For the past 24 hours, I've been playing around with a new way to make money – It's called Shorte.st and it's a link shortening service that pays. It's similar to adf.ly but I've found the payout to much higher in the short period of time I've been using it.
Here's a Guide to Using Shorte.st
How Much Money will I Make?
All depends on the number of visitors you can send. With these types of link shortening services, it works best if you have a lot of traffic. You'll need 1000+ people to visit your short link to see revenue over $1.
What Type of Content/Sites Should I Use it On?
This will work on general sites that have a big audience. Not niche sites. So think wallpaper, downloads, pretty lady type websites. If you have a twitter account with a massive following, then posting these short links there would also work well.
When Are you Paid?
On the 10th of each month if your account balance is larger than $5. Payouts happen automatically to your paypal or payoneer account.
How to Make Lots of Money with Shorte.st
Ok this is where it gets interesting. If you figure out a way to get lots of people to click on a link – and I'll let you figure that one out – then you can really take things to the next level. For example, if you are getting lots of people clicking through a link to see a picture of a pretty lady, you can host that image on your own website and surround it with your own ads. So not only will you get paid when people click the link to visit your site, you'll also earn when they land on your site.
I'm not a fan of having large amounts of cash sitting around. Some people believe Bitcoin is more like Gold or Silver then cash, and it should be sitting away in a vault somewhere. But that is a risky investment strategy. There is absolutely no guarantee the price of BTC will rise. Just like cash, you shouldn't leave it sitting around. Put it to work!
It's time for you to learn about how you can invest your bitcoin and start earning interest. I've already earned a 60% return on BTC balance these past two month – unless you've also been investing your BTC, then your return over the past two months would have been in the low single digits (and possible zero).
Your Cheatsheet For Investing Bitcoins
Grab yourself a BTCJam Account. BTCJam is a Peer 2 Peer investment network. borrowers can create listings and investors can choose to invest in individual projects, ventures, etc. This means that people can borrow capital without needing to go through a bank. These peer to peer networks have existed for a while with fiat currency. But they are relatively new with BTC. There are huge advantages to using bitcoin for a lending network.
Start small. One awesome advantage to BTCJam is there doesn't appear to be a minimum amount you need to invest. That means you could invest as little as $0.01 in a listing. If you're new to p2p lending then I recommend you start small. Even just a few dollars. This way you can get comfortable browsing through listings and picking the right people to invest in.
Diversify. Don't put all your cash into one listing. p2p lending works best when you have a diverse portfolio. Although as of yet, no one I have invested in has failed to make a repayment, I've factored in this risk.
Invest only in A and B graded listings. Investments on BTCJam are given a credit rating (A-E). I use the filter tools to filter out any listings below a B grade. This reduces the risk.
Chose a range of long and short term listings to invest in. Each listing has a term. Some are 30 days, some are for much longer. I choose to invest in a range of listings which feature various terms. As BTCJam is quite new, I don't have enough data to figure out what is the best strategy for term length. therefore I have a diverse portfolio.
Be Smart. Each listing has a grade and associated data to help you make an informed decision. Due to the possible anonymous nature of Bitcoin, you can't expect every listing on BTCJam is going to deliver. Therefore you need to use common sense. Look at what your money is going to be invested in – is it just a pump and dump or is there a strong business case? Does the borrower provide lots of details? Don't rush.
Don't keep BTC uninvested on BTCJam. Don't keep BTC just sitting in your btcjam account. I recommend only transferring money into the network when you are ready to make an investment. This is about risk management. If anything happens to BTCJam you want your bitcoins to be somewhere else.
Keep Reinvesting. When a borrowers sends you a payout, use the payout to invest in something else. Remember you can invest fractions of a bitcoin down to tiny amounts. Keep your funds ticking over.
Have you been investing your bitcoin – make sure you let me know how you've been doing in the comments. Remember, don't be a fool – put your cash to work!
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.
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
Build your own website.
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.
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.
Use affiliate links. It works and makes more money for less trafficked websites
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.
PopCash is a popunder advertising network that I've been using for the last little while to monetize some of the sites I own. I wanted to share my experiences of using PopCash and how much I've been earning.
I don't use PopCash on all the websites I own. For example, it wouldn't do well on a site like this. But for say, entertainment sites, it would do really well. One thing you need to know about popunder ads – you need to have a lot of traffic. Luckily I do on some of my sites!
Approval and Setup
PopCash is by far the most responsive ad network i've come across. I've never needed to contact support (because I've never had any issues) but they are extremely speedy when it comes to getting your domain approved. Usually it takes just a couple of hours (if at all). This means you can get started placing ads right away.
PopCash uses a dynamic bidding system. Basically there is no set rate for your traffic. It varies based on the location of your traffic and the quality. It will fluctuate for day to day and depends obviously on advertiser demand. I received around $2 for U.S traffic. Some days it is higher, some days it is lower.
I've tested PopCash against another popular popunder network and found that popcash pays around 20% more. So far for my website, I have yet to find a monetization method that pays as well.
PopCash does pay and they always pay on time. They say payouts happen within 7 days, but most of the time I receive my payout on the same day. The minimum is just $10 and you don't need to wait 30 days or more. You can cash out as soon as your account hits that amount.
You can request payouts to PayPal, Paxum or Payza.
If you have a website with lots of traffic and it's in the right niche (entertainment, wallpapers etc) then you should definitely try popcash. Monetizing via other methods on these types of sites just don't make you as much cash. PopCash is by far the best popunder network I've come across – they have the best rates in the industry, super fast payouts and a great backend.
I've been trading for a while on eToro, and one of things that I see time and time again are new traders or copytraders, losing money. And sometimes I even see them wipe out their entire accounts. Here are some of the reasons why these people are losing out. If you follow these tips, you should be able to reduce some of the risk and be a smart trader.
They Only Follow/Copytrade 1 Trader
The most basic rule of investing is diversification. If you don't follow this one rule, you may as well forget about copytrading. Just close your account! You need to follow at least 3 people. I usually recommend to people they should copy 5. This will spread the risk. All traders have bad months.
They Copytrade The Wrong People
Only copy traders who have been trading on etoro for at least 12 months. Have steady growth – not explosive – this is very important. The traders who have 300%+ growth are using high risk trading strategies which are akin to flipping a coin. Sure they might have gotten lucky and pulled off one or two trades with a massive return. But they also risk massive losses. Only copy trade traders who have around 20% growth over the past 12 months.
You also want to ensure they are constantly heading in the right direction. Take a look at their graphs, if there are big dips, don't copy. They should have a steady growth curve.
They Only Invest in Forex
The great thing about etoro is you can invest in a wide range of markets. Instead of just focusing on currency, try investing in stocks (such as Apple or Google) and commodities such as silver and gold. Stocks can provide the foundations of your investment, and can grow steadily over time.
They Panic and Aren't Patient
As I mentioned before, all traders will have bad weeks and even bad months. Don't panic. Sure, if a trader isn't performing for 2 months in a row, you should definitely stop copying and move on, but don't jump ship after 1 or 2 days! I see this all the time, and it's the worst thing you could possibly do. Be patient. Some trades can take days to close out and turn a profit.
If you follow these simple tips, then you will reduce the risk on eToro. This is my strategy and its been working really well for me.
So I've been bringing you some deals recently from media temple – the hosting company that I use for this blog as well as numerous other sites of mine. Media Temple is also very popular with other bloggers and if you run a design or development site, chances are you've thought about hosting on MT.
I got an email this morning with an insane offer from Mediatemple which can be used for the next two days only. It's part of a world cup promotion
Be quick this only lasts for two days. If you've been thinking about setting up a new site and want to get the best hosting money can buy, at an incredible price then make sure you take advantage of this coupon.
I already have one authority site, and it performs really well for both SEO and revenue. And now I want to build another. So I'm setting myself a simple challenge for 2014, to build an authority site.
Authority sites contain a large amount of content, which usually isn't focused on a very small niche. Instead it targets a larger audience and doesn't just rely on search traffic from Google. Authority sites will usually have large social followings and the site's content will be shared a lot through social media. Building an authority site takes months of work, and there will be a period at the beginning where it will seem as though there is no point to all the work. You keep posting content, and Google isn't showing you any love. But if you persevere, and manage to create a site with a good pagerank and search traffic, it will deliver revenue for years to come.
So here is my template for an authority site:
Niche – i'm choosing a general topic that I can easily write about: productivity. I've written countless articles on this topic in the past and I can easily create more content on my own.
Content – I'll aim for the articles I write to be over 500 words each. They'll also all contain an image, which will help them get shared on social networks. I'm going to be producing content that I believe could go “viral”.
Frequency – I'm aiming to post 1 new article per day. Anymore and I'll burn out. Any less and I don't think I'll succeed. I won't need to keep up this regimen after a few months where I can drop back to 1 post per week. Google does prefer fresh content.
SEO – No backlink building. I'll be linking to my site from existing properties I own, just so that visitors can discover my new website. But that's pretty much all the off page SEO i'll be doing. I'm going to do lots of internal linking (something which I've never done enough of in the past).
Monetization – Adsense. I'm only going to add the adsense code when I start seeing a regular influx of traffic. I don't bother adding ads on a site that isn't going to make at least $1 a day. It's not worth the hassle otherwise.
Social – I'll try and build a large twitter following for the site. I've always found this challenging and social is my weak spot. I'm going to automate it as much as I can.
Design – I've gone for a premium wordpress theme which I know how to monetize. I've seen it used on a friends site which generates 2k+ per month in adsense revenue. I'm going to use the same ad placements (when I start getting traffic).
Hosting – I'm going to opt for some premium hosting, just so the site has some room to grow and I don't need to worry about moving it later on. Therefore i'm putting it on Mediatemple. MT is amazing hosting and much less spammy then Hostgator (which I also use).
Marketing/Advertising – I've got a couple of ideas. I think I will try a couple of different forms of advertising and o some case studies. But to begin with I want growth to be organic, and I don't want to spend money until I've got lots of content created.
So that's about it. I'll keep you posted with a weekly update of how the site is progressing.
Google is still showing extra love to long form content. Google has even create a special section on Google Search for long articles. This means that your word count really does matter. Longer articles, with content that people actually want to share is what's going to rank best on Google. Therefore, it's probably a better strategy to create fewer longer articles, then pumping out short form content on a regular basis. However…
2) Google Loves New Content
Recent algorithm changes on Google will push older content down in favour of newer articles, even if the newer article is of lesser quality. Now while I don't personally believe this is good news, this is the reality. If you want to see continuous growth then you are going to have to continuously blog. Your older articles will continue to get traffic but not at the same ratio as newer content.
3) Your Posts Should Contain Images
Facebook and Twitter now both allow images to be shown when you Tweet or post to FB. Facebook has even publicly announced that they favour posts that contain images. That means, if you post a link to facebook and it doesn't contain an image, hardly anyone is going to end up seeing it. Therefore, you must include images in every single blog post if you want to maximise sharing on Twitter and Facebook.
4) Google+ Is Become More Relevant
Although I don't believe it's necessary to build a large following on Google+, it is now essential for a blogger to create a profile on Google+. Doing so, will enable your avatar to be shown next to Google search results, which does increase click through rates. Goolge+ may also factor into the search rankings and pages that have been shared on Google+ may rank higher in the future.
5) It's Important to Own Your Own Blog
We've seen a lot of new platforms in 2013 for blogging. Tumblr took off big time, Medium was born and boutique blogging tools such as Ghost were built. In five years time, many of these platforms will no longer exist. They will have been bought and sold or shut down. And your content, your hard earned marketing efforts will all have disappeared. If you seriously want to build a long term income and consistent traffic, then you have to own your own blog. While everyone else is bailing out to hosted platforms, you need to play it smart in 2014 and stick with your own self-hosted blog. In the long run it makes much more sense to place your content (which is extremely valuable) on an asset you own.
Remember, you can't sell a medium blog, but you can sell a self hosted wordpress blog. Who do you want to make money for? Yourself, or the founders or a blogging platform.
5) It's Going to Take Longer to See $$$ Returns
For new bloggers it's going to be harder to see returns on their work. It's much harder than it was a few years ago to rank well in Google. You can't just pump your content full of keywords and expect it to rank. That simply doesn't work. It now takes longer to build authority and your rankings. This doesn't mean you shouldn't start a blog in 2014. It just means that you can't expect to start earning money within a couple of months. The reality is that it may now take a year or more.
But the flip side is that once you have established an authority site, it will continue raking in the revenue and the revenue won't suddenly disappear like a niche site would.
6) SEO is Pretty Much Dead
Some people will tell you that you need to still build backlinks. If you're still building crappy backlinks then sooner or later Google will take action. There is no benefit to building backlinks for long term success. Concentrate instead on building a social following. In the future that is going to have even more value in search engine rankings.
I've never been a fan of Google Analytics. I've always found the interface to be too complicated. And it's just too difficult to get a good overview of what's going on in your website.
I've been using Clicky for the past 5 years, and I think it is much, much better.
Clicky is a realtime analytics platform. That means there is no waiting to see your analytics reports. As soon as a visitor hits your website, it will appear in clicky.
It tracks everything you could want – visitors, content, entrance/exit pages, bounce rate, referrer etc.
But what I love best about clicky is its interface – it has what I believe to be the very best interface of all the analytics programs. It is simple to use and data is displayed in a logical fashion. Clicky is the best Analytics tool.