Behind The Scenes of TheAndySan.com

If you can’t see the video above, click here.

TUTORIALS:

Updated WordPress.com – Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Blog

How To Use Text-Link-Ads

PROGRAM LINKS:

WordPress (blogging software)

Google Analytics (website traffic analyzing software)

Text-Link-Ads (monetization business)

Google AdSense (monetization business)

DreamHost (domain hosting and registering)

I was watching a video by Jason of the MyArgonauts channel on YouTube and heard that he was thinking about starting up a website dedicated to people in the JET Programme, which in short is a program that sends college graduates to Japan to teach English.

Jason has been in Japan under the JET Programme for 5 years and came back to America in August 2009 so he’s definitely got a story to tell!

The blogging software that I use is called WordPress. It’s very commonly used so it’s easy to find help for it through forums if you need it. There’s also an extensive collection of plugins for WordPress that can enhance your website in many different ways. There are some that keep track of a certain date, some that display your website traffic, some that update your accounts with social media like Twitter and Facebook when you make a new post, and so on.

Since I have my own web domain that’s not a part of a free blogging community like MySpace or Xanga, the options to customize my website are pretty much endless. Because of this freedom, I can take advantage of monetization methods like Google AdSense and Text Link Ads, although there are some free blogging services like Blogger that you can use monetization services like AdSense. For me though, I’m more than happy with buying my own web domain.

The domain hosting and registering company that I go through is called DreamHost. They’re a really reliable company that I have no complaints about. One of the best things about them, aside from their low prices, is that they can auto-install WordPress for you so you don’t have to deal with its sometimes cumbersome manual installation (it might be easier to do now, but it was pretty daunting circa 2008).

Well, that should give you guys an idea of what running a blog is about. If you want a more in-depth article, check out the links I mentioned earlier as well as the following posts by Steve Pavlina:

How To Make Money From Your Blog

How to Build a High-Traffic Web Site (or Blog)

TheAndySan

How Do I Start Blogging?

It All Started With A Question

My friend Adam asked me a question on FaceBook today. He asked:

So I’ve seen quite a few people actually try to make some dough with blogs. Some succeeding.

I used to blog.. on Xanga.. but then everyone stopped doing it.. so I stopped doing it too.

If I could make 10-30 bucks a month.. that’d be sweet. So where do i start if i wanna make money with it? Give me some help dude. I wanna document the life and times of an aspiring jazz musician in acollege of music.

Buying a Domain Name & Hosting

Well Adam, that’s fairly easy, especially since you have a good topic (my problem is I can’t stick to one topic). If you want to get a good start as a blogger, purchase your own domain name. Sure, you could go through third-party blogs like MySpace, LiveJournal, Xanga, etc, but you’ll have the most freedom from purchasing your own domain name.

I use WordPress as my blog software. For hosting, I use DreamHost. It’s been pretty reliable so far.

When you’re thinking of a domain name, I’d go with something instantly recognizable and without numbers. For example, www.minording.com is available.

After you’ve settled on a domain name, go through a hosting company like DreamHost, BlueHost, Laughing Squid, etc. Make sure that they can do an auto-install of WordPress. That’s one of the major reasons I went through DreamHost is because they have one-click installs. Sure, I could install everything myself, but I want to make the whole process as efficient as possible so auto-installs are the way to go!

Once WordPress is installed, just follow the prompts to build your website & blog. Although I just have a blog on my website, WordPress can build an entire website as well as a blog.

What Are Your Visitors Doing?

One of the most important things to put up in your blog is Google Analytics. It give you a comprehensive overview of your website. It tells you where your visitors are coming from, how many you’re getting, everything. I can’t recommend it enough!

How To Make Money, Money, Money!

Now as far as monetizing goes, the king in that regard is Google AdSense. Just follow the instructions and you should be good to go. Another service that’s been working great for me is Text Link Ads. If you have a PayPal account, I’d definitely put up a Donations button.

One way you could monetize your content is by going through a service like Associated Content. You can submit virtually anything in about any format (text, video, audio, picture, etc). If you choose to submit content that is Non-Exclusive (recommended), you can later submit it to your blog once it’s published on AC. This way, you get more content for your website AND you get paid for it via AC before it hits your website. It’s a win-win!

You have an excellent topic in hand (becoming a successful jazz musician). You have a variety of means in which you can add content to your site. You can give out lessons, either via text, pictures, or video (I’d recommend all three at once). Post some lessons on YouTube and embed them in your post. For pictures, I’d go through something like Flickr or Picasta or something like that and embed them into your post. You could post pictures of close-up hand positions, tabs, musical notation, etc.

In addition to posting lessons, you can also record your gigs. This not only gives your viewers your resume-of-sorts, but it can also help land you gigs if you get enough exposure. Just look at what it did for Tay Zonday aka the Chocolate Rain guy!

I would also post about your experiences and what you’ve learned from them. Experience is what makes the difference between learning from a book and learning in real life. It could be about gig disasters, meeting your heroes, making a difference in someone’s life through your music, etc.

Remember, the name of the game is exposure. The more you put yourself out there, the more possibilities and opportunities open themselves for you.

How Monetization Really Works

Adam then asks:

Yeah. So like you did calculating.. how many hits/clicks would I need for like.. 300 bucks or something.. an estimate.

It varies a lot. It all depends on what keywords are clicked, how many clicks you get, how many visitors you get, etc. One click could range from a penny to a dollar to five dollars to more. For example, somebody clicked on one of my text link ads and I got $5 from it. Another text link ad got me $1.05. Going from my examples, you would need between 60-286 clicks to generate $300. If you’re pulling in the traffic, this is an easy task. That’s kind of where I’m at right now; I’m building content, seeing what connects with people and what doesn’t, and slowly building a following (I’m averaging 28 visitors a day).

Express Yourself

To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t focus a lot on the making money part until you have at least a month’s worth of content. That’s not to say that you can’t immediately monetize it; it’s just so much easier to make money when you have something on the table to offer people.

These things generally take time to build up the traffic and the money, but the payoff is well worth it because although I only average 28 daily visitors, it feels good to know that 28 people took time out of whatever they were doing to read and/or watch what I’m doing.

Bottom line: be creative and be yourself. Sure, I use an online nickname (TheAndySan), but I use that to differentiate myself from all the other Andys and AndySans and whatnot.

If you have any more questions, feel free to leave me an email (my email address is at the very top of this page). Good luck!

TheAndySan

TheAndySan's Hyper-Chance 1,500th Day of Website Ownage!!!1

Greetings one and all, it’s TheAndySan here on my 1,500th day of owning a website!!

Has it been 4 years, 1 month, and 9 days since I first started AnJa on Geoshitties? What began as a suggestion from my best friend Eriopolis that turned into a web design class project has evolved over the years to become www.theandysan.com! It still blows my mind that I started out online at the high school library. The librarians hated it when I would do “non-educational” things online, but despite all that, my website is still alive and kickin’!! Well, maybe not my original one lol! Actually, I just checked AND IT’S STILL THERE!!! It’s at http://www.geocities.com/x_a_dawg/. All that’s there is a missing picture and a link to my site on Dragolf’s server. That site was erased by Dragolf when I was being a fucktard on TheShizz.org. Then I went through a couple of free web hosts like Free Web Hosting.com before starting up my Xanga at www.xanga.com/theandysan. I then moved to http://theandysan.wordpress.com/ and now I’m here!! All that and a slew moAr happened in 1,500 days?! Damn son, where does the time go?!

Well, I’m gonna get me some lunch so you kids enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend! Laterz!

TheAndySan

P.S: It’s been 1,500 days since I had a website.

Gettin' Drunk 'n Fuckin' Bitches!

How’s it going, it’s the Andy-San here after one long-ass day.

To celebrate Eriopolis’ 21st birthday, we went to Quaker Steak & Lube. I rode with the Shizzon and got lost because of Eriopolis’ directions being out of order. When we got to the place, everyone ordered wings because it was Endless Wings Tuesday. Shizzon and I didn’t get the memo so we ordered Philly burgers with fries. The fries were great, but the burger was quite sub-par. I was very disappointed. After I was about halfway through my burger, Shizzon noticed the big ass sign for the endless wings. We both were like, “son of a bitch!” Cody tried the Atomic Wings and said they tasted terrible and weren’t even that hot. Eriopolis had a good time though. He had a shit-ton to drink there.

When we got back to UU, I got him some Sparks Plus as well as some Sparks for myself. I also had some Smirnoff Green Apple and it was dee-lish (wow, that didn’t sound gay at all lol). We ended up doing some hilarious drunken st00f and went to bed around 4am. I got up around 7am because Tylor’s phone wouldn’t stop going off. I then drove back home, stayed up for a bit, and went back to sleep before going to work. Whew!

In other news, my first lesson with Rich went well. It was a bit boring since we went over some beginner guitar stuff like open chords and reading notes. I played “Jane” by Jefferson Starship while he was getting my lesson book and before the end of the lesson, I played “Still Got The Blues” by Gary Moore. I’m looking forward to my next lesson!!

While I was working today, I came up with a new idea for a manga series. I wrote down a skeletal outline of the first episode and it’s not too shabby if I do say so myself. I also wrote down some of my short-term financial goals, which tie into this blog. I recently found out that WordPress offers hosting your own domain for $15 a month. I don’t know all the nitty-gritty details, but it’s definitely worth looking into.

Well, I’m gonna go. I get paid today so I’ll be able to put some money away for my new computer so yay. Oyasumi!

Andy-San