For me creating an online shopping store is part of my making money online plan. I’ve tried for some time now using Amazon and promoting some products as an affiliate but that hasn’t worked out all that well. While I have made some money on Amazon their commission rates are pretty pitiful to say the least. As for promoting products as an affiliate, well keeping track and the constant updating of affiliate links is, as I’m sure you will all agree, pretty damn tiresome.
That’s why I’ve decided to give AliExpress a go! Like eBay, these guys have a huge range of products and most of them are at discounted prices. Truthfully I’ve never heard of AliExpress before. They only came to my attention when I came along the Xpress Stores Pro plugin.
OK, before going any further you need to join the AliExpress Portal as an affiliate before you even consider creating an online shopping store. Once you’ve done that you can buy your Xpress Stores Pro plugin. At the moment it’s selling for a very low $47 but they say that price is limited. It comes with a 30 day money back guarantee but the truth is you can’t judge this type of plugin in only 30 days. Why? Because generally it will take you way longer than that to direct traffic after creating an online shopping store.
I’m hoping to cut that time back by attaching my online stores to existing sites. So far I’ve created 4 online stores!
You’ll notice when checking Wassup Top Shopping that I’m displaying 24 products per page. I do this so that my store is the same height as my sidebar. You’ll also notice the categories in the sidebar. What you may not notice first off is that all my stores run on the FlexSqueeze2 theme. This is even though the plugin creators recommended getting a so called ‘shopping’ theme. FlexSqueeze2 is so versatile that it beats any of those shopping themes hands down! The video shows just how versatile the theme is.
I know there will be a lot of you reading this who will not buy the Xpress Stores Pro plugin and that is a shame. I’ve always said the main reason so many people fail to run a successful online business is because they don’t invest any money in it. Perhaps it’s because they’ve never heard the saying “You have to spend money to make money“.
Your online business is like any business and if your serious you need to invest some money in it. The beauty about having an online business is that it’s so much cheaper than your average bricks and mortar business, My firs business cost me $80 thousand. My second cost over $600 thousand.
Last year, what with hosting, advertising and equipment purchases (plugins, software, etc) I spent over $2000 but I made over $5000 a profit of $3000. I know it doesn’t sound like much but that’s still 150% increase on my investment. It’s taken awhile to get there but I’m on the right track and I know that I will increase my profit as time goes on. I’m hoping that the small investment of $47 on the Xpress Stores Pro plugin will increase my profits.
The question is how much are you willing to invest on your online business.
Blogging like everything in life can be improved, but only if you don’t give up and strive to get better. Most bloggers who have given up saying that blogging for money is a myth and can’t be done failed because they more than likely did not persist long enough with their blog and they probably made several mistakes along the way.
I know when I first started blogging I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. I have to admit I am bloody embarrassed when I look over those initial posts all those years ago. But then, I didn’t know what I was doing and who I was actually writing for. In those days all I wanted to do was to pump the material out because I though that was what Google wanted. There wasn’t much thought given to what the readers wanted and that was a very important factor.
Blogging For Money The Professional Way
In those days it was all about doing it on the cheap, not because I couldn’t afford to outlay the money, it’s just that I didn’t think it was necessary. That was a bad call, and I should have known better but I was still learning and I was making a lot of mistakes along the way.
Toyota Hilux Precision Driving Team
Take the guys in the following video. They’re professional drivers and, as you can see, they’re very good at what they do. Still, you don’t think they were just able to get into these cars and perform the way they do without a lot of practice, not to mention a lot of mistakes, do you? I bet there was a lot of panel beating that had to be done before they got to the stage that they’re at today. Anyway, I may not be able to drive the way they do but I bet I’m more successful when it comes to blogging for money.
The same applies for bloggers. You can be expected to start up a blog and to instantly get traffic. That takes time and effort and even once the traffic comes in you can’t expect that traffic to generate an instant income. I know, you put so much effort into your blogs and not having it produce an income can be very heart breaking. But they’re doing a disservice to all the bloggers who are successful when it coms to blogging for money and to those who are just starting out.
Mistakes That Hamper Your Blogging For Money Efforts
Not investing in your new found business. Let’s face it, if you’re serious about blogging for money you have to be prepared to spend more than just your time to achieve your goals. This investment includes the following.
Self Hosting Your Blog: Sure there may be the odd few who make money on the free blogging platforms but these are the exception and not the rule. By hosting your own blog you become your own boss and can do what you want without fear of someone cancelling your blog because they didn’t approve of something your wrote. It also shows those who come to your blog that your serious about what you do.
Professional Theme: It took me for ages to invest money in a professional theme and it wasn’t until the second try that I decided on the FlexSqueeze theme. I was so impressed that I use it on all my blogs bar one, which uses the other professional theme, Thesis, that I didn’t like.
Buying The Right Tools: Tools are essential in almost any successful business and this is also true for blogs. Probably the first tool I bought was Market Samurai but since then I’ve bought several in the way of plugins and I am continuing to do so. Tools make a bloggers job easier and also help to increase his income. Some of the free tools are OK but you can’t make money promoting them whereas you can with the paid ones.
I know that there are some out there who pay others to comment on blogs on their behalf as part of their investment strategy but it’s my personal belief that this is a bad investment. It is far better to do your own commenting as this is the only safe way to build your brand.
Awhile back I did a post on how Having Individual Page Headers Are Great and today I’ve used it for the first time on my Lotto blog. You can see it on my William Hill page and I’m really pretty proud with the way it turned out. I used the original banner and then adapted it using Adobe Photoshop Elements to suit the page’s subject matter so it kept with the original blog theme.
OK, so what I am trying to say is don’t give up if things aren’t going your way where blogging for money is concerned. Step back and analyse the situation. If you’re already following my the tips outlined in this post then maybe you need to look at other factors.
Have you picked the right niche? Are you passionate about it and is it showing in the way you write your posts?
Are you engaging your readers are you ignoring them. Engaging them in the content section is always worth the effort.
Are you promoting yourself on other blogs by leaving well thought out and informative comments.
Are you using the social networks properly. Something that I need to concentrate on. For some reason I find this pretty difficult. Must be something to do with my personality or something.
The thing is don’t give up. Have a little break perhaps. Search the net for inspiration and look at what you can do differently. With time and dedication you will succeed at blogging for money. It may not make you a fortune but as long as it adds to your present income I think you can call it a success story.
If you have any other tips for blogging for money just leave a comment. We would all love to hear from you.
Do you ever get those days when your mind just wanders all over the place and you can’t focus on any particular topic? Well, that’s what’s happening to me today and rather than just waste all that rambling I thought I would just jot them down here to see if you guys can make some sense of it all
Funnily enough, the title of this particular post added to the ramblings as I struggled with whether or not I was a professional blogger. In the long run I decided I was because over the years I’ve learned enough about what makes a good blogger, I do it well and I actually make money from doing it. Not to mention that people actually get in touch with me, and pay me money, to write articles for them.
Why Do I Blog?
Originally I got into blogging purely for SEO reasons because I wanted to increase the rankings of a website I had just started, but now I do it for a lot of reasons.
I Love Blogging: Who would have thought that a guy who hated English when he was at school would develop the love of writing blog posts? Truth be told, I can’t think of anything better.
Easier Than Setting Up A Website: Man, it took me ages and ages to set up that original website and it still looks far from professional. If I had only known then about how easy it was to get a blog up and running I would have got into it a lot sooner and I would have saved a lot of aggravation.
An Online Business: It’s strange how things work out isn’t it? Who would have thought that something you can enjoy could turn out to be so profitable
Making Online Friends: Who would have thought that I would have met and become friends with so many people online, and me being a antisocial introvert at best
My Blogging Mistakes
I know people that are too scared to start things because they’re scared they will fail at worst or at best make mistakes. Not giving it a go is their biggest mistake because now they will never know how well thing will have turned out. Besides, so what if you make a mistake or two, that’s how you learn, I know because I’ve made my fair share and I am a better blogger because of it.
Using Free Hosting Service: Fortunately this is one mistake I didn’t
Hey you! Be a good Ninja blogger and don’t make the same mistakes I did!
make but it was probably more luck than anything. Remember at the beginning of the post when I said I started my first blog for SEO purposes? Well, for that to happen it had to be on the same domain. Two posts you may find interesting about why you should host your own blogs are Why Professionals Host Their Own Blogs and Blogging Tips – 5 Reasons For Self Hosting.
Not Writing For My Readers: I have to admit that for awhile my blog posts were pretty crappy and that was all because I was writing for the search engines instead of my readers. In those days it was all about quantity instead of quality. These days I know it’s more important to keep my readers entertained and that providing quality articles full of important information is way more important than writing solely for the search engines.
Ignoring SEO: Yep, this was a biggie for me, but it wasn’t really my fault. I mean let’s face it, SEO is bloody boring and takes forever. That is until I got a hold of Market Samurai! Now, when I have an important post to write I always use MS, but even when I don’t use MS I still use the basic SEO techniques.
Using those free themes: Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with free themes, except that I could never find one that I really liked. they all had something lacking as I wanted one that made me stand away from the crowd. The problem was they were too hard to adapt to make them do what I wanted them to do or to look the way I wanted them to look. I wasted so much time playing around with them, time better spent focusing on my blogging. It wasn’t until I purchased the Flexsqueeze theme that I really started making money online.
Not having a product to sell: Sure I was making a little money from my Adsense ads but like I said in the previous point it wasn’t until I started promoting FlexSqueeze that I learned people were more likely to buy something from you if they saw you used it yourself. That was when I started purchasing WordPress plugins that I could see real value in, joining as an affilate and then offering them to my readers. After all, this blog has a lot to say about blogging, WordPress plugins are an important part of blogging and most of my readers are actual bloggers! Seems only natural that I offer products that help bloggers. Luckily for me JVZoo has lots of them available.
Naturally, these ramblings that my mind constantly struggles with isn’t all to do with blogging. A lot has to do with stuff that I can’t share here because Google wouldn’t appreciate it and it could get the site banned. I mean who would have thought that Google was such a prude I actually removed the Adsense code from my last post because Google wouldn’t display any ads there, probably because of something I said. Last I looked they still weren’t displaying an ad in the sidebar Can you guess what may have upset them?
I’ve been meaning to do a video on how easy it is to use the FlexSqueeze options page but I haven’t been able to do so as I couldn’t find the right software. A while back because of a post I read on Kim’s blog about Jing, I decided to give it a go, but as you can see from the comment I left on her blog it fell far short of my expectations. The main problem being that it seemed to be a bit of a memory hog and slowed everything down so much it was impossible to use.
The other day it dawned on me that I should have a look at my Top Software Online site to see if I had anything there that I can use. Low and behold what did I find but a version of Total Screen Recorder Gold! As you can see from the quality of the following video it worked extremely well, so much so that I reckon it’s another tool that I’ll add to my blogging arsenal.
Edit: FlexSqueeze has just received an update which makes it even easier and more versatile. I’ve written a post about it which you can readhere
The FlexSqueeze Theme gives my blog that professional look. I loved it so much that I bought the developers license. It's the easiest most customizable theme I've come across. See how easy it is to change your theme's appearance! Check out some of the latest Latest Updates I highly recommend you to get your FlexSqueeze copy today!