The Cash Diaries

My experiments in passive income, trading and life

Category: Blogging (page 1 of 2)

How I made Twitter useful again

I didn’t really use Twitter that much.  My account posted the odd thing here and and there and and every  tweet was almost exclusively a link to this website.  And I found I wasn’t really enjoying it.  But I knew there had to be more to Twitter.  There was a community here, and I just need to find it.

Here are some steps I took to taking control of my Twitter account and how I started finding a use for the platform.

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Use SEMRush to Get more traffic

semrush trafficThe more traffic you have the more money you can make.  It’s a pretty simple concept.  But what’s not simple is how you actually get that traffic.  It can sometimes seem like a bit of a dark art, with so much conflicting information.  So it’s best to stick to the basics.  And for my basic SEO work I like to use SEMRush.

I started using SEMRush a little over a year ago, to help build traffic to my authority and niche sites, and I managed to increase traffic across the board.

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Here’s Your Mediatemple Discount for August

Mediatemple CouponHere’s a special offer for Cash Diary readers.  You can get a massive 33% discount

This blog, like many of my other sites runs on MediaTemple hosting.  Years ago I used to use basic shared hosting, but  I soon discovered that my sites were going down all the time, the speed was really bad and when I wanted to run certain scripts they didn’t have the required software installed on their servers. Continue reading

Switch to HTTPS/SSL improve search engine rankings

SSL LockGoogle recently announced that they were using https/ssl as a signal for rankings.  Meaning, sites that used HTTPS/SSL would improve in the rankings.    Now at the moment, there is no need to panic if you don’t have ssl enabled.  It’s only being used as a very small signal.  You probably won’t even notice a difference.  But google has definitely made clear it’s intention and will place more importance on secure sites in the future.

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Build a Website and Make money in 2016

Making money in 2016 onlineThe past few years, internet marketing has been focused on social media.  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest etc etc.  These platforms are huge, and there is obviously a lot of money to made from them.

And Google hasn’t been that kind to website owners these past few years either.   With a flurry of algo changes, banning adsense accounts willy nilly, and generally being a dick, it hasn’t been fun.

But I think things are changing.  And once again, running your own website is definitely going to be the best money maker in 2016.

Building a Website is Dirt Cheap

It costs just a few dollars on hostgator to get started.  You spend that much on Coffee in a single day!  So why the hell would you hesitate?

I’ve been building a few extra websites this year already.  I decided to get myself a brand new hostgator account and the entire process was painless.  It took me about 5 minutes.

A Genuine Source of Passive Income

Passive income is hard to find.  But good news – I found it!  And it all starts with a website.  I have a site that I haven’t updated in months, yet it still earns me over $1k every single month!  I don’t need to promote it, no link building, nothing!

It’s All About Creating Great Content

The secret to making money with a website, especially in 2016, is all about creating the right content.  I find content that targets action keywords like “how to do x” works best.  You don’t need to stuff an article with keywords.  Just genuinely answer the how-to question with quality advice.  I don’t even worry about word count.  All I care about is create content of amazingly high quality.  And it works!

So Many Ways to Make Money

Obviously adsense is still around.  And plenty of people make money from it (including me).  I don’t really like it that much though.   But don’t think that is your only option.  Whatever your niche, there is bound to be an affiliate program you can promote.  I promote lots – and make over a thousand each month in affiliate commissions.

If you have a product based blog – such as a review site, there is also Amazon Associates.  And I’ll let you into a little secret.  Amazon is where it’s at this year.  All my marketing friends are creating sites to make money from amazon.  And I think I will even give it a go as well.

My Top 4 Tips for Building a Money Making Site in 2016

  1. Post content more than once a week.  As content is key, posting it on a regular basis is where you’ll find success.
  2. Focus on a niche.  But build an authority site. Don’t worry if you post content that is slightly off niche.  Just make sure it relates to your money maker – such as an affiliate program.
  3. Promote on Twitter and Facebook – but it doesn’t really matter.  I don’t think social media matters that much.  It just doesn’t bring in the same revenue as search traffic does.  So down spend all your time on social media.
  4. Stick at it.  My number one tip – stick at it.  If you post 2 articles every week for an entire year you’ll have over a hundred posts.  That’s a valuable asset.

So there you have it.  Building a website is where it’s at. Have you built one?  Hows it going?  I’d love to hear from you and what your experiences have been so leave a comment below.

Why I started an email newsletter and you should too

fBV3Wtxe_400x400Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest… yet email is still my number one earner.  I promote my blog posts all over the place, but nothing compares to good old fashioned email.  Crazy!

I’ve been running an authority site for quite a while now.  It brings in a modest $2k+ each month from affiliate commissions.  And I credit almost 80% of this income to the email newsletter I run on that site.

Once a week I put together a collection of links related to the niche.  I also do a quick round up of blog posts from that I posted during the week. And of course I also include a link and quick sales pitch to the affiliate link I’m looking to promote.  And every few days, without fail, I manage to make a sale.

This strategy isn’t rocket science.  It doesn’t require any special skills and it also doesn’t take very long to complete.  In fact I spend less than an hour per week on it.  That’s 4 hours a month for $2k of revenue.  Not bad.

Running an email newsletter doesn’t also need to be all about selling.  In fact, I do very little selling to my email list.  I do a lot of support – I let people email me back, ask questions and i respond.  It’s turned out to be a very personal communication platform.  And people appreciate that.

I thought I would do something similar here.  I usually use GetResponse for my email lists – and I think it works best for large email newsletters.  Because this site is much smaller, I wanted to try something different.  I’ll be created a tiny newsletter list.  I want to keep things small so I can keep things personal.   That way I can share more.  You’ll notice I don’t share too many specifics on this blog (I am trying to change that).  But I will share them through the email list.  So if you’re interested in how I make money from sites like etoro, popcash and this one – jump on my newsletter.

Four Things That will Improve Your Life and Income in 2015

Here are 3 things you should be doing in 2015 if you want to improve the amount of cash you make.  These are simple, almost obvious ideas, but the reality is, so many people keep chasing ideas.  Searching out new information (come on, how did you find this blog post!!), without just putting their heads down and working.

Build a Website.  One Website. And stick with it.

You don’t need to build 10 different websites.  Start with one.  If it isn’t making at least $100 a month (which, come on, is nothing!), a new website ain’t gonna help.  Time.  That is what it takes to make money.  And you have to focus that time on the one project.  Even if you start out with a shitty site, if you improve it a tiny bit each day, in 10 years time, you’ll have a behemoth.  If you give in after 6 months.  You will have nothing.

Build a personal blog and post to it each day.  Build an advice site and share knowledge.  Build a review site, and review all the things you genuinely find cool.

Example – Many, many years ago, I built a site about a travel product.  I loved this product so much so that I reviewed all the different brands.  Of course, I linked to amazon to get a commission each time someone clicked through.  And now, well 8 years later, I’m still getting an amazon gift card each month and I don’t have to pay for books anymore.  Any book I want – it’s free.  I make sure the site is online, I make sure the site is usable by making sure it’s design is good and current.  I make sure there are no broken links and occasionally I post new content.  The lesson here is that I didn’t sell the site as soon as it make a $.  I stuck with it and it paid dividends.

Start Investing.  Stop Saving

I can’t stand the personal finance bloggers who live by the gospel according to budgeting.  Chapter 1, verse 2: though shall live a miserable life, pinching every penny and saving every cent in order to live a miserable retirement.

Stop!  I have a HISA.  But I use the money in that account, not to save for tomorrow, whenever tomorrow might be…. some distant time.  I save for two things – a) to buy shit (which isn’t very much as I prefer to buy a few very good items rather then lots of crap. And b) investments.  By investments are usually websites.  And if I’m not buying websites I’m usually trading.

The point is I’m giving myself a shot.  If you only buy stocks.  Or only save in a bank account.  You are limiting your possible returns.  You might make 15% in a killer year by investing in stocks.  You might make 1000%+ in a year buy creating shit like websites or building a startup.   Give yourself a chance.

Focus on Creating.

Build something.  If you’re good at design, create logos, banners, websites etc.  give them away for free.  If you can write code, create jquery plugins, or ios components and make them open source.  If you’re good at writing, create copy content and let people use it.  Get the idea.  Just start creating, creating and creating some more.  There will come a point where you just go – fuck – I can sell this, and you’ll do that.  Try not to worry to much about the business model right away.  Just focus on creating for now and the rest will follow.

Stop Buying So Much Shit

Last year I probably bought too much stuff.  The problem is I discovered Mr Porter and they do a great job selling me stuff.  Damn you. But I am actually buying less stuff I don’t need and more quality stuff that I actually enjoy.  Anyway, I think this is something we can all work at improving at – stop buying shit we don’t need.

My buying habits have changed a bit over the past 12 months.  Instead of just go for a spray and pray approach – thinking that if I buy 10 cheap shirts, one of them will end up being good – I’ve started being more careful.  Sure, i’m now dropping $500 on a shirt, but I’ve researched this shirt, I’ve know the quality, I know the cut.  I know what I’ll wear it with and I know it will last.  And when I put it on, I’ll look good and feel good.   And I apply this approach to everything I buy – making sure it is the best for me, it will last  and be quality.

 

Slow and Steady

Time.  It’s the number one money maker.  I wish I had more of it.  But unfortunately everyday you’re only given a certain amount and you can’t fast forward or rewind, it just goes on at the same rate.

I can’t count the number the times I’ve been impatient and when an idea doesn’t work right away, I simply sell out and move onto something new.  This jump and run approach rarely works.  What works is working at the same idea, day in day out.  Sure it might evolve and change but it’s not the same as selling out and moving on.

I see some people posting their IM journey’s on BHW – they are super motivated for a day or two and then things wane, they realise they are doing an incredible amount of work for very little cash.  Usually just cents.  And they give it up.  Morons.

It takes time.

I have a single affiliate offer that made me over 1.3k last month.  Do you know how much work I did to promote that offer?  None.  I did nothing.  I was busy doing other stuff.  But it still brought in the cash.  Why?  Because I posted that offer on a site that is over 10 years old.  10 years!  I started it when I was a young boy and just held onto it.  That website, has hundreds of posts, all of high quality and i’ve done no backlink building or any SEO.  I just kept building it.  Year after year.  And as a result Google fucking loves it.

If you’re building a Private blog network or any other scammy type of “system” it’s going to fail in the long run.  You will have spent all this time, and now your investment is worth absolutely nothing.  You can’t even sell it – who the hell would buy a website that uses a PBN these days?    However if you had spent that time just building a website, on a topic you loved, and didn’t worry about SEO, you would have at least had an asset that could be sold.  Maybe not for very much at the moment, but imagine if you kept at it for 10 years.  Imagine how much it will be worth then.

When it comes to making money online there are no secrets, no systems.  Just time.  That’s all there is to it.  Just be patient and keep going.  A little bit each day.

it works.

Three Better Alternatives to Hostgator

I used to use Hostgator for a number of small sites I built. But over recent months, I’ve noticed a decline in the quality of the service. So here’s a roundup of some alternatvies to Hostgator.

The Cheap Option – Bluehost

I’ve heard good things about bluehost. They recently went through a major transformation and their service has improved dramatically. It’s probably the best cheap option out there.

The Premium Option – MediaTemple

A favorite of designers. Mediatemple offers premium shared hosting. Unlike Hostgator or Bluehost (or any other shared host), mediatemple has grid hosting which puts your site on a grid of servers with burstable resources. What this means? Your site won’t go down if you go viral.

Mediatemple is reliable – I host this website on Mediatemple and love the product. Customer service is top notch. You pay a premium, but if you’re looking for no hassle hosting with powerful features, this is for you.

The DIY Option – DigitalOcean

Want complete control? Then a VPS (virtual private server) is for you. Digital Ocean provides the cheapest and fastest cloud servers out there. They start at just $5 per month. Digital Ocean has by far the best tutorials and help section, so even a novice can setup a server. Plus, they even offer 1 click wordpress install. Running your own server takes a little extra work – you’ll need to install any updates, and if something goes wrong you’ll need to figure it out.

Why You Shouldn’t Blog on Squidoo

I can’t believe people are still slaving away writing articles on a website like Squidoo or Hubpages.  Here is why you shouldn’t be and where you should be putting your valuable content instead.

Rubbish Payout

Some people have created hundreds of articles and spent god knows how many hours, yet they only make < $100 a month.  A month!  If you were to calculate your earnings per hour it would be well, well, below minimum wage.  In fact your probably working for a couple of cents per hour.    Your time is more valuable then your money.  Trust me.

You Can’t Sell It

If a website of mine is making much money, I sell it.  It gives me cashflow to work on other projects.  When you post an article of squdioo – they own your content.  The only value it has is the ad revenue.  And if that dries up, you’ve got nothing.

You Have No Control

If the website your posting to (Squidoo, Hubpages etc) suddenly gets the big FU from Google, then basically you’re screwed.  Furthermore, these websites can ban you at any time.

Cheat Sheet on What You Should Be Doing

  1. Build your own website.
  2. Your site probably won’t rank within the first few months, and you’ll probably want to give up.  This is where 99% of people fail.
  3. Keep adding new content – but it doesn’t really matter how often.  I have a website which hasn’t been updated in 6 months and it still brings in $700+ a month.  Every month.
  4. Use affiliate links.  It works and makes more money for less trafficked websites
  5. Don’t worry about backlinks.  I posted an article on this site (which has no backlinks) and it made me $80 within an hour.  If you know how to write, if you know how to make a headline and if you know which topics to target, then you can do well without backlinks.  If you don’t know how to do that write 500 posts and you’ll soon figure it out.
  6. Stop working for cents!
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