of my questions. Hostgator turned out to be one of the most reliable hosting sites around according to my internet marketing friends. So Hostgator it was. A year later I don’t have any problems to report. One thing that I wish I had done is taken out the hosting plan for 3 years up front. When you pay for subsequent years up front you end up with a highly discounted rate. I paid for just one year because I was afraid the whole endeavour wouldn’t work. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first couple of months income paid for the hosting plan.

The second thing I had to do was find a Domain name and a good domain registry. Picking the domain name was far harder than finding a cheap registry. I went with godaddy and paid $2.95 for my domain for a whole year. Godaddy are one of the biggest domain registries around, they are also cheap and quite reliable with good support. Namecheap is also good and most hosts also offer domain registration.

It is nearly time to start adding content, but first you should find a theme. A theme is basically the structure of your site and how it looks. There are so many theme developers that it is hard to say which is the best. Of the ones I have tried I really liked themejunkie and mythemeshop. Currently all my sites have mythemeshop themes. My blog uses a theme from mythemeshop, feel free to check it out and see how it looks. There are many free themes available, this will give you a good starting point but I much prefer to pay a small fee for my themes. When you pay for themes you get on going support and updates which I find is well worth it. I like to be able to customize my themes and the support team help you with coding the minor changes you may want or need. Well worth the one off price. Once you have downloaded the theme you can use it on as many sites as you like.

Click Here and use this code: myspecialcoupon for a 35% discount at Mythemeshop exclusive to this article.

Creating great content is a must. If you have been successful at making sales on a web 2.0 site then that same sort of content will do the same on your own site. One of the reasons that people use the big writing platforms such as Hubpages is that they have authority. Google is supposed to like a URL that has hubpages in it better than others. I actually found it to be quite the opposite. Pages that I had on the big sites often did better when I moved them to my own websites. I think the power of a small yet well maintained niche website is often underestimated. 

Zerys - The Content MarketPlace

You can even get help with creating content for your webpage. Outsourcing can really help to build up your site quickly. One of the keys to building a site is to make sure that you have a bit of content already in place when it first goes live. You also need to be able to add new content daily for a few weeks before pulling back a little and keeping it regularly updated to whatever schedule you choose. Some webmasters continue to add content daily while others stretch it out to a bi-weekly or weekly schedule. I add a new webpage every week without fail and sometimes when I am on a roll I might add content every couple of days.  

Outsourcing can really help you keep to these schedules. If you don’t have time to write an article you can just assign a title/keyword to a writer on a platform like Zerys. The writers on zerys are great, I have a few favorites who write for me regularly. I write a lot of my own content but there are times when other duties get in the way. I give one of my writers an article a week to write, it keeps him going and keeps my backlog of articles full. So I never run out of content to update my site with. The prices for an article vary, I started off only paying 1 cent per word, which is very cheap. Once I had found some writers that I liked I offered them a bit more to keep them on my side, plus the quality of the work is definitely worth a bit more money. Zerys have just updated the platform and it is now even easier to use and the online support chat service is very handy.

Every one of the companies I have chosen to use have a great support system and most have an online support chat system to help you through all the nitty gritty parts of installing wordpress and setting up your new domain on the server and all the other bits that seem really hard at first.

Now just to help explain why I think building your own websites is a much better idea, I will let you know that in the three months after letting my site go live, I had already made more money than I had in an entire year on Squidoo and Zujava. I had doubled what I out laid to get the site up and running, so it had already well and truly paid for itself. My first complete year has just finished and although it won't yet let me leave work, the few thousand dollars that my site made me in the first year is more than I ever thought I would actually see from online. Remember, I only ever dreamed of leaving work by working online, I never actually thought it would happen. But now, with a bit more time and effort, it might really be possible.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Creating Your Own Website - Making Money Online

$2.49 .Com at!

I have been a little bit slack when it comes to documenting my online money making journey but this Aussie Internet Marketer has been quite busy with a new plan. My own Websites! It feels incredibly awesome to be able to create your very own website where you choose the colours and words and best of all, you make the rules.
Creating your own website may sound daunting but it really isn’t that hard. If you have ever used wordpress or a similar program then you should be ready to give your own website a crack. If you have learnt how to make money, even just a little bit, on squidoo or zujava, then you are definitely ready to make your own site.
I started writing and creating articles known as lenses on a Revenue sharing platform called Squidoo. It was a great adventure where I learnt a lot about writing for readers and Search engine optimisation among many other things. Making money on squidoo was quite easy and I had only just really grasped how to make it happen when squidoo started to lose authority with google and very rapidly started to lose traffic.

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Squidoo still brings in some cash for me each month but nothing at all compared to my favourite revenue sharing site. Which in my opinion is far better than squidoo. As I have mentioned in a previous post Zujava has standards and that really helps keep the site full of quality content. I have had a really good month leading up to Halloween on Zujava with sales numbering in hundreds.
I get side tracked easy, so back to building your own websites. It took me quite a few months to see my first sale on squidoo, on Zujava it was quite a bit quicker, but within four weeks I had seen my first sale on my own site.

The first thing you need to do is think about a domain name and a Host. If you shop around you can find some great deals on domains, sometimes for as little as $2.95 a year. Hosting can be a fair bit more expensive. I bought a Host plan for just one year while I experimented and tried it out, I really wanted to see if I would make sales before buying a 3 year plan. Now I really regret not buying the 3 year plan up front. I used Hostgator as my host as a lot of my online colleagues had told me that it is a lot less buggy and far less likely to crash than a lot of the other hosting companies. You can check out hostgator using this link Hostgator. When I paid for my host I decided to go for the babycroc option which gave me the option to register and host an unlimited number of domains and subdomains. It is by far the best value for money plan I found.
I used Godaddy as my domain supplier because they were offering domains a lot cheaper than Hostgator. You then need to redirect the domain from godaddy through to Hostgator. If you want to keep it a lot simpler you can always just buy both the host plan and domains through Hostgator that way you won’t need to do any redirections.
Once you have purchased your host and domain you will be given access to your Cpanel. Your Cpanel is where you need to go to set up your name servers for your domain and also install wordpress or whichever webpage building program you like. Skeffling has a really good step by step and even has fancy screenshots to help show you exactly how to do things like setting name servers and installing wordpress.

Now you probably feel like it was a mission to even think of a domain name let alone building your site. The building of your site is a lot easier than you think due to there being a lot of wordpress themes out there. I use Theme Junkie and they have great professional looking themes with a great support system in place. Once wordpress has been installed it comes with some nice themes such as TwentyTwelve. You can also get some great themes from sites such thinkupthemes and themejunkie. You just need to download your theme as a zip and then go into the themes section of your wordpress dashboard and then upload the sip file directly. Wordpress unzips the file during upload. Now you have a really cool looking website but it is completely empty and eagerly awaiting some content. Using your wordpress dashboard you can go right ahead and start creating excellent high quality articles. 
For now, have fun with trying to create your own website.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Earn Money Writing Online with Zujava

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Zujava is an awesome new Revenue Sharing site a lot like Wizzley, Hubpages and Squidoo but with one big difference, excellent Quality Control.

Zujava has two great involved owners who are involved with the community and actively seek advice from the community of writers and listen to all opinions and ideas.

One great feature of Zujava is the Petting Zu which is a newbie program that is designed so that the Zujava editors can see the quality of your work before allowing you to freely publish new leaves which is what pages are called at Zujava. To graduate from the Petting Zu you have to create 3 pages which are not live on the internet until you submit your account for review and get approved for graduation.

The Zujava forums are a little quiet during these early days, but there are heaps of friendly faces that will help you get started. There are also these great people called Zubassadors that are more than willing to give good advice and help you get started. Zubassadors also help keep Zujava a place of high quality content, by letting leafsters know if their leaves are good or need a little tweaking.

Zujava is a great place for making money online. But it does take work, and it certainly isn't a "make money fast online" scheme. Zujava you need to write great quality pages that attracts targeted traffic which in turn may convert into sales. This does take time and effort but once the pages are created they often only need a little maintenance now and again to keep the traffic flowing.

There are Three ways you can make money with Zujava

  1. You can promote relevant Amazon products on your pages and receive a 50/50 commission shared with Zujava.
  2. Your Leaves will have a rank known as ZQ that will be determined by a number of factors, such as community likes, visitors, sales and a number of other factors. Depending on where your page sits you will fall into 1 on 3 tiers which will determine your revenue share for the month. Tier 1 is currently 10% of Leaves, Tier 2 is the next 20% of leaves and Tier 3 is the final 70%.
  3. The other way is through referrals, if you refer other users to Zujava, you will also receive 20% of their earnings. This 20% doesn't come out of the users share but out of Zujava's share of the income. This is a fantastic Referral program.
If you feel you want to earn money writing online then give Zujava a go, you can sign up through the link below, which is my Referral link. Whether or not you follow this link is your choice and either way I would love to see you over there. Drop me a line if you decide to join up.

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Monday, June 24, 2013

Zujava My New Favourite Writing Platform

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What is Zujava?

Zujava is a new revenue sharing writing platform a lot like the well known Squidoo. Except the really great part about Zujava is the fact that they have "standards".

Squidoo has been in a lot of trouble lately and the traffic from google has decreased by 50% in a lot of cases. Squidoo themselves have also been alienating a lot of their veteran contributors by trying to repair damage that they have let get worse for years.
For years squidoo let everyone join and create lenses (web pages) and never really put a lot of restriction on what people published to the internet. A lot of these pages were spammy and damaging to squidoo's reputation. Google finally decided that a lot of squidoo's content was now undesirable and "slapped them" with a significant decrease in traffic being sent their way. This is hurting squidoo even more because in trying to manage the poor content issue they have put algorithms and filters in place that are seemingly faulty and are snagging perfectly reputable authors and their pages. I haven't been touched yet and all my pages are still intact, but who knows for how long.

This is where Zujava is fast becoming a place for talented lensmasters from squidoo to migrate to. Zujava has standards and before you can publish leaves (web pages) you have to create 3 leaves and then submit the for a quality review by Zujava editors. If they believe your pages are up to scratch you get released from what they call the "petting zu" and you are free to publish your pages for the world to see.  

This is great news because Zujava is going to be the next big platform to create quality content for the internet. The fact that Zujava have created standards from the start is going to look really good to search engines as the quality content produced on Zujava grows. 

At this point in time If you are looking to start writing or move platforms then I would definitely suggest Zujava. Squidoo still has good authority but is very unstable at the moment and while it will still produce decent traffic, you won't really know where you stand.

Check out this link to see what Zujava is all about. 
Create a free account on Zujava

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Saturday, January 19, 2013

Free Images for Use

Are you constantly looking for images that you can use legally?

There are so many great pictures on the internet and at first you might think it is alright to copy and use them on your blog or articles. Well it's not, technically it is actually stealing if you don't have permission from the original creator of the image.

There are a few better ways to find great images that you can use though.

Creative Commons

Searching the creative commons engine is easy all you have to do is pick a site you want to search. Then set whether you want to find images that you can use for commercial use and type in words related to what sort of image you are after.

The first photo on this page is a creative commons image which is a 3D rendering, but you can also find photos, drawings painting and any type of image possible, When Aliens Attack.

Creative commons search

Amazon Associates

If your looking for a product image then you can always sign up to be an Amazon Associate. Being an amazon associate you are able to use their product images as an image link that you can add to your blog or articles.

Here you can see an example of amazon product image I have used in my toy blog, Toy Dinosaurs 

Amazon associate affiliate page


Allposters is my favourite way of getting photos or pictures for my blog and squidoo pages. At allposters they have a huge number of images that are being sold as posters, photographic images and even t-shirts. All you have to do is sign up to the allposter affiliate program and you will have access to heaps of images. The added benefit to this is that if these images are clicked on and the image is bought from allposters then you also earn a commission. Images that you can use for free to add to the visual appeal of your page and can also earn money from, it doesn't get much better than that!

Here is an example of how I used allposter images on my science blog, What causes Lightning?

Allposters affiliate sign up page

Of course there is another very easy way of placing images on your pages, and thats by taking your own obviously. I have used my own photos on many of my pages, you can see a few below if your interested.

Fisher Price Baby Toys

Baby Toys With Wheels

Fisher Price Walker

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Writing For Profit - Squidoo, Blogger and More

Writing can be good fun but unless you can manage to get a book published or a good job with a paper or magazine then what is the point. "For fun" you say. Well yes but wouldn’t it be great to make some money at the same time?

Of course it would but how can you do this? Well you can use sites such as Squidoo and Wizzley to write great information and sales pages, or you can write factual or fictional pieces on yahoo contributor network. Ezine Articles is also another great site where you can write some great articles that you think need to be heard, but Ezine articles work best when you have another page to link to.

So let’s talk about Squidoo and Wizzley.

First my favourite....


Squidoo is a very easy and user friendly platform for writing articles as well as being a great community full of lots of friendly people. When first starting with writing your articles, it is a great idea to search Squidoo pages on how to write Squidoo pages. I have written a previous blog post on Squidoo being my favourite. Here are a couple of examples of great Squidoo lenses to help get you started.

There are two ways to make money on Squidoo:

1. Is to create great lenses that get lots of visits and have a good lensrank. Having a good lensrank will determine what tier you end up in. What tier your lens is in, is important because it will determine what sort of payout you get from the Adsense pool. On each lens Squidoo apply Adsense ads and all the proceeds from the click-throughs go into a pool. Squidoo takes half of this pool and the other half gets split up between the lenses, but not equally. The lenses that are performing well will be in tier 1 and then mid performers in tier 2 and low performing lenses in tier 3. A good lens in tier one could sometimes get up around $50 on a good month, tier 2 possibly 50 cents or so and tier 3 possibly a couple of cents.

2. The other way to make money on Squidoo is by using sales modules such as Amazon and Ebay. You can add related products from these sites into these modules and earn commission when someone purchases something. Squidoo also take 50% of the commission on these sales as well, but since Squidoo traffic so many sales to amazon these modules attract about an 8% commission. This means you end up with about 4% of the sale, which as a new amazon associate with no sales history is the maximum you will get anyway.


Wizzley is very similar to Squidoo, you create articles with all sorts of different modules that you need to add content to. If using sales modules the situation is pretty much the same as Squidoo. Whereas Squidoo has an Adsense pool on Wizzley you use your own Adsense ID number and anything clicked through on your pages goes towards your Adsense income. This could be a good thing if you have high traffic to your Wizzley page but if you don't then you get nothing.

Yahoo Contributor Network.

Another way to write online is by joining the Yahoo Contributor Network. This Network gives you a platform on which you can write about anything you want and get paid for it. People who live in the United States are able to submit articles in a couple of ways.

1. You can earn money for completing writing assignments usually between $5 and $25 sometimes for some yahoo partners up to $100.

2. You can also submit articles for upfront payment and if they are accepted the payment is typically between $2 and $15.

3. Articles submitted are also eligible for unlimited and ongoing performance payments. These payments increase as your popularity and traffic increases. The performance payments are relatively small and are around $1 per 1000 visits and can get slightly higher. Some people make hundreds and thousands of dollars from performance payments with the right type of content.

On the Yahoo Contributor Network you can write all sorts of content including fiction, reviews, politics, opinions and pretty much anything you can think of. If you have a look here you can see my first 2 articles on Yahoo Contributor Network.

Ezine Articles.

Another great site for writing articles is Ezine Articles and it is a very professional site. Each article goes through numerous reviews and quality control to keep the whole site and its content high quality and professional. You don't get paid directly by Ezine Articles or by the performance of your articles, but Ezine Articles is very good for sending targeted traffic to your other paid sites such as Squidoo. So although on its own there is no income from writing on Ezine Articles there is the benefit of possibly increasing your income on other sites.

Here are the links to 2 of my Ezine Articles:

Help Your Baby Learn To Walk

The Toughest Iphone Case


Then of course there is this amazing site, Blogger. This Blogging platform is very easy to use and as it is connected to Google it is very easy to monetize your blog posts by using your Google Adsense ID.

You can also use the other method of posting affiliate links in your blog to make commissions as well. Using a Google blog like this works well considering you can use your one log in for Gmail, Google+, Youtube, Adsense, Adwords and Blogger.

So many options to choose from!

I don't by any means think of myself as a good writer, in fact I am very bad with grammar, but I do enjoy writing. So if you enjoy writing as well and want to get it to work for you a bit, then in my opinion these are some of your best options.

Remember whatever you decide to use, Have Fun with it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

How To Write Good Content - What I Have Learnt.

Do you find yourself coming up with a great Idea for a squidoo lens or a blog post and then when you start writing you get a paragraph in and then have a blank?

If you have ever experienced this, know this, you are not alone this happens to me all the time.
I often find myself unable to finish a lens that I was really excited about, this can get you down and stop you from succeeding in your online endeavors. I have a few ways that helps me to get back into the swing of things.

READ, READ and more READING. Reading other peoples lenses and blogs can help you to get back on track with your own writing. You can also just try to write something for fun. Often a good fun information lens can bring in good traffic. This can also benefit your linking as well because you can link some related product lenses or blogs to your great information post.

I once got really caught up in trying to find great products to market on squidoo and forgot about having fun. When I first started on squidoo I wrote about things I loved especially science and then I got really lost. Something I learnt from this was that there is no point in trying to sell something that you know is really sought after if you can't sell it well.

This is where I came to the conclusion that I had to sell what I knew. So I walked around my house and found stuff that I loved using. This was by far the best thing I could have done. When writing on Squidoo about products it is great to give a professional yet also personal review. People search for reviews product descriptions on the net because they can't hold and test out the item for themselves.  
You really have to be the customers eyes, ears and hands. With this in mind and the item you found in your hand, write down the points that you really like about it. Then depending on the product describe how it feels, looks, tastes, smells and sounds. If you can remember the questions you wanted answered when you bought the product then make sure you also answer those.

The next thing you can write about is your experience with that particular product. Is it something that you use all the time or only in certain situations. Have you found the item to be durable or easily broken, do the batteries last a long time or not. Descriptions of alternate uses for the product are also good it could help to put the icing on the cake. Customers love it when they are thinking of buying a product and their eyes are opened up to other possible uses. Like my Gopro camera many people buy it for "point of view" action shooting on a four wheel drive or a motorbike and even water sports like surfing. Because of its fast frame per second rate I also use it for side on action capturing that I can then slow down to watch in slow motion for example capturing an arrow going through a cabbage.  
It is the little ideas like this that can really make a product that the customer already wants seem even more appealing. It doesn't have to be something extra special just a use that the customer may not have thought of.

One of the most important things that I myself and everyone else that writes cannot stress enough is PROOFREAD your work.
I really need to take this advice myself, as I get so excited to finally have articles finished that I publish them without thinking. This looks really unprofessional when you have made simple mistakes like writing lik instead of like and cant instead of can't.  
Ask someone else to read your piece as well, they may find mistakes that you have missed and even spelling mistakes that spell and grammar check on word or pages has missed. Spell and grammar check will not pick up a mistake like "do you want a peace of cake?" as peace is spelt correctly and grammatically it is not wrong either. If this doesn't work for you then read it out aloud as it is written, this can help to identify mistakes as well.

I hope this helps a little bit as these particular pieces of advice have helped me to improve along the way. Haven't started with Squidoo yet, you can Join Here