Blogging, Business

How to become a blogger

How to become a blogger? When I first started out in blogging I was not even sure if I would enjoy the blogging, or writing process. Could I even write?  It really was just an exercise to see how it would go.  I took solace in the fact that numerous bloggers I admire that have built tremendous online brands could not write very well when they first started. Blogging allows anyone to practice their writing skills on a daily basis, and to continually improve. I’ve found that it is better to think of blogging as an ongoing process or evolution. You just have to begin.

Without any further ado, let me guide you through the fairly simple steps of becoming a blogger.

How to become a blogger: Pick a topic

How to become a bloggerFirst things first, you have choose your topic or niche. If a subject has not made itself readily apparent, then this can become a very difficult process.  Hopefully, you already have something in mind.  It took me years, and hundreds of ideas before I found a topic that I could really enjoy. Throughout my life I’ve had numerous interests, but few of these things are the types of topics that I want to blog or write about on a daily basis. I love photography, but I would much rather plan a fashion photo shoot than walk someone else through the process.

After all of the ideas it boiled down to something really simple. What do I enjoy reading about online the most, and what are most of my thoughts about on a daily basis. Which subjects do you get really excited about when they come up? What things are you super passionate about? You will have to live with this topic for years and years so you have to find the absolute best fit. Living a laptop lifestyle is truly my passion. I really enjoy talking about, and sharing stories about people that are doing really well online.

Another major consideration is whether the topic is profitable or not. Often friends will bring up blog topics that don’t have a sizeable market or that don’t offer good opportunities to promote related products or services. Creating a personal online diary is different than creating a thriving profitable online business.

Is there a big enough audience?  Are their opportunities to monetize the audience?  Evaluate your idea to make sure it will make long term success.  Look at other blogs in the niche and figure out how they make money.

How to become a blogger: Come up with a great domain name

It is far too easy to say that all of the good domain names are already taken. You can still find good or great domain names, but it definitely has become a little more difficult in the last few years. As different ideas cross my mind, I try to find appropriate domain names, and the process takes quite a bit longer now than it did a few years back. You have be able to think laterally and not look for names that are completely obvious. All of those are already gone.  The obvious words associated with you niche will have already been combined with suffixes and other words to make up cool domain names.

Pull out your thesaurus and start finding words that are related to your topic. Try word combinations, try suffixes, or try to find an interesting phrase that could represent your brand. Bustaname.com is a great tool for combining thing together and showing you which domains are not registered. This tool is not infallible so you will sometimes get false positives. Don’t let that frustrate you. Just go back to the drawing board, and sooner or later you will come up with something creative and appropriate.

Visit Bustaname

 

Most of the blogs whose names I remember can be categorized as the following types:

  • Word combinations i.e. problogger.com
  • A cool phrase i.e. pinchofyum.com
  • The person’s name i.e. johnchow.com
  • A made up word i.e clickible.com

Use these naming strategies to come up with a remarkable name. It does take work. Take your time and try to enjoy the creative process. Along with your domain name you need to ensure that you can reserve the same name on the majority of social media platforms such as facebook, instagram and others.

Here are a few guidelines for good domain names:

  1. Indicative of what the blog is about
  2. Easy to remember
  3. Easy to spell
  4. Easy to pronounce
  5. The shorter the better
  6. Does not need an explanation for people to get it.

How to become a blogger: Build your brand on a strong foundation

You have to build your website and yourself into a social media brand. To ensure that you start the journey in the best possible way, you have to emulate what brands do. The first step is to make sure you have all of the domain extensions you can possibly buy. Get the .net, and .org to match your domain at the very least. You can use namecheckr.com to make sure that all of the domain extensions you want are available before you register any domain names.

Another critical step is to register your brand on all of the social media platforms. That means getting a facebook page, setting up instagram, pinterest, snapchat, among others. You should strive to use the same username or page name across all of the platforms. This ensures that you come across as a brand. I like to make sure all of these things are available before I make any purchases. Once again you can use namecheckr.com to see what is available before making any moves. If all of the social media usernames and domain extensions are not available, I look for another name. This can take a lot of patience.

How to become a blogger: Buy your domain name

Now that you have done your due diligence, it is time to start buying what you need. The first thing is registering your domain names. From the steps above you should be registering .com as well as other domain extensions that you can afford. My website registrar of choice is namecheap.com. I have found them extremely reliable and keep all of my domains with them.

Buy your Domain

How to become a blogger: Purchase web hosting

After you have your domain, now you need a place to actually host your website. The host is where all of the files and content for your website will be stored. Don’t get domain names and hosting confused. Domain names are like a title to land while hosting is like having somewhere to store your things. I prefer to keep my hosting and domain names with different companies. I recommend hostmonster.com or bluehost.com for hosting. Both of these companies host thousands of websites and are reliable. Their pricing is around the same.

Visit Bluehost Now

 

Starting out you should be fine going with shared hosting which is the most affordable. Be sure to choose the option where you can host multiple websites on one account, and where you can create a lot of email accounts. It does not cost that much more to include these options.

Here is the first step to signing up for hosting with Bluehost:

The plus option in the middle should be fine starting out.  The next step is entering the main domain name you purchased in the previous step of this article.

Enter the you domain with the .com on the end in the box on the right.  Next you will select your plan, and make your payment:

Make sure that you click on the “Account Plan” options and select how you want your plan billed.  You can select monthly, yearly, or multiple years.  This often defaults to paying for 36 months up front which can be expensive.  The longer you pay for up front the cheaper the average monthly cost.  If you choose a monthly option, you will pay more per month.  Select the option you prefer, then move on the entering your payment information.

Visit Bluehost Now

How to become a blogger: Install WordPress

The majority of bloggers use WordPress as their blogging platform of choice. WordPress is the platform I would recommend any blogger use.  The blogging platform stores all of your articles, pictures, and files. If you would like to see what you need to do to install WordPress, please watch the video below:

To really learn the ins and outs of WordPress you can use Lynda.com to take an online course that will give you a comprehensive understanding of WordPress.

How to become a blogger: Choose a WordPress theme

A theme is what determines how your website looks. It is much more cost effective way to buy a prepackaged theme than to pay a designer to create one just for you. Another option are free WordPress themes but free theme can open your site up to security holes that could make your site much easier to hack. One of the most popular places to find WordPress themes is themeforest.com. This is my favorite place for themes.  When you visit the site, click on the WordPress menu option.  From there you can select subcategories of themes based on your needs.  I would start with the blog / magazine category.

Visit Themeforest

 

Once you have selected and purchased a theme, you will have to install it to your site. Here is a tutorial that shows you how to install a theme:

How to become a blogger: Create a logo for your website

The name and logo of your site sets the tone for how your website is perceived. You should strive to have a logo that comes across in professional way. If you have the appropriate software and design skills you can design your logo yourself. If you do not have design skills, you can use freelancer.com to find someone with expertise to design a logo for you.

Visit Freelancer

How to become a blogger: Get started

Now that you have got everything setup it is time to start blogging. It is a good idea to create a content plan. Figure out what you love talking and writing about. A good way to gauge what your audience is interested in is through keyword research tools like Google Adwords. Google recently changed its tool for free users where it no longer shows detailed estimates of the interest in individual keyword phrases. An alternative is to use the free keyword tool offered by seobook.com which does provide detailed estimates of how many times a month a keyword phrase is actually used in searches.

I think that using Lynda.com will really be useful to you to get a great understanding of how to use WordPress.  If you are starting a blog, please leave comments below about your blog.

Read More...

Affiliate

What is affiliate marketing?

What is affiliate marketing? Affiliate marketing is one of the most exciting online business models. The gist of this business model is that you promote products for online retailers, and these online retailers pay you a commission based on any sales that you generate for them. The is minimal investment, no inventory overhead, and no products to ship. Your affiliate partner does all of the hard work. You just send them web traffic that turns into sales.

What is affiliate marketing? Why affiliate marketing?

what is affiliate marketingSome affiliates are able to generate over $100.000.00 per month from affiliate marketing. Some can even generate this type of money in one day. It is an exciting opportunity to makes boatloads of money from your laptop if you are willing to learn the skills to be successful, and are willing to do the work to build a website that can get visitors that want to click on your links for affiliate products.

Here are the quick highlights of affiliate marketing:

What is affiliate marketing? Pros

  1. Low upfront financial investment
  2. No inventory
  3. Low to non-existent overhead
  4. Extremely high income potential
  5. No physical products to handle or ship

What is affiliate marketing? Cons

  1. If you don’t have a lot of money to invest, it can take a lot of time to see results.
  2. There is a lot of work required to be successful. Loads of hours will be spent trying to build a highly visited website.

The pros far outweigh the cons.

What is affiliate marketing? How do you make money?

If you are a fashion blogger, you can showcase an outfit in a blog post with links to where your visitors can make the purchase. Let’s say that they can buy the outfit at Zara.com. If a visitor to your website goes to Zara.com and makes a purchase then Zara will pay you a commission based on any sales that you generate.

How would Zara know that you generated the sale for them? When you sign up for an affiliate program, you get access to links that have a code that identifies you as the source for any visitors that you send to their website. You go the website, find the product you want to promote, and then you get a coded link to add to your website.

What is affiliate marketing? How much do I get paid?

It depends on the program that you sign up for. Some affiliate programs pay you a commission while others pay you a flat fee. For example, fashion retailers usually pay around 5% of the sales that you generate. On the other hand, online dating sites like Match.com will pay you around $20.00 if you send them a new member.

Here are the ways that affiliate programs compensate their affiliates:

Pay Per Sale / Percentage (often the percentage goes up as you make more sales)
Pay Per Lead / New registration / Signup

What is affiliate marketing? How do I get paid?

Most affiliate programs will offer a few options on how you get paid, while others will only offer you just one.

Here are some the affiliate marketing payment options:

Check
Direct Deposit
Online payment service / Paypal

What is affiliate marketing? How often do I get paid?

The majority of affiliate programs have a minimum in commission you have to reach before you can get paid. This usually starts around $25.00. Once you have reached the minimum, they will usually pay based on a prearranged schedule. This could be bi-weekly, or every month, or on a specific day each month.

What is affiliate marketing? How do I sign up?

Websites like Amazon, and eBay have their own affiliate programs that you sign up for directly on their website. Usually, there is a link at the bottom of websites where you can research and sign up for their affiliate program. Just look for the affiliate titled link.

The majority of online retailers join affiliate networks which manage affiliate programs for multiple companies. Instead of going to each online retailers’ website to join, you just join an affiliate network where you can build relationships with multiple retailers in one place. This makes it much more streamlined to get paid, generate links, and monitor your sales.

Once you join an affiliate network, you will have to apply to the specific retailers you want to build relationships with. The requirements for being accepted vary by retailer.

Some of the criteria for acceptance are:

Quality of your website
Website traffic
Past affiliate sales
Relevance of website to the company’s niche

Get your website set up first. Build some content to make sure that you make a good first impression. I think that it is a good idea to build up some website traffic first before even attempting to join affiliate programs.  It can be discouraging to get declined because you have not built up your website brand enough.

What is affiliate marketing? Where can I sign up?

Here is a listing of the more popular affiliate networks, and programs:

Commission Junction
Linkshare
PepperJam Network
TradeDoubler
Affiliate Window
Amazon
Ebay
Shareasale
Avangate
ClickBank
RevenueWire
LinkConnector
AvantLink
FlexOffers
WebGains
ImpactRadius

What is affiliate marketing? Some affiliate marketing successes:

Here is a listing of some successful affiliate marketers:

Lisy Irby
Rosalind Gardner
Neil Patel
Pat Flynn
Pinch of Yum

Take some time to check out their websites, and see what they have to offer.

What is affiliate marketing? Wrapping up

Affiliate marketing is extremely lucrative, and low investment way to make money online.   I love this online business model.

It is not a scam, or a get rich scheme. Sweat equity is required.  You have to learn about creating a content rich website, and how to market your content to attract more visitors to your website.  Many make loads of mistakes along the way, but if you stay consistent, you will see results.  There are plenty of books and online resources that you can use to educate yourself further about how to succeed with this business model. Check out the successful affiliate marketers above to get some ideas.

Affiliate marketing is a realistic way to become a laptop millionaire.

Read More...

Youtube

25 Most Famous Youtubers on Earth

The 25 most famous Youtubers on the planet earth is a pretty amazing, exclusive, and inspiring list.  These people have done something amazing.  The members of the most famous Youtubers list have over 250 million subscribers combined, and billions and billions of video views.  It is inspiring that many 25 most famous youtubers on earthof these famous Youtubers did not set out looking for fame, but yet they managed to build themselves into global brands, and influencers.  This list is not inclusive of people that were already famous outside of Youtube, such as musicians.  Vevo accounts do not count.

These famous Youtubers are clustered in a few specific categories that show that people really look to Youtube for entertainment.  The most popular categories are comedy, gaming, beauty, and vlogging.

The two most popular countries for famous Youtubers are the United States, and the United Kingdom.

If you can entertain, maybe one day you can be on the list.

Without much more fanfare, let’s get started:

1. Most Famous Youtubers: Felix Kjellberg

Name: Felix Kjellberg

Channel: PewDiePie

Category: Gaming

Country: Sweden

Subscribers: 42,482,435

Felix Kjellberg is one of the biggest stars on the Internet, if not the biggest.  By the sheer numbers, he is the most famous Youtuber ever.  He has the most subscribed channel on the planet.

He started out uploading videos he shot of himself playing video games.  At first, his videos had no commentaries.  People enjoyed what they saw and started to share his videos, leave comments, and his following just continued to keep growing and growing from there.

People enjoyed what they saw and started to share his videos, leave comments, and his following just continued to keep growing and growing from there.

The channel started in 2010. He had no clue that it would one day become the most popular youtube channel in the world.

In 2012 his channel passed 1,000,000 subscribers, and since 2013, PewDiePie has been the most subscribed Youtube channel.

The channel content has grown, and now has vlogs, and other content that is not directly related to gaming.

In 2014, The Wallstreet Journal reported that he earns $4,000.000.00 annually.

Here is one of his videos:

2. Most Famous Youtubers: Anthony Padilla

Name: Anthony Padilla

Channel: Smosh

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 21,858,513

Smosh is the sketch comedy duo of Ian Andrew Hecox, and Anthony Padilla.  Anthony Padilla initially started the venture by posting animated videos online in 2002.  Ian Andrew Hecox joined the team later.

The name is derived from the term ‘mosh pit’.  On first hearing the phrase, Anthony thought it was ‘smosh pit’ and ended up really liking the word.

In 2005, they joined Youtube, and started posting videos of them lip-syncing the theme songs to Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  They eventually branched out to performing skits, and other comedic material.

They have been one of the most subscribed Youtube channels in 2009.

Here is one of their videos:

3. Most Famous Youtubers: Ian Andrew Hecox

Name: Ian Andrew Hecox

Channel: Smosh

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 21,858,513

Smosh is the sketch comedy duo of Ian Andrew Hecox, and Anthony Padilla.  Anthony Padilla initially started the venture by posting animated videos online in 2002.  Ian Andrew Hecox joined the team later.

The name is derived from the term ‘mosh pit’.  On first hearing the phrase, Anthony thought it was ‘smosh pit’ and ended up really liking the word.

In 2005, they joined Youtube, and started posting videos of them lip-syncing the theme songs to Mortal Kombat, Power Rangers, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  They eventually branched out to performing skits, and other comedic material.

They have been one of the most subscribed Youtube channels in 2009.

Here is one of their videos:

4. Most Famous Youtubers: Ryan Higa

Name: Ryan Higa

Channel: Niga Higa

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 16,323,182

Ryan Higa and Sean Fujiyoshi began posting lip-syncs of popular songs on Youtube in 2006 while attending Waiakea High School. Ryan was 16 at the time.  Their material soon expanded to include comedy.

In 2008 and 2009, they had some of their lip-syncing videos removed by Youtube due to copyright violations, and their account was also temporarily suspended.

The lip-sync videos were a big part of what made their channel popular. Videos like How To Be Gangster, and How To Be Emo were two of the most popular.  Both were removed by Youtube. Since then Higa has been creating his own music to avoid the past problems.

Since 2012, Higa has been producing content through his own production company.

Here is one of the channel’s videos:

5. Most Famous Youtubers: Jenna Marbles

Name: Jenna Mourey

Channel: Jenna Marbles

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 15,869,453

In July 2010, between shifts at her tanning salon job, and a night shift as a go-go dancer, Jenna decided to film, edit, and post a video titled How to trick people into thinking you’re good looking.  The video immediately became popular aided by co-workers that shared the video that same night.  The video now has over 60 million views.

In 2011, she posted How To Avoid Talking To People You Don’t Want To Talk To, which also became extremely popular.  Her suggestions are now part of pop culture, and used in clubs around the world.

Jenna now posts to her channel on a weekly schedule.  The majority of her audience are young women that relate to her straightforward take on life.

Here is one of her videos:

6. Most Famous Youtubers: Olajide “JJ” Olatunji

Name: Olajide “JJ” Olatunji

Channel: KSI

Category: Gaming, Comedy

Country: England

Subscribers: 12,057,775

Olajide “JJ” Olatunji is a British comedian, rapper, Youtube personality, and actor.  He is known by the name ‘KSI’. He is both a school dropout and multimillionaire. Go figure.

KSI launched his channel on July 24, 2009, with a video about the FIFA game franchise.  His channel began with a primary focus on FIFA games.

The content is much more varied now.  Some are vlogs, others comedy, some feature his music, and some even feature his family.

Although his videos have billions of views, his time on Youtube has not been without controversy.

Here is one of his videos:

7. Most Famous Youtubers: Mark Fischbach

Name: Mark Fischbach

Channel: Markiplier

Category: Gaming

Country: America

Subscribers: 11,696,077

Mark joined Youtube on May 26, 2012, and has risen to fame quickly.  He started his Youtube career by posting a series of playthrough videos of the game Amnesia: The Dark Descent.  He also began other series with other games such as Penumbra, and Dead Space.

He had done collabs with Youtubers such asJacksepticeye, LordMinion777, Muyskerm, PewDiePie, Matthias, GameGrumps, Cyndago, Yamimash, Jacksfilms, CaptainSparklez, Egoraptor and LixianTV, among others.

Here is one of his videos:

8. Most Famous Youtubers: Ray William Johnson

Name: Ray William Johnson

Channel: Ray William Johnson

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 10,670,591

Ray William Johnson is an actor, comedian, producer, director, writer and rapper, known for his YouTube channel and his Equal Three web series.  The Equal Three series features commentary and jokes based on already viral videos.

Johnson began posting videos in April of 2009.

His channel was the first to reach 5 million subscribers.

Here is one of his videos:

9. Most Famous Youtubers: Zoe Elizabeth Sugg

Name: Zoe Elizabeth Sugg

Channel: Zoella

Category: Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle

Country: England

Subscribers: 10,179,244

Zoe Elizabeth Sugg is a British fashion, lifestyle, beauty blogger, and Youtuber.  She is known by the name Zoella, and is a real Internet rockstar.  Everyone knows her name.

Zoella started out with her blog in 2009, before making the eventual jump to Youtube.  By the end of her first year of blogging, she had already built thousands of followers.

Sugg has built up quite a social media following and is considered a social media influencer with millions of followers on numerous platforms.

Here is one of her videos:

10. Most Famous Youtubers: Bethany Mota

Name: Bethany Mota

Channel:  Bethany Mota

Category: Beauty, Fashion, Lifestyle

Country: America

Subscribers: 9,858,341

Bethany Noel Mota is a Youtube vlogger based in California.  Bethany launched her Youtube channel in 2009, and rose to fame through her ‘haul videos’ that showcased her fashion and beauty purchases.  She also delivers content around makeup, outfits, hair tutorials, DIY ideas, and recipes. She now even has her own fashion line.

Bethany is now considered a Youtube celebrity, and one of the most famous Youtubers.  Her brand has grown far beyond the sphere of Youtube.

Here is one of her videos:

11. Most Famous Youtubers: Vitaly Zdorovetskiy

Name: Vitaly Zdorovetskiy

Channel:  VitalyzdTv

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 8,942,362

Vitaly Zdorovetskiy, known by his YouTube username VitalyzdTv, is a Russian-born YouTube personality.  Vitaly and his family emigrated to the United States in 2004.

On August 10, 2011, he uploaded his first Youtube video.  He was inspired by the first round of famous Youtubers that were beginning to get media attention and fame.  He felt that he could do a much better job so why not try.

His videos feature pranks on random people walking the streets.  He has risen to fame due to the outrageousness, and craziness of the pranks he pulls.

He has risen to fame because of the outrageousness, and craziness of the pranks he pulls.

Here is one of his videos:

12. Most Famous Youtubers: Seán William McLoughlin

Name: Seán William McLoughlin

Channel:  Jacksepticeye

Category: Gaming

Country: Ireland

Subscribers: 8,921,759

Seán William McLoughlin, better known as Jacksepticeye, is an Irish game commentator, known for his yelling game commentaries.  He has also developed a popular Youtube series titled Let’s Play.

McLoughlin started his current channel in 2012, but really started to gain traction when he won a PewDiePie shout-out competition in 2013.

His first video with a Solid Snake impression.  Shortly after, he began producing let’s play videos of the Far Cry 3, and Dark Souls games.

McLoughlin has developed several different series that feature a wide variety of content from the reading of reader comments to personal vlogs.

Here is one of his videos:

13. Most Famous Youtubers: Roman Atwood

Name: Roman Atwood

Channel:  Roman Atwood

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 8,508,366

Roman Atwood started uploading hidden camera pranks in 2009, and the rest is history.

Roman is known for three standout videos

  • Plastic Ball Prank – in this prank he fills his whole home with plastic balls.
  • Anniversary Prank – on his five-year anniversary with his girlfriend he pranks her by saying that he has been cheating on her.
  • Killing My Kid Prank – again he pranks his girlfriend by fooling her into thinking that he had thrown their child over a second-floor balcony.

Here is one of his videos:

14. Most Famous Youtubers: Michelle Phan

Name: Michelle Phan

Channel:  Michelle Phan

Category: Beauty

Country: America

Subscribers: 8,397,983

In 2005, Michelle launched a blog where she shared makeup tutorials, and responded to audience requests for new content.  She took the leap to Youtube in May 2007.  Her first makeup tutorial video received 40,000 views in the first week, and fueled her desire to keep going.

She is known for a unique style that emphasizes narration, which she patterned on Bob Ross.

Her videos tend to be inspired by prior user comments.

In 2011, she signed a partnership with Lancome as their video makeup artist, and has gone on to create her own beauty products.

Here is one of her videos:

15. Most Famous Youtubers: Yousef Erakat

Name: Yousef Erakat

Channel:  Fouseytube

Category: Comedy, Pranks

Country: America

Subscribers: 8,302,933

Yousef Saleh Erakat  is a famous Youtube personality known as Fousey.  He is a vlogger that also produces prank videos.

Fousey has been posting videos since 2011,  His vlogs can be very personal.  He shares his battles with depression and other life issues.

Here is one of his videos:

16. Most Famous Youtubers: Tyler Oakley

Name: Tyler Oakley

Channel:  Tyler Oakley

Category: Vlogger

Country: America

Subscribers: 8,002,228

Tyler Oakley is a Youtube personality, vlogger, podcaster, activist, and author.  He often posts about politics, culture, with a little bit of humor mixed in.

He began making videos in 2007 while attending Michigan State University.

He is a big advocate for the LGBT community.  He is vocal on issues related to healthcare, education, and suicide prevention among LGBT youths.

He is a source of inspiration for a legion of people.

Here is one of his videos:

17. Most Famous Youtubers: Alastair Aiken

Name: Alastair Aiken

Channel:  Ali-A

Category: Gaming

Country: England

Subscribers: 7,702,815

Alastair Aiken, known as Ali-A, is a British YouTuber known for gameplay videos, particularly of him playing Call of Duty.

He first joined Youtube in 2006.  Even though he only gained 100 users his first year, he kept on going and eventually grew his channel to over 7 million subscribers.

Here is one of his videos:

18. Most Famous Youtubers: Bart Baker

Name: Bart Baker

Channel:  Bart Baker

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 7,561,157

Bart Baker is a famous Youtuber that produces comedic song parodies.

He uploaded his first video on December 1, 2006.

In the beginning, it was a lot more difficult to become a member of the Youtube partners program. In 2009, he accepted an invitation to join the program and began sharing advertising revenue with Youtube.

In October 2011, he joined Maker Studios, a Youtube content producer network based in California.  Following joining Maker, he moved to Los Angeles in September of 2012 to take full advantage of what Maker had to offer.

Here is one of his videos:

19. Most Famous Youtubers: Rachel Levin

Name: Rachel Claire Levin

Channel:  Rclbeauty101

Category: Beauty

Country: America

Subscribers: 6,900,282

Rachel Claire Levin a beauty blogger, and vlogger that created the RCLBeauty101 Youtube channel.

She produces content covering a wide variety of topics including beauty, DIY, fashion, food, and lifestyle.

She began vlogging at the end of 2010.

One of her popular segments is Expectations vs Reality. She was nominated in 2015 for a Teen Choice Award, and for a Streamy Award.

Here following has gone far beyond Youtube.  She has over a million followers on Instagram.

Here is one of her videos:

20. Most Famous Youtubers: Joseph Graham “Joe” Sugg

Name: Joseph Graham “Joe” Sugg

Channel:  ThatcherJoe

Category: Vlogger

Country: England

Subscribers: 6,168,078

I guess famous Youtubers like to keep it in the family.  Joe Suggs is the sibling of Zoella, another British Internet rockstar.  Joe runs several Youtube channels, but ThatcherJoe is the more popular.

He launched his channel in November 2011.  His content is heavy with pranks, and impressions.  As of 2015, he has been sharing a flat in London with fellow YouTuber Caspar Lee, who also made this list.

Here is one of his videos:

21. Most Famous Youtubers: Colleen Evans

Name: Colleen Evans

Channel:  Miranda Sings

Category: Comedy

Country: America

Subscribers: 6,017,209

Colleen Evans launched the Miranda Sings channel in 2008.

Since then she has uploaded videos of a character she created named Miranda Sings.  The character is a satire of untalented, but arrogant, singers who post videos on the Internet expecting instant fame. These people seem unable to comprehend the realistic, but harsh comments they receive on their videos, and call their detractors ‘haters’.

Miranda’s character is supposedly home-schooled, and lives with her mother, and an uncle.  She is the definition of a narcissist who really believes her own hype.

The characters singing is far from perfect.  You have to witness it for yourself.

Here is one of her videos:

22. Most Famous Youtubers: Caspar Lee

Name: Caspar Lee

Channel:  Caspar

Category: Vlogger, Comedy

Country: England

Subscribers: 5,770,082

Caspar is a British Youtuber that launched his self-titled Youtube channel in 2011.  He is currently a member of the Gleam Futures talent agency.  He is is flatmates with Joe Sugg, Zoella’s brother, who are both famous Youtubers that made this list.

His content leans towards the comedic with some vlogging content to add some variety.

Caspar is considered a digital influencer with over 2 million Twitter, and Instagram followers.

He has done collaboration with other famous Youtubers such as Joe Sugg, Zoella, Tyler Oakley, Jack and Finn Harries, Grace Helbig, Connor Franta, Troye Sivan, Marcus Butler, Shane Dawson, Dan Howell, and others.

Here is one of his videos:

23. Most Famous Youtubers: Rosanna Pansino

Name: Rosanna Pansino

Channel:  Rosanna Pansino

Category: Food

Country: America

Subscribers: 5,623,099

Rosanna Pansino is a baker, and Youtube celebrity that launched her baking themed Youtube channel in 2011.

She inherited a shared passion for baking from her Grandmother and was encourage to give Youtube a try by another Youtuber.

At first, she just wanted to get more comfortable in front of the camera.  She got positive feedback, and demand for new content almost immediately.

She also created the Nerdy Mummies series that features recipes for cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.  She has built one of the most popular food channels in Youtube history.

Here is one of her videos:

24. Most Famous Youtubers: Conor Franta

Name: Conor Franta

Channel:  Conor Franta

Category: Vlogging

Country: America

Subscribers: 5,303,168

Conor was inspired to start his Youtube channel by Youtubers such as Shane Dawson and Mitchell Davis.

His first Youtube upload was in August 2010.  The majority of his content are vlogs. He is also known to offers advice on a variety of topics.

His celebrity has led to nominations for Teen Choice Awards, and a People’s Choice Award.  He went on to win the People’s Choice Award.

Here is one of his videos:

25. Most Famous Youtubers: Casey Neistat

Name: Casey Neistat

Channel:  Casey Neistat

Category: Vlogging

Country: America

Subscribers: 2,251,720

Casey Neistat launched his Youtube channel on February 15, 2010.  The majority of his videos and personal vlogs that share his personal life, observations, and experiences.  Somehow he makes the everyday entertaining.  He also does collaboration with other Youtubers, and at times conspires with some Youtuber pranksters.  He collabed on an Aladdin Halloween prank that is crazy:

His notoriety has led to relationships with brands such as Nike.  Casey has built an almost cult-like following.  His latest video features him at the Academy Awards.

Here is one of his videos:

Most Famous Youtubers: Wrapping Up

There you have it.  The 25 most famous Youtubers on the planet Earth.  What is really striking to me is the majority of these channels are really not that old.  They have risen to fame pretty quickly through a combination of the right personality, creative talent, with a little bit of luck.  For the most part, they resonated with an audience almost immediately and grew to their current heights.

With fame comes responsibilities, and loads of opportunities.

Read More...

Success Stories

Success Story: Rosalind Gardner the Super Affiliate

Rosalind Gardner has been one of my biggest influences when it comes to making money online. Reading her books, The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online, and Make a Fortune Promoting Other People’s Stuff Online: How Affiliate Marketing Can Make You Rich,  in 2007, lit the fire in me to become an affiliate marketer. I cannot overstate how much Rosalind Gardner’s has impacted me.

rosalind gardner super affiliate success storyHere is someone that was making almost half a million dollars a year from her laptop way back in 2005. I read her books in utter amazement. Rosalind Gardner is a true online success story.  I find here story remarkable.

I have used her books to inspire others on numerous occasions. I have shared her books with several people, and have given away a few copies to people that were aspiring to make a living online. I recently rebought a copy of one of her books so that I can refresh my memory, and be inspired again.

I recently rebought a copy of one of her books so that I can refresh my memory, and be inspired again.

Rosalind Gardner started her online journey in 1997. She had a full-time job but decided to try something different. She had no experience or special knowledge related to creating websites. She just started with what little resources she had, and continued to learn and grow. Her lack of expertise was not an excuse, and it should not be for you either. There are numerous resources available online today that can assist you along the way.

Her first affiliate marketing website was centered on online dating. The website featured reviews of online dating sites categorized by different demographics, and interests. The site also provided visitors with dating advice on how best to succeed with online dating.

The sites featured reviews of online dating sites like match.com, and eharmony.com. As an affiliate of these companies, you get paid a commission every time someone you send their ways signs up for an account. If you able to feed them loads and loads of new customers, you can potentially make a lot of money.

This first site was Sage-Hearts.com, which later became 101date.com. Sage-Hearts.com ended up not be a great name so she eventually changed it to something better. When it comes to naming a website, or an online brand, it is frowned upon to use dashes in the name. Sage Hearts also was not a name that clearly identified what the website was about. Her inexperience led her to create a less than ideal name at first.

She grew with experience, and continued to make improvements and upgrades to her online business.  Thus coming up with a much stronger name.

The month after she launched Sage-Hearts.com she received her first check in the amount of $10.99. This small check was enough to convince her that what she was doing was for real, and that she could potentially make real money if she kept going.  Affiliate marketing was now part of her future.

It did not take long for her to begin to see real results. By the end of the first year, she was making over $5000.00 a month. Not bad at all for her first year in business.

By 2000, she had enough income from her affiliate marketing business to say goodbye to her full-time job.  Her income was over $10,000.00 as a result of her hard work.

In 2003, she began using her knowledge to start teaching others how to make money online.  Before transitioning to RosalindGardner.com, she shared her expertise on a website called NetProfitsToday.com.  I was a little disappointed when the latter sit disappeared.

2005 saw the launch of The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online which till this day is still one of my go to affiliate marketing books. When people ask me for a resource on how to make money online, this is the first book I tell them to read. All these years later it is still very relevant and super valuable.

Her books, speaking engagements, and affiliate marketing results established her as an expert in the field. She has been featured on several panels, and as a speaker at numerous affiliate marketing conferences. Her writing has also been published in magazines such as Revenue.

2007 brought us Make a Fortune Promoting Other People’s Stuff Online: How Affiliate Marketing Can Make You Rich which is a shorter and more concise introduction to making money online through affiliate marketing. Both of her books are extremely useful.

Over the years, her success had continued to grow. On January 4th, 2007 she generated $70,965.55 of income is just one day, which is quite a milestone.

All these years later she is still chugging along as an affiliate marketer making a living from her laptop anywhere in the world. She truly embodies the laptop lifestyle.

If she was making almost half a million in 2005, I can only imagine the heights of her income today.

Rosalind Gardner has been a major driving force behind my desire to make money online. She opened my eyes to the possibilities, and lit a fire all those years ago. She is an online success story, and her success is truly inspiring.

To find out more about Rosalind Gardner, and to see some of her handy work, take a minute to g and check out her websites:

RosalindGardner.com

101date.com

You can find her books here:

The Super Affiliate Handbook: How I Made $436,797 in One Year Selling Other People’s Stuff Online

Make a Fortune Promoting Other People’s Stuff Online: How Affiliate Marketing Can Make You Rich

Rosalind also has a course where you can get personal training directly from her:

Affiliate Blogging Pro

The course and membership site costs $27.00 a month.   Affiliate Blogging Pro

Here are some details about the product:

  • 10 Module Training Program
  • 225+ Tutorials containing practical tips and real-life examples of WORKING affiliate sites.
  • 190+ Training Videos
  • 24/7 Access to all course material
  • Quizzes to test your knowledge at the end of training modules.
  • Tutorial & Video Updates as required
  • Member Site for ongoing support
  • Email newsletter
  • Website reviews by other members and Rosalind.  She usually charges a minimum of $499 for a website consultation

You can check it out here: Affiliate Blogging Pro

Read More...

Blogging, Domains, Features

13 Rules for Good Blog Names

Good blog names stand out from the crowd, and the blogosphere gets more and more crowded every single day. It makes a lot of sense to come up with a great name right from the very beginning. Brand building is extremely important if you plan on monetizing your work later on. A good blog name determines the first impression your brand will make.

Good Blog NamesMany people rush the naming process, and they just end up shooting themselves in the foot. Who wants to change their blog name after you have started to build a following?

Another problem is simply not knowing the rules. Ignorance is bliss until they learn more about the online world and realize that they have a name that will not work long term.

Either way, picking the wrong name for your blog undermines the brand you are trying to build in the long run. It is time to think of yourself, and your blog as a brand so let’s build the foundation right from the beginning.

To aid you in your search to create good blog names I will give you 13 rules to follow:

Good Blog Names Rule #1: Keep it short

When it comes to good blog names the shorter the better. Depending on your niche, and the amount of competition, it might be more difficult to find a great short name, but the aim is to keep it as short as possible. I do not like names over 10 characters long, but that is not always possible.

Good Blog Names Rule #2: Make it memorable

In brand building, you need a name that is distinct and stands out. It has to be memorable. You don’t want people struggling to remember what your site is called when you are no longer around to remind them.

Good Blog Names Rule #3: Easy to spell

Don’t be too clever when coming up with you blog name. If you have to spend minutes explaining how to spell your blog name, you are barking up the wrong tree. Keep the name as simple as possible.  You want to be able to communicate your brand name as quickly as possible without having to go through difficult spelling instructions.

Good Blog Names Rule #4: Indicate the topic

The best names give you a clear idea to what the blog is about. The first time you see the name it makes you curious to click on the link because it seems to be exactly what you are looking for in the search results. Indicative names are like a little nudge for potential readers to click and visit the site.  A clever indicative name can be like a magnet for visitors.

Good indicative blog name examples:

Pinch of Yum
Pro Blogger

Good Blog Names Rule #5: Create a new word

The first major strategy for coming up with good blog names is to come up with an original word. Clickible.com follows this rule, along with sites like Mashable.comGothamist.com, or Corporette.  Use Bust A Name to combine words, word parts, and suffixes together to create new words. Another great tool is NameMesh.com.

Here is a list of suffixes that I use to feed into Bust A Name to combine with words I think work for the topic of my potential blog.  If it does not work at first, use a thesaurus to kind finding words that might be a good fit for your topic.

Good Blog Names Rule #6: Or use cool phrase

The second strategy for creating good blog names is to use a cool phrase that clearly shows what your site is all about. I love the blog name PInch of Yum. Another example of a good blog name is Venture Beat.

Good Blog Names Rule #7: Combine words

The third strategy that is popular for coming up with good blog names is to combine words that can create something really cool. TechCrunch is a great example, or Protein Pow.

I personally use Bust A Name as a tool to combine words to come up with these names also. Clickible is a product of this tool.

Good Blog Names Rule #8: No numbers!

Just don’t do it. I think this is just a lazy hack that people use when their preferred name is not available. Whenever I’ve thought the perfect name was already taken, I’ve always found something much better later on. Just keep experimenting until I find that perfect name. Numbers in your blog name take away from your brand quality.  Be a little more creative.

Good Blog Names Rule #9: No dashes!

Just like numbers, this is another hack that diminishes the quality of your brand. These types of hacks just seem like you are copying someone that has the same name already without the dashes. Focus on being creative, and finding something original.

Good Blog Names Rule #10: Alway pick a dot com!

Don’t even consider anything else. Do not pass dot com. Dot com is the only thing that says that your site is a brand. When you pick something else you are saying I could not get what I really wanted so I just tried to hack my way to the name. It just reminds people that someone else has the dot com. When people type in the name in the future, they will more than likely add a dot com at the end anyway, and end up on your competitor’s website.  Often they will forget that your site is not a dot com.

Good Blog Names Rule #11: Buy the dot net, and dot org as well

Brand building means brand protection. It sucks to build up your website over years, and then you find someone is copying your idea on the dot net, or the dot.org.  They could start siphoning off some of your traffic, and it could get worse over the long term. Buy as many domain extensions as you can afford.  It is not that much more expensive so go ahead and register all of the domain extensions that you possibly can at the same time. If you can’t do it all at once, but the other ones as soon as you can.

Good Blog Names Rule #12: Are the social media usernames available?

I will not buy a blog name if I cannot get all of the matching social media usernames. Again, we are building brands, and nothing says brand more than having all of the social media ids match. I use NameCheckr to make sure that I can register all of the social media accounts to match my blog name.

Good Blog Names Rule #13: Register the name and social media

Hopefully, by now you have come up with a list of good blog names to choose from. You are going to have to whittle it down to the finalist and make your purchase.

My domain registrar of choice is NameCheap, but I know that GoDaddy is also popular. I used to use GoDaddy them, but not anymore.

The next thing you will need is hosting for your new blog. BlueHost, and HostMonster and two companies that are known for providing reliable hosting for startup blogs.

Good Blog Names: Summary

I always hear complaints about it being too hard to come up with good blog names.  “All the good names are already taken”, I often hear. They are not all already taken.  You just have to be patient, and work the process.  I come up with unique memorable domain names every single year. I often get offers to buy domains I have registered in the past so it seems like others like the names I find.

Some niches will be harder than others.  When I get stumped, I just go back to the thesaurus, or pull out my notebook and just randomly brainstorm. Sometimes you have to think laterally.  When I am traveling to work, I look at business names, and billboards for ideas.  Sometimes looking around will help to create the spark of inspiration you need.  I keep coming up with words to combine using Bust A Name until something amazing jumps out.

Roadblocks have always led to a much better name in the long run in my experience. Try it out and see how it works out for you.

Read More...

Features, Make money online

How to earn money online: passion

How to earn money online? You have to have passion. I struggled for the right word to indicate the driving force required to build a successful online business. Was it passion, or excitement, enthusiasm, love, pleasure, joy, fun, or just plain obsession? The gist of the matter is that any sort of success is a marathon, not a sprint, and something has to fuel the continued effort that is required to build success in life, and online.  This is the foundation of how to earn money online.

how to earn money onlineThe number one ingredient to earn money online is passion, pleasure, joy, enthusiasm, and fun. All of these words fit the basic essence of what I mean. Success needs fuel; consistent effort predicated on pleasure.

Everyone that I’ve studied over the past 8 years that makes over $100,000.00 a year, or even each month online has been consistent, and dedicated to their online business. The really enjoy what they are doing. They don’t start out saying that I want to make a $100,000.00 online. They start out with something that they love to chat about. Consistency is essential to succeed online, and you will not have this key ingredient if you don’t enjoy your niche.

Almost every single online success story begins with a person doing something for fun, and them continuing until something blossomed.

Often they did not succeed with their first website. Along the path they might start out with one idea, and then the website lays dormant because they lacked the driving force that kept them coming back to the project. After trying and often failing to come back to the old idea, they happen upon something new organically, and magically their enthusiasm for the new idea never wanes. Three to five years later they have a thriving online business with what seems like endless opportunities.

Something has to keep bringing you back to your website over and over again to do the work that is required to build a successful online brand. That one thing is pleasure, and passion.  That is how to earn money online; operate in your passion.

So many people try to make money online, and fail. They copy someone else’s idea, or do something because they think it is lucrative. They struggle to produce content, or what they produce is unoriginal, and derivative. These failures then say that it is too hard to make money online. They have so many excuses. I have heard them all. You would have had to start 5 years ago, or 10 years ago. You can’t build a successful online business now. They always have an excuse why it won’t or can’t work.

My response is always that there will be a story of someone that started an online business today that is rich in the next three to five years. There really are no excuses. Every single year there are new success stories from people that recently started an online business.

Start with something that you already love. What do you think about all of the time? What do you always want to talk about? What do you always read about? I am always bugging my friends about how cool it is to make money online. I always talk about not having to work for anyone else ever again. Most of them have no clue what I am talking about, or they cannot fathom how to make it work. They see it as impossible, so they continue along their mundane lives of punching a time clock to make someone else rich.

Facebook started out as a fun project. So did Plenty of Fish. Blogs like Pinch of Yum, or Where Did U Get That, and ProBlogger started out as hobbies that led to over $100,000.00 annual incomes, and financial freedom for the founders. They all started not knowing if, and how they would ever make any money.

The lesson learned from years of studying successful online entrepreneurs is to do what gives you the most pleasure, and enjoyment. Let your passion be the driving force behind your success.  This enthusiasm will spill over and help you resonate with your audience. The pleasure will keep you coming back and creating valuable content or products that your audience loves. Something has to make you consistently work on your business, and enjoyment it critical.  This really is the foundation of how to earn money online.  There are no shortcuts to make money online.

Online success is all about starting with something that you truly enjoy writing about, and developing products that your audience will love. It is passion. Follow your pleasure. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, there is no way that you will dedicate the two to five years that is required to build something amazing.  How to earn money online?  Find your passion.

If you follow your passion, an audience and success will follow.

Read More...

Youtube

Best video camera for Youtube

Let’s talk about the best video camera for Youtube. This is something that I recently had to think about, and had a lot of fun researching.  I just invested in a bunch of equipment to start adding video content to this website. I already owned a camera, but I wanted to make sure I had the right equipment for the job. The camera I started out with was the Nikon D5100, which is a pretty nice camera.  I have shot some really great photos with it, but Nikon may not be the best brand of video camera for a Youtuber.  I will go into more detail a little bit later.

Best video camera for Youtube: Camera or Camcorder?

best video camera for youtubeShould you buy a camcorder or a camera such as a DSLR?  If you watch Youtube equipment videos where Youtubers share their equipment, you will notice the DSLRs (digital single lens reflex cameras) dominate. This is for good reason.  DSLRs provide flexibility, excellent video quality. and loads of expandability.

DSLRs have advanced to a point where you get great video combined with the flexibility to add accessories to the camera as your requirements grow. With a DLSR you are not stuck with just one lens. You can buy high quality lenses based on the type of shots that you want to get. The flexibility of lenses allows you to get a more cinematic look for your videos. You can also buy things like remote triggers if you plan on shooting your videos on your own. The list of film making accessories for DSLRs are endless.

DSLRs tend to have better image sensors which leads to more vibrant video. The camera sensor is what actually takes the video, or picture, and the sensors in DSLRs are much larger which translates into better image quality when compared to camcorders.

Shooting Youtube videos means that you want the absolute best image quality you can get for a reasonable price, and that is exactly what DSLRs provide.

Best video camera for Youtube: Pick the right screen

Starting out you probably will have to shoot videos on your own. That makes it very important to buy a camera with an articulating screen. This simply means that you can flip the screen out and turn it over so that the screen faces the front. You can shoot your video, and make sure that you are actually positioned well within the frame.  My recommendations only include cameras that fulfil this requirement.  You have to be able to see what you are shooting.

This one feature alone is essential. It is possible to shoot in front of a mirror to make sure you are on camera, but that just makes making videos more difficult to produce. It sucks working on a video, and then realizing later that you are not even in the shot, or in the wrong position.  There is a really simple fix; make sure you have a moveable screen on the back of the camera.

Best video camera for Youtube: Brands – Nikon vs Canon?

When it comes to buying a camera, Nikon and Canon are the two top brands to consider.   I would not at this time feel comfortable recommending anything else.

I already owned a Nikon camera, so why was I looking for something else? The number one issue for me is that Nikon treats video as an afterthought. With my Nikon I do not have absolute control of my settings when the camera is in video mode. I searched on Youtube, and there are workarounds, but the solutions are very clunky. Nikon is really for shooting an occasional video, but Canon is all about video.  I only shoot video with my Nikon when I absolutely have no choice.  I have more lenses for Nikon, so sometimes I have to use it to get the shot I want.

I love the Nikon for purely photographic work.  That is where it really shines.

It should be obvious by now that Canon is the better option for video work such as Youtube.  Canon gives you full control over the video settings in video mode which is essential.

Another great thing about Canons is that when you change your video settings, the screen changes to reflect what your video will actually look like. Nikon does not do this.

I wanted to stick with my Nikon, but it just did not makes sense in this situation.

Best video camera for Youtube: Canon

At the end of the day the best video camera for Youtube has to be a Canon. Canons are made to work smoothly in video mode with full control of what is going on in the shot. Nearly every Youtuber that does an equipment video is using a Canon. They are just so much easier to use in video mode. It is really a no brainer, and this comes from someone that already owned a great Nikon camera, and lenses.

Best video camera for Youtube: Which model / models?

best video camera for youtube canon t5i 700dThere are numerous models in the Canon line, but two in particular fit the bill extremely well, depending on your budget. The models that I would recommend are the Canon t5i otherwise known as the 700D, or the Canon 750D / t6i.  You get more image resolution with the latter.

The t5i / 700D has a few upgrades over the older 600D / t3i such as stereo audio, auto focus in video mode, a touch screen for quicker navigation of the menu system, and is part of the current Canon product line. You can buy it new right now.

If you want to boost your megapixels to get even more image resolution, consider the 750D which offers 24 megapixels, but you will have to spend a little bit more money.

Best video camera for Youtube:

The Canon T5i / 700D is a great camera with a lot of great features:

  • 18 Megapixels
  • HD Video Quality
  • Tilt / Swivel Screen
  • Touch Screen
  • Stereo audio
  • Video auto focus

The Canon T6i / 750D offers the following features:

  • 24 Megapixels
  • HD Video Quality
  • Tilt / Swivel Screen
  • Touch Screen
  • Stereo audio
  • Video auto focus

The 700D / t5i, or 750D / t6i are the perfect cameras for shooting Youtube videos. They provide high quality video with the flexibility to also take high quality pictures. The touchscreen is a really nice feature and allows you to navigate the menus much quicker.  These are not cheapest cameras, or the most expensive. They are right in the middle of the product line, and give exactly what you need to produce excellent videos.

To purchase, or check out these cameras, you can follow the links below.

Buy the Canon T5i / 700D on Amazon

The t5i / 700D is around $650.00

Buy the Canon T6i / 750D on Amazon

The T6i / 750D is around $750.00

Previously, The t3i / 600D was extremely popular among Youtubers, but unfortunately it has been discontinued.  This camera was featured on quite a few Youtube equipment lists.  It did not have autofocus in video mode.

The t3i / 600D might be a good option if you are willing to buy used.

Another used Canon option is the 650D / t4i which added auto focus in video mode.  This is a great feature for product, and beauty youtubers who are constantly moving items in front of the camera.  The 650D / t4i has also been discontinued.

Pick the one that is the better fit based on your budget.  The camera is only a starting place for producing quality videos.  Don’t overlook your audio quality.  Audio can have a bigger impact than the video.

You should also invest in the best lenses you can afford.  Lenses are like eyes.  You want eyes that can produce sharp, and clear images.  The kit lenses that come with these camera are just a starting point.  You can do better.

Best Video camera for Youtube: Summing up

canon t5i 700DI am now a proud owner of a Canon T5i / 700D. I am very happy with my choice. I have done some test videos to try thing out,and I love the control I now have over my videos. I also did some videos with the Nikon D5100 to see how it compared. The Nikon can gives you good quality video as well, but the lack of full video control makes it a non-starter.

When I am shooting video, I don’t want to have to implement some clunky workaround to change the settings on my camera.  I just want to focus on producing content.  It is a real travesty that Nikon cripples their cameras so much when it comes to video.

As I mentioned already, I am happy with my choice. The Canon feels great in my hands, and actually fits my hands better than the Nikon. I love how easy it is to set up to shoot video. I can wholeheartedly recommend these two cameras to anyone that aspires to be a Youtuber. You will not be disappointed.

There you have it.  The best video camera for Youtube.

Read More...

Success Stories

Success Story: Lisa Irby the successful affiliate marketer

I want to share an online success story about someone that I have admired for years. I first became acquainted with Lisa Irby, from Texas, around 2007, and I have been a fan ever since. I came across her through Google searches as I sought out information about how to make a living online. She delivered down-to-earth advice without spewing the sort of hype that a lot of online gurus tend to produce. She genuinely seems to want to add value, and help people. She is not trying to lead you into thinking that you can make money quick by buying one of her products. I admire that she is totally herself, shows her authentic self, and constantly pays it forward.

Lisa Irby the successful affiliate marketerLisa made her first dollar online in the late 90s while she was attending college. One day she got a spam email that talked about making money online, and that piqued her interest.  That curiosity led her to explore ways to make money on the Internet, and learning the tools of the trade.  While she was supposed to be studying for exams, Lisa would be in the library trying to figure out the ins and outs of HTML to develop her own websites.

Lisa began developing websites that pointed to affiliate links on Amazon, and began to get enough small successes to become really enthusiastic about what she was doing.  She started to get small checks for around $15.00 to $20.00.  Her enthusiasm about what she was learning spilled over to her trying to share what she was learning with her friends, but her friends were less than impressed by her $15.00 checks.

She ended her college education with a degree in Business Management, and took a job in Human Resources, which she found less than inspiring. Even while having a day job, Lisa continued to work on her websites. Her approach at the time was to develop numerous small sites, and to try to make money from advertising, or affiliate products. The results was tons of websites.

Her small site approach was becoming more and more lucrative, and she started to consider what she should do about her day job, and her websites. Before the dot com crash she got up to an impressive income of $20,000.00 in 2000, but was only making $6,000.00 after the crash in 2001.  Based on this turn of events, she decided to stick with a 9 to 5 for the time being. Lisa is very frugal, and makes well-considered financial situations.

Instead of staying in a job she did not like, she used all of the website development skills to land a job doing web work for a major airline.

In 2002 she decided to shift her focus away from making a lot of smaller sites to building one main site that could become an authority in its field. This site is what we know today as 2createawebsite.com.

Her small sites were plagued by traffic, and income that were constantly going up and down.  The emphasis shifted to building something that she could grow into a brand, and provide more stability.

The site grew and she started monetizing the site through affiliate links for website hosting. Hosting affiliate programs tend to have very high commissions, which makes them very lucrative.

Four years after starting 2createawebsite.com she had quadrupled the income she was making at her day job. Some of her coworkers began questioning why she was still working for someone else, but she stuck to her financially responsible approach until she was totally comfortable with the decision.

After discussions with her family, she finally decided to leave her job in 2006. She has been an Internet marketer ever since.

Since going full-time she has tried several websites, and approaches. Some have worked, and others have not fared as well. She makes the majority of her income through hosting affiliate programs, and from her hosting reseller website: websitepalace.com. She adds some great give aways to entice people to use her hosting company like her WP Starter Guide ebook.

Another source of her income is from Shopify.com. She was making a little at first with Spotify.  Around $30.00 a month, but things soon changed. One fall day the affiliate manager for Spotify contacted her, and upgraded her to a better commission structure that increased her income 10 fold overnight without an increase in website traffic. Based on this experience, she recommends negotiating with companies to get the best possible commission structure.

Another way that she makes money is by partnering with affiliate programs that offer residual income. These types of programs keep paying you when your referrals renew, or continue as a customer with the affiliate company. Some of these affiliate companies are LongTailPro.com, Aweber.com, and StudioPress.com. All of these companies have residual income affiliate programs. Match.com is another example of a company that offers a similar program.

Zazzle.com has also provided Lisa another way to monetize her websites through their print on demand services. She submits designs to the website, picks out products she wants them printed on, and then markets the products to potential customers. She has a line of t-shirts that she markets on her natural hair care website napturallycurly.com

Lisa also has digital products such as ebooks, online courses on udemy.com, and has been working on a membership program for her loyal fans.

Lisa found something she loves doing, and built it into something amazing. Lisa is not the type of blogger who publishes monthly income reports, but based on her years of experience, I would guess she is at least making a six figure income.

Lisa attributes her success to luck, timing, and passion. The niches she picked were trending when she picked them, and she has a real passion for the work that she is doing. Lisa is one of the first people that got me excited about making a living online, and is a true inspiration.  Please take the time to check out her websites, videos, podcasts, products, and courses.

Lisa owns and runs the following websites:

2createawebsite.com
flat-stomach-exercises.com
napturallycurly.com
websitebabble.com

You can find the WP Starter Guide at: http://www.2createawebsite.com/wordpress-tutorial/

You can also find her online courses at: https://www.udemy.com/u/lisairby2/

Read More...

Blogging, Business, Equipment, Tools

Best laptop for blogging

What is the best laptop for blogging? I recently had my old faithful laptop crash forcing me to evaluate what I really need in a laptop for blogging.

My laptop must be prepared for the needs of an active blogger. I need to write, edit photographs, and sometimes I need to edit videos. Blogging is a little different from writing alone, and requires more umph in the machine.

Best laptop for blogging coffee shopI also do research for articles a lot which mean that I often have numerous tabs open all at once. I am notorious for have loads of tabs open. My computer does not always like it.  One factor for me in memory.

With these things in mind, I made a wish list of features that I desire in a best laptop for blogging, so here we go:

Best laptop for blogging: Mac vs Pc vs Chrome

An apple laptop will set you back quite a bit more that a PC laptop so the first decision you need to make is whether your want to ante up the extra money for the Apple Brand.  It is amazing to me that Apple has carved out a luxury brand strategy in the PC space.  That being said, I have to admit that viruses can really be an issue on PCs, and you get good specs when you buy Apple.

I like the concept of Chrome, and having a really lightweight laptop, but blogging requires a little more than what a Chromebook can offer as far as computing power. Images and video alone take up a lot of space, so I had to rule out this option.

Depending on your budget and preferences, you can either go with a PC or an Apple and you will do fine.

Best laptop for blogging: Display

As far as vertical real estate goes, 15 and 17 inch laptops give you about the same vertical real estate, but you do get a little more vertical room with the 17 inch which can sometimes be helpful.  I feel that a 15 inch laptop is a good compromise of size, price, and portability.

When I use my 17 inch laptop, I do not enjoy the experience of lugging it around. They are a little bit heavier, and the length of them makes them a little awkward to carry.

Anything less than 15 inches, and you really don’t have the real estate you need to edit images or do video work effectively. I would love a smaller laptop, but I need something that fits the bill of blogging, working with images, and editing video, so 15 inches is what I feel works best.

Best laptop for blogging: Processor

My old laptop had an Intel I3 second generation processor. It did okay, and had 6 gigs of memory, but I wanted to step things up a bit. An Intel I7 processor will drive up the cost of your laptop greatly, so I think that Intel’s I5 processor is a good fit.

If you decide to go the Apple route, you will have to choose a Macbook Pro in order to get a 15.4 inch screen. The current crop of Macbook Pros comes well equipped with Intel I7 processors, 16 gigs of ram, and SSD hard drives. At least you get the latest technology for the much higher prices.  The design of Apple products is also factored into the price.

Best laptop for blogging: Memory

It has been my experience that you need at least 6 gigabytes of memory to be truly productive. When I use a laptop that only has 4 gigabytes of memory, I run into problems when I open up multiple tabs in my web browser. I do a lot of research, and looking at loads of articles, and tabs are essential.

I am not patient when it comes to sitting in front of my laptop. I need my laptop to be fast. Memory is one of the key things that can make a significant impact on the speed of your computer. I suggest maxing out your machine.

Best laptop for blogging: Hard Drive

As I have mentioned a few times before, blogging can demand a lot of work with images, and video. These types of media can chew through your hard drive pretty quickly. I think the minimum you should start with for hard drive space is 500 gigabytes, with 1 terabyte being even better. My next laptop will have the latter.

Best laptop for blogging: Manufacturer

I had to take a lot of time to consider this one. I have owned quite a few different brands of laptops, I’ve owned Fujitsu, Toshiba, Sony, Acer, Dell, Compaq, Apple, and HP. I want to suggest something reliable, so I had to reflect back to my experiences with all of these brands.

I also thought about all of the anecdotal stories I have heard from friends. I also went and checked out the top PC magazines to see what they preferred.

Heading over to Amazon.com I looked at the most popular laptops to see how real customers evaluated them. I made note of which brands seem to get a lot of negative reviews, and which brands seemed to always to do well with real people.

I checked out Consumer Reports so that they could weigh in. After going through all of these resources, I noticed that certain brands seemed to always be at the top of the list; Dell, and Apple, along with a few others. I’ve used Dell, and have one of their 10-year-old laptops that is still with me, although too slow for everyday use at this point.  I am very comfortable recommending Dell or Apple.

My brand finalists are Dell, and Apple.

As you already know, technology changes rapidly, so laptop models come and go.  At this point in time, I can wholeheartedly recommend two specific laptop models.  They are well reviewed, and come from reliable companies.

Best laptop for blogging: The finalists

Dell Inspiron Series 1500

dell inspiron

Model i5548-1669SLV
Screen Size 15.6 inches
Processor Intel Core i5
Memory 8 Gig DDR3 SDRAM
Hard Drive 1 TB HDD SATA
OS Windows 8
Price $537.00
Buy Now Amazon

 

Apple Macbook Pro

Apple-MacBook-Pro

Model Apple Macbook Pro
Screen Size 15.4-inch Retina
Processor Intel Core i5
Memory 16 GB DDR3 RAM
Hard Drive 512 GB – SSD
OS Mac OS X
Price $2,349.00
Buy Now Amazon

Best laptop for blogging: Wrapping up

There you have it, the best laptop for blogging comes from Dell, and Apple.  Both of these computers are well-loved by their respective owners, and are rated highly.  You will pay considerably more if you choose Apple, but you also get quite a big step up in specifications like more memory, a faster processor, SSD hard drive, and better video capacity, and display.  Either one of these computers should do the job, and make your blogging life much easier.

Read More...

Blogging, Features

How to start a fashion blog

How to start a fashion blog?  I recently started my own fashion blog, modeable.com, and it has been an interesting journey to say the least.  | always wanted to say to people that I am a fashion blogger, but I could never find an angle that worked for me, and my personality.  

how to start a fashion blog postI am not like Bryanboy where I blog about my fabulous lifestyle, and all of the cool places, and people I am meeting.  That is not my style.  I am more laid back, and I don’t enjoy being front and center.

I like men’s fashion, but my personal style instincts are fairly narrow, and would be very limiting for a fashion blog.  I started a men’s fashion site, but I lost momentum.  It was hard trying to figure out what other men would like to wear, and it was hard to blog about certain styles that were not appealing to me personally.

I cannot blog about all of the goings-on in the fashion industry because I am not all that interested.  I worked as a fashion photographer for a number of years, and found fashion people interesting to interact with, but not people I wanted to report on.  

Quite frankly, working as a photographer made me totally lose my love for photography, and the fashion industry.  I hated shooting cliche work for clients.  It was so limiting and uninspiring.  It took something I loved, and absolutely ruined it.  I sold all of my photography equipment, and didn’t even own a camera for years.  

I realized that I am an artist, not a commercial artist.  I should have kept it as a hobby.  I used to tell people that photography is how I breathe, so I guess I haven’t been breathing for a decade.

Anyway, I had given up on ever being able to say that I am a fashion blogger. That is until I was doing research for an article on this site.  

I recently wrote an article titled ‘15 Best Street Style Blogs on the Planet.’  The people behind the street style blogs awakened something in me, and they made me want to explore the streets, and randomly approach people to take their photograph.  I was amazed at the level of notoriety, and accolades they received from pursuing a hobby.  Many of them started as amateurs, and ended up shooting for magazines like Vogue, and GQ, going to fashion week, and being invited to VIP events.  I found this truly amazing.  

I used to be a starving artist hustling to get clients, and here were people doing something for fun, and it turned into something amazing with great perks, and opportunities.  Some of them are rumored to make up to $10,000.00 a day during fashion week, or $1000.00 per published photograph.  It is like the fashion photography world had been turned on it’s head.  Put yourself out there as an amateur just for fun, and watch the money, and fame come to you.  I was truly amazed, and intrigued.  

Being a starving artist was no fun.  You had to really work to find clients.  Now, in my short career as a street style photographer, I have been offered photo-shoots, model shoots, shoots for musicians, events gigs, and collaborations with 2 or 3 fashion designers.  It blows my mind.  All of this in less than a month!

The accolades, and perks no longer matter to me.  Been there, and done that, but the idea of photography purely for the fun of it made me pick up my camera again after putting it down for over 9 years.  My love of photography is cautiously returning.  I don’t want to spoil it by trying to make money with it.  I am just doing it for fun.

Now I proudly proclaim to absolute strangers that I am a fashion blogger, I like your style, and  can I photograph you for my fashion blog?  I have to chuckle inside every time I introduce myself that way.  My fashion blog is modeable.com.

Finally becoming a fashion blogger has been a great adventure.  

In this article, I will walk you through the steps I took to get my blog up and running.  I will show you how to start a fashion blog.  The first step is figuring out your approach to fashion blogging.  There a few different angles that people take with their fashion blogs.

How to start a fashion blog: Choose an approach to fashion blogging

How to start a fashion blog: Personal Style Blogs

Some of the most popular fashion blogs are personal style blogs.  Usually an attractive female photographs herself on a frequent basis on the streets of her city.  It is almost a cliche to say that the photographer is her boyfriend.  People like these types of blogs because the person is interesting to look at, and they have something distinct about what they wear that makes them stand out.  If you have a great sense of style, and enjoy expressing yourself, this could be the route for you.

Example:  www.wheredidugetthat.com – Karen Blanchard is one of my personal favorite fashion bloggers.  She is fearless.

How to start a fashion blog: Niche specialist blogs

Pick an area of fashion that you truly love, and blog about it.  Corporette, for example, focuses on fashion for successful corporate women that want to show a great sense of style at work.

Another example is College Fashion which focuses on trends, and style that is relevant for college students.

By focusing on a niche it makes it very easy for your audience to know what your site is about, and for them to relate to your brand.

There are all sorts of niches that you can go after such as bargain style, street style, petite wear, luxury goods, vintage, or specific styles like goth, or hipster.  If you have a distinct sort of style that you love, follow that passion, and create a niche site that helps others with the same style aesthetic.

Hypebeast specialize in street fashion, and they have grown a very large audience.

Examples:

www.corporette.com

www.collegefashion.com

www.thebudgetfashionista.com

www.hypebeast.com

How to start a fashion blog: Lifestyle blogs

Byranboy is the prime example of a lifestyle fashion blogger.  He has sort of inserted himself into the fashion industry.  His blog is more of a daily journal that details his interaction with the fashion world.  I think that this is a unique angle, and I don’t see it often replicated at his level of success.  Due to the success of his blog he has become a fashion insider.  

Maybe your blog can express your love for fashion as you go on your shopping trips, try on new outfits, and report on cool events, and people that you meet.

Example:  www.bryanboy.com

How to start a fashion blog: Street style photography blog

This is the approach that I choose.  People tend to be very visual, and love things like Instagram.  You roam the streets of your city, stop people whose style you like, and you take photographs of them which you post on your website.  This can be really fun because you meet loads of interesting people.  Coming up with a great photograph is also exhilarating.  I love looking at my pictures as I make my way back home after a long day of roaming the streets.

Examples:

www.thesartorialist.com

www.streetpeeper.com

www.streetgeist.com

www.urbansfieldnotes.com

How to start a fashion blog:  Report the news

News sites are some of the most popular blogs on the Internet.  If you look at any listing on the top blogs from around the world, news blogs will be prominently featured on the list.  Are you really tied into the pulse of what is going on in the fashion industry, or would you like to be?  Maybe you can take a reporting slant to fashion, and report the news.  A great example of this is businessoffashion.com.

I have just covered the more common approaches to fashion blogging.  Which one works for you?

Now that you have picked an approach, let’s move on to getting your blog setup.

How to start a fashion blog: Choose a domain name

What you name your site will be the first impression that people get when they first visit your blog, or you mention it to someone else.  Naming is very important; it makes sense to take some time to find a name that really works for you.  Some people like to rush this process.  Slow down, and find something creative that fits with your personality.  Try to keep it short, and memorable.  People like to say that all of the good domain names are gone.  I disagree.  Just think laterally, and be creative.

There are tools that can help you through the process.  Bustaname.com combines words you enter for you.  Namemesh.com does interesting combinations with any word that you enter.  These tools can really speed up the naming process.

Before you get too excited about name, make sure that the name is not already registered.  In addition, I like to make sure I can have the same name on all of the major social networks. Namecheckr.com is a great tool to make sure that the domain, and social usernames are all available.

I wrote a much more in-depth article on how to choose a domain name.  The article gives a comprehensive approach to naming your online business.

How to start a fashion blog: Buy your domain name(s)

Once you have come up with a great name, head on over to namecheap.com, and register your names.  I recommend you get the .net, .org, and any other domain extensions you can afford.  It would suck to work years to build your brand, and then have someone copy your idea on a .org with the same name as your site.  You have to protect your brand.

How to start a fashion blog: Get Hosting

When starting a blog, or website, you need somewhere online to store all of the files for your site.  That is where hosting comes in.  You website host will store all of your content, and images.  I personally recommend Hostmonster for your website hosting.  They have a good reputation, and are very reliable.

How to start a fashion blog:  Setup WordPress

WordPress is the gold standard when it comes to blogging.   WordPress is a content management system, which is a fancy way of saying that it stores all of your blog posts, and images.  A content management system is an essential.   WordPress is easy to use, and has all of the functionality you could ever need.  There is no point looking anywhere else for a blogging solution.

If you have a little technical skill, use the video below to get WordPress setup on hostmonster:

If you are not tech savvy, you will have to find a friend, or use sites like fiverr, or elance to enlist some help.

How to start a fashion blog: Get a logo design

If you have some design skills, you can design a logo yourself.  Take the time to invest in a professional logo design.  People make decisions about websites very quickly, so make the best first impression you can.  If you can’t design a logo yourself, you can try out sites like fiverr, and elance.  Be sure to make sure the person you select has designed logos that fit your style before, and that they have good reviews from their past clients.

How to start a fashion blog: Choose a design for your website

You almost have everything you need to start blogging.  The last thing is picking some style for your website.  Along with your logo, the theme for your website is important to make the best first impression with your audience.  I recommend themeforest.net to get your themes.  Their themes are fairly priced, they look great, and they have a good selection.  Head on over and then select WordPress from the menus.  Once you are there, you can use the left sidebar to further narrow down your choices.  Here is a link to their fashion blog themes:

Themeforest.net Fashion themes

Here is a tutorial on installing a WordPress theme.

How to start a fashion blog: Start blogging

Now you are ready to go.  Based on the fashion blogging approach you choose in the first section, it is time to start creating content.  Post things that are fun for you, and explore your passion.  Most of your blogging education will come from doing.  The more you experiment doing posts, the quicker you will find out what you like talking about the most, what your audience really likes, and the types of content that makes people share it the most.

Here is a tutorial on creating your first blog post:

Don’t forget to look at sites that are like yours for inspiration, and ideas about what types of posts you should include.  Remember to constantly evolve your blog.  It should continue to improve over the years.

How to start a fashion blog: Wrapping up

Basically, this is the journey I took to setup up my fashion blog.  I can now officially say that I am a fashion blogger.  Have you followed the steps yet?  Are you a fashion blogger?

Read More...