A New Beginning For A New Year!

2013This is the last post of the year on this blog and it’s going to be a bit of a different post.

As some of you know this is not my only blog (I have two other blogs), and I like to call this one my fun blog.  However, in this coming new year I really would like it to be more than just a fun blog, but I’m still searching for what I REALLY want to do with this baby.

As its name indicates it, I blog about travel, France and food over here. I love to talk about French places that I know well, French culture, French language, and give away some of my own/mother’s recipes, but I would like to know what else YOU would want to see on here.  What else would you like to read about that would be related to France, Europe, traveling, food, and other related topics.

I would like to use this post as a poll for you to give me all the feedbacks you may be thinking about!

For starters I am going to tell you what I would like to do for this blog for the year 2013, and then I would like you to tell me what you think about those ideas.  I’d love for you to add anything you may think of as long as it relates to the theme of this blog.

So, this is what I have in mind…

A New Header

First of all, I am a bit tired of this old non-personal header.  I’ve just created a prototype- idea-image for my new header.  I’m going to have my trusted and talented buddy Steve to make me a more personal and out of this world new header.

As a preview, let me tell you that it’s going to have some of my personal pictures of France and Food, but that’s all I will tell you for now.

A  Kindle Recipe Book?

I realized that my recipes are as good as anyone else’s out there, and I was thinking about creating an Amazon Kindle recipe book that I would give away for just a couple of dollars.  It seems that people have lots of success with those.

I would put a link to that book right here on the margin of this blog.

In the book I would include many recipes that are not on this blog as a bonus for those who would like to spend $2.99 for a cook book. What do you think? Would that be a good idea?

Another thing that I would do is give you guys (the readers of this blog) the book for free in exchange for a review on Amazon.

Now this being said…

OK, that all sound good, but now that I’ve said all that, I live in one of those stupid states that decided to tax Amazon’s for their affiliates (associates as Amazon calls them).  So, what’s the next thing Amazon did? Well, they got rid of all the associates that live in such states.  Dear old North Carolina was one of them, and I lost the privilege to sell Amazon products.

But does this apply to kindle books owners? I’m not sure.

I tried to look for information to find out if writing a Kindle book for Amazon would affect me the same way as being an affiliate/associate for their products, but I couldn’t find an answer.  If you have the answer, please, let me know now!

Other Options in Case Kindle doesn’t Work

If Kindle doesn’t work out in my case, I’m thinking about Lulu publishing, but that’s a bit more complicated (kind of), and a bit more costly as well, so it would have to be worth it for me to go that route.

Finding New Ways to Monetize this Blog

Well, when I look at this blog and still spend my time and money with it (such as purchasing a new header and using a paid theme such as Thesis), I think that it’s time for the blog to bring me some money back.

While I have a few affiliate banners, they are about the only things that I have to monetize this blog, which is really just about as good as nothing.

If a recipe book works out that would help, but there exist other ways out there that I am still looking into.  One of them is Kontera which is a system that provides contextualized links that are double underlining certain keywords that lead to an ad if the reader chooses to click on it.

Before they click, just by hovering over the word they can already tell what this ad is about, so no surprise there.  Another good thing about Kontera is that it works well with mobile device as well.  I’ve read about bloggers using this saying that they liked it and they didn’t get any negative feedbacks by their readers.  If you have any thoughts on that, please, let me know.

So, guys, if you have any ideas that you wouldn’t mind sharing with me, please, send them my way!

In any case, you might see a few changes here in the near future to help me bring some income with this blog.  This will make up for the time, effort and presentation that I am putting into this blog.

Thank you for being here and helping me with your thoughts and inputs.


26 thoughts on “A New Beginning For A New Year!”

  1. Hi Sylviane,

    You sound really motivated to get this blog moving! So far I have really enjoyed learning things I never heard of and of course seeing your delicious recipes. I would be first in line to get your book! I don’t know about the Amazon affiliate thing, but you could always do a simple PDF version that you sell through Paypal on your site.

    I’m looking forward to seeing your new design, too. A nice header will go a long way to creating some personality.

    You may want to check out Skimlinks. That’s the company that Patrick O’Keefe worked with when he wrote his book about monetizing. Not sure if you remember that one, but he did speak very highly of the company. That could be a good way to make some extra money with links.

    So here is my suggestion, as someone who traveled to France and “lived and learned”. This could apply to any travel, but what I remember is that I had NO IDEA what I was doing when I got there. At home, I am familiar with how cabs work, how subways work, how traffic and restaurants and things work. When I got to Paris, I could not for the life of me figure out how to get on the train or where to buy a ticket. I ended up dragging my luggage across a park to get to my hotel because I couldn’t figure it out!

    Then I had no idea that hamburgers came with eggs on top, lol… so that was a bit of a surprise.

    I also didn’t know how trains worked and the times, so one night we went out and ended up almost missing the last train back. We heard them announce the last train by luck, and then we rushed to get it or that would have been a long night in the middle of nowhere!

    Oh, and I also had no idea that pretty much the whole city shuts down in August. One day I woke up to go shopping and everything was closed. Imagine my surprise!

    So my suggestion is to talk about some of the things that are different, or some things to expect when traveling. How transportation works, how money works, how dining works. Little things we take for granted every day that we don’t think about but when we’re in another country we are totally lost.

    Oh, and one last thing…. I remember one day we wanted to visit the Arc de Triomphe. We stood there on the opposite side of that circle and couldn’t figure out how the heck to get across the street without killing ourselves. We were really stupid tourists 🙂 It took a while before we finally figured out there were tunnels.

    So those are the things that would be very helpful to know BEFORE going!
    Carol Lynn invites you to read..Fundamental Local SEO For Small BusinessesMy Profile

    1. Hi Carol,

      Wow, you’ve given me a lot here. First off, thanks for the reminder about this link service. I kind of remember now, but I had totally forgotten. I’m really bad that way 

      Thank you for mentioning all those things that I guess “I” still take for granted and don’t realize that they are that much different from here. I will definitely write more posts about these things, and save people some time and frustration. I can see how you would have loved that right?

      Yes, I am so excited about my new header. I actually totally designed it and just need Steve to do it digitally for me now. It will totally represent what this blog is about.

      Thank you again for your fantastic tips, Carol 🙂

  2. I’ll be anxious Sylviane to see what Steve does with your header. I think you are in need of a new one too.

    I’m with Carol on the Skimlink service. I hate the ones that you hover over that are all highlighted but I also understand that you’re eager to make some money from this blog. Surely there is a better solution then that so check out Skimlinks for sure.

    I like Carol’s idea about sharing more about France like if you were to visit there as well. Kind of like what Annie is doing on her blog although since you’ve lived there you can talk more about how to get around, etc.

    I love the idea of the Kindle book. I don’t know that much about Kindle books so I wouldn’t be able to help you with that one. So far Texas hasn’t been hit with that tax on affiliates so that doesn’t pertain to me. I hope someone can help you though with that answer.

    Enjoyed your last post of the year and an anxious to see what you’ll be sharing next year.

    Happy New Year!

    Adrienne invites you to read..Thankful Thursday – End 2012 With A BangMy Profile

    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Well, now I know that I’d better try that Skimlink. I know I hate those links too, Adrienne, but sometimes you have two choices, having a pretty blog that makes no money or a bit less pretty but it brings a bit of dough 🙂

      Luky you to live in a state where you can’t sell Amazon products freely. There not much I like about North Carolina, really, except for the weather and it’s landscaping 🙂

      Thank you so much for sharing your feedbacks with me, Adrienne!

  3. Hello my dear friend!

    Your header? I think it does need to be more personalized. I would like to see YOU!
    Recipe books? I would love that and think Kindle is the best way to go. There are many changes and if you need help, let me know. I purchased a program several months ago, but didn’t get the time to do it. It is mostly about marketing Kindle books. That’s the trick in the market you know. I don’t know if it applies to your state, but maybe we can dig in and search that.
    Statistically, people love recipe books!!!
    From my little knowledge about travel to France, most people are interested in the South of France in little places where they can eat authentic food and experience the lifestyle of France.
    Re: Monetizing your blog – Your blog is your home base where people can find out about you and your knowledge. The best way to monetize is not to do it on your blog, but instead do a Webinar, or something that gives you a “list” of people you can then you can work your list. (David and I are working on that part and will be willing to show you how to do it)
    So these are my thoughts….virtual hugs,
    Donna Merrill invites you to read..Inspirational QuotesMy Profile

    1. Thanks for your feedbacks, Donna.

      Yes, I am going to have a more “me” header. I had a very specific idea in my head and that’s what I want to have made.

      Kindle is my first choice, no doubt, but it will all depend on Amazon. Indeed I have to dig this up more and find out for good.

      The reason I want to monetize the blog itself as opposed to my other blogs is that I am not really building a list here, because I’ve nothing to sell like I have in my writing blog with my freelance service or my personal development blog with my coaching service.

      I only wish I could sell something related to this blog, but what? Do you see what I mean? If you come up with an idea, let me know 🙂

      Thank you so much for your input and surely appreciate that 🙂

  4. Hi Sylviane,

    I found this post just now through the Social Buzz Club and I was kind of surprised because when I read your last post, you said it is the last post of the year but when I clicked on it to see what it is about, I found myself in an unfamiliar blog and it took me few minutes to figure out if I am in the right place and I started reading and then you mentioned that this is a blog besides your other two blogs. LOL. So, you guessed it, this is my first time on this blog. But it looks and sounds good to me. I love cooking and I love trying new recipes, so this will work for me.

    OK Sylviane, I will not be of much help regarding all the stuff you mentioned above as I am clueless. I am new to blogging as you know and I didn’t figure lots of things yet. All I can say, good luck with this blog and I can’t wait to read more on it and understand more about the culture of France and most importantly, I can’t wait for the recipes. Also, I think a new header representing the theme of the blog and some personalization is a great idea.

    Thanks for sharing your ideas with us.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous invites you to read..6 Tips On How to Stay Focused And Make Your Online Business A Success?My Profile

    1. Ah Neamat, Sorry for the confusion 🙂

      I get that a lot. People find me through one blog (either one) and then they wonder what the heck happened if they land on another one.

      So, this is the story in a nutshell. I used to have up to 7 blogs as an affiliate marketer until early to mid 2011. Then, I realized that unless I had other people write for me it was impossible to maintain that many blogs, so I dropped the ones that I wasn’t emotionally attached to.

      Since I’m a freelance writer and love to write about writing, I kept my writing/marketing blog of course. As personal development “expert” I also kept my personal development blog. That was a given. And since I’m French and Americans are well after French stuff I also kept this blog where I blog about France and food.

      I like to call this blog my fun blog, but I want it to be more than that for this coming new year, thus the theme of this post.

      Thank you so much for coming here too. Now you know all my places, Neamat 🙂

  5. Hi Sylviane. I’m in the same boat as you. I want to monetize my blog and feel it’s not quite where I want it to be. I think it’s a good idea to ask for feedback. I love the recipe book idea. I think that would be a great seller. A new header works as well. Something I’ve been thinking about and have to learn how to complete. I have access to some great videos that will teach me how to do that so I think I’ll take advantage. You have given me new inspiration for my own blog as I was thinking along the same lines. Thanks for sharing. Good luck with it. I think we’ll be working together along side each other doing this. Happy New Year!
    Barbara Charles invites you to read..What’s Going On – An Image Is Worth A Thousand WordsMy Profile

    1. Hi Barbara,

      I’m so glad that you can see you’re not the only one for looking for ways to monetize your blog.

      Carol game me a great tip here, which is to use the service “Skimlinks”. I just registered yesterday and I’m waiting for approval at his point. I also found a post with 20 different tips to monetize one’s blog. I will send it to you through facebook.

      I still have to go through it all myself again, but on my first read it seemed pretty interesting.

      Have a great and happy New Year, Barbara!

  6. Hi Sylviane,

    I don’t know how you manage three blogs. One is enough for me. I give you kudos for being able to do it. I don’t think I have much to offer except what has already been mentioned. I agree that your header needs to be personalized and prettier. You already have that in the works, so it will be interesting to see the results. Also, the recipe book using Kindle is a great idea, but that depends upon the associate situation in your state. Carol Lynn’s suggestion to create a simple recipe PDF is a good idea if you cannot go through Kindle. I also think maybe a PDF first time traveler guide could be something you could put together for a small price to your subscribers. You can make it as a “must have” with tips and strategies to have a more enjoyable experience. I’m sure you can expand it to all areas of France, or other European countries. I’m suggesting that because my understanding is when people travel to Europe, they don’t necessarily visit only one country…just a thought.

    I have not traveled to France, but my daughter did one summer. She was with an ambassador student group and they spent months prior to the trip learning about transportation, basic language, currency etc. When she returned she told me she was so glad they spent time learning about the countries they visited because it would have been very challenging to travel without prior knowledge of what to expect. So I think all of the experiences Carol Lynn described as a first time traveler would be a great theme for your “fun” blog. You are amazing Sylviane!

    Raena Lynn
    Raena Lynn invites you to read..The good stuff is still good.My Profile

    1. Thank you Raean and you’re amazing too, because you’re saying… I have nothing to add and then you are adding a great tip which believe it or not I’d not even thought about. Yes, a travel tips type of eBook would be great.

      You know sometimes even I am a bit confused when I go back to France, so I can only imagine those who don’t speak the language and go there for the first time. I will definitely retain that idea, Raena. Thanks so much 🙂

      Have a very happy New Year!

  7. Hi Sylviane,

    I know a marketer, Brian G Johnson, who’s apparently made quite a bit from a cookery book on Amazon – I think the trick is to do your research before you start, then have a killer promotional plan – the Kindle Select option would be something to consider, which gives Amazon exclusive rights over your book while you’re enrolled on it, but enables you to have some promotional days when you give your book away for free, in order to get reviews and boost sales.

    I think Brian did a lot of groundwork to figure out the most profitable keywords and framed the title of his book around these – he also had a solid marketing plan. I’ve purchased his Kindle Ritual training course, as I want to write some Kindle books myself at some stage, but haven’t had time to work through it yet – otherwise I’d be able to give you some more tips!

    Hadn’t visited this site of yours before, Sylviane – you certainly are a woman of many talents – I’m off to have a look at your pictures after posting this comment.

    All the best for 2013 – here’s hoping it’s awesome!

    Sue Neal invites you to read..Become a Better Writer in 2013: Two New Year Resolutions to Make it HappenMy Profile

    1. Hi Sue,

      It’s very nice to see you here and you certainly gave me lots of feedback and input. I will definitely check this guy out.

      I also have an online friend who has purchased some kind of Kindle program and I am sure she will be of some help in the matter, as I have no clue at all myself, at this point. So, much to learn, always!

      I was thinking Kindle because that’s what people are crazy about these days and it’s so convenient.

      Thank you so much for coming by and make 2013 the best year ever!

  8. Hi Sylviane, your ideas sound good. You should be rewarded for your efforts. You work hard to share your ideas about France and I’m sure it has helped a lot of people. Hope everything works out for you. Goodluck!
    Connor Harley invites you to read..6 Cheap Ways to Travel the WorldMy Profile

  9. Hi Sylviane. If you’re looking to monetize your blog, have you thought about accepting quality Guest Posts from French-focused brands, in exchange for a fee? Or maybe reaching out to other travel bloggers; they might have some invaluable advice on how to make more money from blogging.

    Best wishes, Alex

    1. Hi Alex,

      Well, I have thought about something like that. I’ve been thinking about alowing companies to brand themselves on my blog for a reasonable fee, but I wasn’t sure how to go about it. But certainly something to think about.

      Is that something your company would be interested in? Or do you know of anyone?

      Thanks for your feedbacks, though. It’s really appreciated.

  10. Hi Sylviane,
    I love all your new ideas for the new year.
    – looking forward to your new header too. I think it’s time. god knows i’ve changed mine a lot as my blog has evolved.
    – i think a cook book is good. Maybe, you should write a cookbook of easy french recipes you can cook at home. i.e. nothing with hard things too find. Things you can easily make at home with easy ingredients. Like the galette du roi. Amazon has that KDP program that lets you give away your book for free for a few days in return you can ask for reviews. You could give away one free recipe for people and charge for the entire book of “25 delieciously easy French recipes that help you lose weight or that you can cook for your family?” hahah, just playing with names.

    as far as monetizine well, i put up an advertise with me page and it has attracted a lot of people(3 or 4 a month) asking to buy sponsored posts. I list my rates right on the page.

    There is also google adsense. you can give it a try and see how it goes?

    Hope that helps. Good luck
    Annie André invites you to read..Is The Real Tooth Fairy A Tooth Mouse? Tooth Traditions Around The worldMy Profile

    1. Hi Annie,

      Thanks for your input and ideas here.

      Yes, a Kindle Amazon book was my first thought, but since the state that I live in, North Carolina, is band by Amazon for affiliates I am not sure I can go that route or at least not the usual way as other people can. I am looking into that.

      I can easily write recipes with easy to find items. I don’t like recipes where you can’t even find the ingredients myself.

      Well, I need to learn more about that advertise with me page, sounds interesting. I need to check this out on your blog.

      Thanks for coming, Annie 🙂

  11. Hey Sylviane,
    You have great ideas for the new year and in true sense these ideas will form a new beginning for you. I have learnt a lot of crucial lessons through your postings. I am looking forward to more of your posts. Thanks a lot for giving us life focusing lessons. Reading your posts, is always a treat.

  12. Hi Sylviane,

    I agree that accepting articles or writing about companies offering services for French travel or activities in France would be a great idea to help monetise your website but not only that, make your blog even more interesting to your readers, a win win for everyone. Companies like ours and I am sure many others want everyone to know about them and the services that they offer, plus any unique points that they have to offer compared with other companies, and all exposure is good.

    Your recipe book sounds great and perhaps once a month you could provide a free recipe on your blog as a taster – excuse the pun.

    Good luck

    Tim Gettings
    Tim Gettings invites you to read..Lawmakers reject Isles of Scilly ferry subsidisation pleaMy Profile

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