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Conquered my Mini-Challenge

If you only learn one thing from this blog, let it be this: You CAN make money blogging in less than ten days. The mini-challenge involved making a profit (however small) from a brand-new blog in ten days or less. I researched, created, and got my blog indexed in six hours. I was simply testing the waters. I KNOW that you can too!

Bonus: The website I researched and created for my mother ranked #2 out of over 20 million on Google today. I never submitted the site to search engines or promoted links to it in any way. We had no idea the search engines "knew" it existed, for lack of better description.

*Market Research

...those are the basic keys to internet marketing success. Those things performed in that order are so effective (and simple) that it's scary!

If shameless gloating offends you, please do not read this post :)

As you know, my mini-challenge began today. I created a website today on a popular topic, wrote one article, and did some social bookmarking. In less than 45 minutes I ranked #11 for the phrase on Google. For the broad search I ranked #21. Now for the traffic.

How is everyone else doing?

*New Mini-Challenge*...Wanna Join?

I have a "fantabulous" idea! Some of my visitors who are new to internet marketing expressed concern over how to actually get started. I posted a step-by-step intro to internet markteting, but some felt it was too time consuming for absolute beginners. Reading over the post, I can see how it may have overwhelmed some of you!

I propose that we start even smaller. How would you like to see some cash flow in ten days or less? If you haven't joined the famed "Thirty Day Challenge," (or even if you have) why not join the "10 Day Niche Blog Challenge?"

The objective is to create a blog on any niche of your choice and gain a profit from it all in ten days. Any takers?


The 30 Day Challenge

I signed up to follow and participate in the 30 Day Challege at the end of July. I haven't really been able to follow it the way I want to due to my computer's slow download capabilities. I'm forever grateful to those who provide a day by day summary of the lessons, but I feel as if I'm not receiving the full benefit of this experience. Is anyone else having trouble downloading the podcasts and videos?


Freelance writing for the Internet can be your ticket to success

I began freelance writing in earnest in the summer of 2005. I strategically designed query letters, subscribed to numerous print magazines, and learned the names of magazine editors by heart. I polished my article ideas, sent out the above mentioned query letters, and eagerly awaited acceptance letters. They never came.

It goes without saying that I was greatly disheartened. I had done everything by the book and had absolutely no results. Being the ever impatient person that I am, I decided to seek out other ways of earning an income writing. It was at this time that I was introduced to web writing.

I wasn't extremely optimistic, but didn't exactly have much to lose. I devoured freelance writing and work-from-home forums. I felt enough confidence in myself to take the next step. I gathered the names of various ezines and developed query letters.

One of the great things about web writing is the rapid response you get from editors. You don't have to worry about remaining a starving artist from buying all of those magazine copies. Back issues are usually online just waiting for you to view them. They don't often pay as much per word as their glossy counterparts, but ezines are typically less competitive and offer a nice per-word-rate.

How you can get started:

Decide what type of writing you want to do (web writing has many facets, including, SEO content writing, PR freelancing, website copywriting, article marketing, and more)

Google the phrase "ezine directory," or similar.

Make a note of the internet magazines you are interested in writing for, their rate of pay, special instructions, contacts, etc.

Read over some of their previous published material to find out what tone of writing the editors prefer.

Write out those query letters! You will find many online resources dedicated to this topic. My only advice is to K.I.S.S. (keep it short & simple). Email makes the ezine world move much faster, which means editors don't have the time to read an overly-detailed query. Spare them and yourself the trouble. You can find a good email query letter template on Anne Wayman's site.

As the Nike commercial says, "Just do it." Create a plan and jump in. If you need more help getting started with freelance writing, online and off, you should really read Anne Wayman's ebook, Getting Started With Profitable Freelance Writing. She has a wealth of experience and her advice has gotten me more than a few freelance writing jobs.


How Get-Paid-To programs can be easy money

As everyone knows, I've decided to try my hand at making money online. I was reintroduced to GPT programs and I must say that I really like them. They won't make you rich, but they'll provide some extra money for household and business expenses.

Currently, the only Get-Paid-To programs I can recommend are CashCrate and Gangster Greed. I've tried signing up for others but I had issues registering. If I am able to register and have good results with the programs, I'll let you know.

Assuming that you're completing surveys, here is how to ensure that most of your offers go through:

Use true information when completing the surveys

Don't use a P.O. Box address unless they are acceptable

Clear your computer's cookies between offers from the same company

On CashCrate, try $0.40 and $0.50 offers first. I've found that they confirm the fastest.

Think carefully about completing offers that require you to enter your social security number, as these may effect your credit.


How to become an internet marketer

Since so many have asked, here is my own guide to Internet Niche Marketing:

Internet Marketing is becoming one of the best ways to make money online. In a lot of cases, one can earn a free and clear profit (as opposed to the percentage earnings Affiliate Marketers make). While, the term "Internet Marketer" may sound a bit intimidating to the individual with little IM experience, take heart! Beginning isn't as monumental as it sounds.

My strategy with internet marketing is very stress-free and straight forward. While developing a marketing strategy is a trial-and-error process, making some quick money through Internet Marketing is not. Assuming you are creating your own product to sell, just follow these simple steps and you're on your way!

Most successful IM ventures began with the simple tactic of finding a group of "hungry fish." Everyone in the world wants something. Your goal is to figure out what people are buying, what form of it they're buying, and how much they're willing to pay for it. For our purposes, IM, we need to find out what internet surfers are actually surfing for. Coming up with an idea for your "niche of hungry fish" isn't enough. You must thoroughly evaluate your idea for profitability.

In our case, we are developing our own product to sell so that we keep costs to a minimum and profitability to a maximum. We're selling our product through the internet medium. This includes video, audio, and digital products. You have to decide whether you want to create the product yourself, or if you want to hire someone to create it for you. Hiring an independent contractor for the development of your product requires an upfront investment. This option is less time-intensive. Creating the product by your self is more time-consuming, but the only obvious costs are those for domain registration and hosting. If you are delivering your product in e-book format, don’t be afraid to write the content. Have some professional writers review your e-book for proper grammar and spelling. There are many online freelance writing communities that may help you do this for no cost.

All of those sleuth techniques we learned during the research phase of our venture will be invaluable when sifting through the mountains of domain registration and hosting providers. Tech support was a big deciding factor for me. Building a website made me shiver. Just thinking of the learning curve made me want to go hide out in my closet. Of course, you’ll want to compare price, bandwidth, and other tech -savvy things.

If you opted to hire a freelance writer for your product, consider having them also write your sales letter. A sales letter is basically your sales pitch to potential customers. It may sound corny, but think of your sales letter as a two minute infomercial. It doesn’t have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) your typical white/black/red/yellow highlighted sales letter. If you are writing your own sales letter, focus on your customers. You’re not actually trying to sell your product to your potential customers. You’re trying to sell them a solution to their problems. In your sales letter, identify the problem, identify the solution, and explain how your product fits into the scheme of things.

After you’ve completed the above steps, it’s time to let people know about your website. I highly recommend trying to get free traffic in the beginning. This can be done in several easy and creative ways, but writing articles pertaining to the problem your product aims to solve is currently en vogue. It is free, and surprisingly effective for driving free traffic to your website. Free traffic can also be attained through the numerous social bookmarking communities online. Submitting an article you’ve written to Digg.com, for instance, allows for great publicity for your website. Writing and submitting a press release to free directories accomplishes the same goal.

If you're interested in more information on writing your own ebook, check out How To Write Your Own Ebook In 7 Days. It shows you how to write an ebook in (you guessed it) seven days even if you have no writing experience. This ebook, along with the Content Speed Writing ebook, will save you a lot if you're producing content without outsourcing.

So there you have it. My bare-bones guide to beginning your Internet Marketing venture. Here is to long life and long days on the beach enjoying our wealth!

My response to current criticism

It has come to my attention that some readers have been concerned about my goal of $8k in sixty days. They claim the amount is too little and not even worth writing about. Wow, I've got a tough crowd!

The rationale behind choosing to pursue $8,000 in sixty days was this: The first few thousand dollars I make will likely be the hardest to come by (unless, of course, I receive some pretty generous donations). If I multiply the formula that gets me to my $4k per month goal, the possibilities are endless. The object is to find my formula and then leverage it.

Weathering the storm

Family issues have kept me from devoting my complete attention on my goal. I'll use the situation as motivation. This is where I'm currently at:

Launched my niche website
Will be launching niche website another later this week
Article saturation begins tomorrow (gotta love it)
Planning outline for an ebook (not the "get rich in two hours" kind)

I'm sure that I've left some things out, but I'll post them later this week as they occur to me.

Send me good thoughts!


My day thus far

I admittedly got a late start today. I know that sleep-ins aren't conducive to my goal and won't be doing that anymore. I think I needed to recharge my batteries. I was suffering from information overload to the point of a migraine, so things needed to settle down a bit in my head before I could continue. The great thing about this challenge is that I'm learning the ropes right along with my readers. I don't have any hidden secrets to success. You know why? They don't exist! The only secret to success is no secret at all. Desire, belief, and action are the only things you need to start.

Enough psycho-babble. This is what I've done today:

Registered a new domain name
Designed the template for said domain
Wrote almost all of the content for site (This was a boo-boo. I was supposed to be working on my first and second domains, not my third.)
Did some freelance writing

I usually work until 4am, so my day is still young. Plus I've still got to find the time to work on my beloved CashCrate

After reading through some more information, Google Adwords is starting to look good to me. I still have some issues with the program, although it's nothing that can't be remedied with a little more education. Click Here! to check out this neat little ebook I found about Google Adwords.

Thinking about outsourcing

Outsourcing is convenient, but not necessarily affordable. As a freelance writer, I'm extremely critical of the work that I outsource. Considering this, it is probably best that I continue to develop my website without outsourcing. My current niche website is going to be rather large and my second is going to be even larger. Finding the time to develop content and write promotional articles should be easy. My problem is staying focused on one task at a time.

One thing is for sure: I'll definitely save $8,000 in potential therapy visits at the end of this challenge!

On frequenting forums

I recently had a revelation. It's easy for me to spend a large chunk of my day reading forums and learning thngs but never applying the things I do learn. Massive action is my new mantra. Sometimes stepping out on your own is scary. I avoid failure like the plague. In doing so, I'm avoiding success! This is basic psychology at its finest.

One forum in particular is driving me insane. Warrior Forum is an awesome community, but if you're new to internet marketing, the forum can be a distraction. My advice is to dedicate some time visiting the forum before you begin your business pursuit to get it out of your system. Then, if you're addicted to the forum like I am, devote one day a week to sifting through all the information. You'll be busy for a few hours!

Battle of the Mind

Yesterday was rather uneventful. I did some freelance writing, researched for a couple of new niche sites. I was feeling so sure of myself earlier in the week. I woke up feeling like I had just lost my last quarter at the casino and my next paycheck isn't due for six months. Make any sense? I don't know what changed. I do know that not trying is NOT an option for me. If I'm going to be debt free and make my goal of $8k in sixty days, I'm going to have to push all doubt aside and let my work absolutely consume me during that time.

The interesting thing is that I was the only one doubting "me." All of my friends and family were wondering what took me so long to finally publicly announce my goal. Talk about snapping me back into reality.

Anyhow, today is another chance for me to take MASSIVE action and that's exactly what I plan to do. A few things on the agenda today:
Finish (and launch, hopefully) my niche website
Create new website template (done)
Freelance writing
Work on Get-Paid-To programs
Look into some more affiliate programs for my niche sites

Wish me luck!


New Challenge: $8,000 in sixty days?

I've been crunching numbers again (I know). Things would go much faster for me if I could earn $4,000 per month. My phone bills would be lower, also, since bill collectors wouldn't be calling me every hour. Starting right now, I'm going to put all of my effort into manifesting $8k in sixty days. This is my new short term goal. My plan is pretty much the same, but I'll be doing things on a larger scale, reaching a larger audience.

Speaking of a larger scale, would anyone be interesting in joining me on my four-figure quest? If so, leave a comment with your name and monetary goal.

July Recap

July was a slow month for me. Perhaps this had something to do with the fact that I was just beginning to learn about making money online.

I tried to focus on freelance writing. While I was offered some gigs, nothing really panned out.
Freelance writing: $6.06

I had tried Get-Paid-To programs years ago and never earned anything from it. This time I went with a company called CashCrate and began earning money quickly. Unfortunately, I found out about this great opportunity just a few days before the month was over, so I didn't get a chance to make as much money as I wanted. Another nice GPT program is called Gangster Greed. I probably won't earn the amount that I can earn at CashCrate but the program does allow you to cash out whenever you reach the minimum payout of $10.00
CashCrate: $59.65 (in just a few days! You can sign up here)
Gangster Greed: $0.00 (waiting for earning confirmation)

The Plan

Here is the (current) official No More College Debt Plan in the Think and Grow Rich format:

1. Amount: $30,000

2. I will give my time, dedication, and 10% of my earnings as an investment in my future projects.

3. August 2, 2008

4. As far as online work goes, I will: participate in Get-Paid-To programs, finish my first internet marketing venture, freelance write.

Me Now

I've since graduated college, found a job, and become more adamant about maintaining my health. I've also become adamant about paying off my college and medical debt. I realize that a lot of people are in a similar situation, which is why I've chosen to chronical my efforts. I've found a wonderful mentor and I fully expect to pay off all of my debt in a year.

In this blog you will witness my struggles, triumphs, plans, rants, and whatever else I can think of to share.

Me Then

I've always been a responsible spender. Youth never clouded my financial judgement. Before starting college, I carefully calculated my budget. I developed a plan that would keep me from falling into debt. The plan worked. Almost.

I forgot to factor in just how difficult maintaining a job would be while in college. Between poor transportation, clinicals, and classroom work, keeping my crappy job was out of the question. I also didn't plan for medical issues to sideline me. During my last term of college, I became ill and could no longer go to school. Medical bills began to mount, as did my college tuition. I looked for ways to earn money online, but my chronic fatigue and pain kept me from doing much more than lying in bed.