Do you want to start a "Make Money Online" (MMO) blog? Yes? Well, let's be honest, you've missed the boat, that ship has sailed. The world wide web is now flooded with people trying to grab their slice of the pie. I remember hearing a saying once that "nothing original is ever created in a vacuum", and I think that saying can definitely be applied to the whole MMO niche. So with that in mind, here's the definitive list of tips you can follow to become a Make Money Online sheep.

Number 1: Grab that 'dot com' domain

As a MMO sheep it's important for you to realise that snagging that domain name is the first crucial step to being accepted by the flock. A lot of the big fish like to use their real name as their domain name, for example, johnchow.com, joelcomm.com and zacjohnson.com. Then there's the alternative crew, that use something a little more descriptive, for example, problogger.net, entrepreneurs-journey.com and doshdosh.com.

Number 2: The inspirational tag line

Without an inspirational tag line, how will you appear credible, driven and worthy of following? Now this is the toughest part for a MMO sheep, because you need to make a choice. You need to decided whether your tag line lets people know that you new on the scene and heading for big things, or that you're already a big deal.

You can go with the tried and true "Make Money Online" type theme, as you can see caroline-middlebrook.com/blog, which is also another example of the name as domain thing.

Or you can let people know that you're really serious by whacking a "100%" in front of it.

Or you can go for a "Make Money Online" play on words.

You can also go for the tag that lets people know that you're the 'been there, done that' guru.

The "Experiment" is another common theme, but if you get stuck, just combine all these ideas into one.

Take you're readers on a journey... Follow me as I go from zero to hero with the click of the mouse...

Number 3: "Create" that pseudo web 2.0 style logo

Remember that whole "nothing original is created in a vacuum thing"? That probably sums up the Web 2.0 design trend. Everyone digs it, me included, so make sure your blogs logo has at least a splash of 2.0, some gradients, strong outlines, reflections, faux shine, anything will do. If you're stuck, check out some of the examples in tip number 3.

If adopting a full on web 2.0 style is not your thing (check out the CashQuests.com logo above), then maybe you should just consider ripping off the diamond/Superman emblem. See if you can spot the similarities here.

Number 4: Use WordPress and pick a copycat theme

The "MMO A-List" all favor WordPress and all have themes that share some key similarities. If you want to succeed as a MMO sheep, you better not deviate from the tried and true path. When you write a MMO blog, your theme choices are restricted. You must leave a butt load of room for advertising, and if possible, you must also include a picture of any of the following:

  • An exotic sports car
  • Yourself and a smorgasbord of blond ladies wearing t-shirts with your blog logo on them
  • You standing next to, sitting beside, or swimming in "your" luxury swimming pool
  • You holding a big fat cheque, the bigger the better. Don't listen to anyone else, size f@$*ing matters!

Now, as a MMO sheep you may not have access to any of those things, but wait... you have heard of Photoshop haven't you? Either that, or wait until the next motor show rolls into town and get your photo taken with the Bugati and the glamour girls.

In terms of actual blog layout, again, there's only one way to go. Follow the big guys... bahhhhh... and either find a theme that looks like the one I've so kindly mocked up below, or train a code monkey to put a custom one together for you.

Now next time you're checking in on your favorite MMO blog, take a good look at the layout, notice any similarities?

Number 5: Do the "Free eBook for everyone that subscribes to my newsletter/feed" thing.

This is an absolute must if you want to follow the flock. All the big guys do this, so you should too! The secret is, to package up your eBook in such a way so as you give visitors the impression that they are getting priceless value for free, when in reality you're serving up the same meal that you and all the rest of the MMO crowd recycle day after day. The key ingredient here, is to plug that eBook with as many affiliate links as you can possibly fit in there.

Would I ever pump out an eBook? You bet your ass I would, as soon as I get time to actually put words in my word document.

Number 6: Include an anime/cartoon style character of yourself in your header somewhere.

This is a phenomenon I don't fully understand. With that said though I can offer you some insightful insight into what you should and shouldn't do.

As you can see from the 'best of' compilation to the right, you most definitely need to make sure you're drawn with a Cheshire Cat style grin. You also need to be doing something with your hands. Best not to flash gang signs, but you can flash some cash, do the power point, or just wave.

You should also have spiky hair, and must be wearing some sort of Chuck Taylor All Star things.

You must not be drawn to scale. Your head must be drawn so that it is disproportionally big to the rest of your body. What the 'big head' thing actually means is open to conjecture, I'm sure the pop-psychologists reading this will have their own theories.

Here's an example of a way over the top big head, also flashing the thumbs up, while lying in a hammock.

I feel kinda bad for the minister of marketing because it appears as though he's missing a finger on his left hand.

Number 7: Run some sort of competition

I guess it can be a little surprising to find the sorts of things people are willing to sign up for in the hope of winning a prize, even if that prize is only a ball point pen with your face on it. If you want to mix it with the big boys though you'll need to give away an iPod or iPhone, the prize of choice. Don't look at it as giving away something for nothing though, as part of the deal you want to make sure that whatever the entry requirements are, that they at least cover the prize costs. How much would 200 one way back links cost anyway?

Number 8: It's all about RSS Subscriber numbers

Those little RSS subsciber count widgets carry a lot of weight in the MMO world. It's like the money blogging equivalent of a penis measuring competition. As a sheep, it may be a little hard to build up an impressive figure, so, because size matters, head for the RSS plastic surgeon... photoshop. Those widgets are really just little graphics, I'm sure I'm not the first person in the world to think they'd be simple to modify? If you want to go the legitimate route with this, consider joining this with number 7.

Number 9: Do include a picture of two dogs humping

OK, so this one isn't actually a tip, nor a genuine suggestion, I just remembered I posted this picture a year or two back and it's still gold... OK there's that, plus I really needed to pad this list out or else I wasn't going to hit the 10 tip mark.

Number 10: Create a 'tips' list

A 'top XX tips' list is one of your best bets when it comes to scoring social networking traffic, such as Digg or Stumbleupon. If you're in any doubt, do a quick search on Digg for 'top tips' and take a look at the volume of Diggs some of those posts get. A top XX list is also a dynamite way of imitating the MMO A-List. It's important to remember that the "top XX list" can come packaged in different forms, 'top tips', '10 secrets to...', and so on and so forth.

The number of 'tips' you need to provide is up to you. The once mighty Shoemoney seemed to heavily favor a list of 10 with titles such as; "My Top 10 Worst Ideas To Make Money", "The 10 RSS Feeds I read", "10 Reasons I Delete Your Email", "10 Reasons Why You're an Idiot".

If you want to be a true sheep, there's no room for individualism or creativity, so based on my exhaustive studies, I'd keep you 'tips' list to 10. Besides that, providing a list of more than 10 is dangerous because sheep have notoriously low attention spans, and you wouldn't want them wondering off into another paddock.

Bonus tip: Alway include a bonus tip

If you're going to create 'list' or 'tips' style posts, always make sure to include a "bonus tip". Gives the people the impression they are getting something special for nothing.

In summary

Let's be honest, it's easy to adopt a tried and true strategy to get things up and running. I'm more than guilty of that myself. I guess one of the points to take away from this, if nothing else is, in a 'market' that is growing exponentially, simply falling into line may not be the best strategy if you're trying to draw an income. The question we might need to start asking ourselves is, how will we make ourselves stand out from the flock?

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