Money CoinsHow to setup a membership site and earn money from it? I often wondered at the way a membership site functioned. Though I was very keen on starting one, I never really had the confidence to start one. This was not because I was afraid of failure but because I was not completely aware of the process that went into setting one such membership sites.

Membership sites are one the biggest money spinners. But the success of a membership sites depends upon a lot of factors which if not kept in mind could lead to a disaster. You might be wondering as to where this topic of “Membership sites” came in from, when the topic in discussion is “making money blogging”.

Blogging cannot be a standalone money-maker. If you have a blog and your monetization strategy is “Adsense”, then there are lot many things that you need to focus upon if you are to earn something worth a mention from your blog. What monetization strategy you adopt for you blog would decide the level and depth of your success.

When we are talking about making money online I believe we should be referring to sources that would be a long term income provider to us rather than looking at short term sources. I presume anyone reading this post is reading it just because you have a dream of leading an independent life. So the monetization strategy that we adopt should be such that provides us with a dependable, continuous and good income.

One of the main strategies that satisfy all of the above conditions is affiliate marketing through your blog. But there is an even better one. This strategy helps in building an authority for you in the blogosphere in addition to winning satisfied and dedicated readers. This strategy involves developing a product of your own and promoting that through your blog.

Most of the successful blogs on the internet do this. Check out Caroline Middlebrook’s blog, Carl Ocab’s blog or, Yaro Starak’s blog. But for a newbie, absolutely new on the blogging horizon, developing a product could be a herculean task and you might be wondering as to what is it that I am saying. Don’t start to get de-motivated. As of now all that you need to do is learn even the minutest things in making money from your blog. Product development can easily be outsourced and that should take care of your problem there.

One of the best products to promote through you blog is an e-course by setting up a membership site. This is a long term monetization strategy and can help you in your objective of making money from your blog. But is setting up a membership site easy? Good question!

There are lots of things that you might want to keep in mind when you start a membership site – Domain name, hosting plans, Membership site content management system, Payment processor, content delivery system etc. The minutest of errors in any of these could spell disaster.

Yaro Starak is a blogger whom I admire. His blog mastermind is a course that has helped a lot of people make lots of money from their blogs. He is successfully running a membership site for this course. So who better than the master himself to teach us setting up a membership site?

Check out his Membership Mastermind course here.

Yaro is not a blogger who is only money-oriented, rather he believes in providing pure useful content to his readers. That is why he guides his readers with good and valuable insights.

For people interested in building and launching membership site he has launched the Membership Site Masterplan which is a free downloadable e-book and has extremely valuable content in it. You can download it here.

You can read about the Membership Site Masterplan report and the Membership Site Mastermind course here.

Photograph courtesy Sam Fox used under Creatives Common License

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Under rated

WordPress can never be difficult. Even the newest of bloggers jumping onto the WordPress platform would agree with me. Everything is so user friendly that in a day or two, you would start to feel as if you have complete control over your blog or, your website. WordPress as a Content Management Solution is far superior and user friendly from any other CMS platforms.

I once wanted to check out the alternative solutions for my websites and decided to go about using Jhoomla. The installation itself was so painful that I felt I would abandon it midway. After installation came the pain with customization. I might be sounding a bit harsh here because these CMS platforms are “blessings” for a lot of developers and users and it is possible that since I am a novice in developing, it appears this difficult to me. But the only point that I wanted to make was that WordPress is a CMS platform for anyone and with any objective. The extendability of WordPress including the various themes like affiliate themes and stores themes help you set up a website in minutes. Add to it the thousands of plugins available and you have a “magical lamp” in your hand.

Plugins can be a confusion at times. There are thousands of plugins for the same purpose and at times choosing the most appropriate one can be difficult. But since installing and uninstalling plugins are not difficult, the easiest option of testing is to install one of these and evaluate its performance.

I am mentioning a few of the under-rated WordPress plugins, that are on the contrary very useful and required for your WordPress blogs.

  1. Akismet – Comment and trackback spams are one of the biggest pain areas in blogging. Protecting your blog from these could be one of the difficult tasks and if you choose the option of not approving all comments before they appear in your blog, then your life would be a hell. Akismet protects you blog from such spams and come in very handy is all such situations. You require a WordPress API key to activate this plugin which can be obtained from WordPress.com, free of cost.
  2. Post-teaser – Search engines love blogs and at the same time these search engines hate repeated contents. This is a reason for a lot of blogs not making it to the search engines. Blogs normally would have a mainpage with the latest posts. The same posts would then be there in your archives page, categories page, tags page and the search results page. So the content is repeated in 4-5 different places. Search engine spiders get irritated with these repeated contents and push your blogs to the bottom. This is why all major and successful blogs have only excerpts in their main page. Post teaser helps you do this nicely and neatly.
  3. All in One Adsense and YPN - What is the primary objective of your blog? Is it, making money online? If yes then this plugin is for you. Google Adsense and the Yahoo performance network are two of the biggest ad-serving methods available to bloggers. If you are looking at monetization methods, then you would not want to ignore Google Adsense or, Yahoo ads. But generating codes and inserting then into your blogs sidebars and posts could be a herculean task. All in one Adsense relieves you of the pain involved in doing this.
  4. GoCodes – Affiliate marketing is one the biggest ways of making money online. Every blog that claims to be earning a fortune promotes some or, the other products that they believe in, as an affiliate. But affiliate marketing can also be very difficult especially when there are vultures out these waiting to snatch your catch. New affiliate marketers never realize this until it is very late. The answer to this is “Link Cloaking”. And GoCodes can help you with link cloaking.
  5. Tweetmeme – Twitter is turning out to the a traffic monster. The more tweets your posts receive the more traffic you get. I am not a huge promoter of my blog posts on twitter and I personally do not spend a lot of time at Twitter. But if you are just starting up, you might want to consider Twitter to build you traffic. Add the “tweetme” button to your blog posts the easy way using this plugin.
  6. What would Seth Godin do – RSS subscriptions are what will increase your readership base. Offering subscription options to your visitors depending upon, if they are first time visitors or, returning visitors is what this plugin does and it actually improves your subscription rates to a great extent.

These plugins can come in very handy if you are dedicated towards building a business out of your blog. You may want to check out our blog start-up help options in case you are new to blogging and WordPress.

If you are serious about making money from your blog, then learn the art from the person who makes a living out of his blog. Check out Yaro Starak’s Blog Mastermind

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Learning-to-walk

Do you remember the day when you stood up on your feet in an attempt to walk? I do not remember mine. But my parents do. Even today when I ask them about the first day I walked, I can see the enthusiasm in their eyes and how they hand-held me to teach me how to walk.

Ever wondered as to how many times after that and how many people after those first steps, did ever help you in anything, the way your parents helped you walk! I had no experiences that I could recollect. In every jucture in life it was either my parents or, there were none to hold me by my hands and guide me to doing things the right way. There were many who gave directions and it was my choice which directions to follow.

The first step, rather learning to walk is a choice today. Even enthusiastic parents at times do not find themselves at home when their kid makes the first attempt to walk because they are in their offices, earning to pay somebody else to teach their children how to walk. And like most of the choices that are available today, we always either pick the wrong choice or, do not pick at all only to regret after some time on the lost opportunity.

Learning to blogging – make money blogging, is also a choice. You could choose to be earning for your kids working a crazy 13-14 hour shift and letting him learn to walk from somebody else, or you may stay at home and teach him yourself. The choice of making money blogging would depend upon the above said choice.

If you have chosen to learn to make money online blogging, then why shouldn’t you be learning it from somebody who has learnt it the hard way and is willing to hand hold y0u and teach you how to walk. That should be the ideal choice, right? Then be it. Decide today by when you want to start making money online blogging and follow the footsteps of the one of the most prolific and knowledgeable blogger in the Blogosphere – Yaro Starak.

I have admired Yaro and am a regular reader of his blogs. His archives are full of information that come in handy anyday, anytime. These archives are never obsolete and is worthy of a read every now and then. The same Yaro extends his hands and is ready to hand hold you to teach you how to make money online blogging through his online course – Blog Mastermind.

Go ahead and join his course and learn how to make money online blogging. Check out his course here.

Photograph courtesy telachhe used under Creatives Common License

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List BuildingSomething that I have kept hearing since the day I came into the Internet Marketing business is “The money is in the list”. I could just not figure out how to build a list and it took me days and days to actually understand the importance of list building. The world of optin pages and autoresponders were like hell for me untill one day when I realized that I had to get it right or, else I was out of the race.

One tool that helped me then in building a strong list was “Optin Page Generator”. This is the tool that I am giving away today. All that you have to do to get this free tool is as follows:

  1. Retweet this exact message on Twitter. All that you need to do is copy the text below and pasteit in to twitter text box. In case you don’t have a twitter account (which is unlikely), then get one at http://www.twitter.com.
  2. Follow me on Twitter. You can follow me by visiting the link below and clicking on the follow button below my picture: http://www.twitter.com/rdilipk1, or even by clicking the twitter icon towards the left of this page.

That’s it. As soon as you complete these two steps, you will get the download link in a direct message. So don’t forget to check your direct messages folder at Twitter.

The message to re-tweet is as follows:

RT @rdilipk1 helps you build list easily by giving away a free copy of OptinPageGenerator. Learn how to get one: http://tinyurl.com/c3tuon

Wait for an interesting post from me on list building and how I built a huge list of 5000 people in about 15 days after spending frustrating weeks with nobody in my list.

In the meantime, Happy list building and Enjoy the tool!!

And don’t forget to tweet my other blog posts.

Photograph courtesy sunshinecity used under Creatives Commons License

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Niche researchWhy should you research you niche when you are writing a post in your blog? An interesting question and this has an interesting answer as well.

Niche research is one of the most difficult things to do. People spend hours and hours together researching their niche before they start their blog because this is what most successful bloggers teach. Then when they are asked to research their niche further before writing any posts in their blogs, they start pulling their hair.

Actually niche research involves a lot of time, but the quantity of the results in comparison to the efforts put is very minute, like processing milk to get butter. You have to process a large quantity of milk to get just a small cup of butter. After putting in so much of effort, when there is nothing substantial to show, it becomes a cause for frustration for many. In addition to this, the lack of knowledge in niche research adds up to the frustration levels.

But niche research is not actually frustrating and worthless. It pays off but only if you persist and consistently understand your niche.

Researching a niche to decide on the blog is acceptable to most people, but when it comes to researching every time you have to write a post to your blog is tedious and involves quite an effort.

Why should you research you niche when you want to write a post on you blog?

You have created a blog on a niche topic. Now you want people to start visiting your blog. You also want the search engines to index you blog. You want your blog to feature in searches when the search terms involve your niche. It is unlikely that anyone starting a blog would say that they do not want any one of the above. How is it that you would make it possible? Will your blog start featuring in search engines all by itself?

It is here that niche research helps you. Carefully research your niche and find a few keywords in your niche that are being searched for by people. You can use Google Insights to check the searches and use that data as well while you are researching. Then write you blog post on one of these keywords, with the keywords itself featuring in the post. Maintain enough keyword density within you post and your blog post will start to feature in search results very soon. Search engines would start sending in a good amount of traffic and people who come to your site in search of information on the keyword, can be made to stay at your page by providing them useful information. When people find good information on your blog they would read through other posts in your blog and might even add your blog to their RSS feeds, thus increasing the number of regular visitors to your blog.

Is niche research required in all your blog posts? The answer would be “Not really”. You can occasionally write posts which are carefully researched in order to get traffic flowing into your blog from search engines. At other times you can write about other things on your niche so that you provide content that is useful and fresh and has a touch of your personal experience in it.

If niche research has proved to be a tough affair for you, then I would recommend you buy Micro Niche Finder. The tool is very handy, easy to use and does the entire research in less than 30 minutes, so that you can utilize your time for other important things.

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Wordpress-plugins

The best thing about using WordPress for your blog is its extendability. Unlike Blogger where you have to hand-code the HTML in case you wished to make changes to a feature in the blog, WordPress has thousands of add-ons called as plug-ins which help you to add functionality and features to your blog. This feature of WordPress is what has made it the most desirable blogging platform ever.

So when you start your blog on WordPress, you would be awed at the huge scope of extendability that you get. Add to it the numerous self-styled preachers out there professing the usage of this and that and you have a real recipe for mess. After a coupdl of days you would be in a situation where you either don’t like your blog because something about it is not right or, you have messed up things to an extent of irrepairability.

So that you do not end of as one of these people I mentioned above, I thought I would be very precise when I tell you what is right for your blog. We are into blogging to make some money, right? Even if the blog is your portrait you are into it for money. If that is the case then the features that we include or, extend our blog on should be the onese that help us in our objective of making money online blogging.

These are the 6 most desirable plugins that you would need for your WordPress blog, in case your objective is similar to what I have mentioned above -

  1. All-in-One SEO pack : SEO is something that just cannot be avoided. You want your blogs to be indexed in the search engines and SEO is what will help you do that. This plugin adds the options of inserting meta tags like keywords, description and title to all you posts individually and to the blog as a whole. A bit of careful research on the niche for the blog will get you the keywords that you would want to use for the blogs. After you blog is set-up research the keywords that you want to use for you blog-posts and you have everything in place. The rest of the work will be done by All-in-One SEO pack.
  2. FasterIM Optin: If your blog has the objective of making money then you would want subscribers and subscribers means list. And a list is what will get you business. FaterIM Optin is an plugin for WordPress which will enable a pop-up optin form on you WordPress blog getting your subscribers to sign up, if you have something valuable to offer.
  3. ShareThis: This is a plugin that adds the feature of book-marking on your blog. You would want your readers to be bookmarking you to the various social networking sites like Digg, StumbleUpon, Delicious, Reddit etc. This feature enables that on your blog this giving your readers the option to share your blog posts on all such networking sites.
  4. WP Tags to Technorati : The name of the plugin itself would have given you an idea of what it means. Technorati has a unique syntax to the tags that it identifies and promotes. It is possible to manually code these tags into each of your blog posts. But would you want to do it? I will not, for sure because of the tediousness. This plugins makes this job easy for you. There is nothing that you have to do except activating the plugin.
  5. WP Google analytics: If you are serious about blogging then you would want to see a report of your blog including the number of visitors, sources of traffic, bounce rates etc. All of this information can be provided by Google Analytics. But you have to insert a tracking code from Anaytics into you blog to track the statistics. Coding and messing with the code in my blog is the last thing that I want to do. This plugin helps you do away with all this messing around.
  6. Google XML Sitemaps: Google provides a very useful service called as Webmaster tools that help you submit your websites to Google and also helps you get you site indexed. One pre-requisite for this tool is a sitemap in XML format. You have to submit this sitemap to Google in order for your to get indexed. Generating and submitting this sitemap is otherwise a pain, but this plugin does all of that you. It generates the sitemap and places it there in your blog folder. All that you have to do is create an account with Google Webmaster tools and enter the link to your sitemap there.

These plugins will help you in more than one ways in your objective to earn money from your blog.

How to install these plugins:-

WordPress 2.7 has quite a few handy features which make blog maintenance very easy. In case you wish to install any of these plugins, just enter the name of the plugin in the “Add New” options in Plugins and the plugins would be there. All you have to do is click on install.

(You can also choose from among the many blog installation and maintenance packages available with us. Check it out here)

You can write into me in case you are unable to find any of these plugins or, need help with resolving some problems with these. Just put in  comment and I will respond to you.

Happy blogging.

And don’t forget to subscribe to my blog posts by entering your email at the top left hand corner. Do stumble this post in case you liked it.

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Horizon

Is it possible to start making money from day one on the internet? I know that at least 75% of the people starting their journey on the internet would want to believe that.

Let me know shatter hopes. But at the same time let us also understand the real picture.

Nothing in this world, can help you earn money overnight. If it does then it is a scam.

So what is the fact? The fact is that the possibility that you would start earning money overnight from your blog or, for that matter any internet business that you start, is very less. Has that shattered you? Then let me set it straight for you.

There are numerous so-called gurus on the internet who promise that their system can help you generate substantial income in a week, 10 days, 15 days and so on. They promise on their success that they can help you do that. Do you trust them?

What according to you is ‘earnings’? If it a $10.00 that you found on your way to the pizza corner. Or, is it that $50.00 that the attendant in that restaurant forgot to charge you. If your definition of ‘earning’ is similar to any one of the above then rest assured that you would earn from the first day. If it is not then you will be able to understand why I said that you will not be able to earn.

Publicity and promotional activities take time. And it is only with substantial amount of promotional activities that you will be able to do business on the internet, given the kind of competition that exists today. You might even have a choice of going the Google Adwords way and paying $150.00 in CPC to earn about $35.00, irrespective of how much keyword research you do.

You have to set an earnings horizon for yourself much before you start off on your online venture – be it blogging or, any other internet marketing activities. In fact, you should add this to your business model. I would advice you to be realistic when you set this horizon for yourself. As you set off on your journey, you will find that there are days when you would earn a few odd dollars in sales or, advertisement revenues. These are bonuses. I consider them as the payments made to me by my company for the day-to-day petty expenses.

The biggest reason why most of the internet ventures fail is an unrealistic earning horizon. People feel they can start earning as much as their 9-5 job in 15 days, or, a month and set off on their first internet venture and spend a few thousand dollars in worthless products only to find that they are nowhere even after 2 months. Finally they quit.

Prepare yourself for a period of about 3-6 months and then start your first internet marketing venture. “Consistency and persistency is the name of the game”. Be persistent and consistent in your efforts and you will see success.

Photograph courtesy liber used under Creatives Common License.

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