The Summer blogathon started about 12 hours ago. If you have been wondering where this post is, I apologize. I’ve been unwell.
This blogathon is a much smaller one than normal because of my health but I hope you still get lots done. Here is how things will work:
- There is no photo challenge this time around but feel free to share photos on social media with the hashtag #blogathon2 if you want.
- Twitter Parties are 2pm and 9pm EST starting tonight at 9pm. They will not have certain topics but will be a generic chat where you can ask questions. There IS twitter party prizes!
- Mini challenges will work differently. Tomorrow I will post how they will work.
- There are a few prizes and info on them and rafflecopter form will go up sometime tomorrow too.
- If you want to chat with other participants or ask questions, make sure you join the FB Group @Biannual Blogathon Bash
Please consider making a post on your blog sharing your participation and your to-do list and link it up here. This is NOT necessary if you want to win a prize and it’s also a way to invite others to visit you and tell others of the blogathon.
It’s not too late to join us for the Summer Biannual Blogathon Bash!
What is it?
It’s a free online blogging event so anyone around the world can participate! It’s a blogging marathon so you spend the weekend (as much time as you can) doing blogging tasks (writing posts, going through email, taking photos etc). You can also network through social media including our twitter parties, learn new blogging skills and WIN PRIZES!
July 15-18, 2016 8am EST Friday to 8am EST Monday.
How do I sign up?
Just go to the signup page and add yourself to the linky, it’s that simple! Check out this page for what to do after you signup and if you need more information first, check out the about page or the F.A.Q.
A good way to make sure your blog stays profitable for years to come is to spend at least some of your time working on passive income streams. Passive income is an income received on a regular basis, with little effort required to maintain it. In other words you make money while you sleep.
An example we’re all familiar with is the interest you earn on your savings account. You don’t have to do anything other than letting your money sit in the bank. Of course you’re not going to get rich from having a few thousand dollars sitting in the bank. But thankfully there are plenty of different ways to create passive streams of income online.
Let’s look at a few of them. This is by no means an extensive list. I’m sure you’ll start to come up with other passive income ideas as you read through these examples.
Creating Passive Income Streams
Blog Posts With A Strong Call To Action
Write some evergreen content (content that is good year after year.) SEO it to get free search engine traffic and then wrap it all up with a strong call to action at the end. That call to action could lead readers directly to an offer for an affiliate products, one of your own products, or even better, to a list that you can then monetize further.
Monetized Emails And Free Reports
Speaking of lists and emails… write a series of emails that are monetized, again either with affiliate offers or offers to your own things. Heck, you can even send your readers to more free content on your blog that has AdSense ads on it.
Build your list using free reports that are monetized as well. Then take it a step further and invite them to share the report. You of course can share it far and wide across the web as well. As your report gets read by more and more people, they will find their way back to your site and the offers you’re making in the report itself.
Write Some Books
Write some books and publish them. These can be physical books or Kindle books. Self-publishing has made it easy to do both and it has the added advantage that you get to keep the majority of the income you make from your books.
While the books generate passive income, they also help establish your authority and broaden your reach.
Create Your Own Digital Products
You can also create your own line of digital products and sell them through your own site or places like the Google and Apple App stores. The beauty of digital products is that you create them once and can sell them over and over again.
Yes, there’s a little customer service work to do and the occasional update to write, but for the most part, digital products are pretty hands-off once they have been created.
Setting Up Your Own Affiliate Program
Once you have your own products set up, set up an affiliate program as well. Others will do the marketing and selling for you for a percentage of the profits.
Recommending Other People’s Products
Of course you can work on the flip side as well. Find a few related products to your own, sign up as an affiliate and recommend them to your own customer base. It’s a quick and easy way to increase your income and once those emails are written (or you’ve included the affiliate products in your own products or on your download pages), you just sit back and watch the sales notifications come in.
One way of monetizing a blog is through affiliates and Amazon Associates is the most common affiliate program. Their reports can tell you all kinds of good information that you should know so you can take stock of your affiliate efforts and see what needs to change or stay the same. But the reports can be a bit confusing at first. This post should help you in understanding Amazon Associate Reports.
Understanding Amazon Associate Reports
To get to your reports, go to Amazon.com and login. If you have the site stripe, you can click on the words Amazon Associates Site Strip at the top left or go here. You may have to login again.
Your page should look something like this:
Actually it should start with you on the home tab but if you click reports, this is what you will see. I’ll go over what the other tabs are for quickly but right now we are focusing on reports.
Product Linking – you can get product links and banners here to put on your blog or website. I find it easier to search Amazon for products and use the Site Stripe to get the links but you can search through product links too. The Native Shopping Ads are a bit of code you can put on your site where it will show related products to what your page is about. Mobile popover is a way to monetize when someone views your site on mobile. Finally an astore is like your own mini store. You can view the one I made for my gaming blog here: shop games
Promotions – you can get links and banners for current promotions here. Add them to your sidebar for more conversions.
Tools – Site Stripe explains how to use the Site Stripe to link to anywhere on Amazon. The Link checker is for those creating or modifying their own links to make sure they are correct. Publisher Studio is a way to add affiliate links from Blogger or WordPress or wherever you blog. It’s neat and convenient but can slow down your page. Product Advertising API is for programmers.
Amazon Associates Reports
The default range is one month but you can change the view by clicking custom date range. There are lots of date ranges to choose from or you can create your own 31 day range.
Now if you only have one tracking id it should show that one but if you have more than one like me (and you should if you have multiple blogs) you can click the little down arrow next to Tracking ID ALL to pick a certain one. This is what I saw after clicking on the tracking id for my gaming blog.
It shows you what days you got clicks (red), items were ordered (yellow) and money was earned (blue). Choose a bigger category (like last year) to really see how your affiliate marketing has been working.
If you scroll down you will see exactly what items were sold (the person above must be having fun ) It shows me that they didn’t buy the products I specifically mentioned in my post but they did buy two things through those links. It also shows in the second half which of my tracking ids the clicks and sales came from. So I can see above that my sales for the month of March came through my gaming blog but I did get clicks on two other blogs too, but no sales.
Click on the Link Type Performance tab and you’ll see this:
This shows you if your views, clicks and items ordered and shipped came from product links, banners or widgets. You can get a better idea of which ones are converting for you.
Daily Trends looks like this:
This shows each day the number of clicks and items ordered. If you have a large amount of clicks on one day, go back to your blog analytics and see what post was popular that day and update it with more links and more drive to click.
TIP: When you are looking at the screen that shows what items were ordered, if you see an item that was really popular, consider sharing that link on social media or writing more posts that link to it. You can easily get the link again when you hover over it.
I hope this guide has helped you with understanding Amazon Associates Reports section better. Don’t forget to check back periodically to see how things are going.
Choosing a good domain name is very important for many reasons including SEO (search traffic), how easy it will be on your fans and making sure not to step on anyone’s toes (more on that later.)
Choosing a Good Domain Name
Here are 5 considerations to keep in mind when choosing the right name.
For SEO purposes, if you can include keywords in your domain name, it will really help you. For example davescarrental.com will have a bit of an advantage over a car rental place at jiggernaut.com. Of course with so many websites out there, a lot is already taken so try being creative a bit. Keywords are great if you can include them but if your domain has keywords but doesn’t fit the rest of the considerations mentioned below, it might not be worth it.
While davescarrental.com might be better than jiggernaut.com for keywords, at least jiggernaut is more unique and more memorable. More importantly, you want to make sure there isn’t already another website out there (especially an established one) with the same name. Don’t buy jiggernaut.com if jiggernaut.net is already taken. You could be forced to change your name later on if they trademark the name.
For the most part, you want a .com domain but there are a few instances where a different one is good. If your website/blog is strictly meant for one country or is really country focused than a country domain is good like .ca or .fr. If you are an organization or a charity than you might want .org. Otherwise you should be .com. It’s good to buy the other main domains too and redirect them to you (for example buying yourdomain.net and redirecting to yourdomain.com to stop others from buying up those domains. Why should it be .com? When you tell your url to people and they don’t secifically remember the extension (.com or .net) they will automatically try .com first. It also seems more professional. So stay away from yourdomain.me or yourdomain.info.
Keep it as short as you can and make it easy to type and remember. Short urls are easier to remember in general but also show better in the search results. Easy to type means leaving out hyphens and strange letter combinations such as qyz or xvq. Keep away from numbers too, especially written out ones. With regards to keywords as mentioned above, keywords are good but not if it means having a really long domain. I wish biannualblogathonbash.com were shorter almost every day.
You don’t want to accidentally commit trademark infringement and get fined and/or have to change your name. Check the US Trademark website to make sure your idea isn’t already a trademarked name.
These are 5 of the considerations you need to keep in mind when choosing a good domain name.