I often get asked a lot about what it takes to make a blog, and if it’s really possible to make money online. The answer is always the same… it all depends on the amount of work and time you put into it. It is possible to build a business through blogging, affiliate marketing and have it become your full time job. The interview below is with Bradley Nordstrom, a 10 year old affiliate and blogger who is very well known for commenting on several Internet marketing blogs. While juggling his homework, after school activities and just being a kid… we were lucky enough to snag this exclusive interview and I think you’ll find that it is a very entertaining read and a great look into the life of one of the youngest affiliates and bloggers the world has ever known.
Tell us a little about your background info about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you? How long have you been using the Internet?
I am from Wellington, Florida and I still live there now. I am an awesome 10 year old and my birthday is October 20th. I have been using the internet for 5 years now. I first started blogging with my blog cthen when I turned 9 I got into affiliate marketing. Affiliate marketing is one of the most important things I do to make money now next to blogging. My parents and I also run an infotainment paper called “Tidbits”. You might have heard of it.
What accomplishments so far are you most proud of?
The accomplishments I am most proud of is being a young 10 year old that makes over $5,000 a month. I am also proud of being invited to People To People International which is a organization that picks kids from all over the world and those kids get to go to different countries. I will be going to Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland.
Your main website is BradleyIsCool.com. How cool are you and how did you get to be so cool?
I am awesomely cool and I got this cool because I have a cool blog. My cool blog helped me get really cool because my blog has cool blog posts.
How did you get to be so good at creating websites at such a young age?
Well it all started at “StarBucks”. My dad owned a company that created websites. I was really bored at Starbucks so I asked my dad if he could teach me how to make a website and he said yes. So from that day on he kept teaching me all kinds of stuff I couldn’t even understand. From that day on whenever we went to the bookstore I got either a HTML or CSS book that taught me everything I needed to know to make my website the best in the world.
How did you come to learn about affiliate marketing? Is this something you want to do when you grow up?
I learned about affiliate marketing when I was 8 1/2. My dad was an affiliate marketer when he was young and he taught me some affiliate marketing. Everyday after school he would teach me one part about affiliate marketing.
What do you think it takes to be successful as an affiliate?
To be a successful affiliate you have to be able to sell at least one product a day. You also have to be able to like being an affiliate.
What have been your biggest failures and frustrations with your websites and schoolwork?
My biggest failure was not listening to my parents for my science project. I had a different answer than they had and I was wrong and they were of course right. My biggest frustration I had with my website bradleyiscool was not posting in 3 weeks! I was on vacation and had no access to the net so I just had to deal with it.
What have you been up to recently? What projects are you working on?
I am creating a business that is going to make wordpress blogs for people. The name of the business is WildWebPro.
What are your greatest strengths?
My greatest strengths are meeting people and making friends.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
Milk is probably my greatest weakness. I can’t stand the look and taste of milk.
What motivates you?
Being invited to special groups pretty much is the only thing that motivates me.
What is the best advice you’ve been given and try to apply it to your life?
My dad teaching me how to blog is the best advice I ever got in my life pretty much.
Who has impacted you most in your life, and how?
My dad because if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be getting this interview right now.
Where do you want to be 10 years from now?
I would like to be living on Hibiscus Island in Miami and have a few high end cars like maybe a 7 series BMW and a few Lambo’s and Ferrari’s. I would also like to make a million dollars a day. I actually know someone that does make a million dollars a day.
How do you like to spend you free time? What do you do for fun?
I like to spend my free time sleeping. What I do for fun is blog. Blogging to me is my favorite thing to do. It is fun and is easy to do. I can tell my fans that I have been to disney world or I can tell them about affiliate marketing.
As you get older, what career choices do you think you will make?
I will probably have the same career choice as a blogger and being an affiliate marketer. I think I might own a multi-blillion dollar business.
Feel free to leave any questions you may have for Bradley, as I’m sure he will be active in the comments area. You can also visit Bradley’s blog at http://www.bradleyiscool.com.
4 Tips for Using Wikipedia as a Marketing Tool
When you type in a Google search for a name brand, famous figure, or historical event, you’ll almost always see a familiar name at the top of the search results: Wikipedia. In fact, it’s hard to spend much time in any search engine without encountering a Wikipedia page. But have you ever thought about whether this popular online encyclopedia could be a powerful marketing tool for your brand?
Four Tips for Wikipedia Marketing
Whether it’s for a personal brand or a business, it’s possible to obtain a Wikipedia page. Don’t confuse this with being easy or effortless, though. Depending on a number of factors, you may find it challenging to get started.
However, here are some helpful tips that should get you moving in the right direction:
1. Wikipedia Has Notability Requirements
Wikipedia has some requirements regarding who and what can have a page. These are known as “notability requirements.” You can read about all of the details, but the basic gist is that you must have a collection of authoritative third party sources of biographical information on the internet in order to create a page. These sources typically come from PR releases, interviews, articles, or online records.
2. Wikipedia Shouldn’t Be Your Initial Focus
Let’s say you’re trying to build your personal brand. While Wikipedia is certainly a very visible website, it shouldn’t (and can’t) be your first focus. You must invest in a far more general content marketing and PR strategy before even considering Wikipedia.
Take Tim Sykes, successful millionaire penny stock trader and coach, as an example. If you look at his Wikipedia page, you’ll notice there are nearly 50 references at the bottom. In order for his page to be validated, every single statement had to be backed by a third-party resource. It took years for Sykes to earn enough links and stories to earn the right to have a Wikipedia page. Remember, focus on molding yourself (or your brand) into a notable entity before considering Wikipedia.
3. Don’t Take a DIY Approach
“If you believe your company passes the notability test, but Wiki volunteers have not yet created an article for your organization, you may be tempted to take matters into your own hands,” journalist James A. Martin explains. “The DIY approach to Wikipedia, however, is usually a bad idea.”
Wikipedia has a conflict of interest guidelines. These guidelines simply state that Wikipedia pages must be written and edited by third party individuals. Instead of writing your own page (that will more than likely be flagged), hire a professional who is unbiased and understands the intricacies of publishing on Wikipedia.
4. Be Prepared for Criticism
In an ideal world, your Wikipedia page would be a powerful marketing tool that would tout all of the wonderful things you’ve done. But you have to remember that Wikipedia is a collaborative platform where people can edit and revise entries.
“The biggest reason to avoid a Wikipedia entry is that once you finally achieve one, it stops being your own,” journalist Monica Hesse says. “You might have created it, but everyone else can edit it. The resulting product isn’t going to be a celebration of you, it’s going to be a clinical analysis of your failures as well as your triumphs.”
If you’re willing to take on these risks, then so be it. Just remember that you aren’t in total control of your Wikipedia page.
Wikipedia Marketing: Proceed With Caution
When it comes to Wikipedia for marketing purposes, the best piece of advice is to proceed with caution. There are great pages – such as this one of baseball Hall-of-Famer Hank Aaron – and then there are big blunders – such as these.
Be careful and don’t rush the process.
How to Watch Netflix Outside of the United States
As bloggers and especially travel bloggers, we may find ourselves with the opportunity to travel through out the world. In addition to the many perks of being able to run your business and blog from anywhere, you might also run into connectivity issues when traveling outside your country. One specific issue that travelers may discover is there inability to access some of their favorite sites such as Netflix.
Once getting their access to the internet and seeing they can’t access Netflix, but they can access other areas of the internet such as WordPress and their own sites, they may feel that Netflix, Facebook and other media sites that are being blocked is a lost cause… however, this isn’t the case.
Yes! It is possible to watch Netflix outside of the States – and you can access other video streaming websites too!
‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘House of Cards’ are currently my two most favorite TV shows, making Netflix an online holy grail… especially when you have time to kill or for long flights that have internet access.
For those of us who live in the States, accessing Netflix poses no problem at all, however, if you happen to go on vacation, travel overseas for business or perhaps even move to another country you will have one serious issue – you won’t be able to access it.
You could end up wasting valuable time trying to figure out how to watch Netflix whilst in Europe or any other country that you may find yourself in, but I’ll let you in on a little secret. No matter where you are in the world, there is a way to unblock Netflix, plus all the other video streaming sites out there such as Pandora, Hulu and HBO.
The secret to unblock Netflix – continue reading, it’s coming!
How does Netflix know where I am in the world?
Netflix recognizes you by your IP address – it doesn’t matter what type of device you use to access it, because it checks your IP address to find out where in the world you are. If you’re in Europe, and you connect to Netflix, it can detect that you’re outside of the United States, and it will display the message “Sorry, Netflix is not available in your country yet”. Netflix will only grant access to its services to those who are located in the States – those with an American IP address. So, you need to change your IP address to one that is located in the States.
The secret is to use a VPN (which stands for Private Virtual Network).
Using a VPN is like using a different internet service provider, no trace of your original IP address can be detected. For example, if you’re in Florida, and you connect to a VPN server in New York, your original IP address is hidden, and any website you visit thinks that you are now in New York.
While the concept and basics of a VPN might look something confusing like the image below, the complications of it all have been made quite simple by many of the different VPN server companies on the market today.
I’ve tried several VPN providers over the years, but one that I’ve always stuck with is Hide My Ass! because a) they have thousands of IPs, b) they have more servers around the globe than any other VPN provider, and c) have the fastest servers on the market, which of course is so important when streaming Netflix.
You can use Hide My Ass! on your PC (Windows), Mac, and Linux operating systems. And you can download their free app for your iPhone, iPad, etc. via the iTune’s store, and for your Android device via the Google Play store.
Downloading the software takes a few minutes, and if you do have any questions you can contact their customer support guys who are really knowledgeable and helpful.
Currently, they have 620 VPN servers, and over 77,000 IP addresses to choose from, and they are continually adding more servers, new countries and locations to their database making them my number one choice of VPN provider.
This screenshot shows that I’ve selected a US State, which will allow me to watch Netflix.
Do I need an American credit card to purchase Netflix?
You’ll find that you will be able to use your non-American credit card to pay for a Netflix account, but you will likely need a US ZIP code. It won’t stop your payment from going through, so don’t worry about that.
American ZIP codes are made up of 5 numbers, for example, 10003 is a New York one. There are a number of websites that provide ZIP all US states.
So, enjoy Netflix, and if you have any questions I would love to hear from you!
For many bloggers traveling throughout the world, the last thing they would probably think of when leaving for their trip would be what sites they might have trouble accessing at their final destination. Fortunately through the use of VPN providers this shouldn’t be an issue, especially when planning ahead.
Less than 5% of Men Cited Reading Blogs as their Favourite Online Activity
So when you wrote that piece about how you loved Phil Neville’s commentating style during the FIFA World Cup 2014, the men you were hoping would lap it up, quite probably didn’t. That is, of course, unless you carried out some research of your own and found that’s exactly what your male audience was crying out for.
For those that didn’t want to read a blog post, not only might you have turned them off (or bypassed them completely) by choosing that channel, your praise for Phil Neville’s commentary style may well have done the same. But at least a bad reaction is better than no reaction at all.
A recent study [infographic] revealed that unlike the 7% of women who said reading blogs was their favorite online activity, more than 95% of men chose social media, games, videos or other types of content as theirs. Admittedly neither party was overly enamored with blogs, so while they can be an easy way to add active content to your website, you might be completely wasting your time. So how do you know?
Conduct your own research
Finding out what people do and don’t like doesn’t have to be costly. If budgets are tight or content just isn’t on senior management’s radar – it’s free to ask your customers what they want via social media. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, basic metrics from Google Analytics will tell you things like your top landing pages, how long people spend on a particular page (and therefore how interesting/engaging it is), as well as the route they take around your site. These are all insights into their behavior and what they enjoy looking at online.
Look at what your competitors are doing
Nobody wants to be late to a trend, but getting a feel for the kind of content people go crazy for and reacting to it can be a good place to start. Sometimes it’s a good first step into the world of creating content that works. Sometimes a great way to achieve success is by taking an idea that’s been done, and creating something bigger, better and more shareable.
What’s being shared?
Dig around on Twitter and Facebook – what are people liking/sharing/commenting on? Is there something relevant to your brand/business that you can pick up on? Even if your starting point is as simple as getting involved in a discussion on a particular hashtag, you might find you pick up a few more followers and at the same time start building a picture of your audience.
Enlist the help of analysts
If the thought of research or analysis fills you with dread, there are plenty of companies and lots of available software on hand to help you know your audience. Have a dig around, maybe even try a few out – there are plenty that will offer you a free trial. If you make good use of Twitter, a great tool to analyse your followers is Followerwonk.
Soon you’ll know exactly what content your audience likes and the tasks of planning, creating, publishing and analysing content will become something that delivers satisfaction, not nightmares. And when you can show the powers that be just how much can be achieved from content, your business cred will soar and we think most of our readers would probably like a pat on the back.
For more related tips, check out this great post which can be used to help blogging as well as social media efforts.
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