Save SlideShare Presentations as Animated GIFs

A new web called GIFDeck helps you convert any presentation hosted on SlideShare into an animated GIF file. All you have to do is specify the deck URL and the app will fetch the individual slides as images and stitches them all together in a single GIF that will auto-play and auto-loop.

Here’s a sample GIF created from a SlidShare presentation on Steve Jobs. The app only converts the initial 10 slides, probably to keep the size of GIF within limits, but you do have an option to queue all the slides of a deck for conversion.

Steve Jobs Quotes

While SlideShare does offer an HTML5 based option to embed presentations on external websites, the GIF based approach will still come handy in many situations. For instance, you can send your presentation in an email message – just drag the GIF in your Gmail compose window – and recipients will be able to scan through the deck right inside their email client.

Similarly, you can tweet the GIF or post it on Tumblr and the people can quickly view your slides in any browser or email client. Unfortunately, Facebook doesn’t support animated GIFs yet.

Internally, the GIF Deck app uses the GIF.js library to convert the individual deck images into a GIF image. The library supports all modern web browsers and it does the conversion in the client’s browser.

The only downside is that the generated GIF images aren’t optimized so if you are trying to convert an image-heavy presentation into a GIF, the image file could easily run into a few megabytes. The app’s source code can be found on Github.


This story, Save SlideShare Presentations as Animated GIFs, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 10/09/2014 under GIF, SlideShare, Internet

Successfully Balancing an Online Business and a Full-Time Job with Tom Drake [Interview]

As I mentioned when I announced that I am taking a break from The Daily Interview, I am still going to publish interviews here from time to time.

Today, I’m excited to bring you an interview with a blogger who I admire, Tom Drake.  He’s one of the models for how to succeed with your online projects while working a very busy full-time job.

Tom also has what I consider to be a pretty unique aspect of his business where he partners with other writers/bloggers and allows them to focus on what they’re best at.  The end result is that the business becomes more successful and profitable because of the value that Tom is able to add to the relationship.

We talk about these partnerships, Tom’s background, and more in the interview below.

Check it out!

Tom, I understand you have your hand in several different projects online, including a personal finance blog (Canadian Finance Blog) as well as other websites that you’ve either built or purchased. Tell us a bit about your background and your current projects. How did you get into blogging? What are the types of things your online business is focused on today? 

I wrote my first article online in 1996 and created my first website in 2000. Throughout my first decade online, I tried all sorts of ideas to try to make some money. The only remotely successful attempts included a site for Edmonton raves and selling PLR eBooks on eBay.

Then came 2009 – I was recently married, looking to buy a house, and knew we had our first child on the way.  All this happening at once made me suddenly very interested in my personal finances. So I started reading five Canadian personal finance blogs and started to think I’d like to add my own opinions to the niche. I wasn’t sure if I could make any real money, but I had recently read Make Sure It’s Deductible, written by Evelyn Jacks, so I figured at the very least there would be some tax advantages to starting a business.

After Canadian Finance Blog, I stared looking to expand by creating new sites and buying blogs. These sites all served different purposes, whether they were to help grow the personal finance community or give me some presence in the US niche. As I became more experienced, my interest has also spread to online marketing, blogging tools and even productivity tips, so those are the types of topics I cover on some of the newer sites.

Since I already have quite a few blogs, I need to find other ways to continue to diversify my business. Something I’m focusing on lately is spreading beyond just the traditional blogging. I recently started a live show and podcast with four other bloggers called the Money Mastermind Show.

I’m also doing my first attempt at public speaking at this year’s FinCon and soon I’ll be getting published in print regularly in a Canadian magazine named Money Magazine. I think these are important ways to extend the business and my brand.

What do you consider to be your greatest success (or successes) so far with your online business? 

I think the biggest success has to be the growth of Canadian Finance Blog. 2009 was a slow build, but then I started taking my site more seriously, networking with other bloggers, and looking for ways to improve search results and traffic. After the blog passed the two year mark, it was getting over 100,000 pageviews a month.

The site was pulling in enough money for a decent full time income, but since I was still working as a financial analyst, I put most of this money into site acquisitions and an army of staff writers to provide content for these sites. So not only did Canadian Finance blog succeed as a stand alone site, it was the cornerstone of me being able to expand the business of Drake Media Inc.

It’s impressive that you’ve been able to do a lot of this work online while still maintaining a “regular” job as a financial analyst. How have you been able to balance these online projects with your career in finance? Do you have any tips for people who may be in a similar situation and feel there is no time to build a business outside of work?

I work 60-80 hours in a week between my day job and my business. Gary Vaynerchuk said it best, “Work 9-5, spend a couple hours with your family, 7 to 2 in the morning is plenty of time to do damage.” Knowing the hustle he has, that quote is very inspiring. I heard that early on when I started my first blog and have pretty much kept that same schedule ever since.

Now of course it might not be great advice to tell people to run on so little sleep, but the best way to cram all that in is to be passionate about what you’re doing. If you’re not, it’s going to be hard to spend all your “me time” working on building your business, especially when it’s not making any money at first.

Tell us about some of the partnerships that you’ve built. How did you approach these bloggers/website owners (or have they all approached you)? Can you give us some specific examples of what you were able to do to grow their blog’s traffic and/or earnings?

The first person I partnered with was Jim Yih, and he deserves all the credit for the concept. Jim had been writing articles on his own custom made site for over a decade, but he didn’t like that the site had no ability to leave comments to interact with on social media, but any change to the site would cost thousands of dollars. So after writing for me for a few months, he came to me with the idea of a 50/50 partnership where he can focus on writing and I can handle the backend stuff like site design, SEO and monetization.

I immediately knew that this would be great for both sides, and now Retire Happy is bringing in 6-digit traffic, thousands of dollars a month in AdSense, and was named the best personal finance blog in The Globe and Mail; the top national newspaper here in Canada.

The next person I partnered with took a bit of work since she was used to getting paid upfront to write. Miranda Marquit is a well-known freelance writer in the personal finance niche, but she didn’t have her own blog. So I tried to convince her for months to start one with me, since all she would have to do is focus on writing, I could take care of the rest. I think I finally warmed her up to the idea when we first met in person at the very first FinCon.

So we started up Planting Money Seeds, which won a Plutus Award for best new personal finance blog. Since then, we’ve started up blogs touching on other topics, and Miranda now has 4 blogs and is also involved with me in the Money Mastermind Show!

The other partnership I’m in is with Kevin Mercadante, who was already running Out Of Your Rut for a few years, but wanted to be able to focus on his writing… both on his site and his growing freelance writing career. Kevin came to me asking if I’d be interested in partnering with him and I figured it was another great fit. Kevin is very similar to Miranda since they both primarily make their income from freelancing, and another great thing here is that his site had loads of content to work with already, it just needed some help.

So we got to work on new design and improved the SEO. The site had some problems with Google’s Panda algorithm, so I no-indexed some archive pages and deleted some unnecessary posts. We also changed the AdSense placement and made it blend better. On the next Panda update traffic doubled and the income increased almost 4x. This more than paid for the partnership for Kevin, not only could he focus on writing but actually ended up bringing in more money, even after the profit split.

In your experience, what are some of the biggest mistakes (or missed opportunities) that you’ve seen on other people’s sites with regard to monetizing existing traffic?

One of the missed opportunities that easiest to fix is ad placement. You can double your AdSense earnings by simply moving your block from the sidebar and into the content. Blend it similar to the text and links on your site and then start wishing you had done it earlier.

Also on the topic of ad placement, most affiliate banners in a sidebar or header are not going to convert very well, so why potentially distract a reader with them? If you want to succeed with affiliates, write an honest review instead, of even simple recommendations in other related posts.

Looking generally at building a business online: If you had to take your best advice or inspirational thought and put it into one sentence or phrase, what would that be? 

In a good business partnership, both sides will feel like the other is doing all the work.

What are your favorite online resources?

To handle as many sites as I do, I rely on a lot of tools. While I use some desktop and web-based software, most of the help comes from WordPress plugins.

A handful of plugins I have that help with social media include Digg Digg so readers can share, Hover Pin-It for popping up a Pinterest button on images, NextScripts for automatically sharing my latest blog posts, and WordPress SEO deserves a mention for supplying all the meta data to various social media platforms.

Some plugins can help improve the quality of your site, both for readers and as a signal to Google. Every couple months you can run Broken Link Checker, Plugin Performance Profiler, Plugins Garbage Collector, and Delete Revision, then disable them when not in use.

Finally, where can people find you online?

My primary blog is Canadian Finance Blog, but you can find most of them over at TomDrake.net. I’m also all over social media, including Twitter, Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest.

Thanks so much for taking the time to answer my questions, Tom!

Have you had any experience partnering with other bloggers?  What’s the experience been like for you?  Leave a comment below! :)

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Successfully Balancing an Online Business and a Full-Time Job with Tom Drake [Interview]

The 10 Things you can do with the Documents App for iOS

Readdle’s Documents 5 is one of my favorite iOS apps. It is completely free, without any ads or in-app purchases, and app is universal meaning it is optimized for both the iPhone and the iPad.

Documents App for iPad and iPhone

The Documents app is hugely popular on the iTunes Apps Store but do you really know about the different things you can do with this versatile app. For starters, Documents is a document viewer but if you are only using the app for reading your PDFs, you’ve only scratched the surface. Here’re a list of things that you can do with Documents on your iPad or iPhone.

1. As a document viewer and media player

You can use the Documents app to open a wide variety of files on your iOS device. It supports PDFs, images, common audio & video formats, Microsoft Office documents, EPUB ebooks and even HTML web pages.

2. For transferring files between computer and iOS

If your computer and iOS device are connected to the same Wi-Fi network, you can quickly transfer files of any type wirelessly between the computer and iOS device without any limitations. Open the Documents app, enable Wi-Fi Drive under Settings and enter the provided IP address (or Bonjour name) in your computer’s browser.

3. Access your Cloud Storage

Documents can connect to your Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and other online storage accounts. Thus you can easily access all your files stored in the cloud from one place.  Single tap any file and it will download to your iOS device for offline access. You can even download and store entire folders from the cloud inside your Documents app with a tap.

4. Upload and Sync Files

You can can upload files of any type from the Documents app to your Dropbox or Google Drive by drag and drop. Long press a file inside Documents and drop it over any connected cloud account available in the sidebar. You can also enable 2-way sync so a folder inside Documents will always stay in sync with a specified folder in your cloud storage (or an FTP server).

5. Save Web Pages as PDFs

The Documents apps has a built-in web browser that, like Google Chrome, can save pages directly as PDF files while preserving the layout and formatting. Alternatively, you can choose the download the page as a raw HTML file or use the Web Archive format that saves the HTML, CSS and JavaScript in a single file.

6. Download Internet Files on your iOS Device

The web browser on your iPhone or iPad does not allow direct file downloads. Thus if you try opening a link that points to, say, a .WMV video or .RAR archive file, the browser would neither be able to handle the file nor would give you an option to save that file. You can however use the browser inside Documents to download any file from the Internet – just paste the file URL in the address bar and it will prompt you to save the file locally.

7. Mail more than 5 Photos

Apple has imposed a strange limitation in their Mail app and it won’t allow you to select and email more than 5 pictures from the Camera Roll in a single message. You can however get around this limitation with the help of Documents.

  1. Either allow Documents access to your Camera Roll, tap and select any number of pictures now and use the mail option to send the selected pictures via the Mail app.
  2. Alternatively, you can import pictures into a folder inside Documents, select them all and choose the ZIP option to create a single archive which you can attach to your email.

8. Move files between iPad and iPhone

If you happen to carry multiple iOS devices, you can use Documents to move files from one device to another. Open the app on both devices, go to Network and connect to the other device. It will be listed under Available devices when both your iPhone and iPad are on the same network. Now select the files and folders that you wish to send to another iOS device and tap upload.

9. As a text editor

While you are in the Documents app, tap the Edit button and choose “Text file” under the Create New menu. You get access to a notes editor that supports both plain text as well as rich text formatting. You can create text file as well as edit existing ones.

10. Fake your browser

Some websites may refuse to open on your iOS because they do not support Safari. You can easily get around this problem by opening the site inside Document’s browser and changing the user agent to a supported browser. This is a useful feature and is not available inside Chrome or Safari for iPhone and iPad.


This story, The 10 Things you can do with the Documents App for iOS, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 01/09/2014 under IPad, IPhone, Software

When You Cannot Reject a Friend Request on Facebook

You meet this person at the gym everyday and one fine morning, he sends you a friend request on Facebook. What do you do? You have exchanged a few conversations with him, he seems like a genuinely nice person but still you don’t know him enough to approve that friend request.

How do you deal with these unwanted friend requests on Facebook coming from office colleagues or old classmates who are acquaintances but not really friends?

When you receive a friend request from someone who you do not wish to be friends with, you can either politely reject the request or ignore it and the request will appear as pending in their timeline. Or when you have no option but to approve that request, you can click “Confirm” to add that person to your Facebook but put him or her in your Restricted list.

When you put someone in the Restricted list, they will be listed as your friend on Facebook but they’ll only see your photos and other posts that are public. In other words, they can only see stuff that your public followers can see except that they are friends with you.

To put someone in the Restricted List, go to their Facebook profile, choose the “Add to List” option from the Friends drop-down and select Restricted. Now they will only see your public stuff in their Facebook newsfeed.

facebook friend requests


This story, When You Cannot Reject a Friend Request on Facebook, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 30/08/2014 under Facebook, Internet

How to Sell your Music on the Internet

It is now easier than ever before to sell your music to a worldwide audience. I’ve been a musician since childhood, and while education, travel and then working for a living got in the way of my dream of becoming a guitar hero, I have never given up hope. Indeed, I’ve spent the last couple of years writing and recording an eclectic mix of songs. The next obvious step was to find some way to get them heard, which is where the advent of social media came into its own.

Sell Music Online

Where to Sell your Music Online

While MySpace is something of a musical backwater these days, despite Justin Timberlake’s intervention, it is still a place to post one’s songs and updates for a musically oriented audience. Much stronger and with a better sense of community though is SoundCloud. I began uploading instrumentals and songs to Soundcloud several years ago, but then opted for a paid account to get more comprehensive statistics as well as pretty much unlimited space for audio files.

Followers on SoundCloud are commonly fellow musicians and, as with all the other social networks, you get more out of them the more you put in — follow others, listen to their music and leave comments and more people will reciprocate. There is importantly also the option to add “buy” links to other services through which your listeners, audience, fans, even, might pay to download a track or two.

The first potentially profitable option I came across was ReverbNation. It is very similar to SoundCloud — you can create a profile and start adding your music, you can set a price or make it free to download. Also, you can either take all the profits after the site’s commission, or opt to share with a charity of your choice. In my case, I give a proportion of every sale to the Fender Music Foundation.

It may just be my experience, but ReverbNation seems a lot quieter in terms of community than SoundCloud and although I get a steady stream of profile views, few people seem to listen there. Moreover, ReverbNation messages users quite frequently with offers of music promotion, which seem to rely on one having paid for a “press pack” up-front.

The next site that appeared on my radar was BandCamp, which also lets you upload your songs and artwork and set a price. The big advantage is that your fans have the option to show their true devotion and pay more than the asking price if they really like a track or album. I have had some success with marketing on BandCamp, although, again I don’t think I’m ready to give up the day job just yet.

Sell Music on iTunes, Spotify, Google Play

Of course, in the music download world, iTunes, Google Play, Amazon MP3 and Spotify are the primary paid outlets and the most well-known among legitimate downloaders. Getting your songs and music album on to these music sites generally requires you to have proper music management and a record label but there are other ways to get listed as well.

The likes of music distribution platforms like CDBaby and TuneCore take an upfront fee and will act as a proxy for a record label to get your music on to iTunes and other online music stores. Your music uploads will appear in stores worldwide. These services, like Audiam also have a partnership with YouTube and you are paid a share of the ad revenue whenever your music is used on YouTube videos.

DistroKid on the other hand charges an almost negligible annual fee, does not take a cut of the profits and nevertheless allows you to upload as many songs as you like each year. It takes a few days for your tracks to propagate to iTunes, Google, Amazon, Spotify, Deezer and Rdio, but it is a very slick and simple process.

In addition, there is loudr.fm which is similar to DistroKid for getting your songs on to iTunes, Amazon, et al quickly and seamlessly, but with one important difference – it lets you upload and sell “cover” versions of other people’s songs by taking care of the licensing and royalties for the songwriter. The service charges no upfront fee but takes a relatively large cut of any profits from the download stores.

Music Distribution Services – Comparison

Service Upfront Cost Sales Commission Supported Music Stores
BandCamp None 15% of the total sales None
ReverbNation $19.95 per month None iTunes, Spotify, Google Music, et al
CD Baby $12.95 per single 9% of the revenue from music sites iTunes, Amazon, Google Play, Beats Music, Shazam, Facebook, YouTube, et al
DistroKid $19.99 per year None iTunes, Spotify, Beats, Rdio, Deezer, Google Play, Amazon MP3
Loudr.fm None 15% of the sales revenue iTunes, Pandora, Spotify and Google Play
TuneCore $9.99 per year per single None iTunes, Amazon MP3, Google Play, Spotify, and more.

 

Obviously none of these music services will make you a guitar hero if you do not have the musical chops and even if you do, you will have to spend a considerable amount of time marketing and sharing the links to see any substantial return. When I was a youngster, going viral was all about getting spots and feeling ill, today, I would be very pleased to go viral with Spotify and to get a spot on the iTunes charts. Rock on!

David BradleyDave Bradley (Wikipedia, Twitter, Blog) is an award-winning science journalist based in Cambridge, England, with a rekindled dream of becoming an online guitar hero in middle age. He has various recordings on the sites mentioned above including a full album of eclectic electric and acrostic acoustic songs on BandCamp.


This story, How to Sell your Music on the Internet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 26/08/2014 under Music, Internet

How to Load Disqus Comments on Click

The comments on my website are powered by Disqus, the most popular commenting platform that offers a lot more features than what the native commenting engines of Blogger or WordPress have to offer. For instance, Disqus lets me moderate discussions or reply to comments via email itself and commenters can use their existing Facebook or Twitter accounts to sign-in for commenting on web pages.

The Disqus widget is loaded asynchronously meaning it downloads the JavaScript in parallel and would not therefore impact the load time of your web pages. That said, the widget still adds lot of weight to your pages as the Disqus files will download on the user’s computer even if they aren’t interested in participating in the discussion. The other issue with auto-loading Disqus is that it makes your pages lengthy especially when viewed on mobile devices.

disqus comments

Load Disqus on Demand with JavaScript

As an alternative, you can configure Disqus on your website to load on-demand and not automatically. When someone clicks a button – like the example here – the widget will be dynamically added to your web page and not otherwise. This lazy-loading technique can be implemented in pure JavaScript without jQuery.

Step 1: Go to your web page template that has Disqus and replace the #disqus_thread <div> with the following snippet:

<div id="disqus_thread">
  <a href="#" onclick="disqus();return false;">Show Comments</a> 
</div>

Step 2: Next place the Disqus code before the close <head> tag of your web page. You’ll have to replace the disqus variables – like disqus_shortname, disqus_url, etc. – with your own parameters.

<script type="text/javascript">

// Replace labnol with your disqus shortname
var disqus_shortname = "labnol";

// Put the permalink of your web page / blog post
var disqus_url = "http://example.com/blog-post";

// Put the permalink of your web page / blog post
var disqus_identifier = "http://example.com/blog-post"; 

var disqus_loaded = false;

// This is the function that will load Disqus comments on demand
function disqus() {

  if (!disqus_loaded)  {
    
    // This is to ensure that Disqus widget is loaded only once
    disqus_loaded = true;
    
    var e = document.createElement("script");
    e.type = "text/javascript";
    e.async = true;
    e.src = "//" + disqus_shortname + ".disqus.com/embed.js";
    (document.getElementsByTagName("head")[0] ||
     document.getElementsByTagName("body")[0])
    .appendChild(e);
  }
} 

</script>

The page will have a “Show Comments” button and the comments are only loaded when the button is clicked.

Some websites have auto-loading enabled for Disqus but the widget is loaded when the reader has scrolled to the bottom of the  article. This can again be done in JavaScript. We can use the onscroll method to check whenever the page is scrolled and if the user is near the bottom, the script will load the Disqus widget.

Place this snippet near the closing </body> tag of your page.

<script type="text/javascript">
  window.onscroll = function(e) {
    if ((window.innerHeight + window.scrollY) 
        >= document.body.offsetHeight) 
    {
        if (!disqus_loaded) disqus(); 
    }
};
</script>

This story, How to Load Disqus Comments on Click, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 25/08/2014 under Code, JavaScript, Internet

My Online Income Report – July 2014

July was an interesting month, where I evaluated my priorities and decided to essentially take an official break from some of the internet marketing and blogging activities I had been doing.

Sometimes, you just need to hit the refresh button.

That’s been the story of my life for the past couple months as I’ve embarked on all sorts of new things (new home, promotion/new role at work, wedding planning).

With that said, this income report is going to feel a bit empty, because it represents all the things I used to be involved with but am currently taking a break from.  The nice part is, it really shows the power of passive income.  The fact that I can spend practically no time on any of these projects during the month, yet still earn a meaningful amount of money.

Let’s jump right into the income report.

Freelance Writing Income

  • None!

Other Article-Related Income:

Squidoo

  • Amazon: $1.26
  • Revenue Sharing: $0.00

InfoBarrel

  • Revenue Sharing: $3.10
  • Amazon: $0.00

Total Writing Income: $4.36

Lending Club

Lending Club, as I’ve written about many times, is one of my favorite online passive income sources, because I believe it’s my only source of truly passive income. What I mean by this is, once you select your investments (which only takes a few minutes), you sit back and collect the monthly payments which include a repayment of your initial investment + a relatively high rate of interest.

Now that I’m done saving for a house and wedding, I’m going to start getting back into investing some serious money into Lending Club and other similar passive investments online.  I’ll be writing more about these in the future, because I believe they can be a strong foundation for any passive income portfolio.

If you’re interested – here’s the strategy I have used to select my investments. It’s pretty simple, as you’ll find.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 5.99% (+.07% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 207 (+3 from previous month)

If you’re interested in trying Lending Club, you can sign up with this link and get a free account. Investments can be made for as little as $25. I am an affiliate for Lending Club, so if you have any questions about it, I’d be more than happy to answer them in the comments (or feel free to contact me by e-mail).

Prosper

Prosper.com is another site where I invest, which is a social lending platform very similar to Lending Club.

Here are the statistics for this past month:

  • Annualized rate of return: 14.77% (+0.04% from the previous month)
  • Number of loans: 5 (no change from the previous month).

It may seem that I’m doing much better here compared to Lending Club, but that’s somewhat misleading. Because I only invest in 5 loans (vs. 207 at Lending Club), and none of them have defaulted, my rate of return % is going to be very high.

I think I still prefer Lending Club to Prosper, only because you have more flexibility in choosing investments, and there is more transparency overall. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with investing on both platforms though; I will continue to do so.

If you’re interested, you can create a Prosper account here.

For the first time in a long time, my Amazon/”Adsense” niche sites didn’t earn anything.  It’s somewhat of a fluke though, since the sites still receive some traffic.

Here’s a summary of my niche site earnings:

  • Amazon: $0.00
  • Media.net: $0.00
  • Chitika: $0.00
  • InfoLinks: $0.00
  • Commission Junction: $0.00
  • Total: $0.00

The Daily Interview

As I’ve mentioned before, I will be rolling The Daily Interview into My 4-Hour Workweek, and publish interviews here (less frequently than “daily” of course).  With that said, The Daily Interview will still exist as a standalone site, it just won’t be updated for the foreseeable future.

Here’s what the site earned last month:

Undisclosed Authority Site

This site is inactive, but continues to earn a bit of money.

  • Media.net: $2.31
  • Indeed.com: $0.00
  • Total: $2.31

Slow Carb Diet Experiments

  • Amazon: $3.91
  • Media.net: $1.60
  • Total: $5.51

Total Authority Site Earnings: $10.13

Here’s the breakdown for affiliate and other income earned during the month. [Note: This income comes from other sites not discussed/listed above, including affiliate sales generated through this blog.]

Total Misc. Affiliate Earnings: $479.69

Income Summary

Here’s a summary of July’s earnings, organized by category:

  • Freelance Writing: $4.36
  • Niche Sites: $0.00
  • Authority Sites: $10.13
  • Misc. Affiliate Income: $479.69

Grand Total for June: $494.18 (+$6.26 from June)

I’m still very happy to earn nearly $500 on virtually no time spent.  That’s a nice chunk of passive income when you make your living with a full time job.  I’m surprised at how consistent the earnings were compared to last month, though I expect August may see a dip.  We’ll see!

These were my top 5 most popular blog posts in July based on number of views:

1) 142+ Ways to Make Money Online

2) Is CashCrate Legit? Here’s My CashCrate Review

3) My Online Income Report – June 2014

4) AdSense Account Disabled: What the Hell?!

5) Where Are Your Priorities At? It May Be Time to Pivot (Again)

How did your online business and projects do in July?  Leave a comment and let me know!

If you enjoyed this income report, subscribe to the RSS feed (if you haven’t already) so that you don’t miss any future updates.

Also, follow me on Twitter and say hi!

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Thanks for subscribing to my feed! For more great content, check out my Muse Creation Newletter for tips, tricks, and ideas that I won't share on my blog.

Also, follow me on Twitter!

Thanks again!

My Online Income Report – July 2014

How do you Make Money on the Internet

You may have a well-paying job but it wouldn’t hurt if you can earn a few extra dollars every month utilizing the knowledge and skills that you already have. There are no shortcuts but if you ready to put in the effort and time, here are some “legitimate” ways to help you make money on the Internet.

make money online

25 Ways to Make Money on the Internet

  1. Start a website or a blog and earn revenue through advertising networks like Google AdSense and BuySellAds. You can even sell your own ads directly through Google DFP.
  2. Launch a curated email newsletter using MailChimp and find sponsors or use a subscription model where people pay a fee to receive your newsletter.  HackerNewletter, Now I Know and Launch.co are good examples.
  3. Create your own YouTube channel and become a YouTube partner to monetize your videos. You may use Oneload to distribute the same video to multiple video sites.
  4. Make something creative – like handbags, jewelry, paintings, craft items – and sell them on Etsy, ArtFire or eBay.
  5. Build your own online store with Shopify or SquareSpace and sell both physical goods and digital downloads. Sell everything from furniture to clothes to food.
  6. Create t-shirt designs and put them on Threadless, Zazzle and CafePress.
  7. Write a book and publish it on the Kindle store, Google Play and iBooks. You can also sell your ebook to other retailers through services like Smashwoods and BookBaby.
  8. Become an instructor at Udemy and SkillShare and get paid for teaching your favorite subjects – from guitar to literature to yoga to foreign languages – to a worldwide audience.
  9. Learn how to code and you can then hunt for software development projects at Guru, eLance or Rent-a-Coder (now Freelancer.com).
  10. Become a virtual office assistant and offer administrative or technical assistance to clients remotely from your home office. Head over to eLance, TaskRabbit and oDesk for finding work.
  11. Offer one-on-one help to anyone worldwide over live video using Google Helpouts. You can do live cooking classes, teach maths or even offer fitness and nutrition tips.
  12. Write scripts, browser extensions, plugins or mobile apps for iOS and Android and sell the source code of your software on CodeCanyon, Chupa or BinPress.
  13. People are outsourcing petty computer jobs – like data entry work, transcribing text from business cards or performing web research – and you find these jobs at Mechanical Turk, an Amazon service.
  14. Creative professionals can scan marketplaces like CrowdSpring, 99Designs and DesignCrowd for projects involving logo design, web design, brochures and other marketing material.
  15. Do you have a good voice? Sign-up as an audio narrator at Umano or become a voice over artist at VoiceBunny and Voice123.
  16. Record your own music and sell it on music stores like Amazon MP3, iTunes, Pandora or Spotify through DistroKid, Tunecore, loudr.fm and CDBaby. You can also sell your audio files directly on marketplaces like AudioJungle, Pond5 and Bandcamp.
  17. Become an affiliate for Amazon and various online stores and earn a commission on sales. You can use programs like VigilinkShareASale, CJ or LinkShare to know about the various vendors that offer affiliate programs.
  18. Educators and teachers can help students with homework or offer on-demand teaching class over the Internet. Apply to become an online tutor at Tutor.com, InstaEdu and TutorVista.
  19. Got an empty room in your apartment? You can list the property on Airbnb, host people and make some money. The other alternative is Couchsurfing but the service forbids from charging guests.
  20. Sell photographs that you have taken on Creative Market, PhotoDune, iStockPhoto or ImgEmbed. The latter lets you easily license photos you have uploaded on Facebook, Flickr or Instagram for online use.
  21. Sell the stuff you no longer use – like old books, children’s toys, gadgets, DVDs, furniture, etc. – on sites like eBay, Craigslist or, if you are in India, OLX.
  22. Apply to become a website tester at UserTesting and get paid to review and test websites from the usability perspective.
  23. If friend’s look at you for tech support, there’s no reason why you can’t offer similar services on the Internet. Get Skype (for calling) and Chrome Remote Desktop (for screen sharing) and you are all set to offer remote tech help from anywhere.
  24. Create an account at Fiverr and PeoplePerHour and offer a wide range of services from translation to graphic design to writing to SEO.
  25. You can make money by flipping websites. Flippa, GoDaddy Auctions and Sedo are popular marketplaces for buying and selling registered domains while LeanDomainSearch is a good tool for finding available domain names.

This story, How do you Make Money on the Internet, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 20/08/2014 under Google AdSense, Internet

How to Easily Recognize Web Colors from RGB Codes

If you’ve ever customized the design of your HTML website, or tried changing the background color of your social profiles, you’ve probably encountered Hexadecimal color codes. These are a string of 6 characters – like “0066FF” – that you know represent colors but we rarely make the effort to understand them.

rgb hexadecimal colors

Here is a simple guide to help you recognize web colors more quickly from their RGB codes. No more guessing or consulting the color palettes.

In a typical web representation #RRGGBB, the first 2 digits denote red, the second 2 digital are for green and while the last 2 digit represent the blue shade.

Each number denotes the strength of that particular color – FF0000 is only red (no green, no blue), 00FF00 only green (no red, no blue). If all colors are present in equal strength FFFFFF, you get white, if no color is present 000000, you get full black.

If you want to “darken” a color, you need to move the color towards black 000000. That means 880000 is darker than BB0000 that is darker than FF0000.

Similarly, if you want to “lighten” a color, move towards white FFFFFF. So, FF8888 is lighter than FF4444 that is lighter than FF0000

Color combinations are dictated by the “strongest” color. So BB8844 is a reddish shade, 33CC00 would be a little green, and 777777 gray (since it has no strongest color).

Similarly, the RGB code for Facebook blue is #3B5998 which is predominantly blue color.

If you’re uncomfortable with Hexadecimal arithmetic, you could use the standard Windows calculator in scientific mode to perform such calculations. Hexadecimal numbers use 16 unique symbols (0-F) as opposed to the Decimal number system’s 10 (0-9), and to make up for the extra 6 characters, the English alphabets A-F are used.


This story, How to Easily Recognize Web Colors from RGB Codes, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 18/08/2014 under Colors, Web Design

How to Send Out of Office Replies in Twitter

Twitter, for many, has become a preferred medium of communication. Your email messages may never get read or, in the worst case, may get caught in the Spam folder but tweets and @mentions are very likely to get noticed.

When you are travelling or going on a vacation, with limited access to the Internet, you often create an “out of office” reply in your email program to let people know that you won’t be able to respond to them right away. How about doing something similar for people who are trying to reach you through Twitter?

Twitter Auto-responder

What will the Twitter Auto-Responder do

Unlike your email program, Twitter offers no easy way for you to setup out of office auto-replies but we can easily and quickly add such a feature to our Twitter account(s) with the help of a simple Google Script.

You specify the start date and the end date when the auto-responder should be active and any tweets sent to you during this period will automatically get a reply from your Twitter account saying you are out of office (the auto-reply text can be configured). The replies are sent only once so if a person sends you two or more tweets during your vacation period, they will get only one out-of-office auto-reply.

How to Setup Out of Office Replies in Twitter

Step A: Setup a Twitter App

  1. Go to apps.twitter.com and sign-in with your existing Twitter account. Create a new Twitter app (screenshot), add a description, website (any URL) and put https://spreadsheets.google.com/macros/ in the callback URL field.
  2. Once the Twitter app has been created, click the Permissions tab and set Read and Write as the Application Type. Click Update Settings to save your changes.
  3. Switch to the API Keys tab and make note of the Consumer API Key and API Secret.

Step B: Setup the Auto-responder Script

  1. Click here to make a copy of the auto-responder script into your Google Drive.
  2. Enter the start and end dates of your vacation, the Twitter API keys (from the previous step), and your Twitter handle.
  3. Go to Run -> Start to initialize the auto-responder. Say Yes if the script requires you to authorize access to certain Google Script services.
  4. Choose Run -> Start again and authorize the script to post tweets from your Twitter account.

The script will invoke itself on the specified start date and will respond to all incoming tweets until the end date. It will then stop itself automatically. As always, you are free to use, modify and distribute the source code with attribution.

When you are taking another vacation, just open the auto-responder script already present in your Google Drive, change the Start and End dates and choose Start from the Run menu to initialize the autoresponder again.


This story, How to Send Out of Office Replies in Twitter, was originally published at Digital Inspiration on 16/08/2014 under Twitter, Internet