Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Quick $$$ update

I imagine it's about time to do an update on how I've been doing.

My Final Fantasy XIII Fansite is up and running, but is doing quite horrendously in terms of traffic. Google finally picked it up, but the only search query that it's pulling up for is if you type in the URL. I'm still working on it though. I had AdSense up, but realized that was dumb since there are no visitors; so it's gone until I get regular traffic. Essentially $0.00 earned from the site so far.

YouData has crawled to a screeching halt. They offer around $0.10 worth of opportunities every 2 weeks now. I still do it, but it's not even worth noting anymore. Was a good $3.00 or so in the first month though.

I finally received my first payment from eHow. At the end of 2009 I had accumulated $8.25 in earnings, and received a PayPal transfer for $7.25 (subtracted a $1 holding fee). Not much, but it was nice to see my first payment from the site; I'm starting to do a little bit better here in January too. Since it's going to take time for my site to build up traffic and it probably won't come anywhere close to that until March 9th when Final Fantasy XIII comes out in the United States, I may try to focus on writing up some more eHow articles in the mean time. I was psyched to see one of my newer articles yield $0.30 in earnings with only 2 views immediately after I posted it. The views were probably a bit off, but that quick ad revenue got me going... I want more!

I've been trying to think of another website to create while I wait for Final Fantasy XIII to come out. (no real content to add until I can actually get the game and see what's up with it!) No luck as of yet, which is a bad thing because I'm not really honing my web design skills as much as I'd like. I'd really love to have something to sink my teeth into, but the part about coming up with ideas has always been the hardest for me. Oh well, I'm going to keep plugging away for now.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New web hosting; good deal?

A couple of days ago I decided to purchase some web hosting for future web ventures since my Texas A&M University web space was running quite slow; that and I'm probably not supposed to use it for anything commercial at all. After shopping around, I decided to go with ipage.com for hosting.

Ipage was #2 on one top 10 web hosting site and #3 on another, but I have to be honest: the reason I chose it above those ranked slightly higher was the price; $3.50 a month for unlimited transfer and HD space. It also gives a free domain name when you sign up along with a free $50 credit to Google AdWords, which I haven't used yet.

So far I'm satisfied. If you know the basics of web design, you can use FTP to pop your web files onto the site just like that. It also has a couple of drag-and-drop web design programs, but I haven't cared to check them out yet so I can't pass judgment yet.

I have to say that I was curious why they could host sites with unlimited transfer for so cheap. I didn't find any real "catch", but one little thing that bothers me a bit is the site sets your account to auto-renew once your time is up and sets it to renew with the upgraded package which costs twice as much. I did not see any option to renew again at their "basic" level. I haven't called and asked or anything about this, but it's something I'll look more into as my subscription runs out.

In all, so far so good. If you're looking to test out the web design waters for cheap, this would be a good place to start since it appears to be the cheapest while still being a quality host. If you check it out, you can list your referee as "moonflow.net", or you can not fill it out, but I'd appreciate it since they give you a $25 dollar credit for any customers you refer. Another opportunity to make things even cheaper, which is something we're all after in this online rat race.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Year E-Resolutions

People often do their resolutions for the new year early each January, so I figured that I would do it except make my resolutions about my online ventures. Here are some of the things I'm resolving to do in the new year:

1. Stop Reading, Start Doing - I have a habit of going around reading everything that I can find relating to online income, whether it be blogs, articles, or anything else I can find. I think I've read just about every tip in the book, but for some reason I continue to search for that secret (which probably doesn't exist) instead of using my time to develop an actual project. Thus, I'm resolving to start spending more of my time on projects instead of just thinking about doing them.

2. Be Persistent - Another one of my bad habits has been to get started working on something only to move on when it isn't immediately successful. I know that it takes time to be successful, but for whatever reason I tend to spread myself too thin instead of sitting down and focusing on something. I've written for eHow only sporadically as the inspiration comes and goes and I've had problems sitting down to diligently work on a website. If I want anything to succeed, I'm going to have to persist and stick with it instead of jumping around all the time.

3. Put in the Effort to Learn - This is mainly in regards to my web design aspirations. I realize that if I want to become skilled at designing web sites, I'm going to have to put in the time to learn how to use both programs and coding. This means actually focusing on the learning aspect of something like Photoshop instead of just tinkering around. I've already started working on my CSS skills (quite useful) and I imagine that I'll have to start taking up PHP. It won't be fun, but if I want to make money online, I'm going to have to take it seriously and actually learn things along the way.

4. Take Pride in what I've Created - In the rat race to make money online it's easy to focus too much on nothing but the actual profit you've made. Sometimes I feel as though I need to step back and take a look at the fact that even though people may not click the ads on everything I've created they still are reading material that I've posted online. Presumably I'm helping someone find something that they were looking for; that's something I can take satisfaction from. The money will come and go in these ventures, but satisfaction is something that should stay with you and can also motivate you to keep going. Keep it in mind!

Those are my main resolutions for my online ventures in 2010. Good luck sticking to whatever resolutions you make, and have a happy 2010!

Friday, January 1, 2010


Hello there and welcome to the inaugural post of my blog! As the title implies, it will be a blog that summarizes anything having to do with my online ventures in an effort to make a residual income over the internet. Hopefully I’ll be able to cover what works, what doesn’t work, and if I come to have success I’ll gladly share any advice that I can come up with that might help you get started making some extra cash on the internet.

So what exactly have I done so far? Well, my first attempt to make some cash was at eHow.com, a site that allows users to post their own writings on “How to” do whatever they can come up with. Once published, the author and eHow split ad revenue from the Google AdSense that is placed on the page automatically. What exactly is the split? I’m not sure, but as far as my own personal experience I’ve gotten anywhere from $.07 to $.41 per click that I’ve seen so far. Keep in mind that I’m writing about cheaper keywords though, (a lot of video game related stuff) articles with keywords that involve lending, mortgages, or anything else that is quite expensive will yield a much higher CPC (cost per click) than a lot of the stuff that I’ve done. It’s free to sign up and quite easy to use; you can check out my profile here if you’d like.

Earnings so far: $8.25

I started in July and wrote a few articles, but then ran out of ideas and stopped for a while. I got it going again in November and got up to 20 total articles, backlinking almost all of them using Delicious, Digg, and a couple other social bookmarking sites. This time around I’m definitely starting to get more views, but I still haven’t gotten that one article that takes off into the thousands of views. Although many people make significant monthly income on eHow, I don’t see myself as being capable of pumping out enough ideas for How To articles to keep my income on the rise, so my plans are to just use it leisurely and maybe write a few articles here and there. If you can think of lots of potential article topics however, it is a great site to start out with and has great potential if you’re a diligent writer. You have to hit $10 to reach payout, so I haven’t even gotten anything yet, but I will soon hopefully.

Another site that I’ve used to make a couple of bucks (literally) is YouData. What YouData does is essentially take some information about you (nothing personal; I didn’t even have to give them my name) in terms of what type of products you like to buy. It uses this information to generate ads for products that you would be inclined to like, in theory, and pays you to look at them. The first time I signed up I made about $1.30 right off the bat, and in the month and a half that I’ve been signed up I’ve made just under $3.00 with them. It’s not much, but for the amount of effort it takes, why not siphon a couple of bucks into your PayPal account? They also have a referral program where you get something insignificant like 1% of any money your referees earn. It hasn’t given me any opportunities in the past couple weeks, so I’m not sure if I’ve essentially used up my usefulness to them or if the site is going down, but I was glad to take the $3 for minimal effort.

I’ve dabbled in other sites like Squidoo and Xomba as well, but I have made a whopping zero cents. I made 29 cents from another blog I have posting random video game thoughts.

My plans for the future revolve around web design. I have had a very basic understanding of how to design a web page using HTML for a while now, but I’m starting to study further, learning some CSS and hopefully some PHP in the future. Right now my first project is a fan site for Final Fantasy XIII: FinalFantasyXIII.info. I registered the domain name for $1.07 from GoDaddy and am currently using hosting provided by my University to all students… (It’ll run out when I graduate, but until then it’s free.) This site isn’t intended to be a cash cow or anything, it’s more about training myself to design professional looking websites and seeing if I can get some traffic up and going. If I can get some ad revenue that supports hosting in the future, that’s great; I’m just sitting with my feet in the pool at the moment. For a dollar, it’s not a bad investment to give a shot. Hopefully I can get the art of designing down a little bit better and expand into more websites that can get enough traffic to where I’ll be able to make some money from affiliate marketing. That’s a long ways off though, so we’ll see how it goes. In the mean time it's just a site that I enjoyed making about something that I'm interested in.

So that’s essentially all that I am doing at this point in time; I’ll gladly share any success or failure I encounter in detail in the future. Win, lose, or draw, it’s a fun experience and exciting to make some cash online, even if it’s pennies on the dollar.