Dec 22, 2012

Tessa Schlesinger Leaves HubPages

Tessa Schlesinger left HubPages this week after announcing her departure in the forums. This is her story of what happened.

And Finally, a HubPages Review, “Up Yours."

Dec 12, 2012

Report on November

October's earning were the lowest in over a year. I was particularly concerned because I know from the years I was selling on eBay that October is the month people start spending for Christmas. I can announce that November improved considerably on October, mainly because I spent a lot of October fixing what was wrong on my main site. I think I'm about 80% finished and I'm slowly recovering from being sandboxed.

Given that Google is the King of the Internet, I'm liking more and more the sites run by Google. In particular, blogger and youtube. For November my youtube earnings were the second highest earnings with Google adsense. So just this month I have now monetized all of my youtube videos instead of just a few, and I am trying to add new videos daily.  None of them have gone viral, but I live in hope.

Kindle books are very slowly trending down, November 2012 sales were 80% of November 2011 sales. I'm not worried because I'm expecting a huge peak in January. So I'm expecting that the seasonal low is now and not that Kindle sales are dwindling.

I'm finding that it's just getting more difficult to earn money online. I'm building real estate all the time and at the moment the rewards are not worth the effort I'm putting in. One answer is that I'm doing it wrong, but I actually feel there's a lot more competition. The more people who build websites, the less of a share there is to go round. The challenge for me is to see if I can get a larger slice of the share.

My "Make Money Online with HubPages" book has a new cover. Many people follow my links and look at the book, but few buy it. I'm hoping a new cover might help sales.

November's Amazon rewards were $260. A lot better than October, but not where I hoped I would be by now. My best sale in November was a sewing machine for nearly $1000, this one

And here's the link:
Brother PE770 (PE 770) Embroidery Machine w/ USB Flash Port and Grand Slam Package Includes 63 Embroidery Threads with Snap Spools + Prewound Bobbins + Cap Hoop + Sock Hoop + Stabilizer + 15,000 Embroidery Designs + Scissors (,170 Value)

The commission? $58.37. I just hope they don't decide to return it.

Dec 1, 2012

Taking a Break - Really?

Last month I mentioned about thinking of taking a sabbatical. But during November I noticed that a blog I started 18 months ago was getting some traffic and earning some money. First I bought a proper domain, then I spent a lot of November improving the blog, writing posts and scheduling them. I may reduce what I'm doing, but I'm not sure I could ever give this up, or even take a decent break.

Here's my blog. I now have big plans for it.

Nov 20, 2012

My Method of Choosing Products

I advertise and sell a number of products. I thought I'd write about how I choose products to advertise.

If you sell on Amazon, you can advertise something and if someone buys anything, you get the commission. So you can get commission on things that you don't directly advertise. This in turn gives you ideas of what people are actually buying.

I used to sell a lot of books, and if you write an article about Kindle books and then sell a book for 99c, you can get 4-8 cents in commission. But if you write an article about products that sell for $100, you can get $4-$8 commission and you have done the same amount of work for a larger commission.

I have been advertising products that sell for between $50 and $200, but recently I've been aiming for the $100 to $200 price range.

So, if I sell something on Amazon that I didn't advertise and it's between $100 and $200, then I write an article about it and advertise it more. If this leads to more sales, then I might eventually make a webpage with many of those type of products. If I'm going to the effort of making a website, then each individual item needs to sell for over $100.

Why do I cap it at $200? The reason is that if a product is worth more than $200 the buyer will often do more research before buying. Amazon only has a 24 hour tracker, so the buyer really needs to click directly from my site and then buy something. I don't get commission if he looks at lots of sites before deciding to buy.

I use Pinterest for market research too. I will often pin a variety of something (eg shoes or clothes) to see which one is repinned the most. Then that item becomes the most advertised on my site.

Electronics do not follow the usual patterns. If people are looking for electronics they are often looking for more specialized knowledge which I don't feel I can give them. Therefore, I really stay away from electronics because it is a more specialized market. Often the commission is capped at 4% because the profit margins are too narrow, although near Christmas is the time that many people will buy electronics, so it's still worth while writing about them from time to time.

I do write articles about electronics occasionally, and do get sales. But as far as big screen TVs and printers go, I have yet to sell my first one.

Nov 6, 2012

Thinking of Taking a Sabbatical

I worked at selling on eBay for 3 years. I think I became a really good seller. I learned the business and how to make money selling on Amazon and eBay. But at the time I got fed up doing it, eBay suddenly became a more difficult place to make money and then I heard about earning money by writing and Internet Marketing. So I decided - 3 years ago - that I would give the earning online 3 years to replace my eBay income. The bottom line is that I'm still not earning more than I was earning in those eBay years.

The Jews of the Old Testament had a principle of a Sabbath year. They would work for 6 years and then take the 7th off. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of me taking a Sabbath year. The daily grind is much of a struggle and I don't spend much time with my family. My third child will graduate next year and my youngest will be in 8th grade. Soon they may all have left home. So, in an effort to spend quality time with the family I'm thinking of stepping back from all this crazy effort to earn money online. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I think I could take my daughter traveling. But then I know I'd blog about it. I guess blogging and writing never leaves you, even if you take a Sabbath year!

I know many people earn a living online. the question is, not, "Can someone earn a living online?" But "Can I earn a living online?"

So, watch this space.

Nov 5, 2012

October - The rest of the results

Google Adsense rules prevent me from telling you how much I earned, but compared with the rest of the year, October was very slightly higher than average.

Kindle book sales are pretty steady, in fact Kindle book sales are way more stable than websites. Maybe I should move more in that direction.

My overall total was the lowest it's been since October 2011. Here was I in July thinking I knew what I was doing and was about to make my goal, but now at the start of November I realize how little I know about what I'm doing. And thinking deep thoughts about my future direction.

Nov 4, 2012

October - Where have all the buyers gone?

Back in January I decided to increase my Amazon earnings so I was getting a residual income of $1000 a month by Christmas. But this is just not happening. My biggest earner got sandboxed in August and it's still recovering. So I've basically spent October fixing problems and not building new links. It's always more interesting to build a new site than fix an old one and so the motivation isn't there to fix problems.

I do have multiple streams of income, albeit small. So one site being sandboxed shouldn't affect the others. I can say though that most days I earn something from Amazon, a zero day is rare. But for October 2012 the first 9 days of the month I didn't earn anything, and the biggest problem is, I have no idea why. I haven't had that amount of consecutive zero days for over a year or two.

For a long time I wrote articles and advertised books. I sell a lot of books. However the commission on books is very small. About a year or two ago I realized that if I advertised something more expensive, then I would get a larger commission, and that is what I have been doing since. There are a number of niches I target and sales come from there. But why no one bought anything I recommended in the first 9 days of October is a puzzle. I had 264 clicks, but no sales.

And finally, on October 10th, someone bought a toilet, this one.

Thetford 92360 Porta Potti 550E Curve Portable Toilet

At least that got me $8 commission. And that's better than selling books!

Three or four months ago I would have told you that as I learned to increase my Amazon sales, I also got a number of sales from But October was a zero month, the first since February.

October 2011 my Amazon commission (when I claim I didn't know what I was doing) was $99. October 2012 it was $40.

So, let's see if I can do any better in November. I'm sure I can't do worse.

Oct 28, 2012

Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More

Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More

Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 217 pages
  • Publisher: Hay House (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401936474
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401936471
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)

  •      After creating her own financial freedom and reaching a net worth of $1 million, Loral Langemeier decided that she would start a coaching and seminar company to provide a catalyst that would allow others to reach this same level of success. That company, Live Out Loud, LLC, was a fledgling endeavor that grew to a multimillion-dollar company in just five years.
         Loral now shares her high-value strategies at seminars all over the world, teaching people her simple recipe for capitalizing on their skills and talents to make new money. She is also the author of four best-selling books, including The Millionaire Maker three-book series and Put More Cash in Your Pocket; and has appeared on CNN, CNBC, The Street, Fox News Channel, Fox Business Channel, The View, and Dr. Phil.

    What are people saying?

    - Not what I had hoped it to be (Click here to see full review)
    - Not Very Useful - Not Much Substance (Click here to see full review)
    - Money Is Made at the Back of the Room (Click here to see full review)

    Overall Rating: 3.6 out of 5 Stars.

    For full details
or to buy the Yes! Energy: The Equation to Do Less, Make More now, click here. Most orders are eligible for free shipping.
Source of Buyer Reviews and Description:

Oct 9, 2012

How to Find a Niche

Here's a video I made a while ago. It shows how to find a good topic for writing an article on HubPages. But it's just as good a method for finding a narrow niche for a website. Note, I've moved from writing articles to building websites.

Oct 7, 2012

Method for Building a Profitable Website

Many people have their formula for building a profitable website, and I'd like to share with you mine.

1. Find a good niche

2. Build a website with 20 pages of good content, that's about 20 x 500 words, or 10,000 words total.

3. Make sure the products you advertise are relevant to the content.

4. Write 5 articles on free sites with revenue share (HubPages, Squidoo, etc) advertising your website

5. Write 10 articles on article directories (eZine, goarticles, etc) linking to the articles in #4 (not to the original website).

6. Add new content regularly, check the links always work.

Oct 5, 2012

Looking Back at September

September was my lowest overall earnings in 9 months. This was mainly because my biggest earner has been sandboxed. I've been working on improving the site, but not much. I have too many other things to do.

Anyway, I've been changing things on my other websites and I'm hoping to get that income back up in a month or so. The plan was to make $1000 from Amazon Associates in December, it doesn't look like that will now happen, but I will still keep trying.

Anyway, September's Amazon money was $167, not where I hoped to be at the start of the 4th quarter.

Here's my best Amazon seller:

Coaster Twin Wood Loft Bunk Bed with Workstation in Cappuccino Finish

Oct 3, 2012

Why Living in California Sucks (Occasionally)

The nexus law reared its ugly head again in September. As far as Amazon is concerned, we started paying sales tax on our Amazon earnings, which in my opinion is no big deal because I think we should have done that years ago.

But I was dropped by a number of merchants on, and that was a big inconvenience.

It started with Wayfair who sent me an email with the title Wayfair Affiliate Program DECLINED. I was very puzzled by this as I had been a Wayfair affiliate for over a year and I hadn't only just applied to be one. I thought I had broken a rule that I didn't know about (not uncommon in this business).

Here's the content of the email:

Thanks you for your interest in the Wayfair Affiliate Program. Upon review of your site we were not sure how our products would fit with your marketing approach. However, since we realize that many affiliates have a number of sites and marketing talents, we would like to offer you the chance to email us directly at to give us more information, at which point we will review your site(s) once again.

Thank you again for your interest in our program. We hope to hear from you with a more detailed plan about a potential partnership
Best Wishes, 

Then came another email from one of my Shareasale merchants:

New Agreement Effective Date: September 22, 2012
Merchant provided summary of changes:
Update to the Prohibition against solicitation activities by resident affiliates in the states of California, New York, North Carolina and Rhode Island.

and another:

Thank you for applying to the Affiliate Program. We apologize, however, we are only accepting partners whose sites are suitably targeted to users who fit our marketing profile.
After carefully reviewing your site, we do not feel your site meets these criteria.
If you feel that the rejection cause is not applicable, or if you would like to appeal for any other reason, please contact us so we can reconsider your application. 

And then yet another merchant stopped being on my list of affiliates, without me receiving an email.

The net result is that I've spent the last two weeks checking all my websites and blogs, changing adverts, which is not my favorite thing to do. My plan always was to spend the month of October checking my links are live for the Christmas season, but I'd always prefer to choose what I do than be forced into doing something.

Ah, well, I suppose that's the Internet marketing life. And if I don't like it I could always get a real job!

Oct 1, 2012

I've published another book

I'm still writing my next book. I have writer's block and am struggling. Meanwhile, 2 weeks' ago I suddenly remembered that 9 years ago when my daughter was 3, I made her a little book with photographs of her making breakfast. I wondered about publishing it on Amazon for about an hour, and then started working on it.

It took two whole weeks (which seemed like forever) but this morning it went live on both Kindle and as a print book. I've put it free for the next 5 days in the Kindle version and I woke up this morning to discover 20 people had already downloaded it for free.

So, if you are reading this blog post the day it's written, you can go to Amazon and get the Kindle version for free. Of course 4 or 5 star reviews of the book are greatly appreciated!

 Here's the book:

Joanna Makes Breakfast

Also, for this week only, I have put the following book for free on Kindle download

Make Money Online with HubPages

Sep 5, 2012


I've been hearing about people losing their Google Adsense account, or nearly losing it a lot more in the last month. On my own personal site I have a few Google Ads, and one day they just disappeared. Then I realized I didn't have a privacy policy on the site, so I added one. A couple of weeks later the ads came back. Yes, I didn't follow the Google rules, but when you work with lots of sites that all have different rules, it gets confusing. In truth, adding a privacy policy to my many sites has been on my to-do list a long time, just not near the top. The Google ads disappearing on one site made me add it to many other sites too.

One of the problems online is that Google is just so big. It is the biggest for paying money for adverts, and it is by far the biggest search engine. If Google doesn't like you for any reason, it's difficult to make money by another method.

Having said that, of all the different methods I make money, Google Adsense is usually one of the lowest. I find it easier to write and sell products than I do to earn money from Adsense.

Sep 4, 2012

It's Tough Being a Work At Home Mom

It's tough being a work at home mom. The advantage is the flexibility, but the disadvantage is that family comes first. I'm looking forward to the end of summer and some semblance of routine happening again, because I've hardly done any online work since June.

Three of my four children changed school or college over the summer and there has been endless forms to fill, supplies to buy, visits to make. Even the child who stayed in the same school had to be re-registered.

Sometimes I think I would like a "real job" (and certainly the real pay would be nice), but then I get creative and start enjoying it again.

I wonder if I could earn enough to get a housekeeper, or even a personal chef, then that would give me even more free time for my creativity. But in the short term, I have to clean my own house, cook my own meals and clean up after everyone. Well, I can dream. After all, isn't that what Internet Marketing is all about?

Sep 3, 2012

Amazon Earnings

Last month I earned $427 with Amazon and I was aiming to beat that this month, but I didn't. Last month, very early in the month I managed to get to the 7% level of earnings and this month I just missed that and stayed at the 6.5%. The difference in earnings is only about $20, as when you reach the 7%, everything you have sold changes to the 7% level.

In August, I made $225 with Amazon Associates, here are the details by tracking number

If that is too small to read, you can read it here

The problem is that the first tracking number is from a site that has now been sandboxed. When Google sandboxes a site, it can be for a week, a month, or forever and we don't know. I don't know if I should work on improving this site, or work somewhere else. This is the site I was building up for high sales (I hope) at Christmas.

Sep 2, 2012


Volatile! That's the word that describes this Internet Marketing Business we are in. And August 2012 was certainly that.

There was yet another large Google change on August 20th and my traffic has plummeted.

Both HubPages and Best-Reviewer have de-indexed hubs and tops respectively, all of which need work to re-appear in Google searches.

My biggest earner has dropped to almost nothing and I'm having deep thoughts about quitting.

The truth is that August figures were very close to June figures, but that's because most of the money I made was made in the first 20 days of the month and not the last 10. The prospect for September does not look good.

I had a plan, starting September 1st to aim for the Christmas market, with a goal to make $1000 with Amazon in December. Today I'm wondering if I should give up my goal and "spend more time with the family".

I've been knocked down so many times before and bounced back. Am I being silly and wasting my time, or should I really invest my time and energy in this business?

Aug 16, 2012

Increasing Amazon Affiliates Income

If you've read this blog for long you will know that I am trying to earn $1000/month from Amazon Affiliates by December 2012. Over the next few days I will be sharing some of the articles I have been reading to help me achieve that goal. Here's the first one, from Chris Guthrie: Top 7 tips I used to make $41,438.42 in 2009 with Amazon Associates

Aug 12, 2012

My Amazon Sale

When I was new to online writing and had just started writing on HubPages, someone suggested writing an article advertising products. My first attempt was this hub

Electric Scooters for the Handicapped and Slightly Disabled

What was funny to me was how little I knew when I wrote the hub (honest, I know a LOT more now).

Anyway, month after month it was my highest earning Adsense hub and I never sold one scooter. I was always amused by that fact. 

Anyway, finally in July I sold a scooter, and the irony was that it didn't come from this hub. Here's the scooter I sold

DRIVE MEDICAL Phoenix 4 Wheel Compact Scooter

Aug 11, 2012

What a Crazy Summer

I guess nothing goes to plan. I had a plan to write a book in May and another one in July. The May book hasn't been touched since May and the July book hasn't been started. With 4 children in the house over the summer, I just don't get much time to do any writing. More than anything, I'm looking forward to the routine of school starting again in a couple of weeks. Two will be in college (one home, one away), one in high school and my homeschooler is starting school two days a week. This I hope will give me more time to write.

Nevertheless July was my highest month ever, thanks mainly to Amazon Associates (see yesterday's post). I don't know why I report on Google earnings, compared to all my other income streams, it's not much. But the top three this month were WebAnswers, Best-Reviewer and YouTube.

And Kindle sales which dropped in June, went back up again in July. They seem to be steady income with little fluctuation. Now, if only I could write some more.

Aug 10, 2012

July Went Wild

Earnings have been going up every month, there was a slight downward trend in June, but July WENT WILD!

Most of the increase came from Amazon Associates which reached $430. I also made 4 sales with Shareasale which made $135 commission. This is really surprising since when I sold on eBay the summer months of  June, July and August were the slowest months, with July being the worst selling month of the year.

Remember I am trying to increase my Amazon sales to get to $1000 residual with Amazon by December.

Now let me tell you that over 90% of my Amazon income came from one site. My question is, should I try and increase that amount, or use my time building up my other sites?

Jul 9, 2012

Leveraging the Power of Slide Decks to Boost your SEO, Social + Content Marketing - Whiteboard Friday

Posted on The Daily SEO Blog In this week's Whiteboard Friday, we are going to be discussing how you can use slide decks for web marketing. I've been leveraging the power of slide decks for quite some time now and would like to share a little bit about what I have learned. The Daily SEO Blog

Jul 6, 2012

How Much Residual Income Did I Make?

If you saw yesterday's post you'll know that I spent June listing on eBay and Amazon and didn't do much in the direction of residual income, so everything I earned really was residual.

Every month since November my income has gone up, this month it dropped by 16% compared with May. The main reason was the Kindle book sales for my best selling book dropped 28%. Everything else was pretty much the same.

The only surprise was that my biggest Adsense earner was YouTube. My second biggest was WebAnswers and third was, the sister site of

Amazon sales were $170. I have yet to break the $200 barrier in any one month. But I'm sure that will come soon.

Jul 5, 2012

What Happened to June?

It's July and I wonder what happened to June.
This was my plan: May - write a Kindle book
June - publish the Kindle book
July - write another Kindle book

But it's not happening, and here's why.

My planned 20,000 word book for May got stuck at 12,000. I haven't written anything there for about 3 weeks.

A client of mine is moving. I have clients with clutter problems and they give me stuff to sell or freecycle. As time goes on I'm trying to earn residual income and not direct income, so I'm not actively seeking new clients, but the people I've helped for years still give me stuff to sell. As a result, I've unexpectedly spent the month of June listing on ebay and freecycling. I made about $1000 and a lot of stuff has been listed and will sell in the future, so it was definitely worth my while doing that, but I'm having to push back my Kindle books a little.

Jun 2, 2012

Looking Back at May

Firstly, May figures beat April figures. That means that every month I have made more than the previous month, since November 2011, so I feel I must be doing something right.

My biggest earners were my Kindle books. Second biggest is Amazon Associates at $150, but in May I also made $75 with 3 sales on Shareasale. I'm starting to like Shareasale more and more, it took 74 sales to get $150 on Amazon, but only 3 on Shareasale to get $75. I'd still like to make over $1000 per month for Amazon regularly, but that seems a long way off.

For Adsense, my biggest earner was WebAnswers, nothing else was significant. I still struggle to make anything half decent with Adsense.

I spent May writing my next Kindle book. I was aiming for 20,000 words in the month of May, and I wrote 12,000. so, while I still have a way to go, I'm pleased at what was actually written.

I also started a website, Audio Bible Tube where I read the Bible. Many people have said to me that they like my voice, and would I read scripture, so that is what I am doing here. At first I thought I'd not monetize it, and just put a paypal button on if anyone wanted to make a donation. I didn't like that, so there are Christian books linked to Amazon down the side of the page. I'm not doing this website primarily to make money, but thought I might make the occasional sale.

June is free for me, the homeschooling having stopped, so I plan to do a lot of writing and marketing, mainly work on my book as I'd like it ready for publication byt the end of the month.

Oh, I have jury duty too. Let's hope that doesn't last longer than a day.

May 15, 2012

How to Get More Traffic to Your Blog or Webpage

Lat night I met Bill Belew from, he did a presentation called Let's talk Google Panda and Penguin Updates and best SEO practices. Here are his ways to get more traffic to your blog or website:

1. Quantity. Find who is your nearest competitor and write more than they have on that topic.
2. Quality. Make your articles better quality than the next person.
3. Consistency. Keep posting new material.
4. Start early. Time matters on the Internet, how long a web page has been live matters, but after a while a 1 year domain counts as much as a 10 year domain.

And that, he said, is the secret to getting more traffic to your blog or webpage. He claims to have 30,000 articles on 10 different unrelated topics. I did a quick Google search and found books on Amazon he's written and youtube videos he's made. He makes large popular websites and then people find him.

Here's a youtube video that someone made about him

May 6, 2012


While I have been trying to earn money with Amazon Affiliates, I have also been trying to earn money with Shareasale. I joined Shareasale last July when Amazon stopped letting me be an affiliate. It took a while to work out how they worked, and just as I did, I got my Amazon account back, so didn't really do anything with them.

But recently, while I have been working on trying to increase my earnings with Amazon, I've also been trying to earn with Shareasale. The good news is that I just passed the minimum payment threshold of $50, so I will be receiving a payment next month.

Whereas Amazon pays you on a sliding scale from 4% for referrals made in the first 24 hours you refer someone, Shareasale often gives you 10% for 30 days. The $50 I'm about to get paid is just from 4 sales. It takes many more sales on Amazon to reach $50.

Just to clarify, Shareasale is made up of many different vendors who all have their own terms. 10% and 30 days seems to be about average, but they do vary.

Last July I signed up with Linkshare and Shareasale, but I much prefer Shareasale. To start with, I worked equally with both, but as time has gone on, I converted all my Linkshare adverts to Shareasale.

If you want to join Shareasale, please use my referral link below

Join, Earn Cash!

May 4, 2012

May 1, 2012

I'm on a roll...

In November 2011 I realized it was my highest earning month ever. Then December beat that, January beat that, February beat that, March beat that. And April was my best month ever.

While the amounts aren't anything high, the trend is great. I do a little here, a little there, every day. And the figures are gradually going up. It's a healthy trend and I'm happy about it.

Having written a book about getting rid of clutter, and then spent most of March getting the book into print, my house got really messy. My hubby requested that I declutter the house before writing another book on decluttering. I did, I got rid of most of the books in the house and wrote about it here Getting Rid of a Lot of Books

As far as Google Adsense is concerned, these were my top 3 for April:

And Amazon Associates was $170, and that's my highest ever.

My goal for May is to write another book about clutter.

Apr 10, 2012

Emilie Wapnick

Read about Emilie Wapnick on Puttylike

She describes herself as entrepreneur, writer, speaker, and coach.

Apr 4, 2012

Amy Lynn Andrews

Tell Your Time: How to Manage Your Schedule So You Can Live Free

It’s the shortest, most power-packed time management book you’ve ever read, guaranteed.

How to make money blogging, read about it here

Apr 1, 2012

Looking back at March

What a roller coaster month!

Here we are at the end of the first quarter of the year and already I'm changing direction.

I think I have multiple streams of income, but in reality they are all just trickles with potential. If i worked full time on any one of them I could convince myself I could make enough to live on, but my free time is scarce and my ideas too random and scattered. I have a plan, go after it and then have another plan. Meanwhile the money keeps trickling in at way less than the minimum wage per hour for all the hours I have put in. Still, I tell myself, it's residual. It will come in eventually. The flip side of this coin is that I have to live to 200 in order to fully reap the benefits of a luxurious lifestyle based on my residual earnings.

At the start of the year I resolved to increase my Amazon earnings month by month until I was earning $1000 per month by December. Now, only 3 months later I'm changing direction and my explanation will come soon, but first a few facts about the month.

Firstly, I spent a lot of this month getting my Living Simply book into paperback form. I thought it would take an hour or two, but we've worked on it for 3 solid weekends and it's still not quite ready. I hope it will be available in the next week or two, but when it is sold on Amazon I will make 50 cents per copy instead of the $2 a copy for the Kindle version. So I hope the hours I put in doing that will be rewarded with lots of sales.

Best-Reviewer (one of my biggest earners) lost their Google ads for their site, with no explanation. Then 2 weeks later Google said the site was "now fine" (nothing had changed) and put them back. Google actually did us all a favor because James (the owner of Best-Reviewer) created a sister site, called Best-Reviewers (notice the extra "s") and now there are two sites.

I spent a lot of time on Pinterest this month, mainly pinning products with my Amazon code, surrounded by other pins just to make it look like I wasn't just pinning things with the Amazon code. But a day or two ago Pinterest changed something so that if you pin something with a referral code, it displays it without. So there goes 200 hours of my life without any decent income to show for it. I did sell 7 things with Amazon through Pinterest, but I was hoping for more long term better results.

This just shows that life in the world of online marketing is more volatile than we would wish, or I should rather say, it's stability is like nitroglycerin in the hands of a toddler.

My Kindle books are selling well. I have a few friends with Kindle books that are pleased with the level of sales, so I have decided to go less in the direction of Amazon Affiliates and more in the direction of Amazon Kindle books. I now have two Kindle books fully planned and ready to start (all I have to do is write them!) And I have reserved May to write one and July to write the other.

In preparation for writing the books I have unsubscribed from most of the online newsletters I subscribe to and plan on not doing much online socializing while I'm writing. We shall see if I can manage it.

Also, hubby has encouraged me to declutter the house before I write another book advising others how to declutter. After proofreading my book a gazillion times, I know the techniques and just need to get off the computer and put them into practice, so that is what April is for.

So, I'm going into semi-Internet hibernation for the next few months until I have published 2 more books, both for Kindle and paperback. Then I'll either sit back and live off the earnings or keep trying to live to 200.

Here are my earnings from March. Just a little reminder that Google doesn't let you say how much you've earned, so I have to just give you my top 3 earners.

Amazon Associates $96

Google earnings top 3 (in order)
Pleasanton Blog

Mar 24, 2012

Feeling very pleased

I'm feeling very pleased with myself. I decided I needed to learn how to put a link behind a picture in a blog. So I spent all afternoon learning how to do just that.

I love learning things on the Internet, you can Google what you want and work at your own pace. Sometimes it's a little frustrating, but eventually you get there. If only calculus could be taught like that!

Anyway, every photo on the following blog should have a clickable link. And now I need to change the links on all my other blogs and websites too!

Mar 18, 2012

Darren Rowse

Darren Rowse is someone who earns a living online, and then helps others do the same. Here's his book

Mar 14, 2012

Looking back at February

Yesterday I told you about my Amazon earnings. I expected high earnings in December and January, but February beat January. My highest single earner was my Homeschooling Boys Kindle book. I have plans for more Kindle books, I think I do better with those than I do with Google or Amazon.

My google top 3 earners during February were
in that order.

The bad news is that two days ago Best-Reviewer had all their Google ads removed by Google and the owner, James, doesn't know why. This is one more reason why you should write on your own site and not someone else's, but I've always done well on Best-Reviewer.

I'm currently working on getting my Living Simply Kindle book in paperback form with CreateSpace. Hopefully that will be completed in March.

One more thing to mention, I sold a bikini on Shareasale from my webpage, The bikini cost $347 and I got 10% - that's $34.70 for just one sale. now I just hope they don't return it!

Mar 13, 2012

Amazon Results for February

I got really excited in February when someone clicked through using my Amazon referral code and bought an $800 bunk bed AND the matching dresser for $300. I tried not to count my chickens, but I did, and I calculated $72 worth of commission for me. But it never happened.

Some products which are advertised by Amazon are not in the Amazon Associates referral program and these products are two of those. But if we don't get the commission, why does Amazon show them as sales? I really don't know.

Apart from those sales, I had a really good month on Amazon. I sold a rowing machine, a Digital Analog Converter, a portable water heater and a high definition television. The total I made in sales commission was $135 and I missed my goal of $180. If only that bunk bed set had counted. Ah well, I now know what to look for when advertising Amazon products.

So that's the reason February stats are late, I was waiting for the payment to show up for the bunk beds, but now I've decided it never will.

In February I discovered Pinterest and spent a lot fo my time working out how it works and also trying to make some money from it. I'm not yet convinced that the money will be worth the time spend, but I'm currently investigating. I did get 4 Amazon sales from Pinterest, one of which was the television. So that was $23 for about $20 hours work.

My goal for March is $200, let's see if I can make that or if I'll get too sidetracked with Pinterest.

Mar 9, 2012

Commission Evolution: Affiliate Marketing Tips - The Complete Guide to Winning the Affiliate Game

I just read this book to gain some knowledge in my quest to earn money with Amazon Affiliates.

The book is about affiliate marketing and mainly talks about Clickbank, but the principles are the same. I liked that it didn't discuss making a webpage with WordPress as the only option for affiliate sales.

The book took me an hour to read. I got it free with Amazon's library lending system. I'm glad I didn't pay $8.93 for it, but had I paid $2.99 I think it would have been worth it.

I felt I already knew the information in the first half of the book, but I gained a few suggestions from the second half. They are as follows:
- make a youtube video advertising a product and put your affiliate link in it
- use PowerPoint in your youtube video to make it look more professional
- advertise on myspace, it's not used as much as Facebook, but it's still used a lot

I have already used Camtasia to make youtube videos and love the suggestion. I already make videos advertising other people's products and sites via Fiverr, but somehow didn't think to make any for my own sites. Watch this space, I'll make some soon.

Feb 22, 2012


I've discovered Pinterest!

In case you don't know what that is, it's a place where you can post pictures that you like. You can repin pictures from other people's boards. So I've been spending a lot of time there, and some of my boards have Amazon links.

I've been reading blogs and some people are reporting an increase in Amazon earnings after putting links on Pinterest. While the rules say no self serving links, no one has yet been banned for putting links to their own sites and blogs.

You are allowed to put links to other people's websites, but not your own. But no one is checking.

And in true Internet marketing fashion, I've started two Pinterest accounts (just in case they cancel one)

Here they are:

Feb 13, 2012

In an effort to make more Amazon Affiliate money I designed this webpage using Weebly.

If you have any constructive criticism, or you find a link that doesn't work, please let me know.

Feb 10, 2012

W.E. Literary Digest

Webpages Examiner on HubPages has put together a list of books written by HubPages people. It can be viewed here

Feb 3, 2012

How to Build an Amazon Store with WordPress for FREE

I'm currently building a website with Weebly. I love it and it's easy to use. But the professionals use WordPress. I know I have to learn WordPress sometime, I'm just putting it off.

I found this site How to Build an Amazon Store with WordPress for FREE, and although a lot of this was over my head, I know I want to get there eventually.

Feb 1, 2012

Looking back at January

November 2011 I made the most money ever in one month. December 2011 I beat that figure which wasn't surprising as everyone spends money in December. But what surprised me was that I beat December figure in January. From all the different sources of income, January 2012 has totalled my highest earning ever.

This was in a large part to the sales of my book Homeschooling Boys - Gaining Maximum Success from Minimum Cooperation. I sold 153 during January, beating the previous highest month, that of 96 in October 2011. Some of those sales I also earned affiliate commission if they were purchased through my own webpage.

Talking of Amazon Affiliates, my goal was to earn $100 for the month of January. I actually earned $80, so I didn't reach my target, but I'm still very pleased with that. My new target for February is to increase that figure by $100, so I'm aiming to earn $180 during February purely from Amazon Associates. I'll report on my progress next month.

In an effort to gain more income from Amazon I designed a website with Weebly, That's where I mainly spent my time during January, but I have yet to make my first sale from that website. Currently all links lead to Amazon, but eventually they won't.

I was planning on getting a series of 5 Kindle books published in time for Christmas, they are as follows:
Making Money Online with WebAnswers
Make Money Online with Best-Reviewer
Make Money Online with Fiverr
Make Money Online with HubPages
Making Money Online with HubPages, WebAnswers, Best-Reviewer and Fiverr

I only managed the first three, and then I got not one, but three one star reviews for the WebAnswers book, so I've unpublished it with the intention of rewriting it. During January I finished and published the HubPages book, which is a 6,000 word book. I think I'm finally getting the hang of Kindle publishing. This book is nicely presented with clickable chapters. My plan for February is to rewrite the WebAnswers book and finishing publishing the whole set. Let's hope they sell as well as the Homeshcooling Boys book.

My other main book is Living Simply - Improve Your Life with Less Clutter,which only sold 7 during January. I can see I'm going to have to promote that some more.

Increasingly I'm moving away from earning with Adsense, but just to report my top highest earners for the month of January with Adsense were WebAnswers, InfoBarrel and Best-Reviewer, in that order.

Jan 24, 2012


HubsAcademy is run by Sunforged from HubPages. There are many articles about HubPages and writing online.

Jan 21, 2012

Write for is a news and lifestyle network and they are looking for writers, and they pay you to write.

Would you like to write for the Examiner? Follow this link for more information.

Jan 9, 2012

Learning about Amazon Associates

This year's resolution is to earn more with Amazon Associates. But first I need to be educated. I'm sharing that journey here.

First I went to Amazon to see if there are any books and Kindle books that might be useful. There are only two books on Amazon about how to earn money with Amazon.

This is a book I'd like to buy, but haven't yet. I'm trying to gain knowledge without spending anything first. The book is currently $9.99, so it's a little high. I know Zen Duck Dave (in an online knowing sort of way), so I trust the information he will give. I'm just not ready to buy the book yet.

This is the first in a series of books by Ryan Stevenson. I hadn't heard of this author until I found his books. This first book in the series is available for 99 cents or free for Kindle owning Prime members, the rest are $6.99.

Ryan's blog is If you sign up on his blog for his newsletter, you can get one of his books for free. You can also buy his series of books on his webpage either singly or as one $37 purchase.

Having read 2 of Ryan's books I decided not to get any others, just because I don't like spending money and I'd like to try and get some information free first.

Then I watched a few youtube videos. I just searched for Amazon Associates and watched lots of videos. On some of them, you can actually see their earnings. You can read a book and not know for certain if someone is earning money or not, so it's nice to see the screen shots in youtube videos.

Finally I browsed Warrior Forum for Amazon Associates threads and learned all I could there.

There was this one blog post that was advertised on Warrior Forum that contains a lot of great information.

Here are some of the things I've learned (in no particular order):

  • Don't put Google ads on a webpage where you want people to click on your Amazon ads.
  • People are more likely to click on ads if the webpage is wider
  • The best webpages have about 20+ pages
  • Aim for a quality webpage
  • If you find a niche where the product manuals are online, that can help you write reviews
  • Amazon product webpages, like everything else, will become saturated. That's good for Amazon but not good for the online earner.

Now, here's my comment, there are many ways to earn Amazon Affiliate money, but all I've read suggests setting up a product based webpage. One person on the Warrior Forum thread mentioned that he has other ways of earning with Amazon, but didn't say how. Setting up a webpage isn't the only way.

Jan 3, 2012

Portable Toilets

In an effort to earn more Amazon Associates money, I've designed a site about Portable Toilets.

I used Weebly and designed the whole site in about 3 hours. I found Weebly very easy to use. I'm someone who has designed a webpage using my imac, but haven't yet ventured into building one with WordPress. Weebly allows you two free webpages. When once you have done that you can sign up for their Weebly pro program from $3 per month. Of course you'd need to register a domain on top of that.

Why portable toilets? Well, I wrote an article about portable toilets a while ago and sold a few and also sold a toilet tent to go with one. So, it seemed like a good niche topic. While everyone else is writing about electronics and competing for the top places in the Google search, I may be one of the few writing about portable toilets. Selling one toilet or tent on Amazon can get about $4-$10 commission.

Jan 2, 2012

New Year's Resolutions 2012

Here are my New Year's Resolutions fo 2012 as far as writing is concerned:

1. Finish Make Money Online Kindle Series

2. Start a book club blog

3. Work on Amazon Associates account to get $1000 per month by December.

4. Use more in-text Amazon Ads on HubPages

5. Write a Kindle book from scratch on homeschooling

6. Record homeschooling boys audio version

7. Get print version of homeschooling boys book with CreateSpace


8. Build a product based WordPress site, earn money from it

9. Learn Pixelmator or similar so I can produce my own book covers

10. Join Keyword Academy for at least a month

Jan 1, 2012

Plans for 2012 - Amazon Associates

In 2011 I started doing well with Amazon Associates and then I lost my account for July, August and September. When I go it back on October 3rd I already had plans leading up to Christmas and didn't really plan to make much money with Amazon. But knowledge gained is never lost and I believe that for me, earning money with Amazon Associates is the best direction for me to go right now.

So, this is my New Year's Resolution for 2012. I plan on getting $1000 a month from Amazon Associates by the end of the year. I wonder if I can do it.