Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Monetizing Your Christian Blog

Wade Tonkin of the Christian Affiliate Marketing Association gave some useful information at the GodBlog Conference, a niche that was featured at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas, NV.

His presentation was entitled, "Supporting Your Blog While Staying Saved" and it contained a lot of useful tools to help you make money from your Christian blog.

I plan on implementing many of Wade's suggestions in an effort to put a little extra cash in my pocket and to earn money to donate to a Christian charity which I've yet to decide on - there are so many worthy causes! Wouldn't it be great if I could earn enough to help a few organizations?

Here are some of the things that Wade suggests:

Don't spend too much time on Direct Paid Ads when you are first starting out. They can be hard to sell.

Sign up for Blog Advertising Networks such as BlogAds. These networks allow you to submit your blog, let advertisers find you and request that they advertise on your site, and let you approve or reject the ad. Please note that BlogAds requires you be sponsored by another blogger in the network. Not to worry though, there are plenty of other Blog Advertising Networks out there.

Consider adding a "Blog Tipping Widget" to allow others to support your efforts. is a program that supports tipping and allows you to make customize widgets.

Sign up for affiliate programs. There are two types: Network programs which has hundreds of products and handles all your billing or Private programs which you have to work with individually requiring more work on your part.

Write product reviews and be sure to include photos and images.

When working with a affiliate network look for a statement of faith. Sites that are scamming will not have one and should be avoided.

Sites to avoid:
Big Church
Christian Faith Financial
Dating and financial networks

Sites of interest:
Harvest Ministries
Singles of Faith
Christain Cafe
Commission Junction

Wishing you "Blessings from Above" on monetizing your blog!

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Monday, September 29, 2008

"Go Green" Christian blogging

Take my poll on the right side of this blog to give your opinion on if I should start a "Go Green" blog written with a Christian flare.

Thanks in advance!
Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Facts About the World of Blogging from Richard Jalichandra from Technorati

Technorati's Richard Jalichandra shared some interesting statistics from the State of the Blogosphere 2008 report at BlogWorld in Las Vegas, NV, last week. Here are some of the things I learned from his presentation.

  • 1.2 million bloggers are registered with Technorati (as of 9/20/08)
  • Two-thirs are male based on a 1,300 person study of people from around the world.
  • 50% surveyed were ages 18-34.
  • 70% considered themselves personal bloggers as opposed to those blogging for a business.
  • 1 in 4 bloggers spend 10 hours a week blogging.
  • The top 100 bloggers post 10 times a day (wow!)
  • Top bloggers use five or more activities to promote their blogs.
  • Popular bloggers post 81 times or more a month.
  • Popular brands are now reaching out to bloggers. One-third of those surveyed have been approached by brands.
  • Top bloggers interact with their audience by hosting an online or in-person event.

To learn more interesting statistics on blogging, visit the State of the Blogosphere 2008. Take notice that this is a report broken up into five different days. Be sure to read the intro and all five days.

Isn't it cool that God gave us the Blogosphere to reach other people and the tools to figure out who is participating in the world of blogging? I am definately in the right generation!

My next post will feature ways to monetize your blog. There was a lot of great information on that at BlogWorld.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blessed at GodBlog Conference!

Standing in line at Starbuck's a surveyed the people around me. Most had tote bags filled to the rim. Some had laptop bags and their iPod's earbuds tucked in their ears. I wonder if they were ProBloggers, novices or like me, somewhere in between - sorta knowledgeable but had more to learn.

This would be my first time in Las Vegas and my first blogging conference. BlogWorld Expo was a weekend long conference that ran last weekend, Sept. 20-21st. It was a five hour flight from home in Jersey, but it was well worth it. I financed the $280 conference (I got a discount!) by writing for other online venues so I didn't even feel guilty about going. I loved the fact that not only did they have a secular part of the expo, but they had specific tracks including GodBlog which was specifically geared toward Christians. What a miracle it was that this niche was included in the conference!

The weekend was packed with tons of information from keynote speakers and breakout session speakers. It will probably take me a few weeks just to sort through everything. And one of the coolest things was that I got to meet new bloggers and some of the authors of blogs that I've been following for quite a while. It's always nice to put a face to a name.

Those that I follow were even speakers. A few of them included Brian Clark of Copyblogger, Darren Rowse of ProBlogger, Wendy Piersall of Sparkplugging, and Marcus Goodyear, Senior Editor of The High Calling. Check out their sites when you get the chance.

In future posts, I'll share some really great Christian resources for Christian bloggers that I discovered at the conference, along with other general bloggings tips and tricks. I'll even share a little of my vacation in Las Vegas. And don't worry - my husband and I had seriously G-Rated fun! There was none of that raunchy stuff going in Vegas for us. I can talk about what happened in Vegas!

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"
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Monday, September 8, 2008

Bible "School"

Have you ever had a hard time understanding the Bible? Or felt so overwhelmed by it that you totally avoided it except for when the pastor recites versus on Sunday mornings? I know that I’ve been there and still am on occasion.

Clearly the Bible is an important book. It’s God’s Word and how are we to obey it if we don’t even understand it?

My time in Higher Education has taught me that there is a reason we do not understand certain things. More than likely, it’s not being taught in our learning style or the person teaching it has a different learning pattern then we do, so they present the information in a way that just doesn’t make sense to us.

It’s important to know your learning style. According to the Let Me Learn Process, there are four patterns of learning:
  • Sequential – enjoys learning things in order from start to finish without being interrupted.
  • Precision – learns best when taking precise notes and asking questions.
  • Technical – wants to get their hands on it and experience it for themselves.
  • Confluence – finds alternative ways to do things and improvises along the way.

So What Does This Have to Do With Bible Study?
Well, learning the Bible isn’t much different than learning how to work with a computer. Although the content and the importance of the Bible is far greater than computers, the learning process is still the same.

For example, my learning style is to dabble a little with a computer software program from start to finish (sequential pattern) and then when I get stuck, I like to ask question (precision pattern) after question after question…..well, you get the point. It’s no different with the Bible. When I sit down to read it, I usually only get so far without another resource to answer my questions.

Here are the things that I use:
Sunday church service
My hubby!
Other individuals more advanced in their spiritual walk with the Lord
A Life Application Study Bible (this is a fantastic resource that has loads of extra information explaining each verse and person in the Bible!)

I know just looking at how robust the Bible is, I feel so overwhelmed I don’t even know where to begin, but if you are a hands-on, "let’s get to it type of learner," having a Bible study teacher hanging over you may really get on your nerves and hinder your learning. You are the type of individual I envy because you can just understand it on your own. You can just pick up the Bible, no matter how thick it is, and read, and read, and read. Lucky!

Some of you may be reading this and feeling like you are reading something written by an alien since neither of these two approaches sound of any interest. That’s ok too. Sometimes you get lost in the written word and watching or listening others help you to stay focused. Here are some good options for you to take in the information in a way that is more comfy for you:
Get yourself some DVD's

Database driven website
that will allow you to type in and search for a topic that you specifically want to know more about and just zero in on that.
Daily Devotionals like the one I explained in my last post, A Joyce Meyer Devotional.

Don’t misunderstand me though. There is no replacement for the Bible. Continue to read it, however, add the above items that God has blessed us with as a supplemental way to learn more about the Bible rather than just avoiding it all together.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Saturday, September 6, 2008

A Joyce Meyer Devotional

I love Joyce Meyer. I think she is real if you know what I mean, not one of those phony baloney's. She tells like it is and isn't afraid of what you think. Not to mention that most of the time the things she is talking about apply to her too and she tell ya that.

I went to Hershey, PA, just a few weeks ago to see her conference. My mother-in-law and I had a great time listening to Joyce and, well, eating the chocolate. Sorry! I am mean we were right there at Hershey Chocolate World. I had to have some of the tasty chocolate, I mean it's one of God's best inventions!

Well, anyway, back to Joyce. I was just overwhelmed with the amount of resources that she had for sale at the conference. The table seem to stretch on forever with hundreds and hundreds of books, CD's, DVD's, box sets, and more. I live for that kind of stuff. I had to control myself so I only bought one thing - Joyce's "Ending Your Day Right" devotionals. Christmas is coming and all those other things will end up on my Christmas list!

As I dedicated some time to reading the devotional and the Bible verse that went along with it this past Thursday night, I was shocked to realize that it correlated with my last few posts. It was entitled, "Pursue Your Purpose" and it referenced Matthew 6:33 - But Seek First of all His Kingdom and His righteousness, and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

I encouraged you in my last few posts to do the things that your really want to do that make you happy. Joyce takes it a step further by saying seek God first and what he wants you to do in life and he will grant you those desires if you look to him first.

What a motivational thought and it's oh so true. If we pursue the plans that God has for us in life, we are bound to be successful. Just make sure you are listening and get busy! What things are you going to for yourself and God?

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Friday, September 5, 2008

7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him

I came a across the blog, "The Greatest Mission Trip You'll Ever Take - Empowering Christian Parents to be Missionaries in Their Own Home," by blog author Deb Burton. She posted a great article on "7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him" that I thought was very fitting for Blessings From Above.

The following is the post written by Deb Burton. Visit her blog when you can the chance to read more of her content and say hello to her.

7 Ways the Lord Blesses a Family Centered on Him by Deb Burton
Is there really that much difference between families who make God their focus and those who faithfully, but only, attend church and church-related activities? The whole focus here at TGMT is to get families into reading the Bible together, discussing God and His truths on a daily basis, and, in short, making much of God in everything our families do. Does it really produce any tangible results?

I can tell you hands down that the one thing God blesses a family with that is focused on worshipping and serving Him - as a family - is JOY. My experience is that this joy is proportionate to two things:

the obedience of the parents to teach their children about God;
the willingness of children, as they get older, to follow in their parent’s footsteps.

How Does The Lord Bless This Kind Of Family?

1. By making little everyday things special. I’m willing to bet that I experience more than my fair share of those heart swelling moments than the average parent: watching my family interact with each other, observing a child practice diligence through trial, welcoming my husband home after he’s been gone for a week. I think it’s probably almost unfair to others that I’ve been blessed with this much joy.

2. By transforming the family’s attitude toward serving each other. Many families will claim to do anything for their loved ones, but in fact spend a great deal of time focused on their own personal interests. The norm is to conveniently find an excuse not to lift a finger when someone asks for help. But a family focused on God learns self-sacrifice and helps each other, even if it’s inconvenient to do so. It’s a task to teach cheerful giving sometimes, but Matthew 21:28-31 plays out over and over again in families focused on the Lord.

3. By being able to laugh in the midst of trial. While challenges often produce tension in the household, those families with Jesus as Lord are able to find things to laugh about to help ward off the edge. When I was diagnosed with lupus in 2000, the simplest of things were fatiguing and painful to do. My oldest son, then fresh with his driver’s license, took over the task of grocery shopping. He did very well, but in his quest to follow in my frugal footsteps he made some purchases that I’m afraid even the dog turned his nose up at. Nonetheless, it gave us all something else to think about other than mom being sick.

4. By developing a 20/20 hindsight that smiles. When we’re in the middle of questionable circumstances, it’s hard to fathom the good that can come of it. Sometimes even the anticipation of something is enough to produce worry and disquiet. Knowing that God reigns supreme over our family helps us stick together, and when we make it to the other side, enables us to see more clearly His hand in the situation. That’s a joy that strengthens the family for when the next onslaught comes.

5. By finding humor in life’s nuances. Our family enjoys reading the funny anecdotes submitted to Reader’s Digest. I often wonder how people are able to remember those funny intricacies of life, but the truth is, they’re all around us. The joy of a God-focused family can be found in the good-natured teasing, creative imagination and wide-eyed studying of the world around us by our family members.

6. By endowing certain family members with the gift of drawing smiles and laughs. Everyone in my family has this ability, using it at different times. One recent Sunday morning before church, a time which can often be hectic and even irritating to get out the door on time, my oldest son, home from college, launched into a game of twenty questions. Only they weren’t your usual questions. What color are you? What animal would you be? What soda are you? What country would you be? The questions got us thinking, and before long, as we were pulling into the church parking lot, we were laughing at the absurdity of some of our answers. It was a great way to start worship that morning.

7. By enjoying each other’s company. I know a lot of parents who feel they need a constant break from the stresses of parenting. I can honestly say my husband and I have never felt that way. We enjoy the company of our children. It’s a running joke that we’ll plan a special date for the two of us, and one of us inevitably will ask the question, “Wanna bring the kids?” Families who are Christ-centered enjoy time together and can think of no better way of spending time than with each other.

Is there a lot of difference between Christ-centered families and those who regularly, but only, attend church? I say, yes. The family dynamics show obvious differences and can be seen even in church on Sunday morning. See if you don’t notice them yourself.

Deb's advice is great don't you think? I know when I have children I am going to keep it in mind! I hope you'll give it a try too.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Don't Deprive the World

In my last post I lectured you like a mom on "Don't Let Life Pass You By! Make it Happen!" I want you to get out there and do what you want to do NOW and not wait until it's too late. On that same note, and let me just say up front that I am going to be selfish here, you should get out and do what you do best for the rest of the world. Don't deprive us!

While you may think, "Eh, I am not going to finish writing that new song I had in mind, it won't be popular anyway," think twice. What if Beethoven said that or how about the author of Amazing Grace? If they decided not to write their songs the world would be deprived of their talent.

And that goes for so many things. Look at all the contributions that Ben Franklin made and all the joy that Walt Disney brought to those around him and generations to come. That could be you. Just take a leap of faith, get a little energized, and get going! Write the song, create your invention, write your book, create a non-profit organization to help less fortunate or whatever it is that you want to do! If you don't, you won't just be depriving yourself, but possibly depriving the world of the blessing of your skills and talents.

Wishing you "Blessings from Above,"