About this site...

I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

Don't kid yourself...

You want to get rich with your blog? Maybe you think Adsense will let you retire? Sorry, it's not going to happen.

Archive: Not Making Money

Three Projects on the Table

Ideas haven’t really been flowing for this site recently, but that doesn’t mean my head has been completely empty. I’ve got three new sites that I’ve been working on, and I’m hoping to have all of them up and running within the next few months.

An actual content site

I’ve already put this one online, and right now I’m working on cranking out articles. I’ve picked a subject that I’m fairly knowledgeable about (web hosting control panels), and I’m writing how-to articles for end-users and admins. Right now I’m up to 10 articles, and I’m hoping to hit 50 by the end of August.

Content is everything here. I’m relying on organic traffic 100%, so I’m writing original, unique articles with appropriate screenshots (and for the first time ever, I’m actually using the alt text attribute with images. Maybe that’ll score a few points with Google image search). As usual, I’m using the standard Wordpress sitemap and SEO plugins, paying careful attention to actually using all of the features All-in-One SEO has to offer.

The goal for this site? Get some decent Adsense revenue and then sell it. I still need to consider how to build some decent backlinks though. Right now my only strategy is to go to forums where applicable questions are being asked, write up an article to answer them, and then link to the article on the forum.

Time to learn some PHP

I have an idea for a social networking niche site that is fairly unique and 100% awful. I’m not going to elaborate too much. Suffice it to say that it would appeal to the scum of the Earth (completely legal though). Anyway, I’m way overdue for learning PHP, so I picked up PHP & MySQL for Dummies the other day, and I plan on coding the whole thing myself. Possible time frame = Forever.

Obviously, this one is still in the planning stages. Right now I’m busy designing the database structure and layout of the site, and coding the backend will take me months. I’ve learned something very valuable from the design phase though: Giant erasable whiteboards are awesome. Go buy one.

Goal: The goal is to develop a decent-sized userbase, and eventually to start charging a monthly membership fee. Goals are easy, it’s the execution that’s the hard part. Right now it’s way to early to plan anything specific.

A new blog

3 Bucks for Brendan has inspired me.  Since I seem to be incapable of saving up enough money to take a two-week trip to Japan, I’m going to see if the Internet can pay for the whole thing.  Not sure how I’m going to pull this one off.  Right now I’m thinking that donations $5 or more get a thank-you postcard from me, and donations $50+ can specify a souvenir up to 20% of their donation value that they’d like me to bring back for them.  In addition to that, my thank you page would contain names and backlinks if appropriate (although that might run afoul of Google, effectively killing my site).  I’d also keep a blog where I talk about my attempts to learn the Japanese language, things I plan on doing, and other such topics.  Will the Internet be generous enough to fund my (estimated) $3,000 bill?  We’ll see.

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eBay Autoblogs - A Learning Experience

Everybody else seems to be getting into the eBay niche store business, so I thought I’d give it a shot too.  Lots of failure later, I thought I’d give you guys a few tips to help you avoid the mistakes I made.

First of all

Here’s what I did:  I registered a fairly generic domain with the word ‘auction’ in it and set up Wordpress mu.  I then created twenty blogs, each with a different niche, and setup FeedWordpress on each one.  From there, I created 20 auction feeds through EPN’s feed creator tool, plugged them into FeedWordpress, set it to update every hour, and turned everything on.

Note:  FeedWordpress seems to have some issues with the feed URLs generated by EPN.  I ran each of mine through tinyurl and that seemed to fix the problem.

Anyway, while I was doing this I missed some fairly obvious problems.

Problem 1:  Gigantic Database

I picked some fairly popular niches for some of my stores.  Within three days my Wordpress database had reached half a gig.  Huge database = slow site.  What did I do wrong?  Well, my site was pulling each and every listing from those categories, meaning I had tens of thousands of auctions (with images) in my database.  Oops.

How to fix:  Limit your search results to 50-100 items.  Possible ways to do this include only searching for items that already have bids, minimum price range, etc.

Problem 2:  Not getting indexed

By default, FeedWordpress directs all permalinks to the original post, ie the eBay auction.  This does not bode well for getting indexed.

Solution:  Change this:

Problem 3:  Sitemap is being overwritten each time you add a new blog

An automatically generated sitemap is a very useful thing.  Most blogs use this plugin, which is fine for a single blog.  When you try to use it with Wordpress mu, however, it only creates one sitemap which is overwritten every time a blog updates.

Solution:  Use this plugin.  Someone was nice enough to rewrite the original XML sitemap generator to be compatible with Wordpress mu.  Now every blog gets its own sitemap.  Very handy.

Hope that helps

Now go out and make some autoblogs.  Watch your traffic to see which keywords are bringing you the most results, then create a real niche store for that one product.  Rinse, repeat.

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.me - Anybody Get Lucky?

Some of you may have noticed that there’s a new tld open for new registrations - .me.  You can use godaddy to register, but it requires you to register them for 2 years at a cost of $40.  Anyway, it looks like all of the good domains are already taken:

  • call.me
  • date.me
  • kiss.me
  • find.me
  • $#%*.me

All gone. I should have gotten up earlier.

Actually, truth be told, I just found out about it an hour or so ago.  I’m not exactly on top of new ICANN developments. I think I’ll stick with good old .com’s for now, but good luck to anybody who wants to get ahold of a good name.

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I Got $250 in Free Facebook Advertising

A million kudos to Jared for bringing this to my attention.

There’s this guy.  He seems to know a thing or two about Facebook advertising.  He also seems to know where to find coupon codes: There are four listed on his site right now, totaling to $250.  That’s a lot of free clicks.  If you’ve ever wanted to try advertising on Facebook, but haven’t wanted to pay up, now’s your chance.

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On-Hold Projects

As some of you may have noticed by now, I have trouble finishing things that I’ve started. Thanks to my ever-changing schedule, I tend to let my projects accumulate dust. I thought I’d compile a short list and share it with you all today:

User-driven image rating sites

I started with a little site called Rate My Betta (I like Bettas). Did some advertising on relevant forums, got about a dozen users and a couple dozen pictures, and then kinda forgot about it. That site has received 8 visits in the last month.

Coupon site

What was I thinking? Breaking into the coupon site niche is nigh-impossible. You have to compete with sites that have been around for over a decade and span multiple niches. In any case, I created a site for Dell coupons, updated it daily for a week or two, and got bored.

The worst network on the net

Remember when I said I’d create 1,000 autoblogs and see what happened? Well, I got to 25 and found better uses for my time. I did get my first takedown threat the other day though.

Actual SEO

The modest amount of success I’ve had online has come from PPC, so a few months ago I decided to create a site that used only SEO to get it’s traffic. This site flat out failed. I picked an offer and built an entire site around it. I found a couple dozen articles, threw in some adsense code and an eBay auction feed, and called it a day. I learned a few valuable lessons from that experiment, the most important one being that Google doesn’t like duplicate content.

eBay niche stores

Last month I wanted to slowly build an empire of niche stores. That empire stopped at two. Together, they’ve made me something like $27, so maybe I should have kept going. That being said, both sites have the exact same layout which, well, sucks. That project is the first on my list to pursue, if I ever get around to it.

Gaming blog

Yes, I actually tried to make a gaming blog. Fell apart when I ran out of things to complain about.  That, and I really don’t have the budget to stay on top of new releases.

Oh well

For every 5 projects I put on hold, I have one that’s actually working.  I’ll just keep plugging away until I find something that works.

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