Making Money Online Online Business

Buying and Selling Websites

buying-selling-ebook-straightWell its done – my first eBook is about to hit the stands! Well I decided I couldn’t really call19 pages a book – more like a long short story. I could have upped the font to 24 pitch – and triple spaced all the lines, added fluff and lots of pictures and got it to 60 pages.

But that seemed utterly pointless – so instead its a 19-page eReport on Buying and Selling Websites: A Beginner’s Guide.

I hope it has something of use to anyone who signs up for it. It is of course the classic bait  to get you to give me your email and then spam the hell out of you.

Except I am indeed using Aweber (now that was a learning curve) – so its all legit and above board.And I won’t be offering you every Make Money Online product every month.

Instead I intend to offer a

“Quiet Listings” Website Selling Service

And the idea is that the mailing list will turn into a way to have “quiet listings” of websites for sale. What on earth is a “quiet listing” you might ask? Well I don’t know if its a term ever used for websites but in my part of the world you have a “quiet listing” of real estate so that you don’t put signs up the front, don’t put a picture of the house in the local real estate agent’s window,  and the nosey neighbours don’t know you need the cash and have had to sell up.

It doesn’t work very well in real estate – you need to advertise a house for sale to get anyone to look at it! You have to give the address.Everyone wants to know the address of the house before they will look at seriously – location, location, location as they say.

But I think it should work well for websites. I don’t think you should advertise websites for sale complete with their (web) address, traffic figures and income statistics.

But that is what happens on every major site site where websites are sold (Flippa, Digitalpoint, eBay) url’s of the site for sale are often given. In fact on Flippa I think you have to give the url to list.  Then if the sites have income and traffic – those figures are given. Now often the figures are complete fabrications (sign up for the eReport to find out why).

But sometimes the figures are legit – and you have just told the whole world you keywords and their potential. (If you don’t know how to figure out a site’s keywords – yup you guessed it – sign up for the eReport).

If I like the potential I have two options:

  • I could buy the website;
  • I could thank you for doing all my keyword research for me and build my own

Now if the site is old, established, authority site I would have a hard time competing with it. But many sites for sale aren’t old established authority sites …


Vermonster Beats the wicked Lawyers- Was it SEO of Social Media ?

Well from the looks of their front page  Rock Art Brewery is claiming victory in its Rock Art Brewery vs Corporate America little fight over the Vermonster beer trademark – in fact you can even buy the T-Shirt – though I am alittle sorry to see apparently it was ‘America’ who saved them – I thought it was all of us – after all Monster Drinks sell their camel piss flavoured “energy” drinks in Australia too!

They bet me to it really cause I really wanted to do the follow up for the double-indexing but also to get some link love out there you know! In fact it was interesting little storm – who would have thought that Victor Franqui could write an entire post without swearing once, and giving those to care to read a quick lesson on US-based trademark law.

Is it Twitter? Is if Facebook - Nope its people stupid!
Is it Twitter? Is if Facebook - Nope its people stupid!

Some other excellent blogs that you should be reading:

Dirk Poulson –  who writes about how to make money online and wonders if Mondelis is a Scam

Phil who likes to say “I  Need Money Now

EJ who thinks Monster Energy drinks are screwing the little guy

Buy Made in the USA (which I don’t agree with but that’s another post)

Joomla Templates had an opinion (and can tell you what Joomla is too…)and he’s a fellow Kiwi – all good!

John has some great information and advice for small business owners

Strathy is stuffed now with a blog called Milking Noobs –  he’s gonna have to keep on posting now 🙂

NuttySquirrelBottom has a name harder to spell than mine and thinks Monster Entergy drinks are sucking the life

The coffee blog didn’t see Monster Energy drinks as viable alternative (got to agree with that!)

Poor and angry is ropable (what I think an American would call pissed but pissed down under means having consumed one too many Vermonster or any other beers! )

Oh and the Grizz got in on the act as well – but I am not linking to him cause he thinks the twitter game is pointless so how will I ever make a zillion dollars flogging a get rich quick twitter book now ?

Photo Credit


ROCK ART BREWERY vs Corporate America – The Biggest Scam of All!

There you go – just when you thought I was behaving – here is the mother of all scams – and this one is an official scam including lawyers! My friend Allyn on his gay vblogger site brought this one to my attention. Basically a small craft brewer in Vermont is being threatened to by a cease and desist letter from a crappy energy drink manufacturer called Monster Energy – like duh – I had to look up the Monster Energy crap up in wikipedia – but its one of the those high sugar, high caffeine things which has nothing do with alcohol – beer does – Apple can’t stop the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board using their trademark – and neither can an energy drink go after a craft beer brewer in Vermont: Apple computers and the fruit are different: so are energy drinks and beer LOL

So this is a basically a bully-boy tactic – oh can’t afford $65,000 a court case – back off now! So much for the myth that US is  the land of the free and particularly the land of the entrepreneur.

Land of the free? Only if you can afford it!
Land of the free? Only if you can afford it!

Over the last couple of years of being online I have learned a lot more about America than I ever new before. Quite frankly I have become increased amazed at just how hard it is for you guys to run an online business or any other sort of business.

Its hard for you to get started – because your wages are so low – cleaning toilets in Australia pays US$17 / hr – there’s no real safety net if you need a bit of part-time quick cash.  Your barriers to being in business are extraordinary high – you pay higher taxes as a self-employed person, its expensive and complex to file taxes,  you have to worry about getting health insurance because you can’t afford not to be insured. You need lawyers and liability insurance because of – well the lawyers really.

And then you make a success with your craft brewery and take it from a one-man basement operation to a 10-person small business and this carp happens!

Well luck for this guy – there is a way to stop this – bad publicity is really bad for trendy drink manufacturers – so could you please promote this guys site – (not this post – go thru to the guys site The Vermonster ) and twitter, facebook, build anchored backlinks – whatever you need to.

I think Americans should stand up for your rights in the “land of the free” – and the rest of us should help out too – cause that’s what mates do. And as  William Shakespeare said: “The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

UPDATE – you might want to ask a question of monsterdrink’s marketing department as to why they are letting themselves in for so much bad publicity – you will find their contact form here

Further Update: it looks like Rock Art Brewery vs Corporate America may have ended in a win for the little guy!

Photo Credit


Digital Nomads, Passive Income Online – the Reality

I was a gypsy before I discovered what a digital nomad was – I like the name – it was easier to spell… The idea of being able to packup up the laptop and move your life at whim – how alluring is that to so many people? Ben wants to use his success at making money online with SEO and travel the world – he’s clearly been to some places already judging by his stunning travel photos – so he possibly knows what he’s getting himself into – or may be not.

Back in 2006 I had a brain wave – I was earning a good hourly rate in a job I hated and despised. I woke up sad on Sunday because I had to go to work on Monday. I buried three friends that year – two of them were younger than my partner and less than ten years older than me – it makes you think.  It makes you think that life is for living and life is too short to waste it doing something you hate – I’d known that for a while but I managed to persuade my partner to.  My partner asked for leave of absence from the Bank he’d worked for nearly 10 years and for which he always got raving performance review. They turned him down of course, he resigned.

In early 2007 we rented out the house, put all our worldly possessions in storage. We bought one-way tickets to Australia. We arrived in Brisbane, bought a 1985 Landcruiser, some camping gear (neither of us had ever camped in our lives). We hit the road, and 6 months and 36,000 km (22,000 miles) later we got as far as Perth (bottom left if you are geographically-challenged). (BTW I laughably thought that this would be the perfect time to launch my online business! In a word – don’t!). Tired of the long open  road not yet ready to drive across the Nullarbor, we settled down in Perth for a while. Two years later we are on the move again, back to New Zealand.

Swan River, Perth, WA
Swan River, Perth, WA

Which brings me to my point – how in hell can two people who arrived with a Landcruiser full of gear end up with so much crap to sell! Why does the world make it so hard to be location independent? I have fantastic broadband here in Australia  – can I transfer my plan to New Zealand – of course not- same company but you can’t transfer. Can I transfer my phone number? You’re joking aren’t you – well this is the last time I am ever being taken that con again – I am getting a location independent IP phone as soon as I work out the details – I know Skype will do it but there might be other options. At least I don’t have any emails attached to local ISPs anymore (you don’t do you?)

We are lucky, we have 2 month’s notice that my partner’s contract won’t be renewed – double the time they had to give us. So now we just have to get rid of all the stuff, close down the power, the phone, the Internet. Cancel the car’s insurance – oh and sell the car as well. Cancel the subscriptions. Get the notes from the various medical practioners we’ve been supporting over here. Say goodbye, find a flight just before Xmas – and find somewhere to live before we can legally evict the tenants in Feburary. And then we – well lets be blunt here  – I – get to do the whole thing in reverse. At Christmas, while mourning the loss of summer (trust me moving from Perth to Wellington in December will be the end of summer).

Wellington, New Zealand
Wellington, New Zealand

I don’t think I am that excited about going “home” – but then I never am really. It is time we sold some real estate there and probably a whole lot of other junk that seemed important at the time. The weather is probably worse than I remember it, but at least we can do some skiing next year – that will be nice.

At least my business is really not affected – thank goodness I have been using a NZ PO Box as my official business address from day one – so that part just keeps on working. The broadband speeds appear slow and the price sky high -and that’s with the best network in the country – which now limits the suburbs we can move to  to those that they cover.   The tax laws are a great deal simpler but I probably will pay slightly more tax – but apart from that nothing much has changed.  The New Zealand dollar is well over-priced against the US dollar – but far more likely to drop once they cut the mortgage rates – which will probably be better for our overall bottom line.

There will be some advantages too: daylight saving and Sunday shopping are the obvious ones. As is being able to eat out without worrying about the bill, seeing friends and my partner’s family again. Being able to afford a dentist will be nice. But after about two weeks, in my experience, the novelty wears off. And the reality is that my closest family is in Europe anyways – for those of us who have wandering in the blood its highly unlikely that one place really will ever contain all the people that matter to us ever again.

The trouble is is that the little things are really difficult if you keep moving. We have both lost medical insurance – you can only be covered for the first year out of the country – no country recognises your insurance record overseas – so effectively you start again each time you move. Our car insurance will probably go up as well as we haven’t had insurance on the car we haven’t driven for over two-years.  My partner needs to ensure that he spends enough time in New Zealand to qualify for superannuation over the next few years – the fact that he was born there and worked his entire life there is irrelevant – he needs to spend 5 years between 55- and 65 in New Zealand – oh and then when he retires he needs to spend at least six months a year in the country- that could become quite inconvenient long-term.

And remember this is the easy direction: we have a credit record, credit card, mobiles, driver’s licenses, car – all waiting for us in storage. We don’t have to start all those things up again from scratch in an unfamiliar system.   Useful hint – never cancel everything when you leave a country – we will be keeping a bank account here – it was too darn hard to get one setup to shut it down now!

The point of this post? I’m not sure that I have one but it some ways I think I look at the other side of living the Nomad’s Lifestyle and wonder if people realise that sometimes it has its own disadvantages – I for one don’t see too many Western countries making it a whole lot easier any time soon. And relatives who don’t understand travel – about 90%  them don’t who ever you are related to – will never understand your inability to “settle down”. So yes we are going home – but I have a feeling it won’t be for ever.

Some Resources for Digital Nomads

Living in Bali

Working Nomad Forum is very useful – the first forum I ever found online actually.

Free Tools Online Business Passive Income Tools

Its Spring! End of a Quarter Report – How To Manage the Dollars

So its the end of another month – another quarter anywhere so how is my journey to passive income online.  Well to be honest its been flat-lining since my record of making over $2000 in one month – in July. Bouncing around at the same level give or take in US$ terms, dropping in local currency because of the strength of both my local currencies (yes I run accounts in two countries – I don’t recommend it!).

Oh and finally spring has sprung – downunder in Perth anyways – finally I might add, so much for global warming its been freezing here for far too long. The photos in this post were taken in King’s Park, Perth a couple of weeks ago – yes we have quite a display of wildflowers at the moment.

New Custom Thesis Theme

DSCF4831I’ve been spring cleaning this blog too – a couple of you have noticed that the design has changed a fair bit.  None of my doing – Costa who makes cool custom WordPress themes at wrote to me saying that my previous design hurt his head and here is a new one. Well OK I can take a hint – I never claimed to be a designer – we played with his suggestion a bit so I am now down the beach (Indian Ocean) with my laptop. (BTW for any of you whose dream it is to sit under the sun umbrella with your laptop -reality check – sand is not good for laptops, sun umbrella as illustrated won’t stay up in an off-shore breeze, and won’t stop enough UV to prevent you coming out looking like a lobster. Leave the laptop at home when you go to the beach- but yes the beach is less than 10 minutes walk from my house! ) . Anyway if you want to know techie stuff like how to remove dates from any WordPress theme then check out Costa’s site. And BTW don’t tell me you aren’t technical – go learn how to do this stuff – its not hard and blogs like Costa’s will give you the right information. HTML and CSS are the basics of the Internet and yes you do evenutally need to know a bit about them.

Tracking Your Monthly Income Online

Anyway back to the subject to hand monthly income and managing cash. I don’t know about you – I am yet to see a QuickBooks or similar version which says – this is how to manage your online money – so I have kinda made up my own version – I thought it might help some of you. From day one its been important to me to know how much I made each month – that was my basic aim – $5000/month – so I really needed to see where I was at – even when I didn’t like the answer.

For the last year or so I have run a spreadsheet – its imaginatively named “income” – across the top I have the months : Jan, Feb etc – down the page I list my online income sources for the month. Note I ignore when I will actually get paid  that income – I just record what I earned that month. This is important – clickbank took over a year to pay me out, Amazon hasn’t yet, some affiliates pay 90 days in arrears. All of that is very relevant to your cash flow – but not to my aim in this case: to track my actual income from the month.

DSCF4823I categorise my income into the following block – and use sub-totals so I know what percentage of my income is passive and what is “active” – currently I am running rows down the spreadsheet which look like this:

  1. Niche Website  income
    • Adsense
    • eBay
    • Amazon
  2. Make Money Online Affiliates
    • various things I flog from this blog and my HubPages which you guys are kind enough to give  me the commission on – one line per an affiliate
  3. Freelancing and Consulting
    • Various writing clients
    • – yup they still pay me  (a little)
    • SEO consultancy
    • Hosting for clients
  4. Website /Domain Sales

The interesting thing when you split your income up like this – you will see the swings and round abouts far more clearly – Adsense tanked for me in September, but I had my best eBay month ever and a pretty good one iwth Amazon. You can step back and see the weakness in your business model. Basically the income in the first two groups are fairly passive income sources. The income shows up at least a month after I do the work – sometimes several months.

I try a lot of stuff in group two some work well but then the product is withdrawn e.g. NicheDevil, some work well but are too cheap and too niche to make me much (Elegant Themes), some are surprise stars (7 Minute Articles), others just trundle on and give me a sale or 2 a month without much effort (Hostgator) on part – everyone needs hosting from time-to-time.

Analysing Your Data To Plan Your Business

This month I went back through my last few months of the new tax year (1 July in Australia) and identified each item for my accountant – I got to wondering about my expenses – I have never tracked them in detail – they have always been lower than my income (i.e. if there was money in my PayPal account I could afford it – if there wasn’t I couldn’t), but I looked more closely this month. My current on-going expenses are;

Hosting: $25DSCF4808

The KeyWord Academy: $33

Various services for distributing my articles $125

Average cost for domain renewals $40 – this is very up and down because last year I went thru cycles of buying domains and then giving up on new domains for months at a time.

So my fixed expenses to stay in business are around $225 – I don’t know about you – but that’s pretty darn cheap rent where I live! For tax purposes of course I add in the Internet, a percentage of my rent, power bill etc etc – but those are the real costs of doing business – doing business online is not free – but its pretty darn cheap.

The obvious thing that struck me once I wrote these figures down is that I needed to spending more money! I am considering a nice resort for Christmas actually – well yes-  but that’s not what I meant. In terms of the business I needed to be investing more money back into it. I don’t know what figures are supposed to be  a good rule of thumb – but  for me I figured I should be spending at least 50% of my passive income into building more of the same – that only makes sense!

Having said that I immediately decided to up my budget for outsourcing writing on my sites and also decided to budget at least five new domains from freshdrop a month – where a dropped dot com costs me $12.45 after using the emma30 code which will get you the renewal for $7.49). Given that I have decided to try look to start selling five websites a month – it seems reasonable to buy the stock at that rate.

I am almost certainly going to buy new hosting – nothing wrong with HostGator but I want to spread my IP’s around if you know what I mean. BTW if anyone is looking for some very cheap hosting check out QiQ who has an offer until the 9 October for a years hosting for £11 ($17) – only one site and only per a customer – but that’s less than $1.50/month!

This turned into another long ramble – but I hoped it was useful to some of you.  As a business owner you need to look hard at your figures to know where to go with your business in the next month. I have found that my start of month routine is less and less about wow I made some money from an affiliate and more and more about he big picture – where is the money coming from – will  it continue?, how can I can I make it continue? how can I diversify? did I achieve what I wanted last month? if not why no? if yes why?

Quick Update

For those of you who are still confused as to which you might want to check out – or at least Grizz’s take on Darren’s site!