I HATE deceptive sales pages that promise one thing and deliver another.

Adsense Secrets that everyone is promoting right now is one of those products.

Everyone and their sister is promoting Adsense Secrets as a $9.95 ebook, however if you read the thousands of lines of text there is one small section that says you are buying more than just an ebook:

simply contact us and cancel your subscription at any time! Otherwise, you may continue to be in the Top 1% for the discount rate of just $29.95 every 30 days.

WTF? 99% of the site says I’m just buying an ebook. Everyone linking and promoting to this site says it’s for an ebook, but somehow I’m enrolled to pay $29.95 every monthnow?

I HATE that type of deceptive nonsense and so does everyone else. It’s the reason “internet marketers” have such a bad reputation, because people like Joel and Adense Secrets take advantage of them.

In fact this is so deceptive that I know at least one person that bought the ebook and had no idea about a $29.95 subscription (notes from twitter):

charleslau: @45n5 Oops. I bought Joel Comm’s book…

45n5: @charleslau – be sure to cancel your subscribtion for 29.95 per month now

charleslau: @45n5 Thanks for letting me know… I didn’t realize it. :O

Don’t feel bad though Charles, I almost bought this book as well thinking I was only paying $9.95 (I mean, many of my internet friends recommened it and it was only a book).

I got lucky and stepped away from the computer though from an interruption and came back with fresh eyes and noticed the fine print.

Buyer Beware

It’s my opinion that this is a scam to get you to subscribe to a $29.95 service under the deceptive disguise as a $9.95 ebook.

I was almost fooled, charles was fooled, Shawn didn’t realize or mention it in his review, Zac Johnson didn’t notice or mention it in his mention of the book, and I couldn’t find anyone promoting this for what it really is.

This is the type of marketing I hate and will never buy any info product from Joel Comm or recommend his products until he quits with these deceptive practices.

Buyer beware, adsense secrets is more than a $9.95 ebook.

Official Notice: Make Money Online Blogs Are HOT! Not only are they selling well we will probably be tracking over 250 of them soon (I’ve got a handful to approve yet).

There have been some notable blog sales in the Make Money Online Blogosphere and the blogs selling for substantial prices.

For instance:

Blogging Fingers Sold for $6000 with only 200 subscribers at the time of the sale. That is paying $30 PER SUBSCRIBER

Ryan Shamus sold for $2500 with only 90 subscribers on the day of the sale. That is paying $27.78 PER SUBSCRIBER

One Mans Goal currently has it’s high bid at $6400 and only has 182 subscribers on the day of the last bid. That is paying $35.16 PER SUBSCRIBER

How Much Is Your Make Money Blog Worth Then?

The average that people are paying per subscriber on a blog is $30.98 per subscriber.

Please don’t tell me these people are paying for some “perceived” earnings per 10 months equation or whatever. None of these blogs have been around 10 months to prove it. Therefore we’ll measure by RSS subscribers for this exercise.

I did a query on all blogs competing for the Top100 list to grab their feedburner stats and grabbed their subscriber count if my script could find it. I then simply multiplied the subscriber count by the going value of a subscriber at $30.98 and volia! The current value of each of the make money online blogs.

Would You Sell Your Blog For $30.98 Per Subscriber?

Well would you? My valuation is $23,544.80. I would NOT sell my blog for that offer. No way.

This isn’t a game for me. I’m also not in it for a lottery ticket or quick payday. Unless I was getting real hungry i wouldn’t sell and I don’t expect myself to get real hungry any time soon.

I’m not against starting some sites to sell, however branding/name recognition/reputation/relationship/networking are extremely important in this business. I’m learning this more and more every day. And a name or brand you build will give you the ability to earn much more over the long haul then selling out and have a nice few months.

Would you sell?

(disclaimer: Your results may vary. Valuations are for entertainment purposes only)

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Do you want to get your feedburner count in plain text instead of their chicklet? Want that text to update dynamically so every time the feedburner count changes the text changes on your blog? Read on…

Getting your feedburner count as plain text gives you the flexibility to do whatever you want with it.

For instance my blog says “Subscribe Now: Over 648 readers can’t be wrong!” where the 648 automatically changes every time my feedburner count updates. Pretty cool. Certainly you didn’t think I was manually updating that did you? ;-p

Disclaimer: The following requires a basic understanding of where to place php code in your template and works on servers with PHP 5. Also, whenever working with files ALWAYS back them up before modifying them.

How To Get That Feedburner Count As Text Only


Make a call to the Feedburner API requesting the feedcount for a given burned feed.

Output the count. Thats it 😉

The Details

Place the following code in your template before where you want to display the count. This will get your feedcount from feedburner. Replace rss4real with the name of your feedburner feed.

//get cool feedburner count

//Initialize the Curl session
$ch = curl_init();

//Set curl to return the data instead of printing it to the browser.
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
//Set the URL
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $whaturl);
//Execute the fetch
$data = curl_exec($ch);
//Close the connection

$xml = new SimpleXMLElement($data);
$fb = $xml->feed->entry[‘circulation’];

//end get cool feedburner count

Now we’ve got your feedcount in a variable called $fb. Wherever you want to output your feedcount simply drop in the following code:

<?php echo $fb;?>

The How To Get Your Feedburner Count As Plain Text Conclusion

That’s all she wrote. To see this code in action simply visit my blog at 45n5.com and check out the subscribe box.

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Ever wonder how your fellow bloggers get more links and attention than you even though much of your content is better than theirs? They probably aren’t waiting around hoping people will link to them, they are doing something about it. One technique they use is an email promotion.

An email promotion is simply emailing the players in your niche and raising awareness about the great content you just created. I explain the “secret” of an email promotion in the following video where I show the results from a real email promotion I ran yesterday:

Note 1: ONLY promote your BEST content

Note 2: Don’t sell. Maybe suggest they pass the content along, but that’s it. The ONLY goal is to make people aware of your great content. It’s up to them what to do with it.

Note 3: Never email somebody more than once (twice max) per month for promoting your content.

If It Doesn’t Take A Long Time You Are Doing It Wrong

Emails are time consuming. It took me about 2 hours to send 30 emails and about the same time to respond to them all and the links. Do not do an email campaign as a quick fix or when you don’t have proper time to contribute to the promotion.

Here is My Email Address

I WANT to hear about your best content (most bloggers in any niche want good content). You can email me once per month to tell me about it. My email is mark @ 45n5.com

Keep in mind that I’m the same as any other blogger, and I’m busy. Therefore I may not respond to every email, i will mention even less on this site, but I’ll at least read every email.

Note: Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back from a blogger.

Go Do Your Own Email Promotion

Regardless of the niche you are in, if you aren’t doing email promotions, there is a good chance your competitors are. Warm up to email, say hi, start networking, and start going directly to the source, for real.

Notice: The ebay and youtube api have updated and this script is now here for educational purposes. I’ll make another update eventually, I’m working on some other projects at the moment. Feel free to modify this old version as you desire.

Here is how to build a Youtube Ebay Amazon Mashup Affiliate Site where I provide you with a video tutorial plus a free script to do the same for yourself. First check out the video:

Like I mentioned in the video the script may be coded very sloppy (it is), the script might be slow or not to your liking, however it’s free and I’m releasing it under a creative commons license.

This means you can use the script, modify the script, add to the script etc, just give 45n5.com credit with a link back whenever you use the script. Here’s the specific license the Youtube Ebay Amazon Mashup Affiliate Site Script uses:

Because this script is FREE please don’t expect any support from myself on the script. However because it’s under a creative commons license, you can modify the script to make it work better for you (if need be), just give 45n5.com credit for the original by adding a link back.

Bonus (not that you needed one 😉 If you create a site with a script please tell me about it (mark @ 45n5.com) and I will link to it from this post. If you modify the script or make another version of it I’ll link to that to.

And here’s the script

(notice: there have been multiple changes since I originally posted the video. 1. A youtube developer id is no longer needed and the script is updated to use the google youtube api. 2. The default setup is for ebay users that use the commission junction affiliate program. 3. A site title is no longer needed because the homepage defaults to the first product page that is the first title.)

(ps. If you liked this post please take two seconds to add it to your favorite social site like digg, delicious, stumbleupon, etc. Thanks a bunch.)

Modifications (external sites and code):
Adsense Youtube Version (if you have video adsense units this might be the version for you)

Based on this description from techcrunch of Google Adsense in video I’ve found some adsense in video:

According to the post on Inside Adsense, Adsense for Video consists of “in-stream” advertisements. Publishers define at what point the advertisements will appear for each video.

I’ve found just that, in stream advertising with points set in the video where the advertisements display, you be the judge, here’s a demo:


Is that adsense in video? My bet is yes. Thoughts?

Here’s the initial announcement of in stream adsense coming for video.

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The following is the 45n5.com list of Top 5 Adsense Tips.

These tips are geared towards sites where your adsense bottom line is your number one goal. This also my entry into Problogger’s Top 5 writing event.

1 – Put Your Ads First

Don’t be shy with your ads. Put your ads first. If you have content, the first content people read should be your ads. If you have a menu, the first items to click in the menu should be your ads. Don’t try and “trick” people, rather, simply give your visitors the option of choosing to click your contextually relevant ads first, and your other links second.

Here is an adsense layout I’m fond of.

2 – Use All of Your Ads

The sites I own that make the majority of my earnings from adsense I call my “adsense sites”. On a visit around my sites earlier in the year I noticed I wasn’t using all the ads I’m allowed, and didn’t have an adsense search box on not a single site.

Here is what the current terms of services allows:

• Up to three ad units may be displayed on each page.
• A maximum of two Google AdSense for search boxes may be placed on a page.
• A single link unit may also be placed on each page.

I’m still not up to using all the ads yet but I thinking upping my ads has kept my earnings steadier lately.

3 – Split Test

I still don’t do enough split testing but every time I do I either:

a. Find a better paying ad color/location
b. Find another ad color/location that doesn’t work

Here’s a tutorial on split testing your ads.

4 – Channel Your Ideas

For me, 75% of earning money online is psychological, and the rest is hard work and luck. The next tip helps my brain:

Each idea, or website, or blog, or new text I put on the internet, on an adsense site, is like a little worker bee for me that keeps on earning. Sometimes the worker bee doesn’t earn anything in a day, sometimes it doesn’t earn anything for a few days, and sometimes the worker bee starts earning nickels, dimes, and more after awhile.

My goal is to get as many worker bees out there, making me money. To do this I keep my normal adsense channels for domains, I keep some channels for testing, and then I have my worker bee channels (I use the name only for reference).

What are my worker bee channels?

Any time I have an idea for an article that might really do well in the search engines, I’ll write a few articles on the subject, group them together in their own channel, and bamn I just made another worker bee.

Any time I have idea to attempt some different content in a sub folder or a sub domain, I give it another worker bee channel. Anytime I think a few misspellings might work, or do some autogenerated content, or any crazy idea, I give the idea it’s own channel.

Eventually after doing this long enough, I now have many worker bees out there earning for me every day. Like I said, it’s a psychological way to look at things that works for my spirits and makes me feel like I’m giving myself the most opportunities to earn as possible (and justifies my “experimenting”)

5 – Do Your Own Thing

Quit reading about what works for other people. Do Your Own Thing! Try different things, try your own ad implementations, and by split testing your visitors will tell you exactly where they like to click the ads, not some goofball in some forum.

You will also find what works on one site of yours might not work on another, therefore what some boob like me has to say is completely irrelevant to your sites other than for ideas for you to do your own thing with, but you really don’t need me for that.

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Make Money Project says on May 8, 2007

I figure the people that click on my ads are the ones who don’t like my content. So I try to place the ads at the top and bottom.

Adding in a mix of other advertising works well too. I started testing contextual ads last week and get about the same CTR from them without lowering my AdSense CTR.


Update: The CTO of feedburner says this trick doesn’t report accurate results for desktop readers currently but offers a way to improve it (thanks). I also added a creative commons license to the code if you think you can improve it, go for it, just attribute the original!

Major Update 1: WP Plugin: Feedburner Feed Stats

» You can get feedburner subscriber stats without sending a single one of your visitors to feedburner.

» It doesn’t require any hacking or exploits, just simply modifying your own rss feed.

» In the following article I’ll show you exactly how it’s done and how you can start seeing the results instantly!

Why Not Use Feedburner “As Is” For Stats?

Most people have concerns that their entire rss readership is subscribed to a third party and NOT to themselves. If feedburner went out of business tomorrow you would be up a creek.

Feedburner allows your burned feed on their site get indexed and rank in the search engines, which is a major party foul.

Also my feedreader of choice, sharpreader, has a hard time with autodiscovery of feedburner feeds.

How To Get Feedburner Stats Without Using Feedburner On Your Blog

disclaimer: backup any file before modifying it

First the summary of how it’s done:

1. Sign up for feedburner and burn your feed.

2. Add code below to your rss feed replacing “yourfeedhere” with your feedburner feed name

Thats it! Your dialy subsribers will take until the next day to update, however your live hits will start showing instantly!

Step By Step of how it’s done (with video tutorial):

1. Sign up for feedburner and burn your feed. (that didn’t change)

2. Take the new feed name you just created and replace the blue text below with it:

$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_USERAGENT, $useragent);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $feedburnerfeed);
$data = curl_exec($ch);

Code licensing only (modify away just attribute the source):

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.

3. Copy and paste the code snippet above into your rss feed file, in a php section, and upload to your server.

That’s it! Are your eyes glazed over and you still need a bit more help? I made the next video just for you!


Helpful Tip – When you save your modified file save it as a new file name. So if you rss file is called rss.php, save your new file as rss2.php. When you are sure the new file is working correctly you can change it back to the original filename.

Proof of concept

The image on the right is what feedburner says this website’s weekly visitors amount to.

However I don’t have a single subscriber here using feedburner (check my feed links on the right, none go to feedburner).

And what about that cool subscriber breakdown everybody shows off?

You can have that too 😉 Here’s mine:


Pretty dang cool, huh?


I enjoyed discovering and writing about this feedburner trick. I believe this blog post has great appeal and I want the world to know about it.

If you’ve enjoyed this post please bookmark it, digg it, and share it with your friends. If you mention this feedburner post on your blog I’ll include a link back to you below (shoot me an email so I don’t miss it).

Want the perfect domain name? There are so many domains already taken that finding the perfect domain name for yourself may seem impossible.

To help you on your quest to find the best domain name, one you want to showoff or promote, we’ve compiled this list for you, best of luck…

  • Domain Hacks – Makes funny looking domain names using some creative folder and tld hacking.
  • SaveSpell – We love this site for locating dictionary words and other common words for domains.
  • Domain Hunter – Takes some of the most popular searched for phrases, based on your topic, and shows available domains.
  • Pool Hotlist – Premium domains expire and become available every day. This list shows you the hot ones (slow loading sometimes, but worth it.)
  • DomainsBot – A domain spinner that takes your website topic and looks for available domains by adding synonyms and more to your keyword.
  • Dislexicon – Will add a common suffix or prefix to your keyword sometimes resulting in a very cool domain name.
  • OneLook – Wildcards make this dictionary site worth a visit in picking a domain name. let’s say your searching for domain name ideas that relate to the keyword “money”, try this Onelook Wildcard search (*money) or maybe this search (money*).
  • NameBoy – Popular domain spinner site. An intelligent naming search site.
  • WordMixer – Take some of your topics keywords and mix them up.
  • RhymeZone – Find words that rhyme with your keyword. Useful to come up with a catchy domain name.
  • Google Keyword Tool – Find the popular keywords for you topic that people actually search for, use other tools with these keywords to find the perfect domain
  • DYYO – The four(4) letter domain name specialist

I’m sure I’ve missed a few. What websites help you find the best domain names?

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Darren is running a group writing project with some nice prizes to boot. The topic of the project is reviews or previews, you choose. Here is my entry, a 2006 review.

How I made $4000 in 2006 with Hypertext

The title isn’t as sexy as some internet marketers would have, but when I update my money tracker at the end of this month it will show my internet earnings at over $4000 for 2006. My total earnings in 2005 were less than $500. What did I do different?

My improved traits that helped me earn more money in 2006 according to me:

1. Put ads first. I quit being apologetic about my ad placement and started putting them directly in front of visitors (when the majority are from search engines).

2. Many baskets. In most of 2005 I had only 1 website. At the end of 2006 I have over 20. This also helps hedge against Google updates.

3. Networking. I virtually met many cool people this year that have helped me with links and advice that I didn’t have before. Thanks.

4. Experimenting and not Listening. I probably tried a new idea most weeks in 2006. Most flopped however I learned allot in the process. I’m developing my personal style/niche now instead of trying to learn second handed from others (or at least much less frequently).

5. Content, Content, Content. Create it yourself, mash it up, create programs to make it for you, etc. In 2005 I had less than 1000 pages in google, I finish 2006 with over 23,000 pages in Google.

6. Attack something that works! In 2005 I had a few keyword phrases that I could rank for and earned “some” money. Why didn’t I attack those keywords, knowing they were money makers, and try and rank as many pages as possible? Towards the end of 2006 if I found something making me money I tried to make more money from it.

7. Go where the money is. I started creating content for more consumer related topics.

8. Learned PHP. Even though I started learning PHP in 2005, I really hit my stride in 2006. I’ll always be a hack but now creating a site from scratch, on a Sunday afternoon, to test a new idea, is not out of the question.

What I plan to improve on in 2007:

1. Multiple Income Streams – I plan to continue to increase my adsense revenue but strive harder to earn from other sources of income such as text link ads, selling something, and affiliate sales.

2. Focus – While I learned a ton from having multiple websites in multiple niches, I think a truly valuable site takes time and focus. I plan to continue experimenting with multiple sites/ideas because I enjoy it, however I’d like to focus on building a larger, more stable website and add to it for the entire year.

3. Create even more content!

In Closing
I’ll update this post over the next few days if I think of anything else. I hope you enjoyed it and good luck in 2007.