Do you have a savings account?

Do you have a savings account and do you have enough savings?

I was watching TV Patrol this evening and they reported that only 1 out of 10 Filipinos are saving something for the rainy day. Sad. But that’s the reality. A couple of people were interviewed and one of them said that what else can she save from her meager income if she is earning only a minimum wage and she has 2 kids to feed. She said that her bank account has zero balance and when you really think about it, she even has a negative balance if she can only make an overdraft.

It is so sad to hear that but it REALLY is the truth. When you are the breadwinner of the family, it is hard to save some money because there is nothing more to save in the first place. Most of the time, breadwinners incur loans and various credits just to make ends meet.

Do you know that I am one of those 9 people who does not save for the rainy day? Oops, wait. Did not. I am saving some now. Before I was introduced to monetizing blogs, I lived from paycheck to paycheck. Those entries I post regarding payday loans? Happened to me. A few days before the next payday, I always find myself short of budget and would be asking friends or relatives for a loan. And because I needed to pay for the loan, my budget would be short once again. It was a vicious cycle. Thank God for make money online programs, I was able to break free from the cycle.

And have you noticed that most Filipinos, when you ask them if they have a savings account, they will say yes but it really is just their payroll account. Most Filipinos who are not working or is being paid in cash don’t have a savings account. The reason is, they do not have enough money to maintain one. Most banks require a minimum maintaining balance of 5,000 pesos and that is a lot of money for an average Filipino.

Someone from the Finance Department was interviewed and he said that every Filipino should at least save 33 pesos a day and it will amount to 1,000 pesos a month. Hmm… it is a good idea for those people who can spare 33 pesos a day. I don’t think that those minimum wage workers can spare that much from their daily budget. Skip lunch or dinner probably? Or the government can probably lower the tax rates so we can save our tax payments instead. Good idea ‘no? 😉

I have started saving some money. And I plan to continue it. Saving is one of my goals for this year. How about you?

How to attract advertisers

In my entry about Making Money with a PR0 Blog, Mel asked me this…

…how to improve my site and kung paano maka-attract ng mga advertisers lalo. (how to attract advertisers even more)

Hmm… I am not really an expert but I have been browsing sites of the BIG probloggers and these are just some tips I gathered from them:

First and foremost, choose a good theme/template. Remember that your site’s layout is the first thing advertisers see. Make sure you have a clean layout. You should have a predefined corner where advertisers can put their ads. I read somewhere that it is better to choose a SEO-ready theme. And there a lot of this kind of themes.

I love themes by the following designers: Randa Clay, Brian Gardner, Solostream. I also check out themes from Rock-Kitty.net and Sadish Bala.

If you see a layout that you love but you don’t like the colors or the header or the background of the theme, you can tweak it a bit. Don’t be afraid to do it. It’s easy. Just make sure you ask permission from the designer or it says in the theme info that you are allowed to change portions of the theme. I will dedicate a post for tweaking themes one of these days.

Content is important. Most advertisers choose a blog which is relevant to their ads. So if you want to attract travel advertisers, then write posts about travel. Things like that. And remember to write in English. Most advertisers don’t like blogs written in any other language unless they are targeting a specific audience. If you really need to write in your local language, just make sure your post title clearly states so.

Site statistics. This is very important to advertisers. Advertisers need a reason to buy space in your blog. What are the benefits of doing business with you: high blog traffic, large circulation, PageRank, Alexa stats, Feedburner count… Other bloggers down play their stats. But I believe if you really want to attract advertisers, put your stats strategically. Put it in a place where advertisers visiting your blogs would likely see it. What are you most proud of? Do you have a high PageRank? Then put it in a place where advertisers will see it right away. High Alexa rank? Do the same. High Feedburner subscriber count? Show it.

So that’s my take on how to attract advertisers. Again, I am no expert. These are a product of what I gathered doing the rounds of blogs of the BIG probloggers out there. Do you have anything to add? Feel free.

Technorati Authority and Rank

Have you noticed that Technorati has not been updating their Authority and Rank accurately? There have been some extreme ups and downs with numbers and even some are not moving at all. I already opened a support ticket for this one a few weeks back but I guess there are too many bloggers like me who are complaining about this to them.

I had this problem with one of my blogs before wherein whenever I ping it, it says that I haven’t updated for 60 days already (and counting) when in fact I update a couple of times a week. When I got the chance to email Technorati, they told me that for some reason, their spiders couldn’t reach my blog. They ‘manually released their spiders’ and my Authority and Rank jumped by a 100+. So you can just imagine the inaccuracy of the numbers because of that problem. For a time, everything was normal. Until December of 2007 when the same problems arose. Now I am waiting for them to look into the problem and address it.

Technorati Authority and Rank is important to some advertisers, especially in Sponsored Reviews. The higher the Authority you have, the better your price per review will be. So I am really concerned whenever there is a problem in updating my Technorati Authority and Rank.

Check out yours. Go to your account, click on Edit beside your account name, go to Blogs and ping your blog(s). If it accurately says how much time has elapsed since you last updated, then you don’t have any problem. But if the time is inaccurate, then you are having problems like mine. Open a support ticket so Technorati can address it right away.

Annoying

I don’t know if it’s just me or you also feel this way… I get annoyed whenever there is a request for a blogger to vote for him or her in this or that contest. Let me clarify that. I don’t get annoyed if the request is from my blogger-friends. If the request is from someone I don’t even know… blah! How can I vote for you and say that your blog is really great when you’re not even in my blogroll and I haven’t seen your blog yet???

Aargh! Some people!

A Happy and Blessed 2008 Everyone!

I wish everyone will have a bountiful year ahead :)

I know you have noticed I have been away for days now. I am currently enjoying some ‘vacation’ time and will be fully back by January 7, 2008. I will make it up to everyone by then.

God bless everyone! Have a safe New Year’s Eve celebration!

Pissed!

I hate it when friends abuse my kindness!

I lent a friend some money back in July. I wouldn’t have lent him some if he really didn’t need it. I also trusted him not to double cross me. Boy was I wrong! Almost 6 months down the road, here I am, begging him to at least leave me a message on YM. I have left messages on his YM accounts, Gmail, Friendster and even texted him even if his cellphone number is always out of reach. All messages asking him to at least tell me if he can already pay me or he still needs more time. I was polite at first thinking maybe he has not gone online for a few days now and his cellphone was pawned to get money for his kids and all. I am creating scenarios in my head so as to avoid thinking that he has no more desire to pay me. And then I saw his Friendster account a few minutes ago. It says that his last log in was 24 hours ago. Tapos dedma??? WTF?!?!@#$!%

I left him an angry message telling him to give me some respect because I did not just picked up that money out of nowhere. Of all my friends…

Another friend is asking for some financial help. She might not pull something like this on me but I don’t know. I have a soft heart for people undergoing financial problems because I’ve been there so many times I know the feeling of drowning in a sea of debts. That’s why I help relatives and friends. I always keep in mind that when I was in that situation, I hardly had someone I can run to for some financial help. And now that I can do my share of helping, I want to at least give back the kindness I received from others before.

But with this situation, I don’t know if I will lend money to friends again.

I am really pissed right now!

Funny banner!

I bumped the entry that was supposed to go up tonight and instead I am posting this one. I am browsing sites of some popular bloggers today to get some idea on what is happening in the other side of the blogosphere (read: the upper class) and have found this banner really funny…

PoogleBanner

These people are kissing Poogle’s a$$ to be able to get their PRs back. Ha! As if Poogle Google will care about them!

This blogger, one of the top earners in PPP, is saying goodbye to her paid posts because she is on a “Poogle worship mission”, her words not mine. She can adopt all this kiss-a$$ attitude already because she has earned over $10K from PPP and is earning almost $1K from TLA every month. Now what about the little bloggers just starting out to earn some extra income for the holidays???

I say go on an Alexa worship mission! Haha 😀

***

I read Matt Cutts’ blog whenever he has updates. I love the guy even if he works at the Poogleplex. I admire his spunk in answering bitchy comments from bloggers slapped by his boss. I also admire his deep supply of patience in facing bloggers lambasting his boss. He explained some reasons why most blogs lost their PR. As well as why blogs not selling links or doing paid posts also got the slap. But there are loopholes in his explanation that I still don’t understand. Like, why are some blogs selling links not penalized like ours? Are they just lucky enough to avoid the Poogle’s all-encompassing eyes? And he said that blogs not into paid posts got a PR reduction because there was a PR update made at the same time the slap was happening. But then when you look at popular blogs previously slapped, they got their PR back just after a few days. What’s the deal?

Anyway, whatever, I still love Matt Cutts! Go read his blog if you are concerned whether Poogle will give you your PR back.

***

Anyhow, this site is saying GOODBYE to PPP, Blogsvertise and ReviewMe. Ah no, I am not on a Poogle worship mission as well. It’s just that, now that this site is back to a PR0, I don’t feel compelled to write $5 posts under PPP anymore. And I am not really crazy about the Real Rank and Social Spark. It looks dubious to me and there is this nagging thought in my mind that Real Rank will only benefit the upper class of PPP posties and posties from the US, Canada and UK. Asian posties, notice how we don’t get decent opps but when you ask other posties in the US and UK they still get decent ones even if they have a PR0?

ReviewMe has brought me a decent amount of income when I joined them. But for some reason, campaigns get lesser and lesser for PR0 blogs. Ditto with Blogsvertise.

I checked and I only have 9 posts under PPP and 8 posts under ReviewMe. Not really sure how many under Blogsvertise but I think it’s around 5. There will be no more than that.

I will still be doing paid posts for SponsoredReviews, Smorty, PayU2Blog, BTOP and others.

BUT, it would be lesser or in between 2 non sponsored posts. That will be my goal for this blog come 2008.

Happy blogging everyone!

Can you feel the Christmas spirit?

Not really. I just felt it when we went to Divisoria last weekend. Saturday and Sunday mornings, we were at Tutuban and 168 Malls. We bought gifts for relatives and friends already. That is the only time I felt its already Christmas because there are so many people around doing their Christmas shopping. But other than that, wala.

I just feel sad because you cannot feel the old Christmas spirit anymore. Those times we were kids when shopping was not really important. Caroling was the main focus of kids, eagerly awaiting December 16th. I miss the old times when Christmas decorations did not consist of huge, expensive “parols” bought from Pampanga or Gilmore Street but of a simple parol made of papel de Hapon. Christmas is so commercialized nowadays. If you don’t have enough money, your Christmas is doomed. That’s the idea injected in our minds.

I noticed that in our neighborhood, only 3 houses, including ours, put up Christmas lights and parol. How sad no? When before, after November 2, decorations are in full swing already. Now, it’s already December 3 and yet people are not yet in the Christmas mood.

Ask them why and only one answer will they give you…

Wala kasing pera.

Didn’t they know that with or without money we can all celebrate Christmas? It need not be an expensive celebration. We just have to go back to basic and celebrate it because of the Lord. A simple parol will do. It need not be an expensive one. Banderitas will do. And some Christmas songs blasting from the neighbor’s radio will do the trick.

Wait, come to think of it, do you hear Christmas songs being played on the radio?

Come on, let’s start spreading the Christmas spirit. It’s 22 days before Christmas… can you suggest ways we can celebrate Christmas even without much money involved?

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