Sunday, April 30, 2017

Making Legit Money Online- Let's Talk About Websites

I had to cut the series short because of work obligations and as I stated in my last video, there will now be weekly updates here on the website and via the podcast.  Between these two vehicles I think I'll be able to deliver the info a lot easier and faster than taking hours to record and edit a video.

This part of the puzzle will not work for everyone but it works really well for me.  Granted this particular website that you are looking at right now doesn't receive a lot of views, this website represents the type of layout of the website that we will be talking about in this post and it is the exact same type of website that I use for all of my websites. 

I pay ZERO for hosting for this site.  Not one dime.  If you haven't figured it out yet, this website is hosted by Blogger.  It's a blog site and technically what you are reading right now is a blog entry.

What about the url?  I register all of my urls through GoDaddy.  Contrary to what some people believe, you don't have to get a .com site either.  In fact, I avoid a .com as much as I can and opt for a .info instead for a few different reasons.

REASON 1: It's cheaper.  I can get a .info for around $1.99 for the first year or 99 cents if GoDaddy is having some sort of sale.  When I go to renew it will be a bit higher but with an initial $1.99 or 99 cent investment, if the website is a flop I'm not out much money.  If the website is worth renewing, I can get a rebate through Ebates and GoDaddy.  Now I do also pay the $7.99 to $9.99 per year for the private registration to keep my personal information private in the WHOIS database but the rebate applies to that as well.

REASON 2: Google likes a .info just as much as a .com so it doesn't matter.

REASON 3: They are easier to get because not as many of them are taken.

How to Choose a Subject for Your Website

Let me ask you this... what do you love?  What are your hobbies?  What do you enjoy?  What do you already KNOW?  Whatever that thing is, that should be the subject of your first website.

Don't worry about anything trendy, ever.  I always want the biggest return for the least amount of work, who doesn't?  That's why I never go for anything trendy or in the moment because it will fizzle out and die when the trend changes.

The next thing to remember is to not go after subjects that are over saturated.  I know a LOT about chickens and one of the first sites that I did was a site on chickens.  It made less than $1,000.00 the first year it was up so to me, it was a failure.  Why did it fail?  Have you Googled anything on chickens in the past few years?  There are THOUSANDS of websites that have to do with chickens.  Since my site was late to the party and almost impossible to rank in Google because of the competition, it failed.

Choosing what you already know means that the time involved in research and writing will be at a minimum.  Plus, the affiliate income will be bigger because you KNOW what is a good product to associate with your site and what isn't.  Like I said in my podcast, never post an affiliate link for a product that you aren't familiar with.  Choose the wrong one once and your site's credibility is shot.  You want return readers because returning readers equals AdSense and affiliate income on products because people KNOW you are right and if you do this correctly it can be very successful.  I have multiple websites that I have had for years that I consider successful because I followed my own advice that I'm giving to you right now.

What to Do If You Think You Can't Write

First I have to call bullshit on that.  If you can talk, you can write.  The thing that I always suggest to people that swear they can't write is to record yourself talking about the subject matter at hand.  Write down your bullet points so you don't forget anything and talk about those points while recording it.  Transcribe your little speech and there you go.  You just wrote something.

If that won't work for you then you do have other options but the good ones aren't cheap.

  • You can go to a site like freelancer.com or fiverr.com and hire someone that will write how many ever words you want in an article for a few bucks.  Problem with this approach is that you WILL have to edit it.
  • You can go to a content mill site like textbroker.com and hire a contract writer though them.  You will be able to choose what level you want... 2, 3, 4 or 5 to write your content.  The higher you go the more expensive the per word rate will be, but the less you will have to edit.  Level 5 is the most expensive but you won't have to edit at all.
  • You can privately hire a freelance writer like me to write your web content for you under a written agreement.  I have to forewarn you that this option is not cheap.  You are looking at 10 cents per word MINIMUM when you hire a seasoned freelance writer.  Many won't work for less than 25 cents per word, it really depends on what you want written.  As an example, this writing will probably be about 1,200ish words when I'm finished and if I had written this for your site at my minimum 10 cents per word rate, you would pay $120.00ish for it.
(Side note: that is NOT a ploy to try and get new writing business at all.  I am not interested in taking on any new clients at this time.)

 Attempting to hire out the content writing will obviously add to the upfront cost of your website.

Google likes updates and from what I've noticed, it looks like something new needs to be added at least a couple times a month in order to stay competitive in the key word searches for the niche that you have chosen for your website.

If you don't know anything about keywords, search engines and how they determine ranking, you might want to hire a writer and specify that you want your articles done for SEO (search engine optimization).  I always suggest that people try it themselves first though.  You may be surprised at how well your writing will do.  Just remember that writing for the internet is different than writing for a paper magazine, newspaper or newsletter.  You have to gain the reader's attention and keep it as well as compete with other writings that are right next to yours in front of the reader.

Lastly, the purpose of a blog site is for Google search.  Google looks at updates and writing a lot more favorably than a website full of just products for sale.  The more content you have on a subject, Google will see your site as more of an authority in the search algorithim which means more traffic with your key words and ultimately more AdSense revenue and affiliate income.  The writing is a technical necessity.  I really hope that makes sense to you.

Well, I think I'm going to stop this piece here.  Another important thing to remember is that most people today have an attention span about as large as a grasshopper's butthole so keeping writing, as well as YouTube videos, as short as possible is always best.

Next week I will continue with part 2 on creating your website and writing for it.

In the meantime, don't forget that RB50 does have a Facebook page where I do post deals, memes and other garbage that I find interesting and you may too... including coupons and thoughts on certain things.  You don't have to "like" the page but you might want to follow it.

Cheers!

Lanie

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Online Safety and Reputation Management- YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, Blogs

I was involved in a conversation recently about how much trust you should give your followers,  subscribers and other content creators and if it is a good idea to befriend them in real life.  I decided to re-visit the subject because of the next series on RB50.  These things are extremely important to touch on.  Not just for safety, but for protecting your personal brand from harm.

I will be going more in depth on this subject in the next podcast.  If you don't know about the RB50 podcast channel, you might want to check it out because the content there expands quite a bit on the current subject matter on the YouTube channel and the website.  It goes more into personal experiences and details on the subjects that I talk about.


Years ago I had a blog on Myspace and that blog was riddled with life experiences and thoughts.  The entries could be compared to what a vlogger channel does on YouTube today.  I enjoyed it and it had a nice size following.  The main thing that I took away from that blog was a basic understanding of what NOT to do with people that you don't know on the internet.  Like mentioning where you work and other personal information... unless you want people to start showing up there looking for you to say hello and bringing you bags of your favorite candy.  While it may sound cute and harmless, not everyone's intentions were good.

That was over 10 years ago and I have taken that experience and applied it to everything that I have done online for the past 12 years.  In other words, this ain't my first rodeo Fred.  In fact, my original YouTube channel was created on December 27, 2006 so I think it's safe for me to say that I've been on YouTube for a few minutes and have a bit of an understanding on how it works.


When you talk to someone online, you have absolutely no idea WHO you are really talking to.  Many people use fake identities, fake names, and post fake lives.  You meet who they want you to think they are, what they are choosing to show you.

I've said for years that online followers are not your friends.  There's a difference between a friend and an acquaintance.  Followers/subscribers... people that watch you online can become acquaintances but in my book, friendship is reserved for people that I actually know and completely trust in my private life and the reasons are because of personal safety and online reputation management.  You are who you associate with, even if you really aren't.  People perceive you to be exactly like the people you are associated with.  My mother used to tell me to be careful who I ran with and at the time it didn't make any sense to me but as an adult, I can see exactly what she was talking about.

Online reputation management is critical if you are making your living on the internet.  It can literally make you or break you.  That reputation can be easily tarnished by associating with the wrong people and a bad reputation is extremely hard to shake.  Especially if it belongs to someone else and you are guilty simply by association.  It's not being a prude.  It's not being closed minded.  It's protecting years of hard work, money invested into projects and future plans for branding.  It's running your brand into the direction that will gain the most profit instead of gaining a bad reputation that will promote to people that have no interest in buying what you are actually "selling" them. 

Unfortunately the world we live in today isn't filled to the brim with nice people and anyone that has any experience to speak of on the internet already knows these things.  Sometimes we just need a reminder.

You are who you run with even if you really aren't.

Now we'll move on to online safety because it is critical too.  How much information is too much and what's the best way to use social media safely to help build that brand?

Would you give a stranger your home phone number?  Would you give a stranger your home address?  Access to your family members?  The keys to your front door?  The answer to those questions should be no and if it isn't, I hope you never run into any problems but the law of averages says that eventually you will.  

Recently I deleted my personal Facebook page.  I have to have some sort of personal page in order to keep the Facebook pages for my websites and YouTube channels so I'm now using a page that has absolutely no TRUE personal information on it at all, including my name. 


Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are cesspools for private information leaks.  Even though we look at them as harmless social media sites, it's important to remember that they are all three in the business of making money through target advertising.  The more personal information that they can get from their users, the better because they can hit you with advertising that you will like, spend your money on and in return make more money for them.  They are not in the business of keeping you safe.

Part of your responsibility as a content creator whether it be on YouTube or your own website is to protect yourself.  Facebook has pages available that contain NO personal information that you can utilize for your presence on the site for your website, blog or YouTube channel.  Allowing followers, subscribers or people you don't know onto your Facebook page that contains your personal information is a recipe for disaster.  Google is riddled with instances of the bad side of allowing strangers onto your personal social media accounts.

Safety and security is up to the user.  If you answered no to the questions that I asked earlier then it's time for you to look at the information that you are providing to people that you really don't know.  I feel this is especially important for content creators.  As your following grows, not everyone will have the best intentions.  Not everyone online is your friend.  Not everyone online is worthy of your friendship.  Not everyone tells the truth and people will unfortunately try to take advantage of you.

As we move forward with making money online, I thought this was a necessary subject to hit.  It would really suck to spend hours learning how to do this and then allow a few small mistakes to tear it all down.

Questions? Comments? Criticisms?  That's what the comment section below is for... use it.