FREE & PAID Online Writing Leads

The Reality of It All

Writing online can be a legitimate source of residual income. Many of the articles here on shit-head.com are about my own personal experience earning a passive income online writing, especially on Hubpages.com. That’s real income I see deposited every month to my account.

Over the years I’ve come across many fake (scams) and authentic writing offers. I’ve compiled a list of free and paid online writing leads that are legitimate. But YOU are going to have to do the work. You can be lead to water, but nobody can make you drink! This list of online jobs can be given to you, but nobody can make you take advantage of the opportunities and do the work, no one but you.

Very, very, very, very, rarely, has any success happened overnight. It was a solid year before I began reaping any rewards worthy of talking about. I’ve been writing on Hubpages.com since 2012. I was earning pennies at first. That sucked. I could have done without the demoralizing .09 cents each month. But that didn’t last very long. Soon it jumped to $25 a month, then $75, and $100 and so on, until I am now. Reviewing my earnings page, it was one year before I had income over $100 a month. All the while I was writing, and submitting articles furiously. It was after 100 articles that the income really started to be worthy. My score as a writer has always been well above 90. Your score is determined by how well your articles are written. Not by how popular the article is, but how well you wrote it, so that’s nice. If you’re really putting your best effort forward with good grammar and thoughtful insights, etc., you’re rewarded for it with a high score even if the public doesn’t find your article interesting, you still get the kudo’s for your hard work with a high score.

Just because Hubpages.com worked out well for me, doesn’t mean it’s meant for everyone. Different strokes for different folks, right! That’s the whole reason I write these articles, so you will get the whole picture, not just my view, or what someone pays me to tell you! No way! I got your back!

Sometimes people have a difficult time finding their place on the internet to write articles. Seeking and discovering legitimate writing opportunities is one of the most difficult endeavors out there. That’s one of the reasons I offered up my success with Hubpages.com because I know any help finding legit work in this arena is very welcome by writers out there.

SCAMS

You have to be hyper vigilant for scams! Working from home and online writing are two of the biggest scam attractions. It was a lot worse a few years ago. Out of every five opportunities four were scams maybe even all five were sometimes! If these scammers would be in an honest days work they would progress so much further. They cut their own throat running all these scams. As soon as they are found out, it’s over. Talk about a dead end career! But I digress. In more recent years authentic work at home opportunities and writing jobs have begun to out number the scams. but you still need to be on your toes!

REVIEWS

Reviews aren’t always what they seem. Online, the competition for attention from shoppers is out of this world! When you have 500 websites and they are all trying to sell you the same shirt, you can imagine the virtual cat fights that go on. The fur flies! Remember this when you are reading reviews in your search for online writing gigs.
Above is the ad for writing-jobs.net . The research on this website offer for writing is skewed, but if you keep on digging you will find that it is legit. There were reviews that didn’t paint writing-jobs.net in a bright light, yet they did admit they are legit. For example a review on www.letsworkonline.net was negative. But if you step back for a minute and read the sign above the door of this reviewers business you will find why their review is negative. . .writing-jobs.net is letsworkonline.net’s direct competitor! Any reasonable person can realize this review has a conflict of interest! You can’t expect an honest, unbiased, review on a competitors site! That’s just ridiculous.
If you owned a business are you going to post a positive, business endorsing, review about your competitor? Of course not! It’s your competitor. If you give them a bright and shiny review the patrons you give the review to will most likely purchase from your competitor that you just told them was so great. Let’s be honest. If you wrote a review about your competitor it would be negative, highlighting anything that can be perceived as bad. You would keep in mind that shoppers don’t want to hear anyone bash a business hard. It makes you and your business look bad. So you bash them just enough and for proper online review etiquette you mention your competitors highlights, very few, and at the bottom of the article. Am I right or what?

Typical of a competitor letsworkonline.net fits the above mold perfectly. At least letsworkonline.net did not go into bashing writing-jobs.net . They didn’t write anything positive but they also didn’t try to drag writing-jobs,net over the coals. That would have been very tacky. I would seriously question any review that drags another business over the coals.

Writing-jobs.net does provide you with leads, websites that provide legitimate work. They do have a training program they offer to hone your writing skills. The owner, Glenn Anderson, does own further, similar types websites (I have no idea how that attributes to the legitimacy of the websites, but reviews mention it often enough I thought I should as well). writing-jobs.net does charge a monthly fee to access their website. The last I looked it was $17 a month. That’s isn’t very much to pay if this is what you need. Maybe you just need to find some legitimate leads, or procure courses on writing skills. For $17 a month it’s a reasonable source if only to boost you up.

FREE OPPORTUNITIES

So far we’ve gone over the reality of a career writing online and searching for work. We’ve looked at scams on the internet concerning online work. Then we talked about the errant nature of website reviews. It is time for the Free list of opportunities!

That was just my experience with that type of writing. Alas, different strokes for different folks, so here is the list of websites offering leads for FREE. Some websites, such as MTurk, are better known as “microwork” because the jobs are small, like writing an article or taking a survey.

(The following list are linked to their specific webpage. Each link is only for your convenience. Nothing is gained. It’s just a simple safe link. Every link has been checked and all are working fine.)

Websites such as Fivrr.com and upwork.com do provide work opportunites. You just have to sign up to their website. The problem with these types of websites is, the competition for writing jobs is extraordinarily high! I went this route years ago. When I would “bid” for a writing job ten to twenty people with several years writing on that website, with stars and kudo’s I didn’t have, would apply as well. Guess who would get the work? Not the one without all the kudo’s I can tell you that! I gave it a shot for about six months before I realized I was wasting way too much time bidding on work that I wasn’t getting. I needed to be more pro-active and write!

Adding Photo’s to Your Website – Newbies

I like to share what I have learned from creating my websites so that maybe you won’t have to stumble over the same things I did. If sharing what I’ve learned can make creating your own website just that much easier then it’s worth it.

Adding photos to your website sounds simple enough right? Wrong. Photos can be an insidious addition to a website, for a couple of reasons. One is they take up a huge amount of memory if your not careful. And second, a website wouldn’t be a website without several photos right? When these memory hogs are uploaded to your website, and you place two maybe three photos on a page, they will slow down your page load time significantly!

If you’re thinking, “I don’t use a fancy digital camera. I take pictures with my cell phone so they can’t be very big.” Guess again. The highest pixelated photos I take are with my Samsung cell phone. On average they contain 5312 x 2998 pixels. That is a humongous number of pixels!! Considering that your average profile picture online is recommended to be 200 x 200. Now 5312 x 2998 looks huge!

I found out about posting huge pictures on my website when I was running out of memory. I had been so busy filling in the content I didn’t even consider the size of the photos!

The image below is straight off of my cell phone. It’s an enormous 5312 x 2988 pixels!! To put it on my website I would want to get rid of as much of the background as possible so the focus will be on the flower. But I also want to reduce the size of the resulting photo. I’m using GIMP to do this.

Enormous photo off of my cell phone at more than 5000 pixels!
I select the specific part of the photo I want the focus to be on….the flower. So I select and copy it.
I open a new file and set the pixels at 500 x 300 and paste my selected flower onto the page.
As you can see the flower is way bigger than my new 500 pixel area so I use the GIMP scale tool. The box reflects the size of the flower at over 2000 pixels. I just delete the numbers the arrow is pointing at and enter 500 x 300 or click the down arrows until 500 x 300.
After entering or arrowing down to 500 x 300 I hit enter and there is your new reduced size photo. This does not reduce the pixels! It reduces the dimensions of the photo.

Reducing a photo isn’t difficult to do. You do need a software that can reduce and not just resize your photo. There is a difference. I use GIMP for all my photo needs. It’s free and very functional. It takes a little bit of practice to get good with GIMP but there are tons of tutorials online to help.

Photoshop has a resize/reduce feature as well and Adobe has a photo manipulation tool. There is also Irfanview. This is another totally free software you can download like GIMP. It doesn’t have all the functionality that GIMP has but it does have photo reducing abilities.

Check your photo’s for optimal page load and save your memory!

Your Business & Your Budget (Or Lack There Of)

As I said in previous posts, my intention here is to help you get your business rolling and tell/show you what I did to become successful myself.

I have also talked about how I started out without a penny to spare. SO many businesses IE: business plug-ins and various business apps, have their hand out for your money it can seem impossible, for anyone, without a large sum of money set aside, to start an online business! You have the cost of a domain, the cost of a host for your domain, an email program to deal with email, apps you may want to put on your website and the cost of placing ads to get your domain name out there. It’s just overwhelming.

I found a way through some of the more important money-grubbers like a phone service!

After you have dolled out most of your savings to launch a website, now you need a method for people to easily contact you, right. If you contact your local landline phone company or cellular service, your looking at another $100 bill to set up and maintain a phone service! You don’t want to give out your personal home phone number or cellular number.

Now-a-days providing your phone number isn’t enough for the various products and online services a business needs. These services found that people were providing false phone numbers to avoid giving out their real phone number. These services didn’t like that. They want a phone number from you that they can try to sell you more products through, or sell it to someone else that will abuse your number.

To ensure you have provided a “real” phone number they text you to verify that the phone number really works and it is yours before they will let you access the product you need.

Your phone number is not sacred to any of these entities, it’s money in their eyes. Your phone number will be sold to the highest bidder. Now you’ll be getting calls from every Tom, Dick and Harry with something to sell!

Personally, I didn’t/don’t want to give out my phone number to anyone that might sell it or share it. I don’t want advertisers calling me! I get enough ads from the internet, my email, the slide-in ads on my laptop, television and driving down the road. I certainly don’t need them calling me as well!!

So how do I get around this without forking out MORE money for a business phone number?

The answer is voice.google.com . I checked out this service that is offered by Google and was very impressed! You will need to get a Gmail account to sign-up I believe. It’s free to get a gmail account, so why not!

What I did was put my business into gmail all the way around. Google is all about business, successful business, and they are the only entity I have ever come across that actually helps a business person launch and maintain a business. Once you have a gmail account many, many, many, services open up to you through Google. When Googles algorithms recognize you as a serious business person they provide more and more business assistance through the products you use with them. For example: I have a business profile on Google and they send me optimization reports, I have analytics with Google and they have full reports on my websites, etc. All totally FREE.

Excuse me I digress when a subject excites me. Back to the business phone… You can create and send text messages and phone calls that go through Google. You can also select to have a phone number. It is all FREE!

You have the option to select a phone number for yourself. You just select any city and they offer up several phone numbers. This is really nice because you can select any city you wish and select the phone number you like best. When you select a phone number, it’s yours, just like a regular telephone. You can:

  • Make phone calls and the phone number will be displayed.
  • Register the phone number as your business phone so it will display your business name with the phone number.
  • You can receive phone calls with this phone number.
  • If you’re not online when the phone call comes through it will go to a voicemail. When you access the voice.google site again it will have a notation on the left side of the screen by the voicemail icon of how many voicemails you have.
  • The voicemail is also transcribed into text message format as well so you don’t have to call the voicemail (by clicking on the icon) you can just read it under the text message icon! There voice recognition system is very accurate.
  • When you fill out the various forms online for your business you can use this phone number to verify your account.
  • When any entity text messages you to verify your account the text message arrives at your voice.google page and you can enter the code as needed. As a matter of fact one time I used a pay-per-minute phone number and it wouldn’t verify. The website kept saying “Please use a valid phone number”. I put in my Google number and it went through just fine!
  • You can select to have phone calls and text messages from your Google number forwarded to your personal phone for convenience!!
  • If you don’t select a phone number when you make calls it will show an 888 number as the number your calling from and people can call it back while you’re online but as soon as you’re offline the number is of no use.
  • Get this – You can even export the phone number if you so wish to another service provider!! How cool is that?! But beware if you export the number to another business you will have to pay any service charges the other company may impose.

The other things I jumped on was Google Business, Yelp and Yellow Pages. These are similar to the good old Yellow Pages Directory of days gone by, but these are directories that are online and they are totally Free.

There is an option to have your business “boosted” through these websites, for a price. They will guarantee so many views to your business for so much money. I have yet to need such boosting.

Google Business has out paced Yelp and Yellow Pages as to business referrals. But the more free website exposure you can get the better!

Google business has provided the most helpful business information for free to me. As I mentioned above, Google sends a full report to your gmail about how your page is doing. Below is a copy of my actual business profile contained in the Google report for one of my businesses. I marked out my business information to avoid games people play with information.

The 11 calls to my business, those are my voice.google number that is forwarded to my phone!

As you can see advertising by the giant Google and a business phone line are both taken care of by these free and reliable services. This is exactly what an entrepreneur on a limited budget needs!

(I will receive nothing for recommending these products listed above. I have no affiliation with Google, Yelp or Yellow Pages in any way shape or form. This is just me sharing what worked for me, to you. Simple advice for nothing. See you can get some things for free!(

A Realistic Look At Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing has become a true contender in the entrepreneur arena. In the recent past hardly anyone had heard the word affiliate! Now it’s a common word especially among search engines. Personally, I stepped onto the affiliate marketing stage in 2010. I’ve jumped through the hoops, and I am now earning an income.

An incredible 97% of people that attempt affiliate marketing fail. It seems like obvious reasons: #1 They have unrealistic goals. You are not going to come out of the gate making $1,000 a day. For the average affiliate marketer you won’t see numbers like this for a few months. #2 They try to accomplish everything by skipping important steps. There are hoops you just can’t ignore. Like learning how to write so people will want to read your work. Just last night I was looking up some information on the internet. The third option down hit the nail on the head so I clicked on it. The language and content of the copy was so misaligned, confusing and poorly written that I clicked out of there after the first sentence! Am I going to favorite that website? Not even. Am I going to pass it on, or share this website? I don’t think so! The writer on this website skipped one of the first important steps, learn to write well and he paid for it by losing me and probably several others.

Since I’ve been through the ringer I can help you streamline your affiliate marketing. Some of the hoops are pointless, well, many of them, but some are essential.

Essentials of A Website

Content is King

If you haven’t heard this phrase yet, well now you have! Content IS King! You may as well hang it up if you have no intention of learning proper English and how to write great copy.

The content, copy, articles, whichever you like to call it, what you write must be impeccable. Could you imagine shopping on a website like Amazon and the items had misspellings? You’d never find what you were looking for!

When a consumer is searching for an item the search engines will look for similar words in the content of the websites. If the spelling is wrong, they will never find you! If you are selling bicycles, but your website has it as “bycycles” for sale. You won’t be found. So just as important as sounding like someone who knows what they are doing. You need to be identified by search engines as selling “bicycles” not “bycycles”. Plus, if you’re an authority in that arena, which you need to be if you want to gain and retain customers, you’re are obviously going to know how to spell “bicycles” correctly, right!

Mentors

If you can find a mentor, that, will put you way ahead of the game! Good mentors are few and far between. I am, in a sense, mentoring you here. Providing you with sound, honest, good, advice. That is what a mentor does.

You may choose to pay for a mentor. It streamlines the process of obtaining a mentor. Money is the name of the game with 99% of affiliate marketers. But even the mentors you pay for may not be up to snuff. This is one of those hoops I should have avoided.

I couldn’t find a free mentor in my time frame, so I decided to pay for one. The mentor assigned to me was completely unhelpful. She criticized my websites with nothing positive. There was no constructive criticism. The problem is I don’t like to put all my eggs in one basket. She didn’t like that. She was of the mindset that I should have one website and only one site. Obviously we were not a match for mentoring. I was able to get my money back.

I use the investing strategy where I don’t put all my money in stocks. Especially in the affiliate marketing arena, don’t put it on one endeavor. Diversify and put your where it works best for you weather that be purchasing traffic, or investing in a mentor. If you can find a mentor that has the same strategy as you do, then it would be well worth it to have one.

Marketing

No matter how you look at it you will need traffic to your website. This is one of those hoops you don’t want to ignore. If the only people that know about your website is your friends and family you will need to advertise, there is no question about it. The options for advertising are huge.

When I first launched my websites my advertising budget was near nil! I hadn’t really planned on an advertising budget. I had focused so hard on optimizing my content and its value to my readers, marketing hadn’t really dawned on me.

If you do a little research on top performing companies you will find that their advertising budget takes the lions share of their budget! Many times their marketing budget far out weighs their employees salaries. It’s simple, you want customers, you need to get the word out there that you are available.

Your Money

Yes, you will, at some point in time, need to put some money where your website is. Some important words of caution. Everywhere you turn people have their hands out for your money. If they aren’t up front about the fact they are seeking your fortune, then watch your back because they’ll have a hand in your bag behind your back! Use complete caution when purchasing anything online! I will only use reputable companies. Always beware of the https: compared to the http: on a website. You should know by now that http: is an unprotected site whereas https: is protected. It’s subtle things like that you need to watch for. You could clean out your bank account in a minute if your not careful. Research what you plan on purchasing. What exactly will you receive for your dollar? How much traffic will you see? Where will this traffic come from? What kind of guarantee do they provide, etcetera, etcetera.

Free Traffic Sources

I started by using free sources of advertising such as Google business, Facebook and Yelp. Google allows you to create a profile of your business with them for free. They encourage you to make a complete profile with pictures and pricing. Facebook and Yelp offer the same thing. Yelp will have a salesperson call you and try to get you to pay for advertising. They will say that they can get you so many calls per day. They even asked me, “How many calls per day would you like? For 100 – 200 calls per day it will cost ???? (what ever the salesman offered).” But you are not obligated to purchase. To this day, I get more calls from my Google profile than any other source!! Yelp is a close second and Facebook I get a few. Facebook offers “ad boosting” where you can boost a post you have put on your website for so much money. The budget is very flexible and totally under your control. You choose who to advertise to (targeted advertising) and how long you want your ad to run. Then you set your budget and your ads start running. Even if you don’t run a Facebook ad you still have your website profile anyone can can see.

Mailing Lists

Your mailing list is important, but it is not the Holy Grail! Don’t let anyone tell you it is. Your mailing list, or opt in list, contains people that definitely have interest in your product, that’s why they signed onto your mailing list. But think about your own email. How often do you do mass deletions? You open your personal email and there’s so many ads and junk email you just click that button at the top and then Delete All! I’ve abandoned two email addresses because there is so much junk mail going to them! You don’t want to be in that Delete All category. Use discretion when deciding to use your mailing list for advertising or contacting your parties of interest.

Only email your email list when you truly have something different or important to offer to your readers. The days of indiscriminately sending out mass mailings are over. Spam protection, wise consumers, and ad blockers have changed all that. It was rude from the start, mass mailings, now the consumer has methods to fight back. I use mass delete for mass mailings!

A Favorite Website, Dumped

I had one website I really liked a lot. It was about herbal gardening. I signed up to her email list. Little did I know that she sends out an email several times a week!! When that first week I received several emails from the website I thought, “This won’t go on forever. She’ll reduce the emailing soon.” But it didn’t stop. Several times a week all these emails from her, I was overwhelmed. Who ever thought someone could talk so much about gardening!! The emails were coming so fast and furious, I opted out within the first two weeks of opting in to her site. I had enjoyed her topic, but she drove me nuts and she lost my subscription because of it.

Purchasing Email Lists

I don’t recommend purchasing an email list. As I mentioned above the days of mass emailing people whether you know them or not are over. Books about affiliate market still have a section on how to email people and how often (daily to weekly). I don’t recommend purchasing a list or harassing people in this manner. Don’t be that person that buys an email list and emails these people that never asked you to in the first place. This can also get you marked as a spammer and that will ruin your business!

The absolute BEST thing you can do is create a relationship with your customers! Learn what they want and how you can get it to them! Be that friend that knows all the right people and how to get things. Send your customer quality information and quality products and you will see your business flourish! Look at your own online experience. How important are your contacts that you know will get you what you need, fast and reliable? They are at the top of your list, maybe starred or thumbed up, right. Be that person!!

Education

Education is vital to the whole affiliate marketing world. Even if you are only learning what doesn’t work, you’re still ahead. Learn what people want. Learn what people are shopping for. Learn what website layout works best. Learn, learn, learn! The more you know the better off you will be. It’s the guy with the most information, presented in the best manner, that wins. Joe Blo that doesn’t know how to write interesting copy, has no idea what a website layout is and has no clue what people want to buy is one of those 97% that don’t make it.

I see education as a life long endeavor. You can be 20 years old or 70 years old and there’s still many things you don’t know. The best thing of all, education is FREE. And once you have it, nobody can take it away. It’s yours forever!

Get out there and learn everything you can about your niche, about the English language and marketing skills!

Last words: Use discretion spending your money!

Keeping A Watchful Eye On Your Work

We have done a lot of work learning how to create useful, above average content, but there’s one topic we haven’t covered. Through it all I’ve always had a way to access my work online and be able to edit it. There are a couple of book readers available, I use the Kindle.

As a new writer (1st year or 2) I had a constant companion, my Kindle. With my websites and articles I was writing, when there was a comment, I needed to answer it NOW. When there was an error reported, I needed to fix it NOW. I knew I needed to be faster and better than the next guy, or I’d go down in rank, especially when I first started out. This runs true for you as well.

Online work is all about being better and faster than the other guys. If a question or comment is posed and your competitor answers it within 5 minutes of its posting and you get around to it 30 minutes later, who do you think is going to rise up in the ranks? Not you that’s for sure. You need to be on it to get your position with the search engine. That means have a way of connecting at all times.

A cell phone is simply too small to answer questions and edit your work. A computer works great but who can haul around a PC all day? That’s where the Kindle slips right into action. I can get a notification on my phone, while out shopping, or whatever I’m doing, stop what I’m doing for a minute, pull out my Kindle and do whatever the notification required. I don’t carry a purse so I slip my Kindle into my waste band for convenience. The Kindle has a smooth surface and it won’t start-up by itself while you carry it.

I have gone through two Kindle’s and I’m ready for a third. Don’t get the wrong idea, Kindle’s are sturdy little things! Each one has lasted five years plus. Even the one that was left outside, in the rain, for an entire Winter, fired right up when we found it! I’m terribly rough on my gadgets, it’s just my lifestyle and Kindle is the only one that can keep up with me! The Kindle below is mine. Surprisingly you barely see the crack running all the way through the screen. From the top left, through the 12:37 to the other edge. Either my dog or myself sat on it by accident and the thing still works perfectly. The crack bugs me to look at, and I saw this deal, so I’m looking at a new one.

My Kindle. It’s like the Energizer Bunny! It keeps going, and going, and going!

I grabbed the code to share with you all. It’s only good for 10 days, sorry, but that’s the way good deals always go. I’m sure there will be others in the future sometime, but right now this is what I’m using.

How to Get Online With a Kindle

I use my phones Mobile Hot Spot option and then the hot spot shows up on my Kindles Wifi list and I can click on it and go online with the Kindle.

Also I downloaded apps that would help me edit my websites and articles when I’m using my Kindle. Apps like Microsoft Word and spell check, stuff like that. I can literally create posts where ever I am with my Kiindle.

Not to leave out other book readers, I haven’t heard much about the other reader called the Nook. I don’t know if it is still in production. I’ve been so pleased with the Kindle I haven’t needed to look elsewhere. But it is another option for you.

Create a CSS Stylesheet in Notepad

We went over creating an HTML page with Notepad yesterday. Today we’ll create a CSS AKA: Cascading Style Sheet.

A CSS code is used to style an HTML document. When you create a website a browser reads the HTML file and any CSS code, javascript, etc., written within the HTML. It then displays it according to what those codes tell it to do.

Internal Style Sheet

Sometimes the CSS code is written directly into the HTML. This is called an internal style sheet. The code is written between the <head> and </head> tags using the <style> tag.

Inline Style Sheet

Other times the CSS code will affect only a specific phrase, word or paragraph. This is called an in line style sheet. It is written on the same line that it is to affect using the <style> tag and the attribute that is to be applied.

External Style Sheet

When the website has several pages in it an external CSS is used. This is the type of style sheet we will go over today. The external style sheet can be applied to several HTML documents. When the CSS code is altered it will affect all the pages. An entire website can be formatted from one style sheet. This saves a lot of time, otherwise you would have to modify every single page of a website.

By entering the <link> tag the browser reads the file you have entered a link to, and applies it across all the pages of the website.

The <link> tag is a pointer that is placed inside the <head> and </head> tags of the HTML document.

Any text editor can be used to write a CSS style sheet. We can use Notepad as we did with the HTML we wrote yesterday. We’ll have it affect the HTML we created yesterday as well.

Create Your CSS Code

Open a new Notepad document. Click Start ->All Programs -> Notepad. This is going to be the CSS file that we put a link to our HTML document.

Enter the code:

body
{background-color:yellow;}
h1
{color: white;text-align: center;}
p
{font-family:”Georgia”;font-size:30px;}

Click Save and name it something like “mystyle” (minus the quotes). Save it as a .css file type.

To save it as a .css file type: Click File, then Save. In the box at the bottom where it says name type mystyle.css. Below that box is another box. Click on the arrow at the side of it and select ALL FILES. Click Save.

Now we will add a link to the .css file you just created in the HTML document from yesterday. It will cause the HTML document to “look” for your style sheet, we just created, in the folder you direct it to look in, and then it will apply what you have written.


Open the HTML from yesterday. If you can’t find it make sure the ALL FILES is selected in the Open File window at the bottom of the box (see photo below).

Add the following <link> to the HTML after the <head> section. (Insert the name in which you saved your .css file if it is different than the suggested mystyle.css: <link rel=”stylesheet” type=”text/css” href=”mystyle.css”> It should look like the photo below.

This tells the browser you’re using a style sheet and it is in the format of text/css and to retrieve it in “mystyle.css”

Now save the HTML document = File, Save.

Locate the HTML you just now saved. This time double click on it with your left clicker. Your document should open in your web browser like a web page with the edits you just did. It should look like the photo below:

That Was Too Easy! Congratulations!

You should practice changing the color, font and size. Just open your style sheet and change the words. For example: change yellow to blue, or light blue, or pink, whatever you like. If you know the number for a color you like you can enter that number instead of the color name. HTML understands literal color names and color code numbers. Then save the style sheet and open your HTML by double clicking on it and voila, your changes have taken place on the screen!

If an external link is placed after the internal style sheet in the HTML <head> section the external will take precedence over the internal style sheet.

Website Development Shortcut

As you have learned, writing HTML is meticulous. Every semicolon, every bracket, every closing / must be in place or the browser won’t display it correctly, or at all. This can be HIGHLY frustrating when your page won’t display, or displays wrong, and you have to go through line after line of your code looking for what you missed (Yes, what you missed. Browsers don’t read wrong.)

If you will be writing more than one page of HTML, or just don’t want to forget how to write it, you can simplify the process by saving a template, or commonly called a frame of the HTML that you know works. Then, when you need to write an HTML page all you need to do is open your frame and fill in the details!

It looks like an article explaining frames is called for next!

HTML 5 On Your Website!

Congratulations on your website. I’m assuming you are reading this because you intend on, or already have, a website.

Regardless of how or where you launch your website you will have opportunities to modify the HTML. There is also the CSS on websites.

HTML 5 is the most recent computer language. I will refer to it as just HTML for this article but it is the HTML 5 language. CSS is the Cascading Style Sheet which puts the color, style, the you! into a page of content.

There is so much to each of these, HTML and CSS, that they both need their own space. Don’t let that worry you in the least! You can make your HTML as difficult or as easy as you wish. This article we will cover HTML 5. By the end of this article you will have a page of HTML written by you.

There is a lot to HTML only because there are various alterations that can be made by you to the basic page. This article we will make a basic page, with what is needed just to make it readable by the internet. So, yeah, when your done you will be able to upload the page to your ftp server and it will show up on your internet page.

There are several ways to write HTML. There is a huge popularity for sites like WordPress because they do all the HTML work for you. You just choose which item you want on your web page (using widgets or plugins) and it is fully written and displayed where ever you choose. Even though the HTML is written already you can alter it. Both the HTML and the CSS can be altered to your liking. They have several boxes available for CSS structuring. We will do CSS tomorrow because to be able to work with CSS you need to understand the basics of HTML or you will have no idea what your affecting with your script. So HTML is drawing a picture with a pencil. There you have a picture drawn with lead on a piece of white paper. That’s the basic HTML. Very boring, but it’s there. Then, CSS is the colored pencils and the cool stencils you use to make the picture attractive. Java script is the actions you put into that colored picture! But we aren’t talking about Java today.

In a Nutshell

  • HTML – Draws the plain, basic, bare bones of the page.
  • CSS – Puts the color and the cool fonts (sizes and types) into that HTML page or pages.
  • Java – Moves the items on the page.

Write an HTML Page

So, moving right along. . . you will be using either Notepad or Wordpad to construct your page. Most people use Notepad for it’s simplicity and straightforwardness. Notepad could be called a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) program. Go ahead and open up Notepad on your computer.

I have my Notepad open. I am going to write a page right along with you. I’ll upload my progress in a photo so you can compare yours.

How A Page Is Read By Computers

A computer that is going to read an HTML page reads it in sections. At the top is a Header section where the title or main thought is written. There are various entries you can put into the header like commands or codes that won’t be displayed to the reader of the page only the computer reading it. Next there is the Body of the page which has such things as Headings and Paragraphs within it. So the computer reads it like this:

The first thing you type is, what you might call, an introduction to the computer reading your HTML page as pictured above. As soon as the reading computer opens this document you want it to know what language you are speaking to it with:

<!DOCTYPE html>

The less than sign < must be present at the beginning of every command and at the end of the command. The exclamation mark says, “Look here computer!” then, ” I’m writing a document type of html.” Then the greater than sign closes the command.

The next line will be to announce the beginning of your html document with:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>

That is the bottom line basic you have to always have at the beginning of the HTML page. If you were to upload that to the Internet Explorer it would bring up a page, but it would be blank. There’s nothing in it but a command to the computer reading it, right? You want to put a Header section next. The Header section contains the title or announcement of the page. For example, within the header, you want people to read My First HTML Page! You would enter:

<!DOCTYPE html> <html> <head> <title>My First HTML Page!</title>

Notice the new entry? Every item has a specific terminology for the command. For example: <p> = paragraph, <body> = the main part of a web page, <h1> through <h8> = size of titles, h1 being the largest. You may have to look up the exact terminology sometimes. The / must be put at the end of the entry after a command. For example: <title> must have </title> at the end of the title, <p> must have </p> at the end of the paragraph, <html> must have a </html> at the end of the html document. Whatever has a <???> must have a closing </???>

The content of your web page, where you want to write your copy/article is called the <body>. Inside the body you will have maybe a title and paragraphs. Remember when the <body> is opened, put everything you want in it, them remember to close each item and close the </body> close the body.

Your Notepad document should look similar without the black list points at the beginning of each sentence:

  • <!DOCTYPE html>
  • <html>
  • <head>
  • <title>This Is My First HTML Page!</title>
  • <body>
  • <h1>This is Cool<h1>
  • <p>Creating HTML is cool and easy to do!</p>
  • </body>
  • </html>

When I first started learning HTML one of my first questions was, “Why is everything on separate lines? Why isn’t it all written out like normal.” There’s a very good answer that took a long time before I found. It’s two reasons. 1. When you add all the different elements for an entire web page to be colorful, engaging, dynamic and what ever else you want, having the HTML written out like regular writing would look like this:

<!DOCTYPE html><html><head><title>This Is My First HTML Page!</title><body><h1>This is cool<h1><p>Creating HTML is cool and easy to do!</p></body></html>

The computer can read either form. But imagine your browser returns an error in what you’ve just written (usually the doctype is much larger). And you have to go back and find it. Which type do you think would be easier for you to search and fix? The error is returned with a line number usually. Even with that help, what a mess to try and look for what you missed. It can be anything from a word missing to a punctuation mark out of place to make a doctype not run.

Reason #2. It’s just plain easier to keep track of where your at and what your opening and closing and filling in!

The format that you write in is up to you, of course. The first method is a newbie method, the second is an advanced program method.

Back to our work. You have Notepad with your DOCTYPE written up with a minimum of formatting, and that’s fine, that’s all we want today, get something that will present on Internet Explorer, right!

Now the most important part, if you ask me, simple but very important! You need to save it in an HTML extension file.

  • Click on File
  • Save As
  • In the File Name box at the bottom of the pop up window, type MyWebsite.html.
  • Below that in the Save As Type, click on the arrow for the drop-down menu and select ALL FILES. Remember where you are saving it!
  • Select Save

You can close Notepad if it is still open.

Navigate to the folder that you saved your file in. Locate the file. The icon for it should be your default web browser icon. If not, don’t fret.

Right click on your saved HTML file. In the menu select Open. It may ask you what program you want to open this type of file with, select your default browser, or Internet Explorer.

Your browser will open and your HTML will show up on the page just like a website! If you have a website with hosting you can upload your HTML file through an ftp service and it would display your HTML for the entire world to see!

Granted this HTML is a bit boring and there’s so much more you probably want to tell the world! That’s where the CSS style sheet will come in handy. Tomorrow we’ll go over the different types of CSS style sheets and we’ll jazz-up that HTML you just created!

Take your HTML further with learning tools like:

You can close your browser like normal, your HTML file is safely stored on your computer for tomorrow.

I Launched My Website, Now What?

Here on Shit-Head we’ve been going over the fundamentals of becoming an affiliate marketer. Learning, and practicing, to write awesome content/copy with near perfect, if not perfect, English. We’ve also found methods to improve our writing skills so that when we launch our own website it can run with the others and not get stomped.

When you decide your ready to launch a website, or run ad campaigns from just an email address, whatever your individual affiliate marketing option you choose to pursue, you will need to set-up some sort of tracking method.

You’ll be flopping around like a fish on a hot dock if you don’t have something to provide you with feedback about visitors to your website. How would you know if an affiliate product your promoting on your website is of interest to your visitors, or not, without tracking of some sort? How would you hone your niche if you couldn’t see what people are clicking on with your website? Is the traffic flow smooth or are your visitors lost on your website? All of these questions are answered with a tracking tool. It’s a must have if you want to be a successful affiliate!

First you will want to find a tracking program you like. There are many programs to choose from. It depends on your website and what program will work with it, whether you find the presentation of the data pleasing and whatever personal preference you’re looking for. Some of the more common programs are:

I also use Monster Insights along with Google Analytics. Actually Monster Insights IS Google Analytics. It’s the Google Analytics plugin that you can download to your WordPress web site.

Sometimes I want to drill down into a web page I have or analyze a piece of data on my website and that’s what Monster Insights is great for. But, I don’t need a bunch of information everyday. I have four websites I administer, so I need quick, easy to read, summarized reports for my daily checks.

Monster Insights is a Free plugin, but of course you can upgrade to get even more out of the program.

MouseflowI used Mouseflow for the two week Free introductory period. Setting up my websites with it was simple enough, but setting the “do not track” portion was a little more complicated. Once I setup my websites the information poured in. I found I wanted to tweak the settings more to reduce the depth of the information provided. By the time I got around to tweaking the settings my trial period was over. I won’t pay for what I can get for Free. But you may enjoy the in-depth reporting so it may be worth checking out. The program offers heat maps so you can track exactly where visitors went! At least take advantage of the Free trial.

Tracking programs use algorithms to record data from your website. It’s recorded into reader friendly report pages. Then, the report is displayed for you. With Google Analytics and Mouseflow you need to go to their respective website to view your website activity. Monster Insights is displayed right on a WordPress site menu if you’re using WordPress.

You can run a search for website tracking programs and find one you like. Or you can try something like the Monster Insights. It’s a simple plugin. Plug it into your website. If you don’t like it….unplug it! Simple as that!

What’s Next – Associate Yourself

Have you been playing around with your website development like we talked about previously?

Promote Or Sell

At this point I would assume you have an idea of a niche you like and want to promote. You have three options at this point on how you want to manifest your idea:

  • Affiliate Marketing – Promote your niche product through a website (whether your own website or one you purchase through a website like Siteground). Remember with a website of your own you have the liberty of putting anything you please on it, but going through a website to create your website you will be restricted to the websites rules which can be fairly restrictive.
  • Skip the whole website thing and promote your niche product through avenues such as Facebook and Google ads. This option you only need an email address for the sign up process and the vendor to contact you with and bank account number to receive payments at.
  • Bulk Purchasing & Resell – Sell the tangible products or software through a website like Amazon or email address. This method works well if you have a product you make or for re-branding.

I have, and still use, the promoting of products through my website and I’ve done the tangible products route as well. I haven’t tried the selling of products using just an email only because I have always owned my own website.

Selling a Tangible Product

For a short time, before I launched my first website I did try selling a product in which I purchased in bulk. The product sold like hot cakes! I just happened to stumble on a top seller through Amazon and it sold well but I wasn’t seeing much of a profit. In hind-sight I should have had Amazon store my product and package it for me. That would have saved me a lot of work. Besides that fact I was paying through the nose for shipping. I have found with this method you really need to have people skills for negotiating things like shipping, or you will pay dearly. I would purchase the bulk product at what I feel was a good price, around $75 for case of twelve boxes. At $6.25 a box in which I could resell for $14 a box (In order to be competitive $14 brought in the sales). I would net $93 per case, and they sold fast. But, and this is a big but, I had a shipping charge of $75 that I could not negotiate down! I called the supplier a couple of times and really didn’t get anywhere with the shipping charges. And that was only shipping it to my house, I still had to ship it to the customer! So my overall take ended up being $18 per case to receive it and another $10 – $12 to ship it to customers. I could sell 2 cases a week leaving me with an income of just $32 a month. Not good. Plus all the work I did packaging and shipping.

If you’re good with words and can talk to sellers to negotiate your prices well than this option would be really good for you. If you’re not good at negotiating, like me, than it’s not such a good choice.

Affiliate Marketing

It didn’t take long to purchase my first website and start filling it with useful copy. By the time I was ready to launch it I was fed up with the tangible product avenue I had been using to fill the time until my websites were ready.

I launched the websites with nothing on them except my tutorials and advice. I transferred a lot of my work on Hubpages to my own websites. This way I had two avenues with my work out there. I chose the top earners from my Hubpages account to transfer first. On all of my Hubpage articles I added a “See also”, with my website name that pertained to the topic. I did the same with the article on my website; See also (my hubpage address).
Then I started associations with several of the affiliate programs out there. Several companies have taken advantage of the popularity of affiliate sales and have “warehoused” several affiliate programs to streamline the process. For the seller they can let the program deal with collecting information, presenting it to the affiliate, fielding affiliate questions and making affiliate payments. For the affiliate it’s a one stop shop to find affiliate programs and affiliates don’t have to deal with collecting payments, the program does all that.

There are some affiliate programs that still go through themselves, but from what I’ve noticed, most are using a the warehouse method.

There’s a difference between Best Affiliate Programs and Top Paying Affiliate Programs. Just because an Affiliate Program is the Best does not necessarily mean it pays the most. Do your homework. Check out these sites that are said to be the Best Affiliate Programs, they are all websites that have a warehouse of businesses offering affiliate programs, but not all are the same:

  • Peerfly – I have not personally tried this company yet.
  • ShareASale – This is one of the latest websites I signed onto. I enjoy their support. They are much more transparent than other programs I am associated with.
  • Wide Markets – I haven’t tried this company yet.
  • Rakuten – Not yet, but looking at it.
  • Cj by Conversant – I’ve been a member here since 2013. I stopped using it for a while and they turned my account off. When I went back recently they easily turned the same account back on, but I soon remembered why I had left and I am considering leaving again. This is a popularity contest. If your just starting out, no decent company is going to accept your request to put their product on your website unless you will make them money, now.
  • ClickBank – I actively use Clickbank ads on my website. I produce a huge turnover, or clicks (about 400 clicks a week) but the landing page of the client I’m advertising for doesn’t gain sign-ups. So, I’m trying different ideas to produce click throughs that sign up with the client.
  • Amazon Associates – I actively use this program. I like Amazon Associates because I do a lot of how-to articles that involve certain products that I use. I have inside knowledge of these specific products and Amazon lets me choose that exact item I used and put it right on my article. So if I write about hair bands that I use to braid my kids hair and I find them very gentle on kids hair I can find that hair band, write about it on my website and place an ad through Amazon right on the article so my readers can purchase that exact band right there.

In Closing

It’s time to get out there and start signing up for affiliate programs or negotiating with business for the product you want to sell.

For affiliate programs choose several and sign up. Test them out to see which ones you like. Some programs you have to ask to place their ads on your website, these will have many denials. Others you just click on the ads you want to promote and promote it. Done.

As to tangible products – Use the Amazon shipping program if this is the path you choose. You purchase the product, have it sent to you and then send it all to Amazon. They will warehouse your product and send it to purchasers for you. Amazon does NOT allow you to send the product directly to them anymore (called drop shipping) from what I hear. You must send it to them.

Jump Right In To Affiliate Marketing

Amazon Pie - Cut a slice of affiliate pie!

Check Out AZ Sniper!

If you feel you don’t want to write, or blog, or create copy, I get that. Some people aren’t writers. So, you need to look at other avenues for creating that passive income.

If it has so far eluded you there is a company that will teach you the in’s and out’s of affiliate marketing using Amazon. Amazon is the largest seller on the web. There’s no other platform that can out sell Amazon.

The AZ Sniper program will take you there! If anyone can show you how to make money being an affiliate with Amazon, these people can do it!