The Cash Diaries

My experiments in passive income, trading and life

The Best Popunder Ad Network

Screen Shot 2016-05-24 at 11.50.09 AMPopunders are a great way to monetize low to medium quality traffic.   For example if you run a freebies, wallpaper, or viral content site, you may have a ton of traffic.  But that traffic just won’t earn you anything with traditional ad networks.  Yet it will cost you in bandwidth and server costs.

I run a number of these sites and I use popunders to monetize them.  The visitors don’t mind either.  Especially with a freebies site – they are getting something in return, and are happy to be shown an ad.  Unlike popup ads, popunders are shown below the content.  This way the user isn’t taken away from your website.

So what is the best popunder network?  I’ve tried out a few but…

The Best Popunder Network

By favorite popunder network is popcash.  I like the fact they only show one ad to a user per session.  This means a user can browse around one of my sites and will only ever be shown the one ad.

Popcash offers fast withdrawals payable straight to your PayPal account.  Recently they have started charging a $1 withdrawal fee which bugged me a little.  But I do earn thousands from popcash so It doesn’t really impact earnings overall.

Join PopCash Here

Elegant Themes Discount – May 2016

300x250Upgrade your wordpress blog with a theme that shouts professionalism.  You can join ElegantThemes with a massive 20% discount.   Over 250,000 customers can’t be wrong – why so many?  Because Elegant Themes offers super high quality themes, in a wealth on niches.

You’ve probably heard of Elegant Themes before, but held back on joining.  Well with this discount for May, now is the perfect time to get started.

Your 20% Elegant Themes Coupon

Here’s how to get your 20% discount.  Simply follow this link and the discount will be automatically applied at checkout.

Why I love Elegant Themes

I build a lot of different websites.  If I was going to buy a unique theme for each one, I would be spending a fortune.  That’s why I love Elegant Themes.  I have access to a complete library of themes with just the one membership.  I can use a different professional theme for each site I create.

It’s a yearly membership, so it’s set and forget.  More recently they’ve added plugins as well.  These are pro plugins that add really cool marketing and promotional features to your blog.

Making money with xtrade

So a few monthsXTrade ago, I decided to start looking for a new Forex broker to replace plus500.  I still love and use etoro everyday for copytrading, but for opening my own positions, I needed something new.  Plus500 was just annoying the hell out of me with it’s interface.

After some research I thought I would give xtrade a go.  They offer a $20 bonus, with no deposit required, so I was able to test them out without any risk.

Can I just say that I’m loving trading with xtrade.  It is definitely a massive step up over plus500.  The webtrader is well designed.  And I actually enjoy using the mobile app – which I don’t usually like on forex platforms.  They offer all the usual CFD’s, currencies and indicies you would expect.    I should also point out they are fully regulated which is an essential requirement for me.

How I Use xtrade

I use xtrade to trade CFD’s.  These financial products allow you to trade stocks without actually having to own the stock.

During the recent oil crash, I was opening short positions on OIL.  Yeah, this is quite a risky play.  But it generated the most profit for me.  My less risky and more reliable trades have been buying stock CFD’s in companies that I know and use.  Like Apple, Netflix, Amazon, Google (alphabet) etc.  I’m not going to go into my trading strategy here, but it’s all about supporting companies that I think are creating cool products which people love.  It’s worked for me.  But i’m sure you have your own strategies.

Xtrade is Easy to Use

The web trader interface is really nice.  And one of the best browser based platforms out there.   They also have a mobile app, which they claim is the most popular mobile trading app in the world.  I’ve got no reason to doubt this.  Let me know in the comments how you find the interface.

Easy Deposits and Withdrawals

Xtrade offers a ton of different funding options, so you’ll be covered no matter what you use.  I’ve found the funding and withdrawal process to be completely seamless and havent had any complaints for the short few months I’ve been using it.  I’ll obviously update this if things change.

Demo Accounts and $20 Real Account Bonus

Xtrade gives you a free demo account – if you’re new to forex trading then you should definitely be using this.  When you’ve got a little experience and are ready to try trading for real, you can claim a free $20 bonus.

Try out xtrade here

Has Your Blog Outgrown Shared Hosting?

YStatsou probably already know if your blog has outgrown shared hosting.  It might be experiencing outages.  It might go down whenever one of your posts go viral.  Or you just might be wanting to install a plugin that isn’t supported on shared hosting.

You could suffer through, or you could move up to something more suitable.  The truth is, at some point pretty much every wordpress blog is going to struggle on shared hosting.  This is because shared hosting is just that…. its shared. If another website on your server suddenly gets insanely popular, your site is going to suffer.    And let’s be honest – downtime is a bitch!  It not only affects your rankings, but it can lose you customers and revenue.

So what are the other options?  Here are some ideas I put together.

Start Using Cloudflare

Cloudflare is a free utility that gives your website a CDN (content delivery network), lots of performance enhancements, and some additional security features too.   Using cloudflare all your js, css and images will be delivered to your visitors from Cloudflare servers.   Meaning less load on your shared hosting.

I think pretty much everyone should use Cloudflare on their wordpress blogs.  Not only will it speed up your site, it will make it more secure.  Plus its free!

Try Grid Hosting

Most people think that after shared hosting, the next step up is a VPS.  They are wrong.  Instead they should try grid hosting.  It basically gives you the same easy to use interface as shared hosting, but your site is hosted across numerous servers.  That way, if one server goes down, your site will remain online.

Mediatemple offers the best Grid Hosting.  I would know – I host my site there and experience no downtime.  They offer 1-click wordpress installs, which makes running a blog easy.  And your site will be able to handle waaaay more traffic than it could on Shared Hosting.


I honestly wouldn’t recommend it.  Why?  Unless you are a server pro, there is no way you are going to be able to secure your site.  It’s gonna get hacked!  Trust me.  I’m a programmer, and even I don’t setup my own servers – it takes an expert.   So you’re gonna have to pay someone.  And then you’re gonna have to pay for your server as well.


My WealthyAffiliate Review. Should you even bother joining?

WealthyAffiliate reviewI make a good amount of money each month from affiliate marketing.  It’s an important part of my passive income strategy.  So I’m always on the lookout to improve my skills.  I was referred to Wealthy Affiliate by a good IM friend of mine and thought I would join and try it out.

What is Wealthy Affiliate

The main focus of Wealthy Affiliate is a step by step course in building a profitable affiliate website.    The first course is completely free.  So you can register and see if it’s something that will help you without needing to commit any funds to it.

The Content

The first course focuses on the basics.  I didn’t find it that useful.  There wasn’t anything I didn’t know.  If you regularly read IM blogs and build your own sites like I do, this won’t be news to you.  If you haven’t built a websites before that gets traffic, then you might find this useful.

The second course is where things get more interesting.  You start learning about traffic and how to get it.  The next three courses continue on this theme.  Basically how to optimize, get social media exposure and generate income.

My Thoughts

I paid the $19 for premium membership which gave me access to all the content as well as some other extras.  I like the community aspect – you can create a profile and interact with other internet marketers.    There are also some tools that are included, although none that I think are good enough to replace the ones I currently use.

There was no content that I thought “oh my god this idea is amazing, I’ve got to try that”.  It was really just the same basics I’ve seen before.  No clever “tricks of the trade”.  That was disappointing.

In Conclusion

If you have a website that is currently generating some affiliate income, you probably already know what most of the content is about.  If you have a website and have been struggling to generate any commissions, then you probably will find this useful.

Besides, you can sign up for free and try it out.  So should you bother signing up…. sure.

My Acorns Investment Update for April

Acorns Investment UpdateLast month I wrote about how I had started using the micro-investment app Acorns.  I thought I would share with you how it’s performing, as when I started using it, it was hard to find information on other people’s experience.

How does Acorns Work…

Well it simply invest your spare change.  When you make a purchase using a linked bank account (such as when you pay with a debit card), Acorns rounds up to the nearest dollar and transfers that money into an investment account.  It all happens automatically behind the scenes.  I don’t even notice the money coming out of my account.

How my Account has Performed:

I’m still in the really early days of using Acorns but here are the results:

Total Deposits: $134.28
Account Value: $136.30

Income: $2.02

So as you can see i’ve made a measly $2.  But hey – I’ve only invested $100.  I’ll look to invest another $100 this month.  If that doesn’t happen using roundups, I’ll manually invest extra (which acorns makes it super easy to do.  You can invest as little as $5).  I’ll post another update next month.

Have you tried Acorns? Or maybe another micro-investment app?  Let me know your expereince by leaving a comment.

5 different ways to build a passive income

passive income techniquesIt’s the ultimate dream – a passive income that continues earning you money while on autodrive.  While I don’t believe that a truly passive income exists, it is possible to build an income that requires very little ongoing work.  Of course, with any of these techniques, the more effort you are willing to put in, the better the outcome will be.  Furthermore, some of these ideas will require lots of work up front.

Here are 5 different ideas for building a passive income.  These aren’t obviously the only ways, but I think they are some of the most reliable.

Building a Blog

Building a blog will definitely be the most time consuming methods of the 5 to setup.   But once it’s got going, a world designed blog and bring in revenue for years to come.  One of my blogs, which was setup years and years ago, still generates over $1k in passive income every single month.  I don’t add any new content or even promote it.

The trick to building a profitable blog is having a clear monetization strategy – such as promoting a single affiliate program, and then creating a lot of content to promote that money maker.   Finding the right money maker can take lots of trial and error.  Don’t fall into the trap of trying to promote what everyone else is promoting.  Instead, finding a product or affiliate program to promote that doesn’t have a huge amount of competition is way easier to get started with.

A blog will be most successful as a passive income stream if you continue to add content to it.  This is where I failed.  I wish I had kept my blog updated and I continued to optimize it.  I’m sure I would have a lot more passive income now if I had done that.


Acorns is my favorite of the mico-investment companies.  Basically they invest your spare change into a diversified portfolio.  I’ve just started out with Acorns, but I’m already in love with the set and forget approach.

This type of micro-investment isn’t going to make you a millionaire.  And will probably never bring in a huge amount of revenue.  Personally I see it as a great way to make my cash work a little harder for me.  I’m always going to have cash, I may as well make a little bit of passive income off it.

One of the things I’ve discovered about passive income is that it pays to diversify.  One of my fav blogger Matthew Woodward, earns income from a huge number of different sources.   Acorns isn’t going to make huge dollars but it could be one of many sources of passive income you use to build an overall income.


In a sense, eToro is a bit like Acorns, but is slightly more riskier and requires a little more effort.  With eToro you invest in traders.  For example, you invest in one trader, who will then go off and open a bunch of trades in forex, stocks and commodities.  It’s basically like investing but without having to know anything about foreign currency or the stock market.

I personally copy trade around 5 different traders on etoro (i’m constantly changing this).  Over the years I’ve made thousands in passive income in eToro.  Do read through my guides on the subject and make sure you’re prepared for a riskier investment.

Amazon Review Site

This is something I’ve experimented with in the past, and am just about to right a complete guide on.  I think reviewing products is a great way to build a passive income.  The idea is simple, you publish reviews on your site, which link through to Amazon.  As a member of the amazon associates program, you’ll earn a commission on every product sold from traffic that you have referred.

Just like building a blog, this is going to take a lot of work up front.  But once it’s setup, it’s possible to generate income month after month will little effort.  The learning curve here is also big.  You’re going to need to learn about SEO.

My Amazon review websites have never lasted more than 5 years before the revenue tailed off.  So this method will require you to keep working at it.  You may need to sell off older sites, which is a perfectly reasonable way to generate income.


This is probably the most reliable and easiest method.  It’s also the least profitable on my list.  I don’t really want to build a massive portfolio of dividend stocks.  I think it’s stupid as you’ll only see a pay off during retirement.  It takes a long time and a lot of money to build a dividend income.

I do own a number of stocks and I do earn a small dividend income.  But nothing to get excited about.  It contributes to my overall strategy of diversification.  And I do like having some of my cash tied up in stocks, which makes it hard for me to mindlessly spend it.

In Conclusion

So there are just 5 techniques I’ve used to build a passive income.  There are many more.  This hasn’t been a very detailed guide on how to profit using each of these methods, but I hope this post serves as inspiration.  Passive income is possible.  If you’d like more info on any of the specific techniques let me know in the comments.

Making money with Stumbleupon and Adsense

StumbleuponI wanted to share with you a method for making money online that I’ve been using on and off for the past few years.  I don’t really use it much anymore, so I thought I would share with you how it works.

What is StumbleUpon

You are probably already familiar with Stumbleupon but here  is a quick run down for those who don’t.  SU, is a social network where you “stumble” from page to page on the internet.  It’s a great way to waste time.  You simply choose your interests and then start stumbling.

Pages are submitted to Stumbleupon manually by members.  Any member can add a page to the site.

A page that gets lots of likes on StumbleUpon will potentially recieve thousands and thousands of visitors each month from SU.

What Content Works Best on StumbleUpon?

Viral.  Anything that would get lots of views on Reddit or other viral sites, will work really well on Stumbleupon.  In fact, I use Reddit as inspiration to craft blog posts that are similar to the most popular reddit items.

Can you use Stumbleupon with Adsense?

Yes.  I’ve been doing so successfully for the past few years.  There was a point where I was making hundreds of dollars a day, just from SU traffic.  That didn’t last for long and soon settled down to less than $100 per day.

The most important thing is ensuring that you follow all of adsense’s policies and don’t try and break any rules.  Don’t flood the page with adsense units, but make sure the unit you do use (i only used one), is situated in a clickable and visible location.

It’s also important that content you create isn’t complete junk. Make sure there is something more than pictures, if you’re sharing viral memes, add some commentary to go alongside the pictures.  Make sure you also give proper attribution to any media use.

How to Submit Pages to Stumbleupon

Here’s the secret sauce.  Don’t just start submitting page after page of your own.  It’s important to submit a wide variety of pages, from a wide variety of sources. I like to submit 5 or so random links from other websites and then throw in one of my own.  If you just submit content from the same site, your account will be flagged and SU will send a total of zero visitors.  Not so good.

In Conclusion

I wanted to write this post to dispel some of the myths I was reading about Stumbleupon.  Yes, it is still possible to make money with SU.  And it is possible with adsense.  You just need to make sure you’re submitting the right content, at the right intervals.

Let me know in the comments if you’ve used this method to make money online.

Get $25 Free to Trade on Forex

Plus500Ever wanted to try your hand at trading forex?  Been sitting on the sidelines?  Well here’s an opportunity I’ve found for you to get started in Forex trading.

Plus500 now offers a $25 bonus for new members to try out their platform.  And the best thing is, it’s a no deposit bonus.  This means you don’t need to deposit anything to begin.  As far as I’m aware, plus500 is the only reputable forex platform that offers this.

You will need to confirm your account, but this is usually automatic.  All I had to do to receive the $25 bonus was confirm my account via an SMS.  Easy!

About Plus500

I’ve been trading on Plus500 for the past few months.  You can trade forex as well as CFD’s (such as commodities and stocks).   The company is fully regulated and traded on the London stock exchange.    Trades are commission free, you simply pay the spread.

Best of all, you don’t need to download any software.  You can use the perfectly competent web trader – which I find to be very easy to use.   They also offer an iphone app for trading on the go.

How to Get your No Deposit Bonus

  1. Register an account here
  2. Confirm your account
  3. Your bonus will be automatically applied.

You should invest your spare change using Acorns

Acorns AppI’ve just started using, and also started loving a new app called Acorns.  It’s a really cool concept – they roundup the change you make on purchases and invest that into various funds.  So for example, if you buy a coffee for $3.80 – they will take $0.20 out of your account and put it into your acorns investment account.

The entire process is automated.   You just need to link the app with your bank account and then when the roundups reach $5, they will withdraw it from your account via direct debit.

The money is invested in various ETF’s – and you’re able to choose an investing approach from less risky  to aggressive.  I set it at aggressive, simply because I think that will work best for my age.

One downside is that Acorns does charge a $1 monthly account keeping fee (if your account balance is over $5 and less than $5000).  This is actually much less than you would be paying for other money management services so it is a bargain.  But if your account has less than $100 in it, the $1 fee may take a hit to your growth.  It’s just something to be aware of.  If you want to get started with acorns, I would recommend transferring across $100 to begin with.

Acorns is the perfect investment app for millennials.  It’s definitely set and forget. I don’t even notice the money coming out of my account.  And it’s all going into a solid savings plan, which I can easily withdraw at any time.  And furthermore, it’s app based – which makes it super easy to get started.  There’s nothing to sign or mail off.  It just all works.

This is the future of investing.  I suggest you jump on board 🙂

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