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Clickbank – How to Make Money Online

Here’s another great way to make money online. If you’ve read my previous post on using Google AdSense, you can get an idea of how much money you can make with nothing more than an internet connection. As an update to that post, my highest AdSense payout has since been just under $3,000.

AdSense is probably the easiest (and most lucrative) way I’ve ever made money online but it’s not the only way. Amazon sends me monthly checks and as of a few months ago, I’ve been receiving a check from ClickBank every month.

What is ClickBank?

ClickBank is a huge marketplace of products that you can sell for commissions. After creating an account, you simply browse the marketplace, pick a product that you like and advertise it on your website(s). When someone clicks that link, your affiliate id is sent to the sales page. If they buy, you get a percentage of the sale.

Surprisingly, you can make a lot of money on ClickBank and you’ll most often make more than the author of the product. The product creators realize the need to reward sellers and they benefit more from gross sales, so sell a couple of items and you can easily make $100 or more every month. If I was to work on ClickBank sales only, I’m pretty confident I could make an extra $1,000 or more.. but again, AdSense brings better overall earnings.  Here’s our latest check (I have the checks sent to my wife to give her a little extra fun money):

clickbank check

Not a ton of money.. but an extra $84.03 this month. I’ve had months just under $200 and months just over $50, which was our first check back in January of this year:

ClickBank January check

$51.48 was my first ClickBank check back in January, 2013

ClickBank Frustration

The only problem I have in recommending ClickBank to people is that it takes a bit of time to ever get a check and you won’t see the first bit of money you earn. ClickBank has measures in place to “avoid fraud” that basically ensure you won’t get any money from sales for a while. Specifically…

  • You must have at least three separate sales and the buyers must all use different payment methods. Three different credit-cards will qualify you but three PayPal sales won’t and I don’t know about you, but PayPal is about all I use when shopping online.

Altogether, I made just over $500 worth of sales before I ever got my first check because of this rule. You’ll likely get peeved when logging in to your ClickBank account and seeing hundreds of dollars worth of sales while your cut is $0, but hang in there.. it will eventually work.

There’s also a threshold that you must reach and you can set this as low as $50 (no idea why you would want to set it higher at first). You’ll want to set this right away as I believe my default threshold was $100 when I created my account.

Time To Sell

When picking your ClickBank products, find something you believe in. That’s the best advice I can give for using the site and making some extra income. When I received my account, I went with the products that payed out over $100 p/ sale and I went with the products that sold the most. Neither one of those strategies worked for me.

The $100 items simply didn’t get any clicks. The most popular items have the greatest “gravity”, as indicated on each product. While these products have seen the most recent sales, the number can be deceiving. Marketers tend to have huge email lists of followers and when they release new ClickBank products, they often send out thousands of emails and offer specials and extra bonuses to those who sell their new product. With an influx of new promoters and a product that is currently more popular than it probably deserves to be, the sales are often high out of the gate.

My experience with high gravity products is that they tend to create a lot of refunders and that counts against you if your ratio is too high.

In the end, I went with three different products that I actually believed in, as I should have done from the start. Now this can be difficult, since you can’t actually review any products you’re promoting, but Google is your friend in this case. Get the reviews of people who have purchased the product you’re interested in marketing and promote only those products people seem to love.

That’s it! Get in the game and start making a little extra cash online. If you’re not subscribed here, do so by putting your email in the top right. When I actually get around to it, I’ve decided to just release all my website scripts for a very low price in one package. My last script is finally finished and I’m testing it right now. It’s working and I’m getting new sales from Indeed, the online site for jobs. You’re gonna’ like it!

Have a great one…


How to Get Lean and Ripped When You’re Old

I recently had a friend ask me to write-up a diet that would allow him to not only lose fat but get down to around 10% body fat and allow him to see his abs. He said it was always a wish but he didn’t have the first clue in how to approach it. He referenced the thousands of different diets and blogs and wanted to know what was best?

His situation was much like mine in that he lifted for years and got pretty big and finally arrived at the point of realizing that fat was now accumulating faster than muscle. I went through this same situation after having lifted for about 20 years and finally admitting to myself that I had a lot more body fat than I wanted to admit and simply couldn’t eat the same way anymore. I went on a diet and fitness sabbatical (of sorts) and learned all I could about losing body fat until I achieved all my fitness/physique goals.

2011 - 2013

Images are from mid-2011 through March 2013.

In the course of a year, I tried more approaches than I can even remember. Some were effective and some were horribly bad ideas that I learned a lot from (ketosis and Vince Gironda’s famous ‘Steak and Eggs’ diet in particular). I kept reading and kept experimenting and rarely ever cheated on my diet so that I could truly understand the secret to losing fat and what worked well for my body. I did this for well over a year and probably had five cheat meals the entire time (as my wonderful, patience-tested and incredibly supportive wife will attest).

Since this friend wasn’t the first to ask me how I accomplished my physique transformation and won’t be the last, I decided to post what worked for me and the best way to burn fat and get lean as I know how to do it. I call it Getting Lean Ripped When You’re Old because it worked for me when I was past forty but I do believe it’s the ideal way for anyone. If you want to see those abs again, give it a try. You’ll be amazed!

Your Lean Body Plan

The lean side of dieting kind of fascinates me. That said.. you may or may not like my advice so give it a read and if it’s not for you, you won’t hurt my feelings. If you want to lean down though, and eventually get a six pack, it will work. So do it!

First.. Understand that the most important factor in losing fat and getting lean is going to be calories in vs calories out. Calories are just energy and you have to expend more energy than you take in. Counting calories is something people hate to do but if you want the best results, do this. Trying to guestimate what you’re eating every day can have you just a few hundred calories over what you need and you can’t lose fat if you’re eating more than your body requires.. even if it’s just a few hundred calories a day extra, and that simply doesn’t take much.

On hearing this, most people do the dumb thing of deciding they’re going all in and cut calories drastically. Don’t be this guy. Some people think of it as an easy way to deal with calorie counting and think they can avoid counting by just going really low, ensuring that they are not going to go over what they need.

The best way to lose fat is figuring out your TDEE or “Total Daily Energy Expenditure” and eating slightly under that. I personally call it “Metabolism minus 10%”. That’s the optimum place for burning fat while retaining muscle. As you lower calories further, metabolism drops and prolonged calorie restriction starts a whole new slew of problems like hypothyroid, overall decreased energy, less testosterone and sexual desire, to name a few.

You want to keep the metabolism up to lose weight and going too low with calories drops metabolism. If you eat too few calories for too long, the body becomes very efficient at storing fat. It has to, since fat is the primary source of energy. We don’t want the body to ever become efficient at storing fat, so you eat just barely under the total amount of daily calories your body needs and hit the weight 3-5 times a week. When you’re eating at a deficit (under the amount of calories your body needs), you want to make sure that muscle is maintained. By simply eating at a deficit and not weight-lifting, you’ll lose muscle and fat. That’s not cool. While you’ve been used to body building in the past and you understand that eating a lot equates to increased muscle growth, understand that in a deficit, you won’t be increasing muscle size but resistance is every bit as important as before, but for a different purpose now. It keeps you from losing muscle and this ultimately leads to you looking “cut” and “ripped”. Don’t get discouraged because your bench isn’t going up. It will almost certainly decrease as you shed more and more fat. So be it. It can mess with your head at first. It was the hardest part of my journey when I started slimming down because you watch other guys start benching more than you as time goes on. After a while, I finally got to where I could care less so get, in your head, there sooner than later. It will make things easier on you.

Here’s a good calculator to start with.

Now there’s 4 different formulas that will give you slightly different results. Doesn’t matter. We want to start with the most calories you can eat, and we’re just trying to get a ballpark average to start with.

Use the first formula (Mifflin-St Jeor) and round up. That’s as good a starting place as any. Write that number down.

For 2 weeks, you want to eat that many calories and weigh yourself every morning after hitting the head and before eating/drinking anything. You’re trying to establish the exact number of calories your body needs on a daily basis, to maintain your current weight. This is hugely important. If you find the scale slowly creeping down over these first couple weeks, increase calories by a couple hundred a day. If it’s slowly going up, cut back a couple hundred a day. People are always too impatient on diets and mess this part up. They want to dive in to eating way less right away. You’ll have plenty of time to diet later on so enjoy the first couple weeks of eating at maintenance. You need to know this number! Make sure and work out during these 2 weeks as you normally plan to.. at least 3 lifting days a week and as many as 5 or 6 if you prefer. I think 3 or 4 days works great. Don’t do cardio. Just stick to your daily routine and if that has some activites that get your heart going, that’s fine but don’t go out of your way to do cardio. You want to save it for when you start getting down to very low body fat levels and need to bust through a plateau (low levels of body fat are when fat loss is the most difficult). Your goal to see your abs is 10%. That’s when guys usually start seeing a good six-pack (for girls it’s about 15%).

Before and After Pic of Back

Before and After Pic of Back

Okay.. so it’s two weeks later and you’ve determined you need 2400 calories a day to get by on every day, without gaining or losing weight. Subtract 400-500 a day from this amount (as you get leaner and go under 200 lbs, subtract less – do 400 at first) and this is the amount of calories you need to lose fat while keeping metabolism up. It’s your new daily calorie goal.

Next.. create an account at My Fitness Pal and start recording everything you eat.

You want to divide your daily calories up into the correct macro-nutrient (protein/carbs/fat) percentages.
Get 90 – 100 grams of fat every day. (I always advise about 80 grams for 200 pounds)
Get 1 gram of protein p/ lb of body weight
Get the rest of your calories from carbs.

Keep in mind that protein and carbs each have 4 calories p/ gram and fat has 9 calories p/ gram.

Example: If your reduced daily intake is now 2000 calories a day and you weigh 230, you would break it down as follows:

FAT: 90g = 810 calories (90 X 9)
PROTEIN: 230g = 920 calories (230lbs x 4)
CARBS: 270 calories are left after adding 810 and 920 from above. 270/4 (grams p/ carb) = 67g of carbs every day.

Your daily menu of foods will be 230g of protein, 67 carbs and 90g of fat. Eating a higher fat diet confuses some people. Fats don’t make you fat. Fat, combined with high carbs, make you fat. If your body knows it is getting plenty of fat and you are still eating at a deficit, your body will more readily use dietary fat (what you’re eating) and body fat as fuel. Since you are still eating at a deficit though, you’ll slowly go down in weight. It’s impossible to not lose weight if you are truly eating less than your body requires every day (your TDEE).

The most important number in fat loss is your total daily calories. If you get 100g of fat one day instead of 90, just calculate that out (10 extra grams of fat is 90 more calories) and subtract that from your protein or carbs for the day (90/4 = 22.5 less grams of protein or carbs since both have 4 calories p/ gram). If you only hit 200 grams of protein for the day, you would have 30 grams left.. so you could add in 120 calories from carbs. You want to stick close to your macros but don’t feel like you can’t go 10 over or under here and there and just make up the difference with your other macros. Your overall calories are far more important.

Ab Exercising

What to Eat?

Anything you want. There are no “clean” or “dirty” foods. If you want to get all your calories from pizza and pop-tarts, you can. The deficit is what will cause you to lose fat and the weight-lifting is what ensures the weight lost is coming only from fat and not muscle.

Now even though this sounds exciting at first, you’ll find that you have to eat a lot of healthy foods to meet your daily macro needs. You could eat one good sized bowl of cereal and be over your daily requirement for carbs. But.. you’ll find that you can eat some great tasting foods by doing this and still continue to lose weight.

You can also have all the diet colas/calorie free drinks/black coffee/tea you want.

Once a week, you’re going to change this up. This is your “refeed day”. You want this one day a week to be a high carb/low fat day. This is for Leptin levels and is explained below. For this high carb day, you want to eat at a surplus, instead of a deficit. While you normally eat 400-500 calories under your TDEE every day, you want to eat 400-500 over your TDEE on your high carb day, keeping fats very low (0 to 30 grams total). The best foods for this day are skim milk, rice chex and sweet potatoes (slice them up and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. They taste sweet with nothing on them after coming out of the oven). It’s okay to get a little fat on this day but don’t overdue it. Triglycerides (fat) block leptin (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15111494) and the whole point of this day is to increase leptin.

Example Refeed (high carb) Day: Keep protein the same, so 920 calories from protein. TDEE + 400 = 2400. 2400 – 920 gives you 1480 calories left. If you want to get some fat in there, you can, but it’s completely unnecessary for a refeed day. If you eat all the rest of your calories in carbs, that’s 370 carbs. You’ll see the impact carbs have on your physique pretty quickly when you hit the gym the next day. One high carb day a week will replace glycogen in your muscles and make you look fuller and bigger after you get pumped. You can choose to train on high carb days or not. It doesn’t matter. I typically take these days off and choose to train the following day.

The scale will likely always be up on the day following your refeed day. Don’t worry about it! Carbs get converted to glycogen and stored in the muscles for fuel. Glycogen is 3/4 water molecules so this is where the term “water weight” comes from. It’s impossible to actually put on even 1 pound of weight (muscle or fat) from eating 400-500 extra calories. A couple days after your refeed, your body weight will be back down. It’s a “one step back – two steps forward” approach that works well.

The idea is to stay low-carb all week, your glycogen gets used up (especially while weight training) and the body turns to fat for fuel and burns fat for all your energy needs.

June18 2013 Progress Pic

June 2013

Advanced Nutrition Strategies

Okay.. Now you know how many calories you’re going to eat and as time goes on, you’ll play with the different kinds of food you like and you’ll fall into a pattern of eating that will be easy for you to maintain.

Next up.. make sure you understand insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is secreted by the pancreas when you eat carbs.. and if these are high-glycemic carbs (foods with sugar and white flour), the body releases more insulin to mop the sugar up. This is why diabetics have to take insulin shots as you are likely already aware. The pancreas doesn’t make any insulin so no sugar is removed from the blood. Insulin regulates sugar in the bloodstream.

Insulin is primarily a “storage hormone”. When released, it ushers glycogen (converted from carbs) to muscles and fat to body fat, when found in excess.

People with high amounts of body fat are similar to diabetics in that insulin isn’t doing the job it’s supposed to. With obese people though, they develop insulin resistance. They eat so much sugar, so often, that the insulin can’t store the sugar quickly enough. Over time, the cell desensitizes itself to the effects of insulin. It has to because it can’t keep allowing insulin in the cell to store nutrients that are already overloaded. The result is high blood sugar that never gets mopped up. I’m sure you know the many effects of high blood sugar but one of the certain outcomes is weight gain in the form of fat. If you can remove sugar from your daily diet, you’ll achieve fat loss in the quickest manner.

Remember this: It is physiologically impossible to burn fat in the presence of high insulin.

This is why you want to go low-carb all week. Carbs produce lots of insulin but controlling/limiting insulin is the secret to burning fat. If insulin levels are low, you’re in “fat-burning” mode. Only when insulin isn’t ushering fat around the body can fat be burned. For fat to be burned it has to first be released from the cell.. and then it gets used as energy. It simply can’t get released if insulin is present. Envision a swinging door on your fat cells and if insulin is pushing against it, it’s open for fat to come in but fat cannot be realeasd until insulin goes away and allows the door to swing out.

And finally, we have Leptin. Leptin is hugely important to understand too. It’s a primary reason so many people plateau while on a diet. It’s also the reason we’re doing a refeed day once a week.

Fat cells (adipose tissue) secrete the hormone Leptin. When you’ve ate enough food, this hormone gets released and travels to your brain (hypothalamus to be exact) and tells it that we have enough stored energy and to quit eating. This also signals the body that there’s no shortage of food and it’s okay to burn fat for energy. But just like insulin resistance, leptin resistance occurs from continuted overeating. The brain stops getting the signal to stop eating and the body won’t switch to fat burning mode. Metabolism gets lowered as a result to store fat and make the body more efficient in utilizing calories.

All obese people have a degree of leptin resistance (and insulin resistance), and the more fat, the worse the problem. It can be fixed over time though and eating properly for months will do this. Like with insulin resistance, the cells will start to fix themselves and be more sensitive to food signaling if proper diet is maintained.

Leptin and insulin work together in that if insulin is high, leptin gets increased. If low levels of insulin are maintained, leptin levels keep dropping. We need the opposite of that to happen. We want low insulin and high leptin so what’s the solution? Our refeed day. Once a day, we eat high-carb and this stimulates leptin and ensures a high metabolism that will keep on burning fat.

Our refeed days have several benefits from a physiological perspective and sanity is another great reason. It feels good to flood the body with carbs once a week and it works well for burning fat when not abusing overall calories consumed.

Should You Time Your Meals?

It doesn’t matter if you eat six meals a day or one meal a day. Eat in the way that keeps you the least hungry.

I’ve experimented with eating all my meals in the evening, spreading them out over six meals and eating only once a day. It made no difference on body composition.

What I’ve ended up doing is never eating until 1pm. Since I always feel like I have to force myself to eat breakfast anyway, this works well. Additionally, I like to use the morning hours to keep insulin low, which keeps the body in “fat burning mode” for a few more hours every day. It also helps me to have bigger meals in the evening and feel more satisfied when going to bed.

In regards to meal frequency, make yourself aware of the following (since both myths surround several diets of yesterday and today):

1) When and how often you eat does not matter. Losing fat is about total calories consumed and creating an overall caloric deficit. Get that food in whatever way works best with your schedule.  (studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19943985)

2) Eating carbs before bed does not matter. While this article is about losing fat and therefore limits carbs, a bulking diet in favor of adding mass in the way of muscle would be achieved in much the same way. Instead of a slight deficit, you would create a slight surplus to ensure that the extra weight added is not from fat. You would also increase carbs substantially. Rather you’re dieting on a deficit or adding muscle with more carbs, eating carbs at night will not impede your results (studyhttp://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21475137)

How Do Lean Guys Eat So Much?

Getting down to under 10% body fat is challenging. It requires months and months of watching what you eat but once you get there, you can maintain your lean body percentage and slowly increase calories. If activity such as weight-lifting is maintained, you will raise metabolism even further. This is the ideal situation.

Your body will burn calories at the fastest rate possible, you’ve got the lowest body fat you’ve ever had and your cells are once again, sensitive to the effects of insulin and leptin. You become a finely-tuned machine. When you finally remove that last bit of fat on the stomach, you will eliminate insulin resistance and your body will actually allow you to eat a great many more calories. When cell sensitivity becomes optimum, you can eat in excess quite often and never worry about getting fat again. It just makes sense. When the hormones are optimum and cell sensitivity is highest, you eat.. your body knows exactly what it needs to do with every bit. There’s not a constant overflow of food to deal with or sugar to remove. It uses the proteins and fat, eliminates the carbs quickly and passes what it doesn’t need to your bowels quickly.

This is how you get lean, ripped..  and even sexy when you’re old. Get to work!


How to Make a WordPress Alexa Widget

Of the zillion WordPress plugins available, it baffles me that there’s nothing developed to replace the incredibly crappy looking Alexa Rank widget that is offered directly through Alexa.

Alexa RankTake a look at this ugly thing. Alexa seems intent on hanging on to those stylistically challenged colors and that 1990s font.  Even if you’re proud of your rank, this design encourages you to never brag about it on your site.

I have a couple money sites that are in the top 400,000 Alexa websites.  That’s not too shabby and I’m getting between 5,000 – 10,000 visits a month on each website.  Those aren’t huge numbers, but the sites are making me some extra money so I’m not complaining.

As such, I would like to display my Alexa rank on the websites.  The value?  People tend to spend more time on websites that look to be frequently visited.  Websites are like skating rinks in that way.

Alexa ranks all websites on the internet and the lower your number, the better your rank.  In our example above, “The Onion” is considered to be the 2,690th most popular site on the web, with over 28,000 other sites linking to it.

Alexa RankHere’s my Alexa design and if you view my sidebar to the right, you’ll see my new Alexa widget in action.  Now my minimalist design mentality would never allow me to come up with a mind-blowing design, but the point is that you can use any design you like with this method, so make your new form and use the following code to create your own unique look.  If you like my design, or you’re just feeling somewhat lazy, feel free to use my concept.

Here’s how to create your own WordPress widget for Alexa, using your own design and pulling their rank in.  This could easily be turned into an Alexa WordPress plugin, but since this is such a simple method, I don’t really see the point.

Making the Widget

First, you’ll  need to execute php code in your widget, so download and install the “PHP Code Widget” (if you do a search for that from your plugin page, it should be the first result).

Next up, we’ll employ a method of scraping that I use quite often for simple tasks as well as creating entire websites.

Go to your widget section and drag the new PHP Code Widget over to your sidebar.

Insert the following code and change YOURDOMAINNAME.com (line 2) to your domain name (example:  jeffkastner.com).

All we’re doing is a simple screen scrape of the Alexa page, putting it into memory (a variable called $thecontents) and then using the php preg_match function to only grab the portion we need (the actual Alexa rank number in this case).

We then bring our form in (everything between the paragraph tags <p> and </p>), style it appropriately and insert the number (now contained in $alexarank) with the “echo” command.

You’ll likely need to play with the style elements between the paragraph tags, to get the number displaying exactly where you need it on your site, since my website will have different style rules.

That’s it!  You now have your own custom created Alexa WordPress widget… and you learned how to grab any element you need, on any webpage, for future projects.

Enjoy.


Left Align AdSense 336 Ad in WordPress

WordPress doesn’t make it easy to align your 336 ads and though plugins exist, they too seem to have a difficult time with placing a 336 ad where you want it (in regards to left or right align).

For an easy approach, I like the following:

Download and install this adsense plugin into WordPress.

After installation and activation, go to ‘Settings’ and click on ‘Adsense’. Insert whatever AdSense codes you wish to use (12 different options are available).

AdSense Insert

Next.. simply follow the on-page instructions for inserting code. You can use shortcodes directly in WordPress or echo (php function) the AdSense code directly in your theme’s template files. I prefer to do this.

As an example, if you want to left-align a 336 ad at the beginning of every post, simply go into single.php and find where the content of the post is being displayed:
<?php the_content(); ?>
Echo your 336 ad right above this with the following:
<?php echo show_ad_1(); ?> // for the first ad

Next up.. we want to left-align the ad. So right before the previous line, insert the following:
<p class="alignleft" style="text-align: left; margin: 8px; float: left;">

and right after the php line, be sure to close the paragraph:
</p>

That’s it! All posts will now contain a left-aligned 336 AdSense unit.

Here’s the final code in my single.php file, and I’ll include the h1 tag that already exists in my single.php page, which means I’m simply inserting this right after my post title:

<h1><a href="<?php the_permalink() ?>"><? php the_title(); ?></a></h1> <p class="alignleft" style="text-align: left; margin: 8px; float: left;"> <?php echo show_ad_11(); ?> </p>

There’s a lot of different ways to use the plugin, as instructed on the plugin page, so play around and get your ads setup exactly as you want.


Order a Classifieds Site For Sale – PREPOPULATED!

EDIT (4/28/12): No longer offering this as I sold 15 in the first week and it’s a part of how I earn my own money online. Just trying to be careful about saturation. Coming soon though.. a much better offer on a site I’m creating that is doing quite well and I’ll be selling again.

Today, I’m posting with a pretty special offer. If you’ve been looking to start making money online, I’ve got an easy way for you to do it. The Best Classifieds Script you’ll find online is for sale right here and I’m selling cheap! Let’s call it the Kasifieds Script!

Here’s why this is the best php classifieds script (and deal) you will find…

First of all, my sites make money. December was my high month last year and I made just under $3000 in AdSense income (November was just a couple hundred away). In the last 15 months, I have made over $20,000 online from just having websites that serve ads.

But frankly, this is the best classifieds script around because.. the functionality of the script is far better than most all I’ve tried or seen and.. I’m including at least 1000 pre-populated items for any category you choose! Anyone having attempted a classifieds site online will tell you how difficult it is for the simple reason that people arrive at your new site and see no ads (or even as few as 20 or 30 that you tried to fake it with), and they’ll instantly leave.. realizing that there’s no traffic and there’s no benefit for them to place an ad. A barren site will send visitors running away every time. Without an advertising budget to keep pushing people to your site, your site will fail. I figured this out some time ago and spent days and weeks developing my own script that goes out and grabs entire listings from other popular classifieds sites, and imports them into my classifieds site. I grab pictures, create thumbnails and all (for random ads and the latest ads on the site). The sites look as professional as you could hope for. Your site will instantly have a presence!

This system works and it’s just as simple as that. Like any site, you need to start promoting it with a bit of SEO so if you’re unfamiliar with that, I’ll show you how I do that as well.

The price? Only $150 (If I know you personally.. old school friend, facebook friend, etc.. I’ll sell for $100). Trust me.. it’s a steal. The script is beautiful. It’s completely unique and created by me, so there’s not thousands of copies of the same classifieds site floating around. I can’t stress enough, the importance of a site having a unique footprint to be successful!

Features: Posters have email authentication and can edit or delete from a url that gets emailed after registration. I created my own rss script for all listings. The URLs are all SEO friendly (hugely important for search engine traffic). I’ve also added some very nice (and pricey) CodeCanyon scripts into the site. CodeCanyon sells php add-ons that work out of the box, and adding them to a site really makes it shine and enhances the functionality greatly. I’m using a dropdown menu (which connects to Amazon for extra earnings), a wonderful search tool and additional contact form from CodeCanyon. As you will see, the site is very unique and impressive looking!

It gets better. I’m not overly interested in selling these, because I don’t want to flood the web with my classifieds script. It works too well and I’ve learned that having a small footprint online is key to making a lot of money. I don’t mind selling a few because the fact is, there are too many topics for me to possibly create sites for and promote properly, but I’ll eventually pull this offer. I’m not advertising this special anywhere. It’s only for people who stop by my site and are subscribed. I don’t have the time to fill 20 orders at once. I’m just expecting the occasional interested party and I’ll create a site only after an order has been placed. I’m just rewarding those who subscribe to my website.

If $150 seems high, you are simply not understanding how well this process works. It’s automated income and all you have to do is put in a few hours every week, to promote your website. Creating these sites also requires several hours of work on my part, p/ site. The pre-populated listings are done by a script that I created (as explained above), but I still have to run this script “per city” (or locale) on the sites I build out for you, changing settings to update the database correctly, before each run. Average time for me is about 5 hours p/ site (to build out about a thousand listings). I will then zip up the database and site files and email them to you (I can host it for you even cheaper if you don’t currently have a website – see details below).

Keep in mind that I’m not selling anyone a “trick” site to fool people. The site is simply pre-populated to give your new website the feel of a very successful and popular site when people arrive. It’s what makes people stay, post ads and shop. It works. It’s not an auto-blog, in that the site isn’t continually getting updated in this manner. It’s a jump start and it gets a lot of pages indexed quickly. My experience is that you should start promoting right away and people will start coming almost instantly. This is a legitimate classifieds site that is better than any other script you’re going to find online because it’s like buying a site that’s been operating for a couple years.

If you’ve been considering starting a classifieds site, stop shopping for classifieds scripts and grab this deal. It’s far better than any other you will find. Check out my AdSense posts and see that I’m not just another marketer trying to sell you junk without showing proof. My system works and I make good money online. I don’t spend my extra time on junk forums making people promises and selling my system. I’ve never done this. I spend my time making money online and continually improving my system. My time is limited. I have a full time job that always comes first and my online time allows me a couple hours late every night after my 2 sweet babies lay down to sleep and that’s pretty much it.

And now, you likely want to see a demo? I’ll offer up one of my sites. Please check out bicyclebuysell.us. Google has more pages indexed than I have pages on the site. Search engines love these sites!

There are a couple “gotchas” you need to consider.

1) Installing this script requires connecting php files to a mysql database, but it’s not a built in, up-in-seconds script. If you don’t have experience with doing this, I will offer an install for $50. I built it out for me so it’s not the most intuitive but I’ll provide instructions (If you’re comfortable with editing php files and config files, you’ll be fine). If you don’t have mild php experience though, you may find it confusing and difficult, and should consider the install option.
2) I currently run my sites at hostgator.com. They’re a great host and they charge $9 a month. If you are looking to start creating a lot of sites, I recommend them. Whatever host you go with though, be sure that they offer the php mail function (check their documentation or ask) and that they don’t require smtp authentication. Most online hosts use php mail so this shouldn’t be an issue, but I wrote my script with this in mind, so it’s required.

Are you brand new to websites and this is your very first? If so, I’ll make you a special offer to get you up and running. I’ll host your site on my account for only $5 a month. And.. if you want to do it that way, I’ll forego the $50 install fee (since the entire technical setup will be using all administration tools I already have setup). I’ll give you ongoing technical support as well, and I’ll work with you to make sure your site is successful and getting traffic.

Whether you take me up on this deal or move on, best of luck to you online. Classifieds sites work and they work well, but they do require a bit of experience (and without being pre-populated… time) to be successful, so stick with it and the sky’s the limit!

And finally, if you’re not quite sure about moving on this deal, subscribe to my site. I’ve got exactly two more offers I’m going to make on original, unique websites in the coming months. One is very new and is targeting Amazon.


Goodbye ‘Google Suggest’ API. You Will Be Missed!

Google has always had this wonderful little application programming interface that you could tap into for Google Suggest. “Suggest” are all those keywords that come up when you type a word/search phrase in Google. They also just happen to be the top searches for the keyword/phrase that you’re typing in and looking for (convenient!). I had been using this cool little script that let me pull all those results to a php page. That in itself may not be super cool, but when you break up the results into an array, which lets me work with each word as a unique value, and then surround it with some mysql code to store in a database, it starts getting pretty neat. Here’s what I did…

This little script would go out and grab all the results from Google Suggest and throw it into an array (not anymore though! Google said bye):

Next step.. I wrapped the mysql code around it to save the results to a database:

This would allow me to run the first script and make sure I liked the results.. and then run the second script to insert into my database. But wait.. it gets way cooler! Now, I decided to scrape a search engine or two, for the results of those stored keywords. I used yahoo and a search engine called duck-duck go (one of my favorites for search).

Next, I created a new website to then display the keywords down the page and re-direct the search engine queries through my page, substituting a simple variable ($keyword) in the url of the search, for the keyword in my list. In this way, if you click any one of the keywords, it presents a new page with all the search results on it. Cool eh? The real value in this is that with just a few Google Suggest scrapes, I could have a new website with thousands of pages on it!

Finally, add pagination to sort the results for your visitors and publish to the web. Here’s an example site I created: Tablet Reviews — At the time of this writing, I have right at 2000 pages indexed on that website.

Anyone searching the web for tablet reviews arrives on the site due to the many long tail keywords and the occasional visitor clicks my monetization method (Amazon ads for a new tablet in this case) and I get paid.

So now, the Google Suggest API is gone but all is not lost. I can easily just login to my database, update it with a few new keywords and get several new pages of results. This isn’t nearly so effective though, as it just adds a few new pages to my site at a time, versus hundreds at a time. It’s a nice strategy for existing sites such as the one I just showed you, but it would take a long time to create a new site with thousands of new pages of content, which is the most effective way I’ve found to make money online without all the social networking crap.

So.. I’m now writing a new script which will go out and do a bit of what Google Suggest did for me. I’m very close and just have to work out a few more bugs but the new script is going to be even better than the Google Suggest API, it turns out! I’ll explain more on that when I get it finished so stay tuned for my next article.


Leaked Google Document Shows How Websites Are Rated

Getting into Internet Marketing and not sure what Google considers a “quality” website? Here’s a leaked document that shows exactly how ratings are assigned and how manual reviews are done.

This is quite handy, as I constantly read blogs where someone has had their site deindexed (removed from the Google search results) by Google for infractions.

Enjoy!

Google Quality Guidelines 2011


Trending Topics – My Latest Website

Edit  4/27/12:    AOL removed their “latest searches” page so the site is not currently grabbing any new results.  I plan to set some time aside and find a different site to grab the latest searches from.  I have a couple great ones I found… just need to put the time in.  For now, check out “TrendingTerms.com” for a site that grabs the trending topics on Yahoo’s front page. News Monkey is still does quite well on getting visitors.  Lots of long tail keywords!

Check out my latest website at newsmonkey.net. News Monkey is an experiment in presenting the news in a different way than you’re used to. What I did was head over to the latest searches at AOL. As you’ll see, that page collects the top 50 searches every hour. That sounded like a great place to start so the NewsMonkey scrapes those terms and I save them all to a mysql database. I then present them dynamically (as soon as they get stored every hour) on the front page of NewsMonkey and I grab the related news stories at Yahoo and Google and dynamically display them as well.

In this way, a user never has to leave the page to see all the latest news. It’s easy to simply look at the list on the right, select what topic is of interest to you, click that term and see snippets of all the latest news displayed on the same page. Click the snippets and you are taken to the full news story.

The site also has an “All News” page, where I’m actually displaying all of these hourly terms that I save. Since AOL doesn’t display the historical terms anywhere, this could be a handy list for seeing a history of what’s hot on the web and using it for such things as creating relevant blog posts, or just seeing what people are continually interested in looking at. That can be important info for anyone who’s into online marketing.

NewsMonkey is an easy way to see all the latest search terms and related news stories, all in one place, on a single page. Find that somewhere else!

To monetize the website, I’m currently using InfoLinks. I’ve not tried this service before and so far, I’m not crazy about it. In just a few weeks since building this site, I am getting a lot of Google traffic and I’ve yet to even begin a marketing campaign on it. Nothing better than organic traffic when you build a site! Google already has over 11,000 pages indexed and I’m getting around 300 visitors a day and that typically equates to some decent extra income when using AdSense, as I explained in a previous post. Still, I’ll stick with InfoLinks for another month or so and see if it picks up any.

Next up is a couple new site ideas that I’ve been working on that are equally as fun so come back and visit…


How to Make a Lot of Money Online

adsenseIf you Google how to make money online, you get a few million websites swearing by a method that will make you a fortune, if you only spend a small fortune to make it happen. So here’s a post for the people that want a legitimate system and don’t know where to start.. without the added request for any money from you.

I started trying to make online money just last fall (2010). With every month, I’ve made a little more. It’s been 9 months and just today, I’ve received my latest AdSense check for last month in the amount of $1,443.32.  (May was more yet again)

AdSense is Google’s program for monetizing websites. Advertisers sign up at Google’s AdWords program, pay good money to try to outbid each other for ads that are placed on millions of websites. The bidding war makes AdSense publishers (those of us with websites) profit all the more.

If you’re looking to make money, here’s a quick breakdown of the how to…

  • Create a website (or websites) that target niches with buying keywords.  In other words, don’t start a personal blog about your every day life and expect to make money.  If your goal is money, ask yourself if the topic of your blog is something people will Google when searching for and spend money on?   If you are a personal loan officer, start a blog about it!  That’s a high paying niche with ads people will click on.
  • Target long-tail keywords.  If you’re considering starting a website on video cameras, the competition will be fierce and you’ll likely never see many visitors.  Instead, do a Google search for a specific model camcorder with a specific option and focus on specific features.  This makes your site an “authority site” and if you have the most information on the product, in this manner, Google’s algorithm is smart enough to realize that and a lot of Google searches get sent your way.  Traffic is the key.
  • The more content you can get on your site(s), the better.  I use automated methods as well as manual.  You have to have a lot of content to have a chance of getting a lot of visitors.  Check the amount of pages that any site has by going to Google and typing:  site:websitename.com (where websitename is the name of your site).  Most of my sites have a few thousand pages.  More content = more traffic.
  • Backlink, backlink, backlink.  Google doesn’t give your site authority until it sees a lot of backlinks (links from other websites) linking to you.  This unfortunately is what leads to the vast amount of spam you see everywhere online.
  • Don’t expect instant results.  Most of my websites take a little over three months to start bringing money in.  It’s just a few dollars in the first month or two and then they tend to jump considerably in that third or fourth month.  Keep creating backlinks and content during this time.  Unfortunately, some sites are duds and never seem to come through with more than a couple dollars a month.  I typically forget these sites after about 5 months if they still aren’t producing.
  • Spin your content and submit to article directories.  Article directories are everywhere online.  You’ve probably found many while Googling for searches yourself.  The idea is to write random articles and the magic happens in that little author box.  Put the backlinks to your site(s) in that box.  The more popular article directories tend to get scraped (people copy the content to their own blogs) and your backlinks get spread around the internet a bit more quickly.

Here’s the tools I typically use:

  • The AdSense sandbox – This handy site allows you to punch your new website topic in and see what kind of ads will be displayed on the site you’re thinking about creating.. thus letting you see how lucrative it has the potential to be.
  • The Keyword Tool – This is Google’s tool that shows you the amount of searches for a particular keyword (p/ month).  You want to choose the ‘Exact’  match (deselect ‘broad’) and I order by Global Monthly Searches.
  • The Spinner – There’s a lot of different spinners so feel free to look around if you’re considering buying.  I like this one.  The idea here is that if you are write an article and post it to an article directory, you want to post that article to a lot of different directories but… search engines tend to write off exact duplicates so using a spinner will put a thesaurus spin on your article and allow you to be credited with a lot of different articles and therefore, backlinks.
  • SpyFu – This site lets you see how much a particular topic is worth.  If I’m considering starting a website on video cameras, just enter that (or a domain name) in the box and go.  I always look for a cost/click of at least .50 or more.  Some keywords generate ridiculously high clicks.  Put mesothelioma in the box and you realize that a single visitor clicking on an ad on your website can yield you $50 to $100!  This is just for a possible lead generation.
  • StatCounter – I add a little code to all my websites for the main purposes of knowing exactly how many visitors are stopping by and the exact phrases they searched Google for to get there.  I have multiple spreadsheets with thousands of phrases and when I find repeat phrases, I start backlinking to those phrases through the article directories to give them even more “juice” with the search engines.

Keep in mind that the more an ad topic pays, the greater the competition.  I personally stick with the low paying niches that have less competition.  If you remember your Statistics lessons, there’s a concept known as long-tail distribution.  The “long-tail phenomenon” says that if a consumer is given unlimited choices, everything becomes available.  This is what the internet has brought about.  So as an internet marketer wants to target keywords (Google searches) that have 4 or more words (as I like to do it) and has low supply, low demand and low competition.  Even though the demand is low, the traffic is all yours.  It’s a higly targeted audience.  I even target 6 and 7 word phrases on a couple sites with success.

The tail of the curve is extremely long when compared to the head.  The head represents all of those narrow word terms that the major websites specialize in.  It’s high demand and competition with a low target audience.  Stay away.  Trying to capture traffic from the term “fat loss” is a losing battle.   There are millions of sites.  The long tail, however, is never ending.  This means that there’s no end to what you can market and be successful.

All of the money I make online is about numbers, numbers, numbers.  Having more numbers to crunch is the secret and that includes the amount of websites I put up as well.  I just hit the “100 mark” for number of websites.  Having access to 100 sites and all the phrases that have lead people to all of these sites is the key to success.  You start viewing websites in a completely different way and it becomes quite easy to see what might work and what won’t (though there are always surprises).

That’s it in a nutshell.  Outside of the above methods, I keep trying new things.  I keep creating new websites with different concepts and I keep analyzing what works.. and what doesn’t.  Overall though, I have now developed a pretty good sense of what will work before trying it.  Marketing a new website becomes second nature after doing it over and over.  It will for you too if you decide to go the road.

adsenseThe last big piece of advice is to take action.  I can’t tell you the amount of conversations I still have with people who are interested in doing something (internet related or other) but never take action.  Taking action of any kind is the key.  Negative results are as important as positive results in achieving success.  ”No results” are good for nothing.

The best part of AdSense is that it’s completely passive income.  I only work on websites when I’m sitting around bored in the evening and after the money starts coming in on a particular site, I never have to touch it again or market it in any way.  It typically just keeps growing on it’s own every month thereafter.  The extra $$ provided by AdSense allowed me to get my braces this year and now I’m shooting for getting my mortgage paid within 5 years. There’s a lot of money to be made online so jump in and grab your share.  If you’re starting out and have any questions, just let me know.


Cron Job Alternative

I needed to run a cron job that would allow me to split up my database queries and lessen the load on my host’s processor. My MySQL queries were taking 2 – 3 minutes to run.

Step 1: Make sure the column that your query is based on is indexed. An index is used to quickly find rows with specific column values. Without an index, MySQL must begin with the first row and then read through the entire table to find the relevant rows. The larger the table, the more this costs and the more processor your query consumes. If you’re running a large query based on a date (delete from your_table where DATE > ….), you want to index the date field. You can easily create an index in the phpMyAdmin interface (by clicking the lightning bolt icon for the specific column name) or if it’s a new field you’re adding, you can run a short MySQL command: CREATE INDEX new_index ON your_table(your_data)

Step 2: Here’s where the fun begins. I decided to divide up my long list of database inserts and deletes and break them up into 7 days. I then created a new file with the following code that I created, which I called MasterCron.php:

<?php

$today=date("w");
switch ($today)
{
case 0:
//sunday
include ‘cron0.php’;
break;
case 1:
include ‘cron1.php’;
break;
case 2:
include ‘cron2.php’;
break;
case 3:
//wednesday
include ‘cron3.php’;
break;
case 4:
include ‘cron4.php’;
break;
case 5:
//Friday
include ‘cron5.php’;
break;
case 6:
include ‘cron6.php’;
break;
}

?>
That simply calls a different php page (cron0.php, cron1.php, etc..) based on the current day of the week, with a unique set of database instructions for that day. Now you simply setup a new cron job calling MasterCron.php and let it do all the work.

The obvious alternative is to create 7 different cron jobs but if you have even 100 websites, you will likely rather see only 100 cron jobs in your list than 700. This just makes life a little easier.


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