Friday, 30 September 2011

5 Unconventional Ways To Monetize Your Blog

There are thousands articles out there, teaching you how to monetize your blog. Register with AdSense, offer affiliate products through CPA networks like Commission Junction, place Amazon ads, sell links through TextLinkAds or similar service, etc. There are all acceptable and they do work. But why not get a little bit more creative. Here are five unconventional ways to monetize your blog.

1. Reader Ads

If your blog has a sizable audience, start offering reader ads. Reader ads, as the name implies, are a one line advertisement below a post that say something like ‘Reader Mike is looking to sell his site www.xxx.com for $YYY’. Or ‘Reader Joe is a professional SEO copywriter who charges $x per 1000 symbols’. Or ‘Reader Jane would like to notify everyone that she just started a new blog’. Or ‘Reader Mike is looking to sell his iBook for …’. The key to the success of reader ads and sizable audience and low price. Don’t ask for more than $10 per ad. And do offer two types of deals, $10 for a single reader ad vs $25 for a reader ad that will appear at the end of each post for a week. Do not accept SEO links as reader ads.

2. PickyDomains.com

PickyDomains.com is a risk free naming and branding service. When people can’t think of domain, name or slogan on their own, they place an order with PickyDomains. If PickyDomains contributors come up with a cool name, the client is charged $50. If clients like nothing, they pay nothing. Hence, risk free naming. Where is monetization here? PickyDomains.com offers bloggers up to $30 for a single review, if it meets their criteria (your blog must have PageRank and at least 100 daily readers).

3. oDesk/eLance/Anything Freelance Site

oDesk is a big online marketplace where freelance writers, designers and coders compete for orders. eLance is the same thing and there are many sites like that. Where’s money in that? If your blog is tech related, create a freelance section. Or ‘freelancer of the month’ – anything of that nature. Offer freelancers to get exposure to your audience for a reasonable fee. Only approach freelancers with perfect rating, you don’t want to advertise anyone who might do crappy work.

4. Sell Links/PR Directly

There is no shortage of SEO specialists and they are easy to find. Contact them directly (once again, freelance sites are good for finding them), telling them how much you charge for a link or an article, what you PageRank is, etc. All text link services mark up prices at least 100% (meaning that if you get $10 per link per month they are charging $20 for it), so this is a win-win situation for everybody. Same thing for PR specialists – tell them how much it would cost to publish a press-release on your website and what content you are looking for. PR companies are always looking for sites where they can get publicity inexpensively.

5. Proactive Advertiser Search

You probably have ‘Advertise Here’ section, but no one’s looking, right? Start looking yourself. Let’s say, you blog about startups. Go to KillerStartups.Com or any other site, where new startups are added daily. Find ones that you find interesting and contact them directly with a simple offer – you’d like to review their startup and it’ll cost them $X. Make sure you include all relevant information – what your PageRank is, how much readers you have, how much traffic they can expect, etc. Same approach works with software and mobile phone application developers – they always look for sites that will review their products and if your offer is reasonable, you are likely to get a ‘yes’.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Ultimate Class Directory



Myclasses.org is on a worldwide mission to ensure that you will always be able to learn anything that you need to. The website is a social network and a directory that lists various classes and courses in various locations throughout the world. There are also courses that you can take over the internet.

Both teachers and students register on the website and it is through the website that both parties connect and interact. Registering on the site is completely free but enrolling for the courses is usually not, so it is important for the students to look into this before picking a course. Anybody can enroll to take a course through the website and you can enroll for anything from academic and professional courses to dancing and yoga classes.

People hosting seminars and events that will be teaching various skills can also put up posts for these activities on the site. The site can include details such as date, price, location and any other information that will be relevant to those who would wish to attend the events.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

10 things you really shouldn’t be doing yourself

You’ve probably read all those outsourcing and personal productivity articles that give advice like hiring a virtual assistance in India, thinking ‘it’s all fine and dandy, but that has nothing to do with me and my job, I wish there was something to make MY LIFE easier’. Well, chances are, there is. Truth is, there are hundreds, if not thousands, small niche apps, products and services that can make just about any job easier. Here are 10 such services that you’ve probably never heard about. Obviously, you won’t need them all, but I wouldn’t be surprised that at least one on the list will come in handy for your future project.

1. Branding – PickyDomains.com

PickyDomains.com is a risk-free naming service. Here is how it works. If you need new domain/name/slogan, you place an order, deposit $50 and start getting suggestions. When you find the name you decide to use, the service will pay a portion of the money to a person who made the suggestion. If you don’t like any suggestions, you get your money back. No risk involved. PickyDomains has named over 1500 domains so far (DiskScout.Com, Xutta.Com, NadaPay.com, GymGenius.Com, Simplytics.Com, Coderria.Com, Nogeno.Com, just to give you a few examples).

2. Legal – BatesExpress.com

If you don’t have any idea what Bates numbering system is, you are a lucky person. That’s because lawyers, paralegals and clerks have to manually ‘stamp bates’ every single day (otherwise courts won’t accept their documents). Bates Express provides a solution that will automatically apply Bates stamps to any document – e-mail, image, PDF, Word file, HTML page, etc. Bates Express has both free and paid versions.

3. Web Design 99Designs.com

99Designs is a crowdsourcing service that specializes in creating logos, templates, icons and other types of graphics. Its main advantage is a vast membership of web designers and fairly low prices – for instance, you can buy an original logo from 99Designs for 99 US Dollars. Most other design projects have $295 minimum. 99Designs was a recipient of 2010 Webby award and has been featured in many tech publications with mostly favorable reviews.

4. Intranets – BitrixSoft.com

What Drupal, WordPress or Joomla did for websites, Bitrix is doing to corporate intratnets. Bitrix is the biggest CMS maker you’ve never heard of – because it’s a Russian company (virtually every Russian media, government or corporate site runs on Bitrix – 60,000 in total). While Bitrix is struggling to get more attention abroad, its flagship product Bitrix Intranet 10 is really worth looking into. Essentially, with it, a competent programmer will be able to get corporate intranet up and running in one or two days, complete with employee pages, blogs, forums, messaging , video conferencing, e-mails, corporate wiki, etc. Pricing varies, depending on the size of the intranet.

5. Social Networks – Microworkers

It’s true that you can’t buy love, but likes are on sale at Microworkers.com. When you launch your FaceBook page, you have no friends. It’s easy to get friends and followers for personal pages, but corporate accounts are usually a different story. Nothing is as pathetic as a corporate PR manager with 30/hr pay wasting hours trying to get a few Twitter followers. At Microworkers.com you pay 10 – 15 cents to get people to ‘like’ or ‘follow’ you, so for $50-$100 total your page in a social network will have several hundred community members right from the beginning and have that credibility that leads to a bandwagon effect.

6. Marketing – oDesk.com

oDesk is a lot like 99Designs with a wider range of services offered. What it’s really good for is lead generation and business prospecting. Suppose, you are a lawyer, who works with software companies, writing EULAs, non-disclosure agreements, etc. At oDesk, you can hire a competent task-specific marketer from India, Phillipines, Thailand and other countries with low hourly pay. For instance, your assignment might look like this “You’ll be given a joint e-mail account and an invitation text for a free consultation. You’ll have to go through Yellow pages/Yahoo directory and contact software developers with my offer via e-mail. The pay is 10 cents per e-mail sent.” So now, contacting 1000 prospective clients that would take you several days work is only $100 and can be done by several people you hire in a matter of hours.

7. SEO/PPC – iSpionage.com

If you have a lot of online competition and plan to run a PPC campaign on Google, iSpionage will sure save you a ton of time. Simply enter your competition URL and you’ll find out if they are buying PPC ads or not, and, if yes, how much money they are approximately spending, which keywords they are bidding on, their position, actual texts for their AdWords ads, how much traffic they are getting from organic SEO, etc. The service lets you search up to 10 domains/keywords a day for free. Full access will set you back $59 to $129.

8. Scheduling/To-Do – RememberTheMilk.com

RememberTheMilk (what a perfect name) is a cool online scheduling/task management/To-Do service. The best thing about it is that it’s integrated with everything – iPhone, Android phones, PDAs, Twitter, MS Outlook, Gmail/Google Calendar, Blackberry, etc. So you can enter you schedule/tasks on your home PC and have access to those via phone anywhere. You can also use the app to manage your employees remotely this way. RememberTheMilk is mostly free, but there is a $25 charge for more advanced options (like iPod touch specific interface or synching RTM with Windows Mobile gadgets).

9. Invoicing/Business Processes – SideJobTrack.com

There are quite a few online services that take care of invoicing and other business processes for you. The unique thing about SideJobTrack.com is that it’s specifically designed for part-time contractors or people who do odd jobs on a very irregular basis (like few times a year) and don’t want to invest time/money in regular invoicing/billing apps. It’s very simple and fast, when it comes to creating custom estimate or invoicing templates. It’s also free, despite having most features that similar paid services offer.

10. Software Translation – Transifex.com

When software makers want to sell their programs in Europe, they need the app translated in at least 5 different languages, sometimes as many as 15. Most commonly, developers either ask their users to translate the app in their native language or hire individual translator for each language. Transifex is a free crowdsourcing translation service that was originally created for localizing open source projects (they’ve worked on Firefox, fedora, GNOME, Meego, django etc.) Transifex now offers its services for commercial applications as well – it’s very inexpensive (30 euros per month) and the quality/speed is generally higher than going through regular channels (like eLance).

Sunday, 25 September 2011

IconWanted.Com - The Search For Free Icons Is Over


http://IconWanted.Com

IconWanted.Com is a new cool startup that just might become world’s favorite destination for free icon seekers. As the name implies, IconWanted.com is a free icon search engine and directory and guessing from the 10000+ member Facebook community and 1000 followers on Twitter, the site is quickly catching on with designers.

IconWanted.com utilizes smart search technology for its icon search. For instance, if you need an icon for your play button, you can enter "play", "start", "play button", "run", "go", "execute" and you’ll get the desired result every time.

Currently designers, when looking for free icons, have to visit multiple websites and do multiple searches. Many sites don’t index their icon collections, simply providing names for the icon sets. IconWanted allows both icon creators and non-authors add new free icons and implements strict moderation process, during which all icons are properly labeled and categorized, their free status is verified and old low quality icons are weeded out.

All icons and icon sets are rated one to five stars by users, which further simplifies search, showing which sets and icons are most popular among designers. The directory classifies icons according to purpose (“Games”, “Mobile”, “Social Network”), date of addition, popularity, by designer or in alphabetical order. Also, icons can be browsed by tag, since all icons are tagged during addition. The search can then be further refined by size or desired technical parameters. New icons are added daily.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

BatesExpress.Com - Bates Numbering Software

BatesExpress is a new startup that develops electronic Bates numbering software thatautomates applying Bates stamps in law offices, hospitals, governmentalagencies and other places that rely on Bates numbering system. Invented in 1892and named after Bates Manufacturing Company it has since become a defactostandard for the US legal industry, as many courts will not accept documents,unless they are properly Bates numbered.

Stampingand numbering documents by hand, as practiced in most offices today, is a long,tedious and expensive process, when considering how much time is spent by paralegalsand office managers on this task daily. With Bates Express software, proper stampsare applied automatically to e-mails, images, PDF, Word and HTML documents.

Thesoftware comes with a set of pre-defined most commonly used stamps, but alsohas an option for easy customization of texts and images. And while bigcorporations like Adobe charge thousands for their Bates automation software,Bates Express offers pricing as low as $20 per one seat. The software is alsoavailable for a free 30 day evaluation and can be downloaded fromwww.batesexpress.com.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Short URL Profits

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You


http://nov.io/

Much the way shrtn pays users to shorten and share product links, so UK-based Nov.io does something similar. Whereas shrtn’s service is based on affiliate marketing, however, Nov.io uses ads to make its shortened links generate revenue.

Users begin by registering with Nov.io and then using the site to create shortened URLs for use on their blogs, forums, social networks and personal websites. Nov.io takes it from there by showing an ad before each shortened link loads. Users get paid for every visitor that views an ad; if Nov.io doesn’t have a matching advertiser for the visitor’s country, the shortened link will simply display a non-paying default Nov.io ad instead. Pay rates currently vary between USD 0.37 and USD 5.03 per 1,000 unique visitors in a 24-hour period, depending on country. Users also get 20 percent of the lifetime earnings of any friends they refer.

If there’s any lesson to be learned from the ongoing global recession, it’s that today’s sellsumers appreciate the chance to earn a little extra cash wherever and whenever they can!

For more unusual ways to make money, visit this site.

[Via - SpringWise.com]

The Million-Dollar Idea in Everyone: Easy New Ways to Make Money from Your Interests, Insights, and Inventions

IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea

How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur's Guide by Dan S. Kennedy

101 Businesses You Can Start With Less Than One Thousand Dollars: For Stay-at-Home Moms & Dads

Make Your Ideas Mean Business

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You

Monday, 5 September 2011

Verbally App

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You


http://verballyapp.com/

Released in March as an iPad app that speaks typed sentences and words for users who are unable to talk, Verbally has been among the most downloaded free apps for the past few months in iTunes’s medical category. Verbally’s backers, brothers Anil and Gautam Godhwani and their cousin, Ajay Godhwani, are planning to release a more powerful $100 version by early July, though they say the free version will remain free. They’re also working on an assistive app for children for release by yearend. Having co-founded two venture-backed startups, AtWeb (acquired by Netscape for $95 million in 1998) and job site Simply Hired, and nonprofit India Community Center in San Jose, Anil says he structured Intuary, the software firm behind the app, as a social venture to make it easier to raise money and attract talent. While other apps and devices exist, the team says the potential market is big. "It’s definitely a fairly large challenge—not just for folks with ALS [amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; also known as Lou Gehrig's disease] but stroke and so many other illnesses. If you look worldwide, millions of people who need something like this," says Anil. He estimates Intuary will have $500,000 to $1 million in revenue in 2012.

For more unusual ways to make money, read how PickyDomains.com helps find a business name.

[Via - BusinessWeek.com]

The Million-Dollar Idea in Everyone: Easy New Ways to Make Money from Your Interests, Insights, and Inventions

IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea

How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur's Guide by Dan S. Kennedy

101 Businesses You Can Start With Less Than One Thousand Dollars: For Stay-at-Home Moms & Dads

Make Your Ideas Mean Business

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Promethean Power Systems

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You


http://www.coolectrica.com/

Founded: 2007
Employees: 4
Revenue 2010: $12,000
Revenue 2011 (projected): $36,000


Betting poor dairy farmers in developing countries would benefit from a cheap way to keep their milk cool, the four-year-old business designs, builds, and installs industrial refrigeration systems that run on solar or traditional power. Right now it's selling its $3,000 to $12,000 systems to dairy processors in India, with plans to expand in Southeast Asia in the near future, and eventually Africa and Latin America.

It has sold one system so far to a private dairy processor in Tamil Nadu in southeast India that collects and sells milk from villages. With Promethean's systems it can store milk for longer periods in remote locations, reducing farmers’ expenses. "We saw the opportunity to build a profitable business in India and at the same time do good," improving the market so individual dairy farmers could charge more for their milk, says co-founder Sam White.

Promethean took second place in MIT’s $100K Entrepreneurship Competition in 2007, has raised around $1 million from investors, and could have up to $1.5 million in revenue in 2012, according to White and co-founder Sorin Grama. In June, the National Science Foundation awarded Promethean a $150,000 Small Business Innovation Research grant to "optimize the efficiency of its cold-energy-storage battery," White says.


For more unusual ways to make money, read how PickyDomains.com helps find a business name.

[Via - BusinessWeek.com]

The Million-Dollar Idea in Everyone: Easy New Ways to Make Money from Your Interests, Insights, and Inventions

IdeaSpotting: How to Find Your Next Great Idea

How to Make Millions with Your Ideas: An Entrepreneur's Guide by Dan S. Kennedy

101 Businesses You Can Start With Less Than One Thousand Dollars: For Stay-at-Home Moms & Dads

Make Your Ideas Mean Business

Link of the day - If You Sell Links On Your Site, I Will Buy Them Off You