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Preview : Buxr Shopping Comparison widget

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BuxrMichael Glozman, of Cheap Hosting Bargains fame contacted me this morning to give me a sneak preview of his new shopping comparison site Buxr.

Buxr is the latest shopping comparison site which is targeting bloggers to promote their website. If you signed up with WidgetBucks last month then you should be familiar with how this type of affiliate widget works. Basically, you place a javascript banner on your blog to display the latest products on your blog.

The Widget

Creating a widget with Buxr is very similar to creating a widget with WidgetBucks. Buxr does allow you to create a banner targeted to one merchant which I think is a nice touch however there are only 9 merchants to choose from (compare this with the hundreds Widgetbucks gives you with Mpire).

Below is a screenshot of the ‘create a widget’ page’. Those of you with a keen eye will notice how the javascript that Buxr generates looks identical to the javscript which google adsense uses.

The Buxr Widget Creation Screen

The actual banner that the javascript creates is quite basic looking compared to the fancy interactive widgets which you get with WidgetBucks. Infact, the banners look very similar to the adsense banners of a year or so ago – perhaps they hired a former Google employee to design the backend for this project.

I don’t think that a simple banner like this is necessarily a bad thing as you can change the colours of the banner to blend in with your blog.

So will I make money with Buxr?

I do not have a high traffic blog which is suitable for running Buxr banners so I am unable to test out how well the banners convert. Also, since Buxr has not been launched yet I’m sure what is scheduled to be improved and what is not. However, the preview I have been using suggests that Buxr is far from ready.

The commission that you receive per sale ranges from 0.5% to 10%, depending on the product sold. Put simply you get about half of the money they receive from the shopping site. A $10 sign up bonus, a 10% referral commission and a low payment threshold of $20 does not hide how poor the actual shopping service is. The fact remains, you can have the best affiliate program in the world with fantastic bonuses but if the actual service you are promoting is poor you aren’t going to make any money…and unfortunately this is the where Buxr is failing and failing quite badly in my opinion.

Again, I reiterate that the site is not launched yet so I don’t know what they are planning on improving but I suspect a launch is soon if they are contacting bloggers like myself to preview it and if that is the case then Buxr is going to be another site which was launched too early.

So what is wrong with the Buxr shopping service?

The first thing that you will notice is how basic the design is. Have a look at the screenprint below to see what I mean. It isn’t terrible but it isn’t fantastic either. You need to remember that this service is competiting with established USA comparison sites like PriceRunner and Mpire and a good design is a big part of branding and promoting a company.

Buxr Shopping Service

Although you can only target 9 merchants individually with your widget there are 21 merchants currently being listed, this still falls short of the hundreds if not thousands of merchants some competitors have. Surprisingly, this is not the biggest problem, the biggest problem is the fact that there are hardly any products being listed. Take the MP3 Player category. This is a category which you would expect to be busy with a lot of comparisons however you will be disappointed to find out that they only have 9 products and and apart from a Creative ZEN Vision, none of these products are from a major brand. It gets worse! 8 of these 9 products are out of date.

Expired Product

This brings me back to the point I raised earlier. The affiliate section is sufficient however you need to need to step back and ask who would actually use this service and honestly can’t think who would use this instead of another price comparison site. And if no one is using it, you are not going to make any money and as Steve Austin used to say, that’s the bottom line!

Also, it’s unfortunate that both the shopping service and the affiliate service is only for USA based shoppers and bloggers.

Summary

I spoke with Michael Glozman via email about Buxr and he seems like a stand up guy but I have to admit that I am fairly disappointed with what I have seen in so far. The affiliate area is fine however I just don’t see how this shopping comparison site is going to compete with the established competitors in this niche.

If the shopping comparison service is not improved then I would not encourage any bloggers to sign up as you would see a better return linking to related products individually yourself by signing up to the merchants affiliate program yourself.

Once again, I have only viewed the beta version of Buxr and they have given me no indication of when it will be launched officially so hopefully they will improve the service but if I’m brutally honest I can’t see the Buxr shopping site competiting with the major price comparison sites and if they can’t do that then you won’t make money 🙂

You can receive updates on Buxr here.

* Disclaimer : I have attached my Buxr referral link in this post 🙂

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Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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Top Earning Blogs and How they Make Money Blogging [Infographic]

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The top earning blogs in the world are generating millions of dollars every month. However, blogging is not just about million dollar blogs… actually the majority of blogs on the internet don’t make more than $2,000 per year.

Understanding how these blogs make money, what the end goal for their sites are and how they turn their content into a business is what’s most important for bloggers of all niches and sizes to understand.

That is exactly what we are going to be covering in this post — and even more exciting, we have an infographic to break down the key points as well!

Breaking Down the Different Types of Bloggers in the Blogosphere

There are well over 100 million blogs in the world today and thousands of new content pieces and articles are going live every hour. This means you are up against a world of competition when you start a blog, so it’s extremely important for you to quickly discover what type of blogger you are going to be and where you would like to be six months to a year from now.

Which of these blogger types would you fall into?

  • The Part-Time Professional
  • The Hobbyist
  • The Full-Time Professional
  • The Corporate
  • The Entrepreneur

Still not sure where you fit into the blogging mix? Be sure to check out our 15 Great Blogger Interviews that Will Blow Your Mind post to learn from some of the best blogging experts in the world today!

Different-Types-of-Bloggers

How Much Are Bloggers Earning with their Blogs?

As mentioned, most blogs simply don’t make enough money to be considered a full time job or a legitimate source of income. Stats show that only 14% of bloggers are actually earning any money through their blog at all. This could be for a number of reasons, such as blogs being for non-profit, a hobby or the blogger simply has no idea how to get started or isn’t getting enough traffic to their sites.

Let’s take a look at this breakdown of how much bloggers are actually earning with their blogs:

  • $24,086 is the average annual earnings
  • $33,557 average annual earnings for corporate bloggers
  • $1,000/year is what the average blogger earns when they are getting paid to post content to their site.

How-Much-Do-Bloggers-Earn

However, for those blogs that are generating revenue off their content and traffic, there are many different methods for them to choose from.

The most popular blog monetization methods are through Google Adsense, direct banner advertising and affiliate marketing. The good news is that these monetization methods scale across all niches and platforms, which means anyone with a blog and a loyal audience can start generating revenue with their blog as long as they put in the time and effort.

A perfect example of a blog that went from nothing to making over a million dollars per year, is PerezHilton.com. If you take a look at the site you will notice that there is a lot of banner advertising on the site. Perez could be monetizing his traffic through various different methods such as trying to sell his own products or merchandise, but instead the focus is on paid banner advertising.

When visiting their site, be sure to scroll down and see how many different ad placements are located throughout the site. Banner ad sales for PerezHilton can easily top over $45,000 per month for a single ad campaign.

Ways-to-Earn-Money-with-Blogging

Bloggers are coming up with new and creative ways to monetize their content and traffic all the time. If you’d like to learn from over 50 different professional bloggers and how they are monetizing their audience, be sure to check out our Meet the Bloggers series.

Top Earning Blogs on the Internet

When you think of blogging, you probably don’t think of names like Huffington Post, Mashable and TechCrunch… but they are blogs and they are all running off the WordPress platform.

With that being said, not only are these legitimate blogs, but they are making millions of dollars per year through the use of their content and growing audience.

We all visit these sites on a daily basis. Now it’s time to discover how much some of them are making!

Top-Earning-Blogs

  • Huffington Post $2,300,000
  • Mashable $560,000
  • Perez Hilton $450,000
  • TechCrunch $400,000
  • Smashing Magazine $190,000
  • Timothy Sykes $150,000
  • Gothamist $110,000
  • Tuts Plus $110,000
  • Car Advice $70,000
  • Venture Beat $62,000

Of course this is just a small sampling of the many blogs out there that are making money. I could probably add another ten to the list that I know are generating over $100,000 a month easily! Just look at John Chow for example… his blog went from $0 to $40,000 per month in it’s first few years, to now generating over $1,000,000 a year now!

How to Start a Successful Blog & Make Money in the Process

Now that you’ve seen the money being made by some of the top bloggers in the world today, I’m sure you are now more excited than ever to get things moving in the right direction!

Here’s a quick breakdown of everything you will need to consider when getting started and planning for your longterm blogging success.

  • Pick a great domain name for your blog. Stay away from numbers, hyphens and non-.com/.net/.org TLDs.
  • Always go with a quality web hosting company. Web hosting is cheap, so there is no need to go with an unknown company.
  • When you start to monetize your blog content, don’t sacrifice your user experience for a few dollars. It will hurt your blog in the long run.
  • Affiliate programs are a great way to monetize your audience, as you will earn commission on products and services that you may actually be using.
  • At the end of the day, the success of your blog comes down to your content, audience and brand. Niche down, create killer content and build a brand that people can trust.

For anyone who is looking to get started on the right path or bring their current blog, brand and business to a whole new level, I highly recommend you check out blogging.org, which is our premium online blog marketing training course.

Blogging-Tips-and-Tricks

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to ignitespot for creating this very high quality infographic, which has made the process of breaking down the blogconomy that much easier. You can view the full infographic below.

Highest Earning Blog Infographic

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How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business with Little to No Money

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Nearly two-thirds of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, saving minimal funds or none at all. If this sounds familiar, you might feel like it’s impossible to turn your financial situation around. After all, you need to have money to make money, right?

Actually, the truth is a little bit different. There are some lucrative side gigs you can start right now with no funding at all. Eventually, these side gigs can even turn into full-time jobs.

One of those no-money gigs you can start right now is becoming an affiliate marketer.

Wondering how to start an affiliate marketing business? We can help. This guide provides everything you need to get started – keep reading to learn how to make the money you deserve!

What Is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is one of the newer and more exciting ways to make money online while working at home.

Basically, you’ll partner up with a business to help them sell their products online. You create a website and add useful content, such as product reviews. But you also put affiliate links in your posts; that way, people reading your posts can use the links to buy the products you mention.

Every time someone makes a purchase using one of your affiliate links, you’ll get paid a commission on it. As you grow your site, add more links, and gain new readers, your profits can increase exponentially.

This is a win-win situation for both you and the brands you’re linking to. They make money because you’re helping them gain exposure to new customers. And, of course, you generate revenue with every sale made through your site.

However, you can’t just create a website, start linking to products, and call it affiliate marketing. You need to use the proper affiliate links to get commissions from the sales.

Is Affiliate Marketing Right for You?

There are many things that make affiliate marketing appealing to beginners.

First of all, it doesn’t require any money to get started. You’re not selling products that you carry, so you don’t need to stock up on inventory. The online marketing tactics you’ll use to gain customers don’t require any funds, just some time spent learning how to do them.

You can also choose any niche for your affiliate marketing site. You don’t want to have a general site that features all kinds of random products. Instead, you can choose an area that you’re interested in, such as cooking or fashion, and build your affiliate marketing site around that.

The people who succeed most with affiliate marketing tend to be motivated self-starters. There won’t be anyone watching over your shoulder to make sure you get the work done. But if you’re committed to the idea of making money as an affiliate, you shouldn’t find it too hard to invest the time needed to get off the ground.

How to Start an Affiliate Marketing Business: The Step-by-Step Guide

Ready to get started? Let’s take a look at how to start an affiliate marketing business with no funding at all.

1. Get on Social Media

If you already have a thriving social media presence, you’re on your way to affiliate marketing success. No social media presence yet? It’s time to start building.

Social media is another way to put your affiliate links in front of potential customers. You can start making affiliate marketing money on your favorite social media sites before your website or blog is even finished. However, to make money this way, you’ll need to be sure to have a solid following. Famoid is a perfect example of a company that focuses solely on social media, and has helped improve branding and reach for thousands of accounts and social profiles.

You can also use social media to experiment and figure out your niche. Explore your interests and see which products you can create the most buzz about. This might help you decide on the direction for your affiliate marketing site.

2. Select Your Niche

After some preliminary research, you’re now ready to decide on your niche.

Your niche should be both something that you’re interested in – and something that people want to buy. Luckily, there are products you can sell for just about every interest you can think of.

You don’t want your site to be too broad, otherwise, it will be hard to find and connect with the right audience. However, you also don’t want it to be too narrow.

Make sure to pick a niche with a healthy interest so plenty of people will want to read – and buy.

3. Build Your Blog

Now, you can work on building your affiliate site or blog. Of course, if you find lots of success on social media, you can also just stick with that!

Lots of platforms, such as WordPress, offer free, easy-to-use website builders. The site doesn’t need to be too elaborate, but it needs to provide a good home for your content.

In this step, you’ll also need to find the right affiliate program to provide you with links. Major sites like eBay and Amazon have affiliate programs. You can also do a Google search for affiliate programs in your niche.

4. Work on Marketing

Once you have your site up, it’s time to work on marketing that site.

Of course, posting regularly is an important part of marketing. People want to see a site filled with useful, interesting content. Make sure to start building up a body of posts with affiliate links in them.

However, you also need to make your site easy to find. This means learning modern digital marketing tactics, such as SEO.

There’s plenty of information on this online, and it’s all free! Financial experts like Bonsai Finance can also provide you with a source of quick cash while you get your affiliate marketing site off the ground. Not only are they experts in the financial space, they’ve also had their fair share of online and affiliate marketing to grow their brand into what it is today.

Stuck on Affiliate Marketing? We Can Help

Anyone can learn how to start an affiliate marketing business and find success along the way. If you get stuck at some point in your journey, don’t worry. Help is available.

We offer assistance with everything from site development to marketing – check out our site articles and resources to learn more!

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A Guide for Canadian Bloggers to Get Out of Debt Fast

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Canadians owe 1.69 dollars from every dollar of household disposable income. Are you dealing with a mountain of debt?

With blogging on the rise across the world, many Canadians are looking to start a blog of their own to try and push down some of these negative finances, while also getting out of debt in the process. All too often, the dreams of making money with blogging are great at first, but then people start to find themselves working on their blog and not seeing much money come in.

Blogging is definitely a legitimate way to make money online, but it’s also a slow and tedious one if you are looking for success to come through organic search results and free social media traffic. While all of this is going on, you might find yourself getting into even more debt over time.

For Canadians that are currently blogging and trying to work their way out of debt, there are some other considers to achieve your financial freedom you may want to consider.

We’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn how to get out of debt and start your journey toward financial freedom.

Your Personal How to Get Out of Debt Guide to Achieve Financial Freedom

Financial freedom may sound next to impossible for many people. Yet, if you implement the right plan, you can start getting out of debt today.

Don’t know where to start? Here are the must follow steps to regain control over your finances.

1. Make a List of Debts

The first step toward financial freedom is making a list of all your debts. It should include everything from your credit cards to your mortgage.

Don’t forget to list details about your debt, such as the interest rate, amount owed, minimum monthly payments, and months or years left until the repayment for loans kicks in.

If you are running an online business or blog of your own, this is something you should be doing for your side business as well.

Hosting costs, mailing lists, content creation, outsourcing… it can all add up over time.

2. Review Your Monthly Budget

After listing your debt, take a hard look at your monthly budget. How much is your monthly income? What are your typical monthly expenses?

You should balance your budget and eliminate any unnecessary expenses. Consider opening a savings account and depositing the money from unnecessary expenses in that account.

If your budget is too tight, seek ways to make money online or start a side hustle. One of the best ways for bloggers to start seeing immediate financial success from their results, is to freelance and start writing for other sites and clients.

3. Develop a Debt Repayment Plan

Once you figure out how much money you have left after expenses, develop a debt repayment strategy. You may think that paying off your highest balance is the best approach.

Yet, experts recommend paying off your account with the highest interest rate first to become debt-free faster and reduce your interest. Another strategy you may consider is consolidating your debt into one monthly payment.

Keep in mind that achieving financial freedom won’t happen overnight. Develop a plan with a realistic timeframe in mind and commit to it in the long term.

4. Consider Consulting a Licensed Insolvency Trustee

Most people believe that becoming debt-free is a lonely journey. But you don’t have to do it alone. Consider consulting a licensed insolvency trustee to help you develop the best plan of action.

Your advisor can provide the help you need to achieve financial freedom. Read more now about how they can help you restructure your debt and even avoid bankruptcy.

5. Avoid Taking More Debt

You can make all the right financial decisions and become debt-free. But, if you continue to spend money, you’ll fall into debt once again.

Change your spending habits and cut any expenses that are not really necessary. Discipline is the key.

Again, this goes back to blogging as well. If you have an online business, or any monthly recurring costs (like a gym membership), cancel these asap to avoid more debt build-up over time.

Can You Start Getting Out of Debt Today?

You can start getting out of debt today, but achieving your financial freedom may take some time and commitment. If you follow our how to get out of debt guide and stay disciplined, you’ll take control of your finances and become debt-free soon.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to see more ideas for paying down debt and making money online, be sure to check out this expert roundup.

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