How to Get Where You’re Going

How are you going to get where you are going?  It’s a fairly simple question.  If you’re taking a trip, you find a map and plot your course.  Even that has been extremely simplified in recent years.  Instead of a Sextant, you only need an internet connection and a browser pointed to mapquest or google maps.

There are some that have the innate ability to get where they are going without a map.  They just get in the car and drive and manage, somehow, to get where they’re going.  Those people amaze me.

Enough with the analogy.  Those very same people exist in every walk of life.  There are those that can just as easily pick up a pc and make the pieces work together.  No manual needed.  There are also those that seem to get the knack for making money online just as easily.  Some will claim that they work hard for their money and even harder to get to where they are.  Most are telling the truth.  Some are lying.

The point of all of this is to make the statement that I am not one of those people.  While I do make money online, it isn’t anywhere near the amount that I would like it to be nor does it increase in leaps and bounds.  Instead, my income has been steady for several months.  All because I don’t have a map.

Unlike travel, there isn’t a one-stop place to get your map for making money online.  You’ll need to make several stops along the way to get your bearings and direction.  Maybe you’ll start off at Darren Rowse Boulevard headed in a Problogger sort of direction.  Then you stop off at the Aaron Wall SEO Stop looking for a little bit of a map for making the great Googely Moogely happy.   Somewhere along the way, you get distracted by the bright lights of John Chow Avenue.  Weeks or Months later, you find yourself still marveling at the pretty lights and have expanded your wonder to encompass the John Cow Court and the SuperAffiliate Alley (sorry, I like alliteration).  And lets not forget the wonder that is ShoeMoney Marketplace.

Sound familiar?  It does to me.  Mostly because I just told you what my path has been so far.  I started all this off with some inspiration from Darren.  I learned a little SEO on the way from Aaron.  Then I stumbled upon John Chow.  And he’s great for looking at in amazement because he’s a true success story for money bloggers.  But he isn’t so great for learning much from.  Heck, John only posts about 2 or so posts a week that he actually penned.  The rest are paid reviews and guest posts.  Good for him.  If I was making 30k a month on my one site, I don’t think I’d want to be writing many posts either.

Then come on down to John Cow’s pasture.  What began as a full fledged mimic of John Chow has become an icon in it’s own right.  But, again, great story and little direct helpful direction.  Although a great read, it’s not going to get you anywhere.

Then there’s Zac Johnson and Jeremy Schoemaker.  These guys truly put out some great content. It’s amazing in it’s helpfulness.  They are leaders in their fields and they take the time to try and share what they can.  I enjoy reading both.  But it won’t do you any good if all you do is stare in amazement.

You’ve got to make your map and get in your car and drive.  At that I’ve failed.  I tried to be one of those people that can get in the car and drive, sans map.  I’m not one of those people.  I got lost along the way and have been driving in circles trying to find my way.  Each month I end up at the same intersection and even though it seems like I take a new turn, I still end up right back where I started.

From now on, I’m making a map.  I’m going to set goals for myself to meet each month.  It’s not something that I’ve ever been particularly good at, so I’ll probably miss a few here and there, but I’ll still have them.  And if I have them, I truly do try and hold myself to them.  Especially if I make them public here.

You can do the same.  If you find yourself driving aimlessly through the super blogger/affiliate neighborhood, get yourself a map.  Stop trying to drive without a map.  Decide what you want to accomplish in the next month and write it down.  Hold yourself to it.  Share it if you want. But do make a map.

Online Income Report for October 2007

Wow.   October was a good month.  At the beginning of the month, while looking back at the income for September, I said that I would like to see a 15%-20% increase in October.  I easily doubled that.  Here’s how everything ended up.

  • TLA: $104.05
  • Adsense: $34.78
  • PPP: $11.00
  • Linkworth: $49.00
  • Amazon: $6.53
  • CJ: $5.38
  • Auction Ads: $1.93
  • Private Sales: $100.00
  • Kontera: $17.32
  • Shareasale: $1.82
  • Clickbank: $26.96
  • ClixGalore: $7.50

Grand Total: $366.27

For those of us who are mathematically challenged, that’s a increase of $106.51 or 41% above Septembers earnings.   The obvious increase is in the category of Private Sales.  I think that’s a category that I’ll be exploring a little bit more here in the future.  It’s beginning to get tiring to have some of these companies taking 30%,50%, or more of the income for advertising on this site.  Some of them do add the ease and convienence of having an automated system and a marketplace, but is is worth the price?  I’m beginning to wonder.

Another obvious change is in the earnings from Kontera.  When I first signed up on July 10, my representative told me that it would take 30 days to get the system completely integrated and for it to “learn” what ads convert on my site.  So far, I’d say it’s taken about 90 days.  An increase of over 300% tells me that the system a has done a fair bit of “learning” in the last month.

Finally, some other thoughts.  PPP may be going away completely very soon.  The number of opportunities that pay anything are drying up (at least in the class of blog of the one I use for PPP) and I really just don’t have the time to troll the opportunities page to find the well paying ones.  If you don’t find them immediately, they are usually gone within minutes.

To close, I have a question of you, constant reader.  As I mentioned, I am thinking about taking a lot of my advertising here private.  I’ve had less than successful attempts at doing that in the past.  What would you like to see in advertisement options?  What would make you want to advertise here?  What prices would convince you to purchase a link here?  Feel free to comment as anon if you feel you can’t be honest using your real name. (or that I might be offended and not like you anymore 😉 )

Income for September 2007

September turned out to be a little better than August.

  • TLA: $113.89
  • Adsense: $32.74
  • PPP: $18.00
  • Linkworth: $49.00
  • Amazon: $8.08
  • CJ: $25.85
  • AuctionAds: $5.88
  • Kontera: $5.46
  • ShareaSale: $0.86

Grand total: $259.76

That’s an increase of $27.50 from August.  Ends up at about 11% increase.  Surprises? CJ has a higher total than I think I have ever seen.  That’s nice, but I don’t think that I’ll probably see it again anytime soon.  Luck has it’s advantages.  Kontera continues to increase month over month.  Where will it cap out?  Not sure.  Amazon also did well this month, and hopefully that will continue into October.

Overall, I’d like to see at least a 15-20% increase in October.  With a little hard work, that should be very doable.  I’d like to be back over $300 a month by the end of the year.  Sooner if possible.

If you’d like to try any of the services that I use, visit my Monetization page for links to each of them.

Lending and Borrowing with Prosper

I signed up for Prosper early last year with the intention of trying to use it to borrow some money to pay down some other bills that had a horrible rate on them. I couldn’t get the rate that I wanted at the time and haven’t really tried to borrow on the site since.

What I have done is lent on the site. It was a pretty easy process to become a lender. Depositing money took a little longer than I had expected it to, but it managed to make it’s way there. It took me about 3 days to finally win a bid to fund a loan. The loan I ended up funding was a loan to a person with no credit. What that means is the interest rate is quite a bit higher because it carries a much higher risk. The rate on my winning bid was 22%. That’s right. I’m earning 22% (minus fees makes it about 20%) on my money. Try getting that anywhere else in the world. It’s no wonder Credit card companies, Banks and Credit Unions make so much money off of their lending.

Of course, the 22% is norm for the high risk loans, but the higher the risk, the more likely the loan is to be defaulted and then you don’t even get your original money back. The loan I funded has so far been a good one. Only late once and on time the rest. I’ve already made a little under $6 on my $50 and it’s only been about 8 months. Not bad if I do say so myself. I’m thinking pretty hard of putting a little more money into the system to see how well I can do at it.

You can give it a try also. If you sign up through my referral link (in this post or on the right sidebar) and become a lender with a funded loan in 90 days or less, we both get $25! If you become a borrower, I get a .5% bonus of the total of the loan if you get it funded in 90 days, but you don’t get anything. If you have good credit, you could theoretically borrow some money and then lend it back out at a higher rate and still get your $25 and a pretty good margin on the money.

The minimum bid on a loan is $50 so you can start relatively low to get a good feel for it. Go on over and give it a try. It’s almost addictive.

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