10 Purely Evil Ways To Make Quick Money Online

The original article I wrote on this page was getting pretty dated. I wrote it more than three years ago in 2007, more for entertainment. Sure a lot of these methods work, or at least did at the time, but I wasn’t an experienced marketer. In 2013, I am a bit more savvy, and I have a bit more to offer on the topic. Seeing as this article still gets a few thousand visits every month from people looking for information on how to make quick money online I wanted to update it make it more current. I hope you enjoy the article and find it useful.

10 More Purely Evil ways to Make Quick Money Online in 2010

  1. Write crappy Internet marketing eBooks

    The idea is to promise the world in the title. Something like: “How I make $500 Every Day with less than 20 minutes work”. Then you fill the eBook with common sense SEO information freely available online on many forums and blogs. This method is evil because the content should be free, it’s common sense for most IM’ers, and the headlines of these eBooks always over promise. Plenty of people make more than $500 a day online using SEO, but I bet the eBook isn’t a golden ticket to success. You will find many such eBooks on Clickbank, and on the Warrior forum.

  2. Youtube CPA offers

    There is a lot of traffic to be had on Youtube. IM’ers (Internet Marketers) are always after methods to make money from it. CPA= Cost Per Action….so you get paid if someone does some particular action, like sign up for something, or fill out a form or survey. The method here is to upload a video that has a chance of going viral. A popular music video that has just been released, or re-upload an ad for a new technology product. Then place a link in the video description that links to a domain with a CPA relating the video. ..if it is a music video, you might get some conversations from ringtone offers and they pay well. You should also watermark the video with your link to help get more interest.

  3. Share Pirated eBooks

    Plenty of people are looking for free copies of the eBooks I mentioned in the first step, but they don’t really want to pay for them. If you are sneaky you will find places to download these ebooks. The method is to share these ebooks on other dodgy forums, but before uploading them, update all the affiliate links in the ebook with your own affiliate links. You might make some money?

  4. Autoblogs

    I mentioned these in my first list back in 2007, but I called them scraper sites. The idea is the same. You setup a self-hosted WordPress blog, then use automation software like WP robot to pull fresh posts from other blogs. Most of these will eventually find their way to the google sandbox for duplicate content issues, so the idea is to make lots of them, and keep making new ones all the time. Some will probably make you some money.

  5. Sell footer links in WordPress themes

    The idea here is that you make a WordPress theme…you will need to use something like Artisteer if you don’t have any wordpress experience. Or you could pay someone to make a half decent theme. If the theme is any good you shouldn’t have too much trouble selling links in the footer. You then give the theme away for free. Add it to all those WordPress theme directories out there. Anyone who installs the theme will be giving the people who have paid for the links valuable backlinks, so they will be happy. You will want to encrypt the footer so people don’t remove the links though.

  6. Give away free websites

    This is kind of an offline method, but it does work. Your task is to give away free websites. You target small businesses, or Mum and Dad types working from home. The package comes with a free domain, and 2 hours of setup time. I would set them up with a self-hosted WordPress blog, and chuck on a professional looking theme. There are plenty of them out there. The catch is that they must signup to your hosting service to get the free site. You then sign them up to your Hostgator reseller hosting service which you sell them for something like $19.95 a month. You only need to signup 2-3 clients to be making a profit, and if you are a really good face to face marketer, 200 clients will make you a pretty good living at $4000 a month. Another strength to this method is you also have a set of clients to sell SEO services to, or premium theme subscriptions to sites like elegant themes, or theme forest. I don’t think this method is that evil, in fact it’s a fairly solid business plan. But it does pray on the fact that a lot of people don’t understand the costs of web hosting, or the business involved with selling reseller hosting.

  7. Sell text links

    You don’t even need your own a site. All you need to do is find blogs that have high PR, build up a good list. Then sell link packages on IM forums. Something like 10X PR5-6 links. A tool like Scrapebox is great for harvesting good links. When people buy packages, post comments on these blogs, where the URL links back to the person’s site. Probably good to target do-follow blogs like this one.

  8. Facebook marketing

    Our goal is to make a popular fan page on a niche topic. First you need to setup a new Facebook account. You don’t want to lose you actual account if this goes wrong, so make a new one. Add a nice looking picture as your profile of someone who looks real. Now you need to add as many friends as possible. There are methods to speed up this process but the goal is to get a few thousand friends. Lots of people are vein with facebook friend numbers and want to look like they know lots of people, so will happily add you if your normal enough looking. Once you have a good amount of friends, you setup a fan page about your niche topic. Something like weight loss is good, or acne if you have lots of younger friends. Title your page with a catchy title that has good keywords, as it will show in facebook search. Now suggest your page to all of your new friends. When someone “likes” your page, a link goes in their newsfeed saying they like your page. If you get enough likes things can go viral here and it can grow pretty fast. Once you have a good amount of likes, you start adding regular content relating the niche to your page.…”read this great inspirational weight loss story” etc. Every now and then put an affiliate link to a CPA offer that relates. Content you add to the page gets added to their feed, so it will get looked at by many of them. If you have a good amount of followers you can make good dosh using this method.

  9. Twitter spamming

    Like Facebook, twitter is a huge social network that is growing all the time. Tweets have a very low click through rate, so you need thousands of followers to make money from twitter. It can be used for legitimate business, or for sending out spam DM’s or tweets. The trick is to try and get followers from a certain demographic so you can target them with CPA offers. If you have a CPA that only pays for female traffic from the US, follow lots of females for the US and hope some follow you back. Blatant IM Twitter spammers will follow 100’s of people at a time, then un-follow those that don’t follow back.

  10. The Black Hat SEO Method

    Black hat SEO is a term that defines SEO that is less ethical. Although not always illegal it tends to involve morally questionable techniques. Either link spamming, or some form of deception. Tools of the trade are software like Scrapebox, SE Nuke, Xrumer and Bookmarking demon. These are all very good link building tools that can effectively build the link profile of a site very fast, but be careful, these tools can also cause carnage.

Please read on below to read the original 10 methods from 2007…

10 Purely Evil Ways To Make Quick Money Online

Everyone loves money, but making it online isn’t all that easy if you have morals. If you don’t, this article will give you some great tips to make quick money online. Before I start I need to state that I don’t condone any of these methods, and they are used at your own risk. I don’t take responsibility for any damage you may do.

  1. Set up a Proxy Server

    Set up a web site that serves as a Proxy, so people can browse blocked sites at work, and kids can browse blocked sites at school. As an ICT teacher I know kids want nothing more than to have access to all their favorite game and social networking sites, and many of them know about proxies. The most common script I see when I am blocking students is: CGI Proxy, it is great because it allows people to use sites that require a log in. Here is an auto installer for it. CGI Proxy Auto installer. You will need to have an ad, probably and Adsense block in the header, so ads are shown when people browse. The main drawback of this method is that if your proxy site does become popular it will probably be blocked by school Internet servers. So if you wanted to try this method out, I wouldn’t shell out any money on a domain name, or expensive hosting.

  2. Create a Screensaver with Embedded Adware

    Create a screen saver that bundles adware (Zangocash), so whenever someone installs the Screensaver, you make affiliate money. You need to upload your Screensaver to as many Screensaver sites as possible. For a full write up on the details of this method, read: Blue Hat SEO’s How To Make a $100 per Day

  3. Dodgy P2P Sports Links

    Set up a blogger account using an anonymous email account, then use it to share p2p links to live sporting events. I have seen people earn great money fast using it. It works particularly well for sharing live Cricket using the software Sopcast. The Indian Sub Continent love p2p links for cricket matches, particularly when there are big games involving India, Bangladesh, Pakistan or Sri Lanka. You can use Sopcast to embed a p2p media player showing the channel with the cricket on it, then surround it with lots of Adsense ads. I have never seen Google remove any of these blogs, nor have I heard of any Adsense account being suspended for doing this. Someone tried to sell a successful attempt using this technique on Sitepoint, and he showed his earnings for the period of the cricket world cup of $1200 US. So timing is key here!

  4. Online Poker

    I love poker, and playing online, I cashed out $800 for about 4 months of on and off play, which is more money than I have made through anything else online. The key to making money with online poker when you are starting out is to take advantage of the various signup offers and bonuses. The idea is that poker rooms will give you a cash incentive bonus, where if you play a certain amount of hands they will give you free cash. In their minds you are a beginner so you will probably make them more money in the process, but if you learn to play tight, and only play very good starting hands, and fold the rest you can clear good money with only an small amount of skill. As playing tight requires a lot of patience, once you get the hang of it you can speed things up by playing 3-4 tables at once. Do some research for free poker bonus’s, and you will find plenty of sites and forums with advice to get you started in the evil world of online gambling.

  5. A MySpace or Facebook Resource Site

    Levi from Internet Marketing Sucks has a great plan to make money by setting up a MySpace resource site. He even provides a script and instructions that will help you on your way. It’s not particularly evil, and rather crafty, but it makes the list anyway.

  6. Set Up a Private Torrent Site and Tracker

    Recent news about raids on the owner of oink’s house would suggest that this is a very risky business, especially if you live in a country that will police such activities. The torrent scene is massive, as such there is great money to be made by those that are crazy enough. The idea is to make it private, then set up a scheme where you have “donations” to pay for your server, and donators get extra upload credit. Also have lots of pay per click advertising and you will be away, making plenty of cash. But I would make sure your cash heap is large enough to fight a legal battle if you get caught.

  7. Search Engine Arbitrage

    Arbitrage is where you buy something for a certain value, with the intention of selling it on for a greater value. You can use search engine marketing to buy traffic from one network, Google Adwords, then send that traffic to a landing page that has advertising on it for another network, Yahoo. The idea is to create a landing page with very little actual content, and format it so that ads appear to be content. Then your unsuspecting visitor may click ads thinking it is content. You will need to test different networks and keywords, but you can make good money using this method. It is purely evil though as it fills the net with rubbish sites.

  8. Set Up A Network of Scraper Sites

    A scraper site is a web site that pulls content from other sources, for example you could have a site that pulls the top 10 stories from the rss feeds of digg, reddit, delicious. It’s probably a good idea to use keywords to narrow down your results to a certain topic. Then plant lots of advertising around the content, especially Adsense. As you don’t have any real content you are never likely to get many inbound links, so to rank, you will need to build up a network of sites, then link them to each other to help your sites rank in search engines. You could combine this method with 7 to create some seriously evil sites.

  9. Volunteer At a Directory Site Like DMOZ

    Then takes bribes to list certain sites. Or email people who are on the list and tell them that if they don’t pay you, you will boot them off the directory. People do this, believe me. Read about the DMOZ Shoemoney Extortion.

  10. Become a Spam Marketer

    Everybody hates spam, but some people obviously open it from time to time. Get creative with your subject lines, and spam away. It is illegal in some countries so be careful. Basically the idea is to find some pay per click advertising scheme that allows you to advertise via email, or include a link from the email that has advertising on it. You will want to find some tools to automate this process, but I’m not telling you where to find them. Another form of Spam that seems to be very popular is WordPress spam. All you need to do is set up a landing page on a dodgy domain that sells dodgy pharmaceutical products or any form of ppc or ppa advertising and spam away, automating comment posting on blogs that link to your landing page. It’s surprising how many sites don’t block spam properly.

I know most of this stuff is pure evil, but people actually make good money using these techniques. Ok, now go and spread some evil.

How To Make Your WordPress Blog Load Faster

Success on social media sites can bring serious traffic to your WordPress blog. However, hundreds or thousands of visitors to your site in a short period of time can crash your web sever if. A good web host is essential, although, ensuring your blog not wasting valuable bandwidth on poorly optimized images, and unnecessary scripts and widgets is also important. So how do you optimize your WordPress install for the best performance? Here are some key tips:

Optimize Images

I think having attractive images in your articles is a key part of blogging, but I also think you need to optimize images so that they not any larger than they need to be. If you are lucky enough to have a copy of Photoshop, it is ideal for this task. A few rules which will help you out are:

  • Save images that use a limited pallet as .gif or .PNG. i.e a logo that just uses red, white and blue.
  • Save images that use the full color spectrum of colors as .jpg i.e a photo of yourself.

If you are saving for the Internet you should use “Save for web”. The aim is to get the final file size as small as possible without wrecking the appearance of the image.

PNG & Gif (indexed): Set the total amount of color to the lowest value possible without effecting appearance of the product. You can play with dither, for some images it will help remove artifacts, by adding a bit of noise. Raise the value of Web snap as high as you can go without making the final product look ugly.

Jpg (RGB): Lower the quality to as low as possible without making the final product look ugly, and without adding too many artifacts, you can also add some blur which may remove so ugly artifacts, but don’t get too carried away.

Make sure that if you are resizing images that you set the mode to RGB. Indexed images don’t resize well.

If you don’t have Photoshop, the same principles apply for any application. Make sure you use the appropriate format. And use optimizing tools to make the file size as small as possible without making the final product look ugly.

You should ensure that images are cropped to remove any unnecessary parts, and resized to the correct final size. Don’t waste valuable bandwidth by using html code to resize an image.

Use A Minimalist Theme

Attractive graphics and excessive use of plug-ins in your theme can add to the file size of your site, and raise your loading time. So selecting a minimalist theme is a great way to reduce the size of your WordPress blog. Here are some great minimalist themes:

CSSJuice -18 minimalist WordPress Themes

My Favorites include:

Upstart Blogger Modicus:

Warpspire’s Hemingway:

Brian Gardner’s Silhouette:

5thirtyone’s Grid Focus:

Compress the Stylesheet and Javascript files used

You can compress Javascript and the Stylesheet used in your theme. To compress Javascript you can use a Javascript compressor. For the CSS files, you can remove the comments, and remove blank lines and spaces using your favorite text editor. This will optimize your set up a small amount.

Enable Object Cache

By default WordPress doesn’t the enable object cache, but you can enable it easily by adding these lines at your wp-config.php files:

define(’ENABLE_CACHE’, true);

and to set it’s expiration time you can add this line :

define(’CACHE_EXPIRATION_TIME’, 900);

Reduce Overall Latency by Reducing HTTP Requests

PlanetEnjoy writes about the importance of reducing HTTP requests:

Every HTTP request, or loading each item on your website, has an average round-trip latency of 0.2 seconds. So if your site is loading 20 items, regardless of whether they are stylesheets, images or scripts, that equates to 4 seconds in latency alone (on your average broadband connection).

So it is important to ensure that you are not including an unnecessary amount of HTTP requests.

Don’t Rely on Other Sites!

If you are loading content from other web sites it is going to slow your loading time. For example both the widgets at the bottom of this page load from other servers, Blogrush and Blogcatlog. If either of these servers are having bad days the widgets can take an age to load. This is part of the reason why I have them in the footer, so any lag doesn’t stop any other content from loading. Ad networks, badges, widgets, images, scripts may all be loading content from other servers. For optimal performance you need to rely as little as possible on other servers.

www.pingable.org

The Top 15 Web APIs For Your Site

Machine-based interaction is a common feature of Web 2.0 sites like Digg, Facebook and Dilicious, and these days it goes well beyond simple web feeds. An application programming interface(API) is what allows programmers to write applications and widgets that interact with services on these sites. The API gives them web-based access to data and functions from such sites. For example using the GoogleMaps API one could pull data and mapping information from Google that enables users of a site to view an embedded map of the location of a business.

Although typically using an API does require some expertise in programming, many of the APIs which are being released by sites are well documented with good examples on how to implement them, WebAPI. This article also details many of the user created scripts which have been generated using the various API’s which will give end users something to play with too.

15 – MediaWiki API

With over 2 million articles Wikipedia is a valuable resource, the Mediawiki API allows access to this content. Sites based on the MediaWiki API include Wikitravel, Wiktionary, and WikiNews.

14 – Upcoming

The Upcoming API allows you to take data from the Yahoo site upcoming.org. It’s useful if you want current events information on your site.

Yahoo Upcoming

13 – Audio Scrobbler API

Last FM uses the Audio Scrobbler API to gather information about music you listen to. It is also the source of many various “is currently listening to” plug-ins for various applications.

12 – Ebay API

Ebay’s API is very comprehensive, and supports almost all major web scripting options, including flash and Ajax. It has a sandbox for testing scripts, and offers you sample script blocks which it calls widgets to help you getting started. Visit Widget Blog Ebay for some examples.

11 – Facebook API

Everyone knows about Facebook, it’s a hugely successful social networking site, that my girl friend assures me is very addictive. The site has loads of code samples, application creation guides and libraries for developers to play with. As Facebook is completely driven by user generated content it has a huge market of users just waiting to get their hands on fresh content, so for those that have the skill the Facebook API is a goldmine. Visit Mashable to read 10 awesome things built on the Facebook API.

10 – Feedburner API

As you may already know Feedburner is an RSS feed creation tool. The API gives developers a few toys to play with, the best of which is the Feedflare API which allows you to add new functionality onto Feedburner feeds.

9 – Google Search API

The Google Search API Is a AJAX Search API that lets you put Google Search in your web pages with JavaScript. Google gives you some very useful examples of sample code to use.

8 – Yahoo Search API

You may not believe it , but the Yahoo search API is actually more popular than the Google alternative. You can use it to create a simple spell checking tool or site wide search widget… useful stuff

7 – Windows Live API

The API for Microsoft’s portal contains a whole heap of different APIs for different MS services. Here is some of the applications that have been created using the API,  Windows Live API list, which includes content ranging from Halo 3 user guides to major league baseball videos.

6 – Google Ajax Feed API

With the AJAX Feed API, you can download any public Atom or RSS feed using only JavaScript, and easily mash up feeds with your content, and each other. It is super fast and is the quickest way to display real time RSS content on your site. Dynamic Drive’s gAjax RSS Feeds Displayer is a great example of a script created from this API.

5 – Digg API

Using the Digg API you can access individual stories, comments, or data on particular user activities. For some examples of the Digg API is action check out: 7 awesome things built on the digg API, Who’s digging You and Digg Comment Spy.

Digg API Flickr API

4 – Delicious API

Although the Delicious API is not as complex or comprehensive as most of the other APIs featured, it is so simple, you can see results just by typing a URL into your browser. You can also write data to Delicious such as adding bookmarks or renaming tags. for example:

http://del.icio.us/api/posts/add?description=Pingable&url=www.pingable.org

..would add Pingable as a bookmark in to your delicious account after a username and password challenge.

3 – Google Maps

The Google Maps API is probably the most implemented API on the net. It is used in applications such as Google flight simulator.

2 – Flickr API

The Flickr API gives two way access to the site and some of its features and photos. Tasks that can be completed using the API include creating new sets, editing comments, changing photo notes, as well as pulling existing data from the site. Here is some examples of the Flickr API in action.

1 – <a
href=”http://www.youtube.com/dev”>YouTube API

A very popular Number 1, because the YouTube API is both simple, and purely limited only by your imagination. Data which can be pulled from YouTube includes: Video titles, rating, length, tags, url, your favorites, your friend list and the thumbnail location. For an example of the YouTube API in action check out : CoverPop, and you may also want to check out: A YouTube and Google Map Mashup.

Other API resources: GotAPI , API finder, Mashery and a full list of Google APIs.

Digg and flickr icons from: ilemoned.com Web 2.0 Services Icons

Some of the content in this article was inspired by “The Top 20 APIs for your site” article in issue 167 of .net magazine.

www.pingable.org

The Power of Blog Promotion

You may have heard of the sites like PayPerPostor Blog Kits. The idea of such sites is that they connect advertisers with bloggers. As a blogger can browse through a list of promotions, and select options you are eligible for. You write about your selected promotion, and if your post fulfils the criteria, you get paid. For a blogger it is a quick way to make money, normally at the expense of your loyal readers, and for the advertiser it is a way to spread the word about a product.

How much weight does a mention on a blog really carry?

Of course this is going to depend on the readership of the blog, however I think we can assume that a mention on a blog with 1000’s of readers carries significant weight.

What about if everyone blogged about one topic on one day?

Blog Action Day is a project that involves using the power of blogs to promote a worthy cause. When over 12,000 bloggers with an audience of over 11 million people blog about one topic on the same day I think it will make a wave. I hope it does too, although I don’t want to talk about politics and the environmentdirectly on my blog in my opinion the environment is something worth protecting. Whether or not you believe in global warming it doesn’t hurt to think about the consequences of your actions and the footprint you will leave on this planet.

If for nothing else Blog Action Day will be an interesting experiment to see what an effect such a project can make. I am interested to see, what about you?

www.pingable.org

How To Gain And Lose RSS Subscribers

How to gain RSS subscribers

Getting more subscribers to your blog is something that will occur if you are successful with all aspects of what are considered good blogging practice. If you have good content, and you get a lot of traffic, you are going to get more subscribers. However, here are a few tips that will help you improve your conversion rate:

  • Have an RSS button, and place it in an obvious location “above the scroll”.

  • Always offer a full feed, excerpts are annoying.

  • Use a subscriber count only if you have over 100 subscribers. A feed burner subscriber counter is a great way to show the visitors how many or how few readers you have.

  • Avoid putting in too many buttons, it may become annoying. Make sure it is obvious, but don’t rub it in your reader’s face.

  • Offer bonuses to only feed subscribers. Have a link to something free at the bottom of your feed, that users have to subscribe to, to receive.

  • Educate your readers, this is particularly important if your blog in an un-technical niche. Make sure your readers know what an RSS feed is, how to use it, and the advantages it offers.

  • Create a dedicated landing page designed to promote your feed, then drive traffic to it with advertising campaigns.

How to lose RSS subscribers

There is no surefire way to ditch rss subscribers, I stopped blogging on an old WordPress blog 5 months ago and it still has 10 of the 15 subscribers which I had gained during the 2 months of tenancy on the blog. However, here are some things that you may want to avoid if you want to keep those subscribers happy:

  • Don’t offer a full feed.

  • Publish too much content, especially if it isn’t good. I don’t want your rubbish filling my inbox.

  • Post infrequently, I may be guilty of this, but you should try and keep a steady stream of posts coming in or you may fall out of your reader’s memory. For me steady is two to three good posts a week, for others steady may be one post a day.

  • Post about inconsistent topics, you should keep on topic so your readers get what they signed up for.

  • Don’t write original content, and only do paid reviews.

  • Write content that is too long and not organized in a format that is scannable. By all means if you are Andy Beard write 10,000 word articles if you have 10,000 words worthy of sharing, but you need to consider how easy it is to follow. Use paragraph breaks, sub headings, bullet points and lists where necessary. Scannable doesn’t mean brief and short, it just means presented in a manner that makes it easy to look over.

This article is part of a Internet Marketers Group Writing Project at: CourtneyTuttle.com

www.pingable.org

What Would You Like To Know About StumbleUpon?

After reading Dana Wallert’s article, 34 Stumbleupon posts that aren’t crap, I am feeling inspired to write about one of my favorite web services, StumbleUpon.

StumbleUpon is a great browsing experience, you find great content quick. It learns what you like, so great new content keeps on coming. Because of this it is a terrible procrastination tool, but I won’t hold that against it. As someone who publishes content on the net I also have an interest in StumbleUpon for the purpose of generating traffic to my blog.

I will look at two main factors of Stumble related traffic: 1) User related or organic traffic 2) Stumble algorithm related traffic

When looking at algorithm, audience score seems to be a huge factor, and it is defined at Venture Skills:

Every stumbler has an audience score, and in the old days stumbleupon told you what your score was but have since taken this facility away. The audience score was based on number of fans, number of pages thumbed up, number of pages thumbed down and number of reviews written. The score is what determines how much stumble juice a person carries.
The audience score has one other factor stumble history. If a stumbler initially stumbles a site and the site receives a large quantity of thumbs up their audience score increases, conversely if they initially stumble a site and it’s thumbed down their audience score goes down. Stumblers who stumble a site after the initial stumble also have changes to their audience score but not to the same extent.

…… and in the comments:

The initial stumbler’s audience is a huge factor as you say quite a few of our experiments when run resulted in null results even when I would stumble immediately afterwards and one particular stumble which had nearly 20 thumbs up had the total of 8 visits from stumbleupon. Interestingly this post which has received a large quantity of thumbs up has very little traffic via stumbleupon. The reason the first few stumblers were people who read the blog and regularly stumble it, now that non regulars are thumbing it its starting build traction.

What are 4 questions I would like to know about StumbleUpon:

  1. Does having more friends on StumbleUpon help the sites “You” submit do better?

    What I think: As it is possible to browse friend stumbles, I suspect that this does help get more user related organic stumbles, as the article will get more hits from those that are browsing user stumbles instead of categories. However, I would caution just adding anybody. I am more likely to browse the stumbles of those who I know. I am interested to see what they find interesting, however I am not so interested in what some random is interested in who has just added me to their friends, along with 199 others (I believe the limit is 200). The article from Venture skills also states that the initial stumbler’s audience is a huge factor in the algorithm, and the amount of friends you have is a factor in audience rating.

  2. Does writing a good review for an article when you submit help it perform better?

    What I think: I suspect writing a positive review helps get more hits from the Stumble algorithm, however it is hard to prove. Also as reviews are visible on the stumble profile / blog of the user who wrote them it will definitely gain some more user related organic hits.

  3. Is stumbling user profiles worth while?

    What I think: I read that stumbling user profiles is a good way to promote your friends, however, after reading about audience rating, I think you should be very careful about submitting or stumbling any content which you believe will not become popular.

  4. What is the weight of thumbs up versus the weight of thumbs down?

    What I think: I have 2 trains of thought on this topic. The weight of a thumbs up has the same weight as a thumb down. Or the weight of both are related to the audience score of that user, as such a thumb down by someone who is new would carry little weight, where as a thumb down by a power user is likely to carry a lot of weight.

After researching this article I think I have come to two major conclusions:

  1. Only submit and thumb up articles which you think are very good and have a high chance of becoming popular.
  2. Using stumble more will help add value to the weight of your votes, but only if you rating sites with the value they deserve.

www.pingable.org

What Google Tools Can You Use To Manage Your Blog?

Google is receiving a lot of negative publicity in the blogosphere recently, mostly relating to the god-like status which it holds in the search market, and in particular for its hypocritical attitude towards paid links. I agree that much of this criticism is justified, but I also feel that Google make some great applications that are well worth using. Here are all of the Google tools which are useful to bloggers:

  • Google RSS Reader is a very good tool for following the feeds of your favorite blogs. It’s fast, and because feeds are cached on Google servers you can assess the content even if the a blog’s server is down. It does take a while for content to appear on Google reader after it is posted for smaller blogs, but overall it is a great app for organizing your feeds.

  • Google Analytics is a tool for tracking statistics on your blog. How many unique visitors, what they are looking at, what browser are they using, how long do they stay on your site. All of this and much more can be tracked using Google Analytics.

  • Gmail is an email application by Google. It provides many advantages for receiving large amounts of email, which make it a very useful tool for bloggers. It groups email messages by subject, so comment notifications emails for your latest post will all be organized into one threaded easily readable message. It also allows you to filter and organize messages so you can label notification messages, and archive them. Gmail is fast, and it’s a time saver.

  • Google Webmaster Tools allows you to upload a site map, making it more efficient for Google to crawl your site content. You can also: view any errors that have occurred while your site was crawled, define your www preference, remove dead links in Google records, and much more. A useful tool for any serious web master or blogger.

  • Google Trends allows you to research keywords, and view current trends in your niche. A very useful tool for the serious blogger.

  • Google Apps allows you to brand some of Google services with a domain. You can get domain specific email addresses using the Gmail interface. It also comes will tools for organizing a small team if you have more than one poster on your blog, which include sharing docs and a shared calendar.

  • Google Adsense is an advertising scheme which you can use to make money from your blog. It allows you to place text and image ads which relate to the content of your site. Adsense pays you for each click made on an advertisement displayed on your site.

  • Feedburner, is now owned by Google, so I am calling it a Google tool. Feedburner is used to manage subscribers to your blog’s RSS feed. It can be used to track activity on a feed, and make it much easier for users to subscribe to your feed.

  • Google Blog Search is a useful blog search engine for researching articles, and finding new blogs to read.

The Google logo used in the this article is property of Google. This site is in no way affiliated with Google.

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How To Beat WordPress Spam

In the dark ages, when pigeons delivered the mail or smoke signals were the most efficient form of communication, spam wasn’t a problem. It all started with junk mail in our letter boxes. Piles of advertising that took up space, time and energy. When electronic mail was invented it seemed like maybe we’d beaten the junk mail issue…until even our email inboxes starting filling up with rubbish. In fact, it turned out that it was even easier to spam someone on the net…you didn’t even have to move from your comfy spam-financed office chair. These days they spam you to within a inch of your patience. You get spam on your mobile phone, on your website, and even your WordPress blog.

Why Is WordPress Spam a Problem?

Spam is ugly, and it wastes your time and for a serious blogger, time is at a premium. When you could be creating knew content, reading other blogs, or researching a new article, you are wasting your time, moderating comments, and deleting rubbish. This article will show you how to sort out spam for WordPress.

Default WordPress Spam Fighting Features

WordPress has some built in features which help you deal with spam. These include:

  1. Comment Moderation

    Links are a common feature of spam messages, as most spammers are looking for backlinks to their page. Most legitimate comments will not contain links, so it is a good tactic to set comment moderation to hold all messages that contain links. Even when a legit comment is held because of a link, it is always good to check the links that people are leaving, as legit commenter’s can place uncalled for links to their own sites, especially in do follow blogs.

    Go to the Options > Discussion panel.
    Scroll down to Comment Moderation. Change the value to 1.

    Comment Moderation

  2. Spam Words

    You can add words to be added to the blacklist so comments containing them are pushed into moderation.

  3. Moderate All Comments

    If you have a smaller blog with very few comments you could consider moderating all comments. I have a problem with this as I feel it discourages involvement. A reader makes a comment, then nothing shows up. For all that person knows it’s gone to never be seen again, and unless they check back, they won’t know whether the blog owner approved the comment at all. So in almost all cases, this isn’t a good option.

  4. Disabling comments completely

    If you want to use WordPress as a publishing platform and not a blog, you can easily completely disable comments, which will remove the possibility of comment spam.

  5. Other WordPress Spam Options

    “Pre-approve comments from old commenters” means what is says, people who you have already approved comments for are allowed to leave comments even if you have moderation enabled. “Restrict comments to registered users” is also an option. Although it will help you combat spam, and build a community around your blog, it does discourage comments from those who don’t want to sign up.

WordPress Plug-ins

  • Akismet is the must have spam protection plug-in for WordPress. If you are not using it, you probably should be. It’s a requirement to register at WordPress.org to get an API key used in the system, but for the few seconds it takes you to fill out a form, it is well worth it.

  • reCaptcha is a WordPress plug-in to prevent comment spam using a word verification system.

  • Bad Behavior is a set of PHP scripts which prevents spambots from accessing your site by analyzing their actual HTTP requests and comparing them to profiles from known spambots.

  • Spam Karma is a system that grades comments based on information that it collects. It considers things such as who left the comment, are they a known commenter, does the comment have links, and other factors. If the comment scores well it is published immediately. If the comment scores poorly, it is held for moderation.

Akismet Auntie Script

Akismet Auntie is a Firefox script that makes it easier to browse and sort your Akismet spam box. If you are getting 100’s of spam comments a day, and are a Firefox user then this script will help you out. Basically it makes it easier for you to quickly browse through your spam comments to find any legit comments.

Other Forms of WordPress Spam

Contact Form Spam

The contact form on your WordPress blog can also be a target for spammers. If you find that you constantly getting spam from your contact form consider using one that has verification or challenge question on it.

Referral Spam

Bloggers tend to check their statistics to see which sites are referring traffic to them. Referral spam creates an entry in your statistics that shows the spammer’s site as the refer. The idea is that the blogger will then visit the spammers site to see what has been referring traffic.

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What Advice Would You Have Given Yourself When You Started Blogging?

Looking back at the lessons you have learnt from blogging, if could give yourself advice when you were about to start blogging, what would you say? That does sound like a very teacher-ish question, apologies. Darren from Problogger is celebrating his 3rd birthday….I mean the blog is celebrating its 3rd birthday. He is giving away a lot of cool prizes, and all you have to do is write about blogging tips. Seeing as that is one of my main focuses here, that is not too difficult. You may have read some of these before.

Advice:

Write articles not blog posts. I try to create as much timeless content as possible. I like the thought that all the work I do is ultimately creating a resource. If you have 50 articles which are all a resource in their own right, then you have something that is of value. Where as, if you have 50 blog posts about what was important at the time you have nothing of value later.

Make sure you have time to do a proper job. How much time do you have to commit, and is that going to be enough.

Set realistic goals, and strive to achieve them.

Don’t neglect your girlfriend, nothing on your blog is that interesting.

Write to an audience, even if you don’t have one.

Perfectionism may be a form of procrastination, but as long as you are aware that you just spent an hour and a half getting that feed burner panel looking just right it’s all good.

Don’t take mean comments to heart, it’s much easier for someone to rip into your work and say what is wrong with it, than for them to create something good themselves.

Focus on quality as much as possible. People say quantity is important. Maybe I am wrong, but I think you’re better to post 2-3 good posts a week, than to post 7-14 rubbish ones. People only have so much time to spend reading blogs. You want them to be impressed when they come to your blog. And you don’t want subscribers to have to read rubbish that you are just pounding out for the sake of posting regularly. That may mean it takes longer to become popular, but unless you have a lot of time to commit, posting good content every day is hard work.

Write well researched interesting content, the type of stuff you would read yourself. Learn to look at yourself from the outside, is what you have written really worth submitting to a social media site? Or Are you dreaming?

Be unique, you don’t always have to follow the crowd. Just because other blogs have become successful writing about a subject, it doesn’t mean you will.

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