Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

My little Happy New Year video:

Let this serve as an example of one of the many ways to promote your websites for free. YouTube is one medium of promotion. Like you need multiple streams of income, you should also have many sources of promotion working for you. Numerous promotion methods are free. You just need to take the time to put them in place.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Anyone Wanna Race?

I had an idea. Does anyone wanna race with me to see who can post the most HubPages articles in a month? Hubpages has become a decent source of income for me. No, it's not what it should be yet, so I have a goal to write one page article a day (or more) for a month. Several Hubpages authors have done this.

If you haven't already signed up for a free account at Hubpages, click here and sign up. There should be a link un the upper right corner of the page to sign up for an account.

Why do I promote HubPages so much? Why would I want to write that many articles on HubPages?

1. It's a way to promote my websites for free. Just like I used YouTube and continue to use Facebook and Twitter to promote my websites, I can do the same with HubPages. For example, for, I plan on writing some HubPages articles about setting goals and including my link to

2. It's easy. It doesn't take much time to write a 350-450 word article on a topic related to one of my websites or keywords I find on Wordtracker related to a topic I like. One little trick I learned to do, instead of writing one article for my website and one article for HubPages to use to link to my website, I write two versions of the same article! I post one version on my Wordpress website and one on HubPages. It saves time and provides content for both. Remember, content is king! You want unique content on your website and your HubPages. For your 2 versions of the same article, change the wording thoroughly so the articles seem very different.

3. HubPages is a surefire way to build Google AdSense income. When you set up your HubPages account, you can add your Google AdSense code under affiliate settings. Then, every time you write a HubPage article, your Google ads automatically appear on your article.

4. You can add affiliate links to HubPage articles. When you are filling out the form to submit your HubPages article, it gives you the option to add product links. Sign up for the affiliate program, and submit your affiliate ID code to the HubPages Affiliate settings. Then, when you add links, they will have your affiliate code. Add links to products on that are related to the topic of your article. The tool on the HubPages submission page where you submit an article walks you through the process.

5. HubPages help guide include a wealth of information about keyword research. Check out the section called "Before you write your first Hub." It is very informative for those who are not very familiar with how to find keywords and how to pick out the best keywords to use.

So, anyone want to race? Leave a comment if you want to race and include if you are ready to race beginning January 1st or the date you wish to start. Consider getting your Wordpress website started (as detailed in the last post) before racing so that you can take full advantage by writing 2 versions of the same article. I can't promise that I will write a new HubPage every day, but I'm going to try. Can you do it? Can you write more than 1 a day? We'll see...

The Plan for 2010 & Instructions for Starting a Website

I hope everyone is ready to set their goals for 2010. I'm working on building my monthly passive income through websites and affiliate programs. For those who may not know, passive income is money that is received over and over again from work that you did once. For example, I build my websites, then almost every day I receive money from the ads on my websites. I love checking my Google account when I wake up in the morning. It shows that my websites are working for me even while I was sleeping. That's passive income.

I recently added affiliate programs to my passive income sources. I will explain that further in a post in the near future. First, I want to make sure everyone understands how to get started with free or low-cost websites of their own.

I'll explain how to get started by explaining the step-by-step that I took to start which is the website of mine that brings in the most income at this time.

Step 1: I signed up with There's a link to sign up for Host Gator right on this page. I discovered Host Gator by asking my freelance client what hosting service he uses for his websites since he has so many websites. I thought he must be spending a small fortune in hosting fees! He gave me the link for Host Gator and quickly explained why he are the best. With Host Gator, you can have an UNLIMITED number of websites for roughly $10/month! (more or less than $10 depending on which service you sign up for) An additional reason that I like Host Gator is their live chat tech support. I have learned a great deal from these technicians.

Step 2: I bought my domain name through Host Gator. I don't always use Host Gator for domain name purchases, but that is who I used for

Step 3: The welcome email from Host Gator includes the DNS settings. On the page (or other website) where you bought the domain name, click to manage the domain name and change the DNS settings to the settings that were in the Host Gator email. After the DNS is set, it may take up to 24 hours for the domain name to be active.

Step 4: Sign into Host Gator. In your control panel, you will see Fantastico towards the bottom of the page. Click Fantastico, then click Wordpress. When you download Wordpress to your domain, you enter the domain name as the folder where Wordpress will be installed. After Wordpress is downloaded, it gives you the link that you will use to sign into Wordpress and manage your new website.

Step 5: Sign into Wordpress. Choose a theme for your website under the category called Appearance. The theme is the look of the website. You want to select something that looks professional, has 2 sidebars, and has black type on a white background. I made the mistake of using a light gray text on a black background for at first. I changed it when I figured out that many people were leaving my website very quickly. Many people just hate black backgrounds. Once you found the theme that you like, apply the theme.

Step 6: In Worpress, click Permalinks under the Settings menu. Type /%postname%/ at custom links. Type a short word like on or at in the field labeled category base. Click Save Changes. This is what makes your article URL's say the title of the article instead of a number. Having the article title in the URL can help boost the position of the article in the search engine search resullts if the article title includes keywords.

Step 7: Under Appearance in Wordpress, click Widgets. This is how you add your Adsense code to your website and the categories of your articles so people can browse your website. Sign into your Google Adsense account. Click Adsense Setup, then click Adsense for Content. Then, you click either Ad Unit or Link Unit. I usually put one of each on my websites. When making the links, you want to choose sizes that will fit in the sidebar of your website. I think the Skyscraper ad unit size usually works well. Change the colors to match the theme of your website. For example, if your theme has a white background, make your ads have both a white background and white border so that it blends in. After you're finished, copy the code. Go back to the Wordpress widgets page and add a Text or HTML box to the sidebar where you want the ads. Paste the Google Adsense code into the box and click Save. On the other sidebar, you may want to add a Google Adsense text unit and the categories widget to show your website's content.

Step 8: Go to Wordtracker and get a list of keywords. Search for multiple terms related to the topic of your website. For example, if I was doing a website about dogs, I might search "dogs," "dog health," "dog diet," "dog training," etc. I save the search results to an Excel spreadsheet, but you could save it to a Word document. I save it to Excel, because it's easier for me to put them in the order that I want and to color the field after I've written an article about that keyword so I know which ones are finished.

Step 9: Set up you article categories on Wordpress. The link for categories is in the Posts menu. The category names will relate to the keywords that you plan on using. These will often match the search terms that you used on Wordtracker, but they can be anything that makes sense for your website. Looking at your list of keywords, imagine grouping them together under main topics. Those main topics are your categories. Add categories to your categories settings in Wordpress. You can always go back and add or change categories.

Step 10: Write some articles and add them to your website as Wordpress posts. Under Posts, click Add New. I always type my articles in Word first, and then copy and paste the article in a Wordpress post. Type in the title and paste your article in the main field. Make sure you click the category that you want your article to be in before you click Publish.

Step 11: Continue to add articles and promote your website. If you made a website by following these instructions, please leave a comment on this post with your website address so I can check it out. Feel free to ask questions in the comments section as well. If you have any problems at all with Host Gator, I suggest using the 24-hour live chat tech support. They are awesome!

And there you have it. I'll talk a little more about promoting websites for free in a future post. For now, there are two basic ways of promotion that you need to know:
1. Submit to Search Engines for free. I use Submit Plus.
2. Announce your website to your friends, family, Twitter followers, on Facebook, etc. Where ever you think people might see your link, share it. I would not promote my websites until I have at least 10 articles on it. Then when I share the website, I might mention that more articles are on the way. You don't want to share an empty website with people who will then visit once, consider it pointless, and never visit again...

Wow, so those are the basic steps to creating a website like The cost is about $10/month to Host Gator (which includes all my websites) and roughly $15/year for the domain name. That's it.

Passive income. That's what it's about. One website is not likely to provide all the income you need. If you plan on making a good income from websites, you need many websites. Multiple streams of income is necessary. If you haven't read the book Multiple Streams of Income: How to Generate a Lifetime of Unlimited Wealth! Second Edition
by Robert Allen, I strongly suggest it.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

My Newest Website-

I've been working on my newest website- Goal Plan. It's not finished yet, but I wanted to show you what I'm working on.

Also, don't think because of the snags with the Social Security Administration over self-employment as I discussed in my last post that I regret working from home. The opposite is true. It has made me more determined that I do not want my income to be in the hands of such an illogical beaurocracy. It has only strengthened my drive to be off SSDI.

A Word of Caution about SSI

If you receive SSI and not just Social Security Disability (SSDI) and you start working from home as being self-employed, the Social Security Administration calculates your self-employment earnings from the beginning of the year. So, if you started working from home in July (or any other month), the SSA treats it as if you have started working from home in January.

Therefore, they can decide that you need to repay the SSI you received during the months that you weren't working. For example, I started working from home in July. I reported my income in July. They decided that I should no longer get SSI since my work from home limit was above their monthly income limit for SSI. I was totally fine with that since I make much more from home than my small SSI check.

What I was not prepared for was the letter that I received a few months later that said that I owe the Social Security Admnistration the SSI money that I received from January-July. Granted, a person can appeal this or claim hardship. Even if the person does not appeal the decision or claim hardship, when the person files their income tax the following year, the amount is calculated for the year. If the amount calculated from the income tax shows that the person did not make enough to have the SSI taken back for the year, the Social Security Administration may return some or all of the money that was paid back.

Obviously, this is not logical. You would think that the SSA would use the person's start date to do their calculations for SSI. It's just another example of how the Social Security Admnistration makes it more difficult for people who need to work from home due to anxiety disorders like agoraphobia.

So, if you work from home instead of having a traditional job, you will have to pay back the SSI from the beginning of the year if the SSA decides you no longer qualify for SSI. Also, people who work from home who are on SSI or SSDI can only work 45 hours a month. People who work outside the home can work more hours. (Again, I don't see the logic in that at all. I think it should be a straight income limit for everyone.)

If ANYONE understands the logic for these SSA practices, please share!
I am not an authority on SSA practices. Please contact the SSA and discuss your case and situation if you have any questions.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Thinking about New Year's Resolutions

Consider the current balance in your life as well as your priorities for the new year.

'The Parable of the Professor and the Bucket
By Michael Masterson

A philosophy professor and his student stand in a warehouse. A large tin bucket and several boxes are in front of them.

The professor picks up a box that contains large rocks, each one about four inches in diameter, and pours them into the bucket. The stones reach the top of the bucket, and he asks the student if it is full.

'It is,' the student replies.

The professor takes another box, this one containing stones about one inch in diameter, and pours them over the rocks in the bucket. The smaller stones fill in the spaces between the rocks. Again, he asks the student if the bucket is full.

The student looks and says, 'It is.'

The professor then pours in the contents of a third box, this one containing small pebbles. Again, the student looks in and agrees that the bucket is full.

Finally, the professor pours a box of sand on top of the rocks, stones, and pebbles. And once more, for the fourth time, the student has to acknowledge that the bucket is full.

'The lesson,' the professor tells the student, 'is to do the most important thing first, and each lesser thing in order of its priority. In this way, you will be able to fill up your life four times, instead of just once. If you do the unimportant things first, you'll be filling your bucket with sand... and there won't be room for anything else.''"