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.

Building an Authority Site: Update 1

In the beginning.

I already own an authority site, it makes anywhere between $700-$3000 a month.  Not a huge amount but this site is completely passive.   I mean, completely.   I do absolutely nothing.  I don't build links, I don't post content, I don't promote it.  It goes to show if you find the right niche, put up the right content, and promote something that will bring you $$$$ instead of $, passive income is possible.

And now I want to do it again.

I'm going for something a little less passive this time, I'm wanting to create a site in the mens fashion/lifestyle niche.  There are lots of sites out there with good content, but I still believe there is room for one more;).

The Domain

I'm going to reuse an old domain of mine.    At the moment it gets around 100 visits a day.  It's a bit of a risk because basically those visitors will go, and i'll be starting from scratch.  But the domain currently makes no money.  I don't like having domains sitting around, costing a yearly registration, without them at least generating enough to pay for themselves.    Sometimes you need to take a chance.  I plan on doing that.

The Website

I won't be using wordpress.  Instead I'm using a custom built publishing platform.  It's built in PHP.  Why?  Well I hate with a passion the templating system in wordpress.  In fact I kind of hate wordpress.  It feels like something from last decade (which obviously it is) but it hasn't kept with the times.  So I've built out a new platform.  It's what publishing should be in 2015.    I'll optimize it over time, tweaking bits and pieces to make sure it's perfect – thats why building your own software is awesome – you can keep changing it, iterating, until you reach your goals.  With wordpress it's limited in scope.  You can only do so much.

The Content

I'll probably create most of it myself to begin with.  That way I can set the tone and quality.  I specialise in high, high quality content.  Better content that can be written by the cheap articles writers.  It's how  I compete.  You'd need to pay someone around $100 an article to get similar quality – and if you do that the economics just won't work.

I'm aiming for 20 posts in April.  That's a goal I've set.  Each post will be around 1k in length and have lots of images.

The Promotion

The good thing about using an existing domain of mine, is that it comes with a twitter account with followers.  Sure they aren't in the right niche, but just having a few hundred followers to begin with lends some authority.  The promotion I'll be doing is posting on Twitter and Facebook.  And I'll expect very little traffic from it.  I'm looking for organic growth and expect most of the traffic will come from Google.  And that traffic won't exist for possibly the first 3 or 4 months.  I need to be patient.

I'm not going to build backlinks.  I don't believe you need to anymore.  Content is king.

The Money

You can't make money without traffic.  So I don't expect anything within 3 months.  After that I'm going to be targeting affiliate offers.  I have quite a good strategy in place for my other sites, and i'll use the same thing.

So lets get building….

So far I've built the site, I just need to design the logo, put it online, and start adding content.  I'm only writing these updates to keep myself accountable.  I'll try and check in every few days.  And yes, i'll share every traffic detail as well as full revenue breakdowns.

 

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.

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.

 

PopCash is still a Great Source of Revenue for Me

A quick update on PopCash – the popup advertising network that I've been using.  I've written about how I made over $2.5k using popcash and I wanted to give an update on how things have been progressing.

The good news is, that I'm still seeing regular cash payments from popcash.  They haven't been late paying out.  Not once.  Earnings from popcash aren't huge, and you will need an appropriate website that has lots of traffic, and where the visitors won't mind this type of advertising.  But if you do have that type of website, then I can't recommend PopCash enough.

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.

Mediatemple $5 Hosting Offer

I just got an email from Mediatemple, they are offering their Premium WP Hosting for just $5.  That's a pretty amazing deal.  It only lasts for the next 2 days, so get it while you can.  Mediatemple hosts this blog – mt offers hosting that won't go down if you're site gets a burst of traffic.  And their WP hosting is especially designed for running WordPress Blogs.

Mediatemple $5 Premium WP Hosting Coupon

1) Visit this page

2) Enter the code: PremiumWP5

eToro Making Big Changes to CopyTrader

eToro, my forex trading platform of choice, has announced some interesting changes to CopyTrader.  CopyTrader allows you to automatically copy the trades of professional forex traders.  It's a great system – one that has banked me over $850 profit last month.

New Stop Loss and Pause Features

One of the biggest features that has recently appeared in CopyTrader is the pause function.  This is HUGE.  If you don't like the trading style of a trader, you can pause the system from copying any new trades.  This way, your existing copied trades can close out and you won't be locked into copying this trader.  Previously you had to just stop copying, which closed all open positions.

There is also a new stop loss feature.  If a trader loses more than 40% of the copied amount you'll automatically stop copying this trader.  This can be manually adjusted.  Nice feature that promotes responsible trading.

New Minimum Copy Amount

Probably the news that will have the biggest impact is the minimum copy amount.  You now need to copy with at least $100.  I think this is great.  I've always recommended copying with $100 because $50 (the previous minimum) was just too small an amount and didn't offer any flexibility.  This new minimum will ensure that you'll be able to copy all the trades of the traders you copy.

eToro's copytrader keeps on getting better and better.  In my opinion their product is miles ahead of other social trading platforms.  It's easier to use and they really promote sensible trading, which in the long run equals bigger profits!

 

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.

October Update 2014

Ok, no I haven't died.  I've just been crazy busy.  And I always would rather work on the stuff that actually makes me cash than just write about it here.  Most people do the complete opposite.  They write about all the things they are going to do to make some cash, but never actually get anything done.

Income

My number one money maker – an authority site in the finance niche managed to pull in over $2.4k last month.  It usually does around $1k.  The crazy thing about this site is that it is 100% passive.  I set it up over a year ago and do nothing.  I don't build backlinks, I don't post to social media, I don't create new content.  If you create uber high quality content, that is unique then you can sit back and let the content do its thing.

I find it funny to see all the people struggling away on the various marketing forums, doing crazy amounts of work for a dollar or two here and there.  High, high quality is where its at.

Another site of mine, where I make money from PopCash, didn't do so well.  It's so unpredictable and lots of variables involved.  I went from making about $80 a day to $8 on that site.  But in the past it has gone down and gone back up again.  Like my other site, it's set and forget.  I might give it some love.  Just to keep it ticking over.  I still think PopCash is a great revenue maker and they continue to pay out on time every within 24 hours of a request.  They are awesome!

I didn't do much Forex trading and the one trade I did open lost me about $15.  That's the way it goes.  I still copytrade, which I believe is the best strategy and I'm up about 4% over the past couple of months.  I did Buy some Apple Stock through eToro which has gone up recently!  So I sold some of it.  I'm loving how easy it is to buy stocks through etoro.  I'm also going long on Apple.  $150 is my target and completely realistic in my opinion.

I've got another massive money maker in the pipeline.  It's a 100k return type  project.  I've spent a lot of cash on it, and it's basically what I've been working on (and haven't been blogging).  It's unique and I think will become hugely valuable.   It's going to be valuable because no one else is building something like it.  It's not in the IM niche.  It's not a content site or an authority site.  It's a completely different type of company.  This is my point people – you have to go against the grain and do what nobody else is doing.    Then making money just happens.

Expenses

Biggest expenses this month were clothes.  Which is a little shit.  But i'm tired of buying clothes that don't really fit or don't make me feel confident.  I'm now at a stage in my life, where I would rather buy a shirt for $300 that makes me look and feel amazing as opposed to shitty shirt worth $50 that sort of fits but i'm self conscious in.   Unfortunately Mr Porter, is ridiculously good at making you buy things.  There online shopping experience is top notch.  I feel a little better knowing I earn a fuck load of bonus frequent flyer points shopping their.  p.s – before making a big purchase, always buy it through your Frequent Flyer program.  Most programs have deals with all the big online retailers.

Second biggest expense was servers.  The problem with running a number of large sites is the large hosting bill.  It's still well within the 1k per month range so thats nice.  I've been putting all my new sites on DigitalOcean.  They are by far the best VPS provider out there.  Way better than Amazon or other cloud providers and all their servers run on super fast SSD drives.  Amazing performance and they start at a silly $5 per month!

Investments

I'm cash rich at the moment, mainly because over the past few months (bar this one), I have been uber frugal.  Most of my cash is just sitting in a high interest savings account which makes me a little uneasy.  It's too safe.  I would rather invest it. So i've been on the lookout for sites to buy or build.  Nothing took my fancy.  I might make a purchase this month.  I did buy some shares in a bank.  Apart from etoro shares, I don't usually buy stock.  I made an exception because I was a) cash rich, and b) I use this bank, they have an amazing product and customer experience, and they aren't American.  Which is pretty much what I look for in an investment.

So that is October.  I'll try and push some more blog posts out.  I've got some cool ideas.

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