Category Archives: Blogging

Shared Hosting Driving You Nuts?

If it is, you can rest assured that you are in good company.  The thing is, though, that many of us are amateurs when it comes to running a site, and there is a very good chance that what you think is lousy hosting is really not lousy at all.  You’ve just got some things going on with your site that are causing you problems.

You are in luck.  Not only is this easy to fix, but I’ve written a comprehensive article on how to figure out what is wrong and how to fix it.   And better yet for most WordPress users, I’ve centered the article around WordPress hosting and cPanel:

Making your shared host faster

Bad Behavior Worked…

Well, as I said in my last post, spambots were using up most of my bandwidth (at another site) and server power by trying to post spam several thousand times per day.  I loaded the plugin, Bad Behavior, and all of that has stopped!

The Scourge of Spambots

Imagine my surprise when I logged into my Media Temple account to check my GPU usage and discovered that my most popular site was my least popular site.  Sound contradictory?  Yep.  The deal is that the site with my least amount of real traffic is being bombarded by spambots, thousands every day.  It doesn’t matter, apparently, that Akismet is only getting tricked once or twice a day.  The spambots keep trying their best.

Of course, this is completely unacceptable.  Why should I allow spammers to use up my server resources?  So I’m doing a little experiment with the WordPress plugin Bad Behavior.  I’ve used it before and chucked it because it was actually, for awhile, blocking Google bots, which is a seriously bad thing.  But now I’m willing to risk it.  Bad Behavior should block a lot of these bots from even accessing the site.

Hopefully, after they can’t access it for awhile, they will give up and go elsewhere, and I can get rid of Bad Behavior.  I guess we’ll see.  I’ll have to keep an eye on the Google bots, as well.

Hosting site image map

Continuing to revel in the joys that come with image mapping (see this post), I created an image in Paint.net and used Hany Image Mapper to create a navigation area for Hosting Website.

The purpose of the website is to review hosting providers (honestly) and sell hosting.

Anyway, take a look at the area above the “reviews” section.  All of that is a single image with an image map.  Just imagine how much fun that would have been to float or table into perfect position.

Monetizing through affiliates, an example (Updated)

So I’ve moaned and complained almost endlessly on here about the seeming futility of Adsense.  For the month of June, my site, Funny Email, had a little over 25 thousand “hits” and made $18.41 from Adsense, and that is with the site as optimized for clicking as I can make it without screwing my readers by tricking them into clicking where they don’t want to.  My click-through rate was a little over 1 percent and I earned a little over 6 cents per click.

But there is another way to monetize sites without dipping into the paid reviews and paid links pools, neither of which I find attractive, and that is through joining an affiliate program like the one at Commission Junction.  There are other alternatives, which I will go into in a later post, but Commission Junction seems to be, at the moment, the best choice for me.

The trick when using affiliate programs is to find something that matches your site.  For me with the funny emails site, that caused a number of initial problems.  I finally decided to go with a combination of products that were generic and universal, and products that were humor related.

For the “generic and universal” category, I chose Discover Card.  I picked them because they pay out well.  While not related to humor, most everyone, at least in America, has credit cards, and a single approved application for a credit card pays out $40.  I’ve just started advertising Discover Card and only had my first application yesterday, but even with that one application, I more than doubled my Adsense earnings for the month.  Now, I can say that the site earned $58.41 for June.  Hopefully, I’ll get a few applications each month from here out and that will improve as the site traffic continues to go up.

For the second, humor related products, I decided to go with funny tee shirts.  There are a lot of companies to choose from at Commission Junction, and I basically selected them all.  I then placed ads in the sidebars.  For June, I made $13.50 from selling t-shirts.  Now I can say that the site made $71.91 for the month.  It’s not exactly a living, but, as I said, the site traffic should continue to improve (it’s only about a 6 month old site) and I just started with the affiliates. 

But then I came up with an even better idea.

One thing that Commission Junction allows you to do with certain affiliates is to create links to specific products.  I have a humor site, and these tee shirt sites have humorous tee shirts, so why not make a post that just has humorous tee shirts in it?  It really isn’t much of a stretch, so that’s what I did here:  Funny T Shirts For.

This post was made today, and I managed to give my readers what they expect, humor, and give myself a chance to earn some money at the same time.

So how much money will this post earn me?  Only time will tell.  Commission Junction’s stats run one day behind, so it will be tomorrow before I know whether any of the people who clicked through actually bought something, but so far I’ve had 9 clicks, so it should be interesting.

I’ll update tomorrow.  Honestly, I suspect there have been no purchases, but I do expect that, over the course of the month, that there will be a few.  And next month I’ll do a similar post with more funny products.  These posts will remain up at the site forever, so there is the possibility of them producing continued income.

Monetizing a site takes a lot of time and careful planning.  First you need a good, honest site with traffic.  Then you need to approach monetizing with extra care, utilizing as many different paths (even Adsense) as possible, but discretely.  You don’t want to trick your customers or overwhelm them with ads.   I’ll let you follow how successfully I manage to accomplish this.

(Update)  Well, I predicted there wouldn’t be any purchases, but, somehow, I didn’t know just how bad it would be.  I had over 200 clicks on products and still no sales.  That shocked me.  I had expected about 6 clicks and no sales.  It’s possible that the reporting is slow.  But the nice thing about this is that each person who clicked now has a little cookie on their computer so that if they go back and buy within 30 days that it will be credited to me.  And, of course, I’ve had more click-throughs today.  I will keep you apprised of how I do attempting to monetize that site.

Domains for Sale

Went on a domain name shopping spree when trying to set up some shirt sales sites to go with some other sites (still trying to figure out how to generate revenue from web sites).

Anyway, I’ve got a lot of domain names I will never use, so I’ve started to list them on Sedo and on GoDaddy.  So far I’ve had nary a nibble.  I know someone out there buys domain names, but I have no idea how to go about advertising them, so I’ll just link to them.  Maybe that will build some traffic and interest.

Here’s what I have parked at Sedo:

Childrens Clothing

Mens Shirts

Win Congress

Mens t shirts

I have no idea what they are worth.  I actually had what I thought was potentially my most valuable domain name related to shirts, usshirts.com, professionally appraised, and it came back at $400.  Personally, I thought that sucked.  It was the “us” that apparently destroyed the name.  It could be an abbreviation or even just the word “us” but they didn’t like it.  If I ever sell a domain name, I’ll get some more appraised, but I don’t want to waste a bunch of money until I actually see that there is a real market.

More Adsense Nonsense and WordPress.com

It doesn’t matter that you can’t run Adsense on WordPress.com.

When you get tired of hearing me complain about Adsense, let me know.  Here is my screen print from yesterday at my Funny Email (self-hosted) site:

adsensenonsense

 

So you can see I had a solid click-through rate at 1.41%.  I got 19 clicks and made 80 cents.  So let’s say I wanted to make $20,000 per year (a pauper’s income) from Adsense, and every day would work out in this manner.  I would have to make $54.80 per day, so I would have to raise my traffic to 92,553 per day.  That would give me 1305 clicks.    At an average earning of 4.12 cents per click that’s the way it works out.

So I need 92,553 impressions per day?  Sure, no problem.  I’ll just have to run over to Mosso and pay $200 per month for the cloud hosting and bandwidth.

But notice that this is from yesterday.  At the top in big letters it says, “Today’s Earnings: $0.04.”   That’s right, yesterday was unrealistically rosey.  Today I’ve only had 4 clicks and each one earned me a penny.  So how many page impressions would I need for that to get me to $20,000 in a year?  Well, today I’ve only had about 1000 impressions so far, so lets use that and the associated  CTR of .4 percent.  Then I would need 1.37 million page impressions a day.

Still furious that you can’t run Adsense on WordPress.com?  I would give you a screen print of my lifetime experience with Adsense, but I use to have a site that was pulling in around 10,000 impressions a day, and it would just depress you.  Next month, for the first time, I will receive a payment from Adsense (you don’t get paid until you get $100).  I’m giddy.