Thursday, December 4, 2008

The goals for today

Today I plan on doing some serious online work. My first goal is to write a blog post for each of my blogs. My second goal is to drop 300 Entrecards for at least one of those blogs. The third goal is to drop at least 100 Entrecards on the rest [this is my regular daily goal].


In addition to these goals I plan to play some Moola and place at least one CentSports bet. I also need to remove some old advertising code from a couple of blogs. See my previous post for details.

Ok one blog post done. Time to write the others.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Some failures

I recently removed my Matched and Project Wonderful ads from this blog. As you may have read Matched has quit business, but before they did I was able to get $13.60 out of them. Project Wonderful is still in business, but I apparently did not follow their terms of service[TOS]. Consequently they suspended the ad boxes associated with this blog. Although I'm not exactly sure what I did wrong I do have a suspicion. I'm thinking that my paid posts through SocialSpark may be the reason.

If that is the case I'm fine with it because I earn more through SocialSpark than I do through Project Wonderful. I still have Project Wonderful ad boxes on some other blogs that I have not used for SocialSpark.

Another failed source of revenue was Webmasters4freebies. I earned a little bit over $25.00 before my blog was removed.

So now it is time to look for new revenue sources. Wish me luck.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Kmart's Online Deals

I know that Christmas this year is going to be a challenge financially for me. So I am looking for ways to save money this year and I'm sure many of you are doing the same thing. For those of you looking for deals Kmart is offering online deals until November 26th. Three of the deals are:

  • Attention Women's Kimono Wrap Sweater Extra 10% off online only (search ID# 70198911)
  • Abbey Hill bedding Medallion Dream bedding collection – Extra 30% online only (search ID# 96096112)
  • 1/4ct tw Diamond 5-Stone Journey Pendant and Earrings Set in 10K Yellow Gold with Extra 10% off online only (search ID# 89270115)
Be advised that the sale price is shown in the shopping cart not on the product page.

Through December, kmart.com will also be offering an additional 10% (online only) on the following categories:
- womens plus sleepwear
- womens attention brand
- girls tops
- ALL juniors
- boys tops
- mens shirts and bottoms
- big mens shirts and bottoms
- infant and toddler bedding
Click Here

Also, There are hidden ornaments throughout kmart.com every week through to Christmas that provides a customer extra savings on already great prices with a secret coupon code!

Post?slot_id=26426&url=http%3a%2f%2fsocialspark

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Matched.co.uk has closed

The following is an excerpt of an email that I received from Matched. It is unfortunate that yet another of my sourced of income has dried up.


It is with much regret that we announce that Matched.co.uk has closed.

Matched has been running as a beta experiment for some time and, after much careful consideration, it has been decided not to progress the project to the next stage.

As a result, Matched will not be accepting new sign-ups and will no longer be assigning adverts to its current publisher base.

If you completed your last payment run before November 19th 2008, you will still be paid, but please note that no future payments will be made after this. Therefore, we recommend that you remove any Matched ads from your websites.

Thank you very much for being part of the Matched.co.uk experience and we wish you the best of luck for the future success of your websites.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do you use Prosper?

The following is information posted on the Prosper website....

Prosper Filing Registration Statement; Enters Quiet Period Prosper has started a process to register, with the appropriate securities authorities, promissory notes that may be offered and sold to lenders through our site in the future.

Until we complete the registration process, we will not accept new lender registrations or allow new commitments from existing lenders. If you're an existing lender, your current lender agreements will be unaffected; your existing loans will continue to be serviced; you'll be able to track and monitor your loans; and you'll be able to withdraw funds from your Prosper account.

If you're a borrower with an existing loan, you will continue with your current borrower agreement and be unaffected by the registration process. If you're a borrower seeking a loan, you will still be able to create a new loan listing, which we will endeavor to fulfill through alternative sources. As the appropriate securities authorities may consider a new loan listing to constitute the offer of a security, we are unable to post new loan listings on our site until our registration statement becomes effective.

A successful registration can take several months, but we assure you we will do our best to move forward as quickly as possible. Until this process is complete, we're required to be in a quiet period and will be unable to respond to press, blogger or other inquiries about Prosper or the registration filing until it becomes effective.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause, and want to thank you in advance for your understanding and support.

.....I use Prosper and have been happy with the results. I hope that the registration statement become effective soon.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Top droppers for October



More Than Sew So 28
Earn Blogger 28
SFV Blog 25
New Orleans Food & Fun 23
Austin Counsel Lawyer Blog 22
A Rose By Name Learns 18
Tour India 17
webomatik 16
PSX Gamer 16
Albatross on the Horizon 15

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Coming soon...Florida's Beach Bum

Beach_Guy, Michigan's Beach Bum, has recruited another beach bum. We are currently setting up the web site for him. This will be another WordPress install at www.floridasbeachbum.com. The site is up and running but he needs to select a theme for it and start posting entries.

I've setup the domain forwarding from the domain to the server where it is hosted. It may take an hour or so for it to propagate to the DNS servers. Once the theme and initial posts are complete I'll make another announcement.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Modifying WordPress templates

mI have a couple of blogs running on WordPress but sometimes the templates that I find just don't meet my expectations. So then I begin to tinker. Playing with the CSS is usually not a big deal for me but trying to figure out PHP is a challenge.

Yesterday, I bit the bullet and started messing with the PHP files for blog.americasbeachbum.com. I actually had success and didn't break it once! The template had static widget built into it that I wanted gone. I remarked out the offending code and got exactly the results that I wanted.

Look out template makers! I have become emboldened and willing to bend your templates to meet my will.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

£8.00 paid out from Matched.co.uk, finally.

After quite a wait Matched.co.uk finally came through with payment. I was paid a £5.00 sign up bonus and £3.00 for displaying a single ad. At the current conversion rate to dollars, I received $13.59.

I am planning on adding a few more ads so I can bump up the monthly payment. Although getting them to accept additional blogs has been difficult.

FYI: I don't know if they are still offering the sign up bonus anymore

Thursday, September 18, 2008

$25.86 this month from Freebies4Webmasters

Admittedly not all the money making opportunities that I have used pan out. But so far I'm loving Freebies4Webmasters (F4W). They were running a promotion that they paid GBP 10.00 which was paid shortly after they approved my domain. [I am not sure if they are still running that promotion or not.] Today in my email I received a notice that I had a payment of GBP 5.00. It was my first monthly payment from F4W! So far I have made $25.86 with them.

It is an easy signup and so far they have made quick payments. I'm planning on adding some additional domains to my account because they pay GBP 5.00 per month per domain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Another revenue source for me

Buy text links on my website easily with Ask2link

Sell Buy Text Links And Get Paid through PayPal

Sell Buy Text Links And Get Paid through PayPal


If you have a blog, website, or forum, with a minimum PageRank 1 or Alexa rank under 2,000,000 (2 million), you could earn more money from your website beyond Google Adsense contextual ads. I have recently joined Ask2link.com to enable advertisers to buy ad space on my website. Ask2link.com provides secure, easy, and fast checkout flow so you could get your text link ads or banner ads live within 2 minutes after online payment. Platforms supported include PHP, Ruby on Rails, Perl, ASP, JSP, and hosted blogs at Blogger.com or Wordpress.com . They also provide you with the ability to customize the 'nofollow' tag tag when you sell your ads. This may affect your ad sales, though.

If you would like to monetize your blog or website, you could visit Ask2link to learn more. Ask2link is a search engine marketing company that specializes in selling text links and banner ads. Advertisers, you may want to think about spending your marketing budget beyond PPC(Pay-per-click) such as Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN AdCenter, or Google Adwords. Why?

Static HTML links can bring you targeted traffic, bring you more organic search traffic, and also potentially improve your search engine rankings (SERPs), and you could increase your website traffic or sales. It also has uses in search engine reputation management. Search engine reputation management companies also use various SEO techniques to fight negative publicity. Start advertising now in "http://www.stanford-postdoc.org" as part of your SEO or online marketing campaign. You could now purchase static text links or banner ads on my website by following on the link below:

Buy links now on "http://incomealternatives.blogspot.com"

And no matter whether you are SEO beginner, expert, SEO consultant, or search engine marketing company, you could also try Ask2Link as SEO tools as they are one of the companies that offer SEO services.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Charter Communications laptop giveaway

Charter_laptopCharter Laptop-a-Day Giveaway:

Order any Charter Communications service online and be automatically entered to win one of 30 HP Compaq Presario C770US Laptops! Each laptop is over a $600 value. The first winner will be announced Sept. 1st. Plus all online orders right now also receive a Shell gas card valued up to $100.

I use Charter at home right now. I have cable, Internet and phone through them. The Internet service they have is awesome. I'm paying for the 5MB line and do a lot of downloading and gaming. It would take something crazy to make me switch.

So if you have been thinking of getting off dial up or DSL now is the perfect time. You can even bundle several services for greater savings.

Look at the deals that Charter is currently offering:

Charter High-Speed® Internet at $19.99/mo for 6 months.
Charter Digital Home™ and High-Speed Internet at $69.98/mo for 6 months.
Charter Digital Home™, High-Speed Internet, and Charter Telephone® at $99.97/mo. for 12 months.

Computer Details:
New HP Compaq Presario C770US Notebook
Intel® Pentium® Dual-Core Processor
15.4" WXGA Screen
2GB RAM -160GB hard drive
DVD Burner
Built in Wi-Fi and Ethernet
Plus a NEOtec Laptop Backpack!

For complete Sweepstakes Rules go to: http://connect.charter.com/landing/disclaimers/laptop.html

Sponsored by Charter Communications

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Homepages friends

I have just signed up with homepages-friends.com to earn money by searching the Internet. Wow what a concept!!! Ok we have seen this before but I thought that I would give them a try anyway. I ran two searches the other day and now have £0.03 in earnings. Pretty good start.


I'm also signed up with Scour where they operate on a points system that converts to Visa gift cards once you reach the appropriate levels. So far I'm up to 442 points. Half of those points have come to me through my 3 [yeah count them 3] referrals, thanks folks.

My third "income by search" endeavor is Swagbucks. I have reached 28 Swagbuck so far. No referrals [come on guys help me out!]. With Swagbucks you can select prizes once you have won enough Swagbucks for that item. It is so exciting when you win a Swagbuck...kinda like winning the lottery. Alright maybe not.

Monday, August 18, 2008

SocialSpark blog summaries

I was recently reviewing my SocialSpark account and looking for new posting "opportunities" in order to boost my monthly income. I looked at my blogs and clicked the "view profile" link which oddly enough brought me to the profile for this blog. On the right hand side of the profile screen is a link to "view summaries."

On the summaries page SocialSpark displays a recap of your most recent posts. It also shows your most recent post as well as the option to view your other posts. The part that I like the most is it tells you how many words are in your post. Another area tells you what "entities" you referenced in your posts. Some of mine were: Digg, Google, PayPal and NBC.

Just thought that I would share this little known secret. At least I think that it is little known. ;)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Alzheimer's Memory Walk

The Alzheimer's Memory Walk is coming soon to a venue near you. It is the nation's largest event that raises awareness and money for Alzheimer's research, support and care. Volunteers are needed nationwide and you can help no matter what age you may be. More than 600 hundred communities host Memory Walks to help in the Alzheimer's cause.



Some stats:

  • Alzheimer's is diagnosed in someone every 71 seconds.
  • It is the 6th leading cause of death in the United States.
  • As many as 5.2 million people in the United States are living with Alzheimer’s.
  • 10 million baby boomers will develop Alzheimer's in their lifetime.
  • The direct and indirect costs of Alzheimer's and other dementias to Medicare, Medicaid and businesses amount to more than $148 billion each year.
This is why we all need to get behind the Alzheimer's Memory Walk. Consider becoming a team leader and lead a group of friends, family and co-workers in this very important cause.

My employer is backing a team once again this year. The team is mostly employees but it also includes some family members as well. We have a great time while supporting this fund raiser.

By teaming up with the Alzheimer's Association, you can walk with a purpose – and move us closer to a world without Alzheimer's. Together, we can MOVE a nation.


Sponsored by Alzheimer's Walk

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

matched.co.uk

I've recently added an advertisement from matched.co.uk. Basically you submit your website and they try to match it up with an advertiser. Once that is done you put their code in your website and you earn 3.00 British pounds per month. I've submitted three sites and only one has been matched.

You can have up to five website and five pages per site so if you maxed it out you could earn 75.00 pounds per month. Not to bad for a blogger.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Giving Yuwie a try

As I was doing my daily Entrecard drops I paused and read Earn Money Online for Free's post about Yuwie. So I thought I would give it a try.

Side note - Yes I do read other blogger's posts. Usually you have to capture my attention with a well written title though.

Anyway back to Yuwie, it is somewhat like MySpace or Facebook with the added benefit of making money. The earnings are based on page views. Every time a logged in member views one of your pages or you view one of your control panel pages you earn a page view. Yuwie's example shows them paying at the rate of $0.05 per 1,000 page views. The TOS indicates that the Revenue Share Rate [RSR] is subject to change. Wow, now that I have done the math it doesn't seem like much but if you have a good downstream referral group you could consivably make a fair amount of money...although probably nothing like the example of over $10,000 per month.

So far I've been signed up for about an hour and have 44 page views. Those are mostly from me mucking about trying to figure things out.

If Yuwie sounds like something you might be into please join under my referral link. It doesn't hurt you but helps both me and the blogger who got me to sign up.

Contest notes: Tomorrow I should be able to calculate a winner for the July CentSports Contest. I'm going to be running a new contest in August. Anyone who signs up or has already signed up as my referral for either CentSports or Yuwie will be automatically entered to win 750 ECs. Good luck to all who enter.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Cisco IT Certifications

At one point in my career I was the Vice President of Finance and Technology at a largish financial institution. Our Wide Area Network (WAN) was all Cisco equipment so it was important to have staff that had earned a Cisco certification.

For many years we depended on outside vendors to supply support for our Cisco equipment but that could be problematic when a problem arose and we needed to wait for the vendor to arrive on site to correct the problem. So I decided to have staff get certified. As a reward for passing the certification I gave my employees a pay increase and announced in the employee newsletter the fact that certain employees were now Cisco certified IT professionals. Nice perks for the employees who made the effort to become certified.

Even though I was paying them more I felt that it was worth it. It improved the financial institution's branch uptime and those employees were able to bring me ideas on how to better manage our WAN.

We were able to implement technologies like VOIP that required our Cisco routers to be configured correctly it was great to have Cisco certified IT pros on staff. Switching from a regular phone system to VOIP was a great cost savings that more than paid for the certification costs and the pay increases that the employees earned.

These employees were given preferential treatment when applying for new positions because of their skills and willingness to learn. So be willing to learn and let your employer know it!


Sponsored by Cisco

Friday, July 25, 2008

July's CentSport Contest top three

With less than a week to go the race in my CentSports contest has tightened at the top. At last report "E" had a $4.63 lead over "J" and "R" was treading water at $0.13.



Current top three:
ES $4.82
JK $2.48
RG $1.42

"JK" & "RG" made some nice progress while "ES" is off from a high of over $5.00.

As you can see the lead is not insurmountable so if you would like to join in the fun visit CentSports. The next contest will be based on the Crony Bonus which will be easier for me to track and give new Cronies a level playing field. Look for details before August 1st.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

PW Payment

Project Wonderful issued my payout this morning. And I'm a third of the way to my second payout. Now if Google Adsense would finally reach $100.00 I would be ecstatic.

ADSDAQ is getting close to $10.00 so I will be requesting a payout from them soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My first Project Wonderful payout.

My Project Wonderful account reached $10.00v this past weekend so I decided today to withdraw $10.00 from the account [which stands at $13.03 as I type this entry]. $10.00 is the minimum withdraw that is allowed by Project Wonderful. I gave them my address to credit, I'm a little nervous since this is my first transaction. It should be fine [I hope].

I submitted my request which now much be approved by the kind folks at Project Wonderful [PW]. I'm not sure what criteria might result in my request being denied so I've got my fingers crossed that they will allow me to withdraw the $10.00 that I've earned.

Currently I am earning over $0.50 per day through PW but that amount is very volatile. For a short period of time I was actually earning more than $1.00 per day. Obviously not a huge money maker but better than nothing.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Comment anyone?

All right I am a lemming, following the pack to our mutually inevitable destruction at the hands of Entrecard [and Digg and SezWho, aka the evil triumvirate of the blogger's world]. This week Entrecard announced their partnership with SezWho that allows Entrecard members to earn Entrecard credits by commenting on other member's blogs. The idea is to create a more beneficial blogging community.

I signed up for SezWho the other day and finally got the code installed on this blog. You would think that you could get the code from their website but apparantly you can not. I had to request the code be sent to me. I think that SezWho is have some technical difficulties.

So go ahead and comment and I will see if Entrecard's Graham is correct about the importance of commenting.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Scour the web for money


This morning I signed up with Scour to earn points, and eventually cash, by searching, commenting on the search results and voting on the search results.

Sign up was painless and they started my out with 50 points. You can also earn points by inviting your friends [consider yourself invited...just click the link]. For every four points your friends earn you earn one.

Payouts start at 6,500 points for $25 then go to 12,500 points for $50 and finally 25,000 points for $100. They payout in Visa gift cards.

Friday, July 11, 2008

July CentSports Contest Update

I am running a contest for my CentSports cronies [referrals]. The crony with the largest account balance at the end of July wins my net winnings from July. It is not to late to join, plus I'm planning future contests for my cronies.

Today's top three cronies:

E: $5.13
J: $0.50
R: $0.13

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

My top droppers for June

Thanks for the drops!



Living Within Samsara 26
America's Beach Bum 25
Happy Alone 24
PSX Gamer 22
Nice2All 19
E-business Ideas 19
SurfJedi's Musings 18
Michigan Beach Bum 17
WOW Factor 17
On becoming a 2%er 16

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Moola v CentSports wrap up

Well, here are the final totals for June's Moola v CentSports challenge. Thanks to everyone who joined either of these sites as a referral of mine!

CentSports: $2.91
Moola: $0.46

I find CentSports more entertaining. That's probably because I'm a guy and like sports. Moola is a little bit frustrating because it takes so long to win a decent amount of money. But I guess that is the nature of the gambling beast. I will keep playing, probably while watching TV but I'm not going to invest a huge amount of time into Moola.

As you may have read, the July Challenge is for anyone interested in joining CentSports as my referral. The referral [aka crony] that has the highest balance at the end of the month will win the net amount of my July wagers. Seven readers have taken me up on this contest so far.

If you decide to join the challenge be sure to accept my friend request so I can easily track everyone in the challenge. Good luck everyone!

Monday, June 30, 2008

OMG! Late fees

During the last two weeks I have been dinged for $69.00 in late fees and I'm mad! I received three $10.00 late fees from my insurance company. I have two policies [auto and home] and for some reason they billed me three times. I guess the third one had something to do with the purchase of the minivan. What makes me so mad about these three fees is I had gone online in May and setup automatic payments from my checking account. The insurance company allows me to split my semi annual premiums into smaller chunks but the have a service charge unless you setup automatic debits...so I play their game and setup automatic debits. Now I have bigger and better fees.

The other late fee was on a credit card and was our fault because we must have missed placed the bill so it didn't get paid. Usually I setup a payment through my credit union's billpay service when I receive a bill even if I don't want to pay it until a latter date [like payday]. Some how it was lost even before I had a chance to add it to the billpay service. Dang it!

What am I going to do about these fees? I'm going to ask for them back. I'm hoping that the credit card company sees me as a good customer and will waive this fee for me. The insurance company will receive scathing barbs and condescending lecturing as well as threats to take my business elsewhere. Which I just might do anyway.

How am I going to avoid these fees in the future? I'm going to setup a recurring minimum payment for the credit card through the billpay service. With the insurance payment I'm going to trust [hope] that they will process my automatic debit correctly after I berate them profusely. I have also setup recurring payments for my mortgage and auto loans just to be safe.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Moola v CentSports update

I've been spending way more time with making bets with CentsSports. My biggest win was a bet on the Netherlands v Romania game. I followed my son's advice [he's a huge Netherlands fan] and bet big [$0.75] on the Netherlands who were +200 on a moneyline bet. With the 25% from an advertiser I won a whooping $1.875. I learned later that he only bet $0.40 and didn't receive an advertiser bonus so he only won $0.80.

I did have a nice run of wins on Moola. I won six games in a row and pushed my play account to new heights. But then I lost, such is the life of a Moola player. I fortunately didn't wager everything when I lost so I still have a little bit in the play account. My savings account balance is $1.18. I transfer a penny here and a penny there depending on my play account balance.

Moola is offering a startup of $0.32 for new members so now is a good time to join. If you join through a link in this post I also receive $0.32 [as you can see I could use the help. lol].

CentSports: $4.52
Moola: $0.34

Update for my CentSport Contest that ends July 31st.

E $4.86
D $0.10
J $0.10
R $0.10

Since the last update E has more than doubled his money. While the other three have yet to win a wager. I wish them better [pun alert] luck on their future bets.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Used vehicle purchase...

...or should I say combat. As I noted in a prior post we have purchased a used mini van. It is a silver 2004 Mercury Monterey with about 48,000 miles on it. It rides very smooth and the seats are comfortable. Overall we like it but being a mini van it uses a fair amount of gas so it isn't going to be our primary vehicle. The primary vehicle will remain the 300M that I usually drive.

Back to the purchase.

We got sucked in by one of the local dealer's [here forth known as HZ] promotions on used cars. [Mistake number 1] On the car lot we talked with Sales Guy about the promotion, it became clear that it would not be very likely that the price range that we were working with would allow us to take advantage of promotion. We didn't leave. [Mistake number 2] So we began looking, with some insignificant assistance from Sales Guy, at the mini vans that HZ had in stock. After some discussions on price, model year and features we decided to take a test drive.

While driving we stopped in the parking lot where I work and did a through examination of the van. [Winning move 1] We found several items that we want taken care of if we decided to buy. We also found the original window sticker. I called The Daughter with my cell phone and had her go to NADA's web site and run a value on a Monterey with the features and mileage adjustments that were appropriate. [Winning move 2] The value was pretty much in line with what HZ was trying to sell it for. Sales Guy also let it slip that the van has been on their books for five months. Whoops, advantage Me.

We went inside the negotiation combat arena [aka sales office] and began to discuss the price and items that we wanted fixed. Of course Sales Guy has no actual ability to set a price so we had to wait around as our offers were relayed back and forth to Sales Manger [manager]. This lead to some confusion between the front man and the guy making the decisions. When Sales Manger made an offer that was higher than an offer that Sales Guy had previously offered it got a little ugly and we made our move to leave. [Winning move 3]

Our move to leave created panic in both Sales Guy and Sales Manger and they were forced to meet our last offer. The Monterey should be a good vehicle to use when we return to Myrtle Beach next spring. And The Daughter now can use the 1998 Pontiac Montana as her vehicle, although I still own it.

I have not used actual name to protect the ???innocent??? Manger was an intentional spelling. I thought it was a little bit funny.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Anyone else still using Spottt?

As I was doing my daily EntreCard drops I noticed one of my ads but it wasn't part of the Entrecard widget. It was part of the Spottt widget. Strange. Ok it is only strange because I have not taken the time to remove myself from the service and eradicate the code from my blogs and web sites.

So I decided to investigate my statistics through the Spottt network. In the last 30 days I averaged over 2,000 impressions per ad. Not bad. However I averaged 3.5 clicks. Not very good.

I can update my ads so they are more interesting and potentially will earn more clicks or I can call Spottt a waste of ad space and quit using them.

Back to the title of this post....Is anyone still using Spottt? Let me know.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

My CentSports Contest

So I have four people that have become my cronies and are automatically entered into my CentSports contest. One has done okay, one has not had good luck and the other two have yet to post a wager.

The crony with the most winnings on July 31st will win all of my net winnings for the month of July. It could be a little or a lot. It depends on my ability at making winning wagers and the money I have available to make wagers with. So the more cronies the more potential winnings will be available for a prize.

The current leaderboard:

E: $2.34
R: $0.10
J: $0.00
D: $0.00

I've just used my cronies' first initial for the sake of privacy. I'll add initials as needed to differentiate them. It is not to late to join in the CentSports contest. As you can see the lead is not huge so anyone could win this one.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Moola v CentSports - the Great Online Wagering Challenge

This month's challenge will be Moola v CentSports v Metal Detector. Again I will be rooting for the underdog [the metal detector]. As I tend to lose quite a bit on Moola I will only be counting money that I move into the Moola savings account. CentSports doesn't have a savings account so I will have to take the prior month ending balance and deduct that from the June balance. I suppose I could end up negative using that method but what the heck. It could mean that the metal detector has a chance at second place.

Totals through June 5th:
Moola: $0.11
CentSports: $0.11
Metal Detector: $0.00

Well this is kind of interesting, Moola and CentSports are tied five days into the month. It will be fun to watch this match up.

Anyone who does not have an account with either of these web sites has the opportunity to join as my referral and affect the outcome of this month's challenge. Both web sites give you the money to wager and they even give you more if you lose it all. So come on and join the fun.

Of my current referrals only my son has earned more than me on CentSports. Which gives me an idea for July. A CentSports' Referral Challenge. I will give all of my July CentSports earnings to the crony [referral] who has the highest total in their account on July 31st. The amount could be pretty big if I get a bunch of referrals. As of right now I have three cronies so good luck to all of you and anyone else who joins between now and July 31st.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

May challenge's final numbers

Project Wonderful was leading about half way through the month but in a late month surge Adsense had a huge push and came out the winner. Once again the metal detector was slow getting on the board and once again it did it not have a good showing [$0.01]. Total earnings from the metal detector is $0.11, a long way from paying for itself.

I biked down to a nearby park with the metal detector in its bag slung over my back. I spent about 30 minutes searching the sand in the playground and discovered a penny. I would have been better off spending that time playing some games at Moola.

The final numbers for the three income sources in the May challenge are:

Adsense: $2.95
Project Wonderful: $1.96
Metal Detector: $0.01
Total: $4.92

Monday, June 2, 2008

Dockers Contest

The Dockers contest is an opportunity for individuals to come up with a story about their Dockers and submit a video based on the story to NBC.

Here is the story about a day in the life of my favorite pants. It is first person as the pants.

I hang here by my cuffs in the dark. I know that at some point the sun will rise and my owner will wander over to the closet where I live and open the bi fold door that keeps me safe from the mean mean world in which we reside. If he decides to pick me from the array of clothing in the closet I will be flung around and his legs will slide down and out of the cuffs that I had been hanging from. A belt will circle around my waist and become strung around the loops to hold me in place. Socks will snuggle up to my cuffs and my cuffs will feel that the hangings was well worth the effort.

I hope that it is nice and sunny outside. I hate the cold and rain. I usually only spend a few minutes a day outside which is nice in the long cold winter here in Michigan. After the journey by car to my master's place of work I enjoy the day sitting on his comfortable chair. Another wonderful day out of the closet! Sadly at some point I must return to the darkness hanging by my cuffs.


240x180
Well that's my pants story for the Dockers contest.
Sponsored by Dockers

Thursday, May 29, 2008

I'm helping the economy

Not that I really want to spend all the money I've been spending. Here is the list:

  • New driveway
  • New pool liner
  • used mini van
Those are the items we have done already. The driveway was graded toward the house and we usually had water in the basement after a hard rain. The new driveway has corrected the problem. The pool liner was continually springing leaks so out with the old in with the new liner. We also purchased an additional mini van. The purpose for the mini van is two fold, one purpose being we can use the existing van for the kids to drive, and two we want to have a newer van for our return trip to Myrtle Beach next year. Okay, the van is a luxury.

Here is the list of items we might be doing:
  • Possibly a new drain field for the septic system
  • fix the water softener's plumbing
  • new flooring and cabinet for the bathroom in the basement
  • new wallpaper for the kitchen
The drain field would be a big one with no option but to bite the bullet and do it. I hope we don't have to replace the old drain field The other three should be smaller expenditures that we can do out of our savings.

To pay for the big items [but not the van] we refinanced the house and took a some money out of the equity. The good news with the refi is we now have a lower interest rate and if we keep paying the amount we had been paying it will be paid off pretty close to the same time that the original loan had been estimated to pay off. The van we financed through the credit union. More on the van purchase at some later date.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

To delete or not to delete - comments

My last post received a comment. I don't get a lot of comments but from time to time some makes the effort to type a comment. I'm excited to see a comment and quickly click to read the entry. This particular entry is a long advertisement of a money making scheme that I personally would not try. It requires a $20.00 purchase of marketing materials which is a red flag for me. I would be interested to hear from the blogosphere how many bloggers would remove the comment.

Friday, May 23, 2008

My first winning wager on CentSports

The parlay bet I made a couple of days ago on CentSports was a loser. I got the Giants as winners but the Tampa Bay Rays were clobbered by the Oakland A's. So once again my kind friends at CentSports gave my $0.10 with which to wager.

I decided to go back and pick the Pistons again. I know Boston was undefeated on their own floor in the post season at the time. Probably not a good time to pick the Pistons but I did...and they won. With my $0.10 bet I won $0.1739 for an account balance of $0.2739. My current win percentage is 33% and I'm feeling pretty good. My bets for today are the Spurs plus the points for $0.17 to win $0.1996 and another baseball parlay with the Angels and the Red Sox winning. My $0.10 wager would win me $0.2941. My account, if both wagers are won, will be $.7676.

Something kinda weird with CentSports. I invited my son to be my crony and he signed up and made a wager and now CentSports doesn't recognize his email address and he can't log in to the web site. I can see him in my friends list [he lost his wager by the way]. I may send him another invite and see how that works.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

EntreCard contest winner

Earlier this week I wrote a post about EntreCard's new features. Part of the fanfare for these new features were a couple of contests. Well guess what, I actually won one of them!!! Yesterday I received an email letting me know that 2,000 EC's were transfered into my account with the description of contest.

Now I get to decide how to use them. Recently I have been doing a little bit of carpet bombing with my EntreCard advertising. I've be selecting a low minimum and advertising until my EC's ran out. It is kinda fun. Although I tend to have a bunch of EC's tied up waiting for other bloggers to approve my ads.

It is to bad that I didn't win the big prize but I am happy for the one that I did win.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sports betting with CentSport

First I found Moola now I've discovered CentSports... online gambling has never been so free! Just like Moola, CentSports gives you money to gamble. Moola starts you out with $.01 and CentSports starts you out with $0.10 and in both cases if you lose all your money they give you more. As a matter of fact neither site allows you to add money to your account. You can, however, recruit your friends, family, random strangers and your blog's readers to become your "cronies" and if your CentSports "cronies" make a winning bet you benefit as well. To the tune of 5%. The site is supported with advertising which is just like Moola.

You can bet on NBA, NHL, MLB, UFC, AFL and a variety of soccer matches. There are spread, over & under and moneyline wagers. And you can select multiple games for a parlay bet.

My first wager was last night and I selected the Pistons to cover the spread. Bad pick. Not only did they not cover the spread they lost the game. So now I have a new dime to work with. I placed a parlay bet on two baseball games tonight. I'm betting $0.10 to win $0.4302...go Tampa Bay and San Francisco!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cool new features at EntreCard

I logged into EnterCard this morning before checking my email and noticed a new tab for Linked Blogs on the dashboard. Well I went ahead and click the tab to check it out. I discovered that EntreCard now has a feature where you can link two or more of your blogs together. With this feature you can easily switch between blogs without going through the logout and log back in process. You can also transfer ECs back and forth between blogs without limits.

This new functionality made me think that it was time to add a third blog to my EntreCard portfolio. I had just added this blog on May 5th and have seen dramatic traffic increases just as I did with America's Beach Bum. So this morning I've added PSX Gamer and linked ABB and Income Alternatives. It should help streamline my EC dropping.

Also new is EntreCard's E-Book, which I'm looking forward to reading. It looks like it will walk the reader from phases noobie through expert. My quick peak indicated screenshots and how-to's.

EntreCard also has a couple of contests going on. Check out the details.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Challenge update - May 2008

Project Wonderful has been doing well compared to the other two competitors. As we have hit the half way mark for may the totals are as follows.

Project Wonderful: $0.75
Adsense: $0.22
Metal Detector: $0.00

I hope to hit the sand this weekend and breakout the metal detector. Hopefully I'll have better luck with it than last time.

I also plan to ad more Project Wonderful ad boxes to my vast web empire. This should give the Project Wonderful revenue a little bit of a boost. I may drop a Adsense ad here and there as well.

In other news I'm trying to get www.michiganbeachbum.net up and running on my brother's server. He doesn't have a static IP and he is running other applications on it so it can be a challenge. The Beach_Guy has made several posts to it and I'm going to add to revenue sources to the WordPress installation and it should be good to go.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I Signed up for SocialSpark


Well I was given the go ahead from SocialSpark to accept opportunities. Pretty exciting. SocialSpark allows blogger to make money by either posting for pay or accepting sponsorships. These are called opportunities for which your blog must be qualified to be accepted.

Once accepted for a pay for post opportunity you have a deadline to meet. As long as you meet the deadline, fulfill the opportunities requirements and adhere to SocialSpark's Code of Ethics you will be paid. The Code of Ethics are:

  • 100% Audit-able In-Post Disclosure
  • 100% Transparency
  • 100% Real Opinions
  • 100% Search Engine Friendly
As this post is my first accepted opportunity I am trying to figure out how to comply with the Code of Ethics. Okay retract that last statement. I just clicked on the opportunity reserved link and the next paged answered my questions. The next page gave me the requirements again as well as the html code to put at the end of my post. There is also some fields that must be completed once I've finished posting. They include which blog, the individual page and the post title.

As you can see from the image I hope to make $5.50 from this post with an outside chance to earn a $100.00 bonus if the powers that be at SocialSpark deem this post to be exceptional. I won't hold my breath but I can hope they will grant at least a portion of the bonus.

I've reached the required word count. I copied my post into MS Word and did a Word Count through Tools since I'm not aware of Blogger having word count capabilities.

I fully expect SocialSpark to be my most lucrative revenue source this month. Sorry to say that my other revenue sources are not that great.

Sponsored by SocialSpark

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

My EntreCard dropping process

While dropping EntreCards a couple of weeks ago I came across a poll on someones blog asking EntreCarders what is their method of dropping EntreCards. So that gave me the idea to share my method.

I have two EntreCard accounts. I log in to one and click the left most EntreCard on my dashboard screen. I click through to that web site and make my drop. I then follow the EntreCard on the widget to surf to the next next blog and make a drop on that site. I continue to surf through and drop until I hit a dead end like a blog that I have already dropped on. While I'm surfing the EntreCard widgets I open new tabs in Firefox with each new blog and close the tabs that I've already made drops. I leave the original tab open so I can return to my dashboard and click the next EntreCard moving left to right. Sometimes I have eight or so tabs loading new pages or waiting for me to drop and close.

I like FireFox for this because it opens the new tab to the right of the existing tabs. Internet Explorer opens the new tab to the right of the tab that I'm opening the new tab from. It isn't as efficient as Firefox

After running through all the EntreCards on the top of my dashboard I then start visiting the EntreCards in my widgets queue. That's my way of saying thanks for advertising with me. At that point I'll log out of one account and log into the other and start the process all over again.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Giving SocialSpark a try

Well after the Smorty denial I thought that I would give SocialSpark a try. I created an account and inserted their code into this blog and now I wait for them to approve me.

Why am I trying to get a SocialSpark account? Well I clicked on a link for SocialCardsters under a EntreCard drop zone while doing my daily drops. This led me to a page where I learned about SocialSpark, which is kinda like Smorty, but more on what SocialSpark is and does later [if I get accepted!!!]

I setup the account last week and have neither be accepted nor rejected so far. I'm wondering if I missed a step along the way. So I've opened a support ticket with them to find out what's up.

May Adsense vs Project Wonderful vs metal detector Challenge update:
Project Wonderful: $0.32
Adsense: $0.00
metal detector: $0.00

Not a good month so far. But I came up with an interesting idea for June's challenge. Stay tuned for more information.

Monday, May 5, 2008

April 2008 Traffic Report

I set records for web traffic on this blog, America's Beach Bum [ABB], and PSX Gamer. In addition to the records ABB broke the 1000 visitor mark in April. Go Surfin' Sid!!!

New Records:
America's Beach Bum 1073
Income Alternatives 118
PSX Gamer 48

Total traffic across all web sites: 1265
Last month's traffic across all web sites: 962
That translates to a 303 visitor increase month to month.

In an effort to increase traffic to this web site I have setup a second EntreCard account. Notice the Blog of the Day topping the sidebar. I have also added an ad to Project Wonderful for this blog. I occasionally capture a visit through Project Wonderful. I can usually find an ad box where I can advertise for free if I look hard enough.

Friday, May 2, 2008

April Challenge Wrapup

April's challenge was Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs metal Detector. Poor metal detector. I only used it once and found a dime. I think that I will keep the metal detector in the mix for May's Income Challenge. I won't have time this weekend to use it because of our driveway replacement project but hopefully soon. Maybe it will break the ten cent record that it set in April.

Adsense was the easy winner over ADSDAQ and the metal detector.

Final results:
Adsense: $2.83
ADSDAQ: $.64
Metal detector: $.10

The challenge for May will be Adsense vs Project Wonderful vs metal detector. I think that Project Wonderful has a good chance of winning but I'm rooting for the metal detector. The main reason I'm rooting for the metal detector is that I actually spent money on it.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Saving and making money on vacation

As you may know over spring break we went to Myrtle Beach and stayed at the Marriott OceanWatch Villas. The villa's floor plan was wonderful. It had a kitchen, dining area, living room, master bedroom with a master bath and another bedroom with 2 queen size beds that attached to a bathroom. The balcony overlooked both the pool and the beach. It was a spectacular view. This was courtesy of my Step-Mother who owns several timeshare weeks through Marriott. We were asked to pay her annual maintenance fee for the week.

Estimated savings for the accommodations: $400.00

During the trip to and from Myrtle Beach we stayed at a Fairfield Inn. I used some rewards points from my Marriott Rewards Card to get a free room each way. The night going down we had a fairly nice room. However the night heading home the room was not good at all. That is all I'm going to say here. Marriott has been properly admonished for the quality of that room.

Savings for the travel accommodations: $218.00

We ate all of our meals at the villa while in Myrtle Beach. We had planned on going out one night to a seafood buffet but I called several restaurants and asked how much their buffet cost. The average was $23.50. For six people we were looking at $141.00. We decided to ask everyone what their favorite meat based meal was and headed to the store. That evening's dinner prepared back at the resort came to $58.26. I had steak cooked on the grill. mmmm good. Groceries were about $300.00 the estimate for eating out [breakfast $90.00, lunch $165.00, dinner $285.00]

Estimated savings from eating in instead of out for the entire week: $240.00

Most of the grocery shopping was done at a very conveniently located Kroger. The first day in Myrtle Beach we went grocery shopping and noticed that quite a few sale items need a preferred customer card in order to receive the sale price. So I went to the service desk and asked how to obtain a card. They gave me a visitors version of the card to use while in town.

Savings just for asking for the card: $31.18

We were curious how much a Marriott timeshare costs so we decided to spend 90 minutes and listen to the sales pitch. A perk to listening to the sales pitch was a $75.00 gift certificate for some local restaurants. After setting up the appointment and arriving for the sales meeting we were told that since we were staying on the property already that they had upgraded our gift to $100 in Visa gift cards. Cool!

Earnings for attending the timeshare sales appointment: $100.00

Total "income" for the week: $989.18. Wow that number is a shocker. I'm pleasantly surprised by how high it is.

Monday, April 28, 2008

My Moola update from the weekend

I had a pretty good run on Friday and Saturday on Moola. I had run my total up to $.16 and then went on a losing streak. After my 4 game skid I recovered and won a couple. Fortunately I had played a bunch of games at a lower lit evel so I wasn't totally busted. That is until I busted on Sunday morning [I played some games before getting ready for church. Maybe it was Karma saying I shouldn't play on Sunday.] Sunday afternoon I won two in a row and went to play a third game which I also won but on the screen that shows the results of the game I noticed that I had only won $.01 when I was expecting to win $.04. Apparently if you don't change the settings Moola will look for opponents at the level you select and will work down levels until it finds an opponent willing to play you.

I decided that when Moola does this I'll move some of those winnings to the savings account. Especially when the winnings are only $.01. Warning!!! When you move money into the savings account you can't move it back to the play account.

Of the three games I seem to have a better head for Gold Rush. Although I still have more than my fair share of losses in that game. I also play a lot of the Hi/Lo card game. I hate the rock-paper-scissor game and have only played it once.

Money in my Moola savings account: $.01

Friday, April 25, 2008

Making moola at Moola

Yesterday while I was dropping EntreCards like a wild man I read a blog post about Moola. Apparently you can play games against other Moola users and win money from the other users. Of course you can also lose money to other users. Moola starts you out with a penny and you play double or nothing until you either win millions of dollars or lose it all. If/when you lose don't worry. Moola will give you another penny to start over with. The cost to you for receiving all these pennies is you are forced to watch an ad before each game that you play.

Right now Moola has three different games. The first one that I played was Hi/Low. This is a card game where you guess if the next card is higher or lower than the current card. Each time that you are wrong you lose a life. The player that has the most cards when all their lives are gone wins. You can use a life to lock your position. This is important because when you are wrong you go back to the beginning or to the last point where you locked.

I lost my first 6 games that I played. Currently I am on a 2 game winning streak so I have $.04 in my account. If I win my next game I will have $.08. Of course if I lose I will start over with a penny.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

April 23 Challenge Results

As I take another look at the Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs metal detector challenge it looks like Adsense has a commanding lead that won't be overtaken. I have been to busy with projects around the house and my QuickBooks class at the community college to breakout the metal detector since spring break in Myrtle Beach. So the metal detector's failings have been due to my lack of time to go searching for treasure.

Month to date results
Adsense: $1.86
ADSDAQ: $.38
Metal detector: $.10
Total: $2.34

I'm thinking that Adsense will accept the challenge of Project Wonderful in May. So far Project Wonderful has earned $.38 through four ad boxes. But the earnings are getting stronger as time goes by.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

A Lesson Learned from Smorty

My application for Smorty was declined due to my Google PageRank and the number of indexed pages. I was kinda anticipating this type of response. The good news is that I learned something from this experience.

I logged into Google's Webmaster's tools and looked at this blog's sitemap information and saw that only 18 URLs were indexed. So I resubmitted my sitemap. I'm guessing that you should do this periodically to assure that your new posts get indexed by Google. Good lesson learned. Now all I have to do is increase my PageRank.

Oh and by the way that sure was a fast rejection from Smorty!!!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Metal detector gets on the board

In the Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs Metal Detector Challenge the metal detector is on the board with $.10. After digging up 4 paper clips, some scrap metal, 2 rusty nails and a razor blade on the beach in front of the Marriott OceanWatch Villas in Myrtle Beach I discovered a metal washer.

At this point I was getting ready to call it quits because the sun was down and I was working by the light coming off the resort. I began heading towards the wooden ramp back up to the resort while swinging the metal detector back and forth and received an indication of metal in the sand. I started digging and felt a round piece of metal about 2 inches down as I pulled it from the sand and looked at it in the dim light I thought that I had plucked a long lost penny from the sugar sands of Myrtle Beach. I later discovered that it was actually a dime once I was in proper lighting.

So what are all the totals?
Adsense: $.35
ADSDAQ: $.17
Metal detector: $.10
All three: $.62

Monday, April 14, 2008

The Project Wonderful Experience

Right now I'm a couple of weeks into the Project Wonderful Experience. The way that Project Wonderful works is you create ad boxes on your web site and then advertisers will bid on the boxes. The highest bid wins and your account is credited after the ad has been displayed for a day. Instead of the typical cost per click or cost per impression paradigms, Project Wonderful works on a cost per day basis.

Right now I have ad boxes on ABB and on the bottom of this site. The most that anyone has bid on my ad boxes has been $.02. Alas, not big money....it seems like what ever I try it never is.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Month to date results

So far in the Adsense vs. ADSDAQ vs. metal detector April earnings challenge the leader is....Adsense with 16 cents. ADSDAQ is in second with 6 cents and the metal detector has yet to get on the board.

Admittedly, Adsense has a bit of an advantage because I have more of their ads on more of my websites. I will be expanding the number of ADSDAQ ads during the course of the month so I expect the results to become very competitive.

The plan for my next post is a look into my Project Wonderful experience

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Virgle???

Did you ever want to be a pioneer??? In outer space???? Well Virgle might be for you. How would like to be one of the first to live on Virgin & Google's Mars colony? Virgle is a joint partnership between these two companies that will attempt to colonize Mars. What a grand plan. An epic endeavor. Virgle is now hiring so if you think that you have the heart and foresite to join the other worldly crew now is the time to get in the ground floor.

All of you Scifi lovers must be going crazy at the possibility of an extraterrestrial job. To bad that the Virgle project is not real just another April Fool's Joke played on all of us poor Earth bound humans. What a pity.

I made the drop goal of 100

115 drops. 5 over the goal. But came up short of getting 1000 visits in March. Bummer. I had 879. Still a record which is cool. EntreCard has given me more traffic and I have visited a ton of cool sites. I have also visited a bunch of crap sites. I guess I have to take the good with the bad. Such is life.

The metal detector that I ordered arrived today. The box was kind of small so I was a little worried about the quality of the metal detector. I put it together and determined that the tube between the disk and the handle seemed a little cheap. It went togther very easily and I tested it out with some coins and jewelry. It did the job.

Now I'm going to have a money making challenge, it will be Adsense vs ADSDAQ vs metal detector for the month of April. It should be a good one.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Another one day goal

Today's goal is to drop 110 EntreCards. I'm hoping this drop frenzy will drive reciprical drops to ABB so I can end the month with over 1000 visits. I already have an all time high in visits but 1000 visits would be sooooooo cool. If you have nothing better to do click the link and visit America's Beach Bum and help me drive my traffic to new highs.

Right now I'm at 846 visits so 1000 might be a bit optimistic.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Mechanical Turk payout

Ok I know that I said that I was saving my MTurk earnings for a scanner but since the family is going on vacation to Myrtle Beach I decided to buy a Metal Detector with the income instead. I transfered the $39.07 that I had earned through MTurk into an Amazon gift certificate and purchased the metal detector that you see here. So I paid a little bit more than what I transfered into my Amazon gift certificate I considered that extra cash birthday money. I don't know a lot about metal detectors but this one looked like a good deal plus it fit my budget.

I hope that I can leverage this purchase into another source of income. It probably won't be huge but so far my web empire has not brought me great wealth either. Maybe someday.

Oh and by the way, yes I have an Amazon Affiliate account. So if someone out there in the world clicks on the advertisement in this post and actually buys a the metal detector I'll make a little bit of money. I'll post if someone does.

One Day EntreCard Goal and more

Yesterday I set a goal to make 100 EntreCard drops. It took some time to accomplish [hey I'm a busy guy] but I did it. My total for yesterday was 101. Yeaaaaaa! So far today I have 51, but I don't think that I will get back to 100 today. I figure getting a post out is more important.

It also occurred to me that I need the home page of America's Beach Bum to have content that changes. Right now I'm thinking that I'll have static info about the site and content that I've recently created. Which means that I will need to create content. lol.

I'm giving ADSDAQ a try. ADSDAQ allows publishers to sell advertising space on their site and set their own price. It is a pay per impression format instead of a pay per click format like Google's Adsense. Right now I'm offering space at $.90 per 1000 impressions for America's Beach Bum and $.75 per 1000 impressions for PSX Gamer. I have been running ads through ADSDAQ for a little over a week and have earned a whopping $.24. If there are no takers for my space on ABB it falls back to Adsense. At PSX Gamer it falls back to public service ads.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The response from EntreCard support.

Ok call me an EntreCard Noob. Here what EC support had to say to my inquiry.

"Actually, the current economy model maintains that members receive 25% of the credits it costs to advertise on their blog, and the other 75% of the credits get cleared out of the system to prevent inflation. Hope this helps. We double checked your account and you've been credited properly. Also please note that when someone applies to advertise on your site, they "lock in" the price. "

Good to know so I thought that I would pass it on to anyone who didn't know.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Trying to increase traffic

In an attempt to increase traffic to America's Beach Bum I joined EntreCard and Spottt. Entrecard is hands down a better source of traffic but it also a lot more work.

MiLan's Blog has a good explanation of how EntreCard works. The work on my part comes from doing the drops. It is hard for me to get more than 50 drops done in a day. But my traffic has increase substantially. I have dropped 985 times and received 571 drops. The EntreCard dashboard claims that I have earned 490 credits from ads. The most that has been credited to my account is 10 credits for an ad. EntreCard support has been contacted and they will hopefully fix the problem and credit my account for the missing credits.

I like the traffic from EntreCard so I'll keep dropping for now.

Spottt on the other hand is no work after the initial setup, but the traffic is very little. As you can see I have added a 125X125 spottt on this blog. According to the Spottt stats on this site I had one visit from 626 impressions since March 20th. Not a great start. America's Beach Bum site has had 16 visits from 5,608 impressions in the last 30 days.

The Spotts visits/impressions results are:
Income Alternatives: .1597%
America's Beach Bum: .2853%

Not to impressive. But I will stick it out for a little while.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Great Carpet Arbitrage

To get caught up read the post titled My Carpet Arbitrage.

A couple of days ago I paid off the outstanding balance of the zero percent financing that I was using for my arbitrage. I was taking the money that I was paying 0.00% interest and investing in certificates of deposit that were paying 5.25%. This earned $186.17 over 12 months. I then moved the money into my eTrade savings account that was earning 4.40%. This earned an additional $30.22 in interest. So my total earnings through the arbitrage was $216.39. This is a little bit less than the $218.43 that I originally calculated. Pretty close considering the dropping rate environment.

I've been toying with EntreCard and Spottt over on America's Beach Bum [also know as ABB]to increase traffic so far so good. I'm expecting a record month in visits over at ABB. I have already seen record days for visitors at ABB. I'll be posing a more in depth analysis in the near future.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Income updates

Still no payout from Google Adsense. I'm not even half way to getting paid. And now they have a new Terms of Service to agree to. I haven't read it yet but from what I've seen on other websites I will need to develop a Privacy Policy page for the websites that have Adsense advertising. You can check out the America's Beach Bum privacy policy and reuse it if you would like. I borrowed it [with permission] from another website and tweaked it for my site.

Earnings from MTurk have not passed $40.00 yet. Admittedly I didn't use it much in February.

Speedway Rewards Card is up over 36,000 point. I'm getting close to a $40.00 gift card to Applebees.

I haven't used the Qdoba Q-Card recently.

My carpet arbitrage is now over. I'm going to tally up the earning from it and I'll report in another post.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Back to normal [kinda]

For a while this site's side panel had been dropping to the bottom of the page. I had spent quite a bit of time and effort to correct the problem. I finally deleted this site and started over. In starting over everything was going fine until I added the FeedBurner Flare to the bottom of my posts. This recreated my problem!! I have since left it off and the site still looks good.

The dates for my posts are off due having to re-enter them. And unfortunately traffic to this site has really dropped off. I am going to try Spottt and Entrecard to increase traffic. Since using Entrecard with America's Beach Bum traffic has increased significantly. The downside to Entrecard is that you have to spend time "dropping" on other people's websites to earn credits to buy adspace. I have visited a bunch of interesting websites because of this though...I also have visited a bunch of trash too. Spottt is hardly any work at all but the traffic produced is much less.

Next post: Alternative Income updates

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Tips for running your own website

More tips for making money with a website. I had been wanting to add site maps to my Google Webmaster tools. It seemed like a lot of work and I wasn't sure that the gains would be worth the effort. Then I stumbled upon a web site that would create one for me. XML-Sitemaps offers a service that allows you to create a sitemap for free. If you have a blogspot site you can follow these instructions at bloggertricks.com. Also there are instructions for submitting a site map to Yahoo.


What does a site map do for you? A sitemap can help Google discover pages that might not otherwise be found. Once created and implemented Google will provide you with data on how your site is being crawled and indexed. I use Google Webmaster tools to track external links to my web pages and what searches list my web pages higher than other searches. Of course I can't control what people base their searches on but I can create content based on popular searches that may end up visiting my sites.

Going crazy

I've been trying to fix this blog so it will display correctly but I have not had much luck. It looks pretty good in IE but Firefox doesn't display very good at all. So yesterday I got the idea to switch from Blogger to WordPress, but I didn't fully read the TOS [terms of service]. The free hosted version of WordPress at www.wordpress.com does not allow advertising. No income!!!! No way!!!! LOL

I do like WordPress. I am running it on a server and plan on kicking off my michiganbeachbum website with WordPress.

So today I am trying to fix Bloggers code so my readers can use the browser of their choice. Not much luck so far. I did switch Blogger templates again. You can read this blog with Firefox but it didn't really fix the overall problem.

2 for 1 link offer

In an attempt to create more traffic to this website I am offering 2 links to your website if you create a link to mine. The links back to your site will be on this web site and http://www.americasbeachbum.com/. I am limiting the number to the first ten people and I will post when the max is reached.

Also if some link catches your eye don't be afraid to click it. Especially an Adsense link. :-) I could use the extra cash. As of today I still have not reached the magic amount to receive a check from Adsense. :-( I know, I'm being a little capricious.

Some updates:Not much going on at mturk.
Best Buy Rewards have saved me $38.98 between the reward coupons and free paper when you buy ink cartridges.
michiganbeachbum.com is offline temporarily until I can figure out how to get traffic to my server at home [My ISP blocks inbound traffic on ports 80 and 443].
Still trying to fix this blog so Firefox works right.

To take me up on my offer just email me at surfinsid.

Post Christmas finances

After the holidays many people find themselves burdened by new debt. Usually credit card debt which is the worst kind. So it is time to make a plan on paying off that debt asap. Remember that paying off your debt and reducing the amount of interest you pay [and any fees that might pop up along the way] is money back in your pocket.

I recommend paying as much as you can on the highest interest credit card debt and making sure that you make at least the minimum on any other debts that you have, because late fees never make sense to pay. Be pertinacious about paying off your Christmas debt because paying interest on stuff you gave away doesn't make much sense!

It is also a good time to sit down and figure out where all your hard earned money goes. I have been using Microsoft Money for the last six years and Quicken before that so I generally know where my money has gone. Before I switched jobs we use to eat out fairly frequently but now that I am earning less that was one of the areas where we cut expenses. If you are carrying a lot of Christmas debt look for areas where you can cut back. If you have ideas I would love to see them.

Don't keep up with the Joneses...ignore them.

Okay we bought our current house from, ironically, the Joneses in a fairly nice neighborhood back in 2000. They moved to a house with lake access. The temptation of owning nicer stuff surrounds me on my little street. New cars, boats, RVs and more are displayed by my neighbors. I don't know how much they make or if they make saving for retirement a priority. I imagine that they all have a higher per household income than I do. How else can they afford all that stuff that they have? An incredible amount of debt??? I secretly hope so...I hope that they are paying boatloads [pardon the pun] of interest as I struggle with making the decision not to buy the newest greatest vehicle or gadget on credit.

I try mightily to ignore their excess. I live in America so I think that all that excess should be mine. But deep down I know that I don't need all that stuff. I don't need to drink the expensive beers. I don't need the designer clothes.

Don't get me wrong I don't live a life of total restraint. I do give into an occasional material desire. I recently received some extra money in my direct deposit that I added to the money I had been saving and purchased that big TV that I wanted. No debt!!!

I don't go out for lunch except to meet friends [less than once every two months]. My lunch usually consists of a sandwich or leftovers heated in the microwave. I watch coworkers head to lunch and they enjoy a meal at a restaurant. Their meal may be more filling or taste better but I take comfort in the fact that I spend less than a dollar while they spend $5.00 to $10.00 nearly every day. Assuming that they go to lunch 220 times a year they spend about $1,100 more than I do on lunch. Seeing that number makes almost makes me laugh at those Joneses. I think that the only time not to ignore the Joneses [and I know that it is difficult] is when you find an example like them spending that much more on lunch than I do.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I Digg you ...do you Digg me?

Digg.com allows users to share interesting articles, blog entries, webpages with other people. Just visit the site and you will see newly dugg articles. If other people like the item you dugg they can digg it too.

How does that benefit a person who is blogging for money?

The quick answer is it can generate traffic. As a matter of fact it can generate a lot of traffic. My "Pay yourself first....and last" post from last week was dugg just four times but it was the highest traffic day so far for this blog. As a matter of fact it was a 41.6% over the next highest day's traffic. Ok my numbers aren't very big but to me it is still exciting.

I use FeedBurner's feedflare in my blog to make it easy for people to share my posts. Adding the feedflare code to my blog creates a set of links at the bottom of each post. The links are customizable and I picked four that I think will get a good marketing spread. Digg has been the most effective so far, although the FaceBook link has given a nice amount of traffic as well. Not as much as Digg but the traffic is all free.

Success is slow to come

My first post on this blog was October 1st so I have been at this for a little over a month. During this time I have had 102 visits. Of that 102 visits there have been 42 unique visitors. So I am getting repeat visitors which is great. In those 102 visits the average number of page views is 2.28. Not bad considering a visitor can read several articles from the main page. The average time spent on the site has been four minutes and forty-three seconds. That average is kinda skewed because one visitor on November 13th spent nearly forty minutes reading my blog. Now that is GREAT news!!!! Thanks to whomever enjoyed my blog that much!

Now you might be wondering where these statistics came from. Well I have to admit to using yet another Google product. This time it is Google Analytics. If you have an existing Google account you can easily activate this service. You then add a snippet of code to your websites and the next day log back in and you will see all kinds of traffic data for your site. Personally I love the map overlay so I can see where my visitors are coming from. Another report that I like is the traffic source detail report. This report tells me that in the last 30 days 37 of my visits came from blogger.com and 8 visits came form digg.com. Those were my top two sources.

For those of you who are trying to blog for dollars like me a little encouragement. It takes time to reach critical mass and start earning real money[I'm not there yet]. If you have a good subject and a writing style that people enjoy you can make money through blogging. It may take time and some creative marketing though.

So now my offer. My assistance in the form of links to your site. The first 5 [maybe more] people who leave a comment or email me and are willing to throw up a link to one of my sites I will put links on 2 of my sites back to yours. That's a 2 for 1 deal. I have six sites that I am semi-actively working right now. Links can be important to Google's PageRank system if done right.
An up coming post topic will be about the PageRank system. I just need to do some more research first.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pay yourself first....and last

Of course most of us have heard the advice to pay yourself first by either investing in a retirement plan like a 401K or depositing into a savings account. Obviously this is great advice. Putting aside money for retirement is important to everyone because God willing most of us will have the opportunity to retire and it would be nice to have enough money set aside to enjoy that time of our lives.

Setting money aside in a rainy day fund can help you avoid overusing credit cards or other types of debt. Recently I received an email from Discount Tire offering a free tire rotation which seemed like a good idea as to not over wear the tires on the minivan. While waiting for the rotation to be completed I was called to the counter and the young man working on my van asked me to follow him into the bay where the van was hoisted up. He showed me where two of the tires had worn enough that portions of the steel belts could be seen poking through the rubber. Not good. And not cheap. Three of the four tires had more wear than what was safe. And with the van safety is a big concern because it is the only vehicle we allow my daughter to drive. So I reluctantly purchased a new set of tires. My reluctance earned me a lower price by about $70.00 but even so my bill was just over $400.00. Fortunately my rainy day fund was ready for this down pour and I won't be paying a bank interest for this purchase.

A special savings account for larger purchases can save you interest payments. But in America most people have a propensity to use credit, they want that instantaneous gratification of purchasing that new gadget, house or car. I have wanted a new TV for the rec room in the basement. You know the one: 40 inches, LCD, HDTV, incredibly crisp resolution, connected to the newest components. I have been wanting one since the new couch for the rec room arrived. I have the money in my rainy day fund so I wouldn't even have to pay interest. But I won't raid that fund. I have set a goal instead to save enough to purchase the TV. It will take a little while more but that's OK with me.

Now on to paying myself last. On payday I receive my direct deposit into my checking account. I then make a transfer from my checking account to my money market account leaving a set amount in the checking. What this does is it sweeps both the portion of my pay that I'm saving and the remains of the prior two weeks set amount. So if I have $50.00 left over from the prior payday that $50.00 goes with the amount that I normally save. There are times that I have not balanced my checkbook and need to transfer money back into the checking but overall it accelerates my savings process.

Video & Adsense

I was logged into my Adsense account and was disappointed with the results so far. I'm not earning much at all. Probably because the visits to my sites have not exploded yet. One day they will. At least I hope that they will.

While I was logged into Adsense I was browsing the different options and saw an option to include video units as part of my advertising mix. Clicking on the video units option I discovered that you need to have a YouTube account. Fortunately I already had one and so I linked it to my Adsense account. The linking included me typing in my Adsense account email address, part of my phone number and my zip code.

I was then taken to an options page in YouTube. It was a pretty seamless hand off from Google to YouTube, no user name and password to type in. And I can hop back and forth between the two accounts pretty easily.

On the edit Adsense player page [on the YouTube site] I entered the player name [America's Beach Bum], selected a color scheme, and entered some content keywords and voila! HTML code is created that you can cut and paste into a web page.

You can see an example at America's Beach Bum.

My assumption is that a visitor must click on one of the ads on the player for you to earn anything. Initially I thought that I might earn $$$ if someone played a video but I don't think that is true. If you know otherwise post a comment.