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Preview : Buxr Shopping Comparison widget

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BuxrMichael Glozman, of Cheap Hosting Bargains fame contacted me this morning to give me a sneak preview of his new shopping comparison site Buxr.

Buxr is the latest shopping comparison site which is targeting bloggers to promote their website. If you signed up with WidgetBucks last month then you should be familiar with how this type of affiliate widget works. Basically, you place a javascript banner on your blog to display the latest products on your blog.

The Widget

Creating a widget with Buxr is very similar to creating a widget with WidgetBucks. Buxr does allow you to create a banner targeted to one merchant which I think is a nice touch however there are only 9 merchants to choose from (compare this with the hundreds Widgetbucks gives you with Mpire).

Below is a screenshot of the ‘create a widget’ page’. Those of you with a keen eye will notice how the javascript that Buxr generates looks identical to the javscript which google adsense uses.

The Buxr Widget Creation Screen

The actual banner that the javascript creates is quite basic looking compared to the fancy interactive widgets which you get with WidgetBucks. Infact, the banners look very similar to the adsense banners of a year or so ago – perhaps they hired a former Google employee to design the backend for this project.

I don’t think that a simple banner like this is necessarily a bad thing as you can change the colours of the banner to blend in with your blog.

So will I make money with Buxr?

I do not have a high traffic blog which is suitable for running Buxr banners so I am unable to test out how well the banners convert. Also, since Buxr has not been launched yet I’m sure what is scheduled to be improved and what is not. However, the preview I have been using suggests that Buxr is far from ready.

The commission that you receive per sale ranges from 0.5% to 10%, depending on the product sold. Put simply you get about half of the money they receive from the shopping site. A $10 sign up bonus, a 10% referral commission and a low payment threshold of $20 does not hide how poor the actual shopping service is. The fact remains, you can have the best affiliate program in the world with fantastic bonuses but if the actual service you are promoting is poor you aren’t going to make any money…and unfortunately this is the where Buxr is failing and failing quite badly in my opinion.

Again, I reiterate that the site is not launched yet so I don’t know what they are planning on improving but I suspect a launch is soon if they are contacting bloggers like myself to preview it and if that is the case then Buxr is going to be another site which was launched too early.

So what is wrong with the Buxr shopping service?

The first thing that you will notice is how basic the design is. Have a look at the screenprint below to see what I mean. It isn’t terrible but it isn’t fantastic either. You need to remember that this service is competiting with established USA comparison sites like PriceRunner and Mpire and a good design is a big part of branding and promoting a company.

Buxr Shopping Service

Although you can only target 9 merchants individually with your widget there are 21 merchants currently being listed, this still falls short of the hundreds if not thousands of merchants some competitors have. Surprisingly, this is not the biggest problem, the biggest problem is the fact that there are hardly any products being listed. Take the MP3 Player category. This is a category which you would expect to be busy with a lot of comparisons however you will be disappointed to find out that they only have 9 products and and apart from a Creative ZEN Vision, none of these products are from a major brand. It gets worse! 8 of these 9 products are out of date.

Expired Product

This brings me back to the point I raised earlier. The affiliate section is sufficient however you need to need to step back and ask who would actually use this service and honestly can’t think who would use this instead of another price comparison site. And if no one is using it, you are not going to make any money and as Steve Austin used to say, that’s the bottom line!

Also, it’s unfortunate that both the shopping service and the affiliate service is only for USA based shoppers and bloggers.

Summary

I spoke with Michael Glozman via email about Buxr and he seems like a stand up guy but I have to admit that I am fairly disappointed with what I have seen in so far. The affiliate area is fine however I just don’t see how this shopping comparison site is going to compete with the established competitors in this niche.

If the shopping comparison service is not improved then I would not encourage any bloggers to sign up as you would see a better return linking to related products individually yourself by signing up to the merchants affiliate program yourself.

Once again, I have only viewed the beta version of Buxr and they have given me no indication of when it will be launched officially so hopefully they will improve the service but if I’m brutally honest I can’t see the Buxr shopping site competiting with the major price comparison sites and if they can’t do that then you won’t make money 🙂

You can receive updates on Buxr here.

* Disclaimer : I have attached my Buxr referral link in this post 🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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How to Create a Membership Website to Grow Your Blogging Income

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If you’re no longer earning more than what you’re getting as a blogger, then you must find another way to make more money.

Aside from affiliate marketing and paid ads, you need to consider setting up a membership site.

Creating a membership section on your blog, however, involves different factors you must consider to always attract new members.

In this post, you will get a detailed step-by-step process on how to create a membership website and generate residual income on a consistent basis.

Why set up a membership site?

A membership site is a departure from your blogging days when you just write posts promoting your affiliate links and driving traffic to them.

However, blogging can only get you so far. There will come a point when you’ll exhaust all money-making opportunities for your blog.

Therefore, below are the reasons a membership site is a viable option to pursue once you’ve plateaued from making money through blogging:

  • Turn your expertise into an income stream – A membership site allows you to monetize your content as a subject matter expert. Turn content that answers your audience’s pain points into exclusive courses that people will want to buy.
  • Build an army of devoted followers – Provide members with valuable content regularly. This will cause them to stick around and pay the price of admission because they believe in you.
  • Generate income passively – By developing a subscription-based membership, you can earn money based on how many people are signing up to your site.

Examples of membership sites that grew from being a blog

Nathan Gotch is an SEO freelancer who used his blog to publish case studies to sell his services in search optimization

gotch 2014

Through the years, he turned his knowledge into one of the most popular SEO courses on the planet:

gotch 2018

Darren Rowse of ProBlogger set up his blog in 2005 for the same reason – discuss the latest trends in his space of expertise: blogging.

problogger 2005

While running ProBlogger, he also ran a digital photography blog where he implemented affiliate marketing strategies to earn from his blog posts.

dps 2007

If you can see on the menu, Darren is already offering photography courses on the blog as already as 2007.

Soon enough, he did the same thing on ProBlogger – offer membership and courses to help newbie bloggers set up a blog and make money off it.

problogger 2018

Nathan and Darren are top bloggers and experts in their respective fields who leveraged the power of membership sites to create an additional stream of income.

How to create a membership website

If you want to replicate their success and create a membership website of your own, below are the steps you need to do:

1. Determine your expertise

It is important that you choose a single topic as the focal point of your membership site. You want to create resources for members that allow them to solve problems and issues about that topic.

By zeroing in on that topic, you develop laser-focused content for your members.

Going back to your blog, look at posts you’ve written and have generated lots of traffic and shares. Also, consider how comfortable you are writing these posts.

You then need to qualify the topics to find the best one to use for your site. Brainstorm for problems and issues that people have about each.

To help you break down the topics. use the tools below:

  • AnswerThePublic – find the different questions people are asking related to the topic.
  • Keyword Revealer – Find how many people are searching for the question on search engines. The more average searches, the better!
  • Quora – Find answers from the users of this Q&A site to the questions. Compile and use them as talking points for your membership site.

Once you’ve used the tools on the different topics you have, find the ones with the most questions and search volumes for each. You will then have your topic for your membership site.

2. Develop content based on your expertise

Creating content for your membership site shouldn’t be different from writing a blog post. This time, however, go the extra mile by providing value to your paying members.

Make it as easy-to-read and actionable to them. If you want to share a process that requires people to follow instructions, use screenshots and guide them by the hand to ensure that they get the process right. Better yet, create videos of yourself doing the process to leave nothing to the imagination.

You will also need to create supplementary content to help make your members accountable in following through with the process. Read this article to understand what those types of content are.

3. Use a platform to set up your membership site

When choosing a membership software, consider the following:

  • Makes accepting and adding members easy
  • Manages member payments like a breeze and send them payment receipts
  • Has an event and calendar registration to help keep members in the loop of what’s to come
  • Creates a hub for high-paying members where they can access exclusive content
  • Accepts donations (for non-profit organizations)

There are lots of membership platforms offering different features. In your case, it’s a matter of finding one that caters to your needs. You may undergo a trial-and-error process to find the best platform for you.

4. Prelaunch

To ensure the success of your membership website, you need to create buzz and anticipation for it.

One of the best ways to do this is to find a group of people – your target audience, in particular – and give them free access to your site. Find those who hold a certain level of influencer. i.e. mid-level bloggers, etc. In exchange, request for a testimonial about your membership and how good it is.

Feature their positive reviews on the landing page of your membership site to encourage more sign-ups!

freelance writers den

Here’s an example at Freelance Writers Den.

There are other ways you can proceed with your prelaunch. Read this post for more information.

5. Promote your site

You need to market your site to your target audience to increase member sign-ups. To do this, you must rely on some of the tactics below:

  • SEO – Optimize the landing pages of your membership site for transactional keywords.
  • Content marketing – Use your blog to create posts that will refer visitors to your membership website.
  • Social media – Share your membership site across platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and more.
  • Email marketing – Create drip campaigns to warm up your subscribers and convert them into paying members.

Implementing these tactics might be too much for you. You can delegate these task to a service provider like Trafficora so you can delegate them to professionals instead of doing them yourself.

What others tips and advice can you share with others readers of this post on how to create a membership website? Chime in by commenting below!

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How to Get Paid to Blog About Anything As a Guest Blogger

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Have you ever read a blog post and thought, “I could write something better than that?” Do you like working from home on your own time and making thousands of dollars every month?

If you are like me, this is almost a daily occurance. But like everything else, it usually comes down to time, work, and money.

However, if you are currently trying to figure out how to make money online and are a great writer already, this is something you can definitely accomplish by working as a guest blogger.

Guest bloggers are hired to write posts for other people’s blogs, sometimes on a ghostwriting basis. It can be an awesome hustle, and it’s surprisingly easy to do in today’s economy. Read on to learn how to get paid to blog about anything.

Get in Touch with Marketing Companies

It may not surprise you to learn that marketing companies will often hire guest bloggers. Running a blog is one of the best ways to grow an audience, share long-form content, and establish expertise in a subject. But blogging takes time, something which marketers are notoriously short on.

Contact some major marketing firms and ask if they need a guest blogger. Including some writing samples is an excellent idea. If you have expertise in a topic, try to find companies that represent businesses in that industry.

Contact a Large Business

After you contact marketing companies, you may want to start looking into large businesses as clients. Fortune 500 companies and similar businesses will likely have internal marketing departments. They, like the marketing companies, rarely have time to run a blog themselves.

Once again, if you have expertise in an area, you should look for businesses that are in that industry. Get in touch with their marketing department and offer your services as a guest blogger. If the company doesn’t have a marketing department, they’re probably too small to be a feasible client.

While this might be one of the most challenging and time-consuming options on our list, it can also be one of the most lucrative. Most Fortune 500 companies won’t even bat an eye at spending $5k a month on content. So, if you have the quality and expertise, you could secure a nice annual salary just from one of these single contracts!

Find an SEO Company

The next place you might want to look when trying to get paid to blog is SEO companies. Search engine optimization helps make sure your post shows up first in searches. There are whole companies that specialize in generating SEO blog posts, and they’re always looking for good writers.

Find some of these SEO-specialized companies and send them an email. If you’d like to skip the googling and get going on inquiries, click here for details.

Something else to keep in mind here. As SEO companies are always growing in size and getting new clients, they also likely won’t be hard up for money. This is something all freelance writers will need to consider, as the last thing they want is to try and chase down owed money, or needing to continually find new clients that have budgets to work with.

Ask Professional Bloggers

It may sound counterintuitive, but professional bloggers will sometimes hire guest bloggers to write their posts for them. This often comes down to time vs. money — and knowing that they need to release new content to their audience. Oftentimes, the pros are focused on things like site development and research into their area of focus. Like the marketing companies, this leaves them with no time to actually write posts.

This is where you come in. Contact some of your favorite professional bloggers and see if they need guest blogger services. This may not be the most profitable of your revenue streams, but it’s a good option to explore.

You might be surprised at how many of the top bloggers in the world today are actually outsourcing their writing and marketing. Be sure to reach out to any websites or blogs that you see have a bunch of ‘guest authors’, as this might be a great opportunity for you as well.

Get Paid to Blog About Anything

In the age of the internet, it’s surprisingly easy to get paid to blog about anything. Everybody wants a blog, but not many have the time to write one. This means you have an awesome opportunity to swoop in and scoop up some profits.

When it comes to blogging, there are many different ways to make money — but it ultimately comes down to two different methods:

  1. Write content for your own blog and try to generic traffic with SEO and social media
  2. Write content for other sites and simply get paid on a per word basis

Both options are great, but it’s important for you to put in the time and effort with each. No matter which of the two you choose, just make sure you prepare, and do a great job with it!

If you’d like to get the best tips on writing blog posts, visit the rest of our site at Blogging Tips. We have blog courses and resources available to you today. Check out our advice on how to start a blog today.

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Guide to Add Google AdSense to your WordPress Website

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For those of you in search for a means to add Google Adsense to your websites, we have put together a detailed guide about the process. But first, let’s talk a little more about Google Adsense and what are its benefits. If, you are well informed about Google AdSense, then you can skip to the next section.

What is Google AdSense?

Google AdSense is a program which allows bloggers and website owners to serve advertisements on their blogs or website in the form of text, images, video, or even interactive media.

These ads get targeted by site content and audience, which means that the advertisement will be of relevance to the readers. Now with AdSense enabled on your website, if a user clicks on one of the ads, you will make some money in return.

The Benefits of Google AdSense:

  • Google AdSense is Free To Use: The Google AdSense program is totally free for use and doesn’t require you to sign up or purchase any membership.
  • Super Easy To Use: Using AdSense is practically a no-brainer. All you have to do is simply create an Adsense account doing which you will get an ad code. Now all you have to do is enter that ad code to your WordPress site that it’s all done. Furthermore, Google themselves handle and maintain relationships with the advertisers, so that’s one less thing for you to worry about.
  • Customizable Ads: You will have the complete liberty to customize the look and feel of the ads that are shown on your website. This will you can make those ads blend in with your site’s overall and design and aesthetic and create a more consistent feel.
  • A Huge Community: AdSense is backed with a huge community of AdSense users beginner and advanced. The more experienced users are always happy to help, and provide many useful guides to help you properly optimize your AdSense so that you make more money.
  • Option for Sponsored Advertising: Besides delivering straightforward content ads, users can use AdSense to place ads on search results as well as on the RSS feeds. Doing so helps to target your site’s audience with a purpose oriented visit to your website.

 

Steps to Add Google AdSense

Well, the first thing that you will have to do is create an AdSense account and then go about a new ad unit. Once you have done that, you will get an ad code corresponding to that ad unit. You will have to add this ad code to your site in order to implement the AdSense ad.

PASTE IMAGE: “sign up”

Now, by default WordPress allows users to add AdSense ads to the sidebar. To do this, simply enter your WordPress dashboard, go to appearance>>widget and then drag the “custom HTML” widget to a preferred position on the widget area. Once you have done that, paste your Google AdSense code, and the ad will show up in the widget area of your sidebar.

PASTE IMAGE: “custom html”

However, if you want to have a more comprehensive control as to where you wish to place your ads, then there are plenty of third-party WordPress plugins as well as themes designed to help you with the job. If you are just starting to blog and serious about utilizing AdSense to its fullest extent, then this plugins and themes will be of immense help.

If you are not sure how to add Google Adsense, check out your web host support.

Managing Google AdSense with WordPress Plugins:

There are hundreds of WordPress plugins that can help you with ad management. Here are a few examples of some of the most popular and powerful plugins in this category, and how it can help you to add AdSense to your WordPress website.

AdSanity allows you to insert ads anywhere on your website. You will be able to create as many ad fields as you want and place them throughout your website using shortcodes, and widgets. There is also the option to insert ad blocks into specific posts using the post editor.

This plugin comes directly from Google and helps users to automatically choose the best paying ad for a particular spot and apply it. There is also an inbuilt reporting tool which can help with a quantitative measure on the ad performance.

Ad Inserter gives you the option to create as many ad blocks as you like and then auto-insert the blocks. The plugins support inserting the ad blocks to your directly within your post content, before or after post content or post excerpt, and so on.

Quick AdSense is free WordPress ad management plugin which is worth taking a look into. The plugin can help you insert ads in the sidebar, widget areas, inside your posts, before or after posts or post excerpts.

Managing Google AdSense with WordPress Themes:

Just like plugins, there are also a boatload of themes that can also help users in managing Google AdSense on their WordPress website. Let’s take a quick look at some of the best ad management WordPress theme to give you an idea.

Genesis Framework is a powerful AdSense enabled WordPress theme which gives you extensive control over how you wish to display ads on your website. The theme features a pretty handy auto ads functionality which makes using AdSense even more intuitive and trouble-free.

Turemag comes with support for a responsive Google AdSense ad unit which means your ads will display properly even when viewed from a small screen on mobile devices. You will also get access to their “hot spots” functionality which perfectly blends the advertisements with your site’s content.

Simple Life is an AdSense Ready blogging theme that supports highly customizable ad banners. You will get to choose different ad banner sizes for your home page, category, single posts, and sidebar. There is also a full fledged ad management system.

Schema is one of the most popular WordPress theme for bloggers designed to deliver the best possible SEO performance. It also comes with its own ad management system which allows you to simply paste the ad code and showcase advertisements on the top, bottom, or after the title of your content.

Also, Google Adsense is essential for creative people who want to earn money from their work.  One such example is Imagely, which offers powerful themes and plugins for photographs that is AdSense ready.

Conclusion

This leads us to the end of the guide to add Google Adsense to Your WordPress site. We hope that you got a clear idea on how to do so. However, if you are still confused, don’t forget to comment below and let us know.

 

Author Bio

Pawan Sahu is the founder of MarkupTrend. He is a Digital Marketer and a blogger geek passionate about writing articles related to WordPress, SEO, Marketing, Web Design, and CMS etc. Follow him on Twitter @impawansahu.

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