Monday, 29 December 2008

Shame on you Entrecard!

Someone at Entrecard has been moving the goalposts, or else they can't count.

The guidelines say quite clearly that there have to be 5 posts within a 3 month period. A few days ago I received an email from admin that they had deleted one of my other blogs that had been in existence and on entrecard for barely 6 weeks.
They say 'quality posts'. The definition of 'quality' is nowhere to be found except in negatives about what you CANNOT have (like nudity, hatred, illegal download links and so on) and my blog doesn't fall into any of those categories, in any way shape or form.

There is another vague and ambiguous rule that talks about affiliate links. My blog had ONE affiliate post and a number of other links that gave additional information about the product.

Nor have I been notified either directly by a reader or by Entrecard that there has been any complaint about content or posting frequency - this action has come totally out of the blue.

While some sites are allowed to stay on Entrecard indefinitely even though they have no widget, mine gets deleted without warning although it had a valid widget on there from day 1. If I find a site without a widget or with content I consider boring or trivial, I just move on. I don't write angry emails and say it should be removed. From now onwards if I find ANY reason to object to a blog I come across, I'll do it, and those without widgets are going to be top of my list.

Entrecard's direct response was non-existent, so I moved my enquiries to the forum. The answers I got were very far from satisfactory. They have now blocked the original URL, so I have created a new blog, imported all the posts and will eventually put it back in my links list. But not just yet.

I have big issues with the way that Entrecard define and apply their rules, especially the 'quality' definition, which IMO should be totally removed. It is the opinions of the Entrecard COMMUNITY that is the measure of whether a blog belongs there or not.

They have categories for both Internet Marketing and Make Money Online - and others that have a high proportion of blogs which promote one product or a whole array via affiliate links. Why have these categories, then remove a blog because it is alleged to have affiliate links in more than 50% of its posts - which incidentally was never the case. Hot Choc Profits promotes a single product, but the affiliate link only ever appeared once, the other links are informational.

I have changed the content of the posts around a bit today, putting all the links in just one post.

However there is another issue which I think may have prompted the attention of Entrecard's admin in the first place. I made the first post on Hot Choc Profits sticky by changing the date to one a long time in the future, Now, if they have some automated checking mechanism, it may have triggered a report that there were not 5 posts in the last 3 months.

I've seen 'how to' for making Wordpress posts sticky, but not for Blogger - other than the date change method which I never really liked.

My fledgeling business really needs the attention that Entrecard can supply and the only reason I hadn't posted more often is that I have had a very bad dose of flu and I'm also suffering from depression. I haven't done a lot of dropping, posting or even been online that much at all for a couple of weeks.

If you have asked to advertise and not had a reply, I'm sorry. Ditto, if you have dropped and not had a drop back for a while. I've had ads pending for weeks and weeks till I have deleted them and no response or apologies whatever from the blog owners. My average response time for ads on any of my Entrecard linked blogs is less than 3 days. I have an automated acceptance for people who have advertised with me before.

In conclusion, I would appreciate if visitors here would visit Hot Choc Profits and say in a comment whether in YOUR opinion it deserves to carry an Entrecard widget. Thanks and a very Happy New Year!

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Grab a spot,advertise your blog and plant a tree

Hmm. Don't know if I've been suckered here, but its a nice idea anyway.

I have bought a spot on a site called The idea is that some of the advertising revenue goes towards planting trees but the owner is not specific about the amount or percentage he is giving to this, just going on 25 spots per tree. Now if he stuck to the original costs of a spot these would be VERY expensive trees. At the current discounted price it is not so bad. I can't help thinking he is making a tidy profit though.

To gauge the effect of this, I can check my Adgitize page views I suppose and also entrecard drops. There is no affiliate program involved.

The up-side is that if he does what he says, and keeps the page going indefinitely then it is going to be very low cost and worthwhile advertising. In my case, with several blogs on the go, it could do something for all of them since they are all cross linked. It is a one off, not a monthly cost

The concept is the same really as the old pixel ad sites, but at least here you can SEE the photo avatars for each blog and pick the ones to visit that grab your eye. Mouse over the spots and you can see a 'tool tip' or slogan that the advertiser has put to attract visitors.

The down side is for those clickers who don't use entrecard/Adgitize or similar to encourage regular rather than one off visits, you are solely reliant on your content to make people return. So it had better be good. The first test will be to see if my paid for spot makes it on to the updated site tomorrow - they claim to have your link there the next day. (PS It DID - and I got a nice comment from Bloggersmosaic owner too).

Now I've had time to click on existing spots, t's a little disappointing that not all of them lead to real blogs. Some of them are just ordinary websites and the worst of those are just a page of ad links. Hopefully the owner will make a rule about this so the site is really worth visiting to find more and more interesting new blogs to read.

I also found a Yahoo Answers lookalike called Mahalo which supposedly pays you to answer - that is if the questioner is offering a tip. Again, seems to be no affiliate link. Worth a go, but only a once a day visit methinks or I will be stretching myself and my creative juices too far.

Bukisa, a new place to write

A big thanks to my friend over at The Green Ninja for pointing me in the direction of Bukisa as a new place to write for profit.

My blogging income is increasing and I am really enjoying what I'm doing. At a difficult time of my life I have found something fulfilling and at least some of my readers seem to find it entertaining.

I do occasionally duplicate content between my own blogs, but would not do it anywhere else.

Google can detect it and you may lose Page rank. However, what you CAN do is write closely related articles and cross reference them.

For instance, I might write about techniques for cooking with chocolate in one article for Xomba, and refer to another in Bukisa which explains the process by which cocoa beans become the familiar product we know and the other uses to which the by products are put. In another article on my blog, I could give a specific recipe and again, cross reference to the other two.

The format may be a little different to what you are used to as a blogger. On Bukisa you can include video in your posts and indicate that when you index. Text and video items are easy to distinguish and there is a good indexing system to find what you are interested in.

You can also refer your friends, and earn extra revenue from their contributions. It is a visually pleasant and well organised site and I know I am going to enjoy this extra revenue stream.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Give yourself this e-book for Christmas

Many e-books I've bought, or downloaded totally failed to deliver, but today I happened on a real winner.

There are many, many e-books about how best to exploit moneymakers like Adsense and Clickbank, but none I've ever read are as helpful or explicit as Project QuickCash.

Within a very few minutes, I was able to follow the instructions and identify some of the main reasons that my past efforts had not been successful AND how to do it properly.

I've learned more really useful techniques just this afternoon from reading this book than I have since I first started trying to make money online. It just cannot be missed.

It is on discount at the moment (till 24-Dec-08), so grab it at the cheapest price while you can.

Just click on the banner and you'll find out how to get your copy and make money from it yourself. Just a hint, don't take the first price you are offered, try to leave the page first!

Sunday, 14 December 2008

Apologies to my regular droppers and visitors

I messed up in a big way yesterday. I was trying to install a new template and it all went very pear shaped. Ended up with a load of widget placeholders with nothing in them. Have been working hard to get everything back to normal today and waiting for some instructions from the author of the template to correct whatever I did wrong.

Next time I'll play with one of my other blogs that only has a few widgets to mess up :-(

The biggest regret was losing all the list of blogs I read regularly and really like. I'll get them back piecemeal, but the first one to get added to my new list is actually a new (to me) blog I found while on Linkreferral today.

Enjoy this

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Adgitize works!

OK, OK, so it isn't a fortune moneywise, but Adgitize got me a bucketload of visitors last month and with 4 blogs on the go, I ended up close to the top of the leaderboard for points.

NOt without a little effort though.
Adgitize rewards those who post regularly very well in terms of the revenue share, and all my blogs got some attention.

I can absolutely recommend it as a place to advertise your blog. The price of a couple of coffees can buy you a month's advertising which can easily come back to you via Adsense or people joining the affiliate businesses you offer - here's my latest one - a business based on
Healthy Chocolate - what nicer way to make you a living!

For those who 'do'
Entrecard as well, you can use the same 125 x 125 widget image that you use there, for your Adgitize ad.

More than that, it got me acquainted with some very useful, thoughtful and entertaining blogs that I might well not have found otherwise.