Investing in Dividend Stocks

In this video I discuss the benefits of investing in dividend stocks, those with a history of increasing dividends.

September 2015 Income Report

I like to share the details of how I made income so check out this spreadsheet screenshot. I’ve created columns for each source of income from YouTube Ads, blog ads, ebook sales from leanpub as well as Amazon, donations, Amazon affiliate and guitar PDFs. It’s really vital that you have your own website as many sales come from that (blog ads, Amazon links, ebook sales, collecting emails). I convert the income from US dollars to Canadian dollars which currently is a pretty high exchange rate. Hope it helps inspire you as you can see it’s grown from when I started over a year ago. I also discuss this in the YouTube video below.

sept 2015 income report

How to Make $1000+ Per Month Online (No scams)

make money onlineIn the video below I go through the various ways I’ve been able to generate income online and I show specifically how much I currently make in each area. It’s very important to think about multiple streams of income.

YouTube ads

If you do YouTube videos you can turn on monetization and make money from pre-roll ads (video ads that are displayed before your video) or image-based ads at the bottom of the video. There are other options as well. People are usually able to skip your ad after 5 seconds so they’re not too intrusive. I’m at about $190 per month on this income stream.

Amazon Associate Program

You can make money by getting a percentage of each sale you refer on Amazon. This is an amazing way to earn income because many people already have their credit card on Amazon and are used to buying there. Amazon tracks who gets commission for each sale through the link you will provide on your website (or on Facebook, YouTube, etc). You even get credit for other things they buy at the same time (within 24 hours of reaching Amazon through your link). I’m getting about $200-250 per month from this stream of income.

Leanpub ebook & Kindle ebook

It’s really easy nowadays to publish your own ebook that looks good. I use Leanpub to create the book as well as sell it. You type in a basic text file with minimal formatting and save the files to Dropbox. At any time you can generate the ebook files (PDF, .epub, .mobi) and it will generate a table of contents as well. For the cover design I used Fiverr.

Once you have the book created you can sell it via Leanpub (they have an amazing price widget where people often pay more than you ask!) as well as Amazon Kindle Publishing and with Apple iBooks. I’m at about $400 per month from this stream of income.

PDF Files

Similar to ebooks but I wanted to point out that you can create other things as well. I sell guitar lesson PDFs on this site, generated with Guitar Pro software. I then sell the PDFs myself using WordPress and the WP e-store plugin.

Blog ads

Years ago I put Google adsense on my website and made hardly anything. I didn’t have much traffic either. But things seem to be much better these days. I just put ads on my recipe website and am at about $70 in the first full month I had them up, mostly from Gourmet Ads.

Patreon

Patreon is like Kickstarter but instead of having a one time project, people can contribute to you on a monthly basis. You can give rewards to them for different monthly contributions and set goals as to what you will do when you reach certain milestones (eg. buy a new camera when you reach $1000/month). It’s really great for content creators of all kinds (artists, musicians, activists, charities, etc). I’m close to $200/month on Patreon at the moment.

Donations

Donations are a nice alternative to Patreon if people only want to donate once. I get a few bucks here and there with no promotion. Just the other day someone amazingly donated $100 to me so that was amazing.

Multiple streams of income can really help build up your monthly revenue and you also have to give people ways to give you support and money. If you don’t have patreon or donation page set up no one can easily give you anything. A related concept is to ‘ask’. If you don’t ask you don’t get. Don’t be afraid to try different things and to ask for help if that makes sense on your channel. Ask for the sale as well. Good luck and let me know if you decide to start anything of these things!

Healthy Eating

If you’ve watched my guitar channel for years you might have noticed that I recently lost a bunch of weight and lowered my cholesterol and blood pressure. So now I have a healthy eating website with lots of tasty recipes you might want to check out if you sit a lot like me!

How to Share Your Passion Online

How to Share Your Passion Online
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Starting a food recipe blog and related YouTube/Facebook/Instagram channels has been an amazing experience. I think we all naturally want to share our knowledge and experience with others, even if it’s not a food blog (I started a guitar lesson site years ago as well). It’s been over 2 years and I thought I would try to help you get started with your own food site. But how do we get started? There are many ways but with the ups and down of many social media sites (remember MySpace?) it’s best to have your own website that you control. The social media channels then act to send traffic back to your website. Fortunately websites are really easy to set up nowadays and there’s no coding knowledge required! You can do this on the side if you have a day job and even develop revenue over time if you want to.

To get started you’ll need a domain name. Examples of domain names are www.amazon.com or in my case www.potatostrong.com or www.willkriski.com (I’m also webmaster for a wildlife rehab center atlanticwildlife.ca). You’ll need to come with a unique name that reflects what your blog/channel is about. For that you need to go to a site like Bluehost and search for names that you would like. Sometimes it takes a while to come up with a good name that isn’t taken. If the name you want is taken for the .com domain you could also try other extensions like .org, .ca, .us and so on. The domain is your unique space on the internet. If you sign up for web hosting (where you web files will reside) with BlueHost you can get a free domain name and it’ll be much easier as you won’t have to configure it as you would if you buy the domain name and web hosting separately. Here’s what you will see at Bluehost when you sign up for web hosting (under Products->Shared Hosting).

domain name

Along with the domain name you need a place for your website pages to exist. This is done by a web host provider such as BlueHost (includes free domain).

Once you’ve signed up for web hosting and picked a domain name, I recommend you install the freely included software to run your website called WordPress. It allows you to add and update pages right in the browser so you just edit, save and the changes are live! So once you sign up for web hosting, you typically login to an admin panel and can click a button to install WordPress on your site. They do all the hard work for you! One advantage of using sites like BlueHost is your website will automatically be set up to use your domain name, otherwise you typically have to get your domain name info from the domain name registrar and enter that information at your web host. Bluehost has optimized hosting for WordPress but this is not really necessary in my opinion and will cost you extra each month.

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I’d go with the plus plan, as you can have unlimited sites but you can switch over later if you want from the standard plan. I started a few different sites and even host a site for a local wildlife rehabilitation society so it’s nice to have unlimited website capability.

Once you sign up for webhosting with your domain name the next step is to get WordPress installed on your site which is pretty easy these days. Your web host will provide easy instructions – it’s basically a one-click operation to set it up. Then you’ll need to make your site look good. In the past you used to have to hire a web designer and spend thousands of dollars for them to make your site look pretty. Luckily there are also lots of free and paid themes for WordPress which allows you to make your site look really good. A theme is a layout for your site and avoids you having to be a graphic designer, which I am definitely not! There are also lots of free and paid plugins that allow your site to do so much more such as have a shopping cart, membership sites, and more. The theme I use is from Themify (Magazine theme) as it offers an incredible amount of flexibility in laying out your site and you can use it on unlimited sites. The other benefit of WordPress is you can easily add or modify content whenever you want without having to hire anyone to update your site. Picture of sample theme is shown below:

themify magazine theme

You also want to build your own email list. Don’t wait to set this up as you want to capture the email addresses of people who visit your site. Remember the social media sites come and go but you want a site that you can control for the long haul. Also having an email list is great because you can email the group whenever you want and studies show that email is still amazing for getting sales should you ever decided to create a product or service. I use MailChimp but there is also Aweber.

UPDATE: I’m using ConvertKit it’s amazing for creating an email sequence (all on one page) and also tagging people who buy (put them in a buyer’s list). It has some of the power of the really expensive systems like InfusionSoft.

If this all sounds scary and complicated, let me assure you it’s not that bad especially with BlueHost as you get hosting, domain and easy install of WordPress to get you going and the people there that can help you get set up. But contact me if you have questions after you’ve signed up for the services above and I can try to help!

Remember you don’t have to have the most beautiful and perfect food photos (or whatever niche content you want to provide) to get started. I certainly didn’t and still don’t! Just dig in and keep going and things will grow over time as people find your site and learn to love you and your unique offering to the world!

I plan to do more content and even videos on this, how to do social media (Facebook page, YouTube, Instagram, etc), saving and investing, debt, so let me know if you want to see more of that!

*Disclaimer: Some of the links above are affiliate links meaning I get a small commission if you decide to sign up. Rest assured these are quality services that I recommend and use myself and are an integral part of having a web presence that you control in addition to the social media sites out there that come and go over time!

For more info check out my Share Your Passion Online YouTube channel!

Witchcraft – ii V Turnaround Lick/Transcription

You can get the tab on the tablature page if you’ve subscribed to my newsletter (right sidebar of screen).

Thinking in Phrases – Jazz Blues Using Guitar and Sax Etudes

I’m a big fan of imitation when it comes to learning how to improvise in the bebop style. This may seem counterintuitive but we learn to speak the same way, by imitating our parents. I’ve given a lot of thought to how we improvise and what would be most effective way to learn the skill.

After years of practicing a lot of ineffective things I finally started imitating jazz professionals such as Robert Conti and Greg Fishman (sax player). I learned a variety of solos and etudes as well as licks. I was having a blast and really sounding like a jazz musician!

One part that took some work was the next phase – being able to put together a decent solo without playing someone else’s solo note for note. When I would try to put two things together it often wouldn’t sound great and I wasn’t sure why.

Then a while ago I picked up Giant Steps for Guitar by Wolf Marshall. Wolf has studied the jazz masters extensively so the lines were melodic, but the genius of the approach was that solos were broken down into a series of 2 and 4 bar phrases. So he had a series of phrases over the first 4 bars (which also worked over the next 4 bars) then a series of ii V Is. People don’t often think about the fact that to play fast bebop lines you have to have them under your fingers and internalized without thinking. I used to think if I practiced triads and scales I would somehow be able to invent lines no one else has ever played on the fly.

So that got me thinking. Could I apply the same concept to other standards? Sure I could! I think phrases are the most natural way to conceive of solos, similar to sentences in speech. As you know there are a lot of licks and phrases over ii V I’s and individual chord types (major 7, minor 7, dominant 7, etc) but not a lot of phrases over actual chord progressions in standards. So when you don’t see a ii V I or standalone chord you get lost trying to figure out what to do. These are what I refer to as problem areas (unfamiliar chord changes, 2 chords per bar, key changes, etc).

The easiest and most melodic way to figure out what to play over an unfamiliar or trouble spot is to see what others have played that you enjoy.

So if we take a Bb blues progression we can divide it in various ways but let’s pick one way: At a high level we can think of it as 3 four bar phrases. Bars 1-4, 5-8 and 9-12. We can use one phrase for bars 1-4, then in the middle four we can use a 2 bar phrase over bars 5-6 (Eb7 to Edim7) with a pickup phrase in bar 8 as we approach the final bars 9-12.

Here’s an example in the video. The phrases come from Jazz Guitar Etudes, Fusion Guitar by Joe Diorio, Jazz Saxophone Etudes Vol. 3. You can purchase the PDF below the video or on the products page, so you can study how I put together the phrases from the source materia. An amazing and effective way to learn to solo.

You can get the solo in PDF with tab below:

Bb Jazz Blues Solo - 2 Choruses
2 Choruses of a jazz blues solo in Bb with notation and Tab in PDF format. It uses phrases from Jazz Guitar Etudes Vol. 1, Jazz Saxophone Etudes Vol. 3 both by Greg Fishman/Mike Allemana and Fusion Guitar by Joe Diorio

Combining Jazz Guitar Etudes With Hip Licks for Guitar

Pick up Jazz Guitar Etudes http://amzn.to/1nshjbf
and Hip Licks for Guitar by Greg Fishman/Mike Allemana. http://amzn.to/1mM9olp

All The Things You Are – Using Hip Licks for Guitar

You can buy my solo below (PDF with tab and notation), as well as the measure by measure explanation and also buy the Hip Licks for Guitar.

All The Things You Are Solo
My guitar solo in PDF with tab and notation. Uses Greg Fishman's Hip Licks for Guitar book/cd.
All The Things You Are - Solo Explanation
A measure by measure breakdown of the All The Things You Are Solo - how I used jazz licks from Greg Fishman's Hip Licks for Guitar and developed them in the solo for a melodic, cohesive solo. PDF file with tab.