Welcome to aaron chua make money blog

Hi, welcome to my blog. In this part of my world, I talked about how to achieve financial freedom by learning how to make money online through creating sites and earning from them.

Below are some current and past make money projects that details my learning journey.

My current experiment in making 50 amazon site niches. If you have not been following this challenge, best place to start is this resource page for the amazon challenge, that lists all the articles that I have written so far.

My experiment in making 1000 a month through adsense in 9 months.

If you came here looking for low cost startup ideas, here are 140 startup ideas that you can browse through.

Monday, 30 January 2012

How to get an adsense account without waiting for 6 months

This is a short post on how to create an adsense account fast or to get multiple adsense accounts.

How to create an adsense account fast

Typically, a new blog needs some time to age before it can be used to apply for a brand new adsense account. It needs to have content being added constantly and it must look good enough to pass a visual inspection. This will probably take you around 6 months. If you don't have the patience, here are some shortcuts that you can take:
  • Borrow an aged blog from a friend who has no adsense. Use that to submit for adsense application. If it is the average personal diary type of blogs, it should get approved prtty fast. 
  • Write a few good quality articles on hubpages or infobarrels.  Make these long and genuine. Use your hubpage or infobarrel ID as the application website. This has a higher chance than a new blog.
  • Google for the term "get adsense approved". There is a service provider there who can help to get new adsense accounts within 2-3 days. I have tired it and it works. I don't know how the guy did it but he always delivers the accounts without problem. 

How to get multiple adsense accounts

The above works for multiple adsense accounts as well. However, you do need a real person to receive the cheques for these additional adsense accounts.

Again, there are a couple of ways to do this:
  •  Use your family's name but try not to use the same address. You can use your office address as the mailing address for your family members accounts. 
  • You can set up a company. The best form is the limited partnership. This protects your personal  assets from any legal liability that the company might incur. At the same time, it doesn't have all the huge paperwork that a limited company has. 
Hope this helps for people 

Friday, 27 January 2012

How to make money fast with adsense

In this article, you will learn short cuts to making money fast with adsense by using the authority of either your current site or web 2.0 sites such as hubpages or infobarrels. This is my response to an email request by a reader (Yes! I am 7 readers now!) about how to make fast money with adsense. I have done this before so I am going to share my experience. 

Specifically, this is what was asked:

"(what is) the easiest way to start earning some income with adsense in the quickest time possible and therefore I would like to choose keywords that will rank almost immediately in the search engines?  To do this, should I write articles on Web 2.0 platforms such as Hubpages and Infobarrel to earn an income with adsense (and possibly affiliate products) so they get ranked quicker and higher OR should I create subdomains or subdirectories on a generic domain that I already own OR should I start a brand new site and purchase .info domains? "

There are actually a couple of questions mixed in the above statements. Let me separate them out so that you can see the more targeted answers to each:
  • How to choose low competition keywords that can ranked immediately or within a short time frame?
  • What is the best platform to do do this?
Let me answer the second question first.

What is the best web 2.0 sites to make money

Riding on the authority of existing sites is the best way to rank quickly for low competition keywords. As long as the platform has authority, it doesn't matter if they are yours or they are public article directories suchas hubpages or infobarrels.

My preference is in the following order:
  • Your own authority site: You have 100% share of the revenue as well as control over how the ads are displayed. However, do make sure you really have an authority site with age and value passing backlinks. If all you have is a generic domain that has little content or age or backlinks, I suggest you skip to the next option.
  • Write articles on web 2.0 properties: Bear in mind that these properties do come and go in terms of authority. Now, the best web 2.0 is squidoo. During my amazon keyword search phase, I came across so many squidoo lenses that ranked well for 3-4 word keyword phases. They used to have some form of penalty but that seem to be lifted now. So, squidoo is my preferred choice in terms of using web 2.0 properties to make money, followed by infobarrel and a new platform called Wizzley.
  • Brand new site and sub domain: A sub domain is treated the same way as a new site so no difference to the two in terms of authority being passed. I will not choose this option if I want to make money fast.

How to make money fast with low competition keywords

This is going to be the juicy bits about how to select long tail and low competition keywords to make money fast. If you are a beginner, you might want to make some notes here as I go along.

Ride on the keyword authority that the platform already has: An existing platform will have existing rankings for certain keywords. Your job is to find out what keywords is, say infobarrel, ranking for and create  related keyword sets around them. This way, you are hijacking the authority of the platform and passing them to your keywords.

Here is how you can mine the keywords of existing paltform:
  • If it is your own site, use google analytics. Go to traffic>keywords and sorted them according to the number of visits. This will give you a nice set of keywords as the base to develop more related keyword sets.
  • If it is a web 2.0 site, use SEM rush. Just go to Semrush.com and key in the url of the web 2.0 site that you want to write articles on. This is what you will see.
Click to enlarge 
  • The Free version only allows you to see 10 keywords but you can use this coupon "89MW-YR43-HFNJ-K94M" to get a free trial for 2 weeks. Download all the keywords in an excel sheet during the free trial period so that you don't have to spend money to continue the subscription. I don't know this coupon code still works as I used it during the Nov period.
  • If the promo code does not work, you can still use another service called alexa.com. Again, go to the site and key in the url of whatever web 2.0 property that you want to write on. Click on the 'get details' button and once you are on the new screen, click on the 'search analytics' tab. This is what you will see. 
Click to enlarge

Attack multiple lower volume keywords in one article: Don't expect to rank for any specific high traffic keywords. What we want to do is to group a bunch of related long tail keywords in one article. You should include as many long tails as you can in the article as long as they answer the same search query.

For example, if you are writing an article on how to win a free air  ticket to japan, there will be lots of related words such as winning free air ticket to japan, free air ticket to toyko, i want free air ticket to japan etc. All these are long tail related keywords that will come naturally if you focus on a (i) uncompetitive article title and (ii) hijacking the authority of the platform as mention above.
Choose keywords with urgent need: Choose topics that have a urgent for people. These topics attract people who will click on an adsense ad if it offers the solution they want. A topic such as 'winning a free ticket to japan' can attract more clicks than 'decorating ideas for a nursery room'.

A even better group of keywords are what I called desperate niches They are the people whose lives will be affected if they don't find a solution soon. People who are will sick, people who need money now, people who are unemployed, people who house have been foreclosed, people who have lost their beloved ones etc. These are examples where people are desperate for solutions and they will click ads with abandon if you can attract them.

Link your articles together: Finally, do write a couple of articles together in the same niche and link them up. This will help a bit in helping them to get long tails. The linking can be in a straight arrow format like this:

Article A > Article B > Article C > Article D

Article D will hopefully get the most juice and draw in the most traffic.

If you do the above right, you should make adsense money fast. There is no need for backlinks if you pick the right keywords that have low competition and are riding on the platform's authority for certain keywords. If you don't know what is low competition keywords and how to find low competition keyword,click on those articles to read them first.

Hope this article helps you to make money fast with adsense.

Sunday, 22 January 2012

50 amazon sites challenge progress report #5

Welcome to the 5th progressive report on my 50 amazon niche sites challenge.

Quite a bit of update for this progress report so get ready for a long read and lots of ramblings.

Number of amazon niche sites created: I created 7 new sites and revised 1 aged site for the challenge. Quite proud of myself actually for doing so much work.

Getting traffic early: If you worked through the stats below, you will noticed how fast some of them are getting traffic. This is what I have mentioned in my previous post on how well your site should indexed if you get the right keywords. Low competition keywords plus an exact domain number will get you ranked and some long tail traffic even if your site is just 1-2 weeks old.

Site 13 is especially impressive. 139 unique visitors for a 2 week old site is quite good and shows that I have found a uncompetitive niche. Problem is there is no sales. If I have had adsense on this site, it would have generated a few clicks already.

Money earned with amazon sites: This month has seen a slow down as expected. Currently, these sites generated about USD50. Not a big amount but I am happy to see more new sites earning.

I mentioned in my previous progress report that I am disappointed with Site 8 because it did not generate any sales with the amount of traffic it is getting. Well, it finally got a sale so I am a happy man : ). Site 4 continues to earn while site 11 surprised me. It was a new site created in January and already had a sale.

If you want details, take a look at the table below.

SiteNicheCreated Total Cost Monthly EarningsMonthly Visitors Type
1ToyJun 2011155 NA184Purchased
2ApplianceNov 201125NA5New
3WineNov 20116726269Aged
4ApplianceNov 2011304157New
5BicycleDec  201130NA44New
6StorageDec 201120NA78New
7ApplianceDec 201130NA118New
8BeddingDec 20113411593New
9Wine Dec 201125NA66New
10GardeningDec 201125NA6New
11StorageJan 2012351314New
12WindowJan 20129NA2Aged
13ApplianceJan 201225NA139New
14StrangeJan 20129NANANew
15GardeningJan 201219NA12New
16ApplianceJan 201229NA15New
17StorageJan 201224NA30New
18BeddingJan 201214NA25New

Now, some learnings that I have accumulated for the challenge so far:
  • You need to be patient with the sales. Affiliate sales do not work like adsense. You can make lots of sales in one day and then go dry for a few weeks. This is how affiliate sales work and you need to be prepared for that mentally. New sites take a while to get revenue so if you are not seeing any money, be patient and continue to work on it. Track the two metrics that I have mentioned in my previous post to make sure you are on the right track. 
  • You need to try lots of niches to find the right ones: If I have stopped at 4-5 sites, I would not get the sales from site 8 and 11. You really need to keep going until you hit upon something that makes money. You can set up lots of sites like what I have done or you can use article directories such as Squidoo to experiment with new niches. 
  • You need to set up a process if you want to scale up fast. I can do 7 sites within 2 weeks because I have set up a process that I just go through each day. If you want to create more niche sites, getting that process up is cruical. It can be in the form of an outsourced process or through software. It doesn't matter how you do it but you need to build a process that can scale. 
  • There are some really good service providers in Fiverr that produces good quality articles or effective backlinks. I try a dozen and finally found a couple that I now work with regularly. They are cheap and their quality is good. 
  • I try to use different themes for each site. This became a headache because I had to hack and slash my way through the codes to get the look that I want for each site. Being a non technical person, it became a very time consuming process for me. I don't mind my sites looking ugly but they need to at least look like a store with some kind of catelogue on the homepage so that visitors will click on them. Presenting a blog format to your product searchers is not a good idea.  
Overall, creating so many sites without any software and virtual assistants have been quite challenging although it has its rewards in terms of lessons learned. I looked forward to hear your amazon niche site building experiences. 

Friday, 20 January 2012

SEO metrics to track for making money

A big part of why so many people failed to make money online is not knowing which part of the equation did they get wrong. Besides visitors and revenue, I don't see much discussion on what other metrics or indicators a beginner should track to assess their performance. It is easy to say: "just do all the work and you will make money eventually. Behind this statement is the implicit assumption that you will learn your mistakes, correct them and then become successful. However, without seeing any positive results, it is hard to keep going to realise this learning cycle.

In this short post, I am going to talk about two important SEO metrics you should use to track your progress as you learn how to make money with amazon or any other niche sites. This post is not meant for those who want to build authority sites. It is targeted at those who are starting out, learning to build a few mini sites and wants to know whether they are on the right track. As I said in my post on one vs many sites to make money, you need to know your market first before going in 100% to build a large site.

Let's get on with the program.

Making money with amazon boils down to a couple of steps:
  • Finding low competition keywords that can monetise well
  • Laying out your site and content to maximise conversion (not the expense of the user though)
  • Increasing the traffic from search engines to your site
It sounds simple enough but there is a lot of details within each of the steps. The last metric is easy to track and one that I will not talk about. The first two steps, however can be cruical during the early stages of your niche site building.

Picking low competition keywords
Learning how to pick low competition keywords will solve half of your problems in making money. If you don't get this part down, you will find it hard to draw traffic later on to monetise your site. To master this aspect, you need to know two things:
  • Where to find seed ideas that have no competition: I have said this many times but you need to know how to look at a keyword and research on whether there are new products or markets within that niche. Don't just reply on google adwords because the fact that the keywords appear in the tool means somebody might already be competiting with you on that keywords. Learn to expand your source for seed ideas and you will see that opportunity is all around you. 
How do you know you got this part right?

First metric to track is how well you indexed. If your site indexed on page 1-3 without any serious backlink effort, you are picking the right low competition keywords. If most of your sites don't ranked well when they are first indexed. you are probably picking something that is too competitive for a niche site.

Laying out your site
Once you have the keywords and they ranked well when indexed, you need to learn how to layout your site. No point getting your site ranked well when the visitors are not clicking on your amazon clicks. The first rule of thumb is not to layout your site like a blog. Your amazon sites should look like ecommerce stores. Your visitor's first impression should be that this is a site where I can browse for the products that I am searching for. I will give concrete examples in my future post on this topic.

To know if you are laying out your site correctly, track your visitors to amazon clicks ratios. Anything less than 50% should be improved. Believe me when I say that it is easier to improve your conversion ratio than to get more visitors to your site. Maximise each and every visitor so you do less work in terms of traffic generation.

In summary, these are the metrics you should track when you have very little revenue or traffic:
  • How highly ranked are your sites when they first index
  • What is the ratio between your visitors and those that click on the amazon link
They will help you to know whether you are on the right track when starting out. Try not to build too many sites until you get these two metrics right with the first few that you have.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

How to find long tail keywords using software

Finding long tail keywords can help you to bring in more search engine traffic. In fact, some online marketers are especially good at finding long tail keywords and writing them naturally into their content. This is the kind of advance keyword research that you must be good at if you want to learn how to make money online.

For those who have been following my blog, I use free tools as much as I can. However, I recently bought a long tail keyword generator called keywordsearcher after reading a recommendation online and I really love it! This is because what the tool does is what I have been doing, but it automates the keyword mining task for me so it saves me a lot of time!

What I used to do manually when I want to find long tail keywords is to go to Google Serach Bar and use its auto complete function to get all the juicy buying keywords that nobody is targeting.  For example, one buying keyword I was targeting is buy laptops. However, I don't want to waste time competing for this high traffic but competitive keyword. So, what I did was to use Google Suggest and do the following:

Type "buy a laptop" and get the following results:

Then type "buy b laptop" and get the following results:

So, I have to do this for letter A-Z. You can see how time consuming this process is. Using such a way to find long tail buying keywords is not a secret but the process makes it hard to scale. 

What this new tool does is to scrap these keywords for you. All you need to do is to type in "buy * laptop" and you will get this without doing any more work:

I like it because it automates a keyword process that I have been doing anyway. However it is not a magic cure for your make money activities. If you don't know what are buying keywords, this tool will not help you in any way. 

What I have so far is to use this tool to get the list of long tail buying keywords and export them to check if an exact name domain (EDM) was available. This makes it easy to rank for terms that are likely to convert to buyers. In fact, I will create some sites based on this tool and see if I can earn the its cost back, which should be very easy as it is priced below USD30 only.

Do check the tool out. If you decide to buy it and want to buy through my affiliate link here, I can get you to brainstorm some seed buying keywords to get you started. 

Saturday, 14 January 2012

How much money can you make online - Income report #1

Welcome to the first income report on aaronchua.com. I had to think through this carefully before revealing how much I am earning. I am not comfortable disclosing all my income but I want to track my earnings goals in public for greater accountability. In the end, I decided to disclose only the income source that is relevant to my 2012 make money targets.

This is what will be included:
  • adsense earnings from my cosmetic surgery niche
  • all my amazon earnings
  • proceeds from sale of websites
These will be excluded
  • adsense from non cosmetic surgery niches
  • other ad networks such as infolinks, contextweb, media.net etc
  • other affiliate networks such as the wordpress theme affiliates
  • private advertising
I hope that disclosing the earnings will keep me focused on achieving my 5k income target through the 3 income sources that I mentioned above.

Ok, so without any further ramblings, here is my income report for Dec 2011.

Adsense: USD680
I currently have 3 sites making this amount from two different adsense accounts. The first screenshot shows the adsense earnings from an account that belongs to my friend while the second screenshot is my own account. No surprise here as I have already mentioned that my adsense income from the cosmetic surgery niche has fallen from USD5k to about USD600.

Amazon: USD630
Dec was a good month for amazon in general so I expect this number to drop in Jan. From this amount, about USD149 came from the amazon niche site challenge.

Total: USD1,310
Well, not exactly a full time income yet as I still have some way to go before hitting the 5k mark. Sometimes, it is hard to motivate yourself with such low earnings but you know you need to put in the work first before seeing any concrete results. Saw another 2 good domains today that I will probably buy and create a site on.

Love to hear your thoughts and your progress, my beloved 5 readers!

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Make money with adsense tips

Time to answer the questions that one of my new readers raised regarding how to make 1k with adsense post. If you have not read that, please do so that you can follow the discussion here.

1: Is there any good example of a high earning adsense site out there that you know of (does NOT have to be yours, just want to see some successful one)

Universetoday.com. Earns more than 10k per month from a niche that has super low commercial intent and CPC. 

2: How many articles and keywords do you target on an adsense site where you would like to earn $1000+ /month?

This is a two tier approach to how I target keywords to make money with adsense. On the site level, I will target many new product keywords. In the site that I used in my case study, I targeted 100 new product keywords with 100 posts. The reason for doing so is that you never know which keywords will convert in terms of adsense clicks so you need to over target.

On the second tier, I target many long tails within the post itself to rank for many variations of the main keyword for that article. For example, if I target a term such as ABC treatment in the post title, I will target long tails such as prices of abc treatment, how much do abc treatment cost, abc treatment reviews, side effects of abc treatment etc. 

This two approach is how I gathered rankings for thousands for long tail keywords. Sum together, they can bring you over 1k per month. See my case study on using a software to find longtail keywords.

3: How often do you post new articles on your adsense sites?

During the first few months of a new site, I posted about 2-3 articles per week to gain trust. After six months, my posting schedule will become slower to the tune of around 1 post per month or every 2 months. The longest I have gone without a post is around 4 months.

4: could you recommend 2-3 niches with possible keywords in, where 1 site could earn around $500-1000/month?

I would say almost every niche can make you 500-1k per month. Keywords with low cpc needs lots of volume and vice versa.

My recommendation is to look for niches where new products are always introduced regularly, especially in markets where women and children are the main type of people searching for them. These group of people tend to click more.

So, good examples of such niches include beatuy products, toys, coupons, recipes etc.

5: could you recommend any high quality service provider that offer good adsense sites? where one could buy new high quality adsense sites with good keywords research = high search low comp etc for decent price?

Flippa is your friend although you need to do lots of due diligence. You can read my post on how to buy websites to make money.

I will also sell sites for sale from time to time. The 2 that I sold recently are good examples, They used to make about USD150 per month but the new owner has raised to about a couple of hundreds now just by backlinking the keywords that are already making money.

6: how much backlinking do you do to each site/article?

The favourite question asked by all : )

You need to first know what is the purpose of your backlinks. Backlinks can help your site by getting search engines to  do deeper and more frequent crawl for your site. They can also help by giving relevance through the anchor text.

I am not a supporter of the latter. I think you just need a few good links to get your new site indexed and to achieve better crawling. By learning how to target uncompetitive keywords and longtails, I don't need that many backlinks. I don't care about rankings of particular keywords. The only thing I care about is how much traffic the search engines are giving and that need not necessary means you need to rank for high volume search terms.

Most of the keywords that I target in my case study site have no backlinks at all.

Monday, 9 January 2012

How to find low competition keywords

The easiest way to find low competition keywords is to know how to find trending keywords or new keywords of products that are just coming into the market. I have repeated this many times in my posts but I realise a concrete example might be needed to show what I really mean. So, in this post, I will talk about finding low competition keywords by learning how to spot new markets and going through some thinking process to get easy keywords from them.

The first thing you need to do when picking any niches is to look for new markets or products. There are a couple of ways to do it but generally you need to listen to news or to use Google News in your market research stage. This stage is hard for me to put out any concrete ideas because finding seed keywords is about keeping your ears and eyes open to new ideas. Of course, you can increase your chance if you read more from technology and trend sites but sometimes, luck plays a part as well.

Anyway, one of the biggest thing you must know about is the iPad. Let take this as a seed keyword. It is perfect example of a popular product being introduced into the market and creates opportunities to mine low competition keywords related to this new niche.

For ipad, the market we targeting is the tablet market. Do not target the ipad name itself. Always aim for the product category that it is in. Once we know the seed keyword is tablet, it is time to drill into the market to find those low competition keywords.

First thing is to ignore the google keyword tool. That is always the first destination for every IM folks and believe me when I say almost all the longtail keywords that appear in the tool when you type in tablet will be targeted by other IMmers. See the list below for keywords to avoid!!

click to enlarge

Since you cannot use google keyword tool, what do you use? How about the thing between your ears? : )

Learn how to take that seed keyword and segment it according to different customer types.

Here are a few examples:

Customers who are on a budget or going for deals: Tablet under XX price, tablet deals, tablet for cheap....

Customers who use tablets for only certain functions: Gaming tablet,   kids tablet.....

Customers who have design preference: White tablet,  7 inch tablet....

The important lesson here is to use your brain a bit more and the keyword tool a bit less. Once you have the above longer tail keywords, put them into the keyword tool to see what kind of traffic they have. If you don't do a bit of brainstorming, it will be hard to come up with long tail keywords that are not attacked by everyone else using the google keyword tool.

If you see the numbers are small, try using a similar product category that has a good history. In the case of the tablet, I might use laptops as a proxy. So, I will key in keywords such as laptops under 200 to see what kind of volume they have relative to the keyword volume for the single generic keyword, 'laptop'. This ratio can help you to know how big your potential market is if the new market to grow and expand.

Monday, 2 January 2012

50 amazon sites challenge progress report #4

Welcome to the 50 amazon niche site challenge 4th progressive report.  This is a regular report where I report my crazy idea of making 50 amazon sites that hopefully make USD50 each month. If you are new, check out this resource page that documents all the materials related to the this amazon niche site challenge.

I made a minor change to the reporting  table below. Specificially, in the 'type' column, I merged the cateogry of 'self written'  and 'outsourced' to 'new'. This is because I find that I am adding content to sites that need more work even though they might have outsourced articles. I find it easier to just call them 'new' sites in the sense that I have just registered the domains and created the sites for this challenge.

Now, on to the progress report. First, the bad.
  • No new sites made money since progress report #3. It is still the same 3 sites creating the revenue. That sucks for motivation but my other half says this is still early stage. So, what can I do but to suck it all up like the man that I am!
  • I thought I can create more site during this holiday seasons but I end up spending more time with friends. Well, there goes the productivity although I am still ahead in terms of my site creation schedule. 
  • Site 8 has seen the greatest increase in traffic. For a new site to have 192 unique visitors in its first month is a good sign. The bad thing is the conversion. No sales at 192 visitors means either the product is a stinker or my landing page sucks. I get the feeling it might be the former because people are clicking through my amazon links. It is just they don't buy anything after landing in amazon. Sheez!
The good:
  • Revenue jumped since the last report. Total revenue since the challenge started is USD178. Total expense is USD739. So, I still making a loss of -USD561.  Since it is still early days, I am not too bothered by the loss. In this game, you need to put in the investment first before you see the passive income streams month after month. I already paid for 33 domains but have not put the site up which explains for the cost difference between the USD739 and the table below.
  • All sites saw increase in ranking and traffic. I think they will continue to gain steam in 2012 and I look forward to making more money with them!
  • Site 3 has break even!  Maybe people buy more wine for Christmas but earnings for this site jumped from USD20+ in Nov to USD80+ in Dec. This site has been live since 2010 but not really used.  I hope the rest of the new sites become better earners once they have aged as well.
SiteNicheCreated Cost Monthly EarningsMonthly Visitors Type
1ToyJun 2011155 53900Purchased
2ApplianceNov 201125NA45New
3WineNov 20116783458Aged
4ApplianceNov 20113013146New
5BicycleDec 201125NA10New
6StorageDec 201120NA62New
7ApplianceDec 201130NA59New
8BeddingDec 201134NA192New
9Wine Dec 201125NA3New
10GardeningDec 201140NA0New