Thursday, 29 January 2009

Sponsoring Contests

I've decided to be one of the sponsors of a contest, to see if this will help increase exposure and traffic. This is the first time I have done this, so I'll have to wait to see if it is something worth doing. I'm offering 1000 Entrecard credits and a 125 x 125 ad space for a month.

I think this is something I may try more often, but I'll wait to see how it goes this first time. The contest is over at Work At Home Blogging and you get points for writing a blog post about the contest, including all the sponsors; subscribing to the blog's feed; following the blogger on Twitter.

There are a lot of Entrecard credits and ad spaces to be won, so why not check it out. The contest ends on February 27, so I'll post about how successful it was for me as a sponsor after that.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Using Blogger

As you can see from the name of this blog, the idea is to find and discuss ways of making money without spending anything. To be honest, this was the main reason I chose Blogger as the platform for my blogs.

I am also not at all a techie, so I needed a platform that could do as much as possible for me as easily as possible. I have discovered, however, in my short blogging history, that most successful bloggers are spending some money for hosting and usually using Wordpress. So I thought to myself, "Will I have to change to another platform at some point (and spend some money), in order to become successful?" I wanted to check out, which more and more people seem to be using, but couldn't sign up as they told me it isn't available in my region.

There are advantages in having your own domain name and being just dot com (net, org or whatever) rather than being, but I thought I'd check out to see if any blogs had become successful while being blogspot.

So I checked with the Technorati Top 100, which gives a pretty fair indication of the most successful/popular blogs at this time. There are in fact 5 blogs there that are using Blogger. Not very many, and in fact if you discount 2 of them - The Official Google Blog and Google Operating System (The Unofficial Google Blog) - there are only 3. 3 out of 100 is not many, but it still shows that it is possible to have a blogspot address and be popular. One of those blogs is in fact at number 15 (at the time of writing) and has had over 210 million visitors - PostSecret.

So, as far as I'm concerned, the jury is still out. I'm happy with Blogger up to now, but perhaps at some later date when I feel more confident and am more experienced, I will look at the issue again and decide whether to continue with Blogger or have a revamp.

Friday, 23 January 2009

ProBlogger Book Review

Before Christmas I posted about getting a book on blogging and promised to write a review on it. Well, I got the ProBlogger book by Darren Rowse and Chris Garrett.

I tried to visualise myself as I had been a few months ago before I started blogging and how helpful this book would have been to me at that time. I think, to be honest, that it is more useful to me now, with several months' blogging experience under my belt, than it would have been then.

What I liked about it was the practical, down to earth attitude of the writers. Underlying everything they wrote there was the clear message that blogging is not a recipe for instant wealth. If you want to make money, then a lot of time and effort is required.

All the relevant information was covered clearly, I found - setting up your blog, writing, income and earning strategies, promotion, networking etc and I found all the chapters were a good consolidation of my own understanding so far, and also gave clear advice about how to continue. The chapter on setting up a blog, though covering all the available platforms available, focussed on Wordpress, which was not so relevant to me as I use Blogger. There is also a chapter on buying and selling blogs, which I found not relevant to me (at this time, anyway!), but it's good that they covered it anyway.

I particularly liked the chapter on Secrets of Successful Blogs, which looked at a variety of blogs of different types which have succeeded and what we can learn from them. The Promotion and Marketing chapter was also useful in that I could compare what I have learnt through my own experience with their own practical tips and advice.

Throughout the book, there are what are called Exercises, which basically give you the chance to take in what has been written and reflect on how you can apply it in your own situation.

To summarise, I would call it a well-written textbook which is most useful for those in their first year or 18 months of blogging. Having had some experience in what works for you and what doesn't, reference to the various chapters can help consolidate what you have learnt and focus you on the best way to go forward.

For those who are about to start blogging, it would be good to read right through the book to get the general picture and then re-read the first chapters on Niche Blogging, Setting Up Your Blog and Blog Writing. Then, once you have started blogging, to continuously refer to the book to get guidance as to how to continue.

The writers are extremely successful bloggers, so we know that what they say has actually worked. I'm definitely glad I got it and have been referring to it frequently.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Sick Of Spam!

Yesterday someone sent a spam comment to all of the posts on this blog! I had to sit down and delete them all.

I know I should have done this earlier, but now all comments have to be moderated before they can appear here and my other blogs. I cannot understand the mentality of someone who would send a long spam comment to all of the posts on a blog!

Take my advice, if you haven't already done so - make sure that comments are moderated on your site.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

My Earnings On Adgitize Pay For A Month's Ads!

I mentioned on a previous post that I won a month's free advertising on Adgitize. Well, I was able to pay for another month's advertising for my blog Authentic Greek Recipes using the income I have made as a member of Adgitize!

I found that I was getting between 50 - 90 clicks daily from the ad and as the number of members increases, so will the exposure, and at $14 a month I think it's a pretty good deal - especially when you're using money you've earned from Adgitize!

As a publisher you get points for ad views and page views of ads on your site, along with points for your blog posts and for the number of times you visit Adgitize ads. On top of this, an advertiser gets extra advertiser points as well as the traffic from their ads. Your monthly points convert into money.

If you refer someone who becomes an advertiser you get $5 plus $1 each month as long as they continue advertising.

So far my experience at Adgitize has been positive and I would definitely recommend it!

Adgitize your web site.

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Lemonade Award

I was given the Lemonade Award by Chronicles Of Caelen.

Those who win are to post the award on their blog, give some link love to the person that nominated you and put up their own list of 10 recipients. Don’t forget to post a comment on their blog with a link back to yours, letting them know their blog’s a winner!

I decided to pass on the award to my top 10 Entrecard droppers for December as a way of thanking them for their support.

Thanks again to Chronicles Of Caelen for thinking this blog was noteworthy enough to deserve some lemonade! Her blog is also highly recommended!

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