Purchasing Domains: Looking Towards the Future

I’ve spent a little time over the past few weeks taking about the value of a domain, as well as various methods for finding and purchasing domain names.   It is my hope that everyone is now looking at domain names as more than just a website URL, but also as an investment in your future.  

Every single day, 1,000’s of domains are disappearing as they are purchased, and people are doing so for under $10.00 a piece (some as low as $5.00 each).   Domains are being scooped up at a much higher rate than they are being dropped, and once gone, many are pretty much gone for good.  People are beginning to write them into their wills, and in the future, these will be passed down to children and grandchildren.  In order to get a domain that someone else has purchased, you will likely have to spend a fortune to get that domain you really wish you had.    With that said, there are plenty of great domains still available……for now.   Are you investing in your future?   

One thing that I think is very important is the ownership of your personal domain name.   Even if you end up just parking it, or redirecting it to one of your existing sites, someday you are going to want it.   Want to showcase your online skills?  Maybe you want to put your resume on there and place it on business cards?   At some point you will find a good use for it. 

While I am fairly lucky in that I don’t have a very common last name, many people do.    How many other people share your first and last name around the globe?  Get it before it is gone, because once it is gone, you are probably out of luck!

One thing I find from people that I consult with on this stuff is that they don’t look beyond themselves.   What about your spouse, and maybe more importantly, what about your kids?  One of the first things I did upon the birth of both my boys was to purchase their domains so they will be there for them when they are older and want to use them.   If I don’t, there is a great chance they will be gone in 10 years or 20 years when they go to use them.  For now they will just stay parked or redirected, but eventually the kids will be glad they have them.  

Are you just covering your immediate needs, or are you looking to the future when you are out purchasing domain names?

Has John Chow Jumped the Shark?

For those unfamiliar with the term “jumping the shark“, it is a term used by the television industry to describe a show that has already peaked and is now on the decline.  The term originated from an episode of Happy Days where the main character jumps over a shark while water skiing.   After that point, the show was never the same.

So, what does this have to do with the notorious John Chow?   It has been roughly a year and a half since John began his case study on his personal blog to see if he could use his site to make money online.   Over time, through the use of clever marketing tactics and an anchor text link exchange, John was able to take a blog from zero income to over $20,000.00 this last month.  During this time, John has been widely credited for taking the “make money online” niche and bringing it to the forefront of the blogosphere, to the point where he has copycats like John Cow riding his cowtails, make money online blogs are everywhere, and just about every blog you visit in any niche is now covered in hidden affiliate links. 

Despite his success, it was only a matter of time before the blog peaked.  For it to generate any more income, he would have to push the content even further down the page.  So, has John Chow jumped the shark?  

In looking over the posts he’s written in the past two months, one would have to say yes.  A typical day on his blog now contains the following:  Pictures of a recent fine dining experience, pictures of an event he recently attended, or guest posts from other bloggers.   Rarely does John give any actual content anymore or tips to make money online.   It is almost like he ran out of things to talk about.  Unfortunately, unlike many popular blogs that grew their readership over time with content (such as ProBlogger), John’s fast rise to success is based on marketing and manipulation of Google’s search.  

In looking at John’s blog today, I noticed that his 125×125 banners section now contains a few affiliate links rather than paid advertisers.  I’ve also noticed that we don’t seem to see as many ReviewMe posts recently.   Looks to me like the fallout has begun. 

Do you still read John Chow?  If so, why? 

Increase Affiliate Conversions With A Buy Now Button

I’ve talked a little bit in the past about the value in the power of suggestion.  For example, if you want someone to click a link, make the link say “Click here” instead of using anchor text.

Along those same lines, ProBlogger recently pointed me towards a post written on Self Made Minds called Make It Easy, Make It Obvious.  The idea behind this is along the same lines as using the power of suggestion.   If you have an affiliate link, why not instead turn it into an affiliate “Buy Now” button designed to look like an Amazon button in order to help suggest the reader to click it.

This is especially great for blogs that talk a lot about products.  Even if they click over and don’t purchase the item, sometimes they’ll decide to purchase something else, which will usually also you earn additional commissions.

Reader Poll: How Is Your Google AdSense Performing?

It’s been exactly two weeks since we talked about Google redefining what a clickable area is in an effort to combat click fraud, so I figured that was adequate time to let the change soak in and examine some trends. At the time of the change, it made sense for Google and advertisers, but it fueled a lot of speculation that sites that depend on Google AdSense to generate income would likely lose out on some of their monthly income.

Something that a few publishers speculated on is that with lower fraud rates, publishers would likely be willing to pay more per click to get their advertisements seen. We are also approaching the holiday season, meaning that advertising budgets are going up and a lot of other businesses are launching seasonal advertising campaigns.  If this theory holds true, Google AdSense publishers should still be seeing consistent income.

In looking over my analytics and AdSense reports, it looks like my income from Google AdSense has dipped some, despite a heavy increase in traffic.   Is this due to the clickable area change?   Unfortunately, that isn’t something that I can be sure of.  As David points out, a lot of things can factor into a change in pay-per-click advertising.   Thats why I decided to poll my readers and find out how AdSense is performing for you over the past two weeks.   Has your income remained steady?  Have you noticed any trends?

Text Link Ads Responding to the PageRank Crisis?

A couple of days ago, a close friend of mine received an e-mail from Text Link Ads, talking about some changes they have made to their much aligned paid text link service.

In looking over the e-mail and the new plugin code, it looks like they have now turned to javascript to help mask the paid service. Other changes include the ability to name the plugin what you want (Google knows the function tla_ads is for paid links), and some suggestions on how to best setup your Text Link Ads section of your website.

Here is the e-mail that my friend received:

Thank you for your participation in our program. It is time again to update the TLA code you are using on your site and we also have some tips on how you can sell more ads and keep existing advertisers longer! By following the tips below you will make more money with our program.

  • Update your code today! Please login to your account and grab the newest version of our ad code and replace your current ad code. We have made improvements to our ad serving and updating your code will ensure top performance.
  • Our advertisers don’t like ad blocks that are titled “Sponsored Links” “Advertisements” “TLA” “Text Link Ads” etc. They prefer no heading but if you do use a heading please consider using an image not text and consider using something like “Recommended Sites”.
  • If you are using a “your link here” or “advertise here” “Text Link Ads” or “TLA Links”, link that links back to your listing at Text-Link-Ads.com remove it.
  • If you currently have zero ads sold please note that single page ads sell better than site wide ads.

By doing these simple updates your site will make more money with us over time. Thanks again!

If you are still using Text Link Ads on your website, I recommend updating your WordPress plugin to version 3.0.6 and also making sure you are using the most current version of the affiliate banner (though you won’t be able to “mask” your affiliate link once you do this).

Maximize Your Blogs Income with SiteSalary

When most people start out blogging, they usually do so for a variety of reasons. Maybe that person wants to see what the blogging hype is all about, or maybe they just have a strong passion for something and want to open themselves up for some discussion/debates.

Over time, as the blogger perfects his or her trade, it is likely that at some point that blogger’s attention will turn towards attempting to make money online. After all, why do something for free if you can do the exact same thing and get paid?

When you do decide to monetize your blog, there are a wide variety of factors you need to consider. What companies should I sign up with? What type of advertising is best? Where do I place my advertisements to get the best results? This can be intimidating for a blogger that is trying to make money online.

Some lucky bloggers will find immediate success monetizing their blog, but most will fail to truly maximize their blog’s income potential. You might even be making some money, but how do you determine how much money you should be making? There are no exact figures, but your amount of traffic will play a big part in yours blogs income potential. So, how can you maximize your blog’s income?

The solution is simple. I present to you Site Salary, which is a website dedicated to helping bloggers maximize their income. Site Salary believes that too many webmasters rely heavily on a small number of income sources for their online business, and aims to teach bloggers to see the wider variety of opportunities available to them. If you prefer to rely on pay-per-click advertising programs such as Google AdSense to monetize your blog, Site Salary also has you covered. Jason believes that no website should be making less than $20.00 per thousand page views, with some sites having the potential to make even more! On Site Salary, you’ll find details such as ad placement, which types of ad blocks to use, and everything else you could ever need to maximize your income.

In addition to learning about generating advertising revenue blogging, you will also learn more about:

  • Affiliate Programs – Learn how to increase your monthly revenue through affiliate programs.
  • Mailing Lists – Learn how to reach more people with mailing lists and use them to increase your monthly revenue.

Sound good? If so, you can sign up for Site Salary’s free e-mail course, which provides site owners with an introduction to the website by teaching you how to tweak existing revenue streams and discover some new revenue streams that will improve your monthly income.

Once you’ve gone through the free course, you can then elect to provide your contact information for Site Salary’s pre-launch sign up for their upcoming SiteSalary Guide Book. It looks like it is due to be released November 20th, 2007, and will provide purchasers with a complete guide to maximizing their websites income.

I’ve had the privilege to look through a lot of the content that Site Salary provides, and it is extremely accurate. You can tell that Jason is speaking from his personal experiences.

Technology Talk – 10/28/2007

Another busy week around the blogosphere with a lot of great work being done by my fellow bloggers. Here are a few posts that I really enjoyed this week:

  • Tech Magazines writes about 70+ ways to make money online. I’ve covered many of these services here in one form or another, but there are a few that I wasn’t aware of.
  • Madhur explains YouTube’s new copyright features that is currently in beta. Its good to see YouTube get improvements, but where is Google Video? I don’t think they have received an improvement since YouTube was purchased by Google.
  • Speaking of Google Video, Garry Conn whether he should use Google Video or YouTube to upload vidoes. In his case, I recommend he use YouTube videos, so he can take advantage of his own UTubeSkins.
  • Aaron Wall of SEOBook has posted a YouTube video about unique meta descriptions for your posts.  For those that don’t want to get to advanced with SEO, you can setup your WordPress blog to auto-generate meta descriptions with the All-in-One SEO Pack.

Google AdSense To Give More Control To Users

According to the official Google AdSense blog, it looks like some heavily anticipated changes are coming for Google AdSense.  Those changes include more control from the Google AdSense dashboard, which will give users the ability to update their AdSense colors and channels without having to alter the code they’ve previously generated. 

If you don’t have these new features yet, hopefully you will soon.   It looks like they will be making it available in phases, so some users may not have it for a little while. 

I’m excited about this update because I manage quite a few different channels, and it always is a pain to update code each time I redo my channels setup, or each time I want to adjust the ad colors to match my theme. 

DealDotCom Updates Their Affiliate Links

Last week I talked a bit about DealDotCom, which is a new service that releases a single product a day at an insanely low price while supplies list.   In addition to offering great products at low prices, they also have a very attractive affiliate program that allows people that don’t use the service to still make money with it.  Unfortunately their affiliate program was causing some confusion, because you can actual refer people to purchase products, or you can refer them to sign up with their affiliate program. 

Yesterday, DealDotCom solved this problem when they posted on their blog that due to the request of multiple users, they have adjusted how their affiliate links work.  This process allows people to refer users to the deal of the day, or refer people to sign up through their make money page by using different links.   Here is the official post from their blog:

It has been requested by a lot of you and we would be fools to not listen. You now have two affiliate links to use…

#1. http://www.dealdotcom.com/makemoney/####

This link will now point to the “Make Money” page… so for those of you that want to promote the affiliate opportunity with DealDotCom, this is the link to use. Make sure to replace the #### with your ID.

#2. http://www.dealdotcom.com/invite/####

This is the link to point to the product of the day.

This means you will probably need to update your affiliate link in your posts or wherever you display them.   If you’ve hidden them, this will be much easier to update then doing everything manually, because everything points to one place and you can just update it there.  For more information about how to set this up, check out How To: Hide Your Affiliate Links Using WordPress. 

Update:  It also looks like BlogRush has added flavors, which allow users to customize their widget a little more to match their website. 

Make Money Online With DealDotCom

Although it won’t officially be available to the general public until next Tuesday, it looks like you can now sign up through me for DealDotCom! DealDotCom claims to be the Woot! of Internet Marketing by allowing you to easily find all the Internet Marketing products you really want for rock bottom prices.

How Does the Process Work? DealDotCom will actually sell a limited quantity of one product a day at rock bottom prices while supplies last. You are not allowed to blog about the product for that day and they do not display the number of the product left, so you will have to monitor the website closely to see what is available each day. If you don’t want to check the website each day, you can subscribe to their feed to get the latest products for sale.

How Do I Make Money with DealDotCom? There are actually a couple of ways, all of which can be found in the Make Money page. You can actually sell products through DealDotCom, or you can use their affiliate program to try to make some money. It looks like their affiliate program is two-tiered, which actually allows you to get paid for your referrals purchases, as well as their referrals purchases. Direct referrals purchases get you 35%, while second tier purchases get you 15%. Once you’ve earned money, all payments are made via Paypal at the end of each month.

Is there a plugin available? You can now get a DealDotCom plugin courtesy of BlueFur, which allows you to display the sale of the day on your website.

Sign Up For DealDotCom