Wanna make a few bucks? Then work it!

If you're looking for some get rich quick scheme for online wealth, let me be the first (or hundredth) to tell you: It ain't happening! But, if you have a passion for something, anything, and you're pretty much willing to pursue that desire even if you don't make any money---you just might make some.

Here, I'll share my research, ideas and empirical stories about what I've done, what I do and what I'm planning.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Can you make money with Ebates? Is it legit or a scam?

Those of you who are familiar with my online money making strategies know that my (absurd) plan is to create one million web pages or online projects which each make one dollar per year. Then, just like that, I'm a millionaire!

I explore many different avenues for making money online, and stay away from the get rich quick schemes. They don't work. The ones that work for me (to varying degrees): eBay.com, Adsense, Amazon.com, Chitika, Bidvertiser and a dozen or more others that I forget about and then suddenly a little money appears in my PayPal or checking account.

Let's look at Ebates

Ebates has been around for more than ten years and has a very simple program: sign up (only your email is required and it's free), then shop online at more than 1,600 stores (including Macys.com, Sears.com, Kohls.com, Amazon.com, Walmart.com and the list goes on), and when you make a purchase you get a little cash back which goes into your account and is distributed to you on a quarterly basis.

They also pay for referrals, so sign up, share your referral link via Facebook, Twitter, your website or blog, and see what happens. I know of one woman who signed up, booked a trip to the Caribbean and earned $64. Just think, If you book 1,000 trips per year, you'll earn $64,000. Oh wait, that isn't possible. But you get the idea.

You can shop by store or category. Often, you will get the stores' deals (coupons, sales, etc.) as well as your cash back. BONUS!

So, if you buy online and haven't signed up with Ebates yet, do it. Hopefully, through my link, but whatever. :) My Ebates affiliate link is:  http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=0SmSaLCSC6HObi6bOZK4tQ%3D%3D

If you're wondering whether Ebates is legit or a scam, my research indicates that it is a respected online shopping portal which does pay you cash back when you use their service. You will get a little cash back, receive rebates, find discount coupons and be able to do all of your online shopping from one location. I say it's worth a shot. I'll let you know how much I'm raking in. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Making money with Ebay podcast - How I took $126 and turned it into $2,500

Once upon a time, a friend and I started a business called Loading Dock Auctions, where we planned to open a storefront and sell other people's stuff on Ebay for a commission. We did it for a while, but man, that was a lot of work and we quickly realized that people wanted to sell their stuff which wasn't nearly as valuable as they believed. Initially, we just rejected the crap and looked for the diamonds in the rough, but they were few and far between and still no guarantee that the stuff would sell.

Click here to listen.
So, I shifted my online attention to other methods of generating income. The ones I like the most are the ones which bring in residual income. Put something online, monetize it and rake in the dough. Okay, usually you don't need a rake. Maybe a cocktail fork. But money is money and if one idea brings you ten bucks a month, ten of those ideas will bring in $100.

That being said, no one who is looking to make money online should overlook Ebay. In this episode of the Slow Online Wealth Podcast I look at a few ways to pad your pocketbook with Ebay monies and share some of my success stories (like buying an antique mandolin for $126 and selling it on Ebay for $2,500).

So, give it a listen. Your feedback welcome.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Slow Online Wealth Podcast is live! Give it a listen...please.

I finally got off my ass and started producing the Slow Online Wealth Podcast. Sometimes you just want to listen instead of having to read all of my ramblings.

This first installment is simply an overview of the many topics I plan to cover in the future, including: making money on Ebay, monetizing your YouTube videos, Adsense tricks, making money with Fiverr.com, creating a free online store, using Amazon to sell your niche, and lots more.

So, please, give it a listen and I welcome your feedback, comments, heckles and suggestions.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Is Chitika.com a good alternative to AdSense?

Chitika is an advertising service which offers publishers online, search-targeted textual advertising over online and mobile platforms, not unlike what Google's AdSense does. Chitika serves up over two billion ads per month. Pretty impressive.

I joined their program and began a test about a month ago, placing their code on a few of my most highly trafficked pages and those which do quite well with AdSense. Research assured me that placing their code on the same pages would not adversely affect my AdSense account or revenues. Unless, of course, some people click on a Chitika ad instead of an AdSense ad and I get substantially less money for the click.

So, how does Chitika fare in comparison? So far, not good. On just one of the pages which has Chitika code, I have had 1,377 impressions and 17 clicks in the last seven days, earning me a grand total of 31 cents. What? Less than half-a-penny per click? I don't this is going to work out.

From AdSense ads for the same page, I earned $37.20. And honestly, it's usually higher than that, but I think I lost some revenue to the 17 people who clicked on the Chitika ads.

I'm going to continue testing it on other pages, but will probably remove their program from my busier pages. Perhaps Chitika will be successful in brining in more revenue on pages that currently don't do well financially. I have seen mentioned numerous times that Chitika is more successful if you have European visitors. Hmmmm. Don't know why, but maybe I'll add the words "bloke" and "mate" to my pages and see if that helps. :)

If you have a different experience, or some tips on how to make Chitika perform better, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Can you make money with Bidvertiser? Yeah, sort of...

Sometimes, I'll find a potential revenue source, set it up and activate it, then forget all about it. I mean completely forget about it.
That's what I did with bidvertiser.com. What is Bidvertiser? BidVertiser is an online advertising network offering site-targeted pay-per-click (PPC) text ads and image ads.
So, apparently I set up an account with them in October 2011 and added their code to some of my pages on both my Interactive Lunacy site and my Hooked on Droid site. Then, I pushed their existence from my mind.
While updating Interactive Lunacy, I ran across a page that had Bidvertiser code. So I went to my email, searched for a username and password, found it and logged in. That's when I discovered that I added their code to some pages. The problem is, I don't know which pages have the code (except the one I ran across) and I have lots of pages. Somehow, though, the code that was on the page that I found didn't seem to be active. So, I'm not sure if it's been displaying properly anyway.
But, forget about all that, I just want to go to my reports for the last year and see if I made any money. I knew it couldn't be much because I don't recall getting any money from them, but because of my master plan (10,000 websites each making $8.00 per year will bring in $80,000), I had to check. And Woo Hoo! from October 2011 until October 2012 I made $8.87. That's almost up to their payment threshold of $10 to actually give me my money.
So, is it worth it, considering that $8 is just a mediocre Google AdSense day on some individual pages on that same site? Maybe. But now I have to do more work to see whether Bidvertiser plays nice with my other revenue generators.
According to some, Google doesn't allow Bidvertiser ads on the same pages as AdSense ads. That doesn't seem to be the case. However, most users who display both ads are reporting that Bidvertiser does not give nearly the return of AdSense ads, and sometimes the ad relevance is a bit askew on Bidvertiser.
From what I recall, I probably only had Bidvertiser code on two of my pages over two domains. And I made $8.87. So, had I put the code on 100 pages it COULD have generated over $800. Again, that's not good at all when compared to my better AdSense pages.
So, what I'm going to do in the relatively near future (too many projects...not a bad thing), is pick a couple of my moderately trafficked pages and remove (gulp) the AdSense ads (or not) and insert Bidvertiser ads.
Stay tuned. I'll let you know.
Oh, and if you wish to give Bidvertiser a try, here is the email referral request they gave me. Use it.

I have just signed with a company that allows me to run text-ads on my website and they pay me each time someone clicks on the ad. The best thing is that they pay me via PayPal with a minimum of only $10.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Making money on the internet - it's a numbers game

A lot of people sit around and wait for something good to happen. You know the type: "When I win the lotto" or "I can't wait until Spielberg calls." And then there's us. The ones who spend a lot of time trying to discover how to pursue our passion and make a little (or a lot) of scratch (aka: how do I make money from the Internet?).

I'm certainly not an online marketing superstar, but I do okay. Why? Because I try lots of different approaches to writing, blogging and selling online, then stick to the ones that seem to work. In sales, the more calls you make, the more deals you get. In online money making endeavors, the more things you try, the more likely some of them will succeed.

Here's a few to consider, if you don't already:

Can you make money with Google AdSense?

Although you are at their mercy, Google's AdSense program works pretty well for me. Once accepted into the AdSense program, you log into their interface, set up channels (to help you track your ads), choose an ad size, get the code and paste it into your html. Then the good robots at Google generate ads relevant to the content on your page.

Of course, this works best if your content contains the words that make the robots pick the right ads, but that is another problem to address.

I am lucky enough to have some pages which get 50,000+ visitors per month. Those ads, because of the reasonable traffic and click-through ratio make up the bulk of my Google AdSense money.

The downside of AdSense, of course is that you cannot choose specific ads and really have no idea as to which ads are working or how much they pay. I have had AdSense ads pay as little as a penny per click, as well as over $20.

One of the other negatives about AdSense is that they can change the rules whenever they want, and it may adversely affect your revenue. Or, visa versa, I reckon.

Fiverr.com can pad your revenue stream five bucks at a time

In a nutshell, fiverr is another niche finding situation. Find a niche that works for you (singing in your underwear or creating great graphics) and you'll get some orders. I write articles, scripts and some graphic design on fiverr and it has been a pretty nice little additional revenue stream. Read my review of fiverr.com here.

Make money by creating website, after website, after website

If you know how to create and promote websites, you're ahead of the game. You can purchase domains, create new sites, monetize them in a variety of ways, and even if it isn't all that successful (until you find the one that goes viral), all you really need is to make five or ten bucks a month to cover your costs.

If you're looking for a cost-effective hosting solution, I strongly recommend HostGator.com. Not only will you pay less than five bucks for hosting, but their interface will walk you through designing the site as well.

In some cases, I have a blog and a web site with essentially identical content. Check out HookedOnDroid.com and http://hookedondroid.blogspot.com to see what I mean. This affords me the opportunity to put affiliate ads, Adsense ads, independent ads, etc., on two separate sites.

Another method of generating revenue is a review site or blog. One of my sites WalkersForSeniorsReviews.com is an example you can use as a model for your own ideas. Simply put, you want to find products that people are actually buying and reviewing (positively) online, write reviews of a number of the top sellers, and provide a link to where they can actually buy the item.

Of course, you'll have to promote and optimize each of your sites individually, but like I said, it's a numbers game. The more opportunities you have to make money, the more money you're going to make.

Sell ad space on your sites

This is kind of obvious, but not so easy. Before you can solicit others to buy ad space on your pages, you'll need to be able to show reports as to how much traffic you are getting and prove the relevence to the potential client. Once you have all your ducks in a row, you can get a lot of ideas as to potential advertisers by observing the kinds of ads that just show up with Google's AdSense. Then, email them with a proposal and see what sticks. I have picked up some relatively high paying advertisers using this method.

Affiliate ads

There are so many affiliates out there it's mind boggling. Amazon.com of course is one of the main players, but there are thousands of others. You could go through the trouble of applying with every website that you'd like to be an affiliate for (like jcp.com, Target.com, Lowes.com, Macys.com, Ebay.com, etc.), or you can get an account with a company like Viglink which will essentially hook you up to all of them (and lots more).

Without going into all of the details here, Viglink makes it so that if you add their javascript to your page, any time you mention any one of thousands of affiliates they have, it will become a hyperlink which is tracked, and you will earn a commision for any sales that occur. If you use a service like Viglink.com, you have to adjust your writing so that you give attention to words that will turn into hyperlinks, but this is a very good way to monetize your pages without even thinking about it.


If you want to be successful making money online, I think you need to be either really lucky, have an amazing, one-of-a-kind idea, or put in lots of time and build up your traffic and revenue slowly. I pretty much do the latter.

But, hey, the way I figure is, if I put up 10,000 web pages that all make one dollar a month...I'm making $10,000 per month.

Back to work.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Fiverr.com wants to know what you'll do for five bucks. I'm making money.

[NOTE: July 22, 2012] Since first writing this article about fiverr.com I have done more than 50 gigs, never had a major issue with payment, have 100% positive reviews and have been elevated to Level 2, which allows you to charge up to $25 for each individual gig. Ain't getting rich, but extra money is great when you find your niche.]

I don't even remember how I ran across Fiverr.com, but I know I loved the concept right from the beginning.

Fiverr.com is a website which offers visitors the opportunity to purchase a number of products and services, with every one of them costing five dollars (sort of). Some of the offerings are commonly needed business services like logo design, banner ad creation, testimonial videos, script and copy writing. Others are WAY more bizarre. Such as a guy who will sing happy birthday to whomever you want (or another message) with balloons and confetti while taking a bath. Or maybe you'd like to have a girl recite your message while hula hooping in a bikini. Not your cup of tea? Then you're probably interested in a guy who will write your message on his fat hairy belly for five dollars. No? Odd. I thought everyone was looking for that, but just didn't know where to purchase it.

Being intrigued, I set up an account and then pondered what I could do, or would be willing to do, for five dollars. I won't tell you some of my ideas, but stay tuned, I just might actually do some of them.

What I settled on were the two following "gigs." 1) I will design a custom banner ad or website header for $5; and 2) I will write a FUNNY video testimonial script for $5.

[NOTE: If you try to visit the above pages and the links are no good, that's because I suspended them due to getting too much work. Which is a good thing. You can see some of my recent fiverr gigs in my portfolio blog.]

After I launched these gigs, I figured I'd see if I got any takers, do a couple of jobs (which my wife kept reminding me that it wasn't worth the time for five bucks), try to get paid and then report on everything to you guys, here in the blog. Well, as it turns out, I've done about twelve gigs so far (in just a little over a month) and have elevated my status to Level One, which allows me to add on more stuff to my gigs and get paid more than five dollars.

So, even though I couldn't imagine making enough money to quit my night job (stand-up comedy) or writing my other Smartphone technology blog (Hooked On Droid), I'm also not going to stop doing the Fiverr gigs.

So, even if you only want to get a few laughs by checking out what other people are actually willing to do for five dollars, I'd visit the web site and check it out. Who knows, you may discover that you're willing to pee someone's corporate message in the snow while juggling cupcakes.

[NOTE] Here's a couple of other ways you may want to try to make some extra money online. Maybe a lot. The YouTube Money Machine- How To Make Money Online With YouTube and Make Money Online: How I Created a Six Figure Income Giving Away a Dead Guy's Book. Hey, ya never know what will work for you.