March 23, 2010

Residual Income Online With Xomba Bookmarks

My One Month Review Of Xomba Bookmarks (Formerly Known As Xomblurbs)

Last month I highlighted my upcoming Xomba Bookmarks Experiment in which I intended on testing out Xomba as both a form of residual income and as a means to funnel traffic from Xomba to my other web properties which currently don’t get much traffic.

As I started the experiment I actually decided not to pick and choose which article I would Bookmark with Xomba and decided to send bookmarks back to every single one of my blog posts at How To Live A Longer Life and to every single one of my articles on eHow. Originally, I intended to send Xomba Bookmarks back to every one of my InfoBarrel articles as well but having bookmarked over 250 articles in the last month I’m starting to question if this is worth it or not.

Funny that I should say this too as only a couple weeks ago on my wrap up of the eHow earnings algorithm analysis for Home And Garden articles I was raving about Xomba and how they surprised the heck out of me with their earnings potential; well now I’m starting to second guess my enthusiasm for the residual income potential for these bookmarks. Mind you I am not writing them off - I’m just curbing my enthusiasm.

To Summarize The Xomba Experiment

In 31 days posting to Xomba I’ve bookmarked roughly 260 articles of which I’ve bookmarked every one of my published eHow articles and the majority of my blog articles which have commercial value. That was a fair amount of work though to be fair I did most of this bookmarking in the first half of the month. The last two weeks I’ve been out on vacation a bit and been working on personal projects for both work and fun. Needless to say I’ve been busy with things other than earning residual income online. The funny thing is March is shaping up to be the best month for residual income that I’ve ever had… by a long shot.

Anyway, back on subject, a couple weeks back I was only 14 days into this experiment and I had 165 Xomba Bookmarks published and at the time my earnings there were doing much better than I expected. To be frank, I didn’t expect these things to rank well in the SERPs because they were so short even though I am SEOing them as best I can. In fact most of my 50 word blurbs were closer to 80-100 words because it just seemed like 50 was too short. Anyway, what I’m finding here after 31 days is that these Xomblurbs or Xomba Bookmarks don’t seem to have staying power in the SERPs as they all get a decent burst of ranking right off the bat but seem to lose it fast.

Looking at my stats I see that most bookmarks get their traffic within a week or so of publication and then they drop off the map. Now Google does work like this normally; they give a fresh content bonus and then later recalibrate rankings. During the recalibration phase articles will seemingly disappear from search totally before reappearing in a more long term SERP ranking area. It will be interesting to see if this seems to be happening as the weeks march forward and turn into months. For now however; I’m only getting traffic on the Xomba Bookmarks that are less than a couple weeks old.

Now, I started this experiment as a means not to generate residual income but as a way to funnel traffic through the Bookmark link to my articles on my blog primarily and looking at my Analytics I see that over the past month Xomba has indeed become the number one referrer of traffic to my main blog but it hasn’t really translated into income; I’m not sure why exactly but so far that is the case. I’m even getting a good ad click rate from my traffic that has come from Xomba Bookmarks, the problem is that the ad clicks I’m getting are low value. I wonder if it’s just happenstance; only time will tell. I’ll have to track this month after month and see if the trend improves.

For now I’ll leave you with this; in the last 31 days I’ve had 4,419 unique visits to my main blog; of those 77 came from Xomba Bookmarks. This is up from zero in months past. Of those 77 visitors I’ve had a handful of ad clicks on my main blog totaling $0.86. That is hardly anything and this is the main reason I started this Xomba Bookmarks experiment. Maybe this will get higher in the future and maybe this has to do with my old blog posts that don’t get much traffic not being optimized for Adsense, which is a real possibility, but I was really looking for more from this end of the experiment.

As for direct monetization of the blurbs; in 31 days I have yet to crack $8.00, though I am close. Two weeks ago I would have said I expected to hit $15 in the first month but things have slowed considerably for two reasons. The Bookmarks don’t seem to have staying power in the SERPs and I have only posted lightly there for the last 10 days or so. Looking at others results I figured having 1000 Xomba Bookmarks would be worth around $50-$150 per month, but so far I’m looking at an estimate of $25-$50 per month for 1000 Xomba Bookmarks. Again, only time will tell what actually happens.

The strange thing is that I really like Xomba after having spent so much time there this month. I’ve spent so much time there that I’ve hardly done anything else. I’ve completely neglected making many blog posts or doing any article marketing but due to the pleasure of good timing work from January and February is really making a difference in my overall residual income in March and my income is up a ton. I’ll post on this in more detail in early April but I find the irony of timing to be a joy sometimes.

In the future I expect to continue using Xomba Bookmarks but I do not intend on pumping out 250-300 per month; I just don’t see the benefit in committing so thoroughly at least until my Bookmarks age a bit and I see otherwise. As April rolls around the bend I will plan on slowing adding Bookmarks to my InfoBarrel articles from Xomba. I’ve got about 125 of them; I’m pretty sure I can get through all of them by the end of April without feeling like I’m devoting all of my time to Xomba. Of course I will once again give an update on the progress at the end of month two or so.

Before I go let me add a gratuitous plug for a couple of my more recent eHow articles.  These have nothing to do with this post but I want the links.  If you are interested in seeing how I write and SEO an eHow article you can look at my most recent posts on ceiling fan blades (link removed) and on perennial garden design (link removed). Enjoy. :)  As an added aside I'm paying it forward here with a link to an eHow backlinking idea:  you can read all about it here at free backlinks to your eHow articles posted by Tammy.


One last caveat; I don’t want to make Xomba sound like a waste of time. Most of the Bookmarks I’ve put up are going to articles which may not have the best earning potential. I didn’t follow the 80/20 rule, had I done so I may be looking at much better results. As a rule of thumb spending your time working on the 20 percent of your work that shows promise is a better use of time; maybe I just taught myself a lesson; follow the 80/20 rule and don’t work on backlinking duds. Good luck to you all in your online residual income pursuits.

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  1. Very interesting post. I started a Xomba backlinks experiment just a little over a month ago. To date I've earned $13.73 on about 200 bookmarks and 20 or so articles. Most of the bookmarks are to my eHow articles.

    Like you I will be very interested to see how these perform longterm. And also like you, I really enjoy Xomba. Publishing there is a complete joy so I really hope it stays worth it monetarily to spend time there.

  2. I need to read more on the 80/20 rule... This is the first I have heard of this concept, but it makes so much sense! I am going to see if you have any more info on 80/20 here on your blog. Thanks for another terrific and informative post!! jenicoe2001 at eHow

  3. @Julie - thanks for the comments; yeah your results so far sound a lot more like what I was expecting with Xomba; I want to think that many of my Bookmarks pointing to low performing articles are the cause for my depressed results. When you throw up 260 in a month with no regard for the viability of the Bookmark making money your results probably will be lower.

    I suspect that if I put 260 up that I knew had earning potential they would do much better than just 260 random posts. Unfortunately many of my early blog posts had very little profit potential as I really didn't start researching keywords until well after I started blogging. I may have to do another experiment in the future.

    @aspiring - thanks for the compliment; I'm glad you're finding value in my posts. Regarding 80/20 rule, I haven't really touched on it in any great depth; possibly some in my ultimate guide to residual income but nothing substantial. What I tell others and apparently don't do myself is to focus on backlinking only articles that show promise; the best and to work keywords that have already proven to work well for monitization. Usually if you stick to the top 20 percent you'll be doing alright.

  4. On one side there must be some value to bookmarking everything, but realistically bookmarking something that no one wants to read is not going to do much. If people are not looking for your "how to cure naval fuzz" article now they are not going to look for a bookmark on "how to grow navel fuzz" either.

    However, I've read that the first link is worth more than the second which is worth more than the 100th etc so there must be some value to that first link.

    Low earnings per click on your Xomba traffic to the blog is not Xomba's fault, it is your blog's fault. Apparently your blog is not serving higher value ads (kind of like my blog).

    I enjoy your work - thanks.

  5. I enjoy your blog for all the objective info you publish, Brian. Your observations of Xomba backlinks seem to fit with the general consensus that "social media links don't pay." Interesting.

    I've been observing over the past month or two that social bookmarking sites and content mills do not seem to be appearing as high in search engine results as they did just three months ago--have you noticed this at all?

  6. @Jade - that's something that is important to remember; as I said earlier in the comments and at the end of the post; I should have been following the 80/20 rule on this one. Rather than bookmarking all of the posts that weren't designed for search traffic I should have only bookmarked those that were designed for search traffic. Nobody is searching for many of the posts on my Longevity Blog from the very beginning; only when I started doing keyword research a few months later. There's like 100 posts on that blog that went live before I ever started Keyword Research... sheesh.

    And regarding low CPC, I make no claims that this is Xomba's fault because it isn't; it's simple the pages people click to on my blog. For instance of all the visitors clicking through Xomba to my blog over the month, almost 40 percent have clicked over to pages that I don't even display Adsense on because Adsense serves PSA ads on the page. That means that I've been getting about 5 clicks per 40 or so page views... that aint bad; just gotta get more eyes on the posts that have good CPC.

    @Kimberly - I would ad a bit to your statement and say that social media links don't really pay much because these are not targeted visitors in the sense that they are not actively shopping for anything online... they're not searching for anything that is. Xomba Bookmarks however are found in search engines and thus people viewing them are targeted search traffic; that's why they pay well if you can rank well... and that's the problem. A 50-100 work bookmark from Xomba just won't rank as well as a 1000 word opus elsewhere unless the keyword has little competition.

    And to answer your second question I'd say that I haven't noticed anything of the sort in general. Any one site can be the exception but I haven't experienced it. Most of my content site articles are actually doing better than they were a few months ago. It's good to remember that articles will seemingly drop from the searches temporarily after they've been live for a bit. This is strange but I've learned this from others and have experienced it myself every time. Every time my ranking get reshuffled for the better I usually lose spots in the SERPs first. Just do good onsite SEO and add a few dofollow backlinks and in time you should be doing OK.

  7. Thanks for adding my Link. I highly appreciate it.

  8. My pleasure; just helping out. :) Gotta always spread the love.

  9. Very interesting post. I'm always trying out little experiments too, but I haven't been able to do much with any Xomba experiments. I did determine about 5 months ago that I earn about $0.05 per Xomba bookmark. I have over 100 bookmarks now, and unfortunately they don't earn much of anything...less than a $1 on a monthly basis. I think I can attribute that to the fact that most of my bookmarks are for Examiner news articles that lose searchability over time. Glad to see you're earning something though. I'll keep at it and hopefully it will pick up.

  10. Hi good blog I like the clear analytical approach. Is there any chance of an update to the xomba bookmarks experiment? I see very little on line about xomba which could be a good thing or a bad thing.



  11. Hey Rob - I just posted a follow up to this post. Hope you catch it and hope ithelps. I haven't worked much on Xomba in a while but I feel like there is potential there if it is used int he right way.

  12. Brian,

    I enjoy studying your research results.

    Very informative! (thanks)

    The timing of reading your Residual Income blog is good as I started writing online content 4-5 months ago, had some success though not a windfall of earnings, and am now looking to take my level of play up a notch with a backlinking and article marketing strategy.

    Your comments to @Kimberly on March 24th outlining your value assessment of Xomba is fascinating and helpful.

    Appreciate your observations of the various players in the market.

    Thank you!


  13. No problem Jim - I think that would make a great post - a summary so-to-speak of the major content sites and my thoughts about them. Keep an eye out for that in the future - I can't guarantee it will happen in the next few days but soon I can tell you that for sure.


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