Success and How it Comes

Terry Didcott is back after something of a break from his own blog! Ok, I have a lot to do online and most of it involves earning money as that’s a reasonable priority!

Well of course it is! As the Internet is my sole source of income, it makes sense to make sure that it keeps doing that. When everything is chugging along nicely, then I’ll have more time to write fanciful blog posts and irreverent musings that don’t actually earn any cash but are for enjoyment only. So here’s why that’s a bad idea right now.

Anyone who has ever tried to make their living online knows that at first it is not easy. In fact it’s bloody hard and most people give up out of frustration and the fact that the wads of tenners don’t come falling out of the sky for them.

But for every person who gives up, another starstruck newbie takes their place. After seeing all the amazing claims of how you can make several thousand dollars practically overnight if you just buy this latest foolproof ebook for $97 , they get their credit cards out and buy into the dream. Three months later, when they haven’t made a red cent, they go back to stacking shelves at the local supermarket…

Its the same old same old. Most Internet marketers who have been around for a while can see this as clearly as mud because they’ve been there and done it and bought the tee shirt along with the odd ebook or several. Then they fall into line with the big marketers who are flogging all this crap to noobs and making a small fortune and try to copy them. That doesn’t really work either, because the big marketers have got most of the traffic sewn up and all that’s left are the dregs.

Well, you can’t live on dregs.

There is another way and its the way I’ve been working for a while. I started out writing articles and that generated an income online. Something that most noobs don’t see because it involves work. Why would they want to work when the dream promises them thousands of dollars if they buy this ebook? Working is for dorks who are too stupid to see that if they just follow the instructions in this great ebook, they will be millionaires overnight. Or something like that.

Yeah, right.

Well, us dorks might be working but we’re not starving! The upshot of all this is that while writing to make money to eat and pay the bills, I’ve been building up my portfolio of websites, mini-sites, blogs etc that are now making pretty good money. That money comes from the ads that my sites serve, not from flogging some crap ebook that promises the world and delivers nothing but a headache.

And this stuff works!

It really works and it is a passive, residual income that continues to grow as I continue to build more sites. So to anyone out there who is looking at the latest hyped up ad selling a non-existent dream for $97, or $67 or whatever, do yourselves a favour and think twice before getting your credit card out. There is a catch, there always is. Think about this:

If the person who wrote that ebook really did know how to make the huge amount of money they claim they can, why the hell would they share it with anyone else and create a load of competition?

Exactly, they wouldn’t!

I’ll leave you with that thought while I go and eat out today… because I’m really making my living online and I do it through my own hard, honest work. So I can afford to!

Terry Didcott

Posting Pictures Legitimately

Posting pictures legitimately seems to be something a lot of bloggers and the odd freelance writer needs to do, but they often cross the line with regards to copyright. This is because published photographs that appear on the originating website often turn up on other people’s blogs without any credit given to the owner. While the Internet is a vast place chocked full of millions of pages of web content and images, it doesn’t necessarily mean that if you post someone else’s picture on your blog without due credit that you will get away with it because no one will notice.

There are some websites out there that do publish royalty free images that you can legitimately download and post to your blog. They make it clear that their images cane be used on a non-commercial basis which is perfect for most general niche blogs. So if these sites, some of which have many thousands of images to choose from, are allowing this then why do some bloggers still go out and steal photos that are not royalty or copyright free?

One reason may be that they can’t find exactly what they want on the free image sites and when they come across that perfect image on another site, they think “what the hell?” and take it anyway. Another reason may be that they want a higher resolution image. Free image sites generally only give away small images, say 300×200 at best which is fine for sprucing up a blog post, but no good if you’re designing a fancy header banner that requires a much larger image.

Whatever the reason for stealing someone else’s photos, its plagiarizing and the owner can come after you with a lawyer and give you all sorts of legal headaches. Not worth the trouble, really, but it wont stop anyone who is already actively doing it, because they probably think that they can’t be caught. Geographic location has plenty to do with this kind of blogger’s attitude. A blogger in China probably feels very safe from the US lawyers who think they rule the roost. That blogger is probably right if he steals an image from an American’s site, but if he steals one from a site based in China, he will be caught and prosecuted. It happens!

Same goes wherever you are in the world. Just because a site looks like it originates in a certain country, it doesn’t mean that it does. Many of my own sites look like they originate in the US because I’m targeting US traffic – even down to the American way of spelling if that’s what it takes. But I’m not in the US at all. Not even close.

I’m drifting away from the point of this post, which is to tell you about posting pictures legitimately on your blogs, so let’s bring it back. There are two ways in which to post images on your blog without upsetting anyone and still enhancing the look of it, assuming pictures are needed to do that. You may have noticed that I don’t personally use many pics in my own postings – for me they distract the reader from the beauty of the written word… mmm ok whatever!

1. Just sort through the royalty free stuff and use what fits most closely to what you need it for. Sure it’s time consuming, but you stay legitimate and that’s important.

2. Go out of the house with a digital camera, or phone if it has a good camera built in, and take some of your own!

The second point is something that I have been doing for some time now when I want that certain angle that I know I can get locally. I’m lucky in that I live quite near to the beach in a tourist town in southern Spain, so in summer the place is packed with tourists of all descriptions and perfect for taking “people” shots that can work. I generally stick to candid group shots rather than taking individuals, or they might get a little upset at being singled out and want to know why.

In fact, my new header image was taken recently on my phone while I was walking the dogs up in the hills behind where I live. Nice view from up there!

Sometimes, if you’re faced with this dilemma and want to photograph an individual, then be bold and go up and ask their permission. Explain what you want the shot for and they might be happy to agree. Remember, people are generally quite vain and the thought of their image appearing in the online “media” will sway any misgivings and they’ll most likely be happy to let you. If not, thank them for their time and move on to someone else.

The beach is not just for photographing people, but also I have great scenery with a backdrop of tall rugged mountains, a wealth of bars, restaurants and shops that can add character to any post especially in a locally oriented blog, castles, ruins and interesting old buildings, people walking dogs for dog and pet oriented blogs, plenty of traffic for shots of cool sports cars, even cooler motorbikes and all kinds of vehicles, plenty of scope for abstracts, sunrises and sunsets, moon rises, choppy seas, calm seas, low flying planes and helicopters etc.

Plenty of scope in fact to embellish with images a wide variety of blog themes and its all completely royalty and copyright free because I took the photos myself and I own the copyright.

So if you need an excuse to get away from the computer for an hour or so while still remaining in “working” mode, then grab your camera or phone and go take some images of your own. They may even turn out to be much better than what you can steal!

Terry Didcott

Writing for Who Exactly?

Hi again! My last post Freelance Writer’s Big Happy Family, was a message to all bloggers who are also trying to make money online that one of the ways in which to do that is to make sure your sites that are geared up to actually make the money are sufficiently bolstered by authority to attract traffic from the search engines rather than the easier to attract social traffic.

One of the ways to do this of course is to get lots of backinks to your money sites – in fact its the single most important thing you can do. For that to happen you need to make friends with other blog owner to get those links. Spending all your time writing in your blogs won’t make you much money unless you have such a huge readership that you can leverage advertisers to pay you for valuable real estate space on your blog. Getting to that stage will take you years, if you ever get there. In the meantime, you will not make sufficient money from your blogging to make it worth your while.

But… and there’s always a “but” what about writing a blog that people want to read?

Most bloggers blog because they want people to read what they are writing! They generally have just the one blog and they’re happy that way. Making money from their efforts hasn’t crossed their minds, at least in the early stages.

But when you spend time online, even if its just writing a blog and checking your emails, you will not fail to notice that other people are (or say they are) making money from the Internet. Which naturally will peak your interest to want to find out more about this. Then you read that this or that person is making a lot of money from their blogging exploits and its simply human nature to want what the other person has. It has something psychological to do with sibling rivalry in your early years, I believe. Ha!

“Mum, he’s got a bigger toy car than me and I want one like that!” he shrieks, “gimme, gimme, gimme”

Well its no different online. There are thousands of scam artists that are all boasting they make this or that crazy amount of loot online every month. It’s natural for people who don’t make anything to be curious.

So curious in fact, that they fall into the trap time and time again because they not only believe the lie, but they keep analysing that the lie must be true if so many people are telling it!

Which is exactly what keeps the scam artists doing what they’re doing.

Having just said that, there is another truth about the Internet and making money online. That is the fact that it’s not technically all lies. You can make money online and if you are smart, you can make a lot of money. You can certainly make enough money to earn a decent living from it. In some cases you can earn a very good living from the Internet. You just need to know how.

Unfortunately, writing in your blog every day is not the way to do it. Attracting lots of readers is also not the way to do it. Unless you’re prepared to do a lot of work in research, learning, understanding and then putting into practice what you’ve learned and spending a heck of a lot of time doing it, then don’t even bother. There are no methods that exist to get rich quick on the Internet, so don’t be fooled by all the wild claims that you can.

If you enjoy writing your blog, stick to doing what you enjoy and don’t quit your job just yet. Don’t waste any of your hard earned cash on anything these hucksters are peddling online because you can get all the information you need without spending a penny. Not here in this blog of mine, I hasten to add, as this is one of those blogs that I merely like to write in. The few ads I have dotted around pay for the hosting and that’s about all.

I personally make money from other websites and some blog host setups that I have, so I don’t need to write about how to do it here. If you were thinking of doing something similar, then I don’t want to put you off, but I currently have over 400 sites out there all ticking over quietly earning a passive income. That little lot took a lot of time to create and I continue to build more sites daily.

But that’s what I do and if you think you can do that much work, then I say go for it! Its not easy and it takes a lot of time and effort in getting links for all those sites, writing the content they need and generally maintaining them so they feature in the search engine indeces to attract the organic traffic that is essential to generating an income from them.

If you want to do the same. good luck to you and I wish you all the best.

Oh, one last thing you should imprint upon your brain as a motto, or statement of intention:

Never Give Up!

Terry Didcott