May 31, 2012, 6:00 am

How to Get THAT Huge Project Done

by: MD    Category: Alternative Income

Quick note: This is an excerpt from my newest premium guide, Start Freelancing Now. If you’re tired of being broke or not having enough time, I urge you to check the blog out and take action because the price goes up on Saturday morning.

Let’s look at how you can finally get huge projects done.

I didn’t really learn how to get huge projects done from school. I learned by actually getting huge projects done that didn’t come with a deadline from a strict professor.

Here’s the only formula you ever need to read to get huge projects done (for clients and for yourself):

Set a due date.

Set a firm and realistic due date based on your schedule and lifestyle. Don’t lie to yourself and don’t be afraid to set it a bit further away.

Oh and please don’t be afraid to cut random tasks out of your life. You have a big project to finish. Cut mercilessly when it comes to things that don’t really matter.

Use stickies to jot every idea.

Grab a sticky pad and make notes. When working on this guide I went through so many stickies and pieces of paper. I wrote down every single idea that hit me. Good or bad ideas were all jotted down. You need to track everything that comes to mind on this huge project that you’re working on.

Re-arrange, sketch, and go wild.

This is where you should get as much feedback as possible. You don’t want feedback the day before you launch or send your big project away. You need to get every single opinion at this point. Don’t wait for feedback. Get it at this stage. Compare your sticky notes. Go wild.

Work.

Time to finally work! Grab a cup or 12 of coffee and start working away. Keep your deadline in mind while you hustle away. There are no shortcuts here. Just work until you can’t work any more, then work some more. Your goal here is to get things done.

“Success: no magic formula. You gotta be willing to work for it. Consistent, hard ass work.” – The Rock

Release.

It’s time for the world (or one client) to see what you’ve been doing this whole time. Send your product into the world. As funny as this will sound, but this is the toughest stage for some. We start to question our work. We debate if we should send it out or not. We get nervous. We hold back. We don’t release.

Screw that. You paid for this guide because you want real advice. I want you to release that huge project into the world. Don’t be afraid.

I want you to finish that huge project that you’ve been working on.

Here’s a quick tip on time management and getting stuff done:

If you want something bad enough, you’ll get it done.

Are you ready to go after that big project? Don’t let your own excuses hold you back any longer from finishing up huge and cool projects.

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May 30, 2012, 5:00 am

Do You Need Money To Make Money?

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Assets and Net Worth

 

 

I don’t know if it was the same thing for you, but where I grew up; there is an old saying about money: you need money to make money. Is it linked to the old Christian mentality that money is the root of all evil? Is it a simple way to explain one’s failure to make money because he doesn’t come from a rich family? I don’t quite understand the whole reasoning behind this line of thought. All I know is that it has always bothered me. It’s bothering me because I don’t come from a rich family. I wasn’t sponsored nor had a rich mentor when I was younger. And still, I hope to make a lot of money in my life. Unfortunately, I have found that this old saying is sometimes right…

 

At the Age of 26, I Wanted to Buy a Tim Horton’s

 

A few years ago, I was living in a small city in Montreal’s suburbs. This city was recently booming since there wasn’t much land available for new construction nearbyMontrealand one of the only spot remaining to buy a decent house at a fair price is where I used to live. It was a very nice city only 25 minutes away from downtown. The city is situated right beside 2 highways which makes it quite accessible. Near the highway exit going towards this city, there was commercial land for sale. The land was right on a corner and it was the first spot before entering the city (or last spot before leaving for the highway). I thought to myself: I should buy this land and build a Tim Horton’s. For US readers, Tim Horton’s is almost as popular as Starbucks in Canada. Mind you Starbucks coffee is a lot better than Tim’s! The place was perfect for a last stop for a coffee before hitting the road. It was also the right time as we were seeing new houses blooming all over the place.

 

Here’s the catch.

 

The land was $500K, the Tim Horton’s was another $500K and at 26 with barely 20K in my pocket… I was frustrated because I was convinced I had a great idea but was short on money. For me, it was obvious that we could make money from this commercial spot… but we needed money to make money. What was even more frustrating is that a year after I had my idea of buying the land to build a Tim Horton’s, someone else did buy the land… and did built a Timmy’s on it! I don’t have to tell you that this coffee shop is making a lot of money right now…

 

Where Do All Rich Guys Come From?

 

The reason why I never believed that you need money to make money is because I couldn’t understand where all the rich guys come from. I mean; it’s not the hen or the egg here; someone must make money first before having money. Therefore; this guy had to be poor first, and then make his millions. To the best of my knowledge, I’m not aware of an island where millionaires grow-up before entering the real world. For those who know Montreal, I know that there are a lot of them in the West Island but that’s another story ;-).

 

In my quest to understand how someone could become rich while others stay poor or in the middle class all his life, I’ve started asking questions. Since I have the opportunity to meet a lot of rich individuals in my day job, I was able to gather a lot of information. Their stories are exciting and very interesting. I’ve found out that most of them didn’t have money when they were young. In fact, you don’t need to make money; you need a big fat heart! A heart so big that it is never tired; a heart that is ready to hustle day and night. A heart that never sleeps, that is always thinking about a project. This is how you grow rich: hustle and passion (did I ever write that? 😉 ) .

 

I’ve Done it with my Online Company on a Smaller Scale

 

According to our evaluation, our online company is worth at least 200K. It is currently generating over $100,000 in gross revenue and roughly $40,000 in after tax income. At 5 times the net income, the classic valuation still makes sense. So I could have built a 200K company starting with nothing back in 2008? In 4 years, we have built a real company making real money. 4 years ago, we didn’t have an internet empire. In fact, our only web property was this blog and we were getting 300 visitors… a month! Now we have over 300,000 visitors/month! We are now able to buy sites that worth 10K, 20K, 30K, and more! At first, we could have never be able to find so much money. Someone who wants to enter the blog business today and buy a web property will find it very hard since interesting sites are being sold for over 10K. But if you have hustled with a passion, you can do it today!

 

The thing is that money is an exponential accelerator. When you have $100, you can’t do much. But when you work very hard and amass ten $100 to make $1,000, you can do a little bit more. Then, you can amass ten $1,000 and make $10,000. And after that, you amass 10 $10,000 to make $100,000… you get the picture to reach the million? ;-).

 

How $10 Becomes $100, Then $1,000 and $10,000+

 

When we started TFB, it literally cost us $10 ($9.95 for the domain).

 

After a year, we were able to amass all the $10 we could to build a few hundred. We reinvested those few hundreds to make a few thousands.

 

Those few thousands were used to buy Intelligent Speculator.

 

Then, after another year, we amassed all the thousands we could and leveraged to buy Gather Little By Little.

 

Within a year, we sold GLBLand used the money to buy Dividend Guy Blog & Green Panda Treehouse and we still had money left in the company.

 

We have continued the strategy of saving as much money as possible in the company to reinvest it while using leverage when it’s the right time. We are now gathering near $4,000 per month net of taxes. I guess that we will eventually talk about bigger numbers in a few years since the revenue seems to grow big time.

 

What I came to realize is that you don’t need money to make money. When you have money, it’s easier to make even more money. This is what the old saying should say!

 

Readers; do you think you need money to make money or you can start making your own today?

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May 29, 2012, 5:00 am

Every Single Way I Use to Make Money Online is Listed Here

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Alternative Income,Make Money Online

Warning: you might want to refill your coffee or bookmark this post!

 

 

‘Cause every Single Way I Use to Make Money Online is Here

 

Your site has been on for the past 12 months, you have been working very hard and you’re starting to see some interesting traffic.

 

But the money is not there yet… not as you thought it would be anyway…

 

Are you looking to make more money with your blog?

 

If so, I’m writing this 2 part series for you! Today, I’ll present an extensive list of all my sources of income. Next week, I’ll be sharing some of my best practices to increase my income with you.  You will see that some of them are awesome while others are barely making $1 per month. The goal is to generate as many ways as possible to make income. Since most become sources of passive income after you put them in place, there is no reason why you would not try all of them! Here are all my sources of income (in no particular order):

 make money blogging

 

Adsense

 

Adsense is by far my most productive source of income. It wasn’t the case for several years but I’ve learned to understand how to make it more profitable and substantially increase my revenues with it. I’m preparing a longer post on Adsense alone because I’m convinced that this is probably your best shot at making money with your blog.

 

The key is to understand that you need traffic. I’ll share some math with you. Technically, most sites have a click-through-rate (CTR) hovering between 1% and 3%. This means that 1% to 3% of ads appearing get a click. In the personal finance industry, a click is worth a lot when the topic of the ads is linked to credit cards, credit in general (credit repair, credit bureaus, loans), investment and insurance. Clicks are worth a lot less if your main topics are about how to save money or on frugality. Who wants to advertise on a page where you tell people not to spend, right? On average, you can expect to make $0.50 to $1.00 per click. I know that you can make a lot more with a single click, but if you want to run the numbers to know how much you will earn with Adsense, I would stay conservative.

 

So here’s the calculation:

 

Let’s say you have 10,000 ads appear each month (which can be attained with 2 ad blocks per page and 5,000 pages viewed a month).

 

The number of clicks will equal 2% * 10,000 impression = 200 clicks

 

At an average of $0.75/click, you can expect $150 per month.

 

There are a lot of factors to improve the 3 components of this equation (your number of ad appearances, yourCTRand your $/click). But this is going beyond the scope of this article. You’ll have to wait to get more J.

 

Finance Ads – CPM

 

Finance Ads is my main CPM (Cost Per Mile) ad network. Since it’s a Canadian network and I run a lot of Canadian sites, this was a perfect fit for me. If you have a Canadian site, send me an email and I’ll introduce you to the owner of this ad network. The idea behind a CPM model is quite easy: you add the code on your site and the Ad Network manages the ad content (similar to Adsense). The good news is that you are paid per appearance and not per click. Therefore, the more appearances you get, the bigger your check is!

 

The CPM range can vary greatly. I’ve seen the network paying as low as $1 per mile, up to $20 CPM. The CPM network can come with restrictions as well (having their banner above the fold, canceling other advertisers to have exclusivity, etc). You also need a minimum of appearances to be considered by the CPM network. I’d say that if you are under 10,000 pages viewed per month, you can forget about it! Some bigger networks will ask for 50,000+ appearances per month. But it makes sense when you think about it. If you make $7CPM and you only have 10,000 pages viewed, this only generates $70/month. This is obviously an accounting nightmare for most Advertisers!

 

Major Affiliate Program Managers

 

Another classic for any blogger would be register with major affiliate program managers. They are companies gathering huge inventories of clients who want to promote their products/services. They gather them and offer you the opportunity to manage several affiliate programs under the same account. This is an awesome way to save some time but I often find that you get lost inside of them and that they are not as profitable as you thought they would be.

 

My favorite is still Commission Junction because I use their Mint affiliate program. There is nothing better than a product that is free and that you are getting paid for a lead. A lead is when a visitor will enter personal information on the company’s site (such as his email address or phone number). You usually get less money for a lead than a sale since the company is not making money with the lead. It only gives them the opportunity to have enough information on a potential prospect to contact him. I find leads easier to generate than sales in most cases. This is why I’m focusing on such products.

 

Similar to CJ, there is Flex Offer, Link Share and Azoogle Ads. They are all represent different clients and operate different platforms. In the end, most of their affiliate programs are linked to big companies. The best performers in the finance industry are often credit cards and stock brokers.

 

There is also Click Bank who runs smaller affiliate programs. In fact, if you have made a product in your basement, you can submit it to Click Bank and they may offer it through their platform. You will find a lot of crap but you will also find great niche products. It’s always worth it to look around to see what is being offered. This is where I found a product for my EMT Training site.

 

Private Affiliate Program

 

As opposed to major affiliate program managers, private affiliate programs are operated directly with the company offering their products/services. It creates multiple accounts as you need 5 different logins for 5 different companies (as compared to having everything under CJ for example). On the other hand, I’ve been making a lot more money with private affiliate programs than with major affiliate program managers. It is maybe because they have a single offer that is pretty clear and their tools are customized to it. Therefore, it’s easier to focus and sell the right thing J. Here are a few examples of private affiliate programs:

 

I always have a few sales each month coming from my post on How to Use Market Samurai.

 

Then, twice a year, I make a few hundred bucks with Only72 offers. They have a very interesting concept of offering a package selling for $1000 at only $100. The prices are not inflated so it’s a win-win for everybody (both bloggers and clients!).

 

My most successful private affiliate is definitely INO since I host a lot of investment websites (and they offer free top trending stocks). It has notably originated the $463 email I sent a few months ago.

 

I’m trying another one as of last Monday where I was able to get a super deal on a reputed stock newsletter. You can check out the deal over at The Dividend Guy Blog.

 

Since the offer is custom made, you have higher chances of converting. Then again, I was able to find EMT Practice Exams products for my niche site. I’ve already sold a kit in 3 months J.

 

Private Advertising

 

This used to be my main source of income but I’m slowing down drastically in order to preserve my site ranking. Private advertising is risky as it’s not always welcome by search engines. If you have too many of them, your site may look spammy and you might be deranked. This is why we have decided to say “adios amigos” to most of these sources of income and move towards other sources. If you still want to learn about this source, you can read my series on how to build a media kit.

 

When the whole Google PR Slap happened a few months ago, my partner and I decided to establish the number of links to be cut by the end of the year (some of them are long term agreements). Well in only 3 months, we have cut more links than expected for the rest of the year. I guess you can tell that the industry is not going towards this direction anymore…

 

I’m not going to elaborate more on this source of revenue as I certainly don’t think it’s the future for successful money making bloggers.

 

eBooks

 

Since I have launched 3 eBooks with 3 different strategies with 3 completely different results, I’m a bit confused about making money with an eBook. I’m 100% sure you can make money with an eBook as tons of bloggers are doing just fine:

Pat Flynn with Green Exam Academy

Adam Baker with Sell Your Crap

Mike @ Oblivious Investor and his dozens of eBooks

Sunil @ Extra Money Blog and his dozen niche eBooks too (imagine, he has one to show you how to sue an airline!)

 

On the other hand, I think it’s a lot harder to make money with an eBook than any other ways of making money online. The reason is simple; it requires multiple talents:

–          Writing skills

–          Understanding what your readers want (solving their problems/answering their needs)

–          Patience (you can’t write a 50, 100, 150 pages eBook in a weekend)

–          Marketing skills (creating the sales page, get your readers to take action, package your offer, etc).

If you compare that to Adsense where “all you need to do” is to play around the code for optimization, it’s a lot more complicate to launch an eBook!

 

What is Coming?

 

One thing I truly enjoy about this company is that each year, we find new ways to make money! Some of them have been in existence for a long time and we just hadn’t take a look at it yet while others are completely new to us. Here’s a few projects I want to take a look at in 2012:

 

Co-Registration

 

I was approached by Investing Channel to do a co-registration program with my investing newsletter. The goal behind co-registration is to send a promotional offer to new newsletter subscribers. In other words; after registering for my newsletter, we offer them the opportunity to register for other related services with an additional rebate. This is why we call it “co-registration”. I don’t know how well my readers will welcome such changes. Will they see it as spammy or will they be happy to benefit from a “special” rebate?

 

I’ve tried to promote a similar offer to my existing subscribers as previously mentioned. In a few weeks, I’ll let you know how it went. I’m not only interested in the amount of money I can make with it but also the number of unsubscriptions following my sending!

 

In order to qualify for such deals, you need to present some solid numbers. With an investing newsletter showing over 5,600 subscribers, I can tell you that I just hit the minimum level for some advertisers. My opening rates and clicking rates are very high and this is one of the reasons why I was able to manage some deals already. The good news is that the payout is very interesting; in most cases you get 50% commission :-D.

 

BlogHer

 

I have a few blogs oriented towards women and I think that I’ve should have looked at BlogHer a while ago. I actually registered my site about 2 weeks ago. I’m currently in the “review process” which takes up to 45 days they say. I just can’t wait to get my approval and try out this CPM network J. Since I have a lot of page views on these sites, I think I can make a few more hundred bucks with this addition. I’ll be able to optimize my ad placement by using Adsense code only to the place where it’s optimal and use other advertisers elsewhere.

 

More Private Deals

 

I think that the best way to make money is to go through more private deals. When you are able to make “one-on-one” affiliate programs with companies, both sides are winners. If you really know your readership, you will actually provide higher quality to your readers, make money and the company offers special rebates will increase its customer base. How cool is that?

 

This is definitely something we will discuss in our 2012 meeting at the beginning of June!

 

Let me know if you have any questions regarding any of these sources of income for PF bloggers 😉

 

 

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May 28, 2012, 5:00 am

What Happens After You Write Your eBook (Hint You Ain’t Done!)

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: eBook

 

 

This is no surprise to you if I tell you that I’ve been working on a second Dividend Investing eBook. After over 20,532 downloaded copies (yup, over TWENTY THOUSAND!) of my first edition, I knew that I was serving an awesome niche and had to continue writing. The best part is that it’s not only a great niche, it’s a profitable niche as well! But what could surprise you is the book was written in March 2012 and it is still not on sale yet. Let me introduce you to the “behind the scenes” of eBook creation…

 ebook writing

Editing / Formatting / Design

 

I’m French.

 

I write in English.

 

2+2 doesn’t equals 4 in this situation!

 

You can say that there is a huge editing job to be done once I’m done writing ;-). This eBook is over 30,000 words (that’s 150+ pages of plain text). You can imagine what needs to be done in order to simply edit the eBook and make it not only “readable” but appear professional. After all, dividend investing is a pretty serious topic and buyers won’t be too patient with grammatical errors.

 

Then, we had to send the content for formatting and design. We wanted to have something very professional for our eBook and this is why we are outsourcing this part of the job. I guess this will take a month or two since we don’t have control over the firm that does it and they have other contracts too. There will be a lot of back and forth about what we want and what they did. We have picked our site designer to do this and we know that they do an awesome job and are easy to communicate with. On top of that, they offer a full package including a Kindle version… and a full sales website!

 

Sales Page – This is About a Whole Website!

 

We didn’t like the idea of publishing the sales page on our blogs. Blogs are not formatted to sell products and we thought that a separate sales page would be a more professional approach. Since we will have the opportunity of having a complete website, we thought of adding excerpts of each chapter on separate pages of the site. They are roughly 1,000 words each and show the introduction and a description of each topic discussed in our book. Along with that, we added an “about the author page” which is very important once we are done selling the eBook across our network. We want to generate a source of passive income out of this book and this is why we need to be as broad as possible. People who don’t know Mike or The Dividend Guy yet need to know more about the author prior to spending their precious bucks. Since it’s a oft targeted niche, chances are that this sales site will also get traffic from search engines over time (that’s the whole point actually!). The main source of traffic should be our sites and newsletters but I’m still expecting some good ranking for dividend related keywords. This should generate some passive income all by itself!

 

Newsletter – Build The Right Funnel

 

If you are registered for my newsletter (you better do it now!), you will eventually receive an email about how to manage your newsletter and build a funnel to attract people to buy your service or products. One of the techniques is to ask your readers for feedback about the product/service you are developing at the moment. I sent an email asking investors what was their #1 issue when it comes to dividend investing. I’ve received tons of detailed answers. This not only helped me to write the book but also to market it. You need to speak your potential buyers’ language to convince them that you have written a great book. By addressing their issues, I’ll definitely nail the problem and help people want to buy my book. If you can find the solution about the #1 thing that bugs you regarding X, would you not be ready to spend a few bucks to solve it?

 

Then, the next technique used was to keep my readers aware of the development of my project. I told them when one section or topic was covered in my book. They are able to follow me in my adventure and become excited to see the end result. This is a great way to build momentum. The only downside is that you have to deliver afterwards.

 

Guest Posts

 

I wrote about ten guest posts that I will offer to dividend/investing blogs. The point is to A) create a buzz, B) generate more sales outside my normal reach C) do link building for the site. In order to have my guest post accepted, I’m offering an affiliate link in the article where the blogger will make money off any of HIS readers buying my book. It’s a win-win situation and I think it can work pretty well. Since they are all my buddies, they will host the post for free and hope to make a few bucks. So besides my time, this promotion technique is absolutely free!

 

Using Media

I’ve also gathered a list of emails to reach newspapers and other sites. With this technique, I had a lot of traffic for my first eBook. The main difference is that the second eBook will cost something so I don’t know to which extent this technique will be beneficial or not. Since I already have my email list ready, it won’t be too hard to send them a quick email with a copy of the book. If I have just 1 guy who’s kind enough to mention me, I’ll be happy!

 

Going Back and Optimize

 

Another important strategy is to go back into your archives and to mention your new eBook. Several old pages are the first point of communication with new readers. It’s important to mention your eBook where necessary. I’ll also update my first eBook to make a mention of the second book in a few places. The point is to be everywhere!

 

My Goal: 300 eBooks by December 2012!

 

The goal with this eBook is to sell 300 copies by the end of the year. 300 is a huge number and it’s not very impressive at the same time. It’s huge since it’s 10 times what I sold with Rat Race, but it’s small when you think that will generate roughly 3K in profit. When calculating my time and other costs of publishing, I’m roughly breaking even. Is it really worth it? I’ll be honest with you, I don’t know. I just know that each copy sold over 300 will be pure profit and passive income. This is why I hope to sell it for a while ;-).

 

Is there anything I’m missing? Do you have any other ideas I should try?

 

Thx for your help!

 

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May 25, 2012, 6:00 am

New Bloggers to Check Out

by: MD    Category: Financial Rambling

We’re going to do something cool today. We’re going to help some new bloggers out.

I love reading personal finance blogs. Not only do I steal borrow ideas, but I see ambitious people doing cool things and making more money.

Today I want to highlight some new personal finance blogs to help them gain some traction. Enjoy!

Broke vs. Poor @ iHeart Budgets.

How To Win Scholarships @ Money Life and More.

Creating New Revenue Opportunities Through Buying Established Websites @ Modest Money.

Carnival of Personal Finance #362 – LessJunk Edition @ James Petzke.

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