Archive for the ‘Inspire’ Category

Is Underdog a Scam?

(or where I examine my search engine terms)
Well, I thought it was funny anyway. Am I a scam? What on earth would the underdog be scamming you out of anyway? I don’t sell anything here….simply throw some thoughts out on why I used to have some pagerank and now don’t. Anyway, top of my list is the old Moon Movie Sam Rockwell search term. Still hasn’t opened in the UK. Next month apparently. Then I just have to schedule some babysitting somehow and sneak off to watch it 🙂

Anway, now that my blog is back from purgatory, at least google is indexing it properly again, so I can get a little traffic my way. Not that it matters much, like an underdog chasing a bus, I wouldn’t know what to do with it once I’ve caught it. Pish posh.

Today’s music of choice is Tycho which to me sounds a bit like nostalgia. The track of choice is called “Past is Prologue”. While I’m listening to this, I’ll be watching Hannah Solo’s blog. Partly because I’m curious, partly because I don’t really believe she is a real person. But hey, for all you know, neither am I, I could just be a big scam of an underdog.

Categories: Do not start, Inspire, Scruples

Selling WordPress Templates

See, the thing about WordPress that really sucks is that on the free platform (i.e. hosted sites), you can’t use your own wordrpess template without coughing up some money. Now, I’ve not done the sums, but given the ridiculousness of how cheap hosting is these days, it would be daft to pay wordpress instead of simply buying hosting and having your own install. Or would it? I mean essentially it would amount to the same thing, except that you wouldn’t necessarily have a domain name if you went the worpress route.

See, Blogger isn’t like this. The free blogger service lets you completely customise it if you want. You can slap up your own templates to your heart’s content, and showcase your awesome design skills. Oh well. Sure is a pity, ’cause I’ve designed such a nice wordpress template and everything. And how the hell am I going to sell it if I can’t showcase it? meh. Suppose I could give it away instead of selling wordpress templates.

I know that blogger is owned by google, who, let’s face it, have money to throw around. But really, wordpress could take some notes here. On the other hand, wordpress don’t really have a monetisation model like blogger er I mean google. So, maybe they’re stuck with having to charge people for custom upgrades.

Either way, the underdog blog will always be free. If you want a free wordpress template, email me. put the words underdogblogger and gmail into some sort of semblance of an email address….don’t forget the @ sign or the .com and you should be good to go!

Categories: Get Paid To, Inspire, Potential

Flipping Cynical

January 22, 2009 3 comments

(the cynical look at making money online flipping websites)

So, I’m thinking of flipping a website or two, you know, ’cause it seems like everyone is doing it, and I really hate to be left out making less money online than I should be. Not like I’m really “in” anyway. I mean make money bloggers tend to be pretty clicky and even though I can’t say I’m in the mainstream by any means, it’s obvious my sychophantic rantings about the make money online industry underlie a desperate longing to be an A-list blogger scaming you out of your money with useless product after useless product.

Yes sir! I want it all. Hustle-influenced-Mickey-Bricks-style. Speaking of which, have you been watching Hustle on BBC 1? It’s great isn’t it? I mean I don’t watch a lot of TV, but I’ve got a soft spot for Hustle. Why? Well it is all about the Underdog isn’t it? Some may not like the fact that a TV show glorifies criminals….grifters…..con men, but Mickey Bricks (played by Adrian Lester) is a grifter with a heart. He doesn’t go after the average joe. He targets people who are already bent and so, in a way, he is a modern Robin Hood, righting the wrongs of society….just as I am writing the wrongs of the make money online world (okay that went a little too far, but I couldn’t resist the pun)! Anyway, most of the online money making websites and blogs you find are nothing better than a good old fashioned con. Yes sir! That beautiful sales page that goes on for miles promising untold riches? It’s probably a con. You probably won’t make money following their methods.

Before I go off on another tiradal tangent, let’s get back to the tirade at hand.

Today, I’m going to insult website flippers. I would love to flip a site that isn’t a good old fashioned con. That rare website on sitepoint that would actually make someone some money. I’m sure everyone gets into it with scruples though, and pretty soon they are eroded away when the cash rolls in. So I’ll probably list my site while I’m drunk and in a “fuck the world” kind of mood so I don’t suffer from some sort of guilt induced “here, have it for a fiver + seven quid for the domain name ’cause that’s what it’s really worth” sales listing.

First up when entering a new arena of making money online is research. I’m looking through auction listings on a bunch of sites…..checking out the competition. What sells, what doesn’t…….there are a few things I’ve noticed. It’s pretty appaling what passes for a good niche in the “startup websites” category. There are tons of sites there that just won’t make any money. I’m not the hottest niche finder in the world, but I figure a lot of the people who purchase websites (or at least start up websites) must be amateurs who’ve been sold a pipe dream of easy riches on the internet rather than a marketable niche.

How do I know? Well, follow me down the rabit hole of logic for a minute. Say you find a listing, you like the look of the blog. You like the niche, you think – hey I can make money online with a blog about fishing. After all, I like to fish. It fits in with my personal outlook of retiring early an’ spendin’ mah time down by the river. Chillin.  I’ve got lots to say on the subject. So, your eye is caught and you read on. It’s pretty convincing is the sales spiel. I mean, I’m convinced. This site will make me money! After all, it says the site ranks first for the long-tail phrase  “cunty the sardine”. And further more,it even tells you how to monetise the website you are about to purchase. Yeah? Yeah! It says:

“how to make money from this blog once you’ve purchased it”

(or something similar). And then the magic word that holds the hopes and dreams of every fledgling internet marketer in the world…….


Yes! That’s my ticket to quittin’ the day job. Adsense + Blog = Profit! Simple! I rule! So nice of the site builder to tell me. Dude’s practically handed me money on a plate.

But wait. Ever the cynic, if I were you, I would ask myself (when presented with such convincing deal closing sales speak); “Why isn’t the person hanging on to the site if it is such a hot niche?”. Put it another way. If this site is simply going to sit there, rolling the dough your way, why isn’t the guy who built it hanging on to it?

So then I would go and do a little research. Type in that long tail phrase. What was it again? Oh yes “cunty the sardine”. Type that into google and search baby! Now check to see if anyone is actually bidding on that phrase. Nope? Didn’t think so. If there are no adsense ads on google’s own search results, how the hell do you think you are going to make money with adsense on the site that ranks top for that long tail phrase? It isn’t! So, why is it being sold? Because it is a deadend niche mascarading as a potential goldmine. It is in fact, not a sardine, but a red herring! And I hate herring. Damn those Norwegians and their “cuisine”!

But wait you say, I’ve looked at the actual site and there are adverts being displayed. Oh, say I, but what are those adverts for? hmmm? Read ’em, go on. Are they even related to the blog’s subject matter? Nooooooooo. They are adverts for “how to set up a blog” or general service announcements from google. Do you think people will click those when they are actually looking for a whaling harpoon? Uhhuh. Okaaaaaay, whatever. Good luck.

(You know what else I love at sitepoint? Learning the sales lingo. You know when the listing says  “super duper heavily customised premium theme never to be sold again”. What that actually means is “I changed the background colour on this theme I have, and added a logo that I found on a free image site”. Next time I sell a site, I’ll make the background ochre instead of peach. mwahahahahaha I can make money online with my wordpress theme forever. Still, you gotta talk the talk – I’m gonna use that in my listing so watch out.

Approach those auctions (mine included) with caution. Don’t believe the hype. Many of the sites listed for sale promising instant internet cash probably won’t make you any money at all. It’s all a big con, a big salespitch. And it isn’t even a modern-day-robin-hood-Hustle-like con that catches evil naughty people at their own game. Nope, it’s a con aimed at the average joe or joesette, who is fed up with his or her job, and worried about rising unemployment. The average joe just wants to make a few honest bucks from a website on the side. That’s who you are selling to. Scruples? Hah. Fuck scruples. Fuck ’em to high hell. It’s always easier to justify something when you de-humanise the person on the other end (aside aside aside aside I say….that’s why armies de-humanise the enemy, it makes them easier to kill…why do you think they code name ’em? charlie? gi joe? etc etc). That’s why it’s so easy to be what is essentially a bastard con artist on the internet, because you don’t see the innocent young lady with 2 kids to feed and mortgage that’s fucked up beyond belief because the banks didn’t manage the impossible task of manifesting money out of thin air……

Eh, who am I kidding, you guys doing the buying aren’t reading this. Even if you were, you wouldn’t listen to me, because so many other people sing a different tune. And anyway, who am I to disillusion you, my potential buyer? Go to sitepoint buy buy buy. Because you can make money on the internet buying a website.

The Ego of Blogging

October 22, 2008 3 comments

(or where I wonder how often you can check your blog stats in one day)

Blogging really can feed your ego.  In fact, in a lot of ways, blogging is really vanity publishing taken to the nth degree.  The ego of blogging is a vicious hound that can bite you in the arse at anytime.  Be warned.  Heed the cautionary tale below and avoid bad, evil blogging ego.

So, it’s pretty familiar for webmasters to check their stats.  Weekly, Daily, Hourly, Half-Hourly.   Well, all webmasters except Clog Money – he just doesn’t care at all.  I remember reading a day in the life of a prominent blogger (who I don’t think much of to be honest so I won’t name him), whose day went something like

Wake up, check blog stats using fancy schmancy laptop (include affiliate link to said fancy shmancy laptop)

Eat breakfast, check blog stats using computer in kitchen or a special wired up bowl of cornflakes, reading the stats in a matrix style display but with cornflakes scrolling around in the milk instead of a scrolling ASCII green screen* (include affiliate link to cornflakes, or milk I can’t remember)

Take shower, check blog stats in the shower using a fancy shmancy waterproof mobile device that he picked up at the latest blog expo (include affiliate link to said device)

Dry off, check blog stats on bathroom mirror which scrolled matrix style only using condensed water drops from the steam from his shower instead of green scrolling ASCII infiltrated green screen terminal  (’cause like he is so technological that even his bathroom is hooked up to the interwebs)**  ***

Stroll, scuttle or scamper to bedroom (with or without towel wrapped around waist), check stats in hallway using voice activated hallway computer (affiliate link up towel).

Get dressed, check blog stats using bedroom pc (affiliate link to linen, jeans, shirt, trainers, and deodorant).

Go to desk, check blog stats.

Pick up pen, check blog stats (affiliate link up pen).

Compulsively Refresh blog stats like a junkie on meth until lunch.

Take wife out to lunch at fancy restaurant, check blog stats over lunch using non-waterproof mobile phone (include affiliate link to said mobile phone), completely ignoring wife, and lunch, except to take photo and affiliate link up organic steak burger.

Drive home, checking blog stats using car’s on-board stat checking device (affiliate link to car, on-board device and gas station)

Fuck’s sake……At this point I got the message and stopped reading the post…..and by and large the blog, for several reasons…..none of which I will go into.  I don’t think the dude really needed a computer at all….all he needed was a little device that showed him a graph every minute or two that had an upward trend in comparison to the graph he saw a minute or two earlier.  This made me realise a few things – checking your blog’s statistics can be visciously addictive, and can severly hamper productivity.  The other thing it made me realise is that running a blog is very much tied into our egos.

It is enormously self-satisfying to watch our page views climb through the day….analyse the hell out of how many uniques we had, how many RSS subscribers signed up, how many people left comments on our blog….ahhhh feels good…..people notice me……people think I am important…….I must be important……..I feel better about myself now….etc etc etc.  As humans, we suffer what some traditions would call a “monkey mind”……we cannot focus on one thing for any substantial period of time.  The internet is the perfect antidote for this because we can hit the refresh button and have a new screen jump at us, keeping us entertained, feeding our addiction to self, to ego, to the illusion of the importance of what is essentially impermanent.

Checking our stats just feeds our ego.  We feel better about ourselves if people read our blog, we feel better about ourselves if we get lots of comments, we feel better about ourselves if other people blog about us.  The ego of blogging is very powerful.  But we have to keep reminding ourselves that this is not important.  Okay lets take a step back.  It is not that community is not important, and it isn’t that communicating with people is not important….it is that ego is not important.  Doing something to feed your ego will ultimately never satisfy you, it will not fill whatever void is there, only mask it.  You will want more and more and more and more and never be full.  Though at some point in this cycle, you will probably be full of shit 🙂

Checking stats should serve one purpose in any marketing endevour – to tell you what is and isn’t working.  To allow you to hone your page, your SEO, your writing, your website to better make it do what you want.  If you are just into blogging for the social side – you just want friends, then forget the stats – comment on other people’s blog, send them an email, and make some friends.  If you are online to make money, then checking your stats ever five minutes like a 5 year old with too many e-numbers in their diet will only take away time that could be spent on more important things.  Check your stats, by all means, analyse them – but remember that stats are only usefull to plot a trend over time.  One day’s worth of stats is useless, a month’s worth of stats can show you a trend, help you plan and better your site.  One day is an anomaly.  A spike could just be the digg effect, in which case, it probably isn’t all that usefull as data.

Now, where was I – oh yes ego.  Um one thought on this, though you have no reason to take me seriously. A few people have been blogging about the law of attraction and thinking positive and all that – something I might expand on some other time, but subjugating negative thought will never work in the long run.  You cannot attempt to squash what you fear into a little corner of you psyche and expect it never to rear its ugly head.  The only way is to face down what is behind the negative, what is behind the fear, find the root, make peace with it, understand it as part of you, understand how it affects you and how you can flow from the extreme reactions to a point of equilibrium, fully conscious of what just happened to you.

*okay this isn’t really true – you can’t get the internet through a bowl of cornflakes.  But you should be able to!  Kellogs I want royalties on that idea!

**forgot to add (include affiliate link to said bathroom mirror)

***okay, you can’t get the internet through your bathroom mirror either.  But you should be able to.  Ikea – royalties please…. k? thnks! bye.

Categories: Inspire, Potential Tags: ,