The Simplest Way to Accept Money – The Square iPhone Dongle

This is great! If you’re the type of business owner that frequents trade shows, or travels, or needs to be able to accept money on the fly, you need to check out Square! This isn’t a paid advertisement, or post, I just came across the Square website while browsing for payment options and thought this was great. The company I was looking for is currently all online, but this is definitely something that I can recommend to all of my other clients. This could come in handy at a multitude of events and will definitely revolutionize the way that payments are made and accepted.

Check out Square today! – Why Advertising on John Chow’s Website is a Bad Idea

If you have a blog and you’ve ever put in a little bit of time to search for “make money online” or “earn revenue from your blog” or anything similar, you’ve most likely come across John Chow’s website John Chow does huge amounts of traffic, and more importantly, has a huge loyal following with a subscriber base of 16,000+ readers… and always growing. The problem with the 16,000+ subscribers to John Chow’s blog is that a vast majority of them are tech savvy.

These tech savvy users are out looking to make money online. Plain and simple. These people understand that advertising revenue is typically the best way to make money online – whether it be through contextual advertising networks or sponsored posts or paid advertisements. These people aren’t looking for advertisements to click on, they’re looking for content… they’re looking for ideas and ways to improve their own site. I’d be willing to bet that less than 1% of the subscribers to John Chow’s blog actually ever click any of the ads on his site, in fact, they probably don’t even see the advertisements.

Once you’re an experienced internet user and blog reader, you learn how to scan sites. What do I mean “scan sites”? Most savvy readers have taught themselves how to read articles, blogs, posts, magazine, etc. without paying any attention to whatever advertising might be inter-twined within the page. I know the typical size & placements of advertisements, I’m going to be very unlikely to click on any advertisement… ever… and I’m assuming that most of the readers of John Chow’s blog are just like me.

I’m just writing from personal experience, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong. I own and operate multiple websites, from this small needle-in-a-haystack blog, to large heavily trafficked e-commerce websites. It is my feeling that a subscriber or reader will be more likely to just browse a site for content and posts and pay far less attention to ads. So who will be more likely to click on ads? Users who find your site through a search engine, or related link will be more likely to click on advertisements… especially contextual advertisements like Google Adsense, Yahoo Publisher Network, or Kontera text ads. I’m sure that gets plenty of organic search engine traffic, but judging by the number of subscribers, I’d assume that a vast majority of his traffic and page views are from subscribers. I’d be very curios to see numbers on direct/bookmarked traffic vs. organic traffic. And would it even be possible to track the CTR for advertisement between the two?

A note to John: I’m not trying to discourage people from advertising on your site, I’m just questioning whether subscribers/readers or organic traffic has a higher CTR for advertisers. You’re obviously doing something right, and I think I’ll be duplicating some of your moneymakers on this site real soon! 😉

How to Make Money Online – May Earnings and Revenue Report

I had high hopes going into May after netting my largest monthly total ever during April. April brought me my first double-digit profit from Google Adsense in a single day, and May definitely did not disappoint in that category as I had 3 days with double-digit profits. May brought me both a higher and more consistent number of clicks per day as well as a higher and more consistent number of pageviews per day. My site has been moving in the right direction and the 3 advertising networks that I am currently using have complemented my site very well to this point.

At the end of May, I ended up switching out a couple of ad placements in hopes of increasing future earnings. Unfortunately this change was only live during May for 4 days, so I don’t think I’ll be able to see too much of an effect this month. One thing I did do was setup ad channels inside of Google Adsense and in Adbrite so that I could see how the ads in each section of my site were performing, and the results were interesting.

Time for a Change – Web Traffic & Revenue Reports Will Have a New Look in June

When I post my next Web Traffic & Revenue Report (like this one: April Web Traffic and Revenue Report) in early June, it will have a new look. Rather than posting the two together, I’ll be separating them out into two different posts in order to expand the content of the post into a more relevant summary of the month, not only that, but I’ll also be hoping to increase my pageviews per visitor (see my previous article: Maximize Traffic – Increase Your Pageviews per Visitor)

Web Traffic Report

The first page of Web Traffic report will start with an outline of the previous months traffic stats as reported by Google Analytics outlining any highly obvious increases or decreases in traffic and/or referrals. Any and all consecutive pages will look at traffic details and specifics and try to break them down – Referring sources, search terms, pageviews per visit, etc.

Revenue Reports – Making Money Online

The first page of the Revenue Report will summarize how the month did compared to previous months, and what the key revenue sources were since I typically have 3 or more money making programs running on my site in any given month. The following pages will outline (from highest revenue to lowest) the money that I made from each source (advertising network, direct sales, etc.) and my opinion of whether the source is worth the time and effort to continue using. The final page of the Revenue Report will detail the totals for the month, revisit past goals and set future goals for this site.

If there is anything else that you’d like to see in these reports that you think I might be forgetting, simply visit my contact page and let me know what else you’d like to see.

Increasing Your Sites Revenue – Ad Replacement Experiment

Ever since I launched my site, I have been using AdBrite to server my large 728×90 Leaderboard at the top of my page, and every month, AdBrite seems to get the fewest clicks out of all of the advertisements on my site. I recently have been starting to wonder if AdBrite’s click counter is off, because I display just about an equal number of AdSense ads and AdBrite ads (inline with text content in addition to the Leaderboard ), but the number of clicks that I get on AdBrite ads has been about 10-20% of the number of clicks that my Google Adsense ads have been generating. Is it possible that people click on Google ads more just because Google is a more trusted name?

Anyways, to test my theory, I have replaced my 728×90 AdBrite Leaderboard with a new Google Leaderboard ad in hopes to see a revenue increase – thought it could be possible that the placement of the Leaderboard ad just gets minimal clicks due to its location – atop the page away from the majority of my content. Through past experience, the most successful ad placements have been those that are intertwined in the actual text of a blog post – I’ll expand on that at a later date.

Pay Per Post (PPP) Direct – Get Paid to Do What You Do

A couple weeks ago, I signed up and started using PayPerPost which is basically a system where advertisers can go in and request that bloggers write a short post about their product, service, etc. for a price. So far, I’ve written 5 posts for $55 – not bad for a few minutes and a couple hundred words.

Now, PayPerPost has launched PPP Direct which allows you to sell blog posts on your site – and unlike their competitors who can take from 30-50%, PayPerPost only charges a 10% fee (+5% PayPal fee). The new PPP Direct system has a transaction negotiation and auditing system so that the advertisers and bloggers can figure out the exact details of what is required in the post prior to starting.

Rather than trying to sell blog ads on your site individually, let PayPerPost handle the transactions and don’t worry about any of the security issues that may come with money changing hands over the internet. PayPerPost really makes it simple to monetize your blog with PPP Direct. You simply signup, specify how much you’d like to be paid for your direct blogging opportunities and you put a widget on your blog that looks like this:

PPP Direct Badge

So now, my question to you is – What are you waiting for? Start now with PPP Direct!

Add Your Blog to a ‘DoFollow’ List – Get Rid of the ‘NoFollow’ tag in Your Comments

While looking for ways to increase the popularity of my blog, I came across an article about having a nofollow tag in your blog comments. Basically, most blogs out there allow people who comment to input their name, email and website, however, when the website URL is displayed to the end user, it is actually hidden from search engines with the following bit of code:


The way I see it, there are pros and cons to removing the “nofollow” tag. Pros are that it will help increase the pagerank of all of the people who comment on posts on your blog and/or it will increase your own blogs pagerank with increasing number of comments that you leave on other blogs that do not use the “nofollow” tag. Cons are that it can definitely increase the amount of spam that a blog gets. For instance, my blog currently gets between 200-500 spam comments per day (depending on how lucky I am that day), I expect this to increase significantly once the spammers realize that I have removed the “nofollow” tag from my comments.

If you’d like to get your WordPress blog onto a “dofollow” list, simply go into your /wp-includes folder and find the file called “comment-template.php”. On line 48, I had the following line of code:

$return = "<a href='$url' rel='external nofollow'>$author</a>";

Simply change it to:

$return = "<a href='$url' rel='external'>$author</a>";

I haven’t yet promoted the fact that my comments are no longer “nofollow” comments, but I’ve read quite a few articles of people raving about the success they’ve had by removing the “nofollow” attribute and changing their comments section to more of a “dofollow” type of layout. So if you’re blog has a list of other blogs that have a “dofollow” or a d-list, please add my site to the list.

April Web Traffic and Revenue Report

Back in the beginning of April when I wrote up my March Web Traffic and Revenue Report, March had by far been my most successful month to date, but just as before, the current month outpaced all previous months by a long shot; both in traffic and revenue. Before looking at all the numbers in detail, let’s revisit my short term goals for my site. My main goal in the short term was to reach 2.5 pageviews per visit. In March, my site had its best month in terms of pages per visit at 1.71.

I had been working on implementing changes and updates that would allow me to increase my pageviews per visit, and though it did help, I still haven’t reached my short term goal. In April, I averaged 1.92 pageviews per visit, and just like previous months, this is a step in the right direction, however, I still have a ways to go before I hit my goal. It doesn’t seem like it’d be that difficult – if you think about it, for every two visitors that my site gets, I just need to get them to view a combined total of 1 extra page (or a half page each). I think my problem so far has been that many articles on my site are solution-based; meaning I have written about a solution to a problem I’ve encountered, so what happens is people search for a problem that their having, find the solution on my site and then leave… I call these people the “One Hitter Quitters”.

Back to the real story… the numbers. In April, my visitors more than doubled and my pageviews nearly tripled. Not bad, right? Not bad at all in my opinion, however, I’m still looking for better ways to acquire a larger reader base. As mentioned before, it seems like most of my traffic comes from people who are looking for a quick answer… even though I do write intriguing series of articles. 😉 In April, my site maintained a fairly steady amount of traffic with a couple spikes during the month (due to articles being linked in forums and on, though I still have yet to make it to the front page of Digg). April brought an average of about 1,250 pageviews per day and about 750 visitors per day. See the Google Analytics graph below for some traffic details.

April Web Traffic and Revenue Report - Visits and Pageviews

Looking at the graph, you’ll see a couple large traffic spike during the month, check out the next page to find out why!

March Web Traffic and Revenue Report

To date, March was by far the most successful month that my site has had – both in terms of traffic and revenue. I still haven’t hit my initial goal that I set back in January of averaging 2.5 pages per visit, though it did increase significantly from the prior two months. In March, the site averaged 1.71 pages per visit, up from the 1.27 in January, and the 1.29 in February – so my site is making steps in the right direction thanks to some new ideas that I’ve implemented. I’ll be following this article up shortly with an article on how to retain visitors longer, and how to get more page views from the visitors that you do get – Maximize Traffic – Increase Your Pageviews Per Visitor

So on to the real business – what did the web traffic on my site actually look like this month? Well, as in the past, this month far outpaced previous months. My February traffic numbers had almost doubled my January numbers, and though I was hoping for some feedback on how to increase these more, I unfortunately didn’t get any suggestions – however, in my last article, I stated that I’d like to generate more pageviews, and that I’d probably have to go about doing it by writing more content – which I did – I posted 26 total articles in March, almost more than twice what I had posted in any previous month.

On to the Numbers

So I can just start by saying that this sites total number of visits doubled during the month of March and the number of pageviews nearly tripled. Both my visitors and pageviews steadily increased during the month with an erratic spike on March 15th – I still haven’t really tracked the cause of this. But from a growth standpoint, I was really happy to see my site continually increase traffic through the month. By looking at the following chart, you’ll see that the number of visitors to my site grew from around 150-200/day during the first week of March to about 500/day for the last several days of March.

March Revenue Report - Visits and Pageviews

So what spurred this large growth in traffic? Continue reading on the next page to find out.

February Web Traffic and Revenue Report

We should start by revisiting my January goal “To double my number of pages per visit from 1.27” – didn’t quite happen… actually, didn’t even come close to happening, but I guess I can’t complain, because the average number of pageviews per visit did increase – from 1.27 to 1.29. At this rate it could take years for me to reach my goal of about 2.5 pages per visit.


On a more positive note, one thing that did increase greatly (just about doubling in both categories) was the total number of visits, and the total number of pageviews. Looking at the chart below, you’ll see that my site visits were 5,055 – up from 2,543 in January; and my pageviews were 6,501 – up from the 3,236 pageviews that I had in January. I’m happy with these numbers, but I’m still hoping to generate more pageviews per visit. Any suggestions? I’ll probably just have to write more content.

February Visits and Pageviews

As you can see in the graph below, the majority of all my traffic still comes from Google – over 67% of all my traffic – though MSN is starting to up the ante – now at 4.25%, up from the measly 2.5% in January. Digg also had a larger chunk of referrals, however I think that most Digg visitors read what they’re looking for, then leave the site, whether they find what they’re looking for or not.

February Visitor Sources (Refering Sites)


How much money did the site generate?

On the month, my revenue saw a significant jump from January. I think that this can largely be attributed to the nearly double pageviews and visitors. Once again, the total number of page impressions tracked by Google Adsense and Google Analytics were different. Adsense counted 5,887 page impressions (6,501 for Analytics). Of the 5,887 pageviews, I recieved 107 clicks (a 1.82% click-thru rate). On the month, I earned $29.34 from Adsense – about $20 more than I saw in January. I think this might partially be due to the quality of ads that are displayed on the site now – with more pageviews & traffic, higher paying ads are more likely to be displayed. So overall, my Adsense revenue in February nearly tripled and I earned nearly $1.05/day.

In addition to Adsense, AdBrite definitely helped me to bring in some additional advertising revenue after I implemented the Leaderboard banner at the end of January, totaling $3.54 for February. I wasn’t expecting too much from the leaderboard banner because its way outside the text area, but I was happy with it bringing in about 10% of my overall revenue.

On the month, the site generated $32.88 – slightly up from previous months, but still below the triple digit numbers that I’m looking to achieve each month prior to the end of 2007 – that’s still my long term goal for this site.

Stay tuned for more!