Archive for August, 2011
Money. It’s what drives our day to day lives, what makes us get up for work in the morning and what makes us have to go back again every day. But, can you make money from Blogging? Sure you can! There are plenty of ways to make a ton of money from your website or blog – all you need to do is implement them. Most of us remember the early days of internet computing in the late 1990’s / early 2000’s – you couldn’t move for flashing ad banners everywhere and, “Click the Monkey!” pop-ups wherever you turned. These methods of monetization still exist of course, but there are much subtler, nicer and less excruciatingly annoying ways to get your audience to generate some revenue for you.
Of course, one of the first things to realise before even considering any kind of money making plans – you need traffic first! Without a stream of incoming viewers of your content, it doesn’t matter if you have concocted the greatest monetization plan of all time – there’s no-one there to click your links or follow your clever strategy. Once you do have a decent audience to sell to though, there are many avenues you can pursue with relative ease.
- Advertisements: Ah, good ol’ ads. We all know how they work, and a lot of internet companies make a fortune with advertising, either buying or selling ads. However, this is actually a fairly old media revenue model, and even if your site has an incredible, regular volume of traffic, it is still quite possible to earn next to nothing on the ads. This is especially true when you consider the fact that advertising is in fact, one of the most labour intensive ways of monetization on a website/blog. You have to drive a significant amount of traffic to make the ads worthwhile to begin with, and make sure to keep the ads as relevant to the content you’re posting as you can, to ensure a high click-through.
- Membership Programs: The so-called “Freemium” models that are being widely adopted today. Many websites are offering a certain amount of their content for free, and requiring the rest to be paid for, either with subscription plans or a pay-per-view system. Although this may sound a little off putting, it works surprisingly well – if the prices are reasonable.
- Affiliate links: If you are posting content about a certain topic and there are products that cater to the audience of your content, you can recommend or advertise those products to your audience – when anyone buys the product you showed, you can receive a cut of the sale. This is also highly effective, and can make a significant income, again depending on the relevance of your strategy (Don’t sell Cat food on a Dog lovers website!).
- Ask the audience: While not exactly the most reliable or effective method of gaining revenue, there are options to ask for donations, if you feel that advertising just isn’t right for your context, or if you just don’t want to make your audience pay anything more than what they feel like. Often, suggesting that the money is going towards a certain goal, or that they are simply buying you a cup of coffee for your hard work is more effective that just a simple “Donate money here” button.
Monetization is easy. Good monetization without driving away your audience is much more difficult.
In comparing these two specialised search engines, you must approach any findings from a very different perspective that, say, a comparison of Google search and Bing search. Whereas pretty much every search term and subsequent result from the latter two search engines can be quantified down to which one actually yields more relevant, accurate and useful search results, a comparison of Wolfram Alpha (I’m not going to write it with the “|” in between every time, that will get very tedious), the Computational Knowledge Engine, and Mahalo, the People Powered search engine, is not so easily ruled out and defined.
At the most basic level, a search on either site will only really be relevant to the topic you are searching for. Say for example you searched for, “Pythagorean Theorem” in Wolfram Alpha and Mahalo respectively (Click the links to do so). On one hand, Wolfram Alpha returns a straight forward, scientifically precise set of results, mostly because it is a simple theorem and it is the very sort of thing that the website was designed to handle and help with. It provides exactly the salient, factual points about your search term if it can and nothing more. When we look at the results gathered by the Mahalo search however, we see a very different picture. An entire list of content is presented to us, from video demonstrations of the theorem in action, history about it, related images, questions others have previously asked regarding the theorem and other similar material. In and of themselves, both searches have yielded perfectly valid results, with plenty of information about the requested subject. But depending on what you wanted to know in particular about your search query, one site’s results may prove vastly superior in this case.
Let’s take another example, to be fair to Mahalo, which was never really designed with such scientific purposes in mind. A search for “Cats” on Wolfram Alpha and Mahalo respectively yields these results. Again, although Cats is not a particularly scientific search term, Wolfram Alpha does its best to be as specific as possible in every given detail about this term, providing scientific names, the names of various breeds of cat, basic physical and biological properties as well as species information. Nothing about Cats being cute and cuddly, or even simply that cats can be pets. Looking at Mahalo’s results another story appears. A short blurb is presented to us, describing Cats in a more casual way, using superlatives and flowery adjectives in the descriptions. There are also abundant links to resources for cat owners or potential cat owners, links to books with more information (on sale at Amazon or other online book retailers) and even includes a funny cat video (as if there weren’t enough on the internet to begin with!). Once again, if you were, for example, doing scientific research on Cats, the Wolfram Alpha results would be more likely to fulfil your needs in searching for that particular term, whereas if you just were curious as to how to care for your cat, the Mahalo results are infinitely superior.
All in all, by their very nature, specialised search engines of any kind cannot be compared in a black and white sense – the deciding factor of quality of results will always be the context in which the results were searched.
Here are some other posts to consider on this topic: