Chitika eMiniMalls – How Much Money Do they Earn Me?

Chitika-EminimallsI’ve been getting quite a few excited emails from readers who have signed up for the Chitika eMiniMalls that I reviewed last week. There has been a lot of positive feedback so far from those who I’ve referred over to the program with some people earning some significant money from it so far (including ‘Rachel‘). There have also been a few (less) emails from bloggers who have failed to see them as effective.

The most common question that I get asked by readers about the eMiniMalls include:

  • ‘How do the money from eMiniMalls compare to earnings of Adsense?’
  • ‘How much money do you earn from eMiniMalls?’

(update: the third most asked question is ‘how do I increase my earnings?’ If you’re asking this you might also like to check out Chitika eMiniMall Tips for increasing earnings)

I’ve resisted talking about specific figures of money earnt to this point because I wanted to clarify with the Chitika people whether I was allowed to do so. Today I just got confirmation that it’s ok for me to talk about daily earnings figures but not CTR, impressions etc. The reason I want to talk about this is simply because I really believe in this ad system – as you’ll see from the figures below – it’s had a pretty amazing impact upon my earnings and I’d like readers here to have the full picture of what the potential to earn money with it is.

So let’s look at yesterday’s earnings for me with both Adsense and Chitika were. Update: due to Adsense terms (that I misread) I have been told that I cannot reveal my daily Adsense figures but only gross payment figures (monthly totals). So I’ll do that here instead of a daily figure for yesterday. You can pretty much work out what the Adsense earnings are from the figure if you know how many days are in August! All I’ll say is that yesterday was a bit under August’s average.

Adsense earnings for August – $15,849.73

Chitika eMiniMalls earnings Yesterday – $702.45

Let me follow the figures up with a few statements of qualification:

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YPN testing RSS Ads

Looks like Yahoo’s Publisher Network is widening their beta test to RSS ads if the RSS feed of our friend Jen is any indication.


Still patiently waiting for them to widen their test to non US testers….

Is anyone out there actually earning anything significant from RSS advertising? I have to say that my own experiments with the medium have had very INsignificant results.

Webby Media Blog Network Folds

Brand New Blog Network – Webby Media has just decided to call it quits just a week after launching. Omar explains it at Too Much, Too Fast? He’d previously announced that Webby Media would give 100% of earnings to bloggers that joined up – I was always fascinated to see how this could be financially viable for not only bloggers but also Omar the blog network himself. Perhaps it really was a case of too much too fast.

One of his lessons learned reminds me of my post last week on Why some Blog Networks are Successful (a post about building a network on credibility and profile). Omar writes:

‘Brand is the only competitive advantage. So if you can’t compete on technology or advertising, what can you compete on? The publisher’s brand. Eventhough I’ve been publishing online for several years now, I really haven’t spent time building credibility. This point is unbelievably crucial. It’s just critical.’

Best of luck in whatever you choose to do next Omar. It’s probably best to fold after a week than after a few months when you’ve put a lot more time into the venture.

Camera Phone Blog gets a New Editor

I’m really excited to announce that I’ve just recently started a process of putting some quality bloggers into my blogs to help lighten the load of blogging. This will free me up to spend more time blogging at ProBlogger and working on some of the other exciting projects that I’ve been throwing myself into recently at b5media, six figure blogging and a couple of yet to be announced projects.

The first blogger that has come on in a paid capacity is BJ from Adventures in Net Marketing. BJ will be editing my Camera Phone blog (one that will be hopefully getting a complete redesign in the coming weeks).

BJ came on board at the Camera Phone blog way back in June when I asked for guest bloggers and at the end of my time away when it came time to hand the reigns back over she asked if she could continue on a voluntary basis – getting only a link back to her blog on each post. Since that time she’s put more and more time into posting and in the past week or two has taken over the reigns of the blog almost completely as I’ve taught her my system there.

It’s been a learning experience not only for BJ as she’s learned the ropes of how I run the blog – but also for me as I’ve had to consider how to explain what I do. I’ve also found it an interesting experience to sit back and let someone else work on something that I’ve been putting so much time into over the past year. While I’m enjoying the extra time that this gives me – it is a strange feeling stepping away from something that has taken up so much of my focus.

Also a part of the process is working through the eternal question of ‘how to pay’ authors who come onto one of my blogs. I think we have a system that is mutually beneficial to us both – time will tell if we need to tweak it! I’m not going to go into details of what the arrangement is – BJ and I haven’t talked about whether we’ll make it public – but I will say that it’s a bit different to any of the other revenue sharing systems I’ve seen in other blogs. At the basis of it however is incentive for BJ to blog in a way that builds up the blog’s quantities of content as well as readership.

At this stage BJ is the only extra author I’m ready to take on but in time as we see how it goes I’m looking forward to either expanding her role to other blogs and/or to engage the services of other bloggers on my blogs. This will not be a quick process. I’d rather take it slow – find the right blogger for the right blog – make sure I have a good relationship with the blogger/s concerned – and find the right compensation system for the blog and blogger.

Venture Capital and your Blogging Business

There’s a good post over at Whitespace titled Boom 2.0 which talks a little of the struggle of the 9rules guys to work out whether they wanted to accept venture capital funding.

“Last week we were offered a “generous” sum of money to fund some of the projects that we wished to work on. Initially, we jumped all over the offer for the simple reason that we continue to tell ourselves that if we could get away from doing client work for a couple of weeks/months then we could dedicate 100% of our time to the stuff we really want to do. After some time though and a lot of discussion we decided to turn down the money mainly because the offer didn’t feel right to us. I wish I could say it was an easy decision to make.”

Being approached by someone who wants to inject big dollars into your blogging business is a pretty amazing journey. I’ve had approaches from a number of VC people over the past 18 months and the feelings that come along with it are a real roller coaster ride.

You go from feeling totally exhilarated by the number of 000’s being mentioned – to totally freaked out by the size of it all – to a depressing realization of what the money will cost you (no one ever gives you money without some strings) – to feeling invincible as you consider the size of what you could build – to feeling that you could greedily build your own empire without having to give anyone else a share, to feeling convicted that money isn’t everything… etc etc etc

In each case that I’ve been through I’d given some serious thought to the idea but on each occasion I too, like the 9rules team, that things were not quite right.

On one occasion the VC guy needed an answer ‘now’ (here’s a hot tip – if someone insists on a ‘now’ decision, warning bells should be going off in your mind – why do they need a decision ‘now’? More often or not its because they know you can get a better deal elsewhere). On another occasion I would almost literally have been selling my soul for many years for the money. On another one I just didn’t feel right about the people behind the deal having looked over some of the other projects that they’d funded.

I’m not anti VC. I know some bloggers are totally against it on principle – but I see that there can be times and places where investment can be very appropriate. Having said this – I’m a pretty picky and choosey kind of guy and would only enter into this type of deal if everything lined up well. One of the dangers of going down the VC path can be that you put your blogging business on hold while you negotiate the deal and get bogged down in contracts and logistics. I know of a few small-business owners who have become quite obsessed with VC – to the point where the businesses that they were trying to get funded suffered.

My approach is to keep building what I’ve been working on as if VC will never be an option. If opportunities arise – each are evaluated on an individual basis. The deal needs to be ‘right’. If it’s not it is business as usual.

Of course I now have the luxury of being able to reject offers that are not ‘right’ because I’ve built things to a point where it provides a decent income – however as I look at the first VC deal I was offered – I’m so glad that I knocked it back as I’ve managed to build things well past what their best ‘now’ offer was.

I’m interested in others thoughts on the topic. I’m by no means a financial wiz – but what advice would you give someone looking at a VC deal?

Chitika eMiniMalls Plugins has posted a Chitika eMiniMall WordPress Plugin to help you insert eMiniMalls inside your posts.

It’s similar to some plugins that I’ve seen to do the same thing with Adsense which might be helpful.

However keep in mind that inserting ads inside individual posts means that you later on if you want to remove ads or change colors of them that you will probably need to go back to each post you’ve inserted them into to manually change them.

This is why I prefer to use templates of my blog to insert ad code. You might find it slightly less flexible in terms of ad positioning if you do this – but later on if you want to move or change the design of your ads you simply have to change one thing and rebuild your site rather than surfing to individual pages.

Having said this – some people love these plugins because it gives them complete control and flexibility over individual positions for ads on their blogs – if that’s you this might be worth installing on you WP blog.

Speaking of Chitika eMiniMalls – those of you experimenting with them might like to know that you’re not alone. Today I was surfing by the massive Gizmodo and spotted that they are rotating them through a number of their ad blocks also.

Congratulations to Chitika – it looks like their beta test is turning out to be a very successful trial.

BlogNetworkWatch Launches

Martin has decided to start a blog on Blog Networks over at BlogNetworkWatch. It’s definitely a popular topic at the moment so should be an interesting one to watch.

Positioning Your Blog for a Profitable Christmas

There are 82 Days until Christmas.

Christmas is one of the busiest times of the year for many ProBloggers – especially those with product related sites. The number of people searching for information on products that are given as gifts as well as the numbers of people actually buying presents online leap in the lead up to Christmas – the question is – ‘Are you Ready?’

If you start preparing your blog for Christmas in December you’re probably too late. The Christmas rush starts late in November and escalates right through until the big day.

Bloggers need to take account for the fact that if they want Search Engine traffic to bring Christmas traffic that you need to think ahead. It takes day, weeks and even longer to get posts ranking in SE’s.

So how are you preparing your blog for Christmas?

Here are five areas I’ve been working on:

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ProBlogger – Out of Google’s Sandbox

A little new trend started these past few weeks at this blog that gave me a little cause for celebration.

I started getting traffic from Google.

Yes I’ve had the odd hit from Google over the past 8 months since moving ProBlogger to this domain – but the reality has been that since that time 99% of my traffic was from loyal repeat readers or from referrals coming from other blogs.

Why did it take so long?

Well despite my best intentions and thousands of incoming links from other blogs to this site Google seemed to have me on probation. They had me in what some refer to as the sandbox – a place that they seem to keep new sites that they are watching to see if they are spamming the system.

I suspect the reason found its way to the sandbox was that it got too many links pointing to it too quickly – and perhaps because it just suddenly appeared on this domain with 100 or so ready made pages which I had transferred across from my previous version of the site. The theory is that spam sites quite often appear on new domains with loads of inbound links and lots of pages over night – and so if any site does so it might just trigger some alarm bells in the Google algorithm.

It’s a theory – one to keep in mind – but one I’m happy to be on the other side on (I hope).