26 August 2009

Bum Marketing is not only for Bums!

For some reason, I never stumbled upon Bum Marketing concept before. Actually, many people use it without identifying this approach as a standard Bum Marketing strategy.

What is Bum Marketing?

BUM Marketing is a technique where you can legitimately earn an online income from the commissions of affiliate products, sales of your own products, AdSense ads and so on. The major advantage is that you can do it without the need to own a website. It does require a fair amount of work though, just like any Internet Marketing endeavor.

Bum Marketing is the mastermind of Travis Sago with the name chosen by his wife. Why using bum?
My wife (Jeannie) named this the “Bum Marketing Method” because she thinks it is so easy that I could take a bum off the street…take him to the public library…and have him earning cash within a week.

How Bum Marketing Work?

In a flash, it works like this:
  • Find a niche that isn’t overly crowded but is marketable or find a hungry market that is looking to buy something.
  • Find an affiliate program that offers products within the niche/market, which pays a decent commission.
  • Brainstorm keywords for each product you are going to promote.
  • Research the themes/topics for each of the chosen keywords.
  • Create articles about the products you are trying to promote and use keywords or keyword phrases within those articles. The articles should contain at no more and no less than 350-500 words.
  • Then you submit your articles to popular article directors such as USFreeAds, EzineArticles.com, or Squidoo so they get picked up by Google and the other major search engines.
  • Begin to reap the results after some time.
Note that for significant returns, you will need to create a massive amount of articles for every keyword from the products that you want to promote. It is tiring and not too exciting work, so be prepared to that.
It is kind of ‘firing thousands of arrows to hit a single prey’ type of marketing strategy. 

Benefits of Bum Marketing

  • No cost (or extremely low costs) to execute the strategy and stay on the track.
  • No need to understand the topics of promotion or any special skills to succeed.
  • It’s extremely low risk – all you have to loose is time.
  • No need to have a Website, or Blog, or even an email list.
  • No need to create or develop your own product.
  • Since you submit your articles to the well ranked sites, you can start to get the positive returns as fast as after one week.
Negative Side of Bum Marketing

  • You will need to write a lot of articles a day.
  • It pushes writer to think in a non-creative ways to produce an article (combining other articles, modifying, etc without touching own idea).
  • Bum marketer doesn’t communicate as well as real blogger.
  • Bum Marketing is a solo play.
  • Write article with focus to earn money without caring the fact of the product because they need to write quick and earn quick.
  • Always rush content out without checking the quality.
Bum Marketing Recommendations

The whole point of Bum Marketing is not to get your articles clicked on from people searching the article directories. BUM Marketing is really about getting as many articles of decent quality ranking highly in the search engines in order to get traffic to your affiliate links, sales pages, AdSense pages, opt-in pages and so on. The main goal is to get your articles into the top 10 Google results – meaning on Google’s first page. The more people that read your articles, the more likely they will click on your affiliate links contained within your article and resource box.

A key to being successful is looking at the priorities of a successful BUM Marketing campaign:
1. Articles and more articles. The more articles that you are able to write and get in the directories, the higher your ranking in the search engines will be.
2. Try to find a niche that is interesting to you. Writing articles is a whole lot easier if you are interested in your subject.
3. Submit articles to the major article directories every day. Don’t let up on this. This is one of the best Bum Marketing tips you will receive. Consistency is the key to get a high ranking in the search engines, which in turn means a high income.
4. Use Yahoo Answers for keyword research. Type in your keywords and see if people are asking questions that contain those keywords. If so, then start writing articles around those keywords.
5. Build a blog around your niche. This is one of the most critical Bum Marketing tips. Most article directories do not allow affiliate links, so you need a site to link to. A blog will give you a site link without the expense and time of building a website for each product you are promoting.
6. Jump on the social network by using Squidoo. The search engines are starting to love Squidoo, so build a lens around your niche.
7. Target phrases that have between 1,000 and 10,000 optimized results on Google. The lower the results, the better chance you have of getting on page one of Google quickly.
8. Forget all the complicated SEO tricks. Another very important tip in a long list of Bum Marketing tips is to make sure your keyword phrase is always included in your title. Then place it a few times throughout the article as I’ve done here. Keyword = “Bum Marketing Tips”
9. Write articles that contain tips and how to information. People love tips and lists so write articles that have a list of tips included in them.
10. Another great Bum Marketing tip is to write a FAQ article. Visit Yahoo Answers or forums and find the most frequently asked questions concerning your niche. Then write a FAQ article around these questions.
11. Here’s another great Bum Marketing tips that most people don’t think about. Use a pen name when submitting your articles. This does two things. First of all, unless you are a natural born writer, your first articles may not be that great. A pen name will keep you from being embarrassed about the quality of your articles. Secondly, once you get well known in the Internet marketing circles, using a pen name will keep your competition from searching out your niche markets.
12. One of the most important tips of all. Be persistent. If you really want to make a decent living online it is going to take some hard work and persistence.

Sources and Additional Information:

18 August 2009

How to Make Drop-Down Labels Menu in Blogger?

If you host your blog on the Blogger (blogspot) platform, and you have significant number of labels on your sidebar, you might be looking for a suitable solution to show them, but also save the expensive space for other elements. These two tasks can be achieved by using the option of displaying your labels in a simple drop-down menu. Many bloggers already use drop-down option for long lists of labels (categories), which minimizes clutter and enables information to be displayed in the sidebar neatly.

While Blogger offers a dropdown menu option for the Archives widget, you will not be able to find an option to do the same for your labels. In this post, we will review two ways you can use to convert your regular Label list into a drop-down list.

Method 1

1. Template Backup. As usual, when you just think about making any changes to the template code, it is strongly recommended to make a complete back up of your existing template. This ensures you can easily roll back and restore your current, working template if you make any mistake.

To make a back up of your current template, go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard and click the “Download Full Template” link near the top of the page. This will offer the option to save your current Blogger template as an XML file to your local computer. Be sure to save this file in a location you can easily find later.

2. Ensure you have a “Labels” widget in your Blogger template. If you do not have a Labels widget activated in your template, go to Layout>Page Elements and add a Labels widget using the “Add a Gadget” link above your sidebar. Definitely, your posts should be labeled as well to transfer the related content to the activated widget.

3. Go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. This time, DO NOT check the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox!

4. Search for the following code (note that the name of the label in your template might be slightly different):
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>

5. Replace the above code, with this:
<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-content'>

<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;' style='width:200px'>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
<option expr:value='data:label.url'><data:label.name/>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>

6. Modifying the Widget. To alter the phrase “Choose a label to view” which is visible when the drop down menu is contracted, you will need to go to the Layout>Edit HTML page of your Blogger dashboard and check the “Expand widget templates” box. Then search for this phrase in your template code. Simply alter the wording of this phrase to something more suitable for your blog, being careful not to alter any of the surrounding code.

To clarify, here is the line of code where adjustments will be made. The text which can be altered is highlighted in red:
<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;'>
<option>Choose a Label to View</option>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>

Method 2
As you understand, the first steps of the code modification will be similar to the method 1, so I will skip the introduction, which you need to backup the template first before doing any modifications.

3. Go to Layout > Edit HTML in your Blogger dashboard. This time, CHECK the "Expand Widget Templates" checkbox!

4. Now look for the following code in your template

<b:widget id='Label1' locked='false' title='Labels' type='Label'>
<b:includable id='main'>
<b:if cond='data:title'>
<div class='widget-content'>

   <b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
       <b:if cond='data:blog.url == data:label.url'>
         <a expr:href='data:label.url'><data:label.name/></a>

<b:include name='quickedit'/>

Note that you need to replace only the part of the displayed code IN BLUE. All the remaining text is provided for easy reference. So, replace the text IN BLUE with the text IN RED below:

<br />
<select onchange='location=this.options[this.selectedIndex].value;'>
<option>Select a label</option>
<b:loop values='data:labels' var='label'>
   <option expr:value='data:label.url'><data:label.name/>

No matter, which method you choose, at the end of the performed modification save the template and back it up with a new name. Do not overwrite the backup file you created at the beginning, since you want to try the option for some time and decide you do not see any problems or performance drawbacks.

Sources and Additional Information:

11 August 2009

Blog Monetization with Contextual Links at V7N

When you are trying to make money online with your blog or website – SEO (search engine optimization) is crucial. When your website is optimized, Google and Yahoo bots can crawl it easier. A lot of Internet marketers would pay top dollar for good, their topics related links. And according to Aaron Wall (SEO Expert) – “SEO is links and links are SEO”. So if you have a simple blog or website, you can earn money from the embedded links.

V7N Contextual is something between get paid to post and get paid to sell your links. V7N is looking for bloggers with high Google PR and SERP, who’d sell backlinks. So basically V7N.com is a global link marketplace, where you can find targeted advertisers, or you can offer your blog pages to those, who are interested.

It is not technically a get paid to blog network because most of the time you won’t have to write a blog post. All you’ll have to do is to transform any specific keyword (eg. golf clubs) in your blog posts into a link to the advertiser’s website. All bloggers will earn $10 per link, regardless of their blog size and reach. As link is placed, you are contractually obligated to make a good faith effort to keep the link active on the website for as long as the web site exists. You do not have to endorse somehow the advertiser, or even mention him in the blog post.
Note those adult sites are generally not accepted.

Money is sent by PalPal on monthly basis. It’s required to register on v7n.com forum, because that’s where you can find your advertisers at. You can add up to 5 blogs to one account, but if you have more websites, most likely, you can add more and more blogs to make even more cash.

An important point to note is that you’ll have to sign a non-disclosure agreement, which means that you can’t disclose that you’ve sold a sponsored link.

And, finally, you can always combine this way to monetize your blog with all others.

07 August 2009

Numbering your Comments in the Blogger Blog

I am trying to keep my blogs in the simple informational style. That means, I am looking for interesting information on the Web and I am sharing with you. In most cases, it is a one-directional process, and I do not get a lot of comments. However, if you blog in more communicational and controversial manner, amount of comments you receive could be huge. If that is the case, the comments numbering might be an excellent idea.

Possible Advantages:
* It is a nice way of differencing/identifying each comment (it’s a great feature for giveaway posts!).
* It allows you to get the permalink of each comment, and this may work for future references (e.g.: “You should read this comment [URL goes here], I found it very interesting.”)
* Indispensible for design purposes.

Possible disadvantages and limitations:
* If your comments are paginated, the counter will reset in each comment page. In Blogger, comments are paginated if they surpass the 200.
* The process requires code modification in several places, so that is not recommended for the beginner bloggers.


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Steps involved in implementing this trick
1. Login to your Blogger Dashboard
2. Go to Template >Edit HTML
3. Choose to expand your Widget templates.
4. Find this line of Code
<dl id='comments-block'>
and replace it with
<dl id='comments-block'>
<script type='text/javascript'>var CommentsCounter=0;</script>
5. Now find this line of code
<dt expr:class='&quot;comment-author &quot; + data:comment.authorClass' expr:id='data:comment.anchorName'>
and replace it with
<dt expr:class='&quot;comment-author &quot; + data:comment.authorClass' expr:id='data:comment.anchorName' style='clear: both;'>
6. Now find this line of code
and replace it with
<span class='numberingcomments' style='float: right; font-size: 20px;'>
<a rel='nofollow' expr:href='data:comment.url' title='Comment Link' style='text-decoration:none'>
<script type='text/javascript'>

So you should have it working in just 3 replacement steps. If everything went well, you should now have a numbered commenting system on your blog.

Sources and Additional Information:

03 August 2009

Free Online Templates Generator for Bloggers

Firdamatic is an online tableless layout generator that allows you to create and customise layouts easily only by completing forms, making creating skins for your Firdamatic-based layout a breeze. This tool is available for free for personal/non-commercial use only and comes with no technical support. The web generator is not actively supported by author since 2006.

This online template generator will support an old Blogger and Movable Type blogs. You can select from the two column or three column options. Simply enter the information on the relevant boxes on the online form and click generate template. You can add your site name, title image, and choose the font and font color as well.

While there are still some people, who advocate for the tableless layout generators, like Firdamatic, I would consider this approach a bit outdated and limited. However, you might find this free template generator useful anyway.

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