[Update] Still Waiting For YouTube Monetisation – Is it end of April or June 2018?

youtube logo

Recent changes to YouTube Partnership programme has resulted in many content creators waiting in what is seeming a very long line to be approved for monetisation.

Usually one would be able to monetise their channel right off the bat, however in April 2017, Google announced new changes where creators would have to achieve 10,000 life time views to be eligible for YouTube Partnership Programme. The requirements changed again in January 2018 – where one would have to achieve at least 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 minutes watched. These new rules, YouTube noted, is in an effort to weed out ‘bad actors’. Existing players were given a mere 30 days to reach eligibility criteria. Many small channels who were not able to meet these requirements and lost monetisation. It also meant that new creators had greater challenges to getting in.

The waiting period to be assessed was supposed to be a week, however, many creators who have reached the threshold will see the following message in their YouTube account:

Applications for the YouTube Partner Programme are still in a backlog. We hope to be able to review all open applications by the end of April. Thank you for your patience in the meantime.

Now, April is almost at an end and still many creators are wondering why they are still not approved. Unfortunately the wait for them might be even longer given recent updates in YouTube Help Forum. On the 19th April, 2018, a member of Google’s team posted an update in the forum where a new end date was stated:

We’re hoping to get caught up by the end of June and will let you know if anything changes.’ Of course this has not been officially announced through YouTube’s messaging system.

I do have a channel that has met the criteria and I hope monetisation will be reinstated soon for that channel. As far as I can see there isn’t much that one could do but wait.

Things to do while you wait:

  1. Review the monetisation guideline/policies and whether your videos adhere to these guidelines.
  2. Continue to upload quality content regularly and promote your videos.
  3. Examine other ways you can use your channel to earn beside Google’s monetisation.
  4. Check out alternatives such as D-tube.
  5. In general look at other ways of earning money online.


Pros and Cons of Making Your Own YouTube Videos

youtube logo

Are you one of the millions of internet users who enjoy watching free videos on YouTube? If you are, the thought of creating your own YouTube video may have crossed your mind; has it? If so, you may be wondering whether or not you should make your own YouTube video and then upload it to the YouTube website. When making your decision, it is advised that you can examine the pros and cons of doing so.

When it comes to making your own YouTube video, there are a number of cons or downsides to doing so. Perhaps, the biggest downside to making your own video and then uploading it to YouTube is that you are essentially sharing the video with the whole world. Many individuals mistakenly believe that their videos will only be seen by YouTube members, but that isn’t the truth. Any internet user, even those without a YouTube account, can view videos on YouTube. In fact, it is not uncommon for YouTube video viewers to email a YouTube video link to those that they know. Therefore, the views that your YouTube videos may get may be more than you ever expected or wanted.

Since any video that you upload to the YouTube website can be viewed by just about anyone with an internet connection, you may want to be careful with the amount of information that you disclose. For instance, if you are doing a video blog, you might not want to give your real name or at least not your full name. It is also important that you don’t mention where you live. If you want, you may want to outline the state that you reside in, but never give the city or town, especially if you disclose your name. You will want to try and refrain from giving any personal information to any YouTube member, even those who send you personal messages asking for information. As with most online website, YouTube can be a dangerous place, but you should be able to stay safe as long as you stay aware.
Although there are a few downsides or cons to uploading your videos to the YouTube website, there are also a number of pros or plus sides to doing so. One of those pros is ease of use. Even if you consider yourself to be unskilled with computers, you should still be able to make, upload, and share your video or videos on YouTube. In all honesty, all you need is a video recording device, like a camcorder or a webcam, and a movie editing software program, which now comes standard with most computers. Once you have your video on your computer and edited, if you wish to do so, you will just need to follow YouTube’s step-by-step uploading instructions and then your video should be ready for sharing, in as little as a few minutes.

Another pro to using YouTube to share your own videos with other internet users is uses. Although a large number of internet users use YouTube videos for fun or for personal reasons, there are many others who use them for business or at least to up their exposure. You need to remember that millions of internet users watch videos on YouTube. While your YouTube video will be unlikely to get one million views, you could get quite a bit. Whether you are advertising your services, like as a website designer or an online actress, you can do so through YouTube. The only thing that you will want to do is try to not take the spam approach. If you are advertising yourself as a website designer, try taking a few videos of you making a website or use your video to explore websites that you have made. Simply adding your business information at the end of the video is a great way to get your point across, but without making your YouTube video seem as it is an advertisement.

As you can see, there are a number of advantages and disadvantages, or pros and cons, to making your own YouTube videos. As stated above, it is advised that you use your best judgment. Of course, you can post a video on YouTube if you want to do so, but just make sure that you are doing so safely.

3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

3 Ways For Driving Traffic To Your Website

This article looks at three ways you can increase traffic and boost sales.

Your website is ready. It sits there while you wait for anyone to come to along, view your products, and yes, hopefully, buy something! However, it has been several months and very little or nothing is happening.

You need targeted internet traffic and sales for your online business to grow and thrive.

Your ultimate goal is to generate targeted traffic. You want to gain the interest of your target consumers and drive them to your website. You can achieve this by working on the advertising and marketing aspect of your e-business. There are a number of ways to generate this traffic, including using the below methods:

1: Search Engine Optimization

If people search through major search engines, type in their search keywords and your website comes up, chances are you could expect more website traffic than you could handle. Therefore you could aim to rank heavily on the main search engines such as Google and Bing.

This however does not usually happen overnight. It will likely take a lot of time and effort to achieve this. To aim to make your presence felt and known on the internet could begin by becoming one of the top sites in the results page when a keyword query is made. As such, you could try filling your website with articles reflecting the relevant keywords about your product and service. These could be articles or pages that offer potential customers valuable advice and other crucial information.

SEO takes time so this may not be the quickest approach. It is advisable, therefore, to employ multiple methods to generate more web traffic.

  • You could try buying traffic from vendors to generate website hits.
  • You could buy traffic with Google’s and Yahoo’s pay-per-click programme.
  • You could use Facebook advertising.

How this works is that you determine and identify your target market’s possible keywords and bid for these words or phrases. This may be costly, but it would generate hits.

Of course, it doesn’t end there. You will then have to focus on converting those hits into sales. You have to keep your customer’s interest with an interesting website to begin with.

2: Syndicate your site

There are many websites that would allow feed burning. You would have to create Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds that would link your content and blog to other websites.

Make sure that you are providing informative and interesting information on your blog, to appeal to potential customers. RSS feeds may increase website hits but they may not generate profit or sales leads, if your website is boring or doesn’t inspire trust.

3: Create useful, informative and interesting article content

Again, it doesn’t matter if your website is generating thousands of hits. It also doesn’t matter if suddenly, your website is generating more traffic than you could handle. What is really important is that you are earning profit from this traffic.

You need to provide your prospective customers with quality web content. The content should be responsive to their need. Write as many articles as you can or hire someone to write them for you. You must provide your customers information on how to solve their problems. Keep your articles fresh, updated and relevant to your customer’s needs or problems.


Google Adsense Plugin Deprecated

Google Adsense Plugin

Google created the Google Adsense plugin to offer an easy way for publishers to integrate Google advertisement into their websites. It automatically suggested places to insert ads and all one had to do was select their preferred positions for showing the ads.

For me, this was convenient and I’m sure for many of you also. However, it seemed many people did not like this plugin, due to what they considered its lack of flexibility, inconsistency and limitations. In addition, there were reports that it just did not work or that it broke, which is undoubtedly why the Google Adsense plugin is now deprecated. As such, it begs the question whether Google had put enough effort into creating, updating or maintaining this plugin.

Google Adsense plugin deprecated

Google Adsense plugin rating

The plugin has now been deprecated, so if you have ads on your website that was created using this plugin, as of April 5, 2017 you are no longer able to modify ads using the plugin and as of May 3, 2017 you will not have access to the plugin front end.

Key dates

  • Early March, 2017: New publishers will not be able to sign up for AdSense by using the plugin.
  • Early April, 2017: Existing publishers will not be able to change their ad settings or ad units through the plugin.
  • Early May, 2017: Google will no longer provide support for the plugin.

What should you do?

Even though your ads will still work for a while, choose  an alternative now, then deactivate and remove the plugin. Always make sure that your website is updated with the latest plugin versions and themes. When a website is not updated it creates the possibility that the website could be hacked. Therefore, it is never recommended to keep deprecated or outdated plugin on your website.

Google has noted some guidance for affected publishers. However, it might be easier to find other suitable plugins on WordPress to get the job done.

Popular WordPress Plugins for Google Adsense

There are a number of popular WordPress alternatives for Google Adsense including those listed below:

  • Adsense Plugin WP QUADS – 40,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from over 350 users.
  • Advanced Ads – 30,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from over 270 users. It can also be used with other ad platforms and affiliate marketing programmes.
  • Ad Inserter – 50,000+ active installs and a 5 star rating from 164 users. It can also be used with other ad platforms and affiliate programmes such as Amazon Affiliates.
  • WP-insert – 30,000+ active installs and a 4.5 star rating from 125 users. It can also be used with other ads platforms and affiliate programmes.
  • AdRotate – 50,000+ active installs and a 4 star rating from 438 users. It can also be used for other ads platforms and affiliate programmes.

There are of course a number of others worth considering but these are some good ones to start with.

Will Google offer another Adsense plugin?

From all indications, no. Google has no replacement plugin for the Google Adsense Plugin. They have noted that they have ‘new innovative features’ such as,  ‘automatic ad formats and other upcoming initiatives’. Hopefully we will soon see what that’s all about!


Google Adsense plugin worked for some people, however, it didn’t work for many others, as shown by the ratings. If you have it on your WordPress website; backup your website, install a new ad plugin and remove the Google Adsense plugin. There are some really nice alternatives to choose from.


How To Start Your Handmade Jewellery Business Online


Step 1: Decide where to sell

(i) Decide where you want to sell your items. There are several options including Etsy, eBay and Amazon.

(ii) Create your account and corresponding social media accounts, which you will also use to promote your items.

Step 2: Decide what type of jewellery to sell

Once you have decided on the platform you would like to sell on, then you need to decide what items or types of jewellery you want to offer. Craftcount is a good place to check Etsy top shops; and see what is selling; also Amazon bestsellers for Amazon, and Pulse eBay gives indication of what items are more popularly searched on eBay. You can then decide whether you want to run with the masses or cater to a particular niche; the extent to which you will be able to do this, will of course be dependent on your skills set.

You could create a set a jewellery items or variety of products such as earrings, necklace, bracelets and PDF tutorials on how to make particular pieces of jewellery.

Step 3: Create your products

Buy your raw material and create some items, start with at least 25 to 50 items.

It might be better to start with one item at first, such as, earrings or bracelets.

Step 4: Get good pictures

Take pictures of your items. The quality of the pictures is important; you don’t need a high quality camera to get good pictures, most smart phones have reasonably good quality camera. Lighting is important, so make sure you take the pictures at the time of the day when you can capture them in ‘good’ light. If you can get them professionally photographed it might be worth doing especially if your item prices will be $50 and over per piece.

Step 5: Writing description

Write item descriptions including:
(i) general item description
(a) catchy headings, keyword rich phrases (should be relevant to item)
(b) avoid writing a one-liner
(ii) statement advising to visitors to view your other items
(iii) refund policy
(iv) shipping policy
(v) any other important information you want to tell your customer.

Step 6: Promote your items

It is highly competitive, especially when you are selling jewellery items, therefore, you must be willing to invest some time promoting. Social media is a great way to start, especially Facebook. Promote in groups and use Facebook advertising where possible.

Create business pages on  Facebook, a Google Plus, Pinterest and other platforms. Include the following in your profile or description:

  • Sample items
  • Direct link to your store
  • Your contact information
  • Link to other social platform


Promote! Promote! Promote!

Put passion into what you do and make sure you enjoy doing it, as this could affect your level of success.

I will be posting additional information that will further help – bookmark this blog so you won’t miss anything.


How To Use WP Simple PayPal Shopping Cart

WordPress PayPal Shopping Cart

You may have installed the WP Simple PayPal Shopping Cart plugin and need help in setting up your product or services with it. The below information will help you get this done.

Item plus price
To add item name and price, use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Cotton dress" price="9.99"

Item plus price and variation
To add item name, price and product variations use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Cotton dress" price="9.99" var1="Size|Small|Medium|Large|X-Large"

Multiple variations
To add item name, price and multiple product variations use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Cotton dress" price="9.99" var1="Size|X-Small|X-Large" var2="Color|Black|Green|Blue|Pink"

Adding shipping
To add shipping amount to your item listing use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Cotton dress" price="9.99" shipping="3.00"

Product, price, shipping, variations
To add item name, price shipping and product variations use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Cool shirt" price="9.99" shipping="3.00" var1="Size|Small|Medium|Large|X-Large" var2="Color|Black|Green|Blue|Pink"

To show shopping cart on any page or post
To show a shopping cart on any page or post use the below shortcode within the brackets [ ].


In template files, use:
To add shopping cart in your template files add the below code within the brackets < >.

?php echo do_shortcode('');?

To add social media links
To add social media option to your listing use the below short code within the brackets [ ].

wp_cart_button name="Social media" price="25" var1="Social media account|Facebook|Twitter|Google+|Pinterest"

Etsy Listing Bulk Editing Tools

If you sell on Etsy you might find it quite tedious to make changes in cases where you have tens, hundreds or even thousands of items listed. There are however some listing tools that you could use to make the job less tedious and less time-consuming. I will look at a few of these tools – some of which I have tried myself.

1. Vela

Vela bulk editing tool for Etsy
Vela is an online tool. It’s quick and easy to get started. Sign up and follow the instructions to connect your shop. Once your shop is connected you will be able to go ahead and make individual or bulk changes to title, description, category, photos, price, quantity, tags, section, materials, occasion, style and recipient. You may all the items in one go or edit sections at a time. Once you have made your changes and click ‘Sync updates’ (top left hand corner) the changes begin to take effect. When you log in, in the early stages a video will pop up with instructions on how to use Vela.

Price: Free to register and use.

url: https://login.getvela.com/

2. ShopShaper

ShopShaper bulk editing for Etsy
ShopShaper is another great editing tool for Etsy. Downloads are available for Windows and Mac operating systems. Once you have downloaded the files – extract / run the programme to install. Once installation is complete, open on your desktop and connect your Etsy shop (make sure you are connected to the internet). It’s not as smooth or pretty as Vela but it is easy to understand and use. You can make changes to active, inactive, expired, and draft listings in bulk – titles, descriptions, tags, materials, quantities and prices, add shipping destinations to listings, change shipping costs of existing shipping destinations, delete, replace or add images and preview your changes before applying.

They also have videos on how to get started using ShopShaper.

Price: Free unlimited use for the first 7 days.
After 7 days:
1 day key – $1 (Valid for 24 hours, to be used with 1 shop, no operation limit)
1 month key – $14 (Valid for 31 days, to be used with up to 2 shops, no operation limit)
1 year key – $72 (Valid for 365 days, to be used with up to 2 shops, no operation limit)

url: http://www.shopshaper.net/

3. Zetsy

Zetsy - bulk editing for Etsy
Zetsy is a free Etsy listing tool for Windows operating system. It allows you to edit title, price, description, tags and shipping costs. You will need to download and install the latest version on your computer. Once you install and activiate it is ready to use. They have a tutorial on how to get started; please watch, as you will probably find it a bit confusing otherwise.

Price: Free

url: http://zimpro.co/ZetsyHome.html

You can check out and try these tool; see which works best for you.






10 Ways to Build and Improve Your Online Presence

Create an online presence

Things can sometimes change rapidly online, however to grow your business, you must keep abreast of the changes and continue to grow and learn. Here are 10 ways to improve your online presence.

1. Responsive website – create a responsive website, one which grabs the attention of the user. Images and videos are often very effective at doing this so use them when necessary to tell your story.

2. Branding and Identity – create a brand. You need a logo that is unique to you, one that will readily identify you and your product/service. Create a strap-line also, it is another way of making your band distinctive, like Nike’s “Just do it!”

3. Social Media — create social media accounts and create links to them from your website and vice-versa. Your social media links should be easily seen on the first page of your website. Many of us spend more time on social media than we care to acknowledge, and people might not readily come back to your website, if a link has not been established with one or more of your social media accounts – where they could follow, like, subcribe and keep abreast of your updates. Use social media and other online marketing avenues to build brand identity and consumer confidence. Post to your social media account often; everyday, if possible.

4. Blog – add a blog to your site. A blog will provide a means to post stories and updates.

5. About page – your ‘about’ page should not only say what you offer, but should say something about your team, what makes you stand above the competition and why people should buy your goods or services.

6. Call to action – a call to action should be placed on your site. It helps you quickly engage visitors, whether it is to take advantage of an offer or sign up for newsletter.

7. Content – Content is King. Your website content should be well presented. Your average user should be able to relate to the content and understand what you are trying to present. It should be nicely laid out with enough white spaces to make the content easy to read. Not only should attention be placed on the aesthetics, but practicality as well –  use readable, web-friendly fonts of reasonable sizes for headings and paragraphs.  Also, position videos and images for maximum user experience (UX).

8. Menus –  the position could vary based on the overall design of the site. However, visitors should not have to search for a way to navigate your website.

9. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – wherever possible use SEO techniques to improve website ranking. Use relevant keywords in titles and articles. Create categories and tags that relate to your content.

10. Link building – create backlinks, add your website to high PR directories, make comments on other blogs – especially those that offer complementary goods or services to yours. Approach others who are willing to link exchange.  You will probably get offers every now and again – check them out. Make sure when you link, you do so with websites with a good online reputation and also if your site is say a PR0 (which it likely will be in beginning), try to link sites that are PR2 or above.

More could be added to the list, but start with these very important ones. You should definitely start seeing results. It is important to also say – be consistent, work at it. If you do it once in a while you won’t reap the potential benefits.

Have fun building your business!


Top 10 Social Media Websites

social media sites

1. Facebook

An online social networking site that connects people worldwide, to register and create an account to use to keep up with family, friends and colleagues. Share status, upload photos, share links and videos.
1,100,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

2. Twitter

Social networking and microblogging web interface. It enables registered users to send and read short ( 140-character) messages called “tweets”.
310,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

3. LinkedIn

linkedin circlelinkedin.com
A business oriented networking tool to find connections, job candidates, industry experts and business partners. LinkedIn is really a huge database of professionals. It allows registered users to maintain a list of contact of people they know and trust in their area of interest.
255,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

4. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual online pinboard where users you can post collections of interest or things they love. Posting is known as pinning. Users can browse, repin and follow collections created by other users.
250,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

5. Google +

google plusplus.google.com
Social network and microblogging site from search engine giant, Google. It integrates other Google services with an aim to make sharing on the web easy, fun and informative. It is a place to connect with like-minded people in groups called community. Create your own community, share images, videos, links and texts with the world.
120,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

6. Tumblr

A microblogging platform and social networking website. It is a cross between a social networking site and a blog. It allows registered users to post text, images, videos, links, media to their own customisable blogs.
110,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

7. Instagram

Instagram logoinstagram.com
Instagram is an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing, and social networking service. Snap and upload pictures to share with other users and also other networks such as Facebook, twitter and Google +.
100,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

8. VK (originally VKontakte)

VK is not only the largest Russian social network, it also the largest social network in Europe. It is available in several languages, but is especially popular among Russian-speaking users. It is considered the Russian equivalent of Facebook. Registered users can have profiles and pages, much like Facebook – update status, post images, videos, text. Join groups of your interest and connect with others.
80,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

9. Flickr

Photo management – hosting and sharing service. Host and share hundreds of your own pictures on Flickr for free. Join groups of interest and connect with others.
65,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

10. Vine 10

Vine is a Twitter owned short-form video sharing service where users can share six-second-long looping video clips. The idea is to create quick, easy and interesting short films to share with your friends on Facebook, Twitter and the world at large.
42,000,000 – Estimated Unique Monthly Visitors

Visitor number source ebizmba.com