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.

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 🙂

My top 3 personal finance tips for Millennials

personal finance tipsApparently I'm a millennial.  That I know for sure.  But I'm not so sure about being an expert in personal finance.  Then again – is anyone really an expert?  Personal finance isn't about making millions.  It's about making sure you're not living paycheck to pay check.  Making sure you have enough money in the bank to live a comfortable and happy life.

So while a may not be a personal finance expert, I am living a comfortable life.   But it hasn't always been this way.  I can remember the stress of looking at my bank account and wondering how on earth I was going to afford to pay my rent.  Luckily things aren't like that anymore thanks to some changes I made in my life a few years ago.

Create an Emergency Fund

Don't back yourself into a corner.  Start creating an emergency fund that you can use in a genuine emergency.  Short terms loans are a killer of finances.  They can destroy you.  An emergency fund should help prevent you ever needing to resort to payday or short term loans.

I keep my emergency fund in a HISA (high interest savings account).  The 2.5% interest rate (the standard in Australia), won't make me a millionaire, but what I do like about this account is the lack of fees.  My money is safe here.

I built this fund by making an automated monthly deposit.  When I had no money this was literally as low as $10 but then during the good times I was able to transfer more across.

Try Microinvesting

I love the idea of investing my spare change.  I've recently begun using the app Acorns, which automatically rounds up the spare change from purchases I make and invests it in a fund.  I don't even notice this process happening.  I've only just begun using this app, but I believe this is going to be the future of investing for millennials.  Gone are the days of 10k minimum investments and huge management fees.

Start Making Money instead of just Saving money

Putting money away in a bank account isn't going to make you a millionaire.  So for true financial freedom you're going to have to start looking at actually making money.  This may seem like stupid advice.   And I'm not talking about getting a higher salary.  I'm talking about expanding beyond a paycheck and into business.  For example, instead of just enjoying the nice small amount of interest I was getting from $3k I had saved in a bank account, I used this money to buy a website.   This website that I bought makes around $100 per month in revenue.  So it will take me around 3 years for this investment to mature.  But…. I now have an asset worth $3k + a source of monthly passive income.  This is the start of financial freedom.

So there are three of my tips.  If you've read this blog in the past, you'll know I also play around with investing in stocks and using social trading – things I also recommend you try if you're in a good financial position.

How I’m making money with Plus500

Plus500Plus500 is one of the worlds most popular online brokers.  Through Plus500 you can trade stock cfds, forex, commodities and cryptocurrencies.

But can you actually make a profit?  Here's my guide to making money on Plus500.  Read on to find out more…

Update for 2020: I no longer recommend Plus500.  If you're looking for a less risky alternative you should try this platform.  I've had much more success with it over the past couple of years.

How to Make Money with Plus500

Plus500 allows you to trade currencies (forex), commodities (like Gold and Oil) and other CFD's like stocks such as Apple or Google.

So before you start thinking about making money on plus500 you need to first have a strong understanding of financial markets.  Wild guesses will just result in you losing money.

You'll make money on Plus500 by opening either Buy or Sell positions.  A buy (long) position, if you think the asset will rise in value or a sell (short) position, if you think it will lose value.  To figure out how to make these trades, will require experience.  Luckily plus500 offers a free demo account.  So you can practice trading with pretend money.  This way you can get to grips with the interface and gain valuable trading experience.

My plus500 trading account

Who is Plus500 For

I think Plus500 is for intermediate to experienced traders.  If you've tried other FX platforms and are looking for a better interface then Plus500 is for you.  If you're looking for a platform that has what I believe is one of the largest ranges of financial products to invest in, then Plus500 is definitely for you.

I no longer use eToro and would recommend eToro instead.

A Very Generous Welcome Bonus

Plus500 gives you a welcome bonus of $30 to start trading!  No catch.  Just sign up, make sure you're account is verified and you can start trading with it.    There is no deposit required.

Webtrader.  No Download Required

Plus500 has a very easy to use web trading interface.  You don't need to download any software. It just works.  There are downloadable versions of the trading app.  Including for mobile.  But I've always found the web trading interface to work best.

A Forex Platform that Accepts PayPal!

I use PayPal a lot.  And always like to use it for my trading accounts.  Mainly because it's instant and there is no waiting like a bank account.  Plus500 accepts PayPal as well as all the other usual funding options.  As PayPal is quite strict with financial companies, seeing a forex platform accept paypal is always a good indication.

Tried Binary Options?  Use Plus500 Instead

I'm not a huge fan of binary options.  I think there is too much risk involved.  With Plus500 you can still make bets on the market going up or down just like with Binary Options, but your positions won't suddenly close.  You can keep your positions open to counter any fluctuations in the market.

But if you do really want to trade options, don't worry – you can on Plus500.  Yes thats right, as well as all the other countless financial products they offer, you will find options available as well.

You can find out more about Plus500 Here

My much simpler alternative to budgeting

I hate budgeting.  I hate having to think, every time I go out for a meal “is this in my budget”.  17121706878_0b0d1e7a11_m  I couldn't live that way, and so  I don't.

But I also don't like spending like crazy.   I don't want to run around making random purchases on shit I don't need.

So here is how I keep tracking of my spending.

A Daily Target

I know how much money I make each month.  I take that amount and then subtract the major expenses.  The rent on my pad, the rent on my office, internet bill etc etc.  I'm left with a number.  I divide this number by 30 and that is how much I can spend each day.

It's as simple as that.  It't not going to win any accounting awards, and that is the whole point.  It's designed to give me a rough idea of how much I can afford to spend each day.

Some days I spend a lot less.  And so the next day, when I'm out at the shops and see a nice bottle of wine, I think to myself, “hmm yesterday I spent hardly anything, this bottle isn't going to blow me out.”

I still manage to save

Using this daily target method I still manage to save money.  However if you've read this blog you'll know I'm not a huge fan of putting money away in stocks or a savings account.  That's dumb money.  I put my money into other businesses in order to increase my monthly cash flow.  Not save it away for when I retire.  I do have a savings account with plenty in it for emergencies.   But that's it.

This method of budgeting isn't about saving every penny.  It's about being prepared.  Removing the stress of not knowing if you can afford to pay the bills at the end of the month.

what do you think?  Let me know in the comments.

Social Trading Stocks – My Experience

Social trading has been around for a while – it's where traders share all the trades they make, so you can copy them.  But the trading has been limited to forex.  But that has all recently changed.  eToro – the worlds largest and most popular social trading network now lets you copy traders who trade in stocks.  Social trading stocks has arrived!

Social trading stocks - my aapl trade

First Off, How Does Social Trading Work?

What if you took a social network, and turned it into a trading platform?  What would you get?  A social trading platform.   There are lots of different social trading networks, but as I'm most familiar with etoro, I'll explain how it works.

1) When you open a trade on etoro, that trade is posted to your profile, and everyone can see it.
2) When you close a trade, that is also shared, so people can see if it is profitable or not.
3) You can “copy/follow” other traders on etoro.  When you “copy” a trader, you invest, say $100 in a trader, and then whenever they open a trade, your account will open that trade too.  Your investment amount will be scaled depending on how much you've chosen to invest in a trader.

Social Trading is for Beginners

You don't need to be a forex guru or stock picking expert to social trade.  This is because you can follow others and automatically make the same trades.  You just need to pick the right people.   And yes, there is some skill to picking the right traders.  Read my guide here for more help on finding the best traders to copy.

Introducing Social Trading for Stocks

eToro is the first platform I've come across (legit platform) that offers stocks.  In the past you've been able to invest in currency (forex) and commodities.  Stocks are a obviously a bit harder to do.  eToro took their time, and they have put together a really impressive offering.  And it works really well!

Forex tends to be a little wild.  It's hard for forex traders to create consistent results.  Simply because the markets can move with massive swings.  I've found that stock trades tend to be a lot less violent.  So I've begun copy trading investors who invest in stocks as well as forex.  And I've had great results.

Netflix Trade

So Do I Actually Own the Stocks?

When you open, lets say an Apple (aapl) trade and buy $50 worth, do you actually own the stock?  Nope.  You are a buying what's know as a CFD.   You'll be able to buy and sell them at the market rate, however it can be done much faster than actually buying the stock.  The other advantage of CFD's is you don't need to buy an entire share.  You can buy a fraction of a share.  eToro lets you buy stocks with as little as $10 which is awesome.  You can also open leverage CFD trades on etoro, which increases your profit potential, but it also increases the amount you could lose.  I would recommend staying away from these unless you are an advanced trader.

Can you Short stocks on eToro?

Yes.  Again this is more of an advanced trading technique.  If your new to trading, I would recommend just copying the trades of the actual traders on etoro.  Many of these traders will open “short” positions which will of course will be copied automatically by you.

What Type of Stocks are Available?

eToro offers a selection of stocks.  Meaning, you won't find every company listed in the major exchanges.  But the goods news is they have all the big players.   You'll also find stocks from all over the world.  Which lets traders reach out and invest in different markets.  In my view, the bigger the diversity, the better.

How much Does it cost to start Social Trading?

eToro has a $200 minimum first time deposit.  After this, you can deposit any amount (over $10).   I would recommend starting with between $200-$500.  This will allow you to copy multiple traders.  The more you can spread the risk the better.  Make sure you're comfortable with how the platform works before you try investing more.    And remember, just like all investments, social trading carries risk.  And it can be more risky, then many other types of investments.  Start with a comfortable amount and take your time!  It's not a get rich quick scheme.

You can open an etoro account here

The Easiest Way to Start Your Own Investment Portfolio

So what's the  easiest way to start your own investment portfolio?  Fancy yourself as a bit of a day trader?  Think you've got what it takes to lead other investors?  Well then you should definitely think about joining etoro.

eToro is a social trading platform where investors can follow other traders.  Whenever a trader makes a trade, that trade will be duplicated by the followers.    As a copytrader, I can invest a minimum of $200 in following your trades.  Whenever you make a trade, a duplicate of that trade will be opened in my account based on a ratio.  So even if you make a trade with $10k I will still open that trade, but with a smaller amount.  It's really cool!!

The Popular Traders on Etoro

eToro has this thing called “popular traders“.  Basically they will pay you if you people start following you and copying your trades.  You basically earn a monthly income for simply sharing your trades.

Why Become a Popular Investor on eToro?

Cash.  Simple as that.  Popular traders get generously rewarded on etoro.  I think the rewards are far better then any other trading platform I've seen.  Plus etoro has a massive community so it's easier to get followers.

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 10.54.30 am

Whats a Copytrader?

A copy trader is someone who follows you on etoro, and has invested in you.  They will automatically copy every trade you make.  The more copiers you have on etoro, the more cash you make on top of all your usual trading income.

Social Trading is the Future

I'm a big believer in social trading.  I think it's the future.  eToro is the worlds largest social trading platform with millions of users, and it's only going to continue growing.  It's worthwhile getting in now – people are only going to start copying you if you have a history of successful trades.

How to Become a Popular Investor on eToro.

Build a Portfolio – eToro tracks all the trades you make on their platform and generates a sexy stats page.  This stats page is what potential copiers will look at to see if they want to follow you.  Most people will only copy a trader who has at least 6 months history on the platform.  Otherwise you won't even show up high in the search filters.

Invest in Currency and Stocks – Spread the risk around.  Now sure, if you're an expert currency trader, then obviously you should stick to your guns.  But I've found that most of the traders I copy invest in a variety of different products.  On etoro you can invest in stocks, forex, commodities and indexes.  So no matter what your style, you'll be covered.

Build a Complete Profile – Upload a profile picture, use your full name and right a bio.  The etoro search has filters which show traders with full profiles.  This is about trust.  So take the time to build out your profile.  Make sure you list your trading experience in your bio.

Interact with the Community – etoro is a trading community.  You can comment on every trade, you can also comment on different markets.  So if you have news to share – share it!  If you're a popular investor, people will also post questions on your profile.  Be active and respond to these.  Remember, some members on etoro won't have  a lot of experience – use comments to reassure these members and help educate them on how financial markets work.

Make Regular Trades – When i'm looking for a trader to copy, the first thing I usually do is make sure they make at least one trade per week.  I'm not looking to have my money tied into a single trade for the next 12 months!  I want a popular trader who is active and engaged.

Post to Twitter and Facebook – Want to expand beyond the etoro community?  Reach new investors, and potential copytraders by posting your trades to social networks.  eToro has a built in feature that allows you to quickly share trades.  This is a great way to expand your reach.

Become a Popular Trader on Etoro Here

A Big PopCash Update and the Ultimate Cheatsheet.

I've written about how I had made over $2.5k using PopCash.  Well here's a big update, that number is now over 5k and ever climbing.  Since writing that post, i've gotten lots of questions about how to make money with popcash, so I thought I would put together a more in depth blog post.  So without further rambling, here is my popcash cheatsheat:

PopCash earnings

WTF if PopCash?

It's a popunder advertising network.  It works by loading a popunder ad when a user interacts with your site.

What Type of Sites Should I Use PopCash on?

Some users will find popunder advertising annoying.  I use it on a viral image site, where the users are happy to see the odd ad, because in return they get a lot of value (and laughs) out of viewing the image galleries.  Popunder ads also only work best when you have a lot of traffic.  So if you're getting a hundred visitors a day, you might want to wait until you hit the big boys club.  Otherwise you'll just get disappointed at the lack of $$$.    There are lots of different types of sites that work well.  If you've ever seen a popup ad (of course you had) just take note of the website, and what type of content they have.  And why not take inspiration from them and build your own similar site.  That's what I did, it works.

How Often are Payouts.

Every day.  Seriously!  And they have never missed a payout.  Sometimes there is a slight delay during holidays (like the easter holidays at the moment) but they always let you know, and you're never left wondering.  I've have never had a network payout as regularly and as fast as popcash.

I personally choose to cashout once a week.  Which is more then frequent enough for my needs.  From the time of requesting a payout to it landing in my account is usually just a few hours.

How do They Pay

PayPal and Payza.  I use paypal.  No issues here.

What is the Minimum Withdrawal Amount

$10.  I have no problem making this every week (I make a lot more).

Do They Accept Adult Traffic

Yes.  It obviously doesn't pay as well.  I wouldn't go down this route if I were you.  There just isn't as much money in it.  I always try and create a really high quality site with high quality traffic as it just earns so much more.

Do They Accept Worldwide Traffic

Sure do.  I have traffic from all over the world.  Obviously U.S traffic pays better then traffic in China.  But it all counts.

Do they pay for every visitor?

This is a common noob mistake people see.  They see lets say, 10k visitors to their site, but the reports on popcash only show $8k impressions.  What's going on?  PopCash only shows an ad when a visitor interacts with your site.  (clicks a link etc).  So if someone is coming to your page and then leaving straight away then you won't see an ad.  Focus on building a higher quality site that makes visitors want to click around.

How Often are Popunders Shown to a Visitor?

Once every 24 hours.  This makes sure your users don't get pissed at being shown a ton of ads.

 

Does Shorte.st Pay? They Sure Do

Shorte.st is a way to make money from links.  Basically, they insert an add in between your site and the destination link.  It's a great way to make money on certain websites.  If you have the type of content that people just want to have, then this type of monetization works really well.  I use it in conjunction with popcash.

The most important thing about these ad networks is the money!  I've tried other networks (i'm looking at you linkbucks) and have had problems.  Shorte.st on the other hand seem to be extremely reliable.  I always get paid out on time.  At the moment, my earnings aren't nothing to write home about.  Literally just a few dollars a month.    Compared to what I make using popcash, which is in the few thousands.  But I only use Shorte.st on a very small percentage of the traffic I get.  Now that they've proven to be a reliable and well paying partner over the last 6+ months, I'm going to be ramping up and adding their ad codes to more pages.

So Shorte.st gets a big thumbs up from me.

The Ultimate Make Money Online Cheatsheet

Here I've put together all my best tips for making money online into one big cheatsheet.

A) It takes time.  My ultimate advice has always been that you need to stick at it for years.  Not weeks, not months but years.  My rule of thumb: 5-10 years of obscurity before you figure out enough stuff and learn enough to make it work.

B) Social Media isn't actually that important.  I have a twitter account, I have an instagram account etc etc.  They don't have many followers.  I don't think I've made $1 from them.  I've made thousands without social media.

C) You do need a website.  Social sites come and go.  Money making methods come and go.  Websites will always exist.  So you need one.  Think of a website as your homebase.  This isn't mine.  This is just my diary.  I've built a homebase that is going on 10 years old – and as you can imagine it's fucking valuable.

D) Diversify.  Don't put all your eggs in the one basket.  If you're making 100% of your income from one affiliate program and it suddenly dies (has happened to me before) you're fucked.  Spread things out.  Target multiple affiliate programs, have a backup website etc.  However…

E) Focus is important.  Don't jump from one thing to another every week after if nots working.  Read point A again.  It takes time!  Stick at it.

F) Ignore all “make money at home” scams.  Never pay for a product on Clickbank.  Never pay for anything on the warrior forum.  They are all scams.  the people who are actually making money don't tell people exactly how they do it.  Stop buying that crap.  Notice how I never actually tell you the websites I own??!!

G) Stop working for cents.  Don't join sites that promise to pay you a few cents to click a link or read an email.  Or the sites that pay you $1 for writing hundreds of words etc.  You will never ever succeed using these methods.

H) Invest in opportunities that have huge upside.  Last month I dropped around 10k on domain names.  Not lots just two quite valuable names.  These are investments.  If I build a site on these domains and it works out, I could be in for a 100K+ return.    Invest in yourself.  Don't save money away.  Be a risk taker and make a move.

I) Be Unique.  Working on an affiliate offer that nobody else is doing is 10 times easier than trying to promote something like Hostgator or Bluhost where everybody is promoting it.  Look for opportunities which are new and haven't been exploited by the stupid masses.

J) Spend 90% of your time making.  10% communicating.  Most people talk 90% of the time.  Trying to network, emailing, setting up deals etc.  I don't do that.  I spend 95% of my time actually building stuff.  And I occasionally check my email.   I make enough to hire an assistant to read my email for me.  I don't answer phone calls – my friends msg me.  Just focus on building.

K) Take Time Off.  You don't need to work 18 hour days.  You don't need to be “busy” all the time.  The people who run around looking “busy” actually achieve very little.  I get 8 hours of sleep, I look after myself and take days off every week.  I still launched a new product last week, got a fuck load of press and attention and still managed to take the weekend off.

L) Sell Your Company.  Two sides to this.  If you sell your company too early, you could leave money on the table.  But don't be afraid to cut and run sometimes.  But this shouldn't be a yearly thing.  This is an occasional practice.    Selling your company could mean having to start from scratch.  So think carefully about this.  Of course selling gives you cash.  Which is nice.

M) Search Engines still rule.  SEO doesnt.  I havent built backlinks for years.  But somehow you managed to find this page.  If you create good content + add time then I've found that search engines will show you some love.  The SEO guys will get all hot and flustered and tell me i'm wrong.  However, they work for $$.  I make $$$$$.  Because…

N) Good Content is King.  I'm not a great writer.  But I can write content that is better than 99% of similar content written by some indian guy working for $1 an hour.  I'm always going to be better than that.  I don't be afraid to create controversy.  Always write honestly.    And don't copy content – it doesn't work.  If you can't write spend 10 years writing a blog.  I did that.

O) It's Not Easy.  Obviously or everybody would be doing it.  A lot of people make money online.  Most people don't however.  But there are lots of opportunities.  It does take skill.

P) Learn to Design, or Code.  Or learn to design and code like me.  The combo is hugely valuable.  Whenever I think of an idea, the difference between you and me is that I can build it.  To me that is fucking incredible.  Being able to think of something, and then sitting down and 48 hours later, it exists.  Learn to code.  Then learn to design.  If you can make your code look pretty with design, people will give you money 🙂

Q) Experiment.  I bought bitcoin, I still trade forex using  copytrading.  I like experimenting with different ideas.  Most of the time I end up ahead.  You'll never know what will take off in a big way.  So be prepared to experiment with things like bitcoin.  But…. you're about 2 years too late to invest in bitcoin.  You have to be on the edge of ideas.

R) Build websites.  Build software.  Build apps.  Aka Build.  The money is in building and owning an asset.  Not writing pages on Squidoo etc.  There is no money in that.

S) There is no secret method.  There are however literally hundreds of thousands of different ways to make money online.  So its up to you to discover on your own through trial and error what works.  You won't find the answer on a blog like this.

T) Build a portfolio.  I think I own about 6 apps, 10 websites.  I don't know how many hundreds of domains I own.  But lots.  Although I recommend focusing on just one project to begin with, over time, when project number one is making $$$ each month, move onto project two etc.  Owning some domains is also a good way to store value.  I sell a lot of domains each year.

U) Outsource.  Once you are making $$$$,  hire someone to handle all the mundane tasks that require no creativity.  Automate as much as you can first.  Then all the stuff that can't be automated, outsource.  There are still countries where your dollar can hire someone on the cheap.

V) Having trouble.  Spend 30 minutes each day.   If you're not having success.  Spend 30 minutes each.  Each and every day.  Then once you've figured out what you were doing wrong you can ease off.  30 minutes each day will ensure that you are at least moving forward.  Most people give up after about 2 weeks of doing something.  Read point a again.  It takes years.  Can you spend 30 minutes for the next 2 years?  If not then you might as well stop reading.

How I make moneyFind out more
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