Make Money Promoting Bloggeries

I’m a big fan of the Bloggeries blog forum.

It’s a great place for bloggers to learn from and help each other, and the admin over there, Rob, has built it up from a veritable ghost town to a thriving forum. It’s easy to forget that the forum is only part of what Bloggeries is.

The main part of Bloggeries is a well respected PR6 blog directory. You can submit your blog there for a backlink in a relevant category. Bloggeries is a for-pay directory. You’ll pay about $40 for a permanent entry, and about $50 a year for a featured link.

The regular entry is a great value for a one-time fee, allowing three deep links to posts or pages inside your blog (with anchor text of your choosing), enhancing their SEO value. You won’t get deep links from a free directory. You can also add your RSS feed and have excerpts of your latest posts displayed as part of your entry, which is a terrific feature that might hook someone who would have otherwise passed your entry by. The deep links and RSS feed are both displayed on the blog detail page. Click here for an example.

The featured links include 5 deep links to posts or pages inside your blog, rather than the 3 for the regular listing. You also get better placement, including being guaranteed that your entry will be on page 1 of the category for your blog, rather than on page 2 or more.

All in all, an entry there will do good things for your blog. But even better, Rob’s just started up an affiliate program, so you can get paid for recommending a great blog directory to others. You get $20 when someone clicks your link and purchases a directory listing, and $5 when an affiliate you referred makes a sale. Just two primary sales, and your own listing is essentially free. Rob’s being extremely generous with commissions, since he’ll end up making only about $10 from the most commonly purchased listing.

If you write a blog, this affiliate program is pretty well targeted, too. A lot of your readers will be bloggers themselves (especially if you write about blogging), and they all need high quality backlinks.

Click here to signup as a Bloggeries affiliate. It’s free to join.

Monetization Started

As I mentioned in my blog anniversary post, one of the things I’ll be doing this summer is testing monetization on the blog.

Unfortunately, I have had little time to even get anything up to test! I do have one banner up right now, that will appear above the post title on the index and single post pages. For now I’m going to stick with CPA banners, the ones that pay me for a visitor clicking through and taking some action (signing up, typically). Eventually I’ll add a few more and they’ll rotate.

I’ll try that for about a month, and then switch to a PPC model for a month to see how that goes. I’ll report the results back here, of course, when I’m through with a test period. The results should apply well to any blog in the same niche.

The Customer Is Always Right

At least, that’s what they always say.

These days, though, it seems like service to the customer is coming in a distant second to adherence to company policies. And company policies seem to be created by people with little common sense, and are upheld by employees who refuse to think for themselves.

Okay, you got me, this is a bit of a rant.

I’ve come across this over and over again, primarily in brick and mortar retail stores. Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but the primary reason to actually leave my house to shop is for the service, for interacting with real human beings who (presumably) care about my getting what I need out of my shopping experience. Yet time after time I find myself frustrated by company policy, while shopping online is usually a frustration free experience.

One situation recently was that my wife, daughter, and I were all shopping at Kohls. I took my daughter to look for something, while my wife went in a different direction. Our plan if we couldn’t find each other again was to use customer service to page the missing person. Well, it came down to that, with my daughter and I unable to find my wife in the store. If you’re a parent, you know how hard it is to actually look for anyone while you’re also keeping track of a three-year old.

So we headed to customer service, secure in our backup plan, explained the situation, and asked them to page her to the customer service desk.

Nope, Kohls company policy doesn’t allow pages. Frankly, I’ve never heard anything less customer friendly than that. I’m sure that there was one incident that caused the policy, but when I’m holding a three-year old who’s asking for her Mom, you’d think the employee could use their common sense.

So what’s the relevance here to Internet Marketing?

Just that above all, you have to remember that you are not here primarily to make money. You are here to serve customers and fulfill their needs, and make money in the process. If you focus on making money to the exclusion of all else, you become those people who hype up products being all reason, advertise false money back guarantees, etc. Focus on the customer, and you’ll build customer loyalty while also earning a living.

That gives you a base of people who trust you, and will buy from you again, rather than a bunch of one-shot sales.

Oronjo Review

This seems to be the season for new free services. is a service that provides payment processing for free. The idea is that you can sell either a file containing an ebook, audio, video, etc, or you can sell a page of content on your site. Oronjo takes care of storing the product you’re selling in a secure area of their own site, so nobody can access it until they have paid. Oronjo also takes care of payment processing, using either Paypal, Google Checkout, or with Oronjo credit. Presumably the Oronjo credit is gained by previously selling something.

Oronjo takes no fee for the service, so only the normal Paypal or Google Checkout fees apply. What’s the advantage to using Oronjo over doing it yourself?

Well, anyone can take payment with Paypal pretty easily. But setting up a secure storage location on your web host, so that people can’t download the product without paying for it, is harder. And integrating that secure space with payment processing is hard. All of that can be done, but if you’re just dipping your toes into the waters of selling your own products online, Oronjo provides a very easy, free way to give it a try.

If your products do well, you may very well want to set up payment processing yourself. That would open your possibilities to more payment processors, and give you complete control over it all.

If you’re the type that likes to donate to charity, Oronjo has the option to automatically donate the proceeds from certain products to a charity of your choice.

The whole idea behind Oronjo is to make it so easy for anyone to sell their digital products online that they can afford to charge less for them. You’re eliminating the middle-men, so can afford to make a little money from a lot of people. At least that’s the Oronjo way. You’re free, of course, to set whatever price you want. is a very nice service that should lower the bar considerably for people to try selling online.

OneLinkDirectory Review

OneLinkDirectory is a service that provides a categorized listing of web sites, much like any other directory.

The main difference is that in OneLinkDirectory, as the name implies, each category only has a single web site listed. So anyone who looks in that category sees only that one site. Well, two sites, actually…one featured (e.g. paid) site, and one free site. The idea is that if you grab the category of your choice, you have a lock on it. Nobody can take it away from you, and your site is guaranteed high visibility.

The free links are nothing special, just text links. You don’t get to add a description, the site just pulls the title of the page you’re linking to and uses that as the anchor text of the link. On the one hand, that’s good for your site’s SEO. On the other hand, OneLinkDirectory inexplicably decided to use nofollow links for free links, negating the SEO value of being in the directory.

The featured links have an image of the site, and you can type in a title and description. This is the link that catches a person’s eye when they go into a category (the free link is below the featured link, and not marked in any way). Unfortunately, they also decided to use nofollow for paid links.

So what’s the benefit to being in a directory that uses nofollow for links?

The directory is actually a thinly disguised opportunity to make money. The gimmick is that you pay for a featured listing in a category, with prices started at $395 a month for a top level category, and going down from there, and you get a percentage of the fees from all the categories under you. So if you pay for a featured listing in the Business category, you get a percentage of what someone pays to be featured in Business->Opportunities, or Business->HealthCare. And it doesn’t matter if you referred them or not, you get a commission.

That seems like a pretty good deal, although the monthly fee is pretty steep. But if you get that back from the fees of those under you, who cares, right?

Well, not really. If you go to OneLinkDirectory and click on the Income tab across the top menu, you’ll see a breakdown of what happens when you pay for a top category featured link. You earn only 5% of the fees from categories under yours, so you won’t earn back your $395 even when 20 second level categories under you are sold (because second level categories sell for less).

In fact, you’d need another seventy-some people on your second level just to break even. When you’re paying $395 a month and not getting any SEO benefit from it, it’s going to seem like forever until you break even. This opportunity is clearly only for those with a healthy income stream coming in already.

So is the directory useless? Not quite. It’s still in the early days, so you’ll have lots of people looking for categories to put free links into. So get in now, and put your free links into appropriate categories, and you’ll get some people looking at your links later. You might get some visitors or make some sales from this traffic.

In the long-run, buying a featured link might be a good investment, but you have to have enough income coming in from other sources that you can afford to treat it like a long-term investment.

Click here to visit OneLinkDirectory.

OblinQ Review

The founder of OblinQ contacted me and asked for a review, so here are my first impressions. Keep in mind that this isn’t based on an extensive use of the site.

The purpose of OblinQ is to allow you to set up your own online store. This is similar to Bravisa and Zlio.

What distinguishes OblinQ is that you don’t have a list of products you can offer, instead you can go to any web store and offer products from that store through your OblinQ store. They have a toolbar extension you can install, and then when you’re on another store (such as, you can choose to add a product there to your store. This allows you to build up a list of personal recommendations.

Of course, you’ll get a commission on most items when someone buys them through your store. The site itself doesn’t contain a lot of information on how commissions work. To get commissions from Amazon, you have to enter your Amazon Associate’s ID, so presumably you’re getting those paid directly from Amazon. For other stores, I’d guess that OblinQ is collecting commissions and paying some percentage back to you (an update from Rahul, the founder…OblinQ passes 100% of the commission back to you).

They do have a feature that allows you to enter you own affiliate links, if you have an account at a suitable service such as Commission Junction. For those, the commissions would go directly through the service.

One of the nice things in the stores themselves is that OblinQ uses to do a price comparison for your shoppers, and provide a list of where a product can be bought and for how much. Another fun feature is the ability to include YouTube videos in your store. This could be used to provide some of your own how-to videos showing products being used, or just to include something fun for your visitors.

There’s also a recent partnership with Bravisa that allows you to easily sell your Bravisa products at your OblinQ store. This is important because your profit margins on Bravisa products are higher than your profit selling through affiliate links. But you can provide alternatives to your Bravisa products, so that you get the sale no matter what.

All in all, OblinQ is a nice service for setting up an online store. They do need some spots for inserting analytics code, tying into Google’s webmaster tools, etc, and some how-to guides would also be a great addition. But if you use the toolbar plugin to add new products to your store, you can’t go too far wrong.

Butterfly Reports Review

There are two ways of using ebooks that have become popular.

One is giving away a free ebook as an incentive for someone to join your list. This works well, although there is something to be said against having a list full of people who are only interested in getting a free ebook.

The problem with actually doing this is finding a suitably useful ebook to give away.

Another is having a viral ebook, where other people can change the affiliate links in the ebook to their own. This gives those people an incentive to distribute your ebook, since they benefit from signups through the affiliate links. The benefit to you is that your ebook, with a link to your site, is read by more people. And if you’re smart, you give your ebook readers a reason to come to your site.

The problem with actually doing this is that you need to purchase software that will allow other people to brand your ebook with their affiliate links. Such software isn’t cheap, and usually isn’t easy to use.

Butterfly Reports is a site that fulfills both of those needs.

As a free member to the site, what you get is two ebooks each month that you can give away as an incentive for people to join your list. These ebooks are also brandable, so you can replace some of the links with your own. So if you’re looking for a give away to your list, you’ll get a regular supply.

Also as a free member, you can submit an ebook to the site to be given to other members. These ebooks are automatically branded by the system, so that others have an incentive to give them away. So you get more readers for your ebook, and presumably more visitors to your site…assuming you’ve written your ebook in such a way that readers are motivated to visit your site. A technique that works well is to offer them lifetime updates to the ebook if they register for your list.

There are paid upgrades to the membership available. The basic, free membership should be find for most marketers. Two free brandable ebooks a month, plus submitting one of your own a month, is more than most marketers can use. For anyone who is looking to build a huge variety of lists, or submit a lot of ebooks, there’s an upgrade option that removes most of the limits (you’ll still have a limit on the number of staff written ebooks you get per month, because they only write so many…but you’ll have access to all the member written ebooks).

Even if you don’t have a list to build now, join for free and start saving the monthly ebooks you get. They’ll be on a variety of topics, and one of them might spark you into building a list targeted to that ebook.

Click here to join Butterfly Reports.

Another Accessible CPA Offers Network

I’m always on the lookout for networks that provide CPA offers.

The big names don’t want to accept sites that don’t already have a good amount of traffic. I’ve been fortunate in building this blog up to the point where I can get accepted at most networks, but when you’re just starting out you don’t have that option.

Market Leverage is a CPA network that I just signed up with, and according to their site all publishers are accepted. They will need to talk to you on the phone before approving your application, but as far as I can tell that’s a formality. They want to make sure you’re a real person, and find out what sorts of niches you cover, to be able to assign you a representative who can help you pick appropriate offers.

I’m pretty happy with them so far. I found an offer to use on one of my neglected niche sites that pays $27 per lead, which is very good. I’ve added a banner to that site to see if I can eke a little more income from the trickle of traffic it gets.

They have a good 40 or 50 categories of offers available, including ones usable in Canada. One of the categories is “Incentivized” offers, so if you’re looking to market via cash back, you can do that.

Like most of these networks, they clearly mark whether an offer is good for emailing to a list, advertising on PPC, or using on a web site. One of my gripes with some CPA networks is that the offers are mostly email only. Since I don’t spam any of my lists with offers, those aren’t useful for me. Market Leverage, though, has a good proportion of search and web offers.

I don’t know if I’ll use any of the CPA type ads here on Online Opportunity, because most of them are pretty spammy looking. The “Earn 6 figures from home” type of ads that I’d probably give a negative review. But I’ll look through and see if I can find any that would be truly useful for you all (assuming I ever do get around to monetizing the blog!)

In the meantime, if you have a site/blog in any niche, try signing up with Market Leverage to see what offers they have in your area.

Writing For Multiple Sites

When you write for just a single web site or blog, you tend to stray a bit over the edges of your niche. After all, you are more than just your niche, and you tend to use the only outlet you have to talk about what’s important to you.

When you write for multiple sites, you really get the point of sticking to a niche.

I’m currently writing for Online Opportunity, doWAHDiddy (the team work at home blog I mentioned in a previous post), the site about role playing games, a site where we feature our family’s healthy recipes, and at the Advisory Panel.

Each site has a different niche. In the case of Online Opportunity and doWAHdiddy, there’s some conceptual overlap. Online Opportunity deals with Internet Marketing and other ways to earn online, doWAHdiddy deals with working at home. Writing for both helps me to keep each more true to their niche than I might otherwise, and gives me an outlet for slightly off-topic posts I might want to make.

For example, I made a post recently at about Keeping High Productivity At Home where I talked about the importance of where your home office is. That post would have been slightly off-topic here, but if I’d only had this blog I could have justified making the post.

I’m a big fan of keeping sites and blogs tightly focused on their niches. You won’t find reviews of the latest episode of a favorite TV show, or random web pictures on any of my sites (unless that’s their niche).

So if you find yourself wanting to write a lot of off-topic posts, consider starting another site around an appropriate niche, and making them there. Your regular readers will appreciate not seeing the off-topic posts, and you just might attract a new set of readers at the new site.

Writers Needed For WAH Blog

Regular readers will remember that I started a team writing blog targeted at WAH Moms & Dads. The blog was started as part of a project over at The Advisory Panel.

One of the original writers has had to drop out due to time constraints, so we’re looking for a replacement. What you’d get out of the deal:

o) You put affiliate links into your posts and keep any income from those
o) You get an equal share of any revenue generated by the site itself (adsense, etc)

What you’d have to do:

o) Write one post a week on a work at home topic
o) Be willing to do some minimal keyword research on blog post topics
o) Join the Advisory Panel (that’s where we manage our work)

If you think you’re interested, give me a link to your existing blog so I can see writing style, quality of writing, etc. If you don’t write on WAH topics, then I’d also want to see a sample article of the sort you think would be appropriate for the blog. You’ll retain all rights to the sample article, and it won’t be used on the blog unless you’re accepted as a writer.

This is a great opportunity especially if you don’t have an existing blog, and want to get started without all the pressure of writing multiple posts each week, technical maintenance of the blog, etc.