Marketing Online Business Passive Income Tools

I See Video In My Future – And Its Very, Very Scary!

Let’s face it – I am scared of the camera – well one that takes moving pictures anyways! I don’t really have an issue with photos of me per se, particularly if they are stored on my computer so  I can delete at will. But video has always made me nervous. 

I’ve tried it a couple of times – and I dislike the sound of my own voice. A lot.  Talking the camera is also perilously close to talking to an audience which is alive. And that gives me stage fright. 

The Dog's Keen - Me Not So Much!

But the case for audio and video is becoming a bit overwhelming. For example. No prizes for figuring out that both this blog and Pat’s over at go after the same main keyword. There’s not much in it – at the moment he’s #2 and I’m #4 in the SERPs. But I’ve never been able to figure out one little thing – why the hell does he have so much more traffic than I do? According to SEMRush he doesn’t rank for another huge keyword in this niche – so WTF was going on? 

Now there are a dozen ways to game social media figures and subscription numbers, but Pat doesn’t do any of them – his subscription numbers are genuine, you can tell by the genuine conversations going on in his comments.  Those numbers are real, and impressive. 

Then finally I noticed Pat pointing out that- its his podcasts which bring he traffic from iTunes and videos which bring him traffic from all over including YouTube. 

At the same time I have Mark from SEOCobra bending my ear, that he doesn’t get why more people aren’t adding Youtube videos to their posts in the system. Mark has a tendency to call late at night, after I’ve had a gin or two, or early in the morning when I haven’t had enough tea (its a time zone thing) – but finally, today,  once the coffee kicked in, I went oh duh! 

Its because most of us are idiots and don’t haven’t made  youtube videos promoting our sites, or demonstrating the products we are flogging.

How stupid is that? 

And its across everything – non-fiction indie  writers do book trailers. 

Wizzley allows you to add videos so you can demonstrate what you are talking about. 

If you do it right – you can submit the audio to iTunes – in fact get yourself an iTunes channel – and the video goes on Youtube.  

Do You Do Podcasts / Video – What Tools Do You Use? 

I’ve used video once to sell something. I used Picasa to string a bunch of photos together to help sell our previous house. It was a lot quicker than learning how to edit video, and I was running out of time after days spent cleaning! It worked pretty well: 

I’ve played a little with Jing – which I quite like. I’m perfectly willing to procrastinate over the technology for a while – so what are you guys using – and please,  I’m not buying a Mac – it has to work on Windows!  

Have You Signed Up Yet? 

Did you sign up for the newsletter yet? If you don’t you’ll miss out on all the inside Z-Blogger tips! And how much money I did or did not make this month.  

If you keen to check out SEO Cobra when it re-opens – remember lists are awfully good place to make announcements! 

Article Marketing Back Links Free Tools Lis Recommmends

Wizzley Review: The Answer to the Hubpages Scam?

Are Lissie and her scams right? Well its hardly my fault that scam is a the word Google likes to give this blog authority on. Well OK maybe it is my fault! And so yes I can use it to my own benefit as in HubPages Scam, SEO Scribe Scam, Keyword Academy Scam, and of course the one that started it all SiteSell Scam

What is Wizzley?

Wizzley is a place to write articles and get paid via affiliate programs plus get backlinks to your sites. It has a nice set of tools which are drag drop to build your “wizzes” (yeah really that’s what an article is called, where I come from is what a little boy does when he stands up to go to the loo – but whatever!). You have to have at least 400 words, the usual topics (porn, guns, drugs) are banned as are some other rather commonly over-used topics including acne, credit card debt, forex and weight loss. 

What does Wizzley offer? 

  • revenue share starts at 50% – goes to 55% after 50 articles and 60% after 100 articles; 
  • revenue is from Adsense, Amazon, Zazzle and AllPosters – and you are paid direct by those advertisers – you know like hubpages used to be. You get paid for referrals too 10% of impressions from referral’s articles – paid from Wizzley’s share. 
  • instant indexing – I created a new user on Wizzley – added an article I’d been forced to remove from HubPages – and it was indexed within the hour! 
Stuff you should know: 
  • they have human editors, don’t submit crap – they will reject it.  
  • don’t submit duplicate content – they will reject it. 
  • minimum article length: 400 words. 
  • its a new site – it opened to the public about June 2011, therefore its not huge, and it doesn’t have the internal traffic hubpages has. 
  • you can control the urls (the default is the same as the page’s title), as the site is new, you can probably get your URL of choice. 

Wizzley Compared to HubPages

  • if you want to use the site for backlinks you have to have some advertising enabled, if you don’t want Adsense on the article, turn advertising off and then add an Amazon (or Zazzle, Allposters) module somewhere. They won’t accept articles solely for the purpose of backlinks
  • unlike HubPages you don’t have to run Adsense – turn off “advertising” on the right side of the edit page if you just want to use the other modules
  • unlike HubPages Wizzley has a nice little contents module
  • unlike HubPages there are quite a number of different ways to use the Amazon module – examples  here 
  • a brand new identity of mine on Wizzley had my first article indexed in Google inside an hour. With my 4-year old ID on hubpages recent hubs have taken days to be indexed
  • others are reporting getting keyword targeted articles on the 1st or 2nd page with little backlinking. I’ll comment when I have tried myself. 
  • Wizzley has partner sites which accept German and French articles! 

If You Make Money With HubPages You Might Want to Move to Wizzley ASAP

As of 2012 – HubPages’s Amazon modules will be paid via the HPAds programs, NOT via your own Amazon affiliate ID. If you are making good money with Amazon I shouldn’t have to explain to you why this is a terribly bad idea, and why, I have spend hours today un-publishing hubs on one of my accounts so I can move them over to  Wizzley. 

If you want to know the details of why this is a bad idea: check out my Move Amazon Earning Hub to Wizzley

Ideally of course if your articles are making money, they should be on your own sites. But I haven’t time to create a bunch of sites, so in the meantime I am moving them to Wizzley. 

On the face of it I like the layout of Wizzley and think I can use it to create a good CTR to Amazon. If the site stays in Google’s good books and pages rank easily – then as they say YAH CHING! 



NZ Electoral Law is an Ass – I Will Comment Today!

Yeah this is my first and probably last political post on this blog! Yeah I don’t mean the politics of A-List and Z-List bloggers I mean genuine NZ politics. Yeah NZ is having an election and from middnight to 7pm on 26 November 2011 – I am supposed not to:

to publish any statement intended or likely to influence any elector’s candidate, party or referendum vote.

So WTF you might say? Yeah me too. This is a particularly stupid piece of legislation which was last updated in 1993 which was put in place to stop candidates and parties trying to influence voters on the day of voting. All very reasonable you might say. But now they’ve extended it to social media. And it covers everyone – well all NZers anyways – like who the else would care about NZ politics after all! According to The Aucklander

The current New Zealand Electoral Act (which prohibits any form of campaigning on polling day) means that if you type, text, televise or tweet your support for a party or person, on any public online platform (be it a blog, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or any of the other thousands of social media platforms available), before 7pm on Saturday 26th November, you could face a fine of up to $20,000.

Yeah well this is up there with the stupid law of the year award as far as I can see. In fact I think its just about as dumb as the Australian law that says as an Australian citizen I am REQUIRED to vote in every local, state and Federal election – of course I’ve never got around to registering so still waiting for the summons on that one too! 

So here for the record is my views on current NZ politicians: 

my local clown MP is one Peter Dunne who has fallen out with both Labour and National and had to form his own party – he takes the electrate for granted – and on hearing he’d won, by a 1000 odd votes last time said, said words to the effect of, “of course”.  He’s been in parliament for 24 years – time to get a real job mate – bye-bye! 

I’ll be voting for the Labour guy Charles Chauvel – who came a very close second, seems to be able to string coherent sentences together and is a gay.  On the other hand, for the first time in my life, I’m not voting Labour party vote – they don’t seem to be able to figure out an economic policy that doesn’t involve more debt, and really lack any concept about how to make this country more productive, which is hardly surprising because most of their leadership are ex-teachers, or public servants who have never really worked for a day in their lives. 

So yeah I am going to vote for National – sorry mum! Most of the policies make at least some sense. 

So feel free to leave a comment about the NZ elections – just be aware that you are breaking NZ law if you do it before 7pm 26 November NZDT! 

Oh yeah the referendum – might as well cover all illegalities in one post – we are voting on whether to keep the current system -the mainly proportional MMP system. The people behind this read like a bunch of old fogies from the 1980’s e.g. Ruth Richardson – they obvously want first-past-the-post again. But those of us who lived through the “excitement” of radical shifts of policy from one parliament to the next aren’t quite dead or all suffering from alzheimers yet – so I don’t think MMP will be going anywhere! 

Mt Egmont, Taranaki, New Zealand
Catalyst Paid Tools WordPress

Catalyst as a Post Page Associator Alternative

I’ve used Post page associator plugin for a while. Its a handy plugin which allowed you to do what it says on the pack; add a list of your posts in a certain category, at the bottom of the page. I used it here for example

However the developer has been under criticism for included a “please donate”  large ad on your main dashboard if you hadn’t paid – in fact I had give a donation – but I was buggered if I was going to donate for EACH blog I used it on – so I found the advertising a little annoying.  There was toys tossed in the WordPress forums though, some users found the nag VERY annoying,- and the developer has taken his toys home – or in this case made the plugin paid only (and quite expensive at that).

Free Option: List Category Posts Plugin 

You’ll find this plugin if you search on the install plugins page. It works – you add a short code somewhere in a page where you want the listing of posts to occur – and it does. Now there are a bunch of options, but making it look pretty involved php and css and stuff – so I ran screaming… 

Paid Option: Using Catalyst Theme As An Alternative to Post Page Associator Plugin

This really was quite simple – no scary TLAs involved! 

  1. Create a new page layout – I called mine indienonfiction.
  2. Decide on the layout of said page – I decided it would have a single right sidebar. 
  3. Added a new widget to the bottom of the content on the indienonfiction page layout. 
  4. Went over to the widgets area – used the Catalyst Excerpts widget to display the 100 posts in the category of non-fiction. 
  5. Added some relevant content to the new custom sidebar 
  6. Voila – a New Indie Non Fiction page – with all my posts from the Indie Non Fiction category displayed at the bottom. 

 Of course its not a free option, unless you already own Catalyst Theme, but really I wouldn’t be paying $30 PLUS $9/month for support  for a plugin when I can pay once for an entire theme framework for under $1o0. 

Oh and in case you do want to buy Catalyst: 


Catalyst Theme - WordPress Accelerated


I Am A Z-List Blogger!

Jeesus – two non-keyword optimized posts in a row – what’s this blog coming to!  

Some History 

For you old timers – you can skip this bit. 

A long-long time ago – there was a girl who wanted to just stay at home and make money in her sleep. She wanted to do keyword research, set up niche blogs, make money.  She didn’t want to sell shit because she felt she had nothing to sell – but worse than that she HATED sales. 

She feared the pushy salesman – she had walked away from cars and houses she genuinely interested in buying – because of she didn’t like being manipulated and pushed by the salesperson. 

She just about failed a  business marketing course because she had huge arguments with the course organiser. 

She absolutely and definitely knew that: 

  1. She couldn’t sell anything; 
  2. She didn’t want to sell anything. 

The interesting thing was she found she wasn’t the only one.  In fact, it seems that most people agree, if they are being honest. Its just the ones that don’t are noisy, very, very noisy – particularly on the Internet, when you are trying to make money…..

A-Listers are what I do not like about the “noisy face” of blogging. 

What the A-Listers taught me  was particuarly ugly. I discovered that you had to develop a following and promote to them. I discovered it was important to write something on my blog (what like a schedule shite…), and that I although I should first attract followers I should really being looking at joint ventures with the others and getting out my own products as soon as possible. 

There was however a major, major issue, that was always glossed over :

But I was a beginner, I didn’t have anything to offer – I was a student, not a teacher. 

No problem – says the A-Listers: fake it until you make it, get some nice business cards and a pretty blog design. Act like you know what you are doing. Have a Plan! 

That’s why I adopted Search Engine Optimisation and niche websites: joined The Keyword Academy and fled screaming from the A-List blogging shit. 

But this blog didn’t die – and it made me money, without very much effort from me. 

I’m a bit slow – but bugger it – maybe its time to launch: 

Z-List Blogging Launch (canoe free courtesy of the "resort"), hat by SunSmart, top by no-name @ under $3, lake courtesy of Khao Sak National Park, Thailand

The Z-List Bloggers – Blogging For the Rest Of Us (with a New Zealand accent)

Z-Bloggers – those of us who think you should actually only sell what you use and believe in.  

For those of us who  actually think you can just be real and sell – you don’t need need develop a bloody persona to do so. 

Maybe its a New Zealand thing? We tend not to be too pushy, and we don’t like pushy.   As a culture we are a mix of English reticience and Pacifica laid-backness:

Classic New Zealand clip (1971 I think) featuring John Clarke as a used car salesman and Temuera Morrison, before Star Wars, and a car that was old even in 1971.  

So because I couldn’t be bothered doing any real work this week, I pleased to announce the launch of: 



beginners Passive Income Plan Review Rants

An Apology – I Need To Come Clean – A Z-List Blogger Is Born

This stupid MMO blog is a curious thing. It started as my online learning journal/personal diary thing.  But its become something a lot more than that. 

You see, while publicly, calling out the A-List bloggers –  I have somehow become one:  a C-lister anyways, woops  no, now a Z-List Blogger! I am making money from you guys, that’s the truth of it.  Its not what  I set out to do – but over the years – its just kinda happened – and an incident over the weekend really highlighted it to me.

I’m sorry – that’s my dirty little secret, it would have been obvious to some of you for some time, but not to others and its always made me feel apologetic and uncomfortable. 

I have probably been reading way to much personal devlopement stuff recently – but I’m not happy with my record here – so I’m putting that record straight. 

It Started With A Cashflow Crises

My cash flow was ugly in October, and not looking much better for November – HubPages is not playing nicely, and come the new year will be screwing  me out of significant Amazon earnings. Late on Friday night I did the Oct figures – and there were as bad as I thought they would be.

I needed cash, not today, but it was getting borderline as to whether my income covered my living expenses.  A few years ago I would have checked the job sites.

Now that’s not an even an option for me now – instead I looked a minimizing expenses in my business, sent out some over-due invoices, they all paid within hours. Wow that was easy! I felt a bit better – why the heck do I find it hard to ask for money I’m owed?

By 10pm I was surfing Facebook – I noticed that a new backlinking service that I hadn’t been using much, and that I nearly cancelled last month (but missed the date), opened up for affiliates, several days earlier. 

Hmmm – I make $300 or so dollars a month selling Build My Rank – might try promoting the new service a go. By 1am the review was up (including typos in the title and url LMAO – I am too old for late night stuff). I promoted it here, the Pond, Facebook and TKA. Within 48 hours I had signups – by the time the initial offering was sold-out (genuinely – not bullshit false shortage BTW) – I had sold the majority of the memberships available. I had made a lot of money. 

I’m ranked  #1, 2, 3 AND 4 for “seo cobra review” and similar terms in the search engines. I don’t think I’ve had a single visitor or sign-up from that though (yet – SEO is the long game). 

Hmm looks like I’ve turned into one of those scammer A-list bloggers,  ie one who make a living selling  stuff to their followers. Its hard to ignore the fact that if I recommend stuff on this blog – you guys buy it- and thank me for it…  

Shit – I make money from selling make money online services (albeit good ones) to people who follow me online and think that I’m knowledgeable, helpful and probably think I’m successful!  Well two outta three ain’t bad, as the old song says.  

  • Knowledgeable: I’ve been doing this since 2007,  I’ve been making my income entirely online since March 2009, I’ve followed lots of gurus, several of whom no longer post at all (or rarely) – yes I have some knowledge – I’m the personality type that likes finding out stuff – there’s some Myers-Briggs label for it – I call it analysis paralysis; 
  • Helpful: yeah – I am, its innate, happens in real life too, having found all that information, I like sharing it, I quite like writing  too -hence the blog keeps on getting updated (but don’t hold me to a schedule!). 
  • Successful: – now that’s the bit I’m not sure on – that’s what I want to fix up 

Is Lis Successful At Online Marketing?

I made a profit of  NZ$37,900  in the last 12 months, in the same time the US/NZ exchange rate varied from 74c to 88c in those same 12 months – so in US$ that’s an income of : US$28,000 or US$33,300 depending on the rate on the day (you understand the nightmare then?). 

That’s not gross sales – its income less expenses – I claim all the obvious expenses – hosting, domains, memberships, but also my home office (power, rates, ISP) – this is the real money I earn – its what I have to pay tax on. 

Is this a successful income? For me its a start – my aim has always been around US$5000/month. At my current earnings level I can pay 1/2 our household expenses, but we own our home (no mortgage), and I only doing minimal retirement savings, we do do a lot of travel and dancing, but we have no children to support, nor an expensive shopping habit; your mileage may vary.  

For comparison purposes: 

  •  NZ average wage March 2011 NZ$49,00;
  •  US Average Wage 20101 was  US$41,000 .  
Picture of this C-List Blogger Living The High Life, Chaweng Beach, Ko Samui, Thailand

So if you thought I was making 6-figures and throwing the cash around – if you didn’t realise that rather nice lunch we had just after that photo was taken, cost about $10 and we took a $2 tuk-tuk to get there, not a $25 taxi ride – sorry. Genuinely.  

So What the Heck Is Lis’s Problem? That’s Not a Bad Income and She Never Said She Drove a Porsche! 

I make about half my income from this site. That’s my issue. I do make money from other sites as well – but this one site is my solid month in, month out,  pay-the-bills website.   Over the years, through a bit of luck, some great friends, and the fact that I didn’t give up on it, Passive Income Online  now makes me half of my income, and the stable 1/2 at that. 

I make half  of my money from selling stuff to others who are trying for the same lifestyle as I am.  Inadvertantly I’m doing what the A-Listers do all too deliberately.  

There’s another reason why I have been coy about putting out my detailed income figures recently. I don’t want to encourage the rest of you, particularly the beginners into thinking that THIS is the way to make money, particularly not short-term. 

It doesn’t work like that. I’ve developed an online reputation over four years, for longer even than I’ve had this blog. Most of the time I wasn’t doing it deliberately, its sure as hell evolved.  In fact until very recently (hmm like this month) – this site has been deliberately only focussed on search traffic, because I was so bloody uncomfortable about the fact that some of you think I know something useful, and I was selling to you

What’s happened – well basically I’ve playing the old – go with your strengths card – I didn’t expect to make serious money with a MMO blog,  its happened despite me.  So now I’m going to develop it – it appears this personal relationship stuff works – and I want to develop that – so I can apply it to my other, non-MMO, niches. 

But you guys don’t go away – you keep emailing me with nice comments and intelligent questions, you seem to appreciate what I am doing!  So really in short – my readers have driven me to it and its not my fault – you asked for it and now:

That’s Me Out in the Open – Welcome to Lissie: the World’s Only C-List Blogger! 

 Lis Is Embracing Her Spammy C-List Blogger Status – Passive Income Has An E-Mail List!

See you can sign up just below. I’ve always resisted email lists – its the A-listers weapon of choice – but a list will allow me to do what I can’t do with just the blog. 

I will use the list to publish my regular monthly income reports. The monthly reports will NOT go on this site . To see them  – you will need to sign up, plain up and simple.  The WHY – that’s for the list too LOL. 

Also the list will allow me to give you heads up on stuff that is happening – but is not worth a post.

Hey I might even throw in a summary of posts – but if that’s all you want – then the feedburner service already does that (email or RSS reader options).

So yeah that’s more than enough soul searching for the day I think!  Leave a comment, sign up, or unsubscribe, sorry if you feel pissed off or misled by my little corner of the Interwebs – feel free to leave – and apologies I annoyed. 

For the rest of you – well – normal service (or lack thereof) is probably going to be resumed. 

And the question on the form? I’m curious as to whether I should be reusing some of my basic stuff and putting it out onto the list on a regular basis? 

Self Publishing

Non Fiction Sales Month 4: How to Publish in iTunes

Hmm – interesting morning. Tracey Edwards, author, was chatting and said she was surprised how well she was doing with her books on iTunes. I said I’d noticed a couple of sales (Smashwords – tells you when you’ve sold through their distribution partners, but it takes a few months), but I didn’t know how to even find my book on iTunes she told me to google itunes “book title” – and hey presto – but it wasn’t my book 🙁 Some arsehole had stolen the hub the book was based on and had it in the app store since January.

My book is there – but appears to be only showing up in the UK store – or maybe that’s because I’m in NZ? And my book shows as a book – no shite Lis – but the stolen hub is an app? WTF is that about – I thought an App had to DO something – not just be content? UPDATE: Tracey emailed to say she could see my book on the iPad in the bookstore – cool!

Meanwhile I was asking around on how to submit a DMCA complaint to Apple – I couldn’t find a specific page had to just contact iTunes support. Meanwhile someone asked:

Hitting the Big Time in the Sexy iTunes Store! Roxy Theatre, Miramar, Wellington

How Do You Publish a Book or Article in iTunes

Well I don’t really know to be honest – except I believe it involves being American and running some crappy hardware that starts with i… (yeah really!) . I use Smashwords – so long as you get the formatting right they will distribute to a long list including Barnes&Noble and Apple. Now from my sales – I’m starting to think I quite like Apple LOL

Amazon is still the biggie – but I’ve seen more than one person saying that smashwords suck as a place to sell books – they are missing the point of Smashwords does two things that I think are absolutely critical:

  • the distribute – here’s the complete list. I’ve heard if you are American you are better off distributing direct to B&N – but that’s not an option for me.
  • they allow you to create coupons to give your book away at a discount (say to a list) – or for free to reviewers etc. You can’t do that with Amazon.

What Happens When Amazon “Price Matches” By Mistake 

Amazon’s TOS says that they will price match any book that you offer in the Kindle Store. As the minimum price at Amazon is 99c – this is the only way to get your book listed there for free (drop the price at Smashwords, wait for the price to filter through the distribution channels, and then for Amazon to notice and price drop).

Writer James Crawford had an issue when he issued an except from his novel on B&N for free – Amazon noticed and price matches and his sales went from 6 and day to over 600! Unfortunately, in my opinion, James didn’t react well – he unpublished his book and threatened to sue Amazon.

I haven’t read all the TOS of Amazon – but I sure they have covered their arse from mistakes like this.

James could have used the boost of traffic to promote his brand – get his name out there, and if he’d left his book published – he would have rocketed up the best seller lists on Amazon – thereby getting him more sales, brand awareness, and reviews.

Also I am really wondering while B&N allow teasers to be published – Amazon doesn’t and that is a good protection for readers as far as I am concerned.

So if it happens to you – make the most of the attention! For the rest of us – thinking about how powerful free can be …

October Update on eBook Sales

Its quite a pain reporting figures by the month – compared to affiliate companies-  book published are pre-historic when it comes to reporting sales to the author – comes of being a monolithic gate-keeper for too long in my opinion. So I’ve moved sales across to a single page reporting on non-fiction eBook sales figures.

Actually once I’d add up, what some of you am sure think are piddling tiny amounts and a pathetic failure – I smiled -I’m getting close to breaking even. With very little promotion on my part except a bit of SEO…