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Make Money with Chitika and Blogging

If you read my last article, you know about Chitika and the new eMiniMalls that are popping up everywhere on the web. You can serve up relevant product ads to your users, and let them search for other products without leaving the comfort and safety of your web page. I was asked recently about how to add Chitika ads to your Blogger weblog , so I thought I'd take some time to write up exactly how this is done. See my weblog to see how this looks.

In case you haven't seen my previous article, I'll give a brief rundown on how to get set up. First, you'll need a Blogger weblog if you don't have one already. This is quite easy to set up. Just go to Blogger.com and click the giant "Create your own weblog now" button. You'll create a username and password, name your weblog , and choose a template. This should take you all of about 5 minutes.

Once you have your weblog set up, you need to sign up with Chitika. You need a running web site to get approved, so post a couple of short items to your weblog before applying. It will take you about 5 minutes to fill out their application, and you'll be approved in the next day or so. Note that you don't actually have to be approved to continue on to the next step. You can insert the eMiniMalls code onto your web site, you just won't make any money until you're approved.

Now that you're all set up, you need to insert the Chitika code into your weblog . Chitika will send you instructions on how to generate the HTML code to create eMiniMalls on your site. It will generally look something like this:

<script type="text/javascript"> ch_client = "gary99"; ch_width = 468; ch_height = 180; ch_non_contextual = 1; ch_color_border = "#8AA1B6"; ch_color_bg = "#FFFFFF"; ch_color_title = "#003966"; ch_color_text = "#000000"; var ch_queries = new Array("iPod", "dell laptop", "psp"); var ch_selected=Math.floor((Math.random()*ch_queries.length)); ch_query = ch_queries[ch_selected]; </script> <script src="http://scripts.chitika.net/eminimalls/mm.js" type="text/javascript"> </script>

Looks fairly scary, but you don't have to worry much about it. You can customize the size and colors on the Chitika web site, without needing to touch the javascript code yourself.

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Once you have the eMiniMall looking the way you want it, it's time to insert it into your Blogger template. Blogger, unfortunately, doesn't allow javascript inside individual posts, so you can't customize the products to each post. Actually there is a way to do it, but I'll write more about that a bit later. For now, we'll just insert the same eMiniMall code before each post. Note that this doesn't mean the same product will be shown over and over again. The code will pick a random product from the list for each eMiniMall.

Log in to your Blogger account, and select your weblog from your "dashboard" screen. Click the "Template" tab at the top of the next page. Click "Edit Current" if it's not selected for you already. Scroll down, probably about two thirds of the way, until you find the <Blogger> tag. This is where the actual posts are in the template. Scroll down just a bit more, and you'll find a tag that looks like this: <$BlogItemBody$>. This is where the body of each post is inserted. Just put your eMiniMall code directly above (or below if you prefer) this tag. Click "Preview" to see what it will look like. You may find you need a couple of
tags before or after the eMiniMall code to separate it from the post body.

Once you have the preview looking roughly the way you want it, click "Save Template Changes". Click the little "Republish" button to republish your weblog to the live site. That's it, you're now set to start making money from Chitika clicks on your site. You'll find that on average, Chitika pays more per click than Google does for AdSense. Using both is even better. Just remember that you need content in order to get people to come to your weblog in the first place.

-> More info on Chitika.

Related: Optimization Techniques - Website Content

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Gary LaRock runs www.workfromhomespot.com, your source for information and ideas about working from home. He lives in Thornton, CO, with his wife and son, where he has worked exclusively out of his home since 2003. Work From Home.

Make Money with Blogging

One of the quickest and easiest ways to try your hand at running a web site is to set up a weblog . Once you're up and blogging, you can sign up with Google AdSense and start selling ad space. Bear in mind that starting a weblog isn't going to bring you instant revenue. You'll have to put some energy into promoting the weblog , getting it listed in the search engines, and of course writing quality content that people will actually want to read.

There are plenty of free blogging sites out there to get you started. My favorite is Blogger.com. Signup is extremely simple, and you can be blogging in a matter of minutes. See my weblog here: Work From Home Blog. Blogger has plenty of nice templates for you to choose from, and they're all customizable should you wish to tweak them. Blogger also gives you a nice blogspot.com subdomain address for your weblog , which looks better and may help search engines find you.

When setting up your weblog , you want to pick a topic that you know something about. This will make it more interesting for you, and will make it easier to keep the content fresh. It's pretty much universally agreed that search engines prefer sites with lots of content. And if you want visitors to find your site, you have to get listed with the big search engines. You should also try to pick a topic that will generate some expensive advertising. Blogging about baby penguins is all well and good, but it's not a highly competitive market as far as advertising goes. Do some research on the Google AdWords site to find some hot topics. Tech topics are generally good sources of high paying ads, but there are others.

One thing to note about choosing a topic is that Google doesn't allow AdSense ads to be displayed on sites with content that they deem to be objectionable. Hate sites, sites with illegal content, and so forth will not be accepted, so just keep that in mind. Read the Terms of Service on the AdSense site if you have any doubt.

Once you have your topic, start writing like mad. Try to use lots of keywords relevant to your topic. This will help your ranking with the search engines, and will also make sure the right ads show up when you get to that stage. Don't take this to the extreme, however. You're writing for humans, not search spiders. Even if you have great keywords, if your content isn't vaguely interesting, you'll find no one spends any time at your site.

After you have several pages of content, you can sign up for a Google AdSense account. Just go to www.google.com/adsense, and click the button to sign up. You'll have to give them some information about yourself, and about your web site. A human from Google will review your site within a day or two, and you'll get an e-mail telling you whether you've been accepted. If you're not accepted, they'll tell you why, and you can resubmit as soon as the problem is corrected.

When you're accepted, log in to your AdSense account and create some ads. They've got a very simple form to do this, and you just copy and past the javascript code they generate for you. At first you may see only public service or very generic ads on your site. After a day or two, if you have enough quality content on the page, you'll start seeing more relevant ads show up.

You're now a webmaster! You didn't have to buy a domain, pay for hosting, or even know much about web design. My next article will deal with how to promote your weblog (or any web site), and build traffic to it. Check back soon!

Gary LaRock runs www.workfromhomespot.com, your source for information and ideas about working from home. He lives in Thornton, CO, with his wife and son, where he has worked exclusively out of his home since 2003. Work From Home.

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