Tuesday, October 11, 2016

I'm Not Ashamed of My Blogspot Subdomain Anymore!


cc from flickr.com


This article is going to be unique from what you'll typically find about affiliate blogging or building a website. I have a different perspective from most of the websites out there: talking about affiliate blogging. 

Really what I'm discussing here is professional blogging, where people are ambitious to make money online through a website. They don't usually care about what the site is about, as long as they can make a full-time living with copious amounts of residual income. Yet, is it really as easy as people are saying?

My Experience


A couple months ago I wanted to start an affiliate blog about the topic of golfing, so I started another blogger blog here and called it “Better Golfing Days”. As of now, I'm only an affiliate with Amazon, so I put some relevant products there and an Adsense ad. For me, creating a free blog at blogger is within my capabilities.

Now, about a week ago I found out about Wealthy Affiliate, which is basically a hosting service which gives you support and training to become an affiliate marketer. The people there are very nice and I have nothing bad to say about the site. Yet, I do want to point out something in this article central to this discussion, which does implicate sites like WA.

What Are People Affiliate Blogging About?


This is a good question, needing to be asked: before you begin to delve into starting a website and “creating a business” online. 

The answer is: everyone is blogging about making money online – do you understand what I'm saying? It's like a circle of nothingness, where people are cashing in on people who actually think it's easy to create a website and make money online blogging about something they love.

Truth is, almost everyone who is successful at Wealthy Affiliate (and almost every other affiliate blogging platform) has a website about making money online. So, to make money online, you start a website about making money online...

Just search for making money online, or affiliate blogging, and see for yourself how many blogs (websites) are out there trying to get you to either: sign up for some affiliate blogging network like WA, or sign up to some other server like Bluehost or HostGator. They may call this an online business, but really it's just a marketing scheme. 

Creating a Self-Hosted Website is NOT Easy!


For regular people who love to write and do want to make money online talking about their passions, building a website is not easy. I don't care how easy it is for the tech savvy, for the regular folk who don't speak Internet language – the process of building a website is very difficult and will consume massive amounts of time (and you make nothing significant for a long, long time).

Wordpress.org is the most popular free CMS (Content Management Software/System ) available. People always talk about how easy it is to set up self-hosting and download this free software from wordpress.org, but my experience has proven over and over that Wordpress (.com and .org) is NOT EASY to work with.

I started out blogging at Wordpress.com with a free website over two years ago (I still have the blog: Lowdown Zero), and after a short time I became frustrated with how difficult it was to do anything there. Even after a couple years of becoming more online literate, I still find Wordpress a very difficult place to build a website (either free of self-hosted).

See, there's wordpress.com which is where wordpress hosts your site either for free or with a premium paid blog, and then there is the open source software at wordpress.org, which is free and can be downloaded and used with another server of your choice (Siteground, Bluehost, HostGator, etc.).

Getting Dirty with Self-Hosting


What good would my opinion be here, if I didn't at least try self-hosting? So, I decided to not go with Wealthy Affiliate (because I'm an independent sort) and signed up for a year with Siteground hosting. The process for me was painstakingly difficult, although tech savvy people doing reviews spoke about how easy it all is.

Yesterday is when this happened by the way. So, I downloaded a wordpress website and right away was stuck trying to pick out a theme. What theme should I pick? How do I add Adsense? How do I change the font and color? On and on...it was nightmare. My stomach was turning and my head started aching. The peace and song of God in Jesus was gone!

After a couple hours of working on my website, I had a thousand more questions I needed answered. I realized that building a website on wordpress, especially self-hosted, was going to become a full-time job. Seriously, building a website with wordpress is not easy, and will take you about a year working full-time to learn how to do it correctly. Not only that, but then the online world is changing so rapidly, the learning will never stop!

The Lesson I Learned


Siteground was nice enough to refund my money for the years hosting, but I now own a domain of which I have to spend likely a couple hours trying to figure out how to move to my bettergolfingdays.blogspot.com website here at blogger. The customer service was excellent, and they do have a 30 day money back offer. Although I won't receive my money for 5 days or so, I believe it will come.

I can't tell you how relieved I was to come back to my subdomain blogs here at Blogger! Praise God for leading me away from the horrible pit of building a website on wordpress. Honestly, I can't stand wordpress, and that's why I came over here to Blogger in the first place.

I Love Blogger!


The Internet is full of snobby tech savvy people who will make you feel almost ashamed of having a subdomain on a site like blogger or hubpages. I have to admit, I was trying to class jump and become a professional blogger, but I've seen the light and understand now where I want to be.

I love my blogger blogs, and I'm not ashamed of my subdomains anymore! Yes, the blogspot.com is there and so what? These are blogs on blogger, these are my websites I write on to share the things I want to share. Blogger is a great place for bloggers to come and blog, and we can even have affiliates and advertising if we want. 

In my opinion, building a website with blogger is so much better than wordpress. You don't have to invest a third of your life to create some website that looks just like everyone else's site. And, hey, if you want a custom domain – by all means get one here, no problem.

For me, I'm going to keep my subdomains, and instead of being ashamed of them: I'm going to think of them as a badge of blogging honor. Yes, I'm a blogger and not business owner of a website, and that's exactly what I want to be. It's all about content for me, sharing what I want to share, and if I make any money from the monetization efforts here, then that's just a bonus.

 As for trying to make a living as a blogger – forget it! Why? Because learning the online beast language and keeping up with the square glass wearing tech savvy snobs, is not a pleasant way to make a living – at all!

Be Different


If you really look at the myriad of successful popular websites about professional blogging: they're all the same basically. Some contact form pops up when you're there for a few seconds - trying to get your email, everything is cookie-cutter and the same. Personally, I'm no longer impressed, and I actually like my retro blogger templates and old school approach to blogging better anyway. Hey, I'm different and I like it that way.

But Blogger Could Shut Your Site Down


This idea is part of what drove me into wanting to become self-hosted with Siteground. Yet, after thinking about it a little more clearly, I realized Siteground hosting would shut me down long before Google did. 

Why would they shut me down? Well, because some of my blogs are politically incorrect from a born-again Christian perspective. Or, just because Google one day decides to end Blogger, but really is this such a concern? I can export my blogs to my hard drive and migrate them elsewhere if this happens, or just start over with all the raw saved article in Office where I wrote and saved them originally.

Look, Google is basically the biggest server there is, so it's much more likely a smaller server like Bluehost or Siteground will shut me down. Their much more afraid of lawsuits, and would be much more likely to censor a website than Google. So, this fear is unfounded in my opinion.

Praise Jesus for His Guidance


Yes, I believe Jesus does guide me with peace and a song in my heart. And if that peace and song leave my heart then I've gone astray. Well, when I was delving into this wordpress.org/ Siteground/ website building/ affiliate marketing thing... my peace and song left! 

Now that I'm free of this horrible tech pit, I have my peace and song back, praise Jesus for this!

I wanted to write this article here in my Christian Blogger's Journal, because this is where I talk about my blogging journey. And this experience was part of that journey. Hopefully it helps you: who are out there thinking about self-hosting a wordpress (or other) website for affiliate marketing purposes.

Don't be ashamed of your subdomain, and don't believe people who say it's not possible to have a popular blog with a subdomain. One of my sites: A Writer's Review, is ranked under 6 million in the Alexa rankings, while my blog: The Lowdown Truth is ranked around 9 million and gets 10,000 visitors every month (Adsense visitors).


Isn't this a refreshing article? Please, leave a comment and tell me what you think. God bless you in Jesus mighty name dear readers. 

And hopefully CBJ will begin to rise in the Alexa soon (it's unranked as of now). Until next time, keep writing and appreciate the free hosting here at Blogger.  






Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The Contrast Between Bloggers (writers) and YouTubers (musicians)



cc from en.wikimedia.org Keb' Mo'
cc from commons.wikimedia.org Lerone Bennett

Now, I realize many bloggers also are YouTubers (as I am), but there's is a decided difference between those who prefer one over the other. This difference is likened to that of musicians and writers, which I've always noticed a stark contrast between – as I'm also a musician and a writer. Let's explore these differences.

YouTubers and musicians are more visually and hearing oriented, while bloggers and writers are more thoughtfully oriented.

My mom and dad and most of my extended family are musicians, so I too became a musician. Yet, I never really had what it took to delve into this art form, at least not as much as writing. Writing to me was much more natural and enticing.

Musicians, I've noticed, are more self-centered, while writers are always interested in other people and the things around them. While musicians consider themselves the most interesting thing in the room, a writer forgets they're even in the room.

When I was at my peak in my short career as a musician and poet in Eugene Oregon, I noticed the people I got along with the best were writers. Although we may have been opposite in what we believed and our direction in life, the writers were always people I generally connected with naturally. The musicians on the other hand were always so hard to bring down to earth, which made it hard to relate with their distant thoughts and constant shifting.

YouTubers are sort of like musicians, in that they like to be heard, and most of them like to also be seen. I have about 50 videos or so on my two YouTube channels, but have never shown myself talking. I just have pictures of nature, and the sound quality is generally lacking. 

Basically, YouTubing for me is a half-hearted effort, although I can see the great potential in it. In fact, if a person wants to make YouTube their career, get some professional video editing software and a nice microphone, and you'll have a good shot at this. Yet, I find myself simply wanting to write in my five blogs instead, bringing in my pennies a day.

Blogging is for the writers, because that's what a blog is: articles. Yes, there could be a video, pictures, and other stuff, but words are the central theme for blogging. Words are silent and comforting to me, words are peaceful and helpful for me to understand life.

I can always tell when I'm around another writer, and can even gauge the depth of writing they're involved in. When I ask a person if they're a writer, I already know they are, yet I just want to know the extent of their writing and how much they've embraced the art.

Some writers don't know that they're even writers! Writers are a contradiction like this sometimes, so far in the background, yet wanting attention by writing about stuff for people to read. Bloggers are like this as well, because here we are writing in some quiet corner of the Internet, but we're aiming for as many people as possible to read our words. Make this post go viral for all I care, but for now I'm just here silently and peacefully reflecting on what's on my mind.

See, being a musician or YouTuber as a preference, over being a writer or blogger, is such a contrast. Musicians are very present and actively rubbing elbows with their voice box and presence, while writers and bloggers are plotting and reflecting in silent places with words.

Both though, are looking to influence others and interact with people on some level with their art form. Both are artist trying to share something they've created.

Just wanted to share some thoughts about this subject, although I'm sure it's not trending on Google...

It may be interesting to some people, and especially for those trying to figure out if they're a writer or a musician by preference? I'm both, as I'm also a YouTuber and a Blogger, but I naturally realized that I'm intrinsically a writer, because every time I get around another writer I can see myself in them.


What are your thoughts on this? Please share, and hey: God bless you in your writing and YouTube efforts.  



Saturday, May 28, 2016

Blogging Strategy for 2016: Optimization and Time Management


cc from wikimedia.org 


Lately, I've been neglecting my blogging efforts, as I've been working for Blogmutt writing content articles. It's been hard to find the time each workday to write a blog article or create a YouTube video, so I've been absent for a couple months. The good news is, I've figured out a new strategy in my blogging efforts. This includes some time management and blog optimization, which I wanted to share with you.


Website Optimization


I have four main monetized blogs and one ministry blog, all on Blogger with a blogspot.com sub-domain. CBJ is obviously one of these, and as of today on Alexa is ranked: 7.5 million. This is great considering it used to not be ranked at all.

The two main ways I monetize my blogs is with Adsense and Amazon Affiliates. The maximum Adsense ads Google wants us to use on each blog is 3, so I placed three ads on each blog. Before, I decided against putting a horizontal banner on top --under the title of blog, but on three blogs I decided this would work, because of the content of the blogs generally. Yet on The Lowdown Truth blog, I decided against the top ad, instead creating one on the bottom right.

Then, I placed two Amazon items in buyers boxes on each of the blogs, and three on Better Golfing Days. This in addition to the Amazon Bookstore I have on each blog on the right middle. In these Amazon boxes, I placed select items I wouldn't mind buying myself, and that are related to the blogs placed in. For instance in CBJ there's a Dell Laptop and Tablet.

Some other things I did was update my Reverbnation widget, and placed a private policy on each blog ( for some reason it was missing on three of them). I also tried to use AddThis's mobile sharing tools, but was unsuccessful for now. My sites look decent in mobile mode, but only have limited sharing options which only includes Google+, Facebook, Twitter, and email. I'll work on figuring this out later; how to get AddThis's mobile sharing buttons working.

This is the effort I've accomplished so far this time around, in optimizing my Blogger blogs. There's always more we can do as bloggers to tweak and adjust our blogs to perfection, but overall I'm fairly content with how they look and how they're working.


Time Management


I've been missing blogging and creating YouTube videos (even if no-one has missed me haha), so I've adjusted my daily work of writing content articles, to include some time for blogging. The problem I was having was: scheduling blogging later in the afternoon after work. This didn't work for me, because I'm basically unproductive in the afternoon when it comes to writing.

The morning is when I'm most productive with writing, while research and reading is good for me at night. So, I've decided to go to bed earlier and get up earlier, and this makes room for 1 and a half hours to blog or create videos each work day. This means I'll be able to post 20-22 articles and videos each month, compared to about 1-3 before.


Reason for Change


The main reason I wanted to get back to blogging was because my blogs are growing and doing well without me doing anything. The Lowdown Truth blog has grown to 4.5 million in the Alexa, and even under a million in America at times. This is mostly because of one popular article about Eminem being a clone.
Interesting how one article can propel a blog into popularity.

LDT is getting about 12K Adsense visitors every month, and the pennies coming in everyday are starting to turn into dimes and so on. So, this got me thinking again about the possibilities of making money writing what I like to write. Also, I even made a decent commission of .48 cents with Amazon, and have been getting about 30 clicks a month with my boxes.


Projections


As a rough estimate, I figure if I can produce 20-22 posts every month, my blogs and YouTube should be able to grow exponentially.

In three months I figure I could be making $62/month, in 6 months about $125/month, and in a year about $250/month.

These are my modest goals for now, but the thing about blogging is the exponential factor, which could propel my earnings well past these amounts.


Summary


This is my 2016 strategy for my 4 blogs and 2 YouTube channels (plus old Hubpages). I've been blogging now for a few years and my blogs are starting to become entrenched into Internet land.

LDT has 107 posts now, and all of them are getting more popular, without me even posting in them very often. I figure if I start posting, according to this strategy, and further optimizing them here and there, I should be able to make enough money to justify the time I spend working on them.

Of course, blogging isn't always about money, but when your not making any money then it's hard to find enough time to work on them effectively. Yet, I'll never censor my content, if Google decides to take my Adsense away, I can promise you this.


How is your blogging journey going? Hopefully well, and don't listen to anyone who says you can't be successful with a sub-domain, or not using their cookie cutter formula. Be unique and blog how you want to and where you want to, and remember it's all vanity, unless Jesus Christ is the center of your heart and actions. God bless in Jesus Christ and happy blogging to you.




Friday, February 5, 2016

Personal Blogging Compared to Affiliate Blogging


cc from pixabay


   Personal blogging could still be monetized, but the subject matter is only what you personally want to talk about. Affiliate blogging being where you're blogging to promote and sell a product or service. Which one makes more money, and what about affiliate networks and systems, do they work?

   There seems to be many people who're making a living as marketers online. They basically are affiliate marketers, who either run a website or have an extensive social media network to sell products and services through. Each sale is given a commission, and with a world-wide market a large audience can be reached.

Personal Blogging


This is what I've been doing with 4 monetized blogs on Blogger. Although, I do sell Amazon products as an affiliate on some of my blogs, I wouldn't say these are affiliate blogs. These are personal blogs: where I write what I want, and if I make money then great. Otherwise, my blogs are monetized with Google Adsense.

I've noticed over the couple years I've been blogging that the RPM for Adsense on my blogs is very low. The average overall is around .50 cents per 1000 Adsense views. Lately, on my main blog: “The Lowdown Truth”, the RPM has been .17 cents per 1000!

From my experience, it's difficult to make a good RPM with Adsense on blogs. This could be from my error in using the ads correctly, but considering my main blog is getting about 20,000 Adsense views a month – I should be making more than the couple bucks per month.

Ultimately and generally, personally blogging isn't going to make as much money as affiliate marketing. Yet, it's nice to be able to make some money writing what you want, and if a site/blog becomes popular: an exponential increase in money is possible.

Affiliate Blogging


I'm no expert on this subject, but I have some experience and see the potential with this way of making money online. Setting up a website to promote a product or service, then making a commission from each sale – this is what affiliate blogging is all about.

There are prescribed ways to make money as an affiliate marketer, one is called affiliate networks. These networks vary, but are basically places where a person can start from scratch and be led through the construction and running of their own site: selling items/services from affiliate companies.

Other affiliate marketers are more independent, setting up their own sites and soliciting the businesses they want to market. Amazon is a very popular affiliate with a lot of potential for affiliate marketers. Yet, there are so many other small and large businesses which have affiliate programs. A site will usually tell you if it has an affiliate program right on the home page of its' site (usually on bottom of page).

I've considered looking more into affiliate marketing as a way to make good money online, but I've found other ways I'd rather focus on now. Marketing is not one of my favorite jobs, although many times this is what I'm doing when content writing for clients. Also, my efforts to market Amazon over the last couple years has shown me how hard it is to get people to buy something.

Summary


In a way, bloggers are doing a little of both types of blogging if their blogs are monetized. The difference is what is the main focus for a site?

It's tempting to buy into some affiliate network and go step by step with their cookie cutter formulas. Likely with a bit of effort, a quality network will start making you what they promise. I mean wouldn't it be nice to make $100,000/year blogging about products and services?

The most experience I've had with affiliate blogging is using Amazon and ClickBank on my personal blogs. I haven't had any success with ClickBank, but have sold a few things with Amazon over the years. Never enough for a payment though...pennies...


Are you an affiliate blogger? How's it working out? Just some thoughts on the two types of blogging, maybe it'll inspire someone to look into affiliate marketing more. This is still an area of making money online I may get into more later. For now, happy blogging and God bless in Jesus.  



Friday, January 8, 2016

Setting a Schedule for Blogging


   Of course there are many different ways bloggers get the job done, some better than others. Creating content for our blogs is important so they don't become neglected and drop out of the google radar. After a couple years of blogging I've tried a mostly the: write when I want to approach, but now I'm willing to try something different like a schedule.

   The Blogging Schedule Plan:


   Basically, I'm writing articles for my blogs. I spend half my day writing articles for other people, so treat the articles for my sites as I would a client. Record the time it takes to write and post the article, hopefully within the hour time slot I've planned and scheduled for my blogging and YouTube videos.

   See, I now work from home full-time, and there are many eggs in the income basket. There are a couple main ones I work the hardest at, but then there are many small income streams with potential to be more. Blogging on all 7 of my blogs, plus 2 YouTube channels, and Hubpages isn't easy to keep up with.

   So, in the morning I'm going to spend an hour before I write for other people, and write an article for my blogs. The blogs will rotate, with 5 main sites and one alternative, which rotates through the 5 alternative sites once a week every 6 days. Every morning that I'm working I spend an hour on feeding my blogs and channels.

   Although this likely won't pay anymore than $2/hr at most for the short term, it'll be interesting to see how these efforts grow my overall web presence. After a few months of this fresh content on all 10 platforms, it'll be interesting to see how much more money I'm making. Could be worth the hour spent every morning, money wise. Either way, these are sites I've made and can write whatever I want (however I want to). Mostly, what I write has value only if it draws people closer to faith in Jesus Christ.

   An hour is a long time to write an article, especially one you don't have to research. It does take 15 minutes to post the blog and share it properly, so the writing should be around 45 min at most. The editing takes some time as well.


   This is my blogging schedule idea. CBJ is on the list for today, and it's always a pleasure to come by. May God bless your blogging and writing efforts.